Some excellent news in recent weeks for Coatham residents which has been positively progressing and more news today. This relates to residential areas in Coatham under consultation for the Alley Gating Scheme which was brought in during the Labour administration in 2015. The scheme has been widely popular across the borough and more alley gating proposals were put forward for Coatham following the successful pilot on Charles & Charlotte Street and the subsequent scheme for Alfred & Muriel Street.
Ultimately what this means is that the following schemes were given the green light to go forward for consultation aiming for completion for March 2021. These are:
Alleyways serving 2-70 Alfred Street; 1-69 Charlotte Street; and 70-82 Lord Street, Redcar
Alleyways serving 2-66 Charles Street; 1-65 France Street; and 40-52 Lord Street, Redcar
Sadly not all the alleys I proposed were successful. Changes in the boundary review removed some problem alleys from the Coatham Ward altogether and following the local election in 2019, the scheme was reviewed by the new administration who made changes to the criteria. The new criteria meant alleys originally highlighted as holding the highest priority were downgraded. Residents who expressed interest for their streets to have alley gates have been notified and are advised to continue submitting their interest for potential future rounds.
The proposed alleys that were unsuccessful were:
178-242 Coatham Road; 76-144 High Street West; 2 Bridge Road, Redcar.
1-57 Westfield Avenue and 106-180 Corporation Road, Redcar.
Following the decision the council officer leading on this sent an email to me stating,
“The council was unable to select any additional locations, due to there not being enough funds available now to do so. The alleyways you nominated were amongst the 12 worst locations the council had identified for consideration by examining data held by the council, Cleveland police and Cleveland fire brigade concerning reports of crime, antisocial behaviour, fires, and street scene issues such as dog-fouling or fly-tipping. The criteria the council applied in selecting locations for formal consultation was as follows:
1. “Evidence there’s a significant volume of activities persistently or continually occurring, like antisocial behaviour, crime, dog fouling, fly-tipping, public nuisance etc., that’s unreasonable, has, or is likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those living here, and justifies the council in installing alley gates here;”
2. “Engineering and highways section’s assessment of suitability of location for alley gating.”
3. “Value for money.”
4. “Residents demonstrate commitment to get involved in planning and making improvements (“alley-greening”) to their back alleys by transforming them into safe green spaces, including by making financial and non-financial commitments.”
“We will continue to seek to source funding to progress potential alley-gating schemes, including possibly these, where it meets funders’ eligibility criteria, and we will re-assess the position should the funding situation improve. “I would encourage you to continue to build the case for this location to be gated-off by:
1. “Reporting in issues as they occur and encourage your neighbours to do the same (see attached information sheet for more details). “
2. “Gathering support from your neighbours including landlords owning property here as appropriate, encouraging them to contact me direct to nominate this alleyway for gating (I attach a photograph showing an example of a leaflet residents and landlords have used elsewhere in the borough to build support for alley-gating amongst their neighbours); “
3. “Seeking the support of ward councillors.”
In regard to the successful two alleys I have been receiving regular update reports and can inform that progress is steady but positive with responses coming back from residents and landlords on both remaining alleys.
The next step will be to send final reminder letters to any consultee who have yet to respond in September.
Costings for the fabrication and installation of the gates will be acquired from the council’s appointed contractor, RJ fabrications who successfully installed the previous sets of gates in Coatham. A feasibility study will be carried out by the lead officer following the end of this initial consultation stage.