Police chief’s anticipation of Pope’s four-day-visit to Scotland

By Christine Lavelle

ONE of the men in charge of policing the Pope’s visit to Scotland later this month said he anticipated an “extraordinary” event.

Pope Benedict XVI will fly into Edinburgh on September 16 as part of his four day state visit presenting an enormous challenge to policing his visit to the city and journey west into Glasgow.

But Lothian and Borders Chief Constable David Strang, head of his force since 2007, said: “It is going to be an enormous event for the city and for our force, and of course for Strathclyde Police,as the Pope makes his way to Glasgow. Continue reading

Two thirds of Scots want “cruel” snares outlawed

By Michael MacLeod

A WOMAN whose dog was caught in a vicious snare has joined growing calls for Scotland to lead the way in banning the deadly traps.

Jill Flye’s seven year-old English Pointer Monty was “yelping in pain” when he got caught in a trap on a public path.

After helping her distressed pet out of the snare, she said she was even more shocked to find out they were entirely legal in Scotland.

Now she is teaming up with MSPs in a bid to gather support before the issue is debated in the Scottish Parliament later this year.

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Advocates for Animals Step Up Calls For Ban On Snares

By Shaun Milne

ANIMAL welfare supporters are stepping up their call for a ban on snares by launching a new campaign at the Scottish Parliament later this week.

Edinburgh based Advocates for Animals will unveil an 8ft sign reading ‘Welcome To Scotland, A Snare Free Country’ outside Holyrood at 10am on Thursday.

The snares being targeted include wire nooses used by some estates and farmers to catch what they commonly regard as pests such as rabbits and foxes. Continue reading

Miralles widow fears new anti-terror door will “rupture” Holyrood

By Michael MacLeod

A BIDDING war to build a new anti-terrorist security entrance to the Scottish Parliament has been criticised by the widow of the building’s original architect.

Benedetta Tagliabue, widow of Spanish architect Enric Miralles, said the competition to design an extension will “rupture” the £431 million parliament.

She told weekend reports that she did not want “new hands” touching the iconic and controversial designs.
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Controversial bollards “go against” spirit of Scottish Parliament

By Michael MacLeod

FAILING new security bollards around the Scottish Parliament have been criticised by an MSP who says they defy the idea of open parliament.

The SNP’s John Wilson says the £40,000 bollards – which can be automatically lowered into the ground to allow access – are like “a ring of steel.”

He fears the perimeter barrier – designed to prevent terror attacks – sends out the wrong message to the public.

Wilson’s comments come after reports that Holyrood chiefs were left red-faced when three mechanical bollards got stuck when a VIP tried to get in.
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New Survey Reveals Culture of Bullying at Holyrood

By Oliver Farrimond

SHOCKING survey statistics have revealed that more than a fifth of staff at the Scottish Parliament feel that they are victims of bullying or harassment.

Workers at Holyrood were responding to a “staff equality audit”, with many claiming to being subjected to “unacceptable behaviour”, mostly from colleagues.

The survey also shows one in eight staff complaining directly of bullying, with others citing unreasonable behaviour, harassment and discrimination.

The news comes despite repeated efforts by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body to prevent workplace intimidation and harassment. Continue reading

Jack warns Clegg and Cameron: Trust will be tough

By Michael MacLeod

SCOTLAND’s former First Minister Jack McConnell says trust, rather than the economy, will be the biggest challenge to the new UK Government.

Mr McConnell says the Tory and Lib Dem coalition will have “life and death” decisions to make – but the key will be their relationship.

He praised David Cameron and Nick Clegg for “a great start,” but warned that head-to-head battles are inevitable and potentially damaging.
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