Local MSP Gil Paterson has revealed that he has been in touch with music charity Sistema Scotland, since October last year, in a bid to bring their Big Noise programme to Clydebank.
The Big Noise is an orchestral music programme that changes the lives of young people through music by fostering confidence, discipline, teamwork, pride and aspiration in those who take part enabling them to reach their full potential and lead successful and fulfilled lives. This philosophy has a knock on effect for families and wider community in general.
Gil Paterson MSP told the post, “I have been in discussions which are fairly well developed with Sistema for nearly a year, including visiting The Big Noise in Raploch, Stirling, which has been what can only be described as an outstanding success over the last ten years.
“My office has also had meetings with The Big Noise in Govanhill where the same work with children has been taking place for the last 5 years. Work which is also bearing abundant fruit.
“I am delighted to say that a meeting with representatives of Sistema will take place this coming week to further develop and explore the possibility of the Big Noise establishing itself in Clydebank. A fairly high powered delegation from West Dunbartonshire Council will attend as will my office.
"In these times of austerity projects like this bring music tuition within the grasp of those who may not otherwise be able to afford it.
“It is safe to say that I am really pleased with the seriousness with which this has been taken, the truth is the benefits that the Big Noise programme can bring to children their families and the whole community are immense because the Big Noise Project has a lifelong positive impact and changes things for the better.
“I know that is a very bold statement to make but the living proof to back this statement up is there for all to see.”
Leader of West Dunbartonshire Council, Jonathan McColl said:
“I appreciate the work done by Gil Paterson so far and I’m looking forward to the meeting with Sistemsa in Stirling. It’ll be a good chance to get more detailed information on the implementation and running of the scheme. This project that has the potential to transform young peoples’ lives and I hope that with Gil’s help we will be able to take it forward in the not too distant future.”
El Sistema was founded in Venezuela in 1975 by Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu to create a world renowned music project which they name the ‘Big Noise’. It first came to the Raploch in Stirling 10 years ago and Sistema Scotland recently celebrated its 10th birthday with a concert and reception in the Scottish Parliament.
The project works with children from nursery to adulthood and works closely with local schools and community groups. While its most obvious achievement is musical, research has shown that learning to play an instrument equips children with a multitude of transferable skills as well as boosting educational performance, health and wellbeing which also impacts positively on the wider community
Scotland now has four Big Noise projects which include the original one in the Raploch, Stirling. There are projects in Torry in Aberdeenshire, Govanhill in Glasgow and in Douglas in Dundee. Mr Paterson hopes that the next project to open will find a home in Clydebank.
Milngavie MSP Gil Paterson has raised concerns about the greenbelt future of the farm land between Milngavie and Bearsden which he believes has been targeted by house builders for residential development.
Mr. Paterson said “Apart from the loss of a farm tenancy, a tenancy which has been worked for many decades, the land of South Mains Farm is one of the last pieces of greenbelt left separating the two communities of Milngavie and Bearsden and if lost to ever more expensive housing this would be a huge blow to the local amenity and environmental balance of the area.”
He continued “I had a meeting earlier in the week with Mr. & Mrs Gibb of South Mains Farm who are trying to protect their tenancy and the retention of the green belt so that farming and open space can continue for future generations in this location, a position I absolutely agree with.”
He added “So far as I am aware there is only one way that that this greenbelt land can be lost. That is if the site is included in the new Local Development Plan, currently being worked on. East Dunbartonshire Council will decide whether this site is to be included or not in the new Local Development Plan and my hope is that all of the EDC councillors will reject the inclusion of the South Mains Farm land in the new Local Development Plan and protect a very important part of the greenbelt and of course, a family-run farm.”
Local MSP Gil Paterson is using National Volunteers’ Week to highlight the huge contribution that East Dunbartonshire’s volunteers make to our community.
Volunteers’ Week Scotland takes place from the 1st – 7th June and this year’s theme is ‘Volunteering For All’
The work of volunteers throughout Scotland is valued at £2 billion every year and research shows that Scotland’s young people are particularly keen to make a difference with participation rates almost double those of older age-groups.
It is estimated that around 22,000 people volunteer in East Dunbartonshire
Commenting on the figures Mr Paterson said:
“Volunteers’ Week Scotland gives us a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate the people in our community who give up their time, energy and skills to help others.
I’m especially pleased to see that, in this the Year of Young People, so many of those who are volunteering to make a difference are young people. Volunteering not only benefits the environment or people who get the help, it can also have a really positive effect on the person doing the volunteering.
“This year’s theme that volunteering is for all highlights the extensive variety of ways that so many people make such a big difference. I’m sure everyone will wish to join me in offering all our volunteers, young and old, a huge vote of thanks.”
For more information on National Volunteers’ Week https://www.volunteerscotland.net/about-us/news-blog/news/volunteers-week-2018/
New figures show that the Scottish Government’s business rate relief scheme saved businesses in West Dunbartonshire £50 million between 2009-10 and 2016-17.
Across Scotland, this scheme has saved taxpayers around £4.5 billion between 2009-10 and 2015-16 by reducing their rates liability and taking many firms out of business rates altogether.
And across West Dunbartonshire, the latest figures show that 1277 local firms benefitted from this flagship Scottish Government policy in 2016. This figure does not, however, include premises that qualified for the new 100% reliefs introduced, including Day Nursery Relief and the Business Growth Accelerator.
Commenting, local SNP MSP Gil Paterson said:
“The SNP is delivering the most competitive business rates relief package in the whole of the UK, saving businesses in West Dunbartonshire £50 million over the last seven years. The Scottish Government will also spend an estimated record £720 million on rates relief across Scotland in this year alone.
“Since coming to office, the SNP Scottish Government has taken strong action to support business growth and jobs in West Dunbartonshire, helping to keep money in our neighbourhoods and boost our high streets.
“Only the SNP are taking the necessary action to help our local firms – and it is great to see over a thousand firms benefitting from rates relief in 2016, a figure that will likely rise with the new measures introduced in this year’s budget.”