Scots councils pay for weather forecast

By Cara Sulieman

THREE SCOTS councils are shelling out £90,000 for someone to predict the weather.

Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils are paying the Met Office to provide them with a detailed forecast so they can decide how much grit is needed for roads in their area.

It comes after the country was brought to a standstill last winter when local authorities across Scotland ran out of salt.

But motoring organisations say they need to prepare for a bad winter no matter what the forecast says to avoid a repeat of last year’s chaos.

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Sir Robin blasts SFA for no Team GB

By Cara Sulieman

THE SCOTS-BORN mayor of the London borough hosting the 2012 Olympics has blasted the SFA for blocking a British football team.

Sir Robin Wales is furious that there won’t be a UK team taking part in the football tournament saying it would be the only way for Scotland to “be in with a chance of qualifying for something”.

The Kilmarnock supporter is the civic head of Newham, where most of the Olympics main venues are based, including the athletes’ village.

Speaking about the decision to only have English players in the British team, the 55-year-old said: “It may not be popular with everyone but why not have a British football team?

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Fife to set up own golf group

By Cara Sulieman

THE home of golf plans a break-a-way group to help promote Fife as a mecca for fans of the sport amid claims VisitScotland isn’t doing enough to promote the area as a major tourist destination.

Fife Council is leading the drive to form a stand-alone ‘alliance’ and has hired a £26,650 team of consultants to draw up a strategy already.

The proposed Fife Golf Alliance would adopt an approved marketing plan for the entire Kingdom which supports hundreds of jobs and brings millions of pounds into the local economy.

The consultants, Business and Tourism Solutions Ltd, have been tasked with carrying out a “robust review” of the industry to see if the independent alliance is needed.

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Fewer females call abuse line in winter

By Andrea McCallum

HUNDREDS of women suffered domestic abuse during the cold snap because they were unable to leave home to call for help.

According to new figures from the Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline there was a 22 per cent drop in calls during the worst winter on record.

Experts have said the statistics – covering a four week period from Boxing Day – are unlikely to reflect a reduction in the number of assaults.

Instead they could show that the bad weather left vulnerable women trapped.

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Snow for sale online


Five year old Ben Dewsberry with his igloo

By Cara Sulieman

THE pr-ICE could be right for eBay shoppers after they were offered the chance to buy SNOW online.

Up for auction is a whole car park full of the white stuff, an igloo or even individual bags of snow.

Bizarrely, offers for the car park worth of the stuff are flooding in.

With a starting price of 99p, the top bid stood at £36 today after just two days on the site.

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Senior SNP Minister accuses opposition parties of “guddling around on the edges”

By Oliver Farrimond

EDUCATION Minister Mike Russell has slammed opposition parties’ attempts to uncover the truth behind the Scottish Government’s preparations for Scotland’s deep freeze.

Reacting to the news that the Scottish Conservatives had submitted several Freedom of Information requests, Mr Russell described them as “guddling around on the edges”.

He made the remarks while visiting Humbie Primary School in East Lothian yesterday, which has just re-opened following days of heavy snow.

He said: “I am absolutely not concerned about what the opposition parties’ freedom of information requests might uncover.

“I know that myself, my colleagues in government, every civil servant and right across the local authorities, everybody’s been working very hard indeed. Continue reading

Warning to dog walkers after spate of lethal ice plunges

By Rory Reynolds

A WARNING has been issued to dog walkers to keep their pets on a leash after treacherous thawing ice claimed the lives of one man and at least three dogs over the weekend.

A Springer Spaniel died after falling through thin ice at Lochore Meadows Country Park in Fife, despite firefighters’ brave efforts to reach the stricken dog using special equipment.

The incident occurred on the same day that a man and his two dogs died after he attempted to rescue them from a river near the Infinity Bridge in Stockton, Teesside.

And on Saturday morning firefighters rescued a 15-stone Great Dane after he fell through an iced-over Water of Leith, with the dog only surviving the incident because of his substantial weight.

The emergency services and the SSPCA have warned dog walkers that attempting to rescue pets from icy waters is “extremely dangerous”. Continue reading