Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Argyll & Bute CARE PROVIDER CALLS ON SOCIETY TO END ‘PREJUDICE AGAINST OLDER PEOPLE’ AT HOUSE OF LORDS COMMITTEE
Dr Chai Patel CBE FRCP, Chairman of HC-One – the UK’s third largest care home operator, which runs the Kintyre care home in Campbeltown – today gave evidence to the House of Lords calling for a fundamental shift in the way society thinks about social care for the elderly, and the introduction of care ‘navigators’ to help guide the elderly to the support services they need. Dr Chai Patel appeared before the House of Lords Public Service and Demographic Change Select Committee as an expert witness in health and the provision of social care in the community. Giving evidence alongside David Behan, Chief Executive, Care Quality Commission, Dr. Jennifer Dixon, Director, Nuffield Trust and Professor Christ Ham, Chief Executive, The King’s Fund, Dr Patel called on the Government to look at the success of new partnerships being forged between the private sector and charities to deliver kinder care. Dr Chai Patel, Chairman HC-One, said: “One year, one month and eighteen days ago, I became Chairman of HC-One – a company we formed in just 94 days following the collapse of Southern Cross, which threatened to leave thousands of vulnerable elderly people without a home. “Today we care for over 10,000 elderly residents in over 230 homes with a kind and dedicated staff team comprising over 14,000 people. Our goal is to run the kindest care homes in the country. “It is my strong and personally held belief that we have what amounts to a prejudice against older people in this country. This prejudice exists in society at large, and is seen in the public resources and policies affecting older people. We would never treat children as we treat old people in society.” Speaking about the challenges facing the social care funding system, Dr Chai Patel said: “All large systems have barriers in them. It’s the nature of the beast. We need to fundamentally change the attitudes within the system. “Many vulnerable elderly people are unable to make choices and there is nobody expert on their side. We need ‘navigators’ in the social care system to help guide service users and ensure they get the right care, in the right place, at the right time. “Technology can act as a catalyst for change within the system we have now. There are fantastic innovations taking place in nutrition, medication and dementia. There is really interesting work around life history and working with grandchildren. All of these are part of the progressive development of care services. “The independent sector is small, agile and can be pushy so is well placed to find solutions to problems encountered on a daily basis, while we wait for major reforms to come through. Right now HC-One is working with Macmillan to provide training to our staff to assist people in their last weeks of life, therefore easing the burden on the NHS. Partnerships like these are the way forward.” Speaking after the Committee, Chai Patel said: “Their Lordships have important issues to grapple with. I was pleased that HC-One had the opportunity to contribute to their work and I look forward to their report and an on-going debate about how we care for our elderly citizens now and in the future.” Working with Alzheimer’s Society and the Department of Health, HC-One has developed a new training programme to introduce patient centred dementia care treatments which track a patient’s progress and reduce the need for antipsychotic drugs. HC-One’s Touch training program allows care workers to top up their knowledge and gain more expertise through online interactive modules. Innovative ideas like these are part of HC-One’s journey to provide the kindest care.
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
BBC ALBA – WEEKLY PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS Saturday 22 December – Friday 28 December 2012 / Saturday 29 December 2012 – Friday 4 January 2013
Title: Pupadaidh as t-Fhoghar / Poopety in the Fall When Autumn arrives, the town of Balthazarville falls silent as Bonifacio the mischievous storyteller disappears. Pupadaidh and his friends go on a quest to find the rouge, a journey that takes them to the belly of the earth where the meet a whale who has very special stories of her own to tell.. Transmitted: Saturday 22 December Time: 5.00 – 5.30pm Title: SPL – Celtic v Ross County The latest full-match coverage from the SPL as Celtic host Ross County at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Transmitted: Saturday 22 December Time: 5.30 – 7.30pm Title: Spors na Bliadhna / Sports Review 2012 A look back at a memorable sporting year including the London Olympics, tennis, shinty, rugby, football and much more. Transmitted: Saturday 22 December Time: 7.30 – 8.30pm Title: Belladrum 2012 Highlights: Cridhe Tartan Highlights from the Belladrum 2012: Tartan Heart Festival including Vintage Trouble, The South & We are Scientists. Transmitted: Saturday 22 December Time: 9.00 – 9.55pm Title: Deasbad na Bliadhna / 2012 News Debate A debate on some of the most important stories, locally, nationally, and internationally which took place over the past year, with Iain MacLean, Hugh Dan MacLennan, Anna MacLeod and Murray MacLeod. Transmitted: Sunday 23 December Time: 7.30 – 8.00pm Title: A’ Nollaig aig Peppa / Peppa’s Christmas It's Christmas Eve and Peppa and George are busy posting their letters to Santa Claus. Peppa would like a yoyo and George wants a train set, but 'oh dear' poor Santa has lost his list! However everything turns out for the best and the family spend a very Happy Christmas in front of their huge big tree. Transmitted: Monday 24 December Time: 5.00 – 5.10pm Title: Seo am Pleana/Island Flying This year one of the world's most unique air services, Loganair, celebrates 50years in business. Kirkwall based pilot Stuart Linklater's daily flights are only minutes long. Pilot Mairi Nicholson's favourite runway is fine shell-sand, and baggage handler Shonnie Mackay can expect anything at Benbecula Airport. Transmitted: Monday 24 December Time: 9.05 – 10.05pm Title: Dr Finlay’s Casebook Fifty years on, we join the young, newly graduated Finlay, as embarks on his medical career in Dr Cameron's Tannochbrae practice. In this special Christmas episode of the classic Scottish drama, Doctors Finlay, Cameron and Snoddy along with Janet all enter into the Christmas spirit! Transmitted: Monday 24 December Time: 10.05 – 11.00pm Title: Oidhche Naomh / Christmas Eve Service BBC ALBA's Christmas Eve service Oidhche Naomh comes from St Mary & St Finnan Church, Glenfinnan in Lochaber. The ecumenical celebration will feature soloists Margaret Ford and Robert Robertson along with youngsters from Lochaber Music School, Fèis Loch Abar and Mallaig High School Choir. The Kilmallie Singers and members of other churches throughout the area will join the local congregation in well-known Gaelic Carols. Transmitted: Monday 24 December Time: 11.00pm – 12.05am Title: Am Balach anns a’ Bhuilgean / Boy in the Bubble Rupert Shelley, is a ten year old boy who falls hopelessly in love for the first time ever. When it all goes horribly wrong, he wishes never to experience heartache again. Turning to a book of magic, he invokes a spell to shield him from emotion forever..... leaving him stuck in a bubble! Transmitted: Tuesday 25 December Time: 6.05 - 6.15pm Title: The Band From Rockall Calum and Rory Macdonald, Runrig songwriters share the very personal story of their first solo album project. Part video diary and part music performance, this is an intimate account of the making of the album and of the recording process, a journey which offers an insight into the creative inspiration for their song writing and the musical ethos behind the recording. Transmitted: Tuesday 25 December Time: 8.05 – 9.05pm Title: Rockettes Anne Lundon delves into the world of cheerleading following the glitz and glamour of Scotland's pro-dance team the Rockettes. Transmitted: Tuesday 25 December Time: 9.05 – 10.05pm Title: Daniel O’ Donnell: 30 Bliadhna de Cheol Celebrating 30 years in show business, Daniel O'Donnell performs a special concert with some surprise guests. Transmitted: Tuesday 25 December Time: 10.05 – 11.15pm Title: Soillse – Air Toir nan Ailbhean Molach / Mammoth Hunters Ever since the international ban on elephant hunting, Russia has cornered the market in ivory. But this ivory comes from mammoths; whose skeletons are constantly being discovered in the frozen earth of Siberia. A market estimated at 2.5 million dollars and whose central point is Hong Kong. Transmitted: Wednesday 26 December Time: 8.05 – 9.00pm Title: Celtic Chicago Kathleen MacInnes takes in Chicago with a host of musical pals as the Celtic Connections Festival arrives in the U.S. Transmitted: Wednesday 26 December Time: 9.00 – 10.00pm Title: Cuirm @ Celtic: Chicago Kathleen MacInnes hosts a very special concert from the Harris Theatre, Chicago with a stellar cast including Julie Fowlis, Session A9 agus Admiral Fallow. Transmitted: Thursday 27 December Time: 8.55 – 9.00pm Title: Air An Rathad / On the Road Fiona is in the Cairngorms in search of the Abominable Snowman, helped in her quest by the Skoda Yeti. Murray is practising his handbrake turns in Ashaig as he takes part in the Skye Rally Club's Auto Test, and Cudig has the team reminiscing over days gone by as he shares this week's classic - the Bedford CA Van. Calum Iain has the scent of victory in Wacky Races, but will pride come before a fall? Tune in to this week's Air an Rathad to find out! Transmitted: Thursday 27 December Time: 10.00 – 10.30pm Title: Fear nam Miorbhail Animated feature recounting the life of Christ. Transmitted: Friday 28 December Time: 5.45 – 7.15pm Title: Na Trads / Scottish Traditional Music Awards 2012 Highlights Highlights from the Trad Awards, 2012. Onstage and behind-the-scenes with Mary Ann Kennedy, Tony Kearney and Linda MacLeod. Transmitted: Friday 28 December Time: 9.00 – 11.30pm Title: PRO12 Live Rugby – Edinburgh v Glasgow LIVE PRO12 rugby as Edinburgh host Glasgow in the all-important 1872 Cup decider. Transmitted: Saturday 29 December Time: 4.00 – 6.00pm Title: Scottish Premier League – Hibernian v Celtic The latest full-match coverage from the SPL as Hibernian host Celtic at Easter Road, Edinburgh. Transmitted: Saturday 29 December Time: 6.00 – 8.00pm Title: Hebridean Celtic Music Festival – The Proclaimers Strikingly individual, twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid have enjoyed huge success across the globe. Regularly gracing festival stages across the world, The Proclaimers return to the Hebrides with a 1-hour special of some of their best sets from Hebcelt 2012. Transmitted: Saturday 29 December Time: 9.00 – 10.00pm Title: Naidheachdan Araid na Bliadhna / Unusual News Stories of the Year Unusual News Stories of the Year: A selection of unusual, funny stories from the news over the past year. Transmitted: Sunday 30 December Time: 6.30 – 7.00pm Title: Air Chall ‘s Air Lorg / Lost and Found One day a boy finds a penguin on his doorstep. Although at first unsure what to do, the boy becomes determined to help the penguin find his way back home…even if that means rowing all the way to the South Pole! Transmitted: Monday 31 December Time: 5.00 – 5.30pm Title: About Britain: Isle of Skye In 1954, Richard Dimbleby and a BBC film crew visited the Isle of Skye to record an episode of the early British television series About Britain. In this programme he gives viewers across the United Kingdom an insight into life on the island, meeting local characters and gaining an understanding of the lifestyle and culture of islanders, as well as spending some time with the Skye Mountain Rescue team and with Dame Flora Macleod at Dunvegan Castle. This programme was originally broadcast in September 1954. Transmitted: Monday 31 December Time: 8.35 – 9.25pm Title: Barbara Dickson Documentary profile of the acclaimed actress and singer, Barbara Dickson, examines her career in interview and sing. Guest singers include Billy Connolly and Rab Noakes. Transmitted: Monday 31 December Time: 9.30 – 10.30pm Title: Ceol Dannsa Today’s Scottish country dance musicians pay tribute to the stars of yesteryear. John Carmichael presents a sensational evening of Scottish country dance music. Transmitted: Monday 31 December Time: 10.30 – 11.30pm Title: Ceilidh na Bliadhna’ Uire - Inbhirnis 2012/13 Hogmanay Ceilidh 2012, live from Achnagairn House, Kirkhill, by Beauly. Presented by Kirsteen MacDonald and Derek 'Pluto' Murray. Live music from… Mànran, Kathleen MacInnes, Calum Alex MacMillan, Rona Lightfoot, Duncan Chisholm and Dingwall Choir. We also join the Red Hot Highland Fling in Inverness for fireworks coverage and numbers from Skerryvore. Come and ceilidh on us! Transmitted: Monday 31 December Time: 11.30pm – 1.15am Title: An Drochaid : A Bridge Rising The epic, feel-good story of a modern rebellion. The campaign against the tolls on the Skye bridge pitted plucky Scottish islanders against the might of the Government and the Bank of America, over the building of a privately funded toll bridge which became the only way on or off the island. This film tells an untold, bittersweet story of passion, legal challenge and financial wrangling through the testimony of some of those who took part. Transmitted: Tuesday 1 January Time: 8.05 – 9.05pm Title: Machairazzi Machairazzi celebrates the 20th anniversary of the first ever Gaelic soap Machair. Members of the cast including Tony Kearney and Dolina MacLennan romp through some of the shows most compelling moments. Watch out for the celebrations and heartache, love and laughter, captivating characters, gripping stories and dramatic explosions. This trailblazing Gaelic soap has it all. Transmitted: Tuesday 1 January Time: 9.05 – 10.05pm Title: Dr Finlay’s Casebook: A Present From Father Fifty years since the first broadcasts of this classic Scottish drama, we join the newly graduated Dr Finlay as he embarks on his medical career working for Dr Cameron in his Tannochbrae practice. In this special Hogmanay episode, the ambitious and headstrong young Doctor Finlay, played by the dapper Bill Simpson, is faced with a unsettling dilemma which calls his professional judgement into question. But the stakes are high as a family fortune is at risk. Drs Cameron and Snoddy have their say and Janet offers her customary words of wisdom but Dr Finlay has the last word - or does he? Transmitted: Tuesday 1 January Time: 10.05pm Title: SPL Live - Ross County v Inverness Live SPL action as Ross County and Inverness face each other at Victoria Park, Dingwall, in the New Year derby. Transmitted: Wednesday 2 January Time: 3.00 – 5.00pm Title: Is Blath an Fhuil / The Blood is Strong Archive series looking at recent Gaelic history and emigration – episode one of three. Transmitted: Wednesday 2 January Time: 6.30 – 7.20pm Title: Soillse – Slighe gu Saorsa / Flight to Freedom This is the story of the biggest aerial translocation in the history of wildlife conservation world-wide. Over a period of six days, four ILL 76 flights were undertaken from South Africa to Angola. Sixteen elephants were captured in Tuli (Botswana), crated and transported by road to Louis Trichardt Air force base for their flight to Cabo Ledo, followed by giraffe, zebra and wildebeests. Transmitted: Wednesday 2 January Time: 9.05 – 10.00pm Title: Is Blath an Fhuil / The Blood is Strong Archive series looking at recent Gaelic history and emigration – episode two of three. Transmitted: Thursday 3 January Time: 6.35 – 7.30pm Title: Mod 2012 : Mod nan Coisirean Mary Ann Kennedy presents a selection of choral music from choirs who took part in the Lovat and Tullibardine competition at the recent Dunoon Mod. Also included are a range of winners from the rural choir competitions. Transmitted: Thursday 3 January Time: 8.55 – 9.55pm Title: Air an Rathad Old friend 'Rollover Roy' is competing in the Speyside Rally with a new car and a new navigator - can they keep the car upright this time? Fiona enjoys taking a furry friend for a spin in the new mini roadster, uber cool but a tad chilly for the Scottish climate! Cudig's final classic of the series is the Landrover, a reliable workhorse loved my millions; and it's a thrilling end to Wacky Races - if you think it's a done deal, think again! Transmitted: Thursday 3 January Time: 9.55 – 10.30pm Title: Is Blath an Fhuil / The Blood is Strong Archive series looking at recent Gaelic history and emigration – episode three of three. Transmitted: Friday 4 January Time: 6.25 – 7.20pm Title: PRO12 Live Rugby – Edinburgh v Leinster Live action with Edinburgh and Leinster in the RaboDirect Pro 12 competition. Transmitted: Friday 4 January Time: 7.30 – 9.25pm
There will be a new face in NFU Scotland’s Presidential team for its Centenary year but there will be no voting at the Union’s AGM at St Andrews in February 2013. The post of President, currently held by Nigel Miller, is open for election every two years. Nigel, having completed his first two years, is eligible to stand for a further two years as President and is the only nominee for the position. The two Vice-Presidential posts are both for one-year terms. The current NFUS Vice President Allan Bowie has been nominated, having been a Vice President since February 2009. The other Vice Presidential nominee is the Union’s Livestock Committee Chairman, Rob Livesey. He will replace John Picken, who stands down after 2 years in the role. Although there will be no voting, the formalities of having candidates proposed, seconded and elected will take place at the Union’s Council meeting on Tuesday 12 February 2013 at the Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews, following the Union’s AGM and Centenary dinner the previous day. The Union’s council is a body made up from representatives of each of the Union’s 74 branches. A round of regional AGMs is scheduled for January 2013 and, with the agreement of regional boards, it is intended that the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates will attend these events. NFU Scotland Chief Executive, Scott Walker said: “NFU Scotland remains a lead organisation in Scottish agriculture because of the time and effort that those who hold office – whether at branch, region or national level – are prepared to put aside for their fellow farmers. “Nigel, Allan and Rob will take up office in February at a hugely important time for the industry with the CAP Reform process gathering momentum. In addition, every sector of our farming industry faces a growing list of challenges. This is a team with the skills and knowledge to meet those challenges on behalf of our members. “However, 2013 will also be a year of celebration as we mark our Centenary. Upon election, these three officeholders, with their wealth of experience and enthusiasm, will create a great platform to drive the Union into its next 100 years.” Commenting on his nomination, Rob Livesey said: “I am passionate about Scottish agriculture and the crucial role that the Union has in securing a positive future for it. Whether through my time as a branch chairman or my four years as Livestock Committee chair, I have thoroughly enjoyed the rough and tumble of agri-politics. The time is right to have a go at a higher level. “My previously role as a farm manager and my current farming business gives me a very broad understanding and deep appreciation of what mixed farming means to Scotland’s hills and uplands and I hope that will bring balance to the top team. “This is a hugely exciting time for the Union and for Scottish farming. I want to contribute positively to Union business and Scottish farming in 2013 but that will owe much to the hard work of my wife, Kath and son Iain, allowing me to spend time away from the farm to enjoy this new challenge.”
Monday, 17 December 2012
Ministerial update on landslip mitigation work A draft feasibility study has been published which looks at options to minimise the effects of landslips at the Rest and Be Thankful, and removes traffic pinch points and improves pedestrian safety on the A83. The findings were put to the A83 Taskforce to allow proper consideration of the options available before a final plan is agreed. Speaking after the third meeting of the Taskforce in Arrochar today, Mr Brown said: “The last few weeks have been a challenge for local communities who have had to endure another landslip at the Rest and Be Thankful only last month and all of the impact and inconvenience this brings. This has brought our work sharply into focus, and all the more timely is the draft feasibility study which has been presented to the Taskforce today. “The analysis of the problems and potential solutions offered by the consultants tasked with the work is detailed and thorough and will give the Taskforce considerable food for thought. There are a number of options put forward, and I now look to the Taskforce members to digest the findings before we seek to agree a way forward. “Elsewhere, work on the emergency diversion route has taken more strides forward, and since the Taskforce last met a formal legal agreement with the landowner has been put in place which has allowed the contractor to progress works on the section of the Old Military Road which sits on private land. Construction is progressing swiftly with the team on the ground working flat out to deliver an emergency route for use by the end of next month, subject to weather and no unforeseen engineering problems arising. The new emergency route will give us an alternative option to keep traffic moving along the A83 in the event the road is forced to close at the Rest and Be Thankful, and I look forward to seeing the new road for myself when finished. “Significant investment has been provided towards minimising the effects of landslides at the Rest and Be Thankful, including construction of the emergency diversion route. Coupled with the next phase of works to install protective debris netting which has started this week, investment on landslip mitigations works at the Rest and Be Thankful sits at over £3.7 million. “A good deal of very positive work has been carried out, with more hard work and tough decisions ahead. With the Taskforce set up to ensure we and our partners remain resolute and focussed on the task at hand, every effort is being made to deliver workable solutions to mitigate against landslips at the Rest and Be Thankful and more generally improve the performance of the A83 for the benefit of road users across Argyll.” Lead Councillor for Development and Infrastructure at Argyll & Bute Council, John Semple added: “Argyll and Bute Council is committed to helping make our communities better connected not just for commerce, trade and tourism but to reduce exclusion of remote and fragile areas. The options identified today provide a strong and well-proportioned basis for taking that commitment forward through the A83 Task Force. “Over the next few weeks we will be studying the options and weighing up which provides the best all round solution. I am particularly keen to see that the disturbance caused by whichever option is progressed minimises the impact on Argyll businesses during construction. We must ensure the strong message is sent that Argyll is open for business. “I am also very pleased that other pinch-points and safety issues on the A83 are being tackled. When complete, these measures will significantly improve the journey from Campbeltown to the central belt and improve safety for all road users. The most welcoming reassurance we have had today is that all of the options provided will, once complete, render the flashing warning signs redundant.” BACKGROUND 1. The draft feasibility study can be found here http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/road/maintenance/landslides/A83-rest-and-be-thankful 2. Membership of the Taskforce includes representatives from Argyll and Bute Council, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, HITRANS, Mid Argyll Chambers of Commerce, timber and tourism groups, ferry operators and National Farmers Union, Transport Scotland, and its consultants. 3. A new Transport Scotland web portal has been set-up on the RABT: http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/road/maintenance/prioritising-and-maintaining/landslides/A83-rest-and-be-thankful 4. Transport Scotland considers that the Old Military Road has a number of advantages over the forest track as an emergency diversion. It is wider with no steep slopes over most of its length. The engineering is simpler and the alignment is generally straighter with less severe consequences, should a vehicle leave the road. In addition, the road construction is more substantial reducing the need for thick resurfacing layers to be laid to carry traffic loads.. Some of this road is privately owned and permission is necessary from the landowner before construction starts. This includes accommodation work, compensation and agreement to the procedures that would be set in place when the road is required for use. These complex and voluntary arrangements can take some time to agree but commitment has been confirmed by the landowner to allow us to plan ahead as fast as possible. 5. Earlier this year Transport Scotland announced a study to investigate the feasibility of improvements on the A83 trunk road. The study has looked closely at what more can be done in managing the effects of landslides at the Rest and be Thankful, including long-term engineering options such as rock shelters, stabilisation using vegetation techniques and investigating alternative access routes to mid Argyll. The Taskforce will consider its findings before a final report is published. 6. In recent years, the Scottish Government has invested over £16 million on the maintenance of the trunk road section of the A83. For example, Transport Scotland has carried out a route accident reduction plan study along the entire length of the A83 trunk road from Arrochar to Furnace. The resulting scheme was broken down into three phases to allow construction over a two year period, to the value of £615,000. The works installed included surfacing, high friction surfacing, signing, lining and bend assessment works to provide drivers with a consistent message when approaching challenging bends along the route. 7. Transport Scotland is the Scottish Government’s national transport agency responsible for; aviation, bus, freight and taxi policy; coordinating the National Transport Strategy for Scotland; ferries, ports and harbours; impartial travel services; liaising with regional transport partnerships, including monitoring of funding; local roads policy; major public transport projects; national concessionary travel schemes; rail and trunk road networks; sustainable transport, road safety and accessibility; the Blue Badge Scheme. Transport Scotland is an Executive agency accountable to Scottish Ministers. http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/
Thursday, 13 December 2012
-Major exhibition launches in Edinburgh- The rich heritage of Scotch Whisky, Scotland’s national drink, is explored in a major exhibition opening at The Scottish Parliament tomorrow (29 November). Visitors will have the chance to see an array of images and artefacts collected from Scotch Whisky producers and enthusiasts, many on public display for the first time. The Scotch Whisky: From Grain to Glass exhibition in the Main Hall of The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh marks the Centenary of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), the industry trade body. Every aspect of the Scotch Whisky industry unfolds through words and images. The exhibition, which is free to visit, takes people on a journey through the distilling, coopering, maturing, bottling, labelling, enjoying, marketing and exporting of Scotch Whisky. It explains how the “What is Whisky?” debate of the early 20th century helped establish the modern day Scotch Whisky industry. Illustrated through a series of rare postcards, visitors will learn how the 1909 Royal Commission on Whiskey and other Potable Spirits decided that only grain and malt whisky produced in Scotland, or a blend of both, could be called Scotch Whisky. This beat off the threat of distillers in Ireland who refused to blend grain and malt whiskies. Artefacts and images on display include a mini pot still, mash tun and spirit safe, a reproduction of the Illicit Highland Whisky Still painting by Sir Edwin Landseer, 19th century maps of railways which served distilleries, coopers’ tools, classic advertising and promotional campaigns, old films, bottles from different decades, recipes for Blended Scotch Whisky from 1912 and much more. A striking artefact standing proudly in the marketing area of the exhibition is a full size fibre glass white horse. It illustrates the White Horse brand of Scotch Whisky which is popular in many global markets. The brand has a long history, stretching back to the late 19th century, and is named after the White Horse Cellar Inn which still stands in Edinburgh’s Canongate. Also featured in the exhibition are the people who make Scotch Whisky. Visitors can hear maltsters, coopers, master blenders, marketing professionals and many other employees talking about their skills and passions in recordings made especially for the exhibition. Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “Everyone, from Scotch Whisky aficionados to novices will learn something new from the Scotch Whisky: From Grain to Glass exhibition. Scotch Whisky's rich past is showcased, highlighting its position as an iconic Scottish product and demonstrating how vital Scotch Whisky is to the country's economy and society throughout history and now. “Last year, Scotch Whisky exports reached a record £4.23 billion and the industry directly employs more than 10,000 across Scotland.” “For the last 100 years, the SWA have been committed to promoting and protecting Scotch Whisky. We plan to do so for the next 100 years and beyond.” Scottish Parliament Deputy Presiding Officer, John Scott MSP, said: “We welcome this major exhibition to The Scottish Parliament which celebrates the rich heritage of one of Scotland’s most famous industries. From the science of distillation to the traditional art of cooperage and the whisky-inspired film screenings and poetry of Liz Lochhead, we look forward to hosting an informative, lively and entertaining exhibition here at Holyrood.”
Scottish beef farmers have welcomed the announcement from the Food Standards Agency that it will recommend an end to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) testing of any healthy cattle entering the food chain. The FSA announcement takes up a European Commission opinion to allow certain Member States to stop BSE testing, based on the scientific evidence of the lack of risk. A ministerial decision could be taken as early as January 2013. NFU Scotland views that change as an endorsement of the safety of our beef and recognition that the steps taken by the industry to eradicate the disease have been successful. As disease incidence has fallen, BSE testing requirements across Europe have reduced. Currently, all healthy cattle aged over 72 months entering the food chain are tested for BSE. Following agreement at yesterday’s FSA Board meeting, it will recommend to Government that any testing of healthy cattle entering the food chain is no longer necessary as long as the other existing safety controls continued to be enforced vigilantly. The other controls are the ban on feeding animal protein to farmed animals, which prevents the spread of BSE to animals through feed, and the removal of specified risk material (SRM) – the most risky parts of animals – at slaughter, which protects the health of consumers. BSE testing is also carried out on cattle that die for reasons other than being killed for human consumption. These surveillance measures on fallen and casualty stock will remain in force. NFU Scotland President, Nigel Miller said: “The shadow cast by BSE on the Scottish beef industry is finally lifting and an end to testing of animals entering the food chain is a mark of the commitment our beef sector undertook to eradicate the disease from our animals. “An end to testing older animals will strip out a significant element of cost from our beef supply chain and may also open up the potential for some of our smaller abattoirs and processors to consider older cattle if the hurdle and cost of testing is lifted. “The announcement also sends out a clear message to the rest of the world that Scotch beef should be on their menus. The recent reopening of Russian markets to British beef is a breakthrough but concerns over BSE still act a barrier to accessing Japan. This is an issue on which we wrote to Defra recently and this announcement of an end to testing will give the Japanese and others reassurances on the safety of our product. “NFUS has always argued that controls must be based on science and is pleased to see that the FSA have followed the science in making this recommendation to the UK Government. “With such significant moves made under Europe’s TSE roadmap over the past few years, we believe there is scope for further risk-based decisions to be considered. “SRM removal provides necessary reassurance to consumers on safety but does come at a huge disposal cost to our meat processors. We would want a review to consider whether, given the absence of BSE in our herd, some parts currently viewed as SRM can be declassified on a risk basis. “While we are rolling back controls on beef, we believe it is also time to consider some of the TSE controls in sheep. We have long argued for an end to the requirement to split older sheep carcasses and remove spinal column material, on the basis that there is no scientific justification behind the practice. Whilst so much focus has been on beef controls to date, surely now it is time to examine the ovine controls.”
BBC ALBA has unveiled its festive highlights for the Christmas and New Year period with family favourites and entertainment for all ages featuring compelling documentaries, live sport, traditional music and children’s programmes. Among the Christmas Day highlights is The Band from Rockall, the story of Runrig’s Calum and Rory MacDonald as they record their first solo album outside of the band, and Rockettes, a programme following the engaging dancers of the cheerleading Scottish Pro-Dance group The Rockettes as they train, audition and perform their way through a season. Throughout the festive season there are also appearances from a host of musical legends, with concerts including The Proclaimers at Hebcelt 2012, a look at Daniel O’Donnell’s 30 years in showbiz and a special documentary profile of the acclaimed actress and singer, Barbara Dickson, with interviews and song plus contributions from guest singers including Billy Connolly and Rab Noakes. The very best sports action also plays a part in the festive line-up, with live action from the Scottish Premier League returning to free to air television as BBC ALBA screen exclusive coverage of the New Year Highland derby between Ross County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle. The live football action will be complemented by ‘as live’ action from festive matches including Celtic v Ross County, Kilmarnock v Hearts and Hibernian v Celtic. The oval ball will also be prominent on the channel, with the 1872 Cup rugby fixtures between Glasgow and Edinburgh in the PRO12, live on the weekends either side of Christmas. Programmes marking the arrival of both Christmas Day and New Year will be particular highlights, with a Christmas Eve service broadcast at 11pm from St Mary & St Finnan Church, Glenfinnan in Lochaber. Youngsters from Lochaber Music School, Fèis Loch Abar and Mallaig High School Choir and the Kilmallie Singers will join the likes of Iain MacFarlane, Ingrid Henderson, Margaret Ford and Robert Robertson and local congregations for this ecumenical celebration. Viewers will also be able to see the New Year 2013 in style with BBC ALBA’s live Hogmanay Cèilidh from Achnagairn House, Kirkhill, by Beauly. Presenters Derek ‘Pluto’ Murray and Kirsteen MacDonald will be joined by a host of musical talent including Mànran, Duncan Chisholm, Hamish Napier, Kathleen MacInnes, Rona Lightfoot and Dingwall Gaelic Choir. Margaret Mary Murray, Head of Service for BBC ALBA, said: “We are looking forward to bringing viewers a fantastic mix of festive programming for all the family. Our Christmas and New Year schedule has proved to be hugely popular in recent years and we are sure that this year will be no exception. “The line-up provides an eclectic mix of entertainment, music and documentaries coupled with some wonderful children’s programmes and fantastic live sport for armchair fans to enjoy. “As always, our live Christmas Eve service and Hogmanay Cèilidh will be particularly special during this period and we hope the warmth and enjoyment of both these occasions will radiate to viewers at home and make them feel part of BBC ALBA’s festive offering this Christmas.” Some of the highlights from this year’s festive season on BBC ALBA are listed below – please see our attached festive guide for full schedule details. Entertainment & Music Belladrum 2012: Cridhe Tartan Saturday 22 December @ 9pm Saturday 29 December @ 10pm Highlights from the Belladrum 2012: Tartan Heart Festival including Travis, Frightened Rabbit and We Are Scientists. Dr. Finlay’s Casebook: The Gifts of The Magi Christmas Eve @ 10.05pm 50 years on, we join the young, newly graduated Finlay, as embarks on his medical career in Dr Cameron's Tannochbrae practice. In this special Christmas episode of the classic Scottish drama, Doctors Finlay, Cameron and Snoddy along with Janet all enter into the Christmas spirit! Christmas Eve Service Christmas Eve @ 11pm BBC ALBA’s Christmas Eve service comes from St Mary & St Finnan Church, Glenfinnan in Lochaber. Youngsters from Lochaber Music School, Fèis Loch Abar and Mallaig High School Choir and the Kilmallie Singers will join the likes of Iain MacFarlane, Ingrid Henderson, Margaret Ford and Robert Robertson and local congregations for this ecumenical celebration. The Band from Rockall Christmas Day @ 8.05pm Runrig continue to be one of Scotland’s most popular bands with songs penned by the band’s Calum and Rory MacDonald part of the musical story of the country. What happens though when this song-writing team get together outside of the Runrig context to pen and perform a long awaited first solo album project? Part video diary, part performance, this film is not so much the story of the making of an album but a journey through the songs and the musical ethos behind the recording. Rockettes Christmas Day @ 9.05pm The programme follows the stories of the engaging dancers of the cheerleading Scottish Pro-Dance group The Rockettes as they train, audition and perform their way through a season. Daniel O’ Donnell: 30 Years of Music Christmas Day @ 10.05pm Celebrating 30 years in show business, Daniel O'Donnell performs a special concert with guests and greetings from around the world. Celtic Chicago Boxing Day @ 9pm Kathleen MacInnes takes in Chicago with a host of musical pals as the Celtic Connections Festival arrives in the U.S. Cuirm @ Celtic: Chicago Thursday 27 December @ 8.55pm Kathleen MacInnes hosts a very special concert from the Harris Theatre, Chicago with a stellar cast including Julie Fowlis, Session A9 and Admiral Fallow. Hebridean Celtic Festival – The Proclaimers Saturday 29 December @ 9pm Strikingly individual, twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid have enjoyed huge success across the globe. Regularly gracing festival stages across the world, The Proclaimers return to the Hebrides with a 1-hour special of some of their best sets from Hebcelt 2012. Barbara Dickson New Year’s Eve @ 9.30pm Documentary profile of the acclaimed actress and singer, Barbara Dickson, examines her career in interview and sing. Guest singers include Billy Connolly and Rab Noakes. Ceòl Dannsa New Year’s Eve @ 10.30pm Todays Scottish country dance musicians pay tribute to the stars of yesteryear. John Carmichael presents a sensational evening of Scottish country dance music. LIVE Hogmanay 2012 Cèilidh New Year’s Eve @ 11.30pm Welcome in 2013 Live from Achnagairn House, Kirkhill, by Beauly. Presenters Derek ‘Pluto’ Murray and Kirsteen MacDonald will be joined by a host of musical talent including Mànran, Duncan Chisholm, Hamish Napier, Kathleen MacInnes, Rona Lightfoot and Dingwall Gaelic Choir. Also Live on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal and www.bbc.co.uk/alba Machairazzi New Year’s Day @ 9.05pm Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first ever Gaelic soap Machair. Members of the cast including Tony Kearney and Dolina MacLennan romp through some of the shows most compelling moments. Watch out for the celebrations and heartache, love and laughter, captivating characters, gripping stories and dramatic explosions. This trailblazing Gaelic soap has it all. Dr. Finlay’s Casebook: A Present from Father New Year’s Day @ 10.05pm In this special Hogmanay episode, the ambitious and headstrong young Doctor Finlay, played by the dapper Bill Simpson, is faced with a unsettling dilemma which calls his professional judgement into question. But the stakes are high as a family fortune is at risk. Drs Cameron and Snoddy have their say and Janet offers her customary words of wisdom but Dr Finlay has the last word - or does he? Documentaries & News Please, Mister – Sgeulachd Tony Miller Thursday 20 December @ 9pm The story of 19 year old Tony Miller, who was hanged in Glasgow in 1960, following his conviction for the murder of a gay man, during a robbery carried out with a 16 year old accomplice, who was later acquitted. 2012 News Debate Sunday 23 December @ 7.30pm A debate on some of the most important stories, locally, nationally, and internationally which took place over the past year, with Iain MacLean, Hugh Dan MacLennan, Anna MacLeod and Murray MacLeod. Island Flying Christmas Eve @ 9.05pm This year one of the world’s most unique air services, Loganair, celebrates 50years in business. Kirkwall based pilot Stuart Linklater’s daily flights are only minutes long. Pilot Mairi Nicholson’s favourite runway is fine shell-sand, and baggage handler Shonnie Mackay can expect anything at Benbecula Airport. No two days are the same. Unusual News Stories of the Year Sunday 30 December @ 6.30pm A look at some of the funnier, more unusual News stories of the year. About Britain: Isle of Skye New Year’s Eve @ 8.35pm Originally broadcast in 1954 as part of the About Britain series, Richard Dimbleby and a BBC film crew visited the Isle of Skye. In this programme he gives viewers across the United Kingdom an insight into life on the island, meeting local characters and gaining an understanding of the lifestyle and culture of islanders, as well as spending some time with the Skye Mountain Rescue team and with Dame Flora Macleod at Dunvegan Castle. The Bridge Rising New Year’s Day @ 8.05pm The campaign against the tolls on the Skye Bridge pitted plucky Scottish islanders against the might of the government and the Bank of America. This film tells an untold, often funny story of passion, legal challenge and financial wrangling, through the testimony of some of those who took part. Sport LIVE Rugby – 1872 Cup Friday 21 December @ 7.30pm Saturday 29 December @ 4pm BBC ALBA follows Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh as they face up to each other for the annual festive clash for the 1872 Cup with RaboDirect League points also at stake. LIVE SPL - Ross County v Inverness Caledonian Thistle Wednesday 2 January @ 3pm Ross County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle meet in Dingwall in the second Highland SPL derby of this season. LIVE Rugby: Edinburgh v Leinster Friday 4 January @ 7.30pm PRO12 Rugby action as Edinburgh face up to Leinster Children’s programming De a-nis? Wednesday 19 December @ 6.05pm The Dè a-nis Christmas special is full of festive cheer and surprises and of course Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a panto! Siobhan, Derek, Steph and Calum star in Aladdin……or Ali-Bàn as he is better known. Poopety in the Fall Saturday 22 December @ 5pm When Autumn arrives, the town of Balthazarville falls silent as Bonifacio the mischievous storyteller disappears. Pupadaidh and his friends go on a quest to find the rogue, a journey that takes them to the belly of the earth where they meet a whale who has very special stories of her own to tell... Peppa’s Christmas Christmas Eve @ 5pm It’s Christmas Eve and Peppa and George are busy posting their letters to Santa. Peppa would like a yoyo and George wants a train set, but ‘oh dear’ poor Santa has lost his list! However everything turns out for the best and the family spend a very Happy Christmas in front of their huge big tree. Boy in the Bubble Christmas Day @ 6.05pm Rupert Shelley, is a ten year old boy who falls hopelessly in love for the first time ever. When it all goes horribly wrong, he wishes never to experience heartache again. Turning to a book of magic, he invokes a spell to shield him from emotion forever..... leaving him stuck in a bubble!