Removing a nightmare neighbour from a housing estate has sent a message to other problem tenants, a residents’ representative said yesterday (Tuesday 13 December).
Craven Vale resident Alan Cooke spoke out as fellow residents, councillors and Brighton and Hove City Council officials discussed anti-social behaviour on local estates.
People on the Brighton estate have shared their anger at the lack of response from the council to threatening behaviour, intimidation and attempted break-ins by other tenants.
In November, Mr Cooke presented a petition from Craven Vale Residents’ Association asking the council to “get tough” and stop housing “well-known” drug dealers.
In March, Labour councillor Nancy Platts, who represents East Brighton ward, called for “sensitive lets” at Craven Vale and an end to the council housing people with a history of drug dealing.
The issue came to a head after an individual with a history of drug issues was housed on the estate in August.
He was reported to be carrying a knife and caused so many problems for neighbours that his flat was closed by police in October.
At a housing management panel meeting at the Whitehawk Hub yesterday, housing official Justine Harris told residents that the council would serve community protection notices on nightmare neighbours who had secure tenancies.
Previously the council had only served such orders on people with temporary tenancies.
This decision follows a review of the council’s anti-social behaviour policy, with the new approach due to be presented to the Housing Committee next month.
In response to the council’s proposals, Mr Cooke said: “Fine words butter no parsnips.”
He was reflecting residents’ lack of confidence that their peace would last because there were other homes on the estate where anti-social behaviour had occurred.
He said: “Because of the actions that effectively Craven Vale (residents) forced the council to undertake, and the police, it has led to a dramatic improvement in the environment on the estate.
“The other drug dealers still on the estate have seen what happens if they start behaving stupidly and they’re beginning to worry about losing their own tenancies.”
He said that the problems were not over in Craven Vale because there was still a resident causing issues but there was a general improvement as the troublesome neighbours were “keeping their heads down”.
Ms Harris said that the council was publicising action to make clear that it was not tolerating anti-social behaviour.