A COUNCIL tenant was ordered to leave a Taunton premises after 'months' of drug activity.

Taunton Deane Borough Council applied for the closure order, which was granted by Taunton Magistrates' Court on Thursday, March 6.

Donna Shute, 39, was ordered to vacate the home in Duke Street, with immediate effect.

TDBC is now seeking to 'reassure' residents after the action was taken.

The eviction followed a search warrant at the address in October 2018. Suspected class A drugs, drug paraphernalia, and a mobile phone linked to 'county lines' drug supply was seized from the property.

The council’s anti-social behaviour officer, Jack Madge, said: “The council has made efforts to improve Duke Street in its physical appearance and has resources on the ground to disrupt the affiliation of drug use, supply and anti-social behaviour.

"We want to reassure residents and local business who have been affected by disorder associated with Duke Street that future lettings of properties will have to meet a strict criteria.

"This closure order isn’t the end of our work and only demonstrates our commitment to continue improving the area.

"I would like to thank everyone involved for all their good work in supporting the council’s application and their pro-active work in policing Duke Street.”

Avon and Somerset Police says action like this is helpful to 'hamper' county lines, which seek to exploit vulnerable people.

PC Andrew Beake said: “County lines related crime has a corrosive effect on our communities and we’re working closely with all our partner agencies to disrupt this criminal activity and ensure Somerset is a hostile place for those looking to set up a county lines network.

“The closure of this premises is a tangible example of the action we can take to hamper county lines criminals and protect those vulnerable to exploitation at their hands.

“We want our communities to feel safe and secure and that’s why we’re urging people to call us if they have any information about people involved in drugs, either as victims or perpetrators. We’ll assess all intelligence received and take robust action where necessary.”