Social Housing should be fit for purpose

I have been visiting constituents and local businesses from Tarbert to Islay speaking to local residents and delivering my latest survey leaflet.

In Tarbert I am still hearing justifiable anger about Visit Scotland's plan to close Tarbert's iCentre. As I have said before this will not only effect those directly employed at the iCentres but may also have a negative effect on the employment created through local tourism itself. 
I have been and will continue to offer my full support to the Tarbert and Skipness Community Trust in their talks to ask for an asset handover and take over the tourist centre building.

There is also a real need for more social housing to be built in Tarbert. I will keep pushing the housing associations to act and deliver housing where it is needed and not just with large scale housing developments in large town but with more smaller builds in villages and hamlets across the Kintyre and Islands ward.

While visiting my constituents across Islay I was able to check up on social housing conditions, road repairs and listen to concerns on broad band speed, as-well hear about problems with our ferry and transport links. 

It is certainly welcome that our roads department is listening to concerns about local road conditions being raised by myself and others as the work being done by roads department's jet-patching machine will help (at least in the short term) alleviate some of the problems facing our local roads network.

That said for a more long term solution we will need to see full road resurfacing in many areas of my ward. Whether it's the High Road or the Hospital Road, it's clear that the current piecemeal patchwork is not good enough. We need to see the Scottish Government step up to the plate and start delivering more for Islay and the rest of the Kintyre and Islands ward. Argyll and Bute Council have increased spending on our roads now the Scottish Government must do the same.

Staying in social housing myself I know all too well the challenges in getting our housing associations to act on any complains whether they be small or large maintenance issues. Budgets are limited and our hard working front line housing association staff can only do as they are instructed from central management. I would remind the management of some of our housing associations that hodgepodge repair work with sealant and paint is not even an adequate short term solution to rotten door and window frames. 

Housing associations have a duty to their tenants to provide at least fit for purpose watertight dry housing, free of damp and mould. So far at least, many of my constituents feel that their current housing is not meeting that standard. I will keep pressing our housing associations for long term repair work to be done across my ward.

I'm staring to receive many responses to my survey though the post and I am working hard to address every issues raised. I will be making sure to get these out to as many households as I can in the next few weeks. 
This survey has had the highest level of engagement yet particular with our younger residents which in the past would have been unheard of.

Please keep me informed about any local issues you think I ought to be looking into. Whether it's by Facebook, Twitter, email, phone or post I want to hear from you.

Cllr Alastair Redman