George Supports Castlehead Pupils as they Work on their BBC News School Report

George with Castlehead BBC News School

 

George recently visited Castlehead High School in Paisley to be interviewed and take part in their BBC News School Report. The subject was Independence, a subject George could talk all day on. He was delighted to take part in their production, which has been well shot, well editied and excellently presented from strart to finish. A big thumbs up go to all the pupils involved!

Click on this link to see the Castlehead Pupils BBC News School Report

MSP Secures Fairtrade Debate to Launch Fairtrade Fortnight

George with his favourite Fairtrade chocolateGeorge Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, today [23/02/12] led a Members Debate in the Scottish Parliament on the new Fairtrade campaign ‘Take a Step in 2012’. Fairtrade Fortnight begins on the 27th February and runs until 11th March, and is the highlight of the Fairtrade calendar with many events happening all over Scotland.

George said, “I was delighted to secure a members debate on Fairtrade in the run up to Fairtrade Fortnight. I have been passionate about Fairtrade for years; it was actually hearing about child sweat-shops being used to manufacture some of the most popular clothes at the time, which eventually lead me onto finding out about Fairtrade. Nowadays, many top brands are Fairtrade, like Kit Kats and Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons, which are a personal favorite of mine.

‘Fairtrade looks to guarantee fair prices for producers of many products, from coffee, tea, wine and cotton. Many of these producers are from third world countries and were exploited for years, being paid very poor prices. So the more people that turn to Fairtrade means more producers around the world will get a fair price for their produce, increasing their wage and raising their living standards.

‘Take a Step in 2012, is a campaign designed to make people aware that no matter how small a step they make for Fairtrade; even a small step is a good step. Whether you alert a friend to Fairtrade, change to Fairtrade coffee yourself, change your office to only use Fairtrade products, of turn your school into a Fairtrade one, these are all positive steps. Renfrewshire has been a Fairtrade Zone since 2009, with Paisley being a Fairtrade Town since 2007.

‘Council Leader Brian Lawson has done wonders for Fairtrade locally; I can vouch for this as I was on the Fairtrade Steering Group with him as a councilor, before I became the Co-Convener of the Cross Party Group on Fairtrade at the Scottish Parliament. 2012 is the also the year that Scotland hopes to become a Fairtrade country, like our Celtic cousin, Wales. The positive nature of the debate I had in Parliament can only bode well for Scotland’s chances and I would urge as many Buddies as possible to Take a Step, for Fairtrade, in 2012. “

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, who closed the debate said, “I echo the sentiments that have been expressed in the chamber and thank George Adam. An assessment panel will meet in the autumn to review our evidence and judge whether Scotland has achieved enough to become a Fairtrade nation. I am confident that we will have done so, but we have to strive to go beyond that.

‘Evidence suggests that fair trade sales are holding up, despite the recession. In 2010, sales of fair trade products soared by 40 per cent to an estimated retail value of £1.17 billion, and the Fairtrade Foundation is expected to reveal another increase in sales.”

For more information on Fairtrade Fortnight, Take a Step in 2012 or just Fairtrade in general, click Here. You can also watch the full debate on the BBC Democracy Live Website – click here.

George Visits EPM Solutions on its 10th Anniversary

George and Gary KerrGeorge Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, today [16/02/12] went to EPM Solutions head office in Paisley’s West End to take in the great work being done there, while also congratulation the company as it celebrates its 10th anniversary.

George said, “I was delighted to go along today and meet with Gary Kerr, Managing Director of EPM Solutions, and learn about the work the company is involved in. Celebrating a 10th birthday as well is a real achievement for any company and this one, I’m sure, will be going for many more years to come.

‘Having known Gary for years due to us both being massive Saints fans, I was very keen to take in his workplace and understand the very challenging market his company operates in. An engineering company, they provide specialized engineering consultancy and asset management, to name two of their services, to companies across the world. Some of their clients include NHS Scotland, BAA, BP, MITIE, Rolls Royce and they played a significant part in writing the 25 year asset management and maintenance plan for the Scottish Parliament.

‘Gary, brought up in Thrushcraigs in Paisley, started the company in 2002, firstly working out of an office on Moss Street, moving another twice, before moving to the company’s current location at Woodside House on William Street. The premises are fantastic, modern and currently the lower floor is undergoing serious renovations to allow this renowned company to expand to accommodate its ever increasing work load.

‘I would like to praise Gary and his staff for the great and challenging work they are involved in, bring major companies and their contracts to their Paisley base; it’s a true Buddie success story. EPM prides itself on its customer service which from the welcome and tour Gary gave me, I am sure is 1st class.”

On George’s visit Gary said, “I was very pleased that George wanted to come to our office and learn about the work we are doing right in the heart of Paisley. We are a still a young company which is growing and I am delighted that I am able to run my business in my home town of Paisley. The companies which we work with, many major international ones, are having work done right here in Paisley. I am very proud of this, being Paisley born and bred, and I would like to thank George for joining us at our office.”

George Urges calls to the Home Heat Helpline

George with Christine McGourty from Home Heat HelplineNew figures reveal that in Renfrewshire, 10,300 homes are entitled to some form of assistance with their fuel bills. That help is worth an average of £250 per household and a free helpline is available for more information.

Lending his support to the campaign, George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, said, “Around 10,300 homes in Renfrewshire are entitled to some form of support. Anyone who is concerned about staying warm should call the Home Heat Helpline and seek advice. I would also ask people to look out for neighbours, friends or relatives who may be in difficulty and make sure that they are aware of the Home Heat Helpline.”

The number for the Home Heat Helpline is 0800 33 66 99 or you can visit www.homeheathelpline.org.uk. It is a free service that provides independent advice to people on low incomes on how to get help with their gas and electricity bills as well as other help such as grants for insulation or a new boiler.

As well as supporting the campaign locally, George recently attended a briefing in the Scottish Parliament to raise awareness of the helpline.

Christine McGourty from the Home Heat Helpline also advises people to think about what they can do around the home to reduce their energy consumption:
“As well as calling the Home Heat Helpline to find out what financial assistance is available there are some other simple steps people can take. For example:
• turn radiators down in rooms which you only use occasionally
• switch your lights off when you’re not using them
• turn appliances like TVs and phone chargers off at the wall rather than leaving them on standby when they’re not being used
• replace normal light bulbs with energy efficient ones
• regularly defrost your freezer to make sure it’s operating at full efficiency
• draw curtains over windows at night to provide insulation for the room
• move furniture away from radiators and heaters to allow heat to circulate around the room
• open internal doors of any rooms which get more sun than others and let the warm air travel around your home”
Home Heat Helpline: 0800 33 66 99 or www.homeheathelpline.org.uk

Note:

The Home Heat Helpline (0800 33 66 99) is a free, not-for-profit phone line to help people who are struggling to pay their energy bills and keep warm. People can also access the service online by visiting www.homeheathelpline.org.uk.

The Helpline is managed by the Energy Retail Association and paid for by contributions from Britain’s major energy suppliers (British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, RWE npower, SSE and ScottishPower). The service is backed by a range of organisations including Age UK; Citizens Advice; National Energy Action; Energy Saving Trust; Counsel and Care and Gingerbread.

The Helpline’s trained advisers can provide eligible callers with advice on:
• free or discounted home insulation
• discounts and rebate schemes
• the Priority Service Register, which can provide extra services for people who are elderly or disabled (including bills in large text or Braille, security passwords and an annual gas safety check)
• flexible payment options
• benefits entitlement checks

The Energy Retail Association set up a Safety Net procedure in 2004 to make sure that no vulnerable customer in Britain is knowingly disconnected from their electricity or gas supply at any time of year.

The New Policy Institute (NPI) was commissioned by the Home Heat Helpline to estimate the number of vulnerable households who are eligible for free CERT home insulation grants and other free help from their energy supplier in November 2011.

Paisley’s MSP Welcomes Local Structure for Police and Fire Services

George outside Paisley AbbeyGeorge Adam, Paisley’s MSP, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill which will put local knowledge at the heart of delivering services in communities across Scotland.

The Bill will mean that Renfrewshire will have its own local commander and local authorities will agree local policing plans with the commander. Moving to a single police force will ensure the future of the force and the additional 1000 officers on the beat since the SNP came to power.

The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill will see the establishing of “The Police Service of Scotland”. The current functions of fire and rescue authorities will transfer to the “Scottish Fire and Rescue Service” which will employ all staff from the current eight fire and rescue authorities to the new service.

George said:

“This announcement will see Scotland’s police continue to make our country’s communities, streets and neighbourhoods safer.

“Through a range of measures, including delivering on our election promise of 1000 extra police on Scotland’s streets, crime is at its lowest level since 1976.

“These necessary changes come on the back of potentially devastating Westminster cuts, however, we can and will do more with less, by focussing on a stronger connection between communities and their local police and fire and rescue services.

“The new structure of policing and fire services will see a local commander for every local authority area giving a real local point of contact and ensuring local priorities are decided by police and councillors working together.

“A single force is not unusual, countries including Denmark, Norway and New Zealand take this approach for a similar sized population. When the Tories and Lib Dems are slashing police numbers in England this approach will ensure that in Scotland we can continue to protect our communities properly.

“I welcome the proposals and hope now they have seen the proposals opposition parties will recognise that their fears and smears were ill placed. Scotland’s police force will be independent and answerable to local communities as well as to local MSPs.”

Notes:
These new bodies will have a commitment and focus on local knowledge by enabling greater powers for local authorities including:

POLICE
• Chief Constable must ensure adequate arrangements for the policing of each local authority area.
• Designated local commander for each local authority area.
• Local commanders subject to direction and control of the Chief Constable.
• Local authority can request reports and information on policing in the local area.
• Local Plan, agreed between local commander and local authority, setting out priorities, objectives and arrangement for policing in the local authority area.

FIRE and RESCUE
• Scottish Fire Rescue Services must ensure adequate arrangements for SFRS functions in each local authority area.
• Local Senior Officer to involve the local authority in setting priorities and objectives for that area and prepare a local fire and rescue plan for the authority’s agreement.
• Local authority powers to request reports and information on SFRS functions in the local area.

Full details can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/01/12135101

 

Local MSP George Adam and Provost Celia Lawson visit W.J & W Lang

George Adam MSP for Paisley and Celia Lawson Provost of Renfrewshire and Councillor for Paisley East and Ralston, are photographed paying a visit to local company W.J& W Lang, part of the Scottish Leather Group.

The company, which has been in Paisley since 1872 and is in its 140th year, is the oldest manufacturing company in Paisley producing on its original site. The company employs 60 people and has increased turnover substantially in the last few years.

Hugh Gilmour managing director said, “We are delighted that George’s first appointment of 2012 was to visit our factory in the heart of Paisley and were also delighted that Celia was able to take time out of her busy schedule to see the operation and discuss our plans for the future.

“As a major employer we are committed to Paisley, many of our workforce are second and in some cases third generation of the same family to work here. With our emphasis on training, innovation and investment we are thriving where many of the traditional local industries have disappeared. We recently invested £500,000 in new equipment and are further investing in continuous improvements to our environmental performance.”

The company supplies tanned hides to Group companies Bridge of Weir Leather Company and Andrew Muirhead & Son which are then processed and finished for onward supply to the automotive, aviation and contract furnishing industries. The finishing companies supply most of the world’s major airlines and car manufacturers such as Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Volvo, Aston Martin and Ford.

George, said, “I was delighted to be invited along to see the great work being carried out right in the centre of our town. I was warmly greeted and shown round by Hugh and learned a great deal about a factory which I stay so close to, but without ever really knowing what happened within the walls. Having a business in Paisley which produces leather for companies all around the world is excellent. Over recent years, the factory has developed and invested to modernise itself, while looking to improve its green performance. I would like to thank everyone at the factory for taking the time to show me around and wish them continuing success for the future.

‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ Paisley Special!

George with his wife StaceyGEORGE ENCOURAGES BUDDIES TO TRACE FAMILY TREE

MSP George Adam is urging all Paisley Buddies to watch a very special episode of ‘Who do you think you are?’ to be broadcast in October. The show will feature Bee Gees member Robin Gibb who visits Paisley to uncover parts of his ancestry.

Bosses at the BBC have so far been tight lipped and have also ensured a wall of silence from staff at the Museum and Library where Gibb is thought to have visited during the filming of the episode.

Commenting on the programme, George said:

“It’s not yet clear exactly what Robin Gibb will uncover when ‘Who do you think you are?’ airs in October, but I would urge Buddies with an interest in ancestry and of course the music of the Bee Gees to tune in. I would also encourage anyone who wants to explore their roots in more depth to do so and to take advantage of the excellent service provided by the Local Studies Library located within Paisley Central Library.

“We are very fortunate to have a number of people who are involved in the arts who come from Paisley. We already know about Paulo Nutini, David Tennant and Gerry Rafferty, but interestingly, we may also be able to lay claim to a number of musical and theatrical greats through their ancestor.”

‘Who do you think you are?’ broadcasts on Wednesday 5th October at 9pm on BBC1 Scotland.

More information about the programme and tracing family trees can be found by clicking this link

More information about tracing Paisley ancestry can be found by clicking this link

George Adam MSP will be pretty in pink for the Paisley 10k to support Breast Cancer Care Scotland

George jogging during the Paisley 10kMSP George Adam is once again taking part in the Paisley 10k, but this year, he will be donning a PINK vest to show his support for local charity Breast Cancer Care Scotland

Last year 1,700 people took to the streets of Paisley to take part in the 10k, that’s around half the number of people who are living with a breast cancer diagnosis in Renfrewshire today.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK and every year more and more people are looking to Breast Cancer Care Scotland to help support them through their diagnosis.

Kim Fergusson from Paisley was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 at the age of 30. As a single mum Kim wanted to stay strong for her children but she also needed someone to talk to about her diagnosis and treatment.

Kim says of that time, “I had so many questions and I didn’t know where to turn, I signed up for Breast Cancer Care’s Younger Women Forum because I wanted to meet other women my age who were going through the same thing as me. The two day course was wonderful, I drew so much strength from hearing other peoples experience and being able to share how I was feeling.

11 years on and I am now a Breast Cancer Care Volunteer and I’m proud to be able to offer other women the kind of support that was so important to me throughout my treatment and beyond.”

MSP George Adam said:

“I will again be running the Paisley 10k, but this year I will be donning the pink of Breast Cancer Care. After meeting with the charity at the Scottish Parliament I was very impressed with the support services they provide for those diagnosed with breast cancer.

“My office will also be entering the race and it’s our hope that we can raise awareness of Breast Cancer Care’s services. We need all the help we can get in crossing that finishing line, so if you see me jog slowly past, and you won’t miss me wearing pink, then please give as much encouragement as you can!”

Sarah Herrett, Area Fundraising Manager for Scotland said, “We are delighted that George has joined Team Breast Cancer Care! His support will help us to increase awareness of the services we provide to people like Kim in his constituency. We are looking for more people to join our team, if you would like to join George at the Paisley 10k on 28th August please call 0141 353 8354 or email gillian.hamilton@breastcancercare.org.uk for your free support pack and running t-shirt”

For more information on Breast Cancer Care’s services in your area ple, click here

 

MSP George Remembers Councillor Jim Mitchell

The late Jim Mitchell1820 SOCIETY RECALL PAISLEY’S CONTRIBUTION TO ‘RADICAL SCOTLAND’

George Adam, MSP for the Paisley constituency joined local history enthusiasts to commemorate the radical events of the 1820s in Scotland that culminated in an insurrection that sought the creation of an independent Scotland with power completely devolved to the Scottish people.

In his speech, George, a member of the society, paid tribute to of James Wilson, John Baird, Andrew Hardie and the other 20 men who were sentenced to penal transportation and remembered Councillor Jim Mitchell who was a member and regular attender of 1820 Society events.

After the wreath was laid at the monument, George said:

“Councillor Jim Mitchell embodied everything that was good about the 1820 radicals and shared their passion for an independent Scotland. Although Jim didn’t have any sons, he has Derek [Mackay] and me as ‘political sons’ and we will do our upmost to ensure a ‘Yes’ vote in the forthcoming independence referendum.

“Paisley has always been at the forefront of Scotland’s radical movement and I think it appropriate that the people of the town chose an SNP candidate as their first MSP. The famous banners of the 1820s movement were emblazoned with ‘Scotland Free or a Desert’ and our party believes that we stand at that same crossroad again today.”

George giving a speech to the 1820 SocietyGeorge continued:

“Of course, in looking to our future, it is also important that we look back at the great historical figures and events that helped to shape our nation, particularly the courage of ordinary working people such as Baird, Hardie, Wilson and the 20 deportees who gave their lives for the cause that they believed in. I have submitted a parliamentary motion remembering their selfless contribution.”

George’s motion is as follow:

1820 Society Paisley
That the Parliament congratulates another successful gathering at Woodside Cemetery in Paisley by the ‘1820 society’, a group dedicated to promoting the historical significance of the events that took place in the 1820s involving a radical insurrection that sought the creation of an independent Scotland with power completely devolved to the people of Scotland that subsequently increased the awareness of a Scottish national identity; acknowledges the brave efforts of James Wilson, John Baird, Andrew Hardie and the other 20 men who were sentenced to penal transportation; remembers Councillor Jim Mitchell, a former prominent member of the society who embodied the spirit and ethos of those radical thinkers and combined it into his modern politics, and applauds the speakers of the event who have assured that it will return in 2012.

Paisley – The Home of Scottish U21 Football

George at the new home of Scotland U21 and the Paisley SaintsGEORGE WELCOMES THE USE OF ST MIRREN PARK AS A NATIONAL STADIUM

George Adam MSP has given his support to the news that St. Mirren Park will become the first Scotland U21’s national football stadium.

The Scottish Football Association made the announcement along with St. Mirren Football Club and intend to use the ground for at least the next four games of Scotland’s UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification campaign.

Commenting, George said:

“This is a fantastic announcement from the SFA and St. Mirren Football Club. Firstly it gives the team a familiar surrounding from which they can launch their Euro Championship campaign and secondly, it adds to the feel good factor involving sport in Paisley right now.

“When youngsters see Scotland’s U21 stars in their town as well as visits from Andy Murray, they can’t but help to get passionate about sport.

“I doubt it’s possible, but I’ll be doing my best to buy tickets for my usual seat in the stadium for all the under 21 games!”