Renfrewshire Council is cracking down on businesses illegally dumping commercial waste – by bringing in a permit scheme at the area’s five Household Waste Recycling Centres.

In a move to stop commercial operators using the centres, anyone driving a van, pick-up, mini bus or towing a trailer must from 16 July register online for a free permit by 4:30pm the day before they plan to visit a facility.

Permit holders must ensure they bring photo identification and proof of residency to the centre when they visit.

The new system does not apply to residents using a car unless they are towing a trailer.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We are unfortunately having issues with commercial businesses and traders attempting to use our Household Waste Recycling Centres free of charge to dump their trade waste.

“This is illegal and is not fair to other Renfrewshire residents who are using the sites correctly.

“Under the new system, drivers of commercial-style vehicles will need to apply for a permit each time they visit a site, and the permit will only be valid for the date and vehicle applied for.

“Waste brought to any of our five centres may be subject to inspection and, if deemed to be commercial waste, the person will be refused access to the site.

“This change brings us into line with other local authorities and aims to stop illegal commercial dumping and free up our centres for residents who are using the service correctly.”

Residents can apply online for a free permit by filling out an application on the Council’s website at

The website also includes detailed information and frequently asked questions to help residents familiarise themselves with the new permit system.

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Residents are set to see a change to their bin collection service later this year as part of a drive to improve recycling across Renfrewshire.

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

With evidence showing 69% of rubbish being placed in the general waste bin could have been recycled, the new service aims to encourage people to be better recyclers and help Renfrewshire fulfil the national Household Recycling Charter objectives.

As part of the changes, residents will be provided with an additional bin to help separate out their recycling and reduce the amount of waste produced ahead of a ban on sending untreated biodegradable waste to landfill by 2021.

The changes to collections will include:

  • A new green wheelie bin, for plastics, cans and glass and will be collected on alternate fortnights with the blue bin
  • The blue bin will now be for paper and cardboard only and will be collected on alternate fortnights with the green bin
  • The grey general waste bin will be collected every three weeks
  • There is no change to the brown food and garden waste bin which is still collected fortnightly

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “The change to the bin collection service later this year will give residents the opportunity to reduce the amount of rubbish in their general waste bin and spread it out into an extra recycling bin.

“We recognise that that this is a change for residents but everyone will still receive a weekly collection and by recycling correctly they will be able to see a difference in the level of rubbish they are producing.

“Other local authorities who have moved to a similar service have seen a significant improvement in recycling, meaning there are less disposal costs and the money saved can be reinvested into other vital services including investing in our schools, our roads and caring for the most vulnerable in our communities.

“We will be launching a campaign in the next few months to ensure residents have all the correct information in advance of the changes and we will work closely with them to guide them through the new process to ensure the new service works efficiently.”

The new collection service delivery model will impact on the 90,000 properties across Renfrewshire which have a kerbside collection service and is set to be delivered in late 2018.

Approximately 30,000 Renfrewshire properties, which includes tenements, maisonettes and high flats, will see no change to their general waste collection but the service will be tailored to allow these properties access to the new service.

All residents affected by the changes will see receive detailed information in advance of the new service change on how to recycle correctly, what can be placed in each bin and the schedule of bin collections.

Information and updates will be provided via the Renfrewshire Council social media accounts and at

Fitness fans certainly kept their cool when they took part in a marathon aerobics session to raise money for charity.

They took part of their Six-Hour Sweat Sesh outdoors in the sunshine at the ON-X, in Linwood and were cooled down by being sprayed with water from a hose.

Around 60 people took part in the Sweat Sesh as part of Renfrewshire Leisure’s annual fundraising effort for St Vincent’s and ACCORD hospices, which sees different charity sporting events being staged.

Charlie McDougall, senior facilities manager at Renfrewshire Leisure who organises the charity events said:
“It was scorching the day we had our Six Hour Sweat Sesh in the ON-X, so we took some of the exercises outdoor. And to make sure no one was suffering too much from the heat we sprayed them with water from a hose.

“It was great fun and thanks to everyone who took part.”

A ladies boxing class from Johnstone have raised £1,000 for a national charity during a funday to celebrate 100 years of Woman’s suffrage.

Boxing Coach Theresa Jack and Wellbeing counsellor Paula Adleigh, from Renfrewshire Boxing Ladies, held a special session of the popular Boxfit fitness and self-defence class on Sunday.

Supported by regular gym members, the class was able to raise nearly £1,000 by selling bonus ball numbers to win a bike, having a raffle and the ticket sales on the day.

The target was £1,000 and to push them over that amount, the Boxing Ladies will be taking part in the Paisley 10k Fun Run.

Paula Adleigh, said:  “We are celebrating 100 years since the suffragettes won the right to vote but for some women, like ourselves, what better way is there to celebrate that than in a boxing gym.

“As well as boxing and fitness, we teach self-defence in our women-only classes. Tia and myself were taught by Pat Sheridan who has been instrumental in the Paige’s Promise charity in Glasgow and surrounding areas.

“We would like to thank all the regular members of the gym, everyone who has donated raffles prizes and bought tickets and those who have shown their support for today.

“We’d especially like to thank Colin Bellshaw, owner of Saltire Boxing Gym for allowing us to take over the gym and provided the advertising and promotion for the event. We would also like to thank Pam Bellshaw who was the heart and soul of today. Pam has been up to the wee small hours and today would not have been possible without her.”

The funday was organised at Saltire Gym in Johnstone to raise money for the charity Rape Crisis Scotland where Paula works on the charity’s telephone helpline, she explained: “Rape Crisis Scotland is a feminist organisation that campaigns to raise awareness of the extent of sexual violence in Scotland and to reduce the negative impact of sexual violence on survivors and others affected by sexual violence by advocating for better service responses from the government and the public sector including the justice system.

“Some of the work that Rape Crisis Scotland has carried out in the past decade has included setting up the National Advocacy Project. A national prevention project delivered through local rape crisis centres across Scotland.

“The Rape Crisis National Helpline, where I work, supports anyone who is affected by sexual violence. This includes survivors, their family, friends and anyone who works with survivors. We work with survivors of all genders.”

Paula gave some examples of what she might face during a phone call on a typical day on the Rape Crisis Helpline, she said: “A worker like me will support someone who is dealing with the trauma of rape and other forms of sexual violence. Sexual violence can include childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, flashing, inappropriate touching or stalking.”

Survivors usually experience abuse from people they know, which includes partners in current relationships.

Paula added: “The impact of this abuse can be experienced as flashbacks, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, depression as well as isolation and rejection from family and friends.

“In Scotland during 2016-17, 10,822 sexual crimes were reported to the police. That is an increase of 5% on the previous year where there were 1,755 rapes and 123 attempted rapes. Yet we know that a majority of survivors do not report to the police. In 2016-17, the helpline took 5,628 calls and responded to 1,076 emails.

“I applied last year to Rape Crisis Scotland to do my counsellor training with them. I was advised when I did my first ever counselling course by my tutor that this would be the hardest training to get into and if I was successful I’d have to bring my best self to the course as the training would be hard and is the gold standard in its field.

“The advisor wasn’t lying – it is the most thorough, hardest training I have done, but it is for me the most important thing I have ever had the privilege to be part of.”

Male and female Boxfit class for all levels are held every Monday to Thursday at 9.30am & 7.30pm, Friday at 9.30am, Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10am at Saltire Boxing & Bootcamp, 26 Macdowall St, Johnstone.

Woman only Boxfit classes are held on Friday’s at 7.30pm. Children’s boxing classes are also available. To find out more information please contact the gym via or visit their Facebook Page here: Entry is £5 per session on a pay as you go basis. A monthly plan is also available.

Words: Ricky Kelly – Renfrewshire News; Photos:

Schools may be out but the ever-popular Street Stuff activities don’t stop as the packed summer programme launches today (2 July).

Football, dance, gaming, DJ workshops and much more will be available for young people aged 8 to16 to take part in for free this summer.

With no school to look forward to each day, all young people are being invited to take part in the summer clubs at a range of venues across Renfrewshire.

Afternoon clubs will take place in Renfrew, Johnstone, Paisley and Linwood from 2 July until 11 August, with core evening sessions on each day except Sundays.

Young people attending an afternoon session will also receive a free healthy lunch as they’re sure to work up an appetite at whichever activity they take part in.

Those who attend will also get the chance to have their say on what they would like to see as part of the 10 year Street Stuff birthday celebration next year.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “With bundles of energy to spare with no schoolwork over the summer, Street Stuff provides the perfect opportunity to tire them out each day.

“Our brilliant team of coaches and volunteers will help engage them in different activities each day whether they’re a dancer, footballer or gamer.

“With the added addition of a healthy lunch to keep them going during the day, I’m sure it’ll be a struggle to get them home from each activity.

“All young people are free to come along, make friends and have a fantastic summer.”

Street Stuff is a diversionary project run in partnership between Renfrewshire Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Engage Renfrewshire and St Mirren Football Club.

The programme began in 2009 in Renfrewshire contributing to a reduction in youth disorder and anti-social behaviour by 75 per cent over the first five years with a sustained reduction of 65 per cent.

Find out exactly when each club is on at

Glasgow Airport will today (Wednesday, July 4) host an innovative and immersive experience designed to give staff and passengers a better understanding of some of the difficulties faced by people living with dementia.

Passengers and many of the airport’s 5000 staff will be invited to take part in the Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT) in a mobile unit based outside the main terminal today.

The interactive sessions are designed to give an understanding of the physical, cognitive and sensory changes a person living with dementia may experience.

During the taster sessions, staff will be asked to complete a range of daily living tasks while having their physical and sensory abilities altered.  They will feel and behave in a similar way to those living with dementia and will be able to empathise with some of the difficulties they face when they are not provided with appropriate support.

Those taking part in the Virtual Dementia Tour will learn:

  • How the environment can help and hinder a person living with dementia
  • Describe ways to make the environment conducive and promote dignity and respect for people with dementia
  • Identify ways to improve communication and challenge stereotypes and labelling of people living with dementia
  • Understand the importance of person-centred care and approaches for people who have dementia
  • Relate to how a person with dementia may feel in an unfamiliar environment such as an airport

The visit of the Virtual Dementia Tour comes one year after Glasgow became the first airport in the UK to host the Autism Reality Experience.

Glasgow Airport’s Terminal Compliance Manager Paul Scott said: “The Autism Reality Experience was a fantastic success last year for a number of reasons.

“Prior to its visit we would normally receive between four or five requests a month for assistance to support a passenger with autism. Following the visit, and the exposure it received, we now receive more than four or five requests every week.

“These drop-in sessions really excel in providing passengers and the wider airport staff with a much better understanding of the difficulties people with hidden disabilities face.

“It’s important our staff are aware of this and that’s where the Virtual Dementia Tour really works well – it gives them an understanding of the challenges a person living with this dreadful condition has to overcome on a daily basis.

The VDT has been developed by world-renowned geriatric specialist P.K Beville with an aim to increase empathy and insight into living with dementia.  Training2Care UK Ltd is the sole UK license holder offering structured training sessions to a wide range of organisations throughout the UK.

This includes care and nursing homes, day centres, hospitals, hospices, local authorities, universities and the retail sector.

Training2Care’s Managing Director Glenn Knight said: “An airport can often be a daunting and overwhelming place for someone with dementia.  We are pleased to be working with Glasgow Airport as the first airport in the UK to offer the Virtual Dementia Tour to its workforce and passengers.

“Staff working in various areas in the airport will gain a better insight into what dementia might be like. As a result they will be able to enable people with dementia to have a better experience at the airport with support from staff who have seen the world from their perspective.

“We see this training experience as a positive step from Glasgow Airport towards building on its existing special assistance service by also creating a dementia-inclusive environment.”

Glasgow Airport has been working with a number of different charities to improve staff training and awareness of hidden disabilities and to improve the assistance it provides. If travelling with have a hidden disability the airport can provide a lanyard which will discreetly identify a passenger to airport staff as requiring additional support.

The airport’s front line staff have been trained to recognise these lanyards and offer special assistance to passengers. To obtain one, passengers and/or their travel companions can visit the special assistance desk on the ground floor in the main check-in area.

To request assistance of any kind, passengers can call 0141 842 7700 (24 Hr) or email

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  • More than 200,000 expected over weekend


  • Busiest weekend of 2018




Glasgow Airport is preparing for its busiest weekend of the year so far as tens of thousands take to the skies for the summer holidays.

More than 200,000 passengers are expected to travel through the airport this weekend as the school holidays get underway.


The majority of travellers will be heading for popular sunshine hotspots such as Palma, Alicante, the Canary Islands, Crete, Florida, Dalaman in Turkey, Bourgas in Bulgaria. Other popular city break destinations include Paris, Munich, New York, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Rome and Dubai.


Additional staff will be on hand at peak times over the weekend to provide support and assurance for passengers as they prepare for check-in and security.


The airport will also be providing plenty of entertainment for young departing travellers to ensure their holidays get off to a flying start.  This will include a kids’ zone in the departures area featuring arts and craft activities including face painting, while sweet-toothed youngster can also enjoy a cone from our ice-cream cart.   


Mark Johnston, Glasgow Airport Managing Director, said: “The recent great weather will hopefully have ensured our passengers travelling through the airport this weekend are in the holiday spirit. There’s always a great atmosphere in terminal, particularly as the school term has come to an end and thousands of families arrive at the airport ahead of their holidays.


“This weekend is sure to be one of our busiest ever and we’ll have plenty of activities in the main departure lounge to help occupy the children.


“Given that the airport will be busier than usual we would encourage passengers to allow enough time for check-in and to ensure they are prepared for the security area and have their boarding passes ready.


“All liquids, gels and pastes carried in hand luggage should be 100ml or less and carried in a 20cm x 20cm clear plastic bag, which should be presented out with their hand luggage at the security check point.


“Passengers should also organise their hand luggage appropriately before they go through our X-Ray machines, which means removing laptops and other large electrical equipment from their bags and placing them flat and unobstructed in the tray along with smaller items such as keys, coins, watched and phones.


“Small steps such as these really help to ensure our passengers pass through security as quickly and smoothly as possible so they can relax and enjoy the start of their holiday.”


Glasgow Airport completed a £1.4 million project earlier this year to increase the central search security area by 20 per cent. This investment was part of a wider £24 million terminal transformation programme, which included a number of enhancements to the airport’s retail offering including new Fat Face and JD Sports stores.

SNP MSP Derek Mackay is urging Renfrewshire’s dog owners not to leave their pets in hot cars this summer.

Mr Mackay is highlighting research undertaken by Dogs Trust which shows that almost people believe it is ok to leave a dog in a car if counter-measures are taken, such as leaving a window open or parking under a tree.

Under 20 minutes in a hot car can prove fatal to a dog, should its body exceed 41°C. Within a matter of minutes, as the temperature rises in your car, your dog’s suffering will become evident through excessive panting, whimpering or barking. This will then develop into a loss of muscle control and ultimately their kidneys will cease to function, the brain will become damaged and their heart will stop.

The Renfrewshire North & West MSP is warning constituents that on even wet or cooler days, leaving their pet in the car even for a few minutes can be dangerous.

Mr Mackay said:

“Many people don’t know that dogs take a lot longer than humans to cool down and with temperatures rising over the summer it is more important than ever that dog owners are warned of the dangers of leaving their pets unattended in cars. Even on cooler or very wet days, cars can become very hot, very quickly, and be fatal for dogs.

“You just need to touch the dashboard or seat of a car to see how hot it can get. And parking in the shade or leaving the window down will not make it any safer.

“If you are carrying your dog in the car over the summer carry plenty of drinking water for it, use sun blinds on the windows and do not leave the dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes.

“If you do see a dog in distress in a parked car call the police or the SSPCA immediately.”

Young people across Renfrewshire are having their say on school menus as part of an initiative to improve their mental and physical wellbeing.

Healthy eating at Johnstone High School 20.6.18

The health peer education project Hearty Lives is working with young people in secondary schools to identify their top health priorities.

Financed by Renfrewshire Council’s Tackling Poverty fund and operated in partnership with Active Communities, each school has a teacher coordinator who works with a group of pupils who promote issues students identify as important to them, such as healthy eating and make improvements for their fellow students.

School catering staff have met regularly with some of the groups and as new school menus were introduced just weeks ago across Johnstone, Gryffe, Castlehead, Trinity, Park Mains, Paisley Grammar and Renfrew High Schools and pupils and staff are already enjoying the positive benefits.

Renfrewshire’s Year of Young People Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell dropped into Johnstone High to see what a difference the initiative has made.

She said: “The message from the young people here has very much been how much they value having their voices heard and having an input into something as fundamental as the food on their plates.

“It’s not just that there’s a wider choice of menu options, but that young people are encouraged to sit down and eat with their friends in a social setting.

“They see lunch as a social situation, which is such a positive thing in terms of their health and wellbeing.

“Sharing a meal is something which unites us all and this is something that will develop going forward, for young people’s entire school careers.”

A healthier breakfast service has been introduced to phase out traditional filled rolls in favour of choices such as toast, poached eggs and fruit, as well as reducing the size and availability of home baking options.

Healthy food choices are now more prominently displayed at serving areas with catering staff encouraged to ‘nudge’ pupils to make healthier choices.

Young people have been invited to taster sessions, including primary seven pupils ahead of starting S1 after the summer

Second year pupil Thea Brady said: “I think the new menu is good as there are a lot of choices, especially for people who perhaps have food allergies to think about.”

Aidan Hepburn, 16, who is a fourth year pupil at the school, said: “Ever since it started I’ve really liked it as there’s a much better choice and it’s much healthier.

“There are also choices if you are vegan. I’ve been enjoying coming to the canteen.”

Head teacher Lynne Hollywood says that in the weeks since the new menu was introduced there have been positive changes across the school.

She said: “This for us is about so much more than the food that’s going into the children, it’s more about a lifestyle change.

“When we had our school health week, our home economics staff worked with catering staff to showcase the new menu to the pupils and to encourage staff to come down and eat alongside them.

“The buzz in here having everyone eating together from proper plates with cutlery was great. You can’t underestimate the impact of the social side of sharing a meal together, of talking and interacting.

“The pupils have had a huge impact on the menu. We’ve had tasting sessions where only the pupils were there as we found if the catering staff were offering different foods the pupils might be reluctant to try it, but if they were being offered it by the fifth and sixth year pupils they were much keener.

“Going forward, the pupils will very much continue to be involved and to have a voice.”

Pupils have also been able to undergo valuable work experience in the school kitchen alongside catering staff.

Lynne Hollywood added: “The benefits to the young people and the staff are enormous, it lets them feel they are connected to the school and makes everyone feel they are much more part of a team.

“The challenge has been to encourage our young people to stay in the school grounds at lunchtime and enjoy the environment here.”

The school’s Hearty Lives coordinator Ainsley Brown said: “The group of pupils worked with our catering manager to redo the school menus as along with young people across Renfrewshire, they were keen to see more healthy choices.

“The kids were able to give their feedback after taster sessions and it’s great to see the pupils eating more sociably.”

New school menus offer up social and health benefits for young people

By Renfrewshire Council Leader, Cllr Iain Nicolson

The good work going on at Johnstone High and other schools highlights how the food on our plate is about so much more than being mere fuel.

The Hearty Lives project, supported by our Tackling Poverty fund, now has 210 trained peer educators across Renfrewshire Secondary Schools.

They have worked with 5,000 pupils on a range of issues, including diet and nutrition and aims to help them lead their own activities to improve their health and wellbeing.

Youth mental health is a key priority and sharing a meal with family, friends or our peer group is a positive thing- whether it’s bonding through shared experiences, relaxing, or just having someone to talk to.

It’s clear to see that by encouraging our young people to eat better in school canteens where they find the choices attractive, then they’ll choose to spend time there with their friends in a safe and nurturing environment.

If young people are introduced this in their formative years of Secondary School then it’s something they can take with them through school and beyond.

It’s great to see young people’s voices shaping the way we deliver our services and we hope it encourages young people to have the confidence to get involved.

Valuable work experience in the kitchens allows pupils and staff to feel part of the school community.

As well as improving their health, sitting down to eat with their fellow pupils is also great for developing social and communication skills, which in turn will help their learning.

In the Year of Young People, it’s especially relevant to support projects such as this and we have committed £5 million over the next five years to the Tackling Poverty fund to continue key projects such as Hearty Lives which we know are making a real impact for young people and their families.