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Proceeds from Tesco's carrier bag charge in Scotland will go to Keep Scotland Beautiful.

The independent charity Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB) has welcomed the introduction of the mandatory 5p charge for single-use bags taken from shops from today (Monday 20th October). The regulations, agreed by the Scottish Parliament in May, follow similar schemes introduced in Wales and Northern Ireland, where initial results showed a 75-80% reduction in bags used.

Keep Scotland Beautiful has been identified by responsible retailers, large and small as a natural partner. The charities reach into communities gives it unprecedented opportunity to ensure that proceeds from the 5p charge are used to stimulate the improvement of local environmental quality across Scotland. Through their Clean Up Scotland Campaign - Scotland’s anti-litter campaign – 400,000 clean up actions have been registered. They are working across the country to reduce litter and make local environments cleaner, greener and more beautiful.

Following a customer vote, Keep Scotland Beautiful will receive all the proceeds from the 5p charge collected by Scottish Tesco stores for one year, with Initial estimates suggesting proceeds approaching £1M. KSB will re-invest that financial support in environmental projects and initiatives whilst also supporting grass roots activity in communities across Scotland. Photographs of Derek Robertson launching the partnership with Tesco and Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs are available - see notes to editor.

Welcoming the introduction of the 5p charge, Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful said:

“We have always been clear that the bag charge can be a major stimulus for improvement in local environmental quality in Scotland. Reducing potential litter and eliminating plastic waste are key benefits that everyone should welcome.”

"The introduction of the Scottish Government legislation brings Scotland in line with many countries across Europe where it is estimated that some 800 billion carrier bags are used each year. This is clearly unsustainable particularly given the considerable environmental impact they have when discarded into the litter chain. So it is encouraging that there is now an opportunity for the people of Scotland to play their part”

“Our work with Tesco will make the best use possible of the money they collect from the bag charge. We have a unique reach across Scotland to deliver real change with these funds. We’ve delivered significant environmental improvements before, and these bag charge proceeds will allow us to do more, making Scotland cleaner, greener and more sustainable.

"This new charge for bags will be transformational for the environment."





Message Matters' client Shepherd and Wedderburn has today acquired out of administration the business and assets of Tods Murray, the Scottish law firm whose history spans 158 years. Tods Murray Partners have agreed that the arrangement will preserve the maximum number of jobs and ensure continuity of service to clients. 

The arrangement will result in both an increased projected turnover and headcount at Shepherd and Wedderburn.

Stephen Gibb, Chief Executive of Shepherd and Wedderburn stated:

“We will be welcoming many new colleagues into our team, as part of Shepherd and Wedderburn. Their clients can be assured of a continuation of the high level of service they have come to expect, as well as the opportunity to access the expanded range of legal expertise and advice we offer. Whilst inevitably there will be a need to rationalise, I am confident that the arrangement will provide significant benefits to our staff and client base.

"Shepherd and Wedderburn has a debt-free balance sheet and a strategy for sustainable growth both in Scotland and across the rest of the UK.  The opportunity to add to our excellent client base and secure additional high quality lawyers to bolster our expert teams is ideally timed for our business. It’s a further significant step forward in realising our clearly defined strategy for growth”.

Shepherd and Wedderburn has experienced a period of sustained growth, and during the last 18 months, the firm has made four high profile lateral appointments to key sector practices as well three internal promotions to the partnership. The acquisition of Tods Murray aligns with Shepherd and Wedderburn’s intention, articulated earlier in 2014, by Chief Executive, Stephen Gibb to go on the acquisition trail for firms of the ‘right fit and quality’.

Further detail

  • Of the Tods Murray Partners joining Shepherd and Wedderburn: 18 will join as Partners; 5 as directors; and 7 as consultants.
  • Shepherd and Wedderburn will trade out of the former Tods Murray offices at Edinburgh Quay and Bothwell Street, Glasgow for no more than three months before these offices are closed.
  • Tods Murray employees were formally notified of the situation earlier today.  Shepherd and Wedderburn propose to commence a formal 45 day redundancy consultation process with the former Tods Murray employees next week. The initial proposal is for c50 jobs to be subject to redundancy consultation.
  • Following the consultation period all retained personnel will move to Shepherd and Wedderburn’s  existing offices at Exchange Crescent, Edinburgh and West George Street, Glasgow.

Shepherd and Wedderburn is a leading UK law firm, with an uncompromising commitment to client service. With offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, the City of London, and Aberdeen, the firm delivers comprehensive multi-jurisdictional legal advice across every business sector as well as offering the full range of private client and wealth management services.

As a founding member of the World Services Group, Shepherd and Wedderburn is able to respond to clients’ needs swiftly and effectively anywhere in the world. Currently the firm serves clients in 86 jurisdictions.

Regarded by many as the go-to firm for specialist advice in the energy and natural resources and real estate sectors, Shepherd and Wedderburn also has an impressive track record in advising clients from across other industries and sectors. FTSE 100 blue-chips, AIM companies, large SMEs, and public service organisations are counted among its clients.

Post acquisition the firm will have 564 staff, including 82 Partners.

For the year ending April 2014, turnover at Shepherd and Wedderburn increased from £35.9m to £38.3m and net profit rose by 10 per cent to £14.3m.



Big steps: Staff and pupils from the Scottish Centre for Children with Motor Impairments celebrate WCPD 2014.Scotland’s leading health, education, research and charity professionals gathered at Holyrood last night (Tuesday, September 30th, 2014) for a reception hosted by the Scottish Centre for Children with Motor Impairments marking the eve of the global awareness day for Cerebral Palsy. Message Matters' client, the SCCMI is Scotland’s national specialist centre for integrated education and therapy services for children with cerebral palsy and similar neurological conditions, based at the Craighalbert Centre in Cumbernauld, serving all of Scotland’s local authorities.

At last night’s event staff and children and young people who attend the Centre met with MSPs and guests, and enjoyed sporting displays from Molly Williamson, 14, from Falkirk, who is a member of Lothian Phoenix Wheelchair Basketball squad and from Georgie Williams, 18, from Perthshire, who is a BC3 (very severe physical disability) player in the Scotland Boccia Squad. The displays of sporting prowess in their chosen fields illustrated the achievements of the national Centre in helping children achieve levels of independence and skill in life.

17 million people are affected by cerebral palsy around the world. World Cerebral Palsy Day is a global awareness and innovation project aiming to change the world for people with cerebral palsy (CP). It is designed to gather ideas from people living with CP and their supporters, and to make the best of those ideas a reality. The first global awareness day was held in 2012. Over 470 ideas were received that year and three were shortlisted in a global competition to prototype them. A solar powered wheelchair was the first winner, proposed by a man with CP in Turkey and developed by the University of Virginia. The day is backed by disability organisations in over 46 countries, who come together to place an international spotlight on CP.

The SCCMI is a Grant Aided Special School funded directly by the Scottish Government to provide specialist and high quality integrated therapy and education for children and young people affected by cerebral palsy and similar neurological conditions from all parts of Scotland. SCCMI has a specific and specialist focus on children affected by neurological conditions and holds the view that children with cerebral palsy and related neurological conditions require a focused and specialist environment within which their needs can be addressed, their abilities can be developed and within which they can progress and flourish.

Operating within a specially designed and high quality facility at the Craighalbert Centre in Cumbernauld, the SCCMI’s staff work in tightly knit teams, which include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and teachers, who work in an integrated, collaborative manner to enable children and young people to maximise their abilities, achieve their full potential and develop their greatest level of independence.

Chief Executive of the Centre, Professor Patrick Salter, said:

“As a national centre in Scotland the SCCMI embodies the aspirations of World Cerebral Palsy Day and we are very proud to be showcasing our work at the Scottish Parliament on such an important occasion. At SCCMI we believe all children and young people have the capacity for progress and that the focus on a child with additional support needs should be on his/her achievement, progress and potential realisation, rather than on their difficulties.  This means our focus is on what they can do, rather than what they cannot do.

“Our specialist staff work collaboratively, providing integrated education and therapy for children from nursery age through to teenagers up to 19 years of age. Our facilities include a hydrotherapy pool and sensory room, which contribute to the well-being and ambitions of our children as we seek to aid them with their education, movement and communication. We hope tonight’s reception will lead to greater recognition of Scotland’s cerebral palsy care needs and the potential for a national approach to the provision of care and education.”



The independent Scottish charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, has welcomed the launch of an awareness campaign on the introduction of a charge for single-use carrier bags, set for introduction on 20th October.

Legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament in May introduced a mandatory 5p charge on all single use carrier bags, with the proceeds being given to environmental good causes.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful said::

“The introduction of this charge for single-use carrier bags is an overwhelmingly positive step for Scotland to take. The use of bags of all shapes and sizes has environmental consequences, and a range of impacts that are detrimental to attempts to improve local environmental quality.

“All the evidence from similar initiatives in Wales and Northern Ireland points to significant reductions in bag use, and that has to be good news for cause of greater sustainability. The introduction of this charge, in only three weeks, will represent a major step forward towards a zero-waste future for Scotland.

“Additionally, the revenues generated from the charge will make a real difference to environmental charities across the country, and we look forward to working with a wide range of retailers to make the greatest difference possible with their bag levy proceeds.”

Keep Scotland Beautiful is the independent charity which campaigns, acts and educates on a range of local, national and global environmental issues which affect people’s quality of life. It is committed to making Scotland clean and green, today and tomorrow. Further details from

The Single Use Carrier Bag Charge legislation is set for introduction on 20th October. The Scottish Government has launched an awareness campaign today (Thursday) to widen information aware to shoppers, retailers and the wider public.



A leading social enterprise is being recognised by the Stirling-based mental health charity, Action in Mind, for excellence in its volunteer-led service provision. The charity’s Working Together Award for 2014 was received by Petra Biberbach, Chief Executive of PAS, the impartial organisation which inspires individuals to be aware of the planning process and their role within it.

The award was prompted by excellent and sensitive advice provided by Message Matters' client PAS to a local mental health carer over a planning application for her son with schizophrenia. The assistance provided was part of the existing Scotland-wide role of PAS in providing impartial advice on the planning process, through a national network of almost 400 volunteer planning advisors.

PAS is a trusted, impartial organisation with over 20 years of experience which inspires individuals to be aware of the planning process and their role within it. The social enterprise raises civic awareness of the positive effect good planning can create for all, as well as offering specialist training for seldom heard groups, including Gypsy/Travellers and black and ethnic minority groups. The training is run by various planning and community development professionals and helps groups’ understanding of the planning system and how they can influence it to best meet their particular needs. The organisation also provides aftercare and support.

Handing over the Working Together Award for 2014, Helena Scott Executive Director of Action in Mind said: “We are so delighted that Planning Aid for Scotland accepted our Working Together Award for 2014.  Recognising the huge contribution that volunteer planners make to helping local people navigate around the planning system is essential for ensuring we have communities that meet with everyone’s needs. 

“PAS is a leader in community engagement, often tackling what to many is difficult, accessing groups and communities that are disengaged from the mainstream with the subject of planning that is itself not always easy to understand.”

Chief Executive of PAS, Petra Biberbach, said:  “I was delighted to receive this award on behalf of our many Advice Service volunteers, this recognition gets to the very heart of what PAS is all about. Too many people, particularly the most vulnerable, find the planning process too complex and need the kind of impartial advice that only PAS and our volunteer advisors can provide.

“That advice is always provided free of charge, and PAS is providing more and more help year on year, all over Scotland.”