Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has welcomed the announcement that the £56 million Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will be based in Renfrewshire.

The industry-led centre will offer pharmaceutical companies from start-ups to multinationals a unique service to develop new manufacturing techniques which speed up bringing new drugs to market.

The global market is worth £98 billion and this investment will put Scotland at the forefront of technology and innovation in medicine manufacturing, aiming to attract £80million of research and development investment in the next ten years.

Eighty high skilled jobs will be established at the Centre by 2023 with a further 90 jobs created or retained in companies during the design and build phase and post-construction.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“This is a fantastic endorsement for the Renfrewshire economy and the skilled workforce that we have locally. Renfrewshire has a proud reputation for high quality manufacturing and I am delighted that with the announcement that the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will be based in Renfrewshire.

“This follows the announcement made by the Scottish Government a few months ago that the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland will also be in Renfrewshire. This is good news for the local economy and highlights the strength of the Renfrewshire economy.”

Making sure local communities benefit from Renfrewshire’s £274million City Deal projects was high on the list of topics discussed at Paisley North Community Council this week (Tues 12 June) attended by Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson.

The Council Leader is visiting community councils across the region to hear about their local issues and the visit to Beechwood Community Centre in Shortroods was the latest in the series of visits.

City Deal employment opportunities, engagement with the Council and grass cutting programmes were all on the agenda, which was well attended by councillors for the area.

Councillor Nicolson said: “When we were elected last year, I made a pledge to continue listening to communities and responding direct to their concerns and that is why I’ve been out and about attending community council meetings across the area, to hear for myself the issues that are being discussed and also where we can work more closely together to improve the quality of life for people.

“Being in close proximity to the airport, the investment in the City Deal projects will bring hundreds of jobs to the area and the investment in the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland will also create many training opportunities so we want to make sure we capitalise on this for local people so everyone can share in the benefit these developments will bring.

“We also discussed how we can work more closely together. We want to support communities to take pride in their place, tackle the issues that matter to them and have community backing. By hearing first hand their experiences and ideas, this gives us a great foundation to build on and I look forward to continuing these conversations as we move forward.”

– Airport launches industry-leading Campus Watch approach to remind small minority of passengers that disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated –

Glasgow Airport has today (Wednesday, June 13) launched this year’s Campus Watch drive ahead of the 2018 summer season to remind passengers that disruptive behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated.

Campus Watch was introduced in 2013 in partnership with Police Scotland to tackle disruptive behaviour at Glasgow Airport and provides training, advice and support to staff who interact with passengers on a daily basis. This includes check-in staff, security teams, bar and restaurant employees, retailers and airline crews.

One of the key aims of Campus Watch is early intervention. Staff across the campus are encouraged to report the details of any potential incident of disruptive behaviour to the airport’s central control room through a dedicated phone.

This information, including passenger description and travel details, is shared with staff across the airport campus via a rapid text alert system.

In addition to this, Glasgow Airport has also invested more than £10,000 this year to introduce a new digital radio system to help disseminate live Campus Watch intelligence across the terminal in addition to the text system.

Disruptive behaviour can cover a broad range of offences and actions can range from a verbal warning to arrest. As an example, if an incident is alcohol related the passenger involved will be warned about their behaviour by Police Scotland officers, refused service across all retail and catering outlets and gate staff will be notified in advance of their arrival. Gate staff can then speak to the passenger and determine if they should be permitted to board the aircraft.

Glasgow also took the unprecedented step this week to launch a national advertising campaign to remind passengers of their responsibilities when travelling through the airport this year.

Francois Bourienne, Chief Commercial Officer for Glasgow Airport’s parent group AGS Airports Ltd, said: “For many of our passengers, the airport experience signals the start of their holiday and there’s nothing wrong with this. We want to ensure our passengers continue to enjoy a memorable but ultimately safe and disruption-free experience.

“While it’s important to stress that the vast majority of passengers travelling through our doors do so responsibly and that incidents are extremely rare, Glasgow Airport continues to operate a zero tolerance approach to disruptive behaviour.

“Our Campus Watch system is effective because we work closely with our airline partners, retailers, caterers and Police Scotland representatives to address and often pre-empt incidents of disruptive behaviour at the airport.

“While we’ve chosen our peak summer period to promote this drive, Campus Watch is a year-round initiative. Thanks to our early-intervention approach to challenging disruptive behaviour, we’ve a seen a significant reduction in the number of incidents during the first five months of the year.

“However, one incident will always be one too many, particularly as disruptive behaviour can disproportionately affect a large number of passengers on board an aircraft.

“Campus Watch sends a clear message to what remains a very small minority of people acting in a disruptive manner that we continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to unacceptable behaviour.”

 

Other steps taken at Glasgow Airport as part of the Campus Watch initiative include:

  • Police Scotland patrols at the drop-off area ahead of potentially problematic flights
  • New Campus Watch marketing material displayed across the airport
  • Airlines make airport-based Police Scotland officers aware of group bookings
  • Police Scotland officers make themselves known to large groups arriving at the airport
  • Duty free staff will also remind passengers the alcohol they purchase is for export only and cannot be consumed in the airport or on board an aircraft
  • Regular Campus Watch drop-in sessions held for staff to learn more and share experiences
  • Campus Watch forum made up of airport partners meets regularly

Sergeant Clare Riddoch, who heads up Campus Watch at Glasgow Airport, said: “We work with our airport, retail, catering and airline partners to ensure incidents of disruptive behaviour are few and far between.

“On the rare occasion someone is disruptive their behaviour can have a significant impact and cause concern and misery for a large number of passengers, particularly if the incident occurs on board an aircraft.

“By creating a single point of contact with Campus Watch and delivering consistent messaging and regular training, thousands of people employed across the airport work together to tackle disruptive behaviour as soon as it becomes an issue.

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“Campus Watch works, so much so that we’ve welcomed representatives from a number of other UK airports to the terminal for an overview of the operation and they’ve incorporated our approach into their own programmes.

“Key to our continued success is ensuring that we always look at ways to improve. The new radio system is an example of this and ensures we communicate Campus Watch messages immediately as they happen.

“It’s completely understandable that people want to start their holiday with a bit of fun, but they should always remember to behave appropriately and drink responsibly, making sure they’re fit to fly. Being drunk or disruptive in the airport or on board an aircraft will certainly cost them more than just their flight.”

Glasgow Airport, its airline partners, caterers and retailers are also signatories of the UK Aviation Industry Code of Practice on Disruptive Passengers launched last year. Like Campus Watch, the code has been designed to create a common, consistent approach to preventing and minimising disruptive behaviour.

Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association Karen Dee said: “Glasgow Airport’s Campus Watch initiative is a great example of our industry’s commitment to tackling the problem of disruptive passengers. Thankfully incidents of disruptive behaviour are a very rare occurrence, with data from the Civil Aviation Authority showing that the number of incidents is stable despite record passenger growth.

“However, where they do happen the impact can have serious consequences. That is why initiatives such as these at Glasgow Airport are so important.

“The AOA and our airport members are part of the UK Aviation Industry Code of Practice on Disruptive Passengers, which was developed with support from airport police, bars, restaurants and retailers as well as with airlines and the UK Government supports these efforts. The Code enables a common approach across UK aviation to ensure that everyone can enjoy a great start to their holiday.

“Together we make clear that disruptive behaviour, including due to excessive alcohol consumption, is not acceptable. Passengers should be aware that consequences of such behaviour could include losing a holiday because they are denied boarding as well as fines, flight bans and prison sentences for the most serious offences.”

A primary school voted the first Scottish recipient of UK Literacy School of the Year has been given a glowing report by inspectors.

Staff from Education Scotland visited St Anthony’s in Spateston, Johnstone in April and spoke with pupils, staff and parents.

The school received ‘very good evaluations’ over all four quality indicators and was praised by inspectors for its ‘literacy rich’ environment.

Head teacher Jacqueline McBurnie’s ‘clear strategic direction’ and ‘strong personal and professional commitment to meeting the needs of all children’ was also picked up.

The school was praised with helping to close the poverty related attainment gap and the report noted: “Children facing barriers in their learning, including those facing socio-economic challenge are making good progress.

“There are positive signs that the work of the school is having an impact on closing the attainment gap.”

The school’s welcoming ethos was also praised, as well as it’s ‘supportive culture’ for learning.

Head Teacher Jacqueline McBurnie said: “I am delighted that our school community has received such a positive inspection report. This is testimony to the strong team spirt we have built in St. Anthony’s where our values are at the core of what we try to achieve, every day in every way for everyone. “

The inspection report also detailed how children are benefitting from being part of an inclusive learning community in which issues of poor behaviour are rare.

Inspectors said: “Children behave very well in classes and are eager and motivated to learn. Staff have a strong commitment to creating a purposeful learning climate for children. In addition, there is a strong and shared focus from all staff to build children’s resilience in learning and communication skills. The impact is that children feel nurtured, cared for and are keen to learn.”

Another significant strength identified by inspectors was the ‘strong collegiate culture and professional engagement’ which enables staff to work well together and to feel valued and supported.

Ensuring children’s wellbeing is another strength of the school, with children valued, cared for, respected and included.

The school also houses a unit for children with communication disorders such as autism, and children with additional support needs are well supported.

The 35 children there benefit from the ‘warm, nurturing ethos’, with the overall environment for learning and teaching showing a commitment to children’s well-being and development.

Inspectors deemed the overall quality of teaching as very good and added: “Staff have a strong understanding of the individual strengths and needs of children and use this well in their teaching. Overall, teaching is motivating and interesting and engages learners well. “

Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “We are committed to ensuring that all our children and young people are supported to reach their full potential by providing the best learning environments possible.

“It’s wonderful to see the hard work and drive of the head teacher and staff at St Anthony’s being rewarded with such a positive inspection report.

“As well as making strides in closing the attainment gap and providing access to high quality teaching, it’s also clear that the school’s nurturing and caring environment is benefitting pupils.”

Transport Bill Introduced to Parliament

 

Flexible options introduced to improve bus services

 

Double parking and parking on pavements to be Prohibited

 

The Transport (Scotland) Bill has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament by local MSP and Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay, alongside Transport Minister Humza Yousaf.

The Scottish Government’s Bill will bring forward the most radical measures since devolution to make Scotland’s transportation network cleaner, smarter and more accessible than ever before. It aims to empower local authorities and establish consistent standards in order to tackle current and future challenges, while delivering a more responsive and sustainable transport system for all.

Proposed measures in the Bill include:

  • Providing local authorities and Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs) with the flexibility to improve bus services through partnership working with operators or, where there is a good case for doing so, local franchising or running services themselves.
  • Enabling the creation and decriminalised enforcement of Low Emission Zones.
  • Prohibiting double parking and parking on pavements and giving local authorities the powers needed to enforce this important change.
  • Standardising smart ticketing technology to ensure compatibility, and setting in place an advisory body to best support interoperable Scotland-wide smart ticketing.
  • Strengthening the powers of the Scottish Road Works Commissioner in order to better regulate road works.
  • Allowing RTPs to build up and carry appropriate financial reserves.

Derek Mackay said:

“This Bill reflects a period of significant public consultation and engagement. It provides the Council with the tools to address issues specific to Renfrewshire.

“We are also providing clearer options for authorities to pursue local franchising or provide services themselves in appropriate circumstances.

“The Bill will allow for decriminalised enforcement of double parking and parking on pavements. This is an issue I know is a problem in parts of Renfrewshire and has been raised with me by many constituents. This will help transform our local towns and villages into more accessible and more pleasant places to live.”

More Details of the Bill can be found at:

http://www.parliament.scot/Transport%20(Scotland)%20Bill/SPBill33S052018.pdf

https://news.gov.scot/news/new-transport-legislation-set-to-empower-local-authorities

Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP, Gavin Newlands, is backing a life-saving appeal from Cancer Research UK for more NHS cancer staff.

He attended a special event in Westminster last week (Wednesday 6 June) to launch the charity’s new campaign – ‘Shoulder to Shoulder Against Cancer’.

It encourages everyone to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS by calling on the UK Government to tackle the chronic shortage of staff who diagnose and treat the disease.

For 70 years the NHS has been at the forefront of fighting cancer, but with a growing and ageing population cancer services are struggling to cope with the increased number of diagnoses.

This means more staff are urgently needed to keep up with the demand for life-saving tests and treatments, yet already 1 in 10 NHS diagnostic posts are unfilled.

In the UK, cancer survival rates are still lagging behind the best in Europe and in Scotland many cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when they are harder to treat successfully.

To help save more lives, Cancer Research UK is now urging the UK Government to commit to training and employing more NHS staff to diagnose and treat cancer earlier.

Gavin Newlands MP said: “More people are surviving cancer than ever before, thanks to the fantastic work of the NHS staff who turn breakthroughs in research into vital tests and treatments.

“But as the health service reaches its 70th birthday, it’s facing unprecedented challenges.

“Every year, 6800 people are diagnosed with cancer in Paisley and Renfrewshire North. With this number set to rise, it’s vital that we have an NHS which is fit to deliver world-class care for all cancer patients now and in the future.

“That’s why I’m backing Cancer Research UK’s call to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS against cancer, so that everyone has the best possible chance of surviving this devastating disease.”

To speed up and improve cancer diagnosis and treatment investment is needed in key professions, including radiographers and radiologists who carry out and interpret scans such as MRIs, endoscopists who look inside the body by inserting a tiny camera and pathologists who look for abnormal cells, as well as oncologists (cancer specialists), nurses and surgeons.

Shaun Walsh, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re grateful to Gavin Newlands MP for his support. It’s up to all of us to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS against the disease.

“Without increased investment in NHS staff, we could see the death toll from cancer rising. But by acting right now and investing in the early diagnostic workforce, we could help prevent a crisis in the future and save many more lives.

“Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer. It’s our ambition for this to be 3 in 4 by 2034. That’s why we hope MPs, patients and the public get behind this vitally important campaign to help make our cancer services among the best in the world.”

To take action visit cruk.org/shouldertoshoulder or join the conversation on twitter #ShouldertoShoulder.

Mackay welcomes NHS pay rise

First Minister announces 3% rise for majority of healthcare staff.

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has welcomed the news that the majority of NHS Scotland staff will receive a 3% pay rise this year.

Staff currently earning up to £80,000 will receive at least a 3% uplift, and those earning £80,000 and over will receive a flat rate increase of £1,600. Staff not at the top of their pay bands will also receive any incremental progression they are due.

This uplift is a payment on account of progress made in negotiations so far.

Negotiations between the Scottish Government, employers and unions on pay, terms and conditions continue towards a three year pay deal.

Compared to equivalent staff in NHS England:

  • Experienced porters at the top of Band 2 will be over £500 better off
  • Healthcare assistants at the top of Band 3 will be over £600 better off
  • Auxiliary nurses with a year’s experience in Band 4 would be over £800 better off.
  • Nurses with five years’ experience in Band 5 will be over £400 better off
  • Paramedics in middle of Band 6 will be over £450 better off
  • Advanced Nurse Practitioners in the middle of Band 7 will be over £250 better off

For staff paid weekly, the pay uplift will be paid week beginning 2 July 2018. For those paid monthly, the uplift will be made in end July salaries. The payments will be backdated to 1 April 2018 as quickly as possible.

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay said:

“I know the last few years of pay restraint have been tough, and that is why I’m proud that the budget I brought forward this year included the lifting of the 1% pay cap for public sector workers – the first government in the UK to do so.

“The Scottish Government are currently in negotiations to agree a 3 year pay deal for NHS staff in which we aim to not just match but exceed the deal agreed in England. I hope these talks reach a positive conclusion soon.

“But we don’t believe those working in the NHS should have to wait for that agreement to be reached before they get a pay rise this year. That is why I am delighted the First Minister has announced those earning up to £80k will get a 3% pay rise now, and will be backdated to 1st April as soon as possible.”

Huge steps have been taken to make it easier for families in Renfrewshire to provide a dignified and respectful funeral service if they find themselves in particular financial circumstances

Renfrewshire Council has agreed funding and that council officers will work directly with Funeral Directors to develop an agreed standard for a Respectful Funeral Service for residents within Renfrewshire. This will cost no more than a specified amount and will be below the Scottish average. Funeral Directors which commit to providing this service to the agreed standard and within the cost criteria set, will be included on a list of Funeral Directors provided online which highlights the fact that they can provide a respectful, affordable funeral service.

Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Cllr Iain Nicolson said : “We believe individuals should have access to support which helps to provide a respectful and dignified funeral service, particularly when financial circumstances are already difficult for some families.

Renfrewshire Council have also agreed that all Council costs involved in the death of young children under the age of 16 will be removed. This involves, lairs, internment and registration.

Cllr Nicolson added, “Losing a child is one of the biggest tragedies that a family can endure. The steps we have taken are a small way of helping to support families and show that Renfrewshire Council recognises that the trauma and pain of having to organise your childs funeral is something that no one every plans for or expects to happen”

“I am proud that this SNP administration have brought these policies into force and helping families across Renfrewshire cope with what is often a difficult time for them”

These new policies were approved early 2018 and now the Scottish Government and COSLA have recently agreed to work together to remove all local authority charges for child burials and cremations. While Renfrewshire Council have removed  fees for those 16 and under, this new commitment – which is supported by Scottish Government funding – will see the removal of fees consistently and completely across all council areas, for the burial of those under 18.

Cllr Cathy McEwan, Convener of the Infrastructre, Land and Environment Board welcomes the moves by the Scottish Government adding:. “Dealing with funeral costs can be extremely difficult and it’s important that we look to support parents and families.  “We are pleased to be working with the Scottish Government to ensure that all local authorities can fully commit to removing their charges for the burial or cremation of those aged under 18. I am also pleased to see that at both levels of government, the SNP are working to help families who find themselves in difficult and traumatic circumstances”

Ahead of World Oceans Day today, a combined effort of more than 500 staff from Pernod Ricard in the UK: Pernod Ricard UK, Chivas Brothers and the Global Travel Retail division, sprang into action to tackle water and land pollution.

Activities took place across the UK including in central Scotland, where a 121-strong team of green-fingered employees headed to the River Clyde at Renfrew to restore the river bank. Throughout the day, employees helped to prune and cut back shrubs as well as clear litter from the water to create a cleaner habitat for wildlife to flourish.

The project was led by Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard, in partnership with the River’s Trust and The Clyde Foundation.

The restoration of the River Clyde is one of many global activities that form part of Responsib’All Day, a global day of action which sees 18,500 employees from Pernod Ricard affiliates around the world dedicate time and resources to support the group’s year-long global sustainability commitments.

Sandrine Ricard, Head of Sustainability and Responsibility, for Chivas Brothers, said:

“It was fantastic to see all our employees join together to restore the banks of the River Clyde. This great water resource is recovering from centuries of man-made pollution and alterations to the banks and bed. By assisting with the clean-up we are able to positively impact our communities providing local residents with a cleaner space and helping to improve the water quality in the river.

“This year’s Responsib’All Day activities are just a glimpse of our sustainability actions; we want to use this activity to set the foundations for building a legacy. Sustainability underpins everything we do and in the next stage of our journey we want to make an even bigger impact by calling on our colleagues, customers and other businesses to join us in taking action.”

Janice Kennedy, a Technical Agent at Chivas Brothers took part in the activity and said:

“It is fantastic to join with colleagues from all over Central Scotland to really make a difference in tackling water and land pollution in the heart of our community. I’m really proud to be playing a part in helping improve the River Clyde for the better. Having an opportunity to take part in this global day of action means we can truly dedicate our time and effort to the environment.”

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, commented: “Congratulations Pernod Ricard on making this significant contribution to help our natural environment. We all have a responsibility to our environment and this simple yet effective initiative is a fine example to other large businesses.

“We want more companies to say no to unnecessary single use plastics. Through our 25 Year Environment Plan we have committed to eliminating all avoidable plastic waste and we will continue to take decisive action protect our precious environment.”

It is the first time the trio of businesses have aligned under a common theme, supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’ and ‘Life on Land’. Both water and biodiversity are key to Pernod Ricard’s business and the Group believes companies have a responsibility to lead on environmental protection.

Additional projects saw teams across the country complete litter picks by the River Thames and at beachside locations around the UK including in Brighton, The Wirral, South West and Southend. In addition, Rain gardens were developed at Chiswick House & Gardens in London in a bid to reduce flooding, while in Speyside, Scotland, teams worked to restore the banks of the River Deveron.

Pernod Ricard signed a partnership with Impact 2030 to bring together figures from the private sector, civil society and academia to encourage company employees to help to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Responsib’All Day is just one activity which aims to support these goals. Most recently, Pernod Ricard announced a ban on non-biodegradable plastic straws and stirrers across its business.

A Renfrewshire school says that a scheme which eases the path of both children and parents into Primary One has led to an increased sense of community.

St Margarets PS Johnstone

St Margaret’s Primary School in Johnstone has experienced an increase in parental engagement with 28 families going through the ‘Good Start, Great Start’ programme, developed by Middlesex University in London.

The programme offers parents the opportunity to develop relationships with their child as well as each other in their pre-school setting, helping them form vital networks ahead of the start of their offspring’s first school year in August.

St Margarets PS Johnstone

The school, one of just three places in Scotland to adopt the pilot programme, has two trained Nursery Officers who help promote school readiness at a point of big change for both parents and children.

The scheme, which started as a pilot in October, has worked so well that the school has continued to run it on a permanent basis.

St Margarets PS Johnstone

Head teacher Gillian Miller said: “The children who attend have grown in confidence and self-esteem and have gained more independence as a direct result of attending the sessions.

“There is definitely an increased sense of community among the parents who attend, as there is a sharing of parenting skills, strategies and advice in both formal and informal forums.

St Margarets PS Johnstone

“All of this is facilitated by skilled staff who know when to make a supportive intervention and who are benefitting from the increase in parental engagement.

“The results have been very positive so far and there is very positive feedback about the programme from the families involved.

St Margarets PS Johnstone

“This has been a very worthwhile programme and we wish all of our families a very successful transition from St Margaret’s Nursery Class to Primary One.

Each block of six structured sessions is designed to help to build a social support network for the parents and also promote independence for the children.

St Margarets PS Johnstone

There is a welcome time and snack time, where nutritional food is prepared and served  by the children themselves.

This is followed by a ‘make and do’ craft session directed by the parent, with a new skill or element of knowledge built into each week.

 

The children then continue their nursery session while the parents break off to have tea and coffee and an informal, confidential discussion of any parental issues they may be having.

The sessions end with the children returning for story time with a bag with figures and a mat so they can and they make up their own stories about what’s inside.

Parent Donna Manson said: “My daughter and I have enjoyed our six weeks of this group and meeting parents and other children who are going to school.

“I feel less worried for her starting school, watching her being independent and her confidence at group time. We have had fun and would recommend this group to other pre-school parents.”

The programme is sustainable because the staff are trained and the scheme has proved so popular that some parents have returned after their initial sessions.

Provost and Depute Education Convener Lorraine Cameron dropped into the school to see the programme first hand and said: “As well as being an exciting time, the step from nursery to school can leave both parents and children feeling uncertain.

“It’s been great to come along and see how the programme works and how it lays down the ground work for a positive start at school for both children and their carers.

“It’s clear how much the parents enjoy the one to one time with their children, which is a great benefit to the whole family.

“Some of the mums and dads have also told me that the sessions have helped show them what their children are capable of, like being able to use a knife to make a snack, allowing the children’s independence to flourish.

“They also get great benefit from the parents group where they can share strategies and  have a safe space to raise any parenting concerns.”