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Renfrewshire Council has reiterated its green credentials as it outlines climate change as an immediate priority, with its Climate Emergency Working Group set to meet tomorrow (Thursday).

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In June 2019, there was cross-party support for a council motion which declared a climate emergency and a working group has been set up with members of all political parties, who will make recommendations on how to make Renfrewshire carbon neutral by 2030.

The area has a strong base to work from as since 2012/13, Renfrewshire has reduced its carbon emissions by 55.7%, far exceeding its 36% target, and it has been carrying out numerous projects to make the area greener.

A new recycling system has seen the area’s recycling rate increase every quarter throughout 2019, with the latest figures showing 55.42% of waste was recycled between July and September 2019, and this is further supported by the commencement of the Clyde Valley Residual Waste Project which now sees at least 90% of non-recyclable waste turned into energy rather than going to landfill.

A transformation of the street lighting in Renfrewshire has reduced energy and carbon consumption by 64%, contributing an 8% reduction in the council’s overall emissions, while there will shortly be 100 electric vehicles in the council’s fleet as part of a commitment to replace any vehicles with electric versions wherever possible.

Since 2013, the council has secured more than £15million in funding for improvements in home energy efficiency. More than 6000 homes have benefited so far and carbon emissions have reduced by 108,000 tonnes – the equivalent of removing 21,000 cars from the roads.

Recently, the council was awarded £1.8million by the UK Government to turn 75 properties into low energy or EnerPHit homes, which are low energy buildings that require very little energy to heat or cool and could see annual energy bills reduced to £150 for residents.

The council also takes a positive and ambitious approach to biodiversity conservation and promotion and its 2018-2022 Action Plan is working to protect and enhance natural habitats in Renfrewshire as part of its climate change actions.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “As a council, we are striving to reduce our emissions wherever possible as we recognise the immediate threat that climate change poses to our environment.

“We are making great progress in reducing our carbon output, far exceeding our target of 36% by March 2020, and we have undertaken numerous successful projects which are making a real difference to our local environment.

“However, we know we can do more, and this working group will endeavour to identify all areas where we can make a difference – be it immediately or when setting out how to undertake future projects.

“We recognise that the council needs to lead from the front in Renfrewshire and we’re committed to being the driving force that inspires our businesses and residents to follow suit.”

The group next meet on Thursday 23 January and will set out their goals and aspirations for the year ahead.

Proposed front elevation

An innovative housing project in Renfrewshire will help to tackle climate change and could slash tenant’s annual heating bills to £150.

Proposed front elevation

Renfrewshire Council’s housing investment team has been given the green light to deliver a £4.5million retrofit of 75 terraced council houses.

The popular 1960s-built Paisley crosswall construction properties are being given a retrofit to reduce their carbon emissions and improve their energy efficiency.

Together with experts John Gilbert Architects, the Council team has developed a specialist, cost-effective package of works to radically reduce the amount of fuel being burned.

The completed works could enable carbon dioxide emissions to drop by almost 100 tonnes per property over the next 25 years, collectively preventing 7400 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide entering the environment.

And each property’s energy efficiency could rise from Band D to Band B, the second highest Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, bringing the 60-year-old houses in line with most newbuild properties.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Board, said: “These houses are very popular with tenants as they have a front and back door, but unfortunately they weren’t built to meet modern energy efficiency standards.

“We’re very excited about this project which will improve the warmth and comfort levels for our tenants and ensure better ventilation all without the need for them to decant from their home, while at the same time tackling fuel poverty and making a critical contribution towards Renfrewshire being carbon neutral by 2030.

“Everyone should have homes to be proud of and this project will not only greatly improve the quality of Renfrewshire’s housing stock, but has the potential to be scaled up and adapted to fit other types of houses, becoming the blueprint to meet the highest energy efficiency standards.”

Renfrewshire councillors have approved the project plans and consultation will now get underway with tenants before work is scheduled to start this summer, taking around 18-months to complete.

An Energy Performance Survey will benchmark each home’s efficiency before the works start. New external wall insulation, roofing, solar panels, windows, external doors and underfloor insulation are all included, with off-site construction enabling the process at each home to be streamlined to take around 4-6 weeks.

The completed works will achieve the EnerPHit standard, one of the highest energy standards in the UK for an energy performance retrofit.

Lori McElroy, Director of Housing and Energy (Scotland) at the Building Research Establishment, said: “We’re pleased to help with the planning behind this project, which is taking innovative thinking to the next stage by demonstrating a clear solution to a complex issue. We are committed to supporting organisations to deliver the Scottish Government’s Energy Efficient Scotland targets and look forward to measuring and monitoring the project to ensure the best possible outcomes.”

Sarah Buchanan, Innovation Manager, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, said: “We are delighted to be working with Renfrewshire Council and other partners on this innovative project which will bring positive change to the lives of the tenants whilst also creating economic development for Scotland and of course improving carbon emissions. There are an estimated 250,000 crosswall properties across the UK and this pilot project creates an affordable solution for housing stock which can be rolled out at scale.”

The project is part-funded through £1.8million secured from the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Whole House Retrofit competition.

Primary - Heriot - HT, DHT and P2, P5 and P6 pupils - 17 Jan 2020 - JCON (23)

Pupils and teachers at two Paisley schools were over the moon to find out their latest positive inspection results.

Primary - Heriot - HT, DHT and P2, P5 and P6 pupils - 17 Jan 2020 - JCON (23)

Heriot Primary School and Mary Russell School received high praise by Education Scotland for their schools’ progress on improving attainment for children and young people.

Heriot primary was praised for the headteacher’s leadership within the school and the teachers’ creative approaches to learning numeracy and mathematics.

The positive, supportive and inclusive culture within Mary Russell was noted as making for confident children and young people who are achieving a range of national qualifications and wider awards.

Pupils talked positively about their schools, particularly on how they are benefitting from their schools’ ethos.

One pupil at Mary Russell said: “This school is a community and a family. I get lots of support.”

Another pupil added: “We get lots of support to help us decide what to study at college, or what job we want to get. We have visitors who come in and talk to us about our future options.”

At Heriot primary, pupils spoke of their love of maths.

One pupil said: “My favourite subject is maths. It gets your brain going and the teachers give us a challenge, which is fun.”

Another pupil added: “We use the blueprint boards, pictures and materials, like cereal and playdough, to learn maths.”

Hilary Paterson, Headteacher of Heriot primary, added: “I’m incredibly proud to be the Headteacher of Heriot Primary School and our very positive inspection report reflects the dedication and commitment of our staff team.

“Together we continually strive to improve our practice to better support our children and community and improve outcomes for all. We are delighted that our inspection team identified how highly-motivated, engaged and confident our children are due to the nurturing and creative approaches we use at Heriot.”

Headteacher of Mary Russell School, Julie McCallum, said: “We are delighted with the outcomes of the report and especially pleased that inspectors recognised the strong, positive ethos and inclusive culture in our school which is built on our school values.

“Our approaches to wellbeing are improving outcomes for our learners and are leading to positive and sustained destinations for our young people on leaving school.

“Our thanks go to everyone who is involved in the work of our school, our pupils, staff, parents and partners to ensure we continue to deliver high quality outcomes for children and young people with additional support needs.

“Our whole learning community is very proud of what we have achieved and is testament to our school motto of Be All We Can Be! Be Proud of Who We Are!”

To view the inspection reports, visit https://education.gov.scot/education-scotland.

Partners at the Bargeddie plant

A unique new contract will see a minimum of 90% of Renfrewshire’s waste transformed into energy as the area meets the Scottish Government’s landfill ban.

Partners at the Bargeddie plant

The £700 million, 25-year Clyde Valley Residual Waste Project between East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Council and Viridor is now underway and will serve almost one-sixth of Scotland’s population.

It will see up to 190,000 tonnes of general waste diverted from landfill and converted to low-carbon energy and is expected provide a net saving of almost 50,000 tonnes of CO2e every year.

It will also deliver a guaranteed minimum increase in recycling for Renfrewshire, further enhancing the area’s growing environmental prospects having seen its recycling rate improve every quarter since December 2018.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “A key priority of the council is tackling climate change and this project will make a significant difference to the level of C02 we produce by improving the way we deal with our waste.

“Anything that cannot be recycled will now no longer go to landfill and will be transformed into energy instead, making a real difference to our environment and taking our commitment to recycling to a new level.

“Our teams have been working hard over the last decade to make this a reality and we’re looking forward to working with our partnership authorities to ensure that the project achieves the environmental aims it sets out.”

This is the first partnership of its kind in Scotland and will see household waste taken from Renfrewshire and the other local authorities to a Materials Recovery Facility, where it will be further separated to remove recyclable materials before it is treated to produce a refuse derived fuel.

Then, at the brand-new Energy Recover Facility at Dunbar, it is burned at high temperatures, under carefully controlled conditions to produce 258GWh of low-carbon electricity for the national grid – enough to power more than 70,000 homes.

Steven Don, Viridor’s Head of Local Authority Contracts Scotland, said: “The Bargeddie Hub is now receiving waste as part of this contract just in time for the very busy post-festive season period.

“The Clyde Valley Partnership is an excellent example of how local authorities can work together to deliver effective waste management and contribute to a circular economy in Scotland.

“The sophisticated technology at Bargeddie improves recycling and non-recyclable waste treatment, maximising the opportunities to recycle while putting non-recyclable waste to work to generate electricity.”

The contract will also see Viridor deliver a number of community benefits, including annual apprenticeships, educational school visits and training workshops for businesses.

For more information on Renfrewshire’s approach to waste and recycling, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/mybins.

St John Bosco Nursery Painting

Renfrewshire Council is recruiting for dozens of senior and entry-level jobs in nurseries across the area.

Ashlie McLaughlan is an Early Years Graduate at Heriot Early Learning and Childcare Class in Paisley, and says learning on-the-job is what’s great about working in nurseries.

St John Bosco Nursery Painting

St John Bosco Nursery Painting

“Being able to learn on-the-job in the early years sector is hugely important and it has helped me get where I am today.

“I’ve always wanted to work with children and support their learning and development and to make a difference in their lives. I’ve worked in several Renfrewshire nurseries, including Hillview Nursery, St Margaret’s ELCC and now Heriot ELCC, for around 14 years now. I have loved every single moment.

“The role of early years graduate is fairly new and it’s great that there are new positions emerging that give nursery staff the chance to progress in their career. Having already achieved my BA in Childhood Practice and been on the Froebel CPD course, I felt that it was the right move for me to take that next step in my journey and work with staff to embed creative, natural and open-ended play within the nursery.

“Sharing our learning with each other is important and I encourage all team members, long-standing or new in post, to contribute to our shared knowledge and learning. I also work with staff members on training to promote our Frobelian approach to early learning.

“Ensuring our parents know what their child does at nursery and sharing their learning experiences is vital too. When we bake scones together, we make sure to share pictures and recipes with families so they can bake at home too.

“Parents know they can contact us at any time to talk about how their child is doing, and they can stay and play in nursery whenever they want. Our door is always open.

“Our children are enjoying being in nursery for longer days too. Having children in nursery all day lets them explore play in more depth and they are progressing better in their learning.

“If the children are engaged in play before lunch, they know they can get back to it after they’ve eaten. It’s also helped friendships develop and deepen, which in turn is helping children get ready for primary school.

“Working in early years is definitely a career that makes a difference to children and their families. It is a supportive profession and there are plenty of learning and development opportunities.

“If you are thinking about taking a step up, or just interesting in getting your first job in a nursery, I would 100% say go for it.”

To apply for an Early Years Graduate role and other positions, visit www.myjobscotland.gov.uk.

PAC Guide Launch

THE world premiere of John Byrne’s new play, Underwood Lane is one of the highlights of a packed programme of music, theatre, comedy, dance and literature coming to Renfrewshire in the next few months.

PAC Guide Launch

The musical play set in Paisley tells the story of a young skiffle band trying to make the big time.

Artist and playwright, Byrne has written Underwood Lane in memory of his close friend and fellow Buddie, singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty who died nine years ago this month.

PAC Guide Launch

Byrne is one of Scotland’s most talented artists and writers and is best known for his paintings, theatrical masterpieces like The Slab Boys Trilogy and the hit TV shows, Tutti Frutti and Your Cheatin’ Heart.

The play – a co-production from Renfrewshire Leisure and Glasgow’s Tron Theatre – is being premiered at Paisley Arts Centre between Thursday, June 25 and Sunday, June 28. This will be the last show at Paisley Arts Centre before it closes for refurbishment this summer.

PAC Guide Launch

More information about the Underwood Road performances and a host of other events, shows and performances being staged in Renfrewshire are featured in the recently-published What’s On booklet, The Guide for Spring 2020.

The Guide – available to download from www.renfrewshireleisure.com or picked up from all Renfrewshire Leisure sports facilities and venues – details how there is something for everyone when it comes to entertainment, events and stimulating talks and classes at local venues.

There is a strong programme for families including The Shark in the Park Musical show, based on the popular Nick Sharratt’s children’s books, which is being staged at Johnstone Town Hall, on Wednesday February 26.

Children and adults will also be able to enjoy the Easter Fun Day with circus-themed activities along with arts and crafts, at Johnstone Town Hall, on Saturday, April 11.

A not-to-be-missed theatre performance from Arabella Weir, star of TV’s The Fast Show and Two Doors Down, is at Paisley Arts Centre, on Friday, March 27. A best-selling author and actor, Arabella’s show is called Does My Mum Loom Big In This? as she takes to the stage to describe some hilarious anecdotes from her dysfunctional childhood.

Traditional Celtic music at its best can be heard when The Tannahill Weavers play Paisley Arts Centre on Saturday, February 15. And the Scottish Alternative Music Awards return to Paisley Arts Centre for the third year, on Friday and Saturday, March 13 and 14.

For the first time a Paisley Book Festival is being held at various venues between Thursday, February 20 and Saturday, February 29 with the central theme of Radical Voices and Rebel Stories.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “We have a wonderful array of entertainment and events planned for the next few months.

“We’re really excited about the world premiere of John Byrne’s Underwood Lane, which is a play written by a Paisley Buddie, about Paisley and being performed for the first time in Paisley. I’m sure the shows will be a sell-out.

“There’s definitely something for everyone in the latest issue of The Guide whether its music, theatre, dance, children’s entertainment or literature that people enjoy.”

Foster Parents. Renfrewshire council

More kind-hearted people in Renfrewshire are giving looked-after children and young people a loving home than ever before.

Last year, six more households became foster carers after they reached out to the Council’s fostering and adoption team.

Foster Parents. Renfrewshire council

Foster Parents. Renfrewshire council

There is also 71 per cent more children and young people being looked after by aunts and uncles, grandparents or family friends, known as kinship care, than there was 10 years ago.

More than half of all looked-after children and young people are placed in kinship care or with foster carers, but the service is always looking for more people to open their heart and give a child or young person a loving home.

Education and Children’s Services Policy Board Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “Giving children and young people the chance of a positive, brighter future is one of the most rewarding things that people can do, and it takes all kinds of people to support all types of children.

“To foster, you need to be in good health, be over 21 years-old and have enough living space to accommodate a child or young person.

“It doesn’t matter if you are single or unmarried, rent a property, are unemployed or what your religious background or sexual orientation is.

“Foster placements can be a short break, interim or permanent. For those just starting out, short breaks or interim are often the best options.

“If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, you can find out what it entails without making a commitment. Just get in touch with our fostering and adoptions team.”

Potential foster carers can learn more about fostering and the children and young people who need a foster placement at a group preparation session. Attendance at the group session is required before a formal application to become a foster carer can be made.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer, call the fostering and adoption team on 0300 300 1199, email childrenandfamilies@renfrewshire.gov.uk or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/fostering.

Industry & Management 4.0 Eventbrite 2160x1080px v2

EVENT INVITATION

Industry & Management 4.0

What does that mean for you?

 

Thursday 6 February, Abercorn Building, Paisley

Industry & Management 4.0 Eventbrite 2160x1080px v2

Have you thought about what good management will look like in the future?

Are you making best use of your people and systems?

Is your team operating at optimum performance?

At West College Scotland we provide solutions to those questions through project-driven management and leadership training programmes to support you to tackle your business challenges and prepare for change.

Our training packages provide immediate impact for managers, leaders and the organisation.

Join us at our business breakfast on Thursday 6 February at 8am to find out more!

To register visit: http://bit.ly/30gLY1B

SOBS Memorial tree

Renfrewshire’s annual memorial service to commemorate those who have lost their lives to suicide will be held in Paisley later this month.

A short service will take place on Thursday 23 January at Renfrewshire House, hosted by support group Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS).

SOBS Memorial tree

SOBS Memorial tree 25.1.18

The service is open to all and anyone who has been affected by suicide is invited to meet in the Marriage Suite from 3:10pm to collect a commemorative purple heart on which they can write a message to a loved one, if desired.

At 3:30pm there will be a short set of readings followed by a procession to the memorial tree where Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will light the tree.

After the service, all those in attendance are invited to join the Provost, the local SOBS support group and the Choose Life team for light refreshments in Paisley Abbey.

The memorial tree was first dedicated in 2010 as a permanent memorial to those who have died through suicide and is believed to have been the first of its kind in Scotland.

SOBS Memorial tree

SOBS Memorial tree 25.1.18

The service aims to provide an opportunity to remember those who have been lost while providing an arm of support to the survivors. It is an opportunity to connect with others who have faced similar situations.

Provost Cameron, who helped establish the tree, said: “Over the past ten years this service has become extremely important to members of the local community and I’m honoured to be involved.

“Suicide is still very much a taboo subject, but the Choose Life and SOBS team will be available after the service to provide any support you, or a friend or family member, may need, and I would encourage anyone who has been affected by suicide in any manner to come along.

“If you’re unable to make it along, please get in touch with the team to talk about how you are feeling or what support you need. Someone is always there to listen.”

Anyone unable to attend the service who wishes a message to be placed onto the tree can get in touch in advance or can visit the council reception at any time following the service to collect a commemorative heart.

If you are feeling suicidal, or you know someone that might be then please call one of the helpline numbers: Samaritan’s 116 123, Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87, RAMH First Crisis 0141 849 90 90 or 0500 829 093

For more information contact the Choose Life Team on 0141 849 2200 or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/sobs.

nursery

Parents can now apply for nursery placements with 1140 hours of fully-funded early learning and childcare (ELC) from August 2020.

Renfrew mum, Sarah Kelly, says she has seen Charlotte, aged 4, become more confident after receiving 1140 ELC at 3 Bears Nursery.

nursery

She said: “Charlotte started getting 1140 hours of ELC last August and is in nursery four days a week. Since she started getting extra hours, I’ve seen a big change in her. She is much more sociable and has gained a lot of confidence.

“I think it is important that children get their own independence and can self-lead their own learning. Charlotte used to go to nursery just for the morning, but it can take a while for kids to warm up to being in nursery. Having the whole day has made a big difference.

“What it has meant for me is that I have been able to pick up an extra day at work, giving me more money in my pocket. I also don’t feel guilty about Charlotte spending extra time at nursery because she loves it so much and we make more time to do something exciting when we are all together.

“There are many nurseries in Renfrewshire, but I decided on 3 Bears Nursery in Renfrew because it has a good reputation and one of my friends also recommended it. You can visit the nursery you want your child to go to before you apply and see the learning experiences that go on in there.

“I believe nursery is an important part of growing up and helps children get ready for school. These increased hours are a big part of that preparation.

“Charlotte also enjoys being a helper at nursery now that she is older, and this has also improved her interaction skills. I can’t praise 1140 ELC enough.”

Parents of children due to attend nursery from August 2020 must complete an application form and return it to their local nursery by Friday 31 January 2020.

Parents who have children that will return to nursery after August 2020 will be contacted by their nursery to discuss their options for 1140 hours of ELC.

To apply for a nursery place, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/1140ELC.