Decision day for Eastwood

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COUNCILLORS will make their decision this week on plans for a mosque at Eastwood High school.

A full meeting of East Renfrewshire Council will take place on Wednesday, 2pm, at council headquarters, with the controversial issue on the agenda.

The proposed change could see an element of Eastwood high’s outdoor learning, social and recreational space replaced by a mosque and community centre.

Leader of the opposition, Gordon Wallace, intimated to The Extra that he intends to oppose the recommendation.

He said: “Like a number of my colleagues, I believe this issue to have been unnecessarily divisive.

“I am hopeful councillors will seize the opportunity afforded them next week and unite in restoring some harmony in our communities and faith in local democracy.”

Councillor Vincent Waters, a member of the administration, sympathises with both sides of the argument.

He told The Extra: “I support the desire of the Muslim community to build a mosque in East Ren.

“However, I know there are those whose anguish about any loss of (school) ground is sincere and heartfelt.

“It’s been disappointing to see so much negativity in the public discussion about the proposal. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to all views, and anguishing over this decision.

“When the council meeting comes, I will be voting with my conscience, and with all the points that have been made to me by local people in the front of my mind.”

Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh added: “There is genuine concern in the community about the proposal to build on that location but also consensus that a mosque is needed.”