Ralston, Paisley News

Renfrewshire Council has confirmed that it will meet on Thursday 3rd March to agree a budget for 2016/2017.

The local authority has previously reported that the grant funding it receives from the Scottish Government has been cut by 3.4% this year.

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Councillors met on Thursday 25 February to agree a housing budget for 2016/2017.

Renfrewshire Council has confirmed that it will meet on Thursday 3 March to agree a budget for 2016/2017.

The local authority has previously reported that the grant funding it receives from the Scottish Government has been cut by 3.4% this year.

Councillors met on Thursday 25 February to agree a housing budget for 2016/2017.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “It has been well-documented that, like other local authorities, we challenged the financial settlement offered by the Scottish Government and asked for clarification on the many conditions attached.

“This year’s settlement saw the biggest single cut imposed on local government yet, so it has been an especially difficult process this year.

“Sensibly, we have taken as much time as possible to deal with the implications of the settlement before drafting our own budget proposals. I believe we are proposing a budget that protects frontline services, helps our most vulnerable and invests in Renfrewshire’s future, and I look forward to getting the agreement of the full council.

“We have delivered on last year’s budget priorities and we’re starting to see the fruits of that investment.

“People can see for themselves the investment in physical assets like the Arnotts building and the Russell Institute in Paisley. But we’re also having great success with things like Families First, Street Stuff and our various Tackling Poverty initiatives, which are all making a difference in people’s lives and strengthening our communities.”

As part of its drive to create a Living Wage economy in Renfrewshire, the council is inviting local employers to a seminar to discuss how being a Living Wage employer can support business success.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council said; “It is clear that the Living Wage is good for people and communities but we really need to focus on its benefits to employers. I envisage a Renfrewshire where calibre businesses can thrive, create quality jobs and sustain economic growth – and paying the Living Wage is part of that.”

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An independent study found that more than 80% of employers believe that the Living Wage had enhanced the quality of their staffs’ work, while absenteeism had fallen by approximately 25%.
Two thirds of employers reported a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation. A more stable workforce means that recruitment costs are reduced, the value gained from staff training increases and customer service improves.

70% of employers felt that the Living Wage had increased customers’ awareness of their commitment to being an ethical employer.
Yet there are approximately 16,000 jobs in Renfrewshire that pay below the Living Wage. This suggests that many local businesses could be benefitting from improved employee performance, loyalty and flexibility as well as the reputational boost associated with being a socially responsible employer.

Councillor Macmillan will open the seminar on 17 February. Speakers include: David Faith of the Living Wage Foundation, Fiona Hughes, Procurement Manager at Renfrewshire Council and Bob Grant from Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

Councillor Macmillan said; “Employers know that paying the Living Wage is the right thing to do and this seminar is designed to make it achievable for all. Experts will be on hand to discuss the accreditation process, local businesses (including the council) will share their experiences, and Invest in Renfrewshire advisors will be available to offer support for recruitment, training and business growth. We’re delighted with the interest that employers have already shown in Wednesday’s event and so I’d urge anyone who’d like to attend to reserve a place quickly.”

The Living Wage in Renfrewshire seminar will take place at the Abercorn Centre, Paisley on Wednesday 17 February from 8.30 am until 10.30 am. To book a place, call 0141 618 6872 or email invest@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

Renfrewshire residents have been reminded this week of the voter registration deadline ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament elections.

Voters in Renfrewshire will go to the polls on 5 May and must be listed on the electoral register by Monday 18 April to be eligible to vote

16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote for Scottish Parliament for the first time and a National Voter Registration Drive was launched this week.

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Renfrewshire residents have been reminded this week of the voter registration deadline ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament elections.

Voters in Renfrewshire will go to the polls on 5 May and must be listed on the electoral register by Monday 18 April to be eligible to vote

16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote for Scottish Parliament for the first time and a National Voter Registration Drive was launched this week.

Alasdair MacTaggart, Electoral Registration Officer for Renfrewshire, said: “Anyone not yet registered to vote should do so as soon as possible so they can have their say on issues that affect their day-to-day lives.

“I’d urge people living in Renfrewshire to use National Voter Registration Drive to spread the message amongst family and friends that it only takes a few minutes to complete the form and register to vote online.”

Sandra Black, Returning Officer for the three constituencies of Paisley, Renfrewshire North and Renfrewshire South and Regional Returning Officer for the West of Scotland Region, said: “Everyone involved in preparing for and conducting the elections wants to make it as easy as possible for people to get advice and information and that applies to making sure you are able to vote.

Anyone seeking to register to vote can do so online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Renfrewshire residents can get a paper copy of the registration form by contacting the electoral registration office on 0300 300 0150.

The National Voter Registration Drive will be active on social media from this week and can be followed via the Twitter hashtag #NVRD.

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Meal Makers, the project that connects communities through food, has arrived in Renfrewshire and they are on the lookout for new volunteers.

The community food sharing project was launched as a pilot project in Dundee in August 2014 and proved to be an instant hit across the city. It has since been launched in Glasgow, Perth and Kinross and now it being rolled out across Renfrewshire. The idea behind Meal Makers is really simple – they connect people who love cooking and want to be active in their community (‘Cooks’), with older (55+) neighbours (‘Diners’), who would appreciate home cooked food delivered to them every now and again.

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So how does this work in practice? Well, when a Meal Makers cook is preparing their evening meal for themselves and their family, they will prepare one extra portion of their home cooking and take it round to an older neighbour at a time which suits both parties. Not only does the project provide a way for older adults to enjoy freshly prepared nutritious home cooking (particularly older adults who might find it difficult to enjoy home cooking otherwise), but it also helps bring communities together and combats the social isolation experienced by many members of the older population. How often meals are shared, and when they are shared is left entirely up to the Cook and Diner to decide between themselves. Meals are most commonly shared on a weekly basis, but they can occur fortnightly, monthly or just now and again.

Since launching the project over 140 Cook and Diner matches have been made, and over 1250 meals have been shared with older people through the project. Diners really enjoy participating in the project as they get to meet friendly neighbours, and get to enjoy their lovely home cooking. Cooks, on the other hand, really enjoy the flexibility the project allows – they like the way Meal Makers turns an everyday activity like cooking into a volunteering opportunity that they can do in their local community, and at a time in which they can fit around their busy schedule.

The Meal Makers team are really excited about rolling the project out to Renfrewshire and they are looking for volunteers now! If you want to do something great with an extra plate, or if you are interested in finding out a bit more about the project please visit www.mealmakers.org.uk. Alternatively you can phone Meal Makers on 0800 783 7770, or email them at hello@mealmakers.org.uk.

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Here are what some of their Cooks and Diners say about the project:

Grace (Diner)

“Russell went over and beyond my expectations, the meal was delicious and it was the first meal in ages I actually finished every last bit. I can’t believe that someone could be so kind.”

Lois (Cook)

“Anne made some really sweet comments about Meal Makers such as she looks forward to it all week and it’s the only time she eats green vegetables! We had a great blether – I love Anne’s sense of humour!”

Andrew (Diner)

Andrew on being paired with Mary: ‘I’m incredibly appreciative of Meal Makers and being paired up with Mary. I really enjoy the meals but it is the company that makes the biggest difference’

Pauline (Cook)

“We ate afternoon tea together. Betty remarked that it’s nice to eat in company and it occurred to me that she eats nearly all her meals alone. I introduced her to “youtube” via my mobile phone and I said I can find anything she wants on there. She asked me to show her Susan Boyle first audition, which I did, and she was delighted as she is a fan and has always wanted to see it again.”

The charities Scottish War Blinded & Royal Blind are due to begin construction of a new centre for military veterans for sight loss, and a care home for older people with visual impairments.
And we need your help – the centres need two distinct names which reflects the rich heritage of Paisley!

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Competition:
get involved and name the centres Enter our competition for a chance to have your suggested name chosen by a panel from the two charities. The winning entry for each centre will receive a set of tickets to the Grand Opening event and a £25 John Lewis voucher.

How to enter Use the competition slips and pop your entry in the entries box, or email your idea to events@royalblind.org, with the subject heading ‘Paisley’ leaving your full name and telephone number so we can contact you if you’re shortlisted. You can suggest a name for both or either of the centres, it’s your choice.

We will choose the top entries to be shared on www.royalblind.org/paisley and a winner will be announced by 30 April 2016.

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Renfrewshire residents will have the opportunity this month to have their say on how local health and adult social care services are planned and delivered.

Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (Renfrewshire HSCP), a new body bringing together NHS health and Council adult social care services, will launch a new consultation on Monday 18 January 2016.

Respondents can comment on a draft Strategic Plan which sets out how the organisation plans to deliver and improve health and adult social care services in the area.

Renfrewshire residents will have the opportunity this month to have their say on how local health and adult social care services are planned and delivered.

Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (Renfrewshire HSCP), a new body bringing together NHS health and Council adult social care services, will launch a new consultation on Monday 18 January 2016.

Respondents can comment on a draft Strategic Plan which sets out how the organisation plans to deliver and improve health and adult social care services in the area.

All Scottish Health and Social Care Partnerships are required by law to consult with local people on their plans for services for the period 2016-2019.

David Leese, Chief Officer for Renfrewshire HSCP, said: “This draft Plan has been produced with the help of local people including service users, staff, partners, carers and health and social care professional representatives.

“While many services already work together well and provide excellent treatment, care and support, growing demand for services means more of the same is often not an option. We have to work with the people of Renfrewshire to plan and deliver services around those who use them and make the best use of the resources that are available to us. This is why reading and responding to our consultation is so important.”

The plan be read online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/integration with hard copies and alternative formats avilable via email at Renfrewshire.HSCP@ggc.scot.nhs.uk or by calling 0141 618 6166.

The consultation will run until 3 February 2016.

Following this consultation, theRenfrewshire Integration Joint Board, the HSCP’s decision making body, will approve a final draft of the plan on 18 March 2016, to enable the Council and Health Board to delegate health and adult social care functions to the board on 1 April 2016.

As you watch football on television, it’s easy to forget the volunteers bringing football to the younger generation. Everton Boys Club 2002, based in Paisley, are just one of the club’s benefiting from the enthusiasm and effort of volunteers. Having recently lost their head coach, the club is now under the guidance of Scott Kerr, Ross Lafferty and Kenny Morrison. To many people their league placing, bottom of division three in the Paisley Johnstone and District 2002 League, would be enough to put anyone off. But, the new management team are hoping to bring a different approach to the operation. Scott Kerr gave us some insight in to the new approach. “When I took things on we had around fifteen youngsters who just wanted to play football. The immediate decision was to continue, which was the easy part, then to bring in coaches I trust. Ross and Kenny both share my wish to have the players enjoying playing, whilst doing what we can to develop them.”

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Like most youth football clubs, the work doesn’t end on the park and it’s no different for Everton ‘s new management team. Finances are always an issue and Scott is hoping that local companies will come in and assist with some funding for training wear and potential new kit. “We have a race night planned for March and are hoping to auction some football related items. It would be great though if we could also find ourselves a club sponsor as that would be of major assistance” said Scott.

For anyone interested in assisting with funding or even joining the playing squad. Scott can be contacted via twitter @evertonbc2002, email via evertonbc2002@gmail.com or via text on 07815 820799

George Adam MSP

Following on from the Paisley Daily Express and its story about Paisley Maternity and budget being cut, we approached the local MSP George Adam who gave this reply.

George said: ‘There is something far wrong when the Government and the local MSP learn about possible ward closures from Labour MSPs and National newspapers. ‘The Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board have much to answer for, producing a report and seemingly allowing extremely suspect access to it. ‘Proposals to close the children’s ward and Maternity services at the RAH are bad enough but for this information to be passed on to Labour politicians and national newspapers before the Government or local MSP are informed is a damned disgrace.

George Adam MSP

‘The staff at my local hospital do a tremendous job and for them to be confronted by front pages about possible closures is something that these politicians, and indeed the health board should take time to think about. ‘If these are the facts I am very concerned about how the GGCNHS board are going about their business and I would expect board members to come clean about any such document, including the board member that that leads the Labour controlled council in Renfrewshire.’

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “This draft discussion paper for the Board’s Directors was written prior to the Scottish Government’s budget being put forward in December, when a substantial increase in NHS funding was announced. “We’ve already substantially increased funding for all health boards, with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde’s budget increasing by 21.3 per cent under this Government. Since this paper was written a further rise was announced in the draft budget that will give the board a record budget of £2,078.9 million.

“Absolutely none of the points in the paper have been formally put forward for consideration. Any major service change would need approval from the Scottish Government and we’ve received no requests from the board. “We’re clear with health boards that they need to design services that meet the needs of the local population. We have been consistently clear that we are committed to maintaining and improving services at both the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Vale of Leven – for example, including sustaining emergency services at the Vale. “In this context, all boards, like all public sector organisations are expected to ensure they run services as efficiently as possible.

Health boards are able to reinvest all money they save into front line services. “We are also conscious that we need to up the pace on transferring services to the community as we push forward the radical integration of health and social care.

That is exactly why we are investing some £250 million in this area in next year’s budget – of which Glasgow will receive their proportionate share.”

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The countdown is on to the Scottish Parliamentary elections on Thursday 5 May and election officials in Renfrewshire are urging residents to secure their vote.

People in Renfrewshire will be eligible to vote in the election of MSPs for the West of Scotland Region – decided by proportional representation – in addition to one of three ‘first past the post’ constituency elections for the seats of Paisley, Renfrewshire North and West, and Renfrewshire South.

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Sandra Black, Returning Officer for the three constituency elections and Regional Returning Officer for the West of Scotland Region, said: “Everyone involved in preparing for and conducting the elections wants to make it as easy as possible for people to get advice and information.

“That applies to making sure you are able to vote or applying for a postal or proxy vote.”

Anyone wanting to vote must first be on the electoral register.

Sixteen and seventeen year olds will be eligible to vote for the first time in Scottish Parliamentary election. Those who registered to vote in the 2014 referendum on independence will have to register again for the 2016 elections as a separate register was used for the referendum.

Alasdair MacTaggart, Electoral Registration Officer with Renfrewshire Valuation Joint Board, said: “Every year, the Electoral Registration Officer carries out a canvass to ensure that the register for Renfrewshire is up-to-date. Residents who fail to return their canvass form can have their names removed from the register.

“Even if someone pays council tax, they are not automatically registered to vote.”

People can check if their name is on the register by contacting the Electoral Registration Officer, The Robertson Centre, 16 Glasgow Road, Paisley PA1 3QF (Help Line 0300 300 0150) or asking in their local library.

Residents can also go online and register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

rwcu logo

Christmas is over and it’s time to tighten those purse strings! By becoming a member of Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union you can access a variety of ethical products and services to help you financially.

Saving is vital; it is important to have a safety net for when the unexpected happens. You may also be considering your summer holiday which is helping you get through those January blues. So why not open up a savings account with RWCU, save for that special holiday.

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Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union is a bank for the people of Renfrewshire owned and operated by our members, we have no external shareholders our members are our shareholders. We are a not for profit organisation offering easy ethical finance.

 

It is so easy to join Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union, you can do it from the comfort of your own home by signing up online. You can also pop in and see us on the Paisley High Street. Once you have become a member you can set up a standing order, pay by debit card, have your benefits paid in to your account and even pay in through one of our local collection points in Renfrewshire.

Erskine – Bargarran community Centre

Renfrew – Town Hall

Linwood – Tweedie Hall

We have a variety of ethical products and services for our members regardless of circumstance, we also have our Christmas club which is a locked account that you can then access in November 2016 just in time for Christmas.

So what are you waiting for?

Join today!

For more information visit our website!

 www.rwcu.co.uk