Active-Renf

Gateway to the Games stokes Commonwealth Games fever in Renfrewshire

Hundreds of Renfrewshire children are being given the chance to take part in a week long programme of free activities designed to raise awareness about the countries taking part in the Commonwealth Games and the events in which they’ll be competing.

The Renfrewshire Gateway to the Games Sports programme runs from 15-19 October 2012 and has been organised by Renfrewshire Council. Games for Scotland 2012 and EventScotland have made the sports week possible thanks to £8,000 in funding.

Active-RenfCouncillor James Harte, Renfrewshire Council’s Sports Champion, said, “This week long series of sporting events will raise awareness about the upcoming Commonwealth Games and help teach local youngsters about the countries and sports involved.

“The aim is also to inspire and motivate local young people and build a pride in Renfrewshire, in Scotland, in our team and in what we can achieve.”

During the week youngsters will be able to try a variety of sports including: hockey, tennis, badminton, cycling, netball, bowls, rowing, martial arts, athletics and volleyball.

The week is targeted at all youngsters from P7 up to 18 years old. Sessions are being staged at Park Mains High School, King George V playing field Renfrew, Lochbar in Lochwinnoch, Linwood Sports Hub, Castlehead High School, the Power League in Blackhall Street, Erskine Swimming Pool, Ferguslie Sports Hub and Paisley Rugby Club.

Friday 19 October sees the culmination of the week’s activities when competitors will be able to take part in Renfrewshire’s first ever triathlon for young people and meet ‘Clyde Bear’, the Glasgow 2014 mascot. The triathlon takes place in Erskine and includes running, swimming and cycling. The competition starts in Erskine Pool at 1pm and finish on the Waterfont in front of Bridgewater Shopping Centre.

Friday also sees evening a Commonwealth Football League Tournament at Ferguslie Sport Centre from 5.30pm to 9pm. Teams can enter by contacting 0141 889 1110.

Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said, “This year’s impressive Games for Scotland programme highlights the passion and enthusiasm communities across Scotland have for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Importantly, the programme will give thousands of people the opportunity to be part of the building excitement as we move closer to 2014.

“The wide and diverse nature of the Games for Scotland programme perfectly illustrates there’s more to the 2014 Games than just sport. The Games coming to Scotland provides an exceptional opportunity to make our nation healthier and celebrate our modern and vibrant culture, delivering a legacy Scots can be proud of both now and in the future.”

David Grevemberg, Glasgow 2014 Chief Executive said, “With the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games just finished, the attention and focus will now turn to Glasgow and Scotland as proud host of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the excitement is already building across the country. We’re delighted that Renfrewshire Council is holding this sports week as part of the Games for Scotland programme. The programme will provide a fantastic opportunity for people across the country to participate in a number of fascinating events that will celebrate Scotland’s culture, heritage and role as host of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.”

More information on how to sign up for the sessions is available at http://activerenfrewshire.co.uk/ or by phoning 0141 889 1110.

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Video of the performance at Glasgow Airport of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra during the September weekend.

RSNO surprise Glasgow Airport passengers with live orchestral performance

Scotland’s national orchestra gave a rousing performance at Glasgow Airport as thousands of passengers took to the skies for the September holiday weekend.

Led by Scottish conductor Douglas Boyd, 70 RSNO musicians gave two performances in the departures lounge featuring Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

Last year the Orchestra surprised travellers and airport staff in the check-in area with an impromptu rendition of Ravel’s Boléro, an online video of which has been viewed around the world.

The RSNO performance is the culmination of Glasgow Airport’s six week Best of Scotland campaign which has celebrated the best of Scottish food, drink, culture and entertainment.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “We are always looking for ways to entertain our passengers but it doesn’t get more exciting than having Scotland’s national orchestra perform live in the terminal.

“Joining forces with the RSNO for this unique event is a fantastic way to round off our Best of Scotland campaign which proved hugely successful. In addition to highlighting what is great about Scotland, the various events over the last six weeks have created a real buzz in the airport.

“The campaign also provided an opportunity to highlight the fact that we have invested millions of pounds in new retail and catering facilities for our customers over the past 18 months.”

RSNO chief executive Michael Elliott said: “In recent years the RSNO has developed a reputation for taking live orchestral music out of the concert venue and into public spaces. It never fails to surprise me how much of an impact our music can have, especially when performed in unexpected surroundings.

“It’s extremely gratifying to see people new to live orchestral music enjoy the experience with so much enthusiasm. Our thanks go to Glasgow Airport for allowing us to present these performances.”

More than one million passengers passed through the airport during the Best of Scotland campaign, which has showcased some of the country’s most iconic brands and successful exports including Irn Bru, Tunnocks, Mackie’s ice cream and Harris Tweed.

The RSNO performance is one of a series of musical, theatrical and comedic events which have helped to create a carnival atmosphere in the terminal during one of the busiest periods of the year.

For more information please visit the Glasgow Airport website. www.glasgowairport.com

For more information on the Royal Scottish national Orchestra please visit their website . www.rsno.org.uk

Group shot outside Glencairn Court

Phase two of Gallowhill makeover underway

A £6million project to transform two blocks of multi-storey flats in Gallowhill, Paisley, has entered its second stage.

External work is now underway which will see the two blocks of high flats get a complete new look thanks to over-cladding and enclosed balconies.

Scottish Gas are now on site carrying out the over-cladding at Glencairn Court and Gallowhill Court.

Following this the balconies will be enclosed with brand new state of the art windows which will allow tenants the option of keeping them closed or sliding back the panels to sit outside in good weather.

As well as giving the flats a fresher, more modern look, the makeover will also make the buildings more energy efficient.

Environmental improvements and changes to the entrance to each block will further improve the external appearance of the area.

Flats are also being improved internally, with new kitchens, bathrooms and rewiring where required. Improvement works within the blocks include new front doors to each flat and redecoration of the landings and foyers.

The flats at Glencairn Court are being converted to amenity standard for people with mobility needs and older people and a single storey extension will be added to provide a social space for residents.

Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “This work will really transform the overall look of these flats and provide modern, energy efficient homes for our tenants. It’s also making a major contribution to the overall regeneration of the Gallowhill area. The internal improvements are already well underway and we’ve had a really positive reaction from the tenants who’ve already moved in.”

Steve Gapik, CESP Manager for Scottish Gas, said: “We’re very pleased to be working with Renfrewshire Council on the second phase of works to improve the energy efficiency of homes in Gallowhill. Residents can expect a real transformation over the coming months. Renfrewshire Council and Scottish Gas are investing substantially to improve the flats in these two blocks, installing an insulated cladding render which will give homes a bright new appearance whilst also making them warmer. These improvements will make a real difference, making homes more energy efficient, more comfortable to live in and potentially lowering heating bills significantly.”

As well as investment by the Council in the high flats, Gallowhill is also benefitting from a new-build housing project. Working in partnership with the Council, and drawing on grant funding from the Scottish Government, Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association is building 71 new back-and-front-door houses for social rent at nearby Dundonald Road.
Roddy Macdonald, Sanctuary’s head of development – Scotland, said: “Sanctuary Scotland is delighted to be working in partnership with Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government to help regenerate Gallowhill. The 71 houses built by us will provide much-needed new homes for local families for social rent.”

www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

6 Book Challenge winners

Six Book Challenge
More than 50 people who signed up for a reading challenge through Renfrewshire Libraries have been honoured at an awards ceremony.

Renfrewshire Libraries hosted an awards ceremony for those who took part in the Six Book Challenge.

Now in its fifth successful year, the Six Book Challenge was launched in 2008 by The Reading Agency, a charity which works to inspire more people to read more. It is promoted through libraries, adult education, prisons and workplaces.
This year Renfrewshire Libraries signed up over 50 participants through working with partners including Adult Learning and Literacies , the Disability Resource Centre and the STAR Project.
6 Book Challenge winnersOn the night, held in Paisley Central Library, author, playwright and poet, Des Dillon, who has himself written material for emergent readers, gave a talk on the importance of reading.
Certificates were presented to each of the participants by Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board.

Councillor McMillan said: “The Six Book Challenge is a great way of inspiring more people to take up reading. By working with our partners, our libraries service were able to sign up more local people to take part. They’ve each done a fantastic job and I was delighted to present them with their awards.”

The Six Book Challenge is a UK-wide annual incentive scheme that encourages less confident adult readers to develop a reading habit through choosing, reading and expressing their views about books. Research confirms that engagement in reading for pleasure through the Six Book Challenge increases confidence, motivation and skills.

Also on the night, Emma Richardson from the STAR Project spoke about the impact the challenge had on her group.

She said: “Through taking part in this challenge, parents have grown more confident in reading along with their children. As a result families have become more motivated to come along and join the library.”

www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

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Renfrewshire Council services win recognition at excellence awards
Four Renfrewshire Council services have won runners up prizes at this year’s annual Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Awards.

The awards saw over 300, UK, local authorities competing to show how they deliver the goods for local customers.

Paul O’Brien, Chief Executive of APSE said, “These are not awards that recognise obscure or meaningless targets or initiatives. These awards are about the services that local councils deliver on the frontline, day in and day out, to local residents. From emptying bins to serving up nutritious school meals these awards are about the frontline services that matter to the public.”

Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1“APSE is celebrating the very best in service delivery and rightfully recognising the contribution that workers within local councils make to frontline public services in the UK.

“These awards not only recognise and promote individual achievement, but also provide an invaluable opportunity for information to be shared with other authorities and bodies that recognise the hard work and dedication involved in delivering continuous improvement.”

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment and Infrastructure Policy Board, said, “Our goal is to provide the best possible services that we can to the people of Renfrewshire. It is a credit to our staff that we secured a place in the finals in four key categories against tough opposition from virtual every other local authority in the UK.

“These awards are about excellence and innovation. We are consistently looking for new ways to deliver the top quality services that local people deserve and our success in these awards is a welcome recognition of that hard work.”

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit local government body which works with over 300 councils throughout the UK. It promotes excellence in public services and hosts a network for front line service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.

The following Renfrewshire Council services made it to the finals of the APSE Awards:

Category 6a Best Partnership Working Initiative (Public/Private) – Kick and Collect
Kick & Collect is a community involvement reward scheme. It is a new development of the Street Stuff programme which was successfully established to tackle problems with young people not connecting with services and being antisocial. Kick & Collect encourages disaffected and hard-to-reach young people to take pride in their local communities. Reward activities are run across West Central Scotland. On average approximately 3,500 young people attend the youth activities each quarter. Strathclyde Police attributes a recorded 20% drop in disorder (aged 10 to 18 years old) to the project.

Category 6b Best Partnership Working Initiative (Public/Public) – Safer Renfrewshire Partnership
The Safer Renfrewshire Partnership works to tackle the causes of violence and antisocial behaviour and build safer and stronger communities. A range of innovative initiatives over the last three years have led to significant reductions in violent crime, antisocial behaviour, disorder and vandalism. Police Statistics show a 42.1% drop in violent crime across Renfrewshire since 2008.

Category 10c Service Team of the Year – Building FM Cleaning Services
For the last two years, Renfrewshire Council’s Site Services have been rigorous reviewing of their services, challenging existing methods and considering whether they provide Best Value.

The objectives of this review were to:
1. Develop and introduce new specifications for services
2. Introduce new working practices, and
3. Identify £600,000 efficiencies to contribute to the council’s overall efficiency targets.

The submission identified how these goals were achieved.

Category 10g Service Team of the Year – Streets Cleansing and StreetScene
The StreetScene Services undertook the same review process as Site Services.

The objectives of this review were to:
1. Develop and introduce new specifications for services
2. Introduce new working practices, and
3. Identify £2.1 million efficiencies to contribute to the Council’s overall efficiency targets.

The submission identified how these goals were achieved.

APSE Award categories
· Best Employment and Equality Initiative
· Best Local Democracy Initiative
· Best Housing & Regeneration Initiative
· Best Efficiency Initiative
· Best Health and Well-being Initiative (inc. Social Care)
· Best Partnership Working Initiative
· Best Community & Neighbourhood Initiative (inc. Community Safety)
· Best Information Technology & Communication Initiative
· Best Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Initiative
· Internal Service Team of the Year.

www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

business-improvement-district

Paisley Business Improvement District

Derek Mackay MSP  announces support for Paisley businesses

Local Government Minister Derek Mackay today announced £20,000 funding to support the development of a Business Improvement District in Paisley.

Business Improvement Districts offer a sustainable financial model to support businesses in a defined geographical area of a town, city or commercial district. BIDS can augment existing public sector investment to provide mutual benefit and contribute to sustainable economic growth in the local economy. The businesses work together reducing costs, sharing risks and creating new opportunities for growth.

business-improvement-districtAnnouncing the award to support the development of the Paisley Business Improvement District, Local Government Minister Derek Mackay said:

“I’m delighted to support the work of local businesses in taking forward their proposals to form a Business Improvement District (BID) for Paisley and to help private and public sector partners to transform opportunities for the town.  Today I have announced the award a £20,000 grant to support the development of this project.  The BID aims to enhance events and the promotion of Paisley, which I wholeheartedly endorse.

“The Business Improvement District (BID) initiative links directly to this Government’s commitment to support sustainable economic growth and is particularly relevant in the current economic climate.  The initiative supports private and public sector partners in working together to  invest in improvements to the local business environment, while contributing to the wider regeneration of the local community.”Partners will now use the seed corn funding we have provided to develop  their proposals and work to enhance the prosperity of Paisley’s town centre.

“I look forward to seeing the Paisley BID progress and wish all involved well.”

Piero Pieraccini, Chair of the Paisley Development Trust added:

“I welcome the decision by the Scottish Government to give £20,000 grant funding to take forward the Business Improvement District for Paisley.  We look forward to working with people locally to take it to the next stage.  This will kick-start activity, and is great news for the town.”

paisley-abbey-logos

Create Paisley

The “See through Fashion” Video was shown at the launch of the Paisley launch of the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival.

To find out more about the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival click here

To find out more about Create then please click here.

Paisley Museum

Sympathetic restoration puts Victorian gallery back in proportion

The Pillar Gallery, part of Paisley’s Museum and Art Gallery, is being returned to its original Victorian splendour 40 years after it was ravaged by a 1970s make-over.

The original double arched ceiling was lost to view when a lowered ceiling was installed. The 1970s ceiling halved the height of the gallery, significantly affecting the look and feel of the display space.

Paisley MuseumThe ongoing nine month restoration has seen the removal of the suspended ceiling and associated lighting. During the work air handling units were also removed along with plinths, display structures and redundant ICT cabling.

The double arched ceiling and walls have been redecorated, the pillars have been re-plastered and the floor has been resurfaced.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board, said, “The Victorians had an eye for space and believed in architecture which inspired and impressed. The 1970s saw a rebellion against what was seen as the over ornamentation of the 1870s.

“What we have done is to return the Pillar Gallery to its correct proportions while carrying out a sympathetic upgrade. Our aim has been to make the display space fit for the 21st century without taking anything away from its character.”

The upgrade has involved fitting new energy efficient lighting and installing two banks of seats with projection and screen capabilities, new information graphics and new display cases.

The new/old look Pillar Gallery will be officially opened on 7 November. Exhibition themes are expected to include: natural history, the Victorians, World War I and II, archaeology and the Egyptians.

The Paisley Museum opened in 1871. The building was designed by the well-known Glasgow architect John Honeyman and was paid for by Sir Peter Coats of the famous Coats thread manufacturing family. www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

scottish mental health arts and film festival renfrewshire

Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival

The 1st of October saw the start of the 6th annual Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, and as usual Renfrewshire is hosting a huge variety of events for all interests and ages. The Festival is one of the largest arts and social justice festivals and the theme this year is Walk in My Shoes, promoting the empathy and understanding that comes with really thinking about our own and others’ mental health and wellbeing.

scottish mental health arts and film festival renfrewshireThere are events taking place between now and October 24th in various venues across Renfrewshire, so over the next 3 weeks, each Monday you will get an e-mail highlighting the coming week’s events. There are brochures in various locations including Council offices, libraries, leisure centres and the Charleston Centre, and a pdf version of the brochure is attached. There is also lots more information on www.mhfestival.com
Tue 2nd Oct, 6.30pm – ‘Walking in my Shoes – from Prada to Primark’ – multi media event about the impact of materialism on our culture delivered by Dr Carol Craig from the Centre for Confidence and Wellbeing, Reid Kerr College (£5)

  • Wed 3rd Oct, 12.30pm – Poetry at the Museum – Read Raw Ltd share poems and readings during lunchtime, Paisley Museum (free)
  • Wed 3rd Oct, 2pm – My Name is Joe – Film starring Peter Mullan followed by panel discussion exploring issues in the film, Paisley Arts Centre (free)
  • Wed 3rd Oct, 7pm – Walk the Line – Film about the late great Johnny Cash, followed by live music in the style of the man himself! Paisley Arts Centre (free)
  • Wed 3rd Oct, 7.30pm – Positive Renfrewshire Pubs – Live music and mental health info in the Bungalow Bar, Paisley (free)
  • Thus 4th Oct, 10am – My Story, My Rhythm, My Shoes – expressive arts workshop for adults, Life Church, Paisley (free)
  • Fri 5th Oct, 1pm – ‘On Edge’ – film about how young people cope with the pressure of their lives, Abercorn Centre, Reid Kerr College (free)
  • Fri 5th Oct, 2pm – ‘Mind Games’ – interactive drama focussing on depression, Abercorn Cemtre, Reid Kerr College (free)
  • Fri 5th Oct, 7.30pm – Loud’n’Proud 10th Year Anniversary Showcase – music extravaganza featuring singers and musicians of all ages, including a rock orchestra and rock choir, Paisley Town Hall ((£12.50, £9.50)

Ongoing events

Poetry Windows – Discover poems displayed in shop windows and pick up a copy of the Walki in My Shoes contemporary poetry collection, throughout Paisley

‘Walk in My Shoes’ – Art Exhibition, Paisley Arts Centre and Sunshine Art Gallery in the Paisley Centre

The Road to Wellbeing – Interactive public art project, Sunshine Art Gallery, Paisley Centre
Photography Exhibition – created by members of the DRC Photography Group, Disability Resource Centre, Paisley

Stooshe

Stooshe get set to switch on Paisley

Chart-topping girl-band Stooshe are set to put an extra bit of spark into Paisleys Christmas Lights Switch on this year.

The band will top the bill at this year’s event which for the first time will have all the main performances funded through private sponsorship.

StoosheStooshe have taken the charts by storm in 2012 with their hits “Love Me” and “Black Heart” and their own unique style and lyrics ripping the traditional girl-band image to shreds.

The girls, who are soon to be supporting J-Lo on her UK tour, will be headlining a full day of festive fun on Saturday 10 November before officially switching on Paisley’s Christmas lights.

Before the big finale there is also a terrific line-up throughout the day including the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and The Singing Kettle.
Renfrewshire Council have so far secured over £16,500 in commercial sponsorship for the event which will be used to fund the performers.
The main acts have been revealed following the announcement that this year Paisley will have two separate Christmas lights and Fireworks events providing a double events boost to the community and local retailers.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “After consulting with local businesses we took the decision to create two back to back all day events for the town centre which will really kick off the countdown to Christmas in style whilst also increasing local participation and providing a major boost to the town’s retailers. We’re also delighted to be working very closely with the business community to support our town centre events programme and for the first time ever fund all the main performers purely through private sponsorship.”

The event kicks off at 12 noon with the Piazza Shopping Centre’s traditional Reindeer parade from Gilmour Street, which will this year be lead by Santa with some special help from Buddie the Elf.

There will also be a Christmas farmers’ market and craft market.

The Clyde 1 Roadshow team will be leading the entertainment on the main stage from 1pm introducing the performers and offering some fantastic giveaways throughout the afternoon.
Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: “We’re delighted to be able to announce the line up for this year’s Christmas Lights Switch on. Stooshe are a really current and successful girl-band who’ll definitely bring something fun and different to this year’s event. It’s also great to have the fantastic Red Hot Chilli Pipers and family favourites The Singing Kettle returning as well as a huge range of activities and entertainment going on throughout the day.”

Sponsors so far include the Piazza Shopping Centre, the Paisley Centre, Braehead, St Mirren FC, Ingliston Country Club, Reid Kerr College, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, Strathclyde Police, University of the West of Scotland, Renfrewshire Leisure and Central Building Contractors.

Paisley’s Christmas Lights Switch on Saturday 10 November. To keep up to date with all the event details follow @rencouncilnews on Twitter or like www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.