“Edinburgh pupils on the march to urge drivers to slow down” – Edinburgh Evening News

Dozens of youngsters staged a demonstration at a busy junction in an appeal for drivers to slow down amid fears for their safety when crossing the road.

The walk was staged by pupils from Craigentinny Primary School after previous efforts from the community to get a lollipop lady proved unsuccessful.

Now parents and politicians are hoping to get a zebra or pelican crossing installed near the junction of Craigentinny Road and Avenue to help improved the situation.

Joined by Brake charity mascot Zak the zebra, the children showed off a colourful array of road safety posters to passing motorists in a bid to remind them to slow down while the community waits for a potential crossing.

Among those in attendance was Edinburgh Eastern MSP Ash Denham, who said there had been several reported incidents of motorists driving along the road at double the 20mph limit.

She said: “It’s quite a complicated junction, so we’ve got children who are probably having to cross multiple times in order to get to school.

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“Pitz plan is an affront to Portobello residents” – Edinburgh Evening News

Residents of Portobello are furious at the City of Edinburgh Council’s plans to sell the Pitz Westbank Street site, and rightly so. This is one of the most valuable open spaces in Portobello and home to five-a-side football pitches and Tumbles, a gymnastics and soft play centre. Both are widely used and beloved by the community. Beach Wheelchairs Portobello also recently secured a storage unit on the site for their wheelchairs.

That is why, despite the current leaseholder’s wish to no longer operate the football pitches, it is alarming the council would move forward with selling the entire site with zero input from the community. 22 bids from developers have already been received, with plans for hundreds of new houses and commercial development and the fate of existing leisure and recreation facilities compromised.

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“When will the Tories see sense and ditch their Austerity Generation policies?” – The National

THE Austerity Generation, a report just released by The Child Poverty Action Group and Institute for Public Policy Research, has revealed one million more children will be driven into poverty by the end of the decade as a result of the Conservative UK Government’s welfare reforms.

I am left wondering how many more children must face impoverishment for the Tories to reconsider their own policies.

One would assume a generation’s worth of harm at the hands of poor policy would be enough for ministers at Westminster to change course. But this latest report comes on top of lots of research that has spelled out the dire consequences of the Conservatives’ welfare policies.

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“Edinburgh MSP in call for ‘answers’ on Brexit impact” – Edinburgh Evening News

The UK government has been called to reveal the impact that leaving the European Union will have on Scotland’s financial sector amid fresh concern of potential job losses.

It follows a warning from the Bank of England that 75,000 jobs in the industry could be at risk from Brexit, with Edinburgh home to the largest number of finance jobs in the UK outside of London.

Edinburgh Eastern MSP and Holyrood finance committee member Ash Denham said it was the act of a “reckless, irresponsible government” not to publish findings on the impact of Brexit.

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“No more going round the houses” – Edinburgh Evening News

There are few more important issues to Edinburgh right now than housing. We are seeing an ever increasing strain on our housing stock and demand for land from developers grows and grows, while the Tory government implements damaging economic and welfare policies – such as cutting housing benefit and removing it altogether from 18 to 21-year-olds – which drive more people into poverty and make rents increasingly unaffordable.

Decisive action is needed – and that is exactly what the SNP is doing.

Since 2014, we have ensured that nobody in Scotland has to pay the hated Bedroom Tax through our mitigation efforts – and we will work to abolish this as soon as we have the power to do so.

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“SNP insist Labour apologise for ‘staggering’ PFI bill after it breaks £1billion barrier” – The Daily Record

The cost of repaying privately funded public building construction broke the £1billion barrier for the first time last year.

The huge sum covers PFI schemes favoured by the previous Scottish Labour-led administration, including schools and hospitals.

The SNP campaigned against the funding model but Labour said the new system is the same with a different badge.

Total PFI charges rose from £924million in 2012-13 to £1billion in 2016-17.

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“We must eradicate modern slavery” – Edinburgh Evening News

The number of potential human trafficking victims in the UK increased by 17 per cent last year.

While the vast majority of instances were in England, Scotland saw 150 potential trafficking cases, a 3.4 per cent increase from the previous year. Agencies such as the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (TARA) fear the actual scale of trafficking is greater than statistics indicate.

Modern slavery is among the most depraved crimes in the world, and one case of trafficking in Scotland is one too many. That is why the Scottish Government has taken forward a robust strategy to eradicate it.

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