Renfrewshire Young Dads – Open Day

The Studio @ The Wynd

Thurs 21 February, 2pm – 4pm Event Price: Free

Renfrewshire Young Dads, lottery funded by Awards For All, is a group for young fathers, aged 16-25, to socialise and meet other Renfrewshire dads, whilst combining a passion for games including computer and board games.

renfrewshire young dads

An open day for anyone interested in the project, including young fathers, families and professionals, will be taking place on Thursday 21st February, 2pm-4pm, at The Wynd Centre, 6 School Wynd, Paisley.

The group allows individuals to play the games they love and discover new games, developing their confidence as young fathers. They will have the opportunity to play games with their children, encouraging the babies to learn to talk, move and interact, ultimately, strengthening their relationship as father and child.

Supported by Scottish Youth Theatre and Barnardo’s Threads, where identified, advice for young fathers and other services will be made available.

More information about the project can be found by visiting

For more events please visit our partner website

Community Planning Conference for young people working at tables

Hundreds of young people have their say at youth conference

Over 150 people have taken part in Renfrewshire’s first ever Community Planning conference for young people, held at Trinity High School.

The aim of the conference was to give young people a unique opportunity to share their views on vital community issues, and to collaborate on solutions, with the council and its community planning partners.

The conference brought together six groups of young people who had each made a short film reflecting one of Renfrewshire’s community planning themes. The themes are:

  • Children and young people
  • Community care, health and wellbeing
  • Community safety and public protection
  • Empowering communities
  • Jobs and the economy
  • Sustainable Renfrewshire.

The films can be viewed at Renfrewshire Council’s Community Planning Facebook page at:

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said, “We are committed to giving young people the opportunity to be involved in the decisions that affect them and to speak out on the issues that they feel strongly about. This conference gave local young people the chance to comment on the themes which will make up the Community Plan and to shape its priorities. This conference is the first stage in our conversation with young people.”

The young people who attended the event were encouraged to tweet to their friends and classmates about the conference in real time. Their comments reflected the enthusiasm the young people brought to the day.

“I’m not sure politics is dead. Young people seem to be willing to talk about it, which is encouraging.”

“Brilliant quote from Jennifer in the Mary Russell video, ‘What makes you feel respected? Friends.’”

“Got to be the first event where I’m allowed to sit on my phone!”

“Bullying and anxiety is no laughing matter. Deep, deep video there. Definitely enjoyed it.”

“It’s wonderful to rant about the problems in the world and actually be listened to!”

“Feel like I’m missing out, not being at yon Youth Conference.”

Community planning brings together all the agencies which provide services to the public in Renfrewshire including: Engage Renfrewshire, the Federation of Local Housing Associations in Renfrewshire, Job Centre Plus NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Reid Kerr College, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, SPT, Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Strathclyde Police and the University of the West of Scotland.

The new Community Plan will be published in the Spring.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at

Scottish Youth Parliament

Candidates for the Scottish Youth Parliament hit the campaign trail

Candidates for the upcoming Scottish Youth Parliament election in March are set to hit the campaign trail across Renfrewshire to talk to pupils and young people about their manifestos, and why they should vote for them.

Five Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament will represent Renfrewshire in the Scottish Youth Parliament for its next two-year term. Two will be returned for the Paisley constituency, one for Renfrewshire South, and two for Renfrewshire North and West.

Scottish Youth ParliamentCouncillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of the Council’s Education Policy Board said: “It’s important that young people should take the time to listen to the candidates talk about their manifesto when they visit schools over the next few weeks. Young people have a part to play in influencing decision makers and by choosing their representatives for the Scottish Youth Parliament, they know that the issues that are important to them are being aired.

“I’d ask that everyone gets involved 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.

The Scottish Youth Parliament is made up of 150 young people, aged 14-25, who 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 candidates are listed surname, first name, constituency and school.

Bouzidi Darren  Renfrewshire South      Linwood High School

Buchanan Jordan Renfrewshire South      St Benedict’s High School

Ferns Adam      Renfrewshire North and West     University of West Scotland

Gray Rebecca    Renfrewshire North and West     Gryffe High School

McKay Robyn     Renfrewshire North and West     Park Mains High

Middleton Emma  Renfrewshire North and West     Gryffe High School

Craig Laura     Paisley                         Gleniffer High School

Darku Denzel    Paisley                         Paisley Grammar

Gray Bronwyn    Paisley                         Gleniffer High School

Hendrie Emma    Paisley                         St Andrew’s Academy

Jardine Rebecca Paisley                         Gryffe High School

McGowan Andrew  Paisley University of West Scotland

Sharkey Mhari   Paisley Paisley Grammar School

Smith   Ben     Paisley St Andrew’s Academy

You can view the candidates’ manifestos on the Scottish Youth Parliament’s website.

Renfrewshire Chamber today (Fri 15.2.13) held a cross party Independence Debate, hosted by STV’s anchor man John MacKay. The 100+ attendees packed into the lecture theatre at Reid Kerr College’s

Abercorn Conference Centre in Paisley to question the political panel that included:

-Derek MacKay MSP – SNP
-Annabel Goldie MSP – Conservative
-Garry Clark – Scottish Chambers of Commerce
-Douglas Alexander MP – Labour
-Councillor Eileen McCartin – Liberal Democrats

Intependence Debate

The panel were asked questions on a wide range of topics including:

-Is Independence good for business?
-Why is there so much focus on this subject when the economy is struggling?
-Will we be better off in an independent Scotland?
-Plus many more questions on the EU, embassies, NATO etc….

In addition to business people, teachers and pupils from 3 Renfrewshire High Schools attended; Renfrew, Linwood and Gleniffer. Questions asked by the young people included:

-What impact will Independence have on the future of young people in Scotland?
-Should 16 yr olds have a vote on Independence?

chamber logo 2012 writingThe panel and audience were well behaved in what can be an emotive subject. John MacKay ensured all the panel had their fair share of air time allowing them the chance to respond to the many questions.

Chamber president Tom Johnston commented  “…this debate has been in the planning for a long time. It is not easy to get such a high profile panel all in the one place at the same time. The Chamber was delighted with the turnout today of over 100 members – and also great to see so many young people attending and taking a genuine interest in their future. We plan to have a follow up debate in 2014 – by then more information, facts & figures will be available”.

This event was a free event for Renfrewshire Chamber members – to find out more about the Chamber visit


Oscar nominated animation kicks off Film Season at Paisley Arts Centre. 

From big screen romances to tartan clad heroines, we have a fantastic line up of films to suit all tastes this spring from 3 March – 18 June.

This season we are teaming up with Refugee Week Scotland, an annual programme of exciting events designed to celebrate diversity and raise awareness of refugee issues. Plus, our new cafe provider Beangrinder will be providing new children’s lunch bags which will be available to purchase from the Paisley Arts Centre cafe before all of our 2pm screenings.

First on the bill on 9 March, 2pm is no less than an Oscar-nominated animation. Disney-Pixar’s Brave (PG) features Merida, a hot-headed daughter of royalty who is determined to make her own way in the world. That is, until she defies a custom that brings bedlam to her kingdom, forcing her to use her bravery and archery skills to undo the horrid curse.


This is then followed by Devdas (PG), a classic Bollywood romance based on the novel by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhye. Set in the early 1900s, it tells the story of Devdas as he makes his way home to India, where his ex-love Paro still lives. Previously engaged to be married, does Paro still love Devdas? This film will be shown on 12 March at 7.15pm.

On April 13 at 2pm, the beautifully hand drawn caper A Cat in Paris (PG) follows the tale of Dino, a cat that leads a double life on the shadow drenched alleyways of Paris. This showing is part of the larger Puppet Animation Festival, dedicated to transporting children and families to magical worlds of make-believe via puppetry and performing arts events.

J.M Barrie’s 1904 book inspired our June 22 (at 2pm) screening, the 1953 version of the classic, Peter Pan (PG). Join the young boy who refuses to grow up, his hot-tempered pal Tinker Bell and the Darling Children as they soar away to the mysterious Never-Never Land.

Created for Refugee Week Scotland, our final Refugee Week Scotland Film has been curated by the Association of African Communities in Renfrewshire as part of the annual week-long programme of events. This film will also be followed by a short performance provided by Renfrewshire Effort to Empower Minorities.

Tickets to Brave, Devdas, A Cat in Paris and Peter Pan all cost £4 (£2 concession). Admission to the Refugee Week Scotland Film is free.

For further information on any of the films on at Paisley Arts Centre this season, future events and shows log on to or follow us on Facebook


Paisley Piranhas make a splash at West of Scotland Championships

Nine swimmers from a top Paisley swimming club made a huge splash last Saturday by winning 17 medals at a West of Scotland championship.

The event, run by West of Scotland Association of Swimming Clubs for those with a disability, saw the Paisley Piranhas win an impressive medal haul of 15 gold and two silvers at Scotstoun Leisure Centre.

swimFour swimmers who were representing the team for the first time (Rachel Killens, Michael McPhee, Kerr McKenzie and Angus McKinnon) all took home gold.  A full results list is attached below.

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener for Renfrewshire’s Sport, Leisure, and Culture Policy Board, said: “This is an outstanding achievement for these young athletes and for Renfrewshire. To take home15 gold and two silver medals is fantastic and my congratulations go to all who took part.

“The club is run by our Active Schools team and it does a wonderful job to offer young people with disabilities training and competition opportunities. Three of the club’s swimmers have been selected to compete in the Special Olympics in Bath this summer, so watch this space.”

John McPhee from Paisley is dad to two of the winning swimmers – Polly and Michael McPhee. He said: “I went to Scotstoun Leisure Centre recently to cheer on the Paisley Piranhas at the Regional Championships of the West of Scotland Federation of Swimming Clubs for people with a disability.  What a special day it was. Many thanks to the coaches, officials and helpers but most of all to the competitors.  Everyone was a star.”

The swimming club currently has 20 swimmers. It caters for those with learning and physical disabilities from children into adulthood.

The three swimmers who will compete in the Special Olympics this summer are Graeme McNeil, Tony Napolitano and Jennifer Costelly.

Anyone looking for more information about the Paisley Piranhas should call Susannah Pietryga on 01505 325417 or 07774016347.

Results from the 9 February 2013 regional championships:

Tony Napolitano,18, Reid Kerr College, achieved gold in her 25m back crawl and silver in her 25m freestyle events.

Polly McPhee, 9, St Anthony’s Primary School, achieved gold in her 25m back crawl and silver in her 25m freestyle events.

Kerr McKenzie, 8, Heriot Primary School achieved gold in his 25m back crawl and gold in his 25m freestyle events.

Daniel McDonald, 12, Mary Russell School, achieved gold in his 25m back crawl and gold in his 25m Freestyle events.

Rachel Killens, 15, St Benedicts High School achieved gold in her 25m back crawl and gold in her 25m freestyle events.

Michael McPhee, 15, Castlehead High School achieved gold in his 25m back crawl and gold in his 25m freestyle events.

Graeme McNeil, 21, Reid Kerr College, achieved gold in his 25m back crawl and gold in his 25m freestyle events.

Jennifer Costello, 14, Mary Russell School, achieved gold in her 25m back crawl and gold in her 25m freestyle events.

Angus McKinnon, 9, Houston Primary School achieved gold in his 25m freestyle event.

Information from

Paisley Rugby Club Ceilidh

Paisley Rugby Club is holding their annual fundraising ceilidh on Saturday 23rd February in Glenburn Community Centre, Fairway Avenue from 7.00pm till midnight. (over 18’s)

Haggis, neeps and tatties and a finger buffet will be served and dancing will be led by ceilidh band ‘Calm Doon’ to help you to work up an appetite!

Tickets costing £15, full time students £10 are available from the clubhouse on Ross St – on the right hand side of Powerleague (pitz) – just ask for June Kir,  alternatively phone the club on 0141 887 5544 and leave a message because its not ringing ( waiting on engineer) or pay at door on night.  Reserve and collect on the night.

Paisley Rugby Club is the only rugby club in Paisley and relies heavily on fundraising so please come along and enjoy a fun evening while lending your support.

Find out more about Paisley Rugby Club on their website





We are a brand new choir established specifically for the West of Scotland, and we are looking to recruit the excellent jazz singing talent we already know is to be found in our area.

jazzOur aims are:


  • To have fun creating high quality music together
  • To develop a wide repertoire of great jazz songs drawn from all over the world – from American songbook to original compositions – from swing to  bossa nova – from blues to ballads.
  • To sing original arrangements and compositions which are both a cappella and  piano accompanied, and we will use a variety of musicians  as  and when the need arises.
  • To perform our repertoire in concerts we put on ourselves.
  • To perform at a variety of events such as festivals; charity events; concerts; shows; clubs.

We have worked hard over the past few months to get the background work done, and it is now time for the singing to begin!

Who /what are we looking for?


  • Singers who like a challenge
  • Enthusiastic singers – experienced and not so experienced – who have a good ear for music.
  • Singers who can read music quite well  (though we will be giving training in this as we go along so  a basic knowledge will not stop you from joining)
  • People who have a good sense of rhythm
  • People who work well in a group


If you think you fit the bill, then we would like to hear from you and invite you to come along to one of our rehearsals which take place fortnightly, on Monday evenings, starting on 18th February in Paisley.

…..and of course , if you have any other questions you would like answered then please get in touch.


Our Choir Manager – Carol Smith on 01505 614703 or mobile – 07979 184257
Email Carol at –

Sophie Bancroft final 3.003

CFS Music presents

The Wonderful Jazz Duo of


Old Kilbarchan Library on Friday 22nd February at 7.30pm

SophieBancroft, vocalist and songwriter, and her long time partner, the outstanding jazz double bass player TomLyne, are both very well known, each in their own right, in the Scottish jazz scene and beyond.

Sophie and Tom will fill the evening with their dynamic, intimate and very entertaining interpretations of classic jazz songs, both old and new, interspersed with original material of Sophie’s, some of which are featured on their newly released album ‘You Turned the Tables on Me’ which is currently receiving critical acclaim.

 Sophie Bancroft final 3.003

The original pieces reflect some of the musical legends Sophie admits have shaped her work such as BillieHolliday and DorisDay. Her Scottish roots are not forgotten either as is very apparent in their Blues version of RobertBurns’ song ‘Can Ye Sew Cushions’. Her lyrics are mainly drawn from her own life experiences but not surprisingly seem to strike a chord with audiences of all ages.


No matter where they take their influences from, when performing together they become as one, creating a truly unique blend of voice and musicianship which is a joy to experience.

‘Bancroft and Lyne kept their audience entertained throughout the set. The hour flew by, and thanks to the intimate setting, the anecdotes and the warmth of the two performers, it was like an evening with old friends.” (4 stars)


Tickets are £12 and are available directly from the venue by calling 01505 706070 between 10 – 12 noon and 2 – 4pm or by emailing Carol at


Priorities protected as Renfrewshire faces ‘tough budget challenge’

Education, jobs and economic regeneration, and services for children and vulnerable adults have been prioritised in what Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan has described as a ‘tough budget challenge’ faced by the council.

A meeting of Renfrewshire Council on Thursday February 14 agreed a £368.9million revenue budget and a £115m capital budget for 2013-15.

“It’s important people understand the funding difficulties Renfrewshire Council has consistently been faced with in recent years,” said Councillor Macmillan.

Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1“Those are having a damaging impact on the council’s ability to deliver the services our citizens and our communities need and deserve.

“Renfrewshire has been on the grant floor of Scottish Government funding every year since 2009 – the only mainland local authority to be treated in that way.

“Renfrewshire is one of a group of just eight out of 32 Scottish councils which had cash cut in government funding for 2013-14 – in our case, £2m.

“The Scottish Government’s funding per head of population in Renfrewshire for 2013-14 is £1959.60 – less than we received in 2008, and over £43 less per person than the average funding to Scottish councils in the year ahead.

“Yet there is widespread recognition that Renfrewshire’s population is in need of more support than other areas due to worse than average life expectancy, income deprivation, and youth unemployment.

“Renfrewshire has had to meet a £16m funding gap over two years.

“The council also has to address the impact of £22million being taken out of the Renfrewshire economy by the forthcoming UK Government welfare and benefit changes.

“We are putting in place a  wide-ranging programme  to support the thousands of Renfrewshire residents, including establishing a 45-strong team who will provide support on benefit, welfare and debt issues.

“The combined impact of all these challenges means that the council has had to make some very difficult decisions.”

Over the next two years, Renfrewshire Council will lose 250 jobs though there will be no compulsory redundancies, and the total job losses are significantly less than the 1200 jobs shed over the last three years.

There will be some changes in the education budget but all the savings will be reinvested in education.

All children in P1-3 who are entitled to a free school meal will now also be eligible for a free meal during the school holidays.  This will replace the provision of free school meals to P1-P3 pupils in a minority of local schools who currently receive a free school meal although they aren’t eligible under the national guidelines.

“The targeting of free school meals to those families who need it most and the protection of the education budget as a whole reflect key themes of this council’s approach.

“There have had to be tough decisions. However, with the resources available to us, the council has prioritised the services that matter most to the people of Renfrewshire

“Just as the council reintroduced free school transport, and is now increasing concessions for sporting participation for young people, we are doing all we can to increase opportunities for those who need our help the most.

“We are prioritising jobs and the economy, education, and the care of the young and the elderly.

“There are massive social and economic challenges ahead for Renfrewshire.  The council’s budget is putting in place innovative approaches and targeted investment to do all we can to support the community in these difficult times.

Key highlights of Renfrewshire Council’s spending programme include:

Jobs and the Economy

A further £4.5m will support employment and the local economy, including the Invest in Renfrewshire programme, and the development of a social enterprise strategy for the area.

The aim is to assist 1000 local businesses or a quarter of the companies in Renfrewshire.  To date over 130 new jobs have been created, 40 internships supported, and a related project, the Retail Improvement Scheme, is oversubscribed.

An extra £1.5m over the next two years two years will support town centre regeneration and investment in buildings and tourism and events.

Services to children and young people

£4.4m will be spent to improve services to children, young people and families, including the development of two pilot projects to support families with children of pre-five and primary school age.

A broader approach in children’s early years will help families in education, child care, health, financial advice and employment support.


A further £30m supported by borrowing, will be invested in new and modernised primary school buildings. That will bring the council’s investment in new and upgraded schools, including a proposed new special school, to over £45m.

Services to vulnerable people

An extra £1.8m will be invested in the social work budget over the next two years.  This will help support a range of care provision for children, care for older people, and care packages for adults which support greater independence.

Promoting sport and healthy lifestyles

An additional £360,000 will promote participation in sport by halving the current charge for council-owned synthetic pitches. Young people aged under 18 taking part in sports activities in council-owned facilities will now get in for half price compared to the existing 30% discount.

An additional £5m investment in grass pitches and changing facilities will be made over two years.


An extra £4.3m capital investment will be spent on roads bringing the roads investment to £5.7m in 2013-14 – the largest-ever investment in roads from the council’s own resources.

Council tax 2013-14

The council tax charges for Renfrewshire will be frozen for 2013-14.


A  £776.46  B  £905.87  C  £1035.28  D  £1164.69

E  £1423.51  F£1682.33  G  £1941.15  H  £2329.38

The bills issued to householders will also include a separate water and sewerage charge set by Scottish Water.

Info from