Lennox Herald : 2020-05-19

NEWS : 4 : 4


4 www.lennoxhera­ld.co.uk 19.05.2020 Day-trippers flock to loch in lockdown JENNY FOULDS Thousands of rule breakers have been ignoring lockdown rules by flocking to Loch Lomond, it has emerged. Police figures show the district, which includes the villages of Balloch and Luss on the banks of the loch, had the highest number of lockdown breaches of any in Scotland, with police ordering 2,291 people to go home in just 30 days. Local businesses have reported a rush of visitors at weekends and sunny days – with police and politician­s urging people who don’t live in the area to stay away. West Dunbartons­hire accounted for 11 per cent of the 21,487 lockdown breaches since Police Scotland began recording data by subdivisio­n on April 6. It also has the highest number of £60 fines issued, with 167 people slapped with the penalties. On Wednesday, May 6, which brought good weather to the area, officers dispersed nearly 190 people – the highest number on any day in any subdivisio­n since the lockdown began. Chief Superinten­dent John Paterson, divisional commander, said his officers have been out on patrol, 24 hours a day. He said: “We are working closely with partners and issuing regular messages to ensure people living within and outwith our division understand the guidance in place at this time. FRASER CLARKE Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School has been ranked as the best performing inWest Dunbartons­hire in new figures published this month. Forty-five percent of pupils at the Bellsmyre school attained five or more Highers, an increase of four percent on 2019’s statistics which was also enough to see OLSP rise 25 places to 65th in the nationwide standings. Dumbarton Academy also jumped up the table, rising from 199th to 154th with 34 percent of pupils leaving the Crosslet Road facility with five or more Highers an increase of three percent on last year. Vale of Leven Academy meanwhile dropped from 284th to 300 - with 22 percent leaving the school having hit the benchmark, a figure that dropped by one percent since 2019. Elsewhere inWest Dunbartons­hire, St Peter the Apostle was ranked 240th with 28 percent achieving five or more Highers, whilst Clydebank High’s total of 25 percent was enough for 268th. AWest Dunbartons­hire Council spokespers­on said: “All of our schools are committed to raising attainment and achievemen­t and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has relaxed the restrictio­ns slightly to allow people in Scotland to exercise outside their homes more than once a day. But the exercise must still be taken close to home, and the advice against non-essential travel remains unchanged. Gordon Watson, chief executive of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, hammered home the message and said: “Getting outside into fresh air for exercise has huge benefits for both our physical and mental wellbeing. “That’s even more important for people at this difficult time. “However, the advice on non-essential travel has not changed and outdoor exercise must continue to only be carried out close to home.” He added: “This means that people should still not be travelling to the national park unnecessar­ily for day trips or outdoor activities at this time.” me that people can be so selfish. “Is having a picnic really worth risking the lives of your family and others? All people are being told to do is park your bahookie on the couch and watch TV; saving lives and being a hero has never been easier. Stay home, stay safe, save lives.” Park bosses have meanwhile stressed that Loch Lomond is still off limits to visitors after lockdown exercise rules were amended. “In these messages, I have made it clear that while we are fortunate to have some areas of outstandin­g beauty across the division, this is not the time to visit these places.” Council leader Jonathan McColl, of the Lomond ward, branded the rule breakers “selfish”. He said: “The vast majority of people causing the issue are coming from out-with West Dunbartons­hire and it saddens #NHSHeroes Enter our official charity raffle and win prizes for NHS heroes! Keep your prize or gift it to a hero of your choice. Raising funds for: Donate to win at: donate.thanksamil­lion.co.uk thanksamil­lionnhs.co.uk is powered by the Network

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