Paisley, Renfrewshire Category

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LOCAL VOLUNTEERS URGED TO VOTE FOR THEIR CHARITY AT NATIONAL AWARDS

Volunteers are being urged to vote so the work they do for Contact the Elderly can be recognised at a national awards ceremony.

Contact the Elderly’s 125 tea parties in Scotland, including groups based locally, are supported by 1400 volunteers and offer an invaluable lifeline of friendship to more than 850 older people who live alone.

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The charity’s volunteers are in the running for The Great Scot Community Champion award.

 

Morna O’ May, Head of Service Scotland at Contact the Elderly, said:

 

“We were delighted to find out our volunteers had been shortlisted for this award. We were nominated anonymously so it is a great honour.

 

“Without our volunteers, we would not be able to break the cycle of social isolation for hundreds of older people who live alone in villages, towns and cities throughout Scotland.

 

“This is an opportunity to thank our volunteers and for their superb efforts to be recognised. I hope plenty of them vote and make sure their friends and families get on board too.”

 

In the past year, Contact the Elderly in Scotland has won five awards and been shortlisted for a further five.

 

Volunteer drivers collect one or two older people each month and accompany them to an afternoon tea in a volunteer host’s home. A host will welcome a group of between six and eight people once or twice a year.

 

Voting, which remains open until 1st October, takes only a few moments atwww.greatscotawards.co.uk/vote.html.

 

To find out more about becoming a guest or volunteer of Contact the Elderly, contact0800 716543.

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Renfrew Ferry – MSP Comments on ferry withdrawal due to safety concerns

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has expressed his deep concern that the vessel used to operate the Renfrew ferry service has been withdrawn due to safety concerns.

The service has been out of operation for the past week. This followed a similar situation in July, when the service was suddenly out of operation for a number of weeks leaving passengers stranded at either side.

The private operator of the service was uncontactable and no explanation for the lack of service forthcoming. Mr Mackay wrote to the company in July seeking answers and reassurances the issues encountered would not happen again. To date no response has been received.

In a letter to Mr Mackay Transport Scotland have confirmed that following enquires with the port authority and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have indicated that following an inspection on 12 September “the vessel was found to be in a poor state of repair with a number of serious deficiencies noted.”

SPT removed the direct public sector ferry service the Renfrew Rose and Yoker Swan in 2010, a withdrawal then opposed by Derek Mackay.

 

Derek Mackay said:

“It is deeply concerning that the vessel has been withdrawn due to safety concerns.

“I was always worried that when SPT pulled their support for a directly run public sector ferry service that the route would suffer and be at risk, and now my warning may come to pass.

“This is the second time in a matter of months that the ferry has been taken out of operation without any reasonable notice from the private operator or explanation as to why. There has been complete silence, and now we know why.

“This is now a matter of public safety and if the vessel is in the condition it is believed to be in then the port authorities have done the right thing in taking action.

“There is serious safety concerns over this vessel, and the private owners ability to operate the service. These issues need to be addressed urgently.

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SNP MP ENCOURAGES FRESHERS TO JOIN ELECTORAL REGISTER

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has extended a warm welcome to all Freshers who have started their courses at either the University of the West of Scotland or at West College Scotland.

As classes begin, Gavin Newlands MP is also reminding those students to remember to sign up to the electoral register to make sure that they are entitled to vote.

 

While youth turnout was at its highest in this year’s General Election since 1992, and the gap between the number of older voters and younger voters decreased, young people are still noticeably less likely to vote and millions are still missing from the electoral register.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MSP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:
“I extend a warm welcome to all those students who have moved to study in Paisley. Renfrewshire is a fantastic place to live and I hope you enjoy your stay here whilst you are studying.

 

“Many of the students will be moving away from home for the first time and they should remember to register to allow them to vote. Registering to vote online takes a couple of minutes and it is important that the thousands of freshers who may have moved address to begin their studies this year make sure they are registered to vote.

“Decisions are being taken every day that will affect young people, not least on Brexit-related issues, jobs or indeed tuition fees.

“In Scotland, the SNP has legislated to grant 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote, however at Westminster, the Tories are reluctant to extend the franchise to them, despite the SNP’s repeated calls to allow 16 and 17 year olds to have a say in general elections.

“My advice to anyone given the opportunity to register to vote, is to take it with both hands.”

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Influential women of Paisley to be celebrated as part of exhibition in twin town of Furth

Influential women from across Paisley and Renfrewshire have gathered to celebrate their heritage with a special visitor from Paisley’s sister town of Fürth.

Michaela Schneider, who is a member of the Women’s Museum in the German city, visited the town last week to find out more about the history of powerful women from Paisley.

The museum plans to include information on Paisley’s broad cultural diversity and feminine history in its latest exhibition which focuses on Fürth and its twin locations in France, Turkey, Greece, Tunisia and Scotland.

The exhibition will look at the ‘feminine side’ of Fürth and its twin cities, and will bring to life the stories of strong women, past and present.

Paisley has been twinned with Fürth since 1969 and also has further twin town links with Gladsaxe in Denmark.

During her visit, Michaela attended a special dinner at Paisley Town Hall to meet influential figures in culture, art, music, sport, business and politics from across Renfrewshire.

Among those attending the dinner were former Provost of Renfrewshire Anne Hall, director of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 Jean Cameron, president of the Old Paisley Society Cath Mitchell, InCube Renfrewshire designer Dominika Zurawska, artist Caroline Gormley, Diane Mitchell of the Diane Mitchell Music School and local musicians Carol Laula, Linzi Clark and Lisa Kowalski.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, who welcomed Michaela Schneider and guests at the event, said: “I was delighted to welcome Michaela to Paisley and celebrate the efforts of outstanding women in the Renfrewshire area.

“The exhibition in Fürth will go a long way to highlight the important work of women throughout Paisley’s history and their influence on society today.

“This event was a fantastic way to showcase the inspirational work and activity being carried out by women right here in Renfrewshire, whilst also building upon the strong relationship we have developed with Fürth.”

Michaela Schneider said: “The purpose of my visit was to get to know Paisley, introduce the Women’s Museum and to make connections for future collaborations between our museum and the town.

“Learning about Jane Arthur, the Mill Girls and Agnus Russell, to name just a few, and the businesswomen, politicians and creative minds I have met during my visit, I have found a town with an impressive spirit which has been inspired by these women.

“I have been moved by the unbelievable support and warm-hearted welcome, which was apparent even before I came over from Germany.”

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Celebrating our international links is a key part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and it was fantastic to have Michaela visit from our twin town of Fürth.

“Paisley’s bid is also about highlighting the area’s cultural and historical figures – and the town’s rich history of strong women in the mills showcases just that.

“The town has raised women who have gone on to change the world and it is great that we will be able to mark this with our friends in Fürth.”

You can visit the International Women’s Museum website at www.frauenindereinenwelt.de

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Mackay Welcomes Young Carer Grant

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has welcomed a new Young Carer Grant – worth £300 a year.

Derek Mackay – SNP – Renfrewshire North and West
Pic – Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

 

The grant is part of a new package of support for young carers announced by the First Minister today.

 

The grant will be awarded to young carers aged 16 to 18 who do at least 16 hours of caring a week, but do not qualify for Carer’s Allowance. It will help to improve young carers’ quality of life, assisting them to take part in employment, social or leisure opportunities.

 

The full package of support will be delivered throughout the course of this parliament. It will also include adding more entitlements and rewards for 11-18-year-old young carers to the Young Scot National Entitlement Card – which gives non-cash benefits to young people. Young Scot will work with young carers groups to develop the scheme.

 

At a later date, everyone receiving the Young Carer Grant will also be given a pass for free bus travel. This is in response to concerns that some young carers feel isolated by their caring responsibilities, and can find it difficult to meet transport costs.

 

SNP MSP Derek Mackay said:

 

“This is welcome news for young carers across Renfrewshire.

“Young carers across Renfrewshire make an invaluable contribution to our community.

 

“The Scottish Government has always been committed to enhancing carers’ rights and providing them with the right support at the right time.

 

“The support announced today, including the Young Carer Grant, will give valuable extra help to this group of people.”

 

 Background:

 

For the purposes of the Young Carer Grant, a young carer is someone with caring responsibilities aged 16 to 17, or 18 and still at school.

Work to further help young carers through the Young Scot National Entitlement Card will start in April 2018 and the scheme will be rolled out from April 2019. This will be followed by the Young Carer Grant in autumn 2019. Following pilot studies to examine technical options, free bus travel will be implemented in 2020-2021.

Advice from the Young Carers Allowance working group was that the grant, alongside other measures, should help young carers improve their quality of life and take part in activity that is the norm for other young people. This might include contributing towards the cost of driving lessons, or leisure and respite activities.

Carer’s Allowance is awarded to all carers aged 16 and over who carry out at least 35 hours of caring a week.

Today’s announcement complements the commitment to increase Carer’s Allowance in line with Jobseeker’s Allowance. This will come into effect next summer and be backdated to April 2018, with further increases for families supporting more than one disabled child also planned.

The Carers Act 2016 will take effect on 1 April 2018 and includes more support for young carers. This includes the right to a young carer statement from the local authority – a document setting out the young carer’s circumstances and support needs.

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Paisley 2021 bid backed by all local party leaders

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has received a show of cross-party support – having been backed by all five party leaders on Renfrewshire Council.

The final bid document is due to be submitted to the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at the end of the month – and elected members are set to consider it when the council meets on September 28.

Paisley was this summer named as the only Scottish bidder on the shortlist for the 2021 competition, alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

The bid is part of a wider push to use Paisley’s unique cultural and heritage offer to make it a key visitor destination within Scotland, and transform the future of the whole Renfrewshire area.

And support crosses party lines – with council leader Iain Nicolson (SNP), Labour’s Eddie Devine, James MacLaren of the Conservatives, Lib Dem Eileen McCartin and independent Andy Doig all gathering outside Paisley Abbey to give their backing, joined by children from Williamsburgh Primary.

The bid has already enjoyed public support from national political figures including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Secretary David Mundell and outgoing Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.

Councillor Nicolson – who also chairs the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board said: “The potential benefits of a successful bid are absolutely massive – for example, the activity before, during and after our planned UK City of Culture year is predicted to create 4,700 jobs over a ten-year period.

“When dealing with something of that scale it is important we as elected members put our party differences aside and do all we can to make it happen – so I am delighted to be joined by my fellow councillors today to show our collective support for the bid.”

Councillor Devine said: “Over the past two years, the Paisley 2021 bid has energised people throughout the town and given them a reason to believe in Paisley again – Buddies have driven the campaign to date and they deserve this title and all the benefits it will bring them.”

Councillor MacLaren added: “We have already seen from previous winners Derry-Londonderry and Hull how winning this title can boost local business and drive investment in infrastructure and industry. I am happy to get behind anything which could do the same for Paisley and Renfrewshire.”

Councillor McCartin said: “Paisley was once the centre of the world’s textile industry and the legacy of that is still around us in wonderful buildings such as our town hall and Sma’ Shot Cottages. That story should be told to as many people as possible and I back anything which will help do that.”

And Councillor Doig added: “Renfrewshire has some great heritage attractions and huge potential as a visitor destination – and a successful Paisley 2021 bid will bring huge numbers of people to the area, giving all our towns and villages a chance to benefit.”

The winner of the competition is due to be announced in December. For more info, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Plans progress to regenerate Paisley’s West End

Plans to transform the West End of Paisley have taken a further step forward after Councillors today (Tuesday, 19 September 2017) approved detailed development of the proposals.

Residents and business owners have already shown their support for the draft Paisley West End Regeneration Masterplan which outlines proposals to convert vacant land and low demand property into new housing.

Now members of the Council’s Leadership Board have backed the plans and called for a finalised, fully costed masterplan to be brought back to the next board in December 2017.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson, Convener of the Leadership Board, said: “I am pleased that there is collective agreement from across the Council to continue to develop these transformational plans for the west end of Paisley.

“They have been welcomed by the people who live and work there, the residents and business owners, and it is vital that we continue to listen to them as we develop the plans further.

“There is a shared desire to improve the quality of available housing and make the area an attractive place for people to live and work.”

The masterplan proposes to develop around 150 private and social homes and potentially provide new commercial units on land around Paisley’s Well Street through demolition of low demand tenement flats and commercial ground floor properties on the east side of Well Street and vacant residential blocks on Clavering Street East.

Land formerly home to University of the West of Scotland Halls of Residence would also be cleared and local community growing areas relocated within the West End under the masterplan proposals.

Councillors noted the positive findings of the consultation conducted so far, with residents and business owners backing the plans and commenting on the benefits of the area’s central location, good public transport links and the close-knit community.

The consultation also highlighted the challenges facing the area, with high levels of vacant properties in a poor condition and issues such as vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Councillor Nicolson added: “We are committed to regenerating Renfrewshire and making it an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest in.

“Paisley’s West End is an integral part of plans to regenerate Paisley Town Centre and we are making excellent progress, driven by projects including the Glasgow City Region City Deal projects and Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.”

Consultation is continuing and residents and business owners in the masterplan area as well as people in the wider community can call 0141 618 6003 to discuss the regeneration proposals.

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Gary shows you how to cook up a storm

FOOD fans will get a masterclass on cooking from a master chef, this weekend.


Gary Maclean was crowned King of the Kitchen when millions saw him on television winning the MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 title, last December.

Now Gary will be sharing some of the tips and skills that brought him gastronomic glory after he battled through seven weeks of culinary challenges.

He will be teaming up with Clyde 1 presenter, Cassi for the Soar at intu Braehead Totally Tasty free event held between 2pm and 6pm on Saturday and Sunday, September 23 and 24, in the central mall.

Gary will show the audience how to create four of his favourite dishes and Cassi will be hosting the event and asking Gary just how he manages to tantalise everyone’s tastebuds.

Totally Tasty isn’t just for the grown-ups, as there will be a kids’ cooking station, where talented little chefs can use their imagination to create their recipes of their own and there will also be arts and crafts to keep the youngsters amused.

Gary said: “You don’t need to be a MasterChef winner to cook fabulous food for your family and friends. Come along to Soar at intu Braehead and I’ll show you how to be a champ in the kitchen.”

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “We’ve all got our pots and pans at the ready and can’t wait for our cookery masterclass.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for people to meet Gary and pick up some great cookery tips and advice.

“And no doubt, there will be a queue of people wanting to get a taste of the dishes Gary prepares during our Totally Tasty event.”

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Scottish Government gives financial backing to Scotland’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021

The Scottish Government has given its financial backing to Scotland’s bid if Paisley is named UK City of Culture 2021.

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, made the announcement while attending the first of a series of culture conversation events which took place at the University of the West of Scotland campus in the heart of Paisley.

The endorsement from the Scottish Government recognises the contribution Paisley makes to Scotland’s culture and demonstrates its support of the ambitions and benefits the bid seeks to deliver.

Paisley is the only Scottish contender and the only town shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021 competition, which is run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The other bidders shortlisted for the title are; Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “I am very pleased to be back in Paisley to discuss A Culture Strategy for Scotland and confirm the Scottish Government’s support for Paisley 2021’s bid as the UK City of Culture.

“It is an exciting prospect which fits in well with the Government’s ambitions as we recognise the significant contribution Paisley makes to Scotland’s rich cultural life and the local and national boost this would bring.

“Scottish Ministers have been consulted on the plans being submitted by Paisley to support the delivery of the bid.  The Scottish Government is including its contribution to the Paisley bid within its spending review plans as will the National Agencies.

“I am confident today’s event will offer an important platform for everyone that is keen to have their say on the future of culture in Scotland. The local and national boost that being UK City of Culture 2021 would bring to Paisley is an exciting prospect and I am pleased the town’s cultural journey continues in this competition.”

Leader of Renfrewshire Council and chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Cllr Iain Nicolson, said: “The fact that the Scottish Government has committed to financially support Scotland’s bid, if successful, is a great boost as we make our final preparations to submit the town’s final bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

“There has never been a Scottish winner of the competition but we would love to be the first. The pledge made by the Cabinet Secretary supports our view that a successful bid for Paisley will produce benefits that will be felt across the whole country in terms of visitor numbers and economic impact and as a showcase of cultural excellence.”

Paisley’s final bid is due to be submitted at the end of the month with an announcement on the winner expected in December.

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Mackay Welcomes Increase in Dental Registrations

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has welcomed the news that local dental registrations have increased in the last year, following new statistics from ISD Scotland.

 

The number of adults registered with dentists in Greater Glasgow & Clyde is up to 968,975 climbing from 939,837 – part of a national rise from 3,880,815 in 2015/16 to 4,004,645 in 2016/17.

 

The number of children registered across Greater Glasgow & Clyde also rose from 218,972 to 220,566 in the last year.

 

The percentage of adults registered with an NHS dentist in Greater Glasgow & Clyde is at 94.8%, higher than the Scottish total of 91.1%. The percentage of children registered in the area is 95%, also higher than the Scottish total of 94.1%.

 

The Scottish Government continues to take action to improve dental health across Scotland, including through the new Oral Health Improvement Plan and an investment of over £400 million in NHS dentists in the community. Mr Mackay has encouraged those who are not currently registered to sign up with their local dentist.

 

Commenting, SNP MSP Derek Mackay said:

 

“This is welcome news for Renfrewshire and shows that efforts to increase the number of people receiving regular dental check-ups is paying off.

 

“It is a huge boost to see more and more people using the excellent dental services that we have in Renfrewshire – and by doing so we are able to prevent potentially more damaging and costly treatments in future.

 

“Those that aren’t registered should sign up with their local dental practice to get the dental treatment now and in the years to come.

 

“The SNP has a strong record on dental and oral health – increasing the number of adults registered with an NHS dentist in the GG&C area from 49% under Labour to 94.8% now, and the number of children registered has grown by 28.5% under the SNP.

 

“Scottish Government funding and commitments have been a key driver of these improvements, which is why we now have nearly 5 million registered dental patients across the country. The new Oral Health Improvement Plan will only boost this further still.

 

“Programmes such as ChildSmile have proven effective in getting children the dental treatment that they need – and with more adults registering with practices across Scotland, the SNP is making sure there is plenty to smile about across Scotland.”