BARRHEAD residents have rallied to the defence of the Auchenback area of town after it was savaged by a fashion writer who grew up there.

Lynne Coleman gave a bleak account of what life was like for her as a child in Auchenback in the 1990s, claiming the streets were blighted by “arson, vandalism and violent brawls.”

In an interview with the Daily Mail, she also said her alcoholic dad clashed with a local gang who were using the park outside their home for prostitution.

Lynne went on to describe how, soon after moving to Auchenback with her family from an ex-council estate in Glasgow, she watched a drug dealer who lived across the road being chased by rival henchmen.

She recalled: “Thinking our house would be a safe haven, he battered down the front door, shouting for my dad to aid him.

“This kind of activity in our neighbourhood would become commonplace, alongside arson, vandalism and violent brawls.”

However, two Barrhead councillors have hit back at Lynne’s comments, insisting they are contrary to the sense of community spirit felt by Auchenback residents.

Fashion expert Lynne moved to Auchenback when she was six.

She said: “We crash-landed into the harsh surroundings of early-nineties Auchenback, my juvenile mind overtaken with the sensation we were moving from the frying pan into the fire.

“From here, my father fell further into the bottle. Unemployed and unengaged, his unhappiness was palpable.

“A former merchant seaman, he remained marooned here until his death eight years later. He was 52.”

Tragically, Lynne’s sister died at the age of 36 from an overdose.

“She was six years my senior and the emotional scar tissue created by the shrapnel of our family’s dysfunction would cast a long shadow over her tragically short life,” said Lynne, who fled the family home at 17 and now lives in Edinburgh.

However, Councillor Angela Convery is among those who have spoken up in Auchenback’s defence.

She told the Barrhead News: “I’m not saying it is perfect, as nowhere is perfect, but the article isn’t a true representation of Auchenback today.

Fellow Barrhead councillor Paul Aitken also heaped praise on Auchenback residents.

He said: “I have spent a lot of time talking to constituents and leafleting in Auchenback and have always felt safe and welcome.

“Whilst there are areas for improvement, most of the residents I have met are proud of their community and supportive of each other.”