THE BATTLE for the future of Glasgow's 80,000 council homes is hotting up. The city's Labour controlled council and the Scottish Parliament are split over how to transfer all the homes to private landlords. The council wants to sell all the stock to one company or a newly formed private housing association. It plans a ballot in November 2000 at the latest, with the transfer taking place in April 2001. However, the Scottish Executive is pressing for smaller transfers now.
Anger over housing has been increasing steadily over past few months. The council has allowed many estates to decline into slums. Thousands of people have seen their houses demolished in the poor areas of Ruchill and Possil Park in the north of Glasgow. Now an unelected quango, the Glasgow Alliance, intends to build houses there, selling for £90,000 to £150,000. They would have their own self contained school and children's centre, restaurants, bowling green and tennis court. It seems working class people are being 'cleared' to make way for rich people.
The Glasgow Campaign Against Housing Stock Transfer has been set up by local activists. Around 50 people attended a meeting in Castlemilk. The campaign has called a joint rally with the Glasgow North West Community Alliance against the sell off on Monday 6 December at 12 noon, St George's Square. Speakers include Tommy Sheridan and Dorothy Grace Elder.