Committee Urges Communities to Have Their Say on Anti-social Behaviour
Synopsis: The Assembly Committee for Social Development has welcomed Minister McCausland’s decision to give the public more time to comment on tackling anti-social behaviour in housing.
Date: 27 February 2014
Reference: SD 03/13/14
The Assembly Committee for Social Development has welcomed Minister McCausland's decision to give the public more time to comment on tackling anti-social behaviour in housing. The Committee recently expressed concerns that the original public consultation deadline did not give people enough time to consider and respond fully to the new proposals.
Committee Chairperson Alex Maskey MLA said: "The Committee is pleased that the Minister has taken note of our concerns and extended the consultation deadline to 24 March 2014. Anti-social behaviour is a growing problem in our communities and one which has a damaging and long lasting effect on the lives of local families and individuals. It is essential that we give local people every opportunity to make their views known on this important issue.
"While the Committee is broadly supportive of the proposals, we are keen to ensure that a robust framework is in place. This will provide better support to those affected by anti-social behaviour and should be at the core of any new strategy. Sanctions will be an important tool in combating this problem, but local communities must also be assured that their rights to a peaceful living environment will be safeguarded and upheld.
Mr Maskey concluded: "Members are in no doubt that the Minister's proposals are a genuine attempt to tackle this very serious issue. However, we firmly believe that without the considered input, experience and backing of those affected by anti-social behaviour, the impact of any new measures will be limited. We urge local communities, resident's associations and tenants to respond to this consultation and to ensure that their voice is heard."