All of Renfrewshire’s schools and pre-five establishments will close at 1pm tomorrow (Thursday 8 December). All special schools, including Hollybush Pre-Five centre will be closed all day.

The decision to close the schools was taken after the Met Office issued a red alert, warning of gale force winds potentially reaching 90mph.

The Renfrewshire Council Schools’ Music Service Christmas Concert, scheduled to take place in Paisley Town Hall tomorrow evening has also been cancelled and will be rescheduled.

Red alert warnings are highly unusual with only one or two being issued a year.

Councillor Lorraine Cameron, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education Policy Board, said, “The safety of our pupils is our chief concern. We have been given a clear warning from the Met Office to expect severe weather that could damage buildings and cut power supplies.

“We realise that this decision will cause parents some inconvenience but in these circumstances we have no other choice given the severity of the weather predicted.”

The Met Office warning said, “Through the day on Thursday winds will strengthen with severe and potentially damaging and dangerous gales developing through the central belt during the afternoon and into the evening rush hour with winds as high as 80 mph, and a risk of some gusts to 90 mph. Transport disruption, including complete closure of bridges, power supply disruption and structural damage are all possible with gusts of this magnitude.”

Press release issued: Wednesday 7 December 2011, 5pm



Please also in any tweets to keep people updated of the changing weather and hazards to motorists etc, if you are tweeting please use the hashtag #paisleyweather so we can inform people of the conditions asp..

Also keep an eye on the Met office website which is fantastic for realtime weather information

Make your festivities Fairtrade

People in Renfrewshire are being urged to make their festive season a Fairtrade one this year.

Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Steering Group is encouraging local residents to keep up their excellent track record of supporting independent producers in developing countries by buying gifts and decorations with the approved Fairtrade logo this Christmas.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Brian Lawson, Chair of Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Steering Group, said: “By buying items with the Fairtrade logo we are ensuring a better deal for the people who make them. This is especially important at Christmas time, the season of goodwill.

“There is a huge range of Fairtrade products available these days from present ideas such as bags, jewellery, clothes, to Christmas cards and decorations, wrapping paper or even Fairtrade food and wine.”

Fairtrade items are available in several major shops and local retailers. Councillor Lawson popped into Paisley’s Rainbow Turtle shop on Gauze Street to check out their collection of festive Fairtrade goods.

There is also a range of cafes, restaurants and venues in Renfrewshire serving Fairtrade food and drink where you can pop in for a coffee to refuel after your shopping trip, or for Christmas celebrations with friends and family.

Councillor Lawson added: “This has been a great year for Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade campaign with many schools achieving Fairtrade status. Paisley Fairtrade Partnership was also named runner up in this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight Award for the Best Cotton activity. Let’s all keep up this hard work by making this a Fairtrade festive season.”

A full list of Renfrewshire Fairtrade outlets can be found on Renfrewshire Council website,

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at

As we are all aware the Russell Institute has been put up for sale by the NHS. Miss Agnes Russell donated the building to Paisley in memory of her two bachelor brothers.

Paisley Development Trust have stepped in and hope to guarantee its future. They have earmarked this iconic building as a potential site for a new Arts and Cultural Centre.

Piero Pieraccini said that an in depth feasability study will have to be done to see if the PDT can afford it.

Anyone who wants to volunteer their services to the project can e-mail Piero on or

One of‘s Volunteers was recently approached by a neighbour to sign a petition to clear up the mystery of why the waste ground at Killoch Road and Candren Road was constantly flooding and causing residents concern about the health and safety of their children.

The residents have, over the previous 7 years, contacted the local labour councillor who has done nothing to resolve the issue despite several complaints and pleas by the residents.

Our volunteer asked his neighbour to leave it with him and he in turn contacted Cllr Kenny MacLaren and asked him to investigate

Mr MacLaren has kept in Constant Contact with us and kept us up to date with progress.

Within 4-6 weeks the waste ground has been cleared and the problem identified and we look forward to the issue being fully resolved.

Constant complaints about flooding on waste-ground in the Ferguslie area of Paisley prompted a council investigation, but no-one could find the source of the problem.

It was finally discovered that rising waters were down to water mains in demolished houses which should have been disconnected but had been left on.

Local councillor Kenny MacLaren said: “It looks as if we now know the source of the flooding problem, it’s just a shame that officers weren’t given the right information to begin with.”

Previous investigations had not identified the source of the flooding on waste ground at Candren Roadbut it has now emerged that earlier complaints directed council officers to investigate the wrong spot.

Finally, after a site investigation, it was found that two stopcocks – linked to properties demolished seven years ago – in a grassed area just off the footpath of Candren Roadwere in the ‘open’ position.

They have now been closed and further work is to be carried out to make sure there are no more unused links to the mains system.

Councillor MacLaren added: “Due to the recent heavy rainfall it was not possible to complete the work to ensure that there are no more service connections contributing to the flooding. Once the ground dries out a bit the mini-digger will be back on site to complete investigations and hopefully, once and for all, the flooding issue will be sorted.

“I would like to thank the residents for their patience.”

A Renfrewshire Council spokeswoman said: “Our engineers carried out a number of site visits and held discussions with local residents.

“The information they gathered from residents highlighted that the problems had affected a wider area.

“Remedial works are under way.”

Celebrated Paisley vocal group, Aria, are presenting an evening of Christmas classics and festive favourites this Sunday in the beautiful setting of Holy Trinity and St. Barnabus, Paisley.

Under the direction of Voices in Paisley chairman, Jim Drennan, Aria have enjoyed considerable success by winning choral competitions such as the Glasgow Music Festival and reaching the regional finals of BBC’s Choir of the Year competition. Aria also work tirelessly to support local charities by performing in concerts throughout the year.

As close friends and former members of the Glasgow Youth Choir, the girls have been singing together for over twenty years and this is evident in the perfect blend of voices.

The repertoire is extensive and audience members are promised a stunning performance of classics from Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and Adam’s O Holy Night to the more contemporary pieces like Santa Baby and All I Want for Christmas. There truly is something for everyone, including mulled wine and mince pies!


The concert will take place on Sunday 11th December at 7.30pm at Holy Trinity and St. Barnabus. Tickets £10.

Film actress joins Renfrewshire women to speak out on trafficking

Renfrewshire women were joined this week by film actress Kate Dickie in taking a stand against the trafficking of women and children at home and abroad.

Kate was one of the guest speakers at Renfrewshire Women’s Association annual Outrage conference exploring issues of gender violence, which took place at Paisley Town Hall on Tuesday 29 November.

The title of this year’s conference was ‘Nobody’s Free until Everyone’s Free’ with participants sharing their own experiences and discussing the trafficking of women and children.

One of the highlights was an exhibition of human sculpture and worry dolls which explored the individual identities of trafficked women and the struggle for survival many women and children face. Eight local community groups produced some very provocative and thoughtful artwork.

The conference ended on a poignant note as white ribbons carrying messages of support were tied to a wreath laid in Dunn Square, Paisley, at a plaque dedicated last year to all the victims of domestic abuse in Renfrewshire.

Kate Dickie is patron of the Renfrewshire Women’s Association.

Kate said: “It was an amazing day and I want to say just how fantastic I think the women of the association are. I am so honoured to be their patron.”

“They inspire me on so many levels and I thought that they tackled the issue of human trafficking in such an honest and thought-provoking way. I was bowled over by the openness and trust that the women put into it by sharing their private experiences.”

“This is an issue that is so often ignored and I think the people of Paisley will have gained a valuable and necessary insight into the plight of human trafficking.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about Renfrewshire Women’s Association should call 0141 887 7227 .

Renfrewshire chamber

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce’s members play an integral role in creating prosperity for the area, placing Renfrewshire firmly in the commercial spotlight and making it the place to do business.

We work to represent our members as they grow their businesses, develop new technologies, create employment and diversity in Renfrewshire, and seek funding for further growth.

For as little as 8p* per employee per week
being a member gives your business access to

  • A robust network of business contacts – approaching 500 members / 30,000 employees
  • Forums, networking lunches, guest speakers, events, and the ROCCO Awards
  • Legal expense cover & HR advice for your business
  • Savings on products such as healthcare, factoring & merchant services for your business
  • Current business news & information.
  • Representation in Holyrood and in Westminster
  • Discounted access to the Business Centre at Glasgow Airport
  • Several channels to promote your business – Business Matters magazine, fortnightly eNews, first Chamber iPhone app in Europe / our website
  • Active across all social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin)

The Renfrewshire Chamber is a private company and is directed by a volunteer board selected from its members. Our 8 staff members are based at Glasgow Airport.

The Chamber is a fully accredited and active member of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the British Chambers of Commerce, making Renfrewshire’s businesses an integral part of the most important business group in Britain.

On behalf of our staff, directors, and members, we would be delighted to speak to you about the Chamber and what we can offer you and your business. Please get in touch on 0141 847 5450 or click here for more information.

Find out more and visit the Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce website

St Mirren

Inverness make the long trek down this week when hopefully the weather will not impact the game with snow & rain, both forecast for the weekend. Saints will be looking to bounce back after the humiliating defeat last week at Celtic.

Saints have McGregor & Thomson missing this weekend & ICT have Doran & Jones absent. This is a big game for both teams as they battle to get top 6 status in the run up to Christmas.

Get down if you can and shout the boys on to hopefully maintaining our current top 6 position, plenty of tickets still available at the Box Office up until kick off.

St Mirren