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At 3.12pm on Monday afternoon the RNLI Queensferry Lifeboat was launched with a crew of helmsman Derek Sutton, Michael Garfitt and Matthew Foster to go to the aid of a stricken yacht ” Ruff n’ Tumble” with four people on board. They had been enjoying a leisure sail in the Firth of Forth when they ran across a racing mark off Society Bank. The rope fouled the rudder and with the skipper Simon Fraser from Edinburgh unable to free the yacht called the Coastguard for assistance. The Lifeboat crew found the rope stuck fast with the yacht being buffeted by force 5 winds in a metre swell. Lifeboatman Matthew Foster entered the water and managed to cut the yacht free which was then taken in tow and returned safely to Port Edgar Marina, another successful mission completed,their third in four days for the wholly volunteer RNLI Queensferry Lifeboat Crew, a busy holiday weekend indeed.

The City Libraries have a couple of problems which they have mentioned on their blog today:-

“Due to ongoing technical problems we are sorry that some users of Piershill Library have been charged fines when they shouldn’t have been. If you think you’ve been affected by this system failure please contact any of our libraries and we’ll sort this out for you. Please accept our sincere apologies for the service failure.”

The Broughton Spurtle Number 194 is out today. They have a lot of local news, including an obituary of Mohammad Khushi and a puzzle for you too. Where is the lamppost that is shown in the photograph? Must have been taken a day or two ago as by now it would be covered in election posters!

Ken O’Neill, Lothians’ newest independent candidate, has welcomed the reaction to his proposal for the area to have a local currency. Earlier in the campaign, Mr O’Neill proposed the creation of the Lothian Lolly to boost the local economy. Since then, residents, businesses and people from around the world have contacted him about the proposals.

Mr O’Neill said:

“I’m pleased to see that the Lothian Lolly has caught people’s imaginations. While out on the streets campaigning, people have wanted to talk about how it would work and how it would affect them. I’ve also contacted local businesses and had some approach me about the scheme. I really feel that this is an idea whose time has come. I’ve even had inquiries as far as away as Colorado in the U.S. and Brisbane in Australia.

I was also pleased to see other candidates suggesting the creation of a local currency for Edinburgh. Obviously that suggestion is much more limited and less ambitious than the Lolly but I know working together we can lick the Lolly into shape.

The Lothian Lolly would act as a local currency, for use at local shops. This will increase local trade and revive the area. The more traders join, the more effective the scheme will be. At the same time, we will reduce our carbon footprint by shopping locally and using local produce, with local shops sourcing goods and services locally.

One of the great things about a local currency is that it draws attention to the local economy and the shops you can find in your own high street. Independent businesses are having to compete with national chains, the web and out-of-town shopping centres. This complementary currency, working alongside, but not replacing, pounds sterling, will help strengthen our community while creating a more diverse and resilient economy. Not only that, but we will reduce how far our food travels, how far we travel to shop and help our environment as well. A local currency is also a way to show commitment to each other within the community, a way to signal that this is about ‘us’, not just about ‘me.’ The stronger the community grows, the better it reacts in times of recession.”

And The Law Society of Scotland has called for a full audit of the compatibility of Scots criminal law with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), to ensure issues such as those arising from the Cadder case cannot not easily recur. (The ruling in Cadder by the UK Supreme Court means that an arrested person requires access to a solicitor at the earliest opportunity, and before the police question them.)

The Society called for this measure in its recently published Manifesto for 2011. As part of the research for its manifesto, the Society held a number of discussion evenings with local stakeholders including charities, universities, businesses and voluntary organisations to identify the needs of the wider civic community in relation to the legal system.

Jamie Millar, President of the Society said: “Our legal system has a long and proud tradition in ensuring the human rights of victims, suspects, the accused and prisoners. However, we must always strive for improvement and should ensure that human rights are taken into account in every case.

“The emergency legislation passed as a result of the Cadder case last year shows a clear need for a full review of the compatibility of Scots criminal law and ECHR and that is why we have called for this in our manifesto.

“In failing to uphold the right of access to a solicitor from the outset of any police station interview, Scotland found itself out on a limb relative to other countries in Europe, all of whom had this right or who were working towards its implementation. It is important for a vibrant and distinctive legal system in Scotland that it learns from and shares with the jurisprudence of other nations, all of whom are grappling with the same issues.”

“A proactive approach in reviewing the law and its ECHR compliance would also be cost-effective, reducing the number of challenges made to Scots law on human rights grounds.”

This policy has been adopted by one of the main political parties.