the resulting fully-fledged production later in the year to the Edinburgh Festival and several othei venues in Scotland.

‘The idea has been around for some time.‘ says Bill Bankes-Jones. Artistic Director of the new company. who finally went to the SAC and secured a grant towards getting it off the ground. The SAC have awarded a grant of £25m to cover fees for a professional writer and director (Marcella livai'isti and Hamish (ilen have been approached) who will build on the writers' workshops held during the Drama Festival. working together with a student writer and director to prepare a script for rehearsal. later in the spring auditions will beheld fora company who will then rehearse the final script towards production in the summer and at the Edinburgh Festival.

Bankes-Joiies sees the final budget for the first year as coming into the region of f; lll.()(l(l to stage and tour the production properly and keep the company a going concern throughout the year. He is keen to hear from anyone interested in participating: contact Bill Bankes-Jones. 17 Bell Place. Edinburgh. (Bl 343 2787.


Ness Raison continues her series on housing issues with a day in the life ofthe Environmental Health Officers.

The Environmental Health ()fficers meet at 9am in the Deparment in Johnstone Terrace and by ten they are out doing field work. The Co-ordinator. George Hunter. outlined the Department‘s activity and acknowledged that their work is an ‘up front‘ challenge to landlords. The board and lodgings regulations introduced three years ago

encouraged landlords ofshared flats to convert them to bedsits and bed and breakfasts and gain rent through the DI {SSz without the work ofthe El {D some landlords would house tenants in appalling conditions of damp. disrepair and overcrowding. Hunter mentions one such racketeer who drove a Porsche and went round with ‘minders' for self-protection when collecting rent: he had three flats in Dublin Street each housing thirty to forty people on mattresses. He cites another landlord who amassed rent from seventeen properties. He now feels exploitative landlords will move from multiple properties to nursing homes. for which they can claim not just £45 but {I70 a week from the DHSS.

The Council set up its team of health officers two years ago and now has a list of five hundred landlords whose properties they have inspected. I joined Inspector Andrew Mungall and technician Ian (irant on their rounds. stepping from the smooth white Volvo. sensitive to door slamming. into the world of noisy. shabby bedsits. The first. in Ferry Road. was brought to the attention of the Department by a neighbour who complained about the noise. As we knocked on bedroom doors. Mungall ticked off a checklist of minimum standards. ()ne cooker and one toilet is required for every five people and here there were two ofeach for a supposed nine tenants. A major fault was the use of a cramped boxroom without a window as a bedsit. Mungall suspected that there were than ten living on the premises although we were unable to go into every room. Mungall will serve a notic to eliminate overcrowding.

The next stop was St Bemard‘s Crescent. a bedsit at £28 pounds a week. The breakfast was ‘continental‘. which often appears to be a euphemism for a roll and butter. Again a neighbour. a bed and breakfast owner herself. had complained about noise coming from the premises late at night. and about cardboard at the windows and the dilapidation of the building. The noise is a matter for the police. but Mungall will serve a notice to get much-needed repair work done and he will alert the Council Firemaster to the paraffin heaters and overloaded electrical sockets in the rooms.

Most landlords will respond to a council notice and carry out repair work; Mungall observes it is ‘no loss to them' in comparison with the income they receive through rent. Those that refuse are sued and the work is carried out in default. The greatest fear for a landlord is that the Council will take control of the premises. as has happened in three instances in Edinburgh. In one. the landlord refused to pay the

electricity bill. leaving tenants with no heating. cooking or washing facilities. For the next five years the rent goes to the Council.

The Council works in close conjunction with voluntary and statutary bodies. The DHSS. Shelter Housing Aid Centre and the Housing Advice Centre have lists of landlords and will refer them to the Council when necessary. Liz Bowker of SHAC is impressed with the Council‘s control. Environmental Health Officers in turn refer social workers to tenants to explain their rights and social security entitlements. Recently.Tenancy Relations Officers have been appointed to deal with problems like landlord harassment. illegal eviction and sexual abuse. Evidence necessary to involve statutory powers in these areas would be hard to obtain.

The conditions of houses in

multiple occupation in Edinburgh appear to be largely on record. However the negative situation continues that landlords reap vast rents from public money while little is spent on public housing. It is to be hoped attention will be paid to one of six ‘simple but urgent suggestions for immediate action' put forward by Lord Scarman. President ofthc UK Council for IYSH. in an article called "The Challenge of the Homeless‘ in the Sunday Observer of

4January 1987. It is a proposal for: ‘increased capital investment on housing projects. both public and private. It should be recognised that public spending in this area is not only a good investment in itself. It can also bring in additional investment.‘

Ruth Williams from the Housing Advice Centre reveals that existing houses in the public sector are often inadequate. so that they will refer a tenant offered run-down council housing back in to the private sector. She explains that limiting the rent paid to landlords would lead to them selling their properties and would create more homelessness.


Issue no 36 6—19 March 1987


.Ionathan Ross.

4 Jonathan Ross

Weary of \N'ogaii'.’ 'l'lit’ l.i1.v'I Resp/1's irreverent young host talks to Alastair Mabbott.

6 Color of Money

Blue-liyes Newman hiinselltalks to Allan Hunter about a film with more cues than usual.


Scotland 3 Art in the Eighties Alice Rain and Sally Kiniies assess perspectives on modern Scottish art. and talk to tip and coming artist (iwen Hardie.

10 Simply Red

Andy Spinoza meets lead singer Mick Hucknall.

11 Listings

Full guide to events this fortnight.

Art 33 Media IS Cabaret 22 Music 24 Dance23 ()peii-ll Film 1 1 Sport 3‘) Kids 40 Theatre 1‘)

39 Backnst

Nightlife and Clubs (iuide and Books


Publisher Robin I lodge.

Editors Nigel Iiillen. Sarah I lemming. Associate Editor Allan I Iuntcr.

Design Simon listcrson. Advertising Robin Hodge.Accounts ( ieoi'gcttc Renwiek. Richard ( iray . Typesetting .lo Kennedy and cher Text. Production Editor Paul Keir. Art Alice Haiti. Books Alan 'I ay loi'. Classical Music ( ‘ai'ol Main. Dance Alice Bain. Film Allan Hunter. Trevor .lohnstoii. Folk/Jazz Norman Chalmers. Kids Sally Kiiiiies. Media Nigel liillen. Sally Kiiiiies. Open Sarah llemming. Rock (Edinburgh) Alastair Mabbott . Rock (Glasgow) .Iohii \Villiaiiisoii. Listen! Alastair Mabbott. Andrea Miller. Sport Kenny .‘vlathieson. Theatre Sarah llemming. Camera Dai'ien l’rintiitho, Cover: .Ionatlian Russ Cover Photo: ( '_

I Iafen l'iL‘Iitci' ( iUIUTITIC COVE! Design Simon Izstci'soii

Published by The List lid. 14 l Iigli Street. Edinburgh. 5581191.


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