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Iain Renicks

Dec 012017
 December 1, 2017


Royal Bank of Scotland have announce branches in Annan , Langholm , Gretna and Lockerbie have all been ear marked for closure .A total of 62 branches will be shut, with the loss of about 158 jobs.

The union Unite, which represents many of those affected by the closure programme, said senior figures at the bank were “filling their boots while they devastate local communities”.

RBS has said many more customers are accessing services online or via mobile devices.

An RBS spokeswoman said: “More and more of our customers are choosing to do their everyday banking online or on mobile.

“Since 2012 the number of customers using our branches in Scotland has fallen by 44%.

“Only 1% of our customers in Scotland now use a branch regularly while the number of regular mobile users has increased by 39% since 2015.

The spokeswoman added: “We expect these closures to result in around 158 redundancies. We realise this is difficult news for our colleagues and we are doing everything we can to support those affected.

Scottish government business minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The news of further branch closures from RBS will be hugely concerning to many people in Scotland as it now not only affects, potentially, staff at RBS but also leaves large areas of Scotland, particularly rural areas, with limited branch coverage.”

He added: “Along with my colleagues, I will be engaging with RBS to ensure that everything possible is being done to mitigate the impact of this decision on communities affected.”

Andy Willox, FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, added: “While many small businesses use online banking, that doesn’t mean they don’t handle cash, and therefore need to visit a branch.

“Further, many of the branches under threat are in parts of the country with particularly poor mobile and broadband coverage – a fact to which RBS seems to be paying scant regard.”


Oct 312017
 October 31, 2017

Two successful recruitment drives means that we now have over 200 potential volunteers offering support at NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s New Hospital.

As well as welcoming visitors to the hospital, the volunteers will provide help on the use of self-service check-in kiosks and guide patients to waiting areas.
Margaret McGroggan, Volunteer Co-ordinator, says: “The volunteers are not substitutes for paid colleagues and we are very proud of the role they play.
“By giving freely of their time, they are complementing the care patients receive.
“We believe that this is a great opportunity for volunteers to be part of our new state-of-the art hospital.
“Many volunteers have been service users themselves, from all walks of life, and have often said that volunteering can aid their own recovery. They will be on hand to chat and engage with patients and visitors.”
A total of 12 volunteers have taken their part in the induction and orientation of the New Hospital and are currently leading 13 tours for over 200 volunteers.
The orientation programme includes an interactive dementia awareness session and the importance of infection control.
Oct 312017
 October 31, 2017

“Follow ‘The Fireworks Code’ is the message from Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service as we move towards November 5th“explains Community Sergeant Graeme Still in Dumfries.  It is well recognised that October and November are the busiest time of the year when it comes to dealing with the misuse of fireworks.  We are currently working with Community Safety Officers across the Division to deal with increase in calls we experience at this time of year due to anti-social behaviour involving fireworks. Our aim is simply to keep people safe in order that they can enjoy what should be a memorable experience, for all the right reasons.  The misuse of fireworks will not be tolerated and apart from the anti-social and nuisance element, it can be outright dangerous. Some of the basic rules have not changed over the years and include:-
  • Do follow ‘The Fireworks Code and the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed metal box and take them out one at a time.
  • Keep pets indoors and warn neighbours if you intend to hold a fireworks display.
  • Use only designated sites for your bonfire.
Designated bonfire sites have been identified and should be used wherever possible.  Details of the sites can be obtained through DGFirst on 03033 333 000.
“Extra patrols will be out and about over the coming nights and on bonfire night itself, on the 5th,” said Sergeant Stitt.  “Make no mistake, we aim to make our presence visible and will deal robustly with anyone who is out to spoil the fun for others by their anti-social and often reckless behaviour.”
The Scottish Fire & Rescue Service would like reiterate Sergeant Stitt’s message and encourage everybody to attend organised approved bonfire events only.
“At this time of year we traditionally receive a heightened number of call outs, and we’ll be working closely with Police Scotland and other community partners over the weekend to ensure a safe and enjoyable Bonfire Night for everyone.”
Oct 272017
 October 27, 2017

Just weeks away from opening the new Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary to patients. It’s all go at both the existing hospital and the new hospital as staff make final preparations for the big move.

The 100% single room facility includes an emergency care department, combined assessment unit, theatres complex, critical care unit and outpatients centre. The design of the building has meant NHS Dumfries and Galloway has been able to take full advantage of the natural surroundings in which the new hospital is situated. High Wood Health and construction partner Laing O’Rourke have turned NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s vision for the new district hospital as a ‘healing environment’ into a reality.

Staff will benefit from working in a hospital where the most advanced technology has been incorporated into the design enabling them to deliver the best possible standards of care to the 21st century patient.

Working in partnership with Scottish Ambulance Service, the local Council, Police and Fire Services, and removal company Harrow Green, NHS Dumfries and Galloway has planned the four day move from the existing hospital to the new hospital down to the finest detail. NHS Dumfries and Galloway, with their partners, recently carried out a successful test run of the patient transfer.

Julie White, Chief Operating Officer, NHS Dumfries and Galloway/Chief Officer Health and Social Care Partnership said:

“I am delighted that we are now in the final stages of preparing for the move to the new hospital. More than 2000 staff are currently taking part in an orientation programme to familiarise themselves with their new workplace before the four day transfer beginning on the 8th of December. I am confident that the significant amount of planning work that has been undertaken will ensure a safe smooth transfer of patients, services and staff to our new facility.”

Jeff Ace, Chief Executive, NHS Dumfries and Galloway said:

“I’m absolutely delighted that we are weeks away from opening our new hospital. Delivering a modern, patient centred and highly efficient environment is central to the overall reshaping of health services across Dumfries and Galloway.

“It’s a fantastic facility set in exceptional surroundings and has by far exceeded our expectations.”

Roger Frost, Project Director, Laing O’Rourke said:

“We are proud to have delivered this hospital on time, with our experience in the Health Sector helping us to provide certainty of delivery and a commitment to innovation and excellence. As a business and as a project team we were keen to meet, and deliver, the vision set out by both the NHS Dumfries & Galloway, but also the aspirations of so many people in this region who will benefit from the new services and facilities in the years to come. It was a responsibility we never took for granted, which was reflected in our approach, but also our engagement and commitment to, the community here in the south west of Scotland.”

Credit NHS D&G

Aug 242017
 August 24, 2017
Local community radio station Alive 107.3 has reason for celebration this week!
Presenter and well known Moniaive resident Hugh Taylor has been shortlisted for a national radio award.  Hugh has been nominated in the ‘Sage Person of the Year’ category at the Community Radio Awards 2017 .
The awards received 350 entries from 70 community stations across the UK and culminates in a conference and awards ceremony in Bristol next month.
Hugh presents his show ‘Folk’n’Stuff’ every Tuesday night on the station. As well as serving up a wide cross-section of modern and contemporary folk music, his show has a growing reputation for its live music sessions with some of the finest musicians from across the globe.
Station Manager Adrian Leslie said  “Congratulations to Hugh for being shortlisted. We are delighted for Hugh who is an example of the great presenters we have at Alive 107.3, and is also a wonderful birthday present for the station as we are about to celebrate our 8th Birthday next month.”
Jul 282017
 July 28, 2017


Ian Greig is back on his bike after suffering 52 broken bones.

Dumfries biker who broke 52 bones in a horror smash will ride across the country for charity next week.

Ian Greig was involved in a collision near Ae village in 2014 and will mark the third anniversary of the crash by raising money for the intensive care unit at DGRI.

The lorry driver had the largest number of fractures ever recorded by one person at the hospital, as well as a punctured lung, but was back on his bike less than six months later.

The 45-year-old said: “I’ve always wanted to do something for the ICU unit because they saved my life.

“I want to pay them back and this is my way of thanking them. They basically put me back together again.

“The staff were fantastic even though I wasn’t the best patient at times.

“They always need help there so whatever I raise I will give to the unit and they can hopefully get things they really need.”

Dumfries biker who broke 52 bones in a horror smash will ride across the country for charity next week.


Jul 282017
 July 28, 2017

TEENAGER Tyler Jolly from Whithorn has won gold in the men’s 64kg boxing category at the Commonwealth Youth Games.

He lifted the gold medal for Scotland at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games which is the sixth edition of the games that started in 2000.

The 17-year-old Whithorn Braveheart boxer dominated his match and brought gold home for Scotland in his 64kg semi-final in the Youth Games in the Bahamas.

The referee stopped the contest in the first round.

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