Eight-year-old girl gives Sturgeon day off in garden briefing

Little Isabella updated the Scottish people on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic from her back garden.

Facebook / Mariann Hay

An eight-year-old girl decided to give the First Minister a day off and address the nation from her garden.

Little Isabella, dressed in a coordinated suit, hilariously speaks to the Scottish people to update them on the spread of the coronavirus in her very own daily briefing.

Isabella’s mum, Mariann Hay from Port Glasgow, said her daughter wanted to give Nicola Sturgeon a break and spoke to the nation on her behalf.

Scotland has ‘adequate petrol supply for normal demand’

Deputy first minister John Swinney said there had been discussions with fuel suppliers in Scotland.

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Swinney: The Scottish Government has spoken to fuel suppliers.

Scotland has an adequate petrol supply to meet normal purchasing patterns, John Swinney has said, though a spike in demand could lead to pumps running out quickly.

The deputy first minister said the Scottish Government had spoken to fuel suppliers about distribution problems in recent days.

On Sunday the UK Government suspended competition laws to allow suppliers to target petrol stations which are running low.

As well as the shortage of HGV drivers, the industry has blamed “panic buying” from consumers for queues at forecourts around the UK.

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Discussing the situation on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme on Monday, Swinney said Brexit was to blame for the lack of drivers.

He said: “There is an adequate supply of fuel to meet normal demand, but it does hinge on being able to distribute that fuel to all locations.

“From my experience of dealing with difficulties about fuel supply in the past, when we had industrial action amongst tanker drivers, supply can run out very quickly because the petrol stations are being replenished with supply on a really very regular basis.”

He continued: “In a normal purchasing pattern then, I’m confident there is a distribution arrangement in place that can adequately supply those petrol stations.

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“But obviously, if there is an increased demand for fuel, then that will put pressure on the distribution companies in being able to meet that demand in all locations around the country.”

Asked about the supply of goods for Christmas, the deputy first minister said that in addition to the shortage of drivers, Brexit had also caused problems with trade between Scotland and the continent.

He said: “It’s not just about the distribution arrangements, challenging though those are, it is also about the fact that the UK Government opted for an absolutely appalling arrangement with the European Union, which could have been avoided if it followed the advice we gave them to maintain membership of the single market.”

Swinney said the Scottish Government had not been in discussions with the Army about using soldiers to drive petrol tankers to stations.

The Prime Minister is reported to have been considering calling in the military to assist with fuel supply.

The Scottish Government drafted in soldiers to help drive non-emergency vehicles for the Scottish Ambulance Service amid pressure on the NHS, an arrangement which Swinney said would be reviewed in November.


Hotel guests taken to hospital after evacuation over chlorine smell

Emergency services attended the Inchyra Hotel due to concerns over strong smell of chlorine from swimming pool.

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Seven people were taken to hospital after a luxury hotel was evacuated due to reports of a strong smell of chlorine coming from the building’s swimming pool.

Emergency services attended the Inchyra Hotel on Grange Road near Grangemouth when the alarm was raised at 7.30pm on Sunday.

Guests and staff were told to leave the building while the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) investigated.

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We received a call at 19.34hrs to attend an incident at Inchyra Grange Hotel in Polmont.

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“We dispatched several resources to the scene and seven patients were transported to hospital.”

NHS Forth Valley said a small number of guests were taken to Forth Valley Royal Hospital on Sunday night for assessment and all have been discharged.

A spokesperson for the hotel’s operator Macdonald Hotels said: “Following reports of a stronger than normal smell of chlorine from the swimming pool at the Inchyra Hotel in Grangemouth, guests were initially evacuated to the car park, then accommodated in another wing of the hotel as a precaution whilst the fire brigade carried out investigations into the cause.”

SFRS sent two appliances and a specialist detection, identification and monitoring unit to the scene.

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An SFRS spokesman said: “We were called at 7.30pm on Sunday to assist as part of a multi-agency response to an incident at a hotel on Grange Road.

“Operations control sent two appliances and specialist resources to the scene.”

Firefighters left the scene at about 11pm.

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Children aged 12 to 15 set to receive Covid jab appointments

Scheduled appointments offering children a single dose of the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccination will arrive this week.

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Vaccine: Appointment letters will arrive this week.

Appointment letters inviting children aged between 12 and 15 for a coronavirus vaccine will be dropping through letterboxes this week.

Drop-in clinics have been available to this age group for the last week and now scheduled appointments, starting this week, are being issued to all those eligible.

Children aged between 12 and 15 will be offered a single dose of the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine.

Parents and carers are being encouraged to accompany their children to community-based appointments where possible so they can discuss any questions they have with staff at the site.

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The appointment letters, which will be arriving from Monday, contain an information leaflet, which all parents and carers are urged to read with their children so they can make an informed decision about getting the vaccine.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine to all children and young people aged 12-15 marks a significant milestone in the vaccination programme.

“It has been demonstrated that Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective in this age group, and vaccination offers the best chance of protecting young people from Covid-19 and preventing further disruption to education. Many countries around the world have already been safely vaccinating children and young people in this age group.

“Getting the Covid-19 vaccine is a decision to be made jointly between parents or carers and their children, but it’s really important to use reliable and trusted sources such as NHS Inform when making a decision and assessing the potential benefits, risks and side effects.

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“Individual choice should be respected for the decisions young people and their parents or carers make in accepting, or not accepting the vaccine offer.

“Where possible, parents or carers are welcome to attend appointments with their children and both can ask questions about any queries they have before the vaccination is given.

“I would like to thank all of the vaccinators and vaccine site staff who have worked so hard to get us to this stage of the Covid-19 vaccine programme.”

In some rural areas, 12 to 15-year-olds will be offered the jabs through their school vaccination programme instead of a community setting and they will receive letters and leaflets home from school.

Man charged and due to appear in court over rape of woman

Police say man arrested in connection with the serious sexual assault of a woman in Aberdeen.

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Woman was allegedly attacked in Aberdeen's Bon Accord Terrace Gardens.

A man has been arrested and charged in connection with the alleged rape of a 29-year-woman in Aberdeen.

The alleged assault took place in the city’s Bon Accord Terrace Gardens in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Police can confirm that a 20-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with the serious sexual assault of a 29-year-old woman, which happened at Bon Accord Terrace Gardens in Aberdeen, around 3.30am on Sunday, September 26.

“He is expected to appear in court on Monday.”


Yellow warning over heavy rain in Scotland’s north-east

Warning for heavy showers in place until 12pm for Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Highlands.

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Yellow weather warning in place for north-east Scotland.

A yellow weather warning for rain has been issued for the north-east of Scotland.

Heavy showers are expected to hit Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Highlands.

The weather warning is in place until about 2pm on Monday.

The Met Office warned flooding of businesses and homes in the area is likely and transport services will likely be delayed due to the weather.

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Between 25 and 40mm of rainwater is possible, and perhaps as much as 50 to 60mm in a few places, according to weather experts.


Boy, 16, arrested in connection with attempted murder of man

Teenager arrested after 33-year-old man found injured in the Barlanark area of Glasgow on Saturday night.

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Police have arrested teenage boy in connection with attempted murder.

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of a 33-year-old man in Glasgow at the weekend.

Officers attended an incident on Garlieston Road in the Barlanark area of the city at around 9.25pm on Saturday night.

An injured man was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary for treatment.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “A 16-year-old male youth has been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of a 33-year-old man in Garlieston Road, Glasgow, on Saturday, September 25. 

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“Enquiries are ongoing.”


MSPs to consider licence for Airbnb-style properties

The proposed scheme would impose regulations in a bid to tackle the growth of rentals in areas such as Edinburgh.

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Airbnb: MSPs to consider licence for short-term rental properties.

Plans for owners of Airbnb and short-term let properties in Scotland to require a licence will be examined by a Holyrood committee.

The proposed licensing scheme would impose regulations in a bid to tackle the growth of Airbnb-style rentals in popular tourist areas such as Edinburgh.

Under the Scottish Government plans, councils will have until October 2022 to set up a licensing scheme, with all short-term lets licensed by April 2024.

Existing hosts and operators would have to apply for a licence by April 2023 under the proposed legislation.

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Ministers had originally hoped to introduce the new law before May’s Holyrood election but pushed the plans back following backlash from some MSPs.

The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee will now consider the proposed legislation and is asking the public to give their views on the issue.

Committee convener Ariane Burgess said: “The increase in popularity of short-term lets has no doubt brought economic benefits to Scotland.

“However, what is becoming increasingly clear is that these benefits must be balanced with the need to protect our communities and the safety of those staying in short-term lets.

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“The Scottish Government has suggested that this proposed licensing scheme strikes that balance, but we want to know whether you think these measures have got this right.

“Will the introduction of a licensing system ensure that the character of our neighbourhoods are protected as well as protecting those staying in short-term lets? We want you to let us know.”

A survey, that will run until Friday October 29, has been launched for people to submit their views.


Police divers search River Clyde ahead of COP26 conference

The specialist officers will patrol the river and its banks ahead of the United Nations summit.

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Divers: Police to search River Clyde ahead of climate conference.

Police divers are searching the River Clyde as part of the security operation in the run up to the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow.

The specialist officers, who can search in confined spaces as well as capture underwater footage, will be patrolling the river and its banks ahead of the United Nations summit which runs from October 31 to November 12.

During COP26 itself Ministry of Defence Police will monitor the waterway providing a “24/7, armed policing presence” on the river, with assistance when required from Police Scotland divers.

Police Scotland urged anyone who sees anything unusual around Glasgow’s waterways to contact them.

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Superintendent Stevie Irvine, Police Scotland Maritime Security lead for COP26, said: “Our specially trained divers will patrol and search the River Clyde, particularly restricted areas, in the run up to COP26.

“This is a historic event, with one of the biggest mobilisation of police assets the UK has ever seen, and that means some restrictions are needed to help keep participants, visitors and members of the public safe.

“Any protest activity in or around the waterways during COP26 will be met with a proportionate policing response which balances the needs and rights of those wishing to take part against the safety and wellbeing of protesters.

“This is all part of our work to support the delivery of a safe and secure event and we would ask that if you spot anything unusual in or around the waterways, report it to the police.

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“Trust your instincts if you see something that doesn’t seem right.”

Police Scotland’s dive and marine unit is among a number of specialist resources that will be deployed during COP26 as part of the security operation.

The river will be subject to movement and mooring restrictions for around three weeks.

The Queen, Pope Francis and US president Joe Biden are among the high-profile figures expected to attend the event, and each member of the United Nations has been invited, meaning nearly 120 heads of state are expected to arrive along with about 20,000 accredited delegates.

Superintendent Sandy Stewart, of Ministry of Defence Police, said: “Our marine unit officers will be supporting the Police Scotland operation for COP26, providing a 24/7, armed policing presence on the River Clyde and ensuring compliance with the legal restrictions put in place, to deliver a safe and secure event for all involved.”


Aldi to create 2000 new jobs and open 100 new stores

Discount supermarket chain announces £1.3bn investment drive that will run for two years.

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Aldi is set to create thousands of new jobs.

Aldi is set to create 2000 new jobs next year in addition to 7000 created in the last two years, as part of a £1.3bn investment drive.

The discount supermarket chain made the investment announcement, which will run for two years, as bosses revealed sales soared 10.2% in the UK and Ireland in 2020 to £12.3bn.

Bosses added the number of customers during the period increased from 17.6m to 17.8m, although pre-tax profits fell 2.5% to £264.8m.

No details on trading in the first nine months of 2021 were immediately provided.

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Whilst other UK-based supermarkets give more regular updates on current trading, Aldi is not obliged to and is instead publishing last year’s results as it files its accounts with Companies House.

Giles Hurley, chief executive for Aldi UK and Ireland, said: “As well as delivering record sales, we continued to invest for growth, deploying over £600m in stores and distribution centres across the UK.

“This helped to create thousands of much-needed jobs and support for British farmers and manufacturers.

“Whilst the cost of responding to the pandemic dampened profits, our decision to return business rate relief was the right thing to do.”

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Aldi repaid the business rates saved from the Government’s scrapping of the tax during the pandemic, following similar moves by Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda and Lidl.

Looking forward, the supermarket announced its click and collect services have been rolled out to 200 stores, offering shoppers the chance to order online for the first time – although home deliveries are still not available.

A new checkout-free store is also planned in Greenwich, London, it said.

As part of the £1.3 billion investment over the next two years, bosses said this would include around 100 new stores added to the 920 sites already operating.

The expansion of its logistics infrastructure includes a new 1.3 million square feet site in Leicestershire.

There was no initial mention by Aldi of any supply chain issues or suggestions of price inflation, although the company said it had reduced prices to the tune of £238m last year.

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