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Has the politics of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea now reached East Renfrewshire. Print E-mail

Published 28th March 2015

Thornliebank Community Council has banned two of its own members from attending any future Joint Community Council Forum meetings.

Thornliebank Community Council (TCC) voted at their last meeting to ban the chair and secretary from attending the East Renfrewshire Joint Community Council Forum (ERJCCF) as representatives of TCC.

In a move straight out of non democratic North Korea they have went further and instructed that they should not attend as private individuals either.

The ERJCCF was established several years ago and in a press release issued by them they explain the issue.

Certain Community Councillors have attempted to prevent a Community Council Chair and Vice Chair from attending ERJCCF meetings.

We ask the question, what valid justification is there for this approach?

The ERJCCF operates on an informal basis, in line with ERC’s Guidance Manual for Community Councils and the Scotland Act 1973.

ERJCCF was set up as an informal forum in line with Scottish Government guidance primarily for Community Council Chairpersons and Secretaries. There is therefore no requirement for a constitution or elected office bearers. We do not have a Chairperson. Should one be required to steer a meeting such as when ERC’s Chief Executive or an MSP attends as an invited guest, the Chair is rotated amongst the Community Council Chairs present.

Notes are often produced for information purposes to distribute, instead of formal minutes. Whilst all attending are Community Councillors, they are attending the ERJCCF purely as individuals.

Every individual in attendance has a personal and genuine interest in the wellbeing of their community where they reside and a desire to enhance their personal knowledge and understanding of various Community Council matters. The sharing of information, support and increased knowledge of all the issues and views from other areas within East Renfrewshire is of great value and develops a mutual understanding which is beneficial, to the Community Councillors and their residents in East Renfrewshire.

There have been a number of erroneous, negative comments, over the last year, in particular from the Leader of the Council Cllr. Fletcher, Cllr. Waters and the Chief Executive Lorraine McMillan regarding the ERJCCF. This apparent deliberate misinformation has led, amongst other things to ERC officials refusing to recognise, correspond or attend any meetings of the ERJCCF.

It has been brought to our attention that some attendees of the ERJCCF have been attacked unjustifiably by fellow Community Councillors for attending the ERJCCF. Some Community Councillor office bearers have been told by members of their own Community Councils that they are barred from attending future ERJCCF meetings, which ignores the fact that all attendees, attend on a personal, individual capacity. This is simply acting ultra vires. (Acting beyond their powers.)

We condemn this conduct by those uninformed Community Councillors who seek to restrict the personal freedom of their elected office bearers, who are acting in an individual capacity. We find this conduct abhorrent and it has no basis as it clearly contravenes the letter and the spirit of the Act.

NEWSLINE understands that Leader Fletcher was at the meeting when they decided to ban their Chair and Vice from attending and he was heard to say that the ERJCCF was not a recognised body.

Leader Jim Fletcher

He was also present when they instructed that these two office bearers were not permitted to attend as individuals in their own right.

This is not the first occasion that a CC has attempted to control the activities of their own with regards to the ERJCCF.

Unsurprisingly this occurred at Giffnock Community Council and once again Leader Fetcher was present.

In January 2014 Chairman D’Souza referred to a previous meeting where it had been decreed that no Ccllr from TCC was to attend at the JCCF.

The Ccllr concerned had challenged this, as to whether GCC was in fact permitted to make decisions affecting official external representation by GCC councillors. However Chairman D’Souza stated that it was regrettable and disappointing to learn from the minutes of the recent JCC meeting that Jeffrey had been in attendance.

The Ccclrs passed a vote of no confidence in the Cllr concerned and he has since resigned from his role.

Present and counting the votes for the CC was Leader Fletcher.

Is this another case of Leader Fletcher wishing to keep the populous divided in order to keep himself in power.

NEWSLINE would have to ask where does this CC get the power and authority to prevent these two residents of East Renfrewshire from attending a meeting if they so desire.

Will they have the community safety department at ERC issue them with tags and put in place curfews.

Will TCC Cllrs be tagged

We have asked Leader Fletcher for a comment, but he has failed to respond.

Is Chairman D'Souza breaching the rules yet again? Print E-mail

Published 27th March 2015

Controversial Chair of Giffnock Community Council Savio D’Souza would appear to be at the centre of yet another debate as to whether he is, once again ignoring statutory rules and operating under his own, without the local authority even commenting on his apparently unconstitutional and undemocratic activities.

Mr D’Souza as the chair of Giffnock Community Council is required to abide by the Constitution as set out by East Renfrewshire Council.

Chairman D'Souza

The constitution states that if a Community Councillor fails to attend three consecutive meetings, with or without submitting apologies they can be removed from post.

However under special circumstances a community councillor can be provided with a 'period' of absence.

In September 2013 there were elections in relation to Community Councils and a female resident stood for election and was appointed to Giffnock CC.

She attended a meeting in that month and is recorded as doing so in the minutes.

However she is not recorded in any subsequent minutes until January 2015 when it is announced that she wishes to return to the CC and Chairman D’Souza has accepted this.

It is our understanding that the constitution indicates that this person should have not been returned as a full Community Councillor, but proposed as a Co-opted member at the January meeting and then confirmed at the February meeting if successful in her application.

The importance of this is that the number of Co-opted members is not permitted to exceed the number of elected members, and the base line of elected members is an indication of whether a community council can be established or not.

Is Chairman D’Souza once again playing with numbers to keep his ship afloat and are East Renfrewshire Council yet again turning a blind eye to his activities.

Chairman D’Souza already has a registered member who has never attended any CC meetings for over three years.

NEWSLINE has offered ERC and Chairman D’Souza the opportunity to comment, neither has taken up the offer and declined to respond.

This is not the first time that Chairman D'Souza has been accused of breaching the rules and East Renfrewshire Council have just ignored these, yet they seem to what to take on any other Community Council in respect of their alleged misconduct.

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

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