Here are some picture of the poignant service for the memory of the 71 young lives claimed in 1929 when the Glen Cinema disaster took place.

The service was presented by the Paisley Development Trust with the leader of Renfrewshire Council Derek Mackay, Provost Celia Lawson, Rev Birss and Bishop Tarttaglia all attending to give their support to the survivor’s to which many attended.

Pictures below is Robert Pope who is laying the wreath at Paisley Cenotaph.

For more information on the Glen Cinema please visit www.glencinema.co.uk

For more information on the Paisley Development Trust please visit www.thepdt.org.uk

All pictures taken for www.paisley.org.uk by our very own ‘westender’ you can see more photos at http://www.paisleyphotographs.com/

Renfrewshire Council has announced details of service closures and availability over the festive period.

Most council offices will close at 2.30pm on Friday 24 December and will reopen at 8.45am on Thursday 6 January.

While most council offices will be closed, a number of essential services will either continue to operate, or be available on a reduced hours basis over the festive period.

Full details are available on Renfrewshire Council’s website www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

The usual standby arrangements are in place to deal with the winter weather and roads gritting.

Residents are asked to put their bin out on their normal day for collection.
The civic amenity sites will be open except on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

The registration offices in Paisley, Johnstone and Renfrew will close on 24 December. On Wednesday 29, Thursday 30 and Friday 31 December, the council’s HQ, Renfrewshire House in Cotton Street, Paisley will be open from 9.30am – 2.30pm for the registration of births and deaths. Renfrewshire House will again be open for registration business from 9.30am – 2.30pm on Wednesday 5 January.

From between 10 and 11am Monday 27 December to Tuesday 4 January, people can call 07534 027 770 for appointments, help and advice about registration.

All leisure centres and swimming pools operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will be shut from the close of business on 23 December and reopen at their normal opening times on 4 January 2011.

Wednesday 22 December is the last day for Renfrewshire Council’s schools and nurseries until they reopen on Thursday 6 January.

All leisure centres and swimming pools operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will be shut from the close of business on 23 December and reopen at their normal opening times on 4 January 2011.

Helplines are in place for emergency repairs for council housing tenants (0141 889 5296) and the social work standby team for any social work emergencies on 0800 811 505.

Hundreds of council tenants in Renfrewshire are getting an early Christmas present which will help keep them warm this winter.

A programme to install modern, more efficient heating systems in every council house is now underway, with the contractors Apollo and Wates installing the new systems in hundreds of homes before Christmas.

A total of around 4000 homes are scheduled to have their old heating systems replaced as part of Renfrewshire Council’s £138million five-year Delivering Housing Improvements Programme.

The early stage of the programme will focus on replacing electric storage systems and gas systems with back boilers with gas central heating with a modern condensing boiler.

Councillor Brian Lawson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety policy board, said: “We want to make sure every house has a modern efficient central heating system. These will be more environmentally-friendly and will cost tenants less, helping to tackle fuel poverty. This is especially important at this time of year when we’re coming up to the festive season and the weather is much colder.

“This is part of a massive, long-term investment in Renfrewshire Council tenants’ homes which will also see tenants getting brand new kitchens, bathrooms and upgraded rewiring in their homes. We’re coming into the second year of the programme which will see work stepping up across Renfrewshire and will include the start of pilot external improvement projects.

“As well as the improvements to our tenants homes Delivering Housing Improvements is benefitting the wider community by providing employment and training opportunities for local residents, supply chain opportunities for local businesses and even sponsorship for local community sports clubs through the contractors working with the council.”

One tenant who is already enjoying her new heating system is 79-year-old council tenant Janet Kelly of Hillview Road, Paisley.

Janet said: “It’s brilliant and it heats up much quicker than the old system. It’s absolutely a nice early Christmas present.”

Brian Morrow, Divisional Director at Apollo, said: “As the successful Kitchen & Bathroom Programme continues, Apollo is also delighted to be helping warm up homes for tenants across Renfrewshire with efficient new heating systems. We look forward to continuing our work with all Renfrewshire Council tenants and wish them all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year in their improved, warmer homes.”

Gillian Lavety, Business Manager at Wates, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the council on a framework that will make a hugely positive impact on the lives of thousands of Renfrewshire Council tenants.”

All social-rented accommodation in Scotland needs to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard by 2015. This major programme of housing improvements will ensure all of Renfrewshire Council’s housing stock meets that standard.
Information for tenants about the Scottish Housing Quality Standard or Renfrewshire Council’s Delivering Housing Improvements programme is available at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/housingimprovements or by contacting the Housing Investment Team on 01505 384 303.

Major national retailer set for Paisley (news from Paisley Photographs)


A major national retailer is finalising plans to open in Paisley High Street boosting the regeneration of the town centre.

Wilkinson, which has over 330 stores in the UK, is close to reaching agreement to occupy the former Littlewoods store.
Renfrewshire Council and Paisley Vision Board have been working hard to secure the redevelopment of the site which has lain vacant since 2005 and believe a new store could be open within a few months.

Among the benefits of the proposed deal would be:
the creation of an estimated 85 jobs
the reopening of one of the most prominent shopfronts on Paisley High Street
additional access for shoppers to the units in the Paisley Centre,
the enhancement of Paisley’s appeal to shoppers and other potential new retailers, and
a boost to public finances through non-domestic rates revenue of £145,000 per annum.
“To have such a key retail site in Paisley High Street occupied again would be a major vote of confidence in Paisley’s future,” said Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay, who also chairs Paisley Vision Board.

“The redevelopment would be further proof of the continuing regeneration of Paisley.

“In recent years Renfrewshire Council and our partners prioritised three key projects which would significantly boost Paisley’s appeal as a place to live and do business in.

“The first – the redevelopment of part of the former council hq in Cotton Street for housing – is well underway.

“The second goal – the revival of the iconic Arnott’s site – has seen the creation of an innovative public private partnership to make the site ready for development and attract residential and commercial development.

“What a hat-trick it would be for Paisley if we can help restore the Littlewood’s site in the middle of the high street to its former prominence.”

Tom Johnston, President of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce said: “It’s particularly encouraging that it would be a major national retailer which would be coming to Paisley.

“Having that level of support for Paisley as a strong retail centre can act as a catalyst for the broader regeneration of the town centre as well as its retail sector.”

A meeting of Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Development Board on Tuesday December 07 will consider a report recommending that the Council supports the deal through an investment of up to £336,000.

The money would help towards the £1.5m plus cost of refitting the store which has a large, complex layout and has lain empty for six years. Council funds would only be awarded if the deal is concluded.

The cost of preparatory works in the vacant store followed by a refit is expected to total £2.5m

Renfrewshire Council’s Paisley Town Centre Action Plan has already identified the need to support the upgrading of property assets to boost retail development.

It has been officially announced that Renfrewshire CVS is to mobilise an army of charities and volunteers to help residents make the switch to digital TV in Renfrewshire.

Starting in November, Renfrewshire CVS will work with other charities and voluntary groups to prepare people for the switchover, which starts in Renfrewshire on 8th June. The appointment has been made on behalf of Digital UK, the independent body in charge of the switchover.

Renfrewshire CVS will mobilise local charities across Renfrewshire to hold events and presentations, giving advice on how to switch over to digital TV. Charity staff and volunteers will be invited to attend free briefing sessions to understand the process and learn about the Switchover Help Scheme. Thousands of people are expected to benefit from the advice and support given at these events.

Renfrewshire CVS is a local organisation that provides support to voluntary organisations, charities and community groups in the area to help them to achieve their aims and empower others. Their extensive networks, membership and partners make them ideally placed to take part in a programme of this type.

Janis McDonald, Chief Executive Officer of Renfrewshire CVS, said: “Switching to digital TV will be straightforward for many people, but some others will need help, practical advice or reassurance.

“We look forward to working with our fellow charities to provide that support in Renfrewshire and help prepare the local community for switchover. We will also encourage those who are eligible to apply for the Switchover Help Scheme.”

Local charities can apply for free briefing places, and for funding through a Small Grants Scheme set up to encourage extra events locally. Materials developed to help run events and explain switchover will also be provided.

Russell Keene, Digital UK’s Regional Manager in Scotland, welcomed the announcement saying “the outreach work planned to reach into the community is essential and will help to ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits of digital TV when switchover arrives”.

Digital UK will soon be holding road shows across the central belt to provide further face-to-face advice for anyone who needs it.

The Switchover Help Scheme, run by the BBC, has also been set up to make it easier for older and disabled people to switch to digital TV. It is writing to eligible people in the area. People are eligible for the scheme if they are aged 75 years or more, have lived in a care home for six months or more, get (or could get) certain disability benefits, or are registered blind or partially sighted.

A whopping £25,000 has been raised for sufferers of Motor Neurone Disease at a glittering charity ball hosted by Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson.

The Provost’s Mistletoe Ball, held at Mar Hall Hotel, Bishopton, was hosted by STV’s Sean Batty and saw local representatives and members of the business community dig deep to raise the fantastic total for MND Scotland.

The night was a huge success, with guests enjoying entertainment from the MacDonald Brothers and Scotland’s answer to Katherine Jenkins, Nicola Cassels.

The majority of the total was raised during the charity auction which saw guests bidding for top prizes including two British Airways return flights from Glasgow to Vienna, a day with Sean Batty at STV studios, dinner bed and breakfast for two plus either a round of golf or an hour’s spa treatment at Mar Hall, dinner for 6 to 8 people cooked in your own home by Donald Angus Munro, member of the Master Chefs of Great Britain, one year membership to Pro-Life Fitness for two, tribute night for 10 people in the Glynhill Hotel, including three course dinner, full Scottish breakfast and free used of leisure facilities.

Football fans scooped some unique prizes including a recaro chair worth more than £1000 donated by St Mirren Football Club. The leather chair, which is the same as those in the St Mirren dug out but has been adapted to use as an office chair.

Other football related prizes were a signed Celtic top donated by the club and a limited edition signed painting of Ally McCoist donated by Rangers FC.

One guest also successfully bid for the opportunity for up to four people to spend an exciting day at Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Centre.

Another lucky guest won a stunning diamond necklace, worth £800, in the prize draw.

Provost Celia Lawson said: “It was a fabulous night from start to finish. Sean was a wonderful host, the entertainment was excellent and best of all the generosity of the guests was outstanding. I’m really delighted we’ve managed to raise such a great total for MND Scotland to help the 372 people living in Scotland with this disease.”

Celebrity designer John Amabile will make a big switch from interior to outdoor decorations when he helps turn on Johnstone’s Christmas lights this weekend.
John, well known from TV shows such as 60 Minute Makeover, GMTV and This Morning, will join Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson and 11-year-old twins Abbie and Blair Monkman to turn on the lights on Saturday 27 November.
The event is being organised by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with St Vincent’s Hospice, a charity which John is patron of.
John said: “I’m so looking forward to the Johnstone switch on to Christmas and delighted to support St. Vincent hospice – a local charity much in need of our support!”

The day kicks off at 12.30pm with Clyde One Roadshow, hosted by Gina McKie and Kevin Cameron, including game, goodie bags and giveaways such as tickets to see Peter Andre and Pixie Lott. Tickets to see Mamma Mia at the Clyde Auditorium will also be up for grabs.
There will be performances by 22-year-old pop act GeO who has supported many acts including Westlife, Alesha Dixon and Peter Andre.
Local boy Jamie McArthur, who recently raised money for Cash For Kids by performing outside Braehead Shopping Centre for eight hours solid, will also be taking to the stage as well as local groups Dans-scene and Per4mance Stage School.
There will also be a snow beach provided by SnoZone at Braehead, a St Vincent’s Hospice Christmas Cafe and Santa’s Grotto within a marquee in Houston Square.
Abbie and Blair will switch on the lights in tribute to their mother Debbie, 49, who passed away recently while in the care of St Vincent’s Hospice.
Abbie and Blair said: “We’re really, really looking forward to switching on the Christmas lights in Johnstone in memory of our mum.”
Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson said: “I’m delighted to have John, Abbie and Blair joining me for Johnstone’s Christmas Lights switch on. St Vincent’s is a wonderful and deserving charity.
“Johnstone Christmas Lights switch is getting bigger and beeter and the day promises to be great fun with lots of entertainment, games, giveaways, snow and even Santa himself. I’m really looking forward to it and hope to see lots of people out in Houston Square on the day.”
Kibble will also be selling real Christmas trees on the day, with a donation going to St Vincent’s Hospice.

The wheels have been set in motion to find next year’s winners of the Renfrewshire School Travel Plan Awards.
Pupils at St Fillan’s Primary School, in Houston, helped launch nominations after they were named Travel Planning School of the Year at the first ever awards ceremony this year.
The awards will take place in May next year and will be hosted by Clyde One Breakfast Show host George Bowie, celebrating schools or individual pupils and staff who show real enthusiasm and innovation in promoting sustainable travel.

For the second year running, the full cost of the awards ceremony and prizes will be met through external funding and sponsorship from local businesses.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment and Infrastructure Policy Board, said: “Encouraging young people to find alternative ways to travel to school is important for reducing pollution and improving road safety around schools. Walking and cycling also has great health and social benefits for children, including helping them reach the daily recommended level of excercise. By encouraging these good habits at an early age we are setting a great example for them later in life.”

The six award categories are:

– Travel Planning School of the Year
– Best Walking Initiative
– Best Cycling Initiative
– Best School Champion
– Walker of the Year
– Cyclist of the Year

Pupils, teachers and parents are invited to nominate through their school any individual or group who they believe has made a special achievement or has been a great inspiration or role model in terms of greener, healthier travel to school.

Councillor McGurk added: “The 2010 Awards were a great success and recognised some fantastic achievements by our schools. We know that there is a lot of hard work going on across Renfrewshire’s schools on this issue so we are expecting even more nominations this year. The ceremony itself is a great night and a chance to get dressed up and celebrate all that hard work.”

Prizes for the awards include £100 gift vouchers for individual awards and £500 for the school named Travel Planning School of the Year.

Nominations are invited from all Renfrewshire primary schools. Schools can submit as many nominations as they like.

Christmas shopping in Paisley town centre is being made easier nearly 2000 free parking spaces over the festive season.

Renfrewshire Council has teamed up with the town’s main shopping centres and university to offer more than 1,700 free parking spaces in Paisley every weekend from Saturday 20 November until 31December.

These will be available on Saturdays and Sundays at:
– all council-run town centre car parks, including on street parking spaces,
– the Paisley Centre car park,
– the Piazza Shopping Centre car park, and
– the University of the West of Scotland car park at Witherspoon St

Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay, who also chairs Paisley Vision Board, said: “We are working together with our partners in the town to make it easier for people to come into Paisley to do their Christmas shopping. This is an expensive time of year for everyone, particularly in the current economic climate, so this is something we are able to do to help. It is also part of the ongoing strategy to boost the economic regeneration of Paisley town centre.

“The town’s festive season has already got off to a fantastic start with the fireworks display and a record 28,000 people attending the Christmas lights switch on. These events bring a great atmosphere to the town and boost the town’s retailers. Free Christmas parking along with other upcoming events like Christmas Farmers’ Market and the Tunisian Market will add to that boost.”

Shopmobility offer a valuable free service helping people with mobility problems to do their Christmas shopping in Paisley. A range of wheelchairs, mobility scooters and power chairs are available.

Anyone with a mobility problem can use the service and should contact Shopmobility in advance to let them know what machine they require and if they need picked up from the bus or train station or if they need a volunteer to accompany them while shopping.

http://www.shopmobilitypaisley.org/

Record numbers of people flocked to Paisley this weekend for the town’s spectacular Christmas Lights switch on event.

An estimated crowd of 28,000 came into Paisley’s historic town centre for the packed day long event which kicked off in the morning with a farmers market and craft fayre, followed by Reindeer Parade, and performances by the Singing Kettle, Red Hot Chilli Pipers and headline act Olly Murs.

There was also a SnoZone, fun fair and Radio Clyde Roadshow hosted by Gina McKie.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay, who also chairs Paisley Vision Board, said: “This was our biggest event yet and the numbers speak for themselves. The fact that the people of Renfrewshire and beyond yet again flocked to the town for this fantastic event shows that our plans to regenerate the town are on track. Along with the spectacular fireworks display, which also attracted a crowd of 25,000, these events are breathing new life into Paisley town centre.

“The response has been fantastic, from young people and families coming to see performers, and from the business community who have this year given their resounding support for the event. For the first time, this year’s event attracted private sponsorship from local firms KDS Group and Bam Construction.”

Paisley’s Christmas lights switch-on is one of the key events in the council’s strategy to regenerate Paisley town centre and has grown from strength to strength each year.

As part of the council’s recent Difficult Choices for Difficult Times consultation with local residents and businesses, local people were asked if they wanted events such as these to continue. 63% of respondents favoured continued backing of town centre events because of their importance in supporting the regeneration of Paisley and other towns.

Maureen Hill, Piazza Shopping Centre Manager, commented:

“The whole day was a great success: it was fantastic to see the town buzzing with so many people, and I’ve had some excellent feedback from our retailers on how busy they were on the day.

“These kind of big events are really important for Paisley to raise the profile and awareness of what the town centre has to offer, particularly in the run up to the festive season when they really attract people into the town centre. At The Piazzza, we’re always delighted to have the opportunity to show shoppers that with a great range of high street names under one roof, right here in Paisley, they don’t need to look any further to complete their Christmas shopping.”

Shonaid Kaye, of Paisley Farmers’ Market said: “These events are great not just for the bigger retailers in the town but because they provide an opportunity for smaller local producers to sell their products to a much wider audience. All of our stallholders recorded much higher sales on the day. This also has a knock on effect as it attracts people who may not know about the regular farmers market and encourages them to come back in future.”