Friday, 24 February 2006
Billy McAllister made his maiden speech in the City Chambers exactly 1 week after being elected as the SNP councillor for Milton. This compares to some long time Labour councillors from whom we are still waiting to hear!
The SNP had submitted a motion criticising the original housing stock transfer to GHA (Glasgow Housing Association) and calling for the promises made on Second Stage Transfer (SST) to be fulfilled quickly. Tenants were led to believe that GHA was only a temporary vehicle before tenants took over their own local housing. But GHA has been stalling on SST and neither the Scottish Executive nor Communities Scotland has done much about it.
Billy gave a tremendous performance in seconding the motion. He gave examples of tenants still waiting for even basic repairs, 4 years after the original transfer. He pointed out that GHA had not even decided yet which houses to keep and which to demolish. And he reminded listeners that if Glasgow City Council had remained the landlord, the whole housing programme would have been much further on by now. Labour's Cllr Elaine Smith replied, stating that the Labour Party was like a tortoise which might move slowly but did get there in the end.
Summing up, the SNP's John Mason said it was unfair that tenants committees had put a huge amount of time and effort into preparing for SST but had been let down by GHA. He also congratulated Billy McAllister on a stirring maiden speech.
It looks like Council meetings will be a lot more lively thanks to the arrival of the new member for Milton!