Cllr Cathy McEwan

Renfrewshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres are set to be available for residents as part of nationwide approach to reopening from 1 June 2020.

Cllr Cathy McEwan

The reopening will be subject to the Scottish Government advising it is safe. The centres will be open for essential visits only with additional health and safety measures  in place to protect residents and staff.

From 1 June, all Renfrewshire sites will reopen on a phased basis and residents are being advised to double check opening times before they leave the house:

  • Underwood Road (Monday-Sunday) (8.30am-6pm)
  • Linwood (Monday-Sunday) (8am-6pm)
  • Erskine (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday) (8am-6pm)
  • Renfrew (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) (8am-6pm)
  • Johnstone (Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday) (8am-6pm)

In the initial period, only bagged excess household waste will be accepted at recycling centres, with garden waste, scrap metal and small amounts of rubble accepted from 15 June.

From 22 June, residents can bring cookers, washing machines, tumble driers and dishwashers, unless these can continue to be stored safely at home, while all other items including TVs, computers, fridges, freezers and smaller electrical appliances will be accepted from 29 June.

To protect residents and staff members, reduce unloading times and ease congestion from potential traffic queues, only cars will be permitted to enter recycling centres at this time.

Traffic will be managed at each of the open recycling centres and residents are asked to follow the single file queue and be aware of site safety measures when they arrive.

Anyone visiting a recycling centre will be required, as normal, to show proof of residency and photo identification.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We’ve been working closely with the Scottish Government and CoSLA to ensure that when it was safe to reopen recycling centres, we were ready to implement the safety measures required.

“These will include only allowing a limited number of cars into the site at any one time, ensuring physical distancing is in place at all times and undertaking a strict cleaning programme.

“From 1 June, you will be able to visit a recycling centre but please only do so if it is essential and to dispose of any excess bagged waste you may have.

“The health and safety measures are in place to keep us all safe so please respect our staff who are there to assist you and continue to follow the health advice to protect yourself and our teams at all times.”

For more information on the reopening of recycling centres, please visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-bins.

school

The Scottish Government have set out their route map for schools and nurseries to reopen for children and young people across Scotland.

Route map

The route map includes:

  • Teachers, early years practitioners, and support staff returning in June to prepare for the new school term
  • Continued childcare for key workers and vulnerable children in June and during the summer
  • Transition support for children moving into primary one and secondary school
  • All schools and nurseries reopening after the summer break
  • A blended model of learning at school and at home for pupils from August

Director of Children’s Services, Steven Quinn, said:

school“We welcome the update from Scottish Government that sets out a plan for how our schools and nurseries will return over the coming months.

“This has been a very challenging time for many parents and carers and I fully understand the issues this has caused, and I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and support at this time.

“I’d also like to thank all our teaching and early years staff and the wider teams who have worked so hard to support our pupils over recent weeks. Through our experience with the childcare hubs we’ve put in place for our key workers, we’ve been able to learn from this and from practice elsewhere, to ensure that when the time comes for our pupils and staff to return, it is with their health and wellbeing as our utmost priority.

“I want to reassure you that we are working with headteachers and centre heads to ensure our schools and nurseries are safe, welcoming and familiar places for your child to return to and learn in. National guidance on safe working arrangements will continue to be our guiding principles for safe working environments

“The route map set out by Scottish Government, and the work of the Education Recovery Group that has informed it, provides clear guidance for how we continue to prepare to welcome back our pupils and staff.

“I, along with your child’s school and nursery, will be able to share further information with you over the coming weeks including information on transition arrangements for those either starting primary or secondary school and those returning to school in August. Importantly, this will also be done in consultation with our partners and on the understanding that plans may have to change if government advice changes.

“I am also working through the many questions parents and carers asked me through our recent survey and I expect to be able to provide answers to your questions next week. Thank you to everyone who took part in that survey and for those parents and carers who provided us with their email address, I have responded to you directly on your questions. This information has been very important in helping to develop our plans.

“Thank you for your continued support and patience during these challenging times. I will continue to keep you updated as new guidance and plans are announced.”

Schools and nurseries info

Steven’s statement

SMA SHOT 2019 Promotional image

Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot day event will take place this year but not as you know it. For the first time a full programme of online events and activities will take place to celebrate this historical date in the town’s calendar.

This year’s online event will take place on Saturday 4 July – the time when the weavers and their families would traditionally always take their holidays.

SMA SHOT 2019 Promotional image

The move to take the event online for 2020 is in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure celebrations can still take place in adherence with social distancing rules and national guidance.

The traditional Sma’ Shot holiday in Paisley takes its name from a famous dispute between the local shawl weavers and manufacturers in the 19th century. In 1856, following a long dispute, the manufacturers backed down and an agreement was reached to pay for the Sma’ Shot, the invisible stitch which bound the Paisley shawls, with a new table of prices published on 1 July 1856.

This year’s event will not only mark this important date in the town’s history but will also celebrate our fantastic key workers.

The day will commence with a mass drum-off on Saturday 4 July where the community will be invited to come together and make noise to mark the start of the day’s celebrations which will include a range of activities from film, dance and music, to spoken word performances by members of the local community and online tutorials and workshops.

Aerial dance theatre company, All or Nothing, will be delivering a dance and music project called Connecting Threads, inspired by the background and history of Sma Shot. The group will be inviting local groups and individuals to get involved by setting creative tasks and asking people to submit videos for inclusion in a short film that will be published online on Sma Shot Day.

Local upcycled fashion innovators ReMode will be showing the public how they can take inspiration from workers of the past, present and future to design and create a costume to wear on the day to get fully immersed in the day’s events. The group will also be encouraging people to get crafty with pattern to create some fantastic displays to decorate their windows.

Local theatre company PACE will also be developing some exciting new work for Sma’ Shot Day as well delivering online drama workshops for young people.

Young people involved with CREATE will be collaborating with local musician Michael Cassidy to produce a piece of music to be included as part of a film showcasing music by young people from Paisley on the day.

In addition Renfrewshire Leisure and The Bungalow are partnering up for the Sma’sh Hits Sma’ Shot Special music event, showcasing a selection of local musicians.

There are still more events and activities taking place on Sma’ Shot Day still to be announced and there will be plenty of opportunities for people to get involved in the lead up to the event.

The change to this year’s event does unfortunately mean that the planned Colours of the Cart performance, supported by the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 events fund, managed by EventScotland, is no longer able to take place.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron, said: “Sma’ Shot Day is always one of the highlights of the annual events calendar, representing an important part of Paisley’s heritage. It’s excellent that we can still celebrate it this year albeit it in a different way.

“There is always a wonderful family atmosphere at the event and a real sense of community coming together – I’m sure this will continue this year when it has undoubtedly never been more important.

“The online programme will offer great opportunities for everyone to get creative and involved in celebrating this great day in a new way. I for one will be looking forward to logging on and getting involved in the fun.”

For the latest information on this event please visit www.paisley.is.

Halloween

Renfrewshire Council has today announced that all large-scale Council-run events will be cancelled until the end of October in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision means that the following events will no longer take place: Renfrew Gala Day; Barshaw Gala Day; Johnstone Fire Engine Rally; Renfrewshire Doors Open Days; The Spree festival; and Paisley Halloween Festival.

Halloween

Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations will be marked this year – but in a different way. A programme of online events will take place on Saturday 4 July to commemorate the historic victory of local weavers, as well as the invaluable contribution of today’s key workers across Renfrewshire.

All Council-run events after October will continue to be reviewed in line with national guidance from the Scottish Government and public health advice, with a further decision on the staging of Paisley Fireworks Spectacular and the Paisley, Johnstone and Renfrew Christmas lights switch-on events expected by June 30.

The Council announced in March that its spring/summer events programme, including the Paisley Food and Drink Festival and the British Pipe Band Championships in Paisley, had been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are hugely disappointed to have to announce this news today but, given the ongoing public health and government advice, it’s the safe and prudent action to take.

“Since we announced the cancellation of our spring/summer programme, festivals and events in the UK and further afield scheduled up until October have continued to be cancelled. The current advice on mass gatherings and events is expected to be in place for some months to come, along with significant physical distancing restrictions.

“Our events programme is regarded among the highlights in Renfrewshire’s annual calendar – and we’re rightly proud of the economic and social impact it brings for our communities. As with many of our Council services, and sectors of our local economy, we want to be in a position to restart and support recovery as soon as possible – but only when the public health advice recommends it is safe to do so.

“Despite the cancellation of our large-scale events until the end of October, we will still celebrate Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day – but in a different way. The online programme of events will allow us to honour the historic victory of local weavers and thank the key workers in Renfrewshire today, who are doing a fantastic job on the frontline to support us all during this unprecedented time.”

Renfrewshire Council is continuing to plan its major events programme in Renfrewshire for next year, whilst monitoring the latest government and public health advice.

The Council advises everyone to continue to follow the national guidance on coronavirus set out by the Scottish Government and to consult www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus for up to date medical advice.

For the latest local updates, visit our ‘Information, help and guidance on Coronavirus’ webpage here: http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Provost Lorraine Cameron

The Leader, Provost and Board Conveners of Renfrewshire Council have praised the dedication and hard work of staff, as well as the patience and community spirit of residents during the Coronavirus pandemic.

In a video posted to the council’s social media channels, Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson paid tribute to the “incredible sacrifices” being made by local people to continue to care for the most vulnerable, while Chair of the Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board, Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, saluted the council’s care staff saying “we really owe them a debt of gratitude.”

Provost Lorraine Cameron

Education and Children Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, praised the “imagination and creativity of our teaching staff in creating new and exciting ways of learning”, while Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Environment and Infrastructure, called the continuation of a full waste collection service “an incredible achievement.”

Convener of Finance and Resources, Councillor John Shaw, celebrated the work of the council’s Customer Services team as they answer, “tens of thousands of calls every week to ensure that help and support is available for people, as and when they need it.”, and Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, spoke of the amazing job Renfrewshire Leisure staff are doing to “help all of us with our physical and mental wellbeing at this incredibly difficult and stressful time”.

Cllr Iain Nicolson

Communities, Housing and Planning Convener Councillor Marie McGurk praised the community spirit in Renfrewshire saying of volunteers that she is “delighted that these people call Renfrewshire home”, while Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron declared the actions of local people made her “proud to be part of this community.”

The council’s response to Coronavirus has included setting up a local helpline – 0300 300 0230 – to ensure that those being shielded are able to access essential food and medication – with more than 37,000 meals and essential supplies delivered already.

Health and Social Care teams continue to care for the most vulnerable in the community, while emergency repairs are still being undertaken for residents who need them – with the appropriate PPE and distancing measures in place.

Key workers have received childcare places thanks to qualified staff from across all services volunteering to work in childcare hubs and teachers are continuing to provide a positive, engaging education for pupils in their own homes.

Businesses have been supported to access funding and receive detailed guidance, with more than £15million in grants awarded to local businesses so far.

A full waste collection service is still being provided at this time and the Council’s Community Meals Service continues to operate for those who need it.

To protect people’s mental and physical wellbeing, Renfrewshire Leisure is keeping people active via online classes and resource, and Youth Services are keeping in touch with young people to ensure they have an outlet should they need it.

The video can be viewed via www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VmEI-BmWpg, and is also available on Facebook @renfrewshirecouncil, Twitter @RenCouncil and Instagram @Renfrewshire_Council.

For the latest advice and guidance on Coronavirus, please visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.

rentv2

A NEW online TV channel has been launched to help keep everyone fit, healthy and entertained during the coronavirus lockdown.

Ren TV is the brainchild of the team at Renfrewshire Leisure who are broadcasting a series of programmes on their website.

rentv2

The TV channel was launched on Saturday, April 25 with four bands performing an online gig after a live music festival had to be cancelled.

The Sma’sh Hits all-day festival was due to take place at Paisley Arts Centre that day and four bands – The Vegan Leather, Drift, V.C.O and The Gateway Clash –each recorded a set on video that was broadcast.

Programmes featuring health and fitness, dance and football skills sessions are being shown along with a film about Renfrew Juniors reaching the Scottish Junior Cup Final in 1962.

A wide variety of TV programmes from Renfrewshire Leisure’s Sports Services and Leisure teams, will be broadcast and there will also be more music events, short films, book readings and Bookbug sessions from Cultural Services featured on Ren TV.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “People may not be able to come to our leisure centres and venues for events and classes, so we’re bringing as much of what they would enjoy to our customers in their own homes.

“We’ve already had some fantastic heath and fitness sessions broadcast online from our Sports Services team and although we had to cancel the Sma’sh Hits festival we’re still able to showcase some of our talented local musicians online.”

Councillor Hughes added: “We are trying to be as innovative as possible so people won’t miss out on the services we provide. Having our own TV channel makes it easier for people to find what they are looking for with all the different videos in one place.”

People can go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/rentv to see Ren TV.

Lvtflooring.co

renfrewshire bin lorry

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson has issued a heartfelt thanks to all Renfrewshire residents for helping to support the continuing waste collection service and the local environment.

Despite operating with a reduced workforce, the Council continues to provide the normal waste and recycling collection service – collecting 141,000 bins a week.

renfrewshire bin lorry

That includes brown bin collections for garden and food waste, the blue recycling bin for paper and card and the green bin for plastic, cans and glass.

In line with the national guidance to stay at home and help to save lives, our Household Waste and Recycling Centres remain closed and residents are asked to store bulkier items and any excess waste safely.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “I would like to thank the waste collection teams for their incredible commitment and hard work at this really difficult time and I know from the kind messages we’ve received that our residents recognise and appreciate their efforts too.

“We understand people may have more waste than normal and unfortunately we cannot open recycling centres as it’s vital we follow the national public health guidance asking residents to stay home and save lives.

“Thanks to all our residents for their patience and understanding as our teams continue to work through these challenging times.

“Please do your bit wherever possible to assist us by recycling correctly, and you can increase the amount you can get in your bin by flattening cardboard for the blue bin and squashing any plastic bottles, milk cartons or cans going into the green bin.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has issued a plea to residents to store refuse safely, their website highlighting simple measures to protect residents from the risk of fire at this time.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, added: We know it’s the time of spring cleaning, but we’d ask people to avoid activity that results in generating additional waste at this time.

“With your help we can keep Renfrewshire clean and safe for everyone. Use our usual collection service and store any additional items safely away from any heat sources, ideally in a safe locked location or if outdoors, keep it away from your property.

“In line with advice from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, please do not get rid of garden or other waste by burning bonfires. We want everyone to be able to enjoy their garden during periods of nicer weather and the smoke can pose a risk to people’s health, particularly the vulnerable and those with respiratory problems.

“We haven’t seen an increase in fly tipping and our CCTV patrols continue to visit hot spots and take enforcement action. It is not only illegal; it’s damaging to the local environment and any incidents should be reported by calling 0300 300 0300 or online using our website. Please remember that if you hire a contractor to take away waste, you must ensure they are SEPA registered and ask where they will dispose of it.”

Staff from the Council’s Environment and Infrastructure service are currently deployed in a range of roles to support the ongoing effort to support Renfrewshire residents during the Coronavirus outbreak. This includes teams delivering more than 37,000 meals to residents during lockdown, packing bags and managing the request hotline.

Councillor McEwan added: “I’m so proud of the many teams deployed in different roles to ensure support reaches those most in need at this tough time.

“We are following the national guidelines and staff are only deployed to deliver essential frontline services, which means a number of day-to-day environment and infrastructure services such as road resurfacing have been suspended, but we will still respond to essential emergency repairs.

“Renfrewshire residents have been brilliant in following the vital public health guidance to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. I’d urge everyone to keep up the good work and continue to exercise in open spaces close to home. Visit the council website for all the latest information and top tips to help maintain your health and wellbeing.”

All the latest information, help and advice on Coronavirus is published on the Council website: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Packing

More than 37,000 meals have been delivered so far to Renfrewshire residents during lockdown.

Support packs including freshly prepared meals, toiletries and dry goods like cereal and tea bags are being distributed daily to more than 1,200 households by Renfrewshire Council.

Packing

Teams from across the council, which includes redeployed staff, have been prepping and cooking fresh meals, packing bags, procuring items, managing the request hotline and delivering food parcels to the doors of those most in need in the community, all while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

The large-scale, seven-day operation to get supplies to individuals and families in need is being undertaken by staff in dedicated distribution sites at Castlehead and Park Mains High Schools. The work being done is receiving an outpouring of support from the local community.

One service-user recovering from COVID-19 was delighted with her parcel. She contacted the team and said: “You can’t believe what a big smile it put on my face.” She added that she felt “very lucky to be looked after.”

IMG_0442

Another service user contacted the helpline with an urgent request for a delivery for her family. The team turned the request around in less than 24 hours and included Easter eggs in the parcel for her three children. The customer offered a very warm thank you to staff saying she was grateful she now had Easter eggs to give to her children.

This represents a combined effort by teams and individuals across the council coming together to provide this vital service to the community.

Easter eggs

Facilities Manager, Seonaid O’Neil, was responsible for setting up the service. She said: “It’s been a combined effort, so many people have been willing to help. Everyone recognises the benefit of what we’re doing.

“It’s challenging but it’s also really rewarding. When we started we didn’t realise how big it would become, but when you get feedback from people in the community it really makes you take notice of the positive impact it’s having. We are so proud of how all our staff have adapted to the new challenges they have been faced with, to ensure these services are delivered ”

BS Joiner, Grant Adam keeping moral up for the workers

The teams at these sites are working hard to deliver this service but are also making the most of their downtime. At Park Mains High School a sponsored charity cycle has been set up to raise funds for Brightest Star that staff can participate in by using exercise bikes from the gym. The more musically gifted team members have been performing songs for the team to keep spirits up.

Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are proud that our staff are delivering essential food supplies to support vulnerable people across Renfrewshire. Their dedication and support has been incredible and I’d like to thank each and every staff member doing their bit to help those most in need within our communities.

“Across our communities, there are a lot of people going above and beyond to support family members and neighbours through this difficult time. For anyone who doesn’t have this support, they can get in touch with us by calling our local assistance helpline on 0300 300 0230.”

The team continue to respond to growing demand for the service, with a third distribution site set to open next week at Gleniffer High School. The site will be operated by Amey with Renfrewshire Council overseeing the operation.

The local assistance helpline is available to anyone who needs it whether it be for financial reasons or for those currently shielding. Anyone in need of help is encouraged to contact the helpline on 0300 300 0230.

A number of partners have played an important role in supported the service including businesses based locally including Ikea at Braehead and The Range on Renfrew Road.

In addition to the work being carried out by the council, partner organisation Renfrewshire Leisure is helping promote a range of positive health and wellbeing activities for residents to participate in at home. Popular activities include online dance and sports workouts, online Bookbug sessions streamed via YouTube and fun social media challenges. For a full list of all the activities taking place please visit: www.renfrewshireleisure.com/wellbeing-at-home/.

nhs

Renfrewshire residents are being urged to stay home this Easter weekend and follow the latest guidelines to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

The latest government advice states that staying at home is essential to protect the NHS and save lives and residents can follow this by only going outside for essential food, health or work reasons, staying 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people and washing hands regularly.

Anyone who has symptoms of Coronavirus should stay at home for 7 days, and other members of the household should stay at home for 14 days, even if the first person recovers.

nhs

The advice also includes not socialising with people outside your household and residents should not visit friends or family, but instead phone or video call to keep in touch and increase social activity.

Anyone who is struggling with their mental health during this period can find help and advice on the Renfrewshire Council website by visiting http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-wellbeing. If you need urgent help and advice contact the Samaritans helpline on 116 123. For life threatening mental health emergencies call 999, or 111 for NHS urgent mental health care.

Renfrewshire’s Local Assistance Helpline will be available to those who are shielding and do not have a support network that can collect essential items for them. Anyone who needs this support should call 0300 300 0230 to speak in confidence with an advisor. The helpline will be open over the Easter weekend daily from 8:45am – 4:45pm. You can also email Shielding.Support.Referrals@renfrewshire.gov.uk out of these hours and a member of the team will get in touch.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Easter is usually a time to get together with family and friends but please reconsider any plans you may have made and continue to stay at home and help combat the spread of the virus.

“Maintaining our health and wellbeing is vitally important at this tough time and although our parks and green spaces remain open for exercise, I urge you to stay close to home and not be tempted to drive anywhere for an Easter walk.

“The weeks and months ahead will be difficult but by following the guidance and staying at home we will help protect our NHS and save lives.”

The latest information, help and advice can be accessed via http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.

For the latest medical advice from NHS Inform, please visit www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus.

Cllr Iain Nicolson

Local businesses in Renfrewshire have received more than £3.3million in the first phase of financial support to help mitigate the impact of Coronavirus.

The Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Grant funds are hitting business bank accounts from today (Tuesday 7 April).

Cllr Iain Nicolson

Cllr Iain Nicolson

Renfrewshire Council approved more than 300 applications in just four days to ensure local businesses have access to the support they need as quickly as possible – with hundreds more in line to be processed and paid this week.

Some 279 applications worth £2.79million has provided one-off grants of £10,000 to small businesses while a further 23 grants of £25,000 were approved to hospitality, leisure and retail businesses.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We recognise the impact that the current situation is having on businesses and employees throughout Renfrewshire and we want to ensure that support is available to help through these difficult times.

“Our teams are working round the clock to ensure that applications are processed as quickly as possible and this has seen us award more than £3.3million to Renfrewshire businesses already.

“This grant funding is one of a series of measures providing vital support to businesses at this difficult time, with all the details available on the Council website.

“We ask all applicants to ensure they follow the guidance on our website and complete the application fully, with all the correct documentation required, to ensure we can process this without delay.”

This grant funding is part of a number of measures available to support businesses, employees and the self-employed, and include the Job Retention Scheme, VAT and Income Tax Deferral, Business Rates Relief and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Full details of all the support on offer, with guidance on eligibility and how to apply, is available on the Renfrewshire Council website via www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-businesses.