20 Oct 2010

Paisley Daily Express - 20 October 2010

Credit Unions

Last week the Paisley Daily Express reported on an excellent initiative in Cochrane Castle Primary School. The school has launched has launched a savings scheme to encourage pupils to save on a regular basis. The project is supported by the Johnstone Credit Union, one of the best credit unions in Britain. The banking crisis of the last few years has made many people question the way that banks operate. The continuing greed of those at the top of our banks shows that senior executives have learned nothing from the crisis. Ordinary taxpayers had to bail out these irresponsible institutions and now we are facing cuts in services because of this.

Credit Unions are a shining example of how financial institutions should operate. They are owned and run by the members. Members can save and borrow with confidence. And where members do need to borrow they can do so more cheaply than through the banks. The pupils of Cochrane Castle are learning early that credit unions work. Why don’t you join up? If you want more information about your local credit union, call me on 0141 848 7361.

Protect our Services

I welcome the Paisley Daily Express survey which showed that the public want vital services protected. The enthusiasm for cuts shown by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats is worrying. Do they honestly think there are private sector jobs here in Renfrewshire which will replace the jobs being lost in the public sector? And of course lost jobs means a poorer service. I know many vulnerable people who rely on public services to help them survive at home. Many parents know the value of classroom assistants whose jobs are being cut. The Paisley Daily Express survey also showed that the public is opposed to excessive wage increases for top officials, especially when budgets are being cut. Why did Renfrewshire Council give top officials a wage rise of our 20%? Why not take back this unjustified rise and treat the Directors and top officials exactly the same as the other workers. It’s time for SNP and Liberal Democrats Councillors to think again.

Listen to Linwood

I recently attended a meeting of over 100 people, organised by Councillor Anne Hall. The meeting was to discuss the plans to demolish the well used Community Education Centre. The local people and users of the centre are frustrated that their views are being ignored by Renfrewshire Council. The previous meeting organised by the Council was a shambles and Council Officials have accepted they got it wrong. Councillor Anne Hall wanted to let local people give their views. It’s a shame that the Council refused to attend. No officials turned up, local SNP Councillors stayed away, and the Leader of the Council ducked out. And yet the meeting was productive. Views were put forward in a constructive way. A number of suggestions were made including possible access road realignment and the community taking over the centre. This seems to be another typical Council consultation. They’ve made up their mind and they are ignoring local opinion.