THE ‘disproportional amount’ of public money used to preserve Crowmere Lake is a “disgrace”, says the leader of working party set up to review the site’s management.

Frodsham Town Councillor Andrew Dawson said the authority had allowed legal costs to escalate to £40,000 during a dispute over its ownership of Crowmere Lake.

The lake, off Dobers Lane, is managed by the town council as trustees of the Frodsham Recreation Grounds Charity, but recently councillors and residents have become concerned about noise and nuisance at the site, caused by overnight fishing camps.

Cllr Dawson criticised council expenditure on the long-running dispute, which was settled before he joined the authority earlier this year.

Presenting the working party's 23-page report to the town council last week, he said: “An extraordinarily disproportionate amount has already been spent in relation to Crowmere Lake and I don't want to see that happen again.

“It's an absolute disgrace that the council has let go almost half of its annual resources on legal disputes of this nature.

“I believe there are lots of things we can do to preserve the lake as a valuable community resource, but I don't want it to cost £40,000 ever again.”

Cllr Dawson said “a whole raft of issues” must be considered over the coming months but a set of rules governing public use of the lake should be agreed and put in place as soon as possible.

“The police have been very encouraging and have said rules would be a good basis for enforcement against anti social behaviour at Crowmere,” he said, adding that all residents consulted by the working party said they wanted the lake to be preserved as a public amenity.

“A lot of people blamed the concern we have about it on fishermen, rightly or wrongly, but I don't like the idea of banning fishing.

“I prefer to have some sensible rules, such as no night-time fishing.

“And we need to encourage as many other uses of the lake as possible, if only for no other reason than to show fishermen they don't have a monopoly on it.”

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