Charges laid in England against the Naked Rambler Steve Gough, currently incarcerated in Inverness Prison while awaiting trial in Dingwall Sheriff Court on breach of the peace charges (see No 247), were dropped by prosecutors in the magistrates’ court at Bodmin on 4 September 2003. These charges related to public order offences said to have been committed by Gough near the beginning of his walk; he had been arrested in Newquay on 21 June. The charges were withdrawn as a result of lack of evidence”. A Times reader asked in a letter to the editor published on 6 September: “Could any more humiliating judgment have been handed down?””
Through the summer of 2003 battle has been raging between City of Edinburgh Council and residents of the Edinburgh New Town area over the Council’s proposal to install giant wheelie bins in the area for the disposal and collection of domestic rubbish. Similar wheelie bins have been installed over much of the rest of Edinburgh, including the author’s own residence of Morningside, and are apparently causing the starvation of urban foxes and seagulls no longer able to gain a repast by ripping open the black polythene bags previously used for putting out waste for collection. But the New Town residents, who include numerous judges of the Court of Session, have succeeded in forcing the Council to defer putting in the bins, because apparently in a World Heritage site such as the New Town planning permission is required for such installations. The objection was apparently first put by the judge Lord Hamilton at a meeting between the Council and New Town residents. A spokesperson for the Regent, Royal and Calton Terraces Association was quoted in The Scotsman, 3 Sept 2003, as saying: [The bins] are a crass solution, which would clearly compromise the amenity, character and architectural integrity of the Old and New Towns. For previous trouble with wheelie bins and judges, see No 101.
President Gaddafi of Libya announced on 1 September 2003 that the one apparent remaining obstacle to the conclusion of the Lockerbie compensation deal made in August (see No 240) had been removed by Libya agreeing to increase the amount of compensation previously agreed to be paid to France by Libya in respect of a French airliner bombed in the Niger in 1989, killing 170 people. This would allow France to give up its objection to the removal of UN sanctions against Libya following the Lockerbie deal. The arrangement was not confirmed by the French authorities.