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August 8, 2023

Which pothole to fix?

Progress on Participatory Budgeting (PB) – that process whereby the public vote to decide how public money should be spent – has been slow but sure. Which is probably just as well as its implementation requires wide ranging culture change within the public bodies holding these budgets – and more than anything that takes time. A commitment by Councils to spend 1% of their budgets through a PB process raised a few sceptical eyebrows but, to be fair, where it’s worked, it’s worked very well. Asking Renfrewshire Council’s roads department to get involved sounded a particularly unlikely proposition. Turns out they loved it.

Renfrewshire Council

Background – Renfrewshire Council’s ‘You Decide’ PB 

As part of the 1% mainstream PB target, Renfrewshire Council delivered the ‘You Decide’ PB exercise. A total of £1.2 million was made available from the council’s Environment and Infrastructure service’s budget (from 2020 to 2023) and delivered through the PB process, enabling local people to suggest and choose what projects will make the biggest difference to Renfrewshire.

Through a range of engagement platforms, such as social and local media, community councils, roadshows, radio and outdoor advertising, Renfrewshire Council invited local people to submit their ideas for what they wanted improved in their area. Over 2,800 ideas were submitted. The ‘You Decide’ steering panel shortlisted feasible project, which then led to the public voting process. A total of 4,800 votes were cast, and now a total of 50 successful projects are being delivered across 16 areas in the Renfrewshire region.


Successful projects



  • Engage with the local community to carry out improvements to the appearance of roundabouts in the Village
  • Install a tarmac path and seating along one side of the grass area on Ferry Road in front of West Porton Farm
  • Install outdoor exercise equipment at Churchill Drive Park

Brookfield and Bridge of Weir

  • Install a wheeled sports area in Moss Road Park, including skateboarding, scooters and skates, for children and young people to enjoy
  • Install speed activated signs at the entrance to Brookfield


  • Light up the Wallace Monument to make it more of a feature
  • Install outdoor exercise equipment at Old Road Park
  • Install speed activated sign on Main Road
  • Install seating at Main Road near the NCR75 cycle path entry/exit
  • Upgrade the path that runs alongside the river from Abbey Road to Wallace Avenue to tarmac
  • Upgrade the tarmac surface at Queens Road Park


  • Create ramps either side of existing steps at Holms Crescent to aid pedestrians with mobility issues, prams and bikes
  • Upgrade the Clyde Walkway path from Newshot Drive around to the river and create additional seating at the waterfront
  • Install lighting on link path between Millfield View and Linburn Road


  • Install a pedestrian crossing near the bus stop on Magnus Road/Piper Road
  • Repair steps and ensure accessible access to Helicopter Park (South Mound) for people with mobility issues, prams and bicycles


  • Install lighting in Howwood Park connecting Beith Road and Midtown Road
  • Improve the playing surface at the Howwood Park playing field
  • Tarmac the perimeter path around Howwood Park


  • Add two additional lighting columns to existing lighting in Inchinnan Park to provide lighting around the play area
  • Install a lighting column on the path between Braemar Road and Old Greenock Road bus stop
  • Install a gate from Inchinnan playing fields car park to allow direct access to the park and upgrade the path as required
  • Resurface the footpath Broompark Drive that leads to Inchinnan Primary
  • Design and install interpretation boards at points of interest in Inchinnan following engagement with the local community
  • Install seating on the walking and cycle route at the A8 Greenock Road


  • Additional lighting in the park on the Ellerslie Street area next to the play park
  • Install additional lighting in Spateston Park link path from Sheldrake Place to Spateston Road
  • Install kickabout football goals in Spateston Park
  • Install outdoor exercise equipment at Thomas Shanks Park
  • Install new lighting columns from Miller Street to Ritchie Park


  • Install additional lighting in Kilbarchan Park from Well Road to Park View
  • Create an activity trail around the village with information and interpretation boards
  • Engage with the local community to improve the appearance of the roundabout at the entrance to the village (Easwald Bank)


  • Contribution towards installing items of play equipment in Station Park
  • Upgrade the path through Langbank playing fields from Station Road to the train station


  • Install a wheeled sports area in Kintyre Park, including skateboarding, scooters and skates, for children and young people to enjoy
  • Install lighting in Kintyre Park


  • Install lighting in Lochwinnoch Park around the surrounding path network
  • Lighting improvements from the car park at Lochwinnoch Park (Lochlip Road) towards the train station

Paisley East

  • Create an enclosed dog exercise area in East End Park
  • Install lighting in Barshaw Park from Arkleston Road entrance to car park
  • Contribution towards replacing all play equipment in Jennyswell play park

Paisley Gleniffer

  • Improve the paths within Gleniffer Braes Country Park
  • Improvements to Gleniffer Braes Car Park (off Glenfield Road) and improve the signage

Paisley North, West and Central

  • Access improvements to Glencoats Park to aid users with mobility issues, prams and bikes
  • Install additional play equipment in South Candren Village Green play area
  • Install additional street lighting at the entrance to Ferguslie Gardens opposite West Lane


  • Improve the appearance of roundabouts and add additional signage at the two main entrances to the town – Glasgow Road and Paisley Road
  • Install additional seating in Renfrew Town Centre
  • Contribution towards improvements to the play area at Glebe Street