Save Our Green Spaces

East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton, Eastwood MSP Jackson Carlaw and the East Renfrewshire Conservative Council group have come out against any plans to build a new Leisure Centre on Broomburn Park or Shawwood, in Newton Mearns, in the strongest possible terms.

The news emerged after the results of a public consultation by the Council voted narrowly in favour of moving the leisure facility, with both Broomburn Park and Shawwood looking like likely locations. However, questions have been raised regarding the legitimacy of the results after the voting seemed to exclude more than one vote per household. Further problems such as elderly residents not being able to access an online only consultation have also been raised.

The Conservative politicians are not against a re-build of Eastwood Leisure Centre on its current site at Eastwood Park but stand firmly opposed to any movement to green space out with this location.

The Conservative politicians also noted that the consultation didn’t respect the views of the community who live near the new facility and who would be most affected by a new centre. With residents near both green spaces, votes being counted the same as anyone who could access a computer.

East Renfrewshire MP and Eastwood’s MSP had previously written to residents within the immediate vicinity to Broomburn Park last year and found that over 95% the community were against any proposal to build on the park.

The politicians further commented that transport infrastructure around a new location for the facility would not be suitable for the expected traffic whilst also noting that costs to move the facility could sky rocket.

East Renfrewshire’s Conservative representatives stand ready to fight against any proposal to build on either Broomburn Park or Shawwood Park.

Whilst we appreciate that several other sites are also being considered, we are aware that Shawwood and Broom are the council’s preferred sites. These two were the ones which came up most frequently in the consultation response. We are resolute in our opposition to other sites such as Braidbar Quarry and Huntly Park being built on and should the councils proposals change we will be backing local residents against development here. 

Show your support by signing the petition at: https://www.jacksoncarlaw.org.uk/campaigns/save-our-green-spaces

Call for responses to Eastwood Leisure Centre public consultation

East Renfrewshire Council have released the expected public consultation on the future of Eastwood Leisure Centre.

You can have your say on the four options available here:
https://getinvolved.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/…/subpage.2018-…

The consultation is open until 19th June. We strongly encourage as many residents to complete the survey as possible.

Cllr Jim Swift offered the following comments on the public consultation:

“Option 4 means that the new site would be in one of five locations; two of which are in Kirkhill / Broom, but the scale of the development would mean not just the loss of parkland, but the loss of a whole park.  If double the space of Eastwood Leisure Centre is required, Broom Park or Shawwood parks would be almost no more, once parking etc. is included.

Conservatives think we should upgrade the current Eastwood Park site.  

It is outrageous that our green spaces are yet again under threat.  

East Renfrewshire Council could spend £16 million upgrading the existing Eastwood Leisure Centre under option 3.  We would have better facilities, and could spend the remaining £14 million on our roads.  This would clear almost 2/3rds of East Renfrewshire Council’s back-log of road repairs – and keep our green spaces!”


(Cllr Jim Swift with local residents helping to keep Broom Park clean!)

East Renfrewshire MP Welcomes Commons Vote for Energy Price Cap

The Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill has completed its passage through the House of Commons, and has passed to the House of Lords with the expectation that it will become law by this summer.  The Bill fulfils the Conservative Manifesto promise to protect consumers from unfair energy bills and is the first step in reforming the broken energy market.

The energy market is not working for ordinary consumers. Customers who shop around and switch suppliers can save around £300 each year, but energy bills remain higher than they should for millions of households.  Ofgem have already introduced a safeguard tariff cap on prepayment meters, saving five million of the most vulnerable customers an average £60 each year.  This Bill will build on that by putting an absolute cap on default standard variable energy tariffs by the end of the year so that the 11 million households on these rip off tariffs can feel the benefits this winter.

Strong competition is the best way to protect the interests of consumers, and this Bill is part of larger efforts to reform the energy market, giving more power to consumers, increasing competition through the rollout of smart meters and making switching suppliers quicker and easier for everyone. 

East Renfrewshire MP, Paul Masterton said:

 “I was proud to vote for this Bill which will offer protection to households right across East Renfrewshire from the excessive energy bills that hit the most vulnerable consumers the hardest.  I know that high energy bills are a big concern for many people, and I am proud that we have introduced this smart, temporary, market intervention while we work to fix the market by giving power to consumers and increasing competition.”

Masterton presses Home Secretary for deportation of Barrhead’s Romanian rapist

East Renfrewshire’s MP, Paul Masterton, has again pressed the case for the deportation of Barrhead Romanian rapist, Samuel Ciornei, as soon as possible.

Mr Masterton wrote to the Home Secretary, The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, to ask how the Government is progressing its deportation action against Samuel Ciornei while noting the difficulties which such legal action to secure deportation orders can cause.

This follows Mr Masterton raising the case with both the Prime Minister at her weekly Prime Minister’s Questions and meeting with the Home Secretary to discuss whether Samuel Cioreni had previous convictions in his native Romania.

Samuel Ciornei entered the UK on 19 July 2016 from his native Romania and committed the rape for which he has now been convicted and sentenced less than three weeks later.

Commenting East Renfrewshire MP, Paul Masterton said:

“Deportation action is an often difficult and time consuming process to be achieved through the courts.

“Securing the removal of Samuel Cioreni from Scotland would be a positive step given the horrific crime he committed within our community.

“Locals should not be paying through their taxes for the bed and board of a convicted rapist who must no longer be allowed to stay in this country.

“I am thankful that the Home Secretary is progressing deportation action and I thank her and the Prime Minister for their support of the community in response to this heart breaking crime.”

MSP secures Barrhead Road repairs in Newton Mearns

A section of Barrhead Road in Newton Mearns is set to be included in the council’s resurfacing programme for 2018/19 after Jackson Carlaw MSP raised concerns about the condition of the road between Asda at The Avenue and Greenfarm Road.

The MSP for Eastwood first wrote to the council in March 2017 and again in February 2018 asking for resurfacing work to be carried out after constituents had contacted him about the sorry state of the road.

Complaints about the condition of Barrhead Road include potholes and an uneven surface.

Following Mr Carlaw’s most recent letter, Roads and Transportation Service have advised him that the section of Barrhead Road between Rodger Avenue and Westacres Road will be included as part of the council’s programme of works for the 2018/19 financial year.

The resurfacing work is expected to take place in June 2018 subject to final approval from the council’s ‘Cabinet’ later this month.

The Cabinet is a decision making body within East Renfrewshire Council and is composed of elected members.

Eastwood MSP Jackson Carlaw said:

“After writing to the council about the condition of Barrhead Road from The Avenue to Greenfarm Road at the beginning of 2017, I again contacted them in the early months of 2018 to ask that resurfacing work be considered for the upcoming financial year.

“I am delighted that roads officers have listened to the concerns I raised with them and included the stretch of the road between Rodger Avenue and Westacres Road as part of the 2018/19 resurfacing programme with the work expected to take place this June.

“I urge the council Cabinet to give a green light to the proposed repairs and support the good people of Newton Mearns.”

MP and MSP urge East Renfrewshire Council to ban the use of “animal waste” on Newton Mearns biogas plant

East Renfrewshire MP, Paul Masterton and Eastwood MSP, Jackson Carlaw have written to East Renfrewshire Council regarding a controversial biogas plant at Greenhags Recycling Centre in Newton Mearns, which will see animal waste being utilised for fuel at the plant.

Concerned constituents have contacted both Mr Carlaw and Mr Masterton over the development.

This follows a Community Council meeting earlier in the month where Mr Carlaw and a representative of Mr Masterton’s office heard the concerns of local residents. 

When the planning application was previously granted East Renfrewshire Council included a so called ‘Condition 10’ which centred around the banning of animal waste in a move to alleviate public concerns.

The developer has now sought to have this condition removed in their current planning application.

East Renfrewshire Council have since contacted both Jackson Carlaw MSP and Paul Masterton MP over the facility. However, the letter only heightens the fears of residents, as the council confirmed cattle slurry will be used on site and no consultation will take place over this.

East Renfrewshire MP, Paul Masterton said:

 “Removal of Condition 10 represents a shameful withdrawal by East Renfrewshire Council from previous assurances given to residents.

 “The transfer of slurry to the site is a real worry for those living near to the plant. The lack of consultation on the matter is of further concern.

 “I urge all at East Renfrewshire Council to listen to the genuine concerns of residents and stop any use of animal waste at the facility.”

 Eastwood MSP, Jackson Carlaw added:

 “Amending or removing Condition 10 is disadvantageous to local people who at least felt protected by this control on developers.

 “I previously fought a high-profile campaign against a mass waste incinerator which would have turned Newton Mearns into the ashtray of the West of Scotland and we cannot allow the Council to now backtrack from assurances made to local people.

 “The Council must listen to residents and put a stop to any plans of animal waste being used at the biogas plant”

Braidbar Quarry and Huntly Park development potentially stalled

A Freedom of Information request from the offices of Jackson Carlaw MSP and Paul Masterton MP suggests that there has been no official communication between East Renfrewshire Council and Advance Construction Ltd or other interested parties since summer 2017 regarding the potential development of Braidbar Quarry and Huntly Park.

Before the May 2017 Council Election, it was revealed that developer Advance Construction Ltd had been in talks with East Renfrewshire Council over a planning proposal to re-develop Braidbar Quarry, which also included part of Huntly Park.

The chain of communications sent to Eastwood’s MSP and East Renfrewshire’s MP show that the last e-mail correspondence from the developer occurred on 6 June 2017 and was in relation to Advance Construction Ltd seeking permission to access Braidbar Quarry in order to carry out a bird survey.

A recent survey exercise carried out by Mr Carlaw and Mr Masterton showed that there is an overwhelming opposition to development at the sites from individuals living in the surrounding houses.

Commenting Eastwood MSP Jackson Carlaw said:

“The correspondence forwarded to us by the council suggests that the proposed development project at Braidbar Quarry and Huntly Park may have potentially stalled.

“Paul and I will be keeping a close eye on this matter and we will remain vigilant to the prospect of any formal planning proposal.”

East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton added:

“The results of our FOI request indicate that the council have not been contacted by Advance Construction Ltd in an official capacity since June 2017 regarding the proposal to develop Braidbar Quarry and Huntly Park.

“We certainly hope that this is the case and we remain very much opposed to any planning initiative that would see the loss of much loved Huntly Park.”

Touching tributes for Ian Hutchison

It was with great sadness that we in the Association learned of the news of former provost Ian Hutchison.  As Jackson Carlaw MSP intimated, ” Ian was part of band of councillors including Jean McFie, Robbie Robertson, Burnett McPhail, Judy Edmondson, Leslie Rosin and then latterly Iain Drysdale, Jim Shaw, Barbara Grant and Charlie Gilbert who all served with great distinction together for many years when Conservatives dominated the old Eastwood District Council”. The high esteem in which he was held may be drawn, not just from the large number who, despite the extremities of severest weather, attended his funeral but also from the recent article in the Barrhead News, which we have copied below, where local politicians of all hues paid testament to his influence on civic life in East Renfrewshire. He will be greatly missed.

Touching tributes for Ian Hutchison – extract from Barrhead News 7th March

Touching tributes for former Provost Ian Hutchison

Tributes have been paid to former Eastwood Provost Ian Hutchison after he died at the age of 89.
Best known for his roles as the area’s civic leader and chair of the Eastwood Planning Committee, Mr Hutchison was described as “a remarkable man” by current East Renfrewshire Provost Jim Fletcher.
And a minute’s silence was held in honour of the former Conservative councillor before the full meeting of East Renfrewshire Council on Friday.
Opening the meeting, Provost Fletcher said: “I’ve known Ian since I was first elected in 1988. He was a man who I greatly respected as a councillor.

“When I first joined the council, I enjoyed debating with him.
“He was a real councillor and he was easily elected most of his life.
“In his early days, when he chaired the planning committee, he was never afraid to take a difficult decision if it was right for the council.
“He always did what he thought was right and what was right for the local area. He was quite a remarkable man.”
Tributes also poured in online from friends and former colleagues.
Eastwood MSP Jackson Carlaw released a statement paying tribute to Mr Hutchison.
He said: “It is with great sadness that I heard of the death of former Eastwood Provost and Conservative councillor Ian Hutchison.
“Ian was a long-serving and thoroughly professional public servant in days when councillors gave of their time without any financial salary.
“He led the Eastwood Planning Committee for many years and also served as councillor when the new East Renfrewshire authority was created.
“He had a real ability to cut to the heart of an issue and an engaging and waspish sense of humour.
“I offer my condolences and best wishes to all his family and friends.”

Parliamentary Plaudits for Giffnock North Athlete

Giffnock North High Jumper, Nikki Manson, has received parliamentary plaudits after being selected to represent Scotland in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast later this year.  Nikki holds the Scottish indoor record for the high jump after she cleared the height of 1.9m.

East Renfrewshire MP, Paul Masterton lodged the Early Day Motion for the high jumper in the House of Commons earlier this week (7th March)

Early Day Motions or EDMs allow MPs to raise awareness of an organisation or cause. The EDM lodged for Nikki reads as follows:

“That this House congratulates Nikki Manson of Giffnock North Athletic Club for being selected to represent Scotland in the high jump in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018; notes that Nikki celebrated her Gold Cost selection by clearing 1.9 metres to set a new Scottish indoor record; acknowledges that although Nikki initially missed the cut for the Gold Coast, her hard work and dedication eventually paid off to book her place in Team Scotland; also wishes every success to Nikki as she gets ready to take part in Australia.”

East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton commented:

“I am delighted for Nikki and her coaches. She has certainly been on a roller-coaster of a journey as far as qualification is concerned but I am happy her hard work and determination has paid off.  I wish her every success in Australia representing Scotland.”

Newton Mearns care home to close following Care Inspectorate concerns

The Care Inspectorate has made a court application for Greenlaw Grove care home in Newton Mearns to be closed down citing an “unacceptable quality of care, leadership, staffing and environment”.

This follows the care home having its grades reduced by the Care Inspectorate and an improvement notice being placed on the home in August 2017, which was extended to 31 January 2018.

East Renfrewshire has now cancelled their contract with the home, having previously placed a hold on any new placements to Greenlaw Grove back in August 2017.

Residents and their families were notified of developments via letter on 23 February 2018.

Commenting Eastwood MSP, Jackson Carlaw said:

“I will be keeping in close contact with council colleagues as this decision develops.

“There are 26 East Renfrewshire residents who will now require to be rehoused with many others now in limbo.

“This news will be daunting for many families, yet it reinforces the importance we in Eastwood put on care for our elders.”

East Renfrewshire MP, Paul Masterton added:

“There have been longstanding concerns about Greenlaw Grove with the Care Inspectorate significantly revising their view on the quality of care provided.

“It would have been remiss of the local Health and Social Care Partnership to continue to commission care with these concerns hanging over the provider and whilst it will be a concerning development for many it remains the correct decision by council colleagues.”