Thursday, April 26, 2007


Today saw the last full council meeting of the present Renfrewshire Council and the last meeting for the seven people pictured below. All seven are retiring as councillors after 140 years of service between them. Longest server 35 yrs. shortest 8 yrs.

Barbara Adams 8 yrs a councillor and daughter of two MP's Irene and the late Allen, mother of Mirin 8yrs. A dynamic young woman with energy, and commitment to the cause, we will here more of her in the future.

What makes her different from the others apart from being an attractive young woman is the fact that she has her own teeth and doesn't have a deaf aid. A fierce intellect and a tongue like an adder - a go ahead business woman, lecturer and politician, a right clever clogs in fact - we will miss her.

John ( papa ) McDowall reputed to be around 70 yrs old, claims that the dead sea was only sick when he was a boy, life long member of the 'Paisley Man Society' ' puts a fork in the sugar bowl ' before having a hip replacement he asked the surgeon if he could have the old bone for the dug. 35 yrs a councillor with Paisley Burgh, Strathclyde Region and Renfrewshire Council, ex taxi driver who once took suit cases to Glasgow and left their owner standing at Glasgow Airport. Ex Provost and Mr. Popular ( he knows where the bodies are buried ) a good natured and genial old buffer with a permatan and an outrageous dress sense, in a previous age he would have been referred to as a 'dandy' sometimes gives the impression that he doesn't have both paddles in the water but many have found to their cost that he's as sharp as a tack - we miss him already.

Bob McGerty 'BIG BOAB' to everyone, 19 yrs. no remission, another survivor of the Strathclyde Regional Gulag, an honorary Renfrew man originally from the wild Northern Glasgow area of Springburn. A musician and singer of some repute, his neighbours have been known to smash his windows when he is practicing, the better to hear him says Boab. One of the genuine 'good guys' I haven't met anyone who doesn't get along with 'big McGerty'. A survivor and gourmet who leaves at a time when everyone was convinced he was trying to burn down the building with his cooking in the wee council kitchen. He wears the same size clothes as he did 40 yrs. ago despite putting away grub like a starving dug in a black puddin factory, like his fellow Renfrew man Cllr. Alex Murrin he never leaves the house without his knife and fork in a wee case in his pocket. He has been a constant fighter for the rights of workers, race and sex equality and many more good causes he typifies the good decent Labour man and is a Socialist to his fingertips. He intends now to spend time with his wife Joyce, at the caravan with her and the dog 'jooking' out for a pint then into the bookies, back for a wee hauf, we are all jealous. Good luck big man.

Burns, 'Ronnie' - Provost of this parish, over seventy since you ask, reputedly of Glaswegian origin now domiciled in Linwood, old style trade union fixer with a long memory, 20 yrs service. Clings to Glasgow roots by regularly visiting well known football shrine in the east end, possibly Shettleston Juniors ? Known for getting the job done and no nonsense, could easily have been a stand up comedian, you wouldn't dare not laugh. A comrade of the old school who knows the score, you can't replace experience like that. His motto was "Genghis Khan didn't become great by calling meetings, he did it by killing all his opponents" Happy Retirement.

Jim ( Tony Soprano ) Harkins - ( The Boss ) - ( Big Jim ) ( Mr. Johnstone ) and the leader of the council and of the Labour Group, a well nigh impossible task carried out with aplomb by him, 23 yrs. service. Known for his prodigious memory and his habit of swatting aside his political opponents in the chamber like flies, could have been 'done' for cruelty many times against the hapless SNP leader Cllr. Mackay and the bumbling Lib. Dem. leader Cllr. McCartin both of whom are destined to carry the mental scars and bruises that he has inflicted on them, they beamed with content and relief as Jim said farewell today. His whole family are Labour stalwarts and they make up a formidable team. Jim leaves a legacy of New Schools, New Elderly Homes, New Respite Centres, A smoke free council, and much more, he has left his mark, when the Queen visited Johnstone locals were heard to say "who's the wee wumman talking tae big Jim" Happy retirement.

Manser, Richard - Able Seaman in a former life, once boarded a Chinese Junk in Hong Kong Harbour to search for contraband and, while struggling to climb the boarding net he passed his rifle up to the smiling wee Chinaman who was watching him with bemusement, thanks China said he when he got on board, it's bloody well true, honest to god it is. Hard line Marxist Socialist who has never taken a backward step in his life, incredibly hard political worker with a brain like a gin trap - generous to a fault and a talented scribbler - by contrast can become a big sixties softy hippy with an encyclopedic knowledge of the beatles but, above all, a loyal and faithful friend and comrade - the Labour Party needs more like him, he doesn't want or need your sympathy or even your agreement, he settles for being allowed to put his argument, which I can assure you is formidable. The first name on the team sheet when the going gets tough.

McNally, 'Rab' 12 yrs. a 'trustee' - an Erskine man but, sound for all that, originally frae Partick, ex trade union convener in Babbies and a fan of Partick Thistle nil. All time winner of the award for the funniest heckle I've ever heard, we (Labour) pulled a stroke in the chamber which caused the SNP Cllrs. to explode in fury, shouting, swearing, threatening, foaming at the mouth and chewing the carpet, amid all this uproar and hullabaloo McNally was heard to shout "they don't like it up em captain" cue chaos, everyone, including those who think themselves above this kind of thing were completely undone and fell apart at the hilarious brilliance and timing of Rab's intervention ( I still wonder if he had it planned, was he saving it up ? ) Everyone, including the most senior of senior executives gave in to laughter, as chief whip responsible for discipline I also gave up and laughed myself into a black knot. When Rab isn't singing (his description ) he is working out ways to wind someone up. Best of luck to him.


The Cynic said...

Not wishing to rain on the returing Councillors' parade - and despite political differences with several of them - with one exception I would wholeheartedly echo your best wihes.

However, the Labour Party certainly needs no more like "Tricky Dicky" Manser. This time he jumped before he was pushed. Personally, I would have de-selected him years ago.

The Council and for that matter the Labour Party will be a better place without him

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

cynic - re Cllr. Manser perhaps you don't really know him very well - he certainly has come under some vicious attacks over the years but that doesn't bother him much, he has strong beliefs and opinions.

If I was going into battle he would be the first name on the team sheet.

RfS said...

"If I was going into battle he would be the first name on the team sheet. "

Not your own then?

Nah, only kidding. I liked this post good to see the back of some of them. Is Adams stepping down to walk in her parents shoes? If so does Sheridan know such a pedigree is stalking him?

Anonymous said...


I wasn't sure how to post this, however, forgive me if it is in the wrong place.

Today I have seen the drawings that show the layout of the new proposals for the Penilee project.

These drawings show the grass pitches clearly segregated and fenced off from the other areas.

The synthetic pitch is not. This concurs with the statements in the proposal of 13/03/2007 where it says that St. Mirren get sole use and access to these areas.

If this is not the case, then why does the proposal not say this clearly and leave it open to criticism in the way that it has been done.

Will you come out and say that this is not the case and that the proposal is clearly flawed and should not have been approved or even voted on with such a large ambiguity.

On the verge of an election, you now have the opportunity to clarify this situation properly with the following question.

Have Labour ensured that the 2 grass pitches are not directly controlled by St Mirren and will be directly open to community hire at a similar hourly rate or less that St Mirren currently lease at..

My guess is not so please correct me.

Over a 10 year period St Mirren pay only 11.5% of this project overall and only 3.33% of the capital value (which I am informed relates to costs needed for changes for the pavilion internally to suit them).

I have consulted with a property surveyor who has told me that a lease on such land with such facilities would probably attract an annual cost of almost 3 times the amount of money that St Mirren are paying and maybe even under the right circumstances 5/6 times that.
How can this really be justified in view of the ridiculous Labour rises in council taxes over the last 10 years. I don't have the exact figures, but I guess that Renfrewshire Council is probably amongst the worst. Especially with nothing to show for it.

Wonder where the money goes?

Are the local taxpayers or others going to get free St Mirren tickets and hospitality meals to compensate them, or is it just a big election publicity stunt.

Please advise, Raylene, as my disgust with the Labour Council increases on a day to day basis.

cc. Terry kelly blog

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

Alex - The proposals for Penilee will be a great success, a large run down facility will be regenerated and all the youngsters in Renfrewshire will have access to a top sporting facility and expert coaching.

Lots of detail has to be worked on but, I'm confident that it will be a tremendous new beginning for sport in the area.

You clearly have a political axe to grind so I will say this to you - You accuse us of a 'stunt' and say you are disgusted with the Labour Council. If anyone is pulling a 'stunt' and causing 'disgust' it is those politically motivated people who are so anti Labour that they are trying to con the local people into believing that an upgraded, modernised sports facility costing millions of pounds is a bad news story.

These people including you by the sounds of it have their own agenda and the welfare of the people of Ralston/Renfrewshire is not part of it.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting comment there, Tel.

all the youngsters in Renfrewshire will have access to a top sporting facility and expert coaching.

So when Gus is running the midweek sessions, he'll have the time to work with all the kids in Renfrewshire too?
Are St. Mirren only going to recruit from Renfrewshire and allow good talent from other parts of Scotland to go to their opponents?
Does this mean anyone who turns up with a pair of boots gets a game on Saturday?
Of course not! They are a private business, trying to succeed in the distorted market of professional football. It would be commercial suicide to restrict their facilities to kids of Renfrewshire only! It would be madness to suggest that training at Penilee will be open house to all and sundry at all times.

Go back to the local community and apologise for riding roughshod over them, go back to your original plans which made this a community use project. Let the schools of the East End have a communal playing field as was the case in the past.

It's madness that Paisley Grammar pays £10K per annum to Kelburne Hockey and Cricket Club - another private business - for sports facilities.

But of course New Labour is enthralled by business nowadays.....never mind the people you're supposed to represent.

Anonymous said...

Really? So the answer would be, "No, I'm not going to answer a question about taxpayer's money, asked by a taxpayer, because clearly a taxpayer asking about where taxpayer's money is going is politically motivated, and not at all concerned about what's happening to the rapidly increasing amount of money being extorted from us all."

Listen, you pompous, arrogant tit. That's my money and Alex's money, and RFS's money, so next time you decide to brag about you and your cronies' irreponsible use o our money, expect to be called on it. Whether you like it or not, Renfrewshire Council is not a cosy club where you get to splash my money about with impunity. You have a resposibility to account for what you do, so get used to it and answer the bloody question. Is a private company or is it not getting control over public land at a cost to the taxpayer? And please, don't waffle about our 'local football club'. It stopped being a club many years ago.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

Gramsci - As I said there are some unscrupulous people who are trying to conn people into thinking that spending millions on sports facilities is a bad news story.

You and they have your own agenda and it's anything to damage Labour, you ruthlessly and shamefully use the people of the East End and Ralston to do it.

I take it you're Gramsci the ice cream people ? the other one would have had you shot.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

Jim - Did you write this in the pub, you're starting to scare me. Why don't you sue me for extortion ? Is it because that would take a bit of bottle ?

I've answered this several times and you are one of the fools being conned into their game, you haven't the sense to see that you are being used.

Anonymous said...

'the other one would have had you shot.'


Cllr Terry Kelly said...

Gramski - eh ?