AS a Barrhead councillor and Housing Convenor for East Renfrewshire I like to keep on top of any issues affecting the town. That is why I was delighted when the Barrhead News asked me to launch their new online blog because I think this is a great platform to voice issues which concern people in our town.
This week I am addressing our Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Labour party for their lack of investment in council properties in East Renfrewshire.

Dear Gordon,

Tenants and other supporters of council housing have been campaigning against government robbery for years.
The fundamental problem facing council homes is insufficient resources to manage, maintain, repair and improve existing council homes and estates and to build new council housing.
Your government has been taking a profit from council housing each year and then bully and blackmail tenants to accept privatisation. This is a disgrace.
If the money that belongs to council housing was reinvested, there would be a level playing field on debt write-off. gap funding and borrowing then council housing could afford to pay its own way.
Discrimination and lack of a level playing field cannot be justified. Council tenants are angry your Government can use taxpayers money to pull our banks out of a financial crisis but you are unable to help the people who need it most -council tenants.
You as leader of our country are not supporting the working class and have turned your back on traditional Labour values.
If you fail to invest in council properties then you are creating a stalking horse for privatisation.
The Government robs money from council housing in two ways.
Firstly it collects more money in rents than it pays in allowances to East Renfrewshire council to enable them to manage, maintain and carry out major repairs.
Secondly, government takes 75 per cent of the capital receipt from ‘right to buy sales’ and has benefited from stock transfer receipts.
It is time that your government respected council tenants choice and make a move to directly invest in council housing.
Mr brown you should hang your head in shame.


Councillor Danny Devlin Housing convenor for East Renfrewshire