Lewisham Council says it will no longer use a controversial bailiff company that was involved in industrial disputes, including the UK miners’ strike in the 1980s.

County Enforcement was used to evict campaigners from the Tidemill Garden in October.

Campaigners occupied the garden for two months, with the garden and Reginald House billed for demolition to make way for a 209-home development, 117 of which will be social homes.

The company has been guarding the site since the eviction and has been used by Lewisham Council for about 20 years, cabinet member for housing Cllr Paul Bell said.

But residents brought to light that the company lists its involvement in breaking the miners’ strike in 1984-1985 – the longest industrial dispute of the 20th century –  on its website.

Miners and their families suffered extreme hardship during the strike including hunger, lack of fuel and police harassment, with mining communities falling into poverty due to coal mine and pit closures.

Cllr Bell, who is a Labour councillor and works for a trade union, said the company “shouldn’t have been used” in the eviction, with the council changing the security company at Tidemill within weeks.

The council spent £105,000 on the eviction.

“County Enforcement are going to go. They have been used for about twenty years I am told by council officers.

“We are a new administration and there may be people from the old administration in the new administration but it is a completely new manifesto created by Labour party members and voted on by the public and that is what we are aiming at,” he said.

“Residents have pointed out to us that this is not a suitable organisation for workers’ rights and for Labour in terms of local government.

“They don’t fit with the values of Lewisham.

“In terms of our policy as a council they are not the right company, so they will not be used again…and we will be going through all the contractual arrangements of someone else taking over,” he said.

Security presence on the site has given rise to tensions in the community, with residents speaking about living in an “atmosphere of intimidation” and being kept awake from barking dogs and floodlights.

Following resident complaints, the number of dogs on site has been reduced.

Cllr Bell said he was looking into whether the next security company could guard the garden from behind the hoardings.

He said no trees or foliage at the site will be removed until the judicial review process is complete.

Save Tidemill Save Reginald campaigners are appealing court decisions to dismiss their written and oral requests for a judicial review of the council’s decision to grant planning permission to the development.