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Council Leader wants Renfrewshire to lead the way on tackling unemployment

Council Leader wants Renfrewshire to lead the way on tackling unemployment

Renfrewshire Council’s Leader wants the area to lead the way on tackling youth unemployment and is urging partner organisations to do all they can to help.

The council has made a significant investment in its £8m Invest in Renfrewshire programme, which aims to reduce youth unemployment and boost the local economy.

Councillor Mark MacmillanNow, Councillor Mark Macmillan is asking the council’s public-sector partners to consider whether they can do more to help tackle the issue.

He said: “The rate of youth unemployment among young people is far higher than the average for all age groups, in both Renfrewshire and Scotland.

“The council is determined to avoid a ‘lost generation’ of young people who are frozen out of work – which is why we have made tackling youth unemployment a priority though Invest in Renfrewshire.

“The public sector has a crucial role to play in addressing youth unemployment, which is why we are formally asking our partners to buy in to our agenda of up-scaling what Renfrewshire’s public sector does to tackle this issue.

“We want Renfrewshire to lead the way when it comes to cutting unemployment among 18 – 24 year olds.”

A meeting of the Renfrewshire Community Planning Partnership Board saw the council ask other public-sector agencies in the area to consider how well they use existing council or government programmes set up to help young people into work.

Partner agencies agreed to:

* Engage with the Invest programme and provide direct support to young people;

* Agree to host as many internships, work placements and workplace visits as possible;

* Set ambitious targets in providing job opportunities and report back on these.

Invest in Renfrewshire includes an employer recruitment incentive, which pays half the wage costs of a new employee at national minimum wage for up to nine months, with an extra £1,000 available to companies agreeing to pay the Living Wage of £7.50 an hour.

It also includes a graduate internship programme, which pays a subsidy of up to £5,000 to organisations taking on an unemployed graduate for a project-led position of up to 11 months.

www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

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‘Bedroom tax’ impact reduced for more than 260 Renfrewshire households

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

‘Bedroom tax’ impact reduced for more than 260 Renfrewshire households

Renfrewshire Council’s Leader has welcomed the fact that more than 260 Renfrewshire households facing disability and illness have been spared from a ‘bedroom tax’ hit of around £150,000 a year.

In the cases of 263 people who receive Housing Benefit, the council has found that a ‘spare’ room isn’t in fact ‘spare’ because it’s either needed as an additional room for an overnight carer or can’t be used as a bedroom because it’s needed for storing medical equipment.

renfrewshire council logo .JPGCouncillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council said: “I am absolutely delighted that in the case of 263 local residents facing illness or disability issues, we’ve been able to re-assess their case and deem that a ‘spare’ bedroom is not in fact ‘spare’ and is very much needed either for either an overnight carer or for storing medical equipment. This will save these households on average an £11 cut in their Housing Benefit each week – that’s around £572 over the year for each home.

“This is another step forward in what’s been a robust response to the ‘bedroom tax’ from Renfrewshire Council. We previously pledged that, where our tenants are working with us, we will not resort to eviction to collect rent, where arrears have occurred as a direct result of the under occupancy rules.

“I’ve always maintained that this benefit change is unfair, and we’ve now heard directly from UN official, Raquel Rolnik, that Under Occupancy Rules should be suspended to allow time to assess the human rights implications and re-design the reform. I completely share her view on this.

“We will do all we can to help Renfrewshire residents who are facing hardship as a result of the ‘bedroom tax and I would encourage anyone who feels that their ‘spare’ room can’t be used as a bedroom because of disability or medical reasons to contact our Benefits Team.”

Renfrewshire residents who would like to speak to someone about having a room re-assessed due to disability or medical equipment, or because of a overnight carer sleeping in a room, should call the Benefits Team on 0300 300 0204.

Residents who receive Housing Benefit and are having difficulty meeting their housing costs can apply for financial support to the council’s Discretionary Housing Payments fund: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/dhp or call 0300 300 0204.

Under-Occupancy rules mean households are losing an average of £11 per week in Housing Benefit for one spare room – that’s around of £2,893 saved for the 263 households a week; amounting to around £150,000 over the year.

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Paisley Farmers’ Market is on the move

Farmers-Market-Paisley

Paisley Farmers’ Market is on the move

Shoppers looking for some fresh ideas are being encouraged to check out Paisley Farmers’ Market when it moves to a new location and time this weekend.

The popular twice-monthly market has been a fixture in County Square over the past 12 years.

But it is now moving along the street to Paisley Cross as part of a revamp which will see midweek markets introduced for the first time.

Farmers-Market-Paisley

Markets will take place on the second Thursday and last Saturday of every month, at a new time of 10am to 2pm, slightly later than the previous time of 9am to 1pm.

The first market at the new location will be this Saturday, 31 August. To mark the occasion, the council is laying on children’s entertainment, including face-painting, stilt walkers and balloon modelling.

Paisley Farmers’ Market features a wide range of stall-holders offering quality fresh produce, straight from the farm to the shopping bag, such as meat,fish, cheese, fruit and veg, and chocolate.

The market is operated by Ayrshire Farmers’ Market and Renfrewshire Council, and the decision to relocate came after consultation with traders and shoppers.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Town centre regeneration is a big priority for us.

“We hope the new location will improve the visibility of the market and will in turn bring new vibrancy to Paisley High Street.

“The market offers something a little bit different, which complements the range of shops we have already have in the town.

“The feedback we received when we surveyed the public was that they wanted the market to be later in the day and to take place midweek as well as at the weekend

“We took all of that on board, and it would be great to see as many residents as possible check out what is on offer, starting this Saturday.”

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Paisley celebrates ten years of Fairtrade

Paisley celebrates ten years of Fairtrade

The people and organisations behind Paisley’s Fair Trade movement have gathered to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Paisley’s Fairtrade Town status.

The milestone was celebrated at Paisley Town Hall with a Fairtrade Afternoon Tea, organised by the Paisley Fairtrade Partnership – the group set up to develop and monitor Paisley’s status as a Fairtrade Town in partnership with Rainbow Turtle, Renfrewshire’s only dedicated Fair Trade shop.

A Fairtrade Town is a community in which people and organisations commit to using Fairtrade products as a way of improving the lives of farmers and producers in developing countries.

KE Paisley celebrates ten years of FairtradeAmong the invited guests at event were representatives from the schools, local businesses and community groups who have championed awareness of Fairtrade in Paisley over the past ten years.

Maureen Brough, Chair of the Paisley Fairtrade Partnership said, “Reaching Fairtrade Town status is a shared achievement. So many people have played a part in Paisley’s Fairtrade story and this event is really about celebrating them.

“Our thanks go out to the schoolchildren, teachers, parents, volunteers, businesses, community groups and activists who have held cake sales, carol concerts, campaign days, cookery demonstrations, and hundreds of other events, to show their support for the campaign and encourage others to do the same. Their enthusiasm has been an inspiration over the years.”

The Fairtrade campaign makes it possible to transform the lives of others in poorer parts of the world just by making small changes to our daily habits, such as changing your regular brand of teabags to a Fairtrade version.

Speaking at the event, Renfrewshire Council Leader, Mark Macmillan said: “Over ten years ago, a small group of committed Fairtrade campaigners created a critical mass of energy and activity around Fairtrade which culminated in Paisley achieving its Fairtrade Town status. And from that, the momentum spread across Renfrewshire with more and more towns and villages, schools, and community groups getting involved.

“Within the council we try to do our best to support Fairtrade and communicate to staff, partners and the public the value and benefits so they can make informed choices. This has ranged from changing the coffee in our cafe to a Fairtrade brand, to working with our flagship employer MEPC to source Fairtrade cotton T-shirts for the Paisley 10k, and lobbying the national government on procurement issues.

“We will do all we can to support local groups, helping them to act on the issues that are important to them, and which need to matter to us because we, the council, have the ability to make a difference.”

Unveiled at the event was a photography exhibition that looks back at some of the people, organisations and events that have contributed to the first ten years of Paisley’s continuing Fairtrade campaign. In future months the public exhibition will tour Fairtrade outlets and points of interest in the town.

Guests were invited to participate in a commemorative photo and join in the customary cutting and sharing of a 10th anniversary birthday cake – made from Fairtrade ingredients.

www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

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Renfrewshire’s Top Recruits are revealed

Renfrewshire’s Top Recruits are revealed

A group of young Renfrewshire people were revealed as job winners at a glittering ceremony to mark the conclusion of a popular youth employment programme.

The finale of the summer edition of The Recruit took place at Paisley Town Hall in front of a crowd of invited guests and proud parents.

The Recruit is loosely based on TV favourite The Apprentice and sees young people compete through a series of business-based challenges.

This year’s saw two versions of the programme – one for S5/6 school leavers and one for unemployed young people aged between 18 and 24.

Two young people were crowned as the Top Recruits on the night, with Ryan Barbour (S5/6) and Deanna O’Connor (18-24s) walking away with the top awards.

There was also a Recruit’s Choice award, chosen by the young people themselves, which went to Rachael Fletcher and Mark Brown.

In total, 17 young people secured jobs or training opportunities at organisations including Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire Leisure, A&B Blinds, Crazy Capers childcare and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, who welcomed guests to the ceremony, said: “Helping young people find work is one of our biggest priorities.

“Over the past four years, the Recruit has helped boost the job prospects of almost 200 local young people.

“You only have to listen to the stories of some of those who have passed through it to see the positive effect the programme has had on them.”

Councillor Roy Glen, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board, added: “Once again, the Recruits were a credit to themselves and to the area, and through their hard work they have earned the opportunities presented to them.

“I would like to thank all the companies who helped support the programme by running challenges and offering their expertise, and look forward to working with them again in the future.”

The full list of job winners was as follows: David Paterson and Paige Barr (client support assistants, Renfrewshire Council); Mark Brown and Craig Woods (leisure assistants, Renfrewshire Leisure); Chloe Swordy (modern apprenticeship, Renfrewshire Council); Vanessa Young (administrator, A&B blinds); Calum Breslin (management trainee, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce); Chelsie McCool (Crazy Capers childcare).

Another six Recruits – Shannon Boyle, Michael Campbell, Mateusz Hadjecki, Andrew Cunningham, Ryan Blair, and Deanna O’Connor, all received public-sector traineeships with Renfrewshire Council.

A further three young people managed to secure employment elsewhere while on the programme: Christopher Baillie, Connor Smith and Connor MacDonald.

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Paisley Farmers Market

Paisley Farmers Market

Paisley Farmers Market is on the move

Shoppers looking for some fresh ideas are being encouraged to check out Paisley Farmers Market when it moves to a new location and time this weekend.

The popular twice-monthly market has been a fixture in County Square over the past 12 years.

But it is now moving along the street to Paisley Cross as part of a revamp which will see midweek markets introduced for the first time.

Paisley Farmers Market

Markets will take place on the second Thursday and last Saturday of every month, at a new time of 10am to 2pm, slightly later than the previous time of 9am to 1pm.

The first market at the new location will be this Saturday, 31 August. To mark the occasion, the council is laying on children’s entertainment, including face-painting, stilt walkers and balloon modelling.

Paisley Farmers Market features a wide range of stall-holders offering quality fresh produce, straight from the farm to the shopping bag, such as meat,fish, cheese, fruit and veg, and chocolate.

The market is operated by Ayrshire Farmers’ Market and Renfrewshire Council, and the decision to relocate came after consultation with traders and shoppers.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Town centre regeneration is a big priority for us.

“We hope the new location will improve the visibility of the market and will in turn bring new vibrancy to Paisley High Street.

“The market offers something a little bit different, which complements the range of shops we have already have in the town.

“The feedback we received when we surveyed the public was that they wanted the market to be later in the day and to take place midweek as well as at the weekend

“We took all of that on board, and it would be great to see as many residents as possible check out what is on offer, starting this Saturday.”

All photographs taken for www.paisley.org.uk by Tracey Clements you can keep up to date with Paisley Events by visiting our Facebook Page here.