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D&G control room closures debated

Plans to close police control rooms across Scotland have been debated in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon.

Proposals by Police Scotland would see sites across the country shut.

One of the first earmarked for closure is Dumfries, which could close as early as April with the loss of 30 posts.

MSPs from all areas challenged Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill at Holyrood, who visited Dumfries yesterday.

Great tapestry of Scotland unveiled

A part of the tapestry shows the creation of Border TV Credit: ITV News Border

A huge tapestry that tells the story of Scotland's history has been unveiled at the Scottish Parliament.The 143 metre long artwork is one of the longest in the world.

It took 1,000 master stitchers around 50,000 hours to bring the piece to life.

The 160 panels capture key moments in time, including the battle of Flodden, the building of the great border abbeys and even the creation of Border TV!


Borders MSP calls for Holyrood cat rejected

Christine Grahame's calls to get a resident Cat for the Scottish Parliament have been rejected.

The Borders MSP said mice were 'flaunting themselves' around Holyrood and a cat would provide a 'humane deterrent'.

"We have no plans to procure a resident cat. We do however have a specialist pest control contractor who visits the building regularly."

– Linda FabianI, spokeswoman, Corporate Body health and safety

SNP MSP Jim Eadie said the dispute "set the cat amongst the pigeons".

"Pest control is a serious issue and not to address it would be a mouse-take and could even have cat-astrophic consequences for health and safety."

– Jim Edie MSP

Westminster has had a long line of resident cats including the former stray, Larry.

Full Report: New powers to catch illegal cockle pickers

MSPs have agreed new legislation that will make it easier to arrest illegal cockle pickers on the Solway Firth.

In the five years since cockle picking was banned, no one has been prosecuted.

Nine years ago, 23 Chinese immigrants drowned while cockle picking in Morecambe Bay.

You can watch the full report from Matthew Taylor below.


More laws to stop illegal cockle pickers

A bill that will give more powers to tackle the problem of illegal cockle picking on the Solway is expected to be passed in Holyrood today.

Cockle picking has been banned along the Solway to preserve stocks.

However gangs have been seen operating along the Solway, spurred on by the prospect of getting thousands of pounds for each catch.

Emergency services say they fear a repeat of the Morecambe Bay tragedy that killed 23 people in 2004.

Full Report: Chancellor warns Scotland could lose the pound

An independent Scotland could lose the pound - that was the warning from the Chancellor George Osborne as he launched a new treasury report today.

The Scottish Government says it wants to create a currency union with the rest of the UK if Scots vote 'yes' in the referendum next year.

However, Mr Osbourne cast doubt on the idea that a deal could be struck and warned Scotland could be heading into 'unchartered waters.'

Kathryn Samson reports:

Currency paper "shows we are better together" says Borders MP

Borders MP Michael Moore has said that the currency paper published by the UK Government today "clearly shows that we are better together".

“The currency paper published today clearly shows that the current system is the best for Scotland and the rest of the UK when compared with the other options.

“The crisis in the eurozone, has shown that a formal sterlingzone, as proposed by the SNP, would be extremely challenging to sustain without close fiscal integration.

"Such an arrangement seems to defeat the purpose of independence and would rob Scotland of control over its currency and important financial levers.

“In contrast, the current system has brought economic benefits to all parts of the UK because taxation, spending, monetary policy and financial stability policy are co-ordinated across the whole of the UK.

"This means that economies of Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland are all taken into account when policy decisions are made. This would no longer be the case for Scotland if we were to break away from the UK.

– Michael Moore MP, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, Lib Dems

Salmond accuses Chancellor of 'political sabre-rattling'

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, speaking to BBC News 24, accused the Chancellor of "political sabre-rattling".

This is a Tory Chancellor trying to scare people in Scotland, trying to stop them voting for independence.

But the day after a resounding Yes vote in the referendum, when people sit down and start to negotiate in the best interest of the people of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, he will sing an entirely different tune."

It's in everyone's interests to have a currency area after independence - it's in the interests of Scotland, it's also overwhelmingly in the interest of the rest of the United Kingdom.

– Alex Salmond, Scottish First Minister

He said that was for the "very simple reason that huge Scottish resources such as oil and gas would continue to protect the sterling balance of payments"

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