Is councillor homeless?

Cllr. Vincent Waters
Cllr. Vincent Waters

Questions have been raised over why a local councillor is apparently living in homeless accomodation provided by East Renfrewshire Council.

Cllr Vincent Waters (SNP), who represents ward three, Giffnock and Thornliebank, currently claims he is homeless, but information received by The Extra suggests this may not be the case.

All councillors are required to provide a ‘declaration of interests’ for the members’ register, and in this document Cllr Waters lists an interest in three private properties. These are all residential properties which are located in Barrhead and Woodfarm.

When we suggested to Cllr Waters it appeared he was not technically homeless if he has an interest in three properties, he responded by suggesting the information we had been provided with was “incorrect” and requested a meeting to set the record straight.

This was arranged for last Thursday (January 26), but the councillor failed to turn up and there has been no further contact with us.

The council explained its homeless policy. A spokesman said: “Under the terms of the national guidance, any resident who does not have access to a property that they can reasonably occupy is considered to be homeless and the council has a duty to provide them with temporary accommodation.

“Anyone who presents as homeless in East Renfrewshire and meets these criteria is offered temporary accommodation. Therefore there is no waiting list of people requiring temporary accommodation.

“We currently have 37 cases which have presented as homeless and are awaiting a permanent offer of housing.

“Of this number, 17 are single adult males residing in temporary accommodation.”

The council refused to comment specifically on the situation concerning Cllr Waters.