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.

ready for winter

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]


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Open Weekend in our new premises in Brick Lane Studios, 7 – 9 Weir Street, Paisley, PA3 4DW. The Official Opening will take place on  Saturday 10th January about 1pm. More details to follow

Pop in for a tea or coffee to find out more about our music tuition services.

diane-mitchellAlso please visit our new website

About The Diane Mitchell Music School.

The Diane Mitchell Music School offers tuition and classes to all ages and walks of life, from babies up to pensioners. For adults who may wish to return to music practice or indeed start from scratch to learn new and life enhancing skills, there are groups and individual lessons in a wide range of instruments..

For young children, Diane offers a fun way to enjoy learning about music. Based on the Kodaly approach and using up to date teaching resources, she matches the age and preferences of the child to their practice.
Diane will lead your child on a voyage of discovery in music, while providing useful skills for the future. As well as developing musical skills, Diane’s approach ensures that children also gain in confidence, concentration and social skills.

For School age children, Diane is familiar, as a teacher, with current educational policies and practice . Linking with the Curriculum for Excellence, Diane enables each child to reach his or her potential in music, becoming a successful learner, a confident individual, an effective contributor and a responsible citizen.

Enrol here. Tuition is either on a one to one basis or for some instruments, in small groups.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This Saturday the St.Mirren Fans Council have organised a Fans Zone for supporters to meet up before and after the Motherwell game.

There are many activities organised with doors opening from 12.30pm.

The Fans Zone will be protected by a large Marquee which can accommodate any number of supporters. However, supporters have to register their attendance to guarantee a place by registering at and this will allow us to effectively manage numbers.


Entry is free and will include the following:

  • Opens 12-30pm 12-45 Man City v Crystal Palace
  • 1-00pm live band Ten Bob Sliders with Graham Thomson ( Stevies Dad playing )
  • 2-15 Band finishes 2-20pm Fans Council lottery Draw with Tony Fitzpatrick
  • 2-40pm last orders
  • 3pm close for match
  • 5pm re-open
  • 5-40 pm last orders
  • 6pm close

Other arrangements Christmas Club Pop Up Shop Hot Dog and Burger Bar Licensed Bar Kids Zone with play stations Pandas Live football on TV.

This is a Fans Council event financed by the latest Fans Council lottery.

The lottery draw will be made by Tony Fitzpatrick in the Fans Zone at 2.20pm.

The Fans Council would like to thank all our fellow fans for their support and encouragement and wish them all a very Merry Christmas.

Come on Ye Saints !

Visit for more information.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

food train

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Since Food Train launched in Renfrewshire in October 2013, over 40 local volunteers have donated 4,708 hours of their time to make up shopping orders and delivering to over 140 older people.

Our customers frequently refer to the service as a life line. The majority use the service on a weekly/fortnightly basis, others on an adhoc basis for example, when their families are on holiday or over the winter.

food train

We are almost at capacity with the two vehicles we have, and working on grant applications to purchase a 3rd van for use in early 2015 in order to meet the continuous referrals and demand for the service.

We are delighted to be the first project in Renfrewshire to obtain the Volunteer Friendly Award. If you haven’t already seen this, please enjoy this very short film we made in the summer to celebrate National Volunteers’ Week[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

fuel poverty

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Vulnerable homeowners in Renfrewshire are to benefit from £1.2million of funding to help heat their homes.

Renfrewshire has been awarded the grant from the Scottish Government’s £60million Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland: Area Based Schemes (HEEPS:ABS) for 2015.

The £1.2million HEEPS:ABS funding will go to Renfrewshire Council and local housing associations to offer support to vulnerable and fuel poor home owners in making improvements to their home such as external wall insulation.

fuel poverty

The funding adds to a wide range of initiatives already being run by the council to help the people of Renfrewshire tackle fuel poverty.

Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “Sadly far too many people in Renfrewshire are struggling to heat their homes and pay their bills. This council is committed to supporting the most vulnerable members of our communities and tackling the causes of fuel poverty.

“We are working on a number of projects to help both tenants and residents to reduce their heating bills and make their homes more energy efficient and this funding will add to the range of support we are able to offer private home owners. Over the next few months we will be working with our partners to identify suitable projects.”

As part of the council’s efforts to make homes more energy efficient, thousands of council tenants have already benefitted from external improvements such as over-cladding and new roofs as part of the £138million Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) programme.

Nearly 500 families in Paisley will also benefit from cheaper fuel bills thanks to an innovative project to replace a 1960s District Heating Scheme with a state-of-art a biomass boiler system.

A new advocacy service has also been set up by the council to help families tackle fuel poverty. In the last three months, Energy Advice Renfrewshire has already generated a total annual energy bill saving of £33,000 across 130 families.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Allan Pickan pic

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]16 women took the message of violence against women to thousands of football fans last Saturday.

Despite the wind and the rain, the women performed a special dance on St Mirren park at half time.

The Break the Chain dance by One Billion Rising, was performed as part of Renfrewshire’s 16 Days of Action, a local version of the UN’s international campaign to end violence against women.

Allan Pickan pic

In 2013, 2276 residents in Renfrewshire were victims of domestic violence, a 44% increase from ten years ago when 695 residents reported an incident of domestic violence.

St Mirren players showed their support by wearing the One Billion Rising t-shirts during their warm-up.

Brian Caldwell, Chief Executive of St Mirren, said, “We are really proud to support Renfrewshire’s 16 Days of Action campaign. It’s important for us to send out a message that violence against women is completely unacceptable.

“Having the group perform the Break the Chain dance during half time was a great way to send that message. They had clearly been practicing and we were all very impressed.

“I’d like to say a big thanks to everyone who took part, their hard work really paid off and everyone at St Mirren appreciated the chance to show their support for this important issue.”

Councillor Iain McMillan said “The Break the Chain dance at half time was a welcome surprise for St Mirren fans.

“We hope that it will encourage people to think about violence against women and how we can begin to stop it.

“Throughout the entire 16 Days of Action it is been great to see so many people committed to raising awareness of these issues which affect so many women in our community.

“All of the women performing the dance were volunteers and gave up their own free time to practice and to come here today.

“It is thanks to volunteers like these that we can have these important conversations and show Renfrewshire’s commitment to ending violence against women.”

For more information, visit[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A group of men are set to totter down Paisley High Street wearing red high-heeled shoes – in an eye-catching bid to raise awareness of sexual violence.

The men’s march to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes will take place for the first time on Wednesday 10 December at 2pm.

Starting from New Street, the men will take it one step at a time down the High Street towards Dunn Square, where a wreath will be laid at the memorial tree to women who suffer or tragically been killed due to violence.


The march marks the end of Renfrewshire’s 16 Days of Action, a local version of the UN’s international campaign to end violence against women.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work, Health and Wellbeing Policy Board, said: “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is a great way for men to understand more about women’s experiences and how they can support women. It’s a lighthearted way to raise awareness of serious issues and we hope that people will come along to support this worthy cause.

“The events for the 16 Days of Action so far have had a great turnout and atmosphere and this march will be a fitting end to our campaign in Renfrewshire.”

Anyone who wants to take part should register their interest by email to or by telephone on 0141 618 7404.

Help and advice for victims of rape and sexual abuse is available from Rape Crisis Scotland, daily 6pm to midnight, on 08088 01 03 02.

For more information, visit[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

St James P1 Renfrew class 1

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]After a busy week of exciting events, it’s clear that Book Week Scotland was a big success in Renfrewshire.

A visit from Alex McCall at Johnstone Library prompted a big turn out and lucky members of the Johnstone Library Book Group got signed copies of Alex’s hit book ‘Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens’.

St James P1 Renfrew class 1

Primary 1 pupils were delighted with their new Bookbug family pack, supplied by their local library and Scottish Book Trust. The special three book package was given out to youngsters to encourage them to keep up the habit of reading, and went down well as kids discovered books, activity packs and colouring pencils in their pack.

And the lucky people who had a ticket to Doug Allan’s sold out event were treated to an inspiring presentation of his stunning wildlife photography as well as the chance to discuss his new book.

Kirklandneuk P1 at Renfrew Library

Councillor Stuart Clark, Depute Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, said: “It was great to see so many different events taking place in Renfrewshire for Book Week Scotland.

“Libraries are a valuable community resource for learning and development so it’s important to encourage people to visit them regularly.

“We hope that Book Week Scotland has shown that libraries have lots to offer- whether it’s borrowing a book, going along to a reading group or even getting help to find a job.

“It’s also been great to see so many young people enjoying the events too, getting to meet their favourite author or enjoying their new Bookbug pack. We hope the events have helped to encourage people to pick up a book and get reading.”

For more information, visit[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Renfrewshire residents who have lost loved ones to suicide have been invited to an open evening by local support group Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS).

The informal drop-in session take place on Wednesday 17 December between 6.30 and 7.30pm in the Charleston Centre, 49 Neilston Road, Paisley. The event will give people a chance to chat over tea, coffee and mince pies with the opportunity of having a hand or neck massage.

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide

SOBS is a self-help organisation which provides a safe and confidential environment in which bereaved people can share their experiences and feelings and help to support each other.

The group is part of the Choose Life campaign, which aims to raise awareness of suicide and how it affects those left behind.

Lisa Aitken, Choose Life Young Person’s Resource Worker, said: “We encourage anyone who has been affected by losing a loved one to suicide to come along to the open day. The group offers much needed support to bereaved friends and relatives, but it is also vital we raise awareness of the issue.

“Suicide can affect anyone regardless of age or background, but there is still a big stigma surrounding it, which makes it hard to get help when it is needed. Events like these are important not only to talk openly about suicide, but to highlight the help that is there to prevent suicide.

“If you are worried someone is suicidal, ask them – it could make the difference. And if you feel suicidal, talk to someone you trust or call a helpline.”

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work, Health and Policy Board, said: “It’s important that as many people as possible come along and support this event, which is a vital support line for those who have been bereaved by suicide.

“By openly speaking about suicide, people can help to save lives. I’d encourage everyone, whether they have been affected by suicide or not, to get talking.”

The national helpline Breathing Space can be reached on 0800 83 85 87, and the number for The Samaritans is 08457 90 90 90.

For more information on the Renfrewshire meetings of SOBS, call 0141 849 2200, or email[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A crackdown on vehicle emissions in Paisley town centre last weekend saw over 300 vehicles stopped and checked by wardens from Renfrewshire Council.

In total, 332 drivers were stopped off Wallneuk Road and their cars examined, with five vehicles failing an emissions test.

The owners of the five cars in question were issued with a fixed penalty notice, which will be waived if they provide evidence of having the fault fixed within 14 days.


A crackdown on vehicle emissions in Paisley town centre last weekend saw over 300 vehicles stopped and checked by wardens from Renfrewshire Council.

In total, 332 drivers were stopped off Wallneuk Road and their cars examined, with five vehicles failing an emissions test.

The owners of the five cars in question were issued with a fixed penalty notice, which will be waived if they provide evidence of having the fault fixed within 14 days.

17 private hire taxis were also tested over the weekend, with all vehicles passing the test.

Renfrewshire Wardens were able to carry out emissions tests with officers from Police Scotland checking for general road worthiness and driver details.

Councillor Eddie Devine, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “This was a very useful exercise with hundreds of Renfrewshire residents getting the message about vehicle emissions.

“We’re especially keen to discourage vehicle idling. An idling engine produces up to twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in motion, and unnecessary idling is an offence – drivers who fail to turn their engine off when asked to do so can be issued with a £20 fixed penalty notice.

“Our message to vehicle owners is “don’t be an idler” and Renfrewshire wardens will patrol ‘hotspot’ areas outside schools and bus terminals at busy times to speak with drivers.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]