‘Follow London council example’

LeeBarney'Lee Barney, Conservative Candidate for Whaddon.'Winslow, Bucks.''MPMC WK09 M10
LeeBarney'Lee Barney, Conservative Candidate for Whaddon.'Winslow, Bucks.''MPMC WK09 M10

A CONSERVATIVE councillor has called for Milton Keynes Council to be as strict as London borough councils have been on rioters.

The trouble in the city was on a much smaller scale than the violence that shocked London but Lee Barney, who serves the Walton Park ward, made the plea after a seventh person was arrested in connection with the disorder in Bletchley on August 9.

Mr Barney said: “Those convicted as a result of actively taking part in disturbances connected to the recent London riots should lose access to council supplied housing.

“Of course the council will likely remain responsible for these criminals and their families and would probably have to either move them into another borough or put them up in private rental accommodation.”

On the night of August 9 a group of around 30 people – around 0.02 per cent of the city population – were involved in trouble which saw a handful of shops have their windows smashed and petrol bombs thrown in two estates in the city.

Mr Barney added: “I do not support these criminals being housed in private accommodation at the cost of the taxpayer. Instead they should be removed from Milton Keynes.

“Some will argue that this is harsh or unenforceable. I disagree with both. What was harsh was the cost to the society both in terms of economic loss and fear supplied by these thugs.”

Mahad Abdi, aged 22, from The Hide, Netherfield, was the seventh person charged with one count of violent disorder and one count of robbery at the Golden Palace, Bletchley.

He appeared at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court on Saturday and was remanded in custody to reappear alongside five other people, also charged in connection with the disorder, on August 26.

A 16-year-old boy appeared at Youth Court on Tuesday.

Mr Barney said: “Current legislation permits a local authority to seek eviction of people from council housing when a family member is convicted of a crime but it is then up to the courts to decide.

“We should be sending a collective message to brutes like this: your behaviour is unacceptable.”