Monday, June 11, 2007

Housing Arbitration, the 4th option and 4 Hibs Players in Scotland Under 20 Squad for Canada World Cup

In my last Blog entry I made a point about the Deputy Leader and Housing Executive Member Kim Humphries taking a look at Housing Arbitration and he was good enough to comment that he thought it was a sensible idea.
I actually was being serious as I have been on Housing Arbitration since January and have found it very enlightening. The only problem is that it is based on individual cases and we must just on that case even although it is clear that systemic problems are at the bottom of the problem. I am told that a Senior Housing Manager looks at all the cases but the name I was given was someone who has left so I just dont know? I would suggest to Kim that he ensures that a Senior Housing Manager is reviewing all the cases monthly and providing Kim with a written report with analysis as there are certainly things that can and must be learned from our failings.
I have included the new "Changing for the better" logo which Housing have launched as a follow on from the "100 days" and I must say I am more supportive of this particular intiiative as it does suggest continuous improvement which is the key I think rather than permenant revolution.
I saw Ruth Kelly on the Politics Show on Sunday in a debate about the need for more social and especially Council Housing and she suggested a shift in Government Policy towards the "4th Option". I have included a photo of Nick Brown and Austin Mitchell at a meeting some ago calling for the 4th option (the caption reflects Gordon Brown's more open attitude to the proposal) and I am very pleased that it looks like the Government are open to allowing local authorities the same opportunity to borrow to build public housing. Housinfg is clealry going to be a major theme over the next few years as the Government's £30 Billion Decent Homes programme reaches it's end and the demand for affordable homes continues to increase.
Perhaps in the future the sort of Urban versus Suburban arguements that we have had in the chamber in recent times may be less of a priority against the need to build more homes??

Hibs continue to look for players with 3 Frenchmen rumoured to be on John Collins list(above) goalkeeper Vincent Fernandez, very experienced playing for PSG and Strasbourg, Favien Lavoyer and Steven Pele (below) from Grenoble. I am sure the fans will love having a player called Pele in the team!!!

Collins is also looking at 22 year old Celtic goalkeper David Marshall. it would be nice to take one from them after them taking 5 from us!!!!
Four Hibs players have made it to the Scotland's Under 20 World Cup Squad , Andrew McNeill, Steven Fletcher, Sean Lynch and Ross Campbell. I assume that Keegan Ayres will play for the host Country Canada? I am surpised that Lewis Stevenson(pictured below)has not been moved up from the Under 19 Squad and if Scotland have a handful of midfield players better than Lewis then we are in extremely good shape and he looks like a tremedous player and was my player of the match in the CIS Cup Final victory!

The World Cup Fixtures are as follows:

Sunday, 1 July 2007
Japan v Scotland
Royal Athletic Park, Victoria, 2.15 pm local time

Wednesday, 4 July 2007
Nigeria v Scotland
Royal Athletic Park, Victoria, 7.45 pm local time

Saturday, 7 July 2007
Costa Rica v Scotland
Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, 5.00 pm local time

It looks like a fairly straightforward group but my heart did miss a beat when I saw the dreaded Costa Rica appear!! (1990 World Cup Nightmare!!!)