Council vows to fix factoring to save city's housing stock

GLASGOW has vowed to get tough on rogue landlords and fix the city's factoring "crisis."

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GLASGOW has vowed to get tough on rogue landlords and fix the city's factoring "crisis."

At a meeting of Glasgow City Council's Executive Committee yesterday, councillors considered the final report by the Glasgow Factoring Commission - set up in 2012 to improve the state of private property maintenance across the city.

The Commission, chaired by Jean Charsley, secretary of Hillhead Community Council, described an "emerging crisis in property factoring which will have significant consequences if not addressed in the near future."

In the report, the Commission said a lack of common repairs to tenements and other flats is contributing to falling property values and threatening the longevity of buildings.

The report will be put to the Scottish Government for its input, while work will start on a website which aims to collate information on buildings and factors across the city, making it easier for landlords and tenants to keep track of repairs and costs.

A regulatory body with powers to suspend or expel bad factors will also be considered.

Bailie Liz Cameron presented the report to councillors and said: "Jean Charsley has done a superb job with her work here.

"This is a first step on a road.

"There are very important key messages (in the report) for us all, and they are not all good messages."

When asked about potential regulation of rogue landlords, Bailie Cameron added: "Looking at regulating bad landlords is something that I want to see coming on board pretty damn quickly."

Councillor Nina Baker, of the Scottish Green Party, warned that businesses which occupy ground floors of tenements should also be reminded of their responsibilities and given guidance, describing a "widespread ignorance" of factoring among commercial property owners.

Also at yesterday's meeting, councillors from all parties were in agreement when they decided to increase the Living Wage for around 5000 council employees to £7.65, from £7.50.

Council leader, Gordon Matheson, said: "Around 5000 staff across the council are affected, including 500 apprentices, and it is overwhelmingly women who will benefit from this.

"And there's an absolute commitment from this administration that we will continue to increase the Living Wage."

Proposals to build a new Broomhill Primary School, on the site of the existing main building, and relocate Gowanbank and Howford Primary Schools, Craigbank Nursery School and St Vincent's language and communication resource into a new campus on the site of the former Leverndale Primary were also agreed by the committee.

As reported in yesterday's Evening Times, the plan to redraw the school catchment areas in Pollok was developed to ease pressure on overcrowded schools.

New housing developments in the area are also expected to increase demand for school places.

A public consultation on the schools plans will be open from March 10 to May 9.

stef.lach@ heraldandtimes.co.uk

Local government

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