Two elected members have been slammed after failing to show at a full meeting of East Renfrewshire Council.

Independents Paul Aitken and David Macdonald were criticised by fellow councillors for “not doing the work” they were elected to do.

Mr Aitken has confirmed that he instead attended a Parent Council meeting, while Mr Macdonald was absent as he had a family commitment.

It comes just weeks after both men quit their respective roles on the planning, licensing and scrutiny committees, claiming they would devote more time to their constituents.

Provost Jim Fletcher said: “I think we would all agree that if you’re going to be a councillor, you should be doing the work.”

At last week’s council meeting, Mr Macdonald was replaced on the audit and scrutiny committee by Conservative member Jim McLean.

Mr Macdonald’s former position on the licensing board was filled by Councillor Charlie Gilbert, while Mr Aitken’s place on the planning applications committee and local review body was taken by Councillor Jim Swift.

Speaking after his appointment, Mr Swift said: “I would be very happy to take up the slack where Councillor Aitken could not and would not do the work.”

The no-shows come a month after Conservative group leader Stewart Miller hit out at both independents for resigning from the committees.
At that time, former Conservative member Mr Aitken hit back, claiming he quit the party because Mr Miller’s leadership was “complacent and gutless”.

Mr Macdonald said the audit and scrutiny committee, chaired by Mr Miller had become a “cheerleading squad”.

Elected members discussed items such as new data protection laws at the full council meeting.

But Mr Aitken said: “Happy to miss East Renfrewshire Council’s full council meeting in Giffnock tonight in order that I could spend time with people I really care about. My Barrhead constituents. I wanted a breath of fresh air tonight instead of hot air from ERC councillors.”