THERE may yet be hope for Renfrewshire’s autumn and winter events this year, with council staff “looking at options” for how they could go ahead.

At this point last year, the local authority had pulled the plug on Paisley’s renowned Hallowe’en Festival due to a ban on mass gatherings.

A few weeks later, the town’s fireworks display and Christmas lights switch-on were cancelled, alongside festive celebrations in Johnstone and Renfrew.

But it is understood council chiefs have not called time on this year’s events yet and are looking at whether these could be held safely, in line with Scottish Government guidance.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren, who represents Paisley Northwest, said the council should err on the side of caution when deciding whether or not to go ahead with the events programme.

“I can understand the preference would normally be to hold them,” he said.

“They bring a lot of people into town centres and, after missing out on them last year, a lot of people would be looking forward to them.

“However, there is still a lot of uncertainty over Covid. We should still be following a safety-first approach.

“The virus is still being transmitted, people are still suffering and ending up in hospital. Thankfully, fewer are dying but some are still losing their lives.”

Paisley’s traditional Sma’ Shot Day celebrations have been held online for the second year running and council chiefs may consider this approach for other events.

A Renfrewshire Council spokeswoman said: “We are currently looking at options for our winter events programme, in line with the latest Scottish Government guidance.

“More information on these events will be shared at a later date.”