Commitment to improve open spaces and plan for more houses in East Renfrewshire

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A vision of how East Renfrewshire will develop over the next 10 years has been set out by the Council.

Councillors will consider a draft strategy which outlines East Renfrewshire Council’s long-term ambitions when they meet today (Wednesday).

The revised ‘Vision for the Future’ plan, originally launched in 2015, reveals how the Council will address five key outcomes.

These are early years and vulnerable young people, learning, life and work, environment and economy, safe, supportive communities and older people and people with long-term conditions.

A report to councillors states: “East Renfrewshire is a modern, ambitious council, creating a fairer future with all.

“Our mission is simple: to make lives better for the growing numbers of residents who choose to live here.

“East Renfrewshire however faces many of the same challenges as the rest of Scotland over the next 10 years.”

Challenges include population growth, changes in the world economy, climate change and rapid developments in technology.

“The financial landscape for the public sector has become increasingly challenging with councils having to find significant year on year savings, while continuing to deliver services that meet the growing and more complex needs of local people,” the report adds.

In East Renfrewshire, this has meant “making savings of over £54 million since 2011, with a further £22 million by 2021”.

Over the next ten years, the Council plans to significantly expand nursery provision, increase support for young people with additional support needs and ensure fewer children and families are in the care system.

The draft strategy outlines plans to build on what are already some of the top-performing schools in Scotland.

It says increasing demand for places in schools will see a growth in the number of schools, there will be a greater emphasis on digital and STEM subjects to “take full advantage of a rapidly-changing jobs market” and improving mental well-being will be a top priority.

The Council wants East Renfrewshire to be a key tourist destination with better rail and bus services and improvements to park and open spaces. It also plans to build at least 4,350 houses by 2029.

‘Vision for the Future’ commits to continuing work to reduce CO2 emissions as well as encouraging electric cars and ensuring any new-build housing is as energy efficient as possible.

Plans to ensure residents live in safe and supportive communities include improving the Council’s effectiveness in protecting vulnerable adults from risk while, for older people, there will be a shift away from hospital awards to community alternatives for people who require long-term or round-the-clock care.