9am Briefing: Hearts boiler bans functions at Tynecastle

A FAULTY boiler at Tynecastle has led to ban on the club hosting functions.

The city council told the Gorgie club that until the problem is fixed events will have to be put on hold at the Gorgie Suite after a member of public complained of food poisoning, it was reported today.

It is known that club officials have recently had to rely on portable heaters in the Tynecastle suites.

Hearts said the problem will be sorted today.

City set for super-size classes

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SUPER-SIZED classes of up to 36 primary pupils could be created in Edinburgh under new council proposals.

It was reported today that education officials feel a team of teachers could take the classes after conceding meeting Scottish Government guidelines of 18-pupil classes would be tough.

The possibility will be discussed at the full council meeting later today, and councillors will be told the scheme could be phased in "by establishing discrete classes of 18, composite classes of up to 18 or team-teaching arrangements for up to 36 pupils".

But senior politicians have hit out at the plans.

Suicides warning

THE deepening financial crisis could lead to a rise in the number of suicides, Samaritans warned today.

People facing unemployment, mounting debts and losing their homes could feel they have nowhere to turn, the charity said.

Stephen Platt, professor of health policy research at the University of Edinburgh and a Samaritans trustee, said: "The fear of losing one's job and pressures caused by a downturn in business, demotion or pension plan cutbacks can be bad for mental health and therefore increase suicide risk."

The charity has urged people in the Capital to look out for family, friends and colleagues.

Quango workers on the rise

THE number of workers employed in Scottish quangos has reportedly risen to 37,300 despite government pledges to cut back on the agencies.

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First minister Alex Salmond has cut the number of quangos in Scotland from 199 to 165, but reported figures show that employees working at the public bodies - which run organisations raging from arts to public bodies - have increased by over one per cent in the last year.