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BAD NEIGHBOUR STRATEGY ATTACKED BY EDINBURGH HOUSING DIRECTOR

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The government was yesterday accused of passing the buck on the issue of tackling anti-social behaviour by placing ...
The government was yesterday accused of passing the buck on the issue of tackling anti-social behaviour by placing all responsibility for dealing with the problem on councils, without providing extra resources.

Speaking at a conference on bad neighbours, City of Edinburgh Council's housing director Mark Turley also warned that strategies to tackle such behaviour could turn into 'social cleansing'.

The Herald (p6) reports that Mr Turley told the conference that legislation introduced by the government appeared 'to relate to symptoms of failing communities rather than causes of failing communities'.

He said: 'Anti-social behaviour is not exclusive to deprived estates but I think it is fair to argue it is more prevalent on most run-down estates. I would argue it is essential councils take the lead to tackle that deprivation in order to create effective and successful communities where poverty, boredom and social alienation are reduced or eliminated. I also believe a successful community is one which can show tolerance and non-conformity.'

He added: 'There is a thin line between condemning anti-social behaviour in a really narrow and bigoted way which reinforces the views of less tolerant in society.

'It is essential that strategies to tackle anti-social behaviour don't turn into social cleansing where those that don't conform, and don't fit the stereotype, are excluded because their face doesn't fit.'

But Henry McLeish, the Scottish home affairs minister, said it was important to step up the fight against bad neighbours.

He added: 'I now believe Scotland has the best legislation to tackle the issue. It is now up to everybody to respond. With new councils being elected and a new parliament being created it's a unique opportunity to act. It is happening in every community. I would like to see these orders widely used so people can live in peace.'

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