Councillor George Redmond, the council’s Executive Member for Jobs, Business and Investment, today reports that eleven landlords in the south side have been given an ultimatum – fix their properties or they will be closed. In what is described as an “unprecedented” move, improvement procedures have been taken against 13 below standard flats in Govanhill. Great stuff but Mr Redmond knows there are hundreds of slum landlords operating with impunity in Govanhill and will continue to do so unless Glasgow City Council implements laws and regulations to license landlords.
Following complaints from residents, homes in the area were inspected and slum conditions found by council staff. What George really mean is local residents filmed the shocking conditions and exposed these politicians and officials for their incompetence and warned them of a pending tragedy unless they take drastic measures in Govanhill now.
Councillor George Redmond said: “That so much work needs to be done does highlight how neglectful landlords in Govanhill have been in recent years”. Oh really Councillor Redmond, we think criminal rather than neglectful would be a more appropriate word and video evidence suggests that Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council have shown the same neglectful attitude as the slum landlords by their failure to act.
He further reports that under the Enhanced Enforcement Area, the council has acquired stronger powers to regulate landlords and to drive through repairs to problem properties. So why did it take local residents exposing the shocking conditions on social media and confronting politicians before Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council took notice? He forgets to mention that the EEA only covers 4 blocks and evidence exists which suggests the whole of Govanhill must be designated an EEA now.
In Govanhill, 19 landlords are being added to the landlord’s register for the first time while a further 32 landlords have been called on to produce certification on gas safety, energy efficiency and insurance. These landlords need to be regulated and licensed, not simply add their name to a register on a voluntary basis. Govanhill residents have demanded that landlords be licensed and up before a GCC Licensing Committe if they are ever to get the message that Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council value human life and will not tolerate conditions which pose threats to the safety and wellbeing of others.
He continued to state that “Poor housing standards in Govanhill impact on the residents themselves, neighbours and the wider community but it does seem the message is getting through to landlords that they must play their part too”. Sorry to contradict you Councillor Redmond but video evidence suggests that slum landlords continue to act with impunity in Govanhill and refuse to play their part because they know that Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council continue to allow them to get away with it.
Finally, Councillor Redmond goes on to say that “We are working to a long term strategy with the aim of bringing lasting change to Govanhill and it is clear progress is being made on a number of fronts”. We need to remind Councillor Redmond that a Govanhill Action Plan has been in place since 2010, yet residents have never been allowed to see a copy or consulted about the evaluation process of the said strategy. After several years of requesting feedback and information on this so called Govanhill Strategy, they now fear that perhaps it doesn’t actually exist. Maybe Councillor Redmond could produce a copy for inspection if he has seen it?
Let’s Save Govanhill demands no more smoke and mirrors speeches from Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council – no more half-hearted remedial measures from them to cover up their neglect and ineptitude after they have been exposed regarding their failure to tackle the slum like conditions to be found in the Govanhill Ghetto. Govanhill needs drastic regeneration before it is too late and there is loss of life due to these atrocious slum properties.
Councillor Redmond’s Evening Times Article