Legal action threat over leisure centre nuisance

Cllr Chris Cartmell with litter at Brackley Leisure Centre.'130613M-D705

Cllr Chris Cartmell with litter at Brackley Leisure Centre.'130613M-D705

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A former law lecturer is calling for those fed up with anti-social behaviour around Brackley Leisure Centre to join him in a legal challenge to end the nuisance caused by boy racers and litter louts.

Just weeks after two yobs were caught on camera throwing tiles from the leisure centre roof, Peter Carroll, who also used to run his own law firm, said he has had enough of young people gathering in the car park late at night playing loud music.

He believes they are also responsible for leaving litter, broken glass and drug paraphernalia lying around which is a danger to families and children using the playing fields around the centre and 
attracting large numbers of rats.

This week he sent a letter of complaint to centre operators Serco claiming they 
were allowing their property to be used to create a public nuisance. He cites cases where the High Court has supported compensation claims against property owners who have not taken action to prevent their land being used by people creating a nuisance.

He believes that if everyone affected by the nuisance were to join him, those responsible could face a legal bill of millions.

While he recognised centre staff were doing their best he said: “What is particularly galling is that all the mess and those who create it are caught on the CCTV that is installed in and around the centre but no one seems to have the time or inclination to review the videos; if they did, the perpetrators could be identified and dealt with.”

Mr Carroll is backed by members of Brackley Town Council including last year’s mayor Chris Cartmell, who said his complaints had fallen on deaf ears.

He added: “This has been going on for many years and they’ve never really addressed it properly.”

Mr Cartmell recalls a barrier stopping boy racers from using the car park, but after a bin was set on fire the emergency services were forced to cut the padlock which has never been replaced.

Brian Taylor chairman of South Northamptonshire Leisure Trust said: “There has been no long history of complaints and as is well known much of the problem arises from cars on the car park late at night. Litter is cleared from the site daily and we take a pride in the site but the litter is a challenge and we are working with South Northamptonshire Council and the local police in order to improve things.”

Mr Carroll has successfully fought class actions and is calling for anyone who would like to comment or join a future legal action to email him at peteredwardcarroll@sky.com.