Yobs put shelter under threat of demolition

Gordon Castle and the Howling Lane bus shelter.
Gordon Castle and the Howling Lane bus shelter.

Police have asked town councillors to consider demolishing a bus shelter, following complaints from residents about loutish behaviour.

The covered stop, at Howling Lane, has been vandalised twice in the last six months and has seen an increase in anti-social incidents, Alnwick Town Council heard on Thursday.

In one of the attacks, a panel on the side of the shelter was stolen.

And in a letter to the council, Neighbourhood Sergeant Neville Wharrier requested that the council now consider its removal.

But county councillor Gordon Castle said: “I would be very reluctant to agree to this course of action, on the grounds that it is a well-used bus shelter.

“It would also be giving in to the anti-social behaviour of a few, at the expense of denying other users this facility.

“My suggestion would be to invite the police to the next town council meeting, along with any members of the public who may want to comment on this situation.”

Coun Sue Allcroft added: “I agree that it seems to be giving in, but I’d like to know whether people living near the bus shelter want it removed.”

Coun David Farrar said: “It seems a strange idea to think that if you demolish this shelter, the problems will end. The people responsible for the anti-social behaviour are hardly going to go to the library and read the Telegraph instead.”

Coun Sara Walton added that a lack of facilities in town for young people may have contributed to the problems. She said: “The people who are causing this nuisance may not have facilities they can use, which is something I think needs to be addressed.”

It was unanimously agreed to contact Northumbria Police and invite Sgt Wharrier or a representative to the October council meeting, where time would be set aside for members of the public to have their say.