Here are the stories making the headlines locally and across the country this morning.

‘Spectacular’ Mediterranean restaurant to open in former gallery in Aberdeen’s west end

A former gallery in Aberdeen’s west end will soon be transformed into a Mediterranean restaurant.

The unit on 24-26 Thistle Street had been home to Gallery Heinzel for more than 20 years until it relocated last January.

At the time, bosses said the move to Great Western Road was as a result of two “tumultuous” years in which more people turned to online shopping.

And since then, their former west end outlet has lain empty.

Now, legendary Aberdeen businesswoman Jeanette Forbes has been given permission to convert the space into a Mediterranean restaurant – and boost footfall in the area.

Sarah Munby: Top civil servant hits out in Post Office compensation row

A top civil servant has denied telling former Post Office chairman Henry Staunton to delay compensation payments to victims of the Horizon scandal.

Sarah Munby has written to the Business Secretary to say Mr Staunton's claims are false and discussions were focussed on the commercial side of the business.

It marks the latest twist in a bitter row between the government and the former Post Office chairman.

Mr Staunton said he wanted to focus on victims instead of a "political spat".

Taxpayers to foot redundancy bill for Body Shop staff

Taxpayers will be forced to pay millions of pounds to sacked staff at The Body Shop as administrators oversee a drastic restructuring of the collapsed chain.

Employees at the company have been told to make claims through the government-backed redundancy payments service if they are laid off. This is funded using National Insurance contributions.

It comes after administrators announced the closure of almost 100 stores earlier this week, which will mean the loss of at least 300 jobs.

A number of stores, including a flagship outlet on Oxford Street in London which was renovated five years ago, were shuttered with immediate effect after The Body Shop was placed into administration by its owner, the German buyout business Aurelius.

Officers should be allowed to ban drug and drink-drivers at the roadside, police chiefs say

Police chiefs are calling for new powers to allow officers to instantly disqualify drink or drug-drivers at the side of the road.

They say the new powers would allow police to take drivers who pose a risk to others off the road "immediately".

Currently, drivers charged with drug or drink-driving offences are banned following a sentencing hearing at a magistrates' court.

But these hearings can take weeks to get to the court, and, until then, drivers are allowed to get back behind the wheel.

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