News in brief: Campaign against cold calling, Wee Kelpie flooded again, MSP highlights student debt

No cold calling (front)Signs reading ‘no cold calling’ are being made available to householders across Argyll and Bute in a new campaign.

The council and Police Scotland are warning residents not to not to deal with ‘here today gone tomorrow’ doorstep callers.

Trading standards officers say that every year the area is targeted by conmen who go door-to-door offering to carry out roof and driveway repairs and gardening work, with the price often rising from the original quote and the work being done poorly.

Award-winning chip shop the Wee Kelpie has once again been flooded after heavy rain in Helensburgh.

The West Clyde Street takeaway was washed out on Saturday night, and owners say the problem is partly due to the camber of the pavement after the £6.6m CHORD project to regenerate the town centre.

When it was flooded in August a spokesperson for Argyll and Bute Council said: “It is unlikely that any drainage system would have managed.”

MSP Jackie Baillie has warned that students in Helensburgh and Lomond are being forced to take out record levels of debt – and blames the SNP for cutting grants by 35%.

A new report from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland shows total student borrowing now stands at £430m, the highest level ever.

The Dumbarton constituency MSP says the SNP cut overall spending on grants by £35 million in the last academic year and introduced a new system of means-testing for calculating student support.

“The SNP will point to free tuition fees, but the reality is that Scotland is now the worst place in the UK for poorer students, worst for widening access and worst for drop-out rates,” she said.

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