Major investment planned to help residents through hardship
Renfrewshire Council will invest an additional £200,000 into helping local people who are struggling to pay their rent, if the move gets the seal of approval next week.
Council bosses want to top up a fund that’s in place to help residents receiving Housing Benefit who are having difficulty meeting their housing costs – by £215,648.
If the move gets rubber-stamped next week, it will bring the council’s total investment into the Discretionary Housing Payment fund up to £365,648, following a £150,000 contribution in December.
Councillor Mike Holmes, Deputy Leader of Renfrewshire Council said: “We know the UK Government’s benefit changes are having an impact on local communities. More people are coming to us for advice, more people are falling into arrears, more are applying for DHPs, and more families are using food banks.
“This latest investment will bring our overall contribution to this key support fund up to more than £365,000 – the maximum we are allowed to contribute to DHP. We want to do all we can to help local residents through these tough times.”
“Our message is clear: if you’re facing financial hardship and are struggling to meet your housing costs, apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment. Help is there and we don’t want local families to struggle. Our Advice Works team can even help you if you need support to fill in the form, so please get in touch.”
Any Renfrewshire resident who is claiming Housing Benefit and having difficulties meeting their housing costs can apply for a DHP.
Application forms are available at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/dhp or you can call 0300 300 0204 to ask for one to be sent out to you. If you need help to fill out a form (and for general financial support) please call Advice Works on 0300 300 1238.
The proposed top up of the DHP fund will go before the Finance and Resources Policy Board for a decision on 28 August.
Fire Engine Rally attracts crowds to town centre
Renfrewshire residents turned out in their numbers at the weekend to grab a glimpse of some vintage vehicles during the Fire Engine Rally
Hundreds of people gathered in Paisley town centre on Saturday afternoon for the popular annual event, which is now in its fifth year.
A mixture of old-style and current fire appliances paraded through the town from Canal Street Fire Station before parking in County Square and Gilmour Street.
The event was run by Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Heritage Trust.
There was plenty to keep visitors entertained, with chip-pan fire demonstrations and a fire-engine bouncy castle.
Other emergency services who met the public on the day included the Glasgow Airport fire crew, and blood-transfusion motorcycle couriers from the Scottish Emergency Rider Volunteer Service.
Being ‘rescued’ was Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall, who volunteered to be cut from a car by the fire brigade as part of a safety demo.
Provost Hall said: “Once again, Renfrewshire residents turned out in their numbers for one of our town centre events, following on from Sma’ Shot Day and the Paisley Pipe Band Championship last month, both of which were well attended.
“The day carried a serious message in terms of fire safety and was a great showcase for the work of the fire brigade – although I would like to reserve a special thank-you to the ones who rescued me from inside the car!”
“I also have to compliment the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Heritage Trust for their work to restore these magnificent vehicles, as it gives young and old alike a chance to see a piece of our history in action.”
Info from Renfrewshire Council
Council Leader presses Scottish Government for Living Wage power
Renfrewshire Council’s Leader wants private companies to pay a fair Living Wage to any of their staff who deliver work for the local authority – and he has written to the Scottish Government in a bid to turn this into reality.
Councillor Mark Macmillan has written to the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to urge that powers be added to public contract regulations. These would enable councils to specify that contractors’ employees are paid the Living Wage when they deliver work for local authorities. Currently, when awarding contracts to private sector companies, the council cannot take the rate of employees’ wages into consideration.
This move forms part of Renfrewshire Council’s anti-poverty agenda and links to the authority’s work supporting people affected by the UK government’s Welfare Reform and the £8million Invest in Renfrewshire programme that supports businesses while creating work and training opportunities.
Councillor Macmillan said: “I am fighting to get everyone working in Renfrewshire a fair Living Wage. It’s better for business and it means that people can work their way out of poverty. It is simply the right thing to do.
“The Scottish Government needs to change its legislation to let us specify to contractors that, when their staff are delivering work for the council, they have to pay them our Living Wage. It is simply unjust that a worker doing the same job as a council employee is paid at a lower rate.
“Renfrewshire’s Living Wage is fair, it’s encouraging, it shows that we value our employees and their work, and it’s better for the local economy. I’d urge Nicola Sturgeon to give us the powers we need to make sure anyone delivering work for Renfrewshire Council, receives our Living Wage.”
Councillor Macmillan has asked the Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, to address these legal issues regarding contractors in the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill.
He also plans to work with Renfrewshire employers later this year to encourage them to consider applying the £7.50 per hour Living Wage. Already, companies who recruit employees and interns under the Invest in Renfrewshire programme are paid a £1000 bonus.
The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and employers choose to pay it on a voluntary basis. The current hourly Living Wage outside London is set at £7.45. Renfrewshire Council was one of the first Scottish local authorities to introduce a living wage for its own staff and, for 2013/14, this is set at £7.50 per hour.
The national minimum wage is currently set at £6.21. More information on the Living Wage can be found online at www.livingwage.org.uk
St Mirren News 150813
|FIRST HOME GAME
Our first home game of the season will take place on Saturday 17th August 2013 when we play Kilmarnock. To avoid any disappointment you can purchase a Season Ticket or order match day tickets online at www.smfctickets.co.uk or contact the Ticket Office on 0141 840 6130 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
The tickets details are as follows:
Adult – £20
Adult (Padded Seat) – £22
Concession – £10
Concession (Padded Seat) – £12
Under 12 – £5 (£2 in the family stand)
Tickets for the next 3 home games against Partick Thistle, Motherwell and Aberdeen are also on sale.
The Ticket Office is open as follows:
Monday to Thursday 10am – 2pm
Friday 16th 10am – 5pm
Saturday 17th 9am until kick-off
LEAGUE CUP SECOND ROUND TIE
The Second Round tie will be between St Mirren and Queen of the South at Palmerston Park, Dumfries.
The match, which will be played on Tuesday 27th August with a 7:45pm kick-off, will be all-ticket.
Tickets for the tie are not on sale yet but once the tickets have been received from Queen of the South we will update the website accordingly. Ticket prices have been agreed as follows:
Adult – £16
Why not bring your children along to St Mirren Panda Club on Saturday 17th August 2013 from 1pm to 4.45pm. It is open to St Mirren fans, both male and female, aged 5-12 years old and membership is FREE!!
A day at the Panda Club is as follows:
· SFA/St Mirren FC Qualified Coach for 1 hours coaching.
· Lots of footballing fun within the new St Mirren Dome.
· 1 match day ticket. Children will be accompanied and supervised by Community Coaches to the match.
· Panda Club members will be seated in the exclusive ‘Panda Area’ in the Family (South) Stand.
· The cost per child is £3 with a season ticket (displayed upon arrival) and £5 without a season ticket.
Football sessions will take place on the astroturf inside the St Mirren Dome, located behind the North Stand of St Mirren Park. Adults wishing to attend the game can purchase tickets from the St Mirren Ticket Office. Parents should collect their child at the Community Office, located at the North Stand, at the end of the match
For bookings and further information about St Mirren in the Community, please contact Football Development Officer, Ross Paterson on 07702 287 693 or email email@example.com.
Just a reminder that the new St Mirren air dome indoor football pitch is getting resurfaced with a top of the range FIFA 2 star surface supplied by Fieldturf. Ex St Mirren player Brian Hamilton who runs SGS has won the contract to install the new carpet, work is due to start after the Kilmarnock home match on 18th August and therefore the airdome will be closed for a week to allow the work to be completed. Once the new surface is laid the air dome will be a state of the art first class indoor facility for use not just by the Football Club but for the community in general
Why not come along this weekend and support the St Mirren Youth Teams. Matches are as follows
17/08/13 St Mirren U11s V St Johnstone U11s 11am Ralston
17/08/13 St Mirren U12s V St Johnstone U12s 1pm Ralston
18/08/13 St Mirren U13s V Dundee United U13s 12 noon Ralston
18/08/13 St Mirren U14s V Dundee United U14s 2pm Ralston
18/08/13 Dundee United U15s V St Mirren U15s 12 noon St Andrews University
18/08/13 Dundee United U17s V St Mirren U17s 12 noon St Andrews University
St Mirren Youth Academy require a new physiotherapist to work for the academy at weekends. We are looking for an HPC qualified physiotherapist who must have their own transport.If you are interested in this position please email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. Experience would be advantageous but not essential.
ST MIRREN GOLF DAY – FRIDAY 6th SEPTEMBER
The SMFC Fans Council are hosting a Golf Day to raise funds for youth development at the Club.
A great day out joining Directors and players past and present from St Mirren Football Club will take place on Friday 6th September at Paisley Golf Club.
The details as follows:
· Hot Roll, Tea or Coffee upon arrival (9:00am), meet and greet players and staff.
· Enjoy the live draw for each 3 ball to pair up with SMFC rep (9:30am).
· Two Tee start 1st and 10th – first tee off 10:00am (8 min intervals) – Team Stableford format, 3 Qtrs of handicap, Off Yellow Tees
· Sit down two course meal, main meal and dessert followed by tea or coffee (3:00pm)
· Photo opportunity with League Cup, staff and players from St Mirren FC.
· Prizes and raffle draws shortly after.
· All of the above for only £70 per person and we require entries of teams of 3 by e-mail, on a first come, first served basis to ensure your place.
If you are keen to join us on the day, please send on your 3 team members names and contact details to Mr Eric Crossan on email@example.com as soon as possible, after which further details will follow.
Please visit www.supportsmfc.co.uk for more St Mirren Fans Council initiatives.
Laughter, Buddy Guaranteed: Renfrewshire Arts & Museums is delighted to announce its brand new arts programme for autumn 2013.
Autumn has arrived at Renfrewshire Arts & Museums, bringing with it a wonderful selection of theatre and dance performances, exhibitions at Paisley Museum, music and stand-up gigs as well as a superb range of regular events and classes for everyone from creative kids to talented tea dancers.
Our 50-strong line-up of performances, events and exhibitions falls during a busy time for Renfrewshire, with the arrival of the Royal National Mòd and The Spree arts festival, both of which take place in venues around Paisley in October.
Laughter, Buddy Guaranteed. This autumn we are most looking forward to launching a new, monthly comedy strand featuring all the big names in Scottish stand-up. ‘A Buddy Good Laugh’ is the brainchild of Renfrewshire Arts & Museums and local comedy promoters Dead Sheep Comedy and will see headline acts like Des Clarke, Gary Little & Janey Godley take to the mic at Paisley Arts Centre and Paisley Town Hall. And, just to add a little more intrigue, we have secured a hugely successful mystery guest for our first show. We can’t reveal who it is yet but comedy fans will know this person well from their impressive run of sell-out world tours and numerous TV appearances.
Fringe Links. A number of our forthcoming plays and theatre productions are currently showing at the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. See the critically acclaimed ‘If These Spasms Could Speak’, ‘The List’ and children’s performance ‘Head in the Clouds’ straight after their Fringe run at Paisley Arts Centre. Or break out of the theatre for a nostalgic performance of ‘Linwood No More’ at the former Linwood Rootes Car Factory.
Showcasing the best of local heritage. Paisley Museum commemorates a local landmark with September exhibition ‘Abbey 850’ and the museum will be celebrating Gaeldom in October with a trio of displays highlighting Gaelic heritage and culture to coincide with the Royal National Mòd.
Animal mad! Whether your favourite animal is a sheep, a tiger or even a polar bear, we have many funny, interactive and magical events and performances planned for children and families. Plus our talented Outreach team are set to deliver an array of creative activities involving fashion, animation and even horrible histories!
The new autumn Guide brochure, complete with details of our arts and events programme in full, is now available to collect, for free, from Paisley Town Hall, Paisley Arts Centre, Paisley Museum and Renfrew Town Hall. Or you can see what’s on online, by visiting www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events
For regular updates on Renfrewshire Arts & Museums, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/renfrewshirearts), Twitter (@RenArtsMuseums) or sign up to our free weekly e-news service, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the mailing list.
Count down to the Paisley 10K underway. Are you registered?
There isn’t long to go until competitive racers and fun runners will take their place at the start line of the Scottish West 10k Championship and Fun Run in Paisley.
Renfrewshire Council is reminding runners they need to be registered ahead of the road race, which takes place on Sunday 25 August at 10am if they’re hoping to secure a personal best.
Online registration closes at noon on Friday 23 August for what is expected to be the biggest ever staging of the event. Paper registrations however need to be received by Monday 19 August to avoid disappointment. Late applications or entries on the day will not be accepted.
Last year over 1,400 people took part in the event, ranging from serious athletes to fun runners raising cash for charity.
Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board said, “Don’t let months or miles of training go to waste because you miss the registration cut-off.
“Paisley is one of three British Heart Foundation ‘Heart Towns’ in Scotland. Your participation in the Scottish West 10k Championship and Fun Run has the potential to benefit the charity twice. Not only will you be helping to raise vital funds, by getting physically active you are also reducing your risk of getting cardiovascular disease.
“Whether it’s lining up on the start line or cheering from the sidelines on the 25th, we all benefit from getting outdoors and getting active”.
This year the race is sponsored by Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Flagship employer MEPC Hillington Park. Demonstrating their commitment to the cause, Marketing & Customer Manager, Alison Clark, and Leasing Manager, Roddy Proudfoot, have registered and will be among those lining up at the start of the 10k.
Paisley’s 10k is noted for being flat and fast, with a course that takes competitors through the historic town centre, along Paisley canal and Kilmacolm cycle track.
Register online at www.paisley10k.com by noon on Friday 23 August or return your paper application to: Paisley 10K Road Race/Fun Run, Youth and Sport Services Team, West Primary School, Newton Street, Paisley PA1 2RL, by the Monday 19 August with a cheque made payable to Renfrewshire Council.
Paisley gets set for vintage fire vehicle visit
Renfrewshire residents will get the chance to go on red alert with rescue vehicles from yesteryear this weekend when the Fire Engine Rally takes place in Paisley.
The popular annual event is expected to draw a crowd to the town centre as young and old alike gather to get up close with a collection of vintage fire engines from through the ages, alongside some modern appliances.
The engines will then gather in County Square and Gilmour Street for a family fun day, including chip-pan fire demos, kids’ entertainers, a fire-engine bouncy castle and much more.
The parade leaves Canal Street at 11am, with entertainment running until 4pm.
The event – now in its fifth year – is being run by Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Heritage Trust.
Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: “The Fire Engine Rally is the latest in our series of town centre events running through the summer.
“We have already had great crowds for Sma’ Shot Day and the Paisley Pipe Band Championships, and hope to have the same again on Saturday.
“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Heritage Trust do a great job of keeping these machines operational, and I would encourage residents to come out and see this little bit of history in action for themselves.”
“The range of fire appliances on show at the event will include the very old alongside the latest models which serve the community day in day out.
“The rally is a fun event but there will also be an opportunity for people to get safety advice and arrange a home fire safety visit by fire crews whenever it suits them.”
For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.
Council Leader urges UK Government to give councils new powers over payday loan companies
The Leader of Renfrewshire Council has written to the UK Government to urge that councils be given new powers to regulate payday loan companies.
Councillor Mark Macmillan has asked the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to give councils powers as part of their licensing remit, so that payday loan companies would have to apply to local authorities to set up in the area.
Councillor Macmillan said: “The Office of Fair Trading has referred the issue of payday loan companies to the Competition Commission to address some serious concerns at national level and responsibility for monitoring such lending companies will pass to the Financial Conduct Authority in April 2014. So some progress is being made.
“But much more needs to be done at local level – and done now – to stop communities falling victim to these companies that fail to check if customers can afford the repayments, and then hound them with aggressive tactics when they can’t pay back the loan.
“It’s scandalous that at the moment these companies can simply move into areas where there are vulnerable people already struggling financially, with no questions asked. Too many families have fallen into a vicious circle of toxic debt after being caught in the payday loan trap of anything up to 4,000 per cent interest.
“I’d urge the UK Government to do the right thing and give councils the local regulation that’s desperately needed over these companies’ ongoing attempts to suck money out of low-income communities.”
The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 already allows councils to regulate several types of business where it’s in the public interest including taxis, second hand dealers and street traders.
Councillor Macmillan’s letter to Secretary of State, Vince Cable MP, is calling for the scope of the Civic Government Act to be widened to include payday lenders, or that an alternative regulatory scheme be established.
Renfrewshire Council has banned access to pay day loan websites from its own PCs including computers in libraries and community facilities.
The council has also created a 45-strong team to help people who are facing difficulties as a result of benefit cuts. Residents who are struggling with debt or who are worried about benefit cuts should call 0300 300 0288.
Universal Credit is “soul-destroying”
Renfrewshire Council’s Leader has called on the UK Government to wise up and open up after a leaked report revealed staff delivering its flagship benefit change branded the programme “soul-destroying” and “unbelievably frustrating”.
Recent media reports about Universal Credit findings, quote one member of staff as saying: “This is the third review in 16 months. No rollout plans, no confidence in going forward and stakeholders losing confidence in our ability to deliver”.
Councillor Mark Macmillan has branded the findings “shocking” and is calling on the UK Government to share the details of its plan to replace six benefits with Universal Credit across the UK.
Councillor Macmillan said: “These shocking findings prove what we have suspected all along – that Universal Credit is in chaos. We’ve now heard directly from people at the heart of this project that there’s secrecy, dishonesty, no rollout plan, and no confidence. Even the people working on the programme don’t know anything about future developments. That’s nowhere near acceptable.”
Universal Credit will replace child tax credits, working tax credits, income-based job seekers allowance, housing benefit, income support and income based employment support allowance.
Councillor Macmillan added: “The UK Government should wise up, open up and share all details of planned roll out of Universal Credit. They have a duty to reassure everyone receiving the six benefits that will be replaced by Universal Credit. Families in Renfrewshire will want to know exactly when and how they will be affected.
“The Government is insisting that everyone apply for this benefit online, despite many people not having an internet connection or a PC. They also want those receiving the new benefit to transfer their housing benefit to their landlord themselves, which is ludicrous considering there are many vulnerable residents who need support to manage their finances.
“The public deserve to know more about Universal Credit now so they can start to prepare for the major changes it will bring.”
Thirteen UK council areas were part of the original Universal Credit pilot that started in September 2012 and a recent announcement confirmed that six more places will offer the benefit from October 2013.