Local Councillor David McGonigle has strongly hit out at proposals that would see £600,000 diverted away from his ward.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist councillor says the plans that would see community asset transfer funds transferred to allow Kelburne Hockey Club to take control of Ralston Community Centre are badly misguided.

David attended a meeting recently in Ralston, where he heard passionately the case against it.

He has since liaised with the Anchor and Ferguslie Hockey clubs, who use the facilities at the On-x in Linwood.

He shares their concerns that if this funding is diverted to Kelburne, that it could seriously risk the future of the two hockey clubs, delivering a bitter blow to sporting resources being used in Linwood.

Renfrewshire Conservative group leader Neill Graham and local Scottish Conservative MSP Russell Findlay have been leading the fight against the proposals, and stand up for the people of Ralston, who fear they would be locked out of community facilities if the transfer was to go ahead.

The local Conservatives are determined to stand up for local facilities in their ward and are demanding the SNP now answer questions on Kelburne’s latest asset transfer application.

David said: “While the focus has rightly been on what this asset transfer application would mean for Ralston, it could also have seriously damaging consequences for my ward as well.

“I heard at the meeting in Ralston recently the passionate case against these proposals and I wholeheartedly agreed with the views being put forward.

“It is my Renfrewshire Conservative colleagues, Neill Graham and Russell Findlay who have led the charge against the plans. Typically, the SNP were nowhere to be seen at this meeting. They have sought to avoid tough questions over the proposals from Kelburne for far too long.

“Make no mistake, the effects of this asset transfer would be met far and wide across Renfrewshire. It is not about stopping the development of hockey, but as other local hockey clubs have pointed out to me, it could have a very damaging impact on their future operations if this money is diverted away.

“This situation is going to come to a head and I will be proud to stand with local clubs in my ward in Linwood, and I know my colleagues will continue to stand alongside those local residents in Ralston.

“We haven’t been afraid of making our feelings known that this application from Kelburne is misguided. Now is the time for the SNP to come off the fence and decide who will get the keys to Ralston. Local people cannot continue to be left in the dark.”

David Stone President of Anchor Hockey Club added: “We are absolutely not against the development of hockey in the area and we recognise Kelburne’s past dominance and success puts them in a great position to deliver hockey.

“However, we feel that this proposal will be to the detriment of multiple sports groups in Ralston and the wider area and will only aid the advancement of one club; Kelburne.”

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