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.



This evening the Labour group on Renfrewshire Council organised a farewell meal to say thank you and goodbye to the Councillor's who are leaving us at the next election. Cllr Tommy Williams (who made the vote of thanks to the retirees) pointed out that between the six they had notched up over 110 years of public service!! I know that some of the media have been critical of the severance payments for Councillor's but when you take into account their length of service to the community, and that many of the retiring Councillors left jobs that would have provided them with a pension and are now leaving the Council without one I don't think that it is so shocking.

The Labour Councillor's in Renfrewshire who are retiring wanted to thank the electorate for their trust, they wanted to thank them for their support and to thank their Council colleagues.

Councillor's McGerty (former Deputy Provost), McNally (Deputy Provost), McDowell (Former Provost) and Jim Harkins (Leader of Renfrewshire Council)

(All of the Renfrewshire Labour Councillor's Present)

Thanks have to go to Cllr McDowell for his expert organisation, Cllr Tommy Williams for his excellent and funny vote of thanks and my fellow Councillors for their support and stories! Also to Former Provost Nancy Alison for her support and attendance this evening, she has some great stories!

On a separate note thanks also to the staff of the Watermill Hotel who made the night so memorable.

Friday, March 30, 2007



Yesterday afternoon I attended the school board at St John Ogilvie, the last before the elections in May. The meetings here are always really positive and there is always loads going on the school especially round about this time. I gave an update on the contamination issues at the Seedhill Playing Fields, previously we had asked for a plain English briefing and last week I forwarded this to the Headteacher. A positive discussion took place, and although there are still outstanding issues, I assured the board that no matter who was the Councillor next time round that I was sure that the safety of the pupils, staff and wider community would be first.

On a personal note I wanted to thank the school board and PTA for their support over my tenure as the Councillor for Seedhill, it is strange to think that I will be the last Councillor for the ward of Seedhill as it stands at present, it has been a turbulent four years but I am really looking forward to representing the area in the years to come.

Thursday, March 29, 2007



After reading the Paisley Express a couple of weeks ago and the electronic bulletin from the Renfrewshire Council of Voluntary Services, I decided to book myself a place for the Hustings they were hosting. I must admit when I arrived (about twenty five minutes early) I was wondering about the turnout thinking that they had really rolled the boat out, it turns out that PACE were hosting their annual Theatre School event in the theatre, hope it went as well as the hustings.

Most of the hustings I have been at have been heavily packed by political parties, and although this one was not really that different (quite a few Councillors and Candidates were there) it did start to restore my faith in this type of meeting. All of the candidates outlined their strategy and all tried to stick to the point some better than others, although to be fair to the Tory Mr Begg he had only been drafted in at the last minute! To be honest the best candidates were probably the Green and Wendy. The Green was surprisingly good some of his answers gave you reason to consider his theories, I am obviously going to say I thought Wendy was best (although that does not mean she wasn't).

The night was extremely successful and the candidates were all in agreement that the voluntary sector has an important part to play in the provision of service. Thanks to the organisers including Scott who sold me the Jute bag (trying to hide it from my sister or she will want one too) the RCVS does excellent work and I am glad that I went this evening.



It turns out that my opposition for Paisley East and Ralston are reading this site, so to them I say welcome, glad to see Susie is enjoying it hence her comment that the last two posts on here are 'nonsense' (Direct quote from her this evening). Despite her assertion that we have never met (another mistake by the candidate) she did recognise me hence the side comment to her friend at the beginning about not being misquoted despite my never having quoted her here!? (yeah,sorry Susie I heard you!)

So to all thanks for your visits and feel free to comment as well, but remember no anonymous posters will be published and no foul language, thanks!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


The Paisley Daily Express today is carrying an article on the anger of St Mirren fans to the Lib Dem plans to block the St Mirren training facility at Penilee...

'Seething St Mirren fans are urging Buddies to give the Lib-Dems the boot at the ballot box. Supporters are angry that the Liberals are trying to delay a multi-million pound project which would transform the crumbling Penilee pavilion into a super sports complex.' Paisley Daily Express (Andy Newport) 27th March 2007

It seems that the website - a site for St Mirren's fans- has erupted into fury over the Lib Dems, it quotes one fan as saying ...

'The Liberal Democrats are going around trying to drum up support to stop the St Mirren training complex and youth academy at Penilee going ahead. With an election coming up I thought political parties would do things to attract voters - not put them off. Maybe they should remember that there are an awful lot of St Mirren fans who support the idea of the club having a proper training set-up and who have a vote in the May elections.'

There are a lot of mistruths going round about this particular project and the Lib Dems have put round a leaflet trying to scare the people of the community into organising against it, this tells us all we need to know. Instead of talking up the opportunities this gives the people of Ralston, the East End and Renfrewshire as a whole the Liberals are content to knock back any idea, unless of course they are pretty sure it won't go ahead, this way they can blame everyone else for their ineffectual conduct on the Council, both Jim and I are behind St Mirren, behind the Council and behind this project.

I will leave you with the thoughts of one Paisley Buddie from the aforementioned webpage ...

'Not only should Saints fans all over Renfrewshire not vote for the Lib-Dems we should be getting out there and exposing their underhand tactics as a cheap way of getting votes in Ralston at the expense of St Mirren.'

Paisley East and Ralston blog has an interesting article on the current situation with the Liberal Democrats and St Mirren over the Penilee pavilion, worth a look (I would say that being one of the candidates!) I have digested the post here...

The Lib-Dem councillor for Ralston would rather see what amounts to a pub being built at Penilee Playing Fields instead of a football academy for youngsters and a training facility for St Mirren. Jim Sharkey, who is secretary of Ralston Community Council and whose house looks on to the playing fields was speaking after he attended a public meeting called by Lib-Dem Councillor Nan Macgregor who opposes plans to redevelop the derelict playing fields and pavilion.

Mr Sharkey, who will be one of two Labour candidates in Ralston and Paisley East in the council elections in May, said:

"Councillor MacGregor told the public meeting she would rather the playing fields be given over to a local rugby club who had previously proposed building a licensed clubhouse beside the pitches and licensed premises is something the vast majority of people in Ralston don’t want to see there."I have been knocking on doors and the message I have been getting is that people just want something positive to happen to the Penilee Playing Fields as the place has been derelict for years. This is exactly what is being proposed."


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.