A MOMENT of silence to remember the victims of coronavirus in East Renfrewshire was held during the first digital full council meeting.

Provost Jim Fletcher asked all councillors to pause in memory of those who have died.

He later thanked the 1500 volunteers who have spent time supporting the vulnerable during the pandemic.

"Like communities across the country and indeed across the world, East Renfrewshire has suffered severely from the impact of this terrible virus," Mr Fletcher said.

"Lives have been lost, people whose relatives have died have not been able to spend as much time with their loved ones as they would have in normal times, and even the act of mourning has been curtailed by the restrictions necessary to curb the spread of infection.

"Our sizeable elderly population has borne the heaviest toll, with deaths in care homes both public and private and our caring services stretched to new limits."

He added: "There will be few, if any, people in East Renfrewshire who will have not been directly affected by coronavirus whether it be their health, work or education and many of us taking part in today’s meeting will know someone who has suffered the ultimate loss of a loved one."

Mr Fletcher also said those who have been part of a "tremendous" community response to the crisis should be recognised.

"It has brought people closer together, whether it be out in your street clapping for the NHS or helping neighbours with their shopping," he said.

"It was genuinely heartening to hear that 1500 people in East Renfrewshire had volunteered to help their fellow residents and that - day in, day out - they have been delivering shopping, picking up prescriptions and working in the council’s own Humanitarian Food Hub.

"We know our community here in East Renfrewshire Council is diverse and we have seen people of all faiths and none come together to help residents across the area.

"This strength of spirit will serve us well as we and the rest of the country continue to recover and emerge from lockdown – and I also believe this emboldened community resolve will serve East Renfrewshire well for many years to come."