Cllr Kenny MacLaren (SNP – Paisley North West) has condemned the Labour administration of Renfrewshire Council for failing to call a single meeting of the Paisley Vision Board since they took control of the council in May’s election. With local businesses suffering from the UK’s double dip recession, it is important that Paisley Vision Board meets regularly to look at opportunities to boost trade in Paisley.
The Paisley Vision Board is a public/private board charged with regenerating Paisley. It met regularly to discuss the regeneration strategy for Paisley. It was previously chaired by Renfrewshire Council Leaders Derek Mackay and then his successor Councillor Brian Lawson.
Under the previous SNP administration Paisley Vision Board helped to develop a range of events to increase footfall and boost local trade. This included the Paisley Pipe Band Championships, the Christmas Lights and Fireworks events as well as the new Paisley Spree festival planned for this October.
“The Vision Board was a public/private board charged with regenerating Paisley. On enquiring who the new chair would be it came as a surprise that the Labour Administration of Renfrewshire Council has not called a single meeting of the Paisley Vision Board since being elected in May. A quarter of a year has passed and not a single meeting to lead the plans for regeneration of the town, it smacks of complacency by the Labour politicians now in office.
“They cannot believe they have all answers and they no longer need to listen to the businesses, traders, or other partners that make Paisley what it is. The truth is Labour haven’t yet moved on from opposition, and Paisley has to wait until they catch up. 3 months and no new chair of the Vision Group, is it that Labour just cannot make a decision, we are all left wondering whilst Paisley suffers. Is this an insight into the stagnation in the Labour group?
“It is clear that Labour has no vision for Paisley and are relying on the work carried out by the previous administration – such as the events which were initiated and arranged before the last election, including the recent Pipe Band Championships and the new Paisley Spree festival in October.
“All Labour offered Paisley in opposition was opposition for its own sake, and now all is revealed, that they have no ideas in Administration on how to revitalise the town. Labour opposed the big town centre events, the new branding, the purchasing of Arnotts, incentivising the filling of key sites such Littlewoods and even opposed the creation of the events’ budgets created by the SNP-led Administration.
“Paisley has had a challenging time, just as many other towns have, but for the new Administration to fail to pull the various partners together is a very poor start. Labour cannot simply rely on what plans and momentum the SNP got underway.
“If this administration is unwilling to work constructively with local businesses then they should move out the way and allow opposition councillors to take their place on the Paisley Vision Board.