Tony Gritzpatrick
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Anyone unable to visit a polling station on the day of the election is being reminded to register for a postal vote, with the application deadline arriving at 5pm on Tuesday 26 November.

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Once registered, a pack will be sent out on 2 December to allow electors to cast their vote and return it to their local election office in advance of polling day on Thursday 12 December.

Due to the increased volume of mail in the run up to Christmas, postal voters are encouraged to complete and return their postal votes as soon as possible.

If voters cannot send the postal vote in advance, it can be handed in to their polling station on the day of the election.

Sandra Black, Returning Officer for Renfrewshire, said: “If you’re unable to visit your polling station on election day, that doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance to vote.

“Register for a postal vote by Tuesday’s deadline and you’ll still be able to have your say in the election.

“Once you receive your voting pack, please return it as quickly as you can to ensure it reaches the election office in sufficient time.”

To vote in the election, residents must be registered on the electoral roll and this does not take place automatically by paying council tax.

Anyone over the age of 14 in Scotland can register but to vote in this election, voters must be over 18 and a UK Citizen.

The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Tuesday 26 November.

Voters can also request a proxy vote – where a person votes on their behalf – and the deadline for this method is 5pm on Wednesday 4 December.

For more information on the election, please visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/GeneralElection2019.

ferguslie reading

SCHOOL pupils in Ferguslie have been praised for their enthusiasm for reading books.

A special celebration was held for the young people from St Fergus and Glencoats Primary schools to mark the big increase in pupils completing this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

ferguslie reading

This year, a total of 113 pupils signed up to take part and 25 completed the challenge to read six books during the school holidays compared to 34 children taking part and nine reading the required six books in 2018.

This was an increase of 232 per cent for participation and a 178 per cent increase in pupils completing the challenge.

ferguslie reading

And last week they were invited to Ferguslie Library to enjoy games and activities, along with a bite of lunch as a reward for their reading efforts.

Morag Macpherson, Renfrewshire Leisure’s head of cultural services said: “Well done to the pupils of St Fergus and Glencoats who participated in the challenge. The numbers of pupils involved are impressive, and we hope that they really enjoyed discovering some new books and authors with us this summer.

“Thanks also to their parents and carers, teachers and the staff at Ferguslie Library for supporting them in their love of reading.”

The event was supported by the School Libraries Attainment team as part of the Renfrewshire Attainment Challenge.

Paisley Abbey

To mark the 90th anniversary of the Glen Cinema disaster a commemoration event is to take place in Paisley town centre on Saturday 7 December.

The event will begin with a lantern procession involving more than 150 young people from community groups and schools at 5.15pm, starting at Dunn Square, and journeying up St Mirren Brae, towards Abbey Close. Following the procession, a service at Paisley Abbey will see a number of local performers, and community groups pay tribute to the victims, survivors and their families.

Paisley Abbey

A number of invited guests will attend the service including survivors Robert Pope and Emily Brown along with their families.

The Glen Cinema tragedy took place on 31 December 1929 when a smoking film canister caused a panic during a packed children’s matinee where more than 600 children were present. As a result of the crush that followed more than 30 children were injured and 70 children died.

News of the disaster was far-reaching with letters of condolence being sent to the town from people across the globe. The impacts were also global – the Cinematograph Act 1909 was then amended to ensure all cinemas had more exits, that doors opened outwards and were fitted with push bars. A limitation was also placed on the capacity of cinemas and a requirement for a sufficient number of adult attendants to ensure safety of children.

In addition to the procession and service a commemorative film ‘The Glen Cinema Disaster’ directed by Paul Mothersole has been commissioned with ticketed, free screenings taking place on Saturday 7 December between 1pm and 4.15pm at POP Community & Arts Space in The Piazza Shopping Centre. A small exhibition of printed letters held in the Secret Collection will also be on display in POP from 7 – 20 December.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “The Glen Cinema disaster is a real tragic point in Paisley’s history with deeply traumatic consequences for so many families.

“The 90th anniversary gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of the disaster and reflect on what took place by paying tribute to and remembering the victims, survivors and their families.”

Members of the public who wish to pay their respects are encouraged to attend the lantern procession as there are only a limited number of tickets available for the Paisley Abbey service on a first come first served basis from InCube Shop, 9B Gilmour Street. Those who would like to participate in the procession can sign up to attend a Lantern Making workshop taking place on Saturday 30 November in POP, Piazza from 10am – 4pm – please be aware there are limited spaces available for this workshop.

Also, as part of the 90th anniversary commemorations an artist will be commissioned to create a public piece of art, in collaboration with the local community to commemorate and raise awareness of the disaster.

The event taking place on 7 December is in addition to the annual memorial service and wreath laying which takes place at Paisley Cenotaph on the morning of 31 December, which is run by community members and supported by Renfrewshire Council.

The Glen Cinema 90th anniversary commemoration event is funded by Renfrewshire Leisure and Renfrewshire Council through Renfrewshire Council’s Future Paisley programme.

To book a place at the lantern making workshop please visit: https://glencinemalanternworkshop.eventbrite.co.uk

To secure a ticket for The Glen Cinema Disaster film screening please visit: https://glencinemadisasterfilm.eventbrite.co.uk

A limited number of free tickets will be available to the public for the commemorative service at Paisley Abbey on a first come first served basis from InCube Shop, Paisley Office, 9B Gilmour St, Paisley PA1 1DG from Friday 22 November. The shop is open from 11am – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday.

Paisley Christmas Lights 2019

More than 21,000 people headed to Paisley town centre to mark the beginning of the festive season at the town’s annual Christmas Lights Switch-On event.

Families enjoyed a full day of free, Christmas-themed fun, with Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron carrying out the big switch on alongside Santa and X Factor stars, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie.

Paisley Christmas Lights 2019

They were helped by 11-year-old Taylor McPherson, from St Peter’s Primary School, who won the annual Christmas card design competition.

Earlier in the day the gathered crowds marvelled as the 300-strong parade, led by Santa himself, wound its way through the streets featuring festive floats, costumed characters and choreographed displays from local community groups and professional performers.

Paisley Christmas Lights 2019

A new addition to this year’s event – the Winter Roller Disco – proved a firm favourite with visitors with hundreds taking a spin on the rink before the day was through.

The live stage offered plenty of music and entertainment with performances from; Funbox, The Swinging Santas, Nickajack Men and this year’s stage headliners, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie. A number of local community and school choirs also delighted visitors with classic carol performances in Paisley Abbey to help make everyone feel merry and bright.

Paisley Christmas Lights 2019

Kids were given the chance to give their wish lists to Santa in his Grotto in The Piazza Shopping Centre. The Coats venue also offered plenty of activities to keep the little ones entertained.  There was also a funfair, Creative Craft Trail around the town’s local cafes and businesses and Crafty Christmas Market for people to do a little Christmas shopping.

Paisley Christmas Lights 2019

This year the lights extend to the top of the High Street leading to a giant illuminated Christmas bauble in the grounds of the Coats venue, delivered in partnership with Paisley First. The bauble will be in place throughout the festive season, offering the perfect festive selfie spot.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron said: “The Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On is one of the big events in the winter calendar and this year didn’t disappoint with a packed programme with something for everyone.

“It was a great way to celebrate the start of the festive season and it was wonderful to see so many families and young people coming into the town to take part in the day.

“I’d like to take this chance to wish everyone a peaceful and Merry Christmas when it comes.”

The festive fun continues across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday, 23 November and Johnstone on Saturday, 30 November.

Paisley First’s WinterFest also opens in the town centre on 23 November and runs daily until December 30, except for Christmas Day and is sure to provide even more opportunities for people to spend local.

To find out more about future events taking place please visit: https://paisley.is/list_event/.

paisley christmas

Paisley will welcome the festive season in style this weekend at the town’s annual Christmas Lights Switch-On event.

The family-favourite, free event will begin at 12pm on Saturday 16 November before Santa and his sleigh ride into town at 12.30pm to lead the 300-strong parade that will greet the gathered crowds.

paisley christmas

The parade will have a new, extended route for 2019 and is set to wow spectators with giant festive floats, costumed characters and choreographed displays from local community groups and professional performers. Following the parade there will be a number of street performers entertaining the crowds.

Visitors can take a spin around the Winter Roller Disco in County Square – a new addition to this year’s event it’s sure to be a family favourite with six sessions taking place throughout the day.

paisley christmas

The live stage will offer plenty of music and entertainment with performances from; Funbox, The Swinging Santas, Nickajack Men and this year’s stage headliners, special guests – X Factor stars, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie.

For those looking for a more traditional Christmas celebration there will be a series of local community and school choirs performing classic carols in Paisley Abbey – a sure way to get everyone in the festive mood.

paisley christmas

There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained as Coats Memorial will be transformed into the perfect Christmas playground bursting with activities to keep the little ones entertained such as writing letters to Santa, making Christmas cards, face painting, soft play and much more.

Kids can meet Santa at his Grotto in The Piazza Shopping Centre to tell him what’s on their Christmas list, while those looking to do a bit of Christmas shopping can head to the festive Urban Market offering plenty of fabulous gift ideas.

A Creative Craft Trail will be taking place as part of the event in some of the town’s fantastic local cafes and businesses, where visitors can learn to make festive jewellery, decorations and fascinators among other activities.

The big finale moment of the day will be the switch-on moment which will take place at the Live Stage at 6pm.

SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY

This year the lights will extend to the top of the High Street leading to a giant illuminated Christmas bauble, delivered in partnership with Paisley First. The bauble will be located in the grounds of Coats venue offering the perfect festive selfie spot.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron said: “Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On is a fantastic family day out with plenty of opportunities to get the whole family in the festive mood.

“This year’s event is even bigger with a longer parade route and children’s activities taking place in the stunning Coats venue.

“It’s sure to attract lots of visitors to the town centre and encourage people to see what fantastic festive goodies they can get their hands on in some of our great local businesses.”

There will also be a funfair at the event located on Bridge Street with smaller rides on Gilmour Street.

To find out more about future events taking place please visit: https://paisley.is/list_event/.

Tickets for the Roller Disco are £2 including booking fee and e-ticket charge and skate hire is included in this charge. Children under 8 years-old must be accompanied by an adult.

Sessions are limited to 40 places.

You can purchase tickets in advance here: https://paisley.is/winter-roller-disco/

A quiet space will be located in POP inside the Piazza Shopping Centre and Coats Venue -this will be an autism friendly space with soft lighting, comfortable seating and noise cancelling headphones.

Paisley Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday Service

Renfrewshire has paid tribute to the Armed Forces as hundreds attended services across the area to mark Remembrance Sunday, with the largest service taking place at the Cenotaph in Paisley town centre.

Paisley Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday Service

More than 200 people paid their respects as military personnel from the Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy paraded around the town centre before finishing at the Cenotaph.

A short service then saw a series of readings by local ministers, before the Royal British Legion presented their standards.

Paisley Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday Service

A bugler played a moving rendition of the Last Post ahead of the traditional two-minute silence, following which wreaths were laid on behalf of the Armed Forces, schools, local organisations and community groups.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, who laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Renfrewshire, said: “This weekend provides us all with an opportunity to pay our respects to the Armed Forces, past and present, for all they do to keep us safe, while remembering those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

“It’s fantastic to see so many people turn out to services across Renfrewshire and it shows the spirit within our communities that they want to come together to show their appreciation for our service personnel.

“It’s also great to see the interaction between our veterans and young people each year as we educate the next generation on why it’s so important that we mark Armistice Day and encourage them to continue this tradition in years to come.”

Renfrewshire’s weekend of remembrance began on Friday 8 November as the annual Children’s Remembrance Service took place at the joint-campus of Mossvale and St James Primary in Paisley.

Depute Provost, Councillor Cathy McEwan, joined veterans from the Royal British Legion as they visited the school to see a presentation from the pupils on what they’ve learned about Armistice Day, before speaking about their experiences of having served in the Armed Forces.

For more information, visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/RemembranceServices2019.

Cllr Cathy McEwan, Gail Scoular, the Unpaid Work team, Cochrane Castle Primar, St David's Primary

Pupils are set to get their hands dirty as every primary school in Renfrewshire receives a brand-new mud kitchen.

Designed to inspire imagination and creativity through messy play, the mud kitchens were a huge success with the area’s nurseries after being gifted earlier this year and now primary school children are set to see the benefit.

Cllr Cathy McEwan, Gail Scoular, the Unpaid Work team, Cochrane Castle Primar, St David's Primary

Made from recycled pallets, they provide an immersive, multi-sensory experience for children to get their hands dirty making mud pies and soil smoothies while interacting with their peers.

Gail Scoular came up with the idea while in her role as Renfrewshire Council Senior Warden and fundraised in her own time to ensure there was no cost to the forty-nine primary schools, with the council’s Unpaid Work Team carrying out the work to create them.

Gail said: “I’m so happy that more and more young people will have access to a mud kitchen and have the chance to discover the joy of outdoor play.

“They’ll be able to use their imaginations to create culinary inventions, while bonding and building relationships with their peers.

“It’s a fantastic way to encourage young people to enjoy the great outdoors and who doesn’t like to get their hands dirty once in a while!”

The kitchens will encourage young children to see the benefits of working together and to find enjoyment in the great outdoors, ensuring they appreciate their local environment which is a key tie in with Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide brand-new mud kitchens to each of our primary schools after the brilliant reaction we had from our nurseries earlier in the year.

“A big part of our Team Up to Clean Up campaign is encouraging people to work together while enjoying being outdoors and appreciating our local environment and these kitchens will hopefully inspire our young people to get out in their gardens and green spaces and take care of where they live.”

Donations were made by UNITE, GMB Union and enva which facilitated the purchase of tools for use in the mud kitchens.

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY__D3A4723

Paisley will be celebrating all things merry and bright at this year’s Christmas Light Switch-On event with thousands expected to turn out to enjoy the fun.

Santa and his sleigh will ride into town from 12.30pm on Saturday 16 November, signalling the beginning of this free, festive, family event.

SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY__D3A4723

A highlight of the day’s activities is the Santa parade, which has a new extended route for 2019. The parade will be led by Santa on his sleigh, who will guide this year’s 300-strong parade through the town – dazzling spectators with giant festive floats, costumed characters and choreographed displays from local community groups and professional performers. Following the parade there will be a number of street performers entertaining the crowds.

New for 2019 is the fantastic, ticketed Winter Roller Disco in County Square. Visitors can take a spin around the rink at one of the six sessions taking place.

There will be plenty of music and entertainment on the live stage with performances from; Funbox, The Swinging Santas, Nickajack Men and this year’s stage headliners, special guests and The X Factor stars, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without carols, and where better to hear them than the majestic Paisley Abbey where a series of local community and school choirs will perform to put everyone in the festive mood.

There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained as Coats Memorial will be transformed into the perfect Christmas playground bursting with activities to keep the little ones entertained such as writing letters to Santa, making Christmas cards, face painting, soft play and much more.

The Piazza Shopping Centre will be home to Santa’s Grotto for kids to tell Santa what they want for Christmas and for those looking to do a bit of Christmas shopping there will also be an Urban Market offering plenty of fabulous gift ideas.

A Creative Craft Trail will be taking place as part of the event in some of the town’s fantastic local cafes and businesses, where visitors can learn to make festive jewellery, decorations and fascinators among other activities.

The yuletide activities culminate in lighting up of the town with the big switch-on moment at 6pm.

This year the lights will extend to the top of the High Street leading to a giant illuminated Christmas bauble, delivered in partnership with Paisley First. The bauble will be located in the grounds of Coats Memorial Church offering the perfect festive selfie spot.

Renfrewshire Provost, Lorraine Cameron said: “The Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On is one of the biggest events in the winter calendar and this year’s programme is packed with plenty of festive, fun activities for everyone.

“It’s an event that always brings visitors into the town and it’s one of my personal favourites. I’m looking forward to helping celebrate the start of the festive season in the town and I hope to see lots of smiling families there.”

There will also be a funfair at the event located on Bridge Street with smaller rides on Gilmour Street.

To find out more about future events taking place please visit: https://paisley.is/list_event/.

Painting at Ferguslie ELCC, Ferguslie Park, Paisley

Renfrewshire Council is recruiting for Depute Heads of Centre and Heads of Centre jobs in nurseries across the area.

Ashleigh Carson has worked in the nursery sector for more than 17 years and says becoming a depute head has been the most rewarding experience yet.

Painting at Ferguslie ELCC, Ferguslie Park, Paisley

She said: “I didn’t start out wanting to work in a management role but having been given the opportunity to work in the role temporarily, I soon realised I was made for this.

“Being a leader is about supporting your staff to grow in their roles and giving them the opportunities to develop. Trusting staff to take the lead and to make a contribution is just as important as being open and transparent as a leader. I always want my team to feel like they can have ideas, develop them and see them flourish into great projects and experiences for the children. If I ever need to say no to an idea, I always explain why so the team understand the reason.

“Making sure every member of staff feels part of the team and takes on responsibility within the centre is at the heart of how our management team functions. When it comes to developing the centre’s vision, we sit down with the team and we talk about what we want the nursery to achieve and what it should be like for our children such as engaging, exploring, investigating and fun, and then pull those ideas together to consult with parents and children. The end result means that we are all working together to a shared vision and everyone feels a part of it.

“Motivating people is a huge part of the job, especially on a dreary Monday morning, but the benefits of working as a leader in early years far outweighs any rainy day. Training is a significant benefit to working within a local authority nursery. Since I first joined Renfrewshire Council, I’ve completed a PDA in Early Childhood Education, my BA, post-grad and masters in Childhood Practice and more recently an Aspiring Leaders Programme and a Development Centre to support me as a centre leader.

“I love working with children, it’s what I wanted to do when I left school and I’m glad my career has taken me where it has. I’d recommend taking on a leadership role in a nursery to anyone who is already working in the field and is ready to take that next step, or for anyone with qualifications and a lot of determination to dive in and empower teams to do what they do best create better outcomes for children and families.”

To apply for a Depute Head of Centre or Head of Centre job, visit www.myjobscotland.gov.uk.