‘Thornie’ issue casts doubt over council works policy

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A row has erupted between East Renfrewshire Council housing repairs contractors and residents in Thornliebank over housing repair work.

Angry residents saw red after The Extra last week reported almost £500,000 worth of cosmetic repairs on flats in Thornliebank and Woodfarm — at no cost to council tenants or homeowners.

Neighbouring homeowner William Turnbull argues that the council is giving preferential treatment to some householders while forcing others to shell out for work enforced on them by the authority.

He told The Extra: “One building gets a free facelist while we have to fork out thousands of pounds for a shoddy job.

“Last year, the contractor, Lovell, started work on our roof without having all the material in place resulting in the work being delayed and leaving a gap at the edge of the roof, which was blown off during the December storm.

“Now, we’re stuck with a bill for the repair work plus a separate bill of £1,400, our share of the repair to the roof. We got a 50 per cent grant but that still left us with £4,000 to find, not including the roof repairs.”

The row has created a triangle of blame and finger-pointing.

While the residents are blaming Lovell for the extra repair work needed after the site was abandoned, the building contractor is setting responsibility for the mess firmly at the council’s door.

A spokesman for the firm denied responsibility, saying: “The delay in replacing lintels at this property arose in large part because of the time it took for our team to gain agreement from the council on the type of lintel which should be used to ensure the work could be done safely. We have communicated this to the council.”

A spokeswoman for East Renfrewshire Council said: “The homes at Carnwadric Road received work to the roof and the render. The roof work was needed following damage caused by storms that hit the west of Scotland in December 2013.

“The replacing of the lintels was delayed awaiting a full assessment of health and safety concerns.”