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Councillor calls dementia unit closure 'disgraceful'

Daragaigh dementia unit. Credit: ITV Border

Families in Stranraer say they have been told the town's dementia unit has been permanently closed, meaning they will have a 150 mile round trip to see their loved ones.

But NHS Dumfries and Galloway has not confirmed whether the closure will be permanent, or temporary.

Local councillor Willie Scobie described the closure as "disgraceful", and says it's definitely closed:

It's definitely been closed. I want them to rethink and reverse that decision.

The local feeling is one of anger and frustration at the way that we've been treated yet again. It seems that they close things without any notification or any consultation with the people affected.

These are people who take four hours to get to Dumfries with public transport, it's totally unacceptable. We've got the services and the people that can deliver here that's what we should be doing."

– Cllr Willie Scobie

NHS won't confirm permanent closure of Stranraer dementia unit

The town's Darataigh dementia unit remains closed, but for how long? Credit: ITV Border

Families in Stranraer are having to travel more than 70 miles to Dumfries to see their loved ones, after the town's Darataigh dementia unit closed.

They say they have been told the facility will be permanently shut.

But NHS Dumfries and Galloway bosses haven't confirmed that the closure is permanent, saying only that the boiler had broken down:

Three inpatients were relocated from Darataigh following a boiler failure.

We have been in contact with each of the families affected to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of the patients and their Carers and we are fully committed to continuing the dialogue with the families over the coming weeks and months.”

– Spokesperson for NHS Dumfries and Galloway


MSP: keep public 'fully informed' in Stranraer project

The harbour is to be regenerated. Credit: ITV Border

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson has welcomed new progress in the £50m regeneration of Stranraer Waterfront.

The council has announced its preferred bidder to lead the regeneration of the harbour - Stena Line.

But the MSP has warned the public need to be involved in the project at all stages:

This is the moment for which a lot of people have been waiting for a very long time and, on that basis, I welcome it. However, we have to recognise that this is just the first step in the process and that further proposals will be brought forward as the partnership between the preferred bidder, the Council and Stena progresses. I hope that progress will be swift.

For that to happen, three further steps need to be taken. Firstly, the Scottish Government must commit to this project wholeheartedly; secondly, if the aspirations of the people of Stranraer are to be met (as the preferred bidder has indicated), then those people must be properly engaged in the process and kept fully informed every step of the way; and thirdly, if the local economic impact is to be maximised, it is essential that as much work as possible is carried out by local contractors and companies.

If those three matters can be addressed, then the future for Stranraer and indeed Wigtownshire looks a great deal brighter than it has for some time.”

– Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson


WW2 flare washed up near Stranraer

Police Scotland. Credit: ITV News

A phosphorous flare, that's thought to date back to the Second World War, has been washed up near Stranraer.

It was found on the shores of Loch Ryan, a few miles from the town.

Police Scotland have reassured the public that experts have been brought in, and there is now "no danger to the public".

But they've warned people to be wary of other objects they might find:

The device has been dealt with and there is no danger to the public. However, please be aware when walking along the coastline should any similar devices be found.

The devices will not explode, but it will burn at high temperatures and emit toxic fumes.

If such a device is found, please do not touch it, and contact local Police as soon as possible with its location."

– Police Scotland

The flare is between six and eight inches in length, 2 inches in diameter, and is described as cylindrical, rusty and resembling a dog bone.

Hundreds of similar devices have been washed up on the North Channel and Galloway coastline over the past 20 years.

They're believed to come from the Beaufort's Dyke, a munitions dump in the North Channel.

The sea trench stretches for 60km between Scotland and Northern Ireland, and thousands of tons of explosives, shells, rockets, bombs and incendiary devices were buried there after the Second World War.

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