Two Friday’s ago, on February 5, I was invited over to visit the Local Energy Action Plan (LEAP).

LEAP help residents in Lochwinnoch, Kilbarchan, Howwood and other areas in Renfrewshire save energy and money through providing free impartial advice on a range of topics including insulation, heating, grants and subsidies and renewables.

When I arrived I met with Scott Duncan, the LEAP Project Manager, Jen O’Brien the Deputy Project Manager, and the Car Club Co-ordinator Mike Callaghan.

Amongst other things, they showed me how thermal imaging can highlight which parts of a house is producing the most heat and where this heat is escaping from the house rather than keeping it warm.

We discussed a number of situations where this has allowed people to put measures in place – sometimes very simple ones – which stop the heat escaping and make their houses much warmer, saving the money in the future.

It is surprising to see how the thermal imaging helps to identify things like patchy insulation, building faults and improperly sealed windows.

It was also good to meet staff who manage the Community Car Hire service.

This project can save people hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds each year by not having to run their own car.

They can hire a local car when they need it and don’t need to worry about ongoing maintenance.

A lot of people signing up to this scheme don’t need to use a car every day and maybe can’t afford to purchase a car.

This can be an ideal solution especially in rural areas where public transport can often be infrequent and not available at certain times of the day.

For more information log on to Paisley University Opening I was very grateful last week to be able to attend the opening of The University of the West of Scotland’s new Atrium.

It was a pleasure to meet the students of the university, including the hard-working nursing students, who kept me company during a lot of standing and waiting.

The university’s new learning space, the Atrium, is a beautiful addition to the Paisley Campus. This addition includes new social learning areas, SmartScreen technology as well as meeting spaces and event areas, and is clearly a huge step in the right direction towards meeting their aim of being the most technologically enabled University in the country.

Lochwinnoch Arts Festival This festival runs from March 9 to April 9, 2016. There are a wide range of events and exhibitions happening during this period.

You can find out more at and you can also find them on Facebook.