First Minister is asked about flats demolition

ALL asylum seekers should be moved out of Red Road before five of the blocks are demolished, according to Alex Salmond.

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Following the decision to abandon plans for the demolition to coincide with the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, a Glasgow MSP asked the First Minister about those who still reside in a further block.

The flats be demolished as part of the regeneration programme will now be razed at a later date.

Patricia Ferguson, MSP for Maryhill and Springburn, wants to ensure all six blocks are empty before the demol-ition. The asylum seekers are housed by private firm Orchard & Shipman, who lease the block in a contract due to end later this year.

Ms Ferguson asked the First Minister what role the Government had in the regeneration of Red Road.

Mr Salmond said he was confident Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Housing Association would have good ideas for the site.

He said: "Red Road is one of eight transformational regeneration areas [TRAs] in Glasgow which affect some of the most deprived areas of the city.

"The Government is part of the partnership with the Glasgow council and Glasgow Housing Association which delivers work in these transformational areas."

Ms Ferguson asked Mr Salmond if he agreed that "suitable alternative accomm-odation should be found for the asylum seekers living there as quickly as possible and that all agencies in the city should work collabor-atively with the local comm-unity to prioritise a dynamic and innovative regeneration of the 22-acre site".

Mr Salmond said: "Yes I agree with that and I agree with the first part of the question, but I know that the member knows that the TRA and the partnership have done excellent work in major areas across Glasgow."

He said a £30million govern-ment loan had contributed to investment in new homes in Toryglen, Gallowgate, Mary-hill and Laurieston. He added: "I'm certain the partnership between the government, council and Glasgow Housing Association will be coming forward with good ideas in terms of the Red Road site."

stewart.paterson@eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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