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Clydesdale Bank closure – Gavin Newlands MP

Below is a quote from Gavin Newlands MP on the announcement that the Clydesdale Bank branch in Renfrew is due to be closed.

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

“I am extremely frustrated and disappointed to learn that the Clydesdale Bank is planning on closing its Renfrew town centre branch. This bank has been based in the town for as many years that I can remember and is valued by local people. My immediate thoughts are with all those who work in the Clydesdale Bank Renfrew branch.

I’m angry as this is another local bank which is being closed in Renfrewshire. Over the past few years, we have witnessed a number of community banks being closed despite their importance to local people. This is not only a problem in Renfrewshire but across the UK where the number of bank branches has been decimated over the past few years. I have previously spoken on this in parliament and called on the UK Government to help maintain local banking.

I have contacted Clydesdale Bank to seek an urgent meeting on this closure in order to find out the reasons behind this decision and if anything can be done to reverse this disappointing decision.”

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Doosan Babcock Announce Consultation Over Jobs

Doosan Babcock has announced plans to cut up to 270 jobs at their company’s base in Renfrew.

They include 140 posts at its machining and assembly facility in Renfrew, along with 130 management and back-office support roles.

The firm could cut 470 across the UK.

In Renfrew, 800 people are currently employed.

Commenting on the news that Doosan Babcock is to close in Renfrew, constituency MSP and Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said:

 “I am extremely disappointed and saddened to hear of this news and my thoughts are with the workers, who now face an uncertain future. 

“I was given no notice by the company as constituency MSP

 “I will be engaging with the company urgently and the Scottish Government will be doing all we can to assist in this extremely difficult time”

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North said

“I am extremely disappointed to learn that Doosan Babcock is to enter into a formal consultation with its employees that could result in significant job losses.

“Following the announcement by Chivas a few weeks ago this announcement represents another kick in the teeth for Renfrewshire. Both Chivas and Doosan Babcock are two longstanding Renfrewshire-based companies, with both providing careers to generations of local families.

“My thoughts at the moment are with the workers of Doosan Babcock’s in Renfrew. There is never of a good time to learn that you may be potentially losing your job but to do so in the run-up to Christmas is particularly insensitive.

“I will be contacting Doosan Babcock to find out more about this restructure and its implications. I am ready to offer as much assistance as possible to the workforce.”

Doosan Babcock Chief executive Andrew Hunt said: “Over the last year we have worked hard to rebalance the business, adapting to changing market dynamics and reacting to industry requirements for a low-carbon future.
“Unfortunately, we foresee long-term downturn in certain market sectors which mean the current position is unsustainable.
“It is with much regret that we now have to enter into the statutory consultation period on redundancies.”
He added: “The continued long-term growth of the business across the UK and in strategic international markets remains a priority.
“We have made significant progress in transforming and future-proofing the business but this will only prove successful if we also reduce our cost base in parallel.”
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SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North Gavin Newlands has said that it would be a ‘great way to create a transformational change‘ for Paisley – if it won the bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021.


Gavin Newlands comments came as he leads a debate at Westminster on Paisley’s bid  for the prestigious award – and on the deserved reputation the town has for its cultural contribution to Scotland and the wider world.

Gavin Newlands MP said:

“I have been a passionate supporter of Paisley’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021, and wanted to take the message to a wider audience at Westminster.

“My debate in parliament is an opportunity to promote Paisley and the bid. Securing this title isn’t just about recognising our cultural strengths, it’s also about creating a transformational change for everyone living in the area. Paisley has challenges and being named as the UK City of Culture would give us the tools to tackle these challenges head-on.

‘’We have seen how other bid winners – most noticeably Glasgow in 1990 – benefit and well known Paisley figures like Paolo Nutini and acclaimed artist and playwright John Byrne have thrown their weight behind the campaign.

‘’Paisley well and truly punches above its weight in so many areas of culture ; we have the highest concentration of listed buildings anywhere in Scotland outside Edinburgh and the famous Paisley pattern is synonymous with the town’s rich history – it would be a real boost if in addition to all the great attractions of my home town – we could secure this bid.’’

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Over 43,000 households in Paisley and Renfrewshire North could save hundreds of pounds on energy

Gavin Newlands MP has backed the Energy Switch Guarantee, an industry initiative to make switching supplier simpler, quicker and safer.

More than 88% of households in Paisley and Renfrewshire North could be missing out on hundreds of pounds of energy savings that can be made by switching energy provider.

The Energy Switch Guarantee – launched in June – is a set of ten commitments designed to offer customers more confidence in the switching process.

The signatories of the Guarantee will make sure the switch is completed in twenty-one days. The Guarantee gives customers the extra assurance that the switch will be fast and reliable.

Gavin Newlands MP said:

“I want to see up to 88% of households in Paisley and Renfrewshire North save hundreds of pounds by switching their gas and electricity supplier this winter.

“People tell me that if you’ve been with the same supplier for years switching can seem like a daunting task. That is why I support the Energy Switch Guarantee which promises to make switching simple and smooth for everyone.”

Tina Tietjen, independent chair of the Energy Switch Guarantee said:

“I encourage people to shop around this winter for the best deal for them. Customers can save hundreds of pounds and with the Energy Switch Guarantee they are assured a simple, speedy and safe switch.

“The Guarantee is a major commitment by suppliers – from the largest to some of the newest suppliers in the market – to make switching simple and quick. It is designed to reassure consumers who may have reservations about switching.”

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Renfrew Juniors Football Club support The White Ribbon Campaign

Renfrew Juniors Football Club have thrown in their weight behind a campaign which stresses the positive role that men can play in ending violence against women.

Gavin Newlands MP with John Gilmour, President of Renfrew Juniors, Davy Thompson, Interim Coordinator of White Ribbon Scotland with the players from Renfrew Juniors and Arniston Rangers

Gavin Newlands MP with John Gilmour, President of Renfrew Juniors, Davy Thompson, Interim Coordinator of White Ribbon Scotland with the players from Renfrew Juniors and Arniston Rangers

The White Ribbon Campaign is a global campaign to put a stop to male violence against women and girls. The campaign addresses men directly – so they can understand the scale of the problem, and become part of the solution.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, who also serves as a White Ribbon Ambassador, invited Renfrew Juniors to support this campaign by wearing a small white ribbon on their jerseys. The team wore the white ribbons during their Scottish Cup game on the 19th November when they played against Arniston Rangers.

The 16 Days of Action Against Women and Girls takes place from the 25th of November to the 10th of December 2016.

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

“I was delighted to see Renfrew Juniors and Arniston Rangers support The White Campaign and pledge their commitment to helping to end the violence that too many women still face on a daily basis.

“Renfrew Juniors play an important role in the community, with many young people looking up to the players as role models. Their support of this campaign will send a strong message that violence against women and girls has to stop.”

John Gilmour, President of Renfrew Juniors Football Club, said:

“Renfrew Juniors are proud to be a club rooted in the local community and throughout the year we will support a number of causes.

“This is an extremely important cause and by supporting The White Ribbon Campaign, we are sending a message that everyone has a role to play in putting a stop to violence against women and girls.”

Davy Thompson, Interim Coordinator of The White Ribbon Scotland Campaign, said:

“White Ribbon Scotland are grateful to Renfrew Juniors Football Club and Gavin Newlands MP for supporting our campaign, and in doing so sending a message about the positive role that men can play in ending violence against women and girls.

“In the UK, on average, two women are killed by their current or former partner every week. White Ribbon Scotland exists to end this violence by supporting men to challenge male violence against women and girls.”

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Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has pledged to support an upcoming Private Member’s Bill (PMB) which would require the UK Government to legally commit to providing a better framework for addressing violence against women and girls, by making the Istanbul Convention law in the UK – if successful. This legislation requires the UK to take measures to prevent violence against women, protect women experiencing violence, and prosecute perpetrators.

 Gavin Newlands MP and Eilidh Whiteford MP hold a sign to show support for the IC Change Campaign to end violence against women

Gavin Newlands MP and Eilidh Whiteford MP hold a sign to show support for the IC Change Campaign to end violence against women

This Bill has cross party support and if it becomes law would see the UK take a proud commitment to ending gender based violence and taking the next steps in securing a safe future for women and girls.

This legislation is needed because in 2014/15, 1,797 rapes and 104 attempted rapes and 59,882 incidents of domestic abuse were recorded by the police in Scotland.

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

“Since my election, I have done a lot of work to tackle the daily violence that too many women and girls still face. One of the most effective ways in which we can take coordinated action on this is to ratify the Istanbul Convention.

“This is a call that I’ve repeatedly made to the Government as it will ensure that a series of preventative policies are introduced to end this shameful violence.

“This private members bill is extremely important. I want to end violence against women and girls in the UK, and I therefore support the Istanbul Convention becoming UK law. I urge all other MPs to do the same.”

Jenn Selby, a campaigner and survivor said: “When I think of all the brave women I’ve met on my way through the system, I wonder how many of them made it. The current legal framework did more to see our perpetrators walk free than to keep us alive. This convention would end this.

Rachel Nye, Co-director of the campaign, says: “We need a strategic plan for addressing violence against

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MP calls for Chancellor to suspend ESA changes in the Autumn Statement

Gavin Newlands MP

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, joined calls from the First Minister and SNP colleagues at Westminster for the Chancellor to take the opportunity in his Autumn Statement to suspend proposed changes to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The current proposal would cut £30 a week from the support given to sick and disabled people in the ESA work-related activity group.

Gavin Newlands MP
His comments follow a backbench business debate on the reductions to ESA and Universal Credit led by the SNP’s Neil Gray MP. His debate motion gained support from across the political divide including from Labour and Conservative MPs.

Gavin Newlands said:

“My SNP colleagues and I have consistently opposed the UK Government’s proposals to cut £30 a week from the support given to sick and disabled people in the ESA work-related activity group and the equivalent group within Universal Credit.

“When the Prime Minister came into office, she said that she is anxious to help people who are ‘just managing’. These proposed cuts to ESA will impact on many of the most vulnerable people in society, so now is her chance to put that into action.

“The group of people this cut concerns are in many respects are not even ‘just managing’.

“So I would hope that the Chancellor takes the opportunity to suspend these changes when he’s making decisions on next week’s Autumn Statement.”

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Local MP highlights ‘Anti-Bullying Week 2016’

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has highlighted ‘Anti-Bullying Week’ and encouraged people to use their ‘power for good’ to stop the bullying of young people.



Mr Newlands has submitted an Early Day Motion to the UK Parliament to highlight ‘Anti-Bullying Week 2016’ which is being organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. This year that Anti-Bullying Alliance are running a ‘Power for Good’ campaign and are calling on individuals  to use their influence to stop the bullying of young people.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) state that more than 16,000 young people are absent from school due to bullying which can potentially have a long-lasting negative impact on someone’s life.

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

“No one should live in fear of being bullied but the sad reality is that still far too many young people are being relentlessly intimidated by bullies.

“Anti-Bullying Week is an opportunity to tell young people who are being bullied that they are not alone and there’s people out there who can support them. It is an opportunity for all of us to use our ‘power for good’ to stop the bullying that young people face.

“There is a lot of good work taking place to try and combat bullying, including the fantastic work that Gallowhill Primary School is doing with their ‘Oor Bullie’ comic book which attempts to stop cyberbullying.

“I would encourage everyone to play their part in helping to end the bullying of young people.”

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Renfrewshire councillors reject planning application for holding facility

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Plans to create an immigration holding facility near Glasgow Airport have been rejected by Renfrewshire councillors.

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Members of the council’s Planning and Property Policy Board (on Tuesday Nov 08) unanimously refused a planning application to establish a facility with 20 bedrooms and ancillary accommodation to be used by the Home Office as a short-term immigration holding facility.

The council’s planning officers had recommended the application be granted with conditions.

Councillor Terry Kelly, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Property Policy Board, said:  “Members were unanimously  of the view that the proposed facility would be contrary to the Adopted Renfrewshire Local Development Plan.

“There was clear concern it would be detrimental to the economic development of the Glasgow Airport Investment Area – one of the key economic drivers for the city region.

“Members agreed that there was no established identifiable functional link between the proposal and Glasgow Airport’s operations.

“The proposed facility’s location in a commercial and industrial area would  also introduce an inappropriate use through the attendant noise, activity and disturbance.”

Below is a quote from Renfrewshire Council’s decision to refuse the planning application from the Home Office.

Dungavel planning permission rejected

“I congratulate Renfrewshire Council for rejecting the planning application from the UK government for a short-term immigration detention centre near Glasgow Airport.

“It was clear that the local community didn’t want any part in the UK Government’s inhumane and ineffective approach towards immigration detention.

“The Prime Minister should take note of this decision and rethink her government’s approach towards immigration detention – a system which detains pregnant women and allows the indefinite detention of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”


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Local Politicians Support Christmas Shoebox Appeal

Derek Mackay MSP and Gavin Newlands MP visited Blythswood Care today to once again show their support for their Christmas Shoebox Appeal.

Derek Mackay MSP, Gavin Newlands MP, Cllr Jim Paterson, Cllr Cathy McEwan and Cllr Bill Perrie

Derek Mackay MSP, Gavin Newlands MP, Cllr Jim Paterson, Cllr Cathy McEwan and Cllr Bill Perrie

They were joined by Councillors Cathy McEwan, Jim Paterson and Bill Perrie, who are also supporting this year’s appeal.

Since 1966, Blythswood Care has led a number of appeals to help those in desperate poverty across Europe, Africa and Asia, through filled shoeboxes at Christmas, relief and development aid or social projects for young and old.

Last year 116,576 shoeboxes were delivered to Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Pakistan, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. A 10% increase on 2014. All of the shoeboxes are sent out early to ensure they arrive by Christmas. For more information on how you can help please visit: www.blythswood.org/shoebox-appeal

Gavin Newlands MP is encouraging constituents to get involved by filling up and dropping off a shoebox at Blythswood Care, Montrose Avenue, Hillington Industrial Estate by 23rd November 2016.

Gavin Newlands MP said:

“I am delighted to join my SNP colleagues in supporting the Blythswood Care’s Shoebox Appeal. Blythswood Care has a long and proud history in the area and their annual shoebox appeal goes a long way in helping those less fortunate that ourselves.”

Derek Mackay MSP is also encouraging anyone who wants to volunteer to help the organisation sort the shoeboxes to get in touch.

He said:

“With more and more donations, the job of sorting through the shoeboxes becomes bigger every year. I was delighted to be able to give up some of my own spare time to help last year, and would encourage anyone who wants to get involved to contact Blythswood Care on 882 0585.

“I know from my visits over the years, and from helping out last year, the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to help ensure the boxes are shipped out in time for Christmas and I congratulate all the volunteers involved.”

Renfrew South & Gallowhill Councillor Jim Paterson said:

“It is a pleasure to play a small part in such a worthy cause. To find out that last year over 115,000 shoeboxes were donated and distributed is magnificent and a figure which should make the organisers extremely proud.”

Cllr Cathy McEwan added:

“These shoeboxes can bring so much joy to children, teenagers and adults alike. Everyday items that seem so small to us; a new hat and scarf, a toothbrush with some toothpaste, a small toy, some soap; bring great joy to thousands of people who live in desperate poverty.”

Renfrew Cllr Bill Perrie congratulated the organisation by saying:

“My congratulations go out to the organisers at Blythswood. It is amazing that they have been able to bring so much joy to those less fortunate than us for over half a century now.”