Labour’s housing shame exposed

David Alexander

There was embarrassment for Labour and Conservative Administration leaders when the SNP revealed the shocking attendance record of Housing Convenor, Gerry Goldie, at bodies he was elected to serve on behalf of the council.

In May of 2007 Gerry Goldie, brother of defeated Labour candidate for Falkirk West in 2007, was appointed to the boards of housing associations, Paragon and WESLO as well as to the Health and Well-being Committee of Cosla.

SNP leaders revealed that of the 18 meetings of the board of WESLO Councillor Goldie had attended only 3 while he had failed to attend any whatsoever of Paragon Housing Association’s board meetings over the same period.

Worse was to follow when the SNP revealed that Goldie had failed to turn up at any of the 9 meetings of the Cosla Committee despite Falkirk Council taxpayers forking out almost £300,000 in affiliation fees since returning to the umbrella group in 2007.

Speaking after the meetings SNP Group Leader, David Alexander said,

“Gerry Goldie has heaped humiliation onto the shoulders of the current Labour / Tory leadership of Falkirk Council with his lack of effort within the post.

Is it any wonder that of the departments in his charge Social Work is £3.2m overspent this year while the Housing budget is projecting a whopping 10% overspend.

When the convenor can’t be bothered to do his job is it any wonder staff become de-motivated to do theirs.”

Mr Goldie’s shockingly poor record of attendance as the council’s representative on the boards of WESLO and Paragon Housing Associations also sends a negative message to partner organisations providing socially rented housing locally.

“WESLO and Paragon tenants are entitled to expect better from this Administration than they are clearly receiving.

To ignore two of the largest Social Registered landlords within Falkirk district in such a cavalier fashion demonstrates contempt for the well-being of not only two of our partners within the council’s Strategic Housing plan but also for the tenants of both Housing Associations.”

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