A community empowerment campaign in Renfrewshire has been hailed by a local resident after it turned his idea for new benches and a path into reality.


Derek Prentice has lived locally in Bishopton for the past 20 years and, when not playing guitar or walking his beloved Sheltie dogs, he takes a keen interest in his local community.

Having heard about Renfrewshire Council’s #YouDecide campaign, Derek submitted the idea for a new path and benches to be added to Ferry Road in Bishopton and following a vote by local people, his idea was successful.

It’s now been completed as one of the 50 successful projects to be delivered as part of the campaign, and has had additional planters added too which were kindly donated by Finco.

Derek said: “#YouDecide is fantastic way of giving anyone in the community an opportunity to make their ideas come true.

“I’m delighted to see this area enhanced as it really needed a path to the seated areas and I anticipate the space will now be used more by wheelchair users and families with prams.

“I think it’s essential that folks that live in the community have a chance to make some environmental differences for the benefit of everyone, and I’m aware of many other proposed improvements in the area thanks to #YouDecide which can only be a positive step.”


A total of £1.2million was allocated from the council’s roads budget for local infrastructure projects and an engagement campaign set out to reach as many people in Renfrewshire as possible.

Council officers visited supermarkets, libraries, community groups, and even tea dances to try and engage with people who did not normally interact with the council and 65.2% of those who provided feedback stated that they had never participated in a council consultation before.

More than 2,800 ideas were submitted by local people and developed into a shortlist for each local area, and more than 4,800 votes were then cast to decide which projects were taken forward.

Councillor Michelle Campbell, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I was delighted to meet Derek at the new benches and see his idea had come to life.

“This is exactly what #YouDecide was created for, giving local people the chance to create projects that will make a real difference to where they live.

“We’re committed to working closely with our communities in Renfrewshire to provide neighbourhoods they are proud to live in and I can’t wait to see even more of the 50 projects be completed over the coming months.”

For more information on the campaign, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/YouDecide


Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X