Community News

Midlothian joins the CPR training class

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/02/2019 - 15:00
Every secondary school pupil in the Lothians will now be taught CPR in the classroom after Midlothian Council pledged its support to help create a nation of life savers.

Rosslyn Chapel to Loanhead charity run has Bright sparks on the hop towards funding boost

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/02/2019 - 14:59
Stewart Brewing has created a new running event from Rosslyn Chapel to its Loanhead headquarters in aid of local charity Bright Sparks.

Funding boost for Loanhead charity group

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/02/2019 - 14:39
LASC Childcare Services has received £136,882 from the National Lottery to build on its weekly programme of activities for residents in Loanhead.

Scout Group Coffee morning

Midlothian View - Fri, 22/02/2019 - 10:42

14th Midlothian Scouts being active.

14th Midlothian Scouts are holding a coffee morning at Bonnyrigg Scout Hall, Eldindean Road, Bonnyrigg 10am- 1pm on Saturday 2nd March.

This is to raise money to help Scouts, both boys and girls, of all ages enjoy the outdoors, grow in confidence and become caring members of society. Scouts are run by volunteers and are a registered charity

There will be hot bacon and sausage rolls, tombola, raffle, home baking, and a variety of craft stalls including Widow Griffin Crafts, The Dogs Clawset, Plain Hooky (crochet and knitted crafts), costume jewellery and pocket money toys.

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Categories: Community News

Taxicard scheme ending

Midlothian Council - Fri, 22/02/2019 - 08:28
Midlothian Council is reminding local people with a Taxicard, which makes single taxi journeys up to £3 cheaper, the service is stopping from the end of Sunday 31 March 2019.

Midlothian MP calls for Universal Credit scripts apology

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/02/2019 - 07:30
Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley last week challenged ministers to apologise for denying the use of Universal Credit deflection scripts.

Pollution returns to Midlothian river despite local campaign

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/02/2019 - 07:04
People in Midlothian are being reminded to ‘love their loos’ after a new clean-up of a local burn had to be carried out.

Newtongrange street sign lettering vanishes

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/02/2019 - 06:50
The lettering on a 100-year-old street sign in Newtongrange has gone missing.

Midlothian MSP hits out at bedroom tax remark at Holyrood

Midlothian Advertiser - Thu, 21/02/2019 - 15:44
Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie has hit out at Scottish Conservative welfare spokesperson Michelle Ballantyne after she claimed today that the Bedroom Tax did not exist.

Changes to the law will make these 10 things illegal in a relationship

Midlothian Advertiser - Thu, 21/02/2019 - 13:58
New laws on domestic abuse will now make emotional abuse within a relationship illegal.

Sheriffhall news welcomed by Midlothian North MSP

Midlothian Advertiser - Thu, 21/02/2019 - 07:10
Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie has received an update on the long-awaited Sheriffhall Roundabout plans.

Midlothian Council leader’s anger at SNP

Midlothian Advertiser - Thu, 21/02/2019 - 06:53
The Midlothian Labour Group has called on the SNP to join them in working to address financial problems at the local authority.

MSPs have their say on Midlothian Council budget

Midlothian Advertiser - Thu, 21/02/2019 - 06:49
Local MSPs have had their say on Midlothian Council’s budget for 2019/20, which was approved last week.

Scottish Borders sickness absence costing £3m+ a year

Midlothian View - Wed, 20/02/2019 - 14:37

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Joseph Anderson

Staff absences at Scottish Borders Council are costing the local authority more than £3m a year, new figures reveal.

Over the last three financial years, employees taking sick days have cost the council £9.74m, and last year alone £3.33m was spent on sick leave.

A previous freedom of information request to the council found that Scottish Borders Council loses more than 45,000 days to sickness absence each year, with the most common reason for absence being anxiety, depression, or stress.

In between 2013 and 2017, employees of the council took 45,982 sick days due to mental health issues, an average of 9,196 days a year.

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A spokesperson for SBC said: “The council remains committed to the health, wellbeing and professional development of all our staff and making sure they feel valued, supported and provided with the right environment, training, skills and knowledge to do their job effectively.

“Scottish Borders Council continues to work in partnership with our occupational health provider to support employees who are unwell and to assist staff in staying at work or helping them to return sooner.

“We also have a helpline which is provided by our occupational health provider and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide support and guidance on health issues. An immediate referral is made if an employee is absent from work because of stress or mental health issues.

“Staff with personal/work related stress are supported through the council’s attendance management policy, which recognises the need for a consistent approach to managing absence while also supporting employees. The council offers a range of training opportunities to all staff to aid managing mental health wellbeing.

“It is worth noting that the overall number of days lost to employee sickness has reduced by over 40 per cent in the last five years, while the number of days lost to staff suffering from anxiety, stress, depression and other mental health issues reduced by almost half in the same period.”

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Scottish Borders Council currently employs 4,400 people, meaning each employee takes an average of 10.2 sickness day each year.

According to the Office for National Statistics, an estimated 137.3 million working days were lost due to sickness or injury in the UK in 2016. This is equivalent to 4.3 days per worker.

This means that Scottish Borders Council employees take more than twice as many sickness days as the average UK worker.

Furthermore, the most common reason for sickness absence in the UK is minor illnesses, such as common colds, as opposed to Scottish Borders Council, where the biggest cause of sickness absence, in terms of days lost per year, is mental health problems.

The post Scottish Borders sickness absence costing £3m+ a year appeared first on Midlothian View.

Categories: Community News

SNP group respond to Labour “finger pointing”

Midlothian View - Wed, 20/02/2019 - 09:08

The Midlothian SNP group have responded to the Labour group article yesterday, Midlothian Labour call on SNP to stop playing games.

“It is highly convenient of Labour to point fingers at anyone but themselves as a distraction tactic to their own austerity max budget – voted through with support of the Tory Provost.”

“Whilst Midlothian was rightly angry about cuts to music tuition, Labour was plotting cuts to anti social behaviour teams, our children’s sports activities, school budgets and cutting jobs.”

“The SNP Group worked hard to find a consensus agreement with the Labour group, despite themselves only having access to the Labour budget on the day of the meeting.”

“This is simply smoke and mirrors to hide the enormous, almost 5% increase to Council Tax that will be falling though letter boxes shortly – a tax hike the SNP Group strongly opposed in the Council Chamber.”

The post SNP group respond to Labour “finger pointing” appeared first on Midlothian View.

Categories: Community News

Pastures new for top Midlothian cop

Midlothian Advertiser - Wed, 20/02/2019 - 06:56
Midlothian Local Area Commander Chief Inspector Kenny Simpson has this week left his role to join the Police Scotland National Brexit Team.

Midlothian coach company to pay death damages

Midlothian Advertiser - Wed, 20/02/2019 - 06:42
A widower, whose wife died after she was struck by a tour bus, has been awarded undisclosed damages from a Midlothian coach company.

Conservatives call to scrap tram extension

Midlothian View - Wed, 20/02/2019 - 06:33

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, David Bol

Conservatives are calling for the city council’s tram extension “vanity project” to be scrapped to free up £90m for public services as part of alternative budget proposals.

The Tories’ budget motion, which will be tabled at tomorrow’s full council meeting, includes capping council tax rise at two per cent, saving nursery teachers from the axe and binning the £25 garden waste charge.

The spending proposals include £70m of additional revenue being made available by halting plans to extend the Capital’s tram line to Newhaven. The council’s tram extension business case is based on borrowing, with future ticket sales paying off the debt. But Conservatives say without the extension to pay for, the future ticket sales revenue from the existing tram service can be ploughed into improving public services.

The Conservatives claim that scrapping the tram extension plans would also free up a £20m dividend from Lothian Buses, currently set to help fund the new tram-line, for other public transport investment.

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The SNP-Labour administration is yet to publish its final budget proposals ahead of tomorrow’s meeting.

Conservative group leader, Councillor Iain Whyte, said: “With the council facing financial crisis due to the SNP Government’s budget cuts, the SNP and Labour councillors have fallen into a tail-spin of disagreement, delaying their budget announcement while they continue to fight within their groups and between their parties over where the axe should fall.

“Against that background, we Conservatives have drawn up plans that show how our city could be much better run by concentrating on delivering better core services and cutting out waste.”

He added: “Our budget would limit the council tax increase to two per cent to give a break to hard-working families in the city. It would also make a badly-needed additional fund of £90m available to improve public transport while accelerating the school building programme, all by rejecting the costly tram extension to Newhaven.

“This would deliver better services for residents with new schools not trams, improved care services, staff resource redirected to front-line services and more funding to repair our crumbling roads and pavements.

“Edinburgh deserves so much better than this minority coalition are giving it. They have no strategic plan other than the hugely expensive trams vanity project which they use in an attempt to disguise their failings. If they would rather squabble about minor cuts that’s fine but we want to show how to deliver for our citizens – the people that matter.”

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The Conservatives also propose a £300,000 cull of the most senior managers at the authority in a bid to make savings. The alternative budget plans include a £3m boost for under-pressure health and social care services, Sunday parking charges scrapped and proposed budget cuts to Marketing Edinburgh reduced.

Conservatives finance spokesman, Councillor Graham Hutchison, said: “Last year’s administration’s budget was unrealistic, particularly in health and social care where it failed to deliver £6m of promised savings and given the depth of the cuts coming from the SNP Government, we expect this year to be no different.”

Council leader, Councillor Adam McVey, said: “Today we’ll publish our budget proposals for the city. We’ve worked hard to prioritise inclusive public services and have listened to Edinburgh citizens.

“The overall financial picture is still difficult but by working effectively with partners across Edinburgh we can deliver our programme to share the success of the Capital across our communities. In the coming years I’ll continue to have in depth discussions with partners, citizens and our workforce about how we continue to invest in our ambition for our city and improve core public services.”

The post Conservatives call to scrap tram extension appeared first on Midlothian View.

Categories: Community News

New Easthouses Primary School approved on former Newbattle High site

Midlothian Advertiser - Wed, 20/02/2019 - 06:23
Councillors last week agreed to a new primary school on the site of the former Newbattle High School in Easthouses.

Edinburgh council tax rise could pay for homeless accommodation

Midlothian View - Tue, 19/02/2019 - 19:41

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, David Bol

Edinburgh council tax could rise by four per cent next year to funding housing for the Capital’s homeless families as the city’s coalition partners are locked in a “budget deadlock” ahead of Thursday’s crunch meeting.

On Thursday, city councillors will agree the 2019/20 budget – amid having to cut up to £41m from spending plans.

The SNP-Labour coalition is yet to publish final proposals ahead of the meeting, but one partner is calling for plans to increase council tax by four per cent to support homeless families in the Capital.

The Scottish Government has now given councils the power to raise council tax annually by more than the current three per cent cap – but the SNP group at City Chambers has a manifesto commitment to keep the rise to three per
cent.

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A council insider has revealed that the Labour group is set to propose raising council tax next year above the previously committed three per cent. The source said a four per cent increase would amount to £1.10 extra per month for a Band D property and will give the authority £2.5m of additional funding.

The proposal would see the funding “ring-fenced for housing projects” – including borrowing additional money to build 160 homes to “get families out of temporary accommodation”.

Another proposal, yet to be signed off by the coalition, is to “protect nursery school teachers” by halting plans to remove qualified staff from early years institutions across the city in a bid to save £350,000.

But the SNP group has rejected the claim that a proposal has been tabled by their coalition partners to raise council tax above three per cent.

A SNP source said: “There was no proposal that came from the Labour group to the SNP to raise council tax to end the the use of temporary accommodation.

“Whoever leaked this is living in a fantasy land and not engaged with the process.”

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Labour group leader Councillor Cammy Day said he was “keen to use the powers we have been given in council tax” and that any increase “may fund essential services for local communities” subject to public consultation.

In West Lothian, the minority Labour administration agreed to hike council tax to the maximum allowed in order to “protect vital local services and minimise job losses”.

Council leader Councillor Adam McVey could not be contacted for comment.

The post Edinburgh council tax rise could pay for homeless accommodation appeared first on Midlothian View.

Categories: Community News

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