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Not convicted – charged:
Big Dave tells the BBC he supports Wandsworth Council's initiative
if convicted of a crime (which this guy WILL be ... For a charge to have been brought this quickly there will be sufficient evidence). I've seen it happen before, so it is not remarkable in that sense. I'd be interested to know if the son is named as a tenant on the rent book- if he is, he and his father have no real leg to stand on.
Removing anyone convicted of involvement in the riots from council housing would of course be a dangerous policy, but this doesn't represent that just yet.
They've served a notice of eviction- no one has, of yet, been removed from the property and the council may be refused permission to do so by the council. Not that what you've said is of any relevance- if a tenant violates the terms of the tenancy, that's that.
I'm not arguing for the removal of people convicted of crimes (specifically related to the riots of otherwise) from social housing- I'm saying that machinery to do so has long been in place and that, like it or not, the council are operating within the law and within the tenancy agreement.
The courts may refuse the council permission to remove them.
The tenancy condition covering anti-social behaviour in the immediate locality of the property is there to protect neighbours from violence, bullying, noisy behaviour, thieving from neighbours and etc. It usually takes more than one anti-social event to trigger eviction proceedings, and a range of other approaches are usually tried first. IF these fail an eviction notice will be applied for. This is as it should be. Unless the involvement in the Clapham Junction incidents directly affected neighbours, eviction is not appropriate. The criminal justice system is adequate for dealing with violence and looting. There is absolutely no reason to extend the punishment to the whole family, to deny someone a home, or to take away their benefits - this is shameful revenge and will solve no problems at all. They cannot be deemed to have made themselves homeless because when the did the looting, it was not a breach of their tenancy conditions, so anyone evicted for taking part in looting will have to be rehoused elsewhere - what's the point? The middle classes and the rich deliberately chose to structure society and culture in such a way that a sizeable percentage of the population would be alienated from the 'mainstream' culture. The rich have been benefiting from it financially. The problem has been around for at least thirty years, more than one generation, but it is only when the violence and amorality is suddenly concentrated in full view that there is an outcry - and an outcry for revenge, not one that acknowledges the context and causes or the collective guilt of both politicians and people. All this senseless braying about evicting people and cutting them off from benefits is just a large red herring, preventing any real analysis of causes or any calls for long-term solutions (which would require public spending).
yeh i thought it was an immediate locality thing too^
does it depend on individual councils?
they all run their own housing departments
DiS quotes still being funny
but as has been pointed out, it's up to individual councils what the clause relates to- some do not use it specifically for cimes in the locality affecting other residents.
On the one hand they are renting the flats and the council are the tenants. If I smashed up loads of property belonging to my Landlord I'm pretty confident I'd get kicked out and I wouldn't really expect anyone to have any sympathy for me.
Plus, unless the government significantly loosen the planned local government spending cuts for next year due to the extra cost for councils of sorting this out, there is a possibly council staff will lose their jobs as a result of these people's actions so it's again hard to be sympathetic.
I guess the fundamental thing for me is you can't fairly change the terms of someone's contract after they've signed it. If it is basically enforcing a clause in their tenancy they signed when they moved in then - assuming the guy winds up being charged - it's fairly hard to argue with the council for enforcing their own contract that the people have agreed to. Obviously where it gets tricky in cases like this is when the son has done the crime, if the parents are the tenants. If the son's not signed anything and there's nothing in the contract suggesting that crimes committed by the son who isn't the tenant could result in the eviction then it's utterly wrong to change the contract as a kneejerk reaction. If that stuff is in the contract then I can understand why the council are enforcing it. It's pretty harsh but, if the people involved have signed the contact under those terms, it's pretty hard to see what'd prompt the council to make an exception.
have been Wandsworth and Westminster - both of which are long-term Conservative controlled authorities.
Given this, and given that every piece of commentary I've read has said that the anti-social behaviour clauses in LA housing contracts are only designed to cover acts committed in the property and immediate surroundings, I really just think this is bluster to appeal to their base. At this point, for Wandsworth, the important thing isn't really that the tenants get evicted (as the final decision rests outside their control), it's that they appear to have acted on an issue that will be important with their voting demographic.