Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us Click here for details »
‘We do not want to re-home evicted pair’
4:30pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Echo News
A TOUGH-TALKING councillor says he has no plans to help re-house a couple kicked out of their council flat for antisocial behaviour.
Phil Turner, deputy leader of Basildon Council, says Sara Penlington, 39, and Paul James, 36, have put themselves “far beyond the reach of Basildon Council” after being booted out of a ground-floor studio flat in Clayhill Road, Vange.
The couple were kicked out for three months following years of antisocial behaviour and alleged drug dealing. The council now wants to formally evict them.
Mr Turner said the council has no plans to offer them emergency accommodation, even if they are made homeless.
He said: “I have made it clear that we will do all we can to deal with antisocial behaviour.
“Sara Penlington and Paul James have potentially made themselves homeless by their actions and lack of social etiquette. They have put themselves far beyond the reach of Basildon Council.
“Don’t feel sorry for those people. There’s a time to be tolerant and there’s a time to get tough.
“You have to look at how they got there. They fully deserve it.”
The council is awaiting the outcome of a formal eviction hearing on September 27 and also wants an injunction with an exclusion order to prevent Penlington and James from returning to the area, which is expected to be decided in October.
Mr Turner said he was trying to speed up the process to get an order in place which would stop the council having to provide emergency housing.
He added: “The perverseness of the system means we may evict them one day, but have to pick them up the next. But we don’t think we will have the obligation to provide them with emergency housing.
“It’s crazy to think that we may be passing the problem on to another borough, butIhope they get the message that if it’s in their character to behave this way their character needs to adapt to a civilised way.
“I want firm, swift action. It will be tough love and we want to get the message out that if you get a council house it isn’t a right, it’s a privilege.
“I hope the courts will look favourably at us, particularly with what has happened in court and after court.
Comments are closed on this article.