A heroic mechanic who saved a man's life after he suffered a serious leg injury in a horrific crash in Blairgowrie has described the moment he sprang into action. Tam Grehan, 48, was driving on the A93 near the Mains of Mause cottage on Thursday when he came across a motorcyclist who had been in a serious crash. Mr Grehan revealed how he applied pressure to the man's injuries to slow down the bleeding and save his life. He said: "I just came up the road in my van and I saw a bike was lying on the right hand side. "There was a guy lying there and his mate was trying to drag him off the road. I could see straight away that he had lost his leg. https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/perth-kinross/524992/perthshire-road-closed-motorbike-crash-articleisfree/ “He was bleeding really badly. I had a jacket in my van so I pulled it out and put it over him and just did what I could to help. “It felt like an eternity waiting for the ambulance to arrive. I was definitely glad to hear the sirens. I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved." The motorcyclist is understood to be recovering in Ninewells Hospital after having part of his leg amputated but Mr Grehan said the 31-year-old had been in touch to say thank you. He said: “I got a phone call from him to say thanks and let me know he was okay. He said I’d saved his life but I just did my best and did what I could to help." RTC A93 at Mains of Mause Farm, Blairgowrie. Road closed. Police in attendance. Diversions in place. — Perth&KinrossCouncil (@PerthandKinross) October 12, 2017 A local farmer, who asked not to be named, began directing traffic after arriving at the scene of the crash and said the motorcyclist owed his life to Mr Grehan. He said: “I heard the air ambulance arrive and opened the gates so the paramedics could get access. “By the time I arrived, the boy was already being seen to. I’ve no doubt Tam saved his life. He was first on the scene and really, I take my hat off to him. “If it hadn’t have been for Tam, the boy wouldn’t be here – it’s as simple as that.” A spokeswoman for Police Scotland confirmed officers were sent to the scene shortly before 4.50pm on Thursday. The road remained closed for several hours.
A popular Dundee art collection is set to reel in the crowds after unveiling a fresh refurb of the city's favourite sturgeon. The 8.5ft long fish, which was caught nearly 130 years ago, is the largest and last of its kind to be found in the River Tay. First displayed at the city's McManus Art Gallery in June, it proved a popular attraction but had already suffered significant deterioration while in storage, leaving openings around the gills, head and body. The largest #Sturgeon ever fished from the Tay back on display as part of Dundee Preserves exhibition #McManus150 pic.twitter.com/xlmcif9wG4 — The McManus (@McManusDundee) October 4, 2017 Curators say they wanted visitors to see the piece prior to it being sent away for extensive repair work to underline the importance of collections care - a process that often goes on largely behind closed doors. Rebecca Jackson-Hunt, conservator at The McManus, said: "The piece went to a specialist taxidermist for repairs. "I think people often don't realise the amount of work that goes into putting these items out. A lot of it goes on without people knowing so it's nice to actually show what we do behind the scenes. "We hope as a result of this exhibition, we hope the sturgeon will now stay out on display within the museum rather than being sent back to storage." Mike Sedakat, curator of botany and zoology, said: "It would have been a really special find. It would have been swimming up looking for small crustaceans to feed on and the River Tay would have given it really good options. The largest and last #sturgeon to be caught on the River Tay, has gone back on display @McManusDundee https://t.co/Y9eGog81dg #McManus150 pic.twitter.com/1OylUa9FWA — Leisure & Culture (@LACDundee) October 4, 2017 "It's more the kind of thing you might expect to see somewhere in the North Atlantic really. Unfortunately, they're not very common in British waters. There are very few records of them in the Tay so definitely, it would have been very unusual." Now back home at the Dundee Preserves Exhibition, the giant fish is again proving hit with punters after being placed next to a giant Arctic Walrus. With a campaign to help name the animal still ongoing, some have even suggested calling it Salmond so the pair can match their First Minister namesakes. Chair of Leisure & Culture Dundee Sinclair Aitken said: “Dundee Preserves provides a fascinating insight into the city’s collections and the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at The McManus to ensure we have these marvellous objects that we can all enjoy and be proud of. "It is heartening to know that the endeavour that is going on today is safeguarding collections that will last the test of time for future generations to enjoy.”
A "fuming" Dundee mother has described how she opened the attic of her new family home to find it stuffed to the brim with prescription medicines. Jane Mclean, who moved to the Douglas property with her nine-year-old daughter two months ago, pulled bag after bag from the roof area and was stunned by the sheer volume of pills, painkillers, inhalers and eye drops. Ms Mclean said she agreed to trade her flat for the two-storey house in Balunie Avenue after meeting the previous occupants while out shopping but still knows very little about the couple. After moving in, she discovered they had left behind clothing, ornaments and the massive stash of prescription drugs with no thought to the fact she would be sharing the home with her young daughter and pet dog. "I was absolutely fuming," Ms Mclean said. "I started pulling the bags out of the attic and they just kept coming and coming. "I think it's absolutely shocking to have all that kept up there unopened and unused when the NHS is struggling like it is and all sorts of people have to go without. "I'm going to go to the chemist who sent it all out and see what I'm best to do with it now but I hope they find out how this was allowed to happen - it really is disgusting." Cash-strapped NHS Tayside has seen its prescription costs snowball and has overspent by almost £7 million for the period from April 2016 to February this year. Health chiefs estimate a total spend of around £140 million on prescribing medications in the region, with unused or wasted medicines costing £1.4 million each year. Ms Mclean's discovery comes as the board grapples with having to chop £175m off its budget over the next five years to try to balance its books. David Coulson, associate director of pharmacy with NHS Tayside, said: "I would ask every patient to always return any stopped, unwanted, unused or out of date medication to your community pharmacy for safe disposal - do not throw them in the bin or put them down the toilet. "Discuss your medicines with your doctor or pharmacist regularly. Ask for a medications review if you have concerns and let your GP practice or your pharmacy know if you have stopped taking any of your medication."
Unemployment rates in Dundee have fallen by more than any other Scottish city, according to official figures. Dundee City East had the highest percentage decrease in claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) in the first three months of this year, with one in every 100 being signed off the benefit. Dundee City West saw a 0.9% decrease overall, with nearly every area across Tayside and Fife recording a drop in the number of claimants. Only Perthshire North and South and Kinross-shire failed to do so. Jane McEwen, work service manager at Jobcentre Plus in Dundee, said staff were working hard to "cement the turnaround" with a number of local schemes and programmes. She pointed to new partnerships formed with industry leaders in the hospitality and construction sectors along with charity bodies, adding that her team wanted to "help even more people benefit from a well-paid job". Dundee City Council leader John Alexander welcomed the figures and said the authority was absolutely committed to creating new jobs in the city and to lifting people out of unemployment. "These figures show that positive steps are being made but it's also important to recognise that there's much more to do and that no-one is resting on their laurels," he said. "I'm positive about the future and know that there are a number of further announcements and opportunities that will likely come forward over the coming months. "In reality, it is private business that will create the jobs of the future and we need to continue to create opportunities by bringing in new employers into the city and supporting those that are already here." Mr Alexander highlighted significant announcements over the last 12 months, including the 750 new jobs at the Social Security Agency, multi million pound developments at the waterfront and positive movements in the port — as well as work on the ambitious Tay Cities Deal which has the potential to deliver in excess of £1 bullion of investment for the region. "Dundee's future is bright and we will not rest until we create the prosperous city that we all want to see," he added. The number of people not in work across Scotland during the period was 118,000, down from 124,000 from the previous three months. The number of people in employment also fell slightly by 2,000 to 2.63 million. It means Scotland's unemployment rate was 4.3%, down slightly from 4.5% in the previous quarter and 4.4% in the same quarter last year. Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn said: "The rise in the employment rate is welcome news and shows that despite the challenging economic conditions facing us as a result of Brexit, our economy and jobs market remains strong. “Our employment rate has increased over the year to 74.7%, with 2,630,000 people now in employment, the unemployment rate has decreased over the quarter and the year to 4.3% and Scotland’s female employment rate has also increased to 71.1%. "Once more, we continue to outperform the UK on employment and unemployment rates for young people, with 55.6% of young people in employment in Scotland compared to 54.1% of young people in the UK." However, Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the figures showed Scottish employment and unemployment rates overall were "weaker than the UK's". "Instead of constitutional nit-picking, the Scottish Government should focus its energies on using the considerable powers it has to strengthen Scotland's economy and boost productivity," he said. "We urge the Scottish Government to work constructively with us to achieve this." Scottish Labour's economy spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “It is welcome that wages have risen in real terms for the first time in more than a year, while unemployment has also fallen. “But the reality is the Tories and the SNP cannot rest on their laurels after just one encouraging set of figures. We must go further."
A Dundee man has been warned he faces jail after reversing into a police vehicle and driving off after a high-speed chase. Isaac McPhee was spotted driving with the licence plate of his white transit van obscured with a red rag towards an estate off the A924 road near Bridge of Cally on August 15. Perth Sheriff Court heard how the 29-year-old led officers on a race along a series of rural Perthshire roads before reversing into a police vehicle and driving off after his van's engine became severely affected by rain water. Police had been chasing McPhee for approximately 20 miles and were joined by another two pursuit vehicles by the time of the collision on the single-carriageway B952 Alyth to Pitcrocknie road. McPhee attempted to take off again but was unable to reach speeds above 20mph and he and a passenger ran off across a field. He then became tangled in a wire fence before continuing into a wooded area. A police search revealed McPhee held a provisional licence and had been driving with no insurance. He was traced later the same day but made no reply at the time of arrest. Sheriff Gillian Wade said the circumstances of the case were "deeply concerning" given McPhee's recent disqualification from driving. She told McPhee she took "a rather grim view of the matter" and warned him the circumstances could attract a custodial sentence. She said: "I urge you to cooperate very fully with the criminal social work department." McPhee, of Balmedie Drive, Dundee, pled guilty to driving with no insurance and a provisional licence with no qualified driver present on August 15, 2017. He also pled guilty to driving dangerously and at grossly excessive speeds for the road and conditions, failing to stop for police officers and reversing his vehicle when it was unsafe to do so and colliding with a police vehicle. The roads named were the A924 Kirkmichael to bridge of Cally, A93 Bridge of Cally to Rattray, Rattray High Street, A926 Rattray to Alyth, Leifrie Tce New Alyth, New Alyth road Alyth, B952 Alyth to Pitcrocknie, B954 Pitcrocknie to North Balloch and the unclassified road to Dryloch. The case was adjourned until June 20 for a criminal justice social work report to be obtained and McPhee was instructed not to drive in the meantime.
Nicola Sturgeon has refused to rule out a staggering £800,000-a-year tax bill for Dundee's flagship regional sports centre. Dundee City Council is set to hold crunch talks with finance secretary Derek Mackay after learning the £32 million Caird Park Regional Performance Centre could be hit by the charge. Scottish Labour MSP Jenny Marra raised the alarm after the Scottish Government confirmed some newly built facilities could be subject to business rates, regardless of whether they are run by arms length external organisations (ALEOs). Officials decided existing services run by ALEOs — organisations which are formally separate from a local authority but still subject to influence — should continue to be exempt. However, they ruled “further expansion” is not covered, meaning new facilities, such as the centre in Caird Park, are liable to be hit with large rate demands. Speaking at First Minister’s Questions yesterday, Ms Marra called on Nicola Sturgeon to “reassure the people of Dundee” and guarantee the centre will be delivered to the city tax free. "I'm sure the First Minister's intention cannot be to tax community sports facilities and all the implications that has for public health,” she said. In her response, Ms Sturgeon said the government “do not want to put burdens on community sports facilities” and confirmed the finance secretary is to hold discussions with the council in respect of the tax bill. However, she stopped short of offering any assurances the local authority would be shielded from the large tax demand. A Scottish Government spokesman also refused to rule out the six-figure bill, claiming such decisions "mitigate against further expansion of arm’s-length bodies, and ensure the right balance between rates liabilities and protecting local services". North-east MSP Bill Bowman, who serves as the Scottish Conservative's tax spokesman, accused the SNP of slapping a "prohibitive tax" on the centre before it has even opened. He added: "The outstanding benefits of such a new facility far outweigh any amount of extra money they are trying to squeeze from it, and I would call on the SNP's finance secretary to think again about his plans to put a handicap on it." Ms Marra vowed to "keep challenging" the Scottish Government to guarantee the centre will be exempt from exorbitant rates. "Dundee said loud and clear that it wanted a new sports facility. What we didn’t expect was an extra £800,000 tax coming with it," she said. Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said the authority was "assessing the situation". He added: "Our focus is on ensuring the best outcome for Dundonians and it’s essential that we work together to do just that."
Shona Robison has been urged to be "on the side of Dundee" in a row over a potential £800,000-a-year tax bill for the city’s new regional sports centre. It comes after campaigners launched a petition calling for the health and sport secretary to back appeals for the controversial plan to be pulled from next Wednesday's budget. The Courier revealed how the £32 million Caird Park Regional Performance Centre could be hit by the charge after the Scottish Government ruled new community sports and arts facilities should be subject to business rates. The decision means services run by arms-length external organisations (ALEOs) — such as the new Caird Park facility — are liable to be hit with large rate demands going forward. Labour MSP Jenny Marra called on Nicola Sturgeon to "reassure the people of Dundee" and guarantee the centre will be delivered to the city tax free. However, at First Minister's Questions last week, Ms Sturgeon refused to rule out a six-figure charge, with ministers set to hold crunch talks with local councillors. Ms Marra has now challenged fellow-Dundee MSP Shona Robison to stand up for the city and use her ministerial influence to help scrap the "sport tax". She said it was "unbelievable" the health and sport minister "is planning to vote for a budget that will land new sports facilities in Dundee and across Scotland with a new hefty tax bill". “Surely the way to improve our children’s health is to encourage physical activity," she said. "This proposal does the opposite. “The budget is on Wednesday and there is still time for the Scottish Government to stop this regressive tax. "I challenge Shona Robison and her colleagues to be on the side of Dundee and use their influence to drop this from the budget.” North-east MSP Bill Bowman, who serves as the Scottish Conservative’s tax spokesman, claimed there was "no justification" to tax the facility. "Many councils across the country, such as Aberdeen, are exempt from business rates on sports complexes but Dundee is being punished because this is a new development," he said. “Given ongoing SNP budget cuts, our local authorities simply cannot afford to absorb these substantial extra costs." He added: “I hope Shona Robison will heed these calls and appeal to the finance secretary to support the city.” The Courier approached Ms Robison's office for comment but instead received a response on behalf of finance secretary Derek Mackay. A spokesman said: "Following representations from Dundee’s local SNP MSPs Shona Robison and Joe FitzPatrick, Mr Mackay has already tasked Scottish Government officials with discussing a range of issues with Dundee City Council on the Regional Performance Centre, reflecting the importance of the centre to the city and to Scottish sport.”
A popular Dundee restaurant has closed suddenly. Meat House on Perth Road shut up shop on Tuesday, leaving stunned customers with no notice. The eatery has also removed all of its social media channels and is currently listed as “permanently closed” on Google. Candice Hickey, who owns the restaurant with husband Darren, said the premises were up for sale and she hoped they would re-open with new proprietors in a matter of weeks. "We are in the process of trying to sell to a new owner, who with any luck will re-open the restaurant under a new name in a couple of weeks," she said. "Staff were kept informed about changes to the company and will be able to take on new roles with the new owners if they wish to." Customers who bought meal vouchers through discount website Itison were contacted by email on Wednesday to inform them that refunds were available. The message from the firm reads: “Regrettably, Meat House of Dundee has closed. We’re very sorry for the disappointment and inconvenience this will cause." One would-be customer spoke of his disappointment after receiving the notification from Itison but no further contact from the restaurant. He said: “Out of nowhere we got an email through saying that the place had closed – it wasn’t something we expected to happen because we had always thought it was busy. “It is a blow to the city – especially the Perth Road area – because it was a decent place to eat. I think they could have communicated it better." The popular restaurant opened in 2013, with a menu focusing on locally sourced Scottish beef and seafood. It was known for hosting "Man v Food" eating challenges, based on the television show of the same name. West End councillor Fraser Macpherson said: "It's very sad that Meat House is closing and I think it will be a real loss. "It's a recognisable name in the West End and had a reputation for good quality steaks, burgers and craft beers. "My hope is that they are able to find new owners to take advantage of an area that is, from a general view, a lot healthier economically than it was 18 months ago."
A group who help former drug users get back on their feet is celebrating after becoming only the second-ever winners of Dundee Soup. Recovery Dundee, who were constituted just last year after starting out as a community page on social media, were clear winners after convincing audience members they would make best use of the prize fund. The event, which gives micro grants to local community-based projects, also featured groups such as Dundee Bairns Tea Club, Coats n Quilts and Maureen Phillip – Voice, Visual & Sounds. Sharon Brand, who joined Recovery Dundee after her own battle with drug use, revealed the group are currently looking to secure premises in the New Year and promised the £200 winnings would be put to good use. "I was so shocked - I didn't expect for us to win, so it really was a lovely moment," she said. "The money will go towards furnishing a room to hopefully provide a nice space where people can come in and chat and connect. "For a person entering recovery, if you can see someone who's in that process and doing well, you're far more likely to succeed and I think that's really the point of what we do." The first Soup event was held in Detroit in 2010 after a group of friends met to discuss ideas for projects they were struggling to fund. For a recommended £5 donation, attendees receive a simple soup supper and hear four short presentations from local people running community projects. At the end of the evening, the audience votes for their preferred initiative and the winner goes home with all of the money raised to help develop their project. Paul Hastie, centre manager for The Circle, who hosted the Dundee event, said: "It's great because for the groups who win, it can be a real game changer - not just in terms of the money but for the new connections they're able to make." Recovery Dundee, who also played a key role in September's Recovery Walk, will now turn their focus to the upcoming Dundee Hangover Free event at Discovery Point on January 4. The party, which aims to celebrate recovery - and the New Year, is open to both to those who have experienced issues with drug use and those who just want to come together to help make recovery more visible. Tickets for Dundee Hangover Free are on sale now and available from eventbrite.co.uk
Emergency services were called to the River Tay on Wednesday following concerns for a man in the water. Lifeboat crews rushed to Riverside Drive near Discovery Point shortly after 8pm after the 35-year-old was spotted. Two teams from Broughty Ferry, a coastguard team, Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service were all asked to attend as part of the rescue mission. It is unclear how the man came to be in the water but he was later seen draped in a blanket while being attended to by medical personnel. It is understood he was taken to Ninewells Hospital for treatment. A spokesman for Broughty Ferry RNLI said: “The volunteer crews were alerted just after 8pm and the inshore lifeboat was launched at 8.07pm. “The Elizabeth of Glamis, the larger all-weather lifeboat, followed four minutes later. “On arrival at scene the Inshore lifeboat crew assisted a male from the water into the boat. “He was then transferred to the all-weather lifeboat before being transported safely to Broughty Ferry lifeboat station, where he was then passed into the care of a waiting ambulance crew. “Both lifeboats were then made ready for any further calls.” A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “We received a call about concerns for a man in the River Tay after 8pm. “He was traced by the coastguard and this was deemed to be a medical matter. “Police Scotland left the scene at 9.15pm and no further action was required.” A spokesman from the coastguard added: “We responded to reports of a person who had entered the water. We were notified just after 8pm. “Both lifeboats from Broughty Ferry were launched and coastguard teams also attended. ‘‘The man was recovered from the water quickly and left with the police and ambulance service.” A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We received a call from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service at 8.03pm. “We sent one ambulance to Broughty Ferry Lifeboat Station and conveyed a man to Ninewells Hospital.” Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, on 116 123.