No matter where you live in East Renfrewshire, your public services are under threat. In Busby, East Renfrewshire Council (ERC) are selling Bonnyton House, our last publicly owned care home, despite proposals from campaigners that would allow ERC to keep Bonnyton House open and make the required savings.
Meanwhile, the Barrhead and Neilston Disabled Forum (Band F) faces uncertainty about its future as ERC considers withdrawing the funding that pays for halls carers and transport.
UK government cuts have put enormous stress on council budgets. That’s why our Green MSPs highlighted the issue of how much council money is spent paying back unfair contracts and called for this to be cleared – a move that would add £11 million a year to ERC’s budget! It’s also why we will continue to campaign to replace the unfair council tax with a local taxation system that gives councils flexibility and responsibility. Our Green MSPs managed to prevent a massive £160million of cuts in their budget negotiations with the Scottish Government this year, £3 million of which will go towards public services in East Renfrewshire.
With the services that exist to serve the elderly and the disabled in our communities already strained by years of successive cuts, the need for further action to protect services is clear.
Greens co-convenor and former councillor Maggie Chapman pioneered the participative budgeting approach now being adopted nationwide by championing Leith Decides, where the community were directly involved in budget decisions.
Meanwhile, Green councillor Ian Baxter recently secured an amendment to the Midlothian council budget that saved vital local services by investing in community owned renewable project that will pay back into council budgets moving forward.
Vote Green in 2017 for councillors who are willing to listen to the public and to look for solutions beyond the “business as usual” approach of other parties!
David Allison (council candidate for Barrhead, Liboside and Uplawmoor)
Laura Stevens (council candidate for Clarkston, Netherlee and Williamwood)