BARRHEAD’S SNP councillor insists she has the drive to succeed...after previously earning a living by shuttling passengers around.

Angela Convery, 46, is drawing on her time as both a bus and taxi driver to deliver results for residents of the Barrhead, Liboside and Uplawmoor ward.

Three months on from taking her seat in the council chambers, the former St Luke’s High pupil is relishing the opportunity to repay voters’ faith.

Councillor Convery sat down with the Barrhead News to reflect on the start of her political career.

And the Dunterlie woman said the people skills picked up from her humble working beginnings are coming in handy in her new role.

Asked to explain her political background, cllr Convery offered a candid response and said: “I only started getting involved in politics after the independence referendum.

“For me, politics was just something that other people did and I let them deal with it because I didn’t think that I had a say in the matter.

“I had nothing to do with politics. I was a bus driver for Stagecoach in Kilmarnock for about 12 years and I was a taxi driver in Glasgow as well.

“But after the referendum, I thought ‘Oh, I’m actually quite interested in this.’

“I like speaking to people. When you’re a bus driver, that’s what you do.

“I’ve always dealt with the public. When people are coming to me now, I do everything I possibly can to help them because I’m in the position to help people.

“Being able to help people and get involved with communities, those were my main goals.”

Cllr Convery’s diary began to fill quickly after her local election success in May.

Two key issues have been helping residents with school placing requests and the “devastating” benefit cap.

While she regards the former as a positive sign for East Renfrewshire, the latter is a major source of frustration.

She said: “East Renfrewshire gets a very high amount of placing requests – we’re a victim of our own success, really.

“I found that hard because everybody’s situations are different but if there are no places, there are no places.

“We’re trying to close the attainment gap and that’s one of our priorities.”

Speaking of the hardship many now face due to the government’s cap on household benefits, Cllr Convery added: “It’s having a huge impact on families.

“What gets to me is how two little words – benefit cap – can mean so little to one person and yet have such a devastating effect on other people.

“When it comes to rent, some people are losing thousands of pounds of benefits and, on top of that, are losing their rent rebates and having to pay their full rent.”

Cllr Convery has also been out and about to speak with various community groups in recent weeks.

Meetings with Barrhead-based Recovery Across Mental Health (RAMH), East Renfrewshire Disability Action and the Include Me 2 Club have proved fruitful.

All are organisations the politician hopes to form close bonds with going forward.

And she believes that, with a new Arthurlie Family Centre set to open, and the new Barrhead High opening its doors this week, it is an exciting time for the town.

Cllr Convery added: “The new family centre is definitely going to be an asset for Auchenback and Barrhead as a whole.

“You’ve got the new Barrhead High opening as well. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve not been in it yet but, from the outside, it’s looking really good.”