An SNP Councillor has angrily accused the council’s Labour / Tory Administration of breaking faith with some of the most vulnerable people within Falkirk district.
Earlier this year the SNP sought to ban evictions of tenants who fall into arrears with their rent due to them struggling with the introduction of the Westminster Bedroom Tax where many people have lost up to £20 per week from benefit levels as low as £71 a week.
After initially rejecting the SNP motion Housing spokesperson for the coalition, Gerry Goldie performed a u-turn and stated that there would be no evictions from council houses for those struggling to pay the new charges in the first year. http://www.falkirkherald.co.uk/news/local-news/bedroom-tax-will-hit-3000-in-falkirk-area-1-2972222
However, the SNP claim that the Labour member is saying one thing in public while doing the opposite behind the scenes and are demanding answers.
A number of SNP Councillors have been approached by worried tenants from various areas of Falkirk district who have received letters from the council intimating “Notice of Proceedings For Recovery Of Possession” had been initiated through the courts.
SNP Shadow Housing Spokesperson, Councillor Steven Carleschi said,
“All of the cases of those being threatened with eviction from their homes who have approached SNP Councillors for assistance are honest people who had no record of non payment before the introduction of the Westminster bedroom tax.
Many of them had outstanding claims for Discretionary Housing Payments that the council had failed to determine within the stated timescale causing both distress and confusion.
Gerry Goldie has some explaining to do and should start with an apology to those who have received these threatening letters.
Secondly, he must produce the evidence that his comments in the Falkirk Herald were backed up with deeds including a proper paper trail setting in stone the no evictions this year policy.
If such a paper trail exists then Mr Goldie needs to explain why senior Finance and Housing Officials have chosen to ignore him.”
Falkirk Council appears to be following in the footsteps of Labour controlled North Lanarkshire Council who were the first Scottish Council to begin eviction proceedings against a council tenant.
The SNP have already made a commitment to ban evictions within the council’s they control and pledged to fight against any other non SNP Administration who pursue an evictions policy on behalf of threatened tenants.