Council counts cost of storm damage

THE three storms which hit North Lanarkshire in December 2011 and January 2012 left over 4000 council homes damaged and a repair bill of over £1 million.

The most serious storm hit Central Scotland on January 3 and caused extensive damage to council homes across North Lanarkshire. This included roofs, chimney heads, fencing and garages and lock-ups especially in exposed areas, with some damaged beyond repair which had to be made safe until they could be demolished.

Since then North Lanarkshire Council and its partner Morrison Scotland have inspected all homes, carried out temporary repairs where necessary, and have a programme of repairs in place for all damaged properties. Almost 70 per cent of the storm related works have been completed and the vast majority of the work should be complete by April, weather permitting.

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Reports are still coming in from tenants and our repairs partner as previously unseen damage comes to light.

“We have prioritised the most serious damage and situations where tenants have had to be decanted from their homes, and we are working as quickly as possible to get through this major list of repairs,” explains Councillor Barry McCulloch, convener of the housing and social work services committee.

“At their height, the storms saw winds in excess of 100mph and prolonged heavy rain. This was an exceptional period of bad weather which caused severe damage across our area, not just to council homes but other properties, trees and roads.

“Obviously the sheer scale of the damage has given us problems but we have brought in additional contractors and specialist equipment to carry out the repairs more quickly. We have also directly contacted all tenants affected to update them on progress with repairs.

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“Despite this extra work, we are continuing to respond to routine housing repair requests. We would ask tenants to be patient as we work through the huge number of repairs scheduled.”

Willie Docherty, managing director, Morrison Scotland, said: “The storms in January caused an unprecedented level of damage and our teams have been working flat out to ensure properties are repaired as quickly as possible for tenants. To date we have carried out 1000s of repairs, including 2000 emergency roofing repairs directly after the storms hit. Our priority now is to ensure all repairs are completed as quickly as possible for tenants and we will continue to work towards this goal in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council.”