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Enfield backs bail hostel deal

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A council with a large number of bail hostels has welcomed the agreement giving local government a say where such accommodation is located.

The deal was drawn up between the Local Government Association and the Ministry of Justice meaning councils will be consulted when there is a need to house potential criminals in their area.

Enfield LBCl’s leader Mike Rye says his borough, with 20% of London’s hostels, had suffered disportionately in London on the number of hostels.

“We have lobbied the LGA intensely so they could persuade government to give local councils and residents more power and thankfully they have been successful.”

Enfield has five hostels run by a private company under contract from the Government. There are 25 similar properties in total across London.

The council made national headlines in 2008 when it voiced its disapproval of the lack of consultation with the authority and residents.

Cllr Rye said: “This new approach by the government is to be welcomed, although there needs to be more detail on how residents and the council will be consulted.

“I would also want the Council to have the power, on behalf of residents, to close down any hostel where inmates have been responsible for any outbreak of crime in the area.

“Overall I would like to see less reliance on hostels and the building of more secure institutions to house those on bail with serious offences.

The over-reliance on these hostels is because of Britain’s massive prison population and the government refusal to build more jails to meet the demand.”

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