ATR
  • Glasgow to Belfast route to commence on 1 July and will operate up to 19 times weekly
  • Route fares start from £29.99 each way 
  • Flights will operate in line with Covid-19 protocols, including Stobart Air’s enhanced health and safety measures
  • Andy Jolly Stobart Air MD: “We are pleased to add this new route from Glasgow to Belfast to our route network, which will cater to both business and leisure travellers with direct, convenient, and cost-effective flights.” 

Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional routes, has today (Thursday, 20 May) added a new route to its network, connecting Glasgow and Belfast through frequent flights. 

The new Glasgow Airport to Belfast City Airport route will initially operate on a daily basis with 11 flights weekly, commencing on 1 July, and will increase to 19 flights weekly in August. 

In light of the successful Covid-19 vaccination rollout allowing air travel to increase safely, Stobart Air has added this new route to its Aer Lingus Regional network to provide additional choice and frequency for customers wishing to travel between Glasgow and Belfast for business and leisure. 

All Stobart Air flights will operate in line with Covid protocols put in place by the UK Government, Stormont Executive, and health authorities.

Commenting, Andy Jolly, Managing Director of Stobart Air, said: 

Stobart Air has called on the UK and Irish governments to support the industry and work with all industry stakeholders on a plan and timeline for the resumption of safe air travel. 

“In light of the successful Covid-19 vaccination rollout allowing air travel to increase safely, we are pleased to add this new route from Glasgow to Belfast to our route network, which will cater to both business and leisure travellers with direct, convenient, and cost-effective flights.

“We are committed to providing our passengers with frequent, convenient, and affordable services through our regional connections. We look forward to welcoming our staff and customers onboard this new route.”

Matt Hazelwood, Group Commercial Director for AGS Airports Ltd, which owns Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, said: 

Belfast has always been a hugely popular destination with our passengers, so we are really pleased to see Aer Lingus and partner Stobart Air restart this busy route.  

“The airport is just a five-minute journey from the city centre, which makes it the best option for business and leisure travellers looking for a speedy and convenient commute to the Northern Irish Capital.

“It’s also great to see that Aer Lingus and Stobart Air will initially restart the route with 11 flights per week. This will be welcome news for our customers looking to travel between Glasgow and Belfast City as restrictions continue to ease.”

For further information and for booking visit aerlingus.com. 

Airlines UK, the Airport Operators Association (AOA), AGS and Edinburgh airports have called on the Scottish Government to rectify a major discrepancy that means passengers returning to Scotland from abroad will have to pay more than twice as much for COVID tests than travellers returning to England.

On 11 May, the Scottish Government confirmed it would adopt a four nations approach to the removal of the travel ban which, on 17 May, was replaced by a traffic light system, with a red, amber and green list of countries mirroring what had previously been confirmed in England.

There is still a requirement for passengers returning from countries on the amber and green lists to take COVID tests. Whilst passengers returning to England are permitted to purchase tests from private suppliers, that approach has not been mirrored in Scotland with current regulations explicitly stating tests from private suppliers cannot be used.

A testing package for passengers arriving in Scotland from amber countries is £170 per person and £88pp for those arriving from green listed countries. Some private suppliers are offering testing options for as little as £20pp.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, and Karen Dee, chief executive of the AOA, said: “On 11 May we were told the Scottish Government would adopt a four nations approach to the removal of the travel ban which had brought our industry to a standstill. Within a matter of days, it transpired Scottish passengers would be heavily penalised by having to pay twice as much for COVID tests than people in England.

“It is not fair that people in Scotland are being forced to bear such high costs when there are private suppliers offering the same tests that meet strict UK Government requirements for a fraction of the cost.

“This lack of parity with England will price many people out of travelling and will be a very real barrier to airports and airlines as we try to safely re-establish our connectivity. It will also push passengers to airports in England to avoid the cost of the Scottish Government’s testing package meaning they would not receive any form of data. We urgently need the Government to review its guidelines and introduce an equitable testing system that doesn’t penalise Scottish passengers. We have offered to work with the Government and its clinicians to help identify an affordable solution.”

Councillors have given the go-ahead for residents to be asked their views on an ambitious and far-reaching ten-year £100m transformation of council housing.

Renfrewshire Council last year agreed to invest the sum in a housing-led regeneration and renewal programme to deliver modern, high-quality, energy-efficient, affordable council housing.

Members of the council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Board today gave the green light for officers to roll out a detailed consultation over the months ahead.

Residents and owners in eight areas will now be invited to give their views on the plans – which include investment in existing properties and outdoor areas, as well as new-build housing.

The eight areas in the first phase of the programme are: Auchentorlie Quadrant, Howard Street, Waverley Road, Thrushcraigs, Springbank Road and the Broomlands area all, Paisley; as well as the Moorpark area in Renfrew and the Howwood Road area in Johnstone.

The proposals were created following a detailed assessment of the council’s existing housing stock and aim to improve buildings and external areas such as closes, back courts and bin stores, and to bring down energy bills by making homes more energy-efficient.

The proposals could involve the demolition of buildings in four of the areas, with plans being developed for around 300 new-build council homes in their place.

Residents and owners in the properties identified in the proposals have already received a letter from the council to make them aware, and further communication will follow next week with details of how they can get involved in the consultation.

The planned consultation would also include a wider conversation with residents in those areas about what they want from them.

That will help inform a neighbourhood place plan for each area covering how the council and its partners can work together to deliver services could better meet the needs of residents.

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of the Communities, Housing and Planning Board, said: “This planned investment could deliver a transformation – not just of the quality of council housing in Renfrewshire, but of the wider environment around them.

“We know improving the quality of housing improves people’s quality of life, health and well-being and this will do that, while also making council estates and services easier to manage and maintain.

“It will also be central to the area’s economic and social recovery from the pandemic – by creating construction jobs for local residents and traders – while promoting Renfrewshire as a great place to live.

“We would stress that at this stage, all we are putting forward are proposals – if approved, council staff will be in touch with all residents and owners to get their views on the plans and to make sure all voices are heard before any final decisions are made.

“That conversation will be about more than housing – it will take in what residents want from the future of their areas, so I would encourage everyone affected to take part.”

Now that Portugal Holidays are back, we have put together some amazing offers for waterpark holidays. Kids love them, and they will sleep like logs after a day of sliding and splashing.

For parents, the hotels are great quality and allow you to relax while the kids play. These deals are put together by our hotel partners and offer fantastic value for money.

Our waterpark deals are updated daily at https://www.facebook.com/SunnyHeartTravel so remember to bookmark the link and we will add more countries as they turn green.

Waterpark Deals

Alto Da Colina – Sunny Heart Travel

2 adults and 1 child

7 nights

Self-catering

Luggage pp and transfers included 23kg pp luggage

Flying from London Luton – Portugal

Total cost £770.16

Aquashow Park Hotel – Sunny Heart Travel

2 adults and 1 child

7 nights

Half board

Luggage and transfers include – 23kg pp luggage

Flying from Glasgow

Total cost £2080

Eftalia Holiday Village – Sunny Heart Travel

2 adults and 1 child

7 nights

All Inclusive

Luggage and transfers included – 23kg luggage pp

Flying from Newcastle

Total cost £1045

Parrotel Aqua Park Resort – Sunny Heart Travel

2 adults and 2 children

7 nights

All Inclusive

Luggage and transfers included

Flying from Manchester

Total cost £1728

Hotel Cyprotel Faliraki Resort – Sunny Heart Travel

2 adults 1 child

7 nights

All Inclusive

Luggage and transfers included

Flying from Stansted

Total cost £1771

Young people returning to work are being urged to check if they are eligible for Job Start Payment.

Over 1,000 young people have already benefited from this support since it launched in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s more than £277,000 invested so far in helping those whose job prospects have been hardest hit over the past year.

Many businesses will be recruiting again as restrictions lessen in many local authority areas, and 16-24 year olds beginning or returning to work may be eligible for money to help with the cost of starting a new job.

Job Start Payment is now £252.50, or £404 if the applicant has children and is available to young people who have been on certain benefits for six months or more. Money can be spent on anything they need including travel costs, new clothes or childcare.

Figures released today cover the period from 17 August 2020, when Job Start Payment launched, to 31 March 2021.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“We don’t want the costs of starting a new job to be what stops people taking up opportunities. COVID-19 has had a major impact on the job market and it has had a significant impact on prospects for many young people.

“As we emerge from lockdown, I strongly encourage any young people who have recently started a new job or about to start a new job to check if they are eligible for Job Start Payment and apply now.”

People can apply for Job Start Payment for up to three months after their start date.

An independent report has praised Renfrewshire Council’s work to close the poverty-related attainment gap between the least and most deprived children and young people over the past five years.

The Education Scotland five-year impact report, which will be put in front of councillors at the next Education and Children’s Services Policy Board on Thursday 21 May, said that Renfrewshire schools had made significant progress in raising attainment for pupils living in the most deprived areas.

 

Key to their success is how schools and the central education team analyse data to direct teaching and evidence-based programmes to where they will make the most impact to pupils.

Attainment in literacy and numeracy continues to improve and the area’s schools continue to have higher attainment rates than the national average.

Renfrewshire’s poverty-related attainment gap has reduced for pupils in all year groups over the past five years, with more young people living in the most deprived areas heading into positive destinations when they leave school.

The report also praised the professional learning for teachers and classroom assistants, classing it as sector leading.

Councillor Jim Paterson, the council’s education convener, said: “Renfrewshire continues to build on its excellent progress on closing the poverty-related attainment gap while also improving attainment for all. This report highlights the positive outcomes we have achieved as part of our Scottish Attainment Challenge journey over the past five years. It’s welcome news to have it confirmed that we are on the right track.

“We have made significant investments into high-quality professional development programmes for our teaching and support staff as well as working with Stanford and Strathclyde universities to evaluate our evidence-based literacy and numeracy programmes. This has enabled us to develop high-quality learning and teaching that has led to improved attainment and achievement in all our schools.

“A huge part of our success has been prioritising the health and wellbeing of all pupils, and the work we have put in over the years has been pivotal to how we are supporting children and young people to recover for the pandemic.

“Ultimately, our use of data to assess what is working, to build on evidence-based programmes, to provide staff with high-quality professional development, and our work with partners has made these improvements in attainment possible.”

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will be raising much needed funds and awareness for MND Scotland throughout 2021.

Provost Cameron has pledged support to three charities during her time as Provost, focusing on one charity each year, and returns to fundraising for MND Scotland in her final year after raising over £23,000 for the charity in 2018.

MND Scotland was founded as the Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Association in 1981 by John Macleod, a Strathclyde police officer and his wife Peigi.

At the time, services were limited, and health professionals had little or no knowledge of the condition.

Today, MND Scotland strive to reduce the impact of motor neurone disease (MND) on the lives of those affected, by offering services such as benefits advice, equipment loans, counselling, advocacy, and a grants programme. They also campaign for the rights of people living with MND and fund vital research to find a cure.

MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles. It can cause someone to lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe unaided.

There are over 400 people in Scotland currently living with MND and almost 200 people are diagnosed each year. The is currently no cure and on average people die less than two years after their diagnosis.

Provost Cameron said: “MND Scotland is a charity very close to my heart as I lost my mum to Motor Neurone Disease in 2011. I am honoured to be able to continue raising both funds and awareness for the charity.

“Charities across the country have struggled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and it’s more important now than ever to support them.

“We had a great year in 2018 raising awareness of the work MND Scotland undertake in our communities, from travelling around Renfrewshire by train with collection buckets as part of MND Awareness Week, to taking a team of daredevils to Garry Bridge in Killiecrankie to complete the Highland Fling Swing.

“I know we might need to do things a little differently this year as we recover from the impacts of the pandemic, but I am up for the challenge and I hope you are too.”

Iain McWhirter, Interim Chief Executive, at MND Scotland said: “Over past year we have all faced many challenges, but for people with MND the worries and challenges have been amplified many times over.

“Thanks to supporters like Provost Cameron, we have been able to adapt our services to continue supporting families when they need us most, and to make sure no one goes through MND alone. Last year, we launched a video support group, one-to-one phone support and emergency financial grants, to ease some of the emotional and financial worries people experienced as a result of Covid-19.

“I would like to thank Provost Cameron for her continued support.”

You can stay up to date with Provost Cameron’s fundraising activities and how you can get involved on the Renfrewshire Council website and social media pages.

If you need your wheelie bin emptied a bit sooner than what the council are willing to uplift it then give us a call.We offer great rates and fast service for getting your wheelie bin emptied.

Our charge for household wheelie bin uplift in Glasgow are:

We have a minimum call-out charge of £30

So 1 wheelie-bin is £30 (because of the minimum call out charge)

2 x wheelie bins £40
3 x wheelie bins £60
4 x wheelie bins £80
5 x wheelie bins £100

We can offer a daily, weekly, fortnightly, four-weekly service or feel free to call us as and when required and we’ll be more than happy to assist.

Residents of Renfrew are being urged to find out if they have Covid-19 when a temporary testing site for people without symptoms of the virus is set up in the area.

The testing site will be open from Wednesday 19 May until Tuesday 25 May – helping to stop the spread of the virus.

The facility will be in Renfrew Town Hall and will be run on a drop-in basis – no booking is needed.

It is being targeted at anyone who lives, works or goes to school in Renfrew and is only for those who are not displaying any symptoms.

Anyone who does have Covid-19 symptoms – a new persistent cough, high temperature, loss of taste or smell – should book a test for an NHS-run centre instead.

The facility will use lateral flow tests – which are quick tests processed on site and see results returned via text message within 45 minutes.

People will also be able to collect free testing kits to take home with them and don’t require a booking or to take a test at the facility to receive these.

It is being run and staffed by Renfrewshire Council as part of the national community testing programme and follows successful deployments of temporary COVID-19 test sites in Johnstone, Paisley and Linwood.

The testing site will be open 9am-5pm on Wednesday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday; 11am-7pm on Thursday and 11am-3.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Renfrewshire Council Depute Leader Jim Paterson said: “Cases of Coronavirus are falling and we are starting to see restrictions relaxed which is great news, testament to everyone’s efforts in following the rules and helping to stop the spread of the virus.

“The temporary testing site at Renfrew Town Hall is part of the national community testing programme and I would encourage anyone who lives, works or goes to school in Renfrew to visit and take a test.

“By doing this, you are helping yourself, your loved ones and your community – helping to keep cases low and further reduce transmission of the virus.”

Anyone who tests positive will be required to self-isolate – along with the rest of their household – for ten days.

Financial support is available and people may be eligible for a Self-Isolation Support Grant which can be applied for through the Council.

More information is at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-testing-centres

Kenneth Keegan would like to say that the service room at the parlour room is open for funeral services, because of this, Kenneth Keegan Funeral Services have developed a new funeral service they can offer to make funerals more affordable. The “Funeral Home Farewell” see brochures attached for more information.

Communities in Renfrewshire are set to benefit from a further half a million pounds investment in local green spaces, sports facilities and play areas thanks to Renfrewshire Council’s Green Spaces, Parks and Play Areas and Villages Investment Fund.

Working in partnership with the Council, community groups have been submitting their ideas to improve facilities across the region for the benefit of young people, the local environment and the heritage of local villages.

The latest projects recommended for approval include upgraded tennis courts and a brand-new Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) in Langbank, a new outdoor gym in Ferguslie Park Gardens and a brand-new community park in Spateston.

Play parks in Elderslie, Lochwinnoch, Houston and Paisley are also set for improvements should they be approved, while a new shelter in Howwood Park and upgrades to the sensory garden in Maxwellton Park are also on the table.

Also put forward for investment are two environmental projects which would see the Tuecheen Ancient Woods in Inchinnan and the Rossland Circle in Bishopton purchased by community groups and developed into community green spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy.

A total of ten projects from communities across Renfrewshire have been recommended for approval with the potential funding totalling £522,466.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “This fund has been fantastic way for local community groups to make a real, visible difference to their local area and we have already supported 32 projects with more than £700,000 of investment.

“The funded projects are already having such a positive impact on our communities by protecting the local environment and enhancing the play opportunities available for our young people.

“I’m looking forward to considering the latest projects at our forthcoming board meeting next week.”

Three projects have been awarded £5,000 through delegated authority and will see improvements made to Kilbarchan Community Garden, a new boundary fence for St Mirren YFC to protect the playing fields and a bank of gardening tools provided to the West End Growing Grounds to ensure everyone has access to equipment regardless of financial circumstances.

Councillors will consider the other projects at the meeting of the Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board on Tuesday 18 May.

For more information on the fund, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/GreenSpacesFund.