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Mike praised for housing work

The official opening of McBride Drive Carnoustie took place on Tuesday morning on behalf of Angus Housing Association. Mike McManus pulled the cord to unveil the plaques pictured with, Karen Nicoll DJ Laing, Angus Provost Helen Oswald and councillor Sheena Welsh.

The official opening of McBride Drive Carnoustie took place on Tuesday morning on behalf of Angus Housing Association. Mike McManus pulled the cord to unveil the plaques pictured with, Karen Nicoll DJ Laing, Angus Provost Helen Oswald and councillor Sheena Welsh.

A FORMER Angus Housing Association (AHA) worker who has helped bring 1,000 affordable homes to the area was honoured at a plaque unveiling ceremony on Tuesday.

Mike McManus revealed two plaques at the new £7.5 million mixed tenure housing development at McBride Drive, Carnoustie, to commemorate the work his team did during his time at the organisation from 1996 to 2011.

To mark the completion of the new development, former AHA development manager, Mike unveiled a plaque at the site.

A second plaque also marks the work of Mike and his colleagues - former development officer, Cath Stott, and clerks of works, Dave Smart and Colin Gibson, who over the period between 1996 to 2011, worked together to deliver more than 50 separate housing developments throughout the communities of Angus.

These ranged in scale from a single wheelchair user’s home in Kingsmuir, by Forfar, to large scale regeneration projects in estates such as Cliffburn in Arbroath.

In 2011, however, it became apparent to AHA that the cuts in Scottish Government subsidy to housing associations would mean huge reductions in their development activity and accordingly, their development team was disbanded last December.

This was achieved through a combination of staff redeployment, early retirements and voluntary redundancies.

Speaking after the opening ceremony, AHA chairman, Sheena Welsh, said: “Unfortunately, our predictions as to the future levels of our development activity have proved only too accurate.

“In financial year 2012/13, we are only building four new homes to rent in Arbroath.

“Only three years ago, we were building more than 100 homes a year. Over the next three years, we are planning on building an average of only around 15 houses per year.

“From 1996 until 2011, our small development team, based in Arbroath, demonstrated just what can be achieved by a local housing association working with local developers and design teams.

“These job losses were particularly poignant when they were staff who, through their magnificent efforts, contributed hugely to Angus Housing Association reaching the platform of stability we now enjoy.

“Most importantly, however, they should be immensely proud of the houses they got built and the positive impact that has had for the hundreds of families now calling them home.

“McBride Drive was the last major development that our development staff worked on together and in Carnoustie alone, where there are very pressing housing needs, they delivered more than 100 new homes in the last five years.

“That is why we asked Mike back today to pay tribute to the work he and his staff did for 15 years in diverse communities.”

 

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