Scotsman - News in Brief – 11/07/06
yesterday heralded a green revolution for Scotland unveiling one of Britain's most radical energy initiatives whereby all new property developments in Scotland will need to produce some of their own electricity through a micro-renewable generating plant. Large developments such as hospitals, schools, factories and council buildings will be affected by the initiative but also included will be large housing developments, particularly housing association and council projects. The Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm, said that small developments with just a few new homes would be exempt, but that all others would have to abide by the new rules. The plan by the Executive represents a sharply different approach by the government towards micro- renewables and for the building industry it introduces a major new regulation. A spokesman for the Executive said, "The cost of renewable energy is going down and the price of fossil fuel-based electricity is going up. In the long-term, these will be seen as an asset for a property in the same way as insulation is seen as an asset." New developments will have a choice of hydro-electricity, bio-fuels, solar panels, wind turbines, photovoltaic cells, or ground-source heat pumps, which can all be used to generate electricity. Any one, or perhaps a combination of them, will be required to be fitted in new developments. A spokeswoman for Homes for Scotland said: "The success of such a policy will depend on the availability of the technology at costs that home-buyers are willing to absorb, and this also points to the importance of having a campaign to raise public awareness on renewable resources to accompany any statutory measures." The consultation paper was launched by Mr Chisholm at a sheltered housing development in Edinburgh that powers all the communal lighting and heating in the building from a silent rooftop wind turbine. Launching the initiative, Mr Chisholm said: "For new developments, we propose that a minimum of 10 per cent of their energy needs are met by on-site renewables. The Scottish Executive aims to see Scotland generating 40 per cent of its energy needs through renewables by 2020, but expect to reach their goal a few years early.
are less likely to re-offend if they meet their victims, than those who have no contact with their victims. A new report by the charity Safeguarding Communities - Reducing Re-offending (SACRO), suggests that this tactic could be a crucial to the reduction of crime in Scotland. Nearly 200 children who had offended in Aberdeen were involved in the SACRO project, which "tracked "them for a year to study the impact on their behaviour of meeting victims. Over seventy were first offenders and 86 per cent of those did not re-offend in the 12 months after taking part in the SACRO project. Authorities also saw a 10 per cent reduction in crime among 20 hardcore offenders who took part in the project, having each been previously responsible for a total of 383 crimes.
SACRO said that offenders were made aware of the consequences of their crime, while young people were less likely to be "demonised". The SACRO report said: "The findings ... show that people tend to get a lot out of these experiences, and it seems that the negative human consequences are reduced and action, which may be senseless, can be resolved." Cathy Jamieson, the justice minister, may find some relief from this report on the day that figures are published showing that Youth Crime targets, set by the Scottish Executive have not been met. Stewart Stevenson, the SNP's deputy justice spokesman, said: "I'm very pleased that the Aberdeen project has been working well, although we have to be cautious with early trials. We support the use of restorative justice schemes, which have been successful elsewhere in the world." Meanwhile a Scottish Executive spokeswoman said: "We are encouragby the sucsthe Aberdeen project, and will continue to work to develop a clear evidence base on which to base future decisions."
, one of three bankers facing extradition to the United States under controversial British laws said yesterday, "We believe we are going to be flown direct to Houston and on arrival there we will be issued with our orange boiler suits, our foot chains and our hand chains". The three, Mr Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew are bankers at Royal Bank of Scotland's NatWest subsidiary. Trish Godman, Labour MSP is mother of Mr Mulgrew, who has a wife and child who live in Glasgow. The three are alleged, in a deal with the collapsed US energy giant Enron, to have by sold a Cayman Islands-based company for less than it was worth thereby defrauding NatWest of 11 million pounds. Prime Minister Tony Blair and John Reid, the Home Secretary, have refused to block or delay the extradition despite pleas from the three men, their families, MPs of all parties and senior business figures. The extradition is set to take place under the 2003 Extradition Act sparking a political storm. This was the law, which lowered the standard of evidence the US authorities needed to show before Britain would agree to extradite a suspect for trial. Tony Blair informed MPs last week that he had instructed officials to look for ways of ensuring that the three men are given bail and allowed back to Britain to serve their bail at home. http://news.scotsman.com/