Friends of The Scotsman

Time to invest in rail and let the train take the strain of lorry freight off our busy roads

West Central Scotland has the country’s heaviest concentration of population and much of the surviving manufacturing and processing activity.

Opinion 1
Drones are becoming increasingly popular

Air traffic control centre offers solid grounding in drone flying for students

As the UK’s leading ­provider of air traffic management services, from our two air traffic control centres, in Prestwick, Ayrshire, and at Swanwick, Hampshire, every year NATS handles 2.4 million flights carrying 250 million passengers through UK airspace.

The Young Emerging Farmers Initiative (YEFI) in Chitambo, Zambia

May East: Youth leading the way in growing income for Zambia’s poorest

Agriculture is the lifeblood of Zambia’s rich resource-based economy, contributing significantly to employment, economic growth, exports, poverty reduction, food security and ­nutrition. Agriculture also plays a critical role in ensuring sustainable use of natural resources.

The pelagic vessel, Grateful  taken by David Linkie

Ian Gatt: Feeding the world with fish in a sustainable industry

There is a school of thought among some environmentalists that when it comes to fishing, big is bad and small is good.

Opinion 1
Paul Brown is a Partner with Anderson Strathern

Paul Brown: How to avoid an expensive legal hangover

‘Tis the season where our thoughts turn to Yuletide frivolity and tasks such as shopping become less mundane simply by adding the prefix “Christmas”.

Catriona Torrance is a Private Client solicitor at Balfour + Manson, Edinburgh

Catriona Torrance: Be careful when giving Power of Attorney

ITV’s 30 November Tonight focussed on problems with family members defrauding elderly relatives and highlighted that many people who have granted a power of attorney in England and Wales are not aware of the lack of safeguards.

Douglas Roberts: Is employee ownership the way ahead for your business?

Douglas Roberts: Is employee ownership the way ahead for your business?

For the 16,000 or so businesses in Scotland known to be looking for an exit strategy over the next few years, employee ownership is a valuable option.The benefits – from staff retention to worker satisfaction to resilience – can bolster start-ups and growing businesses.

Sir Andrew Cubie CBE, FRSE is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Convenor of the RSEs Outreach Programmes.

Sir Andrew Cubie: It’s good to talk about science to stimulate the mind

As Scotland’s National Academy, it is the role of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) to stimulate and develop interest in science, society, culture and the arts across all age groups.

Opinion 1
Christmas festivities on George Street

Roddy Smith: Many hands make light work of enhancing the Capital for everyone

No less a leader than ­Winston Churchill said: “Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing, but reflection…”

Opinion 2
Scott Aitken, Policy Officer, Support in Mind Scotland

Scott Aitken: Who cares for the carers? People dealing with mental health issues need extra support

According to the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016, a carer is someone who provides care for another individual where this is not part of any paid employment or formal volunteering. The term ‘mental health carers’ is used for relatives and friends who support or care about people with lived experience of mental health problems.

Dr. Miles Weaver, Associate Professor in Sustainable Business & SCM, Edinburgh Napier University Business School.

Dr Miles Weaver: Students are now a whole lot more engaged with building excellence in the workplace

Turn on the news and you get Brexit, America First, “building walls”, “civil unrest in other parts of Europe”, “profit over people and planet” and even rockets! Whatever you think of the political and economic ­climate, it feels as if the world around us is becoming ever more protectionist and isolated. In the workplace, many of us are faced with cuts and constraint, while ‘need’ exists. The problems don’t simply go away, the cogs just keep turning, albeit with some grinding.

Opinion 2
Eastwood High School, Glasgow

Grant Robertson: Lessons learned from building the same schools with shared knowledge

The magnificent Queensferry Crossing over the Firth of Forth has been viewed as a structure changing the landscape of Scotland. But allow me to suggest another Scottish project which also connects communities and provides opportunities for future generations.

Opinion 1
(Picture: Aimee Spinks/Starz/Sony Pictures)

David Watt: Outlander isn’t enough to keep Scotland’s heritage sector growing

As the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology draws to a close, it seems fitting to look back on what was a record breaking year for Scotland’s historic environment. Historic sites saw a 20 per cent increase in footfall between April and September 2017, compared to the same period the previous year. In August alone, more than 870,000 people flocked to Historic Environment Scotland sites. While this rise has in part been attributed to the “Outlander effect”, this spectacular summer provides further evidence of the huge part heritage plays in Scottish life and how valuable an asset it is to our economy, generating billions in revenue through everything from cultural tourism to location filming.

Opinion 1
Tommy George is Community Development Manager at Edinburgh Leisure

Tommy George: Get children fit for the future

Moving is good for us. Regular physical activity is important for all of us through our lives, making us feel better, function better and live longer. Regular movement, activity and participation in sport and leisure activities are essential building blocks for a healthy life, reducing our risk of multiple life-threatening diseases.

Scotland's pharmacists are helping older addicts self-manage complex medical conditions

Harry McQuillan: A pathway to better health for Scotland’s older addicts

In July this year, Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell announced a refresh of Scotland’s drug strategy, aimed at responding to the changing landscape of the country’s substance misuse issues. This refresh is all the more relevant and timeous now, given the recent passing of a resolution on Drug reform at the SNP Autumn conference. Members called for all powers relating to drugs policy to be transferred to the Scottish Parliament, and for problem drug use to be approached as not a criminal issue, but one of public health. This has been the professional view for some time, recognising that addiction is a chronic, relapsing illness which has a devastating effect on the lives of individuals, their families and wider society if not managed properly.

Paul Cuthell, National Association of Funeral Directors

Paul Cuthell: So you want Darth Vader to lead off your funeral?

Fireworks made out of ashes, Darth Vader leading a cortege, dead people making an appearance “as live” at their own funeral – times are changing quickly as people look for far more out of a funeral than simply remembering a loved one.

John Sturrock with tour researcher Susan Lassesen

John Sturrock: On the road to solutions that work for all

‘You’re the first group of people who have come here that I’ve spoken to in 40-50 years to talk about matters based purely and simply on having a conversation”. These remarkable observations were made by a local community councillor in a remote part of the north-west Highlands as we hosted one of our 13 events in the six-day Better Conversations Bus Tour in October this year.

Neil Beynon

Neil Beynon: When legal eagles become festive songbirds

It has performed at venues around the world, from New York to Paris, Rome and Venice, but the Faculty of Advocates Choir will be on home soil when a proud milestone is reached this Christmas. The choir, founded in 1996, is staging its 21st charity carol concert, raising funds to add to the thousands of pounds it has donated down the years to Edinburgh City Mission for its work with the homeless. Given this anniversary, perhaps it is an occasion for some reflection.

Mike Kane

Mike Kane: Don’t let digital age leave your business behind

In last week’s Budget, the chancellor announced the following package: £500 million support for 5G mobile networks, fibre broadband and artificial intelligence; £2.3 billion for additional research and development (R&D) activities; and digital economy royalties relating to UK sales paid to a low tax jurisdiction to be subject to an income tax clampdown. It was supported by announcements in education: Funding for 8,000 computer science teachers in England; and a package there worth up to £177m to promote further maths studies at schools and sixth form colleges.

Anne Gray, Senior Policy Officer (Land Use & Environment) at Scottish Land & Estates

Anne Gray: No Brexit deal is worst scenario for our farmers

It wasn’t long after last summer’s EU referendum that the phrase Brexit means Brexit swiftly entered the general lexicon.

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