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Helping local authorities tackle anti-social behaviour (9th November 2005)
News and speeches:
Enabling local authorities to make local decisions about who is best placed
to tackle anti-social behaviour in their areas is at the heart of a Government
consultation launched today.
The three-month ODPM consultation is proposing to use new powers to make it possible for councils to ask those bodies managing their housing under s.27 of the Housing Act 1985 to also carry out some or all of their ASBO functions on their behalf. This would include Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs), Tenant Management Organisations (TMOs) and those managing housing as part of a Private Finance Initiative scheme.
Housing Minister Yvette Cooper said the Government believes this approach will help local authorities respond to the needs of their communities in a way that fits local circumstances.
"These proposals will help councils make local decisions about the best way to tackle the anti-social activities of an irresponsible minority who, if left unchallenged, can wreck the lives of tenants and the wider community. By extending the availability of existing powers to protect communities we are helping to sustain the drive against anti-social behaviour which is central to the Government's respect agenda.
"Providing local authorities with the option to ask ALMOs and other housing management bodies to also pursue ASBOs on their behalf, will help ensure that those delivering front line services have access to the powers they need. It will also recognise the role housing management plays in meeting the wider needs of communities."
The Minister stressed that the government recognised ASBOs were powerful and effective tools which needed to be used appropriately.
"To ensure their proper use, our proposals for ASBOs include a number of safeguards which will maintain accountability and rigour when protecting communities from unacceptable behaviour"
The consultation, Enabling local authorities to contract their Anti-social Behaviour Order functions to organisations managing their housing stock, is seeking views on how and what practical implications the proposals might have, and whether the Secretary of State should set conditions to govern how these arrangements should work.
The consultation closes on 1 February 2006.