The latest news and weather from around Scotland presented by Sally Magnusson.
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Some sunny spells elsewhere. Mild, potentially the start of next week
very mild. And that's all from the BBC News at
six. We join the Business rates rebellion,
as an Aberdeen hotelier calls Three Labour-run councils
are to freeze the basic rate of council tax,
as four more local I'm at the National Galleries in
Edinburgh where they are putting on a light show to save one of
Scotland's's most iconic artworks. The Motherwell manager, Mark McGhee,
was banished to the stand after an angry clash with match
officials and then Further touchline bans could be
imposed on him as a penalty. Also on the programme,
the launch of Europe's biggest science festival celebrates
all things Scottish. An Aberdeen hotelier is calling
for a nationwide boycott of new business rates,
and says he'll refuse New rates come into force in April,
after a national revaluation. Stewart Spence, who owns
the Marcliffe hotel, argues that a complete rethink
is needed on how However the Scottish government
point out that an extra ?100,000 businesses will now pay
nothing at all. A busy lunchtime at
the Marcliffe Hotel in Aberdeen. But owner Stewart Spence
isn't celebrating. His business rates are set to rise
by 25%, an extra ?1000 a week. At the same time, turnover
has plunged by 40%. Mr Spence is refusing to pay
the increased ratee, and is calling I'm going to continue to pay my
old rates which is ?252,000 a year, I'm going to continue to pay my
old rates which is ?253,000 a year, in which I ask for nothing,
until I have a satisfactory Are you concerned about
legal ramifications? I would love to go to
court to challenge it. Rates rises aren't confined
to the hospitality sector. The managing director of this
nursery, and four others in the west of Scotland,
will see her bill increase It's hugely concerning because a lot
of people initially say, that's OK, you can charge it back to the
parents. But there's obviously a ceiling to what we can do there and
there's a saturation point, and we will come to a point where parents
will say, we can't afford to go out and work.
And every business in Scotland will be affected.
This Glasgow laundrette will see rates more than double.
The bill for a restaurant a few doors down, almost
The Scottish Conservatives are calling for an "immediate
The Scottish government say its up to local authorities
The Scottish Government say thousands will play nothing at all.
We have increased the threshold for the small business bonus to ?15,000,
lived in about 100,000 businesses out of rates altogether.
Businesses like this one can appeal their revaluation
if they think the assessors have got it wrong.
One thing's for sure - this rates row looks set to rumple on.
So why are some businesses facing big increases while others are not?
Our Business and Economy Editor Douglas Fraser explains.
I have travelled all the way to my place of work, the BBC headquarters
in Glasgow, which is liable for nondomestic rates, as our other
offices, factories, warehouses, schools and hospitals, a bothy, a
satellite mast and salmon. It can go up and down at different rates. It
satellite mast and salmon. It can go depends on the business sector and
on the location. Seven years ago the value placed on renting this was
?3.75 million. Along with office rental in this area, it's going up
15%. That's not the actual bill, the bill is based on the poundage, the
rate levied on each pound of the valuation. That's roughly half the
annual rental cost. In the case of the BBC, ?2.1 million from April.
That's quite a hike, but in the tourism sector, there are much
bigger rises. That hotel across the Clyde, its rateable value is going
up around 50%, the bill will be around ?570,000 per year. There are
catches around this, big properties pay a supplement, and 100,000
smaller properties are exempt. So what does all this add up to? In
total, ?2.8 billion this year, that is to pay the government bills, to
pay for public services. Business isn't going to pay more in total, it
will just pay different shares depending on properties that have
risen or fallen relative to others. Some will pay more and some will
play bass. Those who pay less tend to make less of a fuss. That's
explaining why the government has been afraid to revalue homes for
council tax purposes. They have been stuck for more than a quarter of a
century without a re-evaluation. More than half of us are reckoned to
be in homes are in the wrong band. We might be furious if the council
tax bill was to go up a band or two, but probably half of us are paying
far more than we should. Four people have been
arrested in Slovakia as part of an investigation into human
trafficking, which also saw the arrest of five people
in Glasgow last week. The operation has so far
uncovered sixteen possible victims of trafficking,
with officers from Police Scotland, Slovakian Police and Europol
involved in the raids Police Scotland said it was "very
much a live and ongoing inquiry". Four men have appeared
in court in Slovakia. Glasgow University has been granted
planning permission by the city council for a ?1 billion
redevelopment project. It will see the university expand
into the old Western Infirmary site The plans include new research
and teaching buildings. Its 19th century tower may be one of
the city's famous landmarks, but Glasgow University has a whole
variety of buildings, old and modern, spread around University
Avenue, all the way down to Byres Road. Now the Western Infirmary next
door has closed and the university wants to transform that site from
one where patients of the past were treated, to a centre pioneering cure
is for patients of the future. That vision, though, spreads far beyond
just medicine or indeed Glasgow. Mixing it up, they say, could bring
the rewards. Here we would produce a campus that is innovative and
Glasgow University will be at the centre of that translation of
research for economic activity in Scotland, driving care industries
like quantum technology and precise medicines. As well as prestigious
research, universities are competing to attract students from around the
world. They have doubled the number of international students here
world. They have doubled the number recent years, so there will be new
lecture theatres and study areas to encourage more. West end shops saw a
dip in trade with the closure of the hospital and there have been some
objections to the proposal with concerns new on-campus shops and
cafes will take trade, rather than spread spend. Concerns the
University is keen to calm. We think it will actually create an extra
buzz that will attract more people to the West End. We really wanted to
be part of this community. Where we are standing now will be a new
Square. It will be a square similar to many of the other large squares
we have in Glasgow. We want that to be used by the university, but also
by the people of Glasgow. Outside of graduation, you will not see many
members of the public wandering round this part of the University.
This is the preserve of students and professors. But the development plan
will last ten years. But five years from now, that square down the hill
should be in place and handier for everyone, whether your degree is
from here or from the University of life.
We were talking of business rates earlier.
Three Labour-run councils are to voluntarily freeze the basic
rate of council tax, even though this adds
South Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde councils all decided
against increasing bills for the majority of local residents.
But the move leaves them open to criticism
Our local government correspondent Jamie McIvor
Jamie - the council elections are two and a half months away.
I'm sure that's a factor in Council decision making up and down the
country. Here in Glasgow, the decision today was to increase the
basic rate of council tax by 3%, but I think it's very interesting that
we have seen three Labour councils now confirm that they intend to go
ahead with a voluntary freeze, so the majority of bill payers in those
areas will not see any increase at all. There's definitely an element
of risk to that strategy. For a start, they leave themselves open to
accusations by anti-austerities campaign is that by not raising
council tax, they are not doing all within their power to at least
mitigate local cuts and savings. But the Scottish Government might say
that a council that decides against raising council tax can hardly
complain about how much government funding it's getting. Certainly an
element of risk. Tonight there is speculation a fourth Labour Council,
in Aberdeen, where labour is in the driving seat with support from
others, might also decide to go for a council tax freeze. No
confirmation yet, but we should get solid news and early next week. It's
a freeze for the majority of people in some areas, but everywhere in
Scotland, the bills any higher property bands will increase because
of national changes to how those bills are calculated.
It's one of the country's best known paintings,
and now the National Galleries of Scotland is making a final
fundraising push to buy The Monarch of the Glen.
The current owner, the giant drinks company, Diageo,
is selling the 19th century masterpiece, and has offered it
to the National Galleries for what's described as a knock-down price
Our reporter John McManus is in Edinburgh for us tonight.
As you can see, the National Gallery is really making the point about the
Monarch of the Glen this evening. This iconic painting has meant so
much to so many people throughout the years, carried so many meanings
about Scotland. Painted in 1851, but the current owners, Diageo, say they
will sell it. They say it's worth ?8 million, but will offer it to the
National Galleries if the galleries can offer ?4 million. Half price,
but can they do that? I'm joined by the gallery 's Director-General,
John Leighton. It's a fantastic offer, but can you raise the money
because time is running out? We had four months to raise ?4 million, a
very generous offer. We had tremendous support from the arts
fund, among others, and we have reached ?3.5 million. We have three
quarters of ?1 million to go and we are reaching out to anyone who has
an interest in Scottish art, culture and heritage to help. Every penny
counts. What happens if you can't secure the ?4 million? That's a
question for the owners, Diageo. I think there's every chance it will
be sold and probably end up going abroad and we will have missed a
unique opportunity to bring a abroad and we will have missed a
fantastic, resonant, powerful image back to Scotland where it can be the
subject of debate and delight for future generations. Thank you very
much. The deadline is March 17 for the deal to be done between the
National Galleries and Diageo. The clock is ticking. Here's hoping it
can stay in Scotland in the hands of this public gallery.
You're watching BBC Reporting Scotland.
Business rates rebellion, as an Aberdeen hotelier
And still to come - we meet the farming brothers aiming
for sporting glory in the winter Olympics.
The Motherwell boss and Scotland assistant manager, Mark McGhee,
could be in trouble again with his part-time employers at
During angry scenes at Pittodrie last night, McGhee was sent
to the stands during his side's heavy defeat to Aberdeen.
Afterwards, he said a match official had an "agenda"
It was enough to make a manager's blood boil. With his team already
4-0 down and on their way to an even bigger defeat, a clearly furious
Mark McGeeney is set to the stands by the referee. The dismissal came
about on the advice of the fourth official, John McKendrick. --
clearly furious Mark Mcghee. It was disgusting. I was astounded by the
attitude the fourth official took. I wasn't getting excited about the
fact we were losing the game. I wasn't losing my patience or
tempter. I was actually having a laugh. But from the first minute the
fourth official seemed to me to have made his mind up on the attitude he
was taking and to be honest, he spoiled the game for me as much as
the seven goals we conceded. His attitude was diabolical. If the
attention of a police officer was unwanted, Mark McGhee's evening got
worse when he got up to the stands to find a Havana filming his
arrival. -- to find a fan filming. It's not just that outburst that
could land the assistant manager of Scotland in trouble.
McGhee has already served a two match ban this season for insulting
or abusive language towards a match official in November. It was a
miserable night all round for Motherwell who shipped seven goals
to Aberdeen, the pick of which came from on loan midfielder Ryan
Christie. But it's his words post match that might yet her to the
manager more. Following McGhee's comments we contacted Motherwell,
the Scottish Football Association at the National Stadium, and senior
figures from the refereeing world, none of whom wanted to comment for
Vera prejudicing a possible disciplinary case. But it's clear
the SFA who employs Mark McGhee as assistant manager to the national
team, will want a full explanation. A look at other stories
from across the country. A man has died after a fire
broke out at a house The emergency services were called
to the property at shortly before Meanwhile, a man who died in a house
fire in Lossiemouth in Moray yesterday afternoon has been named
as 88 year old Kenneth Hall. He was in the property
on Elgin Road, when fire crews arrived at the scene shortly
after four o'clock. St Mirren Football Club is one of 15
companies named by the UK Department of Business as guilty of failing
to pay employees the national The biggest offender
here was Crossroads Caring Scotland, which failed to pay more
than ?17,000 to 40 Members of Muirfield Golf Club have
begun voting in a fresh ballot The postal ballot will be
independently scrutinised, and the outcome is expected next
month. A similar vote last year
narrowly failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required
to change club rules. Commuters crossing the Forth and Tay
bridges have saved about ?2000 each, since tolls were abolished
by the Scottish Government Councillors in Aberdeenshire have
agreed to promote the historic Doric Teaching of the language
won't be compulsory, but the authority says all pupils
should develop an understanding of it, as an integral
part of their education. Doric is the north-east dialect
of the Scots language. Jumpers are being knitted for
so-called "discriminated-against" dogs that an animal welfare charity
finds among the hardest to rehome. Dogs with dark-coloured coats
are being overlooked at Scottish SPCA centres
in Inverness and Caithness. It's thought the dogs' features
don't show as well in photographs. Scottish Women's Institute groups
have been knitting the jumpers as part of celebrations marking 100
years of the institute. The Scottish curling
championships start this weekend. The winners will represent
Great Britain at the World Championships, where they can
qualify for the Winter Olympics And that's the aim of two curling
brothers who share another passion, but also a keen rivalry,
as David Currie's been finding out. Thomas Bjorn head is eyeing up the
Scottish title and a place at the Winter Olympics -- so is elder
brother Glenn Muirhead. That is why they are spending as much time as
they can on the ice. Away from the they are spending as much time as
ice the Muirhead brothers are busy boys. That's why I've come to the
heart of the Perthshire countryside to see them going about their day
job. Curling and farming have both been in the family from the very
onset. The two are working well and we are passionate for both. They
work well together which is the most important thing, really. We've both
got our things we specialise in. We pulled together when we need to.
We'd be stuck without each other, really. At this time of year Thomas
and Glenn have their hands full pretty much all the time. The
lambing always comes about the same time as the Scottish Championships.
We've just learned to really work around it, reschedule things. So you
work on the farm during the day, then you are back on the ice?
Straight from the ice rink into the lambing shed and then catch up on a
few hours sleep then do it all again the next day. It's all about team
Muirhead down on the farm. Not so on the rink. Thomas is all about team
Smith, Glenn is team Brewster. We are best friends off the ice but
when it comes to the crunch there's no friends in business really. One
of your teams gets to the Winter Olympics, the other brother will be
minding the farm? Yeah, hopefully one of us is therefore a start, and
that's exactly the case. We will be pulling out all the stops for each
other if one of us is at the Olympics. And the Winter Olympics
might just coincide with the lambing season.
It was the world's first science festival, and it's
The Edinburgh International Science Festival has
unveiled its programme for this year, featuring hundreds
of events in dozens of venues over two weeks in April.
The launch included a police box, a toaster -
Our science correspondent Kenneth Macdonald was watching.
OK, what's going on here? Certainly some of the onlookers seem a little
confused. The presence of the press gives it away. It's the programme
launch for this year 's Edinburgh science Festival. The phone is just
one of the long list of great Scottish inventions. We were the
worlds first and we are still one of the largest science festivals in the
world, we've got a two-week programme that takes over 30 venues
around the city, hundreds of events for families, teens, adults, ranging
from a brand-new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland called
plate onto our city arts Centre activities, five floors of hands-on
fun, and a big programme for as well. One of the things the festival
is doing is drawing up a list of Scottish inventions. For example,
the telephone. Sherlock Holmes, he's one of ours. Paraffin lamp. The
toaster. And Irn Bru, other spellings are available.
Unfortunately I can't cram everything into just four police
boxes. I'm focusing on the lady of Enlightenment, the Scottish
Industrial Revolution, and 101 Scottish inventions. Looking to the
modern-day and celebrating the information age. We are going to
make a cloud. Our connected world is just one of the big themes. If
previous years have anything to go by, the serious stuff for grown-ups
will be almost as fun as for everyone. Does it have a lasting
effect? We genuinely believe science is integral to so many lives that it
is relevant to everybody and we just need to find the right ways of
reaching them. We do a bit of science by stealth programming,
programme around food and reading in the knowledge that all we have to do
is ignite a spark of interest. The festival runs to two weeks over the
Easter holidays which gives us plenty of time to work out what the
birds heads were all about. Aurier Here are Shereen and Glenn
with the details. Tonight, new figures show Scots
spend more on booze than people in the rest of the UK. Would
restricting sales tackle that? Poking fun at the politicians, Ian
Hislop on how satire is engaging a whole new audience. West Wing actor
Richard Schiff talks to us about making a Scottish anti-Trump hashtag
go global. I don't try to live my life insulting people but I think in
this case it adds a little bit of fun to the fury. And Amy MacDonald
is live in the studio. In the meantime let's see how the
weather is shaping up. Good evening. After all the rain many had this
morning it did improve in the end. Lovely picture there. Tonight
largely dry, quite cold compared to last night thanks to this ridge of
high pressure sitting overhead, keeping things try and settled. Warm
front in the South West meaning outbreaks of rain at times. For many
a dry night and where those skies clear it will be cold. There will
also be missed and fog particularly for central and southern Scotland.
Towns and cities with overnight temperatures two to four Celsius, in
the countryside freezing or just under. Thick cloud in the south-west
and across western parts cloudy skies tomorrow, some spots of rain.
Central and southern largely dry but murky at times. Best sunshine in
towards Murray and Aberdeenshire but even here the cloud will increase
through the day. By mid-afternoon largely dry but very cloudy. Mild,
910 Celsius, generally light winds inland. The hotspot or two of rain.
Still holding onto the sunshine across the north-east where we will
see temperatures into double digits. Orkney and Shetland not too bad
either. The rest of the afternoon and overnight, fairly cloudy, winds
picking up around the west Coast and a change afoot as we head overnight
in towards Saturday. This weather front sweeps in from the Atlantic
bringing outbreaks of rain. A wet start to the weekend. Here are the
details for Saturday, outbreaks of rain across the West, edging
eastwards but by afternoon a lot of them will have cleared away. A dry
afternoon with spells of brightness coming through. Easy from the
south-west. The mild theme continues towards Sunday, some outbreaks of
rain across the West and north-west, in the north-east potential highs of
40 degrees. Thank you. Now, a reminder of
tonight's main news. An Aberdeen hotelier is calling
for a nationwide boycott of new business rates,
and says he'll refuse New rates come into force in April,
after a national revaluation. However the Scottish government
point out that an extra 100,000 businesses will now
pay nothing at all. Three Labour run councils are to
freeze the basic rate of council tax. But other local authorities
including Scotland's biggest council, Glasgow, have put them up.
The new US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has held his first
face to face meeting with his Russian counterpart.
It comes in the wake of turmoil in the White House over alleged
links between the Trump administration and the
Rex Tillerson also held talks with the foreign secretary,
Boris Johnson as part of a G20 summit in Germany.
I'll be back with the headlines at 8.
And the late bulletin just after the ten o'clock news.
Until then, from everyone on the team - right
across the country - have a very good evening.
Two challenges await you today, and our genre is Landscape.
The conditions are a wee bit challenging.
I've really got to convince the judges
The conditions are a wee bit challenging.
I've really got to convince the judges
It's colourful - but it was meant to be muted.