Police Scotland It’s public knowledge that I believe Scotland’s police chief Sir Stephen House should resign. He should go after a number of recent events which leave the reputation of Police Scotland tarnished. The tragic deaths in the M9 accident is just the latest incident to cause public concern. Lamara Bell had to suffer in her car for three days next to her dead partner, John Yuill, before the police responded to a call from a member of the public. Sadly Lamara also died. This follows redundancies among civilian call centre staff, many of whose jobs are now being filled by uninformed police officers. There has been controversy over stop and search policy, and the policy of armed police officers. The vast majority of Scots have a high regard for their local police officers and have a huge admiration and respect for the difficult job. However, I have been contacted by serving and retired officers who are complaining about low morale and high levels of stress. All of this starts to have an impact on public perception and it’s not fair on our hard working and professional police officers. There does need to be an investigation into what happened with the M9 accident. But Police Scotland needs a fresh start and that’s why I believe it needs a new Chief Constable. But let’s not kid ourselves. Many of these problems have been caused by the decisions made by Scottish Government Ministers and this includes a failure to properly fund the service. Ministers too must be held to account.

Walk and talk I’ve just heard about Barrhead First Steps an inspired idea by Gayle Meechan. Gayle has set up a weekly walking group which is open to people of all ages and aims to help reduce social isolation and encourage the community to come together. Walking is one of the best ways to get around. It’s simple, it’s free and it can help keep you fit or shed some extra pounds. Anyone can do it and it’s an excellent way to boost activity and get mobile. So I was delighted to hear Gayle is encouraging parents, grandparents, carers and children to join on the fun and interesting routes. Barrhead First Steps meets at the Barrhead Foundry every Friday at 9.30am. You can just turn up or if you want to know more call 0141 577 8463 or email HITeam@eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk Making Broadway dream come true I hope local people get behind a fundraiser to help teenager Aimee Farish - who has won a scholarship to dance at the Broadway Dance Centre in New York - make her dancing dreams come true. To study dance in New York and Broadway in particular, the dance capital of the world, would be an amazing opportunity for the 18 year-old but she needs money for flights and accommodation. Proud mum Irene has organised a fundraiser at The Killoch Bar in Neilston on July 31 at 7.30pm. Tickets are just £5 and can be bought at the door. Congratulations and good luck to Aimee on her big adventure.