DRUGS, prostitution and fly-tipping are still prevalent in parts of Burnley that have been left half-finished by the Elevate housing scheme, according to councillors and residents.
A row over Burnley’s now defunct Elevate housing renewal programme erupted between Burnley councillors after Duke Bar resident Mr Shofique Miah addressed the council on the problems around Rylands Street, Ford Street and Heap Street.
Mr Miah said most of the houses around there were in desperate need of repair, and that 14 houses had been empty for the last 15 years; people use them as a dumping ground, which attracts rats and health problems. There is also a problem with prostitution, and the back streets are full of needles. A lot of these empty houses should be demolished.”
Mr Miah was backed by ward councillor Shah Hussein who said Elevate had failed the people of Stoneyholme and Duke Bar.
Coun. Hussein added: “I think the council has been reckless and negligent in spending money on sites like the Derby Arms pub instead of housing market renewal. The council should not have been buying up private properties like pubs and doing needless facelifting when there are houses lying derelict that should be demolished.”
Coun. Bea Foster said:“There are people in this town who have been failed by Elevate. Some residents have seen no improvement. They are barricaded in their homes, and are frightened.”
The Lib Dem’s executive member for regeneration and economic development Coun. Martin Smith accepted that parts of Burnley had declined.
“The area around Rylands Street has had problems but anti-social behaviour has dropped. Our Streetscene team have been there but we are fighting an uphill battle regards fly-tipping.
“Funding is not available for house clearing; I sympathise, but we will do our best to fight for future funding.
“Elevate has been a success in some areas. There were 9,000 derelict properties when I was elected. There is now only a fraction of that number.”