IT has been a busy few weeks and one of the highlights was attending the official opening of the new £15million state-of-the-art Maidenhill Primary and Nursery class.

The facilities really are second to none.

The school is developing so quickly and, with such fantastic learning facilities available, it will be a pleasure to see the pupils flourish in the years ahead.

When arriving at Maidenhill, it was also great to see the progress being made on developing new homes in the area. More than 800 will be built in the coming years and, with this amazing school and nursery right on their doorstep, residents will play a vital part in shaping this new community in Newton Mearns.

With the positivity of my Maidenhill visit still fresh in the mind, it was fantastic to then see the latest results of the annual Citizens Panel Survey. I am pleased that 95 per cent of residents are satisfied with the area as a place to live and continue to rate East Renfrewshire highly.

Respondents said they are particularly happy with our schools, wheeled bin collection service and street lighting maintenance, as well as libraries, parks, open spaces and Customer Service team.

This feedback from residents is vital as we continue to shape our services for the future, set against the backdrop of an extremely challenging financial position.

And whilst residents again highlighted roads and pavements as key areas for improvements, I am pleased that an additional £15m over five years has been committed to this important area.

Work began last year and I can already see vast improvements being made.

On another important note, we are recruiting home care workers, who deliver a vital service to help vulnerable residents in East Renfrewshire live independently in their own home.

No experience is necessary, as full training will be provided. All that is essential is a desire to help people.

If you know someone who is caring and patient who may be interested in such a role, please let them know.

There is more information available at

Finally, a total of £90,000 has been allocated to Auchenback, Barrhead, Neilston and Thornliebank as part of Participatory Budgeting – a successful method of community decision-making which is now in its third year.

Community groups, voluntary groups and non-profit organisations can submit their ideas and apply for a grant from this fund. Local residents then have the opportunity to cast a vote for their favourite projects at events where groups will showcase and present their ideas.

I would encourage people living in these areas to vote at the events next month and help make a difference to their local community.