COUNCIL ‘FOBS OFF’ TORTURED ESTATE’S FEARS
RESIDENTS IN FOUNTAIN COURT FEEL COUNCIL IS ‘PASSING THE BUCK’ OVER THE ACTIONS OF ANTI SOCIAL GROUP
KERRY County Council is under pressure to deal with a small number of social housing tenants who are making life a misery for the other residents of Fountain Court estate.
For two years residents of the estate have been petitioning the council to try to get the anti-social tenants removed.
Residents have told The Kerryman they are living in “hell” due to their “nightmare neighbours”.
At Monday’s meeting of Tralee Municipal District’s council Councillors Sam Locke and Graham Spring tabled motions about the ongoing problems in the estate.
In response council management said the group involved are housed under the State’s Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) and, legally speaking, are not council tenants.
Even though the council manages RAS locally, management argue that the tenants’ behaviour is the responsibility of the property’s actual owner and not the local authority that housed them.
Management also claimed that many of the issues in the estate are a task for gardaí.
The response was slated by Cllr Locke who accused management of “fobbing off” the fearful residents.
KERRY County Council is coming under increasing pressure to deal with a small number of its social housing tenants who are making life a misery for the residents of a Tralee estate.
At Monday’s monthly meeting of the Tralee Municipal District Council Independent Councillor Sam Locke and Labour Councillor Graham Spring both tabled motions raising concerns about ongoing serious anti-social behaviour in the Fountain Court Estate.
For almost two years residents of the estate have been petitioning the Housing Department at Kerry County Council to try to get a small number of social housing tenants removed from the estate.
Residents say they are living in “hell” due to the constant anti-social behaviour of their “nightmare neighbours”.
On one occasion the Garda Armed Response Unit was dispatched to deal with disturbances caused by the group while residents say they have been subjected to constant threats, abuse, harassment and trespassing.
In response to the cllrs motions Council management said that anti-social behaviour is a “complex area”, and that many of the issues arising in Fountain Court were actually the responsibility of gardaí.
Management said that it has held several meetings with residents to discuss their concerns and it remained active in the estate in partnership with the gardaí.
The councillors were told that all council residents in the estate are “aware of their responsibilities” and that any “issues” that arise with council tenants are dealt with using standard procedures.
Management said that the small group at the centre of the problems in the estate are actually housed under the State Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) and are not actually tenants of Kerry County Council.
While Kerry County Council manages the RAS scheme locally management said the council is not the tenants’ landlord and has no powers to deal with their behaviour.
Management also claimed that the situation has “stabilised” in recent months.
Cllr Locke said the council was obliged to act and protect the residents of the estate – several of whom were in the chamber – and accused management of “passing the buck” and “fobbing off ” residents.”
“We can’t take a backseat on this,” said Cllr Locke.
“I agree that 99 per cent of council tenants are very good and well behaved but in this particular case a small group of people who were housed by this authority have breached every single rule, every single one,” Cllr Locke said.
Cllr Spring, the Mayor of Tralee, also demanded action.
“What’s happening is not acceptable,” he said.
Residents need to be confident that action is being taken to deal with the problems they are facing.
“The Gardaí and this authority need to work in tandem on this. People should be able to enjoy their place of residence,” Mayor Spring said.