Time for a deadline to complete roof and fabric works

This year’s projected programme of investment in Council houses in South Lanarkshire sees a doubling of the spending on roofs, roughcast and environmental works. Rutherglen South Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown has welcomed the news which he describes as “long overdue” but he has also called for the Council to set a timetable and deadline to complete the refurbishment works on the older houses.

The Council’s Housing Committee approved the capital programme at this week’s meeting.

Robert Brown said:

“Many longstanding tenants in Rutherglen and Cambuslang have paid rent for many years- but have to put up with decaying roofs, crumbling grey roughcast or unattractive outside envoronmrnt. In my own ward, parts of Spittal, Blairbeth, Fernhill, Springhall and Cathkin are in this category but I know there are similar situations in many other wards.

I have made a fuss about this for some years so I am glad to see the increased work planned in this year’s budget - with external fabric work doubling from £4,588,605 to £9,821,631 and environmental improvements also doubling to over £4 million in 2021-2.

I want to stress that these things are not just cosmetic. Some of the roofs are clapped out, the roughcast no longer does its job. I can point to many instances of brown marks on tenement and house walls in Rutherglen from leaking gutters or other water problems in the past which have damaged the integrity of the roughcast.

We have succeeded in investing around £200,000 or so a year in the decayed outside environment in Springhall – close mouths, back green areas, gutters and balconies – so an increase in the rate of the work and the areas covered will be welcome too.

However I told the Housing Committee that I thought the time had come to set a firm timetable to deal with the remainder of the older houses and complete necessary roof and roughcast works and major environmental works in particular.

The Council have promised details of the projects in the individual areas in the near future.”

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