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Scottish Government increase fines for littering

Scottish Government has increased fixed penalty notices payable for littering and fly tipping.

Anyone caught littering can now expect to pay £80 rather than £50, while those found fly-tipping will now pay £200.

The new fines came into effect as of yesterday, 1 April.

The government have also reminded people that dropping cigarette butts is considered as littering.

For a full breakdown of the new legislation you can visit the Scottish Government's website.

Railway boost for Dumfries and Galloway on the cards

Dumfries and Galloway could get four new railway stations, and see Stranraer station redeveloped, if the Scottish Government agrees to pay for it.

The council decided today that it would put in a bid to get a slice of a £30m pot, which has been set aside to redevelop railways throughout the country.

If successful, Stranraer would be refurbished and new stations would be built at Thornhill, Eastriggs, Dunragit-Glenluce and Beattock.

The council says they would be built in that order - based on the greatest need - as passenger numbers continue to grow in Southern Scotland.

At Thornhill, a train hasn't stopped at the station since 1965, but locals believe it could be a real boost to the town.

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Flags at half mast outside Scottish Government HQ

First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“The death of Nelson Mandela marks the passing of a great statesman and a global icon, so it is only appropriate that we here in Scotland, a land Mr Mandela had great affinity with, mark his passing appropriately.

“That is why I have today instructed that the South African national flag should fly at half-mast alongside the Saltire outside St Andrew's House in Edinburgh.

“The whole world is marking the loss of a great leader – all of Scotland feels that loss, and we join the people of South Africa in particular in marking Mr Mandela’s passing.”

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Politicians concerned about broadband in D&G

Politicians in Dumfries and Galloway are worried about the "worryingly low" registration rate for fibre-optic broadband.

The Scottish Government has asked people in south-west Scotland to register their interest for the services.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown is warning people that unless they make their voices heard, the region will be one of the last areas to receive the upgrade.

New campaign for people struggling with debt

A new television and advert campaign aimed at highlighting the help available for people struggling with debt, has been launched by the Scottish Government.

The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is an initiative which helps people to pay back their debts over a reasonable period of time, based on the amount they owe and their current financial position.

DAS stops creditors using debt enforcement action and safeguards people's homes- as long as they keep up mortgage repayments.

Recent changes to the scheme means it also now freezes interest, fees and charges to prevent debts mounting up.

"The Scottish Government continues to take action, where it can, to address these problems and introduce measures to help those people in Scotland who are struggling under the burden of debt.

"The Debt Arrangement Scheme is the only government-backed scheme to help people pay back their debts in a dignified way, protecting them from the threat of action by their creditors.

"Our aim with this campaign is to raise awareness of DAS which helps people faced with the difficulties of debt to take control of their finances and get help out of the hole."

– Fergus Ewing, Enterprise Minister for Scotland
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