Eastwood Leisure Centre: Labour and SNP accuse Tories of misleading residents

The council is currently consulting on the future of Eastwood Leisure Centre.
The council is currently consulting on the future of Eastwood Leisure Centre.

Conservative politicians Jackson Carlaw MSP and Paul Masterton MP have been accused of misleading residents over the future of Shawwood Park.

Last week they released a statement stating that a decision had been taken to “green light” a move to Shawwood after other locations had been dismissed.

It comes as a report, which went before councillors this week, identified Shawwood Park as the preferred option for the new Eastwood leisure centre.

A report by consultants, who looked at alternative sites, concluded that the site was the most suitable options for the leisure centre. Three sites remained under consideration – Overlee, Broomburn and Shawwood.

In his statement, Mr Masterton said: “The decision reached by the SNP-Labour administration on the future of Eastwood Leisure Centre is based on a consultation which doesn’t appear to be worth the paper it is written on.”

Mr Carlaw added: “It seems as if the Council had this plan all along, and railroaded the wishes of local residents with a sham consultation.

“Paul Masterton MP and I stand against the proposal in the strongest possible terms and would encourage residents who haven’t already to sign up to our petition.”

However, East Renfrewshire Labour hit back claiming that the two politicians were “scaremongering for political gain”.

Speaking ahead of the meeting last night, Ben Procter, chairman of East Renfrewshire Labour, said: “No decision has been taken yet and the report to the Council – which is publicly available – recommends a new study to look into the feasibility of building a new leisure centre at Eastwood Park.

“Labour believes that to say that East Renfrewshire Council has given the green light to building at Shawwood Park is both untrue and deliberately misleading.

“Jackson Carlaw and Paul Masterton both know this to be the case but are more interested in playing politics with local services than trying to deliver a new facility that will benefit the people of East Renfrewshire.”

Councillor Colm Merrick (Giffnock & Thornliebank), who is also East Renfrewshire Council’s Convener for Community Services and Community Safety, has called for clarity from politicians commenting on plans to build a new leisure centre to serve the communities of Eastwood.

Councillor Merrick said: “It was disappointing to hear of Jackson Carlaw MSP and Paul Masterton MP emailing local residents to wrongly claim that East Renfrewshire Council had chosen a location for the residents’ new Leisure Centre.

“That no such decision has been taken is abundantly clear from the council papers released prior to their communication, and residents will no doubt reflect upon their motivation for peddling this misinformation.

“Perhaps these Tory politicians should focus less on this ill-advised spin and spend a bit more time working to mitigate the economic and social chaos caused by their Brexit-obsessed bosses in Westminster”.