Sunday, February 11, 2007

Alexandria Regeneration Forum

WDC have recently established the above forum to consider what actions need to be taken to re-vitalise the Alexandria Town Centre, particularly but not exclusively from a shopping perspective. The Alexandria Trader's Association who represent all the small and medium sized businesses in the town are well represented on the forum.

The forum has only met twice and I am a member because part of the Town Centre is in Ward 17 which I represent. It is critical that whatever changes are made have the support of local people.

We are determined not to make the same mistakes as Dumbarton. When St James's retail park on the outskirts of the Town was opened it slowly but surely took shoppers away from Dumbarton Town Centre. Lessons need to be learned from the Dumbarton experience.

We are also trying to convince the local Labour MSP Jackie Baillie and the Health Board to build the new Health Centre planned for the Vale in the Town Centre either at the Kippen Dairy site or at another location in the Town Centre.

One of the first tasks we have under taken is to look at the best ways of engaging with local people to make sure their views, needs and aspirations are at the heart of the decision making process.

I will keep people updated as things progress.

Renton Community Library

I am working closely with the Muslim Education Society who are the new owners of Renton Library to re-establish a Library service in the Village, from the same building. The Muslim Community have kindly allowed us access to the building on a regular weekly basis to re-establish the service. The service will be run on a voluntary basis by local volunteers. If anybody has a spare couple of hours each week then I would appreciate you leaving your name and contact details with Jackie Kemp at the Carman Centre 710261.

I am meeting the Libraries manager on 16/2/2007 to discuss the details of re-stocking and fitting out the Library which we hope to re-open as quickly as possible.

When the details are finalised we will publish them in the local media to alert people to the date of re-opening and to the times and days the service will operate.

Despite the Labour Party's attempts to close your Library, Renton folk have demonstrated once again that they will battle hard to protect their public services.

Watch this space.