Government job scheme under fire

By Cara Sulieman

THE GOVERNMENT has come under fire for only handing out employment funding to TWO Scottish firms.

The job creation fund has splashed £30 million on grants in Scotland but private firms has received just a fraction of that cost – with most going to local authorities.

They have been criticised for handing taxpayers’ money from one section of government to another and not supporting struggling private businesses.

The £1 billion Future Jobs Fund gives employers up to £6,500 to take on a young person aged 18 to 24 for six months.

But of the 10,328 grants handed out in Scotland, just 462 have gone to private businesses.

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George Burley deserves time to make us proud

by Shaun Milne

GEORGE Burley has fallen victim of a campaign to have someone with Old Firm credentials succeed him as Scotland manager, it was claimed today.

But the SFA would be far better served by contracting him for at least another four years so he can build a team to be proud of, former Hearts chairman Lord Foulkes insists.

UNDER PRESSURE: George Burley

UNDER PRESSURE: George Burley

Foulkes, who was part of a management team at Hearts when Burley set them on a 10-game unbeaten run to top the SPL, said he had no doubt his former comrade could still work wonders.

Policy

He said: “I think there are certain people within the football establishment who would rather continuing this failed policy of chopping and changing managers and who would rather replace George with someone with Old Firm credentials.”

“But he’s not had long to do the job, he’s had hardly any games at all, yet it’s clear the players having started clicking and improving under him.” Continue reading

Baby narrowly missed being showered in glass

Andrew Girdwood and Fiona Wallace with baby Chloe

Andrew Girdwood and Fiona Wallace with baby Chloe

By Cara Sulieman

A BABY has had a miracle escape after sick yobs smashed a brick through a bedroom window – showering her moses basket with razor sharp shards of glass.

Tiny 11-week old Chloe Girdwood only cheated injury because she was ill and being comforted in the arms of her doting mum Fiona Wallace when the thugs struck.

Last night Fiona, 25, revealed it is the THIRD time in as many weeks that her Linlithgow home has been targeted – leaving her and partner Andrew Girdwood, 28, living in fear.

She said: “I don’t want to think about what could have happened to her.”

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Politicians slammed by leading childcare expert

By Cara Sulieman

CHILD CARE expert Dr Penelope Leach has slammed politicians for making decisions about family issues they don’t fully understand.

Speaking to a packed tent at the Edinburgh Book Festival today (Tues), she said that the problem with the options available to parents today was that the policy makers have never experienced the problem themselves.

She said: “Hardly any politicians, academics or policy makers find it necessary to leave their own infants in the first few months in less than high quality child care.

“Quite a lot of them have no idea what it would be like to have no other choice.”

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Shock for sacked card shop staff

By Cara Sulieman

HUNDREDS of shocked card shop staff were told they were losing their jobs in a phone call from bosses yesterday – some given just 24-hrs notice that they are being shelved.

Managers at Birthdays branches across the country received a phone call from their area managers yesterday informing them of the decision after almost a month of uncertainty.

And one store, in Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, will be shutting its doors for the last time tonight.

The rest are expected to shut-up shop on Monday. Doors will be locked at 5.30pm with no closing down sale.

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Scottish Government spend £23 million on temp staff

The Scottish Government

EXCLUSIVE

By Cara Sulieman

THE SCOTTISH Government has spent more £23 MILLION on temporary staff in the last four years.

And for the first three months of 2009 alone they paid out £1,472,320 on employing 162 short-term staff.

The figures, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, only include agency staff working in the core departments of the Scottish Government suggesting that the overall cost could actually be more.

But despite the high cost, the government insists using temporary agency staff is the best value for money to the taxpayer.

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