I RECEIVED an invitation to a seminar to be held next month in Garshake, it caused me to ponder the reason that we have elected members.
I have always thought that cooncillors were elected to represent people in the area from whence they came and added to that I am also of the opinion that this representation should be in public where press and public can go along and bear wiriness to democracy in action, but alas the seminar will be held in secret with no provision for the press or public to attend And even more interestingly a sandwich lunch will be provided for those cooncillors attending.
Now this is very disturbing as around 2010 the former administration closed the canteen facility in Garshake to save money and although we have had a Labour administration since 2012 and pleas have been made on more than one occasion to restore this vital and progressive service the pleas have fallen on deaf ears and the staff have only vending machines from which to purchase sustenance.
What a difference when our hard working councillors who rarely show up more than one day a week have to spend more than a couple of hours on a Wednesday are on site “a sandwich lunch will be provided” the question is merely one word long WHY?
The content of the seminar itself is interesting too, we used to operate a single stacked needs based allocation policy, we changed to a four stack system which no none understands and houses are allocated according to criteria as follows — 50 per cent to homeless applicants, 27 per cent to the general list, 18 per cent to the transfer or exchange list and five per cent for redevelopment.
I have spent many a weary hour or two trying to explain to irate persons on the waiting list that their number one position on the waiting list has been gazumped because the percentage age allocation for whatever list that they happened to be on has been exceeded for that period.
Need like importance is relative and a single stacked policy based on need will always be the most equitable method of allocating our limited stock.
People in this Clydebank part of the authority know this only too well as they have seen firsthand the effect of transferring large parts of the stock to housing associations which whilst removing problems for aging stock did nothing to reduce the size of the waiting list.
I hope that when our esteemed cooncillors are suitably fed and watered before beginning their deliberations they might reflect on the lack of staff facilities in the state of the art Garshake fourth floor and the plight of tenants and prospective tenants who only need a hoose not a set of convoluted hard to follow criteria to get one .
People want simple systems which are transparent and equitable and we certainly do not have that at the present time so let’s review it but in the words of that excellent American cutler Ed Halligan, KISS — keep it super simple.