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Council’s vital Welfare Fund top up takes effect to help local people

Council’s vital Welfare Fund top up takes effect to help local people.

Renfrewshire Council’s Scottish Welfare Fund top up of £150,000 proved vital this month when the initial Government pot was fully used up.

The Finance and Resources Policy Board heard recently that the Welfare Fund sum of £1,148,858 the council received from the Scottish Government in April 2013, stood at just £24,076 at the end of February. By 7 March, this was fully used up.

In January, the council feared the crucial support fund would run out before the new pot from the Scottish Government was in place at the start of April 2014, and the council top up was approved.

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Councillor Mike Holmes, Depute Leader, said: “During the first week of March, our Scottish Welfare Fund budget from the Scottish Government was used up. Not only does this show that many local people have been pushed to the brink by harsh welfare cuts and the rising cost of living – but also that Renfrewshire should have received more support from the Scottish Government.

“We feared the Government’s welfare fund allocation would be used before the new financial year started and fortunately our £150,000 top up was able to take effect to make sure the people in our community who need help the most, can continue to receive it until the new Scottish Welfare Fund sum arrives at the beginning of April.

“I’m glad we were able to bridge this gap to make sure families facing hardship still have access to this crucial support fund.”

People who are facing crisis or hardship and would like to apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund should call 0300 300 0204.

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George Secures Cabinet Secretary Visit to BASF Plant

George Adam MSP

George Secures Cabinet Secretary Visit to BASF Plant.

Today, 31st October, Paisley’s MSP George Adam has secured a visit to the BASF plant in Paisley by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney MSP.  George was asking a parliamentary question regarding the troubled plant and asked Mr Swinney to visit the plant along with him to discuss the future of the plant and its workforce with BASF management.

George Adam MSP

Speaking after his parliamentary question, George said, “I am delighted that the Cabinet Secretary has given the commitment to come to Paisley and meet with the management and workforce. This initial decision from BASF is disappointing but we need to do all we can to try and find a buyer for the plant or an alternative use for it.  Every effort should be made to save the jobs of the 141 workers and alternative uses for the site must be fully examined.

‘I was very heartened to hear the positive response given by the Cabinet Secretary on this very difficult matter affecting Paisley. The Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise have been in regular contact with BASF and it is great to hear that the First Minister himself has spoken with a member of the board of directors at BASF.  He set out that Scottish Enterprise would continue to work with the plant to get the best possible outcome for the employees and that PACE assistance would be there for any affected workers.

‘While we are not taking anything for granted and a lot of work needs to be done, I along with my colleagues in government will do all we can to secure the plants future and the workers’ jobs.”

Courtesy of www.paisleysmsp.org

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Language teaching boost for Renfrewshire schools

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Language teaching boost for Renfrewshire schools

Six Renfrewshire primary schools are to pilot an ambitious new approach to language learning.

Pupils will be able to learn a foreign language from primary one. A second additional language will be offered to pupils no later than primary five.

Following an evaluation of the pilot scheme, it is anticipated that all Renfrewshire primary schools will deliver a modern language from primary one on a phased basis from the 2014-15 school year.

renfrewshire council logo .JPGThe teaching of a second foreign language from primary five is set to follow on a phased basis in the 2015-16 session.

The six primary schools taking part in this year’s pilot scheme are Todholm, Lochfield, Lochwinnoch, Kirklandneuk, Houston, and St James (Renfrew).

The approach will take forward the ‘1 plus 2’ model of foreign language teaching as recommended by the Scottish Government’s report , Language Learning in Scotland – a 1 + 2 Approach.

The aim is that children will be given the opportunity to start learning two foreign languages in primary school in addition to their own mother tongue.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education Policy Board, said, “The opportunity to learn foreign languages helps pupils’ general learning as well as being useful in later years for employment, further study, or even simply making the most of trips abroad.

“There’s no doubt that there’s a need to maintain children’s interest in and commitment to learning foreign languages. Starting that work in primary school is a great way to do that.

“We are setting ambitious and challenging targets but we want to support our schools and our pupils in this key area.”

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Scotland’s top civil servant visits Renfrewshire Chamber

Scotland’s top civil servant visits Renfrewshire Chamber

The permanent secretary for the Scottish Government, Sir Peter Housden today met with the Board of Directors from Renfrewshire Chamber at the Chamber offices in Glasgow Airport in Paisley. During the 2 hour meeting Sir Peter learned a great deal about how Renfrewshire Chamber is helping local businesses grow and prosper.

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Commenting on the meeting Chamber chief exec’ Bob Davidson said “Sir Peter came across as a very knowledgeable and approachable person; this was very encouraging to see. Going by the responses to questions and the notes he took – he was impressed by the breadth and depth of activity in Renfrewshire. We certainly flew the flag for Renfrewshire as a great place for business and an area that could do more with additional support by from the government – including Air Passenger Duty, youth unemployment and business rates. Additional topics of discussion included procurement, international trade, access to finance and connectivity.

The Chamber regularly has meetings with senior figures from the private and public sector – most recently welcoming John Longworth the Director General of British Chamber in late 2012.

For more info on Renfrewshire Chamber please visit their website at www.renfrewshirechamber.com