Section 12A — Short Scottish secure tenancies

Part of Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 10:45 am on 17th June 2004.

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Photo of Johann Lamont Johann Lamont Labour 10:45 am, 17th June 2004

I am sorry, but I have only a limited amount of time.

We are not saying that action would be taken against people who have done nothing. Action would be taken only when a serious problem had been identified. For example, when youngsters in a family in Glasgow harassed vulnerable asylum seekers who lived next door, the only option was to move the asylum seekers or to evict the family. Amendment 49 would allow us to address the problem, to create harmony in the community, to work on the issues that are causing difficulties and to give people a chance. Elaine Smith says that if we are putting in place support packages we should just offer them to people anyway. However, the existence of the provision would concentrate minds.

I would understand the anxiety if we were creating a power to evict people immediately. That is not what amendment 49 would do; it would give a breathing space in which people would be asked to consider their behaviour and the behaviour of their youngsters. That is a protection for youngsters who are in the social rented sector, not a threat. People must be honest about the SSST; it is not a punitive measure, but a supportive one, although it is one step beyond voluntary support. Such measures are recognised in every field that we work in. We should not allow amendment 49 to be characterised in a false debate about equality—it is about protecting those in the social rented sector, not attacking them.