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Ambitious plans unveiled to reshape Renfrewshire

Plans to create a thriving Renfrewshire are set to be considered by councillors next week.

Thriving Places, Connected Communities is the new Council Plan being presented next week, which sets out the local authority’s vision and strategic objectives for Renfrewshire over the next five years.

Renfrew Town Hall taken by Natalie Murie

Renfrewshire has a population of 176,000 people and has a proud cultural heritage, including Scotland’s second highest concentration of listed buildings.

The area generates more than one-third of Scotland’s manufacturing exports, with highly qualified employees and jobs up by 9,000 in the last three years.

The area also faces significant challenges, with one in five Renfrewshire children living in poverty and life chances in some communities blighted by poor health and wellbeing.

Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “This plan sets out our ambitions as a local authority to deliver for everyone in Renfrewshire.

“Renfrewshire is a place of outstanding natural beauty, steeped in cultural heritage, with thriving business and economic activity. By listening to our communities and working together with our partners we can reshape Renfrewshire, our economy and our future.

“It is only by working together that we can give people a sense of pride in the place where they live. We want to remove the barriers to opportunities, building strong, safe and resilient communities, and make the most of what the area has to offer.

“This is a fantastic, yet challenging time for Renfrewshire and many people in our communities are affected by poverty, poor health and unemployment. These are unacceptable inequalities and we will address them by working differently, making decisions which ensure growth and investment reaches our most disadvantaged.

“Like many public services, we face significant financial challenges, a changing society and changing needs of local people, communities and businesses. It is vital that this plan is ambitious and flexible, enabling us to respond to the challenges and embrace the opportunities that will help us deliver the high-quality services local people and businesses rely on.”

Renfrewshire Council is the 10th largest local authority in Scotland, with 7900 staff and a £380million budget. It delivers a diverse range of services, from educating more than 27,000 children to managing more than 12,200 Council homes.

Councillors will consider the plan at the Council meeting on Thursday, 28 September 2017.

They will also discuss the details of Renfrewshire’s Community Plan, the new ten-year plan developed jointly by key public, private and third sector organisations including the Council.

Councillor Nicolson added: “Renfrewshire’s Community Plan marks a shared responsibility between the Council and its many partners to get things right for Renfrewshire people.

“Developing these two plans in parallel provides us with a real opportunity to agree on the collective outcomes we will all focus on going forward and create a ‘golden thread’ running through each one, together delivering a thriving Renfrewshire.”