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Controversial wind farm to bring 100 jobs to Borders

19 wind turbines will be built. Credit: PA

Planning consent has been granted for a major new wind farm in the Scottish Borders.

Aikengall IIa will be located in the Lammermuir Hills, and will consist of 19 turbines.

The development by Community Wind Power Ltd will bring 100 jobs to the area, and is expected to generate up to £9.4 million in community benefit.

The company says this money will be divided equally between local communities.

It'll produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of almost 35,000 homes.

Planning consent was granted today by Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work.

Local councils had raised concerns about the development.

Scottish Borders Council's planning committee voted to object to the scheme against the recommendation of planning officers, because they said it would "unacceptably harm" the landscape.

East Lothian Council also opposed the scheme, claiming it was "unquestionably the wrong development in the wrong place".

60 jobs cut at Penman Engineering in Dumfries

Credit: ITV Border

Administrators have confirmed that 60 staff members have been made redundant at Penman Engineering Ltd in Dumfries.

15 jobs currently remain at the firm.

The company went into administration on 31 August 2016.

Penman had been in business since 1859 and employed around 140 people.

The administrators, Armstrong Watson, released this statement:

Yesterday (Thursday 29 September 2016) was a very significant day in the administration of Penman Engineering Limited. Whilst all staff have been working very hard and co-operating fully with the administration team on site to move trading forward the decision had to be taken by the administrators to make 60 staff redundant. Delays in receipt of certain funds from customers meant that the administration did not have the cashflow to maintain a workforce of 75 people, and could not make the various payments to employees at the time normally expected by employees under their contracts of employment. The administrators have been seeking recovery of those funds from customers, and will continue to do so. All staff affected will be kept informed and payments will be made as soon as funds become available.

15 employees have been retained by the administrators to help complete various tasks relating to the collection of remaining debts and the ongoing sale of the business.

– Mark Ranson, Restructuring Partner, Armstrong Watson

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Unions and politicians pledge to try and save Dumfries firm

Credit: ITV Border

Politicians and a trade union have pledged to try and save a Dumfries firm which specialises in armoured vehicles.

Penman Engineering, which has 140 staff, went into administration on Wednesday.

The union, Unite, is due to visit the firm later today but in a statement said it would work hard to protect jobs.

Politicians from across the board have voiced concerns and yesterday Dumfries and Galloway MP Richard Arkless held meetings with staff and administrators and said the mood was 'positive' about the prospects of finding a buyer.

Union says it will work to protect Penman jobs

Credit: ITV Border

Unite the Union says it will work hard to protect the jobs of it's members at Penman Engineering in Dumfries.

Penman Engineering announced that administrators for the company had been appointed yesterday.

The company, which employs 140 people and specialises in bespoke vehicle design and construction, blamed a delay in the arrival of a major contract.

This is a worrying time for our members at Penman Engineering. In the coming days and weeks, we will support them, and will work hard to ensure that their rights are respected in this process.

“We will also work hard to protect their jobs. We will work constructively with the company and the administrators, and we call on our elected representatives at council, Holyrood and Westminster level, to do everything they can to help secure a new buyer.

“Scotland can’t afford to lose more high-skilled jobs from the manufacturing sector, and Dumfries & Galloway can’t afford another blow to its economy.”

– Paul Neilson, Unite regional officer

Nuclear police lose High Court pension challenge

CNC officer at Sellafield Credit: ITV Border

A specialist police force who protect the UK's nuclear sites including Sellafield have lost their High Court challenge over a new pension scheme which could make them work until they are 65.

The Civil Nuclear Police Federation (CNPF), which has 1,250 members, said that the change, due in April, would leave the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) "out of step" with the vast majority of other officers.

At a hearing last week, which was contested by the Civil Nuclear Police Authority (CNPA), it asked for a declaration that the CNC were "members of a police force" for the purposes of the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 and their pension age must be 60 like most other officers.

But, in London today, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies dismissed the claim.

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Civic Nuclear Constabulary respond to court ruling

The Civil Nuclear Constabulary has given their statement regarding the High Court ruling, where the Civil Nuclear Police Federation is seeking for the retirement age for its officers to be set at 60.

"The Civil Nuclear Police Federation (CNPF) has brought a Judicial Review into whether the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) is a police force as defined under the Public Service Pensions Act 2013.

“The Judicial Review will rule on this very specific point of statutory interpretation in relation to the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 and this ruling will provide clarity on the situation, allowing us to continue to develop new pension arrangements for CNC officers in accordance with the Public Service Pensions Act 2013, working closely with relevant government departments and the CNPF."

– Statement, Civil Nuclear Constabulary

Nuclear police ask for retirement age of 60

Sellafield Credit: ITV Border

The Civil Nuclear Police Federation are in the High Court seeking a ruling for its members to retire at the normal police retirement age of 60.

The Federation say that working past the age of 60 would be "almost physically impossible".

Representing 1250 police officers, many who work at Sellafield, the Federation is asking the High Court to determine whether or not its members are "members of a police service", and therefore entitled to the same retirement age as the rest of the UK Police service.

If refused, officers could serve until 65 and eventually to 68 in line with Government policy for public service employees.

"As yet we have been unable to get a decision from Government to accept our professionally supported argument that it is almost physically impossible for a CNC officer to serve beyond 60. What seems not to be understood is that our members are fully trained authorised firearms officers. The high standards of physical fitness and weapon proficiency are mandatory throughout a career in the CNC and are increasingly difficult to maintain as officers age.

"It makes no sense that we should be saddled through inappropriate legislation with a retirement age which we have little or no hope of reaching. Neither can I believe that the public will feel protected if eventually we have aggressively armed police officers in their mid-sixties being deployed against terrorists."

– Nigel Dennis, Chief Executive, Civil Nuclear Police Federation
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