Paisley, Renfrewshire Category

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Paisley 2021 bid marked with mass Baker Street sax performance in Gerry Rafferty home town

Paisley marked the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 in spectacular style today – with a mass outdoor rendition of Gerry Rafferty’s classic Baker Street.

Around 25 saxophonists were joined a by a live band and a crowd of hundreds on the town’s High Street for a special performance of the Paisley-born singer’s iconic worldwide hit, in the week of what would have been his 70th birthday.

The Baker Street performance was the brainchild of Tommy McGrory of local music charity Loud and Proud, and delivered in partnership with the Paisley 2021 bid team and backed by youth theatre group PACE.

The event was part of an action-packed weekend for the town – with Abbey Close hosting the third annual Paisley Food Festival, with thousands of visitors enjoying street food from some of the country’s finest traders.

The event also featured cooking demos from BBC Masterchef – The Professionals winner Gary Maclean, free workshops for kids, and live entertainment from acts including The Voice finalists Into the Ark and CBeebies star Katy Ashworth.

And Paisley Town Hall was hosting the final day of the 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival – the largest real-ale festival in Scotland.

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture will be lodged with the UK Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport this week, ahead of Friday’s deadline.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has been a mass movement, with incredible buy-in from the local community.

“That was evident again today, with a wonderful turnout and a great atmosphere at both the Baker Street performance, and the food and beer festivals.

“One of the key things our bid will celebrate is the incredible wealth of talent produced by this town, and Gerry Rafferty is one of the best examples of that – so this was a fantastic way to mark the bid submission later this week.”

Gerry’s daughter Martha added: “My father was very proud of his Paisley roots and I am sure he would have been supportive of the town’s UK City of Culture bid.”

The UK Government is expected to announce a shortlist of bidding places over the summer, and the winner by the end of the year.

For more information, visit

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Rising Property Prices Indicate Homes Are Out-Earning Their Owners Over a Third of UK


Prices of homes are soaring in the UK and new findings shows that that is partly because homes have been bringing more incomes than the owners of nearly a third of the UK, over the last two years.

In a new study, UK’s biggest mortgage lender, Halifax, found the values of property have jumped by more than average earnings in 31% of local authority districts.

The result of the findings also shows that Haringey in London provided a classic demonstration of how prices of property have been fast outstripping owner’s earnings over the last two years.

A spokesperson for well known property portal The House Shop said, “The value of the average property there has risen by £91,450 higher than the average income over the last two years – equating to an increase of £3,810 per month higher than its owner’s income.“

Harrow, also in London, follows closely with the average value of properties out-growing average earnings by £77,791.

In third place was St Albans in Hertfordshire which has seen prices in this district — popular with London commuters — inflate by £72,995 more than the average earning.

Not surprisingly, nearly half of the people polled (46%) said buying property was the best way to make money and secure one’s retirement.

The Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) recently published data /16 for the Wealth & Assets Survey 2014 and showed this has increased from the 43%  rate in its 2012/14 poll.

However, 40% of the respondents still believed an employer pension plan was the surest to prepare for retirement.

The Halifax study also discovered that the number of areas where property value increases were outstripping incomes has risen from its 2015 rate of 28%.

London, East of England, South West of England and South East make up 9 in 10 of the areas.

However, the trend is also obvious in areas outside of southern England.

For example, in the last two years, property value growths in Harrogate in Yorkshire has out-paced incomes by more than £12,500, while in Anglesey in Wales, house price increases have beaten earnings by more than £1,600.

The ONS data also indicates that at 40%, overall pension wealth constitutes the portion of family wealth, while property wealth comes in second place at 35%.

Property owners to still face old hurdles

Meanwhile, the recently released Spring Budget 2017 made no mention of the troubled property market, neither housing deficits nor stamp duty difficulties.

Despite repeated calls for Chancellor to lessen burdens, the average property buyer in London is still faced with a 21,000 stamp duty bill.

In the Spring Budget announced on Wednesday March 8, Chancellor Philip Hammond ignored pleas to reduce stamp duty charges, which would boost activities in the property market.

Although the government admitted in its Housing White Paper published in February that the property market needed fixing, tax thresholds remain unchanged from the levels introduced in 2014.

Currently, home buyers will have to pay the tax when buying a domestic property or a plot of land valued at more than £125,000, or £40,000 when buying a second home.

In London, where the asking price for the average property is £625,000, the stamp duty required is a staggering £21,250.


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Forget About Your Body, Focus on Your Mind

Obesity has become a problem all over the world and the UK has been swept in the tide. According to the NHS, “obesity is generally caused by eating too much and moving too little.” It’s not always that simple. Obesity doesn’t develop overnight, it is a by-product of poor lifestyle choices that have carried on for a while, such as drinking too much alcohol, eating too many calories, and not exercising enough. Obesity may also be influenced by non-food related factors, such as genetics and medical factors.

Throughout this article, we’ll be focusing on problems with food. The reality is that “you eat too much, you get fat.” The next logical question to ask is “why eat so much?”

Sometimes, people find it extremely difficult to just stop eating. They may have struggled with over-eating for a long time and may be unhappy with themselves, but they can’t stop eating. Sometimes, this is a case of bad habits that got out of hand and may be controlled by a more disciplined approach. Other cases are more serious, with sufferers eating compulsively. At this point, they have lost complete control over their eating habits, leaving them unhappy or depressed. They may consider themselves food addicts. Experts say it’s actually an eating addiction and not a food addiction.

What if you were given the option of eating as much as you liked but never gaining weight as a result? You’d take it, wouldn’t you? You may be considering getting professional help for your addiction, and you should. Using a professional addiction treatment helpline, such as Addiction Helper, will help you get the help you need to get rid of your addiction, but you should consider why you want to overcome your addiction in the first place. It’s all about the why!

Maybe it’s because you’d like to lose weight and feel confident about your looks and that’s okay. Maybe it is because you are worried about your health. The important thing to know is that addiction is about the mind.

When you take an addictive substance or engage in an enjoyable activity, your brain releases a feel-good hormone called dopamine. The feeling of enjoyment you get creates an irresistible urge to do it again, and you constantly want to recreate this feeling of enjoyment again and again. You become so attuned to it that you get withdrawal symptoms when you’re not engaging in the addictive activity. After a while, your brain becomes overloaded and then begins to produce less dopamine, resulting in less enjoyment of the addictive activity.

The real problem comes when you realize you’ve got rid of one addiction only to take on another. The problem is not the addictive substance or activity but that need to want to ‘feel good’ all the time. The bad kind of good. A healthy mind will naturally translate to a healthier body.

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Paisley to honour Baker Street singer with mass sax solo

Paisley will honour one of its most famous sons with a mass outdoor rendition of the iconic saxophone solo from Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street this weekend.

The musical moment has been organised by local promoter Tommy McGrory of Loud ‘n’ Proud as a tribute to the late singer in the week of what would have been his 70th birthday.

It also helps mark the send-off of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 – due to be lodged with the UK Government next week – with the event part-funded by the 2021 bid team.

The sax solo will take place at Paisley Cross at 1pm on Saturday and will see professional musicians – including a live band – joined by local talent.

And Gerry’s daughter Martha said: “My father was very proud of his Paisley roots and I am sure he would have been supportive of the town’s UK City of Culture bid.

“To have so many people playing the Baker Street solo together in the town centre is a unique idea and I am sure it will make a great spectacle. Let’s hope they’re all in tune! I am looking forward to hearing it.”

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “This event is a tribute to one of Paisley’s best musical exports and a song known the world over.

“As well as marking what would have been Gerry’s birthday it’s also a great way to shine a spotlight on the town as we prepare to submit the bid, which will feature Paisley’s incredible musical legacy.”

Tommy McGrory added: “We’ve had phenomenal interest in this ever since we revealed the plans a few days ago – it is shaping up to be a must-see moment.

“We have in excess of 30 people lined up to take part but if any other saxophone players are interested in joining us, they can contact me through Loud ‘n’ Proud on 0141 840 1090.”

The coming weekend will be a busy one for Paisley, with Saturday seeing the town host the third annual Paisley Food Festival in Abbey Close, with street-food traders from across the country, free live entertainment and cookery demos.

This weekend will also see Renfrewshire CAMRA’s 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival in Paisley Town Hall, while local business improvement district Paisley First are running Paisley Restaurant Week, with discount deals available at local eateries.

For more information on these events and the bid itself, visit

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The 10 Ten Freelance Careers around the Globe Today


Freelancing is the best option for those who like to work from home or prefer the flexibility of working from different locations. This is the latest job trend, favoured by millions of people to earn a few extra bucks or even do a full-time job. Read on to find some of the most common freelance careers around the globe today.

1. Freelance Writing and Copywriting

This job involves writing content or copy for various clients. The content can be for descriptions for web pages, article writing for magazines, essays, ghost writing, proof reading, etc. You must be very expressive with professional quality writing skill and styleand impeccable grammar sense.

2. Active Blogging

Blogging is the hottest trend. In case you are new to blogging and finding it hard to come up with a well written article for it, you can initially take the assistance of professional  write my essay for me  services to get a hang of things. Since there are so many different avenues and genres that you can settle for, when it comes down to writing a blog, it has become one of the most diversified and opted for profession in the market right now.

3. Photography

Freelance Photography is one of the most persistent and growing freelancing careers that you can opt for if you have a knack for clicking pictures. You need to know some basic editing and retouching functions to perfect your photos. Some experience in photography will add onto your portfolio.

4. Data Entry Jobs
If you have amazingly fast typing speed and plenty of  patience, this should be your pick. You have to type out pages of data, numbers, etc. in a word document within a specified deadline.

5. Human Resource Management

Experience in talent search, head hunting, recruitment and a great network of contacts is what you are required to have for freelancing as an HR. This job can be done offline as well as online.

6. Graphic Designing
Graphic designing is to create graphics for printed and even electronic media, which is very much in demand nowadays.To start as a freelance graphic designer,you have to take a professional course and have some work experience.

  1. Teaching and Tutoring
    All you need is a working internet connection to access Skype or Google Hangout, where you have to teach and tutor virtually. You also need to consolidate various teaching sessions and give lectures on the subject that you are coaching about. So, you must have full expertise in your subject, which can range between high school English or computer software or even cooking.

    8. SEO and SEM
    Search Engine Optimization or SEO and Search Engine Marketing or SEM are popular jobs, that you can do from home. You will have to pick the website and make it rank highest on Google. Link building, Google behaviour, Panda affect etc. are some other relevant areas.

  2. Mobile App Development
    Loads of new apps for the latest smartphones is coming up every single day. All you require is some experience in developing apps for MS Windows.

    10. Web Development and Designing
    You must know how to design and code a website, for which you have to be very well versed with various SDKs such as .NET, Java, Dreamweaver to name a few. Acquaintance with WordPress is an added advantage for Web Development.

The future for all these job options is looking bright as the market for the same is growing. As of now, the demand is higher than the supply, which means, there is scope for further growth and optimum career satisfaction for anyone looking to opt for these options.

Author’s Bio: Ruchi Gupta is a content development specialist, who is recognised for developing seo rich content. Her specialisation lies with producing content on modern topics that meet different queries and are always information rich.

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5 Ways to Meet Native English Speakers and Improve Your English

One of the most effective ways for people trying to learn English fast and efficiently is to meet and interact with native English speakers within their communities and beyond. There are several ways of doing this that may not be immediately obvious to the student. The aim of this article is to point English language learners to 5 methods of meeting native English speakers to interact with so that they can enhance their language skills.

Volunteer in an organization

Volunteering allows you to meet diverse groups of people to practice your English while engaging in some beneficial work. There are several types of volunteer services and jobs, all you need to do is pick the one that suites you, depending on your expertise and location. Finding a volunteer job is very simple if you have already decided what you want to volunteer for. Go online and search for a job that fits your expertise and sign up for them. The process of searching for volunteer jobs can also enhance your English, as you will have to communicate a lot with others to find the organization that suits you. Ask any current volunteer how the job is, what it entails, and how they feel doing it. Moreover, interact with members of different organization until you find the right fit. It is important that after you join, you get different responsibilities that will give you a chance to meet and interact with several people daily or weekly and practice English more often.

Search online for dedicated websites

There are several websites that are dedicated to help English learners like you to meet and interact with native speakers. Some of them also have native speakers who are interested in learning your language; this will be a good opportunity to teach each other your language through communication. Also, through these websites, you can search for natives that are interested in helping you learn faster by meeting up and chatting. Take advantage of these opportunities, as this will help you speak English fluently. An ideal source you can check is where you can find a native English speaker who will help you speak English proficiently.

Take part in ceremonies and events

It is very likely that the city you are living in has several varieties of festivals and ceremonies during the year. Some of these events are posted online or they are advertised in newspapers. So go online and search for some festivals that you will feel happy to attend. You can also ask your English teacher about upcoming events as he/she is already conversant with the city. Sign up in several websites so that you can be kept posted about upcoming events. By attending these festivals, you will have the opportunity of meeting native speakers and interacting with them. No matter what your level of English is, don’t shy away from conversations as this will boost your confidence.

Don’t shy away from making friends

When you arrive at an English speaking country, don’t just seek out members of your nationality only. Widen your horizon and include natives as well, as this will help you learn faster. It is even more beneficial if the native shares your interests, as this will allow for better interaction. You can search online for friends and people of common interests. This way apart from learning to speak English faster, you will also have the opportunity to learn about the culture of the country you are residing.

Link up with a Sports Team

This is another excellent means of getting to meet native English speakers to interact and practice. Choose a sport you are interested in and join the team. You may not necessarily need to participate; you can be a spectator to supporter, but the most important thing is that you will become the part of a team. Most of these sports teams also have schedules of events and get-togethers which also provide you a means of meeting native speakers and have fun at the same time. Don’t shy away from starting conversations, the members will be happy to interact with you, and it’s a great way to learn English fast.

written by Smriti Gupta

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Pipe bands from across the world set to battle it out to be named Britain’s best

Paisley is set to welcome competitors from as far as Canada and Denmark as the top pipe bands in the world aim to be crowned British champions.

photos courtesy of Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
07792445 437
All images © Gibson Digital 2016.

On Saturday 20 May, over 4,000 pipers and drummers will descend on the St James Playing Fields for the second year in succession following a fantastic competition last year which saw Inverary and District take home the Grade 1 prize.

They’ll face stiff competition from all over the world this year however as bands from Canada, Ireland and Northern Ireland join Scotland’s finest in trying to take home the accolade of Britain’s best.

From 10am, 145 bands will take to the competition arena and look to impress the judges from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) in 11 different categories.

After the final band performs- at around 5:30pm- the prize giving will take place before all bands join the final march-past which will close the competition.

The free-to-attend event will also feature a delicious food village, a children’s entertainment zone, the Slug in a Bottle craft market and much more.

RSPBA Chief Executive, Ian Embelton, said: “After the success of last year’s Championships we are all looking forward to an even more exciting event this year.

“Bands have entered in great numbers and everything is in place for a great day out for all the family’

The Championships form part of a series of events taking place across Renfrewshire which are helping to support Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director, Jean Cameron, said: “It is fantastic to see the Championships return to Paisley after such a successful event last year.

“I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to see some of the world’s foremost pipers competing in one of the biggest dates in world piping and enjoy the marvellous entertainment being provided on the day.

“The sight of thousands of pipers and supporters descending on the town is not only a boost for local traders, but also enhances our bid to be named UK City of Culture as we again showcase our ability to hold large-scale events in the area.

“The winning bidder would host a number of prestigious events in 2021 and we’re determined to give Paisley the best chance of a successful bid as we look to bring lasting social and economic change to the area.”

Designated event parking will be at West College Scotland, Paisley Grammar School and Castlehead High School.

Visitors should be aware there will be no on-site parking at the St James Playing Fields for the public – this will be for pipe band coaches and event officials only.

Free shuttle buses will run directly to the event site throughout the day from West College Scotland and Paisley Gilmour Street station. Full details are at

The full running order for the day, showing all bands, grades and timings, is now available at

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Public will consider Paisley West End masterplan

The public will have their say on a new masterplan to regenerate the West End of Paisley.

Councillors agreed today (Thursday 20 April) that the draft Paisley West End Regeneration Masterplan should move to public consultation in June 2017.

Extensive engagement will now begin with tenants, residents, businesses, landowners and all other interested parties on the masterplan proposals for around 150 homes, providing a mix of private and social housing as well as new commercial units, subject to demand.

The plan covers an area comprising Well Street, Underwood Lane, Clavering Street East, Sutherland Street, Oakshaw Brae and West Brae.

Tenement flats on the east side of Well Street; commercial ground floor properties in the tenement blocks and vacant residential blocks on Clavering Street East would be demolished as part of the plans.

Clearance of the vacant former University of the West of Scotland Halls of Residence and relocation of community growing areas on Sutherland Street – redeveloping these sites for housing – are also included in the proposals.

Residents affected would be supported by the Council to find suitable alternative accommodation and Council officers will also work with affected business owners and tenants to determine their preferences and potentially source available alternative premises which meet their aspirations.

Affected tenants and property owners will be contacted individually by the Council to discuss their thoughts on the proposals, with the option of a face-to-face meeting and an invitation to drop-in consultation events at local community venues.

Meetings are also planned with Paisley West and Central Community Council, Paisley West End Tenants and Residents Association, University of the West of Scotland and private landowners.

Costs to deliver the masterplan are being developed and will be informed through the consultation process and site investigations of the undeveloped land. Scottish Government grant support for the project would be brought forward through Renfrewshire’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP), which includes a £10 million provisional allowance.

Comments regarding the proposal for the redevelopment of Well Street and the West End of Paisley:

Councillor Mags MacLaren, SNP Housing Spokesperson, said:

“I welcome this long-awaited proposal as it will result in improved housing within Well Street and the West End of Paisley. “

This proposal has been on the table for years and there is still some way to go before all the funding is secured to enable it to be completed. However, this proposal would see new housing coming into the West End, including using the gap site behind Well Street.”

Councillor Kenny MacLaren, SNP Group Leader, added:

“It’s been a while since the original proposal was put out to Sanctuary Housing to bring forward some details, so it’s good that there is now something in the public domain which residents of Well Street can look at.

“Obviously, I would hope that existing council tenants and businesses would have a higher priority when it came to any new social housing and new business units within the area but in general

“I welcome this long-awaited proposal as it will result in improved housing within Well Street and the West End of Paisley. “This proposal has been on the table for years and there is still some way to go before all the funding is secured to enable it to be completed. However, this proposal would see new housing coming into the West End, including using the gap site behind Well Street.” Councillor Kenny MacLaren, SNP Group Leader, added: “It’s been a while since the original proposal was put out to Sanctuary Housing to bring forward some details, so it’s good that there is now something in the public domain which residents of Well Street can look at. “Obviously, I would hope that existing council tenants and businesses would have a higher priority when it came to any new social housing and new business units within the area but in general  terms the plans look promising.”

Kevin McNeillie-Welsh, the secretary of Paisley West Tenants and Residents Association, said:

“The redevelopment of Well Street is a major issue for us and we have been pressing the housing department to bring forward their proposals. I’m glad they’ve eventually done so as it will now give our members a chance to add their voice to the consultation process.”

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Paisley 2021 bid gets green light from councillors

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has been given the green light by councillors ahead of it being lodged with the UK Government next week.


Elected members were today given a preview of the contents of the bid report and gave unanimous cross-party approval for the council – as the lead agency in the Paisley 2021 partnership – to submit it on behalf of the town.

The 30-page document answers a series of questions set by the Department for Culture Media and Sport on the economic and social impact the title will have on the town, Paisley’s outline 2021 programme, and its ability to host the title.

Paisley is bidding for the prestigious title as part of wider plans to use the town’s unique cultural and heritage story to transform its future.

The bid deadline is Friday 28 April and the timetable published by DCMS says the 11 bidders can expect to find out in June if they have made the shortlist.

Those places will be expected to lodge a more detailed second-stage bid, with the winner expected to be announced at the end of the year.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The 18 months since the bid was launched have already been incredibly positive for the town and it has been a pleasure to be a part of.

“It has been a real grassroots movement, with more than 30,000 people taking part in the conversation around the bid and helping us shape the contents, and I want to thank everybody who contributed – your voices are in this bid.

“The bid has raised awareness of everything Paisley has to offer, changing negative perceptions of the town and creating a new sense of self-confidence.

“The bid is just one part of a wider set of plans aimed at using events, culture and heritage to bring new footfall and tourism to the town, and build a new type of town centre economy based around creative industry.

“But the impact of winning the title would be on another level – a year of major international events and huge numbers of visitors in 2021, thousands of new jobs, major investment in infrastructure and a lasting economic and social legacy.

“The work to prepare the bid has been a real partnership effort, with great contributions from a wide range of different groups all working to a common goal.

“Approval from councillors was the last milestone on this stage of the journey before the bid is submitted next week – and we know we have one which will show the judges how much Paisley wants and needs the title and is ready to deliver it.”

For more information, see

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