Saturday, December 16, 2006



I finally got round to putting up the Christmas decorations in my flat last night, it always makes the place look festive and fun! I love Christmas, I love coming out of the cold night into a warm and cosy flat and I love that my family always gets together and has a great time, I get to spend loads of time with my big sister and it is a great excuse to get my mates round and have a wee party!

So to all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Prosperous 2007!

The blogging will probably slow up over the Christmas period so if I don't see you before or during the Christmas period have fun and be safe when you are out and about.

Friday, December 15, 2006



The Politics Show this evening on BBC Scotland tried to use the Trident issue and Tommy Sheridan to trip up Susan Deacon the Labour MSP, it failed. The really pathetic point is that Tommy Sheridan does not realise that they are simply using him to try and harm the Labour Party, not trying to have a serious debate on the issue. I must admit to being pleasantly surprised by Susan Deacon, I have not heard her speak on this issue before and she was excellent.

She pointed out that she was sick of the likes of Tommy Sheridan of Solidarity (ex SSP, ex Militant) reducing the debate to for and against, black and white, because, it is not that simple! This morning I received information on the Trident issue from my local MP Jim Sheridan who is always very good at keeping us all informed, I have yet to read the full document, just like Mr Sheridan! When asked by Ms Deacon about whether he had actually read the Government document (after slamming it), he showed how much of a cretin he actually is by having to admit that he hadn't read the document but had only read newspaper reports about it! This is typical of the SSP/Solidarity members that I know they try to reduce complex issues to black and white, knowing full well that they are not that simple!

I will post on this issue again once I have read the document.



The Civil Contingencies unit of Renfrewshire Council have advised that Seedhill Road has been reopened. This was the position as of 10am this morning.
Again any questions or enquiries on Road closures should be directed to AMEY (0800 028 1414) or online

Thursday, December 14, 2006



Full Council meetings are always interesting (and sometimes entertaining) however when you are not feeling great (heavy head cold) not so much!

The first order of business on the agenda this morning (apart from the usual apologies and minutes) was the election result from the Elderslie By Election, the new Councillor, Councillor John Caldwell was warmly welcomed by most of the chamber. This was John's first Full Council meeting as a Councillor and it can get quite nerve racking but, he dealt with it admirably.

As usual the SNP put up their usual slew of motions which could have been avoided by simply picking up the phone and speaking to the Director of the relevant department. It is good to hear that Cllr MacKay is either reading this blog or my dad's, he mentioned it in one of his speeches in the chamber this afternoon!

The Liberals were at it again, trying to legislate what kids can and cannot eat, to the extent that they want to take away ALL hot food vans away from School Premises, sounds like a good idea? The main problem would be that most of the schools have shops in the surrounding area, the area that I represent is so close to the town centre that each day you can see the kids walking down the town to get a MacDonalds or a subway from the local shops, taking away the hot food vans is not the answer, I have a feeling though that Cllr McCartin knows this!

I am not for one moment suggesting that the issues of Childhood obesity and nutrition are not important but I don't think that this is the answer, this is a point I have made many times in the Regulatory Functions Board which regulates this type of licence. On this note congratulations should go to the Headteacher of Renfrew High for her innovative approach to this problem, working with the hot food vendors to work towards healthy choices that appeal to young people is surely a better approach?

One final point the reason I called this motions and commotions was that the wooden spoon for today's meeting has to go to Cllr Eileen McCartin Leader of the Liberal Democrats for stating ...

'nuclear weapons were developed and created during and for use in the cold war'

I kid you not! The whole chamber had to say more than once NO THEY WERE NOT, she then repeated the exact same thing only slower, same reaction, not sure if she thinks that Hiroshima was after/during the cold war? What ever it was it is a prime example of the Liberal 'we know better than you' democrats in Renfrewshire.



This is just a short notice to say that due to extreme weather conditions Seedhill Road is closed, I am getting updates from the Civil Contingencies Unit in Renfrewshire Council and they have advised that work is currently ongoing. Any questions on road closures should be directed to AMEY (0800 028 1414) or use the link below.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


  • Delivered 127 MRI scanners, 217 CT scanners and over 730 items of breast screening equipment since 2000.

This would prove the investment in the NHS by the Government, and before any of the usual suspects start this is not the entire solution but it definately helps.



Despite the awful weather conditions the meeting last night was well attended. Unfortunately the representative from the Renfrewshrie CHP was unable to attend and so this presentation was held over to the next meeting. The presentation by the Police was extremely interesting and sparked a good discussion over the incidents of crime and the perception of crime in the area, they gave an excellent overall explanation of operation triplicate which made the press some weeks ago regarding the seizure of drug dealers in both Renfrewshrie and Inverclyde, questions asked included where the siezed assets of the criminals goes, how many shopkeepers have been charged with serving alcohol to under 18 year olds and whether or not the Police in this area are allowed to use young people as test buyers to see if they are sold alcohol.

The Police advised that the money siezed is put back into community programmes including £10,000 locally for a project called 'shop a dealer' in Ferguslie park and St James wards, it also goes towards public awareness campaigns. With regard to the selling of alcohol to under 18's there is a pilot project in Tayside which is using young people, and the hope is that this will be rolled out throughout Scotland. The bad news is that not many people are charged with serving alcohol to under 18's as it is very difficult at present to check but Police advise that if you are aware of a liscensed premises breaking the law to contact them.

Other items on the agenda included an excellent presentation on the core paths consultation (see here for web link to the consultation document) and feel free to fill it out and send it back to Renfrewshire Council. The item on the Paisley Town Centre short term plan also sparked an interesting discussion and many issues were highlighted which will be taken back to the Director of Environmental Services. All at the meeting agreed that the Christmas Lights were looking great and you could see the investment had been made, they were also pleased to hear that an extra farmers Christmas market had been put on as well.

There was some suggestion by Cllr McGreggor of the Liberal Democrats that all the ideas in the Yellow Book study were in fact rehashes of the Liberal Democrats motions, obviously this is nonsense. I accept that some of the motions that the Liberals have put up recently do mimick the suggestions, the difference is that the Liberals wanted the Council to pay for this, the Yellow Book study is agreed by all partners (including the private sector) and has got everyone on board, it gives common ownership of the project to everyone and calls for £45 Million of private investment!

The suggestion by Cllr McGreggor was niave in the extreme, but no doubt it will appear on an election leaflet in the near future!

The meeting was positive and a good exchange of views was heard, topics such as the recycling, rubbish collection and the local action plans were discussed.

Monday, December 11, 2006



  • Funded 3,000 new neighbourhood wardens.

In Renfrewshire the Neighbourhood Wardens have been a major success story, the Seedhill ward which I represent has now had the wardens for just over two years now and I have received many compliments with regard to their work. The wardens are not an alternative to Police but you only have to look at the figures to see what a difference they can make!

•A collective reduction in the cost of vandalism to Council houses of 43.5% in pathfinder areas (Foxbar 38% reduction, Shortroods 82% reduction, West Johnstone 42% reduction and Ferguslie Park 12% reduction).

•Decreasing costs due to vandalism to school premises in Foxbar (49% reduction), Shortroods (77% reduction) and West Johnstone (66% reduction).

•An overall reduced number of reported acts of vandalism in the pathfinder areas, achieving an overall reduction in year one of 4.9%.

•The number of reported vehicle crimes has seen significant decreases compared to Renfrewshire’s 17% reduction, with a 37.8% reduction in Shortroods, 42.2% reduction in West Johnstone and a 25.4% reduction in Ferguslie Park. A small increase of 4.4 % occurred in Foxbar.

•Within the disorder category of crimes, with the exception of Foxbar, other areas are showing decreases against the overall percentage increases for Renfrewshire (5.2%) - a decrease of 12.3% in Shortroods, 21% decrease in West Johnstone and 6.2% decrease in Ferguslie Park.

figures taken from Annual Report 2003



Normally I would write my own post on the SNP's failed attempts to convince the Scottish electorate of their Economic credibility, but, I can't think of much to add to the recent article by Wendy Alexander MSP for Paisley and Renfrewshrie North on the subject, I would urge ANYONE thinking of voting for the SNP at the next election to check it out!

Sunday Express Article

Sunday, December 10, 2006



OK I know I have posted an article about this before but, having been out in Braehead I have to do another one. I have a new pet hate! People who park on the end of the parking bays! They are marked for a reason people! It drives me nuts when the management of the shopping centres do absolutely nothing about those people who decide that instead of looking for a real parking space like everyone else they will just park where ever the hell they like!

It comes back to the abuse of the disabled parking bays, too many people who go to Braehead park in the disabled parking bays without having a blue badge, which stops the disabled getting access to the shopping centre.

I am going to write to Braehead to ask them for their help in regulating their parking properly, will let you know how I get on!


Please note all postings on this blog are of a personal nature and do not reflect the opinions of either Renfrewshire Council, the Scottish Labour Party or Renfrewshire Labour Group. NB No annonymous comments will be published on this blog if you have something to say have the courage to identify yourself.