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Public still firmly behind Renfrewshire’s City Deal projects

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There continues to be overwhelming support for major infrastructure projects that will secure Renfrewshire’s long-term economic future.

Renfrewshire Council held engagement events over seven months last year, including nine separate public exhibitions and numerous meetings with community councils.

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Almost 1,500 people took the chance to have their say and help shape proposals for the ‘Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside’ and ‘Glasgow Airport Investment Area’ projects, which are funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Surveys completed by people attending the latest events in December revealed local support for the proposals remains very strong.

A resounding 85 per cent were supportive of the ‘Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside’ project, with eight per cent undecided and only seven per cent not supportive.

The ‘Glasgow Airport Investment Area’ project received the support of 81 per cent of respondents, with 14 per cent undecided and only five per cent not supportive.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan is the Glasgow City Region Cabinet’s enterprise lead. He said: “We held these events because we believe it’s important local people and businesses are involved at every stage of the process.

“Over 1500 people have now taken the chance to speak face-to-face to the project teams, find out about progress and raise any concerns they might have.

“I’m delighted to say that feedback has been incredibly positive, with the vast majority of people agreeing these major infrastructure projects will benefit their communities and bring huge opportunities to Renfrewshire and across our wider Glasgow City Region.”

He continued: “These projects will attract investment, create jobs and help businesses thrive as well as giving people better access to facilities.

“There is no doubt they will be a tremendous boost for our communities and it’s very clear that people are strongly behind them.”

Wide-ranging engagement activities have been carried out to inform the public and encourage them to share their views.

Exhibitions held in May and December last year were publicised in advance in local newspapers and on the websites of Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire and Glasgow City councils, as well as on their respective social media channels.

Renfrewshire Council also distributed more than 5,000 flyers and posters were displayed in communities throughout the three authorities.

Almost 500 surveys gauging public opinion on the projects have now been completed, with the results showing the vast majority of respondents are supportive of the plans and positive about what they mean for the future.

Fully 88 per cent agreed the new ‘opening’ bridge across the Clyde and works associated with it will create jobs and help businesses expand.

A massive 84 per cent also agreed the project will improve their access to healthcare and education facilities, employment and public transport on the other side of the river.

An overwhelming 85 per cent said significant employment opportunities will be created by the development of sites for business next to Glasgow Airport and the accompanying realignment of Abottsinch Road.

The positive feedback was not confined to the opportunities for businesses and the prospect of better access to jobs and services for local people.

More than 90 per cent of respondents also agreed the new off-road cycle routes would encourage more people to get on their bikes.

Local people will have another opportunity to comment on and help shape these projects at events scheduled  to be held in May, ahead of an application for planning permission this summer.

The latest information on all of Renfrewshire’s City Deal projects can be found on the website at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/citydeal

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Paisley Opera

Paisley Opera:  Opera for and with the people of Paisley, an idea born out of passion and a belief that opera can speak directly to all kinds of people.

What is Paisley Opera…?

Paisley Opera is an idea born out of passion and a belief that opera can speak directly to all kinds of people.

We want to create a company that the people of Paisley can be proud of. This means creating and staging opera in unpredictable and unusual places.  It means opening the doors and inviting people in to watch our work and to work with us. This means sharing a great art with great people. It’s a different way of making opera, one that we’ve put a lot of thought, experience and research into. We need you to come and be part of it.

Who are we….?

We are a group of highly experienced professional singers, musicians, stage directors and technicians who have in common a passion for keeping opera alive and about involving local people in the company as much as we can. Our artistic director, Simon Hannigan moved to Paisley in 2010 and instantly fell in love with the town becoming more and more convinced that Paisley is an ideal place for this long-planned project.

As Urban Opera, we put on our first performance in Paisley at the University of The West of Scotland in December 2015. Since then we have been planning on how best to make the company a real part of this great town.

We need YOU !

How can I get involved…?

Come and be a volunteer.  There are several ways you can help: We are starting a volunteer chorus in February of this year. This will be the core of the company. It’ll be supported by experienced professional singers who will be there to help and inspire us all as we sing some of the great choruses.

What experience do I need? None at all, lots or somewhere in between. In other words, anyone can join. There are no auditions for the voluntary chorus, so whether you have sung in choirs and would like to try something a bit different or haven’t sung since someone at school told you that you couldn’t, come and join us !

But I can’t sing… We firmly believe that everyone, given the right help can sing. So if you’ve always thought you couldn’t but would like to try.. Come and join us. We’ll help you find your voice.

Do I need to read music? No. If you can read music, great, but there will be plenty of help available for learning your parts. Apart from rehearsals, we’ll be sending out sound files with your parts so that you can practice them at home.

Are there age restrictions ? We welcome anyone of 18 years to 98 and beyond ! In the future, we will be looking to involve under 18s, but we need to get the adult chorus up and running first.

Our Programme for this year:

Weekly rehearsals start Monday 27th February, so either find us and register online on our Facebook
page @paisleyoperaproject

Or just turn up on the night… you’ll be made very welcome!
Wallneuk North Parish Church Halls, Abercorn St, Paisley PA3 4AB

Free concert involving some great opera chorus tunes and some solo numbers on Friday 21st April. Venue will be revealed nearer the time.

Autumn 2017:  A specially-devised piece which will revolve around one of the great events in Paisley’s history… More information later.

The Future
After our first year we plan to put on full-scale productions in unusual venues with the chorus at the heart and using experienced professional principals.
Contact:
Email: paisleyopera@gmail.com
Facebook: @paisleyoperaproject
Phone: 07702 424528 (Simon Hannigan)

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Helen and James prove you’re never too old for romance

LOVED-UP pensioners Helen and James McLaren have been married for 56 years – but they’ve shown you’re never too old for romance.

Helen and James McLaren

Helen, 75, wrote a message to her 80-year-old hubby, James on a cardboard leaf and hung it on a branch of the intu Braehead Love Tree, as part of the shopping and leisure destination’s Valentine’s celebrations.

Scores of people hung messages on the Love Tree and Helen’s was chosen to win a £500 holiday voucher, from Barrhead Travel.

Helen’s message to James read: “You’ve been my Valentine for 57 years.”

According to the romantic couple, who live in Erskine, Renfrewshire, it was love at first sight when they both met at a house party and James plucked up the courage to ask Helen if she would go to the cinema with him the following week.

One date followed the other and just over a year later James and Helen were married in July, 1960. Now, the couple have four children, five grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Helen said: “I saw the Love Tree in the shopping mall and on the spur of the moment I thought I would write a wee message for James.
“We’re quite romantic and have never missed sending each other a Valentine’s card since we started going out all those years ago. We just seem to get on with each other.”

James said: “I just love Helen’s attitude to life and when I first met her at my pal’s party, I had asked her out before the end of the night.”

And he joked about the secret of a long and successful marriage: “I just do what I’m told and a lot of hoovering at home!”

Helen is planning to spend the Barrhead Travel holiday voucher on a trip to Rome.

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “James and Helen are such deserving winners we hope their trip to Rome is a romantic as they are.
“Cupid was certainly on target with his bow and arrow on the night they met.”

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NHS to close RAH Children’s Ward and move specialist services to Glasgow

The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) have voted to move specialist services from the Children’s Ward at the RAH in Paisley to Glasgow, effectively closing the ward.

Services that will continue to be provided on the Royal Alexandra Hospital’s include outpatient services, the specialist Community Paediatric service (PANDA), and emergency care via A&E.

NHSGGC Board members voted in favour of the proposal to deliver paediatric in-patient care for children from the Royal Hospital for Children (RHC).

The result of the vote will now be sent to the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport for consideration.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde said that it is anticipated that around 8,006 episodes of care will transfer to the RHC while 12,063 will remain at the RAH.

The board members took into account views expressed during the 12 week consultation and acknowledged the range of clinical benefits of improving the acute and specialist services offered to children in the Clyde area before reaching their decision.

John Brown, chairman, NHSGGC, said: “Today we saw a detailed discussion on this service change following the conclusion of the consultation.

“Our staff carried out four consultation events and nine drop in sessions across the Clyde area to help patients and their families share their views with us and allow us to answer any questions they may have.

“The board has today recognised the overwhelming clinical support and decided that young patients from Clyde will now benefit from the same first class, state-of-the-art facilities as other children from across the West of Scotland who already attend the hospital.

“The RHC is one of the finest paediatric teaching hospitals in the UK and the largest in Scotland. The entire focus is around children and young people, with care provided in a child-friendly environment.”

It was also noted that four petitions, with approximately 6,600 signatures, were submitted on the service change to the board.

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St Vincent’s Hospice Strictly Come Prancing 2017

The annual St Vincent’s Hospice Strictly Come Prancing event will this year be held for the first time at The Crowne Plaza Glasgow. The hugely popular event, which is one of the highlights of the Hospice event calendar, is based on the popular television series Strictly Come Dancing.

Eleven ‘twinkle toed’ couples, many of whom have never danced before, have been volunteering  their time each week since January to rehearse in preparation for their dance on the evening infront of our judging panel and 400 hospice supporters.  One of these couples will be crowned Strictly Come Prancing Champions 2017!  This year, we are delighted to announce that Jake Quickenden from X-Factor and I’m A Celebrity fame will join us as a guest judge.

Louise Strachan, Hospice Fundraiser said, “This is a great fun filled fundraising evening which is one of the most popular events in our event calendar.  I am delighted that this year we have our celebrity guest, Jake Quickenden, who will lend his experience on the judging panel and will also perform on the night.  We are so grateful to the dancers for giving up their time to rehearse and fundraise, as we are to Lisa Marie McLaughlin and Gordon Elliot our choreographers and Peter Ferguson an ambassador of the Hospice who always host a great show!”

The event, now in its 6th year, is sponsored by Mactaggart & Mickel Ltd.  We have a limited number of tables left for this evening which takes place on Friday, 17th March.  If you would like to join us on the night, please contact our fundraising team on 01505 705635 or email info@svh.co.uk

All the funds raised on the evening will go directly to St Vincent’s Hospice in Howwood and help to provide care for people in the Renfrewshire area affected by a life-limiting illness.

 

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Kilbarchan AAC set for new £2.1m facility

One of Scotland’s largest and most successful athletics clubs, Kilbarchan Amateur Athletics Club (AAC), are set to build a £2.1m state-of-the-art indoor facility designed to increase participation in sport and support the achievement of sporting excellence.

Councillors will this week be asked to approve the allocation of £500,000- in two tranches of £250,000- to support the proposed development which will provide facilities for over 525 male and female athletes as well as the Renfrewshire community.

Plans have been developed, with the support of Scottish Athletics and Sport Scotland, to build an indoor athletics training centre adjacent to the outdoor track and field facilities at Linwood’s On-X sports centre.

The proposed indoor training centre would provide the club with:

-60m running track;

-Horizontal and vertical jumps;

-Pole vault;

-Indoor throws cage- including javelin;

-Club room;

-Strength and conditioning area

Scottish Athletics have identified the proposal as an important project within the National Facilities Strategy- which aims to provide athletics with numerous top class facilities throughout the country that will continue to maximise participation and increase standards of performance in all disciplines.

The successful completion of the development would significantly enhance the quality of the athletic training facilities available within Renfrewshire and support the continued development and success of Kilbarchan AAC.

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Mark Macmillan, said: “Kilbarchan AAC are a credit to Renfrewshire and provide a fantastic platform for athletes to develop onto the elite stage.

“However, they also extremely inclusive and ensure that athletes of all ages are able to participate in the sport of their choice.

“This new facility would be a tremendous addition to Renfrewshire as we look to advance sporting opportunities for our communities and support the achievement of sporting excellence.”

Kilbarchan AAC are in the Premier Division of the Scottish Athletics league structure and its members include Olympians Callum and Derek Hawkins who represented Great Britain in the marathon at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Councillors will consider the proposals at the full Council meeting on Thursday 23 February.

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Volunteering to make a difference

A DRIVE to encourage more people to volunteer in their spare time has been launched by a Paisley charity this week. Kibble will be hosting a Volunteer Open Day on Monday 27th February to let people know about the opportunities available for those who want to make a difference in their community.

Volunteers of all ages and experience are being sought to help deliver the charitable programmes delivered at The Experience go karting arena in Hillington Park.  Roles include karting assistance, music & drama, photography, arts & crafts, social media and much more.

Last year over 23 million adults in the UK volunteered their time for charities. Recent studies have shown that volunteering can increase mental and physical wellbeing as well as reducing social isolation.1

Kibble are asking for a commitment of a minimum of 4 hours per week in return for full training in new skills, expenses and a bite to eat, and the chance to make a difference in their local community.

Chief Executive of Kibble Graham Bell said:

“We know people volunteer for a whole number of reasons, whether it is to enhance their CV, to meet new people, or to give something back to the community. With our new charity programmes, volunteering with us can do all of this and more.

“The Experience is such an exciting venue that we want to make it accessible for as many charity and community groups as possible. With the help of volunteering, we are dedicated to removing barriers and providing opportunities for all.”

The Volunteer Open Day is being held on Monday 27th February, 12-2pm and 5-7pm where food will be provided to this in attendance. For more details email enquiries@theexperience.org.uk or call 0141 883 4005.

Case Studies

These case studies are real examples of people who have already been volunteering with Kibble:

Audrey Sutherland, 21, Glasgow

When Audrey first heard about the chance to gain work experience that would help her degree studies, her lecturer told her to go for it. Now, it has opened the door to fulfilling a dream of becoming a graphic designer.

“I was at University completing an art related course which only involved me being there 3 days a week, so I decided to look for a volunteer opportunity that related to my course and gave me something useful to do with my time.

“I got in contact with Project Scotland and they told me about a volunteer opportunity at The Experience with Kibble. I wanted to gain practical skills in a role that related to my University course and volunteering at The Experience allowed me to gain this while being able to help out.”

“The best part about volunteering for me was definitely the amount that I learned from it. Because my role involved using the skills I had gained through college and university I didn’t expect it to be so informative but learning and doing are completely different and I found that I got a much better understanding of what my future in the design industry would involve.

“I would definitely recommend volunteering with Kibble to others. My travel was covered and I was given lunch every day, all it cost me was my time and I gained more than enough back from the opportunity.”

Hannah Jeffrey, 24, Newton Mearns

Hannah wanted the chance to learn more about working with young people. The Kids Clubs at The Experience were the perfect opportunity.

“I first heard about the chance of volunteering through someone who had also volunteered at Kibble and had said it was a great experience. l was studying psychology at Strathclyde University and l was keen to get involved in more volunteer work and help others.

“Through Kibble, l was placed at The Experience in Hillington Park. The best parts about being a volunteer is that you are helping others, making a difference, meeting lots of new people and gaining new skills – for example l volunteered in the Tuesday Children’s club at the experience, which involved helping in all the different activities. Through this l gained and enhanced my skills such as my creativity and confidence.

“I was offered great support as a volunteer – l felt valued, appreciated and part of the team, which motivates you even more. l felt it was important to be placed in a volunteer role that interested me so that you can fully contribute. There are quite a few volunteer options at the experience so there is something suitable for everyone.”

 

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Paisley Pirates are the new SNL champions

paisley pirates

DUNDEE TIGERS   0             PAISLEY PIRATES   6

Paisley Pirates are the new SNL champions after overwhelming Dundee Tigers 6-0 in their final league game to win the title. While Aberdeen could equal Pirates’ points total if they were to win all of their remaining games, Pirates have a better head to head against the Lynx, and thus the title comes back to Paisley after a four-year break.

paisley pirates

In a very nervy opening period, neither team was able to create much in front of the net, Tigers finding Graeme Meechan and the rest of the defence equal to the task of keeping them out, while Pirates appeared to be fully aware of what was at stake and played at an unusual tempo, with passes going astray and the lines failing to show their usual fluency going forward, as a result of which several chances went a begging. Balfour in the home goal had a relatively straightforward opening period, and thus neither side were able to grab the vital opening counter after 20 minutes.

In the middle period, play continued along similar lines until the 26th minute when Tigers’ McLeod had to leave the ice after taking a puck to the face, and the stoppage while the ice was cleaned appeared to invigorate the visitors, as they were ahead within seconds, Hadyn Bain skating down the left wing and passing to Liam Riddell who wasted no time in firing home to give his team the vital opener. The release of tension in the visitors’ ranks was palpable and with half a minute the lead was doubled as Blair took a pass from Johnston and fairly rattled it into the roof of the net, much to the delight of the large travelling Pirates’ support. The free flowing movement which had been noticeably absent earlier in the game had by this time returned to Pirates’ play and while their momentum was temporarily slowed as Crute took a minor for Elbows at the halfway point, parity in numbers brought a third goal for them as Wilson fed Orr who put the puck beyond Balfour without hesitation. The visitors were rampant now and it was no surprise when, with just over a minute remaining in a fine session for the visitors, Orr returned the compliment by passing to Wilson who picked his spot to make it 4-0 at the second interval.

With the game now virtually out of sight Pirates were on the powerplay in 43 minutes and Wilson and Orr combined to give Jordan space to fire a bullet home and make it five. The visitors were in complete control and even when Blair took a triple minor in the 49th minute, giving the hosts a 6 minute powerplay, the latter were unable to take advantage, and, indeed, Pirates scored shorthanded in the 52nd minute as Connor Spiers rifled a shot home from the blue line for 6-0, his first goal for the club. When Hassan took a minor for tripping, Pirates played a full two minutes with 3 skaters against five, and while there were a few near misses they comfortably held out and, indeed, once back to full strength may have added to their total, but with the clock counting down, and the fans singing from the stands, it was time for the celebrations to begin.

Scorers: Wilson (1+3), Orr (1+2), Riddell, Blair, Jordan & Spiers (all 1+0), Bain, Johnston, Miller & Thorp (all 0+1)

Man of the Match: David Orr

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Soccersixes Community Football Leagues starting in Paisley

A number of new community 6aside football leagues are starting in Paisley midweek nights at various locations between 8:00pm and 10:00pm and are sure to be popular with local residents.  Soccersixes are the UK’s leading provider of small sided FA affiliated football leagues so the popularity of this new football leagues will be very high.


The leagues will be located at Castlehead High School, St Andrews Academy and Gleniffer High School which are affiliated and each game is officiated by qualified officials.  Soccersixes also provide all the equipment so teams only need to worry about who’s going to play in their team each week.  A flexible squad system is also used so teams can use as many players as they wish in their squad.  Most squads will be made up of players that are friends, family and work colleagues.

Everyone is welcome, whatever standard, whatever age as long as they are over 16 they qualify to play in the Soccersixes.  Soccersixes do however request that team captains/managers are over 18.

Teams can also track their own stats including goal scorers and assists on the Soccersixes website.
We are also looking for a local business to possibly sponsor the league in way of providing a prize for the winning team to add to the prize package already in place. This sponsor will have their business name attached to the division plus will have an option to supply an image to be uploaded to the website.

For more information or to get involved as a team or sponsor in the Soccersixes leagues contact Adam on 07983 812135 or register your team on the all new Soccersixes website www.soccersixes.net

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Young Scot Awards tour rolls into Paisley

The Young Scot Awards bus visited Paisley Abbey today to urge locals to nominate their young heroes for the Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards and to support Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021.

Paisley locals were out in force to cast their nominations and were entertained by a dance troop featuring HNC Dance students from West College Scotland.

The bus tour, sponsored by Scottish CityLink, continues its journey around Scotland for the fifth year running to encourage people across the country to nominate their local heroes for the Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards 2017.

Now in its twelfth year, the Awards celebrate the contributions and work of young people age 11 – 26 across 12 categories including health, community, the arts and diversity. From hundreds of entries, three finalists will be chosen in each of the 12 categories. The winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow on 27 April 2017.

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said: “We’ve already received hundreds of inspirational nominations and I know there are hundreds more out there. It’s fantastic to have support from Paisley to celebrate the inspirational achievements of young people.  We want everyone across Scotland to get nominating so we can give young scots the praise they deserve!”

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, said: “It was great to see Young Scot bring their bus to Paisley Abbey – the organisation are already on board as supporters of the Paisley 2021 City of Culture bid and their support is much appreciated.

“The Awards help celebrate inspiring achievements and I would encourage everybody in Renfrewshire to check out the Young Scot Award categories and consider who could be nominated – we know Renfrewshire’s young people have some fascinating stories to tell and it would be great to see some local winners”.

Young Scot is urging people to nominate at youngscotawards.com before the voting closes on 27 February 2017.