'More action to deal with bad behaviour'
MORE effective action to deal with anti-social behaviour by tenants in council housing estates was called for by Enniscorthy councillor Paddy Kavanagh, pictured below, last week. The Fine Gael man was concerned that the HSE was contributing to problems by allocating houses to problem families.
Wexford County Council director of housing Tony Larkin said that two officials have been allocated to looking into anti-social behaviour cases. However, he warned that the council must have evidence in order to take action and people with complaints often do not like to put their difficulties on the formal record.
Where officials are convinced that they have identified guilty householders, warnings can be issued, with eviction used only as a last resort with the backing of a court order.
'Our powers are weak,' remarked the director. 'Anti-social behaviour is a significant concern and we are finding it difficult to get to grips. Often witnesses are not willing to give evidence in a court setting.'
His remarks prompted Cllr Kavanagh to suggest that the benefit of the doubt always appears to favour perpetrators: 'Whatever good we do is overturned by judges who live far away.' His FG party colleague Cllr Pat Codd reckoned a that good residents' association helps combat difficulties.