Saturday, February 17, 2007



I would have more respect for the Local SNP candidates if they had expressed their opinion on this matter all along, as it is they are coming late to this issue. Despite the plans for the sale of the land at Seedhill Playing fields being on the Community and Family Care agenda in February of 2005, and the papers being distributed to EVERY councillor in the council PRIOR to the meeting, the SNP (Cllr C Lawson and B Lawson) did not start talking about this issue until the middle of 2006.

Just so people in Hawkhead, Whitehaugh, Seedhill and Ralston are aware, the SNP have representatives on this board, one of which is Cllr MacKay the leader of the SNP in Renfrewshire and a campaign supporter of the Friends of Seedhill Playing Fields. Cllr MacKay knew of these plans in February, if he didn't he was not reading the papers for the meeting which he attended.

You will note from the paper (click on the title above) there were no amendments at this point. Only over a year later did this become an issue, why? Could it be that Cllr's Lawson's constituents highlighted this to them? Or is that they didn't notice it until a year later? Or maybe that they didn't care until someone pointed out to them that they could make political hay out of the issue?

The incompetence of the SNP locally has to be exposed, I don't like being negative but no one else seems to point this out! It is certainly not something that will appear in their election leaflets.

If you see them on the campaign trail ask them, why they missed this?

Thursday, February 15, 2007



(Graphic courtesy of Renfrewshire Council's website)

I have spoken today to the Community Police for the area and asked them about the progress in apprehending those who are creating the mess, they have advised that they have managed to identify a number of those responsible and have taken the appropriate steps to sanction them.

In the meantime the best thing that the Council and private landholders can do is where ever there is graffiti remove it as soon as possible, this firstly creates a nicer environment for all of us to live in and secondly it allows the police to identify the new graffiti, the tags and the person creating the problem.

Thanks to the hard work of Williamsburgh Housing Association, the Community Police, the Council and some of the businesses in the area a lot of the graffiti is removed as soon as possible after it is reported, I would like to thank the people who are reporting it firstly, but the businesses involved because it can be very expensive and they are contributing to the community by their actions, so thank you on behalf of the residents of Seedhill, keep up the good work, together we can make a difference.

If you see graffiti on Council property please report it to ...

The Graffiti Hit Squad 0800 389 8623
You can also report it online by following this link



I have been contacted of late by quite a few constituents regarding anti social behaviour and litter around the Grammar school at lunch times. I want to point out that the majority of the pupils in Paisley Grammar are a credit to the school in their behaviour, however, there is a small element that has been causing distress to some of the residents in the area.

Williamsburgh Housing Association, the community police, the Council's ASIST team, and the School have been working hard to combat the problem and although there are still issues existing the joint working is having an effect. I have taken steps to combat the litter problems and will continue to work with the relevant agencies in order to address the issues highlighted.

If you have local issues that you wish to raise with me please do not hesitate to contact me, via the Renfrewshire Council website



I have written on this blog before about this issue but, this is more of a local perspective. I am writing out to all of my constituents in McKerrell Street within the next few weeks to ask them to help ensure that the disabled parking bays are used only by those with a disabled badge.

I know that it can be difficult to park in Seedhill, and the surrounding area, especially during the day but, the disabled bays are there for a reason and some people have unfortunately been parking in these spots.

Remember if you don't have a blue badge don't park there, this equally applies to all other disabled spaces in Supermarkets and up the town as well.

Thanks for your help.

Check out the new poll on the right hand side of the page for your say.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007



Now that I have kind of got the hang of this blogging stuff (although bit disappointed that the mobile blogging doesn't seem to be available to UK users yet, would be very useful during the campaign!) I thought that I would have a look and see what additional functionality can be added to the service, and low and behold I can use a free poll service.

I thought it might be worth giving it a try and so I have added one for this week, I have chosen a frivolous question, with no political undertones for a starter, have a go and let me know what you think.



In the Herald's Society pages today you will find an article on the new payments scheme for Foster Carers in Renfrewshire. I have written an article on my previous website about the level of pride that Renfrewshire Council has in it's Foster Carers and how important they are not just to the council but mostly to the children they look after.

The article highlights that Renfrewshire Council are having an information and open night in the Paisley Town Hall on February the 22nd between 7pm and 9pm and all are welcome some of the council's carers will be at the open evening to discuss their experiences and offer help and advice. Senior Social Worker Rosemary Morgan is quoted as saying ...

'We appreciate our foster carers, and are paying carers sufficient to meet the children's needs rather than them having to ask for additional discretionary payments.'

At a political level the feeling is just as strong, Cllr Tommy Williams the Labour Convener for Community and Family Care Policy Board has been instrumental in the developments in the service and is among the first to thank and congratulate the foster carers for their work and continued dedication to the children of Renfrewshire.

In order to be a foster carer you have to be at least 21 years old, can be single or married and do not need to own your own home or have a job, Renfrewshire Council is keen to stress that children have many different needs and so it fits that a wide range of carers will be needed.

Monday, February 12, 2007



Tonight was the selection for the candidates for the Paisley East and Ralston ward, as I have previously pointed out this is the new ward which Seedhill (my current ward) will fit into, and I am pleased to say that I have been reselected to stand in this ward.

Joining me to make up the Labour team for this ward is Mr Jim Sharkey an experienced community campaigner and extremely hard worker, you will see more of the campaign on this blog in the days to come but for the moment I wanted to thank all of the members who braved the weather to come to the selection meeting and who have put their trust in both Jim and myself, we will not let you down.

Sunday, February 11, 2007



As shown through the previous articles on here there are major debates in politics about the economic record of differing administrations and those who are hoping to make up the next administration. So I thought that it would be an idea to dedicate a series of posts to the issue. I have already done a bit of this on the previous posts regarding a Scotland on Sunday article last week, although mainly in the comments section so this week thought that I would concentrate on the SNP Economics.

This week there was a story in the Scotsman regarding the £4.5 Billion black hole in their financial plans for Scotland, I would not recommend anyone wanting a greater understanding of the issues to simply rely on one source, but, unfortunately for the SNP they don't need to.

According to a similar article in the Guardian newspaper on the 21st of January this year there are serious concerns over the SNP's economic plans. In the Scotsman newspaper Professor Midwinter suggests that there would be a £4.5 Billion pound deficit in the plans, in the final paragraph of the analysis he concludes that the SNP will have to raise taxes, cut spending or borrow heavily to tackle the deficit and meet their pre election commitments.

A lot of the analysis is based on the difference in how the figures are calculated, where the other parties use the Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland (GERS) figures the SNP have suggested these figures are wrong, yet are using them where they feel they can help their economic case. An article in the Times newspaper similarly highlighted that leading SNP economists have concluded that the GERS figures are extremely robust

It is true that some say it is £11 billion, some say £6 billion and one Professor Midwinter even says £4 Billion the last one takes into account the Oil revenues and this is why Professor Winter comes to his final conclusion that the sums simply do not add up.

The Times Article is an interesting analysis of the issues involved, it shows the figures in plain English and in doing so highlights that the Estimated Scottish Public Spending was £47.6 Billion in 2004-2005, the taxation income was £36.4 Billion leaving the gap of £11.2 Billion, this is not including the oil revenue. When taking into account the oil revenue (ALL OF IT not a percentage as suggested by the SNP) of £5.2 Billion you are still looking at a £6 Billion pound deficit.

Although it is true that the Oil prices of late have been rising, it is similarly true that the market price for oil is very volatile and is rarely steady for a prolonged period of time. It also might be worth examining the green credentials of a party that suggests that they would be basing the whole economy on a damaging and scarce fuel source, reducing the oil consumption of Scotland while relying on the increasing consumption of other nations in order to bring in the money is a strange and contradictory position. As we all know global warming is not just a Scottish problem, it affects the whole planet and this needs to be kept in mind in every area of policy it needs to be sustainable, this is where I believe the SNP's economic policies fall down.

Putting this into a local context it does put the SNP plans to freeze Council tax for the next two years into a different light, it resoundingly gives backup to the suggestion that the reason the SNP in Renfrewshire did not put forward a budget was that they could not stick to this commitment. A more interesting question has to be IF the SNP make up the Executive after May the 3rd will they be able to stick to it then keeping the above in mind? And what does that mean for Scotland in the long term economically speaking?


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.