Headlines: January 10th, 2007



Local authority leaders have welcomed the news that people living on council housing estates are to be able to apply for anti-social behaviour orders to tackle problems in their own communities. The new powers were announced alongside the investment of 485 million pounds to update run-down homes.

Under new regulations Tenant Management Organisations will be given the power to apply for Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, which the Government believes are an important part of giving people a sense of ownership over their services and public spaces. Tenant Management Organisations will undergo rigorous procedures before they can take on Antio-Social Behaviour responsibilities and there will be clear safeguards to ensure the powers are used responsibly.

Tenant Management Organisations and Arms Length Management Organisations already have responsibilities for such areas as rent collection, the allocation of homes and lettings. The new powers, will give residents more say in how estates are run.

Councillor Hazel Harding, who chairs the Local Government Association’s Safer Communities board, said giving local people the power to make a positive contribution to their communities would be a real shot in the arm for the fight against anti-social behaviour. “Tackling anti-social behaviour often requires the help of a number of different groups of people, and councils will continue to work closely with residents to stamp out the yobbish behaviour which too often blights the lives of decent, law-abiding people,” she said.

Councils would ensure the powers were used in the best interests of the community and would give local people the support and resources they needed. “Councillors are elected to put local people first, and these new powers for residents will make sure that they have a real, positive impact on their local communities,” she added.

The additional money that is being allocated will be used for the modernisation of about 55,000 homes in the next year and enable 17 local authorities and 19 Arms Length Organisations to bring properties up to the Decent Homes Standard.