Shelter Scotland drops court action against Glasgow City Council
Shelter has dropped its court action against Glasgow City Council.
The decision by the homelessness charity follows an announcement the Scottish Housing Regulator last month that it was launching an inquiry into the city’s homelessness services.
Shelter was taking the council to court over alleged breaches of its legal duty to provide accommodation to homeless people in the city.
Shelter postponed its legal action last month after a last-minute intervention by the regulator shortly before the case was to go to court.
The charity hailed it as a “huge victory” that the regulator had taken the unprecedented step, but said it would return to court if necessary.
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “Until last month’s 11th-hour intervention, the regulator was not using the full range of their legal powers to fix homelessness services in Glasgow.
“This regulator inquiry is long overdue and would not have happened if it wasn’t for the 10,000 people in the city and beyond who gave us their support.
“It means that the regulator will focus on the failure by Glasgow City Council to meet its statutory obligations.
“This is a huge victory for everyone who has supported us in our campaign to get Glasgow City Council to honour its legal responsibilities.
“Those in power were ignoring this massive injustice. They are not ignoring it anymore.
“Our attention now shifts to the regulator and we will be sharing our evidence of the council’s ongoing failures from our Glasgow hub.”
Responding to the news, a Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “Shelter’s legal action had no impact on the Scottish Housing Regulator’s decision and we welcome their move to abandon their court case.
“We are working constructively with the regulator in order to improve homelessness services and our door remains open to Shelter to engage positively with us.”
However, Shelter emphasised that the problem has not gone away and said that since the decision to pursue legal action was announced in August, almost 100 more people had come to the charity for help to get temporary accommodation.
Brown added: “The inquiry from the Scottish Housing Regulator brings new hope that this grave injustice can be stopped without going to court.
“The regulator still has the option to replace the city council’s management team if they cannot show that they are capable of upholding their legal duty to guarantee safe temporary accommodation to every homeless person who needs it.
“We will be providing all our evidence to the regulator to assist with its inquiry and we will also return to court if necessary.
“I want to thank our supporters and ask them to stick with us until we see an end to the disgraceful practice of gatekeeping in Glasgow.
“As we announce our intention to withdraw from the court process at this stage, the campaign continues.”