Housing (Edinburgh)

Question Time — Scottish Executive – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:30 pm on 7 February 2002.

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Photo of Sarah Boyack Sarah Boyack Labour 2:30, 7 February 2002

To ask the Scottish Executive what action is being taken to improve housing standards in the Dumbiedykes area of Edinburgh. (S1O-4597)

Photo of Iain Gray Iain Gray Labour

More than £5 million of new housing partnership funding was earmarked for the comprehensive regeneration of the Dumbiedykes estate in February 1999. On 25 January this year, the Executive gave a commitment to earmark further funding to meet a potential shortfall—which was identified by the City of Edinburgh Council—provided that the final proposals represent value for money to the public purse and receive the support of tenants in a secret ballot.

Photo of Sarah Boyack Sarah Boyack Labour

I welcome the new money from the Executive, which ensures that we have a chance to modernise those flats and houses dramatically. Does the minister recognise that people in Dumbiedykes have waited for years for a major refurbishment? Will he assure me that, when the Executive receives the business plan from the council, it will deal with it as swiftly as possible so that the houses can be brought into the 21 st century?

Photo of Iain Gray Iain Gray Labour

I agree with Sarah Boyack that we must all pull together to progress improvements for the residents. That is the central issue. I acknowledge her relentless efforts in the past few weeks to ensure progress. The council is responsible for preparing a proposal in consultation with tenants and submitting it to the Executive. We issued detailed guidance to councils on preparing transfer proposals, which includes guidance on assessing value for money. When we receive the proposal, our appraisal will be undertaken as quickly as possible and in accordance with the guidance.