NHS Lothian figures show that over 3000 people’s waiting time has exceeded six-weeks. This figure is inclusive of diagnostic tests to detect cancer.
The Scottish government’s targeted time has dropped from 78.6 per cent to 69.7 per cent in a year, and in September an estimated 3583 patients did not meet the referral target. This makes Lothian figures the worst in Scotland.
AN 18-YEAR-OLD has been expelled from Fettes College after being caught in bed with another student on a school trip.
The unnamed girl, who was on an international trip with the college at the time, was reprimanded following the event and further expelled by Headmaster Geoffrey Stanford.
The £33,000-a-year college issued the following statement:
“Fettes College regret to confirm that an 18-year-old girl broke the School Rules on an international school trip.”
The college – that has seen the likes of ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair, Hollywood A-lister Tilda Swinton and ex-Rangers supremo Sir David Murray through their doors – hasn’t been without controversy in recent years.
The ordeal comes just two-months after a 16-year-old student was expelled after attending chapel on ecstasy.
2009 saw four students expelled for a boozy, drug-fuelled party off campus.
The ecstasy ordeal was discovered following the strange behaviour of the student in the morning chapel service.
He was taken to hospital where it was discovered he had been taking the class A pills, some of which were found in his room.
Concerning last weeks expulsion, Fettes continued: “As a result of her actions she is no longer a pupil at Fettes college.”
Dr. Bell’s Family Centre launches an appeal to raise £25,000 by April 2017, following a 50% reduction in external funding last year.
Speaking at the launch on Monday, January 23rd, Sarah Gunn, Chair of the Board said:
“Dr. Bell’s Family Centre is a vital community hub which has supported over a thousand struggling families in Leith over the last ten years.
“We are unique in offering family support in the same location as a crèche and community cafe, meaning we provide a wide range of support: from counselling, to helping parents into employment, low cost childcare to English language skills, and offer a place to make friends and build up confidence.
“We want to do more, but to do that we need to be here, this year and in the long term.
We are calling on the local community, businesses and partners to come together to back Dr Bell’s and support our campaign.”
Former Leith MSP and Board member Malcolm Chisholm remarked on the significance of the launch by noting that there was “not many events with three MSPs” attending. He also added:
“Although the reduced services we currently provide are targeted at those who need them the most, there is a high demand for family support in Leith which we believe is not currently being met.
“Raising these funds will put us back on a secure footing to continue delivering vital support services to the local community”
SNP MSP for Edinburgh Northern and Leith, Ben Macpherson also spoke at the launch:
“For over 10 years Dr Bell’s Family Centre has supported hundreds of local children and many local families, often at difficult times. Their services provide significant, and sometimes critical, support for the local community.
“I will continue to do all that I can, working with local councillors, NHS Lothian and others, to help keep this excellent centre open for Leith.”
The cause has drawn attention and support from across the political spectrum. Kezia Dugdale, leader of the Scottish Labour Party, said:
“The Family Centre provides some incredibly effective resources through the family support work, counselling and employability services provided by the centre and also provides crèche facilities for hundreds of children, many of which come from some of the most deprived parts of our city, providing them with a better start to life.
“I wholeheartedly support the efforts of all the staff and volunteers at Dr Bell’s Family Centre in the fundraising campaign and will continue to support the centre whenever and however I can.”
The centre was set up as a partnership between the City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian and the local community in 2006 in response to a recognised need within the community for family support.
Leith Councillor, Adam McVey commented:
“Dr Bells has been there for people who needed their services, now Leithers are needed to help secure those services for the future”
Rachel King from Mental Health and Wellbeing department of NHS Lothian expressed her interest in helping students help Dr Bell’s:
“Family based support such as that available at Dr Bell’s Centre is very positive for parents mental health and wellbeing, and the centre offers a welcoming space, great food and staff who can work with the whole family.
“I would be very interested in hearing from university groups that could be involved in the fundraising for this unique family support centre”
Donate here and spread the word using #backdrbells.
I’m sorry to disappoint, but we’re looking at yet another week of freezing weather… Since it always helps to have a reason to leave the house, here’s our top 5 things to do in Edinburgh this week: Continue reading Top 5 things to do this week→
Scottish councils could face a combined funding gap of £553 million by 2018, according to a new report from the Accounts Commission.
The Commission has said that, based on figures from 2015-16, local authorities are currently in good financial health, but have found that there could be “significant challenges” in the future.
Forecasting for the next three years, the report’s analysis found that the deficit between the money that councils raise and what they spend could rise from £87 million in 2016-17 to £553 million in 2018-19.
The figures would mean that a large proportion of local authorities would face a gap in funding higher than the amount currently held in reserves.
The Commission acknowledged that councils face, “increasing pressure from a long-term decline in funding, rising demand for services and increasing costs such as pensions.”
Scotland’s Transport Minister Humza Yousaf will make a statement to the Scottish Parliament tomorrow to discuss how to improve the Scottish rail services.
This follows pressure from opposition politicians for him to speak after various proposals to bring ScotRail’s railways into public ownership.
ScotRail, who are currently operated by Abellio, have been experiencing various problems with their services.
Charlotte Twyning of Abellio UK, told to the BBC: “It should be recognised that half of the rail industry is already nationalised in the form of Network Rail and any operator that runs the ScotRail franchise – public or private – does so to a tightly specified Scottish government contract.” Continue reading ScotRail’s Future Off The Tracks→
Network Rail have confirmed plans for the new taxi rank at the New Street car park for Edinburgh Waverley Station.
The move comes two years after taxis were banned from collecting and dropping off commuters from within the station for security reasons.
Lothians MSP Miles Briggs has been gathering support to re-open the indoor taxi rank. He launched a petition in August and is bringing the debate to Parliament on the taxi rank plans this Thursday. Speaking about the New Street Car Park Taxi Rank plans, he said:
“This is welcome news in as far as it goes but this is only a limited improvement as it is only a pick up rank and not one where passengers can be dropped off.
“This rank will also be considerably further away from the central parts of the station compared to previous ranks so there will still be real challenges for blind, disabled and infirm travelers.”
Hearts managed to rescue a point last night against Hamilton in a six goal thriller at New Douglas Park.
Jamie Walker had put the Edinburgh side ahead in the 8th minute with a brilliant half-volley only to see the Accies draw equal before powering ahead after half-time.
The home side’s come back started with a stunning free-kick from Ali Crawford. The 25 year old midfielder drifted the ball into the bottom corner of Jack Hamilton’s net from 20 yards. The strike was a touch of class in what was a mostly scrappy first half.
Rakish Bingham extended the Accies lead with a calm finish just moments into the second-half after a smooth passing move sent the striker through on goal. Bingham then got his brace in the 68th minute, beating the Hearts keeper with a shot fired into the bottom corner.
Stuck in the capital this week with nothing to do?
Follow our guide to find the best events Edinburgh has to offer.
5. Cinderella – Australian Ballet
STARRING: Leanne Stojmenov, Kevin Jackson, Ako Kondo
Released: 23rd November
Picture Credit: The Australian Ballet
The classic fairy-tale returns in beautiful ballet form. If you can’t catch it on stage, you can watch it at your local cinema.
The award-winning, critically acclaimed production, created by Alexei Ratmansky, one of the world’s most sought after choreographers, puts a twist on the story of Cinderella, her wicked step-mother and sisters and of course the glass slipper.
After sell-out seasons in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide the show makes its way to London, and various Vue cinemas, including Edinburgh. Be sure not to miss the ball.
4. Book Week Scotland
Scotland’s Book Week
Book Week Scotland, beginning yesterday (Monday 21st) and is running until Sunday 27th November, is a week-long event organised by the Scottish Book Trust that aims to celebrate reading and writing amongst the young and the old alike.
Featuring talks and events across the country, speakers like Tony Robinson and Val McDermid will be appearing to discuss their work and love of literature face to face with readers. For any lover of books, this one is not to be missed!
3. Edinburgh Christmas Market
Edinburgh Christmas Market began this week with Sunday’s Light Night which officially launched Christmas in Edinburgh.
From Five Guys Named Moe on the West End stage to the European Christmas Market in Princes Street Gardens.
Get yourself in the Christmas mood and visit the event website for more information.
2. Ghost The Musical starts run at Edinburgh Playhouse
Ghost the musical starts its six day run tonight at Edinburgh Playhouse.
Ghost starts it’s run at Edinburgh Playhouse
Produced by Bill Kenwright, the musical presents a re-imagined, unchained version of the classic film.
Sarah Harding, the Girls Aloud singer and actress, makes her stage debut as Molly, opposite Hollyoaks star Rhys Ashworth as ‘Sam’.
The musical is based on the Academy Award winning movie and starred the late Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg.
The plot sees Sam tragically murdered in front of his girlfriend, Molly. Sam finds himself trapped between this world and the next. Assisted by a psychic Sam attempts to communicate with Molly and protect her from imminent danger.
With such a popular film to live up to, fans have been promised the iconic scene in which Molly sculpts a pot to the Righteous Brother’s Unchained Melody will also feature in the musical version.
Ghost The Musical premieres tonight at the Edinburgh Playhouse at 7.30pm and runs till Saturday and then tours to Nottingham.
1. The Heavy
Good news for all Edinburgh-based fans of indie rock, as ‘The Heavy’ are playing at Liquid Room tonight.
The band from Bath will be presenting their new Album ‘Hurt & The Merciless’, which is in line with what makes The Heavy’s style so unique: powerful arrangements, rough guitar sounds and, of course, Kelvin Swaby’s haunting voice – all topped up with drums that promise to make an audience go wild.
Edinburgh’s Christmas Market has opened to the public this weekend.
The market, one of the most popular Christmas celebrations in the UK, will run for six weeks until the 7th January.
Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens will be transformed into a veritable winter wonderland by a rich array fairground attractions, lights, buskers, artists and street-chefs.
The market has grown its reputation as one of Europe’s largest Christmas attractions.
Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, said to Edinburgh Evening News, “Edinburgh’s Christmas promises to wow once again, and the Christmas Market alongside with the Street of Light is a spectacular and mesmerising addition to what is already a brilliant line-up.”
Around 900,000 unique visitors from all over Europe are expected to fill St. Andrews Square in the coming weeks.
Hundreds of chefs and artisans are expected to open their shutters, offering nibbles, trinkets and a more magical Christmas experience.
Shopkeeper Judies, owner of ChristmasWorld, sells traditional German wooden ornaments. She said, “Me and my brother have been here in Edinburgh for the Christmas markets even before they became a huge event. This is our fifteenth year in this street, and I wouldn’t like to be anywhere else.”
Norwegian shopkeeper Kari Ittervel claims that she comes to Edinburgh just for the market. A resident of Amsterdam, she flies over for just two months a year to sell her handmade pottery.
“I’ve been here for two years now, I was in London’s Christmas Market before, but it’s not even a tenth as nice as in Edinburgh’s. One day I heard that there was a beautiful market here and I resolved: ‘let’s make Edinburgh’s ladies happy with my items!’”
“The markets are amazing. Beautiful people, beautiful city, it’s just fantastic!”
It’s not just the shopkeepers who love the atmosphere. Jasmine – a tourist from Newcastle – said, “I came a long way from Newcastle, just because I think the Christmas markets are great. They bring a bit of European culture to the cities in the UK.”
“I think it is really nice, the smell is nice in the air, the sites and there are really a lot of lights and we are looking forward to go around, it is a great thing.”
The experience is certainly rich – families peer into the Gardens from the terrace of the Scottish National Gallery as the smell of burned wood and the sound of buskers fill the air.
The Edinburgh Christmas Market will stay vibrant with music, sounds, sights and smells until early 2017.
The Sleep-out for youths, organised by Rock Trust, is due to commence on the 25th November.
12-21 year olds will spend the night sleeping on Edinburgh’s streets in a bid to fundraise for homeless Scottish youths.
The sleep out will be held on George Street, under the watchful eye of Rock Trust volunteers. Rock Trust have been organising the sleep out since its founding25 years ago, which helps aid the young homeless to find housing.
Last year’s Sleep Out events raised over £50,000 with the proceeds helping to fund projects around Edinburgh and Lothian shelters.
With the new album’s release on Friday, the Hawaiian harmoniser is out with yet another funky single that is sure to get you grooving. Following suit from the previous jams such as, ‘24K Magic’ and ‘Versace on the Floor’, the new song indulges us into a romanticised old-skool aura with classic R&B sounds. The only thing that mattered back then was the size of your girls’ backside. Opening with a short synth-solo, we are instantly greeted by the classic Mars voice and a nostalgic, Rapper’s Delight-esque bassline. As the tune increases in party-rhythm, we are led into a chorus melody not dissimilar from past-hit ‘Treasure’. The song may not make it to party-anthem territory, but it is definitely one to tap your toes and cruise with your crew to.
John Mayer- Love on the Weekend
Mayer the Player has been toying with his social media followers all week with the repeated announcement of this song dropping. This single is the first we’ve heard of the mega-guitarist since his acclaimed stab at Country in 2013 (not counting his cover of Beyonce’s ‘XO’). The ‘Your Body is a Wonderland’ singer is back to his usual ways with his new single, well almost. The drum-tempo and guitar-strumming sounds like classic Mayer, however his vocal melody and production have remnants of his Country-exploration. Mixing the two genres is far from a bad thing as the romance song is a tranquil piece that reminds you that after 15 years of making music, Mayer has still got it. His seventh album is definitely one to look out for.
The introduction of the second-home tax next month are making investors and landlords snap up flats in Edinburgh. While new figures show an overall drop in flat prices across Scotland, prices in Edinburgh have skyrocketed over the last three months.
Most congested city
A8 through Corstorphine has been named most congested road in the UK outside London. A new study suggests that drivers using a 5 mile stretch of road between Princes Street and Maybury Road waste on average 43 hours a year in gridlock. 5pm on Tuesdays has been specified as the peak of congestion. Liberal-Democrat councillor Paul Edie says plans for major housing developments in the west of the city means more traffic for the A8.
Oxgangs primary school closed again
Oxgangs primary school, where a part of the wall blew off during Storm Gertrude in January, has been closed again. Edinburgh City Council said the decision was taken following a safety inspection. The school is set to reopen after the Easter holidays on Monday 11 April.
The British Art Show 8 is a touring exhibition that provides a vital overview of the most exciting contemporary art. This year it tours the work of over 40 artists to four cities across the UK, Edinburgh being one of the chosen UK cities. Three venues across Edinburgh will be housing different exhibitions with free admission to all of them. The show will be hosted in Edinburgh from the 13th of February to the 8th of May. The public is welcome to can access information regarding opening times and visitor information for each gallery from this website: http://britishartshow8.com/page/about-exhibition-1514.