A RESIDENTS’ association has secured thousands of pounds in cash to install gates in a bid to fight drug yobs who are terrorising the community.

Members of Parasol Residents’ Association have unveiled the new gates in the park of the Paddocks Community Centre, off Pound Lane, Laindon.

The gates come after a £5,000 grant was provided from Basildon Council to pay for the gates.

The car park will still be open from 7am until 7pm for residents.

Jason Petty, secretary of the association, said it will help the community and the popular centre.

He said: “We have had issues such as drug dealing and antisocial behaviour at our car park for a few years now.

“We have been speaking with our councillors about the project and we found out about a month ago that we had received the funding.

“We never thought in a million years that we would actually get the funding.

“We have seen drug taking and dealing and also found drug paraphernalia at the car park.

“At night there’s often a very strong smell of cannabis, we’ve found gas cannisters and even needles at the car park.

“We once found 200 laughing gas cannisters at the car park.”

The 49-year-old added: “We are hoping the gates will stop the drug dealing taking place at the car park.”

The 49-year-old pleased resident said the gates were installed last Friday and he praised the council for supporting the needs of the residents.

He said the residents association will be operating the newly installed gates.

He added: “I know some of the groups that hire out the hall have seen their attendance drop as people feel intimated at night with the antisocial behaviour in the car park.

“There are also people living close to the car park and a nursery and a children’s play area, and these people shouldn’t have to deal with these sort of issues.

“We are so pleased to have the support of the council on this project.”

David Harrison, chairman of Basildon Council’s neighbourhoods and public spaces committee, said: “We are committed to working with local groups like the this one to improve their communities.”