Paisley Museum

Inspired 2013 : Creativity from Renfrewshire’s young people 

The annual exhibition of artwork from children and young people in schools and nurseries across Renfrewshire opens in Paisley Museum and Art Galleries on Friday 1st Feb 2012 and runs until 12th April.

Paisley MuseumThe aim of this free exhibition is to showcase the work developed in art and design in all education establishments and to profile how children’s skills progress from the early works of 3 and 4 year olds through to the sophisticated and talented pieces which form a Fifth or Sixth Year pupil’s folio for national qualifications. 

Inspired is intended to be exactly that – a reflection of the personal perspective of the young artist and the things which inspire them. 

The exhibition continues to gain in importance with the ongoing development in Scotland of A Curriculum for Excellence. The arts are now recognised as key to children and young people’s growing self confidence, self awareness and self esteem and ultimately in meeting their potential as successful learners, confident individuals and effective contributors. 

There are a number of special features in the exhibition this year including exciting pieces of 3D work. And thanks to an innovative new partnership with the National Galleries of Scotland, schools who submit to the Inspired exhbition will automatically have the chance to have their work considered for the National Galleries schools exhibition.

Councillor Henry will officially open the exhibition on Friday at 12.30pm, within Paisley Museum and remarked “This year’s Inspired exhibition is a fantastic showcase for the creativity of Renfrewshire’s young people. From pre-school to senior students, they have created work which is both fun and engaging.  These young artists are to be commended for their creativity, hard work and high standards; I am sure that all who visit the exhibition will find it as Inspiring as I have.”

Provost Anne Hall will also select images from this exhibition to form the Renfrewshire Council calendar for 2014.

For further information on Inspired or any of our future exhibitions and shows log on to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/renfrewshirearts.

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Council calls for employers to pay the living wage

Renfrewshire Council is calling on all its suppliers to pay their employees a living wage of at least £7.50 an hour.

In November, 800 council workers saw their pay increase to the level of the living wage and councillors believe that the benefits of this should be extended to the wider work force.

Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1Councillor Mike Homes, Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, is a strong advocate of the living wage. “It’s the right thing to do,” he explains. “Pay less than a living wage and you force people onto benefits and lead them to look for work elsewhere. Pay a living wage and research shows that you get a more loyal, productive and flexible workforce.

“At a time when the UK government’s welfare reform will see household incomes shrink and as much as £22million withdrawn from the local economy, we will do everything we can to protect and improve livelihoods in Renfrewshire.

“We’ll work within the legal framework to encourage our suppliers to pay a living wage and we have already included that question in our tender documents.

“Renfrewshire’s residents and workers deserve a fair deal and our businesses need their commitment and flexibility.”

Four out of five people who earn less than £7.20 an hour work in the private sector. Public organisations, such as the council, are taking the lead by ensuring that they pay the living wage.

It is clear though, that if unfeasibly low wages are to be eradicated in Renfrewshire, it will take a combined effort from all sectors of the economy and every part of our community.

Employers and employees can find out more about the campaign for living wages at www.livingwage.org.uk/about-living-wage.

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Hillington Park shows support to Invest In Renfrewshire

Companies based at Hillington Park have shown support for a council initiative committed to reducing youth unemployment and growing the Renfrewshire economy.

Invest in Renfrewshire held an event at Hillington Park’s Innovation Centre in November, which attracted business owners representing a variety of industries who were interested in learning how they can play their part in helping young people in the area prepare for the workplace.

Hillington_InnovationTwelve of the companies who attended on the day have since signed up to take part in the £2.5million programme offering a range of support including work placements, work place visits, staff time and graduate internships.

The delegates were very positive about working in partnership with Invest in Renfrewshire with an ultimate aim to create jobs suitable for a young person.

Invest in Renfrewshire representatives were invited to host the event by MEPC, Hillington Park’s majority owners.

“The feedback from the event has been extremely positive,” says Roz Bird, Head of Business Development at MEPC. “At MEPC we are committed to Renfrewshire and we understand that further investment will be crucial to ensure the region continues to be a major contributor to the Scottish economy. Our customers share this vision, and this was evident at the event.

“We will continue to support Invest in Renfrewshire because its work will bring great benefits to young people and assist business growth in the region. MEPC is also in the process of preparing plans for a substantial investment in Hillington Park and we will be working closely with Renfrewshire Council and our other partners to help deliver our vision.”

The Invest in Renfrewshire initiative was officially launched earlier this year and already has 163 companies and organisations signed up.

The programme includes funds for wage subsidies and apprenticeship grants as well as grants to support business growth and improving shop fronts. There is also funding available for graduate internships.
Councillor Roy Glen, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Employment and Economic Development Policy Board, said:  “The Invest in Renfrewshire programme is about growing the local economy as well as supporting young people into work and training.  It’s very encouraging to see such commitment and support from companies based at one of Renfrewshire’s economic success stories.  Tackling unemployment among young people is a key priority for Renfrewshire Council and this practical support for young people from leading companies will give a tremendous boost to their career prospects.”

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Scottish Property Records for 1905 Go Online

From tenements to palaces – these records offer a fascinating snapshot of Scotland during the Edwardian era and are a major new genealogy resource

Over 2 million names of Scots included in the property records for 1905 are being released today online for the first time via ScotlandsPeople, the official government family history website. The new records, known as the Valuation Rolls and comprising over 2.4 million indexed names and over 74,000 digital images, cover every kind of building, structure or property in Scotland which were assessed as having a rateable value.

scotlandspeople_logoThe Rolls also reveal much about the changing social fabric of Scotland at this time – such as the growth in women owning property and running businesses, the rise in sports and recreation clubs, the development of music halls and theatres, and the expansion of railway hotels. As the Rolls include details about rents and the value of property, they will also help researchers to learn more about the cost of living during this period.

Fully-searchable by name and address, the records list the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of each property – so genealogists, historians and other researchers can now discover fresh insights into their ancestors’ lives through viewing these new records. As the 1905 Rolls appear between census years, they will be invaluable for genealogists who are trying to fill in gaps about their ancestors.

People from all social classes are included in the 1905 Valuation Rolls – from well-known land and property owners, to the tenants of Scotland’s tenements. Some of the famous Scots whose property situation appears in the records are AJ Balfour, Keir Hardie, Sir Hugh Munro, Lady Gordon Cathcart, Lord Armitstead and Donald Stewart (head gamekeeper to Queen Victoria).

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:

“ScotlandsPeople is a wonderful gateway to Scotland’s wealth of archives that tell the story of our nation and its people. I welcome this latest addition to their digital resources, which can be enjoyed by the people of Scotland, and people of Scottish descent everywhere.”

Audrey Robertson, Acting Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said:

The latest release of details about property owners and tenants in 1905 will be very useful for people researching the history of their family, or of their house or local area. The rolls can be searched alongside other records in ScotlandsPeople, and may help locate people who cannot be found in other sources.”

Chris van der Kuyl, the CEO of brightsolid, the company that enables ScotlandsPeople for the National Records of Scotland, said:

“The publication of the 1905 Valuation Rolls on ScotlandsPeople is another important piece of the jigsaw for helping people to trace their Scottish ancestry. As well as appealing to people’s fascination with property, these new records will complement the 1911 Census records that were published on ScotlandsPeople in 2011.”

The Valuation Rolls will be available on the ScotlandsPeople website (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), and at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh. These new online records will be interesting both to people in Scotland and to the Scottish diaspora across the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the rest of the world.

More choice for tenants with new council housing initiative

Renfrewshire Council has launched a new letting service which gives tenants more say in choosing a property to live in.

HomeChoice@Renfrewshire is a choice-based letting service which gives applicants the opportunity to decide where they want to live and the type of property they’d like to move into.

Gallowhill open dayAvailable properties are advertised online and in housing offices in a similar style to the way estate agents market private properties.

The scheme is being piloted with newly-renovated flats in both Gallowhill Court and Glencairn Court. If popular with tenants, it may be rolled out to other areas across Renfrewshire.

Around 100 prospective tenants came to two recent open days to see the new-look flats and speak to housing advisors about their tenancy options.

Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, met with tenants at the open days and said: “This is an exciting new development for housing services in Renfrewshire.

“With more involvement in choosing a property, we’re hoping tenants will be happier with the end result and that they’ll feel settled in their new home for many years.

“Taken together with our multi-million pound investment in new build homes and in bringing our current stock up to the Scottish Housing Quality Standard, it all adds up to a major commitment to making Renfrewshire a better place to live.”

HomeChoice@Renfrewshire is available from Monday 28 January.

Properties are advertised each Monday at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/homechoice as well as in customer service centres, housing offices and the foyers of multi-storey flats.

Paisley Museum

Showcase of star artworks in a ‘Delightful’ new exhibition at Paisley Museum.

A new exhibition, highlighting many of the treasures that make up Paisley Museum’s permanent collection, will be opening on 1 Feb. The exhibition, ‘Delightful’ will feature

Paisley Museumexamples of star artworks, including recent acquisitions that have never previously been presented. From David Roberts’ 19th century painting ‘Church of the Nativity’ to 21st century drawings and sculptures by Glasgow based contemporary artist Alex Frost, there is something to delight every visitor.

Delightful’ will run from 1 Feb to 12 April 2013 at Paisley Museum. Entry to this exhibition is free.

For further information on Delightful, future shows and events log on to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirearts

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Celebrating the life of Scotland’s bard: BURNS! (Your Bard, By the Way) at Paisley Arts Centre.

Robert Burns was a dramatic figure. The events of his life are the stuff of theatre. His humble beginnings as a plough lad, his acceptance by Edinburgh society, the women he loved (and lost) and who loved and lost him, his fiery championing of the underdog are in themselves remarkable. Add to this is talent for finding true expression in the Scots tongue, and you have a man whose life story cries out to be told, over and over again.
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Written in rhyming Scots, BURNS! (Your Bard, By the Way) is a whirlwind of a play, celebrating the life of Scotland’s bard through hilarious comedy, beautiful song, stirring passion and heart-rending tenderness. Two actors play all twenty roles, moving seamlessly across age, gender and class to portray the people and events that shaped the poet’s life and works. Including a dramatic recital of Tam o Shanter, the play is packed with excerpts from many of the bard’s poems and songs so there is plenty on offer for the Burns enthusiast as well as the newcomer. 

BURNS! (Your Bard, By the Way) will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Friday 22 February at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£6 conc) and can be booked by calling our Box Office on  0141 887 1010 or visiting www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/onlinebooking.

For further information on Burns! (Your Bard, By the Way), future events and shows log on to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/renfrewshirearts.

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Senior diplomat welcomed for Fairtrade visit

Renfrewshire rolled out the red carpet as a senior diplomat visited the area to find out how a Paisley business is helping improve the lives of people in Africa.

Bernard Sande, Malawi’s High Commissioner to the UK, had requested to make a special visit to Fairtrade wholesaler Just Trading Scotland.

Fairtrade products are those which guarantee that producers in the developing world have been given a fair price for their goods.

Mr Sande was welcomed by Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan and Councillor Brian Lawson, the Convener and Deputy Convener of Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Steering Group.

Fairtrade visit JTS

They were joined by directors of Just Trading Scotland and by pupils from Gryffe and Trinity High Schools for a tour of the building, before Mr Sande headed over to Paisley Abbey for a discussion on trade.

Councillor Macmillan said: “We were delighted to welcome the High Commissioner to Paisley and it is testament to the good work being carried out by Just Trading Scotland that he asked to come here to see it for himself.

“He told us about some of the issues surrounding the export of rice from Malawi, and of the impact that the Fairtrade movement has had in his home country.

“By buying fairly-traded products, residents of Renfrewshire are helping to improve living conditions for farmers in poorer parts of the world.

“People and organisations across Renfrewshire have been involved in a lot of work to help promote Fairtrade over the past few years.

“Renfrewshire achieved Fairtrade area status in 2009, and Paisley, Bishopton, Lochwinnoch and Renfrew have all become Fairtrade towns or villages.

“We look forward to continuing the campaign with a series of local events planned for Fairtrade Fortnight 2013, which takes place in February and March.”

John Riches, JTS director, said: “We were very encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by the High Commissioner for the work we are doing promoting Malawi Kilombero rice in Scotland.

“He pledged support for our plans for development among rice farmers in the north of Malawi. And he said how much he was encouraged by the support and enthusiasm of of young people in schools in Scotland. It’s all a great boost for fair trade and for the work we do at Paisley.”

Just Trading Scotland is unique within Scotland in that it imports and distributes Fairtrade goods, while helping to expand the scheme throughout Africa.

Renfrewshire Council supports JTS, which based at a warehouse at Wallneuk in Paisley, by helping to provide accommodation.

The council’s Fairtrade Steering group features representatives from the council, local schools, higher education bodies and businesses, as well as from the various Fairtrade groups set up in the area’s towns and villages.

Malawi is one of the world’s least-developed countries, where around half the population have to live on less than $1 a day, and agriculture accounts for more than a third of GDP.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.

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Fun on the PlayTalkRead bus

Tiny tots and their parents showed it’s good to talk when a special bus toured Renfrewshire for a week of fun and games.

The PlayTalkRead buses offered parents and carers of children aged three-and-under the chance to climb aboard and find out how to give youngsters the best start.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, the Convener of the Education Policy Board and Councillor Mark Macmillan, the Leader of Renfrewshire Council, hopped on board the bus to speak to some of the parents and children – and take part in a very enthusiastic Bookbug session.
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Councillor Henry said: “Simple easy steps, such as reading books together, singing songs and playing together, aid a child’s development.

“The PlayTalkRead bus is inspirational in its approach. I would encourage parents or carers to check out the PlayTalkRead website for more ideas if they were unable to catch the bus this time.”

Councillor Macmillan added: “We are determined to give Renfrewshire’s children the best possible start in life and the PlayTalkRead bus is one way in which we can support parents and young children to make the most of their early years.”

The Scottish Government’s PlayTalkRead campaign is in collaboration with Working on Wheels, a charity which manages the Scotland-wide PlayTalkRead bus tour. In partnership, Renfrewshire Council supplied information packs, and were on hand to support and publicise the events. Library staff promoted the Bookbug programme and gave out free books provided by Scottish Book Trust. Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership also provided information on their services to families.
For more details visit: www.playtalkread.org or facebook.com/playtalkread , and Twitter @playtalkread

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Have your say on youth parliament poll

Thousands of young people across Renfrewshire are gearing up to make their views known on the issues that matter to them in the latest elections to the Scottish Youth Parliament.

The election will be held in early March and 14 young people are standing as candidates in the Renfrewshire area. Five will be elected to serve in the Scottish Youth Parliament for its next two-year term.

Scottish Youth ParliamentCouncil staff working with schools, Reid Kerr College, the University of the West of Scotland aim to increase voter turnout by 10% in the 2013 elections. The Council’s Youth Services team will support candidates to prepare for campaigning and the election process.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of the Council’s Education Policy Board said: “Young people are key contributors to Scottish society, and we want to ensure that key decision makers hear their views on issues that are important to them.  We’re proud of our political energy in Renfrewshire and encourage all of our young people to play their part in the democratic process.”

Council staff organised the training and recruitment of the 14 candidates. The team will be helping with February’s election campaigns in schools.

Students from the University of the West of Scotland, Gryffe High, Linwood High, St Benedict’s High, Paisley Grammar, Glennifer High, Park Mains High School and St Andrew’s Academy are standing as candidates.

The Scottish Youth Parliament is made up of 150 young people aged 14-25. Two Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MYSPs) represent each Scottish Parliamentary constituency and are selected through nationally co-ordinated elections held across Scotland every two years.

MYSPs ascertain and represent the views of young people, decide upon national campaigns and liaise with different levels of government to bring about positive change.

The Scottish Youth Parliament meets at least three times a year, at national sittings. www.syp.org.uk