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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Other sports

Boxer Connor Law “going places” after debut win

November 18 2014

Kelty-based boxer Connor Law made quick work of his professional debut at the weekend and show promoter Paul Graham insisted the Fife fighter is “going places”. The 22-year-old, who fights out of Glenrothes Boxing Club, took his professional bow at the Ravenscraig Sports Facility in Motherwell after joining Tommy Gilmour’s stable in the wake of narrowly missing out on a place at the Commonwealth Games this summer. And Law showed no signs of nerves on his first outing as he swiftly put paid to the challenge of fellow debutant and former kickboxing champion Aaron Robinson. Law dropped his Lincoln opponent early in the first round with a stunning left hand and had him down again before referee Victor Loughlin stepped in to stop the fight just seconds later. Prospect Boxing promoter Paul Graham was clearly impressed with Law’s power and said he was have no hesitancy in helping to boost Law’s rise through the rankings. “Connor Law is a machine - he’s going places that lad,” he said. “He’s looking good. I know he was disappointed not to get to the Commonwealth Games but the best thing for him is to turn pro. “He’s one to watch and he’ll get to British title level no problem. “He’s Tommy Gilmour’s boy but I’m happy to put him on my shows.” Law’s trainer, Stevie McGuire Snr, said last week that he has a three-year plan for Law mapped out, with a British title fight hopefully on the cards within the next year or so.

Perth & Kinross

Family hope fatal accident inquiry sheriff will rule elderly man’s death is proof of ‘systematic failure’ at PRI

June 21 2011

The family of a Perthshire man who died just hours after he was discharged from Perth Royal Infirmary have asked a sheriff to deliver damning findings against the hospital and its staff. Ronald Gilmour died at his home in Lower Middleton, Strathtay, on April 3, 2008, after he suffered a "massive spontaneous bleed" from a burst varicose vein for the second time in a matter of hours. Paramedics found him on the floor, next to the telephone he used to call emergency services. The 78-year-old had been taken by ambulance to the hospital the previous evening after an ulcer "popped", only to be released just hours later to his family's surprise. They pushed for a fatal accident inquiry over concerns "systematic failure" in the accident and emergency department had been responsible for the death. That inquiry came to an end at Perth Sheriff Court on Monday, with representatives for The Crown, the Gilmour family, NHS Tayside and Dr Katherine Harper who assessed Mr Gilmour in A&E on the night before his death making final submissions to Sheriff Michael Fletcher. Procurator fiscal Helen Nisbett told the sheriff it was her belief there were reasonable precautions that could have been taken to prevent Mr Gilmour's death.ExplanationShe said he could have been admitted to hospital in case bleeding had recurred, while a secondary precaution could have involved a more formalised approach to discharge. Mr Gilmour's family could have been given a more thorough explanation of his condition, perhaps stressing the need for him not to be left alone. Ms Nisbett said either of these precautions might have avoided the tragic circumstances that occurred. The family's agent Tracey Brown agreed with Ms Nisbett's suggestions but went further, telling the inquiry that the catalogue of errors made at every level during Mr Gilmour's treatment pointed to "systematic failings." During evidence, Dr Harper told the inquiry she no longer believed discharging Mr Gilmour was the correct decision. She said she "regretted every day" that certain steps had not been taken to gather more information that would have helped her better assess Mr Gilmour's condition. Consultant William Morrison, one of NHS Tayside's most senior accident and emergency doctors, told the inquiry he believed the decision to discharge Mr Gilmour had been "incorrect".HandoverHe said Mr Gilmour's age, medical history, blood loss, medication and the nature of his complaint were "just too many considerations to make discharge a safe option." Dr Morrison accepted there appeared to have been a botched handover from paramedics to nursing staff, agreed the lack of observations and readings taken following Mr Gilmour's admission was "definitely a problem" and admitted his care needs after discharge had not been made clear. He also accepted no attempt had been made by medical staff to ascertain what Mr Gilmour's transportation and living arrangements would be upon his release. However, he denied there had been "systematic failures," claiming that checks were in place which ought to have prevented the death and instead simple human error was the single greatest factor. Counsel for NHS Tayside asked the inquiry to accept that position and described calls for a finding that there had been systematic failings as "unhelpful to all involved." Sheriff Fletcher told Mr Gilmour's family that he would release his findings in writing as soon as possible.

Other sports

Commonwealth medallist focused on Perth badminton event

January 7 2015

Kirsty Gilmour is looking to build on her silver medal success at the Commonwealth Games as she heads into her 2015 campaign, with a national title in Perth the next big aim. Scotland’s highest-ranked singles player has her sights firmly set on the start of the year-long Olympic qualifying race in May. But first the 21-year-old is eager to get back into action after her Christmas break, starting with the Swedish Masters in Uppsala next week when she tries to retain her women’s singles trophy. And Gilmour is also motivated by the prospect of winning on home soil at Bell’s Sports Centre shortly after that. She said: “I’m excited to get started with this section of my season. “Of course, my sights are set on Olympic qualifying beginning in May but I have a few events in the meantime. “I’m especially focused on the Yonex Scottish Nationals in Perth at the end of this month and then the European Mixed Team Finals in Belgium from February 11-15. “I will have some difficult games in Belgium that I hope to learn from and take into Olympic qualification.” Gilmour is the highest ranked GB contender by far in women’s singles as she aims to follow up Susan Egelstaff’s achievement of being one of two Scotland players in the four-strong GB squad at London 2012. Going into the new year, Gilmour’s closest GB rival is England’s Fontaine Chapman, who is ranked at number 70.

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Readers' letters

Farming will thrive in independent Scotland

August 23 2014

Sir, I wish to respond to points raised by Andrew Gilmour in his letter, Will last to leave please turn out the lights (August 18). 1 The President of the Commission did not say Scotland would have to join the queue for membership. When the No campaign and unionist press suggested he had, Mr Juncker specifically stated that he was not referring to Scotland. 2 Scotland is not well funded by the EU as part of the UK. Scotland currently receives the lowest Single Farm Payment in the EU, negotiated down by our representative from Westminster. 3 Mr Gilmour predicts that an independent Scotland would struggle to export due to currency uncertainty. Apart from the fact that we can use the pound, with or without Westminster approval, how exactly will currency uncertainty hamper exports? 4 The EU (again). Mr Gilmour feels our biggest threat is being outwith the EU. According to the Financial Times, US banks are now investigating moving their European headquarters out of London following a UK exit from the EU after David Cameron’s in/out referendum. It seems the money men are not confident that staying in the UK will keep us in the EU. 5 The Scottish Government has stated that farm payments will continue even if we are considered to be outwith the EU. This is in contrast to the UK Government which has repeatedly declined to make this commitment (see point 4). As a farmer, I am much more comfortable with the Scottish Government’s position. The four farmers’ union ex-presidents who have given support to Yes are all successful businessmen and have not come to this decision lightly. Mr Gilmour’s letter smacks of defeatism. Does he really think it is only worth being in Scotland because London is calling the shots? It is time for a more positive attitude. Farming will thrive in an independent Scotland. Magnus Bell. Easter Fordel Farm, Glenfarg. Inaccurate comment Sir, The Yes campaign says that the health service in Scotland would suffer if there is a “no” vote. Could they explain how they come to this conclusion when Holyrood already has full control over NHS Scotland? Bob Doris, SNP MSP, said on May 25: “Scotland’s NHS is already the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament.” Dishonest and inaccurate comments like this should not be used to rouse support. We need an apology. Garry Barnett. Campsie Hill, Guildtown, Perth. Buying “a pig in a poke” Sir, With the referendum just four weeks away there are still many uncertainties hovering around with no answers forthcoming. We all know by now Mr Salmond’s reluctance to disclose a currency Plan B but to my mind one of the major questions still unanswered is what is going to be the cost of setting up and maintaining an independent Scotland? We were promised that this information would be made available after the publication of the White Paper, but this information has still not been put forward. What it all boils down to is that Mr Salmond is expecting us to buy “a pig in a poke”. John M Page. 8 Panter Crescent, Montrose. Seize this opportunity Sir, The positive signals from Scottish Government and Fife Council regarding reinstating the mothballed Leven rail link (Thursday’s Courier) are encouraging but it is vital that this opportunity is now urgently seized. The passenger case is actually much stronger than the article presents according to latest KnowFife data, the Levenmouth area has a population of 37,824 and the adjoining Largo and East Neuk 14,013. Similarly, we would seriously question whether the high price tag mentioned (£100,000 consultancy) merely to update an exhaustive feasibility study conducted only in 2008 would actually be necessary. Whatever the initial stake required, the council needs to move immediately and decisively to complete the study, since the benefits will far outweigh the costs. Despite heavy competition from other transport projects, a compelling case for reinstating Thornton - Leven services can be made for 2017 when the completion of the current Edinburgh - Glasgow improvement programme will free rolling stock or, failing that, certainly for the next Network Rail control period starting April 2019. It’s high time Levenmouth was reconnected to the nation, and the network. Ken Maclagan. 2 Union Place, Leven. Cost of Alex’s green fantasy Sir, Alex Salmond’s green fantasy has seen 2,000 wind turbines erected in Scotland, with a rated output of 4.6 gigawatts. Their actual output, however, is much less. In January 2014 it was an intermittent 1 gigawatt. Just 22% of our requirements. So another 7,000 turbines are needed 9,000 in total but they still won’t produce enough electricity if the wind doesn’t blow. Remember that these turbines would not exist without a subsidy from Scottish electricity consumers, presently running at £431 million a year. The subsidy needed for 9,000 turbines would therefore be £2 billion a year. £400 per man woman and child, just for the privilege of having green electricity. What a gift the wind provides! Malcolm Parkin. 15 Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross.

UK & World

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Scottish League 1

Ayr United 4 Cowdenbeath 1: Cowden dragged closer to trouble

March 2 2016

Cowdenbeath’s relegation woes intensified with a comprehensive defeat to promotion-chasing Ayr. The Blue Brazil went into this encounter bidding to build on Saturday’s encouraging win at Stenhousemuir but their defensive frailties on the road returned to haunt them again. Indeed, by half-time the Fifers were already three goals adrift and staring at another damaging defeat. United went ahead on 15 minutes when Craig Moore’s shot was turned behind for a corner by Alin Roman and, from Brian Gilmour’s flag kick, Ross McCrorie’s close-range header gave the keeper no chance. Cowdenbeath were still reeling from the setback when United doubled the punishment as Ryan Stevenson found space in the box to fire low into the bottom corner of the net. The visitors showed a glimmer of life when Declan Hughes shot narrowly over from 20 yards but the Honest Men were even more dangerous when Moore forced another save from Roman. Jack Beaumont’s shot at the other end forced Greg Fleming’s first save of the match as Cowdenbeath continued to seek a lifeline. However, their hopes were effectively snuffed out before the break when another pinpoint cross from Gilmour was firmly headed into the net by Moore. The Fifers refused to throw in the towel and were given brief hope when Hughes found the top corner of the net with a raking long-range shot. There was to be no comeback, though, as Stevenson’s second of the night soon restored Ayr’s three-goal cushion, the former Hearts midfielder taking a pass from Ross Docherty and giving Roman no chance with a fierce 25-yard shot. Dean Brett almost narrowed the deficit with an angled effort which was just off target. Attendance: 856. Ayr: Fleming; Devlin, Boyle, Murphy, Graham, Stevenson, McCrorie (Wardrope 68), Docherty (Crawford 74), Trouten, Gilmour, Moore (Preston 40). Unused subs: Forest, Donald, McLauchlan, Newman. Cowdenbeath: Roman, Kerr, Kane, Scullion, Brett, Hughes, Beaumont (Gibbons 62), Adamson, McDaid (Spence 67), Byrne (Donaldson 46), Caldwell. Unused Subs: Milne, Johnston, Adam, Swann. Referee: G Ross.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk