glasgow prays

Our thoughts and prayers go to everyone affected by the tragedy at Queen Street Station and George Square today. From Paisley with Love

Six pedestrians dead as bin lorry crashes in Glasgow’s George Square

Six people have been confirmed dead after a bin lorry careered into a group of pedestrians and cars in Glasgow’s George Square.

Eight other people — including the driver of the lorry — are being treated for injuries at three hospitals across the city, police have confirmed.

George Square was closed following the crash near to the entrance to Queen Street train station shortly after 2.30pm on Monday.

Eyewitnesses said that a Glasgow City Council bin lorry collided with several vehicles and hit a number of pedestrians between the Gallery of Modern Art and the station.

There were unconfirmed reports that small children were among those struck by the square

The lorry driver appeared to lose control near to Royal Exchange Square before careering north along Queen Street, bystanders said.

It finally came to a stop when it collided with the Millennium Hotel, at the side entrance to Queen Street train station on the corner of George Square and within sight of Glasgow City Chambers.

Text and above image from


031 Chamber 181214

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Renfrewshire Chamber is delighted to announce that Audrey Cumberford, Principal and Chief Executive of West College Scotland has been appointed as President of the Chamber.

The Immediate Past President Tom Johnston has been appointed as Honorary President, a new role to recognise Tom’s ongoing involvement at a senior level with the Chamber and in which role he will be assisting the new President in the continuing development of the Chamber.

Commenting on her appointment, Audrey said “I’m honoured to have been appointed as President of the Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and with the support of the Board and the members look forward to continuing to helping Renfrewshire grow & prosper. It has been a privilege to be a Non-Executive Director over the last few years under Tom’s leadership and I am committed to building on his legacy and continuing in the role of President in what is one of Scotland’s most active Chambers, working closely with our Chief Executive, Bob Davidson and his team. The Board will come together at the end of January to discuss our plans for the future at our annual strategy session”.

Tom Johnston commented “it has been an honour to have been the President of Renfrewshire Chamber; it has been a large part of my business and private life for a number of years and I’m delighted that I shall be able to continue to serve on the Board as Honorary President. As we transition to our new President, I give Audrey my full support knowing that the Chamber is in a healthy position and we will continue to build on that success”.

Renfrewshire Chamber celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014 with membership just under 600 and has completed its 5th consecutive year of returning a financial surplus. The Chamber was recently awarded Investors in Young People status recognising the work it does employing young people directly and the support it gives to the young people of Renfrewshire. Audrey will be the 2nd female President of the Chamber in its 50 year history, following on from Sheila Laidlaw in 1991.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“Scottish sporting rivalry.” These words are enough to strike fear and excitement into the hearts of every Scottish sports fan, and can provide the perfect opportunity for a little gambling, particularly online betting. There is nothing quite like watching your favourite team come up against its foe, particularly if the result could prove profitable for you; your heart will never be further from your chest than when you’re anticipating the results of a big game.


Great Scottish rivalries


Perhaps the most famous Scottish sporting rivalry is that which exists between Rangers and Celtic football clubs. Having existed for many years, the rivalry is deeply embedded in Scottish culture, and can be attributed to much of the religious, social, and political division in the country. The Old Firm derby, in which the two teams meet, is widely regarded as one of the biggest events in world football; the betting stakes, as you can imagine, are high. Other famous derbies in Scotland include Ayr United versus Kilmarnock, Dundee versus Dundee United, and East Stirlingshire versus Falkirk; in fact, rivalries exist between a number of teams and, as always, their meetings provide the ideal chance for a little friendly betting.
As evidenced by the recent referendum, the rivalries between England and Scotland have existed for centuries, and are perhaps best demonstrated in the sporting world. The two sides have been meeting each other on the rugby field since 1871, with 132 games being played; 42 of those were won by Scotland, and 18 matches ended in a draw. Similarly, England and Scotland have met numerous times on the football pitch since 1872, earning the title of the oldest international fixture in the world. Scottish patriotism runs rife during these meetings, and they are fantastic opportunities for placing a bet, or two.


Making money from your favourite sports and their rivalries


Of course, there is more to these famous sporting rivalries than just hoping for your team’s big win; if you’re the gambling type, the result of every game could prove highly profitable for you. Betting on the outcome of sporting rivalries can be great fun, and adds another thrill to a match that is already filled with nail biting and sitting on the edge of your seat. There are numerous places where you can place a bet online, and the very best betting sites UK will offer hints and tips on placing your bets, as well as games and further opportunities for winning money.


Sporting rivalries are as embedded in Scottish culture and history as some of the most famous battles, with competition fierce and confrontations fiery – particularly between the fans. Watching your favourite teams play can be an exhilarating experience, particularly if you have placed a bet on the outcome beforehand. Your team’s every game is often as beneficial for you as for the players themselves, and betting has become even more popular with the rise of online gaming sites; betting has never been easier, more convenient, or tempting.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Paisley pirates

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Paisley Pirates return to action at the Braehead Arena this Sunday when they take on North Ayrshire Wild in their final SNL match of 2014 (face off 6.00pm).

After several disappointing results in November, Pirates have returned to form in December with two big away wins, beating Kilmarnock Storm 9-3 and then shutting out Moray Typhoons 5-0 on successive weekends.


“Yes, it’s been reassuring to see the boys return to something like their potential in the last couple of games,” explained coach Ian Turley. “We seemed to have lost our cutting edge last month so I changed the lines around in order to get us firing again, and I suppose I can’t be too disappointed with 14 goals in two games. Having said that, I thought we could and should have score more at Elgin, but some victories give you more satisfaction than others, and the 5-0 whitewash certainly falls into that category.”

He went on, “We’ve got another hard nut to crack this weekend when we take on the Wild at Braehead. Last season, they turned us over twice and I seem to remember them advertising themselves as the best team in the West of Scotland. Well, we tend to do our talking on the ice, so we won’t be making any rash predictions or claims. As it’s a local derby, there will be enough spice in the clash, and we’ll be trying hard to ensure that there won’t be any such comments coming out of any rink in these parts!”

“We’re also putting on a bit of a show for our punters on Sunday, hopefully not just during the game, but during the break and after the game. We’re not giving too much away about the interval attraction other than to say there will be a chance to see a little junior ice hockey again, while at the end of the game we have a big presentation. We know already that there’s going to be a bigger crowd than usual, and our crowds have already shown an upward trend this season, so the advice is to come early and avoid disappointment. We’ve got a lot of entertainment to fit into two and a half hours on Sunday, and it’s still only £7 for adults to get in, so Christmas will once again be coming early to supporters of the Paisley Pirates! Be there!”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Renfrewshire residents received some welcome community safety news this week as Renfrewshire Council improved the operating hours of some services.

Longer summer operating hours for Renfrewshire Wardens, the extension of noise enforcement services until 4am at weekends and more weekend cover for youth services have all been confirmed.

Summer operating hours have been extended to 11pm Mondays to Thursday, midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11pm on Sundays.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “Making our communities safer is a key priority of the council. Earlier this month, we announced that wardens would be doubling up as taxi marshals in places over the festive season, to help partygoers get home safely. Their visible presence increases public confidence in community safety services, so now, it’s great that we can also announce that we’ve been able to extend their hours of patrol during the year.

“Our statistics show that increased daylight hours in the summer tend to lead to more antisocial behaviour so the wardens will patrol later into the night in the summer months to help prevent any occurrence.

“Noise nuisance can be a very distressing form of antisocial behaviour for those who have to live next to it. Extending the hours of our enforcement team to 4am on Fridays and Saturdays means more people can be helped to enjoy peace and quiet in their own home.”

“All of these changes have been made in response to what we’re learning about when antisocial behaviour is most prevalent and how best it can be prevented from occurring, or tackled when it does.”

Renfrewshire Wardens and noise enforcement officers can be called on 0300 300 0380 (choose option 1).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Glasgow Airport exterior 18.12.14

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Glasgow Airport is preparing for its busiest festive period in six years as tens of thousands of travellers prepare to take to the skies over the Christmas holidays.

More than 220,000 people are expected to pass through the airport over the festive period (20 December – 2nd January) with many heading to sunnier climes to escape the winter chill. It is also a time when many people who live and work elsewhere in the UK or overseas, make their way home to celebrate Christmas and New Year with friends and family.

Glasgow Airport exterior 18.12.14

Dubai, New York and the Canary Islands are just some of the popular destinations people will be jetting off to over Christmas and the New Year and Glasgow Airport is reminding travellers to pack their Christmas gifts carefully before flying. Passengers travelling with wrapped Christmas presents are advised to place them in their hold luggage as opposed to hand luggage, as wrapped gifts may be opened during the security screening process.

Ronald Leitch, head of terminal and security operations, added: “The festive period is always a special time at the airport. Many of our passengers are returning home to spend the holidays with friends and family, so there can be a lot of emotion as loved ones are re-united.

“To ensure our customers’ journey through the airport is enjoyable, we would encourage anyone travelling with Christmas presents to take a few moments before they leave home to double check any liquids they may have are properly packed and within the 100ml limits. If anyone is planning to take any presents on their flight, we’d recommend they pack them in their hold luggage as this will help reduce waiting times at security.

Whatever our customers’ travel plans are, sunny or festive, we hope they enjoy their break and would like to wish them all a very Merry Christmas.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Provosts Awards 78

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]People who live or work in Renfrewshire have begun to nominate those special people in our communities for a Provost’s Community Award.

The awards, which opened to nominations on Monday 27 October, are a chance to recognise those people who devote much of their time to others for little or nothing in return.

Taking the time to nominate someone for an award is what Gillian McGrane and Alison Hutchison did last year.

Gillian and Alison, who work for Cairellot Nursery and Learning Centre, took just a few minutes out of their busy day to nominate their employer, Rosemary Elliot, for an award.

Little did they know then that Rosemary would go onto win the Employer of the Year award.

Gillian said “Nominating Rosie for the Employer of the Year Award was an easy decision.

“Rosie is a local mum and grandmother who has worked tirelessly for the provision of quality childcare in the village of Bishopton as well as being an advocate for the whole childcare sector.

“Most of us know someone who deserves a thank you and appreciation for what they do, day in day out without the want or wish for reward or recognition but unfortunately we are all guilty of sometimes being too busy to do something about it.

“When the leaflet advertising the Provost Awards popped through our door, we could think of no better accolade than a community award for someone who had dedicated her life to supporting the families around her.

“Rosie was thrilled and overwhelmed when our staff team told her of her nomination and win and we would encourage anyone to take a moment out of their day to say thank you to someone who has made a difference in your life or the life of your community.”

Nomination forms can be filled in online at Printed forms are also available at Council offices and facilities.

The closing date for nominations is 31 January 2015.

Winning candidates will be invited to the Provost’s Community Awards ceremony in March 2015.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Renfrew Town Hall

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]New plans for the management of Renfrewshire’s libraries, museums and town halls will ‘promote greater investment, increase community participation in decision-making, and support economic regeneration’ according to a new report.

A meeting of Renfrewshire Council on Thursday December 18 will consider a proposal that the existing Renfrewshire Leisure trust should take over the running of cultural services and facilities.

Renfrewshire Leisure has more than doubled customer visits to sports facilities and increased jobs by over 50% since it took over the management of Renfrewshire’s sports centres and swimming pools in 2003.

Council chiefs believe that incorporating cultural services into the trust can deliver a similar boost for a sector that the council has put at the centre of its programme to regenerate the Renfrewshire economy.

Councillor James Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sports, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, said: “Renfrewshire has a unique cultural heritage and a vibrant arts scene. The council is putting that living tradition at the centre of our plans to bring jobs and investment.

“Our approach takes account of the Renfrewshire Tourism Framework, the Paisley Heritage Asset Strategy which could be worth £45m a year and 800 new jobs, and the plan for Paisley to bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

“The council has set out an approach which builds on a successful existing model in Renfrewshire. Vital services would be retained in public ownership through a not-for-profit organisation with charitable status. We would also draw on the best practice of trusts which are already operating successfully in two thirds of Scottish local authority areas.

“It’s vital we get the right approach to maximise the potential of our museums, town halls and libraries. We have looked at different options, consulted widely, and believe that broadening the scope of a trust which has a proven track record offers the best way forward.

“There are strong economic reasons for creating an expanded trust. At a time when the council is facing a funding shortfall of between £20 and £30million over the next three years, it makes sense to take advantage of the £600,000 savings from VAT and business rates which trust status would deliver every year.

“The trust’s facilities and services would continue to receive public funding from Renfrewshire Council but would also have more flexibility to attract additional funding from other sources. The facilities, including museums, libraries and town halls would remain in public ownership.

“There would be increased opportunities for community and business representatives to be directly involved in decision-making on the future of cultural services through representation on the trust board”

Along with a change to the management of libraries, museums and town halls, a number of other services could transfer to the trust, including: sports development and Active Schools programmes, bowling greens and pavilions, and some community facilities. The aim is to provide a better, more streamlined service – for example, on pitch bookings.

Added Councillor Harte: “Our proposals are ambitious and reflect our vision for not just preserving cultural services in Renfrewshire but strengthening and developing them.”

If the plan is approved by councillors, there would be a phased transfer of services to the trust during 2015.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Wingwalk Cheque 01

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Thousands of pounds have been donated by local people following a special wing-walking display in August.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall and seventeen brave locals took to the skies to raise awareness of armed forces charity Help for Heroes, who help wounded service men and women and their families.

The daring bunch, who travelled at speeds of up to 135mph during the wingwalk, were overwhelmed when local people generously donated £8,000 to the charity.

Provost Hall said “We started the wing-walk mission to raise awareness of Help for Heroes, but many people have generously donated money since the event. Just under £8000 has been donated and all monies donated will be given to Help for Heroes.

“The bravery of our service men and women is always one that strikes a chord with me. It’s great that I was joined by seventeen people who wanted to help me raise awareness of this much deserved charity.

“I wanted to do something a little bit different. Doing the wing-walk was ideal as it’s so extraordinary and that is exactly what our service men and women do every day.

“It is particularly important to remember as we begin the WW1 centenary commemorations and as we honour all those who lost their lives during Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day.”

Bryn Parry, CEO and Co-Founder of Help for Heroes, said: “H4H is all about ‘doing your bit’ and this event is a wonderful example of people having a good idea, rallying support and having a great deal of fun while they raise money for a wonderful cause.

“Soldiers, sailors and airmen who are injured today will still need our support in the future. They are still battling and we won’t let them battle alone. Working with our partners, we aim to inspire, enable and support our heroes and their families to give them the best possible chance of a fulfilling future.”

For more information on Help for Heroes, please visit[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Renfrewshire residents are urged to make sure their cars are up to scratch for winter travel.

It is important for people to make sure their car is ready for winter before travelling in poor weather. There are a number of simple steps residents can take to help make sure their car is prepared for winter journeys.

Check that the battery is reliable, clean and doesn’t need replaced. Make sure good winter tyres are installed and get them checked with a garage before the winter season. Car brakes, lights and exhaust should all also be checked to ensure they are safe for travelling.

Packing an emergency kit is also advised for journeys in poor weather. ReadyScotland recommends including a first aid kit, battery jump leads, a torch, a map, an ice scraper and de-icer, a shovel for snow, warm clothes and a blanket, and some food and a warm drink in a flask.

Residents should also remember to check the weather forecast and road conditions before they set out, and leave plenty of time to get to their destination.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “With winter approaching the bad weather can make simple journeys more hazardous.

“It is important to get your car checked and make sure it is ready for travelling in bad weather conditions.

“It’s such a simple thing to do and it will help ensure that your car is ready for getting you to where you need to be safely this winter.”

Renfrewshire Council will also be preparing for winter travel by gritting throughout winter, providing 24 hour cover to respond to snow and ice using a fleet of specialist gritting vehicles. Over 6,500 tonnes of salt have been purchased to treat more than 540 miles of road and 800 miles of pavements in Renfrewshire.

There are over 300 grit bins provided at locations around Renfrewshire, and residents are encouraged to make use of them. Clearing footways around your own home and helping elderly or infirm neighbours will ensure that many footways will be safer and easier to use.

For more information about the Ready for Winter campaign, including information on Winter gritting, useful contact numbers and advice on how to do your bit, go to

Updates on gritting and winter weather advice are also available on Renfrewshire Council’s Twitter @rencouncilnews and Facebook page[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

ready for winter

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Businesses and community groups in Renfrewshire are once again being offered shovels to help make sure they are prepared for the possibility of severe weather this winter.

The initiative is part of Renfrewshire Council’s Ready for Winter campaign, which aims to encourage the public to do their bit to make sure they are prepared for the severe weather winter can bring.

Ready for Winter includes a wide range of measures in place to keep Renfrewshire moving over the winter, with gritters being on standby 24/7 to grit the areas 500 mile network of priority roads and pavements and over 400 grit bins available to provide members of the public with salt.

The public are also being provided with tips and advice to help them prepare for the winter, including how to prepare an emergency pack, avoiding frozen and burst pipes, clearing driveways and paths and how to keep safe when driving in winter.

The shovels will help business owners and community groups to stay accessible to the public despite the weather.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board said: “We’ve had a number of mild winters recently, but its vital Renfrewshire is prepared for severe winter weather. The poor weather conditions that winter brings can make it more difficult for people to get around and get on with their everyday business.

“By offering shovels to local businesses and community groups, it’ll be easier for them to keep their doors open throughout winter.

“We’d also like to remind people that severe weather conditions can make things particularly tough for elderly or vulnerable in the community, so we’d encourage everyone to keep an eye on your neighbours and help out if you can, whether it’s by clearing a driveway or picking up some groceries.

“By working together and looking out for each other we can keep Renfrewshire moving this winter.”

Business owners looking for more information on winter safety on their premises should go to

Community groups who want to do their bit during periods of prolonged bad weather should contact Renfrewshire Wardens for salt and grit supplies on 0300 300 0380.

For more information about the Ready for Winter campaign, including information on Winter gritting, useful contact numbers and advice on how to do your bit, go to

Updates on gritting and winter weather advice are also available on Renfrewshire Council’s Twitter @rencouncilnews and Facebook page[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Christmas Fairytale 2014

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It was during one of my annual Habitat for Humanity* builds in 2013 (this time to Malawi) that one of my team members revealed that his day job was designing and implementing window installations for shops in Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Obviously he heard about our shop, Rainbow Turtle, in Paisley from me and he said he would come and do our Christmas windows. Believing this to be a bit of a joke I thought nothing would come of it. However, in October 2013 not only Adam, but the whole team I had been working with (18!) landed on me for a weekend, made origami animals, and installed a whole winter wonder land in our windows. This was a real demonstration of team work in action.


The legacy of that has been realising what a difference a good window display makes to the street and to the interest in the shop. It inspired students from the West College Scotland to design and implement our fantastic Fairtrade Fortnight jungle scene earlier this year to raise awareness of the plight of banana growers with the supermarket battles over lower prices.

Adam had suggested that we should do fairy tale scenes this year – and so linking fairy tales with our fairly traded goods has been the aim. We hope it brings a few smiles to people’s faces as well as spreading a more serious message at this time of year when we should think of those for whom life is a constant struggle. Remembering that every purchase we make has an impact on those who produce them – hopefully for the better if bought in a fair trade way.

This is a comment from our Facebook page “Comments from our kids about this display when visiting Rainbow Turtle today – ‘awesome’ and ‘cool’!!”
There seems to be a lot of young children stopping to look at the window and it’s really lovely to see the smile appear on their wee faces when they realise what the window is portraying. They love it!

If you would like to know more about Rainbow Turtle and what we do, or fair trade in general, please visit

*Habitat for Humanity is a development charity aiming to eradicate poverty housing in the world. Teams are invited to take part in builds each year. I am recruiting for another Malawi build for 2015. These builds change our lives as well as those of the recipients of a new home. If you are interested in further information contact[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]