Steps taken to secure Oldside area of Workington
Allerdale Borough Council has taken steps to secure the Oldside area of Workington and is making arrangements for a large-scale clean-up of the site.
The council has evicted a number of gypsy and traveller encampments from the area under section 77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. The evictions followed the statutory site visits and welfare checks the council and partner agencies are obliged to carry out in line with the Cumbria Gypsy and Traveller Protocol.
With the encampments now vacating the site steps have been taken to secure the area with the support of Network Rail and Story Contracting, with bunding and a new locked gate installed. It is also planned to install CCTV in the area.
Now the site is secured, the council will work with contractors Tivoli to arrange for the area to be deep cleaned due to the amount of rubbish and fly-tipping dumped there in recent years.
The new security measures will mean that access to the site for vehicles will no longer be allowed, however, access for pedestrians will be maintained.
Cllr Mike Johnson, leader of the council, said:
“We know that the Oldside area hasn’t been an inviting place for people to enjoy in recent years due to the amount of rubbish which has been dumped there and trying to solve the issues there has been on our radar for some time.
“Managing the issues on site has been a complicated process for the council over a number of years with many factors at play making this a far from easy thing to resolve. However, we felt as though we could not simply go on like we were and had to do something to get things under control.
“That’s why we’ve taken these steps to secure the site and we hope that once the clean-up has taken place, local people can really enjoy the site again, that’s why it was really important to use to maintain pedestrian access.”
In the future, it is hoped that the site – along with land at the adjacent Port of Workington – can utilise £4.5m of funding through the Workington Town Deal with the aim of bringing forward the future development of employment sites with a focus on the logistics and clean energy sectors. The council will be working with partners over the coming months to develop these proposals in further detail.