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Proposed Ward Boundary Changes Print E-mail

Published 19th March 2015

The Boundary Commission has submitted proposals for an alteration in the East Renfrewshire council ward boundaries.

ERC should have 18 councillors, a reduction of 2 and have redesigned the wards from 6 to 5.

What this means in reality is-

Ward 1 Barrhead, Liboside & Uplawmoor 4 Cllrs

Ward 2 NMNorth & Neilston 3 Cllrs

Ward 3 G & T 3 Cllrs

Ward 4 Busby, Clarkston, Stamperland, Netherlee & W'wood 4 Cllrs

Ward 5 Eaglesham & NM South 4 Cllrs

The intention is that these proposals will be in place for the 2017 local elections.

Talking Nonsense Print E-mail

12th March 2015

MANY people get onto platforms and make statements about what they understand to be factual, and due to their status they are generally believed to know what they are talking about.

However many have never properly researched or indeed have any understanding of the subject matter, and this may lead to problems for anyone following their statements as wholly factual, when they are actually incorrect.

We have a recent example of a Community Councillor making profound statements regarding local bus companies, which when properly researched would appear to have been totally unfounded.

These comments have been placed on minutes and uploaded to the council web site and are now a matter of public record, and any Google search will bring up these adverse comments concerning two local bus companies.

Indeed Newsline would have to question why a Community Council would get itself involved in a matter regarding a bus that was allegedly 45 minutes late in arriving, when community councils are there to assist the public with the strategic overview of the area, like routes that should be covered, and not the minor detail of a late omnibus.

Newsline would have to suggest that there are and should be much more prominent matters that a community council should be involved in, other than bus timetables.

Community Councils are the most local tier of statutory representation in Scotland. They bridge the gap between local authorities and communities, and help to make public bodies aware of the opinions and needs of the communities they represent.

Their primary purpose is to ascertain and express the views of the community to the local authority and other public bodies.

Newsline would have to suggest that they are not designed to be bus regulators.


Mr Darroch said that no changes to bus timetables are coming up. Colchri services
still have reliability issues.


Ken Darroch reported on the following issues.
Colchri were still subject to reliability problems.
Colchri 374. If anyone wishes to complain about this service Mr Darroch advised
that they should complain via “Bus Users UK” rather than directly to the company.
City Sprinter: one of their buses was involved in a 3 vehicle accident: the bus ran into the back of a van which then ran into a car. The company is said to be owing money for fuel and to other suppliers.

FirstBus: 3 people going to a meeting in Glasgow waited at Spar from 8.45am until 9.20am before a bus appeared. Mr Darroch has submitted a complaint to FirstBus asking for a written response.

CCllr Ken Darroch

NEWSLINE has spoken with Graeme Dolan a representative of Colchri who said "We operate coaches on three East Renfrewshire routes which are regulated by SPT. The new buses that operate on the 374 route cost £1/4 million each.

When there are any break downs our mechanics and not permitted to touch them as they are under manufacturers warranty and only the company can attend and deal with problems.

In early December 2014 we had a few problems for about three weeks when we had occasional break downs, however since then we have hardily missed a week of running schedules."

"To say that we have reliability problems would indicate that we have more than any other operator which is untrue.

This could obviously affect our custom and our viability as a company."

Any complaints are taken seriously and usually if founded result in compensation being made to the customer.

These SPT routes are 1 hour between scheduled buses, so if one breaks down then it will be 2 hours between services.

Colchri 374. If anyone wishes to complain about this service Mr Darroch advised
that they should complain via “Bus Users UK” rather than directly to the company.

NEWSLINE contacted Bus Users UK and asked about this statement and a representative directed us towards their web site, which states.

If you have a complaint about a journey then the first thing you need to do is talk to the bus or coach company.

We can’t normally get involved until they’ve had a chance to resolve your issue, so you can use the links below to contact them.

City Sprinter: one of their buses was involved in a 3 vehicle accident: the bus ran into the back of a van which then ran into a car. The company is said to be owing money for fuel and to other suppliers.

NEWSLINE has contacted City Sprinter and is awaiting a response which has been promised to come from one of the directors.

NEWSLINE has also provided CCllr Darroch with the opportunity to respond to the allegations that his comments could adversely affect both the custom and operation of the companies involved.

Print E-mail

Published 7/3/15

East Renfrewshire Council installed dropped kerbs at the junction of Stamperland Hill and Stamperland Gardens, Clarkston many years ago.

They also installed bollards to prevent vehicles from parking over and on these dropped kerbs.

Dropped kerbs are provided to enable all pedestrians to cross the road, the kerbs and footway are lowered to roughly the same level as the surface of the road so that wheelchair users and pedestrians with prams do not experience undue difficulty when crossing roads.

This particular crossing is exceptionally well used by disabled people who attend the church at this location, travel onto the nearby bus stop, and mothers and toddlers group members who call at the local meeting at least three times a week, and all use this crossing as it is adjacent to the church entrance.

A few weeks ago a HGV travelling on the road struck and snapped off one of the bollards and a call was made to ERC to report the matter.

A short time later a two man crew attended and using a Pneumatic drill dug up the footpath and removed the bollard stump, took away the remainder of the undamaged bollard and filled in the hole and left without replacing the bollard.

The Council were contacted and requested to replace the bollard, this is the response.

"I regret that there are no funds available to replace the bollard at this time"

NEWSLINE has researched replacement Plastic Bollards and found that the average cost, without VAT, which the council would not pay is £30, less any discount that a council could and would negotiate for a bulk purchase.

This is the Bollard you see everywhere, from your local supermarket to high street. We offer the option of having up to 3 recess groves on the Recycled Plastic Bollard c/w free banding in a range of colours.

Our Recycled Plastic Bollards are made from 100% recycled consumer waste.


The three wards councillors and the environment convenor have been asked for comment.


Link to full article and photographs

Councillor J. Vincent Waters accused of Bullying Print E-mail

Published 8th January 2015


Cllr J. Vincent Waters


Vincent Waters has been accused by a very experienced and dedicated community councillor of over 20 years public service, of bullying and victimising Thornliebank Community Council for several months.

In addition Vincent’s partner Lisa Paton has been accused of interfering with Thornliebank Community Council and attempting to have them breach the community council’s constitution.

This all came to a head on Tuesday evening (6/1/15) at Thorntree Hall, Thornliebank.

Vincent Waters and Lisa Paton

Vincent Waters is one of three elected members who represent Thornliebank and Giffnock. He can therefore attend community council meetings as an Ex Officio member, (GCC and TCC).

There would appear to be a number of questions surrounding Vincent's interaction with TCC where it is alleged that he has attempted to bully the community councillors and influence their decisions, which are wholly out with his remit as an ex officio member.

(An ex officio member is exactly the same as a member of the public, a visitor with no right to speak unless invited by the chair to do so, and has no voting rights)

A community council meeting is a meeting of community councillors, for the benefit of community councillors, elected members are expected to attend and hear and listen tom the views of the public as narrated by the Ccllrs .

Vincent had a member of Council staff prepare and type this letter which was emailed out at 5pm on Tuesday to all TCC Cllrs, when Vincent would have been well aware that the meeting was being held at 7.15pm that evening.

How many Ccllrs would have read their e mail at that late stage.

However one Ccllr (Not the secretary) was strangely in a position to be in attendance with 10 copies of the letter for all present at 7.15pm.

One minute at the meeting for the Ccllrs to digest the content of this rather aggressive and threatening letter, with many details and accusations, and then to discuss same?

However Vincent was strangely absent, he was observed standing outside the venue at 7.10pm and observed leaving arm in arm with his partner at 9.30pm at the conclusion of the meeting, but he failed to attend the CC meeting.

Despite Vincent being previously advised that this particular Community Council wished the constitution to be complied with in respect of correspondence being sent only to the secretary, Vincent yet again disobeyed their instructions and sent this to every member and not through the secretary.

At the meeting a long standing and very respected member of the community council said "I think the problem is clear that Vincent Waters has been bullying this community council for a number of months and this is part of his bullying campaign.

What was it that Vincent wanted to allegedly Suppress in these minutes, and why, and what about Lisa's involvement ...More follows.......

WITH regards to Vincent complaining that he wanted to use his i pad at GCC meetings, contrary to the instructions of the chair, the minute secretary read an extract from the minutes of Giffnock Community Council's meeting of April 2014.

It was highlighted that Vincent was present when the statement was read out and made no objection, yet he happy to comply with the GCC ruling, but not the same ruling at TCC, which was described as discriminating against TCC.

Discussion ensued regarding the use of i pads at CC meetings and the chair of a neighbouring CC who was in attendance was asked if his CC had a policy regarding the use of electronic equipment.

The chair stated that his CC does not permit the use of electronic equipment and went on to list the reasons.

Not only are these devices able to access the internet, they are video cameras, still cameras, voice recorders and have the capability of sending text messages, which could be sent to another person at the meeting and they could between them place undue influence on the CC by colluding etc.

In addition he personally found someone using a device during a meeting to be a massive distraction.

What must also come into focus is that an elected member playing with an i pad is not concentrating on what is being said by Cclrs, and that is the reason / purpose for their attendance.

We would suggest that to do so is disrespectful to the Community Council and to refuse to comply with a chairs ruling could be construed as a Breach of the Councillors Code of Conduct.

In Vincents letter he says.


East Renfrewshire Councils Scheme for Community Councils states:-

21. The Chairperson shall rule on all matters of order, relevancy and competency arising at meetings of the community council.

The Chairperson

The Chairperson has the most important single role to play in ensuring that community council meetings run smoothly.

The Chairperson’s job is to preside over all meetings of the community council.

In practice, this usually means that the Chairperson will have to make judgements about how much time to allocate to each Agenda item. It also means that he or she may occasionally have to bring speakers back to the Agenda and generally encourage people to make their contributions brief and to the point.

All speakers will be expected to address their comments to the Chair: this helps the Chairperson to keep control of the discussion.

Perhaps most importantly of all, the Chairperson is expected to know the rules by which the community council functions, and ensure that in all stages of its work, the community council is operating in accordance with procedures. In this context the Chairperson may be called upon to act as an arbiter when there is a disagreement about how the rules should be interpreted.

It would appear to us that Vincent has invented the words 'Valid' and 'Legal' as these do not appear in the Scheme for CC's.

Surely if a chair states that she finds the use of an i pad a distraction and request's the user to put it away, that is a valid instruction and must be complied with, especially if the person concerned is an ex - officio member ie. a visitor.

No i pads of mobile telephones are permitted or used within the Council Chamber by Councillors at Eastwood Park.

The Councillors Code of Conduct states :-


You must respect all other councillors and all Council employees and the role they play, treating them with courtesy at all times. Similarly you must respect members of the public when performing duties as a Councillor.


2.2 You should apply the principles of this Code to Conduct at Meetings


3.2 You must respect the chair, your colleagues, Council employees and any members of the public present during meetings of the Council, its Committees or Sub-Committees or of any Public Bodies where you have been appointed by, and represent the Council. You must comply with rulings from the chair in the conduct of the business of these meetings.

Not a single councillor has been issued with an i pad by East Renfrewhire Council, so this piece of kit is a personal toy of Vincent's.

NEWSLINE understands that the minute taker has stood by his minutes, in his opinion they are a true record of the meeting and he has no intention of removing anything.

In addition Vincent in his letter wishes approved and published minutes which relate to November removed from the council web site and altered.

He was at the December meeting when these minutes were discussed and approved, he made no objection at that time, why is he now wishing something altered.

This is not the first time that Vincent has attempted to interfere with the conduct of the Thornliebank CC meeting, we will cover these later.

Meanwhile we will move on to cover Lisa Paton's involvement over the same minutes.


More follows......

Where are all our Police Officers? Print E-mail

Published 6th January 2015

Strathclyde Police trumpeted Community Policing and this was billed as being continued and extended with the establishment of Police Scotland.

East ward area of East Renfrewshire had designated officers, who would walk the beat or on occasions ride a pedal cycle, sometimes supplied by community finances.

These officers would get to know the community and the community would get to know them. Information would flow and the bad people identified and dealt with by the 'local' police officer.

These officers would also attend local community group meetings and community council meetings.

Nothing like a Bobby on the beat to raise moral and feed information to, and an officer who knew who his local Neds were.

WHEN has anyone in East Renfrewshire last seen an officer on the beat, or indeed riding a bike.

It would appear that these bikes are rusting away in a garage somewhere and all of the 'Community Policing Officers' are in cars / vans.

Local officers with local knowledge would appear to have now been lost.

Is it any wonder that East Renfrewshire has the lowest detection rate in the whole of Scotland, and not for the first time.

THE Police Scotland web site proudly displays details of the local community policing teams.

This is an example from the web site:-


Policing Team

Sergeants: Kenneth Price, James Kyle

Constables: Steven Bain, Craig Fraser, Graeme Smith, Guy Jenner, Brian Kelly, Aileen Queen, James McCrudden, Jonathan Foster, Stuart McInnes, Ronald Watson

YET when we look at the entries for East Renfrewshire there is a different picture,

In respect of every ward area there is the following message,

Policing Team

Officer details will be published shortly.

Unfortunately this message has been up for around six months.

Minutes of East Renfrewshire Community Council meetings almost always showed that one if not two Community police constables were in attendance.

Over the past many months we can see that there is either a non attendance or the attendee is the on duty Sergeant, not the local community policing officer.

The very lastest minutes on display indicate the following attendee at CC meetings,

Barrhead Sgt Devine

Busby Sgt Devine

Clarkston PC McLean

Eaglesham No Police

Giffnock No Police

Neilston No Police

N & S Sgt Devine

Newton Mearns Sgt

Thornliebank PC De Verne

Uplawmoor No Police

OUR understanding is that Community Policing Officers who are based at Giffnock are being used on a daily basis to augment the response officers who are based at Barrhead.

Community Officers are provided with vehicles and are required to undertake 'Diary Calls'.

These are calls that the public make requesting assistance (considered non urgent) and in order to reduce the pressure on the response teams, the caller is given a future time and date when officers will call to take the complaint.

This then falls on the 'diary call' team (Community Officers) to call in a few days time as agreed with the Police Control Room and the member of the public.

So where are our officers and why has this not been publicised that we no longer have community officers patrolling our areas, or perhaps they are still there and we have got this wrong.

WE have submitted an FOI to Police Scotland requesting the identity of the Community Officers currently deployed in East Renfrewshire and will publish the response.

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