A CONTROVERSIAL decision to lock a park gate in the evening is set to stay in a bid to stop vandalism.
A special meeting of Peel and Barnfield Area Council was held this week to decide what to do about the side gate at Oak Hill Park, Accrington.
The decision to lock the Hollins Lane gate at night was taken last year because of persistent problems caused by teenagers drinking alcohol and leaving their broken bottles and cans in the park.
Residents had been told one option was to close the gate on a permanent basis.
But at this week's meeting it was decided to keep the gate locked overnight AND to investigate the possiblity of installing CCTV cameras for additional security.
The meeting also sparked the decision to form a Friends of Oak Hill Park group in a bid to promote better use of the park.
Councillor Paul Barton was delighted with the outcome of the meeting held at council offices in Scaitcliffe House.
He said: "It was a superb meeting, it brought all the people together.
"We decided to leave the situation as it is, locking the park gate at dusk and opening it in the morning.
"I explained that this was allowed by by-laws and they were happy with it.
"Some residents had objected to the locking of the gate because it blocked off their access to the park.
"The aim now is try and keep the residents together and do something with the park," said Councillor Barton.
"We would like to see a picnic area and I believe that there are some benches stored away, but if they are not available I would be prepared to pay for them out of my council allowance."
In a bid to keep the park free of youth nuisance Councillor Barton said they were looking to obtain CCTV cameras.
A children's play area with play equipment was introduced to the park last year and at this week's meeting it was decided that a Friends of Oak Hill Park group could continue to improve the facilities for the public at the park.