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Rubbish collection scheme 'costs extra £435,000'

The new scheme is costing more than expected. Credit: PA

The cost of a new rubbish collection scheme in Dumfries and Galloway is soaring well over budget, according to South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume.

He's calling for the council's new refuse collection scheme to be suspended, and says it's already cost an extra £435,000 in Wigtownshire, where it was implemented last year:

When the council first talked about the scheme, there were early warning signs that it could cause additional strains on workforce and resourcing at a time when council budgets are already very tight.

The report published this week underlines those fears were not unfounded because so far the scheme already in place for Wigtownshire has cost an extra £435,000. This could have massive implications for communities and the other services provided by the council if the roll out goes ahead to the rest of the region.

Councillors and officials need to think very carefully about the impact the roll out of this scheme will have on budgets and resources, and indeed in my view the project should be suspended pending further deliberations.”

– Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland


'Attack a day' on A+E staff

Recent figures show a reported 774 attacks on staff in Accident and Emergency departments over a two year period in Scotland; The equivalent to one attack a day.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats obtained the statistics through a Freedom of Information Request.

The figures showed that in the Scottish Borders, 74 attacks took place during 2012 and 2013.

South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume says that for a small health board, that figure is "totally unacceptable".

In Dumfries and Galloway the number of attacks was much lower at 9 during one year.

Court closure protest in Peebles

Protestors Credit: ITV News Border

Campaigners against plans to close Peebles Sheriff Court have held a demonstration outside the court.

Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume was joined by councillor Catriona Bhatia and members of the public to show their support for keeping the court open.

The Scottish Government has approved plans to close 10 courts, including Peebles and Duns, in a bid to save money.

The Scottish Justice committee has called for submissions on the issue by tomorrow (21st May).

Scotland's skin cancer rate up 50% in decade

Extreme sunburn can lead to skin cancer Credit: PA

New figures released show that the number of people with skin cancer in Scotland has increased by more than 50% in the last decade.

Official statistics show that two out of every five people will have some form of cancer in their lifetime.

Cancer was diagnosed 30,125 times in 2011, up from 26,150 in 2001, attributed largely to being a result of having an ageing population.

South of Scotland MSP and Liberal Democrat health spokesman Jim Hume has urged the government to do more to promote healthy living.

He said:

"Whilst it is an encouraging sign that mortality rates for cancer are falling, the trends within these statistics demonstrate the need for the Government and for us as individuals to do everything we can to avoid it.

"The long-term decline in lung cancer in males has been attributed in part to fewer men smoking, where rises in other types of cancer have been pointed to an increase in obesity and alcohol consumption.

"The Scottish Government must do more to promote healthy lifestyles in Scotland. It is clear that Scotland's relationship with alcohol and food must change if we are to tackle the menace of cancer in our families and communities."

'Medical groups are backing car smoking ban' says MSP

Driver smoking in a car with children present Credit: ITV News Border

A South of Scotland MSP says he has had widespread support for his proposal to ban people smoking in cars if their children are with them.

Jim Hume says similar laws have been successfully introduced in countries like Australia and Canada.

Children surrounded by smoke in the car Credit: ITV News Border

Smokers rights groups say the government should not interfere in people's private space, but Mr Hume says many medical groups are backing the plans:

"Well I have a lot of support. The Royal College of Physicians are backing me, British Medical Association, British Heart Foundaton, British Lung Foundation, and Cancer Research UK are all backing me and will be helping me with this bill."

A child in the car whilst the driver is smoking Credit: ITV News Border


Car kids smoking ban plea

South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume is planning to launch a campaign to ban smoking in cars when children are present.

Australia, Canada and South Africa are among those countries who have already banned smoking in vehicles.

Mr Hume will consult on a proposal for a Members' Bill at Holyrood.

"Scotland faces an enormous challenge in changing our relationship with tobacco.

"By banning adults from smoking in their cars whilst children are present, we can build a fairer society which gives every child the best start in life.

"It doesn't seem fair that children should suffer from passive smoking during the school run.

"It doesn't seem fair that any child should have to be swallowed up in a cloud of tar and nicotine on their way to football or dance classes."

– MSP Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat