|Beds-in-Sheds Row after Ealing Council Meeting|
Councillor gets no support condemning illegal outhouses
A motion condemning individuals who profiteer from so-called beds-in-sheds in Ealing fell on deaf ears at a Council meeting on Tuesday.
'' This Council condemns the practice by those individuals who exploit illegal immigrants by providing substandard accommodation in illegal structures throughout the borough”
The Ealing Council motion was proposed by the former Conservative Councillor for Hanger Hill, Benjamin Dennehy.
Mr Dennehy, was expelled from the Tory Party after making controversial comments about Southall on his personal blog. He is now independent.
Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat Councillors all refused to support Councillor Dennehy's motion on Tuesday because they say he holds extreme and racist views.
Conservative Group Leader Councillor David Millican said: '' Councillor Benjamin Dennehy was expelled from the Conservative Party for his extreme views and, as we had no idea what he would say, we could not support his motion.''
Labour sent this statement: "The Labour group considers Cllr Dennehy to have made racist comments about the people of Southall on his blog. He is unrepentant about these comments and recently reposted them, he also refused to offer an apology during his proposal speech. Therefore on principle the Labour group will not second any motion that Cllr Dennehy proposes."
Lib Democrat group leader Councillor Gary Malcolm said: ''It is very disrespectful of Benjamin Dennehy to make these comments given what he said about Indians and the residents of Southall a number of months ago. Of course beds in sheds is an important issue for the whole borough and not just Southall. When I spoke at a Council meeting about this Councillor Dennehy had left the chamber!"
In response Councillor Dennehy says: '' "I can respect the position of Labour and The Liberal Democrats on this. They have no desire to ever challenge people to do better. The Conservatives I am surprised at.
''The Party locally approved my views, Cllr Millican approved my blog post. To make the claim my comments were extreme is ludicrous. I said nothing that was not already in the public domain. He has never expressed that view previously. I suspect me calling for him to dropped as Leader is what prompted this rewrite of history."
In August the Government issued new guidance for Councils dealing with the problem and Housing Minister Grant Shapps said:
"It's simply unacceptable that people are living in squalid, unsafe accommodation provided by landlords more interested in a quick profit rather then their basic responsibilities.
"The actions of these rogue landlords are helping fuel illegal working and benefit fraud and creates a shadow housing market that carries dangers to peoples health as well as community relations.
"I want to see all agencies from councils to the police and the UK Border Agency using the full range of powers at their disposal to work together on a national clampdown towards ridding our communities of this problem once and for a
19th October 2012