A FORMER community council chairman is calling on the community to back an independent bid to overthrow “incompetent” elected councillors.

David Jesner, former chairman of the now defunct Newton Mearns Community Council, is spearheading a movement to have independent candidates stand in May’s local council elections.

Working under the slogan of “Let’s keep National Politics out of Local Authorities”, David wants to challenge the existing East Renfrewshire Council (ERC) administration, which he says has been left to its own devices for too long.

He also claims that the movement already has a feather in its cap with the collapse of the Bonnyton House care home sale – a sale which David vowed to reverse should the movement result in a regime change.

Speaking as editor of Briefing Notes, a free newsletter produced by East Renfrewshire residents, which is often heavily critical of ERC and its elected members, David said: “East Renfrewshire has changed, in a single generation, from a leafy, community spirited, commuter conurbation to a crumbling urban sprawl with overstretched infrastructure.

“East Renfrewshire Council has forgotten their purpose is to serve residents.

“Residents are not there to serve East Renfrewshire, enabling executive staff to draw eyewatering salaries in return for little work of value to residents.

“The administration coalition of Labour and SNP councillors have demonstrated utter incompetency with almost every decision made, doing as little as possible in controlling the council for maximum self-gain.

“Two days after Briefing Notes published a warning to the buyers, of actions we would take if we controlled ERC on May 5, the buyers withdrew, ignoring all the efforts of ERC staff to rescue the sale.”

He also went on to list several controversies, including the cost of the new Barrhead High School rocketing over its original budget by more than £5 million, and the fact that ERC was the first significant performance failure from the Scottish Housing Regulator for refusing to consult with registered tenants and residents associations.

David continued: “The stark choice in May for residents is: grit your teeth and accept more of the national party games, or, if residents speak out now, we can put forward a movement of candidates with relevant skills, to try to win enough seats, thereby taking control of East Ren.”