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FAR FROM A ‘BORING’ VISIT AS SCHOOLCHILDREN WELCOME ‘TUNNELLING TANYA’ TO PAISLEY

It was quite a different morning for a group of schoolchildren from Paisley as they began their day learning about Scottish Water’s major engineering project in the town.

Earlier today the pupils from St Charles Primary were on site to welcome the second, eagerly anticipated, Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) from Germany onto site. The children heard all about the project and had the chance to see ‘Tunnelling Tanya’ up-close.

The project team ran a competition at the end of last year’s school term asking pupils to come up with a name for the TBM. It was Hope Hunter, now a primary 6 pupil at the school, who impressed the judges with the name ‘Tunnelling Tanya’.

Headteacher Grace Hannigan accompanied the schoolchildren to site and was delighted for them to be there. She said: “It’s been amazing for the pupils to see first-hand what’s involved in a project of this scale and nature. Tunnelling Tanya certainly is an impressive piece of equipment and it’s such an honour that one of our pupils has named her. We’d like to thank everyone involved for providing this unique opportunity.”

One and a half metres in diameter (5ft) and weighing in at an impressive 23 tonnes, Tunnelling Tanya will tunnel at depths of up to 27 metres and will remove 5,000 tonnes of rock as she makes her way under Saucelhill Park in Paisley.

Brian Boland, Project Manager, welcomed everyone to the site. He said: “We’d like to thank you all for coming along today to help mark this important milestone for the project. We’re sure you’ll join us in wishing Tunnelling Tanya well as she sets to work, tunnelling for around eight weeks before emerging at the other side of Saucelhill Park. She’ll undertake the longest drive on this project.”

Working alongside Donegan Civil Engineering, Scottish Water contractors Amey are constructing the large interceptor sewer in Paisley which, once completed, will substantially reduce the frequency of spills from the sewer network into the Espedair Burn and White Cart Water in storm conditions. The project will therefore improve the river water quality in the two watercourses and, in turn, the River Clyde.

Paisley’s MSP George Adam also joined the local schoolchildren on their visit. He said: “It’s not every day you get to see a Tunnel Boring Machine in Paisley – it was a fascinating visit for us all. And what a brilliant name Hope came up with!

“I’m extremely encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by the pupils; they’re so keen to learn and perhaps having had the chance to find out about this major engineering project will spark their interest in a future career in engineering.”

He added: “I’ve really enjoyed hearing about the work that’s being done here and the environmental benefits the project will bring for our vibrant town of Paisley.”

The investment, which is the biggest of its kind Scottish Water has ever made in Renfrewshire, is part of the company’s £250m, five-year programme of work, launched in 2013, to improve river water quality and the natural environment and tackle flooding across the Greater Glasgow area.

SNP’S Programme For Government Drives Progress In Paisley

This year’s SNP Programme for Government will help contribute to a successful and vibrant Paisley, driving progress in health, social security, the environment and the economy, the Paisley’s MSP, George Adam has said.

 

Paisley will benefit from ambitious action in a wide range of areas throughout 2018-19, including:

  • Empowering head teachers to lead improvements to their schools with more power over their own budgets; developing ways for parents and pupils to ensure their voices are heard in decision-making; giving £10m to schools and councils to work together across regions; continuing to support teacher recruitment; and investing £33 million over three years to help children in care with education.
  • A National Export plan ‘A Trading Nation’, backed by £20m, will boost the value of Scottish exports, help Scottish companies succeed in emerging markets, and provide additional help to those considering overseas trade.
  • The National Infrastructure Mission, the most ambitious infrastructure spending plans yet, will invest £1.5 billion more infrastructure each year by 2025-26, including for faster broadband, improved transport and more low-carbon energy.
  • £250m will be invested to reform the way we treat mental health in children and adults – delivering 430 new school, college and university counsellors, and fast-track specialist treatment systems for those with serious mental illness.
  • A new Scottish Social Security System with dignity and respect at its heart will deliver 11 benefits, including the first Best Start Grant payments for low income families with young children by Christmas, 6 months earlier than planned; a 13% increase in the Carers’ Allowance – an extra £442 per person this year – as well as funeral expense assistance.
  • New legislation to introduce a Scottish National Investment Bank.
  • A major package of reforms in the justice system – with a new support system for victims, witnesses and families of those affected by crime, including a dedicated case worker for families of murder victims, improved information and support about prisoner release, as well as support for engagement between victims and offenders to help the victim and to prevent reoffending.
  • £1bn investment a year including funding for low carbon transport solutions and to phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032 – creating at least 20 electric towns across Scotland by 2025; adding 1500 new charge points in homes, businesses, and in public; investing £20 million to help people switch to electric vehicles; adding more than 1500 new ultra low emission vehicles to public sector fleets; and investing £1.7 million to add over 100 green buses.

 

George said:

 

“The SNP’s plan for Scotland signals a major boost for jobs and the economy in Paisley, including an additional £7 billion infrastructure investment in schools, hospitals, transport and digital connectivity over the next five years.

 

“We are continuing the major reforms in our health, education and justice systems over the course of 2018-19 – with a significant £250 million extra funding for mental health , increased support for teachers, head teachers, parents and pupils, as well as a major package of reforms for the justice system, increasing support for the victims of crime and their families.

 

“With Scottish exports up 12% – the fastest growth in the UK – a £20m National Exports Plan this year will ensure Paisley’s businesses in Renfrewshire continue to thrive in the face of the Tories’ despite their damaging hard Brexit plans.

 

“Despite Brexit, we will ensure Scotland remains an attractive place to live and work and provide advice and support for those EU citizens already living in Paisley that are dealing with the Tory government’s unfair plans to charge them for the right to live and work here.

 

“And our global climate change ambition will continue to be matched by realistic action, with £1billion funding in low carbon and public transport over the next year.

 

“These bold and ambitious plans for the year ahead are just some of the reasons why the SNP is the second biggest party in the whole of the UK.”

Paisley’s MSP George Adam, Calls On Constituents To Have Say On Bottle Deposit Return Plans

Zero Waste Scotland Holding Events To Gather Public Views

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has called on people across Paisley to get involved with the latest series of events to gather views on the proposed bottle deposit return scheme.

 

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on the scope of a deposit return scheme, to boost recycling and cut plastic waste – with the proposal being that customers would pay a deposit when they purchase a product, which would be refunded when the item is recycled. The scheme already operates in many other parts of Europe.

 

Zero Waste Scotland is now hosting a series of events across the country, including in Glasgow, to give people across Scotland the chance to put forward their views on the scheme.

 

Commenting, George said:

 

“A deposit return scheme has huge potential to help us meet our recycling goals, as well as tackling the scourge of plastic litter and waste on our landscape.

 

“The issue of plastic pollution, particularly in our water, has become well known in recent months, as the impact of the problem was brought to light by Blue Planet last year.

 

“And it is of course an issue that affects us right here in Paisley – and the deposit return scheme can make a real difference.

 

“Zero Waste Scotland’s events across the country give us all a chance to give our views on the scheme, how it could work and how it can be implemented.

 

“We all have a stake in protecting and preserving our planet – and the bottle deposit return scheme is one small step we can take in the fight against plastic pollution.”

Sharp Fall In Weapons Offences Since 2007

 

SNP Knife Crime Approach Working In Renfrewshire

 

Cases of handling of offensive weapons across Renfrewshire have fallen sharply since the SNP came to power in 2007, latest figures have revealed – proving that the SNP’s approach to crime and justice in the community is working.

 

In 2007/08, there was 19 cases of handling offensive weapons per 10,000 of the population in Renfrewshire – which has fallen sharply to 7 by 2016/17, a drop of 63%.

 

The latest figures back up Tory Justice Minister Rory Stewart’s comments that the rest of the UK “has a lot to learn from Scotland” – and are a further indication that SNP efforts to tackle issues such as knife crime have worked.

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“This is welcome news – and proves that the SNP’s approach to issues such as knife crime is paying dividends for our communities across Paisley and Renfrewshire.

 

“Thanks to our approach to justice and well-supported police in our communities there has been a marked drop in the number of weapons offences across Renfrewshire – meaning everyone can enjoy living here more safely.

 

“Given this sharp drop in weapons offences – 63% since 2007, contrasting sharply with the trend south of the border – it is no wonder that the Tory UK government are looking to Scotland for answers on how to tackle crime, acknowledging that they have ‘a lot to learn from Scotland’.

 

“The SNP has made justice one of its top priorities since coming to power in 2007 – putting more police on the streets and taking decisive action to reduce reoffending, meaning crime is at its lowest level in over 40 years and our communities are as safe as ever before.”

 

Sharp Fall In Vandalism Over Last Decade

SNP Tackling Crime In Renfrewshire

Cases of vandalism across Renfrewshire have fallen sharply since the SNP came to power in 2007, latest figures have revealed – proving that the SNP’s approach to crime and justice in the community is working.

 

In 2007/08, there was 199 instances of vandalism per 10,000 of the population in Renfrewshire – which has fallen sharply to 86 by 2016/17, a drop of 57%.

 

The latest figures back up Tory Justice Minister Rory Stewart’s comments that the rest of the UK “has a lot to learn from Scotland”.

 

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“This is welcome news – and proves that the SNP’s approach to justice is paying dividends for our communities across Renfrewshire.

 

“Thanks to our approach to justice and well-supported police in our communities there has been a marked drop in the rate of vandalism across Renfrewshire – meaning everyone can enjoy living here more safely, without damage to property.

 

“Given this sharp drop in cases of vandalism – 57% since 2007 – it is no wonder that the Tory UK government are looking to Scotland for answers on how to tackle crime, acknowledging that they have ‘a lot to learn from Scotland’.

 

“The SNP has made justice one of its top priorities since coming to power in 2007 – putting more police on the streets and taking decisive action to reduce reoffending, meaning crime is at its lowest level in over 40 years and our communities are as safe as ever before.”

Renfrewshire Loses Over £2 Million Because Of Tory Welfare Cuts

Paisleys MSP, George Adam Demands Devolution Of Social Security Powers

 

Freedom of Information figures supplied by the Department for Work and Pensions have shown that Renfrewshire has lost out on over £2 Million because of Tory cuts to disability benefit.

 

The information – requested by investigative news outlet The Ferret – shows the number of people who have lost out on social security benefits following the change from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payments.

 

The Tory welfare cuts – taking a total of £56 million away from communities across Scotland – have hit the poorest people hardest, leaving vulnerable and disabled people across Renfrewshire without enough money to live off.

 

            George Adam MSP

Commenting, George said:

 

“It is absolutely devastating that Tory welfare cuts have taken over £2 million out of our communities.

 

“This really hits home at how disastrous these cuts have been for people across Renfrewshire – robbing our society and vulnerable people of the money they were entitled to until the Tories decided that they no longer were.

 

“It is shameful that those most in need of support in Scotland have lost over £56 million under this cruel Tory regime.

 

“While the Scottish Government is busy setting up a new social security agency with dignity and respect at its heart, figures such as these continue to emerge showing just how damaging Tory welfare cuts are for Renfrewshire.

 

“Only with full powers over social security can Scotland treat all those in need of support with the respect they deserve, not the cruelty they face under a toxic Tory government.”

 

Extra NHS funding

New Investment In NHS Diagnostics And Care In Renfrewshire

George Adam MSP (Left) & Derek MacKay MSP (Right)

£50M To Support Treatment Across Scotland

The NHS in Renfrewshire is set to benefit from a share of a £50 million Scotland-wide investment to help deliver swift treatment and diagnostics.

The extra funding is part of a package of measures to help reduce waiting times – and which will also see two independent diagnostic leads appointed to improve co-ordination across the country on specialist tests.

Scotland already invests more per head of population than anywhere else in the UK. Tory-led England and Labour-led Wales continue to lag behind Scotland, including on A&E waiting times where Scotland has had the lowest waiting times for over 3 years.

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

“The staff of Scotland’s NHS do a fantastic job day in day out. This funding boost will support a package of measures to help further improve performance in Renfrewshire, including new independent experts being appointed to speed up diagnostic tests.

“The Scottish Government has already committed to invest an extra £2 billion above inflation by the end of this parliament – the highest funding offer of any party at the last election – and we already invest more in our NHS per head of population than anywhere else in the UK, supporting frontline health services across Renfrewshire.

“That’s one of the reasons why Scotland’s A&E’s continue to have the best performance of anywhere in the UK for the last 3 years.”

School Leavers Across Renfrewshire Heading For Work Or Study

Derek MacKay MSP, George Adam MSP, Gavin Newlands MP

More Young People Setting Up For Success After School

 

School leavers in Renfrewshire continue to go on to positive destinations after finishing secondary school – with the latest figures showing 92.8% of youngsters in Renfrewshire going into further or higher education, employment or training three months after leaving school.

 

The total across Scotland has risen from 93.3% last year to 93.7% this year – showing that even more young people are finding fulfilling opportunities after leaving school.

 

In Renfrewshire, the percentage of people going on to positive destinations has gone from 92.2% last year to 92.8% this year – and increased from 88.1% since 2011/12.

 

Of those in positive destinations, 45% are at University and 23% are at college, while 21% are in employment and 3% are in training.

 

Commenting on the latest stats, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“The Scottish Government continues to make education its priority this parliament – and these figures reflect just how important SNP action on education is for our young people.

 

“Being able to go on to a positive destination after leaving school – whether that is college, university, work or training – is a great boost for young people across Renfrewshire, improving their self-confidence and setting them up to make positive contributions to our communities as adults.

 

“That more young people across Renfrewshire are going on to positive destinations this year than previously – up from 88.1% to 92.8% over the last six years – is fantastic news for our local community.

 

“Our young people need fulfilling work, study or training after leaving school to help ensure they don’t get left behind – and these positive figures for Renfrewshire and across Scotland show that they are benefitting from exactly that.”

 

 

 

 

 

Renfrewshire Schools Receive £4,558,000 Attainment Funding Boost

Primary and secondary schools across Renfrewshire will receive £4,558,000 from the Scottish Attainment Challenge fund in 2018/19 to help boost the attainment levels of the most deprived pupils.

 

Nine local authorities in Scotland and an additional 74 individual schools will share £50 million funding from the Scottish Attainment Challenge fund for initiatives targeted at children living in communities affected by high levels of deprivation.

 

This brings the total Attainment Scotland Fund investment to £170 million this year – helping raise attainment in schools across the country.

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“The latest Scottish Government investment of £4,558,000 in Renfrewshire schools will help us significantly drive up standards in education and raise attainment in our schools.

 

“We want to ensure that every child in Scotland has the best possible start in life, no matter their background, and this investment will help us narrow the poverty-related attainment gap across Paisley.

 

“We now have hundreds more teachers in classrooms the length and breadth of Scotland as a direct result of the Attainment Scotland Fund – and the SNP Government’s £170 million investment this year will help us raise the bar higher still.”

 

George Adam MSP Back Charity’s Appeal For Paisley Buddies To Support Veterans With Hearing Loss

George Adam MSP is backing a charity’s call for Paisley Buddies to volunteer for a new service supporting older veterans whose lives have been distressed by hearing loss or tinnitus.

 

The MSP for Paisley found about Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s Hearing Forces service and its need for more volunteers during the charity’s Deaf Awareness Week parliamentary reception on Tuesday 15 May.

 

Hearing Forces, which is part of the Unforgotten Forces consortium led by Poppyscotland, is looking for volunteers to give a few hours each month to provide veterans aged 65 or over, their families and carers with vital information and support to help them to cope with hearing loss or tinnitus.

 

The volunteers will be trained to clean, re-tube and adjust NHS hearing aids and provide vital information about ways to reduce the impacts of tinnitus and advice about assistive equipment, such as amplified telephones or personal listeners, which can make everyday life easier.

 

George Adam MSP said: “As a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Armed Forces and the Veterans Community, I’m always interested in finding out about the range of national or local support that is available for veterans living in Paisley.

 

“I’m delighted to discover that Action on Hearing Loss Scotland is working with 14 partners in the Unforgotten Forces consortium to provide holistic support for local older veterans and I encourage people in Paisley to come forward for the charity’s Hearing Forces service which aims to provide one-to-one support for those who are affected by hearing loss.”

 

Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s Director, Teri Devine, said: “We appreciate George Adam MSP’s backing for our volunteers appeal for our new Hearing Forces service.

 

“We’d welcome the opportunity to speak with people from Paisley interested in helping to ensure that older veterans as well as their families or carers who have hearing loss or tinnitus are supported to hear family, friends or neighbours and remain active in their community.”

 

For information about volunteering for Hearing Forces, email: hearing.forces@hearingloss.org.uk or telephone/text 07388 227407.