Union chiefs want Lothian Buses to run the Edinburgh trams

 By Clare Carswell 
UNION chiefs are calling for Edinburgh’s controversial new tram services to be run by the city’s award winning bus operator instead. They argue that Lothian Buses already runs a profitable service and can turn around the ailing fortunes of the project by wresting control from TEL – the company currently poised to operate the lines. 

It follows the shock departure yesterday of David MacKay, chairman of the company behind the TIE construction project which has been dogged by delays, legal battles and spiralling costs. 

In a parting shot, he branded the elements of the project as “hell on wheels” and launched a furious broadside against the German contractors, Bilfinger Berger

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Airdrie bank bucks the economic trend

By Clare Carswell

SCOTLAND’S last surviving independent bank is launching a customer recruitment drive in the back yard of its big name rivals as the firm looks to bucks the economic trend with plans to expand its business operations.

Airdrie Savings Bank is 175 years old, has seven branches in Lanarkshire and is on course to grow further, with plans to open a new branch in 2011.

The bank will run the first in a series of Scottish recruitment roadshows in Edinburgh – home to RBS – in a bid to attract a significant number of new business and personal customers.

The first event will be hosted in conjunction with Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and is to take place on November 17 and 18 in the chamber’s Festival Square Hub.

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Suicide bid causes chaos for communters

By Clare Carswell 

A SUICIDE bid caused huge disruption to commuting traffic yesterday morning (Mon) as the Forth Road Bridge was closed.

At 5.30am yesterday a 29 year-old man stood on the flyover at Castlandhill Road, north of the Forth Road Bridge near Rosyth where threatened to jump onto the A90 below. 

The man who is local to the area was checked over by ambulance crew at the scene and was then allowed to return home.

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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.

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Man dies following car crash into front garden

By Clare Carswell

A MAN has died after crashing his car into a front garden following a suspected heart attack.

The 51 year-old is believed to have suffered a heart attack while behind the wheel of his BMW causing him to veer off the road at Edinburgh’s Drumbrae round-a-bout around 6am today (tues).

His car ploughed through a metal railing and a stone wall before stopping a few feet away from the front door of Meadow Place House at the corner of Meadow Place Road and Corstorphine Road.

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Police hunt two youths in connection with robbery and assault

By Clare Carswell

DETECTIVES are hunting two youths following the assault and robbery of a 22 year-old man late on Thursday evening (October 21) in Edinburgh.

Lothian and Borders Police have said that the young man was attacked in the underpass between Calder Road and Calder View at 11pm on Thursday.

The two suspects, both described as white males, aged between 15 and 20 years old, allegedly threatened the man with a knife before demanding his bag and personal belongings.

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Man appears in court over Whitecraig murder

Steven Curran was found dead behind his pub in Whitecraig.

By Cara Sulieman

A MAN has appeared in court in connection with the murder of a pub landlord.

Lee McNamara, 23, appeared on petition at Haddington Sheriff Court today.

He is alleged to have murdered Steven Curran whose body was found behind the Dolphin Inn in Whitecraig, East Lothian last Thursday.

Mr Curran, 47, ran the pub with his wife Jill and they had two daughters aged six and 13.

McNamara, from Musselburgh, is also charged with the theft or a car.

He made no plea nor declaration and has been remanded in custody until he appears in court again next month.

1966 World Cup medal set to break auction record

By Clare Carswell

A SCOTS auctioneer is hoping to set a new world record for the sale of Nobby Stiles’ 1966 World Cup winner’s medal.

Football memorabilia of the former England player, estimated to be worth £350,000  includes the 68 year old’s winner’s medals from the 1966 World Cup final which his side won 4-2 against West Germany.

It also features his 1968 European Cup as part of the 45 lot sale won when Manchester United became the first English club to win the European Cup beating Portuguese side Benfica by four goals to one.

He is one of only three Englishmen to have won both in his career, along with, Bobby Charlton and Ian Callaghan.

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Famous statue removed for restoration work

By Amanda MacMillan

THE oldest equestrian lead statue in the UK was taken away from its plinth in Edinburgh for crucial restoration work today (Sun).

The famous statue of Charles II sits in the capital’s Parliament Square and depicts the monarch as a Roman Emperor on horseback.

The statue dates back to 1685 and there is also the possibility that it is the work of the Dutch sculptor Grinling Gibbons.

The imposing monument is made of lead and has an internal framework, made from oak and mild steel.

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Gamu given good odds for Christmas number one

By Christine Lavelle

X FACTOR star Gamu Nhengu has been tipped to take this year’s Christmas number one slot.

Bookies have been forced dropped the 18-year-old’s odds from 50-1 to 15-1 as scores of people have been placing bets on her to land the festive chart-topper.

Alex Donohue, from Ladbroke’s betting shop, said: “Gamu’s popularity was evident when she was eliminated from X Factor.

“With some key public appearances in the run-up to the festive period, our punters have latched on to the fact that she may well be aiming for the coveted Christmas number one.

“We have seen a lot of money for her, so have been forced to slash the odds.” Continue reading