• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

'Clean-up' councillor gets caught on the fly

AN SNP councillor who led an award-winning campaign to clean up a local authority when she was convenor of the environment committee has been fined for fly-tipping.

Marie McGurk's podiatry and chiropody business in Paisley has been targeted by enforcement officers who issued a £200 penalty.

She headed up the high-profile Clean Renfrewshire campaign which was recognised by Keep Scotland Beautiful at its annual awards. Councillor McGurk defected from the Liberal Democrats to the SNP in 2011 and is now the party's environment spokeswoman on Renfrewshire Council.

As a member of the ­Environment Policy Board, her remit is to oversee procedures "for the protection and enhancement of the environment, including street cleaning" according to the council's website.

The current convenor of the local authority's ­environment committee, Councillor Eddie Devine, accused his opposite number of hypocrisy.

Ms McGurk has also come in for criticism from West of Scotland MSP Neil Bibby, who lives a few streets from Paisley Podiatry and Chiropody Centre.

Councillor Devine said: "This is the height of hypocrisy. As councillors, we have a responsibility to set an example. Councillor McGurk should know that better than anyone. It's a case of do as I say not do as I do."

Speaking in February 2010, Councillor McGurk said: "Fly-tippers cost us all money because the council has to clean up after them and dispose of the rubbish they leave behind."

The Scottish Government increased Fixed Penalty Notices for fly-tipping from £50 to £200 last year.

Mr Bibby said: "I know many local people will be appalled and angry that a local business, never mind one of the town's SNP councillors, has been caught fly-tipping and dumping her rubbish on the town."

Councillor McGurk said: "Unfortunately my cleaner put the stuff out and she shouldn't have done. So, we did pay the penalty."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

258009