OUTRAGED campaigners have condemned the “appalling” vandals responsible for racist graffiti on a road sign in Barrhead.

Vile graffiti stating “refugees not welcome” was daubed on the sign in Aurs Road – sparking anger amongst a group of activists who have taken action to cover it up.

Deborah Waters, an activist for the campaign group Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism (RISE) spotted the bright yellow slogan on the St Andrew’s Day – on her way back from an anti-racism march in Glasgow.

Disgusted by what was written on the sign – located on a busy road that connects Barrhead to Newton Mearns – Deborah and her son Max, along with friend Suze Watters, who are also both RISE Members, covered the graffiti so it read “refugees welcome”.

Ms Waters said: “I had attended the anti-racism march in Glasgow earlier so I was sad to see it, especially in my own area.

“I’ve seen things like that before but usually in Glasgow.

“I think people in East Renfrewshire are, on the whole, welcoming to refugees but the graffiti showed me there’s still a lot to be done.”

Police confirmed they immediately contacted East Renfrewshire Council to ensure the graffiti was removed as soon as possible.

A council spokeswoman said: “We take this type of offensive graffiti very seriously and as such our policy is to have this removed within 24 hours.

“Since we have been alerted to this, the graffiti has been cleared.”

Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire’s (VAER) also slammed the culprits behind the racist message.

Anne Kidd, chief executive of Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire’s (VAER), said: “I am very proud that Scotland is known globally as a friendly, welcoming country so it makes me really sad that a small number of people would think this way.

“In some ways, even responding to this act legitimises their bad behaviour.

“Our experience of the Syrian people who have found themselves having to flee their own home; their own country, is that they have gone out of their way to contribute to local community life.

“The families have organised lunches in Barrhead as a thank you to all the folks that have worked with them in the past year.”

She added that many of the Syrian family members volunteer in VAER craft classes to help people with additional support needs to learn new skills.

They also join in the sewing group “The Sewing Circle” to learn from local people and in return they share their expertise for example in how to tailor dresses.