Falling Masonry

– in the Scottish Parliament on 30th October 2019.

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Photo of Daniel Johnson Daniel Johnson Labour

3. To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on how many times masonry falls from housing have been reported in the past year. (S5O-03679)

Photo of Kevin Stewart Kevin Stewart Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government does not collect or hold information centrally on masonry falls from housing. Local authorities may be able to assist with the request as part of their responsibility for dealing with substandard housing in their area.

Photo of Daniel Johnson Daniel Johnson Labour

In Edinburgh alone, there were 179 masonry falls in 2018, which represents a four-fold increase in just four years. That underscores not only the seriousness of the situation and the need to record it but the need for an adequate maintenance regime for our built environment. When and how will the Scottish Government respond to the recommendations of the cross-party working group on the maintenance of tenement property

?

Photo of Kevin Stewart Kevin Stewart Scottish National Party

I agree with Mr Johnson that the maintenance of common property is an important issue, especially when it becomes a matter of public safety. Home owners and landlords in tenements need to fully accept their shared responsibilities for the upkeep of their properties, ensuring that everybody who lives in a tenement can enjoy a quality, safe and sustainable home.

As Mr Johnson will be aware, the Scottish Government held a debate on the issue in June. I welcomed the report of the working group on the maintenance of tenement property, and I have committed to making a substantive response in the autumn to the final recommendations report. The issues are serious and require serious consideration. We intend to make our response in due course.

Photo of Graham Simpson Graham Simpson Conservative

Autumn ends on 22 December. Will the minister guarantee that he gives his response before then? Will he commit to giving a response in the chamber?

Photo of Kevin Stewart Kevin Stewart Scottish National Party

I am not a man who makes guarantees, unless I have something written in blood. However, I have committed to making my substantive response in the autumn—Mr Simpson can be assured that that will happen.