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Reducing grass cutting is a 'savings opportunity'

Across Dumfries and Galloway, DGFirst manages and maintains 1,200 areas of ground and open space.

It was agreed in the council's budget in March that grass in rural cemeteries would be cut three times a year.

"Our Council has to make savings of £27m over the next three years. It is absolutely essential that we prioritise where we need to spend money and where we can save money. Reducing or stopping grounds maintenance on little used areas is an obvious example of a savings opportunity."

– Councillor Stephen Thompson, chairman of DGFirst Management Committee

MSP believes D&G council's policy is 'discriminatory'

Rural cemeteries in Dumfries and Galloway will be overgrown and unkempt if current restrictions on grass cutting remain in place according to a senior politician.

The council say they need to make savings of £27 million over three years and need to prioritise.

Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson says he is disgusted that the amount of annual grass cuttings per year was reduced to three in March's budget.

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Annandale Councillor joins Labour

Annandale North Councillor Graeme Tait has announced that he has joined the Labour Party and therefore became a member of the Labour group on Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Councillor Tait was first elected to the council in the Annandale North by-election in November 2012 as a Conservative member.

The Labour Group on the council is now up to 15 members while the Council’s administration now has 25 members.

I have decided to join the Labour Party because it has become increasingly clear that their policies and values better reflect my own.

It is clear that the Labour Party and the Labour Group of Councillors care about tackling the inequalities that exist and protecting the most vulnerable in our society and I share those principles with them.

“I have been hugely impressed by the way the new Labour led administration has run the council. The Council Leader has shown strong Leadership and put in place the clear direction the council has needed.

– Cllr Graeme Tait

Funding for 'Star of Caledonia' on hold

Dumfries and Galloway Council has postponed a decision on whether to come up with £1 million pounds towards the Star of Caledonia sculpture in Gretna.

Councillors say they need more time to look at the funding process before giving the money.

One million pounds has already been pledged from other sources to help pay for the landmark on the Scottish English border.

The council will look at the funding issue again at a meeting to be held in May.

Flood prevention plans announced across D&G

Dumfries and Galloway Council have announced plans to develop a flood warning scheme and locate a flood pod, containing sandbags and barriers in Newton Stewart.

The local authority are also asking the Scottish Government for funding to build river walls through the town, and raise the footbridge.

The flood prevention for Newton Stewart could cost in the region of £3.4million, and although the council are determined to help, they say Scottish Government money is needed.

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D&G Council providing extra refuse sacks due to bad weather

Dumfries and Galloway HQ Credit: ITV News

Dumfries and Galloway Council say that due to the severe weather over the past couple of days, they have been unable to collect all refuse bins in some areas.

The council are continuing to work with the Christmas collection timetable and are rescheduling collections as soon as possible.

A statement from the council says:

"Householders can collect two free waste sacks from any of our Customer Service Centres or Library's to help with additional waste and these will be uplifted with their wheelie bins."

Council apologises for 'distressing' council tax letter

The new Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Ronnie Nicholson, has said a change of culture is needed in the way it deals with the public.

He was speaking after the council was forced to apologise over letters sent to 3,500 people about their council tax bills.

They were questioning whether people were still eligible for single person discounts.

The council says the letters were sent by a company working on its behalf and contained unfortunate language which may have caused distress.

Dumfries and Galloway Council issue apology

Dumfries and Galloway Council Headquarters Credit: ITV News

A Scottish council is to apologise to 3,500 householders after they were sent official letters regarding council tax single person discount.

Dumfries and Galloway Council say the letter contained some unfortunate language which may have caused distress to some individuals.

They are writing to all recipients of the letter to apologise.

Former council leader: "cowardice and lack of moral fibre" of resigned councillors will be remembered

The former leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Ivor Hyslop, has said that the "cowardice and lack of moral fibre" of seven councillors who resigned ahead of his own decision to step down will not be forgotten.

"It has been a huge privilege to Lead this Council for 6 years, the support of collegues today in the Chamber is very much appreciated.

"I always said I would serve as Leader of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Conservative and Unionist Group and indeed the Council unless asked otherwise.

"At no time have the seven who have ripped our group apart challenged that, or had the courage to face me, their cowardice and lack of moral fibre will be remembered by all for many years to come."

– Ivor Hyslop, former leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council
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