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Trial of new Oxo-Biodegradable product that can be reused and recycled to replace over two million single-use 100ml plastic bags used each year across airport group – 

AGS Airports Ltd has become the first UK airport group to trial a new Oxo-Biodegradable 100ml security bag.

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The new sustainable bags will now be available free of charge to passengers in the security areas at Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports. 

By introducing the Oxo-Biodegradable version, AGS Airports will now remove more than two million single-use plastic bags each year across the group. 

The technology involved ensures the product will begin to degrade over a selected period of time – between 17 and 24 months of a bag’s lifespan – down to a natural bio-mass rather than the more damaging micro-plastics associated with single-use alternatives. Each bag can also be reused and recycled prior to the beginning of the degrading period.

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Mark Johnston, Chief Operating Officer at AGS Airports Ltd, said: “We are proud to be the first group to trial these new Oxo-Biodegradable security bags, which will significantly reduce single-use plastic consumption across our three airports. 

“Finding a suitable alternative that met both our security and operational requirements while retaining the necessary resilience the bags require was a challenge, so we’re really pleased to be able to trial a product that can not only be re-used and recycled, but also provides our passengers with the assurance that they are also supporting our efforts to support the environment.”  

The switch to Oxo-Biodegradable security bags is the latest sustainable initiative introduced to help reduce AGS Airports Ltd’s carbon footprint. Last year, Glasgow became the first airport to introduce a fleet of three Scottish-built full electric buses to its operation and invested more than £200,000 to deploy eight of petrol/electric plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4×4 vehicles across its airfield operations. 

The group has also joined over 200 airports across Europe in signing ACI Europe’s NetZero 2050 pledge; a commitment to achieving net zero for the carbon under our control by 2050. At a UK level, AGS is a signatory to Sustainable Aviation’s decarbonisation roadmap which is the first national net zero aviation commitment anywhere in the world.

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The Oxo-Biodegradable plastic bags have been introduced in partnership with Enviro-Point, a subsidiary of airport service company Luggage-Point. 

Each year more than eight million tonnes of single use plastic ends up in our oceans and seas and it can take up to 500 years for a single plastic bag to degrade. 

Using Oxo-Biodegradable (d2w) in the normal manufacturing process of plastics accelerates the natural process of oxidation. Oxidation reduces the molecular weight of the polymer in a much shorter timescale, until it is no longer a plastic and can be gradually bio-assimilated by bacteria and fungi on land and in the ocean.  

Graeme Stewart, Chief Executive of Enviro-Point, said: “We have a long and trusted relationship with AGS through our association via Luggage-Point and I am delighted to see the group become the first in the UK to provide Oxo-Biodegradable liquid bags within their airports.

“Despite the current challenges facing the aviation industry, it is vital that we do not lose sight of environmental issues and as AGS has demonstrated, positive changes can still be made during these difficult times. I hope to witness further airports making the same positive change by introducing Enviro-Point’s Oxo-Biodegradable liquid bags, as small changes can often have the largest impact. 

“Oxo-Biodegradable bags provide a ‘fail safe’ should the item not be recycled, as the product begins to Oxo Bio-degrade automatically wherever oxygen is present and will be completely bio-assimilated after 24 months.”

Renfrewshire Connectedness Champions Project is running some online activity throughout September and October.
Online tuition from local creative artists will be delivered through three classes delivered online using Zoom. These classes are free to Renfrewshire residents. Where the classes run over 4 weeks please make sure you will be able to attend every session.
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  1.  Sm: Art will run over 4 sessions, starting September 24th and the last weekly session on October 15th.  Participants will be taken through the process of taking a photograph with their smartphone and then using free apps to manipulate the image and create art. This course will be taught by local textiles designer Sharron McGrady.
  2. Learn to Sew, Chat as you Go will also run over 4 weekly sessions starting September 23rd and the last weekly session October 10th. Participants will learn the basics of sewing as they make a pin cushion and an eye mask.  This class will be taught by local creative artist Susan McInnes. A ‘make kit’ will be delivered to those taking part.  We have supported a local business and sourced our sewing kits from The Haberdashery on Paisley High St.
  3.  Lantern/lampshade making workshop. This will take place on October 22nd.  A ‘make kit’ will be delivered to participants. This workshop will be led by Sharron McGrady.
And throughout September and October, we will be hosting online discussion sessions, also delivered via Zoom. These are focussed on gathering the experiences of Renfrewshire residents during the lockdown and recent weeks as recovery from the COVID 19 crisis has begun, albeit it with the reissuing of some restrictions. We want to know what lockdown felt like for people, how they coped, what worked, what didn’t and what people felt about the way in which services responded. We would like to give as many people as possible the opportunity to take part, as the findings from these sessions will be part of a report to the Scottish Government and Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership. { All sessions will be run with confidentiality assured, we will anonymize all responses }
 The sessions will be facilitated by our ‘Connectedness Champions’, who themselves have had the experience of loneliness and social isolation.
For information on how to apply for the creative online classes or how to register for the discussion sessions please email
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A NEW and exciting programme of online cultural events is being staged to celebrate Black History Month.

Black History Month, throughout October, celebrates and recognises the outstanding contributions people of African and Caribbean descent have made to the world over many generations.

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Matt Hickman, lead vocalist of the band Brownbear is appearing in the Black History Month: Our Culture, Our Future series of online events.

 

The programme – Black History Month: Our Culture, Our Future – has been co-curated by Renfrewshire Leisure, Engage Renfrewshire, Jambo! Radio, Pachedu, University of the West of Scotland, Action for Culture and Ethics and the School of African Culture.

This inaugural year of events will be held via online platforms and on Jambo! Radio and includes an online exhibition called Museum of Me, curated by children from the African School of Culture; a podcast featuring the children discussing the theme of identity and exploring what it means to be African and Scottish living in Renfrewshire in 2020.

There will also be online performances from an eclectic mix of musicians and artists including Joshua Idehen, Brownbear, and storyteller Michael Kerins.

The celebration of Black History Month will culminate on October 28 with a webinar on the representation of black, Asian, minority ethnic talent in the arts in Scotland and Renfrewshire, in particular.

Speakers will include Milica Milosevic from Creative Scotland, musician Matt Hickman from Brownbear, and Christian Harrison from the University of the West of Scotland.

They will offer a range of insights for cultural practitioners, students and decision-makers into why black, Asian, minority ethnic representation is vital to the health of our arts sector and to vitality of our art.

Founder of Jambo! Radio, George Tah Meh explains; “Jambo! Radio is involved in the planning sub-group for Black History Month, in Renfrewshire and as a radio station for the people of Afro-Caribbean heritage, it is important we lead by contributing on the theme and programmes of Black History Month.

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Poet and musician Joshua Idehen is appearing in the Black History Month: Our Culture, Our Future series of online events.

“It is also important for our organisation to be at the forefront of Black History Month for our audience and the Afro-Caribbean community in Renfrewshire.”

Regine Bews, founder of School of African Culture added: “In the preparation for the Black History Month 2020, we have been co-creating a digital project in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure’s Creative Learning Team.

“My participation and the decision by Renfrewshire Leisure and Renfrewshire Council be involved in Black History Month is a huge step towards more inclusion of the black and minority ethnic community.

“For our organisation, this is a great opportunity to mark the presence of black African people in Renfrewshire; to foster pride in Scottish children of black African descent about their origins; to educate the community about African history in Renfrewshire and contribute to more community acceptation and cohesion.”

These activities for Black History Month are funded by Renfrewshire Council and delivered in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure as part of Future Paisley. Future Paisley is radical and wide-ranging programme of events, activities and investments using the town’s unique and internationally significant cultural stories to transform its future.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The vibrancy of the black community’s art, music and literature is a wonderful aspect to both Scottish and Renfrewshire’s culture.

“This programme of events will certainly be welcome, entertaining and informative to everyone in Renfrewshire and throughout the rest of Scotland.”

Go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/black-history-month/ for details about the Black History Month: Our Culture, Our Future events programme.

Paisley volunteer Richard Dunne

Local man praises charity’s work as it seeks new volunteers in region to bolster numbers as some supporters return to work having backed cause while on furlough

Food Train is seeking more volunteers to support its life-improving work to collect and deliver critical shopping supplies to older people in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

Paisley volunteer Richard Dunne

The charity, whose mission it is to provide practical, social and emotional support to help older people to eat well, age well and live well at home, was grateful for a surge in support from volunteers as it responded to record-breaking demand at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But, as many of the volunteers who signed up at that time return to their regular jobs as the UK Government’s furlough scheme draws to a close, they are finding themselves with less time to support the cause’s work.

And that comes as Food Train continues to meet massive demand, with the number of customers receiving weekly deliveries in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire 72% higher than this time last year. The charity is currently supporting 279 people in the regions, which are covered by a Paisley-based branch.

Stephen McGinty, Food Train Regional Manager for Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, said: “The support we have had from our volunteers throughout the pandemic – and the response we have from people who could see the extra help we needed to meet the unprecedented demand we have seen – has been fantastic.

“But, as many people who took the opportunity to help us while on furlough leave return to work as demand for our services remains high, we find ourselves in need of more people to both help with shopping for our customers’ orders and in delivering them.

“That’s why we’re encouraging anyone who can spare a few hours a week to get in-touch. It’s enjoyable, rewarding work and we have a great team spirit. The knowledge that your shopping is being taken care of and that someone will deliver it to you makes a real positive difference to the lives of older people across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.”

Nationally, Food Train’s shopping service is currently supporting 3,118 customers every week, up from 1,905 at the beginning of the pandemic. The numbers have surged because of older people shielding or taking greater steps to protect themselves from Covid-19.

Donald Campbell, of Newton Mearns, is among those supported by the charity. 

He said: “I’m continuing to use the service because it’s a very good charity that is providing me with food.

“Mentally and physically, I am struggling more everyday and, as where other people give me advice, Food Train provides me with practical support that contributes to me living a better life.”

To find out more about volunteering with Food Train, call 0141 887 2557 or go to www.thefoodtrain.co.uk/volunteer.

Renfrew Golf Club Pro Am August 1977

IT was the day huge crowds turned out at Renfrew Golf Club to catch a glimpse of famous celebrities playing in a charity tournament.

One of the famous faces teeing off was none other than 007 himself, Sean Connery, who was joined by other stars from the world of entertainment and sport for a round of golf on the local course.

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Image of Henry Cooper, Sean Connery, Jimmy Tarbuck and woman unknown, at Renfrew Golf Club participating in a Saints and Sinners Pro-Am tournament in aid of the Variety Club

Now a film looking back on that special day is to premier on Renfrewshire Leisure’s online television channel Ren TV, at 7pm on Friday, September 25.

Created by local filmmaker, Paul Russell, the film, Watch The Birdie, captures the excitement of locals as they watched the golf tournament – in aid of the Variety Club of Great Britain – held in August 1977.

As well as Sean Connery, one-time British, Commonwealth and European boxing champion, Henry Cooper, along with TV stars Bruce Forsyth and Jimmy Tarbuck also played in the tournament, at the Renfrew golf course.

Paul revealed that the film was inspired by the hilarious responses to some pictures taken at the event by photographer Pete Degnan, which had been posted on the Renfrew REMO Facebook page, where Renfrew residents share memories of their town.

The photographs prompted a lot of discussion and humorous anecdotes being posted on the social media page.

The film features interviews with event organisers, those who caddied on the day; Norry Wilson of the popular Lost Glasgow social history blog and photographer, Pete Degnan, who travelled from Derby to take part.

Paul said: “Younger viewers might not get the significance, but to have Sean Connery, Henry Cooper, James Hunt, Bruce Forsyth and Jimmy Tarbuck, to name but a few coming to Renfrew, would be today’s equivalent of having Daniel Craig, Tyson Fury, Lewis Hamilton, and Ant and Dec all coming to play a round at Renfrew Golf Club. These were the big stars of the day.”

“Lockdown has been a tough shift in lots of ways for everybody, but these recent times have really gathered people together in a virtual sense, brought happier times into focus and helped us all get through it.”

“Pete Degnans photographs are a gift in this regard and it is in the conversations, anecdotes and memories his images prompt, in which the real magic occurs.

“Every community has something to be proud of, things which make it unique, and it can be a comfort to remember and talk about these, especially when it can seem like the chips are down and past certainties can no longer be taken for granted.”

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “I can’t wait to watch this film.

“As well as bearing witness to part of Renfrew’s social history where the community came together for an extraordinary event, I’m sure the film will be very entertaining and bring a smile to the faces of everyone watching – especially those who remember the golf tournament and saw the stars coming out to play at Renfrew Golf Club.”

The film is a Future Paisley project, as part of a radical and wide-ranging programme of events, activities and investments using the town’s unique and internationally significant cultural stories to transform its future.

To see Watch The Birdie go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/rentv/.

Strictly come prancing

St. Vincent’s Hospice are looking for couples and volunteers from the same household to sign up to take part in their Strictly Come Prancing event in Spring 2021, as the charity begin preparations to allow the event to go ahead in a safe, fun and socially distanced dance spectacular.

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St. Vincent’s Hospice is a local charity Hospice at the heart of the community, providing specialist care for those affected by life limiting conditions in Renfrewshire. Every year, Strictly Come Prancing generates thousands of pounds in essential revenue to provide this vital support for people across the community going through some of the hardest times of their lives.

Director of Income Generation for the Hospice, Jackie Young, said: “Strictly Come Prancing is the biggest event on our fundraising calendar, with couples and dance partners coming together in front of hundreds of supporters and sponsors every year, to find out who will be crowned the Strictly Champions.

“With the current pandemic, we have no way of knowing what will be allowed in March: so we are currently working on plans A, B, C and D to make sure that we are able to go ahead in some format. Currently this has involved discussions with venues of limited numbers, doing it across multiple nights, all the way to a live streamed online event. Whatever it takes, to keep everyone involved safe and keep everyone dancing!

“What we do know, is that we need volunteers to sign up and be our dance couples for 2021! So, if you are from the same household or extended household, and want to get involved, learn how to dance, have fun and help out a great cause, we want to hear from you!”

Couples who sign up will undergo dance training from experienced choreographers to make sure they are ready to go on the big night in a way that matches their skill level and is sure to wow the judges. All training will be carried out in line with government guidelines to ensure everyone is safe.

Jackie added: “This event is open to everyone, with former champions including an 81 year old dancing the tango, so please support St. Vincent’s Hospice and get in touch to find out more.”

To learn more, sign up, or speak to the Fundraising Team call 01505 705 635 or email Info@svh.co.uk.

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Councillor Scott Kerr said he is “astonished” the heavily corroded bridge in Houston remains in such a poor condition after three years of pressing the issue

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A village councillor is calling for urgent action to be taken to fix a metal bridge in Houston which has been “left to rot”.

Scott Kerr said he is “astonished” the heavily corroded Ardgryffe bridge – which is covered in holes and graffiti – remains in such a poor condition after three years of pressing the issue with both Renfrewshire Council and current owners Taylor Wimpey.

The Conservative councillor claims the two have been at a “stalemate” during the period, with Taylor Wimpey wanting the council to adopt the bridge, while the local authority has insisted it is brought into a better condition before this can be done.

The bridge provides a vital walking route for residents – connecting Houston and Crosslee – and is used daily by schoolkids.

Taylor Wimpey has said it has “no concerns” regarding corrosion on the bridge.

Councillor Kerr said: “I am deeply frustrated the issues surrounding the Ardgryffe bridge in my ward continue to remain unresolved.

“This is an issue I have been pursuing since I was elected three years ago and I find it astonishing we remain at a stalemate.

“It is time for the council and Taylor Wimpey to discuss the matters again and commit to resolving this for the people of Houston and Crosslee.

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“I will continue to liaise closely with the community council to demand the bridge is once again fit for purpose for residents in my ward as a matter of urgency.”

Taylor Wimpey said a meeting was held this week with the council and an inspection was carried out at both the Ardgryffe bridge and the wooden Crosslee bridge.

The company also confirmed it has “agreed a specification” to allow the council to adopt the bridge – hopefully by the end of next year – and is committed to carrying out necessary works.

The council said it was agreed in July last year that, subject to conditions being met, it would adopt the bridge for maintenance purposes and bosses continue to be in discussions with the developer.

A spokesman for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland said: “We remain fully committed to completing the works necessary to the metal bridge at Ardgryffe Crescent and the wooden Crosslee Bridge as part of a wider strategy to handover Crosslee Woodland to Renfrewshire Council.

“We are in regular communication with the local authority in relation to this matter.

“Following an inspection on September 10, we can advise there are no missing spars to the metal bridge, and we have no concerns regarding corrosion.

“We have agreed a specification to allow the metal bridge to be adopted by Renfrewshire Council.

“We are also addressing the remedial work that is required to the surrounding woodland to remove diseased and dying trees. However, our approved plan for this has been impacted by the current health emergency and we are in the process of engaging a new contractor.

“We will continue to work in partnership with Renfrewshire Council to resolve matters, which we anticipate could allow the Crosslee Infrastructure to be adopted by the local authority towards the end of next year.”

Text by Paisley Daily Express written by https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/authors/stephanie-brawn/

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Proposals to repurpose existing funds to support Renfrewshire’s culture sector recovery from the impacts of Covid-19 have been approved by councillors.

The proposals, which were presented at today’s Leadership Board (Wednesday 16 September), recommended that £200,000 previously allocated to Renfrewshire’s Culture Heritage and Events Fund be adapted to become Renfrewshire’s Cultural Recovery and Renewal Fund to support local cultural organisations and artists impacted by the pandemic.

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The changes recognise that the focus of the previous Culture Heritage and Event Fund no longer fits the need of the sector as individuals and organisations are unable to deliver projects effectively due to ongoing lockdown restrictions.

Renfrewshire’s Cultural Recovery and Renewal Fund will now be split across three strands; Cultural Organisations Support – grants for cultural and creative not-for-profit organisations facing significant threat which are ineligible for the Business Support Fund; Arts development grant – aimed at freelance artists living and working in Renfrewshire to help develop new work and Town Centre & Neighbourhood Creative Installations –  supporting artistic interventions across Renfrewshire that add value to public and civic outdoor spaces.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “The value of culture and creativity has been one of the defining elements of the pandemic – a time when it has never been more challenging for the sector.

“Renfrewshire’s Culture Sector has responded with innovation and care helping to support the community and lift our spirits in a number of creative ways including delivering online content like classes, exhibitions and concerts, and by making  projects like creativity boredom boxes available.

“This sector has been such an important part of the area’s history and is a key part of the vision for its future and this is why we must do what we can to support it at a time when it is experiencing its greatest challenges.”

Renfrewshire Leisure, on behalf of Renfrewshire Council, will now move on to develop the eligibility, criteria and assessment processes – aiming for applications for the funds to be open by the end of 2020 and distributed in the early part of 2021.

Renfrewshire’s Cultural Recovery and Renewal Fund is supported by Future Paisley – a programme of economic, social and physical regeneration building on the work already done to use Paisley’s internationally significant culture and heritage story to change its fortunes.

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Stuart Murray is our Development Executive responsible for Business Mentoring in Renfrewshire. He can be contacted on:

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Clyde walkway after being tidied

Volunteers are making it a Spotless September in Renfrewshire after more than 250 bags of litter were collected in the first two weeks.

Clyde walkway after being tidied

Hundreds of volunteers have taken part in an incredible 75 litter picks so far as inspired individuals and community groups do their bit to make their local community cleaner and brighter.

Litter picks have taken place all across Renfrewshire, including Erskine, Renfrew, Paisley, Johnstone, Linwood, Bishopton, Houston and Bridge of Weir.

Marion McDonald and her two children, Matthew (11) and Ivy (6), from Toddle Tots

Local volunteers have been provided by the Renfrewshire Council with sanitised litter pickers and equipment to take part in their litter picks, as well as information on how to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic while litter picking, and the council’s StreetScene team have collected each bag of litter afterwards too.

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Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “It’s incredible how devoted our volunteers are and their dedication to keeping their community clean continues to amaze me.

“We are all working together to not only make where we live cleaner and brighter, but also to change the behaviour of those who think it’s okay to drop litter.

Cllr Cathy McEwan

“The Team Up to Clean Up campaign has created a community of local people who want to make a difference and, slowly but surely, we will make real environmental change here in Renfrewshire.

“I’ve been out litter picking as part of Spotless September and I can’t wait to get out again. Please come join me and hundreds of others as we work hard to make Renfrewshire a nicer place to live, work and visit.”

The award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign sees the council and community join together to carry out enhanced cleaning of Renfrewshire’s local environment, with additional road sweeping, litter picking, and gully cleaning assisted by the local community’s litter picks.

For more information, and to find out how to take part, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SpotlessSeptember.