Some Scottish News #56

 

This little effort is for the period ending 19th June 2010. Once again I’ve been able to include a couple of small named articles which I think you will enjoy - Robin

Sydney Reminder

I know that you are aware of the events during Scottish Week in Sydney but I just want to give you all an additional reminder about Calum's Ceilidh on Tuesday 29th June. The events where Coisir Ghaidhlig Astrailianach are taking part are: Sunday 27th June - Kirking of the Tartan 10.00am.

Hunter Baille Memorial Presbyterian Church. Cnr Johnston & Collins Streets, Annandale. Tuesday 29th June - Calums Ceilidh, 7:30pm Argyle Hall, 33 Blaxland Road, Ryde -

For more information Phone: 9874-7742 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Wednesday 30 June - Inspection of Scottish Australian Cairn Ceremony,12.00MD

Rawson Park, Mosmon

Check out the Singers website for forthcoming events

Prince Opens £10m Distillery Extension

Saltires and union flags greeted the Duke of Rothesay when he arrived at a Speyside distillery. Hundreds of people gathered at The Glenlivet Distillery hoping to rub shoulders with Prince Charles who had come to open Chivas Brothers’ £10million extension at the distillery. More than 250 guests waited to welcome him when his helicopter landed in the glen. Chivas said its new building, which houses a new mash tun, eight traditional Oregon pine washbacks and six crafted copper stills, would treble its whisky production capacity. Chairman and chief executive Christian Porta said the opening was the latest milestone in investment and growth in The Glenlivet. “We are already leading from the front in the US, the world’s most valuable Scotch whisky market and number one single malt market, and we are now well-positioned to replicate this success internationally,” he added. After the tour, the prince unveiled a slate sculpture by James Parker. The Galloway craftsman, who lives in Edinburgh, said the commission was quite an honour. The Duchess of Rothesay was unable to attend the unveiling. Scottish Office spokeswoman Louise Tait said Camilla was resting her leg, which she broke while hillwalking on Deeside in April. The duchess did, however, attend newly renovated Craigievar Castle, near Alford, with her husband, earlier in the day.

Let Us All Take A Little Time Out and Enjoy A Senior Moment By iain maciver You know, I must be really old. How else is it that I can remember when Last of the Summer Wine started on TV? After all, it is the longest-running comedy programme in the UK and also the longest- running sitcom in the whole world. Until the BBC decided the other day to scrap it. I hated the dashed thing back then. It was just so slow with all that melancholic music and people sitting around in pubs and cafés, gossiping. That would never happen in real life. Not in the Outer Hebrides, anyway.

You always knew that, despite the meticulous planning of the sensible one, something was going to go badly wrong in the end. It would be something really daft, like them ending up rolling down a hill on a bedstead and being catapulted into a river. My father also seemed to really like it. Perhaps he enjoyed it too much, because he often spoke about it as if Compo and his chums were real characters. Maybe he thought it was more of a kind of reality TV show. “Look at him. I’ve got my wellingtons turned down just like that,” he would say, laughing as he lifted his own rubber-encased feet for us all to see. “Dad, see that Nora Batty? Do you fancy her, too?” I would ask, cheerily. My old man would glance quickly at my mother. That would be her cue to make some excuse about it being time for another cup of tea and disappear into the kitchen. My father would then stare at me in that earnest way that dads do when they really want to kick your butt.

There was no other woman in the world for him except my mother, he repeated again and again. However, he was also quite sure that Mrs Batty, despite the wrinkliness of her leggings, had many fine

qualities. As I muttered under my breath that, for goodness sake, it was just a comedy, he would lecture me on how important it was to always consider other people’s feelings, whoever they were – even people who appeared on the telly. Then he would bellow down to the kitchen to ask if his tea was taking so long because my mum had gone all the way to a plantation in India for it.

Yet Summer Wine caught enough people’s imaginations for it to run for 37 years. Otherwise, why would anyone be that interested in a group of old fogeys with too much time on their hands who just sat there talking complete balderdash about everything? They never seemed to grow up and had their own perspective on things that bore little resemblance to the real world. When I think about it, Foggy, Clegg and Compo would have felt right at home as part of that other long-running saga, Western Isles Council.

The message is that we should not be too quick to write off the old codgers, having seen pensioner Janey Cutler giving it laldy on Saturday night. Although she did not win Britain’s Got Talent, I bet she’ll get a few bookings out of it. It just shows how there is still nothing quite like a belter. Someone who will take a classic song and make the rafters shake is still very special. Janey was really extraordinary for someone who is into her 80s. Mind you, there was something far wrong with that contest. Why did they let so many dance troupes through this time? It ruined it. If I wanted to see robotics of that type performed by slack-jawed adolescents with badly-fitting arrangements in the trouser department, I would just go down to Stornoway town centre any Friday or Saturday night. And if I wanted to see wee brats scrambling all over each other and being flung around the room like snowballs, I would just go up to the Carlton Bar and see how that fearsome barmaid Morag deals with the underagers. No messing.

Of course, it is another sprightly pensioner who was the former owner of that very establishment. Jock Murray has also not let the grass grow under his feet since he sort of retired. He has been fundraising non-stop for leukaemia charities with his famous Hebridean Peatcutters calendars and T-shirts, featuring various undraped crofters. Last year, he took a load of peats to London to sell them there on a market stall. As you would expect, the Cockneys were somewhat perplexed. They wondered why they should pay good money for these brown slabs and then set fire to them. They could not quite see the return on investment. Sales were not good. Jock became concerned. He was going to have to think of a new selling point. When some Rastafarian types came along and wondered what he was flogging, he came up with an idea. Jock, a former detective in the Met Police, made a mock effort at trying to hide the peats, telling them it was very good gear and that he would do them a good deal. The interest in his wares intensified as the dreadlocked customers thought this burly Jock must have some very fine, if slightly illegal, substances. Sadly, for him, when they demanded to examine the merchandise, they realised it was not quite the finest marijuana that money can buy. Just the finest slabs of peat that were cut that year on the moor at Gress.

Even Jock gets a bit confused. The other great love of his life is whaling. Before he was a cop, he was on the whaling ships in the South Atlantic. He always tried to get to as many whaling-related events as he could – wherever they were. It isn’t that long since he heard about what he assumed was an exhibition about the industry in Israel. Jock was all set to head off to Jerusalem. Then someone explained to him that the city’s attraction was actually called the Wailing Wall.

Bonus System for Quangos

While on the subject of the public sector, it appears it has adopted some of the habits of its more dynamic private counterpart, albeit the worst ones. Almost £37million of public money was spent on quango bonuses in Scotland last year. The National Health Service alone accounted for £26million, with Scottish Water paying almost £4.3million and the Scottish Prison Service £1.3million. Greed in the private sector, fuelled in part by a bonus culture, appears to have crept into government-funded organisations. As with the banks and other private companies, bonuses are not in themselves bad. It is the quality of the criteria that have to be met before they are paid that dictates whether they are a perk or a genuine reward.

Given that there is little competition from the private sector for the work carried out by quangos, the validity of having a bonus system at all has to be questioned. The overall figure paid out in bonuses is surprisingly high, but further investigation is needed by ministers to judge whether or not the systems in place in each organisation are providing value for money for taxpayers as well as nice little bonuses for public-sector managers.

Tourism Bosses Count Cost of Train Crash

Tourism businesses in Oban have reported a big dip in takings as a result of the closure of the Glasgow road and railway line following Sunday night’s train crash. Network Rail hopes to have the road reopened by the weekend and the line operating by early next week, if talks due to take place this morning with Transport Scotland engineers go well. The front carriage of the two-car train has been left dangling over a 50ft embankment above the A85 Oban to Perth road near Cruachan Power Station at Loch Awe. The train hit boulders thought to have been brought down by a small landslide. None of the 60 passengers was seriously injured, although eight needed hospital treatment. Motorists are being advised to take the A82 Glasgow to Inverness route to Ballachulish then join the A828 to Oban or, via the A82 at Tarbet, take the A83 Tarbet to Campbeltown road to Lochgilphead then the A816 to Oban.

Scottish Veterans Gather to Remember 51st Highland Division

A shimmering column of Scottish granite high on a French hilltop provided the backdrop for a moving commemoration of one of the darkest chapters in World War II last night. Scots veterans, relatives, students and dignitaries from the town of St Valery-en-Caux gathered to honour the men of the 51st Highland Division who fought alongside the French to hold off the advancing German Army as the bulk of the British Expeditionary Force were evacuated from Dunkirk 70 years ago.

A large Scottish contingent is in Normandy this weekend for a busy programme of events to honour the sacrifice of the 51st Highland Division. Some 10,000 soldiers – largely made up of Gordons, Seaforths, Cameron Highlanders and Black Watch battalions – fought to the last after their final escape routes were cut off by the advancing Blitzkreig until outgunned, outmanouevered and vastly outnumbered, the survivors were forced to surrender. Five years later, the regrouped 51st Highland Division was given the honour of liberating St Valery in recognition of their forerunners’ valour in 1940. Brigadier David Allfrey, commander of the modern-day 51st Scottish Brigade, which shares the motto “Friends are good on the day of battle", said surrender at St Valery “hit Scotland at its heart”. Pretty much every family in the north and north-east of Scotland knew someone who didn’t come back,” he added.

Today the Scots will visit the military cemetery in St Valery and pray in the town’s church, beneath a stained glass window given by its twin town, Inverness, to mark the 50th anniversary of the battle in 1990. The cadets will invite townsfolk to join them in the Reel of the 51st in the town square. The captured soldiers devised the dance to raise morale and keep fit in the PoW camps. Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Wardner said: “Often commemorations like this are sombre events, so it is nice to be able to mark it with something joyous like a reel. The men of the 51st choreographed this dance and that is how we are going to pay our respects,” he said.

Orkney Students Found Dead in Hotel After ‘Suicide Pact’

Two young men from the Northern Isles were found dead in a hotel room in Ayrshire after an apparent suicide pact. Edinburgh University students Robert Miller and James Robertson are believed to have used a device linked to a laptop to give themselves lethal doses of medication. It is thought they may even have used a webcam to record their own deaths and post footage on the internet. The pair, who were both in their early 20s and from Orkney, were described last night by people on the island as “friendly young men” who had been close friends since they were children. Residents in their small island communities were still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy last night, with many at a loss to understand why such “bright lads” would take their own lives. Many were too upset to speak about the

tragedy last night, but a friend said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard and it’s still not sunk in for anyone here. It is believed both of the men were studying maths and physics. The friend added: “The tragedy is especially hard to believe because Jim and Robert were two of the cleverest people in school. Their bodies were discovered in a room at the Ramada Jarvis hotel at Ayr. Strathclyde Police said they were investigating the deaths but they were not being treated as suspicious. The two men arrived at the hotel at Ayr on Tuesday and were said to have been “happy and chatty” when they spoke to staff. When they missed their check-out time the following day, an employee went to their room and found them dead, slumped in chairs facing each other.

Rescue Leader Refused to Send Out Private Boat

A coastguard boss refused to send a private boat owner to the aid of four drowning men at an inland loch where no emergency vessel was available, a fatal accident inquiry heard yesterday. Glasgow anglers Craig Currie, 30, Stephen Carty, 42, his brother William, 47, and Thomas Douglas, 36, died in thick fog as they tried to return across the loch in a small boat to their campsite in the early hours of March 21 last year. Giving evidence at Oban Sheriff Court, Graeme Watters, Maritime Coastguard Agency watch manager on duty at Greenock control room, said the conditions on Loch Awe were “horrendous”. Rescuers on shore heard the anglers’ cries for help but were powerless because none of the emergency services in the area had a boat. They had to wait as a Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service vessel was brought from Glasgow. The inquiry heard that Iain MacKinnon, station officer at Oban Coastguard, suggested contacting Donald Wilson, the owner of a local boat-hire business. Mr Watters said: “There was no way I could send a member of the public into those extreme conditions. Without any other resources and nothing else in the water, I wasn’t going to send him on his own. My fear was, in that weather, those in the boat would get into difficulties themselves. As far as a mariner is concerned, heavy fog is the worst thing imaginable. It is easy to get disoriented and get yourself into trouble.” Mr Wilson was contacted and said he would be available if needed. Mr Watters sent a helicopter to the scene but it could not get close enough to help in the fog. The Strathclyde Fire and Rescue boat arrived at 5.30am and recovered the bodies of Craig Currie and William Carty. The bodies of Thomas Douglas and Stephen Carty were recovered 10 weeks later.

Edinburgh Airport's £1 Drop-off Tax

Bosses at Edinburgh Airport have been accused of cashing in on motorists after it emerged they want to charge drivers for dropping off passengers. Airport operator BAA is proposing to charge both taxi drivers and the general public £1 every time they drop off at the terminal as part of measures to revamp the airport's forecourt. The move was today described as "outrageous" by city cabbies, while leading motoring organisation the RAC Foundation said the move ran the risk of "irritating" paying customers. Edinburgh is one of the first airports to look at charging for drop-off, although Glasgow is understood to be considering similar proposals.The airport said it would retain a free drop-off area, but it is likely to be further away from the terminal, possibly in one of the existing car parks. Raymond Davidson, secretary of the Edinburgh Taxi Association, said the move would leave many cab drivers to drop off passengers on the "perimeter" of the airport to avoid paying the fee. Elizabeth Box, head of research at the RAC Foundation, added: "It might in some cases be appropriate to charge for airport drop-offs if there is very limited space available or where there is excess demand, but if this is not the case such a move runs the risk of irritating paying customers and being seen as a purely money-making scheme." The airport said it was reviewing a number of options as part of changes to its forecourt. The terminal building was forced to make changes to the way traffic approached following the terror attack at Glasgow Airport in 2007.

Legal Aid Bills to Soar in Human Rights Law Shake-up

All suspects are to be allowed access to a solicitor as soon as police want to interview them under a seismic change to the Scottish legal system introduced quietly this week.The move, designed to pre-empt a challenge under human rights legislation, is expected to cost taxpayers tens of millions of pounds in increased legal aid bills. It is also possible that a ruling due later this year will mean thousands of

suspects denied access to lawyers in previous cases could appeal their convictions or sue the Scottish Government for compensation. The new guidelines from the Lord Advocate were issued to police forces on Wednesday. After meetings involving police, Government officials, the Crown and Scottish Legal Aid Board, officials have agreed that all suspects brought in for police questioning will be entitled to solicitor access straight away. Under Scots law, a suspect can be questioned on his or her own by officers in the period after being detained, but before being formally arrested. In England and Wales as often portrayed in TV police shows – an accused has had a legal right to have a lawyer present at all stages since 1984. Article Six of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) makes explicit reference to the right to representation before and during a trial.

Bus Crash Kills Elderly Couple

An elderly married couple have died after a crash between a car and a bus a few miles from their home in Lanarkshire, police said. Jean McCallum, 72, and her husband Ronald, 73, were in a silver Honda Jazz when the crash happened near a garden centre. Four ambulances were sent to the scene along with a Scottish Ambulance Service helicopter. Mrs McCallum, who was the driver and lived in Hamilton, died at the scene. Her husband was airlifted to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow where he died a short time later. Part of the A72 Carlisle Road near Larkhall and the B7078 road between Hamilton and Larkhall were closed while police investigated. The crash happened near the Brookside Garden Centre in Lanark Road End, around three miles from Hamilton. A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: "The driver of the bus was not injured but was taken to Wishaw General Hospital suffering from shock. No passengers on the bus were injured or required hospital treatment

A Review of Ferry Services in Scotland Has Been Published by the Scottish Government. The Scottish Ferries Review examines current provision of ferry services. It invites respondents to consider a range of changes and improvements suggested by people and communities across Scotland that could be made to meet future customer needs. This includes: * how ferries should be funded and procured * the setting of fares * what kind of services should be supported with public money * who should be responsible for providing these services The review was a commitment within the 2006 National Transport Strategy (NTS) and will inform the preparation of a long-term ferries plan for lifeline services to 2022. Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said: "This Government is committed to delivering essential ferry services that support the needs of our remote and island communities. "Scotland's ferries play a key role in providing access to vital services and enabling economic development in our island and remote rural communities, and ferry links to these communities must be an integral part of Scotland's transport network. "As a Government, we recognise there will be a range of views in local communities about the future of ferry services and we want those views to be heard as part of this review. We will be carrying out an extensive programme of consultation events around the country and I would encourage as many people as possible to take part as local opinion will be vital in designing the ferry services of the future." Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan, commented that the review, which does not, as yet, identify any new government policy on ferry services does, however, summarise the evidence which the review has received, much of which relates to the Western Isles.

Tony Robinson Launches Archaeological Trails

Time Team star Tony Robinson is encouraging people to visit the islands' archaeological sites. Best known for his role as Baldrick in Blackadder, Mr Robinson launched Visit Scotland's new Archaeological Treasure Trail on Incholm Island last week which includes itineraries for the Outer Hebrides. He visited the Western Isles back in 2007 with the Time Team to carry out a dig at Allasdale on Barra. Commenting on the new initiative, he said: "The islands of Scotland are the perfect place to visit during the summer months and this trail is the ideal way to incorporate an archaeological quest into

your trip. It doesn't matter how old or young you are, or how much you already know. This is your chance to step back in time and discover 'Scotland's Stonehenge', explore ancient burial monuments and wander through prehistoric villages complete with stone beds, dressers and central hearths. Who knows what else is buried out there just waiting to reveal its treasures and tell us more about our ancestors of old."

The itineraries for the Western Isles and other Scottish islands feature details of exhibitions and museums, information about recent high-profile finds, popular visitor attractions, listings for local guides and suggestions for walks, accommodation and dining. Highlights of the trail include the atmospheric Ring of Brodgar Stone Circle and Henge in Orkney, part of The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site dating back to 3000BC. The trail will be available to view, along with the down loadable itineraries, online at www.visitscotland.com/perfect until the autumn.

Gaelic Tuition for Caithness

In anticipation of the Royal National Mod taking place in the region in October traders in the far north of Scotland are being offered the chance to learn basic Gaelic. Language classes are being organised in Thurso and Wick as preparations for the week-long event in October step up a gear. A series workshops recently revealed an interest among the business community in learning the language. Introductory Gaelic sessions will take place in the two towns later this month and will run until September.

Jobs Fear As Bus Depot Faces Closure Threat

The long established Highland Council school bus depot at Drummuie is in danger of closure with the loss of a number of jobs, it is feared. Workers have been told their jobs are on the line in a major overhaul of the way school transport is provided in the East Sutherland area. Managers are considering putting the entire operation - which includes transport for extra curricular activities - out to private contractors in a bid to cut costs. But opponents claim there is no way the private sector will provide the same level of service any cheaper. They are also calling for the financial costs of the depot, which have never been revealed, to be made public. A report is due to go before Highland councillors in the late summer. The large depot, located to the rear of the Highland Council offices at Drummuie, outside Golspie, is the hub of school transport provision across the county. Established some 40 years ago, it has long been regarded with envy by other areas. The garage maintains a fleet of five coaches, ranging in size from 49 to 55 seaters, and eight minibuses. All the vehicles are fully equipped with seatbelts unlike the majority of service buses. The coaches are used daily to transport pupils from surrounding areas to Golspie High School and Dornoch Academy Meanwhile the minibuses are used to ferry pupils to Rogart, Brora and Golspie primaries. Three of the minibuses are based in the north and west - in Melvich, Bettyhill and Lochinver. The buses are also in use almost every night and at week-ends taking pupils to and from various sporting, musical, cultural and other activities within Sutherland and also further afield. Teachers need only phone the depot to book transport on a first come first served basis. A nine strong team of workers are linked to the garage with two full-time employees - a transport coordinator and mechanic- cum-driver. It is understood workers were told last Tuesday that the garage was likely to shut in March next year. The coaches are to be sold off and the minibuses transferred to the roads department hangar at Brora.

Dr James Vance, rector at Golspie High School said: "Obviously we value their work, their flexibility and the quality relationship that we have with them but I don't think anyone is helped by me commenting on rumours." An opponent of the closure, who did not want to be named, said: "Once the ?depot is closed, a private contractor can name his price – it will be either take it or leave it. “We will be in the same situation as arose at Caithness when contractors held the council to ransom over school transport.” East Sutherland and Edderton ward councillor Ian Ross stressed this week that no decision had been made on the future of the garage and school transport provision in East Sutherland. But he confirmed the service was “under review” and that a report would be before the Education, Culture and Sport committee in

early August. The position will become clearer when the report is circulated.”

Organisers Hail Rockness A Success

One of Scotland’s fastest-growing music festivals was hailed a success last night – despite two lifeboat call-outs and a handful of arrests. Police seized a “significant amount” of drugs during the three-day RockNess festival which was on the banks of Loch Ness over the weekend, but overall they praised revellers for a relatively crime-free event. There were 41 positive drug searches on Friday and, of those, five will be reported to the procurator fiscal in relation to alleged dealing offences involving class A substances. A total of 12 people were detained for alleged crimes at the event, including minor assault and breach of the peace but police said the number of reported crimes was low. A further five people were caught driving under the influence of alcohol, to the disappointment of event commander, Superintendent Ian Arnott. He said: “It is disheartening to see that, despite our clear road-safety messages in the run-up to RockNess, people still took risks with their own and others’ safety.”

Despite lower temperatures than in previous years of the event, Mr Arnott said RockNess fans had been in good spirits. Festival director Jim King hailed the weekend as a success last night. He said: “Blondie seem to have drawn the biggest crowds to the main stage so far and we are very, very pleased with that. When you have over 30,000 people in one place I’m sure there will be some arrests, but the police here and the festival organisers are happy with the crime statistics.” Local lifeboat teams dealt with two separate incidents near the festival arena on Saturday. The first, just before noon, had a Loch Ness RNLI crew and the Inverness Coastguard rescue team scouring the shoreline near Aldourie Castle, a mile north of the RockNess venue of Dores, where a 14ft inflatable dinghy was floating loose. The craft was recovered and a wet pair of yellow trainers were discovered at Tor Point, but there was no sign that anyone was missing.

Fishing Alliance Aims to Argue its Case in Brussels

A fishing alliance plans to go to Brussels to argue its case for policy-making to be handed back to individual European Union member states. The partnership includes industry groups from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Ireland and France. They teamed up earlier this year to campaign for “radical changes” in current EU fishing policy. Under the Reclaim Our Seas Alliance (Rosa) banner, the groups aim to take the campaign to the heart of EU decision-making in the autumn. Representatives are currently liaising with Scottish Tory MEP Struan Stevenson over the visit, which it is hoped will include a presentation to MEPs, and a meeting with Maria Damanaki, EU fisheries commissioner.

Alliance spokesman Roddy McColl, secretary of the Aberdeen-based Fishermen’s Association, said recent comments by Mrs Damanaki revealed a wide gulf between policy developments and “the interests of fishing communities the length and breadth of the EU”. It is widely acknowledged that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which governs fisheries across most of Europe, is deeply flawed. The European Commission has consulted governments, industry and other interested parties on its aims for change, with a view to having final proposals ready by early 2011 for implementation in 2012. Mr McColl fears the reform process will only end up with more centralisation of powers. He said: “The starting point for the current review of the CFP seemed to be a recognition that the policy has been a disastrous failure. Now we are witnessing an attempt by Commissioner Damanaki to recover lost ground. The strategy seems to be to restrict and control discussion of changes to fishing policy within narrow limits, exclude rational discussion of options supported within wide sections of the fishing industry, and advance proposals that copper-fasten the most highly centralised policy of the EU. The call for a repatriation of control of policy, management and stocks back to individual EU maritime member states is ruled out of discussion as not ‘respecting the Treaty’ (of Rome).” Mr McColl also accused Mrs Damanaki of trying to soften up widespread opposition to EU-wide tradable fishing rights during a speech to the European Parliament. Irish Fishermen’s Organisation secretary Caitlin ui Aodha said: “It is our intention to remind the powers- that-be in Brussels of the fallacy of the CFP.”

Provost Refuses to Reveal CPOs View (does the plot thicken or is it still any ones game?- Robin) The provost of Aberdeenshire Council has refused to reveal whether he will support the use of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) to make way for Donald Trump’s golf resort. Long-standing critic Martin Ford has lodged formal questions to the provost, council leader and the heads of the policy committees asking if they supported the use of the special powers to force unwilling homeowners to sell. Mr Trump has been given permission to add the neighbouring properties to his planned golf course – Mill of Menie, Menie Fishing Station, Hermit Point and Leyton Cottage. The owners have so far refused to sell, but Mr Trump insists he will not ask the council to use its CPO powers. Green Party member Mr Ford said he submitted the questions because he believed it was time leading councillors broke their silence on the matter. Provost Bill Howatson ruled the question to the others out of order and restated the position he voted for last year. Last year’s position – that the local authority would only consider, through due process, CPOs which were for the benefit of the general public interest – was adopted after Mr Ford tabled a notice of motion to the full council in a bid to force councillors to reveal their position. Mr Ford said he was disappointed the provost did not reveal his position on the matter and accused the council of prolonging the agony of homeowners “living under the threat” of CPOs. He added: “Unfortunately, there’s now a track record of notices of motion and questions not being answered and this just continues this position.

Mr Trump’s plan to build two golf courses, a £250million hotel, 950 holiday homes and 500 houses was backed by Formartine councillors recently. He has now satisfied 32 of the 46 conditions laid down by the Scottish Government when it granted outline consent in December 2008. Building work can start as soon as the 14 outstanding conditions, relating mainly to technical details are met.

What’s Hot – and What’s Just Not By LESLEY HART Billy Connolly once said “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing”, and in Scotland, the same could be said of good weather. Indeed, as our Scottish summer gets under way – teasingly, sporadically – this becomes increasingly apparent. Knowing what to wear is never more difficult. Therefore knowing what not to wear – under any circumstances – is all the more important. For example, as red and green should never be seen, neither should socks and sandals, brown arms and white legs, Ugg boots and hotpants, or – horror of all horrors – bum bags and Bermuda shorts. The bum bag (known to the Americans as the “fanny pack” – which is, in some ways, more appropriate) is an abomination, and shouldn’t be worn at all, with anything, by anyone, on either side of the pond. Whoever invented the bum bag should be shot at dawn, and if the fashion police have not already caught them, it’s high time they did. I’ve a good mind to make a citizen’s arrest.

Leaving aside the style crimes of America (of which there are too many), we Scots make our fair share of summer fashion faux pas. Like Billy Connolly, we may delight in ridiculing tourists who come to Scotland ill prepared for the rain and biting cold. Of course they should bring their wellies – what would possess them not to? But when it comes to sunny weather, there are few nations more ill prepared and clueless at clothing than ours. Sadly, this lack of commonsense when dressing for hot weather is not matched by a lack of enthusiasm for it. On the contrary, at the merest keek of sunshine, half the nation drop their breeks, dust off their bikinis and shorts and, before you can say “sunstroke”, are doing the horizontal starfish in a public place, nearly naked and pinking like sausages in the grill. I comment on this peculiar Scottish malaise not from a position of blamelessness – far from it – but as a fellow offender, whose style crimes to date could warrant several years behind bars (in fashion jail – which, by all accounts, is a really ugly place). Rather, the need to brush up on what’s hot and what’s definitely not for summer has prompted me to garner some expert advice – for all our good.

To avoid disgracing yourself and offending others, fashion journalist Rachel Holmes warns against crop tops, tie-dye, clogs and cycling shorts (unless you are on a bike, in which case cycling shorts may be

permitted). Tights with gladiator sandals are among fashion editor and columnist Hadley Freeman’s pet hates, as well as crocs (ghastly slip-on shoes). Crocs, in my opinion, should be banned to anyone over the age of five. A quick pop survey among Facebook friends revealed socks and sandals as the most berated fashion crime, if not the most offensive. Arguably, white stilettos are every bit as ugly. Crocs certainly are, especially with socks – I’m no fashion expert but, by jingo, what kind of sick mind would think to combine the two? One friend complained of people wearing sunglasses indoors, and I would tend to agree. Unless there’s some eyesight/photosensitivity reason for doing so, it’s just pointless and looks really naff. Summer footwear is a minefield, especially for men. One pal can’t bear to see a man in flip- flops, but is equally appalled by men in sandals (or mandals, as they are unaffectionately known). So what is a man to wear on his feet in the sun? It’s a tricky one but, if all else fails, you can’t go far wrong with a pair of breathable sandshoes, and secret socks – sock crimes apply to all footwear in summer so, if you’re baring a leg, keep socks at bay below the ankle.

For women, perhaps the biggest danger area is the bikini. Not only must we find one that fits, and flatters (which, unless you’re slim, could be a fruitless endeavour), but we must also be sure to bare it in appropriate circumstances. These include: by the pool, on the beach and – at a stretch – in the park when it’s very sunny, but preferably only the top half. Places not to bare a bikini (partially or totally) include: in the high street (or any street), at the supermarket, on public transport, in the pub or anywhere after eight o’clock at night. It is impossible to wear sunburn well so, where possible, just avoid the lobster effect. Aside from the fact that it looks ridiculous, is very painful and a serious health risk, sunburn betrays a certain lack of judgment, weakness of character, and can even give the impression that you’re a wee bit dolly dimple. Not a good look.

In response to my pop survey on summer fashion faux pas, one style-conscious pal listed the following: “Men topless when there isn’t a beach within 10 miles – even if they’re gorgeous – I just want to scream, ‘put it away’; cheeky shorts (that is, when your cheeks hang out of really short shorts); boys in cropped trousers (makes me feel weird); boys suddenly wearing accessories because they are on holiday – leather bracelets, rosary beads, and so on, and ‘travel clothes’ – people saying, ‘What are you wearing on the plane?’ when really they should be worrying about what’s in their suitcase.” The only thing worse than dressing badly for hot weather is not dressing for it at all – both in the sense of being naked (unforgivable) and in the sense of wearing winter clothes on sunny days. If you wear a black trench coat and paint your face white all year round, you might see no reason to make an exception for half a day of sunshine here and there – but you should. For all that it unleashes a wave of fashion crime, a sunny day is always to be embraced. So don’t overheat out of stubbornness. Take off the big coat at least. When getting dressed for summer, sun worshippers and average Scots alike should proceed with caution, sun cream and, where possible, expert fashion advice. And, if you need a bag, be sure to choose one that neither clings to nor references your crotch.

Top Store Forced to Withdraw England Joke Gear

Record chain HMV has removed items with the letters ABE – which stands for "Anyone But England" – from window displays in its Scottish stores. It follows a number of objections from the public to the company, as well as a complaint to the police from the Campaign for an English Parliament (CEP). A police officer visited an HMV store in former prime minister Gordon Brown's Kirkcaldy constituency earlier this week and company bosses quickly agreed to remove the banners from all their stores north of the Border. Yesterday, HMV said it was no longer "actively promoting" the ABE goods, including T- shirts, through banners and displays, and that it would stop selling them once stocks had been sold. The firm has previously said it was stocking the items due to local demand and that it was part of a "friendly and humorous rivalry" between football fans. However, Stuart Parr, a member of the CEP's national council, was less relaxed "The Campaign for an English Parliament will challenge any company that incites racial hatred towards the English," he said. "Racism is unacceptable no matter who it is directed against, including English people. HMV's decision to not only stock the provocative 'Anyone but

England' T-shirts, but to make window displays of them in all their Scottish stores, stirring up even more bad feeling towards the English in Scotland at a time when it is already riding high because of the World Cup, is criminally irresponsible and the CEP believes that it could be considered incitement to racial hatred." Official figures suggest anti-English bigotry does increase around major football tournaments. But Tam Ferry, from the Association of Tartan Army Clubs, said: "This is just political correctness gone mad again. "Football is all about rivalry and having a bit of banter. Have the police got nothing better to do than take away a bit of fun from people? There's bigger problems in this country that they should be dealing with rather than this."

The "Anyone but England" term came to the fore when tennis star Andy Murray was asked at a press conference who he would be supporting in the 2006 World Cup. His answer provoked a backlash among English fans and he later apologised, saying it had been a joke. The T-shirts had already been the subject of police action after Grampian officers visited Slanj, an Aberdeen kilt-maker, in February, pointing out they could be seen as racist. The firm was asked to remove the garments from its windows due to their "potential to cause disturbance". But Trevor Phillips, head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has described the ABE slogan as "good-natured banter that was unlikely to cause offence". Aberdeen North SNP MSP Brian Adam said: "I would have thought that it's all light-hearted and not in any way serious.If people take offence, they should remember that we have to put up with a lot of images about Scotland, such as the ones about mean and miserable Scots. Also, people in Scotland might take exception to having goods promoted with images of the English team on and the English flag. The whole thing will be over soon and people should just get a sense of humour."

An HMV spokesman said: "If we thought the shirts were in any way racist, then we certainly wouldn't have stocked them. "In our view, the shirts are not against England or the English, but are simply about some Scottish fans expressing a view that they want any team other than England to win this year's World Cup. It's not a sentiment we agree with, but surely a football fan has a right to express such a view if they choose to. This is about the World Cup and should not be turned into a race issue."

Scottish March Passes Peacefully

Police said a march by the Scottish Defence League has passed off peacefully. The march through Kilmarnock attracted around 40 members of the SDL and around 130 trades union and anti-fascist demonstrators. A Strathclyde Police spokeswoman said no arrests were made. An onlooker described a heavy police presence separating the two sides, who traded insults with each other. The SDL demonstration was to "publicise free speech" according to the Strathclyde Police website. Counter demonstrations were organised by the Kilmarnock and Loudoun Trades Council and organisations including Unite Against Fascism and Hope Not Hate. The SDL gathered at Kilmarnock Cross at around 11am and later assembled in The Portmann Hotel. Police had warned they would make use of the town's extensive CCTV system, supported by mobile CCTV vans. The SDL website states they are a peaceful organisation who are "willing to make a stand against violent Islamic terrorists" and want children in the UK to grow up in a "free Christian society". Some demonstrations by their English Defence League counterparts have resulted in violence

£1m Spent on Government Adverts (This has a familiar ring to it- Robin) The Scottish Government spent £1 million on advertising and marketing in one month, it has been revealed. Another £300,000 was spent developing Scotland's international image. Ministers disclosed details of £2.6 billion of spending in April as part of a drive for more "open and accountable government". The figures, which will now be published monthly, show that £1.03 million was paid to various firms for advertising, marketing and communications work. In addition, £312,000 went on four payments to companies to develop the international image of Scotland. According to Finance Secretary John Swinney, publishing the expenditure data was "a valuable exercise" which resulted in several "innovative actions". He said: "We have made significant reductions, such as reducing the costs of central

marketing by half and the Scottish Government travel budget by almost a fifth." The figures, covering April of this year, show that £269,000 was spent on government travel and around £380,000 on casual agency staff. The information was published in response to Tory demands that spending on any item costing £25,000 or more is made public. The bulk of the money went on revenue funding for health boards, councils and housing associations.

Stornoway Golf Club Make Fresh Bid for Sunday Opening

Stornoway Golf Club are to take another swing at a Sunday drinks licence just weeks after the Western Isles Licensing Board controversially rejected an application to allow Sabbath opening. The fresh application follows the golf club taking legal advice in the wake of last month's 4-3 vote refusal. Stornoway Golf Club licence holder, Mr Ken Galloway said: "The Management Committee of Stornoway Golf Club has taken legal advice on the written determination of the Western Isles Licensing Board which refused their application for variation of Premises Licence. Based on the advice received, the Committee agreed that the best course of action was to submit a fresh application, and the Board's decision on this new application is awaited." It now appears that the golf club are giving the Licensing Board a second chance to grant their Sunday application in order to avoid costly legal action.

Hit Squad Set Up to Root Out Slum Landlords in Glasgow

An enforcement squad tasked with rooting out slum landlords in one of Scotland’s most deprived areas is being set up with £300,000 of Government funding. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the plan as part of a £1.8 million funding package to revitalise Govanhill in Glasgow’s south side. The team will be made up of council staff, police and fire officers with the funding to last for two years. If the pilot project is a success the scheme may be rolled out to other poverty-stricken areas across the country. Sturgeon said: “The area has been plagued by unscrupulous private landlords who flout the law by renting out flats which are overcrowded and fall below the tolerable standard. It is time to draw a line in the sand and create an enforcement squad that will pursue rogue landlords in Govanhill.”

MSPs on Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee expressed their horror at the condition of some of the houses in the area when they visited earlier this year. The visit came on the back of pressure from Govanhill Housing Association and local groups determined to push for improvements to the area. Govanhill’s slum conditions have worsened during the past six years as the population swelled from 10,000 to an estimated 16,000. The hit squad will track down unregistered landlords and enforce environmental health laws. They will operate in the heart of the community, using information from locals to seek out slum landlords. Currently, any landlord running a house of multiple occupation without a licence can be fined up to £5000. As part of the new measures, the maximum fine will next year rise to £20,000. Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson said the squad will add to regeneration work in Govanhill.

The Housing Bill going through Parliament is intended to strengthen powers for councils to ensure owners look after their property. The Government will review the landlord registration system later this year, with the aim of helping councils ensure all private landlords are registered and provide better services for their tenants. The cash fund includes £1.5m to refurbish backcourts of the tenement blocks in the area.