A COUNCILLOR has quit the board of Inverclyde's largest social housing landlord over rent rises and concerns about 'a lack of governance'.

Conservative elected member Graeme Brooks has stepped down as a director of River Clyde Homes, saying that it faces huge challenges.

It is the latest blow for the housing association, which has had to deal with a catalogue of problems in recent months.

Mr Brooks today praised its workforce, but said he decided to go because he was uneasy at the way the organisation is run.

Councillor Brooks said: "I was concerned about the lack of governance from the board.

"There is only so much you can do as a member on the board.

"There have been a number of challenges over the years and I felt decisions were not being made to the standard they should have been.

"I finally decided to step down after recently arguing that we should be meeting face to face and not online - I feel strongly that we have to meet in person to do our jobs properly."

Mr Brooks, who served on the board for five years, also spoke of his opposition to an increase in tenants' bills.

He said: "There had been issues where I had lost votes.

"I was against rent rises, I did not think they were proportionate and should have been lower.

"We have to take affordability into account for the tenants."

Mr Brooks says he was very committed to his role.

He added: "Over the five years I learned a lot about the sector and put my heart and soul into properly representing the customers."

River Clyde Homes has come in for criticism in the past over rent hikes, with independent councillor Tommy McVey quitting three years ago over the issue.

In July this year the association announced it was having to rip the render off high flats in Broomhill installed during a £30m regeneration project.

Mr Brooks says the condition of the established stock is a major problem.

He said: "I pay tribute to the staff at RCH, they are hard-working and do their very best for tenants.

"But the challenge for River Clyde Homes is investment versus income.

"There is funding available to build new houses but there is no money to invest in the existing stock and that is the problem.

"River Clyde Homes have an ageing stock and tenants are not getting the service they should."