Scottish Greens – East Renfrewshire

East Renfrewshire Greens branch newsletter, Tuesday 3rd November 2015

East Ren Greens Nov

November Branch Meeting

This month’s branch meeting will be held at the Travellers Rest in Neilston on Wednesday 4th November (tomorrow) from 7.30pm.

Local members can access minutes of our previous meeting and contribute to our draft agenda here, but if you’ve never made it to one of our meetings please try not to let the minutes put you off!

As previously noted, we’re keen to make our meetings more accessible and inclusive so if there’s anything about the timing or location of this meeting that’s off-putting for you, please let us know by emailing your comments or suggestions to eastren@scottishgreens.org.uk.

East Renfrewshire Greens’ First Birthday Party!

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Our first birthday party/AGM will be held on Saturday 21st November from 2pm and 4pm.

This meeting will be the next step towards establishing East Renfrewshire Greens as a stand-alone branch, and since we’ll be looking to elect people to internal positions we’re keen to have as many local members involved as possible.

In the hope of providing a bit of a sweetener for all that democracy, we’re hoping it’ll be a fun, family friendly social event, with an opportunity to head to the pub afterwards for those who are interested.  Our planning group are still looking for a venue, so if you have any suggestions for a suitable space please feel free to let us know either by email or on the GreenTalk discussion thread!

GreenSpace Comes To Clarkston

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Following up on our previous newsletter delivery run in Barrhead,  we held a social leafleting day in Clarkston this Sunday November 1st, delivering to around 1,100 households in the community. Our activists have also been busy delivering to Clarkston and Barrhead on a less formal basis, and the enthusiasm for getting the Green message out has been great to see.

With the Scottish parliament elections coming up, we’re going to need all of the energy and commitment we can muster to provide the sort of opposition the Scottish people deserve in 2016.

clark

If you’d like to read the first local edition of GreenSpace now, you can download it here.

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laura and pepper

If you’re looking to get involved in our next delivery run, we’ll be arranging another Newsletter run in the next fortnight.  Details will be published on our Twitter, Facebook and blog as soon as we have them!

Local Democracy 

According to a recent Barrhead News article on allegations to that East Renfrewshire Council “bullied” members of Friends of Cowan Park, “Trust in public officials in East Renfrewshire could not be any lower”. We’ve previously highlighted the council’s decisions to sell its one public care home Bonnyton House, and asked for support for the campaign to keep learning disability resource centres in Barrhead and Thornliebank open.

Inline images 6These campaigns are serious and they both need your support, and considered alongside other local issues – such as the fact that ERC have lost almost a quarter of a million pounds due to “chaotic paperwork”  – they make the need for local government that actually listens to the concerns of residents painfully clear.

ERC’s decision to disband community councils halfway through their elected term and have them regrouped under a new code of conduct has attracted a lot of criticism recently, none of it more pointed than the fact that they failed to reconstitute community councils in six of eleven areas. As East Renfrewshire Green Laura Stevens said:

Given that the new procedure for dealing with complaints against community councilors seem to favour the Council’s interests over the good of the community, it is tempting to speculate as to the motives behind this move. Whatever the truth, the lack of engagement with this new scheme from across East Ren highlights how little faith there is in our local government.

East Renfrewshire Council have stated that they intend to open a second round of nominations for community council posts on 10th November. It will be interesting to see whether there is more uptake this time, but either way, the need for reform in our local democracy is as urgent as the 2017 council elections seem far away.

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