Ferguslie Learning Centre - Info Day - Social Media

Our Ferguslie Learning Centre provides certificated learning opportunities at beginner’s levels within a friendly, community environment.

Pop along to our open day on Tues 8 Jan from 10am-2pm. Alternatively contact Kathleen on 0141 842 1015. www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk

Ferguslie Learning Centre - Info Day - Social Media

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SHOPPERS are being given more time to find that perfect gift this Christmas.

The intu Braehead shopping centre is staying open until midnight from Monday, December 17 until Sunday December 23.

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According to the team at intu Braehead, their midnight opening is a big attraction for customers who are living busy lives at work or at home.

David Lyon, intu Braehead’s marketing manager said: “Coming out to the mall for Christmas shopping at night gives people more time to get all the presents they need for the big day.

“It’s ideal for people with very busy lives and they can even catch their favourite TV programmes in the evening before coming out to do their Christmas shopping.

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“Our shoppers also love they way they can drive into one of our free car parks and get to the shops within minutes.”

derek mackay MSP

A significant cash injection to health and care services and funding to help prepare Scotland’s economy for Brexit are at the heart of the Scottish Government’s spending plans for the year ahead.

derek mackay MSP

The 2019/20 Scottish Budget, published today, proposes an increase of almost £730 million in health and care services. This includes additional revenues generated by tax decisions that mitigate the shortfall in NHS funding promised by the UK Government.

Unveiling the spending plans in Parliament, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay also announced more than £180 million to raise attainment in schools.

The budget includes more than £5 billion of capital investment to grow and modernise infrastructure – including a new £50 million Town Centre Fund to support the future of our high streets.

Real terms increases in funding for local government, education, health and the police will support the transformation of our public services to meet new challenges, while investment in skills, social security and training will help ensure we deliver opportunity for all.

The Scottish Government will continue to deliver on its commitments to end homelessness and tackle child poverty, while investment in culture is also protected.

Mr Mackay also confirmed that the Scottish Government’s tax policy will ensure 55% of income taxpayers in Scotland will pay less than people earning the same income in the rest of the UK, while continuing to raise revenue to support investment in the economy and public services.

Mr Mackay said:

“This is a budget of stimulus and stability. It delivers for today and invests in tomorrow and does so with fairness, equality and inclusiveness at its heart.

“It provides an increase of almost £730 million for our health and care services, invests more than £180 million to raise attainment in our schools and gives a vital boost to our economy through a £5 billion infrastructure programme.

“As a result of these decisions, we have been able to invest in essential public services, particularly the NHS, while ensuring 55% of income taxpayers in Scotland pay less tax than those earning the same income in the rest of the UK. Taken together with the personal allowance, 99% of taxpayers will pay less income tax next year on the same income.

“This budget delivers the public services, social contract and economic investment people expect while mitigating, where we can, the impacts of the UK Government’s policies of austerity and Brexit that are causing so much harm.”

Assessing the impact of ongoing uncertainty around the UK’s exit from the EU on this year’s budget, Mr Mackay added:

“Our spending plans for 2019-20 include a commitment to mitigate the risks of Brexit as best we can, to enable our economy to thrive in any circumstances, now and in the future.

“It is disappointing that we are facing the prospect of having to revisit these plans in the event of a chaotic no-deal outcome. If leaving the EU can be avoided, those resources currently being directed towards essential preparations can be reinvested into our public services and economy.”

The 2019/20 Scottish Budget includes:

  • More than £180 million in raising attainment in schools, including £120 million for head teachers to spend on closing the attainment gap
  • Continuing to deliver a progressive income tax system
  • A public sector pay deal that continues the journey of restoring pay levels and provides an above inflation pay uplift of 3% for those earning up to £36,500
  • Providing the most generous package of business rates reliefs in the UK, and ensure more than 90 per cent of properties in Scotland will be charged a lower tax rate than other parts of the UK
  • More than £600 million in colleges and maintain investment at more than £1 billion in universities
  • Increasing direct investment in mental health by £27 million, taking overall funding to £1.1 billion, including improving mental health services for young people, and providing support in schools, colleges and universities
  • Increasing investment in Health and Social Care Partnerships to more than £9 billion for delivery of primary and community health services
  • Delivering new and improved social security benefits based on dignity and respect
  • Providing local government with a real terms increase in both revenue and capital funding, and a real terms increase in total overall support, through a £11.1 billion settlement
  • Almost £500 million to expand funded early learning and childcare, supporting the recruitment and training of staff and investment in building, refurbishment and extension of around 750 nurseries and family centres
  • Initial funding of £130 million towards the establishment of a Scottish National Investment Bank
  • Protect the police resource budget in real terms
  • More than £20 million for zero waste, supporting the transition towards a more resource-efficient, circular economy, including design and implementation of a deposit return scheme
  • £80 million for Active Travel to help build an Active Nation
  • More than £825 million, as part of our total investment in excess of £3 billion to deliver 50,000 affordable homes over the course of the Parliament
  • Continuing to invest in the £50 million Ending Homelessness Together fund
  • More than £70 million in 2019/20 to drive forward sustainable and inclusive growth in the rural economy
Local Partnerships meeting

Enthusiastic community members are being encouraged to sign up for their nearest Local Partnership ahead of the deadline for applications.

Local Partnerships meeting

Enthusiastic community members are being encouraged to sign up for their nearest Local Partnership and have their say on the issues that matter locally.

The community representatives will be a key part of the new Local Partnerships, sitting alongside local elected councillors and representatives from the public sector and the voluntary sector.

They will help shape the discussion and debate at Local Partnership meetings, bring their expertise and local knowledge to decision making and provide an important link to local people.

Local Partnerships meeting

The closing date for membership applications is Friday 14 December.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “I’d encourage anyone who has a passion for their community to put their name forward to become a member of their Local Partnership.

“We want to achieve a range of views and give local people the opportunity to have their say on the issues that matter to them within their community.

Local Partnerships meeting

“It’s important that the opinions of local people are highlighted so get in touch and take this opportunity to make a difference.”

A series of community events have been taking place across Renfrewshire to introduce the new partnerships and to encourage people to become community representatives, with the first official meetings of the new partnerships set to take place in early 2019.

The seven new Local Partnerships take on the same boundaries as Community Councils and replace the previous five Local Area Committees, with membership being split evenly between local elected members and local community representatives.

The partnerships will work together to identify the priorities for the local community and representatives will have a key role in the allocation of funding to local voluntary and community groups.

For more information on the Local Partnerships and to submit your application to become a member, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/localpartnerships.

baby box

New and expectant parents could receive a financial boost this Christmas with the launch of a new Scottish Government grant.

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Social Security Scotland will start taking applications for the Best Start Grant’s Pregnancy and Baby Payment on Monday 10 December, with the first payments expected to be made before Christmas.

The Best Start Grant gives financial support to families on lower-incomes during the early years of their child’s life, providing a grant of £600 on the birth of their first child and £300 for children after that.

Two additional payments of £250 will also be available to help cover the costs of early learning and starting school, with applications for these grants open by summer 2019.

The scheme, which replaces the UK Government’s Sure Start Maternity Grant, also gives parents more time to apply, extending the application window from 24 weeks pregnant until six months after birth.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener for Education and Children’s Services, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “We want all children in Renfrewshire to have the best possible start in life and this new grant will ensure struggling families have some extra cash during their child’s early years.

“I’d encourage all new and expectant parents to apply, it’s easy to do and will provide support in years to come.”

People who receive Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit will be eligible for the Pregnancy and Baby Payment.

Expectant mums who are under 18 or 18/19 and still dependent on their parents and in full-time education or training do not need to receive a qualifying benefit to apply for the grant.

Applications for the Pregnancy and Baby Payment can be made by phone, post or online. The grant is open to parents or carers.

To apply or for more information, call the Pregnancy and Baby Payment freephone helpline on 0800 182 222 or visit mygov.scot/pregnancy-and-baby-payment.

For advice on making sure you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to contact Advice Works on 0300 300 1238 or the Citizens Advice Bureau on 0141 889 2121.

Alternatively, you can call the Scottish Government’s new free Financial Health Check service on 0800 085 7145.

team up to clean up

Motorists in Renfrewshire are being asked to think before throwing litter onto the roadside.

More than 50 tonnes of litter has been collected from the roadside in the past six months following the introduction of a dedicated Rapid Response Team (RRT).

team up to clean up

Part of Renfrewshire Council’s successful Team Up to Clean Up campaign, the Roadside Litter RRT are tackling discarded litter on verges and pavements as part of a drive to improve the local environment.

They tackle roads, often in rural areas, which have been identified as hot spot areas and work to remove litter, as well as showing a visible presence in the area to discourage motorists from carrying it out in the first place.

The Roadside Litter team also work in tandem with another RRT who carry out daily patrols across Renfrewshire, tackling issues of fly tipping and working with local businesses to ensure they are disposing of their waste correctly.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I can’t stress how important it is that motorists think before throwing their rubbish out their window and onto the roadside.

“It is affecting the cleanliness, appearance and health of our local environment, as well as forcing our road workers to work at the side of busy roads to clear it.

“It may only be one piece of litter to you but when everyone does it, it can become a real problem and it is not acceptable.

“So take the initiative, keep your rubbish with you until you get home and together we’ll make Renfrewshire a cleaner, more attractive place to live and work.”

£2.5million has been allocated to Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign over five years to allow an enhanced programme of gully cleaning, increased mechanical road sweeping, the replacement or removal of out of date street signage and an additional six community litter pickers.

The campaign also challenges the community to play their part and this has proved extremely successful with hundreds of community clean ups taking place throughout the area and more than 2500 volunteers taking part.

A number of high-profile businesses, including ThermoFisher, McDonalds and Diageo, have also shown their support for the campaign by undertaking litter picks of the local area with their staff.

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and how to get involved, visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

The group from the Disability Resource Centre gathered alongside the artists and musicians from Brass Aye to see the flag raised

A group from the Disability Resource Centre had a flag they designed raised in County Square last week to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The group from the Disability Resource Centre gathered alongside the artists and musicians from Brass Aye to see the flag raised

The group have been taking part in the Threadlines project which is part of Renfrewshire Council’s £4.5 million Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS2) and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council.

The Threadlines artists with the DRC flag

The Threadlines project has been running since summer 2017 and has seen four visual artists collaborate with local community groups to create pieces of artwork that would be temporarily located in Paisley town centre, inspired by the town’s history in printed textiles.

The artists worked with the wood-work and photography groups at the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) to design and prototype two transportable printing presses, focusing on making the traditionally inaccessible printing presses in to something that could be adapted for use by individuals with varied additional support needs.

Musicians from Brass Aye

The photography group designed their own bespoke letters in clay which were photographed and then 3D printed into a letterset for the printing press, and the woodwork group used motifs from old looms and traditional printing presses to make a set of lino and foam cut shapes which could be used to print in their press.

Using the resources, the groups were able to print their own patterns and compositions which have inspired the design on the flag.

The artists wore custom Chore Coats designed using the prints made by the DRC

The flag was raised in County Square at midday on Monday 3 December, International Day of People with Disabilities, and will be lowered on Monday 10 December (today).

A group from the Disability Resource Centre gathered to see it raised, alongside the artists involved and members of the public. Musicians from Brass Aye? played as the flag was raised.

Rachel Walker, one of the artists working on the Threadlines project said: “Working with the individuals at the DRC was a really interesting and enlightening experience which will continue to inform the way we will work in collaboration with communities in Paisley, making sure we have a practice that will be inclusive of people with additional support needs.”

The artists who have been involved in Threadlines wore specially printed Chore Coats to the flag raising, designed using the prints made by the Disability Resource Centre groups.

Disability Resource Centre volunteer, Jacqueline Sorbie, says that all the participants enjoyed the experience of creating a flag for International Day of Persons with Disabilities. She said: “The project boosted morale within the centre and showed the participants how teamwork can help them achieve their main goal.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson added: “An important part of the TH.CARS2 project was to engage a diverse range of audiences with the heritage and culture of Paisley through learning and making. I’m pleased to see that the Threadlines project has achieved this and hope that the participants will benefit from the new skills they have learned.”

To find out more about the TH.CARS2 project, visit http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/THCars2

St Fillan’s Primary School

Parents are being encouraged to sign-up for a new cashless payment system ahead of its launch in six Renfrewshire schools next year.

St Fillan’s Primary School

Castlehead and Gryffe High Schools and, Auchenlodement, Howwood, St Fillan’s and St James (Renfrew) Primaries will be the first to go live with ParentPay in January 2019.

The launch is part of Renfrewshire Council’s work to make all Renfrewshire schools cashless by summer 2020.

ParentPay will remove cash and cheques from the classrooms, allowing parents to pay for their childrens’ school meals, activities and trips online.

The cashless system, which is already used in more than 8,000 UK schools, allows parents and carers to make online payments into their child’s account 24/7. They will also be able to see what their child has ordered for lunch, set spending caps and keep a record of all the payments they have made.

Parents and carers who don’t use online banking can put money into their child’s account at their nearest PayPoint, usually located in newsagents and other local shops.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener for Finance, Resources and Customer Services, Councillor John Shaw said: “I’m delighted that we are introducing ParentPay in six schools, it will revolutionise the way parents and carers pay for school meals, trips and activities.

“We want to make all Renfrewshire schools cashless by summer 2020 and launching ParentPay in six schools is the first step towards this goal.”

ParentPay accounts will be activated in December, ahead of the launch of the new system in January.

Parents and carers will need to set up a MyGovScot MyAccount login to use the new payment system.

Letters advising how to register for ParentPay will be sent to parents and carers before their child’s school moves onto the new system.

To register for MyAccount visit https://myaccount.renfrewshire.gov.uk/

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Ahead of the festive period, revellers are being advised to take care when using taxis and private hire vehicles on their Christmas nights out.

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Renfrewshire Council and Police Scotland have teamed up to give passengers some important safety tips as the festivities get set to begin.

Party-goers should ensure they plan how to get home from their night out in advance and, where possible, pre-book their taxi home.

They should also only use licensed taxis or private hire vehicles to make any journeys and never be tempted to accept the offer of a lift from a passing car.

Councillor John MacNaughtan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Regulatory Functions Board, said:  “We have lots of fantastic venues for an evening out in Renfrewshire and we want to ensure that everyone has a great time, but remains safe while doing so.

“All licensed taxi companies or private hire vehicles will have Renfrewshire Council plates which display the licence details, and the driver’s badge should be displayed within the vehicle.

“If this is not the case, then don’t accept the lift and call your taxi company to confirm that it is the correct vehicle.”

Police Scotland will have additional patrols in Renfrewshire across the festive period to ensure that revellers are safe at one of the busiest times of the year.

Chief Inspector Simon Wright, Area Commander for Paisley, said: ” The festive period is an exceptionally busy time of year, with large numbers of people out enjoying themselves across Renfrewshire.

“My message would be to have a fantastic, but safe time while out across Renfrewshire. Always plan ahead and make arrangements to ensure you can get home, preferably in the company of friends.

“Never get into a private hire, you have not phoned for and booked in advance and always ensure that the driver is displaying their drivers badge. If you are in any doubt, seek alternative transport.”

Should you enter a vehicle which you believe to be a taxi or private hire vehicle and become aware it is not, or if you feel unsafe in any way you should contact Police Scotland using 101 or 999 in an emergency.

For more information on taxis in Renfrewshire, visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/taxisandprivatehires

braehead

CHRISTMAS is coming early for shoppers at intu Braehead this weekend.

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Mall staff are playing Santa by giving away £1000 worth of intu Gift Cards in special golden envelopes that will be hidden around the mall and in Soar at intu Braehead, on Saturday and Sunday, December 15 and 16.

On both these days shoppers will be able to find 14 hidden golden envelopes that wins them each a gift card worth £5; eight envelopes worth £10; two worth £50 each and one golden envelope with the top prize of a £250 gift card.

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David Lyon, intu Braehead marketing manager said: “We want everyone to get into the festive spirit, so we decided we’d give out some early Christmas gifts in our Winning Weekend.

“The golden envelopes won’t be that hard to find, but shoppers just need to keep their eyes peeled and when they find one of the envelopes, all they need to do is take it to our customer services desk to claim their intu Gift Card.”