0131 524 9500 | info@reformscotland.com

Daily Political Media Summary: 24 June 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy

Edinburgh’s economy: A report produced by Campbell Dallas based on gross value added (GVA) figures for 2005 shows that Edinburgh has the highest GVA per person in the UK at £28,432, with London in second place with £27,672. (Scotsman page 7)

Building Projects: Around two-thirds of all publicly funded building projects have been completed late and over-budget according to Audit Scotland. (Herald page 1, Daily Mail page 10, Daily Express page 8)

Inequality: According to Maurice Fitzpatrick, an economist from Grant Thornton, figures show that income inequality in Britain is worse under Labour than it was under Margaret Thatcher. (Telegraph page 14)

CBI: The Director General of the CBI, Richard Lambert, has warned that the economic slowdown is no reason for politicians to get distracted away from taking urgent action on climate change. (Telegraph B3)

Crime

Prison calls: Consumer groups have made an official complaint to Ofcom over the high charges for phone calls made from prison which can be seven times the cost of a call from a regular phone box. (Scotsman page 5, The Guardian page 7)

Glasgow Sheriff Court: The roof of Glasgow Sheriff Court has been installed with solar panels which should provide a fifth of the building’s energy demands. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 10, Courier page 3)

Domestic Abuse Court: Scotland’s only domestic abuse court will see its funding doubled to £1.2m, improving the efficiency of the court and allowing another 500 cases to be heard yearly. (Herald page 10)

Transport

M74: The cost of the five mile extension of the M74 has increased again to £692 million, £35m more than the previous estimate – equivalent to £26,000 a foot of road. (Scotsman page 8)

Fuel Prices: Scots are increasingly taking advantage of public transport to beat soaring fuel prices. There has been a downward trend in the number of cars on the road while train operators have reported a 5% increase in passenger numbers. (Sun page 8)

A9: Hamish Macdonell in the Scotsman (page 24) comments on the state of the A9 and urges the SNP to stick to their manifesto pledge of dualing the road.

Railways: Passengers face overcrowding on railways as capacity will be reached many years before new lines are laid. (Times page 3, FT page 3)

Education

Braveheart Aberdeen University deal: The Perth based investment syndicate Braveheart has signed a 15 year commercialisation deal with Aberdeen University aimed to improve the commercialisation of intellectual property coming out of the university. (Scotsman page 32, Herald page 31, P&J page 15)

Health

Lost ambulance data: It was revealed yesterday that details of almost one million calls to the ambulance service’s Paisley Emergency Medical Dispatch Centre since February 2006, including names and addresses, has been lost. The courier company TNT has taken full responsibility for the loss. (Scotsman page 5, Sun page 1, Herald page 1, Daily Express page 1, Times page 9, Daily Mirror page 6, P&J page 1)

Alcohol strategy: Distillery bosses are worried that the government’s new alcohol strategy, which has tough restrictions on promotional activities, could undermine the economy of many distillers which offer drams to visitors over 18 at the end of a tour. (P&J page 1)

Death Linked to C Diff: The Alexandria hospital has reported that another patient has died of Clostridium difficile, taking the total number up to eighteen. (Herald page 3)

Polyclinics: Dr John Garner in the Scotsman (page 39) comments on whether polyclinics would work in Scotland and argues that while Scottish NHS Boards keep a tight grip on the money, the innovation that is being developed in England will not be mirrored in Scotland.

Local Government

Strike action: Unison is staging a ballot of all its local government employees on strike action in protest of a pay increase of 2.5% for the next three years. (Scotsman page 11, Sun page 1, Herald page 8, Daily Mail page 8, Daily Express page 8, Courier page 3, FT page 2)

Politics

Watchdogs facing axe: The Scottish Government is planning to streamline the number of watchdog organisations in Scotland as part of plans to reduce the number of quangos by 25%. (Scotsman page 11)

Gordon Brown: Douglas Fraser in the Herald, Macer Hall in the Daily Mail, Rachel Sylvester in the Times, and Philip Stephens in the FT all write about the current problems facing Gordon Brown.

Scots Candidate Suspended: David Cameron has been forced into suspending Scots Tory candidate Philip Lardner after his comments made about race and immigration. (Herald page 6, Daily Express page 4, P&J page 7, Telegraph page 11)

Alistair Darling: Downing Street made it clear last night that Alistair Darling was secure in his job as Chancellor. There had been speculation that he was not the “big figure” required to see the UK through the current economic slowdown. (Times page 5, Telegraph page 2, FT page 2)