Councillor Iain Mcillan, West PS pupils and The Skoobs

Pupils have monster day out at book giveaway

A group of Paisley schoolchildren got their hands on a pack of free kids’ books – and had a brush with some friendly monsters along the way!

The P1 pupils from West Primary were at the town’s Central Library to each receive a family pack featuring the three titles shortlisted for this year’s Scottish Children’s Book Awards.

The giveaway, courtesy of the Scottish Book Trust, took place as part of Book Week Scotland and has seen Renfrewshire Libraries gift the pack to every local P1 pupil.

And the event also marked the launch of The Skoobs – Renfrewshire Libraries’ new mascots – a group of friendly creatures who live among the books.

The West Primary pupils were treated to a reading from library staff and also met some giant life-size Skoobs.

They were joined by Councillor Ian McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board.

Councillor McMillan said: “One of the council’s key priorities is to equip the area’s children with skills they will need in life, such as a good level of literacy.

“Getting them interested in reading at an early age is a key part of that, and we are grateful to the Scottish Book Trust for enabling us to give away these great books.

“Renfrewshire Libraries have loads for children of all ages, such as a wide selection of books, a range of computer equipment, and regular events.

“If they don’t already do so, I would encourage pupils, parents and teachers to find out what their local library has to offer.”

Throughout November, any Primary One classes visiting a local library have received a free joining pack for each child.

This contains an ‘I love my library’ fluorescent bag, a leaflet with information on how to join, and a usb device containing videos of top children’s authors reading from their books.

The device also promotes the new website for children, teachers and parents at www.renfrewshirelibraries.info

The three books given away in the Bookbug pack are Jack and the Flumflum Tree by Julia Donaldson, Solomon Crocodile by Catherine Rayner, and The Day Louis Got Eaten by John Fardell.

You can also find out what’s on at your local library by following Renfrewshire Libraries on Facebook.

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Glasgow Airport opens volunteering doors for young adults

Glasgow Airport is providing young unemployed people with a route into work after backing a volunteering initiative.

The airport has awarded £4,900 to ProjectScotland through its FlightPath Fund and the money will enable seven people aged between the ages of 18 and 30 to take up full-time volunteering roles with a charity or social enterprise.

ProjectScotland 01Placements lasting several months will not only offer routes into employment for the volunteers, they will also provide charitable organisations with additional resources and benefit the communities in which they work.

ProjectScotland has estimated that the placements funded by Glasgow Airport could benefit charities and communities with more than 5,000 volunteering hours.

The volunteers and organisations they are placed with will be selected from communities in the four local authority areas which lie under the airport’s flightpath – Renfrewshire, Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire.

Each participant is matched with an organisation deemed a ‘good fit’ for them so that they have the best possible chance to identify and appreciate their strengths and possible career options. The placements also strike a balance between work and learning, with the volunteers being supported by a personal mentor.

Maureen Jamieson, Glasgow Airport’s head of procurement, was so impressed with the work done by ProjectScotland she signed up to become one of their mentors, and added: “One of the reasons for establishing the FlightPath Fund was to tackle social issues such as youth unemployment so we are very excited about being able to help ProjectScotland break down barriers for these young people.

“These volunteering projects are beneficial on several levels – they help the individual and the organisation they are placed with, as well as the community in which that organisation operates. That represents tremendous value and ProjectScotland has an excellent track record of success in turning placements into full-time employment so we look forward to seeing the results.”

Rucelle Soutar, ProjectScotland’s Finance Director, said: “Youth unemployment in Scotland has been rising steadily in recent years and some of the worst affected areas lie under the Glasgow Airport flightpath. Young people are looking for opportunities to develop their skills and gain the practical workplace experience sought by many employers.

“Volunteering makes young people more optimistic and prepared for the journey ahead. Our opportunities with charities and social enterprises give them the space and time to recognise how capable they are. Glasgow Airport’s support will open doors for seven young people and ultimately allow them to take control of their own lives and improve their future prospects.”

Visit www.glasgowairport.com for more info.

RENFREWSHIRE Chamber has been chosen as one of four Scottish Chamber areas for a new Scottish Government pilot running ’til March 2013, aimed at encouraging small, local businesses to employ a graduate (other areas include Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway).

The Graduate Recruitment Incentive (GRI) is a payment of at least £3,000, available for employers that successfully employing a graduate into a new, permanent position.

Commenting on the new initiative, Chamber chief executive, Bob Davidson, said: “For companies based in Renfrewshire of 50 staff or less, this incentive of at least £3,000 allows local businesses to grow by employing a graduate.

“We hope this incentive will encourage organisations from all sectors to create a new position for a graduate and help move their company forward. Combining this with the new Invest in Renfrewshire programme from Renfrewshire Council, there is great support available to reduce youth unemployment and grow the local economy.”

For information on the GRI please, visit www.renfrewshirechamber.com or call Bob Grant on 0141 847 5455.

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Creative Renfrewshire Network

What / who is the Creative Renfrewshire Network (CRN)?

Creative Renfrewshire Network, a networking group representing all arts and culture throughout Renfrewshire, is run by a committee of inspiration enthusiasts, dedicated to celebrating and building on the rich cultural resources of Renfrewshire – past, present and future – with a forward-looking local, national and international outlook.

The Network role is to identify and tell the story of whom and what is here in Renfrewshire. A great deal of talent, activity, creativity and inspiration has come out of Renfrewshire and will continue to do so. The CRN is there to make sure that groups and individuals find out about each other, can expand and develop, can advertise their work and events and have a platform – a hub of information.

creative-logo1The Network goal is to have an ever growing diverse and thriving membership – steering a successful course for culture and keeping Renfrewshire’s significance at the fore.
Individuals and groups are welcome to join. It is easy – join now!

Just email: info@creativerenfrewshirenetwork.com and an application form will be sent to you, or telephone Elise: 07990 981682.

CRN IS LACKING A LOGO
Because we know that Renfrewshire is bursting with talent – we would like a logo designed by someone local – all ages welcome to submit. Please send any ideas, with the text Creative Renfrewshire Network incorporated, on separate A3 or A4 (smallest) to our CRN Chair, c/o The Spires Drama Studios, School Wynd, Paisley, PA1 2DB or email a high definition jpeg to: info@creativerenfrewshirenetwork.com , to arrive no later than 1 December 2012.

Remember to attach your name and all contact details with the work. All mediums are welcome – but keep in mind that it needs to work as a graphic design. Creative, striking simplicity is a thought…

www.renfrewshirecreativenetwork.com

Martha and Mark Rafferty

Baker Street legend gets ‘own’ Drive
Daughter Martha’s delight at home town tribute to Gerry Rafferty

The daughter of legendary singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty today (Thu) told of her pride after a street bearing his name was officially opened in his home town.

Martha Rafferty joined her singer-songwriter cousin Mark Rafferty in Shortroods, Paisley, to mark the formal unveiling of Gerry Rafferty Drive.

The new street is situated within the second phase of Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association’s regeneration of Shortroods. Both Sanctuary Scotland and Renfrewshire Council were inundated with suggestions after it emerged the street would need to be named.

Martha and Mark Rafferty

Martha, 41, said: “Being recognised in this way in his home town would have made dad incredibly proud. Pride’s definitely what I feel when I see his name on the street signs.

“Many residents have been telling me they love their new homes through dad’s fan page on Facebook. Many of my family still live in and around Paisley, so that’s obviously nice for us to hear.

“Dad grew up in the old tenements in Underwood Lane about a mile from Shortroods but those buildings were demolished years ago.

“The new homes by Sanctuary Scotland are a fitting and lasting tribute to dad’s memory and musical legacy. He would have been delighted to have his name associated with quality social housing built for local people”.

Today’s event takes place exactly one year after Sanctuary Scotland honoured Gerry’s fellow ‘Humblebum’ Billy Connolly. On 22nd November 2011, the housing association unveiled a mural of the comedian at its £50 million regeneration of Anderston, Glasgow, near to where Connolly was born.

Gordon Laurie, director – Sanctuary in Scotland, said: “This occasion effectively completes the latest phase of our regeneration of Shortroods and it’s a wonderful way to sign off.

“The name was ultimately a decision for Renfrewshire Council but they could not have made a better choice. It’s a fitting tribute to a brilliant musician who lives on through his music.

“We are delighted Martha was able to attend and see the warmth of feeling for her father. I never knew we’d get the opportunity to honour both ‘Humblebums’ but I’m delighted our development bears Gerry’s name”.

Sanctuary Scotland has now built 223 affordable homes for local families in Shortroods. Of the 83 houses built in Phase 2, 62 are for rent with 21 being sold on a shared equity basis. Gerry Rafferty Drive’s 34 homes are a mix of two and three-bedroom properties, plus two wheelchair-accessible bungalows. Plans for a third phase of houses are being worked up in partnership with Renfrewshire Council.

Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “The council is committed to providing our community with high quality, affordable housing. We’re delighted to be working with Sanctuary Scotland on the regeneration of Shortroods and in particular the provision of much-needed family homes. It’s also great that Martha Rafferty has leant her support to the initiative in her father’s name”.

To find out more about Sanctuary Housing please click here.

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Planning blueprint set to be unveiled

The masterplan which will govern how Renfrewshire’s land is used over the next five years is set to be unveiled to the public.

Councillors on Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Economic Development Policy Board have agreed that a draft version of the Renfrewshire Local Development Plan will be published for consultation early in the new year.

Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1The proposed plan sets out which areas of land within Renfrewshire are suitable for different types of development – for example, residential, retail or industrial use.

The finalised document will be used as a guide for future planning decisions.

The draft version will be subject to a six-week consultation as of 14 January, where the public can make representations in support of or objecting to any part of it.

Copies of the proposed plan will be available at council headquarters in Paisley, at all council libraries, and online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

Councillor Terry Kelly, Convener of the Planning and Economic Development Policy Board, said: “The proposed Local Development Plan is intended to help make the area a more attractive place to live, do business and visit.

“The plan aims to provide high-quality places with land in the right locations to encourage investment, create sustainable communities and help tackle climate change.

“Equally importantly, it identifies areas which, for various reasons, should not be considered for major development, or need explicit protection for their conservation value.

“The process is designed to be transparent and key to that is for people to have the chance to voice their opinions on the contents of the document, which is why I would encourage residents to take part in this consultation.”

Renfrewshire is required to produce an updated local plan every five years, which must fit in with the Strategic Development Plan for the Glasgow and Clyde Valley area.

Council planners have been working on the new version of the document since last year and have already received a substantial amount of feedback.

guernsey

Scotland’s only direct flight to Guernsey announced for summer 2013

Channel Islands Travel Group today announces the launch of a new air route from Glasgow Airport to Guernsey for summer 2013.

It means Scotland will be served by a direct link with the island, which lies just off the coast of Normandy, for the first time in several years.

The service will operate every Saturday between June 29th & September 14th 2013 using a 46 seat ATR-42 aircraft with a flying time of two hours.

guernseyThe route will be sold exclusively by C.I. Travel Group’s well-established consumer brands that include Airways Holidays and GuernseyTravel.com. It will also be used by Guernsey hoteliers who wish to offer their own clients from the Glasgow area a direct flight to the island.

Robert Mackenzie, Managing Director of the C.I. Travel Group, said: “We are delighted to have concluded negotiations for the launch of a new service from Glasgow Airport to Guernsey for summer 2013.

“C.I. Travel has always had a strong presence in Scotland but it has been some years since Scottish visitors were able to travel directly to Guernsey. We believe that this new opportunity to visit the Bailiwick for a holiday and fly direct from Glasgow will prove very popular.”

Amanda McMillan, Managing Director of Glasgow Airport, said: “Guernsey is a popular destination among Scottish travellers and it is therefore great news that they will be able to fly direct from Glasgow Airport next summer instead of taking a connecting flight.

“We look forward to working closely with C.I. Travel to make their 2013 flight programme a success.”

Holidays can now be booked exclusively through C.I. Travel Group’s website www.guernseytravel.com or via travel agents in the UK.

For further information regarding the contents of this news release please call 01534 496644 and speak to Robert Mackenzie, Managing Director C.I. Travel Group.

Find out more from Glasgow Aiport www.glasgowairport.com

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£250,000 playpark improvement work revealed

Sixteen Renfrewshire playparks are set to share in a cash bonanza of a quarter of a million pounds.

A programme of improvements – including resurfacing and the introduction of new play and sports equipment – will be carried out at various sites around the area.

The £250,000 investment was agreed by councillors earlier this year, and priority sites were identified according to need.

Details of the planned work have now been agreed, with seven sites chosen for major renovation work.

Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1They are: Thomas Shanks Park, Johnstone; Barwood Park, Erskine; Robertson Car Park, Paisley; Kintyre Park, Linwood; Inchinnan Playing Field; Craigburn Avenue, Houston; and Howwood Park.

The work set to be carried out includes new surfaces, the removal of old equipment, and installation of new facilities ranging from swings and roundabouts to outdoor fitness equipment.

An extra site, at Urquhart Crescent, Renfrew, will receive a new multi-activity unit and surface if funding allows.

Eight other sites have also been earmarked for minor improvement and maintenance work: Crags Road, East End Park, Glencoats Park, Maxwellton Park and Skye Crescent, all Paisley; Anne Avenue and Campbell Street, both Renfrew; and Ellerslie Street, Johnstone.

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment and Infrastructure Policy Board, said: “Play areas offer our young people the chance to develop active lifestyles at an early age.

“Currently, the council owns or maintains 94 play areas throughout Renfrewshire, offering a diverse range of equipment, for young and older children.

“While many of these facilities have an excellent choice of equipment in good condition, there are some which require substantial investment, which is why we have identified these as priority areas.

“Through the Local Area Committees, the council will continue to support communities to develop and upgrade their local play areas.”

The work is due to start early in the new year and is planned to be completed by the end of March.

For more information please visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

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Glasgow Airport secures ROCCO award for customer service

Glasgow Airport has been recognised, once again, for its efforts in customer service following its success at the 2012 Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce business awards.

The Chamber’s ninth annual ROCCO awards, which celebrate the success and achievements of Renfrewshire businesses, were held on Friday 16 November and Glasgow Airport came out on top in the Excellence in Customer Service category.

ROCCO 1This award recognises those companies who can “demonstrate excellence through their customer service objectives and strategy, customer care activities, staff development plans and show how this has driven business growth.”

The ROCCO is the latest in a long list of awards Glasgow Airport has secured in 2012, a year which also saw it become the first airport in the UK to launch a customer charter. The charter articulates the airport’s commitments to enhancing every aspect of customer service and has been designed around the customer’s journey through the airport. Other awards have included:

• Scottish Airport of the Year 2012, Scottish Transport Awards
• RoSPA Gold Award, Occupational Health and Safety Awards
• Excellence in Customer Service, Glasgow Business Awards
• Amanda McMillan, Outstanding Contribution to Glasgow’s Tourism Economy, SCDI International Awards

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “It is always encouraging to receive external recognition, especially from our peers, and to have secured awards at a national, regional and local level is a wonderful achievement.

“We have an excellent team in place and the awards are testament to the commitment and dedication they have displayed throughout 2012, during which time we have regrown passenger numbers and delivered a real step change in customer service. This success validates our efforts to date and provides the perfect platform on which to further develop our customer charter in 2013.”

Find out more by visiting www.glasgowairport.com

council wardens

Emissions blitz nets four offenders

A two-day crackdown on dodgy cars which damage the environment saw Renfrewshire Council workers net four offenders.

Staff from the Renfrewshire Wardens Service took to the streets of Paisley town centre to check whether vehicle emissions were within the legal requirements.

Of the 281 vehicles tested, four failed and were issued with £60 fixed-penalty notices.

Also present were staff from the council’s licensing section, who inspected 13 taxis and 20 private-hire vehicles – with one driver given an immediate suspension for failing the emissions test.

Licensing staff also issued six compliance notices to cabbies for a range of defects including worn tyre treads, blown bulbs and missing fire extinguishers.

The tests – at Wallneuk, Renfrew Road, Paisley – were carried out in partnership with officers from Strathclyde Police’s Road Policing Unit, who were responsible for pulling over the vehicles from traffic.

Councillor Chris Gilmour, Deputy Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment and Infrastructure Policy Board, visited the testing site to see the operation in action.

He said: “The aim of this campaign was to issue a highly-visible reminder to drivers that it is up to them to ensure their vehicle’s condition complies with the law.

“The fact more than 98 per cent of vehicles passed the emissions test shows that Renfrewshire’s motorists take that responsibility seriously.

“Vehicle emissions which are outwith the legal limit are liable to pollute the air we all breathe, which brings with it various potential health risks.

“The job of the wardens is to make sure Renfrewshire is a greener and cleaner place to live, and preventing damage to the environment is a key part of that.”

All drivers fined on the day will have the penalty waived if they are able to produce evidence the emissions problem has been fixed within 14 days of the offence.

The police also detected a number of minor road offences during the testing, including vehicle defects and seatbelt violations.

All drivers were also given a council leaflet containing information on the problems caused by vehicle idling.

Picture one (from left to right): Martin Brier, civic enforcement officer; Jeanette Love, senior warden; Councillor Chris Gilmour; Andy Redmond, environmental protection officer; PC Sandra Ewing; with Eric Gilday, senior warden (front).

Picture two: Jeanette and Eric test one vehicle’s emissions.

For more information please visit Renfrewshire Council.