IT fills me with great pride and honour that I have been re-elected as a councillor for Ward 2 and subsequently to have been elected as leader of East Renfrewshire Council.

Having served as a councillor for the past 10 years, I am looking forward to the new challenges that this exciting role will undoubtedly bring.

While there will be difficult decisions to be made along the way, I know that we are well-prepared to ensure that we continue to make East Renfrewshire one of the most desirable places in Scotland to live, work and visit.

Since the election, it’s been extremely busy - and there is lots to look forward to in the coming months.

I am delighted the council’s first ever Participatory Budgeting scheme has been approved, giving our residents the opportunity to have a say on which roads and pavements are upgraded.

The condition of our residential roads is one area which residents regularly bring to our attention as needing upgrades carried out.

By setting aside £600,000 of this year’s roads budget, we are putting power in the hands of the people to decide which projects should be done.

The voting process for this pilot project is now open on the council’s Citizen Space site and there will also be community events to give those who are not able to access the internet the opportunity to have their say.

A number of tragic events have taken place in recent weeks, with terror attacks in London and Manchester and the Grenfell Tower disaster.

We have passed on our deepest condolences to those involved and cannot imagine the heartache these incidents have caused.

Following the Grenfell fire incident, the council took the decision to assess all of its buildings, including schools, residential properties and public buildings, to ensure we do not have any similar cladding.

It is with some comfort that these checks have confirmed that there is no cause for concern with any of our properties’ cladding.

We will, however, continue to seek advice and follow building regulations set out by the Scottish Government as residents’ safety is our highest priority.

Last week saw the end of the school year and all our pupils, teachers and support staff will now enjoy a well-earned break to recharge the batteries.

When the pupils return after the summer holidays, it will be all change at two Barrhead schools.

Springhill and Auchenback Primary is being renamed Hillview Primary, to give the school its own unique identity.

And the doors to the new Barrhead High will also open, providing first-class teaching facilities for our pupils.

There are certainly exciting times ahead for all.