Money the top worry

FINANCIAL worries and the state of the wider economy are top of East Renfrewshire residents’ worries.

The information was published in the latest citizen panel survey - an annual questionnaire issued to 1,200 locals.

Panel members identified the cost of living and finance and employment and the economic outlook as two major issues.

Residents’ priorities for the council remain as crime and anti-social behaviour, roads and education.

Council leader Jim Fletcher said: “The economic situation is clearly affecting our residents and that’s even reflected in some of the responses to individual questions.

“It was interesting to hear this is a trend that’s been reflected in other surveys around the country”.

The survey revealed 95 per cent of people questioned were either satisfied or very satisfied with life in East Ren.

The most common reasons people have for choosing to live in the area are educational opportunities and the authority’s reputation.

The survey reveals reference to education has risen by 10% in the past year.

Awareness of regeneration projects in areas such as Barrhead, Clarkston and Giffnock are generally high, though the Neilston town team and charter is lower than the others.

The majority of residents feel environment and climate change has become more of an issue for them.

Overall satisfaction with council services remains high at 76%.

Almost three quarters of those surveyed feel council services in the area are better than in other councils.

And over half felt the services represented good value for money.

The highest rated council services were education, libraries and garden waste recycling — all received more than 90% approval ratings.

But residents were least positive about roads and footpaths along with provision of affordable housing and street cleaning/litter control.

Councillor Fletcher added: “I’d like to thank the members of the citizens’ panel for taking the time to let us know their views.

“They give us valuable information we can use to further improve our services. “It is gratifying so many people value the services we deliver and enjoy life in East Renfrewshire”.

Panel members will get direct feedback on the survey results.

Anyone interested in joining can sign up at www.craigforth.co.uk/ercp.