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  1. National

Brown accuses SNP of 'perpetrating a lie about NHS'

Former prime minister Gordon Brown has accused the SNP of "perpetrating a lie" about protecting the NHS with independence.

The SNP has suggested the NHS is at at risk due to health policies in Westminster, but Mr Brown said the Scottish Parliament already has powers to protect the service.

Gordon Brown accused the SNP of 'perpetrating a lie' about protecting the NHS with independence. Credit: PA Wire

Brown told a pro-Union event in Clydebank, "It is the SNP who are perpetrating a lie about what the NHS can and cannot do in Scotland."

The No campaign has seized on leaked documents that suggest the NHS in Scotland is facing a funding gap of up to £450 million and major changes will be needed.

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Eyewitness described tiger attack on zookeeper

An inquest has been hearing about the moment when a tiger pounced on a zookeeper in south Cumbria.

In the second day of the trial an eyewitness described seeing the animal enter the area where the keeper was working. He shouted for help as he saw her being attacked.

Tim Backshall reports from the inquest in Kendal.

Tiger death inquest latest

An inquest has been hearing about the moment when a tiger pounced on a zookeeper at the South Lakes Wild Animal Park in South Cumbria.

24 year old Sarah McClay died from multiple injuries last May. The inquest has heard from a member of the public who witnessed what happened. Gareth Bell described how a door inside the tiger enclosure was open, allowing the tiger to enter the area where she was working and attack her.

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Alston school closure threat

Concerns over falling pupil rolls in schools Credit: PA

A consultation has been launched into proposals for a radical restructure of schools in the Alston area.

The schools affected are Samuel King’s High School and Nenthead and Alston Primary schools. It follows concerns over falling pupil rolls for several years.

Current information indicates pupil numbers will continue to fall with projections showing the combined roll at the primary schools will dip to 98 by January 2018 with Samuel King’s falling to around 75 pupils by this point.

“Clearly, the current situation in Alston is not sustainable given the falling numbers of pupils so we have to look at alternative arrangements."

– Councillor Clare Feeney-Johnson

Cumbria County council is putting forward the following three options for consultation:

  • Option One – closure of Samuel King’s School This would remove secondary education from Alston, but would offer pupils an education in a sustainable school environment with a balanced curriculum in another area. Transport to other secondary schools, under Cumbria County Council’s Home to School Transport Policy, would be available to those who are eligible.
  • Option Two – federation A federation involves a shared leadership structure amongst a number of schools. A single governing body would oversee all schools in the federation and would have the option of operating under a single headteacher. All three existing schools could stay on their individual sites or could be located on a single site. The Alston Moor Federation already exists in the area. The federation involves Alston Primary School and Nenthead Primary School. This option would see the inclusion of Samuel King’s to broaden the federation to include the secondary phase of learning. At this stage the Alston Moor Federation has formally stated its wish not to pursue this option (the county council has no power to bring about a federation; only school governors can bring forward these proposals).
  • Option Three – an all-through school An all-through school option would involve the co-location of Samuel King’s, Alston and Nenthead schools on either the Samuel King’s School, Alston Primary or Nenthead Primary School site. Following initial feasibility studies Samuel King’s site appears most suitabledue to its size. Alterations to the school layout and facilities would be made to accommodate both primary and secondary aged pupils.

The consultation, which runs until 24th October can be responded to by completing a questionnaire – either on paper or online – or by writing to the county council.

Borderers urged to make sure they vote in Referendum

Counting Officer for the Scottish Borders Council Area, Tracey Logan is urging voters to make sure they cast their vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum on Thursday 18 September to ensure their views are counted.

Voting opens on Thursday 18th September Credit: PA

“If you are voting in person at your designated polling station on Thursday – please just take a few minutes to plan when you are going to vote. Polling stations are open from 7am until 10pm but make sure you leave plenty time before the 10pm deadline. Anyone that arrives after 10pm, by law, will not be able to vote."

– Tracey Logan
  • Total electorate for the Scottish Borders Council Area - 95,533
  • Number of polling places in the Scottish Borders Council Area – 108
  • Number of ballot boxes - 176 from polling stations, plus 22 postal vote boxes
  • Number of election staff - 381 working in polling stations and 190 working at the count
  • Number of postal votes issued – 14,628 (excluding postal proxy votes)
  • Total postal proxy voters – 41
  • Total proxy voters - 979
  • Total number of registered under 18 voters in the Borders – 2,539
  1. National

What is the Barnett Formula?

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have pledged to keep the Barnett Formula in the event of a No vote in the Scottish referendum.

But what is it?

  • The Barnett Formula has been used to distribute public money between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Population shares and changes in spending will automatically be reflected in the amount allocated to devolved administrations
  • It was initially designed by former Chief Secretary to the Treasury Lord Barnett as a temporary measure but has lasted more than 30 years
  • Critics of the system argue that Scotland is allowed to spend a greater amount on services per person than in England

Queen of the South murals vandalised

Queen of the South murals defaced with red graffiti Credit: Drew Geddes

Police are trying to trace vandals who spray painted a series of murals charting the history of Dumfries football club Queen of the South.

The works by artist Jo McSkimming were commissioned by the People's Project - a community group led by Mark Jardine.

The vandalism happened some time on Saturday night.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact police.

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