MORE councillor surgeries have been held in Barrhead than anywhere else in East Renfrewshire, latest figures show.

Elected officials in the Barrhead, Liboside and Uplawmoor ward have met with constituents 195 times since the last council elections were held in 2017.

The figures have been revealed following a Freedom of Information request by the Barrhead News and show Angela Convery leads the way, both locally and across East Renfrewshire.


Her 93 surgeries put her ahead of fellow ward councillors Danny Devlin (69), Betty Cunningham (24) and Paul Aitken (nine).

She told the Barrhead News: “The reason I hold so many surgeries is that I’m fully aware this could be the most convenient way for residents to speak to their local councillor.

“Whether it is due to work commitments, no internet access or a lack of internet knowledge, for some residents this is the most effective way to access myself.”

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When asked about his number of surgeries compared to his Barrhead peers, Councillor Aitken said: “I would point out that technology has moved on a bit and the vast majority of representations from constituents, for all councillors, are by email.

“I’d also point out I’ve spent a lot of time going door to door in Barrhead, delivering my business cards and actively encouraging Barrhead constituents to email me.”

Councillors in Newton Mearns North and Neilston have held the second most (143) surgeries, while those in the Giffnock and Thornliebank and Clarkston, Netherlee and Williamwood wards have both offered 139.

Newton Mearns South and Eaglesham councillors have held by the far the fewest since 2017, with only 21.

Council leader Tony Buchanan has held 51 surgeries and Provost Jim Fletcher has held 50.

However, four councillors in East Renfrewshire have opted out of holding surgeries altogether, calling them “inconvenient and unnecessary for constituents.”

This includes Independent man David MacDonald, who represents Clarkston, Netherlee and Williamwood.

He said: “Not a single person ever showed up for my surgeries in the first six months of my service as a councillor.

"I feel the system of setting up surgeries for local councillors to be an antiquated one that was designed a very long time ago, before mobile phones, the internet and social media were ever on the scene, and the system whereby an elected member engages with his or her constituents has evolved considerably.”

Newton Mearns South and Eaglesham councillors Caroline Bamforth, Jim Swift, and Barbara Grant have also argued the surgery system is no longer of use to constituents and, instead, they all offer home visits.