A group of 20 people took part in a demonstration outside the Hucknall Road home of Nottingham City Council Leader Jon Collins today. The protest was a response to Collins’ threats to evict the families of council tenants found to have been involved in the riots, and his Council’s involvement in the Nottingham City Homes scandal.
The “corrupt landlord and enemy of the people” was targeted at his home to give him a taste of his own medicine. We unfurled a banner saying ‘No Evictions’ and handed out a few hundred flyers informing Collins’ neighbours about the issues. Many didn’t know about what was happening and were supportive.
The No Evictions campaign believes that the threat of evictions is “spiteful and should be fought, and that the families involved be supported every step of the way.” Evictions are an extra punishment to the harsh sentences already being given by the courts and one that would only apply to people living in council housing.
The City Council, led by Jon Collins, has a long and dubious record when it comes to its use of council housing, with a history of “wrongly giving homes to its employees, relatives, partners and friends”. Earlier this year the investigation into the misuse of council homes by it’s housing service was dropped by the Council with no houses repossessed and all but one of the suspended staff back in their jobs. The Council also refused to call on the police to investigate.
Jon Collins was personally implicated in the misallocation of council housing. His secretary asked a housing officer for “a favour” to help one of council leader’s constituents gain a place on the waiting list for a new home.
The government says that people who allow their children to take part in riots don’t deserve to live in housing “subsidised” by the tax payer. However, a council tenant is not ’subsidised’. Council house tenants are merely paying a reasonable rent for their home to the local authority, unlike a private tenant who is paying an unreasonable rent to a private landlord. Who is subsidising who?
Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister wants to change the law so that council tenants convicted of offences which are not connected to where they live can be evicted in new fast track procedures, in addition to fast track evictions already planned for people who behave anti socially in or around their homes. The decision to evict whole families based on the actions of one member is nothing less than collective punishment.
If the council continues in its efforts to make families and children homeless in order to look tough on crime they can be assured that there are members of the public in Nottingham who will respond and make their disgust felt.999