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WEATHER DAMAGE TO HOUSING WILL COST£25-£30M: COSLA

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The bill for dealing with Scotland's weather damaged council houses will be between£25-£30m, COSLA senior vice pre...
The bill for dealing with Scotland's weather damaged council houses will be between £25-£30m, COSLA senior vice president Keith Geddes said today.

And speaking after a meeting with Scottish Office housing minister Raymond Robertson cllr Geddes was pessimistic about any extra funding coming from central government to help councils.

'Mr Robertson was very keen to discuss the situation further with us, once we have a complete picture of the cost of the weather,' he said, 'but despite pressure from us, he would not go as far as to give a commitment to giving extra cash.

'After today's meeting with him there must be no doubt at all in the minister's mind about the difficulties councils are facing and we will continue to put pressure on the Scottish Office to recognise this.'

Cllr Geddes added that COSLA was also concerned that without extra government aid it would be left to sort out the problem by putting up council house rents.

Councillors at the meeting also described the Scottish Office's announcement of an extra £16.8m borrowing consent for housing as helpful but equivalent to just half of the likely shortfall.

Cllr Mary Mulligan, of Edinburgh DC, said that councils had expressed their concern right from the beginning that the Scottish Office had over-estimated receipts from council house sales this year.

'We must welcome the fact that they have gone some way to making up the shortfall,' she said, 'but it is too little, too late.'

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