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Smarter help for Renfrewshire’s young job seekers

In a nationwide first Renfrewshire Council, Transport Scotland and McGill’s buses are using Scotland’s smart travel network to help young people between the ages of 16-25 into employment and training.

Where a young person registered with the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire programme is eligible for free travel, advisors can now load pre-paid tickets for McGill’s local bus service onto their Young Scot National Entitlement Card, which is part of the saltirecard family of smartcards.

Advisors at the council’s Youth Employability Hub in Paisley will be able to load one, seven or twenty-eight unlimited travel tickets, which eligible young people would redeem by simply tapping their Young Scot National Entitlement Card on-board a McGill’s bus.

Staff at Youth Employability Hub provide support to young people registered with Invest in Renfrewshire. Working with an Adviser tickets are provided based on an individual’s need and can be used for a wide variety of reasons. For example, bus tickets can be provided to attend interviews and training opportunities or to support young people until their first pay packet arrives.

Through offering support at a key time of transition for young people Renfrewshire Council hope to help them find a new job and continue their journey to a positive life destination.

The project is possible because of Transport Scotland’s nationwide smart card infrastructure and the National Entitlement Card which is available to all Young People aged 11-26. It is a partnership between Renfrewshire Council, McGill’s buses, Transport Scotland and Young Scot.

Transport is mentioned by young people as one of their biggest barriers to accessing opportunities. This new initiative is an example of how Scotland’s smart ticketing network can be used to provide targeted help to specific groups of young people. As all young people have the opportunity to have a Young Scot card it can be used for travel without labelling those who benefit.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Helping young people facing particular challenges to achieve their potential is at the heart of our approach to getting people out of poverty.

“We have made it a top priority to increase the opportunities available to people throughout our communities.

“Our ground-breaking £6 million Tackling Poverty programme makes a real difference and is leading the way in Scotland, so it is fitting that Renfrewshire Council is the first local authority in the country to be involved in this initiative.

“This is yet another innovative way to help overcome the barriers that too often stand in the way of someone finding work and achieving a better future.”

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “This is another important step towards the delivery of Smart-enabled travel products which aims to help young people on their journey to employment and training across Renfrewshire.

“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that all journeys on Scotland’s bus, rail, ferry, subway and tram networks can be accessed using some form of smart ticketing or payment.

“We will continue to work with local authorities and bus operators to develop multi-operator schemes for all commuters across Scotland.”

Ralph Roberts, Managing Director of McGill’s, said: “McGill’s is delighted to be involved with this ground-breaking initiative.  Our £1m+ investment in new ticketing machines in 2016 has allowed us to support this Smart initiative, and we look forward to working closely with Renfrewshire Council, Young Scot and Transport Scotland on future Smart ticketing projects.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot said: “This is really excellent example of how the Young Scot National Entitlement Card can be used to promote equality. By helping young people find and stay in employment, this programme it will have an incredible impact during one of the most important stages in a young person’s journey.”

The project is part of Renfrewshire Council’s £6 million Tackling Poverty Action Plan to end child poverty in Renfrewshire. The smart card scheme one of several ways Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Services Team are using the Young Scot’s services to tackle inequality and improve services. This is the first in a series of smart travel initiatives happening in Renfrewshire in collaboration between Renfrewshire Council and Transport Scotland. More will be announced soon.

ENDS

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A novel way to learn their A, B, C’s

Young children and families are benefitting from a literacy programme aimed to inflame a child’s love of reading.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall with parents, children and nursery staff

Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall visited Linwood Community Childcare to see the Literacy Fun Club firsthand as it aims to address the attainment gap at the first stage of education.

Provost Hall observed children learning about The Gruffalo which included a group reading session, a Gruffalo Hunt and the creation of finger puppets to inject a sense of fun into reading out with the traditional approach.

The Club runs for six weeks with a different book and activity each week designed to develop a child’s love of stories, reading and to develop their imagination beyond the book itself.

A parent reading with their child

The children and their families create a family box during the first week which stores each book and activity they complete.

At the end of the six weeks, they are able to take their ‘mini-library’ home creating a literacy resource which they can explore, re-visit and ultimately develop further.

The early intervention project was awarded £2300.40 by the Houston, Crosslee, Linwood, Riverside and Erskine Local Area Committee (LAC) to support the group’s aims and provide resources for the families to use across the six weeks.

Parents and their children making finger puppets

Provost Hall said: “It’s great to see the children so excited to read their latest book and take part in the fun activities.

“A love for reading is extremely beneficial in aiding a child’s education and sparking a willingness to learn and we should encourage this time of approach to education.

“Strong literacy skills increase the opportunities for the individual in all aspects of life and it is great to see this project bring families together to support their child’s learning.”

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Service of Dedication to remember those lost to suicide

An annual memorial service to commemorate those who have lost their lives to suicide will be held in Paisley next week.

The memorial tree

Renfrewshire support group Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) will be holding a short service open to all on Thursday 26 January.

The service will be attended by Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall, Reverend Alan Birss and Deacon Jack Gallacher and will be held in the Marriage Suite of Renfrewshire House.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall lays a remembrance wreath

Friends and relatives are invited to meet at the Marriage Suite from 3:15pm to collect a commemorative purple heart on which they can write a message to a loved one, if so desired.

At 3:30pm there will be a short set of readings followed by a procession to the memorial tree where the Provost will lay a wreath and light the tree.

The memorial tree was first dedicated in 2010 as a permanent memorial to those who have died through suicide and is believed to have been the first of its kind in Scotland.

A girl places a purple heart on the tree in remembrance

Following the service all those attending are cordially invited to join the Provost, the local SOBS support group and the Choose Life team for light refreshments in Paisley Abbey.

The service aims to provide an opportunity to remember those who have been lost while providing an arm of support to the survivors. It is an opportunity to connect with others who have faced a similar situation.

Provost Hall said: “The annual service provides those who have been affected by suicide a chance to commemorate their loved ones and also find support from others who have faced similar heartbreak.

“I would encourage anyone who feels this may benefit them to come along and join me at the service as we remember those lost too soon.”

The local support group meets on the last Wednesday of the month, 7:00pm-8:30pm, at the Wynd Centre, Paisley and new members are always welcome.

Lisa Aitken, Choose Life Resource Worker, said: “It is important that we remember those lost to suicide and also support those who have been affected by the loss of a loved one.

“The annual service provides an opportunity for people to meet others who have faced similar difficulties and all are welcome to attend.”

For more information contact the Choose Life Team on 0141 849 2200 or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/sobs.

If you are feeling suicidal, or you know someone that might be then please call one of the helpline numbers: Samaritan’s 116 123, Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87, RAMH First Crisis 0141 849 90 90 or 0500 829 093

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Piazza shows support for bid with Paisley 2021 signage

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture will be seen by five million rail passengers this year – after bosses at the town’s Piazza shopping centre unveiled a giant Paisley 2021 sign.

The branding has just been installed on the side of the centre’s recently-revamped multi-story car park, which faces on to the platform at Paisley Gilmour Street station.

And it means passengers at the station – Scotland’s fourth-busiest – won’t be able to miss the giant advert for Paisley’s ambitions.

Maureen Hill and Cllr Macmillan on the platform at Paisley Gilmour Street, looking on to the sign

Councillor Mark Macmillan – chair of the Paisley 2021 partnership board – said: “We looked at various sites in the town and identified the Piazza car park as one being seen by huge numbers of people.

“A big part of the bid is about raising awareness of Paisley and changing perceptions of the town among potential visitors.

“This means the millions of passengers a year travelling between Glasgow, the airport, Ayrshire and Inverclyde will be aware of what is happening here.

“A successful bid will bring massive economic benefits to Paisley town centre and huge numbers of visitors spending their money with local businesses.

“When the bid goes in it will be crucial we can show the judges at DCMS there is support from throughout the local community.

“To date more than 100 local businesses have shown their support and I would like thank The Piazza for getting involved in this way.”

The Piazza multi-storey car park has a capacity of 336 spaces and recently had a £1.3m revamp, which saw external and internal improvements.

That included extra disabled and parent/child bays, work on the lighting and surfaces, repainting the outside of the building, and new lifts and CCTV.

Piazza manager Maureen Hill added: “We made a major investment in the new car park because we have confidence in what lies ahead for Paisley town centre.

“If Paisley was to be named UK City of Culture 2021 it would be a massive boost to ourselves and other town centre businesses in terms of footfall.

“We are delighted to show our support for the bid to the many millions who pass through the station each year.”

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Free gym for four months offer fits the bill

FREE gym membership for four months is worth its weight in gold for people wanting to get fit.

Renfrewshire Leisure sports services staff, Yvonne McLetchie and Scott Graham at the launch of the free gym for four months offer

The money-saving offer from Renfrewshire Leisure means you get 14 months membership for the price of a ten-month up front fee on the various membership categories.

As well as being able to use six state-of-the-art fitness suites, membership of Renfrewshire Leisure also gets you access to more than 300 fitness classes and free use of five swimming pools throughout the area.

But if people only want to use a gym, another offer could well fit the bill with a six-month gym-only membership costing only £99. And for those who just want to attend fitness classes, there is also an offer of ten classes for £40.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar explains: “We’ve some of the best fitness suites in the country with knowledgeable and experienced staff on hand to advise our members.

“At this time of year many people’s thoughts turn to getting fit and healthy and to encourage them to do just that, we’ve a fantastic offer of four months free membership.

“The extra benefits of being a Renfrewshire Leisure member far outnumber other gyms, with access to classes and swimming pools. But for people who just want to use our fitness suites, we’ve created a gym only six-month membership for only £99.

“Signing up with Renfrewshire Leisure now means we can help you lose some weight, but gain pounds in your pocket!”

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LEAP – MAKING IT Happen – FREE PRACTICAL HELP FOR Households

LEAP has launched ‘Making It Happen’ – a programme of FREE practical assistance for Renfrewshire Residents who are struggling with fuel bills and comfort at home this winter.

 

Supported through Renfrewshire Council’s Tackling Poverty Programme, the service aims to reach a minimum of 80 fuel poor and vulnerable persons, who are struggling with fuel bills, health conditions, or living in cold, damp, or draughty homes, across urban and rural Renfrewshire by 31st March 2017.  LEAP’s Energy team will carry out practical actions to help to improve warmth and save money in the long term.

The types of FREE practical energy efficiency actions LEAP can provide may include fitting draught strips, letterbox/ keyhole seals, chimney balloons, minor repairs (structural draught proofing), pipe lagging, tank jackets, window seals, secondary glazing, loft insulation including coombed ceilings or tricky areas, loft hatches, and introducing the use of low energy/LED light bulbs, power down plugs, energy monitors and radiator panels to reduce the energy used for heating and lighting in the home.

If you think you or someone you know could benefit from this programme, and you are Renfrewshire Residents then please contact LEAP in confidence by email to energy@myleapproject.org, via our website http://www.myleapproject.org/contact-leap-staff-team/ or call 01505 612 034.

LEAP will consider and assess everyone who contacts them and if anyone is ineligible for this programme LEAP may be able to provide other help, advice or referrals.

We anticipate being oversubscribed, so don’t delay, get in touch.

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PAISLEY PIRATES-PREVIEW

paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates face another difficult weekend as they take on Edinburgh Capitals at Braehead Arena this Sunday. The clubs drew 3-3 in a tense match in the capital last Sunday, and Pirates coach Ian Turley is expecting another close game when they clash for the second time in a week.

paisley pirates

“In recent years our league games against the Caps have always been tight affairs, with never much more than a goal or so between the teams, and I don’t think this Sunday is likely to be any different,” he said. “We had a tough weekend just past when we scraped by Aberdeen Lynx before going to Edinburgh on the Sunday, and I have mixed feelings at the outcome of the double header having not gained the full four points. I thought we were a bit disjointed at certain junctures over the weekend and made some bad decisions when it really mattered. I’ll be looking for the boys to dig deep, play to the maximum of their ability and effort to ensure there’s no slip ups this weekend.”

He went on, “We’ve been playing with various bumps and bruises, something which the fans don’t always realise, but we’re now at the business end of the season, when you’re playing for prizes, so we just have to get on with it and grind out the results we need. We’ve got five games left to play in the league, and we are regarding every one of them as crucial. There can be absolutely no let up from us in training and games on the run in to the finish-we simply can’t afford to relax, and I’ll be reminding everyone of that fact in the coming weeks.”

“The fans also have their role to play in getting right behind the boys, forgetting about anything else that’s going on, and giving them every bit of encouragement that they can muster. The noise level has risen sharply in the last couple of home games, and we’ve seen a lot of familiar faces back watching us, as the word is obviously getting about that a Paisley Pirates match provides great entertainment and is excellent value for money. We’re hoping that they continue to come along and watch us as, believe me, a good, encouraging support makes all the difference in the world.”

Face off on Sunday is at 6.00pm

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Mackay visits Paisley Cafe which will benefit from SBBS

Small Business Bonus Scheme exempts 100,000 properties from business rates this year.

Mackay visits Paisley cafe

More than half of all commercial properties will pay no business rates in 2017-18, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said today.

As a result of the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) an estimated 100,000 small business premises in Scotland will pay no business rates in 2017-18.

The SBBS has already saved small businesses over £1.2 billion since the scheme was introduced in 2008.

In the Draft Budget Mr Mackay announced that the SBBS will be expanded, raising the eligibility threshold for 100% relief to a rateable value of £15,000 – lifting 100,000 properties out of rates altogether, and generating a saving of up to £6,990 per property.

Visiting Mad Hatter’s Coffee House in Paisley, which will now qualify for 100% relief through the SBBS, Mr Mackay said:

“This government has consistently delivered a competitive environment for business and we have used our tax powers to support growth.  Not only have we ensured that smaller businesses pay zero or lower rates of non-residential LBTT, large businesses enjoy a lower rate than the rest of the UK.

“I was pleased to set out a range of further measures in the Draft Budget to confirm a highly competitive business rates regime for Scotland in 2017-18, including expanding the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

“Scotland’s small businesses are fundamental drivers in securing sustainable economic growth, which is why we are doing everything we can to support them.  Scotland already offers the most competitive reliefs package for small businesses in the UK, and we intend to keep our promise that Scotland will be the best place to do business anywhere in the UK.”

 

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Renfrewshire venues toast success at Best Bar None Awards

Renfrewshire’s bars and pubs have toasted success at this year’s Best Bar None Awards.

Best Bar None Award winners with members of Renfrewshire Council and Police Scotland

The awards ceremony, held in Renfrew Town Hall on Thursday 12 January, saw accreditation given to local venues across five different categories of Independent Pub, Independent Bar, Pub, Bar and Nightclub.

Ten out of the 12 venues which applied secured a gold award with two receiving a silver award.

The Best Bar None joint initiative between Police Scotland and Renfrewshire Council was introduced in 2012 to reward venues that provide a safe and welcoming environment for local residents to enjoy responsible drinking.

The awards are based on core national standards with flexibility to address local needs. It also encourages pubs, clubs and bars to work with the Council and Police Scotland to prevent crime and disorder.

Councillor Eddie Devine, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “It’s great to see Renfrewshire’s bars, pubs and clubs working with the council and the police to deliver excellent entertainment venues, while also improving the safety and wellbeing of customers.

“Best Bar None recognises the hard work of the local venues and Renfrewshire is very proud to have so many outstanding licensed premises for locals and visitors to enjoy a drink.

Sergeant Jeff Curran of Police Scotland said: “I am delighted to see so many licensed premises in Renfrewshire achieve accredited status.

“Pubs and bars that offer a secure environment where customers can drink responsibly are becoming the norm and local people can enjoy a drink knowing they are in safe hands.”

This year’s Best Bar None ceremony also saw outstanding premises recognised in new local award categories for Best Family Venue, Most Improved, People’s Choice and Best Venue Manager.

Venues were assessed during October and November 2016 and were scored using national guidelines. Best Bar None Awards are based on core standards relating to five licensing objectives, which are:

• preventing crime and disorder,

• securing public safety,

• preventing public nuisance,

• protecting and improving public health, and

• protecting children from harm.

Overall category winners now have the chance to compete at the end of the year for the national Best Bar None Awards in Glasgow, which will take place in March 2017.

Councillor Devine added: “To have 12 premises across Renfrewshire achieve accredited status in the Best Bar None awards is a fantastic achievement and highlights the good practice in our venues. This is vital as we go forward with Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021.

“I’d encourage more bars, pubs and clubs to take part in this scheme and showcase Renfrewshire as a thriving location for entertainment and leisure.”

To read more about the Best Bar None Awards visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/bestbarnone

Below is a list of the venues which entered the Best Bar None scheme in 2016/17 and the awards they received.

Category – Independent Bar

Kilty Kilty Gold and Innovation in Public Health Award winner

Cafuffals Gold

The Bankhouse Gold

Bar Varia Gold and overall category winner

Bar Varia was the overall category winner. Kilty Kilty has also been given an additional award for Innovation in Public Health.

Category – Bar

Canal Station Bar & Restaurant Silver and overall category winner.

Category – Independent Pub

Old Swan Inn Gold and People’s Choice Award winner

The Ferry Inn Silver and Best Family Venue Award winner

Tartan Rose Gold and Heart of the Community Award winner

Craigielea Bar Gold and overall category winner

Craigielea Bar was the overall category winner. The Old Swann Inn, The Ferry Inn and Tartan rose also received an additional award for People’s Choice, Best Family Venue and Heart of the Community respectively.

Category – Night Club

Fantoosh Gold

Fantoosh was the overall category winner and also received an additional award for Most Improved.

Category – Pub

Lord of the Isles Gold

The Flying Scotsman Gold and overall category winner

Manager Award

Claire Colquhoun Tartan Rose Best Venue Manager (joint)

Jason Smith Bankhouse Best Venue Manager (joint)

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It’s all going on in Renfrewshire

THE new edition of a What’s On Guide reveals there’s plenty going on in a line-up of cultural events being staged at venues throughout Renfrewshire.


Renfrewshire Leisure is staging a varied programme of shows, exhibitions and workshops from now until the end of April.  An events brochure listing all that is going on, called The Guide has just been launched.

The colourful free brochure – jam-packed with information about more than 40 different shows and events – can be picked up at Paisley Town Hall, Paisley Museum, Paisley Arts Centre, Renfrew Town Hall and Johnstone Town Hall. The Guide can also be downloaded by logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com .

The events being staged feature drama, music, dance, comedy, exhibitions, talks and workshops.
They include everything from a performance by award-winning traditional folk band, Breabach, stand-up comedian, Chris Ramsey to well-known film and TV actor, David Hayman appearing in a play called The Cause of Thunder to an exhibition of Star Wars memorabilia called May The Toys Be With You.

There are also events that are part of various festivals – International Women’s Day, Puppet Animation Festival and for the first time, LGBT History Month.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “There is culture everywhere you look in and around Paisley, these days.
“There’s something for everyone to enjoy and The Guide is the best way to find out what’s going on.”

Tickets for all the events are now on sale and can be bought online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts  or by phoning 0300 300 1210 or in person at Paisley Arts Centre, in New Street, Paisley.