A Notice of Motion calling on Tipperary County Council to liaise with Gardai and evict council tenants convicted of sale or supply of drugs, has been broadly supported by members at this month's local authority meeting.
The Notice of Motion was tabled by Fianna Fail Councillor John Hogan who said that many young lives are being destroyed by these reckless individuals who deal in drugs. “We need to use our powers to send a clear message that Tipperary County Council will join the fight against drugs,” he said, adding that there has been an increase in supply, use and tolerance of drugs in the community.
“I have never seen the County Council evicting anyone who has been convicted of the sale and supply of drugs and I think that we should make it clear that anyone who is convicted will be evicted. We should liaise with the Chief Superintendent of An Garda Siochana and agree a strategy,” Cllr Hogan said.
The Notice of Motion was seconded by Cllr Michael Anglim while Cllr David Doran wondered about convicted sex offenders and whether they should be evicted as well.
Director of Services Sinead Carr said that anyone on a housing list or in possession of a local authority house are assessed for suitability and that situation has not changed. However, she did point out that there have been six prosecutions in recent times in relation to offenders.
The council acknowledged that anti-social behaviour can have a seriously negative impact on the lives of people and is committed to promoting a safe and secure environment for all residents of its housing estates. Outling how the council deals with complaints, it was also stated that the local authority will not apply to the District Court for an excluding order or an order to terminate tenancy for reasons of anti-social behaviour, without first consulating with the health Service Executive and An Garda Siochana.
Meanwhile, a Notice of Motion from Cllr Pat English called on the council to review its housing tenant handbook and housing maintenance policy, as a number of tenants are unable to afford certain repairs to the houses they are renting from the authority – a motion which was supported by Cllr Martin Browne.
Cllr English was informed that the council has developed a handbook which promotes standardised responsibility for both the council and the tenant across the five Municipal Districts. There were significant variations across the county but the handbook now provides clarity. The council is responsibile for structural repairs and the handbook is currently being reviewed by the housing staff across the five districts to identify any anomolies which may exist.