Team Paisley category

Damian Green being presented with a signed I, Daniel Blake book by George

I, Daniel Blake write launches attack on minister following Holyrood grilling

THE writer of an acclaimed film that savages Britain’s welfare regime has accused the UK Work and Pensions Secretary of talking “guff” during a showdown with MSPs.

Paul Laverty, the Scot who penned I, Daniel Blake, escalated a war of words between the film’s creators and Damian Green after watching the minister reject claims that the benefits system had driven people to suicide in an appearance at the Scottish Parliament._92246155_cwvfyd4wiaafwdu

During a fraught evidence session with Holyrood’s social security committee, Mr Green was given a signed copy of the script of the film which he has previously criticised as a ‘monstrously unfair’ work of fiction despite admitting he has never seen it.

Afterwards, Mr Laverty accused Mr Green of “an absolute and total whitewash” during questioning and failing to acknowledge the reality of the “terrifying” impact of benefit sanctions on the lives of the vulnerable.

The writer added: “That was a public relations exercise, it’s absolutely guff. Two days ago Mr Damian Green described our film ‘as having no relationship to the modern benefits system’ and ‘monstrously unfair’ to the job centre staff. Then he admits he hasn’t seen it.

“I travelled the whole country, spoke to whistleblowers within the DWP, activists, academics and people in foodbanks. What we saw was people’s lives thrown into absolute chaos by the sanctions regime. When he says our film has no resemblance to reality, it does make my blood boil.

“The characters in the film are fictional, but are informed and inspired by everything we saw during some serious investigation.”

Mr Green was repeatedly challenged by MSPs over benefit reforms and the sanctions regime which can see claimants’ payments suspended if they do not follow strict rules.

He declined an invitation to apologise the “significant failures and problems” of the reforms since their 2010 roll-out, saying the policies were aimed at helping people “take control” of their lives while describing sanctions are a “necessary backstop”.

SNP MSP George Adam presented Mr Green with a signed copy of the Daniel Blake book as “light reading” for his journey back to London. He added that campaigners who had previously given evidence to the committee had “almost” accused Mr Green of murder due to suicides that had taken place due to the stresses of the benefits system.

 

Damian Green being presented with a signed I, Daniel Blake book by George

Damian Green being presented with a signed I, Daniel Blake book by George

A visibly irritated Mr Green replied: “There is no evidence, and I think bringing people who committed suicide into political debate is always unfortunate. Clearly every suicide is a tragedy, there are complex reasons behind everyone, and as I say to try and politicise individual tragedies like this always seems to me to be very unfortunate.”

 

He added: “It is absolutely not the intention of anyone connected with the welfare system, whether it’s ministers or staff of the DWP, to cause distress. The system is there to help people and I see it as an essential part of my job to try and set up structures and set up the organisation of the system so that it is there to help.”

“Absolutely I think they need to be there, but also they need to be there only as a last resort,” he said.

russell institute

Paisley’s MSP Welcomes £4,248,000 Boost For Renfrewshire Schools

Schools in Renfrewshire will benefit from a £4,248,000 funding boost as part of the Scottish Government’s drive to improve standards in schools, it has been revealed.

 

The share each school is due to receive from the Scottish Government’s new £120 million Pupil Equity Fund has been revealed by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

 

49 primaries and 11 secondaries across Renfrewshire are set to receive additional support worth thousands of pounds. It will be up to teachers and school leaders to decide the best way of using the funding to close the poverty related attainment gap in their schools.

 

russell instituteWelcoming the announcement, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:


“Every child in Scotland should have the best possible start in life, and it is unacceptable for children from the poorest backgrounds to have their chances limited by circumstances outside their control.

 

“The SNP in government has made closing the poverty-related attainment gap our number one priority, and our new £120 million Pupil Equity Fund is aimed at doing just that – supporting 49 primaries and 11 secondaries in Renfrewshire.

 

“This new announcement will let parents, teachers and school leaders in Renfrewshire see how much funding they can expect to drive up standards and tackle the inter-generational cycle of deprivation in their school.”

 

George outside Paisley's East End Branch of the Bank of Scotland

JOBS BLOW: 300 Paisley DWP workers give devastating news that the Lonend centre is closing

More than 300 people face the sack after Department of Work and Pensions bosses announced plans to close its centre in Paisley.

Trade unions and politicians reacted with fury at the latest jobs’ blow to affect Renfrewshire, coming on the back of Chivas’ announcement shedding 460 jobs, as well as Doosan Backcock’s shock decision to axe more than 300 workers at its Renfrew factory.

Staff at the Lonend site face compulsory redundancy from April with the administration centre closing for good by March 2018.

George outside Paisley's East End Branch of the Bank of Scotland

Trade union, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) last night voiced its anger at the announcement.

Paisley shop steward Colin Mack said: “We have more than 300 jobs at risk. I am shocked and disgusted by this decision.

“They are taking these jobs out of Paisley and leaving the staff without their livelihoods, where they have families, childcare, mortgages.

“The staff work really hard and they have been left reeling by this sudden and unexpected announcement. People here are really upset.”

He added redundancy talks are underway and will end by April with the centre closing for good from March 2018.

Union sources added the work is being transferred to a site in Glasgow, which remains unidentified to the workforce.

George outside Paisley Museum

Tory Government Trident Cover Up A Dangerous And Worrying Precedent

                                                                                                Who Knew What About Missile Test Failure?

George outside Paisley Museum
Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has condemned the UK government for withholding details of a serious malfunction in a Trident test launch last June – just weeks before the vote to renew Trident to the tune of £205bn.

 

It has been widely reported that during a test launch, an unarmed Trident missile had fired in the wrong direction towards the US coastline. The major failure was not shared publicly ahead of the vote on renewal.

 

Commenting, George said: “It is deeply worrying that just weeks before the House of Commons voted to renew Trident, the UK government chose to withhold vital information about a serious Trident missile malfunction that raised doubts about the safety of the technology. “Each time a missile is tested it costs the taxpayer £17m, and these latest reports demonstrate that not only is Trident obscenely expensive but it is potentially unreliable and unsafe.

 

“The SNP will continue to hold the UK government to account for their lack of transparency and press them for answers on this.”

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Early Years Workforce Expansion To Benefit Communities In Paisley

Scottish Government Investment Welcomed By Paisley’s MSP, George Adam.

 

The Scottish Government announcement that there will be an extra £1.5 million investment for more nursery teachers and graduates in deprived areas across Scotland has been welcomed by Paisley’s MSP, George Adam – with Renfrewshire set to receive 26 additional teachers or graduates.

 

The new staff in Renfrewshire, part of 435 nationwide, is part of the wider strategy of tackling the attainment gap and giving every child an equal start in life. The provision of extra high qualified childcare professionals will ensure that Renfrewshire’s young people benefit from the highest quality care and early years education.

 

The Scottish Government is taking decisive action to improve early years learning and childcare, including expanding guaranteed free provision from 1140 hours to 2020 hours – which will have a positive impact for families across Renfrewshire.

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Commenting, George said:

 

“This new funding is very welcome news for Renfrewshire, helping to ensure that more children in our most deprived communities are able to benefit from specialised childcare and high quality early years learning.

 

“The Scottish Government is committed to closing the attainment gap, and targeting funding in this way, as well as expanding the guaranteed free childcare provision from 1140 hours to 2020 hours, is important in making this happen, and to ensure that every child across Renfrewshire gets an equal start in life.

 

“The 26 new graduates or teachers that will be joining our workforce in Renfrewshire will help improve childcare provision in our communities, and I look forward to seeing the Scottish Government continue to invest in our children’s futures.”

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Scotland Must Choose Its Own Future If All Attempts To Compromise Rejected

Yesterday The Prime Minister made it clear the UK is heading for an economically disastrous hard Brexit.

Nearly seven months since the referendum – the Scottish Government is still the only administration to publish a detailed plan on how to deal with Brexit and the economic, social, democratic and cultural risks associated with it.

Scotland voted overwhelming to remain in the EU and the Scottish Government is doing all it can to make sure the Tories cannot ignore and act against Scotland’s interests.

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Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, said:

 

“Theresa May today confirmed that she plans to take the UK towards an economically dangerous hard Brexit. The Prime Minister has chosen to pander to the obsessions of the hard-right of her Tory party, rather than act in the best interests of the country.

 

“Today’s speech made it clear she’s looking at  replacing our membership of the single market with a low wage, de-regulated economy that would see a race to the bottom – leaving everyone worse off as a result.

 

“If the Tories get away with dragging Scotland out of the EU and the Single Market they’ll think they can get away with anything.

 

“The Scottish Government has published compromise proposals that will keep Scotland in the Single Market and the Tories at Westminster must now show they are taking these plans seriously.

 

“The  Tory government must not be able to take Scotland out of the EU and the single market, regardless of the impact on our economy, jobs, living standards and our reputation as an open, tolerant country, without Scotland having the ability to choose between that and a better future.”

Paisley 2021

Jobs Boost For Renfrewshire As Scottish Tourism Booms

The number of people working in tourism in Renfrewshire increased by 14% in one year, new figures show – with Scotland as a whole seeing an increase of 11 per cent.

 

The statistics produced by Visit Scotland show that tourism supports 5,800 jobs in Renfrewshire, 7% of total jobs in the area.

 

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of people employed in the sector across Scotland grew to 217,000 – with the 11 per cent increase in Scotland above the 4 per cent rise in Great Britain as a whole.

 

The 217,000 members of the Scottish tourism industry represent 9 per cent of the country’s total employment and is the highest tourism level since Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) records began in 2009.

 

41% of staff in the tourism industry work in restaurants, 24% in hotels and other accommodation and 17% in bars and related businesses.

 

George Adam MSP commented:

 

“Our tourism industry is going from strength to strength and this increase in jobs shows the vital role that tourism plays in Scotland’s economy and particularly in Paisley.

 

“Scotland is famed for its warm welcome, incredible scenery and top class attractions – and with 2017 the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology we are celebrating our exceptional historical attractions.

 

“With Scotland ranked second in the Rough Guides list of the best countries in the world to visit this year, tourism in Paisley has a very bright future.”

 

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

 

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience. It creates jobs and sustains communities in every corner of Scotland all year round and is at the heart of the Scottish economy.

 

“These fantastic new figures show that, from hotel owners to waiting staff, tourism really is the driving force for providing the jobs of today and tomorrow. They also demonstrate the industry’s commitment to the 2020 strategy – which aims to generate economic growth through tourism.”

George Town Hall

New Survey Launched To Help Shape Scotland’s National Transport Policy

Paisley’s MSP George Adam, is encouraging individuals, organisations and communities in Paisley to give their views in the new Transport Scotland survey that will help shape the long-term vision for the Scottish Government’s transport policies.

The National Transport Strategy (NTS) review will contribute towards formulating a plan for the kind of transport we want for the whole of Scotland in 20 years’ time and how we plan to get there.George Town Hall

The early engagement survey is available online until spring 2017. It will be followed by a wider programme of national engagement beginning in summer 2017 ahead of a full public consultation.

Commenting, George said:

“The SNP is committed to giving stakeholders and communities across Scotland a greater say in influencing the development of transport policy at the local, regional and national level. I would encourage as many of my constituents as possible in Paisley to take this chance to have your views heard and contribute to the National Transport Strategy survey available online until spring next year.

“This NTS review is intended to be a collaborative listening exercise garnering views from members of the public and interested organisations from across Scotland to help shape the future of transport in Scotland.

“The SNP government will be working closely throughout the review with Regional Transport Partnerships, local authorities and other key stakeholders through the NTS Review Partnership Group.”

To take part in the survey visit the National Transport Strategy Web Page

George outside University of the West of Scotland

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam Praises Rise In Teacher Numbers Across Renfrewshire

Scottish Government Attainment Scotland Fund Driving Growth

 George outside UWS

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has applauded the rise in teacher numbers across Renfrewshire. The rise has been driven by efforts by the Scottish Government to increase teacher numbers through initiatives such as the Attainment Scotland Fund.

 

Numbers of teachers have risen from 1,621 to a total of 1,658 teachers across Renfrewshire. This is part of a nationwide increase of 253 teachers, including 160 directly funded by the Scottish Government’s Attainment Scotland Fund.

 

Commenting, George said:

 

 “This growth in teacher numbers across Renfrewshire is very welcome, and reflects the Scottish Government’s commitment to getting it right for every child.

 

 “The SNP has made closing the attainment gap a priority during this parliament, and actions such as the Attainment Scotland Fund, which has driven this increase in teacher numbers, shows the positive difference the Scottish Government is making for children across Paisley.

 

 “We are determined to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up, and that means making sure our children are able to benefit from high quality education – and the increase in teacher numbers over the last year is one way in which we are doing this.

 

 “The £750 million Attainment programme is already having a tangible impact in getting more teachers into our schools, and I look forward to working with the Scottish Government to ensure that children across Paisley continue to benefit.”

 

Thrushcraigs

Statistics Show More Social And Council Housing In Development

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has welcomed a significant rise in the number of council houses and new social rented sector homes in development compared to last year, as well as an overall increase in housing supply – as revealed by National Statistics for Scotland figures published today. 

 

While the Labour/Lib Dem Scottish executive built only six council homes during their time in office, council house building has been revived under the SNP, with right-to-buy scrapped. Central to the Scottish Government’s ambition to make Scotland “fairer and more prosperous” is the commitment to building at least 50,000 new affordable homes over this parliament. 

The latest analysis shows that new local authority housing starts and completions have risen (26% and 12% respectively) since last year, and more social housing is being built across Scotland. 

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Commenting, George said:

 

“It is really encouraging that housebuilding in Scotland is on the up – particularly when it comes to new social housing and council-built developments.  

 

“The number of social housing homes built between April and June this year was up 77% on the same period last year. And on top of this there was a 26% increase in new local council housing developments up to September 2016 compared to last year. 

 

“The SNP is committed to building 50,000 new affordable homes for many reasons, not least given the link between poor housing and poverty and the fact more homes will help improve people’s life chances, create jobs, and have a beneficial effect on health and wellbeing. This is in stark contrast to the Labour/Lib Dem coalition that was responsible for building only six new council houses throughout their time in office.  While we still have work to do, I am confident that these latest figures show that the SNP is committed to working with partners to continue to increase the affordable housing supply.”