Members of Kilkenny County Council have agreed to adopt the strategy
Members of Kilkenny County Council have adopted a five-year anti-social behaviour strategy at their recent monthly meeting.
Director of Services, Mary Mulholland said that she wanted to acknowledge the work of the tenant liaison officer and the Housing Strategic Policy Committee. She added that the strategy which contains ‘a detailed action plan’ will help ‘build confidence in communities’.
Councillor Joe Malone (Fianna Fáil) welcomed the document and his sentiments were echoed by members.
Cathaoirleach Andrew McGuinness said that the document is ‘a positive step for tenants’.
“It is a policy sensitive to the need of our residents and I do believe that it will improve the quality of life of our tenants.
“The anti-social behaviour document is very important for council tenants because it lays out a framework for dealing with issues that can seriously impact a family’s quality of life.
“I’m aware of many families that are experiencing anti social behaviour issues and are afraid to report it out of fear of repercussion.
“With this document, they can now rest assured that their complaints will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and they need not worry about repercussions that can often be violent or intimidating. It’s a very positive step that offers peace of mind to tenants,” he said.
The strategy only applies to council properties and the Cathaoirleach is calling on other voluntary houses bodies to put an anti-social behaviour strategy in place.
“I am calling on all the voluntary housing bodies in Kilkenny to follow our lead and implement a strict policy to stamp out anti-social behaviour in their properties and to enforce it.
“Over the last 12 months a large amount of properties have been bought by voluntary housing bodies.
“While I’m glad to see homes provided to people that need them, I’m disappointed with the level of complaints regarding anti social behaviour. It’s not good enough and must be dealt with.”
Councillor Pat Fitzpatrick (Fianna Fáil) said that he was ‘delighted to see a multi-agency approach working’.
“Everyone knows that anti-social behaviour exists,” he said adding that the strategy should be reviewed on an annual basis.”
“I don’t want this to be a Mi Wadi document - in that we put forward a strong document and then dilute it,” he said.
Cllr Eugene McGuinness (Ind) welcomed the document and congratulated all involved in the process.
“I think this document is required and is necessary. However it is important that all the housing agencies are on board. It is really important that we are all singing off the same hymn sheet,” he added.
Green Party councillor, Maria Dollard said that the new strategy is ‘a fantastic asset going forward’ while Mayor of Kilkenny, John Coonan (Fine Gael) ‘wholeheartedly welcomed the strategy’. The Mayor also stressed that it is ‘fair to say there are very few people involved in anti-social behaviour.”
Cllr Martin Brett (Fine Gael) also thanked the other agencies involved, including the HSE and the gardaí for their input into the document.
Director of Services, Mary Mulholland said that the ‘vast majority of tenants are good tenants’ and thanked tenants for their co-operation during the year.
The five-year strategy and action outlines the aims and
objectives for the years ahead in relation to effectively dealing with anti-social behaviour.
Approved housing bodies
Ms Mulholland said that at present there are 26 approved housing bodies in Kilkenny and 2,600 tenancies. The Cathaoirleach said that several properties in Kilkenny City have ‘been bought up by outside agencies’.
“Standards need to be upheld with every housing agency. One set of rules for one body and another set of rules for another body makes no sense for residents who are living on the same street.”
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