Council toughens up on Sutton spice dealers even if it leaves them homeless

"It is awful if they end up homeless but ultimately we have a greater responsibility to those people who are suffering" so said Councillor Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council after two council tenants were evicted from their homes in Sutton.

The council leader said he is standing by the council's decision to get "tough on drug dealing" after the tenants were thrown out for dealing drugs including spice.

Councillor JasonZadrozny,

Councillor JasonZadrozny,

However a shop owner on Outram Street, Sutton, is concerned that it may be causing a bigger problem.

Ray O'Connor, aged 54, has been trading in Sutton for five years and currently owns Second Life Appliances on Outram Street.

He said he supports the council tackling drug dealers and anti-social behaviour but has concerns about what is happening to the evicted tenants.

He said: "I want to know where they have gone - if they have been made homeless or are we paying for them to live in private homes.

"If they are in Ashfield still it hasn't cured the problem just created a different one - I don't want to see the problem moved.

"Drug dealers are drug dealers no matter where you put them.

"The council is not saying if they can't be rehomed in Ashfield.

"I want to know what the repercussions are so people who are offending are aware of the consequences."

Coun Zadrozny said the evicted tenants have been 'blacklisted' from council properties in the area - meaning they are no longer eligible for a council home.

He has said that although he is not sure where the evicted tenants have gone he said housing benefits are still available for them from the Government if they are eligible.

He also said that one of the tenants was officially warned in June and July that his behavior could result in his tenancy being terminated.

He said: "If these offenders do end up homeless they have lots of time before hand to find a property.

"The council wouldn't rehouse them they would have to go to a charitable trust - they are classed as people who have deliberately made themselves homeless.

"It is awful but ultimately we have a greater responsibility to those people who suffering from anti-social behaviour.

"They have been making money selling drugs to vulnerable people.

"I don't feel great about the possibility that they could be made homeless but I think ultimately it's a big warning that the risk of breaching a tenancy agreement with the council is that you could end up knocking on charities' doors until you get your life sorted out.

"Someone has to be tough on crime."

He said there are plans to evict three more tenants in the upcoming weeks.