THE front page headline of last week's Gazette (Drug properties are shut down, Hayes Gazette, March 10) must have brought tears of joy to the residents of East Avenue, Hayes and the surrounding area, not least the Somali community, who have faced anger due to the actions of a small group of their countrymen.
The East Avenue residents have had little choice but to live in appalling conditions, a matter that should shame a council that praises itself for listening to residents' concerns and acting on them.
I am sure I am not alone in wanting to take issue with the statement made by Ed Shaler, Hillingdon Council's head of community safety, that the action of closing them down sends a strong message out that this behaviour will not be tolerated?
Excuse me, but does he really think taking so many years, seven or more, to shut them down sends out that message? I think not.
The council had been alerted to the problems surrounding the khat houses by the residents.
And Lynne Allen, a Townfield councillor, has been raising it with the council at every opportunity.
One can only assume that, with the new leisure centre due to open in close proximity and the fact local elections are pending, that the Conservatives want these matters cleared up and airbrushed.
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