Residents urged to get along to Make the Most of your Money Day.

Renfrewshire residents are being urged to give their finances a health check and make sure they’re getting all they’re entitled to by popping into the Make the Most of your Money Day.

The free event will take place at Paisley Town Hall on Tuesday 18 March 2014, from 10am until 4pm.

Councillor Mike Holmes, Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “There’s never been a better time to ask about managing your money, dealing with debt, benefits, consumer rights, bank accounts or fuel bills.


“Unfortunately many families continue to feel the squeeze, and the fact of the matter is that we could all benefit from some good advice about money, our rights and what we’re entitled to.

“We’ll have free and confidential support on everything from coping with redundancy and saving for a rainy day to getting the best deal and becoming more ‘online savvy’ with your cash.

“We’re pulling together a whole host of useful and expert advice under one roof and I’d urge as many local people as possible to get this in their diary and come in for a chat.”

Advice available on the day will include:
*       savings
*       becoming ‘online savvy’
*       energy saving and fuel tariffs
*       benefit check and help with forms
*       getting the best deal for goods and services
*       pensions and retirement
*       housing options
*       looking for a job
*       borrowing
*       budgeting wisely
*       redundancy
*       coping with debt
*       welfare reform
*       support funds available

No need to book, just pop in.

For more information about money advice and benefits information please visit


Go-karting sessions for young people with additional support needs and learning difficulties will commence later this year after Glasgow Airport agreed to fund the cost of four tandem karts.

The charity Kibble is currently creating a major new leisure facility to provide transitional jobs and training opportunities. Glasgow Airport is supporting the venture with an award of nearly £40,000 from its FlightPath Fund.

‘The Experience’ is being constructed inside the iconic former Rolls Royce factory in Hillington Park and will boast Scotland’s first indoor electric go-karting track.

Kibble hopes it will also become a major leisure, training and events centre which will create 50 transitional jobs and 50 work experience placements for young people aged between 16 and 24 every year.

Kibble intends to dedicate 20 hours every week to ‘Karting with a Conscience’, a social inclusion programme for those with additional support needs or learning difficulties who are unable to drive a go-kart themselves. This programme requires the use of tandem go-karts, which will be funded by the airport.

A support worker will manage and promote Karting with a Conscience, working with schools and other organisations such as charities to encourage them to use the facility on a regular basis.

The Experience will also offer other leisure and catering facilities and Kibble is hopeful it will become a sustainable social enterprise, with employment placements providing young people with the skills, experience and confidence they need to shape their own destiny.

Archie Hunter, chair of the Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund, said: “The funding application we received from Kibble was one which really stood out. We were impressed by the ambition shown in constructing The Experience from what was effectively an empty shell, and the determination to make it an inclusive facility that can be enjoyed by all and will prove to be sustainable in the long term.

“In addition to the benefits it will bring for many in the communities under the flightpath, we are very keen to support innovative projects that help people towards employment. The Experience offers fantastic volunteering and employment placement opportunities for Kibble service users and other young people.”

Graham Bell, Kibble chief executive, added: “Our Karting with a Conscience programme offers social inclusion to children and adults with additional support needs and learning difficulties who would otherwise be unable to experience the thrill of go-karting.

“The sessions will be a really memorable experience and our friendly helpful staff will ensure the highest standards of health and safety at all times. The tandem go-karts are a very specialist piece of equipment and Glasgow Airport has done the communities around it a great service by supporting the purchase of these through the FlightPath Fund.”

Courtesy of Glasgow Airport.

Live Full Renfrewshire Council meeting.

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Pupils put heart and soul into fundraiser.

Pupils at a Renfrewshire School have raised funds for a charity close to their heart.

Secondary pupils from Park Mains High in Erskine have raised £400 for the British Heart Foundation with a charity bake sale.

During their morning break pupils could choose from decorated cupcakes, iced biscuits and heart-shaped shortbreads in return for a small donation.

The baked goodies were made on site by Renfrewshire Council’s schools catering team and presented for sale by sixth year pupils on the school’s Charities Committee.

The ‘Have a Heart’ theme continued into lunchtime with a specially selected school meal menu that included sweet-on-you and sour chicken and a pasta bake with dreamy-sauce.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board said: “Park Mains has strong links with British Heart Foundation.  When our pupils have a passionate interest in helping their community it’s important the council does what’s within its gift to support them to achieve that.

“I’m delighted we could tie this event into a themed school lunch, which is just one of the many ways we’re modernising our schools meals service and encouraging pupils to get a healthy, balanced meal in school”.

Paisley Museum

Paisley Natural History Society evening talks.

Paisley Natural History Society is continuing it spring programme of evening talks with an illustrated talk by Anthony McCluskey, Outreach Officer for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, on Thursday 6 March at 7.30pm at Paisley Museum.

Bumblebees are essential pollinators of many wild flowers and crops, but their numbers are declining. Anthony will talk about the life cycle of the bumblebee, reasons for their decline and what we can do to help this furry and charismatic little insect.

This talk is free and open to everyone, just come along. Website Link.

Paisley Museum

Information about Paisley Natural History society

Paisley Natural History society was formed in the early 1970’s by local naturalists and is still going strong. The aims of the society are simple:
1. To encourage the study of natural history in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.
2. To support the conservation of wildlife and habitats; and
3. To maintain links with the Natural History department of Paisley Museum.

Regular indoor meetings are held in Paisley Museum on Thursday evenings during the winter months covering a variety of natural history topics from butterflies and birds to fungi and fossils and outings are organised during the summer months visiting sites throughout Scotland.

You don’t need to be a member to come along to the talks, they are open to anyone with an interest in natural history.

Copies of the winter talks programme can be obtained from Paisley Museum and the talks are also listed on the Renfrewshire Council website.

Contact the Elderly.

Contact the Elderly is a national organisation which aims to relieve the acute loneliness and isolation of people over the age of 75.  We organise small groups of volunteer drivers who take elderly members to a host’s home for tea one Sunday a month.  The group is warmly welcomed by a different host each month, but the drivers remain the same which means that over the months and years, acquaintances turn into friends and loneliness is replaced by companionship.  Our service is free.

While for some, living alone is a lifestyle choice and one they very much enjoy, for others, it can sometimes lead to feelings of social isolation and loneliness, especially as people grow older, mobility and health declines and social circles narrow.

We are now looking for volunteer drivers who can drive once a month on a Sunday (or be a reserve driver), or host a couple of times a year in their own homes.  Drivers must have their own cars, and hosts must have easy access to their homes and a downstairs toilet.

Contact the Elderly
PO Box 5207

Winner of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012

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Historical Property Records Go Online.

The Valuation Rolls of 1885 offer genealogists and other history researchers a fascinating picture of Victorian Scottish society, including figures ranging from William McGonagall to Dr Sophia Jex-Blake

Property records containing the names and addresses of more than 1.4 million people living in Scotland in 1885 has been released on, the government’s family history website.

Called Valuation Rolls, the new records comprise over 77,000 digital images taken from 144 volumes, and cover every type of property which was assessed as having a rateable value in 1885. As the records include details of owners, tenants and occupiers of property, they offer historians and genealogists an excellent online resource for researching Scottish society in the late Victorian age.


Visitors to the website will be able to search the 1885 Valuation Rolls by name and address, with the records listing the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of each property – in many cases occupations are also included. Since the Rolls list every type of rateable property in Scotland, these new records include people from all the social classes.

Some famous episodes in Scottish history can be traced using the Rolls. As the 1880s witnessed mass protests by crofters in the Highlands and Islands, ScotlandsPeople researchers looked at Rolls that contain the names and addresses of people who were imprisoned following the ‘Battle of the Braes’ on Skye in 1883.

Dr Sophia Jex-Blake, one of the first female medical students of Edinburgh University, was running her pioneering medical practice in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, for the benefit of women and children, and the Rolls reveal that she owned the house in Grove Street that was rented by her out-patient clinic, the Edinburgh Provident Dispensary for Women and Children.

Elsewhere in the Capital tenants were moving into Well Court in the Dean Village, a new housing development for the working class paid for by John Ritchie Findlay, proprietor of The Scotsman. Meanwhile his more famous project of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Queen Street was still under construction, and was valued at only £40.

Perhaps the only person who is listed in the Rolls as a ‘poet’ is William McGonagall, living in humble rented accommodation in Dundee, where he eked out a precarious livelihood performing his work and working as a weaver. Elsewhere in the town William Arrol, the famous engineer, was supervising the building of the replacement Tay Bridge, following the destruction of the first bridge in 1879. He had moved temporarily from Glasgow during the contract.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs in the Scottish Government, said:

“ScotlandsPeople is a superb digital resource for those who to wish explore their family pasts, both for Scots who live here now and for those whose ancestors left Scotland as part of the Diaspora. I hope that researching these new online records will inspire people to visit Scotland to see the places where their ancestors lived and worked, making their own journey of discovery in this year of Homecoming.”

Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said:

“The Valuation Rolls of 1885 are a wonderful quarry for people wanting to find out more about the lives and homes of their Victorian ancestors – or for those who are interested in the rich stories and characters of that period. The National Records of Scotland is committed to continuously improving and enhancing its services, and I’m delighted that we’ve now been able to make these fascinating records available online through our ScotlandsPeople website.”

Annelies van den Belt, the CEO of DC Thomson Family History, who enable the ScotlandsPeople website on behalf of the National Records of Scotland, said:

“We’re extremely pleased to add this new set of historical property records to the ScotlandsPeople website. We’ve now released five sets of Valuation Rolls, covering the years 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915 and 1920. With this new release we’ve again chosen a mid-point between censuses, as we believe this will help family historians to find out more about those ancestors who moved address and/or changed jobs between census years.”

The 1885 Valuation Rolls will be available on the ScotlandsPeople website, at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh, and at local family history centres in Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Hawick and Inverness.

Houston Born Sir William Arrol (1839-1913), the engineer who built the replacement Tay Bridge and the Forth Bridge.

William Arrol was an engineer and leading railway contractor. He was born on 13 February 1839 in Houston (Renfrewshire), the son of a spinner. He started work in a cotton mill at the age of only 9, but by 1863 had joined a company of bridge manufacturers in Glasgow. By 1872 he had his own business, the Dalmarnock Iron Works in the east end of the city.

William Arrol was the contractor responsible for building the Forth Rail Bridge (1890) and the replacement Tay Rail Bridge (1887), which were the two most substantial bridges in the world of their time and remain in constant use today. He was also responsible for Tower Bridge in London (1894), bridges over the Nile at Cairo (1908) and multi-span bridges over the River Clyde at Bothwell and the River South Esk at Montrose. His company also built the Bankside Power Station in London, which now forms the Tate Modern Art Gallery.

A search of the 1885 Valuation Rolls for William Arrol returns 10 results, highlighting the extent of his property and business portfolio in Glasgow and Dundee. The Dundee entries are especially interesting, given that Arrol was the engineer who planned the building of the replacement bridge over the Tay. So, in 1885, Arrol was in the middle of the 4-year project to build the new Tay Bridge.

In the first Valuation Roll entry (VR/98/55/174) for Arrol in Dundee, we find him listed as a tenant on ground at Tay Bridge Station owned by the North British Railway Company. The entry also includes the address of 47 Magdalene Green, which would appear to be where the site office for the new Tay Bridge project was based.

In the second Valuation Roll entry (VR/98/55/223), Arroll is listed as a tenant of a dwelling house at 24 Strawberry Bank. As Strawberry Bank is a side-street on the Perth Road that leads straight down to the Tay Bridge area, this would most likely have been Arrol’s main residence in Dundee during this time. So not only do we discover Arrol between censuses in 1885, but we also find him working on his project to build one of the world’s most famous bridges.


Valuation Roll entry for William Arrol in Dundee – VR/98/55/174

Valuation Roll entry for William Arrol in Dundee – VR/98/55/223

Line drawing of William Arrol (if using this photo, please include a courtesy and copyright notice for The British Newspaper Archive)
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PACE Theatre Company – Making the right Connections!

On the 13th, 14th, & 15th March PACE Theatre Company will be performing at The Wynd Auditorium as part of National Theatre Connections – a nationwide celebration of new plays for young people.

Each year new plays are commissioned for and about young people from some of the best contemporary playwrights, for performance by youth theatres all over the UK and Ireland, making Connections one of the world’s largest celebrations of youth theatre.

Last year PACE’s production of “The Guffin” by Howard Brenton was invited to perform at the National Theatre in London where it wowed critics and audiences alike and this year they will be hoping to emulate that feat with their production of “Heritage” by Dafydd James.


Mayday has dawned in Northbridge, and a group of misfit Youth gather to rehearse their heritage anthem to sing at the celebration. It soon becomes clear however that they have been chosen for a far darker purpose. What has Tubbsy hidden in his bag, why is Mark dressed as a stegosaurus and greater than all what does the Provost know!? Northbridge – a place full of whispers ready to reveal its ‘bloodiest’ secret

PACE’s Mhairi Gilbert who directs the play said “This has been a fantastic opportunity to work with the young actors on a new play and to create a completely original piece of theatre. What the audience can expect is an exciting and vibrant new piece of work which will showcase the talents of these young actors.”

Book now to see PACE Theatre Company perform “Heritage” at The Wynd Auditorium, Paisley 13th – 15th March 2014. Contact the box office on 0845 130 5218. Tickets £8/£6.

The cast will also be performing “Heritage” on Wednesday, 4th June at The Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh as part of a double bill for the NT Connections Festival. Tickets can be purchased from The Lyceum Box Office on 0131 248 4848.

For more information about National Theatre Connections visit

New flats are a thumbs-up for Paisley plans.

The next phase of a landmark Paisley development is open for business – and is being hailed a show of confidence in the town’s future.

Westpoint Homes have just released prices for their Abbey Place apartments in Gauze Street, the third phase of their popular Cloisters development.

Building work started in the new year and the four-and-five-storey structure – set to house 23 one and two-bedroom apartments – is already taking shape.

And Renfrewshire’s council leader reckons the work shows a vote of confidence in the ongoing regeneration of Paisley town centre.

Councillor Mark Macmillan – who visited the site to see progress for himself – said: “For companies like Westpoint Homes to be building developments of this size in the town centre demonstrates private-sector confidence in Paisley as a place to invest.

“These new flats mean new residents – and by bringing people back into Paisley to live, we anticipate knock-on benefits for the businesses already here.

“This section of the town centre is being transformed, with Abbey Place taking shape at the same as time as work starts on a combined housing and retail development over the road on the former Arnotts site.

“We believe these developments show that the council’s wider vision over how to regenerate the area is winning support.

“The next few years will be an exciting time for the town as we move forward with our plans to attract multi-million pound investment to support heritage-led tourism.

“The view from these new flats out over the Abbey and town hall is already pretty impressive – and if our vision for Paisley becomes reality it will get even better.”

Westpoint Homes have just released their prices for the new flats, which start at £115,000 for the one-bedroom properties.

Grant Lyon, commercial director of Westpoint Homes, added: “We are delighted to announce the release of Abbey Place and pleased to continue our long association with Paisley and be part of the exciting regeneration of the town centre

“Our new show apartment, complete with 2014 specification, is open daily between 11am and 5.30pm. Please contact us on 0141 889 2942 for further details.”

Development on the site of the former Arnotts store is taking place in three phases, and is expected to involve a combination of housing and retail.

Phase one is under way, with 31 new flats in Lawn Street being taken forward by Link Group with Westpoint as the contractors, due for completion in summer 2015.

National Theatre of Scotland presents Rantin’ at Paisley Museum.

The National Theatre of Scotland, in association with the Arches, presents  

By Kieran Hurley
Created with Liam HurleyGav PrenticeJulia Taudevin and Drew Wright

Performed by Kieran Hurley, Gav PrenticeJulia Taudevin and Drew Wright


The National Theatre of Scotland, in association with the Arches, presents Rantinpart cosy living room gathering, part play, part gig session. 

“…this gorgeous piece of ceilidh-theatre, where music swirls engagingly, is taut, nuanced and illuminatin’ ” (The Herald) 


Drawing on storytelling, live music and the Scottish folk tradition, Rantin stitches together visions of Scotland’s past with its ever-changing present reality, to reveal the patchwork identity of a nation. Performed in intimate venues, the interweaving of stories and music explores a nation’s plurality of lives, experiences and cultures. 

character from the show is specifically set in the town of each performance and audiences  in Paisley will see local references.

Rantin, was originally presented as part of the Auteurs project, a collaboration between the National Theatre of Scotland and the Arches, for the 2013 Behaviour festival. The production starts its tour at the Arches in Glasgow and has its final tour performance in Paisley.

Rantin has been created by lauded young theatre- maker, Kieran Hurley, whose award-winning one man show Beats, has recently toured the UK.  Recent shows include Hitch (Arches, Forest Fringe), and Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, (co-produced by Oran Mor and ThickSkin). 

Kieran has worked in close collaboration with his co-performers: musicians Gav Prentice and Drew Wright (aka Wounded Knee) and actor and theatre-maker Julia Taudevin to create this production.

Kieran Hurley says “I’m really excited to be taking Rantin on tour in 2014. We’ve got a great team, and I can’t wait to share the work with audiences across Scotland.”

Rantin is kicking off the National Theatre of Scotland’s Dear Scotland 2014 season of theatre, debate and celebration. The Company is inviting audiences to take part in Dear Scotland, not only by coming to events but also through sharing their thoughts about Scotland in 2014. Audiences in Paisley will be given a postcard with the greeting line, Dear Scotland on which they are encouraged to share their rants and regrets, love letters or break-up sentiments, advice or demands, hopes and dreams, and then to send the postcard back for free to the National Theatre of Scotland. The responses will be interlaced to create a living record of this momentous year.  For more information on this and for other ways to get involved please 

Direction by Kieran Hurley; Set and Costume Design by Lisa Sangster; Sound Design by Matt Padden; Lighting Design by Paul Claydon

Paisley Museum, High Street,  PA1 2BA
Saturday 1 March, 7.30pm
Tickets: £10/£6
Box Office: 0300 300 

Improved A&E performance this winter.

The number of people experiencing long waits for A&E treatment has dramatically reduced since last winter, according to new statistics.

Figures released today (Tuesday) show that the number of people attending A&E who were seen and treated within four hours was 93.5 per cent for December 2013, which has increased from 90.3 per cent in December 2012.

George Adam MSP

Paisley’s MSP George Adam said:
‘This is good news with improved waiting times over the busy period during winter. We all know that our NHS is put under added strain with winter illnesses and slips and knocks during the cold period. We must never be complacent though, we must always strive to improve how patients are dealt with in our health service. Statistics are a way of understanding how an organisation is working and it must be remembered that these statistics relate to people and their individual experience. When we or our loved ones are experiencing for themselves the care of the NHS then statistics seldom come in to it.

‘£50 million of additional funding has been provided to NHS boards in the form of the emergency care plan in order to target additional requirements needed during winter. No doubt this has helped to reduce waiting times at accident and emergency departments this year.

‘We know how hard our NHS staff work and under additional stress during winter we should appreciate all their efforts.’

Courtesy of

Paisley’s Recycling Super Hub opens.

Residents in Paisley will be able to recycle their waste at the new Recycling Super Hub.

The renovated recycling site at Underwood Road will reopen on Friday 28 February at 8am.

Benefiting from a £1.25 million revamp, the Super Hub layout has been redesigned to improve road access. A new one-way system round the site will reduce traffic queues and allow cars to easily access the site.

Better recycling facilities at street level and clearly signposted recycling facilities will make it easier for residents to recycle their waste.


The Recycling Super Hub is one of the busiest recycling centres in Renfrewshire and the site is expected to see significantly improved recycling performance.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of the Environment Policy Board, said, “It is vital that a facility like the Recycling Super Hub is available to residents. As the most popular recycling site there was a definite need to improve the site’s access and recycling facilities.

“The £1.25 million overhaul of the site has enabled us to offer a better laid out site that has improved road access, is easier for cars to drive through the site and is clearly signposted.

“Recycling our waste is an important step towards a greener Renfrewshire. We have big targets to meet for recycling our waste and reducing how much is sent to landfill.

“I’d encourage residents to come along on Friday 28 February to see the improvements at the Recycling Super Hub for themselves.”

Significant investment was made at Renfrew, Erskine and Linwood Household Waste Recycling Centres between 2005 and 2007. The recycling rate at each site improved to 60% following the renovations.

Currently, 50% of all waste must be recycled to achieve the Zero Waste Scotland targets.

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.