Date: 25 January 2005
GHA Committee cuts cash collection in Glasgow housing offices
The GHA's Local Housing Organisation (LHO) Development Committee
has taken a unilateral decision to withdraw rent collection facilities
in 14 Housing Offices across the city, despite opposition to the
cuts in services from local communities, elderly groups and the
housing union, UNISON.
The decision taken at a meeting last Friday, also flies in the
face of the last GHA Board decision to withdraw the proposed cut,
pending further reports on the likely effect on rent collection
and the elderly.
The GHA Board on 17 December, called for these to be presented
at its next meeting on 28 January 2005, but the committee decision
seems to pre-empt Fridays meeting.
John Wright, UNISON Convenor of Stewards for the GHA said: "It
seems that the concept of listening to tenants, staff and even their
own parent body is alien to the Glasgow Housing Association. We
have written to the Vice Chair of the Board asking how a decision
by them can be overturned by a subsidiary committee, before the
Board has had a chance to look at the information and reports they
The proposed cut was part of a cuts package to prepare the GHA
for second-stage transfer, splitting up the city's public housing
stock amongst LHOs. UNISON has been campaigning with tenants and
disadvantaged groups to raise objections to the proposal which it
says will remove opportunities for a 'one-stop' housing service
for tenants and flies in the face of GHA commitments to retain the
level of service previously available under the local council.
It could also mean that house owners who get their services from
the GHA might end up being charged for paying their bills outwith
"So much for 'community ownership' and 'tenant control'. Said John
Wright. "As soon as the money men in the GHA spot a way of saving
money - bang goes a useful service. Tenants should have the right
to deal with all their housing needs in the one office - not have
to go to local shops or post offices (where they still exist) to
pay their rent."
For Further Information Please Contact: John Wright (Senior Steward
- Housing) 0141 552 7069 (Br Office) 0141-274 6594 (Unison Office)