We would like to take this opportunity from all the volunteers at Paisley on the web to wish all our visitors a very Merry Christmas and hope that you and your family have a peaceful and gift filled day.

We would also like for you to take the time to think about those less fortunate than ourself and to spare a thought for our troops who are currently serving in Afghanistan.

Thank you for your continued support of our website which is Ten years old this Christmas, paisley.org.uk was formed in 2000 and previously was “paisley1” and “oor paisley” for a few years prior, so here is to another ten years and looking back at what we have achieved.

Ten years ago there was little or no interest in our town online to now being a massive hit with millions of visitors from all over the world who knows where we will be in the next ten years.

So here is to Paisley.org.uk which has one aim, “To promote the town of Paisley”.

Renfrewshire Council has announced details of service closures and availability over the festive period.

Most council offices will close at 2.30pm on Friday 24 December and will reopen at 8.45am on Thursday 6 January.

While most council offices will be closed, a number of essential services will either continue to operate, or be available on a reduced hours basis over the festive period.

Full details are available on Renfrewshire Council’s website www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

The usual standby arrangements are in place to deal with the winter weather and roads gritting.

Residents are asked to put their bin out on their normal day for collection.
The civic amenity sites will be open except on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

The registration offices in Paisley, Johnstone and Renfrew will close on 24 December. On Wednesday 29, Thursday 30 and Friday 31 December, the council’s HQ, Renfrewshire House in Cotton Street, Paisley will be open from 9.30am – 2.30pm for the registration of births and deaths. Renfrewshire House will again be open for registration business from 9.30am – 2.30pm on Wednesday 5 January.

From between 10 and 11am Monday 27 December to Tuesday 4 January, people can call 07534 027 770 for appointments, help and advice about registration.

All leisure centres and swimming pools operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will be shut from the close of business on 23 December and reopen at their normal opening times on 4 January 2011.

Wednesday 22 December is the last day for Renfrewshire Council’s schools and nurseries until they reopen on Thursday 6 January.

All leisure centres and swimming pools operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will be shut from the close of business on 23 December and reopen at their normal opening times on 4 January 2011.

Helplines are in place for emergency repairs for council housing tenants (0141 889 5296) and the social work standby team for any social work emergencies on 0800 811 505.

paisley from drone

Is your blood type O negative? Have you donated blood before? Are you in good health? If the answer to ALL of those questions is yes, then the NHS needs you – before Christmas.

Stocks of O negative are running low. There are about three days supply, instead of the usual five or more. Just 7% of the population are O negative, and they are often referred to as “universal donors”. That is because their blood can be given to anyone – so it is especially useful to the health service.

read the rest of the article on the BBC website http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/ferguswalsh/2010/12/urgent_call_for_blood_donors.html

Hundreds of council tenants in Renfrewshire are getting an early Christmas present which will help keep them warm this winter.

A programme to install modern, more efficient heating systems in every council house is now underway, with the contractors Apollo and Wates installing the new systems in hundreds of homes before Christmas.

A total of around 4000 homes are scheduled to have their old heating systems replaced as part of Renfrewshire Council’s £138million five-year Delivering Housing Improvements Programme.

The early stage of the programme will focus on replacing electric storage systems and gas systems with back boilers with gas central heating with a modern condensing boiler.

Councillor Brian Lawson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety policy board, said: “We want to make sure every house has a modern efficient central heating system. These will be more environmentally-friendly and will cost tenants less, helping to tackle fuel poverty. This is especially important at this time of year when we’re coming up to the festive season and the weather is much colder.

“This is part of a massive, long-term investment in Renfrewshire Council tenants’ homes which will also see tenants getting brand new kitchens, bathrooms and upgraded rewiring in their homes. We’re coming into the second year of the programme which will see work stepping up across Renfrewshire and will include the start of pilot external improvement projects.

“As well as the improvements to our tenants homes Delivering Housing Improvements is benefitting the wider community by providing employment and training opportunities for local residents, supply chain opportunities for local businesses and even sponsorship for local community sports clubs through the contractors working with the council.”

One tenant who is already enjoying her new heating system is 79-year-old council tenant Janet Kelly of Hillview Road, Paisley.

Janet said: “It’s brilliant and it heats up much quicker than the old system. It’s absolutely a nice early Christmas present.”

Brian Morrow, Divisional Director at Apollo, said: “As the successful Kitchen & Bathroom Programme continues, Apollo is also delighted to be helping warm up homes for tenants across Renfrewshire with efficient new heating systems. We look forward to continuing our work with all Renfrewshire Council tenants and wish them all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year in their improved, warmer homes.”

Gillian Lavety, Business Manager at Wates, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the council on a framework that will make a hugely positive impact on the lives of thousands of Renfrewshire Council tenants.”

All social-rented accommodation in Scotland needs to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard by 2015. This major programme of housing improvements will ensure all of Renfrewshire Council’s housing stock meets that standard.
Information for tenants about the Scottish Housing Quality Standard or Renfrewshire Council’s Delivering Housing Improvements programme is available at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/housingimprovements or by contacting the Housing Investment Team on 01505 384 303.

paisley from drone

PACE Theatre group are the Renfrewshire Community Champions “see section here”

Since being formed by David Wallace in 1988 PACE has grown to become one of the largest youth theatre companies in the UK, creating countless opportunities for local youths with a dramatic flair and putting on shows that have thrilled the public year after year.

Based in Paisley, PACE has worked with over 250,000 young people since its inception, including over 20,000 who have become members of PACE Youth Theatre. PACE runs over 1,750 youth theatre workshops every year and its productions perform annually to audiences of over 200,000.

There’s four sides to PACE:

PACE Theatre Company
PACE Youth Theatre
PACE Casting
PACE Media Productions

PACE Theatre Company

PACE are renowned for producing spectacular theatrical productions, in particular their much-loved and anticipated annual pantomime that they’ve put on every festive period since 1988 (see below for more details of this year’s show).
They’re also responsible for numerous other professional productions such as the Slab Boys Trilogy, commissioned and written original work and created several spectacular large-scale performances, including ‘Cradlesong’ for Renfrew’s 600 year anniversary.

PACE Youth Theatre

PACE Youth Theatre has become the largest and most successful youth theatre in the UK. Over 2000 young people attend their weekly workshops in drama, music and dance. As well as teaching performance skills, these workshops increase the confidence, communications skills and self expression of the participants. They’re a lot of fun, too. Past members include James McAvoy, Paulo Nutini and David Sneddon.
Workshops are run by fully trained full time staff and members also receive additional benefits such free casting agency representation for TV & Film work and discounts for events at ‘Fest!’ – their popular school holiday performing arts festival.

PACE Media Productions

PACE Media Productions was formed to provide a different medium for the dramatic work produced by PACE Theatre Company. It has produced educational dramas for clients such as Drinkwise, Scotland Against Drugs, Scottish Executive, NHS 24, West Dumbartonshire Council, and many others.

PACE Casting

This casting agency was set up to represent PACE’s youth theatre members in TV, film and advertising productions. It provides licensing and chaperoning services to production companies as well as audition facilities, and also produces an annual casting directory book, with over 1,000 professional photos and CV details, distributed to all major UK production companies.

PACE Pantomime – Tickets Selling Fast!

If you see anything this December make sure you see PACE Theatre Company’s 23rd Annual Pantomime – Aladdin. Starring David Wallace – the ‘Doyenne of Dames’ – and Alan Orr, along with a whole host of hilarious characters, fantastic original music, and the liveliest, most energetic chorus of young actors – this is one night out that you won’t want to miss!
Aladdin runs from Friday 26 November to Friday 31 December.

Box Office: 0141 887 1010
Group Bookings: 0845 130 5218
Online booking: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/onlinebooking

PACE Website: www.pacetheatre.com

Major national retailer set for Paisley (news from Paisley Photographs)

A major national retailer is finalising plans to open in Paisley High Street boosting the regeneration of the town centre.

Wilkinson, which has over 330 stores in the UK, is close to reaching agreement to occupy the former Littlewoods store.
Renfrewshire Council and Paisley Vision Board have been working hard to secure the redevelopment of the site which has lain vacant since 2005 and believe a new store could be open within a few months.

Among the benefits of the proposed deal would be:
the creation of an estimated 85 jobs
the reopening of one of the most prominent shopfronts on Paisley High Street
additional access for shoppers to the units in the Paisley Centre,
the enhancement of Paisley’s appeal to shoppers and other potential new retailers, and
a boost to public finances through non-domestic rates revenue of £145,000 per annum.
“To have such a key retail site in Paisley High Street occupied again would be a major vote of confidence in Paisley’s future,” said Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay, who also chairs Paisley Vision Board.

“The redevelopment would be further proof of the continuing regeneration of Paisley.

“In recent years Renfrewshire Council and our partners prioritised three key projects which would significantly boost Paisley’s appeal as a place to live and do business in.

“The first – the redevelopment of part of the former council hq in Cotton Street for housing – is well underway.

“The second goal – the revival of the iconic Arnott’s site – has seen the creation of an innovative public private partnership to make the site ready for development and attract residential and commercial development.

“What a hat-trick it would be for Paisley if we can help restore the Littlewood’s site in the middle of the high street to its former prominence.”

Tom Johnston, President of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce said: “It’s particularly encouraging that it would be a major national retailer which would be coming to Paisley.

“Having that level of support for Paisley as a strong retail centre can act as a catalyst for the broader regeneration of the town centre as well as its retail sector.”

A meeting of Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Development Board on Tuesday December 07 will consider a report recommending that the Council supports the deal through an investment of up to £336,000.

The money would help towards the £1.5m plus cost of refitting the store which has a large, complex layout and has lain empty for six years. Council funds would only be awarded if the deal is concluded.

The cost of preparatory works in the vacant store followed by a refit is expected to total £2.5m

Renfrewshire Council’s Paisley Town Centre Action Plan has already identified the need to support the upgrading of property assets to boost retail development.

It has been officially announced that Renfrewshire CVS is to mobilise an army of charities and volunteers to help residents make the switch to digital TV in Renfrewshire.

Starting in November, Renfrewshire CVS will work with other charities and voluntary groups to prepare people for the switchover, which starts in Renfrewshire on 8th June. The appointment has been made on behalf of Digital UK, the independent body in charge of the switchover.

Renfrewshire CVS will mobilise local charities across Renfrewshire to hold events and presentations, giving advice on how to switch over to digital TV. Charity staff and volunteers will be invited to attend free briefing sessions to understand the process and learn about the Switchover Help Scheme. Thousands of people are expected to benefit from the advice and support given at these events.

Renfrewshire CVS is a local organisation that provides support to voluntary organisations, charities and community groups in the area to help them to achieve their aims and empower others. Their extensive networks, membership and partners make them ideally placed to take part in a programme of this type.

Janis McDonald, Chief Executive Officer of Renfrewshire CVS, said: “Switching to digital TV will be straightforward for many people, but some others will need help, practical advice or reassurance.

“We look forward to working with our fellow charities to provide that support in Renfrewshire and help prepare the local community for switchover. We will also encourage those who are eligible to apply for the Switchover Help Scheme.”

Local charities can apply for free briefing places, and for funding through a Small Grants Scheme set up to encourage extra events locally. Materials developed to help run events and explain switchover will also be provided.

Russell Keene, Digital UK’s Regional Manager in Scotland, welcomed the announcement saying “the outreach work planned to reach into the community is essential and will help to ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits of digital TV when switchover arrives”.

Digital UK will soon be holding road shows across the central belt to provide further face-to-face advice for anyone who needs it.

The Switchover Help Scheme, run by the BBC, has also been set up to make it easier for older and disabled people to switch to digital TV. It is writing to eligible people in the area. People are eligible for the scheme if they are aged 75 years or more, have lived in a care home for six months or more, get (or could get) certain disability benefits, or are registered blind or partially sighted.