The following article by Rutherglen Reformer and Mark McLean was originally published in the Daily Record online on 4th July 2018.
A Cambuslang housing organisation was held up as a national model of excellence in the Scottish Parliament last week.
MSP James Kelly told a panel in Holyrood that West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative (WWHC) is a fine example of housing delivery.
The regional MSP hosted Paul Farrell, director, and Anne Anderson, chair, from WWHC, at a cross-party group meeting on 27th June.
WWHC and other organisations were invited to present their model of co-operatives in action delivering change for communities.
WWHC spoke about its delivery of community Whitcomm broadband, which has seen the number of West Whitlawburn residents online increase significantly, from 39 per cent to 88 per cent.
The forward-thinking housing co-operative also has an energy supply company, which heats 544 properties to tackle fuel poverty. This initiative has resulted in energy prices for tenants being frozen since 2012.
Mr Kelly said: “West Whitlawburn Housing Co-op is the gold-standard of housing delivery and I was delighted to host them in the Scottish Parliament.
“This area has been transformed because of the long-term commitment and expertise of volunteers who serve on the committee.
“Visiting the WWHC, I have seen first-hand the standard of housing on offer and the satisfaction residents have living in the development.
“Projects like Whitcomm cannot be understated for the transformational impact they have on residents’ lives.
“The energy deal they operate has capped energy prices for tenants for the last six years. This has not only saved tenants money but delivered a deal that could not have been bettered by any of the main energy suppliers.
“Communities across Scotland should be looking to West Whitlawburn for inspiration on what could be achieved through co-operative models.”
Paul Farrell, WWHC director, added: “It was a privilege and an honour to be asked by James and the cross-party group to showcase West Whitlawburn’s achievements over the past 30 years.
“We really appreciate the kind words and ongoing support offered by James and the group, which serve to encourage us to sustain our very high standards and strive for further successes and more ground breaking achievements.”