Bitter row breaks out between MSP and council leader

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THERE have been furious exchanges over affordable housing in East Dunbartonshire - with MSP Fiona McLeod branding council leader Rhondda Geekie a liar.

The SNP MSP hit out after comments from Councillor Geekie relating to a shortfall of affordable housing in the area, which she partly attributed to a “current shortage of Government funding”.

There are concerns that greenbelt could be at risk in addressing the shortage, as private developers only need to provide a single affordable property for every four houses they build.

The council has now delayed their Strategic Development Plan - which determines which land can be used for housing - while an attempt is made to meet with housing ministers. But Ms McLeod said that a lack of funding was NOT the issue.

She said: “Council Leader Geekie must not mislead the people of East Dunbartonshire on why she is delaying the progression of the Strategic Development Plan.

“Land supply is East Dunbartonshire’s main problem for delivering its affordable housing need, not money.

“I appreciate the point she makes about building three private houses to get one affordable house if we were to leave it to private housing developers, but I will not accept her premise that the Scottish Government isn’t providing money to build affordable homes through councils and registered social landlords – that’s a lie.”

Councillor Geekie hit back, insisting Ms McLeod had “misunderstood” her point and saying that there was cross party support for delaying the Strategic Development Plan.

She added: “I am therefore equally outraged that our MSP Fiona McLeod has chosen to lift selectively from the press article and further to accuse me of telling lies.”

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