By Steph Brawn

Plans to carve up East Renfrewshire communities as part of changes to UK parliamentary boundaries have been slammed.

The controversial proposals would see the current constituency of East Renfrewshire split in half.

Barrhead, Neilston, Uplawmoor and the north of Newton Mearns would move into a new Paisley constituency.

Big changes are also planned for the rest of Newton Mearns, along with the likes of Busby, Eaglesham, Giffnock and Clarkston.

They would be lumped in with parts of East Ayrshire in a new constituency called Eastwood and Loudoun.

However, many Barrhead residents have been left baffled by the plans.

Rita Connelly, a member of Barrhead Community Council, said: “It wouldn’t be any good for the area.

“I don’t see why they have to change it.”

Brian Connelly, chairman of community group Auchenback Active, added: “I’m totally against it.”

Initial proposals were released by the Boundary Commission for Scotland last October but several changes have since been made, following a public consultation.

These include ditching plans to introduce a new constituency called Cunninghame East.

The changes are part of plans by the UK Parliament to reduce the number of constituencies from 650 to 600, with Scotland’s cut from 59 to 53.

Residents now have until December 11 to voice their thoughts on the matter.

East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton said: “The make-up of the proposed new constituency is clearly a big change from the East Renfrewshire boundaries we have been used to for two decades now.

“Whilst it remains to be seen whether there is the political will across the parties to put these changes into effect, it is nonetheless disappointing that Barrhead, Neilston and Uplawmoor would be moved into the proposed new Paisley seat.

“As such, I would encourage constituents with any views on the proposals to write into the consultation.”

The electorate for Eastwood and Loudoun would be 71,251, covering an area of 437, with 75,648 people in the Paisley constituency.

Lord Matthews, deputy chair of the Boundary Commission for Scotland, said: “After careful consideration of all of the comments received during the consultations on the initial proposals, the commission has designed this revised set of consistencies.

“Where the legislation has allowed it, we have tried to respond to the views expressed to us.

“However, in some areas, we have been unable to make changes because of the constraints on constituency design within which we work.”

To submit your views, visit