# why i love paisley

Cabinet Secretary Welcomes Paisley 2021 Bid

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs has today welcomes Paisley’s bid to become the UK City of Culture 2021. Having met with representatives of Renfrewshire Council on 27th October to discuss the bid, Ms Hyslop believes that there is a strong case for a Scottish bid winning and Paisley with it rich tradition and heritage in music and textiles to name but a few areas, it would be a great host of the UK City of Culture in 2021. She went onto to say that we must learn from the bid Dundee submitted to host the 2017 UK City of Culture, ultimately losing out to Hull. These comment speaks to the partnership and sharing of experiences Paisley’s MSP George Adam is keen to see during Paisley’s bid.# why i love paisley

Speaking on the Cabinet Secretary’s comments, George said, “I was pleased to hear the Cabinet Secretary welcome Paisley’s bid and I’m sure she will be keen to work with our town, giving us the best opportunity to win this coveted prize. I attend both the launch of the Paisley 2021 bid in the Abbey 2 weeks ago and also attended a meeting held by Paisley First giving local business people the chance to be introduced to the Paisley 2021 bid. At the meeting, Project Director Jean Cameron spoke of her vision for Paisley 2021 and how we can all work together to achieve a winning bid and I hope to meet her again to discuss this further in the coming weeks.

“Paisley has too much to offer in terms of culture. We have a wealth of world renowned musicians from our great town including Gerry Rafferty and Paolo Nutini. We have great actors hailing from our town including David Tennant and Carmen Pieraccini. From a creative stand point, we have Steven Moffat who currently writes both Sherlock and Dr Who television shows. And in art, we have John Byrne and Her Majesty’s Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland, Sandy Stoddard to name but a few.

“This is just some of the talent to hail from our town to achieve international acclaim. However, in Paisley any day of the week you will see culture all around our town, from the UK’s largest youth theatre group PACE, to the reading groups, open-mic nights and historical societies that meet in our pubs and café’s. We really do have so much to offer and this bid will simply add to what already is on offer in our historic town.”

George Serious Paisley Town Hall

2842 Referrals to Food Banks in Renfrewshire in Last Three Months

Reacting to new Trussell Trust figures on emergency food aid, Paisley’s MSP George Adam has expressed alarm that 2842 referrals were made to food banks in Renfrewshire between April and September this year. This included 724 referrals for children.

Overall, the number of food bank referrals in Scotland has increased to over 60,000 in the last quarter and 44 per cent of these were for benefit delays and cuts.George Serious Paisley Town Hall

Commenting, George said:

“These figures are absolutely scandalous! We live in a wealthy country, there is no need for anyone to go without food. 724 children in the last three months in our area have been referred to a food banks. How can children being referred to food banks be a thing in modern Scotland? One simple answer, David Cameron, George Osborne and Ian Duncan Smith. These figures sicken me.

“I have people coming to my office every week who cannot afford to eat, unable to heat their homes, unable to put clothes on their children. It is disgraceful that after 5 years of these draconian Tory welfare policies, when things are getting worse, the Tories chose to ignore the consequences of their actions.

“There have been 2842 occasions where people in Renfrewshire were in such dire straits that they could not afford to eat. The figures also show that UK Government benefit changes and delays continue to be the most common reason for people seeking emergency food aid. While Tory Ministers have their head in the sand on the issue, the Scottish Government recognises this link and is spending almost £300 million over three years to mitigate Tory social security cuts.

“That any government would consider further cuts to the incomes of the poorest families in our society in the face of such clear evidence of rising poverty is appalling – yet George Osborne is set to plough ahead with £12 billion more social security cuts.

“These new figures will put further pressure on George Osborne to scrap his planned cuts to Tax Credits – we will not let up on our opposition to these callous cuts. And if they do go ahead we stand ready to protect low income households in Scotland.”

George Adam MSP

Students Standing in Solidarity Against Unfair Tory Policies

UK Government Must Re-think “Wrong-headed” Post-study Work Visa Ban

The SNP has today reiterated its call for the UK Government to abandon its regressive, anti-immigration policies and to restore the post-study work visa – as students in Scotland take part in a day of solidarity with international students.

SNP MSP George Adam has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament to recognise today as a day of solidarity with international students – and demanding a new evidence-based approach from the UK Government.

The Scottish Government has consistently made the case for the re-introduction of the post-study work visa – which allows international graduates to continue to contribute to Scotland’s economy and society after their studies. This has been backed by each of Scotland’s colleges and by organisations and businesses across Scotland.

George Adam MSP

Commenting, Mr Adam said:

“The Tory’s regressive, wrong-headed approach to immigration is threatening Scotland’s reputation as a place to study and work – and I am pleased to see students in Scotland standing in solidarity with their international friends and colleagues against the unfair approach of the UK Government.

“But by scrapping the post-study work visa, this Tory government is essentially telling highly skilled foreign graduates that they are not welcome to continue contributing to our country – which isn’t just morally wrong, but is incredibly harmful to our economy.

“The case for the reintroduction of the post-study work visa is unanswerable. The UK Government must urgently rethink its flawed approach and make clear that Scotland is open for business – and that we welcome the outstanding and continuing contribution our international students can make to our economy and our society.”

Below is the parliamentary motion yesterday lodged by George. 

That the Parliament recognises 17th November as the NUS International Students’ Campaign Day of Solidarity; notes that the campaign expresses dissatisfaction with the UK Government’s immigration policies and their impact on international students; wishes the students well in their expression of solidarity and reiterates its call for the UK Government to abandon its negative attitude towards immigration which it considers is harmful to Scotland socially and economically, and to re-introduce the post-study work visa.

George in Paisley Town Centre

2566 Benefit from Small Business Bonus in Renfrewshire

Paisley’s MSP George Adam has today welcomed new figures which show that the number of empty shops in Scotland dropped to 8.7 per cent in October – the lowest retail vacancy rate for four years.

The figures, published by the Scottish Retail Consortium, also show that this rate is lower than the UK rate of 9.1 per cent. There has also been a slight improvement in retail footfall compared to last month.George in Paisley Town Centre

Commenting, George said:

“These encouraging figures show that the proportion of empty shops in Scotland is now lower than at any time over the last four years and lower than in the UK as a whole – a welcome sign that ahead of the busy Christmas season Scotland’s high streets are getting back to business.

“The SNP government is serious about revitalising our town centres – that’s why a new £1.7 million fund to regenerate town centres was launched in August and local authorities have been given more powers over local business rates.
‘The Scottish Government has also invested heavily in Paisley Town Centre over recent years, by funding the refurbishment of the Russell Institute, the new flats at the Arnott’s site and the make-over of Paisley Gilmour Street Station. I meet with local business people every day and have heard just how much they value the small business bonus, many of whom may not have taken the decision to open up a business if not for the rate relief.

“These new figures are also another sign that the SNP government’s work to support entrepreneurs is bearing fruit – the number of businesses now benefiting from the Small Business Bonus Scheme in Renfrewshire has reached 2566 contributing to the highest number of businesses in Scotland since devolution.

“The SNP is determined that Scotland remains the most competitive place to do business in the UK and that our high streets flourish – creating jobs, boosting local growth and supporting local communities.”




George Adam MSP

Bedroom Tax Hits 2608 in Renfrewshire – But SNP Mitigating Impact


Following the publication of new figures which show that 2608 housing benefit claimants are affected in Renfrewshire, Paisley’s MSP George Adam has called on the UK Government to immediately abolish this unfair charge. The SNP remains committed to abolishing the Bedroom Tax when new social security powers in the Scotland Bill are devolved.

The Scottish Government has now committed £90 million since the introduction of the Bedroom Tax to ensure it is fully mitigated in Scotland.George Adam MSP

Commenting, George said:

“These figures highlight the shocking impact the Bedroom Tax could have had on families in Scotland – 2608 people in Renfrewshire would have otherwise been affected.

“Instead of the Scottish Government having to spend its ever decreasing budget, slashed year on year by the Tory UK Government, mitigating the bedroom tax, we could spend the money on things important to Paisley buddies. I have yet to meet one constituent who feels the bedroom tax is fair. Most of the people living in properties with an extra room did not ask for an extra room, so it is hardly fair to charge them for it.

“While families in England and Wales continue to face iniquitous charge, the SNP government has fully mitigated its impact in Scotland – something the Labour government in Wales has refused to do. The SNP has consistently opposed the Bedroom Tax and is committed to abolishing the levy when the Scottish Parliament has the powers to do so.

“The UK Government must recognise the impact of this hated levy on families across England and Wales and on public finances in Scotland. The simplest and fairest solution remains for the measure to be dropped by the DWP.

“When he sets out his spending plans later this month, George Osborne should use this as an opportunity to protect the poorest and abolish the Bedroom Tax.”

George sma shot portrait

George Opposes Tories’ “Anti-Worker” Legislation

Paisley’s MSP George Adam has voted to oppose the UK Government’s ‘anti-worker’ Trade Union Bill – and raised questions over Labour’s failure to back the devolution of power over industrial relations to Scotland.

A motion condemning the Trade Union Bill was passed in the Scottish Parliament with support from Labour MSPs, despite the fact that Labour MPs at Westminster voted against an SNP amendment to the Scotland Bill to devolve responsibility for industrial relations and workers’ rights to Scotland – and chose instead to leave them under the control of the Tory government.

George sma shot portrait

Paisley’s MSP Stands Up for Trade Unions

The Scottish Government has already asked the UK Government to exclude Scotland from the Trade Union Bill in its entirety – and that if they are unwilling to do so, the consent of the Scottish Parliament should be sought before the legislation is imposed on Scotland.

Commenting, George said:

“I was proud to cast my vote in the Scottish Parliament to stand against the UK Government’s Trade Union Bill – and I was delighted to see Labour MSPs joining with the SNP in opposing this outrageous attack on workers’ rights.

“The Trade Union Bill is nothing less than an attack on the rights of workers across the UK and hampers the rights of devolved administrations, local authorities and other public bodies to determine their own industrial relations. That’s why it’s so vital that Scotland’s voice is not ignored – and why these plans should require a consent from the Scottish Parliament before they can be imposed on workers and unions here.

“Trade Unions continue to plan an important part in the lives of Paisley people. People need the right to organise and stand up for workers’ rights. We know this all too well in Paisley, every July we celebrate the worker’s victory over the cork on Sma Shot Day. Shawl weavers were not paid by the manufactures, the cork, for the sma shot that held their shawls together. The workers united and together they forced the hand of the cork so they were paid for all their labour.

“The SNP proposed plans to devolve powers over industrial relations which would have allowed the Scottish Parliament to take a new and better approach – supporting the work of our unions rather than attacking them. That Labour would rather leave these powers in David Cameron’s hands giving him carte blanche to undermine unions in Scotland is as bewildering as it is wrong – and local Labour politicians will have to answer to workers across Paisley for their decision.
“Trade Unions play a positive and constructive role in our local economy and our society and Trade Unionists and workers across Paisley can be assured that the I will continue to do everything I can to fight this anti-worker legislation every step of the way.”