Media Release: Spotlight on local issues when Housing Minister visits Grangemouth and Falkirk

CURRENT and future housing issues will be the focus of the day in Grangemouth and Falkirk on Wednesday 7 July 2010, when Scottish Government Minister for Housing and Communities, Alex Neil, visits the area to seek the views of local people and visit new affordable housing and employability projects.

Following the recent launch of the Scottish Government’s discussion document, Housing: Fresh Thinking, New Ideas, the Minister will host a discussion event in the Bowhouse Community Centre, 130 Bowhouse Road, Grangemouth, FK3 0EU.

During the event, which runs from 9.30am to 10.30am, he will meet homeowners, tenants, elected members and local authority and housing association staff to hear their experiences of Scotland’s housing system. Information gathered at this and other events around Scotland during the summer may help to shape housing policy for the next decade.

The discussion event will be immediately followed by a visit to tenants of the new homes that were recently completed by Link Group and Paragon Housing Association, who work in partnership with Falkirk Council to help address local need for affordable housing.

The Minister will then go on to meet the staff and participants of the Falkirk-based and Link-supported Green Action project, a work experience and employability project based on conservation and tourism volunteer placements for young people aged 16 to 24.

Craig Sanderson, chief executive of Link Group said: “Link and Falkirk Council have enjoyed a most productive relationship for more than 40 years, providing more than 1,000 new or improved homes for rent, shared ownership and sale, with significant government assistance.

“We are delighted that Paragon HA has recently joined with us in our efforts to continue to offer a range of quality homes in Grangemouth, Falkirk and elsewhere in the district. We also are committed to supporting local employability and environmental projects.”

Housing and Communities Minister, Alex Neil, said: “Scotland is facing up to the harsh financial realities presented by reductions in public spending.

“The nation’s housing system is not immune and must adapt with radical thinking and bold new ideas to ensure social housing is increased, aspiring homeowners are supported and carbon emissions are reduced.

“The Government recently launched a discussion document, Housing: Fresh Thinking, New Ideas, to start a debate about the best way forward for housing in Scotland.

That is why it is so important  for the people of Grangemouth to have their say about the housing issues that matter to them. I’ll be in the town next week for a special event and I hope as many people as possible turn up to contribute to the debate.”

Various phot/interview opportunities are available during the Minister’s visit – please contact Jane Smernicki at Link Group to arrange.

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Contact: Jane Smernicki, Communications Co-ordinator
Phone: 0131 624 7827