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The truths they don't want you to read....

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Uist House

Today sees the opening of the replacement for Uist House, the Social Work nursing home for the elderly of South Uist.

I understand that the project has been overspend -- as seems almost inevitable with any capital project of any size -- although the exact value is unclear at present.

But that is the least of the problems.

As part of the development the Hebridean Housing Partnership were to acquire a number of flats in the building to provide a better and more coherent level of service to the residents of those flats. These flats were to be paid for by a grant of £350,000 from Communities Scotland which would fund most - if not all - of the cost of the properties.

The deal should have been done by the end of March, but for some reason the Comhairle failed to arrange the transfer of title from the Comhairle to HHP by that date.

The consequence? The grant was lost, and pulled back into the central pot by Communities Scotland.

Cue outraged howling from all quarters; except Councillors, who seem to have been kept in the dark.

Last Thursday the Chief Executive of HHP, Angus Lamont, met with Communities Scotland Housing and Regeneration Directorate (as they have been renamed) to discuss the budget allocation for the coming year and to try to get the 'lost' funds back.

The Housing and Regeneration Directorate offered to allocate a further £350k for this project, but only on condition it came out of the existing current year grant - in other words, all from existing funds.

So how is this to be funded, other than by making cuts of £350k in the HHP budgets?

Why are the Comhairle blaming HHP for this situation?

Why is this not the only situation where incompetence has resulted in money being lost to the islands? (Details to follow shortly on another example)

Is anyone to be held to account for this situation? No matter how senior they are?

And, when will the Councillors be told?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

strange how no comment required attracts so many comments - kinda like Darren Brown and that kitten whereas one that clearly requires it attracts so few LS