Bus price increase announced

By James Horton

Lothian Buses, Edinburgh’s largest bus provider, have announced yesterday that they will be raising the prices of their adult fares from £1.20 to £1.30 as of 3rd April. This is the first change in adult fares since January 2009, which was also a 10p increase.

While student and child prices will be unaffected the revision also includes Adult Day tickets (£3.00 to £3.20) and Ridacards (£42 to £45 per month). The reason given for the increase is to maintain quality and accommodate rising costs, in the official announcement from Lothian Buses they state that “Since the current Adult fares were set in January 2009, the Retail Prices Index has risen by more than 9 percent and the price of fuel has risen by more than 40 percent.”

Ian Craig, the Managing Director of Lothian Buses, also released a statement noting that: “People only have to recall their own personal experience at the supermarket checkout or the petrol station to appreciate how prices have risen.” Nevertheless, the change is likely to be unpopular amongst regular public transport users.

The announcement also includes plans for 75 new buses this year, including 15 “state-of-the-art diesel-electric hybrid vehicles.”

“Reclaim Your Voice”, once again to fight for education.

By Giulia Mattei

Reclaim Your Voice Logo

Yesterday morning, Tuesday the 22nd of March, students from all over Scotland gathered together in Edinburgh with the aim of taking part in the demonstration organised by the Scottish campaign “Reclaim Your Voice”.

Margaret Smith, Scottish Lib Dem education spokesperson and MSP for Edinburgh West, was invited to the rally to speak to the crowd. “”We are the party in government who scrapped Labour’s tuition fees while Tony Blair and the Labour party were increasing tuition fees down south, so I don’t need any lectures from the chap in front of me.” she said while people booed at her.

Oliver, 19 year old protester, comments on her speech by saying “I don’t even understand why she came her, I wouldn’t have had the guts to show up probably”.

The campaign’s website posted a slogan to encourage people to take part in the demonstration, it says : “For the first time in the history of the Scottish Parliament, we face budget cuts. The threat of tuition fees returning to Scotland has never been more real and we know that student support in Scotland is in deep crisis.”

Student leaders, lecturers, trade unionists and parents marched on Holyrood outside the Scottish Parliament before the elections on the 5th of May, to express their disapproval of cut-backs and tuition fees. People felt like it was the right time to step up once again and fight for the future of Scotland’s students, which explains why hundred of them showed up to protest.

Protesters urged the parties to rule out tuition fees, increase financial support for students, and protect university and college places, the three commitments demanded by Reclaim Your Voice.

If people were not impressed by Margaret Smith’s talk, they were definitely inspired by by what Liam Burns said. “In the rest of the UK, students were betrayed with huge cuts to colleges and universities and the trebling of tuition fees.” said the President of NUS Scotland, during his speech ahead of the march “We must come together with one voice to make sure that this never happens here in Scotland.” he added while the crowd applauded him.

“Mummy” at the age of 10, and her Mummy is not concerned.

by Giulia Mattei

Tressa Middleton, from Armadale, West Lothian, is the youngest British mother and gave birth at the age of 12. The youngest mother of all time was a five-year-old girl in Peru, back in 1939.

[Read more…]

Cuts? There is a better way!

By Giulia Mattei

Saturday 23 October, more than 20.000 demonstrators marched on the streets of Edinburgh to show their disapproval towards the cuts announced last week in the government’s spending review.

After Chancellor George Osburne announced, on 20 October 2010, the most wide ranging cuts in the public spending for decades, Union Group STUC arranged a protest against the government’s latest decisions.

Grahame Smith, leader of Union Group STUC.

Before the demonstration started, STUC general secretary Grahame Smith released a press declaration and spoke during an interview for the BBC affirming “ We launched this campaign to dispel the myth that there is no economic alternative to these cuts.” He then added,  “there is an alternative. Get people back to work, get the economy growing again, and the public finances will largely take care of themselves.” His inspiring speech continued with him saying “we also launched this campaign to expose the lie that it is those with the broadest shoulders that will bear the brunt of the cuts.”

The Scottish Trades Union Congress has organized a series of other demonstrations that will take place in several Scottish cities during the next months. The campaign “There Is A Better Way” has events programmed at Airdrie Worksmens Social Club on 26 October, in Coatbridge on 28 October , in Blantyre on 6 November, and in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, on 10 November.

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