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Council wins extra funding to tackle rogue landlords

Fenland District Council has been granted another £44,500 to step up its work combating rogue landlords in Wisbech.

Wisbech

The extra money, which comes from the Government's Rogue Landlord Fund, was announced by the Department of Communities and Local Government today (Friday, January 22).

It is further recognition of the continuing success of the joint task force, Operation Pheasant, in tackling all the issues related to problems in private rented housing in the town, including the widespread exploitation of migrant workers.

It is the second such grant the council has won from the Fund. Two years ago it was awarded £178,600 to support the operation, which has since attracted national and international attention because of its achievements.

The new award provides extra resources to enable the council and its partners to increase the number of property inspections, take on extra case work and make greater use of statutory enforcement powers.

Councillor Will Sutton, the Cabinet member who oversees the council's role in Operation Pheasant, said: "To have secured this extra funding is further proof of how important this work is and how successful the partnership has been. It shows that the DCLG recognises that there are still serious issues with rogue landlords. This grant will help us step up our efforts to tackle them.

"Thanks are due to Steve Barclay MP for all his efforts and support in securing both this and previous funding."

News of the new grant coincides with yesterday's decision by the council's Cabinet to go ahead with a public consultation on a proposal to introduce a "selective licensing" scheme in seven wards in Wisbech.

If approved, the scheme would require all private sector landlords in the designated area to show that they can manage their properties properly and comply with normal standards.

Set up is 2012, Operation Pheasant brings together Fenland District Council, Cambridgeshire police, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, the Home Office (Immigration Enforcement), Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue and HM Revenues and Customs.

Article added January 22, 2016