Group in Breightmet helps noisy neighbours resolve their disagreements

The Bolton News: Terence Finney and Sue Draper with Ann Murphy and Carole Jackson from Bolton Mediation Terence Finney and Sue Draper with Ann Murphy and Carole Jackson from Bolton Mediation

SQUAWKING cockerels and night-time DIY are among the complaints Bolton residents have about noisy neighbours.

Now a special Noisy Action Week event is trying to help — by bringing neighbours together to resolve their problems.

The event, which took place at Kings Church Bolton in Millfield Road, Breightmet, involved workshops and a performance from Dramatic Action, a drama group funded by Bolton at Home.

The day was organised by Bolton Mediation which helps conflicting sides come to an agreement.

Mediation officer Cat Woodall said: “We want to make people across Bolton who are having problems with their neighbours aware of what options they have.

"It can be very difficult to get people to reach amicable solution — we’ve dealt with cases where people have become paranoid and depressed.

"Sometimes people just feel like they’ve got no one to turn to and they just blow up.

“But it’s very touching when we help people see a situation from the other person’s point of view.

“That’s the most rewarding part of the job.”

Residents who attended the event shared their experiences of dealing with noisy neighbours.

One from Farnworth, who asked not to be named, said: “I’ve been having problems with my next door neighbour in the flat above me for nearly a year.

"I always hear music, stamping and drilling well into the night and in the early hours — it’s ridiculous.

“They know I am unhappy and still they carry on. I am very angry, and that’s the reason I’m here today.

“I hope that, with this event, I can work out how to solve the problem myself.

“This is a valuable service and I would recommend it.”

Donna McNair, of Barrie Way, Hall i’ th’ Wood, said: “A neighbour of mine has two cockerels and they make noise all through the night.

“I’ve spoken to him before and he’s not going to do anything about it. After this event I’m going to go back and speak to him and hopefully we can work something out.”

Dramatic Action, which has about 20 members, performed a play about two neighbours and an old lady who have a dispute but work things out through mediation.

Group co-ordinator Val Hulme said: “We try and build confidence in people. Getting everybody here is a fantastic motivation.

“This group is for anyone, you don’t have to be a Bolton at Home tenant. It’s a fantastic service and the response has been good.”

Also at the event was the charity Redeeming Our Communities (ROC), which is launching ROC Restore in Bolton, which aims to bring together victims and perpetrators of low level crime to agree on a form of restorative justice.

Regional redevelopment manager Andy Bell said: “We have worked with a lot of neighbours who have had problems.

"We are here to show people that there are other ways of dealing with their issues rather than through the police.”

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