A Renfrewshire councillor is urging local people to “let their voices be heard” at a planned protest outside Renfrewshire Council offices.

Scottish Conservative Councillor David McGonigle, who represents Houston, Crosslee and Linwood, is backing plans by local campaigners to voice their opposition to plans to merge the Milldale Centre in Linwood with the Mirin Centre in Paisley, who both care for vulnerable adults.

Campaigners are planning to protest at 10am on Friday 26th January outside the council’s headquarters ahead of a meeting of Renfrewshire’s Information Joint Board which will be bringing together councillors and NHS representatives to discuss the merger proposals.

Councillor McGonigle has been working with campaigners to fight the plans and recently expressed his “astonishment” that a senior official from Renfrewshire’s Health and Social Care Partnership turned down an invitation to a public meeting he was planning.

Over 2,350 people have now signed a petition against the plans and Councillor McGonigle says that these people “cannot simply be ignored” by decision makers.

He says that an official protest ahead of the board meeting would hopefully make them “think again” about their “misguided and illogical” plans to merge the centres.

Councillor McGonigle said: “I have been proud to stand alongside these tireless campaigners fighting to save these lifeline centres.

“It is incredible to see the numbers who have signed the petition and numbers are growing by the day. It is fantastic to see that their next step is organising a protest outside the council officials ahead of a meeting where the merger plan will be discussed by councillors and NHS representatives.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to go along to this protest and let their voices be heard. They cannot simply be ignored by decision makers who are going to determine what services they receive in the future. Indeed, I would urge those decision makers to come out and listen to them ahead of their meeting.

“If we get a large crowd outside the council’s headquarters, then I hope that would make those at the meeting think twice about going ahead with these misguided and illogical plans.

“I will continue to fight to prevent the merger of the Milldale and Mirin Centres and those in charge must see the scale of the opposition to the proposals and urgently rethink them.”

There has been a launched and if you would like to view and sign it, you can find it here: www.change.org/p/prevent-the-merger-closure-of-the-milldale-centre-and-the-mirin-centre.

Photo Credit: Miguel Rivas / Pixabay

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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