Renfrewshire Council is “looking at options” to bolster the security of derelict housing in Ferguslie which has been ravaged by fire in recent months.

Demolition works for the Tannahill estate are edging closer after it was confirmed electric and gas supplies are in the process of being disconnected.

It is hoped a contract will be awarded next month, which should see a contractor take on the job of bulldozing the remaining vacant blocks from mid-July.

A number of properties have become a hotspot for fire-raising, fly-tipping and other antisocial behaviour – sparking worry among community representatives and elected members.

Councillor Iain McMillan, who represents Johnstone South and Elderslie, relayed the concerns of his colleague Councillor Janis McDonald, who represents Paisley Northwest, at Tuesday’s communities and housing policy board.

The Labour group leader said: “Councillor McDonald has been speaking to me about the number of fires that are in the Tannahill area.

“I was down there two weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon and there was a fire going on that time and the fire engines were rattling along Ferguslie Park Avenue.

“I’m just wondering if there’s any added security that can go into that, because it just seems an easy target for some of these characters who involve themselves in this kind of activity.

“It seems to be pretty regular, it’s not just a one-off thing, so I’m just wondering if there’s any additional security that can be put in in the short-term before they’re demolished?”

Jennifer Murdoch, housing regeneration manager, said there had been a total of 16 fires in the area and confirmed the local authority had been working with police and fire services on the matter.

She added: “Obviously we have been working on taking forward a demolition project for the properties that have now been vacated since everyone moved to their newbuild properties.

“We’ve been working with police, wardens, fire, there’s a multi-targeted approach with regards to the works that are going on in Tannahill.

“There have actually been 16 fires in its totality in that area, so it is an area of interest for a lot of us and we are looking at options with regards to additional measures that can take place.

“We do actually have a lot of contractors who will be working out in that area as well in the coming weeks, so the activity from personnel will pick up.

“We are looking to go to the finance board on June 13 for the next steps for that demolition project.”

Councillor Marie McGurk, board convener and SNP representative for Paisley Southeast, said: “The community have been very helpful.

“They are working closely with the staff and other partners on this one.”