Midlothian council appeal for families during National Adoption Week

By Karen Rafferty

Sandra Bullock has done it. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman did it. Katherine Heigl has done it, and now Midlothian Council has launched an appeal for it. What is it? Adoption. Midlothian Council have release an appeal in the hope finding new families for children in the local area.

At present there are 90 children living in foster care in Midlothian, however homes are specifically needed for siblings or for children over the age of 5. The council aim to assist those who wish to apply to adopt by offering support at every stage of the adoption process.

Councillor Jackie Aitchison said: “Adoption can be rewarding and challenging and we are committed to provide help, guidance and support at each step of the way. We will often pay an adoption allowance to assist in providing an adoptive home for a child, if additional support is required”.

They are welcoming applications from single people and couples from a variety of backgrounds, and offer to provide support and guidance to prospective families. They believe that although there is no such thing as the perfect family for adoption, the main concern is that the needs of the children can be accommodated. According to their website they “require adopters from various backgrounds and with different life experiences who can provide a family for life for children who are unable to live within their birth families.”

This appeal comes as part of a national campaign to highlight the plights of children without families. National adoption week is running until 7 November 2010, and has been backed by national charity BAAF (British Adoption and Fostering). This week, BAAF released the results of research into the many misconceptions regarding adoption. Chief executive, David Holmes said: “It is very worrying how many myths have come to dominate in adoption. It concerns us that people may disqualify themselves needlessly, which could mean a child misses out on a family … every case is treated individually.” [Read more…]

National News Belt

By James Davies

HMS Astute is set to enter service next year

Attack Submarine grounded off Scottish Isles

HMS Astute, the Royal Navy’s newest and largest attack submarine has been grounded on rocks off the Island of Skye. The Ministry Of Defense has confirmed the battle submarine was undergoing sea trials on Scotland’s West Coast. A Ministry Of Defense spokeswoman said :” this is not a nuclear incident, we can confirm that there are no injuries to personnel and the submarine remains watertight. There is also no indication of any environmental impact”. HMS Astute is based at Faslane Naval Base on the Clyde, and is not expected to enter service until next year.

Clegg launches attack on IFS

Deputy PM Nick launches attack on IFS

Deputy Prime minister Nick Clegg has blasted claims today that the Governments Spending Review is “unfair” and that “poorer families will lose out the most due to the cuts”. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said that the Spending Review is “more regressive than progressive”. However, Mr Clegg hit back, telling the Guardian Newspaper that the IFS’s definition of fairness was “complete nonsense” and that it took account only of tax and welfare, ignoring factors like public services and social mobility.

Dr David Kelly death inquiry

An investigation into the death of ex-Iraq weapons expert Dr David Kelly has suggested his injuries were self-inflicted after new evidence was revealed. The previously confidential evidence has suggested the cause of his death was from a blade wound to his wrist, and was described as “typical of a self-inflicted injury”.

London Plans for ‘Super Council’

Plans to make the UK’s first ‘Super Council’ in London have been announced today. Hammersmith and Fulham, Chelsea and Kensington are the areas that are involved in the proposal. Under the proposal, each area will retain its political identity with its own councilors and leaders, but the move could save between £50m and £100m per year.

City council WOWs customers

by Andrew Donaldson and Michael Behr

The City of Edinburgh Council has been nominated for a national customer service award.

The Council is on the shortlist in the WOW Awards category of Best Local Authority.

The capital city council faces competition from Stoke, Haringey, Warwickshire and neighbouring West Lothian Council.

The WOW  Awards are solely based on on customer nominations and began in 1997 in an attempt to promote better customer service throughout Britain.

The results will be announced on November 4th at a ceremony at the Grand Cannaught Rooms in London.

Reaction to the council’s nomination was mixed on the streets of Edinburgh.

One member of the public who spoke to Edinburgh Napier News said: “I’ve had a few enquiries and every time the council answered them quite dilligently and accurately and dealt with them in good time.

“In that respect I haven’t got any problems with their service.”

But another Edinburgh resident felt that recent Council actions didn’t warrant the award, saying: “The trams have been going too long.

“They ‘ve taken money away that is definitely needed for other things.

“Schools are having to pay back part of the budget to the council. It’s a disgrace.”

The City of Edinburgh Council declined to comment.

You can listen to the complete audio below.

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Portrait Gallery in the money

by Kirstyn Smith

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is due to close this Sunday after receiving a £4.5 million grant to go towards a long-awaited restoration.

The financial aid, awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), will help the gallery’s planned revamp which will cost, in total, approscottishnationalportraitgallery1ximately £17.6 million and follows a donation of £5.1 million from the Scottish Government. 

The renovation, which is estimated to last up to two and a half years, plans to double gallery space in an effort to increase visitor numbers.   A  dedicated education suite, auditorium, IT gallery and research centre will also be added. 

James Holloway, the gallery’s director, said: “We are delighted with the support from the HLF. Their confidence in the scheme is a terrific boost at this critical stage of the project.”

The program, called Portrait of the Nation, will increase the number of items displayed by 350%, allowing the gallery to display many more of its 30,000 portraits and photographs.

Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “New life will now be breathed into this beautiful historic building. Treasures that have been stored away for years will be brought out to showcase Scotland’s history through the portraits of those who shaped it.”

This weekend the gallery will host the Farewell Festival, two days of events for families and children as a way of marking the closure.

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