Sunday, December 24, 2006



OK so the shopping is done, the presents are almost completely wrapped and the Christmas tree is up, and the decorations make the place look great. The service this evening is well planned and hopefully there will be an excellent turn out!
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL and enjoy the festive period

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


  • Free part time nurses places for every three and four-year old.

The Labour Party have acknowledged the importance of the early years and taken this step, another manifesto commitment completed.



Saturday morning, Tannahill Centre in Ferguslie, in Paisley, my dad is the Local Councillor and was invited to the switching on of the Centre's Christmas lights. Wendy Alexander local Labour MSP was also there, also present were Santa's elves (so cute!) and one local activist dressed as a Christmas Tree (see the photo below). As usual I became my dad's official photographer for the afternoon, and I was glad to do it.

Wendy Alexander kicked off the celebrations by switching on the Christmas lights after the obligatory countdown which the kids loved! After this Santa arrived in a vintage car to everyone's surprise!

The elves helped him distribute presents to the local kids. It was a great day and although I was only able to stick around for an hour or so I really enjoyed the day. Check out my dad's website for the whole story!

Monday, December 18, 2006



I thought that I would let you all know about Shelter's Christmas appeal, so follow the link above to find out more information and find out how to make a much needed donation. I do believe that the Scottish Executive and the Westminster Government are doing a lot to help the homeless, but there is more to be done. Charities like Shelter are doing an excellent job of not only providing for those who are homeless but keeping the issue in the public eye.

This year my local parish are doing a special carol service for Shelter and donations (voluntary of course) will be gratefully received. The carol's we sing at Christmas are about Jesus birth but they are also in someway at least about homelessness, he had no where but a stable! So if you are interested the Church is St James Catholic Church, Paisley, come along and join in. The service starts at half eight on Sunday the 24th of December hope to see you there.
Merry Christmas to you all.

Sunday, December 17, 2006



I was reading this in one of the weeklies today and I thought that it was really quite interesting. In this day and age of celebrity junkies and reality TV it turns out that Time Magazine have named me person of the year! They have also named you, if you have a blog, got involved with a community cause or used You Tube and well you get the drift!

In my own area I would have to say that the Churches would be a good example of the Community getting involved with others, and on an electronic scale a shout has to go out to the Friends of Seedhill Playing Fields, although a lot of the information on the site is either untrue or out of date there are at least some involved in the organisation who I believe are involved to better their community, I may not agree with them but I can see this.

This is an American publication so they are mainly talking about American society but with the World Wide Web being, well, world wide it really applies to us all, so raise a glass and give yourselves a pat on the back.

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!

Saturday, December 09, 2006



Just thought that I would put on a wee bit more information regarding the Elderslie By Election, and Labour's historic victory. I have received some very annoyed comments from the anonymous cowards identifying themselves only as SNP supporters, the reason they are upset is that I identified the Labour victory as an historic one! Well like it or loathe it, this is the truth. This is THE LAST by election to happen in Scotland before the elections next May and as such it is the last Local Government election to use the First Past the Post system.

Personally I don't agree with Proportional Representation, I think that it distorts the ward member link and allows cherry picking of issues by unscrupulous politicians, you only have to look to the Scottish Parliament list MSPs in this area to see that in action.

The new system of proportional representation can be very confusing and the way that your vote turns into an actual representative is not exactly easy to understand. My main concern is that people want to know how voting for their choice turns into a representative and the Scottish Executive have a HUGE job in hand in order to educate the public to this new system.



I was lucky enough to be invited to my younger cousin's wedding yesterday afternoon, the bride was stunning and the whole day was fantastic! The weather was lovely (a bit cold but lovely) and everyone at the wedding had a fantastic time!

I just wanted to say congratulations to the Bride and Groom and good luck in their life together.

Thursday, December 07, 2006



Despite the howling wind and pouring rain the people of Elderslie came out in their droves and voted in the by election today, the polls closed at 9pm and as per the previous post the Labour candidate John Caldwell won!

The by election caused by the sudden and sad death of Deputy Provost Councillor Jean Goldie was a hard fought campaign, the candidates for the most part ran a clean and positive campaign. The SNP stooped to their normal low by commenting on an alleged police investigation into a former Labour Councillor and put out a leaflet based on this alone! They also tried to suggest that the only way to save the Elderslie baths was to vote for their failed candidate Ms McGee.

The result was close as most by election results are, but Elderslie has spat in the face of the recent polls by You Gov and the like which suggested that the SNP should have walked this one, you only have to look at their forum pages on the Internet to know that they were not only over confident but in some ways taking the result for granted! It didn't matter that the SNP pulled out the 'biggest' name they have in Alex Salmond, and their second biggest in wee sturgeon. In the end they had an effect I don't deny it but their campaign ultimately failed.

It was once said that in elections for a majority 'you only need one vote, the rest is just for ego!' I don't necessarily agree about the ego part but it is true that a majority of one vote is still a majority and a victory!

Cllr John Caldwell holds the seat with a majority of 65.



Despite the SNP campaign of deception regarding the baths the Labour Party won a convincing victory in the Elderslie By Election, we now have a new Councillor, Cllr John Caldwell!

Congratulations to John and the people of Elderslie for making the right choice!

PS as per previous post NO ANONYMOUS comments will be published have the guts to identify yourself and then post a comment!



If you have not already voted and are reading this PLEASE use your vote, the Renfrewshire Council slogan is right if you don't use your vote, you have no voice in this election and no right to complain about the outcome, so GET OUT THERE and...





Paisley North Community Planning Forum

The next meeting of the Paisley North Planning Forum takes place on Monday the 11th of December and on the agenda this time are a number of issues from Policing to Health. The agenda contains a number of outside agencies giving a presentation on their particular field and how it relates to the Planning Forum, the Police will give a presentation on Violence Reduction, Anti Social Behaviour and Drug Dealers don't care, and the Community Health Partnership will give a presentation on their role.

The Localised Community Plan, Paisley Town Centre Regeneration Study, Local Transport Strategy and the Core Paths Network are all presentations on the agenda as well so it is shaping up to be an interesting meeting. The meeting involves the local Councillors representatives from the Council (officers) Local Community organisations and Housing Associations, and representatives from Health and Police. I will write more about after the meeting on Monday night.



This post is purely for information, today I received a copy of the Christmas schedule for Arriva buses in the area. The information will be in the press etc but just so everyone is aware..

21st - 23rd December Normal Service
24th December service curtailed after 19:30hrs
25th December NO SERVICE
26th December Sunday service curtailed after 19:30hrs
27th - 29th December Saturday Service
30th December Normal Service
31st December Service curtailed after 19:30hrs
1st January No Service
2nd January Sunday Service curtailed after 19:30hrs
3rd January Saturday Service
4th January Normal Service

If in doubt try the Arriva Customer Hotline 08701 20 10 88

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


  • The New Deal has helped over 1.2 Million people into work including 535,000 young people.

If you look at the post that I put on previously (25th August 2006 Youth Unemployment) you will see what an achievement that this is, according to an old publication a friend gave me youth unemployment in Strathclyde was 60%!!! Now it is closer to 8% in Scotland. This is due to the higher level of investment in our schools, teachers and pupils than ever before!



This is just a short posting to advise that the Local MSP Trish Godman has a new website I have recently visited it and it is excellent. It is kept well up to date and the layout is easy to look at and navigate around.

Have a look for yourself



Interestingly enough the SNP have done exactly what the Labour Party knew they would do and what I predicted on the 2nd of November 2006, suggesting (as they have done in the past) that the Elderslie baths are under threat of closure, despite being advised at the last Council meeting that they are not. Ms McGee's claims that the baths will be kept open only if they vote for her, it begs the question, do they not intend to 'ensure' the baths stay open if the people of Renfrewshire choose the Labour candidate John Caldwell? Will the SNP abandon the people of Elderslie, until May of course when they come back promising them the earth without the means to deliver as they are doing here!

Cllr MacKay (SNP group leader) can protest as much as he likes about Labour suggesting that the SNP claims are a disservice to Jean's memory, but he knows that they are. He similarly knows that the SNP at the most recent election have suggested this before, yet the baths remain open! I spoke to Jean about the next election not long before she died, and she told me that the SNP would claim that the baths were under threat of closure, she advised me that they had done this before, Jean Goldie was an excellent Labour Councillor, and Elderslie advocate and a lovely woman, she was a strong supporter of John Caldwell and I am sure she would be delighted that he was standing in her place.



  • More than doubled overall household recycling from 7.5% to 17.5%

This is an excellent achievement by the Labour Government, and locally the Labour Administration on Renfrewshire Council have been doing their part to increase recycling even further. Kerb side recycling has been extended to most of Renfrewshire, and we are currently working on an alternative to the blue and brown bins for those properties that they are not appropriate for.

Having spoken to the Deputy Convenor for Housing, Environment and Community Safety I can advise that the Local Authority is pleased with the amount that people are recycling in Renfrewshire and the quality of recycling, a lot of recycling materials from other areas gets to the recycling point and because of the quality has to go back to landfill, so keep recycling Renfrewshire, any questions about the recycling programme should go to the Envrionmental Services Department of Renfrewshrie Council 0141 842 500

Friday, December 01, 2006



As promised here are a few of the images from the outrage conference on Wednesday...

Above is a work entitled Sadness to Sunshine by the Disability Resource Centre.

The above work is titled S.E.A.N. (Somebody, everybody,anybody, nobody) by the Star project and Renfrewshire Women's Association. This particular art work is interactive, on the way into the conference the delegates were given a sticker with the phrase ....

'I Pledge, Never to Commit, Condone or Remain Silent About Violence against Women.'

Each delegate then signed the pledge and attached it to Sean, it was an excellent idea and very well done.



Paisley Grammar PTA organised an excellent Christmas Fayre for last night, despite the howling winds and the severe weather warnings it had an excellent turnout. The stalls included the students selling an array of items including small Christmas cakes (one of which my mother bought) and Christmas cards. Among the stalls I have to give a special mention to the Disability Resource Centre Art Group, the art work was exceptional and I never fail to be impressed by their work, congratulations to all involved.

The night was a big hit, and although I could not stay for the raffle at the end I had an excellent time and I hope that it raised a lot of money for the PTA. The organisers are to be congratulated, and the students deserve a congratulations too for all their efforts.



  • Introduced the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act

This marked the biggest overhaul of domestic violence legislation for 30 years.

This Labour Gain fits in well with the start of the 16 days of action for the elimination of Domestic Violence against women. The Outrage conference in Renfrewshire on Wednesday was the hopefully the start of a Renfrewshire Wide consciousness on this issue. The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act also covers domestic violence by women on men which is equally as serious, I was grateful to be invited on Wednesday and delighted to be there a big congratulations should go to all of the organisers for a very successful day.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006



The Glasgow Airport Rail Link (GARL) bill was going through it's final phase in Parliament this afternoon and was accepted by 118 votes to 8 with no abstentions. Local Labour MSP Wendy Alexander welcomed the SNP support to the progress of the bill, but pointed out that someone should really tell the local SNP as they have campaigned against the link and continue to do so.

The Local Labour Administration of Renfrewshire Council have argued all along that the pitches at the Race Course (St James Playing Fields) were of prime importance to the people of Renfrewshire, while the local SNP led by the likes of Bruce McPhee list MSP and his protege Cllr Derek McKay led a campaign to stop the Rail Link. The Chair of the Local Football league is quoted as saying that 'Christmas has come early for the St James Playing Fields'. The Local SSP have also said that they are against the bill progressing, I don't have the voting records for today's vote but in June of this year they did vote for it!


  • Unemployment at lowest level since 1975 and is half that of Germany's and France's!

The fact that when I was growing up in the 1980's Full Employment was seen as a myth in political and practical terms tell you a lot about the Tories and their policies, we now have it in our grasp thanks to a Labour Government in Westminster and Holyrood!


CreatingDate= 29-11-2006

Thanks to Mr Handy for this! This is the first time I have put one of these You Tube things on my blog so lets see if it works?



Renfrewshire Against Gender Violence

Today I was lucky enough to be invited to the first Outrage conference which has been organised by Renfrewshire Women's Association it is part of the 16 days of action for the elimination of violence against women which is being held internationally. I am writing this while waiting to go back over for the second half of the day but, this morning was fantastic, the Beechwood Women's group were fantastic and their drama had quite a few of the audience in tears. When I went outside at lunch there were a few of the audience talking about the morning session and they seemed to be thoroughly enjoying it, similarly brilliant was the Women 4 Women Group, many have experienced the issue of sexual and physical abuse and they gave an audio presentation which was outstanding.

This afternoon it is the turn of a very talented young actress called Naomi Breeze who does a one woman show about domestic violence from the individuals perspective, the first time I caught the performance we were not told that it was a drama presentation and it was like a woman just telling her story, very powerful and you get the chance I would definitely go see her.

Also this afternoon is the Women and Children's First project, Choose Life and RAMH as well as closing remarks from Community Learning and Development. I will update later (hopefully with visuals of the art work also on display) on this afternoon's presentations.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006



I have never thought that people should vote for someone JUST because they are local, it is not something that the Labour Party support, local people can have a greater knowledge of the problems but it does not follow that they would necessarily be better for the ward, we do support the best candidate and if they happen to be local all the better.

The SNP use the LOCAL card a lot however, their candidate Tracie McGee from Howwood suggested at the last election that because she lived in Johnstone Castle and the Labour candidate Cllr John Hood only lived in Johnstone that people should not vote for him as he was an outsider! I wonder if she has changed her mind now she is the one standing for election as the 'outsider'. (this is how Ms McGee referred to Cllr J Hood in her election materials)

The Tories are at it as well and in the local rag this afternoon their candidate is being threatened with legal action by the local Pharmacist (I am sure you will agree an integral part of the village) for trying to scare residents by suggesting that the local Methadone programme is being improperly run and that it should be shut down. Keep in mind there have been no complaints from Strathclyde Police and they have dismissed the claims. The candidate is obviously trying to stir up an issue without any evidence to back it up, you can make up your own mind if this is normal in your area.

I think that the candidate who most reflects your views and has your trust should get your vote, I think that John Caldwell will do an excellent job for Elderslie and will carry on the excellent work that the Late Deputy Provost Jean Goldie started. It has been well known that Jean LOVED Elderslie and at times it was difficult to have a conversation with her where it did not get back to Elderslie, to her credit she worked extremely hard for her constituents and was extremely well thought of! I am sure that John will carry on this tradition of having a strong and representative Labour voice on Renfrewshire Council.




Previously I had written about Elaine Murray MSP and her efforts to shame HBOS into paying more money into the Farepak fund, today is the turn of Jim Devine MP. Mr Devine has been involved with this from the very beginning and his efforts are to be congratulated, in todays Herald newspaper it states that he has had a response from HBOS re their credit management procedures, and has asked for further information on what these actually are and how they were applied to EHR and Farepak.

In the same article it tells of how reps from Kleeneze have condemned the actions of EHR the parent company to both Farepak and Kleeneze for their actions in this matter.

The main point here is the one that I have hinted at in the earlier post, that HBOS got most of their money back, it was the ordinary woman/man on the street that lost their savings! I do not think that it is too much to ask for HBOS to be significantly more generous than they have been with regard to the fund do you?


  • An extra £11 Billion is being spent this year on pensioners compared to 1997. This is £8 Billion more than an earnings link would have delivered.

This brings to mind a conversation I had at the last election in Paisley Town Centre, with a couple of senior ladies, it went along the lines of the Monty Python 'What have the Roman's ever done for us?' sketch! When I pointed out the free TV licence the Winter Fuel Allowance, the increase in Basic Pension, the minimum income guarantee and the Pension and Savings Credits they got the point. Today's Seniors are demanding more and more and they have found their voice thanks to this Labour Government, they will continue to do well, why endanger this by voting SNP, Tory or anyone but Labour at the next elections?

Monday, November 27, 2006



My sister has been kind of teaching me how to cook, I am now getting to the stage of adapting her recipes so after my first successful lasagna I am now making the same dish only with chicken! So the recipe remains the same.

Nightmare though that I keep burning my hands on the oven tray! I know I should wear the oven gloves but I can never find them when I need them.

Just so just for the reader who I met this morning I will take a photo of it and put it at the top of this post when it is ready! Probably not the graphics you were looking for but I will continue to try!
I promise it tastes nicer than it looks!


  • 84% of NHS staff are directly involved in patient care across 300 different careers.

Despite the claims of the Tories, SNP and others the fact that 84% of the NHS staff are DIRECTLY involved with patients shows the investment in the staff in the NHS. Again it is not perfect but it is an excellent start.

Thursday, November 23, 2006



I hate blogs that just reproduce the news without any comment or extra but this is well worth it!

Dr Elaine Murray (Labour) MSP has suggested yesterday (according to the BBC) that she will be closing down her Halifax/Bank of Scotland (HBOS) accounts unless they do more to help the Farepak victims, I am 100% behind this, it won't mean much to them to lose my business I have an old account with about £10 in it, but I do have friends and family who have their everyday accounts with HBOS and I would encourage them to write to HBOS to tell them that they are intending to do this! (added 27th November 2006) This is to encourage them to help out the Farepak victims in a more significant way, many of whom are no doubt customers of HBOS.

Come on Everyone just think 'People Power' we have done it before and will do it again! Also remember that European Home Retail (EHR) own Kleeneze so if they come round don't buy anything!

I have recently been taken to task for this last point by a Kleeneze rep who has suggested that it simply hurts the agents and ruins their Christmas and I take that point but given that the parent company EHR have reneged on giving the Farepak customers the goods how confident can you be as a consumer that you will get your Kleeneze goods?



As per the title the Labour Scottish/Transport Secretary and Local MP Douglas Alexander has announced this week Labour's new initiative to keep children healthy, walking buses!

The idea is not really a new one as I have been aware of it for the past three years since becoming a Local Councillor, however it is very worth while and the additional monies being allocated is no doubt welcome. Check it out and see what you think?



I normally read The Guardian online, this stemmed from when the paper was huge and it used to hurt my wee arms! However, I missed the one big story on the comment section that Poly Tonybee was recently praised for by The Conservatives! Yup that is right you heard correctly well it turns out that the worms are turning, if you look in on Iain Dale's blog they are going nuts about it! They are suggesting that relative poverty doesn't matter that it is a non entity and that it should be removed from official government language.

I cannot help but think that is because they have probably never met someone who lives below the poverty line, or if they have they do not consider them worthy of their time. In today's comment Tonybee points out that although 'relative poverty' is indeed relative it does not make it any less real for those children and parents who suffer with it, trying to avoid the PE lessons because you don't have the right kit might sound frivolous but it wouldn't be if it was your child!

Tonybee also doubts -as do we all- that Cameron and the Tories are taking this seriously, I agree with her assessment of the situation that the figures don't add up, you cannot cut spending on the social justice agenda and still lift people out of poverty, she suggests they will be looking to the voluntary sector to come up with the cash, but they get a lot of the funding for their projects from Government be it Central or Local so the idea that they would be able to sustain this type of spending without the assistance of government is ridiculous and I am sure Tonybee agrees.

I like the fact that she attacks the Government for their language on this, it should not be about the deserving and undeserving poor but about what we can do for ALL society and the injustices and inequalities that exist to make a more just and tolerant society. The tolerance debate seems to have been left out of this particular issue but it is relevant, tolerance is fostered by equality of rights and responsibilities and social policy should equally assist all sections in society.



  • Delivered 50 new employment rights since 1997

As promised this is my Labour Gain for today, the fact that workers now have more rights than ever before can only be a good thing, I am not suggesting that the present situation is perfect but at lot of work has been done.



OK you may be getting sick of hearing about the Birthday fund for Tebo but I am just letting you all know that today is the last day that you are able to donate online through the Just Giving page I set up, so if you haven't given, get a move on!

I would like to say that I am soooo grateful to all of those that helped out and donated, my friends have been excellent, as have my colleagues in the Labour Group in Renfrewshire Council have been extremely generous as have my family. All of those who came on the night thank you so much it was a great night and I have loads of photos as well! The Labour MSPs and MPs locally also pledged their support and it is gratefully received.

Thanks again all, mostly thanks to my mum, dad and sister Clare for all their support and help.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006



I have decided that due to some confusion over whether or not I am right to ask for those commenting to at the very least identify themselves I am taking the step of now NOT publishing comments unless the person identifies themselves, this should cut down on the confusion on my position.

This will not stop the likes of Max or Martin, who are obviously NOT in agreement with me in terms of politics, but it will stop those who like to challenge my position without identifying themselves or their own views.

This is just something I am trying and I know that it will not be popular with the anonymous crowd but to be honest if they had a blog I would identify myself when posting a comment I don't think it is too much to ask that they do likewise!



One of the Local MSP's Trish Godman (Renfrewshire West) the Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, has advised that she will be supporting Jackie Baillie in her private members bill to stop people parking in disabled parking bays if they do not have a blue badge.

I personally wanted to thank Trish for this as this is something which will make a BIG difference to my constituents lives!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006



OK I have put down the side of this webpage (just for a wee while) a feed from the e petitions section of the Downing Street web site! It is quite interesting to see what kinds of things are being suggested. I knew that the site was up and running because they sent me an email about it, but, my attention redirected to it this afternoon on reading the Herald Diary page. The guys that write this can be quite funny and they have highlighted the petition with the 10th highest number of votes reads ...

'we the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to stand on his head and juggle ice cream'

Not the most intelligent suggestion, but I am still trying to find out if they have done this as a joke or whether they are just at it! Of course some petitioners may just be putting silly ones online so that they can increase their traffic to their blog! A lot of the petitions are from individuals who are serious about what they are saying so have a look and see for yourself. The Scottish Parliament petitions do allow online contributions as well so you may want to check them out too. (click here)



There is an article in the Scotsman this morning entitled 'Disabled parking-bay cheats face stiff fines under new law', it reports the new bill introduced by Jackie Baillie MSP (Labour) which would see the idiots that park in the disabled parking bays in supermarkets without a disabled badge having to pay fines. She goes further by suggesting that it should apply no matter where the disabled parking bay is whether it is outside your house for instance!

I could not agree more on this front, as a Local Councillor I get lots of complaints about parking hence the East End Parking scheme, one of the main problems is that the disabled bays are not statutory and people do not respect the need of the disabled for these bays! I am trying to see if Ms Baillie has an elctronic copy of this consultation document so that I can get it to the local Disability Resource Centre and my constituents.
Thanks to Jackie Baillie for this it will make a huge difference to people's lives.



This morning I received a copy of the above booklet in the mail from my Local MP Jim Sheridan - thanks for that Jim- and I am delighted. The previous book which was around two years ago was an excellent tool for campaigning and now for blogging!

I thought that I would pick out a few of the points in the book and put them in here just to cheer you all up, because part of the problem of being the Government is that people don't notice what the Labour Party are doing for them, so just in case you didn't know here is what the Labour Party have done for us ....

  • Created the first ever national minimum wage which delivers at least £5.35 an hour to 1.5 Million people.
  • Doubled Maternity pay to £106 a week.
  • 500,000 new fathers enjoy extended paid paternity leave of 2 weeks.
  • A record 28.94 million people in jobs - up 2.51 million since 1997 - the highest number ever.
  • Average incomes up by 19% since 1997
  • The longest period of sustained economic growth in Britain's history.
  • Cut by 2.1 million the number of children living in poverty.
  • NHS Investment has doubled since 1997 and will treble to £92 Billion a year by 2008.
  • 84% of NHS staff are directly involved in patient care across 300 different careers.
  • Banning smoking in ALL public places including private clubs.

Obviously this is just a fraction of the gains that the UK has benefited from under a Labour Government, we have a duty and a right to get the good news out there so start your day with one Labour Gain a day on your blog, try it for the next year! One a day keeps the Tories/SNP/SSP/Liberal Democrats at bay!



I love reading other people's blogs, and while scouring the Internet this evening I found the blog above ( On this blog there is a quiz about inspiring women, I have taken it twice, and both times came up with Mary Wollstonecraft.

The good part about it is that when you have finished it tells you a little of the history of the particular woman, take it see who you resemble.

To access the quiz click on the title above 'Inspiring Women'

Monday, November 20, 2006



The STUC are organising their annual anti racism march in Glasgow this year, the date time and place are outlined below.

The Scottish TUC Assistant Secretary Mary Senior said ...

“The STUC is proud to be organising this anti-racism event, where Scotland unites against racism and fascism, and really celebrates our diversity and shared humanity. We are delighted that the Glasgow Anti Racist Alliance is sponsoring this year’s event and hope that as many people as possible will participate in the march and celebration, to give a visible sign that we love Scotland, but we hate racism.”

Click on the title above to visit the STUC website for more information.



In contrast to what I have written about the Friends of Seedhill Playing Fields in the past this is not going to be a positive post! I have just checked in on their website and noticed a new article written by the group which is littered with inaccuracies and which is at best disingenuous.

To set the record straight this is the truth!

The Council have changed their plans partly due to cost but, partly due to listening to the community and the objections that have been made. There are NO PLANS for 79 flats on the ground and this has been advised numerous times yet the front page of the website still suggests this, why?

Despite the Director of Planning and Transport, the Head of Transport and the technical officer who commissioned the report advising the group that the contamination on the ground is not any different from that on any other urban site, the group continue to suggest that the ground is somehow dangerous to human life!

They advise that the land at Millarston has been sold for £8 Million pounds which is absolutely ridiculous and unfounded! No one knows where they have plucked this figure from and I can categorically deny it!

They further advise that the decision was take illegally and that the report was 'hidden', maybe this is something that they should take up with their Local Elected Representative Cllr Celia Lawson, she will be able to advise that EVERY Councillor in Renfrewshire gets EVERY council agenda and report across their desk, this would have included the report on the sale of the land at Seedhill Playing Fields in Cllr Lawson's ward.

I personally pointed out that even if you miss something on a board paper you have several representatives of your party on the policy board and they would be able to highlight this to you, at least that is the way it works in the Labour group where we work as a team, recent press reports from evictees of the SNP would suggest that this is not how they work.

The reasons for selling the land have not changed and the group are aware of this, despite what this press release says!

Sunday, November 19, 2006



Today my sister and I went out to Braehead Shopping Centre supposedly for fifteen minutes (in my sisters time frame!) which turned into two hours! Shopping is only fun when you have money to spend, which I don't so it is annoying basically.

What is more annoying is the number of people who simply walk into you and don't apologise, they don't try and move out the way, they don't even look at you just try and walk right through you. The Christmas spirit obviously hasn't reached some of the shoppers, hence why I prefer doing my shopping online!
You have heard of road rage look forward to shopping rage in the near future!

Saturday, November 18, 2006



Despite the efforts of the Labour Administration on Renfrewshire Council and the petition organised by the Labour MP's the University of Paisley announced about a month ago that they were changing the name and the likely outcome would be the University of the West of Scotland.

Only today have the local SSP joined the debate, three time failed candidate Ian Hogg has only now noticed! The Paisley Daily Express (no doubt spurred on by the press release Mr Hogg or the SSP provided) wrote an article suggesting that as a graduate of the University Mr Hogg is concerned, well, welcome to the party Ian although you are a little late. As a graduate in Politics and Social Policy from the University of Paisley I too have been worried only my concern stems beyond this week!

Better late than never I suppose, thanks for joining the Labour Party in it's efforts and I am glad that you agree with us, however it may have been better if you had mentioned the petition or even given credit where credit was due but I guess that would have been too much to ask!



In the Glasgow Herald this afternoon it is carrying a story about our local MSP Wendy Alexander taking up a new role in Hoylrood as the Chair of the Finance Committee. The article suggests that she may be a thorn in the side of the Executive yet it also suggests that she will have a main role in next years election campaign.

Personally I want to congratulate Wendy on her new position, it comes as no surprise to me that Mr McConnell has asked her to take this position and I am sure she will do an excellent job, yet another Paisley MSP raising the profile of Renfrewshire.



Harriet Harman the Minister of State (Department for Constitutional Affairs) was in Elderslie today campaigning along side the Labour Candidate John Caldwell. Members of both the Labour Party and the public were impressed with Ms Harman's attitude and down to earth personality. Thanks have to go to the local party for their efforts so far and to the people of Elderslie for their positive attitude towards Mr Caldwell.


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.