The role of council leader certainly gets me out and about in Renfrewshire.

As an example, I was given the opportunity to visit the Fire and Rescue control centre in Johnstone, where I met firefighters and staff who deliver crucial day to day support that ensures our fire service remains effective.

We also discussed the great partnership established between the emergency services and the council.

My visits also took me to see first-hand the work of the Community Safety Hub – council wardens, firefighters, police officers and paramedics all working side-by-side to keep our communities safe – and I extended my thanks on your behalf for the great work they all do.

We all have our own plans and priorities but the hub enables us to work jointly where appropriate, share vital information and target resources where they are needed most.

We will be working closely as ever with our Scottish Fire and Rescue colleagues as we host the Fireworks Spectacular on Saturday, November 4. From 2pm, there’s a packed programme of entertainment and family fun before the skies above Paisley Abbey are lit up by the spectacular display of fireworks.

It’s a big day in our winter events season, flanked by the two-day Hallowe’en Festival at the end of October and the ever-popular Christmas Lights Switch-On taking place on Saturday, November 18.

The programme extends across Renfrewshire, with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew (Saturday, November 25) and in Johnstone (Saturday, December 2).

Meanwhile, every town and village across Renfrewshire can take immense pride in supporting the bid to make Paisley the UK City of Culture 2021.

Ever since the town made the final five in the summer, it has been full steam ahead, culminating in the second stage bid being submitted on Friday, September 29.

Winning the bid will take the power of culture to make people’s lives better to every corner of Renfrewshire.

It is estimated that the City of Culture 2021 year could bring a £176m economic boost and create the equivalent of 4,700 jobs over a 10-year period, while attracting more than 800,000 visitors in 2021.

Win or not, the change in attitude towards the town and the pride in which people now speak about Renfrewshire is priceless and we are determined to build on this, ensuring the benefits reach all Renfrewshire residents.

We are celebrating heroes of another kind across Renfrewshire through the Provost’s Community Awards.

Nominations are now open to put forward your local heroes, with categories such as the Carers’ Award, Community Volunteer and Sporting Achievement.

There’s also a new Arts and Culture Award for someone lighting up the cultural scene.

Submit your nominations before Friday, December 1, by email to or by completing a form available at all council facilities.