Petition plea after Accrington Arndale death fall

Accrington Arndale Centre

Accrington Arndale Centre

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by

A PETITION with more than 1,300 signatures has been presented to Hyndburn Council, calling for greater safety measures at the Arndale Centre in Accrington.

Friends of Lauren Johnson, the 17-year-old who died after falling from the town centre building last month, collected the names online and during a town centre rally.

The petition comes as Arndale bosses met with police, council officials and the Samaritans charity to discuss how to prevent further deaths at the Union Street site.

Five people have died in the past five years after falling from the shopping centre’s car park.

The petition, started by Accrington woman Sarah Clitheroe, was addressed to the Arndale’s owners, Jesta Capital, and called for an end to all public access of the building’s roof.

It read: “It is becoming a hotspot of recent years and removing access will not stop people’s choices, but will give them one less place to think about doing it.”

Coun Malcolm Pritchard, UKIP member for Milshaw, handed in the petition at a full meeting of Hyndburn Council.

He said: “The names on there were split between about 900 online signatures and almost 500 which were collected in the town centre when they held a march.”

Council leader Miles Parkinson, who attended the safety meeting, said the talks were ‘positive’.

He added: “It was a productive meeting and we’ve spoken about how the Arndale and the Samaritans can work together going forward.

“Suicide is sadly always going to happen, but we need to ensure that people know the support organisations are there for them to talk to.”

Michael Pope, Lauren’s friend, hopes to set up a charity in her memory called Lauren’s Place, to create a safe haven for young people with mental health issues in Accrington.

The roof has been closed indefinitely since Lauren, of Blackburn Road, Oswaldtwistle, died on June 5, while the Arndale carries out a safety review.

Comments (5)

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7:59pm Wed 9 Jul 14

doggydog says...

out of 1300 signatures, how many use the Arndale? 2 faced springs to mind here! Although not a nice thing to happen, if ya close it then wot? Perhaps close the railway line etc? If people are set on ending their life's, closing the Arndale wont solve it! Stupid!
out of 1300 signatures, how many use the Arndale? 2 faced springs to mind here! Although not a nice thing to happen, if ya close it then wot? Perhaps close the railway line etc? If people are set on ending their life's, closing the Arndale wont solve it! Stupid! doggydog
  • Score: 6

8:47pm Wed 9 Jul 14

clickhere says...

As I understand it, the top two levels have been closed. As these were not time restricted there will be some inconvenience to those workers in the town who took advantage of these parking spaces. In the meantime any unfortunate person determined to jump from a lower level will end up in the same condition as they would if they had used the two higher floors.
So the reason for closing the top floors is?
Everyone should support our young people, and indeed adults, who find themselves in such a desperate situation that they feel the must end their life. Very sad
A word to the Telegraph - the embedded advert in the item is rather inappropriate - it features a young girl on the ground lying on her back with a satchell next to her. Not really suitable for this story, i feel.
As I understand it, the top two levels have been closed. As these were not time restricted there will be some inconvenience to those workers in the town who took advantage of these parking spaces. In the meantime any unfortunate person determined to jump from a lower level will end up in the same condition as they would if they had used the two higher floors. So the reason for closing the top floors is? Everyone should support our young people, and indeed adults, who find themselves in such a desperate situation that they feel the must end their life. Very sad A word to the Telegraph - the embedded advert in the item is rather inappropriate - it features a young girl on the ground lying on her back with a satchell next to her. Not really suitable for this story, i feel. clickhere
  • Score: 7

8:49pm Wed 9 Jul 14

clickhere says...

Oops. delete my last paragraph. The offending advert has been superseded by one for BwD Adoption Service...
Oops. delete my last paragraph. The offending advert has been superseded by one for BwD Adoption Service... clickhere
  • Score: 4

10:44pm Wed 9 Jul 14

HelmshoreMan2010 says...

First things first if we are going to address the issue of suicide, people need to stop glossing over the horrors of it.

This story claims 5 people in 5 years 'fell' from the arndale, they jumped!

Secondly if money is being spent then spend it on mental health workers etc to stop the problem at source rather than just give a desperate person a slightly harder task in finding a location to 'fall' from.
First things first if we are going to address the issue of suicide, people need to stop glossing over the horrors of it. This story claims 5 people in 5 years 'fell' from the arndale, they jumped! Secondly if money is being spent then spend it on mental health workers etc to stop the problem at source rather than just give a desperate person a slightly harder task in finding a location to 'fall' from. HelmshoreMan2010
  • Score: 7

10:54am Thu 10 Jul 14

GracesDad says...

This petition is nothing short of ridiculous. I would advise Jesta Captial to screw it up and throw it in the bin.
This petition is nothing short of ridiculous. I would advise Jesta Captial to screw it up and throw it in the bin. GracesDad
  • Score: 4

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