MANY people will already have had leaflets through their door from candidates seeking their vote in next month’s local elections.

They may well have a candidate knock their door, or telephone them, on top of the literature through their door, before we all go to the polls on May 4.

For many people, all the campaigning will be a bit of a nuisance and they will be glad when the election is over.

Elections to our local council are very important, however.

The services delivered by East Renfrewshire Council impact very directly on everyone who lives in the council area.

The council spends hundreds of millions of pounds of your money on key local services such as education, social care, refuse collection, roads and lighting, economic development and culture and sport.

These services impact on us all and it is surely worthwhile for voters to ensure that the people who are elected to run these services are up to the job and motivated to do the best for their local communities.

Given the importance of local services to us all and the impact of these services on the quality of our lives, I am constantly amazed that the turnout for local elections rarely rises above 50 per cent.

Many people have a pecking order of the importance of elections which usually has Westminster elections at the top, followed by Holyrood elections, with council elections trailing a poor third.

In terms of impacting on residents’ everyday lives, I think the importance should be reversed and turnout should reflect the importance of local service delivery.

East Renfrewshire Council is widely regarded as one of the best-run councils in Scotland.

As leader of the council, I accept I am not a neutral commentator, but I make no apology for highlighting to local people the success of the council and in reminding local people that they have something vital to lose, if the council is not run properly in the future.

The election on May 4 is about who runs East Renfrewshire Council going forward.

It is not about Indyref 2, Brexit or any other national issue.

Whatever political view you happen to hold, I would encourage all residents to read the election addresses of the candidates who are standing for election to East Renfrewshire Council, make an informed decision on who to back on May 4 and make a determined effort to get to the polling station and cast your vote.