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Gavin Newlands probes traffic concerns following constituent concerns


Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has visited a traffic blackspot to learn what can be done to make the road safer for pedestrians.

Mr Newlands joined local community activists in meeting with Renfrewshire Council representatives to find out what can be done to make the road safer for those crossing.

The road – Saturn Avenue – the extremely busy access road into the Phoenix retail park near Asda, has long been a source of complaints amongst pedestrians with objections being made to the lack of any safe route to cross the road.

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

“After receiving a number of complaints from constituents over the lack of any safe means to cross this road, I visited it to see for myself the safety issues that they are rightly concerned about.

“Anyone who visits the Phoenix to shop or to work will be aware that this stretch of road is horrendously busy and can easily get clogged with traffic. The volume of traffic combined with the lack of any safe means of crossing this road is extremely concerning and I’m not surprised with the number of concerns that have been raised on this matter.

“I visited the site myself a number of weeks ago and made it known to some of the businesses, including Asda and McDonald’s that we were looking at this issue.

“Last week, I met with representatives from Renfrewshire Council to find out more about what can be done to help make the road safer for pedestrians. I look forward to working with them and the community and Paisley.org.uk’s, Brian McGuire, to find a solution to this problem.”

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Gavin Newlands MP says “it’s the end of the road for unsafe pavement parking”

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has attended a Guide Dogs event at the House of Commons to show his continued support for the campaign to end problem pavement parking.

At the event, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North heard from guide dog owners about how parked cars blocking the pavement force them to walk in the road, into the path of traffic they cannot see. Mr Newlands heard that some guide dog owners face these dangerous situations on a daily basis, risking their safety every time they go shopping or make the school run.

Research by YouGov for Guide Dogs shows that 54% of UK drivers admit to parking on the pavement, with more than a quarter (29%) of those doing so a few times a month or more. But only just over half (55%) of these drivers think about their impact on people with sight loss.

Pavement parking particularly affects people with visual impairments, parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users and other disabled people. According to a Guide Dogs survey, 97% of blind and partially sighted people have encountered obstacles on the pavement, and 9 out of 10 have had problems with pavement parked cars.

Guide Dogs is campaigning to make pavement parking an offence, except in areas where local authorities grant specific exemptions. This is already the case in London, but outside London, councils struggle to tackle unsafe pavement parking because they can only restrict it street by street.

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

“No one should be forced to brave traffic by cars parked on the pavement. From my local surgeries that I hold throughout Renfrewshire, I know the problem of cars parking on the pavements affects people from all backgrounds, particularly disabled people, the elderly and those with prams.

“I welcome the plans that are in place in Scotland to introduce a law which will hopefully end the problem of pavement parking. We should all be able to walk the streets without being obstructed by cars parked on pavements.”

Niall Foley, Engagement Manager at Guide Dogs Scotland, commented:

“Pavement parked cars can turn the walk to work or trip to the shops into a dangerous obstacle course. It’s a nuisance for anyone, but if you have a visual impairment or a toddler in tow, stepping out into the road with moving traffic is just too big a risk.

Our research shows that most drivers who park on the pavement know that it can be dangerous for pedestrians, but many do so regardless. That’s why we need clear rules so that drivers only park where it’s safe.

We know that the Scottish Government is committed to a law to curb unsafe pavement parking. We welcome the consultation on this issue and look forward to them bringing forward a Bill in the near future.”

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Gavin Newlands MP encourages kids to get involved in the Summer Reading Challenge

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, is supporting a campaign run by Scottish libraries, Tesco Bank and The Reading Agency to encourage children to take part in this year’s Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland.

The annual Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland, run by national charity The Reading Agency in partnership with Scotland’s libraries and Tesco Bank, encourages children to read at least six books of their choosing over the summer holidays.

Research shows that reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background,[1] and that children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers.[2]

The Challenge is a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK which last year got over three quarters of a million children borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books.

This year’s challenge theme is Animal Agentsbased on a detective agency staffed by all kinds of clever animals – furry, scaly and slippery – who are out to crack a case with a little help from their friends.

To take part, all children need to do is to head to their local library where they will be given a collector folder to keep a record of their reading journey.  Children that read at least six library books over the summer, will collect stickers which will give them helpful clues to crack the case and help the Animal Agents find out what’s really been going on!

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

“The Tesco Reading Challenge is a great campaign which encourages children to read at least six books of their choosing over the summer holidays, a time when children’s literacy skills traditionally dip. The challenge is free, inclusive and makes reading fun.

“I know parents and grandparents are always looking for activities to keep the kids entertained during the summer and this reading challenge is a great way to do this whilst still helping then to build-up their literacy levels.

Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency said:

“At The Reading Agency, we believe that everything changes when we read and we know from our research how much fun families and children have when taking part in the Challenge. This year we hope the wonderful characters created for us by Tony Ross will inspire more children than ever to take part and make use of their local library throughout the summer and beyond.”

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Local MP Gavin Newlands attends Carers Week event

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, attended a Carers Week speed networking event with carers and charities in Westminster, pledging his continued support to unpaid carers locally.

The event was in support of the recent Carers Week, to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the 6.5 million people across the UK who currently provide unpaid care for a disabled, ill or older family member or friend. It matched up MPs and carers to share experiences of caring and discuss ways to build Carer Friendly Communities – places where local people and services support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own.

Gavin Newlands  MP committed to:

  • meeting with carers locally and local services to find out about the challenges faced by carers
  • encouraging organisations, services and employers in his to become more Carer Friendly
  • raising the profile of caring and speaking up for carers in Parliament
  • raising awareness of Carer Friendly Communities in Renfrewshire

Mr Newlands already hosts a carers-specific surgery every month in the Carers Centre in Paisley, allowing him to assist carers with a wide range of matters.

Local MP, Gavin Newlands said:

“I was proud to represent my constituents at the Carers Week event and I pledge to continue to support the 12,529 carers in my constituency throughout this Parliament.  Unpaid carers make a huge contribution to our society, providing vital and often hidden support to friends and family members, and it is right that we value them and ensure they have the right support at the right time. I look forward to working with the Carers Week charities, and, with unpaid carers, locally, to make a difference to their lives.

“Since my initial election in 2015, I have strived to ensure that the voices of carers are heard in the UK Parliament. However, I’ve also worked hard to champion their causes in the local community, this is particularly important as that’s where they come across the most bureaucracy.

“I will continue to run my carers-specific surgery every month and pledge to continue to work for and with carers to champion the issues that are important to them.”

Carers Week 2017 is made possible by Carers UK joining forces with Age UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, MS Society and Which? Elderly Care and kindly supported by Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition and the Lockwood Foundation.

For further information visit www.carersweek.org

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Local MP highlights Sma’ Shot Day in Parliament

Gavin Newlands MP

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has highlighted Sma’ Shot Day in the UK Parliament as the town gears up this weekend to celebrate the town’s rich past.

Gavin Newlands MP

Mr Newlands spoke in Parliament about how the annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations highlight Paisley’s radical past, including the political battles that were fought between the town’s weavers and their bosses.

Mr Newlands also highlighted the first-ever ‘Weave’ music festival which has been organised in conjunction with Sma’ Shot Day with the local MP stating that this only adds to Paisley’s strong application to be named as UK City of Culture 2021.

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

“I am looking forward to Sma’ Shot this weekend, not least because I haven’t been able to attend the last two! This is always a fantastic occasion where the town comes together to celebrate our radical past and pay respect to the Paisley weavers who fought for better working conditions.

“This year’s events are looking to take our celebrations up a notch with the ‘Weave’ music festival being organised to take place in the heart of the town.

“It’s lining up to be a fantastic weekend, and I’m delighted as one of Paisley’s MPs to be able to highlight our annual Sma’ Shot celebrations in the House of Commons – once again showing why Paisley should be named the UK City of Culture.”

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Gavin Newlands MP raises Chivas dispute in Parliament

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has called on Chivas bosses to get back round the table with the Renfrewshire workforce and agree a deal which recognises the contribution that the workers have made to Chivas Brothers.

During questions to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about the industrial action which has been called at Paisley and Dumbarton, Mr Newlands asked the UK Government to join him in calling for a positive resolution to be reached.

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

“Chivas Brothers deciding to close their operations in Paisley was a blow to the local workforce and the Renfrewshire economy.

“It’s been a frustrating period for the workers and this ongoing dispute has only added to the stress of the workers. As such, it’s vital that a positive resolution is reached as soon as possible.

“In a letter to me responding to questions I had raised, the company admitted that they only planned to incorporate 80% of an additional payment into workforce salaries that they had previously committed to incorporating in full. The Renfrewshire workforce has been critical to the success of Chivas over the years and the company has a duty to get back round the table with the workers to find a deal which satisfies all parties and which recognises the commitment and hard work of the Renfrewshire workforce.”

A spokesperson for Chivas Brothers said:

“Since 2005 we have been gradually consolidating an additional payment into basic salary as agreed with employee representatives. Our approach to this has not changed and the consolidation process is ongoing. To date we have incorporated 70%, with our current pay deal taking this to 80%.”

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Gavin Newlands MP pledges to stand up to bullying

Gavin Newlands, SNP Candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has highlighted ‘Stand Up to Bullying Day’ by pledging to continue raising awareness of the damaging effects that bullying can have on individuals of all ages and backgrounds.

Gavin Newlands MP holding the anti-bullying book produced by pupils of Gallowhill Primary School outside Westminster

Wednesday 21st June will be the second Stand Up to Bullying day organised by the Diana Award charity and supported by the Vodafone Foundation. Stand Up to Bullying Day is a campaign that focuses on tackling childhood bullying as well as bullying in the wider community.

Bullying is an issue which affects people from all walks of life and can happen at any point. Research confirms the long-lasting and damaging outcomes for the individual being bullied, including prolonged absenteeism from school and negative consequences on physical and mental health.  The reality is, bullying isn’t confined to the school gates and its victims aren’t limited to young people. It also exists at home, in our wider communities and online.

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

“We all have a role to play in helping to end bullying regardless of where it takes place. From the school playground to the workplace to online – bullying cannot be tolerated and must be stamped out. I recently bought an award winning anti-bullying book produced by pupils of Gallowhill Primary School, this is an excellent resource which informs us what we can do to help stamp out bullying.”

“Stand Up to Bullying Day is a campaign that not only focuses on childhood bullying but also aims to tackle intimidation in the wider community. This year the charity are asking local organisations and individuals to make a pledge about how they will help end bullying that too many people face on a daily basis.

“This is a vitally important campaign to me personally and I will renew my pledge to never be a bystander when I see someone being bullied. I would encourage everyone to play their part and stand up to bullying.”

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Gavin Newlands MP celebrates Care Home Open Day with Kyle Court Care Home

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has joined the residents of Kyle Court Care Home to mark the Care Home Open Day on Friday 16th June.

On Friday 16th June, care homes all across the country opened their doors to the public offering a wide range of activities.

Care Home Open Day is now in its fifth year and this year’s theme at Kyle Court was ‘HC-One Big Lunch’. Residents, relatives and members of the community were able to get together for a fun-filled day, whilst recognising the important work that care teams do.

Gavin Newlands MP said:

“It was a pleasure to meet residents at Kyle Court Care Home and to mark the Care Home Open Day. This day is an important opportunity for local people to learn more about the services at the heart of their community – both those who live in care homes and those who are dedicated to providing that care.
“Talking to staff, I can see how hard-working and dedicated they are to providing the best possible care, day in day out, caring for vulnerable members of our society.
“Care Home Day is a great initiative to bring people together and highlight the important work care homes do. Even though I didn’t get the memo on the dress code and didn’t have my costume ready, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and wish Kirsty and her team, all the residents, and particularly Jeanie, who at 103 is still life and soul of the party, all the very best.”

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Gavin Newlands MP returns to Westminster to stand up for Renfrewshire

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has returned to Westminster to stand up for the people of Renfrewshire, pledging to continue be a hard working local representative who acts in the best interest of everyone living in the local community.

Mr Newlands was re-elected last Thursday as the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire and will officially be sworn back in later this week.

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

“I am eternally grateful for the people of Paisley and Renfrewshire for re-electing me as the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North. Regardless of how people voted, I pledge to represent everyone in our local community, continuing to work hard and ensure that Renfrewshire’s voice is heard in Westminster.

“I have now returned to Westminster to get straight back to work in representing the people of Paisley and Renfrewshire North.

“It is fair to say that the political situation in Westminster is in turmoil with the minority Tory government looking like they will be propped up by the DUP. If the Tories do agree a confidence and supply arrangement, the public will have little confidence in it. We must have absolute transparency over what agreements will be reached for the supply of DUP votes.

“The political landscape might be uncertain but the people of Renfrewshire can be assured that whatever happens I will continue to work hard and act in the best interests of everyone who lives in our local community.”

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UK General Election 2017 Renfrewshire results declared

The results of the 2017 UK General Election for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, and Paisley and Renfrewshire South have been declared.

Photographs below taken by Ricky Kelly.

Gavin Newlands, Scottish National Party (SNP), has been re-elected as MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North.

Mhairi Black, Scottish National Party (SNP), has been re-elected as MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South.

In Paisley and Renfrewshire North, 46,666 votes were cast, a 69.2 per cent turnout. In Paisley and Renfrewshire South, there were 41,771 votes cast, a 68.1 per cent turnout.

Returning officer Sandra Black, chief executive of Renfrewshire Council, announced the results in the early hours of Friday morning at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley.

The election count involved 280 staff, counting the contents of 160 ballot boxes alongside postal votes.

Full results:


Paisley and Renfrewshire North constituency

John Robert Boyd, Scottish Liberal Democrats – 1,476 votes

David John Gardiner, Scottish Conservative and Unionist – 12,842 votes

Gavin Andrew Stuart Newlands, Scottish National Party – 17,455 votes

Alison Suzanne Watt Taylor, Scottish Labour Party – 14,842 votes


Paisley and Renfrewshire South constituency

Mhairi Black, Scottish National Party – 16,964 votes

Alison Jean Dowling, Scottish Labour Party – 14,423 votes

Paul Mack, Independent – 876 votes

Eileen McCartin, Scottish Liberal Democrats – 1,327 votes

Amy Louise Thomson, Scottish Conservative and Unionist – 8,122 votes