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George Welcomes Scottish Apprenticeship Week

Scottish Apprenticeship Week is the nationwide campaign aimed at encouraging more employers to take on apprentices, and the campaign theme for 2018 is
‘Apprenticeships are the Business’.

 

 

George said,

 

‘I wholeheartedly support this scheme and agree that Apprenticeships really are the business. It’s vitally important that young people are given opportunities to learn and improve their practical skills, and apprenticeships are the perfect way to do both simultaneously.’

 

Organised by Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Apprenticeship Week highlights the commitment of businesses that invest in the skills of their workforce, and shows the success of apprentices who have chosen work-based learning to get qualified to develop their careers.

 

‘Business that take on apprentices and truly invest in their employees are what we want to see more of in today’s market so I was delighted to see the great scheme at St. Mirren first hand.’

 

‘Both boys, Conor McBrearty and Matthew Reilly, who are apprentice players at the club, spoke very highly of their apprenticeship and are very enthusiastic about the doors this will open for them in the future.’

 

‘The boys are very driven and seem to be throwing themselves into everything the apprenticeship has to offer. It’s great to see a big local name supporting local boys to reach their potential.’

Paisley Legend Goes to Parliament

The Scottish Parliament has been graced by the depiction of a Paisley Legend.  A portrait of Tony Fitzpatrick, former player, captain, manager and now chief executive of St Mirren will now hang in the office of Paisley’s MSP, George Adam at the parliament.

The famous captain of the 1987 Scottish Cup winning is depicted in a painting produced by Garry Byars, a local Paisley artist.

 

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George Adam MSP with local artist, Garry Byars

George said:

‘Everyone knows that I am a St Mirren fan and I must say that Tony has a place in my heart.  He was captain of our club at the age of 17, Alex Ferguson had seen his potential and his capability at a very young age.  He was also captain of the club in 1987 a very special time for all saints fans that were around at that time.

‘Tony is someone that is very well thought of in Paisley and throughout football.  It’s going to be a real pleasure having Garry’s artwork in my office for all to see.

 

Garry said:

‘It has been a double honour with Tony Fitzpatrick signing the painting, which went on auction at this year’s Sma Shot Day Festival and now to have it going to such a good home in George Adam’s office at The Holyrood Parliament is beyond my expectations. I would like to say thanks to George and to St Mirren for making 2016 a very exceptional year.

George Welcome’s Development of Old St Mirren Ground

Paisley’s MSP George Adam has welcomed the sale of the former St Mirren ground to London and Scottish Investments (LSI) from Tesco. The Love Street site has lay empty since the final game was played at the ground in 2009. While LSI has not given concrete information regarding their plans for the site, Bryan Wilson, Group Development Director said in a letter to George that, “Our plans for the development of the site are still being developed with our architects and planning consultants and we hope to be able to share our ideas with you in the next couple of months. We also intend to consult with the local community”.George in Paisley Town Centre

Speaking on the sale, George said, “I am pleased to hear that Tesco have finally sold this land and there is positive movement with trying to develop the site. While we do not yet know what will be built on the site, I remain confident that this site can be brought back into use and once again have a meaningful purpose.

‘Since I was elected in 2011, I have written on numerous occasions to the management at Tesco putting the case forward that they needed to re-double their efforts in either developing the site themselves or finding a suitable buyer. We are finally at that juncture and I hope to work with LSI and the local community in ensuring this site is developed sooner rather than later.

‘This site is in a prime location, next to Scotland’s busiest airport, with great links to the M8 and our historic town centre is just a few minute walk away. Getting this site developed is just the next piece in the puzzle in bringing more jobs and prosperity to our town and I look forward to seeing plans in the coming months”.

#isupportsport Says George

At the recent SNP Party Conference the Scottish Sports Alliance’s #isupportsport campaign received a host of new supporters as Paisley’s MSP George Adam joined fellow SNP Party officials in getting their #isupportsport selfie.

While getting their selfie George also spoke with the Scottish Sports Alliance about #whysportmatters. #whysportmatters details the impact of sport and being active across all areas of society: health, mental health, older adults and social care, education, the workforce, the economy, communities and social cohesion. Participating in sport/being active have been described as “the best buy in public health” – it fundamentally supports people to live longer, healthier and happier lives and provides benefits to individuals, society and the whole population.# i support sport

George commented, “Sport is a big part of my life, both personally and professionally.  Personally, I am a passionate supporter of St Mirren and the Scottish National Football Team, as well as the Paisley Pirates ice hockey team.  You’ll hear me cheering on Andy whenever he is playing tennis and shouting at the TV when Scotland are playing rugby.  Professionally, I have seen just how important sport and an active lifestyle can be.  Not only is it good for your health, it’s a great way to make friends and have fun.  Getting children involved in sport from an early age and keeping them hooked can have such a positive impact on their life, while keeping active in your latter years can be vital in preventing health concerns.  Sport really does matter and that’s why #isupportsport.

Kim Atkinson, CEO of the Scottish Sports Association, said “Already nearly one-fifth of our population participate in sport through one of Scotland’s 13,000 sports clubs. While having fun, they already reap the many benefits of being active – benefits that we’d like more people to enjoy.

‘Currently 2,500 people in Scotland die every year from being physically inactive – yet participating in sport and being active can reduce the risks of premature mortality by up to 30%. We need to embrace the many benefits of participating in sport – from sheer enjoyment to positive contributions to health, mental health, education and economic productivity as highlighted by #whysportmatters.

‘Our members provide opportunities for people of all ages to get active and we would encourage everyone to find their sport(s) and to join us in saying #isupportsport.”

Paisley’s MSP wants to call time on booze ban for supporters at St Mirren Park

Story from Paisley Daily Express – http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/paisley-msp-wants-call-time-5064146

Paisley MSP George Adam has called for St Mirren Park to be used in a pilot scheme to bring booze back to football.

The Saints fan has asked Minister for Sport Jamie Hepburn if the SPFL club could be used in a trial to examine the re-introduction of selling alcohol at matches.

And he has backing from St Mirren chief executive Brian Caldwell.

George at St Mirren Park

George at St Mirren Park

Since 1980, alcohol has been banned from Scottish grounds but Mr Adam believes the time could have come to ease restrictions.

But growing moves have been made to the reverse the ban.

Mr Adam said: “I like having a pint before the game on a Saturday and why should the presumption be that I will misbehave if I do?

“We also need to think about the financial aspect … lifting the ban could give clubs a much-needed financial boost.

“We do need to have a good look at this issue again, in an informed and considered manner.

“I will work with any interested party looking to take this matter forward and I have written to the head of Police Scotland and the SPFL asking for their views at this stage.”

Mr Adam pointed out the recent success of a free Fans’ Zone at St Mirren Park last month, which was attended by 200 adults and children before a match against Motherwell.

He added: “A marquee was erected in the car park, kids were able to kick a ball about and play computer games, while adults were able to enjoy a drink and listen to live music.

“It was a great atmosphere and proof that alcohol can be consumed at the ground before a game.

“Since the ban back in 1980, the game has changed dramatically as has the modern stadium.

“All Scottish Premiership grounds are now all-seater, have expensive security and CCTV systems monitoring the crowd and more importantly, gone are the days of the running battles in the streets before and after games.

“Were these fights even fuelled by alcohol, or were they just a product of their time?

“I choose now to put faith in the football fan, like we do with rugby fans across our nation.”

The initial response from Mr Hepburn was that – after seeking advice from Police Scotland – the Scottish Government is not leaning towards to lift the ban.

But, according to Saints chief executive Brian Caldwell, the Fans’ Zone initiative shows what can be achieved if it’s handled in the right way.

He said: “We have the newest stadium in Scottish football and have no pubs in close proximity, therefore to have the option to segregate and allow supporters to come to the stadium early and enjoy a drink would be a positive move and be a no-brainer for our club and both sets of supporters.

“The Fans’ Zone was extremely successful and all those attending enjoyed coming to the stadium early in a family environment and enjoying a few pre-match drinks.

“Stadiums have better facilities than ever before, with so many modern stadia and this has worked for rugby, the Commonwealth Games and other sporting events in Scotland, as well as for football and other sporting events in England and many other countries around the world.

“Now is the time to run a pilot and we would be happy to be involved with the new facilities we have in Paisley.”

Former St Mirren Supporters Club Building for sale

Kenny, Mags and GeorgeThe former St Mirren Supporters Club in Knox Street, Paisley is due to be sold off by Renfrewshire Council.

The property has lain vacant since the Supporters Club moved out when their lease ended in January 2011.  The council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board will decide on Tuesday 11th March whether or not to declare the property surplus to requirements and to authorise the Director of Housing and Development Services to market the property for sale.

However the report highlights that there has been a keen interest in the site by two parties and it is hoped that a sale could be concluded quickly.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren said:

“The St Mirren Supporters Club used this property for over 40 years.

I remember one of my first public meetings as a councillor was at a Tenants and Residents’ Association in the Club but it was hard to take note of the meeting when there were so many photos of St Mirren greats gracing the walls of the room.

George Adam MSP added:

“It is sad to see the old club lying empty for so long.  I had hoped that the council would find a use for a building that has so many memories for Saints’ fans.  I remember there were many supporters that used the club as a meeting point for away buses which included Young Supporters buses.  In fact some of those Young Supporters are now organising their own buses for making match trips around the country.

“I hope that minds at the council are focused on trying to find the best option for the building and ensuring a use for the building which has been used as a community facility by so many in the past.”

 

Minister Visits the Airdrome

 

George and ShonaShona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport visited Paisley recently to take a look at the St Mirren Airdrome at Greenhill Road.  The indoor facility can be used for a number of sports as well as health and fitness activities.  Paisley’s MSP, George Adam introduced her to Brian Caldwell the chief executive of St Mirren who conducted a guided tour.

 

Speaking on the visit George said:

 

‘St Mirren are a football club with a vision.  This permanent structure, the first of its kind in Scotland, provides all-weather training facilities for a range of sports.

 

‘The club can see that this facility will allow the next generation of young sportspeople to train and develop.

 

‘The Airdrome not only benefits the football team but the local community with local teams being able to use the facility as well as local schools.

 

‘Shona was impressed with the Airdrome and I was delighted that Kelburne Hockey Club representatives Duncan McInness and Billy Anderson took their time to see the facilities.

 

‘It should be remembered that this £150,000 training facility was devised and funded purely through the efforts of the club and they should be congratulated for their efforts to ensure that Paisley has such a fantastic all year round facility.’

 

 

 

 

 

Gerry Baker, St Mirren Hall of Fame Inductee

Gerry Baker

George has lodged a parliamentary motion acknowledging the career of Gerry Baker who sadly passed away at the weekend.  Gerry was part of the team that won the Scottish Cup in 1959, his first season with the club.

 George said:

 

 ‘Although I never saw Gerry Baker play for St Mirren I have been told how he was such an important part of the wonderful 1959 Scottish cup wining team.  My Dad and other members of my family would go as far to say we have never had a centre forward of his class since, at St Mirren Park. 

 

‘For me the legacy of men like Davie Lapsley and Gerry Baker and their team mates in that team are that most of us in Paisley still know about their achievements.  Paisley’ s thoughts are with his family but we can say that he gave our town so much during his time here.’

 

Motion Number: S4M-07517

Lodged By: George Adam

Date Lodged: 26/08/2013

 

Title: Gerry Baker, St Mirren Hall of Fame Inductee

 

Motion Text:

 

That the Parliament offers its condolences to the family and friends of Gerry Baker, the former St Mirren player, who passed away on 24 August 2013, aged 75; considers that Gerry became a Paisley legend in his first season at St Mirren when the team won the Scottish Cup in 1959; understands that Gerry made 81 appearances for the Saints, scoring 65 goals before joining Manchester City in 1960;  notes that Gerry was born in New York and represented the USA on 7 occasions, and acknowledges what it sees as his deserved induction into the St Mirren Hall of Fame in 2007.

 

St Mirren Congratulated by Deputy First Minister

George outside St Mirren Park

Yesterday in parliament St Mirren Football Club were congratulated on their winning of the Scottish Communities League Cup.  In a question raised at Holyrood, Paisley’s MSP questioned Nicola Sturgeon about the benefits of football teams that take pride in being part of their local community and give something back.  St Mirren have been long involved in community projects around Paisley and Renfrewshire, including Street Stuff where young people are encouraged to take part in sport and has seen a dramatic drop in levels of disruptive behaviour.

 

Speaking on the Deputy First Minister’s words, George said:

 

‘I was extremely pleased that Nicola offered her congratulations to St Mirren on winning the League Cup.  In fact it is particularly fitting that the cup has been branded the ‘Communities League Cup’ through sponsorship from the Scottish Government.  We all know that St Mirren are one of the best, if not the best football clubs in Scotland that integrates completely with their town.  They are always willing to help local groups and individuals out and take part in projects that benefit our community.

 

‘There is a serious sponsorship value associated with the government’s sponsorship of the cup to develop more programmes with clubs from around Scotland.  They will do well to have a look at our great team to get an idea of how a club can be a seamless part of the community – ‘One Town, One Team’.

 

Speaking from Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon MSP said:

 

‘I take this opportunity, as I am sure the First Minister would also wish to do—to congratulate St Mirren Football Club on what was indeed a famous victory in the cup final.

 

‘Our national game is a powerful means of engaging with young people, and the sponsorship has been an ideal way to build on all the excellent work that clubs are doing to help place football clubs back in the heart of communities. In recognition of the important role that St Mirren and other clubs play in communities, our £1.8 million sponsorship package this year includes a community engagement fund of up to £500,000 to help all 42 league clubs to develop their community programmes.

 

‘I know that the Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport was impressed, on a recent visit, to see the community activities of two clubs, Motherwell and Airdrie United. She has plans to visit more clubs in the coming months, and I am sure that she would agree that a visit to the communities league cup winners would be an ideal opportunity to see their work in action’.

  

Extract from The Scottish Parliament Official Report

 Scottish Communities League Cup (Values)

 

5. George Adam (Paisley) (SNP): To ask the Scottish Government how successful this year’s Scottish communities league cup has been at promoting its values of respect, responsibility and tolerance. (S4O-01959)

 

The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities (Nicola Sturgeon): It has been a great success. Our sponsorship of the Scottish communities league cup is a commitment to build on what is good about the game, taking the passion from the grass roots and communities and providing a positive message to the rest of football and indeed society. We have been working in partnership with the Scottish Football League, the Scottish Premier League, the Scottish Football Association and clubs to engage with communities and educate young people to understand the three pillars of the cup: respect, responsibility and tolerance.

George Adam: As the cabinet secretary will be aware, the famous Paisley St Mirren recently won the Scottish communities league cup. Will the cabinet secretary agree with me that, on the day of the final, St Mirren and Hearts fans indeed promoted the values of the tournament? Will she note the amount of community involvement that St Mirren has sustained for so many years, including in the run-up to and after the final? In Paisley, we are lucky to have such a great community-based club. Does the minister agree that sports clubs such as St Mirren, engaging with their local communities in that way, can only be positive for those communities?

 

The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick): Mr Adam, you could not help yourself.

 

Nicola Sturgeon: As someone who supports another team that plays in black and white, I am sure that George Adam’s shirt and tie combination today is completely coincidental. I take this opportunity, however—as I am sure the First Minister would also wish to do—to congratulate St Mirren Football Club on what was indeed a famous victory in the cup final. 

 

I agree on the rest of George Adam’s question. Our national game is a powerful means of engaging with young people, and the sponsorship has been an ideal way to build on all the excellent work that clubs are doing to help place football clubs back in the heart of communities. In recognition of the important role that St Mirren and other clubs play in communities, our £1.8 million sponsorship package this year includes a community engagement fund of up to £500,000 to help all 42 league clubs to develop their community programmes.

 

I know that the Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport was impressed, on a recent visit, to see the community activities of two clubs, Motherwell and Airdrie United. She has plans to visit more clubs in the coming months, and I am sure that she would agree that a visit to the communities league cup winners would be an ideal opportunity to see their work in action.

MSP Questions SFL Ticket Allocation for St Mirren

George outside St Mirren Park      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

League Cup Final Decision – ‘Disappointing’

Lifelong St Mirren fan and Paisley’s MSP George Adam has hit out at a decision by the Scottish Football League (SFL) to re-allocate 3,500 tickets from St Mirren to Hearts.  An official spokesman for the Paisley club stated that the decision was taken without the club’s knowledge.

 

Speaking on the decision George said:

 

‘It is exremely disappointing that St Mirren fans are being affeted in this way.  I am led to believe that at the moment Hearts have not already sold their own allocation of tickets and with 8 days to go before the final, plenty of time for fans to get their tickets, this move will stop Buddies going to the final.

 

‘St Mirren have stated they were informed earlier in the week that the remaining 3,500 tickets may be distributed between both clubs.  To remove them completely from St Mirren is unacceptable.

 

‘St Mirren were going to take part in this final, often described as the ‘family final’ along with Hearts, but this has left a bad taste in the mouths of many Buddies at a time when the whole of Paisley was celebrating the club reaching the final with the hope of a victory.

 

‘As a lifelong fan of the club and as the member of parliament for Paisley I have made my views clear to the SFL, that this decision should be reversed and I await their reponse.  I hope this situation is rectified, we have now witnessed a somewhat silly and unfair decision which could so easily have been avoided.’