Giving victims a new voice

Dave Blacker, Gwen King and Brian Coope - founders of Clean Up Blackpool

Dave Blacker, Gwen King and Brian Coope - founders of Clean Up Blackpool

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A new independent group is aiming to tackle anti-social behaviour in Blackpool.

Clean Up Blackpool, which has been set up by members of the Parklands and Gateway Area Forums, is hoping to help residents with problems such as dog fouling, fly tipping and noisy neighbours by acting as a middle man between the victims and the relevant authority.

The group will be launched at an Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Day at the Town Hall today, with representatives from the police, fire service and dog wardens among those attending to listen to people’s concerns.

Co-founder Brian Coope, who currently serves as vice-chairman of the Parklands Area Forum, said the group is willing to raise issues on behalf of victims who find themselves too scared to speak out and act as the middle man between them and the authorities to provide up-to-date feedback.

He said: “We’re trying to make a difference and reassure people that things are being done.

“It’s been set up so that people can have a voice in case they don’t tend to report anti-social behaviour because they’re frightened of repercussions.

“They think they’ll have to go to court and point the finger at somebody.

“We’re here to let people know there’s subtle ways we can deal with this sort of stuff.

“The ASB day is to give people information on how to report any issues they have.”

The group is also being run by chairman of the Gateway Area Forum Dave Blacker and Gwen King, of Queens Park Residents Association.

They plan to run a competition in schools across Blackpool to design a new anti-dog fouling poster, which will then be displayed across the town.

The group also hopes to arrange clean-up days across the resort and look into getting more bins – or even a mobile skip – in the area to reduce incidents of fly tipping.

Mr Coope added: “The best way for people to get involved is to join the group so that they can make a difference too.”

Mr Blacker said: “Anti-social behaviour can force people to a point where they want to move home.

“It’s not just about hoodies and drug addicts and people on the fringes of society.

“It could be a neighbour playing music through the night. It can drive people to the point of depression.”

The ASB day will run from 10am to 8pm, in committee room A of Blackpool Town Hall today.

The Clean Up Blackpool group holds monthly meetings, which residents are invited to attend.

The next meeting will be held at the Streetlife Centre on Buchanan Street, Blackpool, at 10am on October 30.

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