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Renfrewshire’s communities called on to undertake a Big Spring Clean

Every Renfrewshire community is being challenged to carry out a clean up of their area as Renfrewshire’s Big Spring Clean was launched today.

Launch of anti litter Initiative at Erskine Beach 16.3.18

Taking place across the weekend of 20-22 April, Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign is aiming to host a clean up within every community to further enhance the environmental improvements which have taken place since the launch of the campaign.

Launch of anti litter Initiative at Erskine Beach 16.3.18

The initiative received renewed backing by Councillors when setting their budget recently as £2.5million was set aside for investment across the next five years – doubling the original £250,000 investment.

More than 50 community clean ups have taken place since the campaign launched with community groups across the area getting behind the initiative.

Launch of anti litter Initiative at Erskine Beach 16.3.18

The investment has also seen an increase in mechanical road sweeping to every two months, an improved programme of gully maintenance, an enhanced Rapid Response Team and six new litter pickers allocated across Renfrewshire.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, joined members of Erskine Community Garden and Renfrew White Cart River Bank Nature Spot to help launch the initiative.

Councillor McEwan said: “Since the Team Up to Clean Up campaign was launched, more than 50 community clean ups have taken place across Renfrew, Paisley, Erskine, Houston and many other areas including the villages.

“The community have shown a real willingness to come together and the Big Spring Clean will be our biggest event yet as we look to generate a real sense of togetherness within Renfrewshire as we tackle littering and fly tipping together.

“We are determined to improve the cleanliness of our streets which is why we have committed to investing an additional £500,000 every year for the next five years.

“This will allow the increased gully cleaning, road sweeping and litter picking to continue, while also allowing us to support the community in doing their bit to make their area a more attractive place to live.

“If you can arrange a clean up on the Friday, Saturday or Sunday then please do so and we’ll do all we can to help you. Otherwise, keep an eye on our website and Facebook page and join in with one of the others arranged over the weekend.”

Schools, businesses and community groups are all encouraged to organise a clean up in their area and the Team Up to Clean Up team will provide litter pickers, bags and tabards, as well as arranging to collect the gathered rubbish after the event is over.

The launch took place at Erskine Beach where Erskine Community Garden are set to follow up their Big Spring Clean activity with a beach clean up on 9 June.

Volunteer Heather Clisset said: “At Erskine Community Garden, we are delighted to be involved with the Team Up to Clean Up Big Spring Clean.

“Litter picks in our communities help us to make our towns and villages better places for ourselves, our neighbours and our wildlife. We would encourage anyone to get involved in a litter pick or spring clean activity as the end result is something to take pride in and get a feeling of accomplishment, seeing an area full of litter being transformed in a short time.

“Litter picks are a fantastic way to get outdoors, work as a team and make a difference. We always caution first time litter pickers, once you’ve done one litter pick; you will notice every single piece of litter everywhere else!

“So don’t leave it to someone else, join a team, or set up your own litter pick and support the Big Spring Clean.”

If you are arranging a clean up, please contact wardens.es@renfrewshire.gov.uk or 0300 300 1375 and we will assist you as much as possible.

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and how to get involved, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup or like the Team Up to Clean Up Facebook page.

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Address: 119-123 Renfrew Road, Paisley, PA3 4EA



150 sqft office (1/2 people)

All inclusive rental: £185 + VAT


340 sqft office (3 people)

All inclusive rental: £395 + VAT


815 sqft office (6/7 people)

All inclusive rental: £910 + VAT 

Choose Mirren Business Centres as your  Paisley base and benefit from our unique business surroundings and range of amenities such as :

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  • Many amenities including Puregym, Lagoon Leisure Centre, KFC & McDonalds, Braehead Shopping Centre and much more.




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Renfrewshire Child Protection Conference focuses on children’s emotional health and wellbeing

More than 200 child protection professionals gathered today in Paisley for a Child Protection Conference on the theme of promoting children’s emotional health and wellbeing.

Staff from Renfrewshire Council, the NHS, Police Scotland, and other local agencies involved in looking after young people were among those who attended.

Keynote speakers at the bi annual event at Paisley Town Hall included Kate Cairns, author of the  bestselling book, Attachment, Trauma and Resilience and the ‘Five to Thrive’ model of parenting and Julia Donaldson, the Clinical Director with the Glasgow Infant and Family Team.

Senior Forensic Psychologist Dan Johnson, who heads the psychology service at the town’s Kibble Education and Care Centre, addressed the conference on trauma and informed care.

Delegates also heard from John Paterson, the independent chair of Renfrewshire Child Protection Committee, which organised the event and brings together all the organisations involved in protecting children in the area.

There was a presentation on the specially commissioned Children and Young People Well-being survey by Renfrewshire Council’s Director of Children’s Services Peter MacLeod and Kate Tobin from the Dartington Social Research Unit.

Renfrewshire was the first local authority in the UK to measure the well-being of children and young people using a census approach in 2011, and the only one to repeat the survey.

Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, who opened the conference, said: “Children’s emotional health and wellbeing is a building block for educational attainment and can prevent future problems like mental health problems and substance misuse.

“It’s important to understand young people and the issues facing them to give them the best possible start in life and allow them to fulfil their potential.

“Events like this are vital in information sharing for the professionals involved in that field.”

Carol Burt and Debbie Campbell from the ‘I am Me Scotland’ team also gave a presentation on the #MakeaDifference programme they are delivering in primary schools to raise awareness of the harm caused by bullying and hate crime.

Pupils from Paisley’s  Gallowhill Primary School, Mikey, 9, Liam and Abbey, both aged 10 and 11-year-old Aimee, told delegates about the work they have been doing with the charity to help tackle bullying, including making worry boxes where they can share any concerns anonymously.

John Paterson, the independent chair of Renfrewshire Child Protection Committee, said:  “I’m extremely pleased the event is taking place and focussing on children’s emotional health and wellbeing.

“Everybody accepts it’s an area which needs the engagement of a wide range of agencies. Events like this will help ensure that this happens and  focus attention on areas where we can seek to make a real difference.”

Anybody with any child protection concerns is encouraged to contact Renfrewshire Council’s social work team on 0300 300 1199 or Police Scotland.

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My modern apprenticeship is ‘life changing’

The only job Angus Robertson had before becoming a modern apprentice was when he was hired for a fortnight to pitch dozens of tents inside a warehouse for a camping equipment trade show.

But the 19-year-old is now in pole position to embark on a worthwhile career after intu Braehead gave him the chance to become a modern apprentice at the shopping and leisure destination.

Speaking during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, 19-year-old Angus, from Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire describes working at intu Braehead as “life-changing” and is urging other young people to apply for modern apprenticeships.

Angus started his two-year modern apprenticeship at intu Braehead in December 2016 and for the first year was given training and work experience in the many different areas of work that go into running a large shopping centre like intu Braehead.

He’s worked in customer service, business support, marketing, health and safety, retail liaison, human resources and security.

Now in his second year, Angus – a former Gryffe High pupil and student at West College Scotland – has chosen to specialise in Health and Safety and having already gained a Level 2 qualification in Business and Administration, he hopes to receive an Occupational Health and Safety Level 3 qualification by the end of his modern aprenticeship.

He is also guaranteed a full-time job with intu Braehead after his apprenticeship is completed.
Angus said: “If it wasn’t for this modern apprenticeship I wouldn’t have had the same opportunity to develop myself both professionally and personally. I’ve come on leaps and bounds since I’ve been at intu Braehead. It’s given me a platform to achieve.

“Having this job also lets me contribute financially at home where I stay with my mum and dad and I’ve been able to do things like pay for my own driving lessons.

“I would encourage young people to apply for modern apprenticeships because it gives you a launch pad for the rest of your working life.”

Angus continued: “When I was at college I decided I wanted to get into the world of work and start earning money that would allow me to pay my own way and get some independence.

“I’d applied for jobs for a few months, got interviews, but didn’t get offered anything. The only job I did get was for two weeks and it was to pitch tents inside a warehouse and steam out the creases in the material the tents were made of for a trade show.

“Thanks to intu Braehead I’ll get a qualification, I won’t have any debt from having a student loan, I’m earning money and I’m getting on the job experience.
“I call it the University of Work.”

One of the high points of Angus’s first year was creating and making a presentation to the intu’s board of directors about the company’s modern apprenticeship scheme.

He added: “I will look back on my time at intu Braehead as a life-changing experience.”

Peter Beagley, regional centre director at intu Braehead: “There are more than 8000 jobs supported by intu Braehead, paying £128 million in wages to those directly employed here. And we’re also looking for ways to create even more jobs.

“But it’s really satisfying to see someone like Angus being given the opportunity to forge a career for himself and develop and mature as a young person.”

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Council benchmarking report hails Renfrewshire’s jobs programmes

Renfrewshire’s employability programmes have been rated the best performing in Scotland in a new national report benchmarking the performance of all Scottish Councils.

The latest Local Government Benchmarking Framework Indicator Profile ranks the Council’s jobs and training programme as No.1 nationally in assisting people into work.

The annual report collates data across a range of services including education, housing and adult social care, considering service costs, their effectiveness and customer satisfaction.

Renfrewshire has improved in more than 60 per cent of the 64 performance indicators in the 2016/17 report and is ranked in the top eight local authorities for 16 of these.

It reports Renfrewshire school attainment levels up across the board, with more pupils gaining five or more National 5 and Higher awards.

And it highlights strong customer satisfaction in Renfrewshire for schools and local leisure facilities.

The report found:


Council employability programmes are ranked 1st in Scotland and double the national average for assisting people into work

85% of adults are satisfied with local schools, placing Renfrewshire sixth best in Scotland.

More pupils from areas of multiple deprivation  gained five or more National 5 and Higher awards than in 2015/16

Council efficiency with just 4.19% spent on support services

More than half of the highest paid council employees are women

82% of adults are satisfied with our leisure facilities, placing Renfrewshire fifth best in Scotland

Renfrewshire’s cleanliness score improved to 91%

98% of council properties are energy efficient


Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson has welcomed the steady improvements in performance.

Councillor Nicolson said: “This is a positive report which highlights a number of areas where investment has made a real difference to the lives of communities across Renfrewshire.

“We can be very proud in particular of the continuous improvements being achieved in our schools, giving children in Renfrewshire every opportunity to achieve their potential no matter their background.

“And for our employability programmes to be the best performing in Scotland in helping people into work is highly commendable. We have just invested a further £4.5million to lever in more European funding over the next five years to carry on this great work and make the most of the employment opportunities being created here in Renfrewshire through key projects like early years’ expansion and the construction of Scotland’s national manufacturing institute.”

The report also raises a number of areas for improvement, including customer satisfaction with street cleaning and maintaining Renfrewshire roads.

Renfrewshire’s 2018 Budget confirmed an additional £2.5million to improve the local environment over the next five years and a single-year £7.2million in 2018/19 to improve Renfrewshire roads and footpaths.

“There are areas we know Renfrewshire can and must improve upon,” added Councillor Nicolson. “We recognise the challenges facing our communities and that’s why our budget provided additional funding to target these elements as a priority. By listening to our residents and by working closely with our community partners, Renfrewshire can and will thrive.”

The benchmarking report builds on the positive findings of the Account’s Commission Best Value report in 2017 which praised the Council for improving its services and recognised the effective financial management and medium term strategies in place.

Sandra Black, Renfrewshire Council Chief Executive said: “The data presented in this report is an important tool in monitoring and comparing our progress and enables local authorities to share best practice with one another for the benefit of local communities.

“We have a clear focus on improvement and this report complements the detailed performance monitoring by our management team and scrutiny by our elected members and the public. We will consider the report’s findings very carefully as we continue to develop innovative new ways of working which meet our communities’ changing needs.”

Findings from the Local Government Benchmarking Framework Indicator Profile will be considered by councillors in a report to the Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Board on Monday 19 March 2018.

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Eve Muirhead gets back to grassroots curling by coaching beginners

OLYMPIC curler Eve Muirhead got back to the grassroots after her endeavours at the Winter Olympics, in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The 27-year-old was at the regular Saturday Curling Sweep at the intu Braehead rink where she is Curling Ambassador. It’s the first time an ice rink in Scotland has engaged a high-profile curler to promote the sport.

Eve was helping curlers brush up on their skills by giving free coaching lessons to beginners. One would-be curler, Morag Griffiths even drove the four-hour round trip from Taynuilt, in Argyle and Bute to Glasgow and back for the curling session.

Triple Olympian Eve, who has enjoyed a successful curling career, winning Olympic, World and European medals said:
“The image of curling has changed a lot since I first started playing as a nine-year-old.
“I’m sure a lot of people think curling is for an older generation – but nothing could be further from the truth and nowadays there are a lot of younger people taking up the sport.

Eve continues: “Curling is cool and it’s really quite fun. It’s a sport that can get you fit too, especially when you are throwing a 44-pound granite stone up a sheet of ice!”

There are more than 40 clubs and 1000 curlers of all ages and abilities playing on the curling rink at intu Braehead, which hosts starter sessions for the novice, to club competitions, disabled curling, to international tournaments featuring some of the world’s best curlers.

Scott Martin, general manager of intu Braehead Leisure says: “We have one of the best curling rinks in the country, which is available for anyone and everyone who wants to try curling.

“You don’t have to be an experienced curler, as with a little help from Eve, we’ll get you started playing the game.”

For more information about curling at intu Braehead, email the Curling Development Officer, David Horne at david.horne@intu.co.uk or call 0141 885 4611.

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Primary school in Renfrewshire announced as first Scottish title holder of UKLA Literacy School of the Year

An ‘inspirational’ Renfrewshire primary school has been named as Literacy School of the Year.

St Anthony’s Primary School in Johnstone was chosen for the honour by the UK Literacy Association, which aims to raise literacy standards in schools across the nation.

The school, which has around 200 pupils, was described by the judges as ‘inspirational’, with head teacher Jacqueline McBurnie’s ‘outstanding’ leadership also coming in for praise.

St Anthony’s is among the schools to introduce the innovative Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, a pioneering project between Renfrewshire Council and the University of Strathclyde.

Funded by the Council and the Scottish Government, it has led to an improvement in children’s literacy attainment regardless of their background

Head teacher Jacqueline McBurnie, who received the award this week from UKLA President Tracy Parvin at the school in front of staff and pupils, said: “I am absolutely delighted for our staff and children in receiving this prestigious award.

“It is testimony to all their hard work and unlimited enthusiasm for learning. The journey of St Anthony’s Primary was supported by the Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, which resulted in changes being made through a process of co-production between school professionals and university academics.

“The staff in St Anthony’s Primary embraced the programme with enthusiasm and determination that we would improve our knowledge of literacy, increase our understanding of how poverty impacts on literacy attainment and of how to intervene to promote equality.

“Our children deserve the very best and in St Anthony’s we strive to be excellent in every way, every day to achieve this.”

Independent assessors who visited the school noted how committed staff were to improving the life chances of pupils, as well as their determination to work with parents and the local community.

They added: “The outstanding leadership of the headteacher has led to a transformation in the teaching of literacy at St. Anthony’s and has proved inspirational to other schools in the local authority.”

St Anthony’s Primary School, Johnstone has been awarded the UK Literacy Association title of UK Literacy School of the Year
Pictured L-R
Head Teacher Jacqui McBurnie and President of the UKLA Tracy Parvin

They also noted how both staff and pupils speak eloquently about the books they enjoy and how every classroom has a wide range of books with comfortable reading areas.

Children also have the opportunity to discuss books in Reading Cafes and can learn using laptops, digital cameras and tablets.

The school, which is in an area with levels of disadvantage according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)has an attached unit for children with communication difficulties.

The assessors added: “The school’s commitment to inclusion has resulted in impressive opportunities for the children with communication difficulties to share in this love of books and reading.  St. Anthony’s success reflects the determination of the head teacher and her staff to make a lasting difference to the children in their care, and their families.

“The work achieved through participation in the Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, because of the enthusiastic and reflective staff at St. Anthony’s, will continue to bear fruit in the years to come.”

Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “This award highlights the wonderful work being done in literacy by the head teachers and staff at St Anthony’s, as well as of course the pupils.

“The parents have also had a supporting role to play and everyone at St Anthony’s should feel very proud.

“The honour also reinforces the positive impact the Renfrewshire Literacy Approach has had on literacy attainment.

“Being able to read well and instilling a love of books in children from an early age means they will be able to take advantage of the opportunities open to them across education, whatever their background.”

The UKLA is a registered charity whose sole objective is the advancement of education in literacy and is committed to promoting good practice nationally and internationally.

President Tracy Parvin, said “This award recognises those schools which place literacy and literature right at the heart of children’s learning. It is more than a celebration of creative, enthusiastic and engaging teaching, it is a kite mark for excellence.

“This year’s winning school has left a lasting impression on our assessors. St Anthony’s Primary School is most definitely a school where literacy thrives.”

The school has now embarked on further training to improve children’s writing, as well as setting up a teachers’ book group to keep up-to-date with the best of children’s books.

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Get your skates on at intu Braehead, say Torvill and Dean

DANCING on Ice legends, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean are urging people to get their skates on and head down to the ice rink in the Arena at intu Braehead.

The Olympic Gold medalists turned TV stars were at the Arena to promote the upcoming Dancing on Ice Live Tour and took time out to encourage everyone to try out ice skating.

Christopher said: “We’re here to encourage people to get on the ice here at intu Braehead.
“You can come and learn to skate, speed skate, hockey skate, figure skate in fact, any kind of skate.

“Mums and dads will be really happy because they can come to and have a great time.”
Jayne added: “And skating will keep you fit.”

Jayne and Chris’s visit to intu Braehead was also special for the Arena’s operations manager, Lauren Little.

Lauren is an accomplished skater and competed in figure skating and ice dance competitions all over the country as a teenager.

Lauren revealed: “When I was skating as a youngster Torvill and Dean were always the people that inspired me and it was great to meet up with them.

“I’ve loved skating since I started as a seven year old and I always take the opportunity to go through some of my old routines on the ice when I get the chance.”

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: ‘We’re part of a UK-wide company, intu, that owns and manages the most popular destinations and we’re aiming to create compelling experiences for our customers.

“The ice sports we have at the Arena are one way we are doing that.”

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Renfrewshire marks Scottish Apprenticeship Week with series of STEM events

Renfrewshire is marking Scottish Apprenticeship Week with a series of events designed to encourage young women to consider careers in traditionally male dominated sectors.

The week celebrates the benefits apprenticeships bring to businesses, individuals and the economy, and coincides with International Women’s Day on Thursday .

There will be a series of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) events for young women at various venues across Renfrewshire.

The Young Women into Stem initiative is being delivered in partnership by Renfrewshire Council, DYW West, Invest in Renfrewshire, West College Scotland and a number of local businesses.

It was set up to address how women are underrepresented in the sector and encourages them to apply for apprenticeships by forging links between employers, colleges and schools.

At West College Scotland’s Paisley campus this week, students will complete specific pieces of work which will enhance their skillset, covering bricklaying and painting and decorating.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are hosting an event on Thursday at Paisley’s Royal Alexandria Hospital where school pupils will visit the engineering departments, clinics and laboratories and will be given an insight into the various job roles.

They will also hear about the apprenticeship opportunities available.

Morrison Construction will take students on a tour of the St Paul’s School site in Paisley to give an understanding of what is required to keep the project on track and to deliver a high quality build.

One of Morrison’s female quantity surveyors will also be on-hand to share her experience of working within this sector.

Paisley firm Clark Contacts will give students a tour of its head office where they will learn about the company’s in house academy and the roles available, from estimating and quantity surveying to marketing.

They will meet also many of the firms female employees and have the opportunity to discuss their experience of the sector.

Rolls Royce Inchinnan is hosting a site visit of its engineering plant on International Women’s Day, with all attendees asked to wear purple to mark the day which celebrates women across the globe.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “In line with the rest of Scotland, Renfrewshire has a significant gender gap in terms of so few young women going into the traditionally male dominated careers of construction, science, technology and engineering .

“It’s vital to open up their horizons and provide access to STEM opportunities and I’m delighted that so many will have the chance to find out about a wide range of jobs during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.”

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All Scottish National League Ice Hockey Matches Called Off


All Scottish National League Ice Hockey matches have been called off because of prevailing weather conditions, including Pirates’ trip to Dundee Comets tomorrow and their home tie against Kirkcaldy Kestrels on Sunday.