Friday, November 03, 2006



Although there has been some confusion over the meeting that it is to take place this afternoon with the Friends of Seedhill Playing fields it is going ahead and I will be present. Also present will be Council Officers who drew up the plan and who can talk in a professional capacity about the ground works study commissioned by the Council.

I hope that the meeting will be constructive and that all parties will try and work together for a favourable outcome, I will put an update on here later with the outcome.



The residents of Williamsburgh Court should have received letters this week from the Council advising them of the lift renewal programme and the upgrading of the caretakers office. It might not sound like a lot but it will hopefully dramatically improve the lives of the residents in the Court. Both lifts are to be renewed and the programme of works will begin in January of 2007. There will be a temporary shut down of both lifts on the 11th and 12th of December between midnight and 6am for essential works, but after this the contractor will only work on one lift at a time making sure that the alternative lift is fully operational.

Anyone with any questions should contact myself or the Housing and Property Services department in Renfrewshire Council.

I am delighted as the local Councillor that this work is taking place, and I hope that the works do not inconvenience the tenants too much.

Thursday, November 02, 2006



As part of my duties as a Deputy Convener for Community and Family care, I stand in when the Convener has an alternative arrangement, this can happen now and again, in fact I am surprised it does not happen more with my Convener also being the Deputy Leader of the Council, but thanks to his excellent PA's and his fantastic time management skills it is not a regular occurrence unless it is something that I am delegated to handle as part of my remit.

Well this week I had to do my first TV interview since becoming a Councillor! It was exciting as well as terrifying, I kept thinking wonder how everyone else copes, as someone who was in Youth Theatre for about ten years (thanks to PACE for that) I find it easy to pick things up quickly and I don't get nervous that much either. The topic was the Children's Services Plan CD ROM as outlined here below and the STV reporter was great and put me at ease and I have been told that I did well! The important thing for me wasn't that I was on the news but that they covered the launch of the CD ROM so thanks to the officer in charge for the excellent briefing and the young people for their excellent CD.

Real Radio also covered it and I was very grateful to be picked to speak about it and so relieved when the young people were chosen for the photo! TV or film star I doubt it but it was a fun experience and one I will definitely remember!



Interestingly enough I have had a comment already on the post below regarding today's full council meeting, let me say again here just for clarity ...


Now for the rest of the meeting, the SNP tried to suggest that the Labour Administration would punish the tenants of Renfrewshire for voting NO on the Housing Stock transfer, despite the SNP's misleading statements this morning Renfrewshire Council and the Labour Group has an excellent working relationship with the tenants and we will work with the tenants to get the best deal possible for them.

Yet again the SNP put up motions which they had not costed, more dog bins for each ward, extension to Erskine's Bridgewater Sports Centre and extension to the opening hours of the baths all over Renfrewshire, do you think these proposals will be costed and in their budget next year? What will they cut to include them I wonder?

On a separate note the disgraced Cllr I Nicholson suggested that the Labour Administration forgo the Special Responsibility Allowances suggesting that they are wasteful, funny it didn't seem to bother him when he was receiving one as the Leader of the opposition!



The Full Council meeting started at 9:30am and finished at around half two this afternoon with 45 minutes for lunch. As I have previewed some of the issues that were on the agenda already I do not intend to go over them yet again. The interesting point was the behaviour of the SNP in the meeting itself, they are definitely in election mode for the upcoming by election, EVERY motion they put forward they managed to relate in some way (no matter how far fetched) to Elderslie!

The motion on the swimming pool was exactly what we expected, the Labour Administration are intending on shutting Elderslie and Renfrew Baths, which is complete nonsense!! Despite the amendment from the Labour Group assuring that there are NO PLANS to close ANY baths in Renfrewshire the SNP still suggested that ALL of the facilities are still in danger! So watch out for this on the election leaflets.
More later!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006



On the Full Council agenda for tomorrow mornings meeting there is a report on the future of Paisley Town Centre and a short term action plan as well as the outline of a longer term action plan. I will update tomorrow with how everything goes but I think that the officers have done a good job on the plan and although the long term plan still has to be fleshed out the idea is there and it shows that the Council are taking this issue seriously.

For anyone who is interested in attending the Full Council meeting it starts at 9:30am and if you simply go along to the reception in the Council Buildings in Cotton Street and they will be able to direct you.



In an earlier post I told you all about being given my sisters pet fish Nakamura and how I was going to add to the tank as it was too big just to have him in there on his own. In the tank now are three new arrivals named by members of my family, it will come as no surprise that a few are named after Celtic players!

From the left the new arrivals are Maciej (pronounced Magic of course), Jan Venegor of Hesselink (or Jan for short!) and Polly (no explanation here!). I think they are lovely and easy to tell apart! The plants are real as well and very pretty, so far they all seem to getting on very well, given that Nakamura is tiny compared to these (apparently) extra small goldfish!



This morning the launch of the Children's Services Plan in a format more accessible to young people. You will see from the article below that it is organised by Young People and written by young people, and I am delighted to say that the young people seem to be having a positive response to it.

The speakers included Carmen Pieraccini from River City, who spoke about what this would have meant for her when she was at school. Unfortunately I had to leave before it got to the music but everyone present seemed to be having a great time, the drama presentation went down well with the young people and when I was leaving this morning they were moving into their groups to discuss the issues highlighted and how they would use the Sourced CD ROM to find out what services were on offer to support them. I hope the rest of the event goes well. This is a first in Scotland and I am proud that Renfrewshire is being innovative and engaging the young people on services that affect them.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006



Just a short post to suggest you all check out this article in the Evening Times, it highlights the lengths some people will go to scam normal hard working people, if you get a card like this PLEASE report it to the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of the Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS).



The full council agenda at item 14 has a motion which could be construed as mischief making by the SNP. Keeping in mind that we have a by election soon what do you think they are getting at with this motion...?

“This Council resolves to support the retention of all public swimming pools in Renfrewshire and would not support any move to close any pool. Further, the Council would support the extension of opening times for existing facilities.”

My feeling is that they are going to try and suggest that the Labour Administration are going to try and close the Elderslie Swimming pool! This is something they suggested the last time and it is as true then as it is now! That is to say it is a complete fabrication! If you see anything printed by the SNP/SSP or any other political party that suggests this feel free to put it where it belongs - in the bin!!!



Check out the full council agenda for Thursday's meeting and you will see that at item seven the ex SNP Councillors Martin and Vassie have officially formed their own group, Cllr Martin is the group leader (eventually he made it! after three attempts to be the SNP group leader) and Cllr Vassie is the Secretary (no comment!). The point is to ask the council to look at the make up of the policy boards to include the independents. You will also notice the SNP trying to remove Martin from their allocation of places on the boards, watch this space for more information!



I have just noticed online that the fire fighters in Glasgow who refused to offer safety advice to the Gay Pride march. The problem here is that the Manager has had his punishment reduced, the original disciplinary action was that he should be demoted, the appeal officer has over turned this.
Check it out and tell me what you think?



Tomorrow morning Renfrewshire Council launches a version of the Children's Services plan that is targeted at young people. To this end the Council and it's partners in Health, Police and the voluntary sector engaged a group of young people from throughout Renfrewshire to represent the plan in a more young people friendly way, the young people then produced a CD ROM of the plan called sourced.

The launch of the plan is tomorrow in Paisley Town Hall the event has been organised by the young people and will include drama presentations on issues affecting young people, bands from the local high schools and Carmen Pieracini from River City will be one of the key note speakers. The event will also include electronic voting those involved will then be re polled in eight months time to see if they are more or less aware of the services on offer. The CD ROM will be distributed to every S3 pupil in Renfrewshire, and be put in every Library and given to all of the partners.

Renfrewshire Council is as far as we know the first council in Scotland to present it's children's services plan this way and the first to give the young people control over it's re branding and I am extremely proud of all of the partners, the young people and the council officers involved who have all worked extremely hard, congratulations go out to them and good luck for tomorrow.

Monday, October 30, 2006



Interestingly enough the news tonight carried Cameron's ridiculous suggestion that young people who complete a course in civics could get to drink, buy fireworks and have sex at a younger age, they chose not to cover the fact that one of the young men had heckled him suggesting that he did not know what he was talking about.
Not surprising as the BBC and others seem to be having a love affair with the Tories at the moment, just a shame for Cameron that no one else is buying it!



Reading the Evening Times this evening I noticed that the Scottish Parliament's Glasgow Airport Rail Link Committee have advised that central to the progression of the bill is the commitment to replace and upgrade the pitches at the St James playing fields.

The Labour Administration of Renfrewshire Council have been arguing for the retention, upgrading and replacement of pitches, the SNP meanwhile have only asked for the link NOT to be built, they have completely ignored the fact that the Council had no say in whether it went through or not, but that they could argue strongly for the provisions which are now assured with the Committee's help.
Maragaret Jamieson Labour MSP for Kilmarnock and Loudon and Chair of the committee said...

"We will amend the Bill to increase significantly the protections offered to those affected by the rail link's construction and to ensure greater consultation rights for local people during this period."



According to the BBC website the RMT Union has abandoned the SSP calling off their two year affiliation with the party. This will be a financial blow to the party who are in serious financial trouble already according to previous news reports, according to the RMT they gave £10,000 in affiliations and donations to the SSP last year.

The SSP have already admitted to losing 30% of their members to the Solidarity Party. According to the Solidarity website the joining fee for the party is a 'suggested' donation of £5 if you are unwaged, £10 if you are 'low waged' and £15 if you are 'higher waged' without any explanation of these terms. Why are they asking a low waged person to pay £120 a year? or and unwaged person £60 a year? Answers on a postcard please!

Sunday, October 29, 2006



Well I know this is not as impressive as the ones on the BBC but given that it only took around twenty minutes with sub standard tools (I lost the pumpkin carving kit from last year!) I am proud of it! It also has stars cut out all the way round the pumpkin so that when it is pointing out the window I can still see the light coming out! It is not as hard as you would think and it is a lot of fun!



My question for Rosie Kane is as follows...

Given that the SSP are always trying to make the point that there are too many Scottish women in Prison, why did she feel the need to refuse to pay the fine imposed on her for breaking the law, knowing that this would result in a custodial sentence?

The problem seems to be that Ms Kane and her colleagues think that they are above the law of the land, suggesting that she had NOT committed a crime despite being found guilty, instead of working to change the law she would rather represent the West of Scotland by taking part in what can only be called stunt politics, they achieve nothing and cost the tax payers thousands, yet again! I only hope the voters remember this at the elections next year!



My big sister when she moved into her flat in Edinburgh was given a novelty fish tank by my mum for Christmas, she then bought two fish white cloud mountain minnow fish (I think!). Unfortunately one died and we are left with Nakamura! The tank recently started to leak so it was decided that I would buy a new tank and keep Nakamura.
He is now in a big tank which I will be adding more fish to just to keep him company, so I will update you all soon!



While watching my mum's TV I switched onto an English speaking Indian news channel and was delighted with their top story!

The story was that the FIRST arrest of domestic violence has been made in India this week. About four days ago now the Prevention of Domestic Violence act came into force and two days later the first arrest was made. The situation as explained on TV was this was not the first complaint the wife had made and prior to this law being enforced the only thing that the police were able to do was offer counselling.

Well done to India for legislating to make sure that ALL people know that domestic violence will not be tolerated!



I don't normally read the Sunday Mail, I definitely don't buy it but while at my parents this afternoon I thought I would see what they were saying. Unfortunately I made the BAD choice of reading Elaine C Smith's column, normally I give it a berth ever since she suggested that 'men' don't listen to her because she is female! My answer to that was I don't listen to you and I am female it is cause you talk complete and utter drivel!

Well she has done it again, this time she is attacking Wendy Alexander MSP, one of the brightest women in the Scottish Parliament. Ms Smith shows how ignorant of the Scottish Economy she actually is! She suggests that EVERY new job in Scotland is 'low waged, non-unionised and part time?' where does she actually get this stuff from? My suggestion was that she gets it from the SNP who are well known for their lack of research and their lack of understanding when it comes to the economy (the fact that they frequently miscalculate their policies shows this), rumbled again eh Elaine!


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.