A PAIR of candidates standing in next month’s council elections have pledged to restore “civic pride” to the streets of Johnstone if backed by voters.

Chris Gilmour and Gillian Graham believe the town centre and areas around the three main road entrances to Johnstone require major improvements to their appearance.

The Labour duo, who are both standing in the Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch ward, are among eight candidates vying to win one of the four seats available.

Mr Gilmour, who served as a councillor in the area between 2012 and 2017, has lived in Johnstone all his life.

He told The Gazette: “Many people have spoken to me and are disgusted by the state of our town.

“Some people who used to live here and now visit are absolutely appalled at the way it has deteriorated over the last few years.

“It is true to say that one never gets a second chance to make a first impression and sadly, whether it be the dilapidated and derelict appearance of Millbrae or the state of the flower beds in Kilbarchan Road, people are left with a negative view of our fine and proud town.

“There are also concerns expressed by local people at the eyesore that is Johnstone arcade and the lack of attention given to the Ludovic gardens in the centre of town.

“I have no doubt from speaking to voters that these issues are a priority for the people of Johnstone.

“We need to listen to their concerns.”

Ms Graham, who is a former local government officer, insists towns such as Johnstone have suffered while the SNP has been in power at Renfrewshire House.

She said: “You only have to take a walk around the town to conclude that things are worse than five years ago.

“I am committed to bringing about the necessary improvements to restore Johnstone to its former glory and a town that both residents and visitors from local villages and beyond can be proud of once again.”

The six other candidates standing in the Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch ward are Emma Rodden and Graeme Stockton (SNP), Louise Reid (Conservatives), Andrew Jackson (Lib Dems), Heather Hudson (Greens) and Andy Doig (Independent).