Glasgow 2014 furniture ‘left to rot in warehouses’

COMMONWEALTH Games furniture which was intended for needy has been left to rot in warehouses, it has been claimed.
The furniture is from the Glasgow 2014 athletes' village. Picture: John DevlinThe furniture is from the Glasgow 2014 athletes' village. Picture: John Devlin
The furniture is from the Glasgow 2014 athletes' village. Picture: John Devlin

But now an insider has released images and a video which allegedly show huge piles of mouldy mattresses lying on the floor of a damp warehouse on the Westway business park in Renfrew, six miles outside Glasgow.

On another warehouse on the site bed frames, chairs and wardrobes appear to have been left rotting among puddles and animal droppings.

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It is estimated the warehouses contain approximately 3,500 mattresses, 3,500 bed frames, 2,000 wardrobes and hundreds of items such as chairs, bins and lamps.

But Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) has insisted that thousands of people have benefited from the Games’ legacy, with more than 1500 households acquiring more than 20,000 items of furniture.

The initiative was announced as part of a ­legacy promise by the Games’ organisers and politicians to ensure ordinary people benefited from the event.

A month after the closing ceremony in August, the GHA - Scotland’s biggest social landlord - announced that over 60,000 items, including mattresses, sofas, beanbags and lamps would be given out.

A total of 12 new training positions were to be created to move and distribute the items. Staff moved the items to warehouses for storage prior to them being given away.

A show home was set up in a flat on the Wynford estate, Maryhill, where tenants, community groups and registered social landlords could come and view and collect the furniture. Some of the stock was then moved to tenants’ homes.

The source said: “This equipment was supposed to be distributed to poor and vulnerable families but the vast majority is completely unusable.

“As a result of the damage caused, there is not a single item I would have in my house. It is all infested.

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“All the mattresses have bedbugs and mould and hundreds are covered in animal faeces.”

The source added that some of the furniture had distributed but that now people were complaining that their homes had become infested.

“The bosses are getting really worried now because they realise what a disaster this has turned out to be. They don’t know how to get rid of this stuff.

“They are paying thousands to rent the warehouses where the stuff is rotting when they should have just given it out in the first place.”

Earlier this year GHA, which is part of the Wheatley Group social housing company, admitted that around 500 items had been ruined, but the latest revelations appear to highlight a bigger problem.

Sean Clerkin, anti-poverty campaigner, is calling for an investigation to establish what went wrong.

“I am calling for the Scottish Housing Regulator to investigate this outrage immediately.

“The poor and vulnerable people of Glasgow were promised this furniture and it is a scandal that they have been denied it because of complete incompetence and mismanagement.

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“I am appalled that this could be allowed to happen. For the poor people of Glasgow this was their legacy of the Games - and they didn’t get it.”

A spokesman for GHA said: “Thousands of people are benefiting from the legacy of the Games through this huge operation to distribute furniture from the Athletes’ Village.

“To date, we’ve successfully delivered over 22,000 items of furniture to over 1500 households and 78 charity, community groups and other housing associations who have passed them on to thousands more people.

“Although demand has tailed off significantly, we are still delivering furniture to more people in need every week. Everything is quality checked before it is passed on.

“Unfortunately, there was water penetration at the storage facility and some items have been soiled or damaged.

“Our whole focus is on cleaning and recycling as many items as we possibly can to ensure many more people can benefit from this positive legacy.”