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Key appointments made at first Renfrewshire Council meeting of new session

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Key positions have been confirmed at the first meeting of the new Renfrewshire Council which will operate as a Scottish National Party (SNP) minority administration.

Councillor Iain Nicolson has been appointed as the Council Leader and Councillor Jim Paterson as Depute Leader.

Renfrewshire’s Provost is Councillor Lorraine Cameron, supported by Depute Provost Councillor Cathy McEwan.

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Changes were agreed to the decision making structure of the Council, with a move from six to four policy boards:

Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board: Councillor Marie McGurk (Convener), Councillor John McNaughtan (Depute Convener)

Education and Children’s Services Policy Board: Councillor Jim Paterson (Convener), Councillor Lorraine Cameron (Depute Convener)

Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board: Councillor John Shaw (Convener), Councillor John McNaughtan (Depute Convener)

Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board: Councillor Cathy McEwan (Convener), Councillor Natalie Don (Depute Convener)

Councillor Iain Nicolson was appointed as Convener and Councillor Jim Paterson as Depute Convener to the Leadership Board, which has been revised to incorporate the remit of the previous Economy and Jobs Policy Board.

A Cross Party Sounding Board will also be established comprising the Leader and Depute Leader of the Council and representatives from each of the political parties and groups.

Appointments were also confirmed for the positions of Convener and Depute Convener of the five Local Area Committees, which fund local initiatives and enable the local community to see how services are operating in their areas:

Houston, Crosslee, Linwood, Riverside & Erskine Local Area Committee: Councillor Natalie Don (Convener), Councillor Michelle Campbell (Depute Convener)

Johnstone and the Villages Local Area Committee: Councillor Andy Steel (Convener), Councillor Emma Rodden (Depute Convener)

Paisley North Local Area Committee: Councillor Jennifer Adam-McGregor (Convener), Councillor John McNaughtan (Depute Convener)

Paisley South Local Area Committee: Councillor Marie McGurk (Convener), Councillor Stephen Burns (Depute Convener)

Renfrew and Gallowhill Local Area Committee: Councillor John Shaw (Convener), Councillor Cathy McEwan (Depute Convener)

The meeting also confirmed Renfrewshire Council has agreed to seek to rejoin COSLA.

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Award – Nominated Play, Descent, at Paisley Arts Centre

AWARD NOMINATED PLAY Descent by Linda Duncan McLaughlin TOURING SCOTLAND in Spring 2017

A play about love. And dementia. But mostly about love.

PAISLEY ARTS CENTRE – THURSDAY 18 MAY
3pm relaxed performance*, 7.30pm evening performance

The CATS Award-nominated (Best New Play) Descent by Scottish playwright Linda Duncan McLaughlin, which originally played as part of A Play, A Pie and A Pint at Oran Mor and the Traverse in 2015 to huge critical acclaim, is touring across Scotland. The tour is supported by Creative Scotland Lottery funding.

The tour is visiting venues all over Scotland, from the far north of Thurso to the deep south of New Galloway, it opened at Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock on Saturday 29th April and will finish in Mull Theatre on Saturday 20th May.

Descent explores the story of 50-somethings Rob and Cathy who are looking forward to reclaiming their own lives now that their daughter Nicola is grown up and settled; but looming over all three of them is a threat that could rip their future apart.

It examines what happens as they try to hold onto each other – and themselves – in the face of early onset dementia. It doesn’t flinch from the heartbreak they face, but it also
celebrates the courage, the hope, the love and the humanity they bring to the fight.

Descent is directed by Allie Butler and is performed by Fiona MacNeil, Greg Powrie and Wendy Seager.

Helen Trew, Equalities and Diversity Officer at Creative Scotland said: “We’re pleased to support this multi-generational project which highlights the challenges faced by those suffering from early-onset dementia and those around them. We wish the company well for the tour which will enable audiences across Scotland the opportunity to engage with this poignant and enlightening work.”

Tickets are £10 (£6 conc) + bkg fee and are available from the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts

*A ‘relaxed’ performance is designed to provide a less formal, more supportive environment for people who might be anxious about attending the theatre.
The show is the same, but sound and lighting levels are adjusted, and people can move about the auditorium during the performance or go to a separate quiet space if they need to.

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Unsung heroes of sport deserve a medal too, says Thommo

FORMER Scotland international striker Steven Thompson is urging people to nominate the unsung heroes of sport for a top award.

Stephen Thompson urging people to nominate their unsung heroes for a sports award.

Steven, who played football for St Mirren, Rangers, Dundee United, Cardiff City and Burnley is backing the Renfrewshire Sports Awards 2017.

These awards aim to showcase the dedication and hard work of local sports club coaches, volunteers, officials and youngsters. Nominations are open until June 30.

Now a TV and radio sports pundit, Steven, who grew up and still lives in Renfrewshire said:

“It’s very important to recognise the work of the volunteers who are vital to the running of sports clubs.
“And it’s brilliant that these men and women who give up their time to coach kids and run sports clubs are getting the recognition they deserve with these awards.
“I got involved playing football with the Boys Brigade and then I joined Gleniffer Thistle and it was volunteers who ran these youth teams.
“They are the unsung heroes of sport at grassroots level and I hope people take the time to nominate someone for the Renfrewshire Sports Awards.”

He added: “Both my son and my daughter are involved in sports – Struan plays tennis and football and Gracie does gymnastics.

“It’s great for youngsters to get involved in sports and they can learn from what their coaches are telling them. But the most important thing is that they enjoy what they are doing.”

Award categories are Community Coach of the Year; Development Coach of the Year; Young Coach of the Year and Disability Coach of the Year.

There are also awards for Technical Official of the Year; Volunteer of the Year; Young Volunteer of the Year and Event Volunteer of the Year.

And for school sport there is an Honour Our Sport Award.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, who are organising the awards, said:

“Sporting activities as we know it wouldn’t exist without the hard work and dedication of volunteers.
“We want to hear about the people who deserve an award and we’ll give them the recognition for their efforts.”

Log on to www.renfrewshiresportsawards.com  to make a nomination.

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Young footie stars on the run to raise cash

YOUNGSTERS from a Paisley youth football team are right on the ball when it comes to raising money for club funds.

St Peter’s Boys Club 2006 team who have singed up en masse for the Fun Run after the Paisley 10k Race.

The St Peter’s Boys Club 2006 team is the first large group to sign up for the Fun Run that takes place immediately after the Paisley 10k Race, on Sunday August 20.

There will be 44 boys and adults representing the club taking part.

This is the fourth year the St Peter’s lads have taken part in the Fun Run and club officials are hoping to raise as much as £1000 to help pay for football kit and the cost of running the successful team.

Now other football teams and sports clubs are being encouraged to do the same and join in the fundraising bonanza by being sponsored to complete the Fun Run course around Paisley town centre.

Anyone can now register for the Paisley 10k Race or Fun Run, which is sponsored by sports and outdoor retailer, Decathlon. Last year 3000 people raced around the streets of Paisley in the 10k Race and hundreds more followed in the Fun Run.

Joyce McKellar is chief executive of Renfrew Leisure who are organising the Paisley 10k and Fun Run in conjunction with Renfrewshire Council. She said:

“Taking part in the Fun Run is a great way to raise money for sports clubs and good causes.
“Not only will it bring in much needed cash to help run sports clubs, it’s fun for team members to do something different and everyone enjoys taking part.
“Well done to the boys from St Peter’s for doing the Fun Run for the fourth time and I hope they get lots of sponsorship from family and friends for their efforts.”

You can register for the race by logging on to renfrewshireleisure.com or by telephoning 0300 300 1362 or picking up an entry form from any Renfrewshire Leisure venue.

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Cancer charity gets a run for its money

RUNNERS are being urged to help people affected by cancer by signing up for this year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run.

Macmillan Cancer Support charity staff, Jennifer Keegan, left and Laura Stockwell

Macmillan Cancer Support is the race official charity partner for the third year.

The popular event – sponsored by sports and outdoors retailer, Decathlon – takes place on Sunday, August 20.
And already people have been registering for the 10k race and shorter Fun Run, organised by Renfrewshire Leisure in conjunction with Renfrewshire Council.

Last year, almost 3000 people raced around the streets of Paisley in the 10k and were quickly followed by hundreds of fun runners – many taking part to raise tens of thousands of pounds for their favourite charities and good causes, including Macmillan Cancer Support.

Macmillan’s fundraising manager for Renfrewshire, Laura Stockwell said: “We are delighted to be the chosen charity partner for Renfrewshire Leisure’s Paisley 10k.

“No one should have to face cancer alone and with support like this, they won’t have to.
“We are looking forward to working with Renfrewshire Leisure to make this event the best yet, and we hope they are as excited as we are about this partnership.”

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “There are many good reasons for taking part in this year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run and one of the most important is to raise money for a very worthy cause like Macmillan that helps people suffering and affected by cancer.”

You can register for the race by logging on to renfrewshireleisure.com by telephoning 0300 300 1362 or picking up an entry form from any Renfrewshire Leisure venue.

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Easter Star Wars egg-stravaganza at Paisley Museum

YOUNGSTERS will be heading for a galaxy far, far away with a Star Wars Easter Trail, at Paisley Museum.

ten-year-old Leia Brown, from Paisley at the May The Toys Be With You exhibition also on at Paisley Museum.

Along with the popular May The Toys Be With You exhibition, Renfrewshire Leisure has organised a host of Star Wars activities during the Easter school holidays.

The free Star Wars Easter Trail at the museum runs from Saturday April 1 to Tuesday, April 18 and there are Easter eggs to be won by those taking part.

Activities and workshops are being held on various days between 11am and 3pm and on Tuesday April 4 there’s a chance for youngsters to learn how to code on a computer with a Star Wars theme.

On Wednesday, April 5 kids will be shown how to make their own lightsaber they can then take home and the following day, they’ll be making their own Darth Vader, Stormtrooper and C3PO lanterns.

On Friday, April 7 the Star Wars activity is how to create your own Yoda Head Hat; there’s a 3D Death Star Game on Thursday, April 13 and Star Wars screen printing, on Friday April 14 and Monday April 17.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “Not only do we have one of the country’s best Star Wars exhibitions in Paisley just now, but we’ve got lots of exciting activities on the Star Wars theme for youngsters during the Easter holidays.

“There’s no excuse for youngsters feeling bored during the school break as they can take off and land at Paisley Museum for some great fun that’s just out of this world.”

All workshops cost £3 per child and need to be booked in advance at Paisley Museum. Log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com for more details.

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Fraser gets a Kirk from playing the blues!

AS a teenage musician Fraser John Lindsay used to play guitar and drums for the congregation during church services on a Sunday morning.


Then at night he would belt out pop punk songs inside the same Elderslie Kirk as he rehearsed with his band, Limon.
That was almost 20 years ago and now Fraser is preparing to perform a gig – this time in the former church that is Paisley Arts Centre – with his blues band, Fraser John Lindsay’s Blues Incentive, on Friday, March 31.


A full-time musician and producer with his own record label, Fraz Records, the former Castlehead High pupil looks back on the start of his musical career.

He says: “I suppose there was quite a contrast in musical styles. I would be playing hymns and religious songs during the church services and later I’d be in the same place rehearsing with my pop punk band playing songs by bands like Green Day and Blink-182.

“I’m pretty sure there would have been a few people who wouldn’t have been very happy if they’d known about this.
“But I don’t think anyone ever officially complained, or demanded that we should be kicked out – maybe because our drummer in Limon, Jamie McLachlan, was the minister’s son!”

The 32-year-old added: “ Some may think there would have been the odd lyric or two in the songs we played that could have been construed as ever so slightly blasphemous, or unsuitable for a church.
“But as a lead guitarist I never bother listening to lyrics.”

Fraser’s musical education also came from playing in Paisley pubs with a variety of bands like Riff Raff, Little Miss Debbie & the Scumbag Boogie Band and Blind Panik.

Fraser followed well-known local singer, Willie ‘Jukebox’ Matthews around the pubs, so he could plug in his guitar and jam along with whatever Willie decided to play, learning tunes on the spot.

Fraser said: “I learned my trade as a musician on the job in the pubs in and around Paisley and Glasgow backing singers like Willie Matthews.”

And it was Willie who introduced Fraser to the Glasgow blues scene.

“Willie used to drive me up to the State bar blues jam in Glasgow every Tuesday night, that was around 15 years ago, and this is where I met most of my current band mates,” said Fraser.

Fans of the blues can hear Fraser’s virtuoso guitar playing with his band Blues Incentive at the Paisley Arts Centre gig , on Friday, at 7.30pm. Tickets at £10 and £8 can are available to book online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts <http://www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts <http://www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts> > or by calling 0300 300 1210.

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Good sports raise hospice charity cash

SPORTS centre staff and customers have raised more than £6000 for two hospices in Renfrewshire.

Ken Mathie, from ACCORD, left and Carol-Anne Lamont from St Vincent’s Hospice, right, with fitness instructor, Lesley Cochrane and members of her Body Attack class who helped raise the charity cash.


The annual Renfrewshire Leisure Charity Fundraising Week saw £6320 split between St Vincent’s and ACCORD Hospices.

The money was raised through various sponsored events at pools and sports centres throughout Renfrewshire including a Swimathon, raffle, tombola, bakery sale and fundraising where fitness fans sponsored their instructor, Lesley Cochrane not to speak for an entire class session.

Representatives of the two local hospices visited the ON-X, in Linwood to be presented with their cheques.
Carol-Anne Lamont, from St Vincent’s said: “On behalf of all at St. Vincent’s Hospice, I would like to thank members and staff for their efforts in raising this superb amount of money towards hospice care in Renfrewshire.

“It costs almost £6,000 per day to run our hospice and community services –more than half of which comes from donations and fundraising.  Our services are available to all, free of charge, thanks to the generosity of our local communities.”

Ken Mathie, from ACCORD added: “The staff and members of Renfrewshire Leisure have supported ACCORD for many years through their sponsored events programme and it’s absolutely wonderful that they continue to think of us and to raise so much money amount through a varied programme of activities.

“I would like to thank everyone who took part in the recent week of activities for all of their support which goes to ensure that our patients receive the care they deserve.”

Charlie McDougall, senior facilities manager at the ON-X, who organised the charity fundraising, said:
“I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who embraced the spirit of our fundraising and who put so much effort into raising the money.”

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Real-life Princess Leia launches Star Wars toys exhibition

A REAL-LIFE Princess Leia yesterday launched a unique exhibition of Star Wars toys and memorabilia that has come to Scotland for the first time.

Leia Brown, aged 10, from Paisley, who was named after Princess Leia, launches a Star Wars toys exhibition at Paisley Museum

Leia Brown isn’t just named after the space heroine from a galaxy far away, she was also born on May 4, which is known by fans as Star Wars Day – as in ‘may the fourth be with you’!


And the force was definitely with ten-year-old Leia when she got a sneak preview of the May The Toys Be With You exhibition, at Paisley Museum.

Leia Brown, aged 10, from Paisley and Star Wars toys collector, Matt Fox at the launch of the May The Toys Be With You exhibition at Paisley Museum

Shortly after Leia was born, her Star Wars fan dad, Peter persuaded mum, Paula to name her after Princess Leia. And after seeing the movies over the years she was growing up, Leia loves Star Wars as well.

The May The Toys Be With You exhibition is free and open from today, Saturday, March 18 until May 29.
The exhibition features one of the UK’s finest collections of vintage Star Wars toys, original cinema posters and memorabilia. It also includes fun family activities and additional Star-Wars related workshops during the Easter holidays.


Leia said: “I love everything about Star Wars and I’m always dressing up as Princess Leia. I’m glad mum and dad gave me that name.

“I’m really excited about May The Toys Be With You and being chosen to launch the exhibition. It’ll be great fun as it’s got lots of amazing toys and things about Star Wars to see.”

The collection of more than 400 exhibits and worth £100,000 is owned by 44-year-old Star Wars enthusiast Matt Fox, from Canterbury, in Kent, who was given his first Star Wars Darth Vader figure by his parents on his fifth birthday.

He said: “I can still remember sitting in the back of the car so excited and ripping open the packaging to get my hands on the Darth Vader figure.

“My love affair with Star Wars began when I saw the first movie in 1977 and from that day all I would ask my parents at birthdays and Christmas as a present would be Star Wars figures.

“This was in the days before we had videos to watch the movies again and again and the only way kids could recreate the adventures they saw in Star Wars movies was to play with the figures.

“My galaxy was under the dining room table!”

As a teenager Matt stopped asking for Star Wars toys, but years later, as a 28-year-old, he was in the loft of his parents’ home and came across a big box. When he opened the box he was amazed to see all his Star Wars toys had been kept safely by his parents.

“I looked into the box and it was like a golden glow of nostalgia beaming up at me,” he revealed. “It was quite an emotional moment and that’s when I started to seriously collect Star Wars memorabilia again.

“They say collecting is an illness and sharing is the cure and that’s what I want to do with this exhibition – let as many people, young and old, experience the same excitement as I have about Star Wars.”

One of the most rare exhibits on show at Paisley Museum is an original painting by artist Tom Beauvais, from 1977, as the poster for the very first Star Wars film.

However, his painting never appeared as the movie poster, as an illustration by his colleague, Tom Chantrell was used instead.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “This exhibition is a must-see for all Star Wars fans.
“It’s a celebration of the now highly-collectable vintage toy line and also of the iconic design work and art of the Star Wars movies.”

Paisley City of Culture 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The Star Wars films remain as iconic and popular as ever and I am sure there will be huge interest in this exhibition at Paisley Museum over the next few months,

“That will bring visitors to the town and help raise awareness of Paisley’s wider cultural offer.
“Our outline programme for Paisley 2021 will be open and accessible, and will bring culture for all – and this exhibition is a great example of what that could mean. May the Force be with Paisley’s bid!”

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Paisley celebrates International Women’s Day

A SERIES of events has been organised by Renfrewshire Leisure to celebrate International Women’s Day.


Tonight, Tuesday, March 7, at 7.30pm Paisley Arts Centre hosts a groundbreaking production of If I Had A Girl, which gives an insight into honour-based violence in ethnic minority communities in Scotland. A post-show discussion about the issues raised in the play will take place after the performance.

 

On International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8 there will be a free lecture called, Mighty Women of Science, in Paisley Museum, at 1.30pm. This will take an enlightening look at some well-known and not so well-known women who have changed and continue to change the science world.

And the same evening, at 6.45pm, in Paisley Arts Centre, three musicians – Linzi Clark, Heir of the Cursed and Marie Collins will perform.

On Tuesday, March 14, at 7.30pm Paisley Arts Centre stages the play Expensive Sh**. This tells the story of a Nigerian nightclub toilet attendant, working in a fictional club based on the Shimmy Club in Glasgow, who had dreams of becoming a dancer with the revolutionary band of the late Nigerian musician, Fela Kuti.

Tickets for ‘If I Had A Girl’ and ‘Expensive Sh**’ are available at Paisley Arts Centre box office on 0300 300 1210 or online www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts.