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Wemyss Bay Station, showing some of the flowers and the statue that have been provided by the Friends of Wemyss Bay Station

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Friday 14th June 2019 - posted by Webmaster

A couple from Inverkip, Edward Cairney (77) and Avril Jones (59), have been found guilty of murdering Margaret Fleming in December 1999 or January 2000.

They have been on trial for 7 weeks and the jurors took just three and a half hours to reach a majority verdict on the charges at the High Court in Glasgow.

They had been claiming benefits for Margaret but the authorities became suspicious in October 2016. A massive police search for Margaret was launched but no trace of her was found. 

Avril Jones was also found guilty of fraudulently claiming £182,000 in benefits by pretending that Margaret was still alive.

Sources: Evening Times and BBC.

Murdered Inverkip woman Margaret Fleming
Murdered Inverkip woman Margaret Fleming
Tuesday 11th June 2019 - posted by Webmaster

Inverclyde Leisure have announced that their Summer Playschemes will open on Monday 8th July at the following locations:

  • Wemyss Bay Primary School
  • Kilmacolm Primary School
  • Boglestone Community Centre
  • St Patrick’s Primary School
  • Moorfoot Primary School
  • Inverkip Primary School

Session times are 9.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 4.00pm, from Monday to Friday, and cost £2.50 per session.

All places allocated on a ‘first come’ basis each day. 

For further information please contact 01475 213121.

Source: Inverclyde Leisure

Wemyss Bay Primary School
Wemyss Bay Primary School
Monday 10th June 2019 - posted by Webmaster
John Reid MBE (on the left) at the 2004 Gala Day
John Reid MBE (on the left) at the 2004 Gala Day

Local Wemyss Bay man John Reid has been honoured with an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours list!

John has worked with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for the last 35 years and has been given the honour for services to vulnerable customers in Scotland and to the community in Inverclyde. He is currently the area manager for legacy benefits.

John is well known in Wemyss Bay as he was a founding member of Ardgowan Football Development. He was a volunteer coach and secretary of the group for 17 years.

He has also taken part in various charity fundraising efforts which included walking the Great Wall of China for Maggie's Centres, and running the Loch Ness Marathon in aid of Ardgowan Hospice.

Speaking to the Greenock Telegraph, John said, "I genuinely couldn't believe it when I opened the letter saying I was to receive an MBE. I have been fortunate to work with and be supported by so many good people in the DWP over the last 35 years and have had so many great career opportunities.

"My driver, in work and life in general, is helping people and I think that is why I have enjoyed working in operational and partnership roles, as I have had the opportunity to develop and deliver services that change people's lives for good. I've also been able to provide support to colleagues looking to develop their own talent and career - if I'm being honest this is now my favourite part of the job.

"I was a founder member, volunteer coach and secretary of Ardgowan Football Development Club for 17 years, which I loved. I've also done a range of activities to raise money for charity but it is the workers and volunteers of these organisations who deserve the credit, not me."

John studied at Greenock High School and James Watt College, as well as graduating from the Open University with an MBA in 2002. He is married to Ann and has 2 grown up children, Jennifer and Cameron.

Congratulations and well done John from!

Source: Greenock Telegraph

Thursday 6th June 2019 - posted by Webmaster

Kellybank Caravan Park has announced plans to expand on to a neighbouring farm, with the expansion to include a restaurant.

The family run business has applied to Inverclyde Council for planning permission. They are hoping to use a field at Kelly Mains Farm to accomodate up to 50 extra caravan or mobile home pitches.

They currently have 140 caravan pitches, which is up from the 80 they had when Penine Leisure purchased the park in 2002.

Read more on Inverclyde Now.

Old photo of Kellybank caravan park
Old photo of Kellybank caravan park
Friday 31st May 2019 - posted by Webmaster

Inverclyde Council has called on the national transport agency responsible for the trunk road network across Scotland to get its act together.

The move comes after it was revealed that work on the A78 trunk road at Inverkip Road is going to be set at one way traffic lights just weeks after the agency agreed not to do this. 

It is understood that the work has been agreed by Transport Scotland to allow Scottish power to carry out work at the Barr’s Cottage area of the A78.

Inverclyde Council Leader, Councillor Stephen McCabe, said today: "This is an incredible situation where a national agency can just decide to unilaterally change its mind and allow this to happen without any consideration for the effect this has on the travelling public.  We fully appreciate that any roadworks or construction project, can take unexpected turns and issues arise that you have to deal with.  But, knowing that this work has an impact on work going on in other parts of the network, doing a complete u-turn on a previous agreement and leaving little to no time for other agencies to respond or influence that work is cavalier at best and downright incompetent at worst.

"There is no doubt that the travelling public will be inconvenienced by this and we are all put into a situation where there isn’t a great deal of time to get the word out to communities affected by this."

Inverclyde Council, earlier this month, delayed essential maintenance work to Cardwell Road, Gourock because one way traffic lights were unexpectedly put in place on the A78 Inverkip Road at Barr’s Cottage.

After delaying the work, council roads officers negotiated with the national agency and their maintenance agency and only started the work in Gourock on the clear understanding that traffic on the A78 would flow both ways.

Councillor McCabe explained: "Major work on the trunk road network has an impact across the Inverclyde roads network.  Transport Scotland need to get its act together and make sure that situations like this do not arise again and that better planning gets put in place as a matter of urgency.  This cannot be allowed to happen again.  For this work Transport Scotland need to make sure that it is completed as quickly as possible to minimise the unconvince to the travelling public."

It is understood that the work on the A78 at Inverkip Road is expected to begin this weekend and last between 10 days and two weeks. Road users must leave plenty of room for journeys during this period as there will be significant disruption.

More information on work on the trunk road network is available from Transport Scotland at

Friday 31st May 2019 - posted by Webmaster

The next meeting of Inverkip & Wemyss Bay Community council will be held on Thursday 6th June 2019 at Inverkip Primary School.

The AGM will be held at 7pm, followed by the normal business meeting at 7:30pm.

All are welcome to attend either or both meetings.

At our normal meeting, 7:30pm onwards, we will have a guest - Mr Willie Clark - to discuss Neighbourhood Watch Scotland.

All IWBCC councillors should please attend as we need to elect the office bearers for 2019-2020, and discuss the Community Council Elections due to take place in Autumn this year.

Friday 31st May 2019 - posted by Webmaster

Friends of Wemyss Bay Station are marking their tenth anniversary by holding an Open Day at the station on Saturday 22nd June 2019

Organisations providing displays include ScotRail, Caledonian MacBrayne, Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Visit Scotland, together with a variety of local groups. 

Authors Chris Vine (Peter’s Railway) and Geoff Marshall & Vicki Pipe (All the Stations) will be present to meet readers and sign books.

There will be a face-painter and station quiz for children. The station bookshop and gallery run by the Friends will be open, as usual, as will the station café and bar.

The open day runs from 10:30am until 4:30pm and is free of charge.

Come and admire our extraordinary station, one of very few to be listed Category A, and help the Friends mark their anniversary. Over the last ten years the Friends have restored the famed floral displays and enhanced the station in other ways, including installation of the statue of a wee boy going on holiday.

The list of expected attendees is:

  • All The Stations,
  • Ayrshire Coastal Path,
  • Bute Conservation Trust,
  • Caledonian MacBrayne,
  • Clyde River Steamer Club,
  • Inverclyde Tourist Group,
  • Paddle Steamer Preservation Society,
  • Peter’s Railway,
  • Royal National Lifeboat Institution,
  • ScotRail,
  • Skelmorlie & Wemyss Bay Clean Up Crew,
  • Visit Scotland.
Wemyss Bay Station, showing some of the flowers and the statue that have been provided by the Friends of Wemyss Bay Station
Wemyss Bay Station, showing some of the flowers and the statue that have been provided by the Friends of Wemyss Bay Station
Monday 27th May 2019 - posted by Webmaster
For the purposes of the European Parliament Scotland is seen as one large constituency. Scotland is represented by 6 MEPs. Parties win a number of MEPs equal to their share of the vote in each region.

It was a good night for the SNP and the 6 week old Brexit Party, and a disastrous night for the Tories and Labour Party, as Scotland voiced their displeasure at the UK Parliament and their handling of the Brexit situation. The SNP vote increased nearly 9% while the newly formed Brexit Party were 2nd in Scotland (and 3rd in Inverclyde) with nearly 15% of the Scottish vote.

The Liberal Democrats came 3rd, the Tories came 4th (with their share of the vote down 5.6%) and Labour came 5th (down a massive 16.6%). This all means the SNP will have 3 MEPs, with the Brexit Party, Lib Dems and Conservatives represented by 1 MEP each.

The full Scottish results in the 2019 election on May 23rd were:

  % +/- % # of votes TOTAL
SNP 37.84 +8.85 594,553 3
Brexit Party 14.83 NA 233,006 1
Lib Dems 13.89 +6.80 218,285 1
Conservative 11.61 -5.61 182,476 1
Labour 9.34 -16.58 146,724 0
Green 8.25 +0.19 129,603 0
Change UK 1.91 NA 30,004 0
UKIP 1.81 -8.65 28,418 0
Gordon Edgar 0.39 NA 6,128 0
Ken Parke 0.13 NA 2,049 0
Rejected papers: Unknown.
TURNOUT: 39.9%, up 6.4% on 2014

The results for Inverclyde in the 2019 election were as follows:

  % +/- %
SNP 41.9 +13.2
Labour 14.7 -21.2
Brexit Party 14.6 NA
Lib Dems 10.1 +5.3
Conservative 9.3 -4.8
Green 5.2 +0.6
Change UK 1.9 NA
UKIP 1.7 -7.5
Gordon Edgar 0.5 NA
Ken Parke 0.1 NA
Rejected papers: Unknown.

The MEPs elected to represent Scotland were:

Candidate Party
Alyn Smith (Twitter) SNP
Christian Allard (new) SNP
Aileen McLeod (new) SNP

Louis Stedman-Bruce (new)

Brexit Party
Sheila Ritchie (new) Lib Dems

Nosheena Mobarik (Twitter) (new)


Source: BBC link 1 / BBC link 2

Alyn Smith MEP (image credit: Brian McNeil)
Alyn Smith MEP (image credit: Brian McNeil)
Friday 24th May 2019 - posted by Webmaster

Book lovers can now pocket their local library thanks to a new deal between Inverclyde Council and BorrowBox. BorrowBox is an app which allows local residents to access thousands of e-books and e-audiobooks on the move.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Convener of Inverclyde Council’s Education & Communities Committee said, "The BorrowBox app has 1,350 free e-books and 360 e-audiobooks to download with more being added on a regular basis.

"All you have to do to access this pocket library is download the BorrowBox app, sign in with your library card and start enjoying the brilliant range of books! The new app is straightforward and easy to use but if you need any assistance with downloading and setting it up our library staff are happy to help.

"This is an incredibly popular service with 2,500 people using the previous Overdrive/Libby app for e-books and e-audiobooks. We hope that they will find BorrowBox even better."

BorrowBox includes a huge range of authors and titles.

Tuesday 21st May 2019 - posted by Webmaster

Fake call centres in India are targeting Inverclyde people by claiming to be from BT’s security team. The scammers tell local residents that their Internet access is about to be cut off because their account has been hacked. 

The scammers use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to make it look like the calls are coming from a local number. VoIP allows scammers to buy a phone number for any town or city and divert it to their own number. Consumers may think they are phoning a local company but the business can actually be anywhere in the world.

Hugh McMillan, 63, from Greenock, said, "I had a call on the landline and the caller ID said it was an 01475 number. It was an automated message which said that my Internet would be shut down in 24 hours because my account had been hacked. The message said to push button 1 so I did. I was put through to a man with an Indian accent. There was a lot of background noise and it sounded like he was in a call centre. He said he was security from BT. I said I was with Sky and he said that they covered Sky, Virgin and BT as well.

"He asked me to turn on my laptop. He took me through a procedure which brought up an IP address (Internet Protocol – a computer’s unique address when using the Internet) which he claimed belonged to a hacker in California.

"I asked him if he was really from BT and he got a wee bit ratty to say the least! He told me to call BT on 0203 290 0836. He said this was BT’s number and that I should give them the engineer ID BT0075. I was really suspicious by now and my wife said, ‘Hang up.’"

A spokesperson for Inverclyde Council said, "In November and December last year Indian police raided 26 call centres in Delhi and Noida and arrested over 176 people because of their alleged involvement in scams.

"This is a huge, professional, well-organised operation and clearly the scammers are back in business despite last year’s arrests. The London number that Hugh was given has been used for scams before.

"This is a common scam and we’ve had a number of calls about people claiming to be from BT. Scammers try to make you feel under threat and under pressure. Scams often involve some sort of time limit.

"The scammers try to get access to your computer so that they can download your personal or bank details or install spyware or ransomware (spyware tracks which keys are pushed on a computer and can be used to learn passwords. Ransomware stops a person from being able to access their computer or personal files until a ‘ransom’ is paid).

"The other form this scam takes is that the victim is told there is a virus on their computer. The operator then talks the victim through a fake fix before charging them for the work.

"Never call a number you are given, never download an unexpected attachment and never click on a link in a suspicious email. If you need to call you bank there is usually a number on the bank of your credit or debit card. Use this."

Friday 3rd May 2019 - posted by Webmaster

Edward Cairney and Avril Jones have gone on trial charged with the murder of local woman Margaret Fleming, sometime between December 1999 and January 2000.

They have both pleaded not guilty to abducting and murdering Margaret at their home named Seacroft in Inverkip.

Margaret was reported missing in October 2016 and has allegedly not been seen since December 1999.

Latest news on the trial can be found on the BBC website:

Margaret Fleming
Margaret Fleming
Wednesday 1st May 2019 - posted by Webmaster

Ronnie Cowan MP (SNP) is calling on all Inverclyde pensioners living on a low income with a partner of working age to urgently check their eligibility for Pension Credit and Housing Benefit and put in a claim before the UK Government changes the rules on 15th May.

The UK Government’s change, snuck out during the first ‘meaningful vote’ on Brexit in January, will see the right to claim Pension Credit and Housing Benefit – important tools in the fight against pensioner poverty – withdrawn from future claimants who happen to have a partner who hasn’t yet reached their own pensionable age.

Age Scotland and Mr Cowan are urging anyone who may be entitled to claim benefits to call the Age Scotland helpline on 0800 12 44 222 for a free benefit and entitlements check before 15th May.

Mr Cowan said: “I would encourage Inverclyde residents pensioners living on a low income with a partner of working age to urgently check their eligibility for Pension Credit  and Housing Benefit and put in a claim before the Government changes the rules on 15th May.

“Age Scotland is warning the UK Government is slashing the entitlements of couples needing to claim support in the future by as much as £7,000 a year.”

Age Scotland’s Chief Executive Brian Sloan said: “These changes will have a devastating impact on the lives of some of the poorest pensioners in Scotland. Around one in six pensioners living in Scotland are in poverty and this retrograde move will do nothing to improve this. 

“Beyond the Pension Credit support, these mixed age couples could also miss out on a range of ‘passported benefits’ such as housing benefit, council tax reduction, cold weather payments, support for dental and eyecare costs, perhaps even the warm home discount. All in, this could mean that the loss of financial support for those on the lowest income could be well over £7000 a year. That is wholly unacceptable and the UK Government must change course.

“It is vital that older people ensure that they claim everything they are entitled to. The Age Scotland Helpline offers free benefit and entitlement checks and can support older people with pension credit claims. Call 0800 12 44 222 before the 15th May for information and advice about these changes.”

Many older people are missing out on the benefits they are entitled to. Nationally it is estimated that 50% OF couples entitled to Pension Credit are not receiving it. Among single pensioners, 37%) who should be receiving Pension Credit have not claimed. (Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up 2016/17), DWP published 2018).

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit to give you some extra money in retirement:

If you're struggling to cover your rent then you could claim Housing Benefit to help with your housing costs:

The change is due to come into effect from 15th May, 2019. However, there is provision for backdating so as long as makes a claim by 13th August the claim can be backdated to 14th May as long as they met all the rules and were entitled on that date.

This is the difference between standard UC and standard PC for couples. From April 2019, the rates will be:

  • Pension Credit (for a couple) - £255.25 per week.
  • Universal Credit (for a couple) - approx. £115 per week (£498.89 per calendar month).
Ronnie Cowan MP
Ronnie Cowan MP
Tuesday 30th April 2019 - posted by Webmaster

The next meeting of Inverkip & Wemyss Bay Community Council will be held on Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 7.00pm in Wemyss Bay Primary School.

You can read minutes of previous meetings on our website.

Wemyss Bay Primary School
Wemyss Bay Primary School
Friday 26th April 2019 - posted by Webmaster

Three people were injured in a crash on the A78 yesterday between Inverkip and Wemyss Bay, according to Inverclyde Now.

The two car crash occurred around 11.10am and emergency services were called to the accident which occurred on the hill leading up to the slip road for upper Inverkip (and the old Power Station). The roof of one of the cars had to be cut off to allow those inside to be freed.

The road was closed in both directions for a few hours before a single lane was opened in the early part of the afternoon to allow traffic to start flowing again.

Forty pupils from Wemyss Bay Primary were on a school trip and enjoyed an impromptu lunch at Diodes Incorporated in Greenock after their bus was delayed because of the crash.

This latest crash on the A78 once again raises serious questions over whether new houses should be built on the site of Inverkip Power Station, when the current road struggles to cope with the existing amount of traffic.

Often when there is an accident, traffic grinds to a near (or complete) halt. Surely before any more houses are built, the priority should be to improve the road network first.

Link: Inverclyde Now article

What can be done to improve the road network to Inverkip and Wemyss Bay?
What can be done to improve the road network to Inverkip and Wemyss Bay?
Monday 1st April 2019 - posted by Webmaster
Wemyss Bay Community Centre
Wemyss Bay Community Centre

Some 800 local residents cast their votes in the area's first ever Participatory Budget ballot to decide which community groups should benefit from a £350,000 pot of Inverclyde Council cash.

Wemyss Bay Community Centre was awarded £10,000 for a kitchen upgrade.

The ballot was held between 28th February and 7th March with voting stations located across Inverclyde.

Some £50,000 was up for grabs in each of Inverclyde’s seven council wards. The Participatory Budget ballot was open to all Inverclyde residents over 16 years old.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Convener of Inverclyde Council’s Education & Communities Committee, said, "The idea behind Participatory Budgeting is that local community groups generate ideas for projects. People then vote for the projects that best match their priorities and the projects with the most votes get a share of the cash.

"It's an effective way of putting direct control of council cash into the hands of local communities. In this, Inverclyde's first ever Participatory Budget ballot, those local communities have made the fundamental decisions on how nearly £270,000 should be spent."

Under the ballot projects had to secure at least 10% of the votes cast to be eligible for funding. The groups that got the highest number of votes received a share of the £50,000 available in their ward.

Voters ranked their preferences 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Below is a list of the successful projects:


Brief Details

Amount Awarded

Ward 1 (All 5 Applicants)

Port Glasgow Community Association

Support to erect CCTV to combat issues of vandalism, anti-social behaviour, fly tipping and crime.


Greenock Morton Community Trust

Support for free football camps to children living in Greenock East, delivered 3 times per year in partnership with Riverclyde Homes


Kilmacolm Art Class

Support for annual hire of premises and hire of Kilmacolm Community Centre for exhibition


Kilmacolm Playgroup and Toddlers

Requesting funding for promotional campaign to increase users as well as support for running costs and to reinstate local breastfeeding group.


St Marys Episcopal Church

Support for transport for service users of Heartland Circle - weekly group for older people living with or affected by Dementia


Ward 2 (All 4 Applicants)

Gibshill Community Centre

Support to improve landscaping at outdoor area; permanent signage for Centre; set up for a Teen Music Café and Skills Build Project - Bricks4Kids (new addition to current youth club)


Parklea Bowling Club

Support towards general running costs of Club


Port Glasgow Bowling Club

Support for outdoor benches; new floor in function hall and new chairs, tables and carpet


Port Glasgow West Community Council

Support to erect CCTV to combat issues of vandalism, anti-social behaviour, fly tipping and crime


Ward 3 (4 of the 6 Applicants)

Auchmountain Glen Project

Support towards design of entrance feature for Auchmountain Glen


Auchmountain Resource Centre

Support to provide a lunch club for the elderly/carers two days per week


Craigend Resource Centre

Funding for Community mini bus to support those who are less mobile and encourage people to get active within the community. Wish to address social isolation.


Kings Oak Parent Circle

Support to arrange and host a school and community folk festival. Local event required to increase awareness of the Parent Circle and school provision to help alleviate isolation for those parents who would not normally attend due to costs


Ward 4 (3 of the 7 Applicants)

Caddlehill Allotment & Gardens

Support towards the creation of a wildlife garden. Work to be undertaken in partnership with Duke of Edinburgh and thereafter to be used by people suffering with early stages of Alzheimers


Fort Matilda Bowling Club

Funding towards the upgrade of clubhouse - toilets, access and expansion of usable floor area


Clydeside Athletic FC

Support towards the start-up of new football club for 2007 age group. Funding towards strips and equipment


Ward 5 (3 of the 5 Applicants)

Gourock Golf Club

Drive to open up club to the community - only limitation is lack of disabled access to the upper floor. Wish to install a simplified lift to connect upper and lower floors


Gourock Heritage & Arts

Theatre without walls is a collaborative project between Gourock Heritage, Gourock Regeneration Forum and Gourock Schools and Churches Together Group. Project will be based at the Centre with an outdoor remit making use of Gourock Park, George Wylie Garden and Ashton Promenade. Project will create a platform to share and celebrate heritage past, present and future through workshops, drama/plays, script writing and story telling


Gourock Park Bowling Club

Support towards the purchase of 9 hole crazy golf course for the benefit of local residents and tourists – to be located on grounds of bowling club


Ward 6 (4 of the 5 Applicants)

33rd Greenock & District Scout Group

Support for the purchase of second hand minibus, hike tents, mess tent and rucksacks - bigger supply would enable more to participate in camping experience


Children in Poverty

Support towards holiday project which provides much needed summer break for 20 families and also Christmas pantomime trip, providing opportunity for families on low income who would not be able to afford this experience


Inverkip Community Initiative

Kip Community Sound Project – project to enhance the overall sound, acoustics and visual aesthetics of the main hall at the Hub. If successful with grant, the Hub would be able to offer affordable alternatives to larger local venues and put on a wide range of music events and shows


Wemyss Bay Community Association

Centre has been heavily utilised over the years and kitchen area is in dire need of an upgrade. Need to change to be competitive for business. Support towards new kitchen, installation and associated plumbing and electrical works


Ward 7 (All Applicants)

Alzheimer Scotland - Action on Dementia

Music as therapy has the potential to unlock memories that other activities cannot. Seeking funds to start a 'Musical Minds' singing and music group in Inverclyde – group targeted at people with dementia, their carers, families and friends but is open to the whole community to enjoy


Inverclyde Gaelic Learners Group

Wish to research the history of Gaels who came to Greenock in the past or emigrated to new lands with interest in the effect this had on the area and how the Gaelic community survived and integrated. Group propose to make a film which will draw together the products of research and be shown to other groups


The projects listed below did not achieve 10% of the community vote:

Ward 3

Funding Requested

Inverclyde Music Festival Association


Ward 4


49f Greenock Squadron ATC


Greenock Central Residents Action Group


Mind Mosaic Counselling & Therapy


RIG Arts


Monday 1st April 2019 - posted by Webmaster
The next meeting of Inverkip & Wemyss Bay Community Council will be held on Thursday 4th April 2019 at 7.00pm in the Chartroom at the Kip Marina.

Kip Marina
Kip Marina
Friday 22nd March 2019 - posted by Webmaster

From Wemyss Bay Community Association:

"Wemyss Bay Community Association (WBCA) would like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted recently with regards to the funding to help us replace the kitchen in the community centre.

We are delighted to tell you all that we have been advised today that we have been granted the full amount we applied for.

Thank you to everyone who took time out to go and vote. We really do have great community spirit in Wemyss Bay." 

The fire door was also replaced recently. It is great to see improvements being made to a well used centre!

Wemyss Bay Community Centre
Wemyss Bay Community Centre
Thursday 21st March 2019 - posted by Webmaster

Inverclyde councillors have agreed a budget for 2019/20 with the council's revenue budget  set at over £190m with savings of almost £7m agreed in the next two years including the loss of nearly 58 posts.

The budget also includes £3.6m of investment proposals and a four year capital programme for the year of over £71m.

The council's budget has been proposed with unanimous support from the cross-party members budget working group which includes representatives from all political groups and the independents.

Inverclyde Council Leader, Councillor Stephen McCabe, chairs the group and thanked the councillors for their work during the year.

He said: "I would like to thank the members of the budget working group, and indeed all other members, for their contributions over the past nine months. The group met on sixteen occasions and, on the whole, our discussions were amicable and constructive. There can't be many, if any, councils in Scotland with a more inclusive approach to budget setting.

"I know that the trade unions are rightly disappointed with some of the savings being proposed today but I'm sure they understand the difficulties faced by councillors in achieving a balanced budget.

"The need for savings arises from a number of factors, including a like for like cut to our core grant from the Scottish Government of £2.9m; no provision within the core government settlement for pay awards to staff; no provision within the settlement for non-pay inflation and the impact of demographic pressures resulting in increased demand for particular services.

"As a council, we have mitigated the impact of these pressures by applying a 4.79% increase in council tax and a general 3% increase in fees and charges. These decisions were not taken lightly."

The budget savings agreed at the council meeting today (21 March 2019) includes reduced opening hours to the council's museums service, reductions in community learning and development services, reduced cleaning in schools and additional charges for seasonal garden waste uplifts.

The budget also includes new investment areas including funding for Frank's Law which provides free personal care for under 65s. 

In 2016 the council supported the Frank's Law campaign, led by Amanda, the widow of former footballer Frank Kopel.  Frank died in 2014 aged 65 eight years after being diagnosed with dementia.

His widow Amanda has been campaigning for Frank's Law for the extension of free personal care for those under the age of 65 who need it.

The budget also includes funding for the roll out of the 1140 free hours of childcare and early learning and for the provision of free sanitary products to address period poverty.

Cross-party proposals for additional investment by the council's members budget working party includes the rollout of universal free school meals to primary four pupils; an amendment to the eligibility criteria for entitlement to free school meals and clothing grants meaning approximately 300 more children will qualify for these benefits and the mainlining of funding for our I Youth Zones youth facilities in Port Glasgow and Greenock.

Councillor McCabe added: "Despite all of the investments and the normal day-to day business of the council to support and help thousands of residents every day, the harsh reality is that the focus of this budget will rightly be on the cuts we are making.

"As a result of this budget 58  full-time equivalent posts will be lost. This will bring to 669 the number of full-time equivalent posts lost in this Council alone since March 2009. This is more than twice the number of jobs we successfully fought to save at Texas Instruments' plant in Greenock.

"Unfortunately we face this prospect every year of this council term unless we see an end to the austerity policies which could see the council facing cuts of up to £16m in the coming years."

Inverclyde Council's budget meeting took place today (Thursday 21 March 2019). The full committee papers including the budget and capital programme are available to download online at:

Inverclyde Council set its council tax on 21 February 2019 with an increase of 4.79%:

Wednesday 20th March 2019 - posted by Webmaster

Work to realign Bakers Street (known locally as Bakers Brae) in Greenock is now complete and the road has re-opened to traffic.

The work is part of a £3million scheme to improve road safety and promote industrial regeneration in the area. It involved realigning Bakers Street between Ingleston Street and Drumfrochar Road to remove a dangerous bend. Buildings at the east end of Drumfrochar Road were also demolished to make way for the new stretch of road.

The traffic lights at the junction of Baker Street and Ingleston Street have also been improved with revised signal timings. Kerbs have been lowered and a major programme of tree planting and landscaping is underway.

The work will improve sightlines for drivers and make it safer and easier for pedestrians to move around the area.

Councillor Michael McCormick, Convener of Inverclyde Council’s Environment & Regeneration Committee, said, "This work will improve traffic flows in and around the area and improve road safety. Previously lorries had to cut across the carriageway to negotiate the bend in the road.

"Bakers Brae is an important route into Greenock. The poor road layout, combined with vacant and derelict buildings lining the road, gave a poor impression of the area and stifled local investment and economic activity. This major investment will really enhance the entire area by improving access for commercial vehicles, improving safety for drivers and pedestrians and creating a green buffer through the tree planting programme.

"We very much appreciate the patience that drivers and local residents have shown while work has been underway on this important project and it’s wonderful that they will now start to see the benefits."

The £3 million scheme was funded by Inverclyde Council with a £300,000 contribution from the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).

Friday 15th March 2019 - posted by Webmaster

Last Saturday (9th March) an attempt was made to open the defibrillator case, outside Wemyss Bay Community Centre. There is evidence that the box has been kicked at several times.

As a result, the box has become unsecured to the wall. This will cost money to fix.

As the seals were broken, the Largs first responders had to come and check it out and fortunately, the defibrillator is still in full working order.

Wemyss Bay Community Association will be liaising with local primary and secondary schools, to reiterate the importance of the vital lifesaving equipment, that we as a community, worked hard to buy.

There is also CCTV, which we can access, this will be checked and anyone identified, will be reported to the police.

Can I please urge you to explain, to your children, including teenagers, how important this equipment is and how to look after the things we have in our village.

If anyone has any information, please get in touch.

Source: Wemyss Bay Community Association

Wemyss Bay Community Centre
Wemyss Bay Community Centre
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