East Ren community councils feud continues

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Several East Renfrewshire community councils are to be re-established following the close of the first call for nominations — but the fate of others has yet to be decided.

Barrhead, Busby, Neilston, Thornliebank and Uplawmoor community councils will be re-established in the coming weeks, when their monthly meetings will resume.

But councils in Newton Mearns, Giffnock, Netherlee, Eaglesham and Clarkston were unable to be re-established, and will now be held in trust until a second call for nominations.

Councillor Mary Montague, convener for community services and safety, said: “A huge thank you, congratulations and welcome to everyone who has been nominated by their neighbourhood to serve on our community councils. You are all part of an exciting new era and will play an important part to better our communities.”

The move follows a new Scheme of Establishment drawn up by East Ren Council following a consultation on how community councils are run.

ERC has promised to work with nominees for CCs which have not yet been established, to attract additional members and re-instate each.

However, opposition councillor Jim Swift blames the lack of interest on the council “managing to alienate many residents.

“Friends of Cowan Park, Friends of Rouken Glen and many other voluntary groups have complained that the council did not listen to them, had its own agenda and rode roughshod over local people’s knowledge and preferences.

“Is the cost of not listening now going to mean it is even harder for the council to engage with communities?”

In a letter to The Extra, former Giffnock CC chair Savio D’Souza added that he was “not surprised.

“Some others have focused on the new scheme being the problem — the reality was different in Giffnock.

“People want a forum that effectively reflects local aspirations. The 1970s community council model does not meet those needs in the 21st century.

“Many existing community councillors decided to stand down and will work with the community to look at a better forum model. We hope this will encourage ERC to do the same.”