WW1 centenary inspires new war memorial appeal.

Renfrewshire Council is marking the centenary of the First World War by ensuring all local fallen service personnel have the chance to be recognised on the area’s memorials.

This August will be 100 years from the outbreak of the conflict – with the date to be marked by a programme of commemorative events in Renfrewshire and elsewhere.

RWM 2 Provost flowers

And Renfrewshire Council wishes to honour all locals who lost their lives in that and subsequent conflicts, to coincide with the 100-year anniversary.

The council has authority to allow consideration of requests from relatives to add the names of local service personnel who lost their lives in either world war or any other conflict since, and who are not yet mentioned.

Last year, a service was held at Renfrew war memorial to install a permanent inscription to Lance Corporal James Murdoch, who died in the Falklands.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: “Since the First World War ended, the UK armed forces have been involved in more than 54 wars and conflicts.

“Many of the Renfrewshire people who lost their lives are already recognised on local memorials – but as there is no definitive list of war dead, we don’t know if there are still some who are not.

“While we have received some requests over the years, we want to ensure all fallen service personnel get the same chance to be recognised.

“And the upsurge in interest in military history expected around the First World War centenary means now is a fitting point to find out if there any omissions.”

The council is responsible for 10 war memorials – erected after the two world wars – to honour those who fell in those conflicts.

They are in Paisley, Renfrew, Johnstone, Howwood, Houston, Lochwinnoch, Kilbarchan and Bridge of Weir, as well as Abbey and Hawkhead Cemeteries.

Any changes to existing memorials would be made with certain criteria in mind.

These include that the alterations would need to be in keeping with the aesthetic of the memorial, and that the fallen service person’s details would need to be verified with the appropriate authorities.

Names would not be added to memorials which do not already contain individual name inscriptions, and cannot be added to those where there is no room for additions.

Anybody who wishes more information about war memorials should phone 0300 300 0300 or email am-serv.es@renfrewshire.gov.uk

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Renfrewshire roads to benefit from £3.8m cash boost.

Towns and villages across Renfrewshire are set to benefit from a multi-million pound investment in the area’s roads.

Renfrewshire Council has set aside £3.8m for road improvements during the 2014/5 financial year, with this figure swelled by the second chunk of a two-year additional investment confirmed in 2013.

Roads engineers have carried out a detailed survey of roads across the area and prioritised a list of locations where the cash will be targeted.

renfrewshire council logo .JPGAlmost half of the money – £1.7m – will be spent on the full resurfacing of roads most in need of repair and which cannot be patched up by more cost-effective means.
The rest of the investment includes:

– £500k on surface treatments to prolong the life of rural and residential roads;

– £600k on patching and repair work to fix potholes and weak areas;

– £300k to repair and resurface footpaths, and £100k for drainage improvements.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “The council sees investment in the area’s roads as a priority, which is why 2013’s budget included an additional £4.3m to be spent over two years.

“Along with all other Scottish councils, we have had to deal with some severe winters in recent years, which have damaged the road network and left a backlog of repairs.

“With more than 800km of local roads to maintain, we obviously can’t be everywhere at once, which is why have to prioritise areas for investment according to need.

“We do understand that potholes and uneven roads cause frustration for drivers but would assure everybody our extra investment is making a difference.

“Surveys show that we have made significant progress in improving road condition in recent years, and we expect that trend to continue once this year’s money is spent.

“Our engineers have worked hard to ensure our resources go on the areas most in need of work and that we target repairs in the most cost-effective way.”

The full road resurfacing will take place at 41 roads throughout the area, taking in both residential and main roads – such as sections of the A8 in Bishopton and main A-roads through Erskine and Bridge of Weir.

The footway resurfacing will take place at 27 locations, including Paisley’s Hawkhead Road, and parts of Johnstone and Renfrew town centres.

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.

Council’s vital Welfare Fund top up takes effect to help local people.

Renfrewshire Council’s Scottish Welfare Fund top up of £150,000 proved vital this month when the initial Government pot was fully used up.

The Finance and Resources Policy Board heard recently that the Welfare Fund sum of £1,148,858 the council received from the Scottish Government in April 2013, stood at just £24,076 at the end of February. By 7 March, this was fully used up.

In January, the council feared the crucial support fund would run out before the new pot from the Scottish Government was in place at the start of April 2014, and the council top up was approved.

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Councillor Mike Holmes, Depute Leader, said: “During the first week of March, our Scottish Welfare Fund budget from the Scottish Government was used up. Not only does this show that many local people have been pushed to the brink by harsh welfare cuts and the rising cost of living – but also that Renfrewshire should have received more support from the Scottish Government.

“We feared the Government’s welfare fund allocation would be used before the new financial year started and fortunately our £150,000 top up was able to take effect to make sure the people in our community who need help the most, can continue to receive it until the new Scottish Welfare Fund sum arrives at the beginning of April.

“I’m glad we were able to bridge this gap to make sure families facing hardship still have access to this crucial support fund.”

People who are facing crisis or hardship and would like to apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund should call 0300 300 0204.

CASH CONVERTERS PAISLEY OFFERS A FRIENDLY LOCAL SERVICE.

Cash Converters Paisley is a friendly local franchise offering a range of services designed to help people with their short term cash problems. The local franchisee Stephen Gavin and staff will be celebrating 10 years of business in Paisley this year and Store Manager, Stuart Dunn, said the current climate makes the services Cash Converters offer more valuable than ever. “We offer great savings and bargains with our new and used goods, something everyone can take advantage of. Every customer that comes into our store has a different need whether that’s some cash to pay the bills or something to tide them over until payday.

cash-converters

Within the Paisley store Cash Converters sells new, used and graded stock. Products include laptops and tablets, games consoles, mobile phones, TV’s, photographic equipment, musical equipment, bikes, household goods, DVD’s and much more. Customers can buy with confidence knowing that they have a comprehensive warranty on all items.

At a time when everyone is tightening their belts, Cash Converters offers a quick and easy way for customers to raise cash without credit checks or spiralling debts. The unique ‘Buyback’ service is a simple way to access instant cash to cover unexpected bills or wage irregularities for example. Customers bring in an item along with some up to date identification, a price is agreed and the customer then gets the cash and up to 28 days option to buy back the goods. There is also the opportunity to sell unwanted goods. Customers can bring goods into the store, negotiate a price and walk out with cash. Sellers simply need to bring along some up to date I.D.

To find out more about Cash Converters and its services pop into the store at 37 Causeyside Street or give them a call on 0141 8497474.

Paisley Abbey

Council Leader’s community call over regeneration plans.

The council unveiled proposals in January for a multi-million pound investment in Paisley’s infrastructure to kickstart heritage-led regeneration and boost the town’s tourist economy.

The hope is this would lead to a bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021 – and Councillor Mark Macmillan wants local groups to help shape that bid.

Council staff have already started to meet local business and community interests to explain the detail behind the Paisley Town Centre Heritage Asset Strategy.

Paisley Abbey

It is thought the existing Paisley Vision Board – a public-private group aimed at boosting town centre trade – could evolve into a wider body which better fits the scope of the council’s proposals.

Cllr Macmillan said: “The next few years are going to be hugely exciting for Renfrewshire as we aim to lead a multi-million-pound investment in our tourist potential and a possible UK City of Culture bid.

“The Paisley Town Centre Heritage Asset Strategy is a bold statement of where we want the area to be – but for us to reach our potential we will need to work in partnership with a wide range of groups who also stand to benefit.

“That will require contributions from a range of people – from public-sector bodies to business leaders to cultural groups to residents and everyone in between, as we look to transform perceptions of Paisley at home and abroad.

“The Paisley Vision Board has served the town well over the years and led the way on many worthwhile projects – but as we widen our ambitions for Paisley and Renfrewshire, we have to widen the scope of who we work in partnership with.

“Over the months ahead I want us to harness the talents of all interested parties and give them the chance to help us transform Paisley’s future for the better.”

Tom Johnston, president of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “The plans being taken forward to regenerate Paisley are far-reaching and unique.

“The local business community stands to benefit from these proposals and I would encourage them to get on board and help shape the transformation.”

The Paisley Town Centre Heritage Asset Strategy was commissioned by the council to assess how the town’s rich history and culture could be used to drive tourist-led regeneration.

The report describes Paisley’s heritage – including more than 100 listed buildings, rare books and paintings, and the finest Paisley Shawl collection in the world – as being of ‘international interest and significance’.

It is estimated the developments proposed by the strategy could increase Renfrewshire’s tourist economy by £45m a year, and create around 800 new jobs for the area.

Key recommendations include a multi-million-pound revamp of Paisley Museum, possible new theatre space in the town, and work to investigate whether Paisley could receive UNESCO World Heritage Status, as well as the possible City of Culture bid.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil

750 Renfrewshire residents to benefit from heating upgrade.

Up to 750 council homes in Renfrewshire are to benefit from a package of heating upgrades.

In the latest phase of a major £138m housing improvement programme, a contract has been awarded to national housing and regeneration specialist, Keepmoat, and Renfrewshire Council building services to carry out the heating improvements.

Over five years, the programme will bring all of the council’s 13,000 properties up to the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) with a major programme of internal and external improvements.

Keepmoat

This next phase of work will continue the programme of upgrading electric storage heating systems to gas central heating.

Keepmoat has been working in partnership with Renfrewshire Council on the SHQS investment for the past three years delivering 2,500 kitchen, bathroom and rewiring upgrades, external works to 900 main door properties and 1,500 central heating upgrades. Overall the programme has delivered over 7,750 kitchen, bathroom and rewiring upgrades and 4,500 central heating upgrades to date.

Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “The heating upgrade programme is a key part of this massive investment in our council homes. Now we are nearing the final stretch of the SHQS programme a big focus will be on the heating upgrades so our tenants will benefit from modernised, more energy efficient and cost-effective systems.”

As well as the tenants directly benefitting from new heating systems, the wider community is also benefitting from the council’s partnership with Keepmoat.

Significant community benefits have also been delivered as part of the partnership, including the employment of 47 local residents, work experience placements, local football sponsorships, community days and refurbishing kitchens in sheltered housing complexes.

Keepmoat Regional Director Eamonn McGarvey commented “Keepmoat together with the council is working hard to bring a warm feeling to people across Renfrewshire, not only by improving homes but working with local residents to deliver regeneration that works.”

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.

Paisley Buddies heading out to Lesotho to help build homes.

A few of our Paisley residents will be travelling all the way to the small country of Lesotho in South Africa this September to help villagers build better homes for those in need of them. This really is a great cause. If you would like to donate please visit their just giving page below and help them meet their target!

Anything at all that anyone can spare is greatly appreciated, thank you for your support!

www.justgiving.com/teamRenfrewshire

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Talented Paisley Girl wows judges at TeenStar auditions!

Rachel Patrick, 17 and stays in Paisley has been given the big thumbs up by judges at the TeenStar auditions. Along with other impressive acts, Rachel has made it through to the Regional Finals of the UK’s only singing competition specifically for teens and pre-teens, and will now be performing live showcases of the competition.  Rachel wil be performing in City Halls, Candelriggs in Glasgow’s Merchant City on the 5th of April fighting for a place in the Area Finals.

TeenStar is an exciting national singing competition searching for the UK’s best teens and pre-teens singers, singer/songwriters, rappers and vocalists of all genres who perform either covers or original material. TeenStar is brought to you by Future Music, the company behind the discovery of artists such as Jacob Banks, Warner Music’s Birdy, Columbia Record’s Lucy Spraggan, and Union J’s Jaymi Hensley and Jahmene Douglas, both of whom are now signed to Sony Music, meaning TeenStar is an exciting singing competition for teens and pre-teens to get involved in.

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One contestant who has evidently caught the judge’s eye is local talent Rachel Patrick, who is now in the running to follow in the footsteps of previous winner Luke Friend and compete for a place in the Grand Final. Thousands of hopefuls entered TeenStar nationwide and hundreds of auditionees queued patiently on the day for their turn to impress the judges. Those who made it through the audition stage will now take part in a live Regional head-to-head battle alongside the best talent in their area. They’ll be performing in front of hundreds of audience members and a professional judging panel to win a place at the National Grand Final.

Chris Grayston, Events Coordinator for TeenStar comments “We are looking to find an act that has something unique to offer, another Birdy or Luke Friend that can go all the way, with both the ability to deliver a strong live performance but also potential to become a professional recording artist. There is so much talent out there I’m sure we can find that star again!”

The competition is divided into age categories – ‘Late Teens’ (16-19), ‘Mid Teens’ (13-15) and a special category searching for the stars of tomorrow, the Pre-Teens! All types of singers, vocal performers, groups and acoustic singer/songwriters are invited to enter TeenStar. All entrants are aiming to make it to that prestigious Grand Final where the spotlight will be shone on them and they’ll have the chance to be signed.

Previous Future Music competition winner Birdy’s career has gone from strength-to-strength since winning Open Mic UK, after securing a deal with Warner Music and watching her debut album achieve Gold status in the UK and platinum status throughout Europe, and receiving a 2014 BRIT award nomination.

Rachel Patrick’s Regional Final is 5th of April 2014, doors open at 7:30pm at The Old Fruitmarket, City Halls, Candelriggs, Glasgow. Tickets are £8 and available from Rachel or from www.teenstarcompetition.co.uk. Rachel is a very talented and pleasent girl who will do her very best to do everything in her power to make her dreams come true. She hopes to get as much support as possible from other people in her local area.

For more information go to the website www.teenstarcompetition.co.uk, or better still come down and support your local talent performing!

For press enquiries please contact Miche Pears on 02380529966 or email office@openmicuk.co.uk.

Contact the Elderly.

Contact the Elderly is a national organisation which aims to relieve the acute loneliness and isolation of people over the age of 75.  We organise small groups of volunteer drivers who take elderly members to a host’s home for tea one Sunday a month.  The group is warmly welcomed by a different host each month, but the drivers remain the same which means that over the months and years, acquaintances turn into friends and loneliness is replaced by companionship.  Our service is free.

While for some, living alone is a lifestyle choice and one they very much enjoy, for others, it can sometimes lead to feelings of social isolation and loneliness, especially as people grow older, mobility and health declines and social circles narrow.

We are now looking for volunteer drivers who can drive once a month on a Sunday (or be a reserve driver), or host a couple of times a year in their own homes.  Drivers must have their own cars, and hosts must have easy access to their homes and a downstairs toilet.

www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk

Contact the Elderly
PO Box 5207
DUMBARTON  G82 9AP

Winner of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012

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PACE Theatre Company – Making the right Connections!

On the 13th, 14th, & 15th March PACE Theatre Company will be performing at The Wynd Auditorium as part of National Theatre Connections – a nationwide celebration of new plays for young people.

Each year new plays are commissioned for and about young people from some of the best contemporary playwrights, for performance by youth theatres all over the UK and Ireland, making Connections one of the world’s largest celebrations of youth theatre.

Last year PACE’s production of “The Guffin” by Howard Brenton was invited to perform at the National Theatre in London where it wowed critics and audiences alike and this year they will be hoping to emulate that feat with their production of “Heritage” by Dafydd James.

national-connections

Mayday has dawned in Northbridge, and a group of misfit Youth gather to rehearse their heritage anthem to sing at the celebration. It soon becomes clear however that they have been chosen for a far darker purpose. What has Tubbsy hidden in his bag, why is Mark dressed as a stegosaurus and greater than all what does the Provost know!? Northbridge – a place full of whispers ready to reveal its ‘bloodiest’ secret

PACE’s Mhairi Gilbert who directs the play said “This has been a fantastic opportunity to work with the young actors on a new play and to create a completely original piece of theatre. What the audience can expect is an exciting and vibrant new piece of work which will showcase the talents of these young actors.”

Book now to see PACE Theatre Company perform “Heritage” at The Wynd Auditorium, Paisley 13th – 15th March 2014. Contact the box office on 0845 130 5218. Tickets £8/£6.

The cast will also be performing “Heritage” on Wednesday, 4th June at The Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh as part of a double bill for the NT Connections Festival. Tickets can be purchased from The Lyceum Box Office on 0131 248 4848.

For more information about National Theatre Connections visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/connections