Local News for Tuesday 30th October 2018

Police Scotland is developing an initiative to recruit more Special Constables in the Highland and Islands.
It is being set up to make it easier for people from remote and rural areas to apply and train to become Special Constables.

Training would be delivered locally both face to face with officers and online, allowing students to access materials related to their role as Special Constables.

Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr, of local policing, said: ‘Volunteering has an extremely positive impact on people and we know the benefits this can bring between local officers and local communities.
‘Very often travelling to the Scottish Police College in Fife for training is simply not practical or appealing for an applicant in areas such as Skye or Stornoway’.

Each area commander will be responsible for the recruitment in their area with the assistance of the Highland and Islands Special Constables coordinator.

All new N Division recruits will be recruited and trained via the new local approach late 2018/early 2019.

New figures published recently have revealed that Scottish smoking cessation services have failed to meet performance standards for the sixth year running.

NHS statistics have revealed that 55,369 quit attempts were made in 2017/18, a 7.4% decrease on last year’s figure of and a decrease of 54.4% since 2011/12.

The British Lung Foundation is calling on the Scottish Government to ensure that smokers have full access to stop smoking services, after research published by the charity revealed that there had been a 40% decrease over 2 years in the number of prescribed nicotine replacement therapy drugs in Scotland.

Commenting on the figures, Joseph Carter, Head of British Lung Foundation Scotland, said:
‘It’s concerning that the number of quit attempts has failed to meet government targets for the sixth year in a row. People are 4 times more likely to quit if they use a smoking cessation service to help them quit smoking.
‘Stopping smoking is the single most important action you can take to improve the health of your lungs’.

Wealth management company Thorntons Investments has underlined its support of the Gaelic community by sponsoring the Gaelic as an Economic Asset category at the Scottish Gaelic Awards which take place in Glasgow in November. Now in their sixth year, the Scottish Gaelic Awards celebrate all aspects of Gaelic language and culture.

This is the third year running that Thorntons has sponsored the category which recognises successes of businesses, social enterprises or community groups in realising the proven economic value of Gaelic towards Scotland's economy. Last year Arthur Cormack picked up the award on behalf of Fèisan nan Gàidheal, and the previous year it was handed to Museum nan Eilean.

Earlier this year Thorntons became the inaugural sponsor of a young composer prize at the Blas Festival.

The composition prize was won by local Gaelic singer Mischa Macpherson. Her composition Sun, Moon, Land, Life, Sea, is a suite of new Gaelic songs, incorporating ancient Gaelic poetry, photography and short films.