LAST week, I attended a meeting of the reconstituted Tenement Maintenance Working Group (TMWG), having been involved in this group during the last parliamentary session after it was convened in March 2018.

This group is a cross-party effort to improve tenemental housing across Scotland – and given the volume of tenements in Inverclyde, is very relevant to my constituency.

In addition, health and housing are two of the main issues that constituents contact my office about, and we know that poor housing can result in, or exacerbate, poor health.

I mention this because upon meeting a local factoring agency recently, they highlighted the poor condition of many local tenements as one of their big concerns.

Going back to the meeting, our focus was on the recently-published Scottish Law Commission’s (SLC) discussion paper, titled ‘Tenement law changes: Discussion Paper on compulsory owners’ associations’. This is in response to the TMWG’s recommendation that every tenement building in Scotland should have an owners’ association to coordinate work to the building.

Specifically, the paper’s proposals relate to the functions, powers and duties of a tenement owners’ association, including the role of an association manager, decision-making procedures, liability of owners for costs and the implementation of an annual budgeting system.

I would encourage those with an interest to respond to the SLC’s proposals before August 1 to help shape the recommendations made in their final report.

Finally, I want to wish our new First Minister all the best, having taken to the helm unchallenged last week.

Many of the cabinet secretary and ministerial positions remain the same, and filled by the same individuals, but nonetheless, I wish all those in his ministerial team every success in their roles.