Election on the horizon

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HUSTINGS season is upon us with East Renfrewshire’s first event taking place next Tuesday (April 17) at Mearns Castle.

Prospective council candidates for Clarkston, Busby and Eaglesham will be quizzed by the public from 7-9pm in the event organised by Busby East neighbourhood watch.

Councillors Alistair Carmichael and Alan Lafferty have been criticised by event organiser Ron Hanvey for their refusal to attend.

Mr Hanvey told The Extra: “Both councillors initially agreed to attend the meeting when Duff Hall was mooted.

“There has however been some interest shown by the electorate, and it was decided by both to decline attendance when they learned that it was to be held in Mearns Castle High School”.

Sitting Busby, Clarkston and Eaglesham councillor Alan Lafferty defended his decision.

He said: “Many constituents in Busby, Clarkston and Eaglesham don’t have a car and transport links are poor.

“I hoped these hustings would be organised by the local community councils within the ward.

“I am currently fighting for the votes of constituents within my ward, I am bemused by the fact the venue was switched to Newton Mearns”.

Fellow councillor Alistair Carmichael added: “Mearns Castle is not an appropriate venue for people in my ward.

“My focus is issues concerning the people in Busby, Clarkston and Eaglesham.

“I don’t believe this is what these hustings are about. I will communicate with voters via canvassing and leafleting”.

Hustings organised by the local neighbourhood watch for the voters of Netherlee, Stamperland and Williamwood will take place in Stamperland Parish church on Thursday, April 26 from 7-9pm.

A hustings for the Giffnock and Thornliebank ward has been organised by the local Community Councils and Thornliebank Resident’ Association.

The meeting will take place at Woodfarm High School on May 2 at 7.30pm.

Any questions can be e-mailed to info@giffnockcc.co.uk. Questions will be published on www.thornliebank.org.uk prior to the meeting.

Meanwhile, voters who have had a change of circumstances or who have recently turned 18 are being urged to register to vote.

That’s the message from returning officer Lorraine McMillan as the deadline for voter registration ahead of May’s council elections looms.

Voters have until April 18 to ensure they are on the electoral register.

Lorraine McMillan, East Renfrewshire council chief executive and election returning officer said: “We’re keen to ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote can have their say”.

Visit www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/elections2012 for more info.

Prospective Glasgow voters can apply via www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/YourCouncil/Elections_Voting