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WATCH: Moment of serenity as MSPs practice Tai Chi

There was a moment of serenity in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, as MSPs took a break from debating to practice Tai Chi.

The ancient Chinese martial art is supposed to bring about a state of mental calm, and the session was organised by Age Scotland as part of their Let's Get Moving campaign.


Mundell: New income tax powers for Scottish Parliament should be in place by 2017

Scottish Secretary and South of Scotland MP David Mundell Credit: ITV Border

Scottish Secretary and South of Scotland MP David Mundell says new income tax powers for the Scottish Parliament should be in place in 2017, a year earlier than planned.

Talking at the Conservative Party conference he told ITV that the UK Government wants to see the new powers come into force as soon as possible.

But the SNP say the Bill fails to meet promises made in the post-referendum Smith Commission and they will not support any deal which would leave Scotland worse off.

Ruth Davidson: Alex Fergusson served with 'distinction'

Credit: PA

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson has announced he will stand down at the next Holyrood election.

Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, has praised his role since the creation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

Alex Fergusson has served the Scottish Parliament and his constituents in Galloway and West Dumfries with distinction.

“As an original member of Holyrood from its inception in 1999, and as former presiding officer, Alex is rightly held in high regard across the political spectrum.

“The Scottish Conservatives will miss his contribution and, as leader, I will miss the benefit of his unparalleled experience."

– Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party


Petition for commercial trapping of American Signal Crayfish

There are calls for the Scottish Government to allow American Signal Crayfish to be commercially trapped Credit: ITV Border

A group has petitioned the Scottish Government to allow American Signal Crayfish to be commercially trapped.

The RNBCC Kendee Catchment presented its request to the Scottish Parliament during "parliament day" in Dumfries yesterday.

It claims the species has grown out of control and is costing the region more than £1 million every year.

WATCH: petition against Whitesands flood plans

A petition against plans to deal with flooding in the Whitesands was presented to the Scottish Parliament's Public Petition Committee in Dumfries today.

It was meeting as part of 'parliament day' in the town.

Matthew Taylor reports.

Whitesands plans 'not yet finalised'

The committee received a petition against measures to tackle flooding in the Whitesands Credit: ITV Border

Plans to prevent flooding in Whitesands are "not yet finalised", according to MSP John Pentland.

A petition against them was today received by the Public Petitions Committee in Dumfries, of which Mr Pentland was convenor.

A local resident claims the multi-million scheme will obscure river views forever and take away safe car parking

But Mr Pentland has said that he is hopeful a positive outcome can still be reached.

“Tackling flooding is a crucial local issue and the Committee strongly believes that the Whitesands situation can still be resolved in a positive, effective way.

"We want to hear more from the local authority on targeted effective plans to combat flooding which can have such a devastating effect on the lives of local people.

Most importantly, plans for Whitesands are not yet finalised. There is still time to reach a positive solution. We are calling on local people and the local council to get around a table and actively engage in working together for Whitesands.”

– John Pentland MSP, Convener of the Public Petitions Committee
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