Saturday, March 31, 2007



On this blog you will notice that I have a statcounter logo, this shows me the breakdown of how many visitors are coming from where and the last place you have been... obviously virtually this is why I am aware of a forum all about football called pie and bovril. Checked it out and they are talking (as are a lot of others) about the St Mirren training complex at Penilee and a lot of the sentiments are those echoed in the blackandwhitearmy site, however there are a few things I wanted to clear up...

  1. Ralston is in Paisley, and in Renfrewshire.
  2. The new boundaries were not as a result of any suggestion by the Labour group but were in fact the original proposals of the Boundary Commission.
  3. The proposals for the St Mirren training complex were put to the Community and Family Care policy board and the Labour members voted for it, the Liberal, and SNP members voted against it. In fact the Liberals tried to stop it through the planning committee as well (aided by the SNP's Cllr Mylet). The report to the Community and Family Care allowed the Council officers to go forward with the proposals and bring a more in depth report back to a future committee.
  4. St Mirren are actually contributing around £470,000, the £120,000 capital contribution and £10,000 for rent, on top of this they will also maintain the area which costs about £25,000 annually, the rent and maintenance will be over 10 years.
  5. Paisley is not losing more pitches, the Glasgow Airport Rail link will mean that the St James playing fields loses two pitches out of 22 at present (many of which are unplayable if it rains). The remaining 20 will be upgraded with proper drainage and excellent new changing facilities. Seedhill is being upgraded, and pitches around Renfrewshire will be upgraded while the work in St James for the rail link is underway so that no facilities will be lost while construction is underway.

Hope that helps! Anyone wanting more information on the proposals should check out previous post on this website and check out Renfrewshire Council's website and check out the report put to the Community and Family Care board.

I know that there have been other questions and some bizarre assertions on this forum but thought the top were the ones that needed the most attention, especially the one about Ralston not being in Renfrewshire.


RfS said...

There is some suggestion by those opposed to this plan that there is in fact no deal as yet and that an agreement has been reached between the Council and the club.

Can you confirm for us that this is in fact the case and that this deal has now been signed between the two parties?

Rayleen Kelly said...

RFS: I think you are rather clumsily trying to suggest that the opponents are suggesting there is no deal and that NO agreement has been reached with the Council.

The report I refer to in this post states that this is the beginning of the process of signing a deal with St Mirren, the Council has agreed in principle to move forward with formal detailed discussions with St Mirren, this is a legal process and the report had to go to the board first, further reports will then follow.

Robbie said...

Hi Rayleen,
Can you help me out?
As you suggested, I am trying to find the "report put to the Community and Family Care board" on the Renfrewshire Council's website but with no real success. Can you post a link to the part of the council website where the report is held or a link to the actual report itself. Should I contact the council to get this information. Ta!


Rayleen Kelly said...

Robbie: I have linked this to the title so if you click on 'SCOTTISH FOOTBALL' it will take you to the agenda for the meeting of the 13th March and the report is item 18. You do need a PDF viewer though. If you can't open it you can contact Renfrewshire Council or your local Councillor and ask them to get it for you, hope this helps, thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...


As a Resident of Ralston I have been reading a great deal about this subject as of lately and I also attended the public meeting at Ralston Primary School.

I would be very obliged if you could give me an honest answer to the following questions to which I have not had a clear response to.

1.Why did the Labour councillors not inform or involve other members of the council of the plan to involve St. Mirren in this deal when there was to be such a large amount of public money invested in it.
2.Why did the council move to conclude this deal without any consultation with the local or indeed wider community.
3.How did this manage to get through planning permission in such a short period of time (11 days I'm told) when most other applications take around 3/6 months.
4. As the deal cannot be concluded until at least mid-June and funding is not yet in place, why was a public announcement made on this. Was this purely a piece of electioneering?

As I said, I attended the public meeting regarding this and quite contrary to the Labour propoganda that is being circulated, the SNP and Lib Dems both categorically stated that they were not against St. Mirren being part of this development, however, they wanted more consultation to take place to ensure that public money was being spent wisely and to the benefit of the taxpayer. After all it is their money.

The Labour candidate at the meeting did not come out of this well at all and could offer nothing in the way of any explanation as to how this came about. In fact he raTher ridiculously tried to raise a motion (which on paper made no sense)at the start of the meeting before even listening to what anyone had to say. This came across as not only very arrogant but very stupid and caused a great deal of indignation among those present.

I would pleased if you could be so kind as to offer a response to the above.

Thanking you in anticipation

Rayleen Kelly said...

Stuart: give that I have just received your comment and it is after ten o'clock at night I will get back to you as soon as possible with a response to your questions.

I may just answer them in a new post but will let you know if this is the case, thanks for visiting and please come back again.

Anonymous said...


I know that you have not yet replied to my previous comment, however I felt I must pose another question.

It has been reported today that St Mirren have reached an agreement (in principle) with Tesco to sell Love Street for a sum of around 18 million pounds.

This would wipe out the club's debts (5 million), pay for a new stadium outright and leave the club with a cash surplus.

Surely, there can now be no case (not that there ever was IMO)to fund the Penilee development to the tune of 3.6 million pounds of taxpayers money to the greater benefit of St Mirren, when they are only contributing 120000 pounds to the capital expenditure of the project.

Surely this public money should now be used to the maximum benefit of the people who have generated it (i.e. the taxpayer) and St Mirren (a private company)should be left to fund their own training ground with their new found wealth.

Rayleen Kelly said...

Stuart: With regard to your questions I will attempt to answer them in order...

1. The press coverage was done in accordance with Council procedures, it is the Convenor of the board Cllr Tommy Williams Community and Family Care, Cllr Mark McMillan is the Deputy Convenor for Education and Leisure and these two departments have some cross over specifically in this respect, who would you have prefered to see in the photo?

2. The deal has not been concluded yet, the report that went to the Community and Family care board allows the Council to move forward with more detailed discussions with St Mirren and this will involve community consultation.

3. Who ever told you that it got through planning in 11 days has misled you Stuart, this application was lodged sometime ago, it has been ammended, however, the application being considered was lodged on the 1st of November 2006, if you look at the application on the planning board papers for the 30th of March it states this. As per planning rules the PDE ran and advert re this planning application on the 24th of November 2006.

4. I understand your concern over using this as a political football (pardon the pun) but I can assure you that this is not the case (at least not on behalf of the Labour members), the reason it was in the press was that the report was going to the Community and Family Care policy board, these papers are public and the papers would have picked up on this, it would have seemed strange to say the least had it not been publicised.

I am pleased that you attended the public meeting and got information from it, but the concerns of best value are completely unfounded. Had Ms McGregor or the SNP bothered to ask the officials if public consultation would be on the cards they would have known that it was. Similarly the Liberal Democrat leader Ms McCartin was arguing that it would be OK if St Mirren were paying more, a sentiment echoed by the SNP, again I believe the amount they are quoting is £120,000 when in reality it is more like £450,000, plus the Council pay nothing towards grounds maintenance.

As for your interepretation of the motion which Mr Sharkey put forward, I have read it and I did not think that it was stupid, to ask a meeting to congratulate the council in finally getting something done with the Penilee Pavilion and playing fields and getting the involvement of St Mirren in this particular project. Almost all of the people that I have spoken to about this project are welcoming of it, almost all of them are telling me that they think that the Liberals (aided and abetted by the SNP) are trying to cause trouble where none exists. I understand the issues raised in the community what I don't understand is the attitude given by some that says we should just leave it as it is and do nothing with it.

This comment was written quite quickly so if I have missed anything out please let me know and I will get back to you. Thanks for visiting the blog and I hope you come back again.

Rayleen Kelly said...

Stuart: I understand that you are against the development, and for the SNP and Liberals trying their hardest to scupper the deal with St Mirren.

The idea that they are not against St Mirren is laughable, especially as the Liberal Democrat leader suggested that all sections of the report referring to St Mirren be 'postponed', their sums just don't add up on how they expect the council to do this alone. Further to this the SNP and Liberals then tried to stop it going through the planning committee, these are old arguments, well rehearsed, but true nevertheless.

St Mirren bring more than £120,000 to the table, in financial terms it is actually closer to £500,000 but that is yet another mistruth being peddled by the Liberals and SNP.

You discount St Mirren as merely a 'private company' but the club means so much more to Paisley's history, and future than simply being a 'private company'. The input of St Mirren in terms of the grounds maintenance will be invaluable and a further saving to the Council, the sports academy which St Mirren will give their expertise to will be invaluable to young people across Renfrewshire and no doubt to the clubs future in terms of youth development and new players.

I am 100% FOR this development not just because it is St Mirren but because it brings back into use an A listed building for use by the community, are you against this? Or is it merely St Mirren's involvement?

Anonymous said...


First of all thank you for your response which was was made in a polite and courteous manner. It seems that many people think that blogging is an excuse for foul language, sniping and general abuse.

I cannot, howeverr, concur with your viewpoint on this.

The council are gifting (a soon to be cash rich private enterprise with a considerable sum of tax payers money. Why can't St Mirren fund their own training ground and leave this very large sum of money to be to the benefit of of the community. It starts to beggar the the question of who is really benefiting from this.

To answer your question I would say that I was not against St Mirren coming in to the development providing that amendments were made to the proposal you have publicised on your website to ensure that the community got a wider share.

If you read the document, it details that St Mirren get a great deal of sole use of the grounds and premises at the expense of the taxpayer.

As it appears St. Mirrena are about to become very cash rich from the sale of their ground.

Can you please answer the question as to why they need a handout at the expense of the taxpayer to fund a training ground. They appear to be about to enter an era where they would be debt free (probably unique for a football club) and have a cash surplus - yet our labour councillors see it fit to fund them to the tune of 3.6 million pounds of public money.

Surely something smells bad here?

Rayleen Kelly said...

Stuart: Your analysis of this particular deal is somewhat lacking in facts. The deal with St Mirren will bring more to the Council than money and the idea that the community will not get use of the facilities is nonsense the Council members would not agree to this, had you read the report you would have noticed that the concerns of the community will be addressed in coming reports.

I am sorry that you have fallen for the Liberal/SNP line on this particular issue and that you have seen fit to perpetrate this, I only hope that the people of Ralston and Paisley East will see through it for the blatant electioneering that it is.

Anonymous said...


This an extract from the report.

Can you explain to me and the other constituents of the area who have been hoodwinked by the SNP and Lib Dems what the term "sole use" and "sole access" means.

4.2 Agreement to this proposal would require some changes to the design of the
interior of the pavilion to allow St Mirren Football Club sole access to a
changing area and to create non-commercial gym facility and offices within
the pavilion. This would not compromise the council’s ability to generate the
income which would be required to repay the prudential borrowing needed to
fund the gap in the project costs. (See section 6)
4.3 The playing fields would be designed to accommodate a synthetic pitch, two
grass pitches and a training area. It is proposed that St Mirren Football Club
would have the sole use of the grass pitches and the training area, leaving
the synthetic pitch for community use.

So the community get a synthetic pitch! Yahoo!

You also have avoided or misunderstood my point regarding the forthcoming sale of Love Street and the money that they will receive. Surely it is morally wrong to publically fund them in this venture when they have a very substantial funding of their own on the way.

At the end of the day St Mirren are no different from any other football club that is a private company and they should be standing on their own 2 feet without the need for public money handouts.

I have lived in this area for around 7 years and have seen my council tax rise by 58% during that period. I therefore object to public money being gifted to St Mirren when they can clearly afford their own venture.

Incidentally, I have fallen for nobody's line on this. I have just examined the facts that are available.

It may interest you to know that I am 44 years old and I have been a Labour voter all of my life (up until this election).

Rayleen Kelly said...

Stuart: the term 'sole use' is a legal term and I know it sounds as though there would be no community use but this is not the case. St Mirren will run the training accademy, they will maintain the grounds and they will get sole use of the extension to the Pavilion and despite your assertion that the community will only get the use of the all weather pitch this is simply not the case.

You seem content to mislead and try and muddy the waters in this case and I am sorry but I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this matter, thanks for visitng nonetheless.

Anonymous said...


Far from misleading and trying to muddy waters, I was seeking clarification and explanation.

I am astounded to find out that terms such as "sole use" and "sole access" are legal jargon and don't actually mean what they say.

I will ask a lawyer colleague of mine to clarify this.

It seems that you do not have an answer to the question of the issue of spending public money on St Mirren when they are about to receive so much money from the sale of their ground.

You have swerved this twice.

Rayleen Kelly said...

Stuart: I haven't 'swerved' any of your questions, there is public money being spent on Penilee which the community will be able to use, and St Mirren are contributing allowing them access to the facility, their contribution will be more than money their expertise will be invaluable.

Public monmey is being spent to improve facilties for the use of the community, St Mirren's involvement is a bonus, I am sorry that you cannot see it as such.


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.