gavin newlands mp

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has welcomed the announcement from the SNP Scottish Government that the free bus bass for people over 60 years old will be protected and that this valuable scheme will be extended to companions of eligible disabled children under five, which will help over 3,000 families and children.

In addition, the Scottish Government announced that it was considering options to provide free bus travel for Modern Apprentices.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“I am delighted that the SNP Scottish Government is continuing to protect the free bus pass for those over 60 years old. The National Concessionary Travel Card is valued by those who use it, in particular, helping older people to get out and about.

“Not only is the SNP protecting the free bus pass, but they have also announced that they’re extending it to the companions of eligible disabled children under five. This will help over 3,000 families and children, and shows once again that the SNP is committed to promoting social inclusion.

“The cost of travelling can be a significant burden for families and individuals who are already under substantial financial pressure. It’s important that we do as much as possible to help support families and individuals with travel costs.”

paisley from drone

South Africa, just like most African countries, has a wide range of attractive features. Since the end of the apartheid, this African country located in the southernmost end of the continent has set itself has the top tourist destination in Africa. The country is famous for Table Mountain, wine route, beautiful beaches, Cape Town, and game viewing in national parks such as Kruger among others. If you are looking for food, wine tour, or rugged adventure, you will get it also in South Africa.


In fact, the country is the preferred destination for most Westerners as they speak English, have diversified cosmopolitan and modern culture. It’s important to plan your visit in advance before you decide to fly to the South African country. Just know what to expect!


Here we look at five things you need to know.

Security in South Africa

Recently, the country has been hitting the headlines for the wrong reason: high crime rates. The social issues may be frightening and you may think the country is not safe to travel. Well, some of these happen in places not frequented by tourists. You can enjoy your trip in South Africa without being in a state of panic.


The locals are very friendly and always ready to help if you need any sort of assistance. Therefore, the issues of security should not deter you from visiting this awesome country. What you need to avoid is wearing flashy jewelry, listening to your iPod or playing your smartphone in public to shun attracting attention.

Languages Spoken in the Country

South Africans speak English as their second language. So, you won’t expect a communication barrier while in the country. Furthermore, there are 10 more local languages spoken in South Africa. Therefore, if you decide to learn the basic terms of the local dialect, make sure you research the languages spoken in the areas you want to visit since not everyone speaks the ten languages.

Hire a Car or Take an Uber to Travel Around

Driving yourself in South Africa is relatively safe and the best way to travel around the country. It’s so cheap to hire a car. If you decide to drive yourself, remember that South Africans drive on the left side. Additionally, make sure that you get full insurance protection and avoid driving after the dark. If you decide against hiring a car, never hire a taxi service as the drivers will exploit you. Instead, take an Uber or the private buses companies operating across the country.

South African Cuisine

The country’s cuisine has been influenced by its colonial past and indigenous cultures thus making it a multicultural in nature. Some of the countries that have influenced South African cuisine include the UK, the Netherlands, India, Portugal, Germany, and Malaysia. You will get to see the flavors represented in their traditional dishes. Whether you would like to try traditional dishes or delicious vegetarian, South Africa offers it all!

South Africa is a Vast Country

The local aircraft operators such as the Kulula Airlines offer flight services across the major South African cities. Mostly, tourists are attracted to these bigger cities such as Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town. Beyond the bigger cities, there are also other major attractions. Therefore, you need to plan your routes beforehand as exploring the entire country can take months.


South Africa is the best country to visit in the African continent. Just know a few things here and there to avoid surprises while in the Country. Furthermore, safety should not be a deterrent from visiting the country as security issues are rare in places frequented by tourists.

Visitors to Paisley are in for a treat this Saturday as the annual Paisley Busking Day takes centre stage.

Organised by Loud n’ Proud and sponsored by Paisley First, there will be bands and solo artists as well as instrumental acts performing throughout the town centre from 10am until 4pm.

So if you are heading to Paisley for the Jurassic Bricks LEGO ® Brick Dinosaur Trail, popping into town before St Mirren’s first home game of the new season, or simply taking time out to enjoy our wonderful shops and cafes, this will be music to your ears!

Paisley Busking Day this Saturday, 4th August from 10am to 4pm!

Rock music legend Tony Iommi has been added to the bill for Paisley’s Spree Festival – where he will give music fans the inside story of his career as one of heavy metal’s most influential figures.

The Black Sabbath guitarist will appear at Paisley Town Hall on Friday 12 October for the show – called ‘Tony Iommi in conversation with Phil Alexander: A Life in Music’

The Spree festival is one of the highlights of Paisley’s annual cultural calendar and takes place in various venues from 12 to 20 October.

A Spree festival spokesperson said: “When we think of guitarist Tony Iommi we think of heavy rock and of his innovative dark riffs. We think of the beginning of heavy metal.

“This show will give us a fascinating insight into the life and career of a man whose influence on the history of popular music cannot be overstated – a key innovator and a true rock star in every sense.”

Black Sabbath have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide since forming in Birmingham in 1968. Their most recent album hit number one US and the UK, and 1.6 million people saw the band perform during their last world tour.

Besides releasing three solo albums, Tony has been inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, wrote a New York Times bestselling autobiography, has received two Grammy Awards and Birmingham’s Broad Street added his star.

Evening host Phil Alexander has been an editor, broadcaster, presenter and producer. As editor of Kerrang! he transformed the magazine into a multi-platform brand by launching the Kerrang! branded TV, radio, website and awards. He later became editor-in-chief for MOJO, and Global Creative Director of Kerrang! Magazine and Rock Music Media.

The Spree festival is run by Renfrewshire Council. Other big-name acts coming to Paisley for this year’s Spree include Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Orb, ex-Kraftwerk member Wolfgang Flur, Gang of Four and Big Minds (made up of members of Big Country and Simple Minds).

Ticket for all shows (including Tony Iommi in conversation with Phil Alexander) are on sale now via

Residents can now get local news direct to their smartphone as Renfrewshire Council launch a new email news service.

The new service allows people to sign-up and choose topics that they are interested in and launches with five options – council news roundup, a weekly what’s on guide, schools and nurseries news, business news and Paisley town centre updates.

Available to sign-up from Wednesday 1 August on the council website, each newsletter can be read on smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs that can access emails.

Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We know people want to know the latest news and updates on the go, and they also want to receive the news that interests them.

“We’re launching e-alerts for people who live, work and study in Renfrewshire, or are keen on visiting the area, and have produced five news options that should interest everyone. So, whether you are a parent of young or school-aged children, working for a local business or just interested in what’s on in the area, there will be a topic for you.

“We will be offering more options in the coming months, such as updates on bin collections, roadworks and other service information we know people will be interested in receiving. And will use feedback to make sure we are providing news and information that matters.

“To sign-up, all people need to do is visit our website, enter their email address and postcode, then select the topics they want to know – and that’s it.”

For more information and to sign-up for e-alerts, visit

The multi-million pound programme of investment in Renfrewshire’s roads network is well underway with the resurfacing of main routes across the area being completed.

New road surfacing at Barloan Renfrew 31.7.18

The £7.2million investment in Renfrewshire’s roads in 2018/19 represents the single biggest investment ever in the roads network and is being delivered as part of the continuing physical and economic regeneration of the area.

Major resurfacing work has taken place on more than a third of all carriageways in the planned programme so far with key routes such as Broadloan in Renfrew and Old Greenock Road in Inchinnan having been successfully completed already.

The programme is also addressing footways across Renfrewshire and six projects have already undertaken as part of the multi-million investment.

A further 33 roads have also undergone minor repairs which will protect them from future deterioration.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We recognised that the condition of Renfrewshire’s roads was a key priority for those who live and work in the area which is why we invested accordingly in this year’s budget.

“The work is progressing well with more than a third of the work planned on carriageways already completed and this is making a substantial difference to the quality of the main routes in the area.

“A key focus has been placed on undertaking high-quality repairs and there has been an increased resource commitment to post-repair inspections to ensure a long-term benefit is achieved.

“While we recognise that road works can be frustrating for motorists, these necessary works will make a clear improvement to the quality of our roads and every effort is being undertaken to minimise disruption for motorists while the works take place.”

Further resurfacing works set to take place in the short-term include Lonend in Paisley and Ferry Road in Bishopton.

The resurfacing work is being complimented by an ongoing programme of pot hole repairs to improve the overall quality of Renfrewshire’s roads network.

For full details on the roads programme for 2018/19 visit

Offices to let at Mirren Business Centres in a variety of sizes available starting from small offices for a couple of staff up to whole floors of around 2300 sqft.

If you are thinking about relocation of if your lease ends soon we would be delighted to provide you further information or arrange a viewing.

Give us a call on 0141 843 4211, contact us by email at or visit our website at

Paisley’s popular Halloween Festival will be one of the major events as part of the Year of Young People 2018 celebrations.

The town’s two-day fright-fest, which will take place on 26 and 27 October, is supported by the Year of Young People event fund, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate which has awarded just over £48,000 to the festival.

Paisley Halloween Festival 28.10.17

The Year of Young People 2018 is a Scottish Government initiative consisting of a year-long programme of events and activities which aim to inspire all ages through young people (8-26 years) by celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine on a local and global stage.

Paisley Halloween Festival 28.10.17

The funding that has been secured will help deliver an enhanced parade and finale on Saturday 27 October inspired by Renfrewshire’s dark and deathly 17th century witch history which will see around 500 local young people take part and will, for the first time, include floats designed by young people.

The popular parade, creatively led by Bridgeman Arts and 21CC, will culminate in a spectacular new aerial performance, ‘The Flying Witches’, involving a cast of 50 young people especially for YOYP2018 and led by All or Nothing – one of Scotland’s leading aerial dance theatre companies.

This activity will be driven by a specially assembled youth panel made up of 20 young people from across Renfrewshire who will take a lead role in helping design and deliver the event working in partnership with Renfrewshire Council, youth services, creative and community partners, and embedding the event’s collaborative approach

A key element of the programme which is being directly supported by the additional funding is the creation of a Youth Training Programme. Around 180 young people, many from lesser-heard communities, will be given experience and skills in areas such as creative performance, costume, make-up, technical production, marketing and, event design and delivery through a series of taster sessions and masterclasses, in order to build their experience while positively impacting on their confidence and broadening their skillset.

The funding will also support the delivery of a volunteering and internship programme that will see a creative internship and a number of volunteer roles for young people in the council’s events and marketing team as well as mentee opportunities with arts and cultural professionals.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Paisley Halloween Festival to expand its offering as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 celebrations. It will be fantastic to see young people getting hands-on experience and participating in the design and delivery of a fun event within their local community. It is a great opportunity for them to showcase their own unique skills and bring a new perspective to the festival, further reinforcing Scotland as the perfect stage for events.”

Paisley’s Halloween Festival is one of the town’s most popular calendar events. Inspired by similar festivals which take place worldwide in places such as Salem and New Orleans, the ambition is to heighten awareness of the festival on the Scottish, UK and world stage as a must visit attraction not just for locals but visitors and tourists as well.

Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Iain Nicolson, said: “Paisley’s Halloween Festival is always a popular event for the town with thousands of people coming into the town centre to experience the full spectacle of the event.

“It’s fantastic that this year’s festival will be a highlight event as part of the Year of Young People 2018 celebrations. This provides an excellent opportunity to realise our ambitions of co-production and co-creation of our events in collaboration with young people – this is a key part of our Event Strategy 2018 – 2021.

“This collaborative approach and the various training programmes being delivered will also help our young people develop their skills enabling them to think more about career opportunities in the creative sector that they may not have otherwise considered.”

All of the additional youth activities taking place as a result of the funding tie in with Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 core themes – participation, education, health and wellbeing, equality and discrimination, enterprise and regeneration, and culture.

Further information about the event programme for Paisley Halloween Festival will be released at a later date.

To keep up to date on all events taking place in Paisley and Renfrewshire please visit

Come along to a fantastic day of free family fun in the heart of Paisley.  This is the sixth year the TAG Street Party has been run with thousands of people popping in throughout the day each year.  This year, ECF Paisley ( and Connect Church are partnering to bring you an even bigger and better event. We are continually working on ways in which we can serve the community that we are part of. With both churches being based near Paisley Town Centre, we love putting on an event that celebrates Paisley and encourages community.
The TAG Street Party is one of the ways that we love to do this. It includes a BBQ Cafe, a Kids Creative Centre (open 11.30am – 3.30pm), Bouncy Castles and Assault Course, lots of Games, Facepainting, Balloon Modeling and Psalm Reading. Don’t forget to get a selfie with TAG the bear! The best part: Everything is Free!
Date: Saturday 11th August
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: County Square, Paisley
Cost: Everything is Free