Thursday, July 27, 2006

Council partnerships

North Tyneside partnership deals out trouble to yob tenants

In a devastating partnership with Northumbria Police, North Tyneside District Council has threatened more than twenty people in the Wallsend area with eviction because of their anti-social and/or criminal behaviour. What's more attention grabbing is the two page spread in yesterday's Newcastle Evening Chronicle which published pictures of everyone of these "neighbours from hell" as police officers served the notices on them, they were all "named and shamed."

Bravo, I say! This is no more than decent law abiding and neighbourly tenants deserve, peaceful estates with community spirit! In addition to serving notices threatening eviction, they have used ASBO's, and injunctions utilizing the full force of the new Anti Social Behaviour Act. A further 35 people in the Longbenton area have been served with "acceptable behaviour" notices.

What a far cry from the so-called partnerships that we have in South Tyneside, a month ago I questioned whether our Labour controlled council was intent on playing it's part in full partnership with our neighbourhood policing teams. Inspector Simon Charlton at the meeting of a Community Area Forum pressed the elected members to make full use of the Anti Social Behaviour Act to help his officers police some of our estates, and to make life so much better for our residents. He catalogued a whole list of arrests and charges made against certain individuals (tenants of the council) who were making life almost unbearable for those around them. Inspector Charlton was obviously looking for support in this "partnership" with the council.

Following this meeting I emailed a number of questions to Paul Wilding, the Chief Executive of South Tyneside Homes, and Cllr. Michael Clare, the appropriate Lead Member. I was trying to ascertain how many evictions had been made over the past two years as a result of anti-social behaviour, how many were in the pipeline, and how many were envisaged to be initiated! That was a whole month ago, and yet, despite a number of reminders, to this date nobody has had the good manners to answer these questions!

This begs the question - do our council really "care" about the partnership with our local police? Do they really "care" about helping to secure safer neighbourhoods? Do they really "care" about being responsible landlords?

The answers will be forthcoming just as soon as some relevent "spin" can be assembled.


The Evening Chronicle.

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