Labor councilor set to quit after ten years serving Johnstone and surrounding villages


A Labor councilor has announced he is to stand down ahead of this year’s local election after a decade in office.

Derek Bibby was elected to represent Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Lochwinnoch and Howwood back in 2012 and says it has been an “honour” to help residents and give them a voice in the chamber.

But the 71-year-old – who has devoted his life to public service – insists the time has come to step aside and encourage others to enter the world of local government.

Before becoming an elected member, Derek worked for Strathclyde Regional, Glasgow City and Renfrewshire councils as a social work manager for more than 30 years.

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“It has been a privilege to have represented Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch over the last decade and I have always recognized the profound responsibility and honor it is to do so,” said the dad-of-two, who has lived in Kilbarchan with his wife Susan for almost 40 years.

“I am immensely grateful to both members of the Labor Party and the people of Renfrewshire who have put their trust in me to represent them and I hope that I have repaid that trust.

“I believe now is the time to step down and encourage others to step forward.

“Politics and my career in social work were about helping people every day. Whether it be a housing, education or environmental issue, I have always tried my utmost to help people with their problems and back up those people who need a voice on their side in the council.”

Derek Bibby with fellow Labor councilor Alison Ann-Dowling

During his time as a councillor, Derek served as deputy convener of social work when Labor was in administration between 2012 and 2017. He helped to open two new residential units for children in care and two-day centers for adults with learning disabilities.

He was also deputy conventioner of finance between 2016 and 2017 and served as deputy leader of the Labor group for much of the current SNP administration.

As he prepares to step away from Renfrewshire House, he said he hopes to see a major change in local government funding which he thinks needs to happen to help councils support people through a looming cost-of-living crisis.

Derek, who is dad to Labor MSP Neil Bibby, added: “I am proud to have been part of the Labor administration that was the first to advocate the abolition of the bedroom tax and delivered an anti-poverty strategy which gave more than £3million to our most deprived communities.

“I have particularly enjoyed debating in the council chamber. Whilst I have often disagreed with members of other parties I have always taken the view that democracy is healthy if one respects the right to express alternative views.

“The people of Renfrewshire face much uncertainty as they struggle with the current cost-of-living crisis. Councils have a key part to play in protecting people. The fact that year-on-year council budgets have been cut makes a difficult task even harder. This has to change.”

Neil Bibby MSP is Derek’s son

Renfrewshire Labor group leader Eddie Devine said: “Derek has been a very good councilor for his ward and he’s been particularly good working with young people as that’s what he did before he was a councillor.

“He is well thought of in his ward as he’s always very attentive and does his job. He will be missed by the group.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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