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HOME ON M53 FOR BAD NEIGHBOURS; MP's plan for housing nuisances.

Byline: IAN HERNON

NEIGHBOURS from hell should be put into a purpose-built block under a motorway flyover, Birkenhead MP Frank Field has told Tony Blair.

He told the Prime Minister it would make them see what it is like living next to people whose behaviour ruins the lives of decent people.

His proposal came in a personal meeting to discuss the growing problem of anti-socialbehaviour.

Mr Field has led legislation to curb benefits for those guilty of persistent disruptive behaviour.

Today Mr Field said: ``Something drastic has to be done to deal with this menace.''

Under his scheme repeat nuisance neighbours would be housed together in a vandal-proofbuilding. He identified derelict land under the M53 approach to the Birkenhead docks as the ideal site.

``I am not talking about a prison camp,''Mr Field said. ``They would be free to come and go as they please,and torment each other instead of ordinary,decent families.

``They would see exactly what it is like living next to people like themselves who threaten, intimidate, play music at full blast and vandalise property.''

And if they had children? ``They would be taken into care,''he replied.

Mr Field said: ``If we are serious about dealing with neighbours from hell we must have sanctions, not merely move them from one area to another. In one area of Birkenhead near the docks two families did so much harm those living nearby would be forgiven for thinking that their neighbourhood had turned into Beirut.

``They have now been evicted - the whole process has cost millions - and moved to another area where they are spreading more misery.''

A Whitehall spokesman said it was ``unlikely'' ministers would adopt his wasteland solution.

But the government has incorporated Mr Field's earlier back-bench bill into legislation to strip housing benefit from tenants twice convicted of anti-social behaviour, and penalise rogue landlords.

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RADICAL: Birkenhead MP Frank Field wants action
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 28, 2003
Words:345
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