By Peter Urpeth

Photo Above: Denise Christie © FBU Scotland on Twitter

Ahead of its march and rally to the Scottish Parliament tomorrow,  the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called for an end to cuts to the fire service, and for the Scottish Government to use its tax-raising powers to fund public services across Scotland.

Photo Above: Edinburgh Christmas Market © Silja Froehlich

By Silja Froelich

Edinburgh these days feels like strolling through Santa Claus’ winter wonderland. Blinking trees, gift ribbon decorated houses and sparkling light chains illuminate the town. Once again, Edinburgh’s Christmas market opens its doors, adding extra glow to Scotland’s capital.

About 60,000 homes are expected to be built in Lothian as a part of the City Deal Programme. It hopes to transform the City of Edinburgh’s housing situation by providing 25,000 extra homes by 2026, according to official estimates.

Last week’s Autumn Statement revealed the UK Government is committed to securing a multi-billion pound investment in the Lothian region, to respond to the growth in population that has recently affected the area.

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Photo credit: Cormac Rae

The devolution of rail services in Scotland could be a step closer, after a report released today by think tank Reform Scotland harshly criticised ScotRail for failing to deliver an acceptable standard of service.

Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, renewed calls for devolution of responsibility for Scottish train services, to the Scottish Government.

The Minister said:

“Network rail should be devolved to Scotland. That’s a call I’ve made, that’s a call my predecessors collectively have previously as well, and now it seems Labour politicians are making the same case as well.  I welcome that [agreement] from Tom Harris and welcome that [report] from Reform Scotland.”

Newly elected UKIP leader, Paul Nuttall, called for English devolution in his first speech as UKIP leader after previously suggesting Scottish MPs should be removed from the House of Commons.

Nuttall has replaced Nigel Farage as permanent leader of the party winning over 60% of the vote in the second Leadership election the party has had in the last 3 months.

The last election was labelled a shambles after Diane James, elected in September, resigned only 18 days later, subsequently leaving the party.  Nigel Farage had to return to the leadership role while a new leader was selected.

by Cormac Rae

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Elliot James (left), 16, Boroughmuir High School student

Parents and students from Boroughmuir High School complained of a two tiered queuing system at a nearby Tesco metro store.

According to reports, private school George Watson’s student were not required to queue whilst state school Boroughmuir students were allegedly made to wait in a line.

Controversy occurred when a parent and lecturer at Edinburgh University, Neil Pollock engaged in a Twitter spat with a Tesco representative.