A CAMPAIGN has been launched by SNP activists to stop major changes in Scots parliamentary boundaries that could see some Renfrewshire towns and villages lumped in with towns in North Ayrshire.
The Boundary Commission for Scotland has drawn up plans to reconfigure Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and North Ayrshire ahead of the next Westminster elections.
The proposals would see Johnstone, Kilbarchan, Linwood and other Renfrewshire towns and villages form part of the new constituency of Renfrewshire South and Largs.
Local people have until tomorrow to air their views on the move.
However, the Kilbarchan branch of the SNP announced their opposition to the plan, claiming that it would “rip communities out of Renfrewshire”.
They believe the move will lead to voter confusion, as well as ignoring the existing community ties in Renfrewshire.
The local SNP branch have submitted counter-proposals to the Boundary Commission, suggesting a Renfrewshire South and West seat instead.
Andy Doig – who is one of the SNP’s two candidates for the Johnstone North, Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch ward at this year’s council elections – has slammed the proposals.
He said: “The Kilbarchan branch, supported by other local SNP branches, has submitted detailed counter proposals for a new seat called Renfrewshire South and West which would keep our traditional links with the rest of the county and I would seriously commend them to the Boundary Commission”.
Councillor Tracie McGee, who represents the Johnstone South, Elderslie and Howwood ward, has also voiced her opposition.
She said: “No-one I have spoken to in either Johnstone, Elderslie or Howwood, where I live, is in favour of these ill-conceived proposals.
“The consultation period ends on January 4, so local people need to make their views known now.”
Councillor Allan Noon, of the Linwood, Houston, and Crosslee ward, added: “There is a very practical reason for rejecting the Renfrewshire South and Largs idea and that is the fact that the poll would be run by no less than three local authorities.
“This could be problematic to say the least and I do not think it would work”.
Ken Macdonald, SNP candidate for Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, and Lochwinnoch, said: “The commission needs to look at its own criteria, as one reason for rejecting plans to put us into North Ayrshire is the barrier that is the Muirshiel Country Park, which dissects Renfrewshire from Ayrshire.”
Under the counter-proposal put forward by the SNP group, the new constituency would include Neilston, Uplawmoor, Barrhead, Johnstone, Elderslie, Howwood, Kilbarchan, Lochwinnoch, Linwood, Houston, Crosslee, Bishopton, Bridge of Weir, Langbank, Erskine and Inchinnan.
Visit www. consultation. scottishboundaries. gov.uk to air your views.