9am Briefing: Legal defeat sees council facing £20m equal pay bill

A LEGAL defeat could leave the city council facing a new £20 million “equal pay” bill.

The council has lost a high-profile appeal it lodged in the Court of Session against a previous ruling that ordered it to pay compensation to 400 women in traditionally female- dominated roles, including classroom assistants, social care workers and clerical assistants.

It is expected to open the floodgates to similar claims in Edinburgh and across Scotland.

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But council chiefs have not ruled out appealing against the decision a second time.

* Doctors’ leaders have urged the Scottish Government to be “bold and courageous” and ban people from smoking in cars.

The British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland said there is “compelling” evidence for extending the current smoking ban to include vehicles.

It said more than 13,000 people in Scotland die each year because of smoking, almost a quarter of all deaths. Research shows that 26% of adult non-smokers are exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke in cars, rising to 37% of 18-24 year olds.

* PLANS for a £5 million security extension in front of the Scottish Parliament were branded “costly and pointless” as Holyrood bosses moved closer to approving the proposal.

The parliament announced it was submitting a planning application for the structure, intended to increase security by ensuring visitors are screened before entering the main building.

In a letter to MSPs, presiding officer Tricia Marwick said the structure would only be built if the cost and timescale were “acceptable”.

Green MSP Patrick Harvey said: “This proposal, like the absurd bollards down the Royal Mile . . . is part of a long-standing ‘war on terror’ myth designed to separate politicians from the people they represent and to build a sense of fear and exclusion around public spaces.”