Google street view of Gordon Brown’s home to be blacked out

INTERNET giants Google have been forced into blacking out details of former PM Gordon Brown’s home from its controversial Street View mapping service.

They acted within days of Mr Brown’s security team being tipped off on detailed images showing security cameras and even armed guards patrolling at the rural property in Fife

A Street View image of his Fife home clearly showed armed police patrolling the garden, pinpointing the location for online snoopers.

The pictures also allowed detailed examination of the gate and other security measures at the property, where Brown’s children now live since switching schools from London to Scotland. Continue reading

Scots protest against Westminster financial cuts

MORE than 20,000 people marched through the centre of the Scottish capital to demonstrate against the financial cuts announced in Westminster this week.

The mass of demonstrators, made up of trade unionists, community activists and members of the public assembled on New Market Street, close to the City of Edinburgh Council offices on Saturday.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress marched behind the banner of their campaign ‘There’s a better way’ and voiced their opinion that the £81 billion cuts announced by George Osborne do not favour public sector workers and are not the best course of action for the long-term Scottish and UK economy.

Full story here

Senior officers hit back at claims cash is being wasted at HQ

By Christine Lavelle

SENIOR officers have clashed with the Scottish Government over plans to merge Scottish police forces.

The Scottish Government no longer want eight separate constabularies, nor do they want one super-force, but speculation is growing over how many forces this will mean as the policing landscape of the country gets set for a major change.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has hit back at claims that money is being wasted at the eight HQs.

Chief Constable of Dumfries and Galloway Patrick Shearer, president of ACPOS, said: “What should be stressed is that the current structures are delivering a police service widely regarded as one of the best in the world. Continue reading

Five-fold increase in attacks on NHS workers

By Christine Lavelle

A HUGE rise in attacks on emergency service workers could mean every member of staff is fitted with a personal panic alarm.

Prosecutions for assaults on NHS workers have risen by 542 per cent, and court proceedings increased from 57 to 309 under the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act, which was extended in 2007.

The statistics were revealed by the Scottish Conservatives who said the “appalling” figures give clear evidence that the problem was out of control.

Nanette Milne, the party’s public health spokeswoman, said it was time to look for “new ways of protecting” Scotland’s emergency workers and called for the use of panic alarms. Continue reading

Scotland’s protest over Westminster cuts

MORE than 20,000 people marched through the centre of the Scottish capital to demonstrate against the financial cuts announced in Westminster this week.

The mass of demonstrators, made up of trade unionists, community activists and members of the public assembled on New Market Street, close to the City of Edinburgh Council offices yesterday (Sat).

The Scottish Trades Union Congress marched behind the banner of their campaign ‘There’s a better way’ and voiced their opinion that the £81 billion cuts announced by George Osborne do not favour public sector workers and are not the best course of action for the long-term Scottish and UK economy.

Chinese students are crucial to Scotland’s education sector

By Christine Lavelle

UNIVERSITIES in Scotland are cashing in China’s “crucial” student population to bolster the country’s educational sector.

Education Secretary Mike Russell said China has become a key strategy in attracting more students to study in Scotland and encouraging more researching funding from the Far East for Scottish universities.

He said it could open up an “unlimited market” for teaching English to Chinese students.

He said: “Children at almost every level are keen to learn English, and their parents are keen to learn English to a high standard, and Scotland is well placed to deliver as much as it wants to do.” Continue reading

Scotland protests Westminster cuts

By Clare Carswell

MORE than 20,000 people marched through the centre of the Scottish capital to demonstrate against the financial cuts announced in Westminster this week.

The mass of demonstrators, made up of trade unionists, community activists and members of the public assembled on New Market Street, close to the City of Edinburgh Council offices this morning (Sat).

The Scottish Trades Union Congress marched behind the banner of their campaign ‘There’s a better way’ and voiced their opinion that the £81 billion cuts announced by George Osborne do not favour public sector workers and are not the best course of action for the long-term Scottish and UK economy.

The General Secretary of STUC, Grahame Smith, said: “We need to change policy.  We are on a disastrous course, disastrous for the economy, disastrous for the people of this country.  We need to have change.”

Continue reading

Scottish Government pledges 650 places for eco jobs training

By Shaun Milne

SCOTLAND’S eco industry received a boost of 650 new training places today (tues).

Education Secretary Michael Russell pledged the new support for employers working to support a low carbon economy.

The training, to be delivered through Skills Development Scotland, is being funded with the support of the European Social Fund.

The Scottish Government said the announcement would help firms reskill or upskill employees in low carbon technologies, helping with the economic benefits of greener business. Continue reading

It’s Network Fail as Bathgate to Airdrie rail event hits buffers

By Amanda MacMillan

TRAIN delays and cancellations signalled a disastrous start to the opening of a new station by Transport Secretary Stewart Stevenson today (mon) as scores of passengers had to be ferried by coach instead.

An overhead line fault at the new Bathgate Station in West Lothian meant that only one line was running on the busy Edinburgh route instead of two, leaving scores of people stranded.

A replacement bus service was eventually put on for passengers – but it was an inglorious start to the first major opening on the new £300m Airdrie to Bathgate project which is due to come on track on December 12.

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson had talked of how the new station will soon allow passengers the chance to travel direct from Helensburgh and Milngavie, in the west, to Bathgate and Edinburgh in the east.

But no-one was going anywhere yesterday as trains to and from the station came to a standstill. Continue reading

Edinburgh jobs tribunal orders former Labour Livingston MP Jim Devine to pay his ex office manager £35k

Marion Kinley said she was "delighted" with the tribunal's decision

By Cara Sulieman

DISGRACED former Labour MP Jim Devine has been ordered to pay his former office manager more than £35,000 in damages after she won an employment tribunal against him.

Devine failed to show for the hearing in Edinburgh today (thurs) where Marion Kinley won her claims for constructive unfair dismissal and breach of contract.

Judge Jane Porter awarded Miss Kinley, 47, a total of £35,308.45 in compensation, including £10,516 in expenses which the ex-MP pocketed instead of passing on to his employee.

Delivering the decision, Ms Porter branded ex Livingston MP Devine’s actions as both “bullying and harassment”.

Afterwards 47-year-old Marion, from Glasgow, said: “It’s been two and a half years of just unbelievable lies being told about me by Mr Devine.

“He just seemed to think he could treat people anyway he wanted to and tell lies about them and he was going to get away with it.

“Fortunately he didn’t this time.” Continue reading