BARRHEAD community activists have returned to regular meetings after months of dispute with East Renfrewshire Council.

Members of Barrhead Community Council (BCC) held an AGM earlier this month – their first meeting since June 2019, when they stopped for the summer break and then found themselves restricted by red tape.

They claimed BCC was being held “under the council’s thumb” as they objected to a ruling that stated the organisation had to have proper representation from across Barrhead, rather than certain areas of town.

However, council chiefs countered that the rule, dating from 2015, was designed to attract a “greater number of people representing a wider area.”

The stalemate saw BCC having to hold a vote last month as it had six members from Auchenback, when it could only have a maximum of five.

The AGM on January 9 saw BCC chairwoman Rosaleen Reilly and vice-chair Rosemarie McInally swap positions.

Laura Hendry remains as treasurer and Rena McGuire continues as secretary.

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Ms Reilly told the Barrhead News the organisation now wants to focus on issues such as getting improved security for Cowan Park, including CCTV cameras.

She also said BCC would get involved in more local issues as the group goes forward.

“We are waiting to see how it progresses,” added Ms Reilly. “We will tackle problems as they come to us.

“We are Barrhead Community Council and that’s the way it should be – it shouldn’t matter where members are from.”

Although Auchenback was oversubscribed with nominations, other neighbourhoods, such as Dunterlie and Grahamstone Park, still have vacancies.

Four community councils in East Renfrewshire are currently in abeyance, with six operational.

A spokesperson for East Renfrewshire Council said: “In large community council areas such as Barrhead, ensuring representation from across the area is vital to support local democracy.”

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BCC meets on the first Thursday of the month, with the next gathering scheduled to take place on February 4, starting at 7pm, at the East Renfrewshire Council offices in the town’s Main Street.