15 January

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 Transcript of email received fromCouncillor MacDonald.

Good morning and a very Happy New Year to you all. You all wrote to me in October to complain about the changes that have been imposed on you with regards to how your bins are collected. I wanted to update you all with the current position and also what I am planning to do about it.

Firstly. As you know I wholeheartedly agree with all of you. This change was not well thought out by the Cleansing Department for a number of reasons to which all or most of you have highlighted. I am totally with you. It was a ridiculous expectation of ERC to expect people to either drag their bins to the end of the lanes or to store them directly outside their front doors. For the past 2 months I have been trying to obtain various answers from the Cleansing Dept about specific cases of injury or damage sustained to collectors or vehicles for the past 10 years. ERC have failed to provide me with the information required. They have stated that their computer system can only go back as far as March of 2017. In that time there have been 2 injuries to operatives in lanes throughout the entire East Renfrewshire Council area. One injury was to a driver's hand as he pulled his wing mirror inward. The other was a slip/trip. There were no reports of any vehicles being damaged during this time. I do not feel that two injuries in 10 months for the total local authority justifies that the bin collection arrangements be changed.

Furthermore. It was stated at our meeting with cleansing that there was some national legislation that ERC were having to be compliant with. We have now since learned this information to be inaccurate.

I have made attempts to have the Dept of Environment of which Cleansing is a partof, reverse the arrangements. So far my attempt has been unsuccessful. At our meeting with Cleansing, both Councillor Miller and myself expressed objection to the new arrangements. Councillors Lafferty and Ireland did not express objection.

I am now going to possibly look at tabling a motion at a full council meeting to have this change reversed. Prior to doing that I wish to hear your personal stories about how the new arrangements are affecting you. My plan is that if I can muster enough support from councillors and also pack the public gallery out with as many Netherlee residents as possible in the council chamber during this agenda item then it will put pressure on certain councillors to seriously consider their position on the matter. I will say, that I expect most of the support on this issue to come from the opposition councillors. There are currently 7 opposition councillors and then myself as the only Independent not on either side so that is 8. If there is a full attendance of 18 councillors at the council meeting then we would need 10 councillors in total to vote for my motion. That would require 2 administration councillors to vote for the motion. My hope is that Cllr. Lafferty and Cllr. Ireland would reconsider their position on that matter after hearing my motion and it's supporting arguments on the floor of the chamber. I am hopeful that Cllr. Ireland, a Netherlee resident, might consider voting for this. Your attendance in the gallery would undoubtedly assist with this. I am not so sure about Cllr. Lafferty changing his position but I may be wrong. Cllr. Lafferty is not a ward 4 resident. I would of course try to rally support from the administration side and I am hopeful that I might be able to convince at least one councillor.

What would also help would be if there were 1 or perhaps 2 administration councillors not present at the particular meeting. For instance. If 17 councillors were in attendance, for example, then all we would need would be 1 single administration councillor to vote for the motion. Looking back at the last few meetings there have been quite a few occasions where meetings have been missing one or two councillors.

There are two meetings scheduled for March. One on Thursday 1st of March at 7pm and one on Thursday 28th of March at 7pm. The first meeting is the annual budget meeting and I will not table the motion at this meeting. The reason being is this meeting will be undoubtedly fully attended by all councillors and will not help with the votingnumbers we need. Also. The public gallery will be busy and I want to beable to get as many of you to gain access to the gallery. I wish, therefore to look at the possibilityof bringing this to the full council meeting on the 28th of March. I feel there is much better chances of a successful outcome. I will also have more time to lobby councillors for support.

In the meantime, I want to learn about your personal stories. If anybody has suffered any slips or falls in the process of taking your bins out or taking them back in then that would also be very useful to know.

Lastly. Please respond to me on this email address regarding this matter.

Thank you,

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