by Greum Maol Stevenson
In this post, I said it was disappointing that no SNP leaders attended the Vigil for the Valley in protest of Glasgow City Council's selling off a former social housing site to private bidders.
Today, Patrick Grady, MP for Glasgow North, responded:
Many thanks for sharing with me your article regarding the recent 'Vigil in the Valley' organised by the Wyndford Tenant's Union regarding the potential development of the land at Collina Street.
It may be helpful to explain that unfortunately I didn’t receive any advance notice of this event from either the Living Rent campaign or the Wyndford Tenant's Union. Your email on Friday came in after business hours, by which time I already had alternative commitments and couldn't attend at such short notice. I was able to attend the nearby 'Reclaim Maryhill' at roughly the same time – a community campaign to promote active travel, accessible civic spaces and climate action in the Maryhill area.
I understand that an invitation was sent to Bob Doris MSP and you may be interested in his response conveying his apologies for being unable to attend:
“Thank you for the kind invite to the outdoor vigil that is being organised by WTU. I also appreciate you drawing the Living Rent manifesto to my attention , It makes for interesting reading. The SNP will of course consider its approach to affordable housing as we develop our manifesto going forward.
“Regarding the vigil, I am actually taking part in another local community event tomorrow and I am unlikely to be able to attend as I have family commitments after the other event. My apologies.
“It is helpful that you have drawn some of your concerns to my attention. With regards the proposed development at Collina Street, this is part of the next phase of the Maryhill Transformational Regeneration Area plans. I will take time to look at these plans. It is fair to say that there has been significant investment in social housing in the area locally and great strides have been made to improve much of the housing stock. The strategy has been to ensure that the area is developed as mixed tenure, something I support.
“You are quite right that a key part of redeveloping the area should be social housing and I know the Council are committed to this. A good example is Kelvindale Place which was transformed in 2018 with 52 social rented properties. There is also Whitelaw Street (the Botany), an area I am particularly proud to have seen developed. This was something I raised in Parliament when first elected given the years of delay and broken promises to tenants. 35 new social rented homes were built there in 2010.
“As you know there has been a major and welcome development at Maryhill Locks with the completion of another 106 social rented homes and 19 shared equity properties in 2015 also.
“More social rented units are also planned and of course there has been various other builds including 6 self-build properties, private, shared equity and mid-market rent. Sorry I don’t have more details to hand but I wanted to ensure I contacted you before tomorrow.
“I would be happy to discuss with Glasgow City Council the Collina Street proposals which I understand is 125 units for low cost home ownership. I’d be keen to learn more about this.”
I trust this is helpful. I will continue to liaise with Bob and the local Councillors as this situation develops.
Member of Parliament for Glasgow North
Chief Whip, SNP Westminster Group
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