gavin newlands


The MP has joined calls for a reversal to the cuts following the UK Government’s Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey, refused to say whether she would seek additional funding at the next Budget.

gavin newlands

The call follows mounting pressure on the UK Government to halt and change universal Credit- with former Tory leaders Iain Duncan Smith and John Major criticising the shambolic rollout. Reports from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Policy in Practice estimate millions of households will be more than £50 a week worse off under Universal Credit.

Commenting following yesterday’s debate in Westminster, Newlands said:

“The UK Government must use the upcoming Budget to end these cuts and stop this shambolic rollout that has pushed many families into desperation and poverty.

“This policy is simply unfit for purpose; its rollout is a mistake that has cost millions of families hundreds and even thousands of pounds. It quite obviously needs a complete overhaul- as even Tory party grandees have suggested.

“The Tories must bring back work allowance, end the benefit freeze, scrap the abhorrent two-child cap, reduce sanctions, and fix payment delays and errors.

“As always, the UK Government arrogantly ploughs ahead with its devastating policies. They should instead listen to their own previous leaders, listen to the evidence, halt the roll-out and change this now.”

mhairi black

To coincide with National Hate Crime Awareness Week, is urging young people across Scotland to be fearless in speaking up about hate crime 100% anonymously.

Many young people too readily consider incidents of hate crime as ‘part of life’ or accept it as a form of bullying, often not realising that what they are witnessing or experiencing is a crime.

‘Hate crimes’ are those motivated by hostility towards a particular group based on race, religion, transgender/gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. Victims may be subjected to physical assaults or suffer damage to their property. They may also experience the threat of an attack or verbal abuse.

Hate crime is thought to be massively under-reported, which is why we are urging young people to stand up to hate by passing on to our charity their knowledge or suspicions.

Scotland has no place for hate.

SNP Spokesperson for Youth Affairs Mhairi Black MP said:

“I would like to emphasise that anyone who is a victim of, or witness to, a hate crime should challenge it. Young people can be subject to threats and attacks whether physical or verbal and are providing a safe and anonymous way for our young people to report hate crimes.

“We must work together to stamp out hate crimes by challenging racism, homophobia, sexism and religious prejudice. Sometimes people cannot find the courage to tackle this behaviour however the anonymous service being provided by will help to combat this.”

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf, said:

“We know that young people can sometimes be reluctant to speak out about crime that they are aware of or have witnessed. plays a vital role in providing young people with a safe and totally anonymous way to do that.”

“I would encourage all young people to challenge prejudice and report hate crime should they witness or experience it.  We all must work together to make our communities more resilient, safer places to live.”

Lyndsay McDade, Scotland’s Youth Projects Officer for the charity Crimestoppers, said:

“When faced with the knowledge or suspicion about hate crime happening around them, young people often struggle with the dilemma of what to do. They can be frightened to speak up for fear of stigma or reprisal. gives young people a way to stand up to hate and be empowered to be fearless.”

“In 30 years, as a charity, we have always kept our guarantee that everyone who contacts us stays 100% anonymous. We never ask for personal details including your name. We can’t trace your email or IP address. Once you tap ‘submit’ you’re done. No one will ever know you contacted us.

“To target someone based on race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability is abhorrent and has a devastating impact on victims and our society.

“Scotland is full of diverse communities, vibrant cultures, rich talents and resilience – hate has no place in our country.”

If you have any information about hate crime, please report it to Fearless through the Anonymous Online Form at

Hate Crime Scotland landing page –

mirren chambers


We have office suites available in Mirren Chambers in the heart of Paisley town Centre.

mirren chambers

Our offices are located in Gauze Street and have an excellent transport optionsParking is available to the rear and the building is located on a main bus route. Paisley Gilmour St Station is located only a few minutes walk away. Our great location benefits from lots of facilities nearby such as Lagoon Leisure Centre, shops, restaurants and cafes.

Our offices offer bright, attractive work space in a wide range of sizes from small offices for a couple of staff to whole floors for larger business requirements.

We would be delighted to provide you further information or arrange a viewing. Call 0141 843 4211 ,email or visit our website


YOUNGSTERS can get into the spirit of Halloween with some fun events during the school holiday this week.

A Witch’s Garden has been set up in Soar at intu Braehead with all sorts of spellbinding fun for children. They can play around a witch’s hut, a cauldron that can be used for making spells and spot black cats hiding in the garden.


There’s also some sorcery going on with arts and crafts, face painting and broomstick racing for youngsters.

The free Witch’s Garden event is on every day until Sunday, October 21 with a face painter there on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 16 and 17 and Saturday and Sunday, October 20 and 21. And the broomstick races also take place this Saturday and Sunday.

A free Halloween Forest play area has been set up in the central atrium of the intu Braehead shopping centre, until Thursday, October 18. Youngsters can have a spooky adventure with giant mushrooms, pumpkins among the trees and a face painter on hand on Monday, October 15.

David Lyon, marketing manager for intu Braehead said: “There’s lots of fun for all the family in our Witch’s Garden and Halloween Forest.

“It’s a great way for everyone to get ready for Halloween. And since there is no charge for a ticket, you could say it’s a real free-ky Halloween event!”

Paisley pirates

Irresistible force meets immovable object this Sunday evening at Braehead Arena as Paisley Pirates play their first match on home ice against North Ayrshire Wild in the Stuart Robertson Cup, following two away wins at Kilmarnock and Solway. Both clubs are unbeaten in the competition so far, and with only the top team from each group qualifying for the two legged final, a tight match is expected in a contest which faces off at 5.00pm, the new regular start time for Pirates’ Sunday home matches.

The home side has a more cosmopolitan look to it this season, as in addition to having most of last year’s side back on the bench, Pirates have also signed Austrian Felix Huber and Finnish forward Sami Harju. Both sides have former players from their opponents in their ranks, so the fixture is sure to have its usual degree of needle as the teams go for the bragging rights associated with local derbies such as this one.

Head of Off Ice Operations Jackie Turley commented, “We’ve been waiting a long time for our first match at home and I know our fans are keenly awaiting this Sunday to come round, particularly to get a look at our continental players who are allowed to play now after a change in the rules. It will be the first time for a number of years that players from other countries will have been seen in a Pirates jersey, so we know that this will raise interest locally. The Wild have made a good start to their season as well so we expect there will be a fair old atmosphere if their support turns out in numbers.”

She went on,” We’ve attracted a few more companies to the club as sponsors this year and we’ve also introduced an opportunity for fans to get involved by giving them the opportunity to sponsor the match puck for the first time. This week it is long time supporter Bill Elliot from Houston, and we hope other supporters will take the opportunity to support the club financially without breaking the bank in the process. Anyone interested can speak to me at any game or email the club at for more details.”

mhairi black
Thousands of women descended on London yesterday as part of the WASPI campaign. Protesters marched from Hyde Park to Parliament square to show their disdain for the UK Government over their handling of women born in the 1950’s pensions.
mhairi black
The march included women from across the West of Scotland and Renfrewshire. This issue impacts 3.8 million women across the UK including 340,000 women in Scotland and over 6,200 in Renfrewshire. The aim of the WASPI campaign is to highlight the injustice that has occurred for women born in 1950’s who have seen delays and cuts to their pensions due to the Pension Acts of 1995 and 2011.
After the march campaigners met with SNP MP’s to discuss plans for going forward with the campaign and how they can raise awareness for the Government to take action on this issue.
Local MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South Mhairi Black MP who is also the SNP Spokesperson for Pensions addressed the crowd in Parliament square along with SNP leader Ian Blackford.
Mhairi Black MP said –
“I have so much admiration for the WASPI women. The determination that has been shown throughout the campaign is not letting up. This issue is not going away, we will not give up on this injustice for these women.”
“It was a pleasure to address the crowd and show solidarity with the WASPI women. It was also good to see some of our local campaigners involved in the march.”
“The Tories have robbed these women of their pensions. I have lost count of the amount of times that we have debated this issue in Westminster with no resolution to this issue. However the resilience that has been shown by the WASPI women is spectacular.”
tony fitzpatrick

ST MIRREN legend Tony Fitzpatrick is offering a unique triple bonus to people who pre-order his soon-to-be published autobiography, Fitzy – The Story of My Life.

tony fitzpatrick

People who pre-order the book before the November 6 publication date will be –

  • among the first to receive a signed copy of the autobiography;
  • entered into a prize draw to win two tickets for a Saints home game with a VIP matchday experience in the St Mirren boardroom;
  • and Tony will personally deliver a copy of his book to the homes of three people chosen at random.

For the first time Tony – who not only won a league title and a Scottish Cup medal with the Saints, but also had two spells as manager and is now the club’s chief executive – is telling his life story in this new book.

Tony Fitzpatrick’s life is more than just a football story.

There are lots of hilarious tales from the dressing room and behind-the-scenes boardroom battles in his autobiography, published by Macdonald Media.

But behind the football banter and bust-ups, there’s an amazing story of being brought up in one of the poorest and most violent areas of Glasgow and how he used his football skills to escape that life.

While at the top of his football career, tragedy struck when his six-year-old son, Tony Jr. died after cancer struck down the young boy. And on the day of his funeral, callous thieves ransacked the family home stealing anything and everything they could load on to a furniture van.

Sir Alex Ferguson, in only his second managerial job, made the teenage Tony Fitzpatrick the captain of St Mirren FC.

But not before Tony’s dad had to phone Fergie pretending to be the family doctor assuring him the young footballer was fit enough to play after suffering pleurisy!

Tony lost a fortune after he put money into Livingstone FC and the club went into administration. But he bounced back and as part of a groundbreaking police initiative, worked with some of the most violent young men in Glasgow’s gangs encouraging them to give up the blade and the gun.

Co-writer of the book, Paisley journalist and author, Norman Macdonald said:

“I was amazed at some of the stories Tony had to tell and the book will touch all your emotions.

“It’s a must-read heartwarming story of personal triumph over adversity.”

Log on to to order your copy today and Tony could be turning up at your door to deliver your book.

A Renfrewshire Councillor has made it onto the shortlist of the inaugural Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) Scotland Councillors Award s2018.

Team UP To Clean UP
PIC SHOWS Cllr Cathy McEwan with the pupils from Gleniffer High School

Councillor Cathy McEwan will be the representing Renfrewshire in the awards and has been nominated for the Environmental Impact category having been recognised for her outstanding contribution to the local environment. Cllr McEwan is up against councillors from Edinburgh, South Ayrshire and Argyll & Bute for the award.

As Convener of the Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, Cllr Cathy McEwan has led the highly successful Team Up to Clean Up campaign which has seen over 1000 local people work together to clean up their communities. This has included specific events such as the ‘Big Spring Clean’ and ‘Spotless September’ campaigns to encourage more community clean ups and a thank you event held in Paisley Town Hall to reward all those who have taken part.

Councillor Cathy McEwan said:

“I’m extremely honoured to have been nominated and to have made the award shortlist. However, I am only part of a team that is doing our best to make things better in Renfrewshire and this nomination should be seen in that context.  Without the support of my fellow SNP councillors, staff at Renfrewshire Council and of course the local volunteers then I would not have been nominated and any success would be due to everyone.”

paisley abbey cycling

A touch of the Tour de France could be coming to Renfrewshire.
For the SNP led council is exploring the possibility of staging a mass participation cycling event which would give local riders the chance to complete a ‘Tour of Renfrewshire’.

paisley abbey cycling

After a motion was passed by the Council last Thursday, bosses will now be drawing up plans to plan a route around the authority area suitable for all ages and abilities.
The race will be run on closed roads, meaning everyone from novice bikers to the next Chris Hoy can take part safely.

Johnstone South & Elderslie Cllr Andy Steel (SNP), who proposed the motion to council, said “Clearly there will be logistical issues in closing off roads – these will have to be examined closely as we don’t want to cause inconvenience to residents. However, the benefits of developing a culture of cycling in our area can’t be understated. Cleaner air, fitter citizens, more tourism – making Renfrewshire a destination for cyclists can only be good for the area and this event could become a central part of that.”

He added “We’ve got a superb array of challenging climbs around our towns and villages, all within a relatively small area. With good connections to the airport we could be bringing people in from far and wide to take part.”

The Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, Renfrew North & Braehead Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes (SNP) seconded the motion and said “The health benefits of exercise, both mental and physical, are well documented and anything the council can do which encourages people to take even a little exercise has got to be a good thing.”

“We’re at the very early stages of this and will want to talk to business, cycling clubs and potential sponsors but it’s an exciting idea and one I hope will catch people’s imaginations.”

united sk8