Tony Fitzpatrick, Eric Phillips, Cllr Natalie Don and Sean Batty (1)

The votes have been counted and verified and the nine winners have been revealed as Renfrewshire’s #NameOurGritters competition comes to a close.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Eric Phillips, Cllr Natalie Don and Sean Batty (1)

More than 8000 votes were cast on the council’s Twitter account as the quirky competition captured the imagination of the local community.

Following a series of polls, the public decided that Renfrewshire’s roads will be kept clear this winter by Ploughlo Grittini, Thawin’ Batty, Tony Gritzpatrick, William Wall-ice, Gerry Raffersleigh, Fridge of Weir, Gleniffer Brrraes, Buddie Baltic and Paisleigh.

Sean Batty

STV weatherman, and Renfrewshire resident, Sean Batty will be able to report on his namesake this winter as Thawin’ Batty takes to the roads.

Sean said: ““This has to be one of the highlights of my career so far, having a gritter named after me.

“I was so excited when I heard that someone had suggested Thawin’ Batty and hoped it would do well when it went to the public vote. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sitting on the day refreshing the results to see how it was getting on!

“As a big fan of cold snowy weather, I now have the extra excitement of watching for my gritter passing the house.”

Tony Fitzpatrick

The competition set out to recognise the local heroes in Renfrewshire and they don’t come much bigger than St Mirren’s legendary, cup-winning captain, Tony Fitzpatrick.

Taking to the roads this winter will be Tony Gritzpatrick and the club’s Chief Executive was delighted to be chosen.

Tony said: “People had got in touch with me to let me know I was in the competition and it’s a great honour. I’m very proud to have been chosen.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Eric Phillips, Cllr Natalie Don and Sean Batty (1)

“I think it’s a great idea, creative and that’s what Paisley is all about at the moment and to see my gritter driving through the streets and helping people, it’ll be fantastic.

“For the people that voted, thank you, it really does mean a lot and that’s from the heart.”

More than 1600 suggestions were submitted by the local community before they were whittled down to a final shortlist by a judging panel which included a gritter driver, Care at Home staff member and a community resilience volunteer.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Eric Phillips, Cllr Natalie Don and Sean Batty (2)

Councillor Natalie Don, Depute Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “What a fantastic competition this has been and it’s one the local community have supported in their thousands.

“We wanted to raise the profile of our local heroes who keep Renfrewshire moving throughout the winter period and I hope it has made people recognise the work that is undertaken, often throughout the night, by our inspiring staff.

“This isn’t just our gritter drivers but also the staff who deliver meals to elderly residents, work in our care homes or carry out emergency repairs for residents.

gritters

“I want to use this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and dedication, and I do hope the gritter drivers enjoy taking the newly-named gritters out on the roads this winter.”

The competition was part of Renfrewshire’s annual #RenReady campaign which aims to ensure local communities and businesses are prepared for winter weather and are able to deal with issues such as a loss of utilities, difficult journeys or flooding in the local area.

There is support and guidance available via the council’s website and an ongoing social media campaign will take place throughout the winter period to keep residents informed.

For information on how to stay safe this winter, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/readyforwinter.

ENDS

tony fitzpatrick

ST MIRREN legend Tony Fitzpatrick is offering a unique triple bonus to people who pre-order his soon-to-be published autobiography, Fitzy – The Story of My Life.

tony fitzpatrick

People who pre-order the book before the November 6 publication date will be –

  • among the first to receive a signed copy of the autobiography;
  • entered into a prize draw to win two tickets for a Saints home game with a VIP matchday experience in the St Mirren boardroom;
  • and Tony will personally deliver a copy of his book to the homes of three people chosen at random.

For the first time Tony – who not only won a league title and a Scottish Cup medal with the Saints, but also had two spells as manager and is now the club’s chief executive – is telling his life story in this new book.

Tony Fitzpatrick’s life is more than just a football story.

There are lots of hilarious tales from the dressing room and behind-the-scenes boardroom battles in his autobiography, published by Macdonald Media.

But behind the football banter and bust-ups, there’s an amazing story of being brought up in one of the poorest and most violent areas of Glasgow and how he used his football skills to escape that life.

While at the top of his football career, tragedy struck when his six-year-old son, Tony Jr. died after cancer struck down the young boy. And on the day of his funeral, callous thieves ransacked the family home stealing anything and everything they could load on to a furniture van.

Sir Alex Ferguson, in only his second managerial job, made the teenage Tony Fitzpatrick the captain of St Mirren FC.

But not before Tony’s dad had to phone Fergie pretending to be the family doctor assuring him the young footballer was fit enough to play after suffering pleurisy!

Tony lost a fortune after he put money into Livingstone FC and the club went into administration. But he bounced back and as part of a groundbreaking police initiative, worked with some of the most violent young men in Glasgow’s gangs encouraging them to give up the blade and the gun.

Co-writer of the book, Paisley journalist and author, Norman Macdonald said:

“I was amazed at some of the stories Tony had to tell and the book will touch all your emotions.

“It’s a must-read heartwarming story of personal triumph over adversity.”

Log on to www.fitzybook.co.uk to order your copy today and Tony could be turning up at your door to deliver your book.

smisa

The St Mirren Independent Supporters Association (SMISA) has announced a question and answer night with new manager Alan Stubbs on Tuesday 31st July.

smisa

Alan will be on hand to take your questions ahead of the new season starting.

The event takes place in the hospitality lounge at the Simple Digital Arena.

Entry is free but there will be a capacity so you need to register to guarantee your place. You can guarantee your place by registering via the Eventbrite link here: http://bit.ly/2L0eFHQ.

Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start and the event is only open for those 18 and over as it will take place in a licensed bar.

Pictures from Saturday the 21st of April of St Mirren parading in an open top bus through Paisley from Greenhill Road to Cotton Street, marvelous support from Paisley Buddies ensured a great day with a little help with the lovely dry weather. A day many will not forget.

The Following Photographs are taken by Ian McDonald Photography and kindly allowed for use on www.paisley.org.uk take your time to go through this vast gallery and see if you can spot yourself.

St Mirren Parade at Cotton Street Live Video
The video was taken by Brian McGuire for www.paisley.org.uk of the champions bus arriving at Cotton Street Paisley where thousands of fans turned up in a full-on party atmosphere, what a season its been for the Paisley Buddies.

Winning the Championship last week against Livingstone then on Saturday 2-1 in the Renfrewshire Derby has certainly put a spring in the step of the buddies.

 

Thousands of people lined the streets of Paisley tonight to see St Mirren’s league-winning team parade the SPFL Championship trophy.

Renfrewshire Council honoured the Saints with an open-top bus parade through the town centre before the team took to the outdoor stage in Bridge St.

DJs from Pulse FM were on hand to keep the crowd entertained before the fans got the chance to hear from their heroes, including captain Stephen McGinn, manager Jack Ross, chairman Gordon Scott and chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “This was a wonderful occasion – they don’t come around every year but Paisley knows how to party when we do. The great thing about being a one-team town is that Buddies can take over the streets and celebrate together.

“I come from a family of St Mirren supporters and remember going to Love St as a kid, and seeing some of the trophy wins of years gone by – so it was just wonderful to see a new generation of Paisley families get the chance to make their own memories tonight.”

Renfrewshire’s award-winning youth diversionary programme Street Stuff, has been presented with the prestigious Clean Up Scotland ‘Hero of the Month’ award in recognition of its efforts to support the Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

Street Stuff volunteers and coaching staff from St Mirren FC have assisted Renfrewshire Council with community clean up activities, including litter picking, removing graffiti from public spaces and spraying dog fouling with paint to make it more visible – therefore highlighting the problem.

The award forms part of the Clean Up Scotland campaign, organised by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful, and acknowledges Street Stuff’s work to help reduce youth disorder and to instil responsibility in young people.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We are delighted that Street Stuff have been named as the 50th recipient of the Hero of the Month Award.

“The work volunteers and staff do to engage local children and provide them with activities they may not normally have the opportunity to undertake is fantastic, and has been extremely successful since its inception in 2009.

“They are making a real difference to the local community through participating in litter picks, removing graffiti from shop fronts and supporting the Team Up to Clean Up dog fouling initiative.

“With £2.5million being invested across the next five years, we hope that many local community groups will be able to follow in Street Stuff’s footsteps as we continue to advance the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and make a tangible improvement to the quality of Renfrewshire’s environment.”

Street Stuff works as a partnership between St Mirren FC and Renfrewshire Council delivering a youth activity programme including dance and football, as well as volunteering and employment opportunities for young people.

Gordon Scott, St Mirren FC Chairman, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen as Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Hero of the Month and it’s testament to the work of the Street Stuff volunteers and staff.

“We’re proud to support the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and will continue to work hard to improve Renfrewshire’s environment for the benefit of the entire community.”

Heather McLaughlin, Community Project Officer with Keep Scotland Beautiful added: “High levels of graffiti, litter and flytipping are closely linked to community safety. By helping to tackle litter in their local area, Street Stuff, its participants and volunteers have all helped to make their local area both cleaner and safer for all of its residents.

“Keep Scotland Beautiful recognises that there are armies of volunteers all across Scotland working very hard to clean up and green up their local area. Clean Up Scotland can help to support their efforts as well as recognising the contribution made by individuals with our Hero of the Month award.”

Lindsay Richmond-Kearns, Communities Manager at Helping Hand Environmental, which provides a clean up kit to each monthly hero, commented: “We are delighted to present Street Stuff with this award. I would like to commend them for successfully improving and delivering significant local environmental improvements in Renfrewshire.

“Helping Hand has been privileged to sponsor the Hero of the Month award in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful since 2014, and have rewarded 50 Scottish Heroes to date. If you know a Scottish volunteer who is making a difference to their local environment – you can nominate them for this prestigious award.”

For more information on Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

Keep Scotland Beautiful is encouraging everyone to organise or take part in a clean up this spring www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/cleanupscotland.

Thousands of people will party on the streets of Paisley when St Mirren’s SPFL Championship winning side are honoured with an open-top bus parade through the town centre.

Renfrewshire Council is marking the Buddies’ return to the top-tier of Scottish football by staging the large-scale outdoor celebration event on Saturday 21 April.

St Mirren mathematically confirmed the title on Saturday after a 0-0 draw with second-placed Livingston means they can now no longer be caught.

That means the league trophy will be presented next week on the pitch immediately after their last home game of the season – against local rivals Morton – which the parade will follow.

The open-top bus will leave the Paisley 2021 Stadium before 7pm and travel through the town centre, to a specially-erected stage in Bridge Street, behind Paisley Abbey, around 7.30pm.

There, fans will be able to greet their heroes, with short speeches for the crowd from key figures from the club as they show off the trophy.

Before the team arrives, DJs from Pulse FM will be keeping the crowds entertained with St Mirren-themed songs and entertainment.

The bus will arrive in the town via the west end, with fans encouraged to see the team travel along the following route: High Street (at Paisley Museum), Storie Street, Witherspoon Street/New St (past Paisley Arts Centre), Causeyside Street, St Mirren Brae, Gauze Street, Cotton Street.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron – who will help host the event – said: “We want to congratulate St Mirren on a wonderful season and are delighted the council is able to stage this event so the people of Renfrewshire can honour their team.

“I am sure the streets of Paisley will be full of celebration on the 21 April and I am looking forward to being there for what will be a great atmosphere and a wonderful occasion.”

St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott added: “We want to thank Renfrewshire Council for organising this event to allow the people of Paisley – whether hardcore fans or not – to see the team and trophy.

“St Mirren are – and always will be – at the heart of the Paisley community, so it is fitting we get to celebrate a memorable year for the club and celebrate together as a town.”

For more event information and to keep up to date on all local events, visit www.paisley.is

The St Mirren celebration event will be the first of two weekends which will see the area around Bridge Street and Abbey Close packed with activity – with the Paisley Food and Drink Festival to take place one week later.

Groups who formed the heart of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 gathered at a special event to hear how the town’s bidding journey will continue.

The Paisley 2021: The Journey Continues event saw around 70 people gather in Paisley Town Hall to hear how the vision behind the bid will still be delivered.

A range of creative, cultural and business groups heard from speakers from various organisations who played a role in the bid about the positive impact it made – and the platform it created for the future.

The event was MC’d by Alan McNiven, chief executive of Engage Renfrewshire – who worked on the community engagement push which saw 36,000 people involved in the conversation around the bid.

Speakers including Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron, St Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick, Alan Clark of the Creative Renfrewshire Network, and representatives of community groups the STAR Project and Stronger Women in Ferguslie Together gave their own reflections.

Looking to the future, some of the partners behind the bid – including Glasgow School of Art, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and West College Scotland – outlined plans to deliver on the aims and vision it contained.

And senior council and Renfrewshire Leisure staff talked about investment in Paisley’s cultural infrastructure and programming, and efforts to promote the area as a great place to live, work and invest, underpinned by the new paisley.is destination brand. That includes:

– a £100m-plus investment in town centre venues and infrastructure, including the £42m project to turn Paisley Museum into a world-class facility, and revamps for Paisley Town Hall and Arts Centre

– £5m for a programme of new events and festivals – including the Royal National Mod in 2022 – to add to the area’s existing and successful major events programme;

– a £500k investment in building the area’s cultural capacity by topping up the existing Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, and creating a new fund to help organisations grow;

– work to embed the opportunity to take part in cultural activity – and the benefits it brings – at the heart of all the area’s anti-poverty, education, health and well-being work;

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The Paisley 2021 bid has already changed the area for the better.

“It raised our profile and awareness of our unique story, and brought a sense of self-confidence back to the town, not to mention the more tangible benefits through the increase in visitor numbers and event attendees we’ve already seen.

“Today’s event was about bringing people together to celebrate all of that – but more importantly it was about looking to the future and making sure the groups who contributed to the bid know the journey can and will continue.

“The bid was only ever one part of a wider plan to harness the power of our internationally-significant heritage and cultural story to transform our future….and with exciting opportunities and major investment over the next few years, that is still in our hands to do.”

Alan McNiven, chief executive of Engage Renfrewshire, added: “The Paisley 2021 bid was a team effort that became a mass movement – so it was fitting we brought the team back together today.

“The bid formed new partnerships between people and groups, gave them a voice, and invited them to help shape a shared vision for our town.

“Today was about reminding ourselves of that vision and looking at how it can still be realised – and the people of Paisley have the power to do it.”

For more information on what Paisley has to offer, visit www.paisley.is

Almost 2,000 primary six pupils have taken part in a series of safety workshops designed to keep Renfrewshire children safe.

The annual Safe Kids events, organised by the Renfrewshire Community Safety Partnership and hosted by St Mirren Football Club, has delivered safety messages to more than 20,000 young people since it was first introduced more than a decade ago.

Pupils from every school in Renfrewshire were invited to take part a wide range of workshops, from littering, dog fouling and anti-social behaviour to fire safety, drugs and alcohol awareness and emergency situations.

The workshops took place in and around the Paisley 2021 Stadium, including the dressing rooms and hospitality suite, with pupils taking their seat in the stand before being split into their groups for the day.

Kids were also tasked to create their own posters detailing what being safe means to them and five winners were selected by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.

The winners, and their families, were invited to a special VIP day at the Paisley 2021 Stadium and were joined by pupils from Bargarren, St John Bosco, Glencoats and Barsail Primary.

The five winners were:

Momina Ali – Newmains Primary, Renfrew

Gracie Boyd – Ralston Primary, Paisley

Evie Crawford – Lochfield Primary, Paisley

Jemma Johnston – St Anthony’s Primary, Johnstone

Summer Coyle – Rashielea Primary, Erskine

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Safe Kids is a fantastic project which is ensuring our children have the correct information and skills to stay safe in a variety of situations.

“More than 20,000 pupils have had the opportunity to learn from a variety of our community partners and this will allow them to be fully informed to deal with issues both in and out of school.

”The workshops are delivered in a fun and engaging manner which means the young people involved can enjoy the day while still taking in the serious messaging behind the activities.”

Safe Kids events took place on 7-8 March, 13-16 March and will conclude between 19-22 March.

The workshops were delivered by a range of partners including Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Team, Renfrewshire Council’s Wardens, Renfrewshire Council’s Civil Contingencies Service, Renfrewshire Council’s RADAR (Drugs and Alcohol), Police Scotland, British Transport Police, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Who Cares Scotland and Street Stuff.

Prizes for the winners, including discounted passes, bags and tickets, were kindly donated by Flip Out, Joma Sport and St Mirren.