'Buy back flat to stop anti-social behaviour,' says MP

Dewsbury MP Mark Eastwood has called on Kirklees Council to investigate buying back a flat housing a man who is making old folks’ lives a misery in Mirfield.

Sunday, 13th June 2021, 1:00 pm
Bankfield Court in Mirfield, where elderly residents have been plagued by anti-social behaviour including arson
Bankfield Court in Mirfield, where elderly residents have been plagued by anti-social behaviour including arson

Frustration is growing over the lack of action to tackle growing anti-social behaviour affecting elderly and vulnerable people living on Bankfield Court.

In recent weeks pensioners have made a string of complaints to the council and the police that has led to the man concerned being removed in handcuffs.

They have said “enough is enough” and have exhorted Kirklees Council to intervene.

But housing chiefs working with increasingly desperate council tenants say ongoing problems are hard to solve as the individual concerned is a private tenant. On that basis he cannot be evicted.

Mr Eastwood, who has been aware of the situation for some time, has now suggested a solution.

He said: “On behalf of the elderly and vulnerable residents of Bankfield Court, I have asked Kirklees Council what they are doing to protect their tenants and residents in this area.

“I have also asked them to investigate buying back this property via compulsory purchase order if necessary.

“I understand that the council often write to owners of former council homes with such requests, so this could offer a solution.”

Over the course of a year tenants have reported a man driving at high speed in the narrow street, shouting profanities, making threats to kill people living nearby and sending “obscene” texts to one woman’s mobile phone.

In one early morning incident a man barricaded the road with bins.

Last year bins were set on fire. The blaze reached as high as the gable end on one building. A man was arrested on suspicion of arson but was back in the area by the evening of the incident.

Coun Cathy Scott, Kirklees Council’s cabinet member for housing and democracy, has previously said the authority and police had powers to deal with anti-social behaviour cases “but there is a legal process that we have to follow first”.

Earlier this month she said: “The council is limited in its powers in terms of what it can do.”

Kirklees Council was approached to comment further.