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Freebies for Councillors ? Print E-mail

Published 28th December 2014

IN June 2013 East Renfrewshire Council established a Civic Hospitality Committee
with the Membership comprising
Provost Alastair Carmichael (Chair)

Councillor Betty Cunningham
Councillor Danny Devlin
Councillor Charlie Gilbert
Councillor Barbara Grant
Councillor Mary Montague

This committee was provided with an annual budget of 22,000.

WE have only commenced to inspect the minutes of these meetings and will report in due course any findings.

Initially our attraction was drawn to an item where the chair Provost Alastair Carmichael stated that he wished to take a table at the Kilbride Hospice Autumn Ball on Friday, 24 October 2014

The minutes reflect a projected cost of 600.

However what is interesting is that this was the cost for a table to accommodate 10 and that the cost would cover the meal and wine, with the invitees being elected members and their partners.

We are led to believe that the elected members who benefited from this included at least two members of the Hospitality Committee, Provost Carmichael and Cllr Montague.

NEWSLINE has submitted an FOI request in order to ascertain who exactly was in attendance from ERC and benefited from this at public expense.

True cost of ERC's legal bill exposed Print E-mail

Published 22nd December 2014

NEWSLINE has obtained information that indicates that East Renfrewshire Council has increased its spend year on year to pay for external legal advice over the last three years despite employing 10 solicitors full time who work at council headquarters.

Through use of Freedom of Information requests we have learnt that over the past three years the ERC spend on external solicitors amounted to.

2012 61,170.08
2013 145,653.53
2014 297,172.81

Yet in a comparable authority (North Ayrshire Council) their spend was going down year on year.

2012 81,460
2013 68,636
2014 10,270

Over the past three years North Ayrshire Council spent a total of


on external solicitors for advice.

Whilst East Renfrewshire Council spent a total of


over the same period.

571 on the SEX offenders register in the Greater Glasgow area Print E-mail

Published 18th December 2014

Due to a recent case of an offender being housed in Barrhead by the council, NEWSLINE decided to make enquiries with Police Scotland regarding the true extent of the issue, namely how many known offenders are living in our area.

NEWSLINE discovered that the East Renfrewshire local authority area is covered by Greater Glasgow (G) Division of Police Scotland. Within G Division there is an Offender Management Unit which presently consists of 29 officers dedicated to managing offenders who are subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

This information was obtained via FOI.

This equates to approximately one police officer for every 20 registered offenders. If and when the officers leave the office they work in pairs, so that will increase the monitoring number to 40 per team.

Officers work an eight hour day and that then brings into question how much time they can devote to each offender. Certainly no surveillance, as these offender management officers are not trained in that art and that takes a team of at least 12 to undertake surveillance.

What monitoring of these offenders can in reality be undertaken by this team ?

Tom Taylor, Chair of NHW was asked for his comments and he said "One police officer dedicated to every twenty registered offenders in East Renfrewshire might sound a lot but it is not. They cannot possibly provide any positive monitoring of offenders.

Much more has to be done and whilst I would not wish to demonise offenders, they have to be differentiated from other criminals, it is estimated that around 25% go on to re-offend.

The bad news is that sexual predators live in most communities without our knowledge and that needs to change.

Electronic monitoring should be used at all times, and a national s-ex offender registry created that provides a single Web site where residents can find information about registered s-ex offenders.

Offenders seek trusted positions in the community which put them in contact with children, the public are the eyes and ears for the police and they require to know who these people are.

In addition every police officer in East Renfrewshire should be fully aware of every offender resident in their area, name, address, photograph etc.

Live in the community, be part of the community but do not think about re offending?

General election 2015 - Conservative candidate chosen for East Renfrewshire Print E-mail

Published 17th December 2014

David Montgomery has recently been chosen by the Conservative Party to contest the East Renfrewshire seat at the 2015 General Election.

Newsline understands that he currently resides in Dumbreck, Glasgow.

Mr Montgomery's history has been taken from his linkedIn profile.

I am currently Medical Director - Oncology for the UK and Republic of Ireland. In this capacity, I sit on a number of important UK committees and organisations, most notably as industry member for the national Cancer Drugs Fund (nCDF) and on the NCRI scientific meeting programme committee.

I am the Conservative parliamentary candidate for the East Renfrewshire constituency at the 2015 general election.

In addition to my professional experiences, I have completed the diploma in pharmaceutical medicine, hold membership of the faculty of pharmaceutical medicine (MFPM) and I am on the GMC Specialist Register with the specialty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

Prior to industry, I worked in the NHS as a junior doctor, junior surgical trainee, surgical research fellow and finally surgical registrar between 2001 and 2008. I passed the membership exam for the Royal College of Surgeons in Glasgow and continue to hold the MRCS.

My specialist interest was in general surgery and I undertook my research in breast cancer, specifically looking at mechanisms of relapse detection and follow up. I have published extensively in this area, spoken at national and international meetings on the topic and continue to review papers on this subject for major medical journals.

I am a keen cyclist, with an interest in both road cycling and mountain biking. I also collect (and sometimes drink) wine, especially those of Australia and Bordeaux.

Specialties: Oncology, surgical oncology, pharmaceutical medicine

East Ren Tories have a new leadership team Print E-mail

Published 17th December 2014

The new leader of the Conservative group is Gordon McCaskill and his deputy is Stewart Miller.

They replace Gordon Wallace and Jim Swift who stood down recently.

Gordon McCaskill

Stewart Miller

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