Three SNP candidates

Three SNP candidates have today demanded that Renfrewshire Council takes action to clean up illegal dumping on the Gleniffer Braes.  Lorraine Cameron, currently a councillor for the Paisley Southwest Ward, visited the area along with her colleagues Brian McGuire and Stephen Burns.  The dumped tyres, previously reported in the PDE,  are still there after several months, and Councillor Cameron said ‘ it is a disgrace that the council have, after all this time, failed to clean up this beauty spot, and this issue has to be highlighted.

The undeniable failure of this council to clean up its act is extremely embarrassing given that Paisley is being punted to win City of Culture 2021 – yet our local green spaces lie polluted and endangered like this’.  Mr McGuire said ‘ I have never in my life seen anything like it – a sea of black rubber covers the ground and the stench of rubber is overwhelming’.

The tyres have been added to by fly tipping of household items which have been tossed over the barrier, landing on the hill and ground below.  Stephen Burns added ‘myself, Brian and Lorraine have been all over the ward in recent weeks and have discovered a lot of problems needing attention, but this takes the biscuit.  I cannot believe that the council have known about this and yet not cleared this obnoxious hazard’.

The SNP have launched their Renfrewshire manifesto for the Council election on May 4th.

Local candidates were joined by party members at Renfrew Town Hall, which was refurbished under the last SNP Administration, as they unveiled their plans for the area.

 Former SNP Council leader Derek Mackay MSP and SNP Group Leader Cllr Kenny MacLaren said improving the environment and roads, as well as putting the community at the heart of decisions, would be key to a new SNP administration.

 Mr Mackay, who now serves as Finance Secretary, also highlighted some of the achievements of his own council administration between 2007 and 2012.

SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said local candidates were ready to work hard to deliver key priorities, and also said she was proud at the local 50/50 gender balance of candidates.

The SNP are fielding 24 candidates, made up of 12 men and 12 women, across the 12 Renfrewshire wards.

Nicola Sturgeon said: 

“This May, people will go the polls to elect a new council for Renfrewshire.

“All of our local candidates are ready to work hard to deliver key SNP priorities such as expanding childcare, closing the attainment gap, protecting local services and empowering communities.

“We’re proud to have more women standing for the SNP in Renfrewshire than ever before, with a 50/50 gender balanced team of candidates.

 “On May 4th put your trust in the SNP to work hard for Renfrewshire and to build a better Scotland.”

Renfrewshire MSP Derek Mackay, who is also SNP Business Convener, said:

“The people of Renfrewshire have an opportunity to elect a new Council with fresh ideas and a renewed sense of purpose.

“The very fact that we are launching the manifesto here in Renfrew Town Hall, a building renovated, and under budget, when I was Council leader, shows just the kind of thing an SNP Council administration can deliver.

“With the new Johnstone Town Hall, new Park Mains High School in Erskine, and town centre and council housing upgrades across Renfrewshire just some examples of the SNP delivering for locals.

“The SNP are fielding a dynamic team, which I am very happy to support.

“The manifesto launched today reflects the desire of Renfrewshire people to see improvements in education, the environment, local infrastructure and all whilst keeping the council tax as low as possible.”

SNP Group Leader Cllr Kenny MacLaren said:

“This manifesto outlines our aims for the future and how we intend to take Renfrewshire forward.

“For too long the people of Renfrewshire have been ignored by the current Labour administration.  Whether it’s people in Ferguslie awaiting demolition of their houses to make way for a sports centre or residents looking for decent streetlights and roads when Labour are pouring millions into vanity projects like duck ponds at the Racecourse – Labour simply aren’t listening.  We need to, and we intend to change that.  No longer will local groups turn up at the lottery of the Local Area Committee feeling that decisions have been taken in private about who should get funded.

“Our manifesto aims to focus on working more closely with our local communities; empowering them to grow and take control of resources that are key to them and to work to create a better, cleaner and greener environment for all.”



Glasgow Airport is preparing for one of its busiest periods of the year as an expected 450,000 holidaymakers jet off for the Easter school holidays.

With Easter weekend falling at the end of the holiday break this year, the airport is preparing for three exceptionally busy weekends ahead. This weekend is likely to be the busiest with more than 100,000 people expected to travel through the airport. A further 350,000 passengers are expected to travel through the airport during the entire school break.

The majority of travellers will be heading to popular sun destinations such as the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Dubai and Florida.  Passengers are also expected to explore Glasgow Airport’s growing European destination list, which includes three new routes launched by Ryanair earlier this week to Lisbon, Valencia and Palanga, Lithuania.

Glasgow Airport will have extra staff in place to help guide passengers, especially those with young children, through check-in and security.  There will also be Easter entertainment on offer for departing passengers, including an arts and crafts stall and a face-painting, this weekend.

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers will return to the airport on Saturday for a performance at 8am in the main check-in area to support British Airways’ Flying Start charity, which has been raising money for this year’s Comic Relief. The popular piping rock band proved a huge hit with passengers following a similar performance at the airport earlier in the month.

Francois Bourienne, commercial director at Glasgow Airport, said: “2017 year has really got off to a flying start and we expect this Easter school holiday break to be one of our busiest on record, which is really encouraging.

“The atmosphere in the terminal is always fantastic during the Easter holiday period and we will have plenty of staff on duty and activities on offer to ensure our passengers enjoy a smooth and memorable journey through the airport.

“The summer flight schedule is now well and truly underway with the launch earlier this week of three new routes to Lisbon, Valencia and Palanga, while Thomas Cook has today launched a twice-weekly service to Alicante.

“Further services to Dubrovnik and Zadar in Croatia and the Norwegian city Bergen will follow in the next few weeks, with Delta’s new route to JFK, New York also launching on May 26.”

Glasgow Airport is advising all travellers to ensure liquids carried in hand luggage are within the 100ml limit to help ensure a speedy security process for the Easter weekend.

Todholm Primary School in Paisley held its first ever book festival this week designed to encourage a love of reading and storytelling in children of all ages.

The week-long event saw more than 600 children participate in the event from the school along with children from eight neighbouring nurseries.

The mainly outdoor event included a storytelling tent with sessions from Clyde One Radio’s Amber Livingstone and former St Mirren player Steven Thompson along with members of the local community including parents, police, Renfrewshire Council’s director of education and paramedics volunteering to lead some sessions.

Children were also able to take part in reading sessions, environmental classrooms, bookmarking workshops, bookbug sessions in the nursery and creative writing classes. In addition to the outdoor tents at the event the children’s library bus Skoob-mobile was also present throughout the week.

Some of the pupils who helped deliver the event were keen to include other members of the community and volunteered to visit nearby Hunterhill Care Home to read to the residents as part of their celebration of reading.

The event was inspired by Renfrewshire’s pioneering Literacy Coaching Programme which aims to instil a love of reading in children in order to help increase attainment in schools.

Todholm Primary School headteacher, Lynne McGinn said: “We’ve had such an amazing response from the children to this event. The idea for the event came from our Acting Principal Teacher, Claire Hall who was inspired by the Literacy Coaching Programme and was keen to bring the concept to life through a festival-style event.

“The children who participate in our Literacy Focus Group were really engaged with the idea of holding a festival and suggested that all pupils should be allowed to come to school in their wellies and bring their teddies to really embrace the theme.

“From a teaching perspective it’s been excellent to see the children so motivated and inspired about reading and storytelling and discussing the books they enjoy with others.

“We really are delighted with the success of the event and I’m sure this will be something we will look to run in the future as well.”

It is the ambition of Renfrewshire’s Literacy Approach that by encouraging children to read for pleasure there will be a cross over to their studies in the classroom which will help increase attainment for all children.

Opera Bamba is hosting a Spring Gala Concert where the singers take over in what is sure to be a night to remember.

Opera Bamba will be performing their Spring Gala in Renfield St. Stephens Church, Glasgow. The Spring Gala promises all of the glitz and glamour associated with prima divas and a stunning array of showstopping music, all chosen by the stars of the show. This promises to be a great evening of entertainment and an opportunity to see Opera Bamba in full swing; one not to miss. Tickets cost £10/£8 with full details on how to buy tickets available at

The performers include Jasmine Munns (soprano), Angela Estrada (soprano), Lea Shaw (mezzo) Andrew Powis (tenor) and Tim Edmundson (Baritone).

Andrew Powis is the Musical Director of Opera Bamba, in addition to singing tenor in the show. When asked about the talent in the coming performances, he had this to say: “Glasgow is a real hub of musical activity, attracting talent not only from the West of Scotland but across the wider British Isles. I am excited to welcome this wealth of talent to our own ranks over coming performances and that all are equally enthusiastic to the cause; not just in supporting young companies and societies such as Opera Bamba, but in promoting music in all its forms to the wider community. We are committed to providing a platform for emerging and established artists alike and are proud to attract such a high standard of musicians.”

About Opera Bamba

Opera Bamba is founded with the aim of bringing the joy of live music and opera to the masses. Opera Bamba also hopes to support emerging musicians kick start their career, while helping to provide a cultural and economic boost to Paisley and the rest of Scotland.

Contact for more information on all of their upcoming performances and if you’re interested in being involved.

Show details: Doors 6.45pm, Start time 7pm, Renfield St. Stephens Church, 260 Bath St, Glasgow G2 4JP. Tickets prices are £10/£8 and can be bought by going to or on the door.


Social Media


Twitter: @Opera_Bamba

Instagram: @operabamba

Local Energy Action Plan (LEAP)’s ‘Making It Happen’ programme has been helping Renfrewshire residents stay warmer and cut their fuel bills.

We have already helped 52 households across Renfrewshire since December and carried out free actions such as helping understand and query and reduce electricity and gas bills, changing out old inefficient light bulbs to free low energy ones which use much less electricity for the same or better light given off, installing free insulation in lofts, loft hatches, underfloor, draughtproofing cupboards, windows and doors, putting radiator panels behind radiators to reflect the heat back into the room, tackling damp and mould.

We recently helped Mary in Paisley, who was finding her living room much colder than the rest of her house with the radiator being on the close wall and also feeling the draught coming through her living room windows. Paul from LEAP visited Mary and assessed what would be the best help for her. We installed reflective radiator panels to help keep the heat in, a letterbox draught-excluder, re-instated a slipped seal on her living room window to keep draughts out, and replaced old high electricity use lightbulbs with 15 LED bulbs to give good light and keep her electricity bills down. We helped advise Mary’s Housing Association who in turn have fitted an extra radiator and are checking and fixing the window seals throughout Mary’s home.

Mary said: I have noticed a big difference in being much warmer at home. I would definitely recommend LEAP to friends and family. Excellent service provided throughout and the staff are really friendly and helpful”

Our experienced LEAP team can help you with free advice and actions to help keep you more comfortable at home and save money in the long term.

So if you’re struggling with fuel bills, health conditions, living in a cold, damp home, or just would welcome some advice on how to keep your home cosier for less money, please contact us today at:, Telephone: 01505 612 034 or visit our website to learn more

YOUNGSTERS will be heading for a galaxy far, far away with a Star Wars Easter Trail, at Paisley Museum.

ten-year-old Leia Brown, from Paisley at the May The Toys Be With You exhibition also on at Paisley Museum.

Along with the popular May The Toys Be With You exhibition, Renfrewshire Leisure has organised a host of Star Wars activities during the Easter school holidays.

The free Star Wars Easter Trail at the museum runs from Saturday April 1 to Tuesday, April 18 and there are Easter eggs to be won by those taking part.

Activities and workshops are being held on various days between 11am and 3pm and on Tuesday April 4 there’s a chance for youngsters to learn how to code on a computer with a Star Wars theme.

On Wednesday, April 5 kids will be shown how to make their own lightsaber they can then take home and the following day, they’ll be making their own Darth Vader, Stormtrooper and C3PO lanterns.

On Friday, April 7 the Star Wars activity is how to create your own Yoda Head Hat; there’s a 3D Death Star Game on Thursday, April 13 and Star Wars screen printing, on Friday April 14 and Monday April 17.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “Not only do we have one of the country’s best Star Wars exhibitions in Paisley just now, but we’ve got lots of exciting activities on the Star Wars theme for youngsters during the Easter holidays.

“There’s no excuse for youngsters feeling bored during the school break as they can take off and land at Paisley Museum for some great fun that’s just out of this world.”

All workshops cost £3 per child and need to be booked in advance at Paisley Museum. Log on to for more details.

Every school pupil in Renfrewshire is getting the chance to shape Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 – through a specially-commissioned children’s short story written by an award-winning author.

Ross Mackenzie penned ‘Grace’s Big Idea’ – which aims to make culture and Paisley’s bid relatable to the young audience, and includes Paisley-themed illustrations from artist Neil Slorance.

A copy is going to all 14,000 primary pupils in Renfrewshire as part of a massive community engagement push which will have seen more than 30,000 people join the conversation around the Paisley 2021 bid when it is lodged at the end of April.

Schoolchildren are being asked to nominate one thing they like about Paisley and submit one idea they would like to see as part of the bid – with the results to be collated by bid bosses to inform future work.

Members of the bid team have already toured every high school in Renfrewshire.

The Renfrewshire town is bidding for the culture title as part of wider plans to transform the area’s future using Paisley’s unique cultural and heritage story.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “From the start of Paisley’s bid we said it would be by the people of Paisley for the people of Paisley – and when the bid goes in at the end of April it will be their voices contained within it.

“Once this schools exercise has been completed we estimate around 30,000 people will have had the chance to feed ideas into the bid – that’s a number equivalent to more than half the town’s population.

“That could only have happened with the hard work of our dedicated community engagement team, who have toured every corner of Renfrewshire over the past year to capture the views of cultural, business and community groups about the town and what culture means to them.

“The bid and related work aims to create a lasting legacy for the Renfrewshire our children will inherit – so it was crucial we captured their views, and Ross’s wonderfully-written story is a great way to do that.”

Renfrew-based Ross – a former winner of the Scottish Children’s Book of the Year award – was at St Catherine’s Primary in Paisley to meet the school’s 2021 committee and read section of the story, written from the point of view of a young girl who loves to dance.

Ross said: “I’m very proud to have been able to play a tiny part in the Paisley 2021 bid. Paisley has such a rich history and a wealth of cultural heritage.

“I think it’s very fitting the Paisley 2021 team are asking children all over Renfrewshire to contribute their ideas to the next chapter of the town’s story.”

The UK City of Culture competition is run by the government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport. For more information on Paisley’s bid, visit

Lisa has a big event coming up with the launch of her first EP (funded by 2021) on 20/21 April.

photos courtesy of Allan Borland Images

There is a launch gig with Lisa and some guest artists at Callums Cavern on the 20th and the EP will be available for download  on 21st.

Paisley 2021 are behind the project as part of the run up of events prior to the next stage of the bidding process and St Mirren FC are great friends of Lisa Kowalski Music, having had Lisa along to play  at the ground several times and promoting the EP on the pitchside screens.

By coincedence Lisa was booked to play at the Brewers Tap for the first time last Saturday, which was packed with SMFC fans after the cup game and she had the pub singing along to Oh when the Saints and the fans shouting “Lisa, Lisa!”

Braehead and West College are also plugging/ getting involved with the EP launch and Brick Lane Studio have helped her put a band together to  perform her original songs on the stage at the Beer Fest.

Initial feedback to prelaunch promotion of the EP has been great, with airplay on Pulse FM, KA Radio, Radio Saltire, Your Radio and Amazing Radio (Jim Gellatly). STV have also listened to the songs and  expressed an interest in having Lisa on the Riverside show.

The four songs on the EP were written from age 14 to 16 and reflect teenage experiences of growing up and Lisa’s personal journey as a musician and someone who has always stuck  her head well above the parapet.  It includes the track Hearts of Gold as in “the streets are paved with hearts of gold” which is all about how much she loves busking in Paisley.

Paisley Comic Con is a family friendly, fun-filled event all about comic books!

A whole day in Paisley’s stunning Town Hall dedicated to celebrating and enjoying the art and culture of comic books, exploring and discovering new and exciting comic creations, and showcasing a range of local Scottish creative talent.

Writers, artists, publishers, as well as over 50 tables of comics, books, toys, collectables, arts, crafts and creators. We’ll also have comic book panels, workshops, cosplay, games and activities, and lots of family fun!

Paisley’s very own Hail The Villains will be there to exhibit their fantastic range of Comic Heroes and Villains T-Shirts, accessories, and jewellery.

A special discount code called PAISLEYORG has been created for subscribers of  You can use it to get 15% off all purchases on Or you can use the code at the Paisley Comic Con by simply saying “PAISLEYORG” to get 15% off your purchase there.  If ordering from our website  – Delivery is FREE.

Invite your friends to like the page, join the event and spread the word!

In partnership with Comicrazy, Paisley’s only specialist comics and gaming store, and Les Hoey MBE DreamMaker Foundation SCIO – making dreams come true for some very special children with life-threatening illnesses.

The weather may not have been too kind to us but the people of Renfrewshire certainly were.  They turned up in their hundreds to support our first ever sponsored walk at Castle Semple, Lochwinnoch last Sunday, 19th March.

After a fun warm up led by our lion mascot, “Vinnie”, our wonderful supporters set off on their chosen 10k or 5k walk … all to support a great cause.

Laura McDade, Hospice fundraiser said “despite the early downpour of rain, the sun came out in the afternoon to greet our supporters at the finish line.  We would like to thank everyone who came along to make this a fantastic community event and hope to see you all again next year!”

Sponsorship donations are still arriving daily but to date over £11,000 has been raised for hospice care in Renfrewshire. St Vincent’s Hospice is a charitable organisation at the heart of the community, offering specialist care and services to all those affected by life-limiting illness.

For the 129th Annual Exhibition of the Paisley Art Institute this year, we have two Guest Artists on show.

Adrian Wiszniewski is an internationally known, award-winning artist educated at the Mackintosh School of Architecture and the Glasgow School of Art.  He was a leading figure in the 1980s of the revival of figurative painting in a group who became known as ‘The New Glasgow Boys’.

The distinguished Guest Sculptor is Lys Hansen, also an award-winner internationally in the medium of figurative painting as well as sculpture. Her sculptures, mainly figurative, are painted on wood and will make a fine complement to Adrian’s work.

Paisley Art Institute 129th Annual Exhibition will run from Saturday 20th May 2017 until Sunday 25th June 2017.