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Voters are being reassured that polling stations will be safe places to cast their vote ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary election on Thursday 6 May.

Polling stations in Renfrewshire have been adapted to ensure that all required health and safety measures are in place to reflect the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

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Each polling station will have a one-way system in place, two-metre distancing at all times, Perspex screens, hand sanitiser will be available for every voter, disposable pens will be provided, and face coverings will be required to be worn when moving around the polling station – unless the person is exempt.

There will also be a designated cleaner for each polling station and supervisors will be in place to ensure that the safety measures are always followed.

Anyone with symptoms of Coronavirus on polling day should not attend their polling station and should contact the Electoral Registration Officer on 0300 300 0150 as early as possible to discuss their options.

Sandra Black, Returning Officer for Renfrewshire, said: “We recognise that this election is different to all others we will have taken part in and we want to do all we can to ease any reservations that voters may have about polling day.

“Your health and safety has been placed at the forefront of our election planning and the measures we are putting in place will ensure that all our polling stations will be safe places to cast your vote.

“It’s so important that you use your voice and vote in the Scottish Parliamentary election on so please feel confident in visiting our polling stations and have your say in May.”

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 6 May, with the count taking place at Braehead Arena on Friday 7 May and Saturday 8 May.

For more information, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SPElection2021.

FoodAndDrink2021

Paisley Food and Drink Festival is taking a different shape for 2021 – with a tantalising online programme across nine days in April!

The festival will take place from Friday 16 – Saturday 24 April and will showcase the rich diversity of Renfrewshire’s food and drink offer.

FoodAndDrink2021

Enjoy a mouth-watering menu of interactive experiences, including:

  • Online cooking demonstrations;
  • Virtual tasting sessions;
  • Music and cocktail making events;
  • Interactive workshops;
  • Offers from local businesses with Paisley Eats app;
  • and much more!

The festival is also teaming up with culture and lifestyle publication Mill Magazine to produce a series of short films shining a spotlight on local food and drink businesses and the range of cuisine available across the area’s towns and villages.

The ‘Taste of Renfrewshire’ videos will be screened across the nine days alongside the fantastic programme of online experiences for food and drink lovers to enjoy!

Take a look at what’s happening across the nine days with our Events by Date pages below.

Keep an eye on our Facebook Page for more programme announcements in the coming weeks!

 

kalka mash

KALKA was created by Gillian McCormick and is based in Paisley, Scotland.

It is a brand that was born during a time of great uncertainty when a global pandemic forced the world to slow down. Initially, it seemed our freedom had been taken from us, but it soon became apparent that we were now freer than ever! We had been given the chance to change our world and the way we live in it which encouraged a clearer view of what matters. As a new brand, we welcomed the opportunity for growth and new beginnings which is always a source of inspiration for new designs.

kalka mash

 

Based in Paisley, we take great pride in finding inspiration from our surroundings although our designs are not exclusive to the people of our town. We focus on natural influences and make our products from organic fabrics in order to support a sustainable future for our planet.

It is important to us that our customers receive the highest quality of products and excellent service. We encourage people to get in touch and work with us to create original pieces which you truly love to wear.Kalka Designs

You can find us on our website please feel free to browse our products.

rukeri

The team at Rukeri have been busy behind the scenes getting ready for the new season. From turf production and maintenance to bagging their customers favourite aggregates, a lot has been happening to ensure a smooth start to the 2021 season.

Rukeri Bags

Rukeri has been growing and supplying turf for 8 years from North Arkleston Farm in Paisley. The company has expanded year on year and now offers a wide range of landscaping supplies that includes organic soils, decorative aggregates (good old garden chuckies!), barks, sands and fencing and decking materials. Rukeri Turf is highly regarded within the landscaping industry, with many customers claiming it to be the best in Scotland!

Like most companies, Rukeri faced a lot of challenges when they reopened after the first lock down. Some products were harder than others to source as manufacturing had reduced dramatically or stopped altogether, and the social distancing measures meant that all business operations had to be looked at and developed to ensure the safety of staff and customers. The upshot this year is that all processes have been practiced and the team are confident of delivering all orders in a COVID secure manner.

Lisa Taylor, Marketing Manager at Rukeri says, ‘Despite the challenges faced last year we are acutely aware of how fortunate we were to be busy and able to still trade. The ‘Stay at Home’ message was heeded by our customers and we are glad that we were able to help transform outdoor spaces during a troubling time. 

rukeri

We are looking forward to what is already proving to be a busy season. Our lead time is currently around 5 – 6 days so we urge customers to order early to avoid any disappointment, and we hope that more residents of Renfrewshire will be enjoying their new gardens from Rukeri in time for summer!’

All products available can be viewed from their yard in Paisley. They are on display in a colourful area that gives customers the chance to get a ‘real feel’ for them. Visitors are asked to follow the one-way system on site, follow current social distancing guidelines and wear a mask when in the office. Alternatively, orders can be placed online at www.rukeri.com

west end growing grounds

The West End Growing Grounds Association is registered charity that  provides a community garden on a high-profile site in Underwood Road  Paisley. It consists of 112 raised beds and two polytunnels for the local  community to grow its own food. The Association is looking for an  enthusiastic, physically fit experienced grounds person to assist its  members in managing the maintenance and development of the Garden.  

west end growing grounds

The volunteer will report directly to the Board of Trustees and liaise with the  Board’s horticultural lead member and the local Community Pay-back Team  Leader.  

Duties include:  

Working with board members, discuss and provide information on best  practice grounds maintenance and safety.  

Operation and maintenance of electric powered ground tools (mower, strimmer,  hedge cutter, leaf blower).  

Water management. (Hose reel mains supply and water harvesting system)  

Organising members’ common area work parties. (Members are required to  complete 12 hours of common area work each year)  

Identifying and arranging work that may require Community Pay-back Team  assistance.  

Hours:  

This is a new appointment, and the nature and extent of the above duties will  be reviewed in consultation with the person appointed. 

If this volunteering opportunity interests you, please contact:  The Association Secretary at 07710 782510 e-mail contact@wegga.org

street stuff logo

There’s plenty of opportunity to get active this spring when Street Stuff activities resume next week.

Evening activities will return from Monday 5 April, with extra afternoon sessions running throughout the school holidays, bringing free football and outdoor sport to local communities across Renfrewshire.

street stuff logo

Anyone aged 8-16 is welcome to join in and there is no cost to take part. All participants will need to provide contact details for Test and Protect and follow Covid guidelines, including wearing a facemask when not participating. Hand sanitiser stations and wipes will be available at each venue.

Young people can go along to the following sessions:

Monday 5 and 12 Apr
Durrockstock Park, Foxbar from 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Blackstoun Road, Ferguslie from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Tuesday 6 and 13 Apr
Arkleston Primary School, Renfrew from 1:30pm – 4:30pm
McMaster Centre, Johnstone from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Wednesday 7 and 14 Apr
Blackstoun Road, Ferguslie from 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Arkleston Primary School, Renfrew from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Thursday 8 and 15 Apr
McMaster Centre, Johnstone from 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Our Lady of Peace Primary School, Linwood from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Friday 9 and 16 Apr
Our Lady of Peace Primary School, Linwood from 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Durrockstock Park, Foxbar from 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Saturday 10 and 17 Apr
Barsail Primary School, Erskine from 5:30pm – 8:30pm

All activities will take place outdoors and may be subject to change or cancellation.

A free meal will be provided at afternoon sessions to ensure participants are fuelled up and ready to go.

Street Stuff is a diversionary project run in partnership between Renfrewshire Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Engage Renfrewshire and St Mirren Football Club.

The programme began in 2009 in Renfrewshire contributing to a reduction in youth disorder and anti-social behaviour by 75 percent over the first five years with a sustained reduction of 65 percent.

For more information, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/streetstuff.

Elderslie Village Hall

Three popular community halls across Renfrewshire are set for full refurbishments after councillors approved awarding the £1.6million works contract to City Gate Construction.

The Paisley-based company is expected to start work in May on a wide range of internal and external improvements to Elderslie Village Hall, the McKillop Institute in Lochwinnoch and South End Action Centre in Paisley.

Elderslie Village Hall

Internal improvements include upgraded toilet facilities, new floor finishes and redecoration – providing modern accessible spaces for the varied community groups which use the facilities, from dance and drama classes to craft clubs, toddler groups, yoga sessions and local support groups.

All three facilities will benefit from new roof coverings, with the McKillop roof also incorporating solar panels.

At the McKillop and at Elderslie, the programme of works will also see repairs to external walls.

Replacement doors and windows, electrical rewiring and new alarm systems are also included where required, with the works scheduled for completion later this year.

McKillop Institute

City Gate Construction is an accredited Living Wage employer and the approved contract includes a series of community benefits provided, including two jobs for people currently unemployed and a work experience placement.

The local employer will also host industry awareness events promoting careers in construction and local trades will be invited to a supply chain opportunities event.

South End Action Centre

David Palmer, Commercial Director, City Gate Construction said: “We are genuinely delighted to be taking on this project once the contract is awarded and look forward to continuing our long-term working relationship with Renfrewshire Council.

“As a large local employer, these buildings have been a part of many of our employees’ upbringing and are still an important part of the community for many families in the Renfrewshire area, as well as historically important.

Roar-Connections-For-Life

“We will use our local expertise to deliver a high-quality finish which will enhance the future of these buildings. We are also keen to extend our local employment offering and if any local company or operative is keen to work on these projects, then please do get in touch.”

News of the works have been welcomed by community group Roar, who run activities for older people from community halls in Renfrewshire, focusing on social and physical wellbeing, with exercise, music and quizzes providing an environment for friendships to grow.

Kathleen-Edgar-School-of-Dance

Project worker Anne Morgan said: “Roar Connections for life has been running a group for older adults in the McKillop Institute in Lochwinnoch for more than 12 years and it is a fantastic venue which is central to the village and the refurbishment plans are much needed here. We also use Elderslie Village Hall too and other community halls, our services helping to prevent loneliness and isolation and provide a safe welcoming environment for all service users.

“The older community needs these facilities in order for clubs like Roar to continue and now, more than ever, we need to be able to assist older adults in building their confidence and allow them to stay mobile and stay connected.”

South End Action Centre has been home to the Kathleen Edgar School of Dance ever since the centre first opened.

Kathleen Edgar said: “We’ve been based at South End Action Centre since the very start 40 years ago and over that time, hundreds of children and young people have benefited from this local facility. Our dance school provides a safe, welcoming environment for children to develop their skills, enjoy a healthy activity and build friendships and self-confidence. It’s pleasing to see the centre getting this refurbishment and are looking forward to getting classes back up and running and continuing to provide a valuable resource in the south end of Paisley.”

Elsewhere, surveys are being carried out at Steeple Hall in Kilbarchan to deliver a smaller programme of works upgrading this community facility.

Big PACE Night In Flyer
Join us for an amazing evening of performances and chat from a huge selection of PACE alumni and friends, hosted LIVE from Exchange, Paisley.
Our Big PACE Night In promises music, laughter, memories, surprises, and talent by the bucket-load. Mark the ending of lockdown with an unforgettable big night in!
Big PACE Night In Flyer

Featuring performances and interviews from PACE alumni and others including: Darren Brownlie, Dani Heron, James McArdle, Mark Rowley, Martin Quinn, Scott Reid, Erin Hair, Daniel Cameron, Erin Armstrong, Erin Caldwell, Leigh Quinn, Declan McLeish, Laura Murray, Santino Smith, Scott Mackie, Ryan Hunter, Liam Farrelly, Aida Levantaki, Heather MacInnes, Kick the Door, Rebecca Lafferty, Amy Conachan, Alex Robertson and more.

Raising funds for a new theatre dedicated to children, young people and families.
Tickets: Donate-What-You-Can (Suggested donation £15)

www.pacetheatre.com/bignightin

Welcome to Your Vote square

Local people in Renfrewshire are being encouraged to exercise their right to vote at the Scottish Parliament election in May, with foreign nationals able to vote for the first time.

Refugees and other foreign citizens living in Scotland who have leave to remain in the UK, or do not need such permission, can now vote in Scottish Parliament and local council elections.

Welcome to Your Vote square

The Scottish Refugee Council have produced a range of materials, in various languages, to ensure that all foreign citizens are aware of how and why they should vote in May, and that the deadline to register to vote is 19 April.

Sandra Black, Returning Officer for Renfrewshire, said: “It’s important that at the forthcoming election everyone who is able to vote takes the opportunity to have their voice heard.

“Refugees and other foreign citizens living in Scotland who have leave to enter or remain in the UK, or do not need such permission, are now able to vote so I would encourage them to ensure they are registered by 19 April and take part in the election.”

All voters are being urged not to miss the deadline of 5pm on Tuesday 6 April to register for a postal vote.

Application forms are available to be downloaded from the UK Government website and completed forms should be returned to the Electoral Registration Office in Paisley by the 5pm deadline

Kate Crawford, Electoral Registration Officer for Renfrewshire Valuation Joint Board, said: “In the forthcoming election for the Scottish Parliament, you, the voter, have a choice to either vote in person or by post.

“If you would like to vote by post in this election, please ensure you apply by 5pm on the 6th of April . It’s easy to do, just log onto www.renfrewshire-vjb.gov.uk or contact my office ero@renfrewshire-vjb.gov.uk or call us on 0300 300 0150 to arrange.”

Anyone wishing to vote by proxy should have their application in by 5pm on 29 April.

For more information on the election, including what to expect at a polling station on 6 May, please visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SPelection2021.

cutting-new-turf-2

Communities will see grassed areas cut more often and all at once as part of a revised approach to grass cutting in Renfrewshire.

From 5 April, council teams will operate a new fortnightly schedule which will see all grassed services completed at the same time with Renfrewshire is broken down into 14 different areas.

cutting-new-turf-2

The new schedule will see open spaces, school playing fields, public parks, cemeteries, as well as the grass and hedge cutting assistance scheme, all carried out in one day.

By focusing the council’s resources into one area each day, this will increase the frequency of grass cutting for each local community and any areas missed will be completed the following day.

Hedge cutting will continue to be provided twice a year and will operate in line with the new grass cutting model, with communities seeing their first cut between mid-May and mid-July and their second cut between mid-August and the end of September.

Ken Gray, Renfrewshire Council’s StreetScene Manager, said: “This will ensure that we focus all our resources correctly and have a fully coordinated grass cutting service for our residents.

“It will allow us to cut the grass more often so I’m looking forward to the new schedule beginning in April.

“It may take time to settle in so I would encourage residents to work with us to resolve any issues in the initial period by reporting them to us as soon as possible.”

Residents can check the council website for details on when teams are due to be in their area, and report any issues with the new service, by visiting www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/grasscutting.