Council leader to put high-speed rail link on agenda at meeting with Scottish Secretary

A high-speed rail link to Scotland’s capital will be discussed at a meeting between the Scottish Secretary and city chiefs this week.

Edinburgh Council leader Jenny Dawe will discuss the plan with the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, tomorrow (Thursday).

Last week Councillor Dawe and the leader of Glasgow City Council, Gordon Matheson, updated MSPs on what is required to build the high speed rail connections to Scotland.

The Scottish Government is being encouraged to co-operate with its Westminster counterparts to ensure the country is included in the plans from the outset. Continue reading

‘Paul the bin man’ must wait to find out result in his case against council

By Christine Lavelle and Amanda MacMillan

A BINMAN suing council chiefs for unfair dismissal after they sacked him and not his wife must wait to find out whether he has won his case.

Paul French, 50, from Edinburgh, was axed from his job after he was accused of being the author of unflattering blog posts and letters to the media under the alias ‘Paul the bin man’.

City of Edinburgh Council sacked him for alleged gross misconduct claiming he had breached their code of conduct and undermined the organization during a controversial pay dispute.

But during a two day hearing he argued he had never been aware of the code and said he was being sexually discriminated against because his wife – who he says made similar posts – escaped unpunished. Continue reading

Edinburgh city chiefs target ‘gas guzzlers’ in parking charges hike

By Oliver Farrimond

EDINBURGH council is set to unveil harsh measures intended to punish drivers of “gas-guzzling” cars.

City bosses are planning to levy steep charges for drivers of CO2-heavy vehicles, including doubling the cost of some parking permits.

Drivers of cars such as Land Rovers or Citroen C6 will face a levy of £320 for parking outside their own homes, if the council’s plans are approved.

In a move intended to encourage drivers in the Capital to take up smaller cars with lower levels of emissions, the plans also include measures to reduce the parking permits of smaller vehicles, such as the Seat Ibiza or the Volkswagen Polo. Continue reading

New life for £12m worth of historic Edinburgh bequests

By Michael MacLeod

THE CONTROL of £12 million in charity cash is to be offloaded by one of Scotland’s biggest councils.

A huge pool of money left in wills dating back to 1707 for causes including pensions for wartime raid survivors, kids’ Christmas treats and soup kitchens will be brought back to life by the move.

The 38 funds are currently managed by the City of Edinburgh Council, which wants an outside charity to take the strictly ring-fenced donations forward.

Many of the legacies have been paid out in part, while others have been sitting in council coffers accruing interest for literally hundreds of years.

Some of the bequests were set up under vague instructions – including a legacy left for the “deserving poor of Corstorphine.”
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Flag flies in to honour our brave troops

By Cara Sulieman

MILITARY chiefs were joined by a World War II veteran to mark the start of Armed Forces Week in Scotland’s capital.

The Armed Forces Day flag was parachuted into Holyrood Park by four members of the Royal Regiment of Scotland’s parachute display team the Golden Lions.

It was then driven up the Royal Mile in a 1953 Austin Champ army truck where it was passed on to three members of the 3 Rifles.

The 3 Rifles – who have recently returned from a gruelling six month deployment to Afghanistan – marched to the City Chambers before presenting the flag to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, George Grubb.

WWII veteran Richard Webster was there to witness the flag being hoisted up above the council buildings to mark the start of a week of celebrations across the country honouring the armed forces. Continue reading

Judy Murray’s American dream for Scots tennis

By Martin Graham

JUDY Murray says Scotland must adopt America’s “tennis culture” if anyone is to follow in her son Andy’s footsteps.

She helped give out 7,500 mini tennis kits to school children in Edinburgh today.

But the 50 year-old coach fears efforts to teach children tennis skills could be a waste of time because the country is lacking in facilities.

Speaking ahead of Monday’s Wimbledon curtain-raiser, Judy told how her sporting sons Andy and Jamie caught the tennis bug as youngsters on a trip to America.
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Victory for Johnny after standoff with parking wardens

By Cara Sulieman and Paul Thornton

A DRIVER gave hope to motorists across the country today when he took on Edinburgh’s notorious parking wardens – and won.

Range Rover-driving Johnny Higgins spotted his car being lifted onto the back of a flatbed lorry after overstaying a parking ticket by just 40 minutes.

Threatened with a £150 fine to get his £35,000 motor back, quick-thinking Mr Higgins leapt into the driver’s seat and refused to budge, sparking an hour-long standoff.

Police were called in to diffuse the situation but the wardens eventually gave in, telling him: “Fair play to you.”
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