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OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FOR TIED PUB REFORM

Over 90 per cent of responses to a consultation on West of Scotland MSP Neil Bibby’s proposed Tied Pubs Bill backed a change in the law.

The proposal formally lodged today would create a statutory Pubs Code to regulate the relationship between tied pub tenants and their pub-owning landlords and an independent Adjudicator to enforce the code. Tied pub tenants in Scotland would gain similar rights to those in England and Wales, with restrictions eased on the range of drinks they can stock.

93 per cent of consultation respondents supported the Bill, including 87 per cent who described themselves as ‘fully supportive’.

The Bill is backed by a broad coalition including the Scottish Licensed Trade Association(SLTA), the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), GMB Scotland, the STUC and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

West Scotland MSP Neil Bibby MSP said: 

“This proposal is about fairness, choice and jobs. Fairness for tied pub tenants, choice for Scotland’s pub goers and jobs in the pub and brewing industries. My Bill would reset the relationship between tied licensees and their landlords, giving tied tenants in Scotland similar rights to those in England and Wales, and it would make it easier to bring locally-brewed products into the tied pub sector.

“Too often tied deals are one-sided and uncompetitive. With a broad coalition behind the Bill and backing from an overwhelming 93 per cent who responded, this consultation has demonstrated very clearly that the sector has to change.

“I have now formally lodged my proposal and I am asking MSPs of all parties to work with me to deliver a much-needed change in the law and a fairer deal for Scotland’s tied pubs and the brewing industry.”

In a statement, licensed trade body, the SLTA said:

“The SLTA echoes the support of the majority of respondents to the tied house consultation who are calling for a statutory Pubs Code and Adjudicator in Scotland to give Scottish tied house tenants the same protection as their counterparts in England and Wales. The status quo is not an option and our message remains the same – ‘there is an urgent need to have parity with the rest of the UK’. It is totally unacceptable for Scotland’s tenant licensees to be left in the very vulnerable position they find themselves in.

“Tied pub reform will end the discriminatory, unfair and uncompetitive marketplace that tied house tenants are locked into and will reverse the serious negative effect on the economy, particularly local economies.”

Sarah Bellis, CAMRA Director for Scotland says: 

“CAMRA welcomes the consultation results which show that an overwhelming 93% of respondents agree with CAMRA that change is needed to protect Scottish licensees tied to the large pub companies.

“Many pubs in Scotland are struggling because pub companies take more than is fair or sustainable from tied licensees’ profits by forcing them to buy their beer directly from them at inflated prices rather than on the open market. Licensees are further hit by paying above market value for rents and consequentially struggling to make a living, contributing to pub closures across Scotland.

“We therefore fully support Neil Bibby’s Pubs Code Bill, which calls for a powerful pubs code to govern the relationship between pub companies and their tenants to ensure licensees are treated fairly.”

GMB Organiser Martin Doran said: 

“Neil Bibby’s consultation on tied pub reform has demonstrated the strength of feeling and the breadth of the coalition in favour of change.  The Scottish Government should now move quickly to support legislative proposals which can deliver fairness for tied pubs tenants, give more choice for punters and help create a more level playing field for Scottish brewers who, as they should know, are significant employers.

“GMB Scotland members working in the Scottish brewing industry certainly understand that a fairer tied pubs market will help to sustain good jobs in their industry.  MSPs, of all parties, should be in no doubt that tied pub tenants and brewing industry workers alike support these proposals and now want to see change delivered.”

Colin Borland, Head of Devolved Nations at the FSB said:

“Neil Bibby’s proposed Bill will give the pub industry the New Year boost it needs by giving small businesses the opportunity to be free-of-tie – meaning lower prices and more choice for customers and greater take-home pay for tied tenants.

“FSB is calling on the Scottish Government to back local pub owners, get behind the Bill and call time on ineffective industry self-regulation.”

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Mackay welcomes strategy to target loneliness and isolation

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has welcomed the developing of a new national strategy to tackle loneliness and isolation.

 

The draft plan, one of the first in the world, will look at the causes of social isolation and loneliness and how they can be addressed.

 

Views are also being sought on how communities can build on the work of the Scottish Government, and lead on ensuring those at risk of becoming lonely or isolated have access to the right support networks.

 

SNP MSP Derek Mackay said:

 

“Anybody, regardless of age or circumstance, can be affected by social isolation and loneliness. Research also shows there is a link between loneliness and poor physical and mental health and that this can impact on everyday life.

 

“Scotland is leading the way when it comes to tackling this and will be one of the first in the world to develop a national strategy to address loneliness and isolation.

 

“As a Government we have an important role to play, but, we want communities and society to lead it. Communities themselves are best places to ensure people who may be at risk of becoming isolated or lonely can access the support they need. 

 

“Now we want to hear from you about what is important in tackling these issues. I would encourage everyone to have a say on this very important issue.”

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Give you home that 2018 re-vamp

paisley-abbey-logos

From our wardrobe to our personal lives, a little revamp is what many of us want in the New Year.

But an area that can also benefit from a little change is your home. And what better way to start the New Year than with a new project.

Of course, changing your home interiors and décor can take a little planning, which is easily done with a few Pinterest boards for themes and ideas. And of course having the right tools is always helpful, with companies such as SGS Engineering having the right power and hand tools you’ll need to get started.

Below are our top three ideas for changing interiors for the New Year.

Smart Tech

This may be more of a home change than an interiors change, but with little devices creeping in here and there, you can help them blend easily with your interiors.

2018 has been called the year of the smart home, which makes revamping your home even more of a fun thing to do.

With connected toilets and fridges, you could go the whole hog and jump into a home made for a science fiction show. Or you could start slow with items such as Amazon’s Alex or the Google Echo, all ready to help you answer questions, pop on some music or even change the channel.

Be Neutral

One way many people trip up when changing their interiors is to go for bold patterned wallpaper, or brightly painted walls. Don’t do this.

Instead, strip the walls of paper and coat over those brightly tinged walls with more neutral whites, creams and off-whites. This will help bring a cleaner look into your home, brighten it up and make it feel more spacious.

But what about the personality you ask. Well, that’s where accessories come in. Pick a colour scheme for each room and execute it through pillows, throws, rugs and wall features.

This also means you can change your décor as often as you like, as it requires minimal decorating for maximum effect.

Upcycle those pieces

You’ve probably heard this term banded around before, and now it’s your turn to get stuck into it.

Upcycling is when you take old furniture and breathe new life into it. So don’t get rid of those old pieces, instead just sand them down and paint them a new colour, or repurpose them as something else.

It’ll save you money, give you a new look and means you can upcycle them again and again.

So, why not start this year start with a new home look? With these simple ideas, you’ll be living in the switched-on era while also being able to change the remainder of your home as many times as you like.

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GLASGOW AIRPORT LAUNCHES PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON PROPOSALS TO MODERNISE AIRSPACE

Glasgow Airport has today (Monday 15 January 2018) launched a 13-week public consultation seeking feedback on proposals to modernise the airspace currently used by aircraft to fly to and from the airport.

The airspace change proposals form part of the UK Future Airspace Strategy (FAS), an industry-wide initiative driven by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

 

A key element of the FAS involves removing ground-based navigation aids across the UK and using state-of-the-art satellite navigation systems. The ground-based navigation aid which Glasgow Airport currently uses to guide aircraft to and from the airfield will be decommissioned in 2019.

The move to satellite-based navigational systems will help reduce the amount of time planes queue, both in the air and on the ground, and reduce overall CO2 and fuel emissions.

 

Mark Johnston, operations director at Glasgow Airport, said: “The flight paths used at Glasgow Airport have not changed in over 50 years and, as is the case with the wider UK airspace infrastructure, they are simply no longer fit for purpose. We now need to ensure the way we manage our airspace matches the advancements that have been made in aircraft technology.

 

“Modern aircraft are now equipped to use satellite navigation meaning they can fly more efficient, reliable and direct routes. In moving to this new system, not only will we be able to improve the punctuality of flights, we will be able to reduce the amount of fuel burn from aircraft at Glasgow by over 4,000 tonnes. To put this in perspective, this is the equivalent amount of fuel an A320-200 aircraft would require to operate 1,370 flights between Glasgow and Frankfurt. This in turn will allow us to reduce CO2 emissions by 21% (12,910 tonnes).

 

“It is important to stress we will only make changes to the arrival or departure flight paths once we have considered the views of all those who respond to the airspace change consultation. We will host a number of drop-in sessions over the course of the coming months and all views will then be presented to our regulator, the CAA, before the necessary approval can be granted.”

 

More…/

 

Mark Johnston added: “We are fully committed to growing the airport responsibly and modernising our airspace will help us achieve that. It is important that our communities and stakeholders are fully involved in this modernisation process and we would encourage people to participate.”

 

Further information on the airspace consultation, including how to respond, can be found at www.glasgowairport.com/airspace.

 

The airport is also required to publish an updated noise action plan every five years and will be undertaking a parallel 13-week consultation on a draft plan. The noise action plan sets out proposed measures to manage and mitigate the impact of aviation-related noise.

 

Information on the Noise Action Plan can be found at www.glasgowairport.com/community/noise.

 

The deadline for submissions for both consultations is 13 April 2018

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How to get over being an under – Lisa Kowalski headlines King Tuts on her 18th birthday

As an emerging singer songwriter determined to build a career, a lot of items on Lisa Kowalski’s bucket list are music related.

She has already ticked off a few things – releasing her first EP, playing a festival headline stage, performing on TV, meeting her original inspiration Taylor Swift and supporting a few more well-established artists.  There’s still a big list and a long journey ahead, but one major barrier is about to be smashed.

Having been a performer and a local music fan for the last four years, 17 year old Lisa was getting increasingly frustrated that, as an under, she could neither perform nor go and see her favourite bands and artists at certain gigs and venues. The popular and iconic King Tuts was often the venue for an event Lisa really wanted to attend but wasn’t able to. This situation is all about to change on 6th February when, with the help of Salute Music UK, Lisa is going to celebrate coming of age by headlining King Tuts on the night of her 18th.

Salute Music UK run an innovative new signwriting competition designed to discover under the radar song writing talent from across the UK. Lisa entered their first contest in summer 2017 with a rough demo of a song she had written and had filmed at her fortnightly singing lesson.  Despite competing with more experienced artists and polished and produced tracks and videos, the panel of industry judges selected the song “I do” from thousands of entries to make the top 100.

The public were then asked to vote over several weeks for their favourite songs and the top six made the final, with a £10,000 cash prize paid to each and £50,000 to the overall winner. Lisa was delighted to find out in November that she was a finalist and would be winning a prize that will allow her to realise a lot of musical goals for 2018 and continue to progress her career. The prize also included the arrangement of a “Home Town gig” for each finalist and it was the absolute icing on the cake when Lisa learned that this would not only be in the legendary King Tuts but would also fall on the very night she turned 18. The prize money will be officially presented on the night.

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday than to perform old songs and some new material in a venue that’s so iconic! I also have an incredible artist lined up to support me, Megan D. I’ve been loving her EP and it’s amazing to have a musician that I greatly admire in the line up! ”

Lisa has a lot of other aims and wishes for the year ahead and, as is usually the way for emerging musicians, some will happen and some won’t.  Receiving an invaluable cash sum to invest in her music, as well as a public recognition of her song writing talent, provides a brilliant foundation on which to build. The night at King Tuts is hopefully the start of many things but regardless of what comes next, Lisa will never forget being able to share such an exciting event with friends, family and fans on the long awaited night on which she turns 18.

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Culture events from iconic painting to puppets and much more

A variety of cultural activities will be taking place in Renfrewshire over the next few months.
Art lovers will be able to see one of Scotland’s most iconic paintings when it is put on display at Paisley Museum.


The town is only one of four places in the country to put the famous Monarch of the Glen painting by Sir Edwin Landseer on show, as part of a nationwide tour organised by the National Galleries of Scotland.

The free viewings will take place at Paisley Museum between January 20 and March 11. Free family activities related to the painting are also being planned by Renfrewshire Leisure to coincide with the exhibition.


The Monarch of the Glen exhibition is just one of a host of cultural events being staged in Renfrewshire during the next six months and featured in the latest edition of the free what’s on brochure – The Guide.

The Guide, published this week shows a diverse range of shows, events, exhibitions and workshops is being staged by Renfrewshire Leisure between now and summer.

There are events that are part of the UK’s Puppet Animation Festival with two shows – Little Light and Conan the Dragon – being staged at Paisley Arts Centre and Red Riding Hood’s Magic Purse, at Johnstone Town Hall, in April.

LGBT History Month, in February is being marked with a series of events locally, as is Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, during May.

And a special performance by soprano and piano duo, Voice and Verse that is particularly suited to people suffering from dementia is being held in Paisley Arts Centre, on April 18.

Traditional folk music fans have lots to look forward to with well-known bands like the Tannahill Weavers, Blazin’ Fiddles, Daimh, along with the legendary trio of musicians Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle performing over the next few months.

And on March 2 and 3 the Scottish Alternative Music Awards and festival is being staged in Paisley Arts Centre.

Ballet West bring their enchanting performance of Giselle ou les Wilis to Paisley Town Hall, on February 2 and if you like some rib-tickling comedy of an evening, then former River City star, Gary Lamont brings his Edinburgh Fringe sell-out show, Dropping the Soap to Paisley Arts Centre, on April 28.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “We may have missed out on City of Culture, but we’re not going to be short on cultural activities over the next few months.

“We’ve a hugely diverse range of shows, events and exhibitions going on and there will be something for everyone to enjoy.”

The Guide can be picked up for free at Paisley Museum, Paisley Arts Centre, the town halls at Paisley, Johnstone and Renfrew or download a version on www.renfrewshireleisure.com.

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Noosphere Led by Max Polyakov Organized Innovative Festival BestRoboFest 2017

Image credit: BestRoboFest via Facebook

This year, Association Noosphere again surprised the public by organizing one of the greatest festivals of technology, robotics, and innovation BestRoboFest 2017. On 3-4 of June this technology event took place at the Meteor Sport Complex in Dnipro, Ukraine.

Association Noosphere, with its co-founder Max Polyakov, held BestRoboFest for the first time in 2016. This year, due to organizer’s work, BestRoboFest was attended by doubled number of participants and visitors as noted by Max Polyakov. The young innovators presented 187 robot models for the joy of spectators.

The festival is divided into several parts, including 5 sections of competitions for the robots and their operators. Visitors enjoyed watching the Robo Race, Free Style, Robo Sumo, Copter Race, and Scratch. There were eager participants for each subcategory of the competition varying in age, theme and tech know-how. Also, the audience was impressed by watching at the mastery of the 25 pilot teams who came together in the most fantastic battle of drones of this year’s competition called Copter Race.

During the event, powered by Max Polyakov, the guests who wanted to improve their knowledge could take special classes at free workshops and attend presentations from leading experts in various fields such as amateur rocketry, 3D printing, robotics hardware and software design.

Image credit: BestRoboFest via Facebook

 

Another creation of Max Polyakov, the Noosphere Engineering School, also demonstrated several of its projects such as ArtOS, My Police app, Mars Rover, SenseBridge.

In addition to all this, there was a variety of activities both for adults and for children of all interests. The most visited was the food zone with a diverse range of dishes, and the art zone that boasted creative and eye-pleasing works.

Another innovation of BestRoboFest 2017 that almost stole the show at the festival was a monster vehicle exhibit by MonsterCarsUA. The audience was delighted with such creative custom vehicle design.

Summing up BestRoboFest 2017 Max Polyakov noticed that the young techies who took part in this festival will play a big role in the technological future of Ukraine.

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Local MP urges Tory Government to save Renfrew bank branch

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has continued his campaign to save the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Renfrew town centre by calling on the UK Government to intervene to stop the popular branch from closing its doors for good.

The Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire North was speaking in a Westminster debate on Thursday and slammed banking bosses for putting profits before the needs of the community.

Mr Newlands stated that this is fourth bank closure campaign that he’s been involved in since his election just two and a half years ago. Since then the Bank of Scotland closed their branch on Glasgow Road and the Clydesdale Bank have closed their branches in Renfrew and Bridge of Weir.

The Royal Bank plan to closing 62 of their branches across Scotland and Mr Newlands has urged the UK Government – as the major shareholder of the RBS – to intervene and save these vital banks.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“Banks like the Royal Bank of Scotland are callously ignoring the interest of their customers and the communities that they serve. This is not good enough and is, in fact, completely unacceptable when we recognise that it was the everyday taxpayer who bailed out the big banks.

“RBS are ignoring the fact that the Renfrew branch is a thriving busy branch, valued immensely by the local community, which only a few short months ago was deemed important enough for a costly refurbishment. RBS is ignoring the fact that local businesses rely on this branch and that it’s a vital service for those with a disability as well as older people.

“Following my disappointing and ultimately unproductive meeting with RBS bosses last month, it was clear that they have little interest in being transparent about how busy the branch actually is and are ignoring the fact that the Paisley branch is not a viable option for many of their customers.

“The Tory UK Government – as the major RBS shareholder – could intervene and save the Renfrew branch. All it takes is political will. However, it seems that the Tories are beholden to the banking bosses rather than standing up for the people of Renfrew.”

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5621 Baby Boxes Delivered In Greater Glasgow and Clyde In First Six Months of Scheme

Latest figures from the Scottish Government have revealed that the transformative Baby Box policy has already benefitted 5621 newborns across Greater Glasgow and Clyde since they were introduced last year – and over 22,000 across Scotland.

The Baby Box is a key part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to making Scotland the very best place in the world to grow up – and contains important items for parents and babies alike, such as baby clothes, a digital ear thermometer, a bath towel, a changing mat and books.

The box itself also doubles as a bed for a newborn, containing a mattress, mattress protector and fitted sheet – providing a safe and warm place for babies to sleep.

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, said:

“It is excellent to see so many families across Paisley and Greater Glasgow and Clyde benefitting from the Baby Box.

“The Boxes are a really positive Scottish Government initiative providing parents with many of the essentials they need to care for their child.

“From thermometers to towels, changing mats to clothes – the boxes are a fantastic way of giving children in Paisley the very best start in life.

“That 5621 boxes have already been provided to parents across Greater Glasgow & Clyde, part of a total of over 22,000 across Scotland, shows how popular they are proving with parents in every corner of the country – and given how beneficial they are to parents and newborns, long may that continue.”

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A RECORD 9.9 MILLION PASSENGERS MAKE 2017 BEST YEAR EVER FOR GLASGOW AIRPORT

  • Passenger numbers up by more than 533,000 on 2016  
  • 30 new routes and services secured during record year

Glasgow Airport recorded its busiest year ever in 2017 as more than 9.9 million passengers travelled through its doors, representing an annual increase of 5.8%.

The airport significantly added to its growing destination list with the launch of a number of new Ryanair services to European cities including Madrid, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Krakow and Valencia.

Glasgow also continued to strengthen its position as Scotland’s principal long-haul airport with a new direct Delta Air Lines route to New York-JFK, record passenger numbers on the daily double Dubai service and additional flights to Orlando. Scotland’s only direct service from Seoul operated by Korean Air also returned in 2017 with an additional 25% capacity.

In December more than 618,100 people travelled through the terminal, however, adverse weather conditions resulted in a marginal -1.5% decrease on passenger numbers on the same period in 2016.  

International traffic was up by 2.3% due to strong demand for winter sun destinations including the Canary Islands and European city breaks, with Christmas markets in Munich, Berlin, Dusseldorf and Krakow proving popular. The poor weather conditions in December also led to a -5.2% reduction on domestic traffic.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “2017 was a fantastic year for the airport. To carry more than 9.9 million passengers is a huge achievement and testament to the hard work put in by more than 5000 people across the airport.

“It was also particularly pleasing that we were able to considerably increase our connectivity, particularly across Europe, by securing more than 30 routes and services during the year.

“Over the last 12 months we also made considerable improvements to the airport by investing more than £25 million on a number of successful projects including the resurfacing of the runway, increasing aircraft stand capacity and the opening of our new consolidated car rental centre. Phase one of the expansion project to increase our Central Search security area by 20 per cent also got underway in December and should be completed in the first quarter of 2018.

“While Glasgow Airport enters 2018 in a position of strength, the wider aviation industry faces a number of challenges in the year ahead. These challenges will be particularly heightened by the Brexit situation, so it’s important we have clarity as early as possible on how the UK’s future relationship with the European Union will work.”

Traffic summary

December 2017

Total passengers

(000s)

% change Airport passengers for Jan-Dec 2017 % annual change
618,131 -1.5% 9,902,239 5.8%