MSP Alex Rowley has this week asked Scottish Ministers to review the energy improvements programme that has stalled in Ballingry due to ‘technical difficulties’.
Mr Rowley has sought the advice of Energy Action Scotland in his continuing campaign to have external wall installation fitted in Kirkland Park and Kirktoun Park, as was programmed over a year ago, but cancelled after difficulties were found with the type of structure of the buildings.
The MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife has now set out the issues to the Scottish Government Housing Minister Kevin Stewart MSP and the cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham MSP.
In the letters he said: “I am writing to seek your support to address an unresolved issue with the progress of a home energy efficiency programme in my region that has run into major difficulty leaving tenants and residents with unfulfilled assurances that their houses were part of that said programme".
Explaining the background of the issue Mr Rowley said that proposed work in Navitie Park went ahead and was completed but the Council then flagged up difficulties with the construction type for the remainder of the houses that had been included in the programme. It would seem there is a difference in that the rest of the houses are ‘concrete Cruden’ rather than the ‘brick Cruden’ and this poses technical challenges.
He added: “I have been trying for almost a year now to find a way forward for these tenants and residents and have asked Energy Action Scotland if they can assist. They have spoken with Fife Council and advise me that any solution to the technical challenges will be more expensive than the new government programmes can support.
“Which if nothing is done means that all these tenants and residents in this part of Fife will continue to live in cold homes through no fault of their own. I believe that there is 257 of these type properties in Fife of which 247 are in Ballingry one of the highest SIMD areas in Fife and Scotland.
“In my opinion this is not a situation that can just be left unresolved and I am therefore asking both the government housing and environment services to examine the issues this raises around the level of cap on these programmes given some of the design and technical difficulties with some of the housing stock in Scotland”.
Mr Rowley is being supported in this campaign by Cllr Mary Lockhart who has asked the Chief Executive of Fife Council to make all the evidence needed available to build the case for additional funding and action to address the issues and challenges faced in making these types of houses warm.
Photo shows Alex Rowley with Mary Lockhart examining the houses concerned