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Four arrested after Dumfries purse thefts

Police Scotland. Credit: ITV Border

Four people have been arrested in connection with a spate of purse and wallet thefts in Dumfries throughout November.

Dumfries and Galloway police division say that one man and three women were arrested yesterday (3 December), following "excellent work" by security staff at the Loreburne Shopping Centre.

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Dumfries gets a new town ambassador

Lorraine Wilson is the new Town Ambassador. Credit: Dumfries & Galloway council

Dumfries and Galloway council have appointed a new Town Ambassador, to increase "engagement with local community groups".

Lorraine Wilson, a former Community Safety Officer, was given the role, which includes providing information for visitors and supervising street cleaning.

The Peoples' Project, who jointly fund the role with the council, say it is also a way of improving the town's services and supporting the community:

This is an exciting project for the people of Dumfries and I hope that the public will embrace it, but also give Lorraine time to make a difference. Rome wasn't built in a day, as the saying goes, and neither was Dumfries, but by working together and listening to positive ideas from the public we can better support a community that we can all be proud of.

– Mark Jardine, Peoples’ Project

Dumfries 'close to becoming a ghost town'

Many shops in Dumfries have been closing. Credit: ITV Border

Traders in Dumfries say 18 businesses have closed in the past four months.

High streets are struggling across Scotland, according to new figures showing one shop closes every day on average.

This week Scottish Enterprise announced it was starting a service in Dumfries and Galloway to support retailers.

But traders in the town say that without urgent help, the situation is likely to get worse.

I think it's very close to becoming a ghost town, as are all small towns in Scotland now.

They are all on the edge of disaster. We are not doing enough to make it easier to shop in the town centre.

We are standing in a big pedestrianised area, people like their cars to go shopping, but they can't take their car anywhere near our town centre because there's just no access.

– Rab Smith, Chairman, Dumfries Retailers Association

QoS fans applaud in memory of Sanquhar crash victim

The crowd applauded on the 39th minute to remember 39-year-old Ryan Baird Credit: Queen of the South FC

Fans attending the Queen of the South cup tie against Linfield applauded on the 39th minute of the game in memory of Ryan Baird.

The 39-year-old from Sanquhar was killed last weekend when the Rangers support bus he was travelling in overturned in Ayrshire.

Mr Baird was a Linfield and Rangers fan, and his family have travelled to Dumfries to watch today's match.

A minute's silence was also held at Palmerston Park before kick off at 1pm.

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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Dumfries foodbank's urgent appeal for funds

. Credit: ITV Border

A foodbank in Dumfries could be forced to close its doors for good, if volunteers don't manage to raise £20,000.

The First Base Agency hands out around 5,000 food parcels every year.

But growing demand means the cost of running the service is increasing.

The foodbank's founder, Mark Frankland, says they have enough funds to keep going through a busy winter, but will need to close in 2017 if they can't raise the cash.

He's asking people to take on a challenge - to survive on a food parcel for half a week, and in doing so raise money for the foodbank.

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
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