Take Your Eyesores Down to Help Our High Street

George on Paisley High StreetIn the wake of the recent boost to Paisley’s High Street with Discount UK taking over the old Littlewood’s premises, Paisley’s MSP George Adam is pressing for the unsightly estate agent advertising boards to be removed by absentee landlords. In the wake of the substantial recent development, along with the creation of jobs in the town, George has demanded that current legislation be implemented by the council to make the High Street look its best for further investment.
Speaking on the move, George said;

‘This is not a new idea. The last administration removed these “To Let” signs to give potential investors the best impression of the town. This stopped the large signs jutting out, distracting the eye when looking down the high Street. After all, when someone sells their house they make it look its best to get an offer, the best offer.

‘Those in Cotton Street must have some vision, some ideas, it’s time to get the High Street back on track, continuing the investment that we all want for the town.

‘There are regulations* that can be used right now, and I have asked the council to use the powers at their disposal.

‘We have the Spree Festival, the Christmas lights switch on with our Guy Fawkes fireworks display. We do not do the town any favours with visitors coming to see these events getting the wrong impression.

‘We all must do what we can to get Paisley on track for the type of town we all want to see. That means using every power at our disposal, talking the town up when it is deserved and addressing the issues that need to be resolved.

‘Let’s all work together to make sure Paisley is our type of town.’

Countdown Begins until the Mod comes to Paisley

George outside Paisley Town Hall, one of the venues for next years ModSimilarly to the way Scotland and Gleneagles are gearing up to host the next Ryder Cup, after being passed the baton by this years American hosts, Paisley will soon be passed the baton for the Royal National Mod. The Mod is a festival which celebrates everything Gaelic and this years festival is taking place from 12th-19th this month in Dunoon. On the 20th, the countdown begins until Paisley hosts the festival next year, the first time the festival will have visited our historic town.

Commenting, George Adam, Paisley’s MSP said:

‘The people of Dunoon have the great privilege of hosting this year’s Royal National Mod. Next year its Paisley’s turn and I really can’t wait. Having visited the Mod festival in the past myself, I know just how fun it is, you get immersed in Gaelic culture.

‘Scotland’s premier Gaelic festival provides opportunities for people of all ages to perform across a range of competitive disciplines including Gaelic music and song, highland dancing, instrumental, drama, sport and literature.

‘The festival will be a great boost to the local economy with people coming from all over Scotland, indeed all over the world to take in and compete at the festival. Over 2,800 competed at the 2011 festival in Nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles) with many more attending so I am expecting that we will be treated to a very exciting and busy festival. So let’s get it in our diaries, The Royal National MOD is coming to Paisley.”

Click here for a link to the website for this years MOD in Dunoon.

Click here for a link to An Comunn Gaidhealach website, the group who run the festival.

Labour MSP’s Challenged to Come Clean on Prescription Stance

George with Staff at one of Paisley's Busy ChemistsLabours West of Scotland MSP’s have been challenged to reveal whether they support moves by Johann Lamont’s Cuts Commission to re-impose prescription charges to an estimated 7900 people in Paisley who earn less than £16,000.

Until they were abolished last year by the SNP, 600,000 people across Scotland with an income of less than £16,000 were charged for their prescriptions when they became ill.

Last week Johann Lamont repeatedly attacked the principle of free prescriptions during the launch of her Cuts Commission, although others in her party have challenged her leadership by voicing doubts over her stance on the issue.

SNP MSP for Paisley, George Adam has written to West of Scotland Labour MSP’s, challenging them to publicly state whether they believe that 7900 people in Paisley should pay for their ill-health through prescription charges, despite earning £16,000 or less.

Commenting, George said:

“When the SNP Government abolished prescription charges, it was fantastic news for people in Paisley.

“Before free prescriptions were introduced, thousands of people in Paisley were paying an unfair tax on their ill-health, despite having an income of £16,000 or less.

“That was utterly unjust which is why the SNP stepped in to end these charges.

“Why Johann Lamont wants to re-introduce such an unfair policy for people on low incomes is beyond me, but I know that people in Paisley will expect their regional MSP’s to nail their colours to the mast and reveal whether they support re-imposing a tax on ill-health.

“Will they join Johann Lamont on this disgraceful attack on people with ill-health or stand up for some of the lowest paid people in Paisley?”

£20,000 to Kickstart Town Improvement

George outside Paisley AbbeyThe Scottish Government has awarded Paisley £20,000 to support the development of a Business Improvement District (BID). The purpose of a BID is to benefit and contribute to economic growth within a local area. Businesses within the BID can work together, reducing costs, investing in risks and creating opportunities to grow business, improving the economic prospects of the BID economic area.
Speaking on the award, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said:
‘I am delighted that my colleague, Derek Mackay, Minister for Local Government, has announced this funding for the development of Paisley’s BID project.

‘I have been involved for some time now with the BID proposals with interested business people in Paisley, and to get this funding to take their ideas to the next stage is fantastic.

‘There are a lot of people involved in this BID proposal, business people, yes, but they have something more to offer. They have Paisley and the betterment of the town at their heart. This is something you just can’t buy.

‘I look forward to the BIDs project going to the next stage and I for one will be backing them all the way.’

Paisley’s MSP Meets with Transport Minister with Positive Outcome for Gilmour Street

George and Transport MInister, Keith Brown MSPGeorge Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, this morning had a very productive meeting with the Minister for Transport, Keith Brown MSP. The meeting centred on Paisley Gilmour Street and what can be done to improve services to and from Scotland’s fourth busiest station, busier that Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh Haymarket.

Speaking after the meeting, George said, “I had a very positive meeting with the Transport Minister this morning, where he agreed to carry out an assessment to evaluate demand for the services at Paisley Gilmour Street. This assessment, I believe, will highlight the great demand for services to and from Gilmour Street, which should translate into improved services from our town’s main train station.

‘I was also delighted that Mr Brown was able to meet with me so we could discuss Paisley Gilmour Street in a clear and frank manner, getting many points across to him face to face, instead of resorting to making demands in the media and forcing the government into a response, which may not have been as positive.

‘In light of this commitment from Mr Brown, I believe real progress has been made to ensuring Paisley Gilmour Street operates to full capacity and offers a good service to everyone who uses the station. I will continue to keep in regular contact with the Minister for Transport and keep asking the questions of the government to ensure Paisley Gilmour Street offers the best service possible. It is my job to represent Paisley and promote our town whenever I can. For me this type of positive dialogue ensures that everyone understands our position in Paisley. I believe it is better to engage with the Minister for Transport and operators of the rail service.

George Welcomes Funding for Young People

George outside Paisley AbbeyThe Scottish Government yesterday [27/9/12] announced the 24 projects which have received funding from the Third Sector and Social Enterprise Challenge Fund, with three of these projects helping young people in Paisley and the whole of Renfrewshire. The Kibble Education and Care Centre, the Wise Group and Barnardo’s have received funding for projects in Renfrewshire.

Speaking on the announcement, George said, “I was delighted to hear that three projects within Paisley, and indeed the whole of Renfrewshire have been award money from the Third Sector Challenge and Social Enterprise Fund. The Kibble Education and Care Centre are going to use their award to provide a six month transitional jobs programme for 34 young people between the ages of 18 and 24. The Wise Group will use their ward for their Green Skills Route way programme to offer young people opportunities in the green energy sector, while Bardardo’s Work Services will use the award to help young people, 16 plus, into education training and employment placements.

‘I was really delighted to hear this announcement from the Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance which highlights the Scottish Governments continued commitment to helping young people into an education, training or employment post. I have ever confidence that the three Renfrewshire based organisations will offer great help and support to our communities young people.

Commenting, Angela Constance said, “We have put record levels of investment into opening up opportunities for our young people to improve their chances of finding employment.

“The Third Sector Challenge and Social Enterprise Fund forms part of our unique guarantee to 16 to 19 year olds that all will be offered a place in training or education. I am very pleased to be able to fund such a broad range of projects, all of which have a single goal – helping Scotland’s young people into a job.

George asks Question on Mental Health

George outside PaisleyTown HallThe day before the launch of the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival in Paisley Town Hall, George Adam, MSP for Paisley, asked the Scottish Governments Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson, what research the government had conducted on whether there is a relationship between obesity and mental health. The Minister noted the importance of the link and outlined the steps taken by the government to address this issue in the new mental health strategy, published by the government in August.

Commenting, George said, “Today [27/9/12] I am attending the launch of the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival. I thought it would be the right time to ask the question of the government, finding out what they are doing to promote a more active lifestyle amongst people with mental health conditions. I was pleased to hear that in the new mental health strategy, the government gave a commitment to work with the NHS boards and other partners to support a range of measures to help people with severe and enduring mental illness to improve their physical ability levels.

‘I am very happy to have the launch of the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival in Paisley, as hopefully this festival, like it did last year, will get people who suffer from mental health issues out and about, attending many of the wonderful events, and in turn, getting more physical activity. Attending many of the events last year, I talked too many who suffered with mental health problems, and they were thrilled to have this festival, which allowed them to get out and see events specific to there issues.

‘With the Scottish Governments commitment to help improve the physical ability levels of people with metal health issues, and the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival offering it own unique events, I truly hope we can help many to improve there physical health, while also having fun and gaining more confidence to become more active.

Click here for a link to the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival

George Takes Up Post in Cabinet Secretary’s Office

George, the new PLO to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong LearningIn the wake of the recent cabinet reshuffle, Paisley’s MSP George Adam has been promoted to the post of Parliamentary Liaison Officer (PLO) to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Mike Russell. George will now be the link between the cabinet and MSP’s regarding all things educational.

Speaking on the appointment, George said, “I met with the First Minister last Thursday [13/09/12] to officially accept the post and was delighted to have been asked to take on such an important role. Education forms the foundations of society, what we learn in our early years forms so much of what we will do in our later years, so it is paramount that we give everyone the same opportunities. I am eager to contribute in any way I can to the Scottish Government’s world renowned education system.

‘In my role, I will hold regular meetings with Mike Russell to discuss current educational matters while I will also sit on the Education Committee at Holyrood. I believe this post will be educational for me as well, I hope to learn as much as I can, taking on board opinions from all corners of society, opinions which I will always be ready to pass on to the Cabinet Secretary.

‘As Cabinet Secretary for Education, Mike Russell has three Ministers working under him overseeing, science, children and young people and youth employment, all areas of great importance to the people of Scotland, areas which I also intend to work with and support. I would like to thank both Mike Russell and the First Minister for giving me the opportunity and look forward to making a positive contribution to Scottish education.”

George Congratulates Local Fire Station

George and Cllr Brian Lawson at Paisley Community Fire StationAs part of the Doors Open Day 2012, Paisley Community Fire Station on Canal Street, opened its doors to invite buddies in for a look around. Before heading off to cheer on Scotland at Hampden, George went along to meet our local fire and rescue officers and as everyone loves to do, have a close up look at the fire engines.

After the visit, George said:

“I really enjoy doors open day every year and one of my favourite places to come along to always is Paisley Community Fire Station. The job our firemen and women do is truly remarkable and we all owe them so much. However, we always think of them putting out fires or helping at an accident, but the job they do in fire prevention and education is just as important. Having severed as a councillor before I was Paisley’s MSP, I have had regular contact with local fire and rescue officers and always find them to be very helpful and knowledgeable, willing to work will our local community to make it a safer place for everyone.

‘During the visit, two of the appliances had to go out on a call and thank fully everyone returned safe and sound. The thought of riding in a fire engine is every young boys dream and to see them up close is still a pleasure of mine no matter how often I have seen them.

‘Doors open day is a date on my calendar that I always look forward too and being able to meet and talk to our local fire officers, and getting to see their fire engines, is really enjoyable and educational. I wish all the fire officers well and hope to see them all again at next years doors open day. “

Paisley Canal Electrification

George at Paisley Canal On Wednesday 12th September, members of the project team deliverling the electrification of the Paisley Canal Line, the joint project of Network Rail and ScotRail, will be on hand to answer any questions about work to deliver the electrification of the Paisley Canal Line. You can meet them between 5pm and 8pm at Stow Brae Kirk Church Hall, 82 Causeyside Street, Paisley, PA1 1YP.

Changes to train services

Work will start to electrify the Paisley Canal line on Saturday 29th September. On Saturdays 29th to 3rd Novemeber, no services will operate. From Monday 1st October (Monday to Thursday) the last train from Paisley Canal to Glasgow Central will be at 20:00. The final service from Glasgow Central to Paisley Canal will be at 19:38. Additionally, from Saturday 13th October – Saturday 20th October inclusive no services will operate. ScotRail is currently finalising alternative transport options. Further information is available at www.scotrail.co.uk/PaisleyCanal .