Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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The Stone has a chequered history. Until 1296 it was located at Scotland’s historic capital, Scone (pronounced skoon) where it was used as a coronation seat for the kings of Scotland. Edward I of England stole it and transferred the cushion shaped sandstone artifact to Westminster Abbey, England where it remained as a coronation seat for English and British kings until its return to Edinburgh Castle, Scotland in 1996. However, there is now a debate in the Scottish Parliament around a mooted return to Scone Palace. The Scottish tourism minister believes the Stone should stay in situ following public consultation. Seemingly, the debate remains unresolved.

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A proposal to construct Europe’s largest wind farm on the Outer Hebrides island of Lewis has been scaled back from 234 to 181 turbines. In addition the development will entail an extensive road network, pylons (towers) , miles of cabling, sub-stations and quarries. This reduction has been made to mollify green campaigners and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The original proposal received about 4000 objections, including governmental agencies.

Protest groups, which include Moorland Without Turbines believe that irreplaceable peat bogs on the island will be destroyed.

The development is sponsored by Lewis Wind Power, a partnership between Amec and British Energy.

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U.K.Government statistics for 2004/5 show that the U.K.Central Government spends GBP1236 ($2400) more on every person in Scotland than is does in England. Scotland also receives GBP1034 ($2050) a head more ( 16pct.) than the U.K.average. The gap between Scotland and England has narrowed by GBP164 ($320) per head from previous year. Total Government revenue in Scotland was GBP36.4bn against spending of GBP47.7bn. The Scottish National Party dispute the figures.

Over the past year the number of private sector enterprises in Scotland rose by 0.1oct to 265,435 and the number of people employed in the businesses rose by 1.4pct to 1.9m. The Scottish National Party has criticised this low level of enterprise growth.