Transport scheme helps young people into work

One of Renfrewshire Council’s key priorities is to increase opportunities and life chances for people through education, jobs and training and by helping them out of poverty.

Renfrewshire is once again leading the way through a new public transport scheme designed to help young people into work.

The council has teamed up with Transport Scotland and McGill’s Buses for the new scheme.

People aged 16-25 who are registered with the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire programme can have their advisers pre-load tickets for McGill’s local bus services on to their Young Scot card.

This will enable the young job-seekers to attend interviews for jobs or training, or help sustain them until their first pay packet.

Young people told us that finding the money to pay for transport to work or interviews was one of the biggest obstacles to getting people out of poverty.

I would like to thank Transport Scotland, Young Scot, and McGill’s Buses for joining Renfrewshire Council in making a practical difference to the lives of young people in our community who need and deserve our support.

Town centre boost for Renfrew and Erskine

The distinctiveness of our traditional town centres and strength of community feeling has always been important in Renfrewshire.

The challenge facing us is to retain those traditional strengths while enabling our town centres to meet changing economic and social trends.

It is vital that we maximise each town’s strengths and potential for development, so I am delighted that new town centre strategies will help to deliver a successful and sustainable future for Renfrew and Erskine.

The strategies have been developed by Renfrewshire Council over the past year and have incorporated comments and ideas gained in public conditions and also discussions with community and business groups.

Each strategy reflects the needs and aspirations of the local community.

Renfrew will aim to make the most of the opportunities offered through the Glasgow City Region City Deal. There is scope for improving transport, along with residential and business development, while maintaining and enhancing the environment next to the River Clyde.

The approach for Erskine will focus on making better use of town spaces, as well as unused sites.

With the strategies in place, the next step will be delivering specific actions in partnership with local stakeholders.

Arkleston kids are good sports

We all know that getting children involved in sport at an early stage brings benefits for their health, their confidence and their overall learning.

That’s why it is very encouraging to see Arkleston Primary, in Renfrew, gaining a top national award for their efforts to promote participation in sport.

The sportscotland Gold School Sport Award was recently presented to staff and pupils.

The Gold Award recognises innovation and achievement in promoting involvement in sport and physical education. It is only awarded after independent expert assessment.

One of the key factors that is considered is the sporting links between the school and the community.

Taking part in sport at all levels can enable pupils to reach their potential.

This is a fantastic achievement by the school community of Arkleston Primary.

Getting ready for infrastructure investment

Councillors have approved preparations which are vital to deliver multi-million pound investment in Renfrewshire.

Over £640,000 has been allocated for a contract to carry out site investigations which will support preparations for key projects in the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal.

That follows a £623,000 contract which has already been awarded for water survey work linked to the proposed crossing between Renfrew and Yoker.

The specialist surveys will gather information for the £91million Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside Initiative and the £39million Glasgow Airport Investment Area – two of the three City Deal projects in Renfrewshire.

The other venture is the long-awaited Glasgow Airport Access Project, which will provide a direct link between Glasgow Airport, Paisley and Glasgow city centre.

I have often made the point that the City Deal will benefit all of Renfrewshire through increased job and investment prospects.

People can see the proposals beginning to take detailed shape as this important preparatory work begins.

Recent consultation events showed overwhelming public backing for the proposals.

The City Deal will make a lasting difference to the Renfrewshire and regional economies and these works are a positive step in that process.