Epic town hall artwork puts Johnstone in the picture.

Johnstone’s newest building is being used to celebrate its existing ones – thanks to an ambitious piece of artwork devoted to the town.

Renfrewshire Council has just unveiled a specially-commissioned illustration of Johnstone landmarks to cover the hoardings around the site of its new town hall.

Construction on the £14.5m facility is due to start before the end of the month, with the building expected to be finished by summer 2015.

But council chiefs wanted to make sure the local community had a backdrop which represented the town while work was ongoing.

Glasgow-based artist Adrian McMurchie was brought on board to create an illustration of Johnstone’s buildings.

The resulting epic artwork will be displayed on three sides of the site hoardings, stretching from Ludovic Square, along William Street and into the adjacent car park.

A small section is already on display, with the rest to follow shortly. It features the town’s station and Paton’s Mill, as well as local churches, shops and housing.

Renfrewshire’s Deputy Provost John Caldwell met Adrian and representatives of the local community in Ludovic Square to see it for themselves.

Deputy Provost Caldwell said: “We wanted to make sure people weren’t just looking at a blank wall – that they had something unique and eye-catching instead.

“Adrian has done a great job with the drawings – and I’m sure people will enjoy wandering round them picking out the local sights.

“But while we are admiring the town’s existing architecture, one of the most exciting developments of all will be the one going up behind the hoardings.

“The new town hall represents a massive investment by the council which will transform the centre of Johnstone.

“We hope residents will identify sites of personal and community significance in this artwork and enjoy the sense of continuity between the past, present and future.”

Once complete, the new town hall building will house a new library, marriage suite, theatre and conference space, meeting rooms and a café.

It will also contain offices for council housing and social work staff, as well as Police Scotland and Macmillan Cancer Support.

 

The artwork around the town centre has been given the thumbs-up by local community activists.

Throughout the project, Renfrewshire Council has been keen to involve members of the Johnstone community in the plans for its design.

Over the next few months, there will be various community activities, including the chance to contribute to public art which will be displayed inside the new building.

George Kennedy, secretary of Johnstone Community Council, said: “The new hoardings look very smart – much more interesting than a blank wall.

“It depicts the town very well – there were a few bits I instantly recognised, such as the High Church, and the former health centre.

“We are pleased we are getting a new building – it should be a big improvement on the last one and we are looking forward to it.”

Community council chairman Dennis Lavery added: “I like the way it is laid out – it isn’t meant to be a map of the town but it depicts it well.”

Artist Adrian McMurchie explained how he was able to create the mammoth artwork. He said: “It was a great job to work on and it is great to see it going up.

“We initially discussed doing lots of photos but decided drawings would work better. I had a drive around and that gave me a lot of ideas.

“I had never worked on anything as long as this before – I ended up doing the drawing on a 10m piece of paper.

“Johnstone has some great architecture but we didn’t just want it to be about the old buildings, we wanted to include some of the housing too.”

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.

More nursery time on the way for Renfrewshire 3 and 4 year olds.

Renfrewshire Council has launched a new consultation for parents about changes to nursery provision.

Currently every three and four year old in Scotland is entitled to 475 hours of government funded pre-school education each year. The Scottish Government is increasing this annual entitlement to 600 hours from August 2014.

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Families in Renfrewshire with children under four have six weeks to tell the council what nursery arrangements suit their needs best so the council can plan for this change.

Whether it’s longer days or more days at nursery for their child, parents can register their views online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/familiesfirst

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education Policy Board: “It’s necessary that we plan and develop a nursery provision that meets the Scottish Government’s commitment, but more importantly, also suits the needs of children and families within Renfrewshire.

“This change complements the work already underway to give children in Renfrewshire a great start in life.

“Our £7 million Families First programme is improving access to early learning and supporting families to deal with the issues that impact on their youngster’s ability to learn and develop or which prevents them for reaching their potential.

“A nursery provision that meets the needs of families will give parents the option to participate in work, training or education and the opportunity to build a better future for their family”.

Parents have until 1 December to take part in the consultation, which can they do online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/familiesfirst or by calling 0300 300 0300 to arrange for a paper copy to be sent to them.

Conferences will make 2023 plan real for Renfrewshire communities.

Leaders of Renfrewshire’s community planning partnership met with local community leaders at Renfrew Town Hall to launch a programme of conferences aimed at achieving ambitious targets for Renfrewshire by 2023.

The community planning partnership is made up of Renfrewshire’s main public services, including the council, the police and the health service, along with representatives of community and voluntary organisations.

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Each of the five conferences run from 9.45am till 3pm and will look in detail at one of the key themes of the recently approved Renfrewshire Community Plan 2013-2023:

* Children and young people – Thursday 14 November – St Mirren Park

* Community care, health and wellbeing – Friday 15 November – West College Scotland

* A safer and stronger Renfrewshire – Monday 18 November – West College Scotland

* A greener Renfrewshire – Monday 25 November – Anchor Mill, Paisley

* Jobs and the economy – Wednesday 27 November – Kibble Centre, Paisley

The conferences will develop action plans for community and voluntary organisations and local residents to shape the plan to help them deliver better services and identify areas where they can help with the delivery of services.

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Councillor Mark Macmillan, said, “Community planning is about involving local people in shaping and delivering the services that they need. The themes of the community plan reflect the big issues that face Renfrewshire and the shared priorities of the council, the police, the health service and all of our other public services.

“All of the public services who were here today are committed to delivering the best possible services to our communities, particularly those that are facing the most challenging circumstances.“

Alan McNiven, Chief Executive of Engage Renfrewshire, which supports voluntary organisations, community groups and charities in the area, said, “One of the most important things about this community plan is the central role local voluntary and community organisations will play in developing the plan and achieving its targets.

“You only need to look around to see the important role that community organisations and charities have in delivering services, such health care, social care, child care and sport and leisure to Renfrewshire’s communities. The increased involvement of these organisations will play a big part in ensuring that the community plan achieves its aims.

“The programme of planning conferences announced today will provide a focus where public services and the communities that they serve can get together to make the community plan real.”

Renfrewshire’s community plan for 2013-2023 can be viewed at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

To find out more about attending one of the community planning conferences, email

lesley.jones-ce@renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0141 618 7353.

Readers can contribute to the discussion about the community plan on Twitter using hashtag #mpowren

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Renfrewshire secures £600,000 to support residents facing hardship

More than £600,000 of funding has been secured for vital projects to help Renfrewshire residents who are being hit by the UK Government’s benefit changes.

The council and its third sector partners worked on four funding bids that have brought a total of £678,896 into the area, meaning 15 extra staff posts can be created to help people cope with the impacts of welfare reform.

renfrewshire council logo .JPGThe cash has been secured from the Big Lottery’s Support and Connect fund and the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s (SLAB) Making Advice Work fund and will be targeted to four projects:
* Helping Disability Living Allowance claimants through the benefit changing over to Personal Independence Payment
* Supporting tenants affected by ‘bedroom tax’
* Targeting financial advice to people with addiction and mental health issues
* Offering support to tenants facing hardship.

Councillor Mike Holmes, Renfrewshire Council’s Depute Leader, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that once again, Renfrewshire has been pro-active in doing all it can to work with partners to help local people who are being adversely affected by the UK Government’s benefit changes.

“The full impact of Welfare Reform is yet to be felt, with major changes to Disability Living Allowance still to be fully implemented and Universal Credit’s roll out date unknown. Tenants are still coming to terms with the ‘bedroom tax’ and many people are confused about the changes still to come. Our residents need support to help them cope and this major funding boost will compliment the hard work already done by our Advice Works team and the local Citizens Advice Bureau.

“My congratulations go to our third sector partners for their hard work in securing these funding bids as this money will go a long way in getting help, advice and support to those members of Renfrewshire’s community who need it the most.”

Summary of the awards and what will be delivered:

1) Big Lottery Support and Connect: £306,000 awarded for a project led by Federation of Local Associations in Renfrewshire (FLAIR). It will create seven posts to help tenants facing hardship. It will offer support on energy efficiency, specialist welfare advice, develop financial skills, and give information on using savings accounts, credit unions and accessing affordable loans.

2) SLAB Making Advice Work: £115,476 to help Disability Living Award (DLA) claimants with the change to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). One income adviser post will be created in Advice Works; and two posts will be created in Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to increase welfare rights capacity.

3) SLAB Making Advice Work: £112,818 to target support to tenants affected by Under Occupancy Rules (‘bedroom tax’). Two adviser posts will be based in FLAIR; and one money adviser will be based in the council’s Housing Service.

4) SLAB Making Advice Work: £144,602 to target financial advice to people with mental health or addiction issues. One financial literacy worker will be based in RAMH (Recovery Across Mental Health); and two income advisers will be based in Advice Works, working with addiction services.

www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

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Support Paisley on the Web.

As you know we at Paisley on the Web support every community organisation and try our best to promote every event before both before and after via photos and video. Did you know we do this voluntarily and are not supported financially by any organisation? We rely on the goodwill of our volunteers and team to get out in their free time and do all this.

We need to keep the website going and there are always bills to be paid either for hosting or for equipment, we need financial support not only to stay online but also to do our best to promote the town of Paisley.

How can you support Paisley on the web? Well we have placement for adverts throughout the website, we will put your logo on every post we publish and once a month we will push your business or organisation to all our social media channels which have on average around 30,000 daily impressions.

You can also donate to the website but we would much rather work with you to promote what you do too. We can showcase the best in Renfrewshire and Paisley!

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Glasgow Airport logo 2013

PASSENGER GROWTH CONTINUES AT GLASGOW AIRPORT.

3.8% increase in September passenger numbers

Glasgow Airport has reported another month of growth after 765,000 passengers travelled through its doors in September, representing an increase of 3.8% compared to the same period last year.

The continued increase in passenger numbers follows the news the airport had enjoyed its busiest summer in five years.

Glasgow Airport logo 2013Domestic and international traffic grew by 5.5% and 2.6% respectively during September and a number of airlines including Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, easyJet and KLM all reported an increase in demand.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “It is very encouraging to be able to follow what was our best summer in five years with further passenger growth in September. There were a number of events within Glasgow during September, including the Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference, which contributed to a strong demand for domestic services and with the SSE Hydro now open, the city can look forward to attracting even more large scale events.

“We have made a positive start to October and we are currently preparing for what will be our busiest weekend of the year. More than 110,000 people are expected to pass through our doors this weekend for the start of the October school holiday week, which will mark the end of the busy peak season. Our attention will then turn to progressing our £17 million investment plans which will see large parts of the terminal undergo a major makeover ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It really is an exciting time for Glasgow Airport.”

Glasgow Airport has received a number of welcome airline announcements including confirmation from Icelandair it will increase seat capacity by 25% with the introduction of an additional weekly service in 2014. Jet2.com also announced significant growth plans for Glasgow Airport with the addition of a fifth dedicated aircraft and 130,000 more seats for summer 2014.

Glasgow Airport.

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Food waste scheme dishes up new jobs for young people.

A new scheme to recycle food waste in Renfrewshire is also helping to tackle youth unemployment.

Renfrewshire Council recently launched weekly collections to make it easier for people to recycle their food waste.

The new scheme has created 24 jobs, with 15 of the vacancies being filled by unemployed young people aged between 18 and 25.

Love_Food_Hate_WasteThe young people were recruited through the council’s Youth Employability Service and took part in a five week training programme ahead of the new service launching on 16 September.

As well as helping to get young people into work and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, the food waste collected will be made into fertiliser and energy.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “As well as reducing waste and creating a greener Renfrewshire, tackling youth unemployment is a key priority for the council so this is a win-win situation.

“Not only is this scheme making it free and easier for local residents to recycle their unwanted food, but we are creating jobs, saving money and creating power and fertilisers.”

Gary McGrath, 23, from Paisley is a joiner to trade but was unemployed for a year before joining the new food waste team. He said: “I’m thoroughly enjoying my new job and am really grateful for the opportunity.

“The team working together on the service is great, and it’s good to know that every day, we’re delivering a service that will help local people to recycling more and help the environment. I definitely see a future career in recycling.”

A total of 72,000 households across Renfrewshire have received their new food waste caddies: a 7 litre indoor food caddy and a 23 litre outdoor caddy, plus a three month supply of biodegradable caddie bags.

The caddies are emptied weekly on the same day as the usual collection service. When they are close to running out of the biodegradable caddy bags, people should tie a bag to their outside food waste caddy when they put it out for collection.

The council will then leave a free roll of replacement bags. It is important that only these bags are used as ordinary bin liners and carrier bags are not biodegradable.

The scheme will be rolled out to residents in high rise and maisonette properties, plus a number of tenements and flats later in the autumn.

Once it’s fully operational the service aims to lift between 13 and 15 tonnes of food waste per day – that’s roughly what one and a half bin lorries can hold.

If you’re on a wheeled bin collection route and you haven’t received your food caddie please call 0300 300 0300.

You can also visit scotland.lovefoodhatewaste.com to find out more about eating well, saving money and creating less waste.

GLASGOW AIRPORT GEARS UP FOR BUSY OCTOBER GETAWAY

Over 110,000 passengers expected this weekend 

Glasgow Airport is gearing up for its busiest weekend of the year, as tens of thousands of holidaymakers prepare to take to the skies for the October holiday week.

More than 110,000 people are expected to pass through the airport between Friday 11 and Monday 14 October with many jetting off to popular sunspots such as Dubai, the Canary Islands, Turkey, the Balearics and Florida.

Glasgow Airport logo 2013Airlines including easyJet, Thomson and Thomas Cook are all gearing up for the airport’s busiest weekend of the year, which surpasses the first weekend of the summer holidays in terms of passenger numbers.

Glasgow Airport will have extra staff in place to offer assistance and help guide passengers through check-in and security. There will be a range of entertainment and activities for children to ensure their holiday gets off to a great start, including treasure hunts, arts and crafts and a surfing simulator for the more adventurous.

Francois Bourienne, Glasgow Airport’s commercial director, said: “The October holiday weekend is the busiest of the year for our airlines and for many travellers, their holiday begins the moment they arrive at the airport. This year we expect to welcome more passengers than last year, and we will be creating a tremendous buzz in the terminal so that families can get into the holiday spirit as they pass through the airport.”

Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, added: “This is going to be our busiest October half term weekend yet at Glasgow Airport.  More than 7,000 passengers are due to fly with us this year, an increase of 16 per cent on last year.  And with the Spanish hotspots of Tenerife, Alicante and Majorca being the most popular destinations, it certainly appears that families are using this school holiday to enjoy some family fun in the sun before the cold winter months really kick in here.”

Glasgow Airport has enjoyed a sustained period of passenger growth stretching back to January 2011 and recently reported its busiest summer in five years. Almost 2.4 million passengers used the airport during the peak summer months of June, July and August.

Courtesy of Glasgow Airport.

Food Train Renfrewshire seek volunteers

Food Train is a vital grocery shopping and delivery service for the elderly, who through age related ill health, frailty or disability, are unable to manage their grocery shopping. This vital service is led by volunteers, who assist in collecting shopping orders, making up the orders and delivering them to customers in the Food Train van. As such we aim to provide a range of supported volunteering opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

Food Train is a multi award winning Scottish Charity with bases across Scotland, and we’ve just launched the new branch in Renfrewshire. If you are interested in volunteering, or know of anyone who would benefit from the service, please contact Regional Manager Marri Welsh on 0141 887 2557 or email renfrewshire@thefoodtrain.co.uk

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Food Train is a grocery shopping and delivery service for the over 65 population of Renfrewshire, funded by the Renfrewshire Change Fund Partnership.

The service developed from the findings of a community survey of older people in Dumfries, which identified that help with the weekly grocery shopping was a priority for the majority of local older people. A small group of older people formed a partnership of local shops and volunteers and the Food Train launched their service in 1995. From launch to 2013, the service has expanded successfully. The vision of the Food Train’s elderly founders was to enable older people to remain independently at home by ensuring they got supplies of fresh groceries delivered weekly while also bringing welcome social contact and friendship. Food Train has always generated income from services charges without disadvantaging the poorest older people.

Food Train is now a thriving, multi award winning charity with bases across Dumfries & Galloway, West Lothian, Stirling, Dundee and Glasgow.

Our aim is to help older people who, through age related ill health, frailty or disability, are unable to manage their grocery shopping, by providing a shopping delivery service. We also aim to provide a range of supported volunteering opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

 

How the service works

  • The volunteers visit the customer at home to collect shopping lists on a Monday
  • Shopping is carried out either a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and the order is packed into a box.
  • The shopping is then delivered to the customer’s home, where it is unpacked and checked off with the customer.  Volunteers will help to put shopping away (in fridges, freezers, cupboards etc.) if necessary.
  • On receipt of the shopping the customer pays for the cost of the shopping plus a small delivery charge of £3.00.
  • Shopping can be paid for by cash or cheque.
  • Customers can use Food Train on a weekly, fortnightly or 4 weekly basis (or less if that is preferred).

 

For many Food Train customers the two visits per week from our volunteers can be the only social contact they have all week.  This contact not only helps to improve their mental health and wellbeing, but can be a means of monitoring the most vulnerable older people in our society and signposting on to other services.  Our volunteers are offered on going support and training in a range of areas and are able to identify any changes in an older person’s health or behaviour and raise this with Food Train staff who can take appropriate action.

It is not only Food Train customers that benefit from the increased social contact the service provides.  Many volunteers enjoy the social interaction and physical exercise that comes with the role; helping to keep them fit, active and mentally well.  Food Train volunteers are all subject to a Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme record check.

Food Train Renfrewshire is working closely with other agencies eg Senior Forums, Lunch Clubs, Day Centres, and other local providers to ensure community ownership of Food Train while providing an excellent cross referral system to the benefit of our members.

Food Train services were designed by older people for older people who face difficulties through age related ill health, frailty or disability. Food Train is provided on the basis of minimum criteria and service users do not undergo means or health assessment. We support and enable older people to live at home in the security and comfort of their own community for as long as they are able through the provision of a grocery delivery service.

If someone does need the service, referrals are very simple and can be made by contacting Marri Welsh, Regional Manager on 0141 887 2557.  Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should ring the same number and speak to Marri for further information.

www.thefoodtrain.co.uk

Renfrewshire Building services team strikes gold with national award

A new approach which has boosted employment opportunities, employee skills and customer satisfaction has gained a prestigious national award for Renfrewshire Council’s building services team.

The team has been awarded the Investors in People gold standard for business improvement – the highest accolade of its kind.

Building services, which is responsible for carrying out repairs and planned maintenance across council owned buildings, offices and homes, impressed the IIP assessors with the changes it has made over the past two years to improve the quality and efficiency of its service.

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The improvements have been driven by a new management structure, new ways of working and a performance management system that focuses on developing and multi-skilling the team that includes 190 employees covering nine different trades.

In addition to carrying out 70,000 housing repairs each year, the building services team also supports the delivery of the council’s major investment programme and projects such as the refurbishment of vacant properties.

Over 1,250 businesses in Scotland have received an Investors in People (IIP) award but less than 5% have achieved gold standard.

The IIP assessors praised the council’s commitment to creating local employment opportunities. This year seven apprentices joined the team, four through the council’s modern apprentice scheme for 16 to 19 year olds and three through the mature apprenticeship programme. The apprentices gain on the job experience and are given the opportunity to study and qualify in their preferred trade.

Councillor Mike Holmes, Deputy Leader for Renfrewshire Council said: “The building services team has worked hard to establish a new way of working that puts its staff at the centre of its operation. Only an efficient, highly skilled and motivated workforce can deliver the standards of service delivery expected by our residents.

“As the Investors in People report highlights, the number of council tenants satisfied with the work carried out in their homes has risen above 95% while staff sickness has fallen from 10.8% to 3.7%.

“The team’s new approach is clearly working. It’s encouraging that skills and development opportunities are at the heart of it and that our apprentices will be benefiting from their employment within a high performing service.

“Investors in People is the respected authority on business improvement and performance management. It’s an enormous achievement for building services to have received its gold standard. I congratulate everyone involved and hope we can achieve this same level of excellence across the council.”

Article and Photograph courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.