Monday, August 14, 2006

Evictions

Council responds finally.

In Wallsend recently more than twenty people were threatened with eviction and in Longbenton a further thirty-five were served with "acceptable behaviour" notices. Inspector Simon Charlton raised the profile of anti-social and criminal behaviour at a meeting of the West Shields Community Area Forum and from that point I questioned South Tyneside Council about it's stance on the matter.

Disgracefully, it has taken more than six weeks to get a response from our Council, but it finally arrived today from Paul Walker, Head of Regulatory services;

  1. From the information available to me, South Tyneside Council evicted four tenants in the last two years as a result of anti-social or criminal behaviour. It is difficult to provide an accurate figure of how many future evictions there may be. We do however, have approximately 220 cases on our database at the moment. These are cases where we have had complaints and are following them up. Based on recent data, we serve approximately 30 Notices of Seeking Possession for anti-social behaviour in any one-year and sometimes we need to take no further action. We always attempt to resolve cases without having to take legal action but have no hesitation in so doing where other avenues have not produced appropriate outcomes.
  2. We have not received any specific advice from Louise Casey or the Home Office about the case you mention, although we have discussed the case with the Home Office in general terms outlining our combined actions with South Tyneside Homes and Northumbria Police. You will understand that we are generally not able to discuss the detail of individual cases.
  3. There are strong partnership arrangements in place between the Police, South Tyneside Homes and the Council, which gives us the opportunity to respond in a coordinated way to cases which are problematic. South Tyneside Council’s Neighbourhood Warden Service is also closely involved and has received national recognition for its work.

So there we have it! Depending on how you read it or what you believe to be true, either our Council cannot hold a candle to North Tyneside's record in dealing with the "neighbours from hell" or they are so good that the situation never gets that bad.

Make your own minds up!

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