Parents of children heading back to school are being urged to make sure they apply for school clothing grants.

Renfrewshire pupils are now entitled to £100 school clothing grant if they meet the criteria.

Clothing grant applications can be made whether parents have already bought their school uniform or have yet to buy one.

Parents who have received a clothing grant in the past won’t need to do anything and will automatically receive £100 per eligible child for the 2018/19 school term.

Anyone who has never applied for a school clothing grant, can visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/schools and download a clothing grant application under the Information for Parents section.

Education and Children’s Services Convener for Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Jim Paterson, welcomed the increase in the grant. He said: “Ensuring parents have the right resources to send their child to school is vital. Now that the school clothing grant has been increased to £100 per eligible child, this will help many parents as they prepare to send their child to school.

“We also offer parents on low incomes support through the Cost of the School Day fund, which is available through each child’s school. Speak to your headteacher to find out more about accessing this fund.”

Checklist

Parents are also advised to:

  • apply for free school meals (if child is in P4 and upwards)
  • apply for transport (if more than one mile from primary school or two miles from secondary school)
  • encourage teenagers aged 16 and above to apply for Education Maintenance Allowance if they are staying on at school
  • ask their school about breakfast clubs
  • seek further information from the school’s handbook or website
  • sign-up for the schools and nurseries e-alerts at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/e-alerts

PART of Paisley’s horticultural past is being dug up and brought into the 21st century.
Books of minutes from meetings of the Paisley Florists’ Society dating back to 1797 have been digitised and can now be seen on the paisley.is website.


Claiming to be the oldest horticultural society in the UK, the Paisley Florists was founded in 1782 by the town’s weavers.

David Weir, Heritage Co-ordinator with Renfrewshire Leisure explains: “When the Paisley Florists’ Society was formed, the weavers were at the high point of their trade with stable employment and earnings. This income allowed them to have free time to spend on hobbies.


“Farm produce being sold in towns during the industrial revolution and the weavers spending power also meant they did not have to grow food in their gardens.

“This combination of factors meant they could grow flowers in the weavers’ cottage gardens and the Paisley Florists Society was born.”

Members met every week in a local hotel, exhibiting babs – an old Scots word for a posy – of seasonal flowers to be judged by the society. The florists grew eight show flowers – Auricula, Tulip, Polyanthus, Carnation, Anemone, Hyacinth, Ranunculus and Pink.

In the first minute book, 1797-1833, rule XVII states: “The two flower judges shall be chosen by open vote at a quarter before nine and they are to be ordered down to judge the flowers exactly at nine o’clock.

“It is requested that the landlord will provide a candle and a separate apartment if convenient for the better deliberation of the judges”

And a minute from a meeting in November, 1804 reads: “This night came on the discussion of the important notion of the changing of the place of the meeting. After some discussion, it was unanimously agreed that, as the ale was considerably improved, they remain in the house for some time longer.”
The digitisation project was funded by Arts and Business Scotland and the work carried out by Paisley digital scanning and archiving specialist company, Abergower.

Carl Watt, Head of Programmes at Arts and Business Scotland, said: “We are very pleased to support this partnership between Renfrewshire Leisure and Abergower Ltd through the Culture and Business Fund Scotland.
“Abergower Ltd’s sponsorship of this significant local project to digitise The Paisley Floral Society minute book will help make this unique resource more widely available to the public and raise the profile of the project.
“By matching their sponsorship pound for pound, the Culture & Business Fund Scotland aims to encourage many more businesses in Scotland to sponsor cultural projects in their local community.”
Robin Prior, managing director of Abergower added: “This project was an ideal demonstration of the skill, capability and expertise we have to produce an output of something very delicate and precious. It has allowed the amazing contents of the book to be accessed to a wide community of people interested in this very precious material.

“Each page was physically turned by hand by one of our skilled staff and captured to a very high resolution. The images were then processed through our quality control systems to achieve exact colour matching and crispness of resolution”

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure’s board said: “This project allows people to easily access information about an important part of Paisley’s culture and heritage.
“I’m sure people and especially the many local gardening enthusiasts, will find the digitised minutes of great interest.”

West College Scotland has partnered with Elior UK (one of the UK’s leading hospitality companies) at Ibrox stadium under the guidance of award winning chef Jav Aziz.

We are looking for people with a positive attitude, who are willing to learn in a fast moving environment to take part in a unique and exciting opportunity to develop their professional cookery knowledge and skills.

This opportunity is open to a very limited number and will involve training and working

within the stadium’s hospitality and function kitchens and restaurants as well working

with staff from West College Scotland at Ibrox Stadium.

A recruitment event including interviews will take place at Ibrox stadium in late August

2018 and the 14-week course will commence before the 1st September 2018.

Entry Requirements

There are no formal entry requirements required, although experience in hospitality would be beneficial.

Want to find out more or apply?

To find out more about this unique opportunity and to apply click here (http://www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk/courses/course-directory/courses/hospitality-professional-cookery/wcs-and-elior-culinary-development-at-ibrox-stadium)

Residents can now get local news direct to their smartphone as Renfrewshire Council launch a new email news service.

The new service allows people to sign-up and choose topics that they are interested in and launches with five options – council news roundup, a weekly what’s on guide, schools and nurseries news, business news and Paisley town centre updates.

Available to sign-up from Wednesday 1 August on the council website, each newsletter can be read on smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs that can access emails.

Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We know people want to know the latest news and updates on the go, and they also want to receive the news that interests them.

“We’re launching e-alerts for people who live, work and study in Renfrewshire, or are keen on visiting the area, and have produced five news options that should interest everyone. So, whether you are a parent of young or school-aged children, working for a local business or just interested in what’s on in the area, there will be a topic for you.

“We will be offering more options in the coming months, such as updates on bin collections, roadworks and other service information we know people will be interested in receiving. And will use feedback to make sure we are providing news and information that matters.

“To sign-up, all people need to do is visit our website, enter their email address and postcode, then select the topics they want to know – and that’s it.”

For more information and to sign-up for e-alerts, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/e-alerts.

The multi-million pound programme of investment in Renfrewshire’s roads network is well underway with the resurfacing of main routes across the area being completed.

New road surfacing at Barloan Renfrew 31.7.18

The £7.2million investment in Renfrewshire’s roads in 2018/19 represents the single biggest investment ever in the roads network and is being delivered as part of the continuing physical and economic regeneration of the area.

Major resurfacing work has taken place on more than a third of all carriageways in the planned programme so far with key routes such as Broadloan in Renfrew and Old Greenock Road in Inchinnan having been successfully completed already.

The programme is also addressing footways across Renfrewshire and six projects have already undertaken as part of the multi-million investment.

A further 33 roads have also undergone minor repairs which will protect them from future deterioration.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We recognised that the condition of Renfrewshire’s roads was a key priority for those who live and work in the area which is why we invested accordingly in this year’s budget.

“The work is progressing well with more than a third of the work planned on carriageways already completed and this is making a substantial difference to the quality of the main routes in the area.

“A key focus has been placed on undertaking high-quality repairs and there has been an increased resource commitment to post-repair inspections to ensure a long-term benefit is achieved.

“While we recognise that road works can be frustrating for motorists, these necessary works will make a clear improvement to the quality of our roads and every effort is being undertaken to minimise disruption for motorists while the works take place.”

Further resurfacing works set to take place in the short-term include Lonend in Paisley and Ferry Road in Bishopton.

The resurfacing work is being complimented by an ongoing programme of pot hole repairs to improve the overall quality of Renfrewshire’s roads network.

For full details on the roads programme for 2018/19 visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/roads2018-19.

Offices to let at Mirren Business Centres in a variety of sizes available starting from small offices for a couple of staff up to whole floors of around 2300 sqft.

If you are thinking about relocation of if your lease ends soon we would be delighted to provide you further information or arrange a viewing.

Give us a call on 0141 843 4211, contact us by email at mail@dpgroup.org.uk or visit our website at www.dpgroup.ogr.uk.

The latest phase of Renfrewshire Council’s £1m investment in free public wifi internet has rolled out – with Renfrew town centre the latest place to get the service.

Visitors to Renfrew now have fast and easy access to internet from key outdoor areas in the heart of the town – as part of a wider push to make local town centres more attractive places to visit

The Renfrewshire Council free public wifi is active on High Street from the town hall to Queen St, and on Hairst Street/Canal Street between the junctions with Inchinnan Road and Station Road.

The service went live in the area around Johnstone High Street and Town Hall earlier this year, and will be switched on in key outdoor areas in Paisley town centre next month.

The free wifi can also be accessed within many public buildings around the area – including town halls, libraries, council offices and some children’s homes.

Renfrewshire Council’s deputy leader Jim Paterson visited Renfrew town centre to test it out for himself, and said: “The council made this investment in free public wifi across our three biggest town centres to make them more attractive places to visit and drive footfall to local businesses.

“We live in an increasingly-connected world and access to fast, reliable internet is now an everyday necessity for many.

“This service is already proving popular in Johnstone and we are delighted Renfrew town centre can now benefit too, with Paisley to follow soon.”

Iain Kerr, operations manager of Braehead-based Boston Networks, the firm who installed and will maintain the new service, added: “We are delighted to have completed the latest phase of the project, which will see high speed wifi internet access rolled out throughout Renfrew town centre.

“As a Renfrewshire business, we’re thrilled to be working in close partnership with the council to design and deliver these fantastic new digital public services.

“This will not only provide free internet access for residents, but will deliver multiple benefits for local businesses; offering visitors to the town centre and public buildings fast and easy access to information on local services and events. “

The free outdoor public wifi will complement the internet connections already available inside buildings and private businesses, by extending coverage to outdoor areas.

Miro Tramita, manager of popular restaurant and bar Luna Rossa, which has outdoor seating within the wifi area, added: “It’s definitely going to help bring business into the town.

“More and more these days, people come into the restaurant and one of the first things they ask for is the wifi password and that’s especially the case if they have kids.”

The service is open to anyone with a wifi-enabled device within the coverage zone –  just find ‘Renfrewshire Public Wifi’ in your list of available networks and connect. First-time users will have to accept the terms and conditions but after that you will connect automatically.

Roadside litter is set to be tackled as the latest element of Renfrewshire’s growing Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

The latest strand of the campaign aims to deter drivers from throwing litter out their windows onto the roadside and pedestrians from failing to use litter bins.

A dedicated Rapid Response Team (RRT) has been set up to tackle the problem and will work to clear verges and pavements across the area of discarded litter.

Residents will be able to report areas of concern and issues will be assigned to the new RRT as part of their ongoing programme of work.

The new team will work in tandem with the current RRT who were expanded at the beginning of the campaign and carry out daily patrols across Renfrewshire, tackle issues of flytipping and work with local businesses to ensure they are disposing of their waste correctly.

Grant Roderickson, Roadside Litter RRT, said: “Unfortunately people tend to throw all sorts out of their car windows and we have to go out to clean up after them.

“We put out signs to warn motorists we are there but often drivers don’t slow down enough which can be one of the main dangers of this role.

“We’re working hard to pick up all the litter that is thrown out of cars, tackle flytipping on rural roads and really trying our best to keep Renfrewshire clean.”

Renfrewshire Council recently supported national environment charity Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Week of Action on roadside litter which asked motorists to ‘give their litter a lift’ and consider the local environment.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Roadside litter has been a key issue I have wanted to tackle as part of the campaign as it is damaging to the environment and a blight on the beautiful scenery we have in Renfrewshire.

“Drivers need to recognise the damage they are causing and that what might just be one piece of litter to them is actually causing a much bigger problem.

“Working at the side of a busy road can be dangerous and our new team have to undergo training to ensure their safety as they clear the roadsides of litter.

“Please take the time to think before you throw litter away incorrectly and instead keep it with you until you get home or until you make it to the nearest bin.

“Small changes can make a big difference and that is at the heart of our Team Up to Clean Up campaign.”

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

The campaign also challenges the community to play their part and this has proved extremely successful with more than 120 community clean ups taking place throughout the area and more than 2100 volunteers taking part.

A number of high-profile businesses, including ThermoFisher, McDonalds and Diageo, have also engaged with the campaign and have undertaken litter picks of the local area with their staff.

For more information on the campaign and how you can get involved visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup or join the dedicated group at www.facebook.com/groups/teamuptocleanup.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has congratulated all the UWS students who graduated recently, including his wife, Lynn.

Gavin Newlands attended the UWS Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday 4th July in the Paisley Abbey to support his wife, Lynn, who graduated with a first class honours degree in Human Management.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“Congratulations to all the student who graduated from UWS. It’s a fantastic achievement to have reached this stage and I hope all the student and their families had a memorable day in the Paisley Abbey.

“Graduation days are always special occasions for the student, but they’re probably more memorable for the wider family who are in attendance to celebrate this special occasion. I know this as I am incredibly proud of my wife Lynn who joined her fellow students in graduating.

“I am extremely proud of Lynn’s success and she has worked incredibly hard to graduate with a first class honours degree. Not only is she a full-time mother, who has to put up with me being in London for most of the week, but she also works part-time as well. She’s put in the effort and the whole family is proud of her.

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland, said:

“I was pleased to welcome MP Gavin Newlands to our ceremony at Paisley Abbey on Wednesday 4 July to celebrate the achievements of all our graduates, but in particular his wife Lynne, who I know he is incredibly proud of.”

The chief executive who transformed Renfrewshire Leisure into a multi-million pound business creating jobs and new facilities has announced she is to retire.


Joyce McKellar, 56, who has been chief executive since 2005, will step down from her role at the end of October. The position will be advertised later this month.

With the recent birth of her first grandchild and the health of her father deteriorating, Joyce had decided to spend more time with her family.

She explains: “I have been with Renfrewshire Leisure for 13 years and in that time I’ve been proud of the way the organisation has grown to provide hugely expanded sport, leisure and cultural facilities.

“I now think it’s time for me to concentrate more on family matters and I want to help with my father’s care and spend more time with my grandchild.

“Health and well-being will always be important to me and I’ll now also have more time to up my fitness regime by doing more cycling, running and swimming.”

Joyce has spent 38 years service with local government and leisure trusts and since she became chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, the number of people employed has risen from 250 to almost 800 and the annual turnover doubled from £6 million to £19 million.

She has led major changes in the organisation, which includes the transfer of cultural and sports services from Renfrewshire Council to the leisure trust.

Joyce was also seconded to the council to lead the development of their leisure facilities strategy, which saw a £42 million investment in building a brand new sports and leisure centre – The ON-X, in Linwood – and the creation of a new sports hub, in Johnstone.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure’s board of trustees, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Joyce has been a fantastic chief executive for Renfrewshire Leisure and the people of Renfrewshire.

“It’s thanks to her forward thinking, expertise and determination that we have seen such huge improvements in sports and leisure facilities locally.

“She has modernised and expanded sports and leisure services in Renfrewshire in the face of increased competition from the private sector.

“Joyce will leave an organisation that is fit for purpose and thanks to her efforts, whoever picks up the baton as the new chief executive will be starting from a high point as they take the company forward.”