Opposition parties have said the end to the looming threat of council worker

strikes would see Scots breathe a sigh of relief but that a deal should have been reached sooner.

Strikes due to go ahead north of the border next week have been suspended

after unions received a new pay offer from local authority leaders.

Scottish Labour said people across the country had “suffered weeks of disruption

and disarray due to the intransigence of this SNP government”

while the Conservatives said the strikes “could and should have been stopped a lot sooner”.

Craig Hoy, chairman of the Scottish Conservatives, said the First Minister “was missing in action for weeks”.

“While she was schmoozing around the Edinburgh Fringe with celebrity chum

The Houston Astros  (84-47) and Los Angeles Angels (57-74) open a 3-game series Friday