A DISABLED rights champion has hit out and questioned an outspoken fellow councillor's track record over accessible housing in Inverclyde.

SNP councillor Jim MacLeod reacted after Tory counterpart David Wilson said protesters against a £24 million controversial housing development in Greenock should think of all the disabled people stuck on waiting lists for new adapted homes.

He highlighted that the site at the former Ravenscraig Hospital site will offer up to 10 per cent disabled housing.

Mr Wilson, who chairs the planning board, had told the Tele there were more than 700 disabled people on River Clyde Homes' list.

But his remarks have cut no ice with Councillor MacLeod, who has been a disability campaigner for 30 years.

He said: "I am glad to see at long last that Councillor Wilson has recognised there are many disabled people crying out for accessible housing in Inverclyde.

"I have campaigned for more wheelchair accessible housing in Inverclyde for over 25 years.

"Since being elected as a councillor 13 years ago I have repeatedly raised the issue of the shortage of accessible homes with council officials, elected members and housing providers in meetings, discussions and in correspondence.

"There is a huge shortage which the council, housing associations and private developers have failed to get to grips with. "

Mr MacLeod added that the new homes that are built only have one bedroom, saying that this does not recognise people have families, carers and/or medical equipment.

Cllr MacLeod said: "I must ask Councillor Wilson why as chair of the planning board for 13 years and as a director of Link Housing Association for 12 years has he failed to ensure that there was an adequate number of accessible housing built?

"He has praised the fact that ten per cent of the 200 new houses to be built by Link Housing Association at the Ravenscraig site will be wheelchair accessible.

"Why did he not insist that 10 per cent or even five per cent of new homes being built were wheelchair accessible?

"In the past three years we have seen only one wheelchair accessible property built out of 46 at Lower Mary Street by Link Housing Association and one at Bay Street out of 41 homes, built by River Clyde Homes in Port Glasgow.

"Among new homes being built at the moment there are only eight wheelchair accessible homes planned, all one bedroom, out of 230 properties on the former St Stephen's High secondary school site and another eight homes, again all one bedroom, at the James Watt Dock site being built by RCH.

"I now hope that as David recognises there is a huge need for more wheelchair accessible properties to be built that he will exert his influence as chair of the planning board to ensure in the future that an adequate number of new homes built are accessible and that they have a varying number of bedrooms."