EAST Renfrewshire Council is not committing to installing cameras at Barrhead’s vandal-hit Cowan Park – despite earmarking half a million pounds for CCTV improvements.

Budget plans, revealed last week, show £500,000 will be spent over the next two years on upgrading CCTV systems “to combat crime and anti-social behaviour”.

In November, fed-up residents called on the council to act after a spate of vandalism in the park, which included a picnic bench being set on fire.

READ MORE: Fed-up residents are candid over need for cameras at Cowan Park​

But council chiefs say the money will initially be invested in converting existing systems from analogue to digital. 

Once that work is completed, they will liaise with Police Scotland to identify areas which need new cameras due to anti-social behaviour.

SNP councillor Colm Merrick welcomed the funding announcement at Thursday’s budget meeting.

“We’re going to increase the CCTV cameras to help with community safety but we already have the lowest crime rate in mainland Scotland,” he said.

READ MORE: Firebugs slammed after latest attack on Cowan Park

“East Renfrewshire is one of the safest places to live and work in mainland Scotland.”

The park was left requiring costly repairs after being vandalised just months after £250,000 was spent on improvements.

Rosaleen Reilly, chair of Barrhead Community Council, joined calls for CCTV, saying cameras were “absolutely crucial”, while residents took to social media with some questioning why no CCTV was installed when the park was upgraded.

A spokesman for East Renfrewshire Council said: “The priority is to upgrade the council’s existing cameras from analogue to digital. This will provide higher quality pictures and a reduction in ongoing running costs.

“Once this phase of the programme is complete, the potential for additional camera locations will be explored. 

“Any decision on the location of new cameras will be made in conjunction with Police Scotland and be based on information about areas which attract anti-social behaviour.”