Council appeals to Holyrood for permission to deal with "absolutely horrendous" trouble spot

North Lanarkshire will approach the Scottish Government to discuss closing a footpath in Motherwell amidst a spate of complaints about anti-social behaviour.

Councillor Kenneth Duffy made the case of behalf of the petitioners
Councillor Kenneth Duffy made the case of behalf of the petitioners

A public consultation was held on the future of the footpath between Airbles Road and Camp Road, which connects the Beechwood Estate and the Electric Bar, after receiving an online petition from residents which bore 131 signatures.

Motherwell South East and Ravenscvraig councillor Kenneth Duffy told the he Environment and Transportation Committee: “The residents of the area have suffered from terrible antisocial behaviour for some time.

“One of the gentlemen came along to the Motherwell Community Board and and gave a fantastic update and a real life story into the impact it’s having."

Councillor Duffy added that the problems were sufficient to cause some residents to sell their homes.

With the council having received 12 objections to its proposed alterations to the footpath network, involving a diversion being put in place, Councillor Duffy said he was “disappointed” by officers reporting they felt this was “unlikely” to be approved by Government ministers due to the legitimate access rights of the objectors and the need for police to tackle the root causes of anti-social behaviour.

He added: “The police had stated they too were unhappy with the lane at previous meetings of the community board and asked for this to be stressed in the council’s presentation to the Scottish Government. ”

Head of environmental assets, Nicole Paterson, said that the objections necessitated the matter be referred to Scottish ministers, but predicted it was unlikely they would approve the closure.

She did, however, confirm that all of the concerns raised so far would be laid out in the council’s future presentation to the Scottish Government.

Committee convener Michael McPake said: “ It’s absolutely horrendous.

"My heart goes out to them and I hope the Scottish Ministers will see sense and do the right thing.”

In response to Councillor Douglas’ question on whether increased CCTV would improve the situation, Ms Paterson said the council was investing in more and better equipment including mobile systems.