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East Rens Crime clear up rate - The lowest in Scotland Print E-mail

Published 1st December 2014

NOT only is East Renfrewshire's detection rate the lowest in Scotland for yet another year, the rate has reduced even further than last year.

Last year the rate was 37% and the lowest in Scotland.

This year it has fallen to 35% and still the lowest of all local authorities in Scotland.

These figures have just been released by the Scottish Government.

That compares to 52% in Glasgow; the same as the national figure.

East Dunbartonshire is just below the national average at 44%, Renfrewshire sits at 51%, South Lanarkshire is 50%, North Lanarkshire is just above average at 54%, Inverclyde is way above average at 60% and West Dunbartonshire is 56%.

North Ayrshire sits at 46%, South Ayrshire 49% and East Ayrshire 52%.

Link to document

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0046/00464137.pdf

 
East Renfrewshire Councillors raked in a combined total of £384,713 in the last year. Print E-mail

Published 30th November 2014

The salaries of East Renfrewshire Council’s elected members have been revealed in the council accounts for 2013-2014.

The remuneration report includes a comprehensive break down of travel, meal and training expenses claimed back by each councillor.

Councillor Jim Fletcher remains the top earner on £27,329 a year while claiming £665 on car expense, £266 on travel expenses and £581 on training and conference expenses. In addition he receives payments as a non-executive member of the Scottish Futures Trust’s Audit Committee which is £7,800 taking his total to £35,129.

Busby/Eaglesham/Clarkston Councillor and Provost Alistair Carmichael although having an official car managed to still claim £52 for car expenses.

Neilston councillor Tony Buchannan claimed the highest amount in car expenses at £1,278. He also claimed the most in training and conference expenses at £622.

Fellow Neilston councillor Elaine Green claimed the second highest travel expenses at £1,082.

Giffnock and Thornliebank Councillor Vincent Waters claimed the third highest car expense at £1,011.

In comparison Councillors Swift, Montague, Wallace, Devlin, Miller made no claim for car expenses.

Barrhead Councillor Danny Devlin claimed the highest for his telephone at £896, with Eaglesham / Busby / Clarkston Councillor Stewart Miller having the lowest claim at £61.

The top five highest expenses claims were made by:-

Buchanan £2,235
Fletcher £2,087
Green £1,937
Lafferty £1,854
Grant £1,842

The lowest five were:-
Miller £61
Wallace £240
Swift £311
Reilly £361
Carmichael £657

 
Your listening Council Print E-mail

THE council invited the ten East Renfrewshire Community Councils to send representatives to attend a discussion group on 19th November 2014 at St Ninians High School.

However the offer was restricted to only permit two attendees per CC at only two of the four budget discussion groups.

The event was split into four discussion groups focusing on the service delivery areas of – Education, Community Health and Care, Environment and Community Services, and Culture and Leisure Services.

Community Councils were restricted and prevented from attending the groups that related to Education, Community Health and Care.

We are aware of at least two community councils who specifically requested permission to attend these particular groups, and were denied access by ERC.

The irony is that ERC set up a specific email addy for replies at 'Listening'.

HOWEVER the 'listening' council did what they do best on the day. They did not listen. A member of a local group, who is also an ousted chair of a community council attempted to sit in on the Health group and was ejected from there by council staff, as they claimed he had no permission to join that particular group.

Yet the chair of Giffnock Community Council, Savio D'Souza was permitted to sit on the Health group as he had been provided with special permission.

Community Councillors were banned from this group by ERC, another community group representative was removed on the evening, yet Savio D'Souza has yet again received special privileges and was permitted to sit in on the group discussions.

A person who has been proven to be a repetitive rule breaker when it comes to community councils, and has a past record of being investigated by the council regarding non compliance with land lord legislation and has been arrested by the police on warrant.

Restriction on democratic rights and special privileges to one. Would this ring any bells with historians out there.

Mr D.Souza preparing to offer 'Massages' to punters at the Giffnock Xmas Fair 2014.

 
Is ERC hemorrhaging money ? Print E-mail

WHILST the council are looking to bridge a £20 million pound budget gap over the next three years, and some of the plans are to lay of staff and close the only council care home, have they failed to stop the basic and unnecessary flow of cash out of the Eastwood Park doors.

Just how did they end up in this mess, did they fail to take care of the pennies which has resulted in the loss of the pounds, which is now leading to the loss of front line staff.

Was it necessary or indeed prudent to gift thousands of pounds to voluntary groups looking to improve Rouken Glen Park, only to find that one group have now disbanded, due to what they claim are the actions of ERC and the other has just disappeared, and all the work that was carried out is now going to waste.

Was is prudent to gift thousands of pounds to a community council, only to find that their accounts did not appear to be wholly accurate and show the distribution of the cash.

Was is wise to gift thousands of pounds to a Gala project, only to find that accounts were not provided.

There are numerous examples of monies being gifted to local groups and never being accounted for or the expenditure fully explained.

Is it really necessary for the Convenor of Community engagement to have access to a fund and permitted to take decisions without the approval of the cabinet as to where she gifts the cash.

Is it prudent that the Provost also has a fund and he to can gift cash as and when he pleases with out the approval of the cabinet.

A Tea dance at a cost of how much, corporate tables at charity functions which start at £500 and go up to £4,000 per table, attended by invited councillors to accompany the Provost for a full meal and drinks throughout the evening, paid for by the Provost.

Housing Benefits overpayments of £15.624.24 written off.

Sports equipment valued at £20,000 gifted to an Pacific island, instead of being sold off.

£40,000 put into a Town Centre Resilience fund for such things as Hanging Baskets and fence painting in Thornliebank.

£120,000 put into a Town Centre Resilience fund for Barrhead in relation to the same type of projects.

Is this council top heavy with overpaid chiefs.

A current advertisement for a Head of Education in East Ayrshire Council shows the salary to be £85,734. Whilst ERC are recorded in 2011 as paying their Head of Education £108,507.

ERC have a Chief Executive and a Deputy at a cost of £135,096 and £116,695 which many other councils only have a Head and no requirement for a deputy.

This council have a large legal team

2 trainees

2 solicitors

1 solicitor (Environment Dept)

3.8 FTE senior solicitors

1 principle solicitor

1 Chief Officer (Legal and Procurement)

The last senior solicitor was on a salary of £113,686

WITH a team of this strength why has the council required to spend and increasing amount of cash on external legal advice, year on year.


THE current administration have been in situ for the past three years and to date they have spent 1/2 million pounds on EXTERNAL legal advice.

It would appear that Jim Fletcher and his band do not understand the meaning of the proverb "look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves"

Meanwhile residential care homes face the prospect of closure, schools will be without police officers and teachers, at least two community wardens will be looking for new jobs.

In addition the cabinet were asked in September 2014 to note a shortfall - in our language 'an overspend' of £357,000

The only exception is that the PR section appears to have recruited yet another member of staff. (Newsline is unable to confirm this as Louisa Mahon, Head of the PR section has refused to converse with us)

 
How does East Renfrewshire fair with regards to the accuracy of crime recording Print E-mail

THERE has been recent debate concerning the accuracy of crime statistics in England and Wales.

NEWSLINE is aware that during a recent spate of vandalism undertaken on vehicles in the Stamperland area of East Renfrewshire there was concern over the recording of these by the police.

Seven cars in two adjacent streets had their wing mirrors broken off. Many were electric and cost on average £300 per mirror to replace, and the cost of the damage ran into thousands of pounds.

However the costs do not appear on police statistics, it is only the crime and the numbers of crimes.

NEWSLINE would have to suggest that on this occasion recording all of the crime on one crime report, whilst still recording them prevents them appearing on the national crime statistics for East Renfrewshire as seven vandalisms, the national crime statistics shows this as one vandalism, a fact well known to senior officers who would have been responsible for directing that all seven be recorded on one crime report.

IN addition recent activity at Clarkston Toll has gone unrecorded.

DURING the recent referendum campaign this sign was attached to the advertising billboard at Clarkston Toll.

A complaint was made to JCDecaux the advertising company and they sent a team of workers out who uncoupled the sign and removed it.

A complaint was made to the police at Giffnock, however at a recent Community Council meeting the community police sergeant stated that his officers had contacted the advertisers and as they said no damage had been caused, there was no act of vandalism and no report / record / investigation would take place.

Despite JCDecaux requiring to pay for staff to attend and remove the item, despite members of the public being exposed to serious injury or death should the heavy wooden structure have fallen onto any passing pedestrian etc.

NEWSLINE is aware that the placing of this structure could have been treated as a Breach of the Peace by the police and recorded as such and investigated.

In Scotland there is also an offence of Culpable and Reckless Conduct and is a Common Law offence under Scots Law.

The offence has no specific definition but deals with acts involving a criminal degree of recklessness which cause injury to other persons or create a risk of such injury.

Yet East Renfrewshire Police would appear to have chosen to ignore this matter completely.

 
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