Wednesday 13th December
Around 40 firefighters have been tackling a major blaze at an Aberdeenshire school. They were called to Oldmeldrum Primary earlier this morning. It broke out in the ground floor of the building and it took more than an hour to bring the flames under control. No-one was injured and investigation into the cause is expected to get underway later. The school will, therefore, be closed to pupils and staff today.
Fishermen are set for a boost as the UK Government’s commitment to sustainable fishing secured significant quota increases for key stocks at this year’s annual negotiations. A deal was agreed earlier this morning and it will see an increase in quotas of North Sea Cod, Haddock and Monkfish. They will go up 10%, 23% and 20% respectively. Stocks of both cod and haddock are now accredited as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.
The shutdown of the major Forties pipeline is costing the North Sea industry up to £20 million a day. That’s according to Oil & Gas UK. The hairline crack was discovered at Red Moss near Netherley in Aberdeenshire last week during a routine inspection. Owners Ineos have revealed the repairs will take weeks rather than days to complete after admitting the work is more complicated than first thought. They say the impact for customers will be very significant but the domestic market is not likely to be much affected.
More than 1,000 alprazolam tablets, commonly known as 'Xanax', have been seized during an intelligence-led operation in Aberdeen - the most significant seizure of its kind in the North East. The prescribed drugs were recovered during the execution of a drug search warrant at a property in the Farquhar Road area along with a four figure sum of cash and other drug paraphernalia. A personal quantity of cocaine, cannabis and cannabis resin was also seized. A 38-year-old local man was arrested and charged in connection and is expected to appear at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid has backed the call of fishing leaders for a shorter transition period for the industry post-Brexit. The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation has urged UK Ministers to rule out a lengthy transition between the UK exiting the EU in March 2019 and the UK leaving the Common Fisheries Policy. The sector umbrella body SFF has said that to fit in with the international fisheries negotiations calendar, a nine-month bridge to December 2019 is all that is required.
Its claimed nurses across Scotland are at "breaking point'' after a new survey found most of them feel worse off financially then they did five years ago. A poll carried out by the Royal College of Nursing found that 61% of nurses questioned in Scotland said they were too busy at work to provide patients with the level of care they would like. As well as the 40% who said money worries were causing them to lose sleep, 36% said they were looking for a new job. The RCN published the figures ahead of this week's Scottish Budget, to highlight the impact that the "prolonged" public sector pay freeze has had on morale in the profession.
The contractor for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty project is reminding children across the north east to avoid its construction sites during the Christmas holidays. Machinery, incomplete structures, unstable land, heavy goods vehicles in transit and open excavations are just some of the hazards that young people could encounter. Aberdeen Roads Limited has therefore made a Stay Safe Leaflet available through its Community Liaison Team. It can also be downloaded from the AWPR/B-T project website.