Saturday, November 11, 2006



Most people in Scotland will have seen the BBC Scotland trailer for their series on Scottish History. Follow the link above and have your say, the question?

'What do you believe are the most significant events in Scottish history and who are Scotland's most important historical figures? Send us your views.'

For me it would have to be the Scottish Suffragette movement, mainly because of the old lady that lived up the stairs from me in the close when I was young, Mrs Dargie was a suffragette and she used to tell us stories of her youth, I am very privileged to be able to say that I knew a real suffragette.

The most important historical figure? James Kier Hardie, need I say more. Locally we could mention, Christian Shaw, Alexander Wilson, the Reverend Witherspoon, Robert Tannahill and Marjory Bruce to name but a few.

Thursday, November 09, 2006



The SNP showed their reactionary side this evening. The comments made by Sturgeon today showed how they are trying to play on the politics of fear. As someone who has seen a family go through the ordeal of a family member being murdered and the trial that ensued I was not only extremely offended by Ms Sturgeon's remarks but astounded by their naivety.

Those in our society who kill, rape and kidnap others should serve time, they should be locked away, but they should also be released once they have served their time. I hope Ms Sturgeon never has to go through the ordeal that my friends family has been through, but the reason that victims of crime do not determine the length of time someone serves in prison is retribution, the need for justice is not as strong as the overwhelming feeling that you need revenge.

What does Ms Sturgeon suggest we do? Lock them away and throw away the key? Capital punishment? Maybe someone from the SNP can answer this, I doubt it!



Ex SNP Group Leader (disgraced) Cllr Ian Nicholson, seemed to be confused as to where Braehead actually is! Today at the Lifelong Learning and Work Policy Board disgraced Cllr Nicholson advised that he does not count visitors to Braehead as visitors to Renfrewshire, it was pointed out to Cllr Nicholson that Braehead is actually in Renfrewshire (just in case he hadn't noticed). Despite the relative proximity of his ward in Inchinnan to Renfrew and Braehead he still seems a little confused.

The report can be found by clicking on the title 'Councillor Rayleen Kelly' above, accessing the Lifelong Learning and Policy Board and the 9th of November 2006, and looking at item 19. The report outlines what the economic benefits to Renfrewshire have been achieved through tourism, Renfrew riverfront, Paisley Town Centre etc.



It will come as no surprise that I am 100% behind the Labour Party's choice for the Elderslie by election John Caldwell. John is a genuinely nice guy, and has lived in Elderslie for twenty years now, and was a close friend of recently deceased local Labour Councillor Jean Goldie. In the Paisley Daily Express John shows his commitment to Elderslie and said ...

'This is a by election nobody wants. Jean Goldie was a true champion for the people of Elderslie. I am proud to live in Elderslie and be associated with the village. I want to continue the work of Jean Goldie and, if elected, I will fight to make my community a better place for local people.'

A local resident Mr Nicol said ...

'Elderslie needs a local person to fight our corner. John Caldwell is the right choice to make our community safer.'

His issues are the issues of the community of Elderslie and I hope that the voters will elect him to serve on the Council on their behalf.



I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the AGM of the Paisley ShopMobility in the Disability Resource Centre in Paisley on Tuesday afternoon. Unfortunately the timing coincided with a Community and Family Care Board meeting so I had to tender my apologies, I did however go down to the AGM after the council meeting had concluded, although I missed the AGM meeting I was able to meet many of the members including the new Chairman Tom. The committee were extremely pleased at the work of Renfrewshire Council who from next year will be giving the group £10,000 a year for running costs, and they were thankful for the help of all of the elected members who had been instrumental in making this happen.

I hope to visit the premises in Story Street in Paisley soon, but for those who want more information now on this excellent service please click on the title 'Councillor Rayleen Kelly' above and it will take you to their website. I would like to say a personal thank you to all of the committee members for all of their hard work and to Evelyn the outgoing chair of many years for her dedication. Thanks also to all of those I spoke to on Tuesday afternoon for making me feel so welcome.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006



As regular readers will know I had a 30th Birthday party in October and instead of asking for pressies I asked for people to make donations and all of the money is going to Leukemia Research Fund in memory of my youngest brother Terence, who we lost ten years ago this month. As you know the Paisley Daily Express somehow heard about it (I did not contact them, they called me!) and the feature that they are running is supposed to be in the paper tomorrow.

I did ask them to point out that the web page for donations is open until the 23rd of November in case anyone wants to donate.
Thanks to everyone for their help and donations up to this point, Tebo would have been very happy!



The Regulatory Functions board was held this morning (and this afternoon) within the Council chambers, among the issues discussed were the provision of disabled taxi's within the Renfrewshire area and especially Glasgow Airport, where the Council allow the siting of hot food vans.

The meeting usually lasts around three hours, most of the applications are relatively straight forward, however recently the meetings have been taking longer due to the number of taxi drivers/ operators in the authority who are asking the council to change our policy of 100% wheelchair accessible taxi provision. The main argument is one of cost, followed closely by the accessibility issue of the taxi's for those who are not wheelchair bound but have 'ambulant disabilities' such as those who have suffered a stroke. The argument is that people who are not wheel chair bound but are disabled cannot use the new vehicles because the step is too high. I would be interested in your views on this so please leave a comment!



Continuation from yesterday's post the two reports on the older people's care arrangements were outlining an extension to the home care services offered by Renfrewshire Council and the second report was outlining the protocols for older people moving from Hospital to a care home. Both reports were widely welcomed by most of the parties with only the Liberal Democrats complaining regarding the second report.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006



I heard this on the radio tonight and thought it was quite funny, it seems that Scotland's fire service has had to scrap hundreds of fire safety leaflets due to a misspelling in the Urdu word for Cushions.

It seems that instead of advising members of the public to jump on cushions when fleeing a house fire, they suggested that the public who speak Urdu jump on a Donkey! The leaflets will now be reprinted.



The Community and Family Care policy board has just finished, and this week it was a HUGE agenda with lots of important and interesting reports. Among them was the Child Protection Committee Protocols and the additional post required, item 11 Extraordinary Lives about the services provided for looked after and accommodated children in Renfrewshire, the Telecare service and a number of items on Older People's care.

The first is a significant document and it can be found online by following the link (click on Councillor Rayleen Kelly above) and go to item five on the agenda. This report shows the time and effort that goes into supporting young people in Renfrewshire and thanks go to all on the Child Protection Committee and the partner organisations for all of their hard work, long may it continue!

The second mentioned above was item 11 on the agenda this report relates to the 'looked after' children in Renfrewshire, if you are interested again follow the link as above and go to item 11 for the report to the board, but the main recommendations of the report are as follows ...

1. The Chief Executives make an annual report to their council on the outcomes achieved for looked after children.

2. That Local Authorities should nominate an elected member who will act as a champion for looked after children

3. That Local Authorities should consider appointing a Senior manager with specific responsibility for looked after children at a strategic level.

All three of these recommendations were accepted and I was nominated and accepted as the Elected member acting as a Champion for Looked After Children, I am really looking forward to this role.

On the third report I have highlighted here The Telecare bid is basically the community alarm service, Renfrewshire has recently won a national award for it's service and the Scottish Executive are looking at the Authority as an example of how best to provide this service. Please have a look at the report it is item 15 on the agenda.

I will put another post on this evening about the reports on Older People's care.



I encourage you all to have a look at the report on the HMIE inspection of Renfrewshire Council's Education department, despite claims from the SNP about the PPP project and how it would be detrimental to the children in Renfrewshire's education the Authority got an outstanding report.

In the report of the Herald Newspaper it tells of how the HMIE praised Renfrewshire for it's leadership, partnership, working, innovation, involvement of pupils and parents, support for learning and 'outstanding' approach to inclusion particularly for children and young people with additional support needs.

You can also have a look at the report to the Lifelong Learning and Work Policy board through the Renfrewshire Council website (click here)

Monday, November 06, 2006



There is a meeting of the East End Community Council this evening in St John Ogilvie Primary School. On the agenda for tonight's meeting are the topics of the Parking Scheme in the East End and the Seedhill Playing Fields proposal.

As I am unable to attend this evening I sent a written report which covers both of these items. The first on the parking scheme I am waiting an update on the number of objections that were lodged and what this means in terms of a public enquiry, I will update here as soon as I have further information.

On the issue of the Seedhill Playing fields the meeting between the officers and the Friends of Seedhill Playing Fields was sometimes heated, and sometimes very constructive, the group agreed at the beginning of the meeting that the Director would draw up a minute which will be agreed by both parties on what was discussed and the outcome of the meeting which they will put on their website. I will cover the issues in a separate posting.

Other issues in the written report sent to the secretary included the Lagoon Ice Rink and the upgrading of the lifts in Williamsburgh Court.



At the Full Council meeting of the 3rd of November 2005, I seconded an amendment to a Liberal Democrat motion on the Town Centre. While seconding the amendment I happened to mention that more and more people are using the Internet to shop, at this notion the SNP were derisive and suggested that I was talking nonsense.

Check out the article in the Daily Record today, according to this about 25 million in the UK will spend £4 Million A DAY from now until Christmas! Spending £7 Billion pounds that is up on last years £5 Billion pounds!

The SNP can try and convince the people of Paisley that the decline in the Town Centre is the Labour Administrations fault if they like, but the yellow book study and other town centres in the same boat say differently. I don't think dismissing the power of the Internet is the way to go but hey if that is what the SNP want to do, fine!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Guy Fawkes


I may not be sure about the idea of Guy Fawkes night and whether or not to attend the festivities but I am sure that I would be in favour of banning the sale of ALL fireworks and only allowing organised demonstrations.

Now I can hear people calling me a bore and a spoil sport, but many of the people who hold their own demonstrations don't actually know the story of the events they are celebrating or why Guy Fawkes and his 12 fellow conspirators felt it necessary to try and blow up Parliament. I am not for one second condoning such an action but I think it is important to understand why!

On the point of only organised demonstrations (I mean organised by a Local Authority or Community Group not just you and your mates in the back yard!) the reason is two fold. Firstly the number of injuries are not acceptable, in 2005 there were 94 injuries from fireworks alone, most of these happened at family parties and casual incidents (ie walking down the street!). Rockets cause the most injuries, I know that 94 may be low but still is it too many.

The second reason for only allowing organised demonstrations is the noise and the effect it has on household pets. After watching my mums one year old Lakeland Terrier cower in the corner, under the bed and under the table shaking like a leaf because of the noise I came to the conclusion that I would ban fireworks entirely. I love my mum's dogs and we had taken the precaution of buying the stress tonic from the pet store the only problem is that you have to add it to food and Bessie was so scared she was not eating! It is extremely distressing to watch your pet be that upset!

Little advice if you know someone in your street has a dog or cat and you are having a home demonstration of fireworks then PLEASE contact your neighbours to let them know, tell the times that you are intending to have the display, be a good neighbour please!


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.