Residents are being encouraged to recycle their real Christmas trees at one of six locations in Renfrewshire.

Two recycling centres and four public parks are available to ensure that trees are recycled correctly.

Local people can recycle their real Christmas tree from 3-9 January at the following places:

  • Barshaw Park, Paisley
  • Paisley Recycling Centre, 52 Underwood Road
  • Linwood Recycling Centre, Middleton Road
  • Lochwinnoch Public Park
  • Thomas Shanks Park, Johnstone
  • Barwood Park, Erskine

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “It’s never fun having to take down the Christmas tree, but when you do please make sure it’s recycled correctly at one of the six locations in Renfrewshire that we’ve made available.

“Recycling is so important so let’s work together to ensure that all the trees are recycled correctly and make it your New Year’s resolution to recycle as much as you possibly can throughout the year – starting with your tree.”

Local people are urged to seek help if they experience domestic abuse over the festive period.

Reports of domestic abuse incidents often rise during the Christmas and New Year period, with abuse taking many forms: physical, mental, emotional, financial or sexual.

Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, sexuality or wealth. Women and men can be victims of abuse, and abuse can happen in all relationships: heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Anyone suffering from domestic abuse is urged to get help as soon as they can by calling:

-999 in an emergency, or 101 to report a crime

-0800 027 1234 for Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage 24-hour helpline.

Louise Moore, who works in the council’s women and children’s first team, said domestic abuse can happen to anyone.

“Most commonly, domestic abuse is perpetrated by men against women, but men can also be victims of domestic abuse and it can happen in same sex relationships too. There is no ‘typical’ victim of domestic abuse, it can happen at any time in a person’s life no matter what their background, beliefs or circumstances are. One in five women experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.”

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of communities, housing and planning for Renfrewshire Council, said it is important people reach out during the festive period.

“We often see an increase in domestic abuse incidents taking place over the Christmas and New Year period. Abusers can use the festive period to further exert control over their partner, similar to how they may use finances, alcohol, mental ill-health or blame to control them.

“With the current coronavirus restrictions in place, we expect more people to stay at home than normal and this could exacerbate domestic abuse incidents. It also means fewer opportunities for victims to report the abuse.

“If you are a victim of domestic abuse, if you are a woman or a man suffering from violence in your home, please reach out and get support. The long-term effects of abuse can be hugely damaging to victims and survivors, so I urge you to get help and support that’s available.”

For more advice, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/domestic-abuse

You-Decide-4.10.21-1674

Renfrewshire’s brand-new community empowerment campaign #YouDecide has attracted more than 2,800 ideas for potential upgrades to be made in the area.

With £1.2million made available for infrastructure projects, communities have been putting forward their suggestions, such as new walking and cycling routes, drainage fixes and outdoor seating, as part of the Council’s drive to use local knowledge to improve its neighbourhoods.

In-person roadshows have been held in every town and village in Renfrewshire, visits have taken place with community groups, local partnerships and community councils, as well as online, social media and radio promotion to ensure that as many people as possible had the chance to submit ideas.

Council officers are now carrying out feasibility studies on each idea to identify if they are possible and the ones which are will be put forward to a public vote in early 2022 where local  people will choose their favourites.

Councillor Michelle Campbell, Depute Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We’ve had a fantastic response to the campaign with over 2,800 ideas and I know the team are excited to see what has been suggested for each area of Renfrewshire.

“By empowering communities to submit exactly what they need in their area and then allowing them to choose which projects are taken forward, this will ensure that the upgrades made are exactly what is needed for residents in that community.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the shortlist of projects and would encourage everyone to take part in the voting process when it begins early next year.”

The Council will carry out the work on the successful ideas by the close of the project in 2023.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “This is yet another example of the Council working together with the community to make where we live a better place and it’s fantastic to see such a huge response to the campaign.

“There’s no substitute for local knowledge and I can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with when the voting takes place next year.”

For more information on the project, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/YouDecide.

Renfrew-Town-Hall

Renfrewshire Council will hold a recruitment event next month as it launches a search for people to join its Soft Facilities Management team. 

The council currently has vacancies available in the team for Caretakers, School Crossing Patrollers, Housekeepers, Cleaners and Facilities Operatives who will work in schools covering various duties, including cleaning, catering and compliance. 

Vacancies for part-time drivers who will deliver school meals are also available. 

It will hold a recruitment event to fill these vacancies at Park Mains High School, Erskine on Thursday 16 December from 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm. 

Candidates will be able to apply for the vacancies at the recruitment event. Successful applicants will then be offered an immediate interview and can complete most of their recruitment checks on the day. 

Applications can also be submitted in advance through MyJobScotland, with successful applicants being invited to interviews at the recruitment event.  

All applicants must bring proof of identification and two work related references with them to the event. 

Councillor John Shaw, Convener of the Council’s Finance and Resources Policy Board, said: “This is a great opportunity to join a fantastic team.  

“Our Soft Facilities Management Team make a difference to the lives of our residents, communities and schools every day. 

“Renfrewshire is a Scottish Living Wage employer and has a lot to offer anyone considering a career in Soft Facilities Management, from development opportunities to competitive terms and conditions. 

“If you are interested in joining our team, please come along to our recruitment event or apply online at MyJobScotland.” 

For more information on the recruitment event, including what documents to bring and how to travel to it, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/soft-fm-jobs

If you have any questions about your application or the recruitment event, call 07483 318 963 or email soft-fm@renfrewshire.gov.uk

To apply for these vacancies in advance of the event, visit www.myjobscotland.gov.uk/councils/renfrewshire-council/jobs 

paisley from drone

The COP26 summit is almost over and it’s been great to see all nations come together to talk about climate change. Moreover, on a more localised level individual businesses are rethinking their working operations to find more environmentally friendly processes that are sustainable in the long term.

rukeri

When we think about the environment and how plants are beneficial to the earth’s atmosphere we tend to think about rainforests and the exchange of gases occurring with trees. Did you know that grasses also play a substantial part in this too? An area of around 500 square metres produces as much oxygen as two 100 foot trees! And it doesn’t take as long to grow 500 square metres of grass as it does for a tree to grow 100 foot. An area of approximately 70 square metres can provide the amount of oxygen required by an average hum in a day. That’s not all – part of this gas exchange is the absorption of carbon dioxide – lawn grasses absorb an unexpectedly high volume of carbon dioxide daily!

Grass also plays a massive part in nature’s water filtration system. It is not only pollution and gases that are trapped in the blades, enormous quantities of dust and other particles are trapped and filtered through the grass. It is essentially self-cleaning due to the addition of mycelium, a type of fungus. Mycelium helps to absorb dead cells and nutrients and can sometimes be seen on the end of grass as little white threads. This is a sign of healthy grass, and it is essential to stop a thick layer of dead thatch forming.

Rukeri, a brand of Salt and Grit Solutions Ltd are turf growers based in Paisley who cut turf from their own fields to provide grass for commercial and residential lawn areas. Once all turf has been used up from one field the ground is ploughed and rotovated before it is reseeded, and another field of turf is grown.  This cycle is kept going – growing and supplying turf for use elsewhere. As a result of this many householders and public areas alike benefit from a lovely green grass lawn. So, you could say that Rukeri are playing apart in helping the environment too!

It wont stop there for Rukeri though. Like most other businesses the Rukeri team will be reviewing their processes and looking for practical ways to reduce their impact on the wider environment. 

If you would like to returf your garden and benefit from a new lawn please visit www.rukeri.com

fmcauley

The ROCCO Awards returned with a roar on Friday 19th November at the Normandy Hotel, Renfrew. An ecstatic crowd of 400 people cheered 17 winners being crowned at Renfrewshire’s largest black-tie business event, now in its 17th year. The ambitious destination brand PAISLEY.IS returned as main sponsor for a third year signifying their ongoing support for the Renfrewshire business community.

Chamber President Liz Connolly highlighted the chamber’s achievements since Rocco 2019 and focused on the response in supporting the business community during the pandemic. The guests were piped into the Normandy by the talented St Columba’s School Pipe Band.

Mary Crearie Director, Communities, Housing and Planning Services, Renfrewshire Council gave the principal sponsor address and profiled the economic grant support awarded by Renfrewshire Council of over £53 million to the business community.

The ROCCO raffle raised an outstanding £9,000 supporting St Vincent’s Hospice and Kidney Research UK in memory of much-loved chamber director and friend Elaine Sherlock from Ingliston Country Club & Hotel.

The Rocco favourite host Fred MacAulay kept the audience laughing all evening and the GGC NHS Choir drew a warm and ecstatic response from the guests following their stirring performance with many of the choir members having been on the front line with the response to Covid-19.

ROCCO Award for Environmental Sustainability – Sponsored by Paisley Is.
Winner: Glasgow Airport
ROCCO Award for Developing the Young Workforce sponsored by Developing the Young Workforce (West)
Winner: Rolls-Royce plc
ROCCO Award for Innovation & Technology – Sponsored by Creation IP.
Winner: Glasgow Airport
ROCCO Award for Excellence in Manufacturing – Sponsored by the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.
Winner: Rolls-Royce plc
ROCCO Award for International Trade – Sponsored by Glasgow Airport.
Winner: Volantes Technical Recruitment Ltd
ROCCO Award for Excellence in Business Resilience – Sponsored by Invest In Renfrewshire & Renfrewshire Council
Winner: Right Way Credit Union
ROCCO Award for Most Promising New Business 2021 – Sponsored by Renfrewshire Council
Winner: Squared Insurance Brokers Limited
ROCCO Award for Renfrewshire’s Favourite Business – Sponsored by Paisley Daily Express
Winner: I Am Me Scotland
ROCCO Award for Resilience in Tourism – Sponsored by Paisley Is
Winner: Open Road Scotland
ROCCO Award for Family Business of the Year – Sponsored by The Malcolm Group
Winner: Carli’s Kindergarten Ltd
ROCCO Award for Young Business Person of the Year – sponsored by Rolls-Royce plc
Winner: Andrew O’Brien J.G.B Steelcraft (UK) Limited
ROCCO Award for Employer of the Year – sponsored by West College Scotland
Winner: Arnold Clark
ROCCO Award for Community Champion of the Year – sponsored by Engage Renfrewshire & The Royal Bank of Scotland
Winner: I Am Me Scotland
ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business <=5 employees – sponsored by Braehead
Winner: Plush Plans Ltd
ROCCO Award For Outstanding Performing Business 5>25 employees – sponsored by The University of the West of Scotland
Winner: J.G.B Steelcraft (UK) Limited
ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business >25 employees – sponsored by Doosan Babcock
Winner: Wholesale Domestic Equipment Company Ltd
ROCCO Award for Business Leader of the Year – sponsored by Diageo
Winner: Eddie Hawthorne, Chief Executive & Group MD, Arnold Clark

Bob Grant chief exec said” Friday’s event marked a crucial step on the road to normality for our business community. The board and team at Renfrewshire felt it was crucial to run Rocco 2021 this year and plant a flag to mark the resilience and recovery underway. We witnessed a fantastic response from all our sponsors, companies entering and our guests on the night.”

“You can view all images on our Facebook page and comments on #2021Rocco. I encourage all Rocco winners to utilise their win across their PR channels. Thank you to the entire Chamber team for all their work before and on the night to ensure our 400 guests had a great time. Special thanks to principle sponsor Paisley.is, Diageo who supplied our drinks reception, Cameron Presentations & Gap TV for all the AV, the Printbrokers for the program, Gary & Jan from NS Design for the excellent social media coverage and the Normandy Hotel for the superb meal and service. Thanks also to St Columba’s School Pipe Band who welcomed guests in such style.”

“Finally, thank you the GGC NHS Choir. It was a privilege to have them entertain us with many of the choir members having been on the front line with the response to Covid-19 from our wonderful NHS. Planning for Rocco 2022 is already underway, and we hope to see you enter and attend next year.”

View the 2021 ROCCO Awards photo album on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RenfrewshireChamberofCommerce/posts/306925744771863

All-2020-winners-with-Provost

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron is searching for community heroes across Renfrewshire as nominations open for the 25th edition of the Provost’s Community Awards.

The 2022 event will see seven categories, including one introduced last year to recognise businesses who have adapted to ensure their survival during the Covid19 pandemic.

Anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire can send in a nomination for the following categories:

  • Community Volunteer (sponsored by Glasgow Airport Ltd)
  • Community Group (sponsored by City Gate Construction)
  • Sporting Achievement (sponsored by ACRE Industrial)
  • Employee of the Year (sponsored by UNISON Renfrewshire)
  • Carers Award (donated by the late Provost Nancy Allison)
  • Arts and Culture Award (sponsored by Renfrewshire Council)
  • Ingenuity in Business (sponsored by Provost Lorraine Cameron)

This year’s awards will also see the return of an in-person awards ceremony – due to take place in March – after last year’s was conducted online due to the pandemic.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “I am delighted and honoured to be able to open nominations for the 25th edition of the Provost’s Community Awards.

“A quarter of a century on from the first edition, we are living through a time which has brought so many challenges, as the pandemic continues – so it is as important as ever we honour those in our community who go above and beyond to help those around them.

“I know Renfrewshire has more than its fair share of unsung heroes and the awards are a great way for them to be recognised.

“It’s always a pleasure to be involved in and the fact the nominations come from the community themselves makes it extra special – so I’m looking forward to seeing your nominations.

The deadline for entries to all categories is Friday 7 January 2022.

For more information, and to submit your nomination, visit http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards2022, or email provostawards@renfrewshire.gov.uk

CIRCLE-hub-opening-group-shot

Working in partnership with local people who have lived or living experiences of mental health, alcohol or drug related issues, Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) has opened a new recovery service, CIRCLE (Continuing in Recovery Changes Lives Entirely) on Glasgow Road in Paisley.

CIRCLE has been developed to provide enhanced support to local people who are on a recovery journey. The newly refurbished site opens today (Monday, 15 November 2021). It will act as a central recovery hub for individuals referred to the service, with recovery activity delivered across local communities throughout Renfrewshire.

The service will provide a wide and varied programme of activities, aimed at encouraging, involving and supporting people in recovery.

This development aims to address a key gap within Renfrewshire’s mental health and alcohol and drug services, where a lack of recovery opportunities for people in treatment was previously identified. As has been evidenced in other areas in Scotland, enhanced recovery opportunities do contribute to better outcomes for individuals.

CIRCLE-hub-opening-group-shot

CIRCLE is fully supported by the Alcohol and Drug Partnership and builds on the work of the Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drug Commission to further strengthen the support in Renfrewshire for people in recovery.

CIRCLE will provide people with improved recovery opportunities and improved links to and from other related services, ensuring individuals feel sufficiently supported throughout their journey. This will increase opportunities for people to have more independence and choice on how they manage their own recovery.

It will have a different look and feel to anything else in Renfrewshire, having been designed with input from a group of peers at every step of the way. Access to professional support will be available from a staff team who will be operating alongside people with living experience of mental health, drug and alcohol recovery.  

Our Peer Recovery Group said: “It’s amazing, this place is a complete blank canvas and it’s all about what the service users want to see. Being in recovery, we know that you can feel invisible, but CIRCLE aims to reiterate that our service users are here and they’re contributing to society again.”

Christine Laverty, Interim Chief Officer of Renfrewshire HSCP added: “I am excited by this innovative and unique approach to both mental health and alcohol and drug recovery in Renfrewshire. In collaboration with partners, people with lived and living experience have been at the heart of the design and planning of CIRCLE – and this will continue as the service develops and expands. Enhancing recovery opportunities is a key priority in Renfrewshire and CIRCLE will play a major part in doing so.

Roz-Smith-Climate-Emergency-Lead-Officer-at-her-desk

As world leaders meet in Glasgow to take decisions that will shape the future of our planet and ensure we meet the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, there will a keen observer in Renfrewshire ready to drive forward the decisions made.

Recently appointed as Renfrewshire Council’s Climate Emergency Lead Officer, Roz Smith has spent more than decade developing sustainable solutions to tackle climate change.

As Strategic Energy Coordinator in the Sustainable Development team at Stirling Council, she helped develop the area’s first district heating network which uses low carbon and renewable heat, as well as the creation of a Low Carbon Hub which provides renewable solar energy for 60 electric vehicle chargers, on-site lighting, and a small Council office.

It’s in Renfrewshire though where her future lies as she gets ready to drive forward the region’s ambitious climate agenda, which aims to make the area net-zero by 2030.

Roz said: “As soon as I saw the Climate Emergency Lead Officer post, I knew I would love the opportunity to take forward Renfrewshire’s ambitious and progressive vision of becoming net-zero by 2030.

“In the short-term, we are researching our baseline to see exactly where our emissions are currently and then our Plan for Net-Zero will set out the actions required to reach our goals.

“While the plan is Council-led, we need everyone to participate to achieve our ambitions as there is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. We need to look area by area, community by community to tailor actions for local people, businesses and organisations to ensure that no-one is disadvantaged, and we all move forward together.”

With COP26 taking place just over the border in neighbouring Glasgow, the profile of climate change has never been higher in Renfrewshire and Roz is determined to take advantage.

She said: “With a global conference being held right on our doorstep, it gives us the opportunity to showcase the incredible work that is going on across the area and engage our residents with the changes we are making to reduce carbon emissions.

“The Council is leading by example with a number of high-profile projects, including the district heating network at AMIDS, the switch to electric for the council fleet, the planting of thousands of trees as part of the Clyde Climate Forest and the diversion of waste from landfill as part of the Clyde Valley Waste Partnership, and this highlights to other local organisations what can be achieved.

“As a Council though, we only contribute about 3% of the area’s total carbon emissions which shows the importance of partnership working, sharing knowledge and facilitating others so that collectively we can achieve our goal of making Renfrewshire a cleaner, happier and healthier place to live.

“I believe COP26 will be a great driver to bring everyone together to work collectively and make positive transformational changes once the summit concludes.”

Renfrewshire Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 which recognised the need for real and immediate change to reduce its emissions and Roz will lead the Council’s response to the emergency as it aims for net-zero emissions by 2030.

Roz added: “Declaring a climate emergency outlines the urgency of the situation as in order to preserve a liveable planet we need to take action now. Climate change itself cannot be stopped, but it can be slowed.

“As the world recovers from COVID-19, we have the chance to take action to combat climate change and work together to reach net zero emissions – but doing nothing is not an option.

“Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what the planet can regenerate in that year and in 2021, it fell on 29 July.

“We have exhausted nature’s budget and are using nearly double the natural resources we can generate, so for the rest of the year we are running an ecological deficit, depleting resources and accumulating greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – and every year this date gets earlier.

“We need to take a two-pronged approach of mitigation and adaptation, where we reduce our emissions to stabilise the levels of greenhouse gases while adjusting to current or expected climate change by understanding the local risks and developing plans to manage them.”

While admitting that she faces a daunting challenge leading the Council’s drive to reach ambitious emissions targets, Roz is determined to put Renfrewshire on the right track to achieve them and reiterates the importance of partnership working and uniting behind the common goal of reaching net-zero.

She outlined: “Everyone taking part is key and we need to take people with us so that changes are happening with them and not to them.

“We need to realise that people are all on different stages of the journey so we need to put social justice at the heart of what we do and through our Plan for Net Zero, we can improve people’s lives, take people out of poverty, advance equality of opportunity, and create green jobs which are sustainable.

“The pandemic highlighted people’s ability to adapt and change quickly and there is a real opportunity to build on things like the desire to shop local, embracing daily exercise, active travel and the reduction of food waste – all positive behaviours that were seen during lockdown that would be great for us all to continue.

“We need to enable these positive behaviour changes, as well as identifying barriers to change so that we can find solutions. That’s where investment will come in – at local and national levels, public and private and it’s been fantastic to see an initial £1million already committed to Renfrewshire’s Climate Change Action Fund.”

The aforementioned fund was created to support innovative projects and initiatives being developed by Council services in response to the climate emergency, with an initial £1million committed to a range of research, feasibility studies and immediate projects.

It has supported the creation of the Renfrewshire Climate Panel which brings together a representative panel of residents to help shape the direction of decision making around climate change and seeks to identify what actions local communities would take to support the campaign, with the first meeting taking place in early November.

It follows the formation of a climate partnership forum between local organisations and businesses, as well as the Climate Change Sub-Committee which brings together elected members from all political parties to work with officers to advance the climate change agenda.

Roz will be at the heart of each of these forums and panels, listening to the views of all interested parties and helping to drive forward the area’s ambitions and she’s well aware of the task that lies ahead.

“What we can do to make a difference is never too far from my mind, whether in the office or out on the golf course in my free time, but the opportunity to lead the way to net-zero in Renfrewshire is an opportunity I could not let pass me by – and I’m so excited to get started.”

For more information on Renfrewshire’s climate change ambitions, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/climatechange.

Remembrance Sunday services are set to return to Renfrewshire for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with parades and services scheduled to take place in towns and villages across the region.

Paisley Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday Service

On 14 November, parades will take place from 9.45am to mark Remembrance Sunday, with a two minutes silence at 11am, and all are invited to attend at the following locations:

Elderslie                      9.45am

Houston                       10.00am

Kilbarchan                   10.45am

Renfrew                      10.45am 

Paisley                        10.45am 

Lochwinnoch               10.45am  

Howwood                    10.45am     

Johnstone                   10.45am     

Bridge of Weir             3.00pm       

For those who are unable to attend a service in person, Renfrewshire Council have commissioned an update to the film ‘Renfrewshire Reflects’ which was released in the absence of in-person Remembrance events in 2020. The video, featuring representatives from communities across Renfrewshire and focusing on the importance of Remembrance, will premiere on the council’s social media channels to tie in with the national two-minute silence on Sunday 14 November and will be available on the council website and Youtube channel immediately after.

In addition to the video, this years Remembrance Day podcast highlights the work of Poppyscotland, celebrating 100 years of the Poppy as the national symbol of Remembrance. Landmarks across Renfrewshire have also been lit in red this week to mark Poppyscotland’s Light Up Red campaign.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Every year at this time we stop to remember those we have lost, and this year everyone will be able to pay their respects in a way that suits them, whether in person or from the comfort of their own home.

“It’s so important that we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and I look forward to the community once again coming together to show their gratitude for all that have gone before us.”

For more information, visit: https://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/Remembrance2021 

Barwood Park - Clyde Climate Forest 02

As COP26 takes place in Glasgow, pupils in Renfrewshire are being challenged to create climate change projects that will make a real difference to the health of their environment.

With the conference aiming to make major changes globally, young people are being encouraged to use the meeting of world leaders as inspiration – with a future generation of activists ready to lead the way in Renfrewshire.

A total of £70,000 is available for young people in schools to apply for and eco-groups within each school will be encouraged to come up with sustainable environmental projects, such as wildflower areas, growing grounds or allotments, or anything they identify that will improve their local environment.

Renfrewshire Council has agreed to allocate the funding to young people from its Green Spaces, Parks and Play Areas, and Villages Investment Fund – a fund that has already supported more than 60 community-led projects with more than £1.7million to make improvements to green spaces throughout Renfrewshire.

Council officers will work directly with schools to consider and support potential projects from young people to ensure they align with the climate change outcomes of COP26 and the priorities of the fund.

The funding builds on ongoing work in schools carried out by the Council through the award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign to highlight the effect climate change can have on the environment, nature and our wildlife.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “The meeting of world leaders in neighbouring Glasgow is a major milestone for tackling climate change globally and here in Renfrewshire, we want to inspire the next generation to recognise the importance of this event for their future.

“I hope this funding inspires them to think outside the box, come up with innovative ways to improve our local environment in Renfrewshire, but most importantly sparks an interest in a subject that will be part of their entire lives.

“We have declared a climate emergency in Renfrewshire and have allocated an initial £1million in funding for projects which will make a difference, as well as including it as a consideration in every decision made by this Council.

“We will continue to do all we can to reduce our emissions and strive for net-zero and we know that our younger generation will play a huge part in that as they get older, so I hope that they take up this opportunity and start their involvement now.”

In 2019, Renfrewshire Council declared a climate emergency in Renfrewshire and a working group was set up with members of all political parties to make recommendations on how to make Renfrewshire carbon neutral by 2030, which has now been formalised as the Climate Change Sub-Committee.

The Climate Change Action Fund has been created to support innovative projects and initiatives being developed by Council services in response to the climate emergency, with an initial £1million committed to a range of research, feasibility and immediate projects.

For more information on the Council’s work to tackle climate change in Renfrewshire, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/climatechange.

Paisley-Halloween-2021-3

Paisley celebrated the return of its award-winning Halloween celebrations as thousands of visitors enjoyed a spectacular Out of this World experience.

Over 17,000 people flocked to the town for the free, immersive trail of intergalactic installations and light displays around some of Paisley’s most famous buildings, with the extravaganza taking place across five nights from Thursday 28 October – Monday 1 November.

Paisley Halloween Festival presents Out of this World also formed part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 celebrations, with the area beside the town’s White Cart River becoming a centrepiece attraction for locals and visitors.

An eye-catching sight on the family-friendly trail was the striking alien invasion of Paisley Town Hall, with an enormous Creature from the Cart bursting out from the front of the iconic structure.

Visitors were left dazzled by the ‘Nova’ and ‘Ursula Lassos the Moon’ sculptures at the heart of the trail, with many taking the time to capture selfies and photos at the mysterious and enchanting light displays. Meanwhile, ‘Orionids’ echoed the breath-taking beauty of a meteor shower across the White Cart River, creating a stunning, luminous effect on the water.

Young people’s hopes and dreams for the future of the planet were showcased on the spectacular Earthship1 installation, with many event goers taking the time to marvel at the spacecraft’s beautiful lighting, music and special cargo of hopeful messages and artworks created by youth and community groups across Renfrewshire.

Cheryl Fraser from Linwood said: “As soon as we pulled up in the car, the kids were saying ‘wow, this is amazing’ because we could see the big tentacles at the Town Hall. We’ve really enjoyed it all, took so many pictures and the kids have had a great time.”

Jodie Murray from Edinburgh said: “It’s been really cool and something different getting to see all the light displays – it’s really lovely. My family come every year and say it’s always amazing, so I thought I’d come and have a look too.”

The Paisley Halloween Festival presents Out of this World trail was delivered by Renfrewshire Council and curated by sustainable, not-for-profit creative contractor, Cirque Bijou.

Pauline Allan, Events Manager for Renfrewshire Council, said: “It’s been fantastic to welcome so many visitors to our Halloween celebrations in Paisley once again, as they were greatly missed by all last year.

“The festival is one of the highlights in our events calendar and has really cemented the town’s position as a key destination in Scotland for Halloween.

“We’re delighted to see such a positive reaction to this year’s five-day Out of this World spectacular and we’d like to thank everyone who came along and enjoyed the festival, as well as all of the talented artists involved for making it such a huge success.”

Julian Bracey, Artistic Director of Cirque Bijou, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work on this year’s Paisley Halloween Festival and make it a truly ‘Out of this World’ experience for everyone to enjoy. It’s been a massive team effort between the Cirque Bijou crew, Renfrewshire Council and the many local people involved.

“We’ve loved working with young people and community groups in the area to be part of the creative process and their contributions towards the artworks and installations have made the whole event really special.”

Paisley Halloween Festival was supported by EventScotland through Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 and Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “We are delighted to have supported Paisley Halloween Festival through the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 and Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund. It is great to see the event was so well received by those who got to experience the spectacular light displays and installations, with the White Cart River playing a starring role in the trail.”

Paisley Halloween Festival is widely regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK and was named Best Cultural Event or Festival at the 2019/20 Scottish Thistle Awards West Scotland regional finals, organised by VisitScotland.