9am Briefing: Ex-Provost’s car ploughs through wall

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A FORMER Midlothian Provost has had a miraculous escape after the car he was driving ploughed through the wall of a leisure centre.

No-one was injured in the incident, at 7.55am yesterday morning, in which the silver Hyundai Getz careered over an embankment, through a metal fence and into the reception area of Danderhall Leisure Centre.

It fortunately avoided members of staff who were inside the building at the time.

The vehicle was being driven by the chairman of Danderhall and District Community Council Sam Campbell, 82 – who amazingly walked home after the accident.

Mr Campbell, who said he was “shaken up” following the ordeal, added: “I’ve had a really lucky escape – the accelerator jammed and I just couldn’t stop.”

* RAIL services across the Lothians could be virtually shut down on Sundays early next year after a row between train operator ScotRail and unions intensified.

The train drivers’ union Aslef will ballot for strike action next month in protest at them having to work ten extra shifts a year each.

If members vote in favour of action, it said, that would pose the possibility of drivers refusing to work Sunday shifts.

Aslef hopes the severity of the threat will be enough to force ScotRail back round the table and come up with a better solution for drivers.

* A WOMAN was assaulted and robbed by a mugger who struck her on the head, knocking her to the ground, before stealing her handbag.

The 50-year-old victim was walking along Elgin Street in Leith at about 8.35pm on Friday when she was attacked.

The suspect ran off through Montgomery Park following the robbery.

He is described as being white, medium build, 6ft tall, and in his mid-20s to 30s. He was wearing a black hooded top with a black scarf covering his face, and a dark-coloured tracksuit.

Police have appealed for witnesses to contact them on 0131 311 3131.

* PLANS have been submitted to turn an empty office block in St Andrew Square into a major new hotel.

The former Scottish Life building has been earmarked for the 103-room development after lying empty for three years.

Although an operator has not been confirmed for the site, council chiefs are anxious it should not become another budget hotel.