Saturday, 31 May 2008

A Beautiful Day for an Action Day

Not a cloud in the sky and a full squad of Conservative leafleters hit the streets of Newton Mearns, in 70 degree plus heat, to spread the word. 'No complacency here' is today's mantra from my campaign team, so our leaflets are fronted by Councillor Barbara Grant and Councillor Jim Swift telling everyone what the Conservative Council Group proposed to do in its cost neutral budget amendment earlier this year.

Two new 'Campus Cops'; Four additional Police Officers on the beat patrolling trouble spots in the evening - 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year; a 50% increase to the budget for resurfacing and patching of our crumbling roads and pavements network. Those are the priorities of the people of East Renfrewshire and those are the priorities of local Conservatives too.

For my part I am disgusted by the decision of the Community Health Care Partnership not to provide a Health Centre to Newton Mearns and the back page of our leaflet outlines my reasons in some detail. Newton Mearns is the largest commuter suburb in Scotland and the largest conurbation in East Renfrewshire and yet it is the most remote place in Scotland when it comes to accessing the NHS. Combine the lack of local NHS facility with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's decision to move hospital services from the Victoria Infirmary to the Southern General and the people of Newton Mearns truly are the people who pay most and get least when it comes to the tax they pay providing them with an accessible NHS. Oh and when you get to a hospital now you also have to pay their 'car park tax'.

Finally, we are giving formal notice of my intention to launch a campaign to take graffiti "OFF THE WALL". Yet more survey returns this morning from the Clarkston area place 'Youth Disorder/Graffiti' as the number one priority of local people so it is vital we are proactive in improving our local area.

It's a beautiful day to have an Action Day and a great day to be a champion for East Renfrewshire! I really cannot thank all those who have turned out today enough for their loyal support and I look forward to repaying the trust they are showing in me as we campaign towards the next General Election.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Graffiti - The Fight Back Begins

For so many people who move to East Renfrewshire the prospect of a better, cleaner environment is very often the very reason they aspire to moving to this area. Since Labour took over the administration of our local authority, (13 years ago), our streets have become litter strewn, the fabric of the local area has become unkempt and graffiti has become widespread. My recent canvass and survey returns show graffiti has become a priority for local people and that is why I intend to do something about the aesthetics of our local area.

I am sick and tired of the Council claiming to have graffiti squads touring the area to remove graffiti from junction boxes, post boxes, railings and walls. Everyone I speak to who reports graffiti wait weeks, if not longer, for something to be done to remove these eyesores and that simply is not good enough for local residents who pay the highest average Council Tax in Scotland.

That is why I am writing to all our Utility companies to seek standing order permission to take graffiti off their street furniture. Once this is to hand I look forward to working with local people to identify graffiti locations across East Renfrewshire so we can take graffiti "OFF THE WALL" and send a message to the minority of disrespectful and disruptive youths who are ruining our area.