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englishmix 
Posted: 14-May-2010, 03:44 PM
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PM wants fresh start with Scotland

Evening Times
14 May 2010 - 9:10 pm


Prime Minister David Cameron has called for a "fresh start" in the relationship between Scotland and Westminster as he met Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond in Edinburgh for talks. The SNP leader described the talks as "extremely positive" and "constructive", but he also warned Mr Cameron, who has repeatedly vowed to govern Scotland with "respect", that he would be judged by actions and not words.

The First Minister said: "I felt the meeting was positive, constructive, detailed and substantive. I've also said, and let me repeat, that people will be judged by deeds, not just by words. I prefer a respect agenda to a disrespect agenda. I think the Prime Minister was right to pursue that agenda."

The meeting focussed on the economy and avoided areas of clear conflict - such as Scottish independence. But Mr Salmond did raise concerns over cuts to public spending and urged the release of Scottish funds held by the Treasury. He also called for further accelerated funds to help tackle the effects of the recession and repeated a request for knock-on funds from Olympic regeneration spending.

The First Minister said he had been "impressed" by Mr Cameron's awareness of the issues. Mr Salmond stated: "All in all, it was a good meeting, it was a more substantive meeting than perhaps I'd expected in terms of the examination of the issues, and I think the Prime Minister's to be commended for that."...

Just before the meeting Mr Cameron had said he was "open to listening to all of the arguments" the First Minister may put forward. But with tough decisions on public spending ahead, the Prime Minister said: "As for the issue of the UK budget deficit, I'm very clear we have to make progress with it."

Prior to meeting the First Minister Mr Cameron visited the Scottish Parliament, where he was forced to dodge hundreds of protesters who had gathered to greet him. About 200 angry demonstrators were chanting anti-Tory slogans and calling for an end to jobs cuts, but rather than enter through one of the main doors as expected Mr Cameron went straight in via the underground car park.

Mr Cameron had earlier told an audience of Holyrood staff, MSPs and journalists: "I want to see a fresh start in the relationship between the British Prime Minister and the Scottish First Minister. This relationship is important. However much we may disagree about issues we should try to work together for the benefit of the whole of the United Kingdom and for the benefit of Scotland as well. That is what I'm determined to do."

While he and Mr Salmond would have "disagreements" and "arguments", he insisted: "I will never give ground on my commitment to the United Kingdom, keeping our United Kingdom together."
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englishmix 
Posted: 14-May-2010, 03:48 PM
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Scotland defends business rates
Evening Times
14 May 2010 - 8:10 pm


Changes to business rates have been defended by the Scottish Government after heavy criticism from political opponents. An official analysis showed 60% of rate payers will be "better or no worse off" after revaluation. Finance Secretary John Swinney said average savings amount to more than £1,300 per property, before the impact of rates reliefs and appeals.

It emerged earlier this year that some businesses, including hotels, are being hit with increases of 100%. Liberal Democrats have called for a cap on rates to prevent them from "crippling" firms. Labour called for a transitional relief scheme, similar to one in England, but the Scottish Government also rejected this.

Mr Swinney said: "By reducing costs for many Scottish businesses, we are allowing them to re-invest the savings, enabling them to make the fullest possible contribution to economic recovery and increasing sustainable economic growth." He said a transitional relief scheme in England led to savings of less than half the Scottish average. Such a fund would have forced private businesses to foot the bill for the public sector, he argued. "Our view was that in the current economic climate such outcomes would have been impossible to justify.

"Our clear focus is on delivering economic recovery and ensuring Scotland's recent return to economic growth is sustained and strengthened and we believe that, in all the circumstances, the decisions we have taken are the right ones."
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englishmix 
Posted: 16-May-2010, 12:48 PM
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Body discovered in botanical garden
Ayrshire post
May 16 2010


A man's body was found in a botanical garden on Sunday, police said. A member of the public made the discovery at 8.55am.

Police said they were treating the death in the Botanic Gardens, Great Western Road, in Glasgow, as unexplained.
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englishmix 
Posted: 16-May-2010, 12:51 PM
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Prestwick woman becomes national hero
May 14 2010 by Stuart Wilson,
Ayrshire Post (main ed)


SHE’S the fundraising queen who’s been crowned a national hero. But doting mum Eileen Granger is just thankful for having her wee boy around. The outlook was grim when little Ross, now a well-known face after his battle with kidney cancer, was first diagnosed. But he launched a brave fight against the killer disease and has just marked five years in remission with a huge party.

It’s no surprise that the theme of that day was raising money for CLIC Sargent, the charity which has been with the Grangers every step of the way. Now Eileen, who’s raised £236,000 over the years, has been named Scotland’s Fundraising Hero of the Year. She confessed: “I’m absolutely thrilled to win such a prestigious award. Just to be nominated was very special and there were so many amazing people at the awards ceremony who had done great things. But I’m now in a position that I can help other families through the nightmare of childhood cancer – and for as long as I’ve got a breath in my body, I will continue to raise funds for CLIC Sargent and help children with cancer.”

Eileen scooped her award at the Daily Record Our Heroes night attended by Scotland’s great and good. And she even met her idol Kenny Dalglish – but insists her biggest prize is seeing a smile on the face of little Ross.

Eileen, 40, said: “We held a party to celebrate his five years in remission and it was very emotional – I must admit to having a tear in my eye. The support we received from CLIC Sargent throughout Ross’ illness was tremendous. If it wasn’t for volunteers before me, we wouldn’t have got the support we needed. He’s now a handsome six-year-old and gets by with just half a kidney – and although the award means so much, his health is the most important thing.”

May Gilchrist, chief fundraiser at Prestwick’s Malcolm Sargent House, said: “Eileen is an inspiration to us all with her drive and determination. I’m so proud of her fundraising efforts and this award is richly deserved. Ross is someone we’ve all taken to our hearts at the charity and the whole Granger family have become part of the set-up here at the house. It wouldn’t be the same without them.”
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englishmix 
Posted: 16-May-2010, 12:57 PM
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Power bill madness in Maidens
May 14 2010 by Edwin Lawrence
Ayrshire Post (main ed)


BRAND new dream homes have become a nightmare for tenants. For electric bills are sky high in houses fitted with devices that are supposed to reduce energy costs. Tenants in the seven-home Maidens development received bills averaging £700 to £800. And one – who doesn’t use her heating – has an astonishing Scottish Power electric bill for £1146.

“These massive bills have taken the joy out of life,” said Steven Cook, 49. Steven is full-time carer for wife Mary, 42, who has multiple sclerosis. “We have a lovely little community here, but we’re all traumatised by these ridiculous bills,” he added.

The smart little homes in Harbour Road and Turnberry Road boast solar panels and air-source heat pumps. They cost £1.2m to build and are the first new homes for rent in Maidens for over 30 years.

Steven and other tenants suspect the homes are not wired up correctly. Ewan Boyd, 36, who has an autistic son, says appliances and lights have blown in his home. And Helen Bannatyne said: “I’m on my third washing machine.”

Helen, 56, who has to take oxygen for breathing problems, has even started smoking because of the stress. Newly re-elected MP Sandra Osborne met the tenants this week. She said: “It was a very welcome development to have social housing in Maidens. So it’s very disappointing to see such high bills going out to people on fixed incomes.”

The Labour MP pledged to take up the tenants’ concerns with both Scottish Power and Ayrshire Housing. Ayrshire Housing director Jim Whiston said: “Wiring in the houses is being checked this week. And we’re doing an evaluation on the operating costs of heating systems.”

Mr Whiston added: “Obviously we are concerned, as the systems installed are designed to reduce energy costs.”

Mr Whiston said Ayrshire Housing would take up other tenant concerns with main contractor Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd. These include both exterior landscaping and internal snags.
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Posted: 18-May-2010, 05:53 PM
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Days-at-sea error compensation call
The Herald - Scotland
Last updated 18 May 2010 - 9:50 pm


Fishermen should be compensated for a blunder which forced them to cut the number of days allowed at sea, an MEP has said. Scottish Conservative Struan Stevenson hit out after the European Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, accepted there had been an administrative error on quotas for the west of Scotland.

The mistake, previously denied by her predecessor, led to a cut from 280 to 252 days for catching cod. Mr Stevenson, the senior vice-president of the European Fisheries Committee, said: "West of Scotland fishermen have been up in arms about this blunder for the past three years. The commission's error slashed their days-at-sea allocation for catching cod from 280 to 252 days. This was at the time when fuel prices were going sky high and fishermen everywhere were struggling to survive. Losing 28 days of an already severely restricted allocation of days at sea was catastrophic for many cod fishermen on the west coast."

He welcomed the "breakthrough", and added: "Now that Mrs Damanaki has had the good grace to acknowledge the commission's mistake, I trust that immediate action will be taken to compensate the fishermen for the losses they incurred. I will be writing to Commissioner Damanaki to make this point."

European Commission Ombudsman P Nikiforos Diamandouros said data had been mistakenly switched between two columns of a table that served as a basis for fishing quotas in 2007, leading to a 10% reduction in fishing days. Mr Diamandouros said: "I am grateful to the new commissioner for recognising that there was indeed a mistake in this case. Errors occur in every administration. A good administration is willing to acknowledge its errors, to correct them if possible and to make sure they do not occur again."

© Press Association 2010
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englishmix 
Posted: 19-May-2010, 03:59 PM
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Head for Bishopton to discover ‘Whodunnit’ May 19 2010 by Jeff Holmes,
Paisley Daily Express


MURDER, mayhem and mystery are set to hit sleepy Bishopton ... and there won’t be a cop in sight. Members of the Erskine and District Rotary Club will perform the play No Rest For The Wicked before serving afternoon tea.

The action takes place at Bishopton Community Centre in Gledstane Road and is the first event of Bishopton Week, the village’s annual celebration. The murder mystery, which will appeal to everyone, but especially fans of Miss Marple or Poirot, is set in a rest home where there has been a fire. Curtain up is at 2.30pm on Sunday, June 13, and entry is just £3, which includes afternoon tea.

People wishing to purchase a ticket should contact Rotary Club members Valery Willis on 01505 614738 or George Ross at 01505 864114.

The afternoon tea, which will be Fairtrade, will be provided by a collaboration of members of Erskine and District Rotary Club and the Bishopton Week Group. There is ample parking at Bishopton Community Centre and it’s only a five-minute walk from the railway station. George Ross, of the Erskine and District Rotary Club, said: “No Rest for The Wicked is suitable for all the family. I hope that people will come and enjoy it, put their thinking cap on and try to work out who done it.”

Ronnie Dukes, Chairperson, Bishopton Week Group, added: “Following on from the success of last year’s Murder Mystery play, we are delighted that Erskine and District Rotary Club has organised a new show for this year. After the performance tea and cakes will be served.”

For more information on Bishopton Week, visit www.bishoptonday.com
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englishmix 
Posted: 23-May-2010, 12:35 PM
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Sea of tears and colour for teenager
TRAGIC JACK FREW'S FUNERAL
Scottish News of the World
www.notw.co.uk/scottish
By Paul Thornton, 23/05/2010


HUNDREDS of mourners turned up in brightly coloured clothes yesterday to share laughter and tears at the funeral of tragic knife victim Jack Frew. Around 700 pupils and pals joined the murdered lad's family at a special memorial service in his school. During the 45-minute service, a group of friends sang "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" - one of Jack's favourite songs - wearing outfits of every shade in tribute to the flamboyant teen.

Afterwards around 300 went on to a private service at South Lanarkshire Crematorium. A spokesman for Duncanrig Secondary School in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, said: "The young people showed maturity - they were very composed. But there was laughter and tears shed for their friend Jack who they have lost. It was very respectful and upbeat, remembering his life."

The funeral came a day after 17- year-old Jack's family were left reeling by the news that the body of his uncle Colin Ferguson (below) had been found in the River Clyde. The 46-year-old went missing on May 11, after visiting Mossneuk woods - where Jack died on May 6 - to look at floral tributes.

As they arrived for the memorial at 11am, Jack's mum Lorraine - Colin's sister - was supported by husband Robert, 51, Jack's brother Garry, 26, and 24-year-old sister Jemma. Pupils had begun pouring into the school from 9am.

Headteacher George Wynne led the service along with Reverend Kevin MacKenzie. The order of service described Jack as "Happy, smiley, fun loving, generous, kind, positive, funny, open, genuine, considerate." And a written tribute added: "Jack was all of these things and many more besides. He will remain in the hearts of those who have known him forever."

The poem "Remember" by Christina Rossetti was read before those closest to Jack went on to the funeral in Blantyre. Friends left the school crying and consoling each other but there was laughter as they shared favourite memories of Jack. Rev MacKenzie - minister at Westwood Church in East Kilbride - led the crematorium service, in which some of the teen's favourite music was played, including hits by Kate Nash and Katy Perry. And a poem called Me, written by theatre-loving Jack, was read, revealing his love of performing and of being noticed.

The poignant verse read: "The curtains open. The lights are shining on another dramatic day in the life of Jack Frew. Everybody's watching intensely, waiting for the performance to begin. By the end of the day I can guarantee there will have been a standing ovation alongside a wave of hisses - but in which order? What I do know is that every person who has had an impact on my life today - be it a crowd booing or an audience applauding - each and every one of them cares enough about me to make that echoed noise." Mourners went on to Carnbooth House Hotel in Carmunnock.

A post-mortem will be carried out on Colin but Strathclyde Police said: "There do not appear to be suspicious circumstances." Craig Roy, 17, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court on May 10 charged with Jack's murder.

----------------------------------------

Although it hardly ever appears newsworthy to the press, I sincerely hope the Gospel of Christ was proclaimed to the morners. Englishmix.
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Posted: 23-May-2010, 12:44 PM
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Peter Tobin's three Bible John boltholes
COPS PROBE LINKS BETWEEN KILLER AND GLASGOW MURDERS

Scottsih News of the World
By Nicola Stow, 23/05/2010


DETECTIVES probing Peter Tobin's horrific past have found chilling new links between him and Bible John. They've found that in the late 1960s Tobin lived close to where three women were snared, then slaughtered, by the notorious serial killer. And today we can reveal the streets where psycho Tobin stayed.

Jemima McDonald, 32, and Helen Puttock, 29, were both murdered after leaving Glasgow's Barrowland Ballroom (see No4 above) in 1969 with a slim young man - later dubbed Bible John. We can reveal that at the time Tobin, now 63, lived only two miles away in flats in Chester Street (No3), Vesalius Street (No2) and Old Shettleston Road (No1).

Also in the vicinity is MacKeith Street, Bridgeton - where the body of mum-of-three Jemima was found in a derelict building. And Tobin was only a short bus trip from the city centre, where nurse Patricia Docker, 25, was last seen alive in the Majestic ballroom in 1968.

The nurse's body was found a day later in a lane in Langside.

The old addresses were unearthed by Operation Anagram, a UK-wide inquiry into Tobin's crimes.

Last night the man who set up the probe, Det Supt David Swindle, 55, said: "I am Tobin's NIGHTMARE. He should be a frightened man. We will keep hunting until we uncover the whole truth about his life. So far we've neither confirmed nor denied Tobin's links with the 'Bible John' crimes. But we have identified he had connections with addresses in the East End of Glasgow in the 1960s."

DS Swindle hinted more homes could be searched and gardens dug up as the hunt for victims continues. The Strathclyde Police detective revealed: "We are receiving new information about Tobin every day. What we are looking for here is closure for the families of any other of this killer's victims. It is possible more searches will be carried out. We're very optimistic and are making good progress."

Evil Tobin will DIE behind bars after being convicted of murdering Dinah McNicol, 18, Vicky Hamilton, 15, and Angelika Kluk, 23. But police are convinced he could have killed DOZENS more women. DS Swindle said: "This guy is evil and cunning. We are talking about a guy who travels all over the UK, playing his own wicked killing game. A guy who killed a teenager in Scotland then buried it in England. To me, this is somebody who knew what he was doing. Somebody who has killed before. Tobin is a COWARD who has taken the lives of young, innocent women. He is extremely violent and has absolutely no respect for humanity. So it is our job to find out exactly what other crimes he has committed."

Tobin moved from Glasgow to Brighton in 1969. But he returned in 1977 to stay in flats in Merkland Way, Renfrew, and Moorpark Square, Paisley. He then disappeared off the radar until 1979, when moved to Shaw Street in Govan, Glasgow. And DS Swindle is desperate for information about Tobin's "missing year" - when employment records show he was working for North Farm Washington Limited, who were based in Sussex. He said: "It could have been a passing job or the company could have had other outlets elsewhere."

Operation Anagram was set up in November 2006 after Tobin was charged with the murder of Angelika. The Polish student's body was found battered, stabbed and gagged underneath the floorboards at St Patrick's Church in Glagsow. Information gathered by the Anagram team led cops to dig up the garden of Tobin's former home in Margate, Kent, where the bodies of Vicky and Dinah were found.

There are currently 11 police forces around Britain involved in the inquiry. Analysts have trawled through electoral rolls, tax documents, hospital and prison records. DS Swindle said: "We've had a great response since we went public with Anagram in December. What we are doing now is piecing all the info together. We're gradually filling in the gaps."

The Anagram incident room in a Glasgow police station is still a hive of activity. Plastered on the walls are photographs of Tobin at various stages of his life. There are charts with dates and timelines, which are updated as more details come in. On another wall are photos of Angelika, Vicky and Dinah - tragic reminders of Tobin's three known victims. It has been claimed the fiend has boasted of killing up to 48 women - but DS Swindle is certain he will NEVER get a confession out of the vicious brute.

The cop said: "When Tobin speaks to us he denies everything. It is all part of his game. This operation has been a very complicated one to piece together. It has definitely been the most complex I have worked on during my 33 years as a policeman. But we will keep going - we have to. Even if Tobin dies, our hunt to find out what he really did will continue."
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englishmix 
Posted: 25-May-2010, 11:18 PM
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SCOTLAND HOMECOMING

Edinburgh Evening News
25 May 2010 10:18 AM

By Ian Swanson


ALEX Salmond today announced Scotland will stage a second Homecoming celebration in 2014 to coincide with the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.

The First Minister unveiled the plan as he published an independent evaluation showing the 2009 Homecoming had exceeded its target for extra tourism revenue. The study, by EKOS, showed last year's programme, built around the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns' birth, attracted 95,000 additional visitors and generated £53.7 million, exceeding the £44m target.

Dozens of events were staged in the Capital, including the centrepiece event, The Gathering, which saw 50,000 people from around the world flock to Holyrood Park. There was also controversy, however, after it emerged The Gathering had lost £600,000, despite receiving £500,000 of public funding.

Despite this, today's report said it generated £154m of positive global media coverage for Scotland. Mr Salmond said: "In 2014 the eyes of the world will be on Scotland. In this year of celebration, repeating the remarkable success and benefits of Homecoming 2009 is an excellent opportunity to attract tourism and investment and showcase the very best of Scotland."

He also announced a new digital resource that will showcase Homecoming 2009 to audiences at home and abroad. The Homecoming Scotland Digital Archives and Exhibition Project, designed by Queen Margaret University, will use new Microsoft technology to allow users to learn more about the diverse events of Homecoming 2009 and increase interest in Homecoming 2014.

An archivist will collate Homecoming documents, brochures, articles and video, which will be digitised and made available online from January next year. A public exhibition will begin in the summer. Mr Salmond said: "The archive underlines our reputation for innovation and has the potential to become a model for the future. This groundbreaking new product will ensure that the success of the celebration of Scotland and its many contributions to the world will be available for everyone to enjoy for generations to come."

Dr Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said last year's Homecoming had sparked huge interest all over the world. "VisitScotland will once again seize the tremendous opportunity that Homecoming represents. Whichever country visitors are travelling from, I have no doubt they will leave with memories they will treasure."

Dr Petra Wend, principal and vice-patron of Queen Margaret University, said the Homecoming Archive presented an exciting opportunity to collect, catalogue and preserve materials associated with the Scottish Homecoming 2009. She said: "The archive will be of great use to all those involved in promoting tourism and economic development."
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englishmix 
Posted: 25-May-2010, 11:27 PM
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Provost denies 150 mile trip to buy kilt a waste of money
The Edinburgh Evening News
04 May 2010
By MARK McLAUGHLIN


A FOOTBALL-LOVING Lord Provost has come under fire after making a 150-mile round trip to buy a kilt on expenses. Provost Adam Montgomery, pictured, racked up a £60 mileage claim to purchase the £890 garment from McCallum Highland Wear of Kilmarnock.

The kilt, designed for Kilmarnock Football Club, was also charged to the taxpayer. Mr Montgomery is Midlothian Lord Provost and today Midlothian Council's SNP group, led by SNP parliamentary candidate Colin Beattie, said his trip was excessive and wasteful.

But Provost Montgomery said he had "**** all" to answer for. He said: "I am the lowest paid Lord Provost in Scotland. I received my P60 last month and I earned a total of £15,300 last year. I'm allowed £2,000 in expenses for clothes. Edinburgh's Lord Provost is allowed £5,000 for clothing and his wife is allowed £2,000, whereas my wife gets nothing so I don't feel the need to explain myself. When I travel to international functions I have to pay to take my wife with me whereas Edinburgh's Lady Provost travels on expenses, which I think is perfectly acceptable, but it's a right that my wife and I do not enjoy. Have a look at what other Lord Provosts get and you will see that I am the lowest paid so I've got **** all to explain to the SNP group, and you can quote me on every word of that."

He said he had made the trip to a Kilmarnock kiltmaker as he wanted the Kilmarnock FC tartan – having been a lifelong supporter of the club – and it was the only place he could get it. And he insisted the kilt had been for official functions, including a twinning visit to France, and was well-within his clothing budget.

On the issue of charging for the trip, Provost Montgomery said that he had actually made two trips – once to get fitted, and again to collect the kilt – but had only charged for one of them. The issue is set to be raised at the next meeting of Midlothian Council, with opposition councillors claiming he should have used a local kiltmaker.

Provost Montgomery insisted he had done nothing wrong. He said: "I put in a shift every month for Midlothian so the SNP want to get a grip of themselves and grow up. "I needed the kilt for my visit to France to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the twinning of Saint Cyr L'Ecole with Bonnyrigg and Lasswade, and I will be wearing it to the 50th anniversary celebrations of Dalkeith's twinning with Jarnac later this year.

"I wanted the Kilmarnock tartan because I am a Kilmarnock supporter, I was born in Kilmarnock and it was the only place I could get the tartan. Where I was born and what colour tartan I wear should not be an issue. I could have chosen the Montgomery tartan, which would also have been appropriate, but I wanted something a little bit different."

Midlothian SNP group leader Colin Beattie has pledged to raise the issue of Provost Montgomery's trip, which took place in April last year, at the next Midlothian Council meeting in June. He said: "I don't have a clue what he needs his own tailor made kilt for. If it's coming out of the official expenses I assume it's for use in official functions but I've never seen him wearing a kilt. Also, if it's tailor-made to his measurements it will be no good to the next provost so it could end up having a very short official shelf life. It's a terrible waste of money during these times of austerity. I'm not arguing against the principle of a clothing allowance for the Provost, but did he really have to travel to Kilmarnock to buy it?

"There are one or two good kiltmakers in Midlothian. Why not go to one of them? You would think, as Provost, he would want to showcase the best of Midlothian rather than go elsewhere."
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Posted: 02-Jun-2010, 04:08 PM
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Ayrshire yob Bit off pal's finger
May 28 2010 by Lisa Boyle,
Ayrshire Post (main ed)


A BRUTAL yob bit his pal’s finger off in a drunken brawl. Then when the pair made up, they blamed a passer-by who tried to help. The good Samaritan ended up being arrested and jailed over the bloody incident on Ayr’s Sandgate. And the innocent man spent Christmas in prison.

But justice finally caught up with the real culprit, 24-year-old Christopher Wilson. This week at Ayr Sheriff Court, he admitted the assault on pal Aaron Johnson. Depute fiscal Isabel Vincent told Sheriff Desmond Leslie that Wilson and Johnson had come to Ayr from Glasgow for a day’s drinking on November 19 2008.

When they ran out of money they began wandering around town centre streets. Then at around 8pm, the day out took a horrific turn for the worst. The men started arguing and Johnson pushed Wilson against a lamppost. Wilson then dug his teeth into Johnson’s right hand middle finger. He started screaming in agony for Wilson to let go. One man, who was in his Sandgate home at the time, heard the screams and went to split the fight up with two pals.

Moments later, a student nurse pulled over in her car to offer help. She noticed Wilson had blood around his nose and mouth and thought he had a broken nose. The woman also saw that the tip of Johnson’s finger was missing. Johnson told the woman they had been jumped by three men. Police attended and took Johnson and Wilson to hospital. The tip of Johnson’s finger was lost so he has been left permanently disfigured.

That night, the three men who helped split up the fight were all arrested. One of them was remanded in custody, accused of biting off the tip of Johnson’s finger.

Then in January 2009, Johnson told Wilson he was having flashbacks about the night and asked him if he was responsible. He admitted to his pal that he was responsible for biting the finger off.

Wilson, of Glasgow, pleaded guilty to assaulting Johnson by biting his finger to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement. Sheriff Leslie deferred sentence for background reports.
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Posted: 02-Jun-2010, 09:45 PM
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Gaelic language pledges scrapped
Edinburgh Evening News site.
02 June 2010
By MICHAEL BLACKLEY


A MAJOR promotion of the Gaelic language across the Capital is to be scaled back because of a shortage of funding. Proposals to include a Gaelic line on the city council's logo for use on all stationery are set to be downgraded and will only be included "on materials which are translated into Gaelic".

City leaders will also fail to give a commitment to creating bilingual "Welcome to Edinburgh" signs at the City Chambers and Waverley Court. There is also doubt over whether they will pledge to roll out road signs in English and Gaelic in key sites such as Tollcross.

• Is the council right to ditch plans to introduce gaelic road signs to Edinburgh? Vote here
http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/CustomPa...px?PageID=80582

News of the changes to the Gaelic Language Plan comes as the council prepares to formally submit its proposals to Bòrd Na Gàidhlig – the body set up to promote Gaelic – within weeks.

City leaders say that the amount it can do to promote the language is restricted by the tough financial climate. Council leader Jenny Dawe said: "What we have here is a recognition of Gaelic and a recognition that, as a capital city, we will do what we can to promote it. But I am not convinced that Bòrd Na Gàidhlig will be blown away by what is in here." She added: "I know there are different views on this. If it was ten years ago and the council had a lot more money we might have gone down a different route."

The council's original proposals went out to consultation and, over a two-month period, nearly 350 responses were received. More than two thirds of respondents said that the plan presented by the council did not reflect the right priorities for Edinburgh. A full report on how to address growing demand for Gaelic education in schools, particularly at Tollcross Primary and James Gillespie's High, is to be provided later this month.

Education chiefs are currently considering options including converting Tollcross Primary into a dedicated Gaelic school and sending non-Gaelic pupils elsewhere, or setting up a brand new school dedicated to the language.

Cllr Dawe said: "This is something that divides the Gaelic community. Some feel there should be full-blown Gaelic medium education, like in Glasgow. Others are quite content with the offer at Tollcross and Gillespie's. The children and families committee will look at that and if there are to be any changes at Tollcross or James Gillespie's, it will go through the full consultation."
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englishmix 
Posted: 05-Jun-2010, 08:18 PM
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OPINION » Letters
Wick bearing brunt of recession
John O'Groat Journal
Published: 04 June, 2010


SIR – I recently travelled with my family for a short break to Pitlochry, a quaint Scottish town that has a thriving tourist industry. On touring the area I went to Aberfeldy that, although a stone's throw from Pitlochry, was in a far poorer state of affairs simply because it is off the main tourist thoroughfare. As someone who has spent many years away from Wick, it is more than apparent to me that the east of Caithness is bearing the brunt of this recession far worse as a result of having the A9 redirected.

In these difficult times it is hard to see how Wick's fortunes can be restored as the demise of the fishing industry has compounded the effects of a dwindling tourist economy. The developments around Wick harbour are very positive to our future and more efforts should be made to encourage and develop this as the mainstay of Wick's tourist industry. It is disconcerting to see voluntary agencies competing for funding as if they are commercially based, and a centrally-based facility will add further woes to the appearance of Wick as tourists will be presented with prime architectural sites that are run down in the town.

I think our councillors should put more effort into promoting ideas that improve the image of Wick on the Highlands and Islands stage as a prime fishing town with a great heritage and funding that is not currently available for this type of approach should be made more readily and easily available.

William E. Beattie, 3 Murray Avenue, Wick.
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englishmix 
Posted: 05-Jun-2010, 08:22 PM
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Firm's expansion idea is a gem
John O'Groat Journal
Published: 04 June, 2010


A SPECIALIST manufacturer based in Wick which produces cameras for use in some of the most dangerous and inaccessible places on earth is focused on new opportunities after investing in cutting-edge equipment. Kongsberg Maritime Ltd (KML) has spent over £150,000 - including £61,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) - to install a diamond turning lathe and monitoring kit which will allow the firm to develop its own custom-built lenses.

The state-of-the-art tool means that the business will not have to buy in optical domes which form a key part of its cameras. The Wick factory, which employs 43 staff, is the production and development centre for KML Camera Group. Its high-specification cameras are used in the oil, gas, military and scientific fields to support activities like bomb disposal, offshore drilling, marine biology, nuclear decommissioning and environmental monitoring.

Bill Baxter, of KML Camera Group, said: "The addition of this new line of equipment will help our staff in Wick retain their reputation as world leaders in high-spec camera equipment. Manufacturing a whole range of optical housings in-house is an exciting new phase for us. We will make savings in time and money, and will enjoy greater flexibility when developing new products."

With the installation of the new equipment, KML Camera Group aims to expand into new products and create additional jobs. Keith Muir, account manager for HIE, said: "We are working closely with KML in Wick and are delighted to have supported them in this expansion. The investment brings benefits for the business, its staff and the wider community. The team is gaining extra skills and expertise in a highly-specialised, high-value sector. Their abilities will provide another valuable asset to the area's engineering supply chain as we gear up for delivery in the emerging renewable energy sector."
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