Banbury councillor asks for swift action to be taken on dangerous empty garages

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A Cherwell District Councillor has asked Sanctuary Housing to take swift action on empty Banbury garages that have become ‘hubs for antisocial behaviour, fly-tipping, and setting abandoned rubbish ablaze.’

Cllr Dr Chukwudi Okeke has asked the Sanctuary Housing team to provide him with an action plan for how they intend to deal with the empty garages on Evenlode.

The garages were the scene of a blazing fire over the weekend, which saw firefighters and police called to the scene, and residents are worried it could happen again.

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Cllr Dr Chukwudi Okeke said: “The empty garages at Evenlode have now been used as hubs for antisocial behaviour, fly-tipping, and setting abandoned rubbish ablaze.

Cllr Chukwudi says that residents of Evenlode residents are 'frightened and worried about their safety.'Cllr Chukwudi says that residents of Evenlode residents are 'frightened and worried about their safety.'
Cllr Chukwudi says that residents of Evenlode residents are 'frightened and worried about their safety.'

“I visited the site on Monday evening and met with some residents; they were furious that the garages have continuously been used as a bedrock for antisocial behaviour and nothing has been done to address the problem.

“They are now frightened and worried about their safety. I have asked for swift action to be taken to keep the residents safe.”

Cllr Dr Chukwudi suggests removing the garages completely to provide extra parking for the street, as residents currently struggle with spaces in the area.

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A spokesperson from Sanctuary Housing responded to the councillors request by saying: “We are aware of the ongoing concerns about these garages and are taking this issue very seriously. We will continue to work closely with the local police and local authority to address it, and we will liaise directly with our residents to discuss our plans.

The empty garages were recently the scene of a fire.The empty garages were recently the scene of a fire.
The empty garages were recently the scene of a fire.

“We would again ask residents to report any criminal activity to the police immediately, giving as much detail as possible, so the incidents can be properly investigated.

"Evidence is crucial for action to be taken, and where there is sufficient evidence, we will not hesitate to work with the police to deal robustly with the people responsible, including taking action for tenancy breaches when appropriate.”

The spokesperson for Sanctuary Housing also added that fencing has now been constructed around the fire-damaged garages to keep the area safe.

To report anti-social behaviour, visit the Thames Valley Police website at https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/ro/report/asb/asb-v3/report-antisocial-behaviour/