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Daily Political Media Summary: 27 August 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy
Aggreko: Aggreko, the global supplier of temporary power, is asking for government financial help to help build a new multi-million pound factory in Scotland. (Scotsman page 27)

Population: The UK’s population is set to become the largest in the EU by 2060. (Herald page 4, Times page 5, Record page 2, Guardian page 3)

Windfall tax: Ian Bell in the Herald (page 15) argues that the Government should introduce a windfall tax on energy companies. However many energy companies have said the cost of the tax will be passed on to consumers. (Times page 16, Ross Clark in the Times, P&J page 11, Deborah Hargreaves in the Guardian page 28, Courier page 10)

Crime
Prison population: Scotland’s prison population has broken through the 8,000 barrier for the first time according to Audit Scotland and the Scottish Prison Service. (Herald page 3, Scotsman page 3, Sun page 14, Kenny MacAskill & Bill Aitken in the Sun, Express page 33, Mail page 15, Record page 6, Telegraph page 2)

Police pensions: Scottish police boards are demanding that the Scottish Government takes responsibility of police pensions. (Herald page 6)

Transport
Public transport: Councillor Russell Imrie in the Scotsman (page 23) comments on the difficulties encouraging people toward using public transport.

Education
Class sizes:
An appeal hearing at Haddington Sheriff Court has ruled in favour of a family wishing to send their children to the school of their choice despite the refusal of the local authority. The court ruled that under current regulations classes larger than the government’s maximum of 25 were allowed. (Herald page 1)

Health
Alcohol abuse: Young Scots are pouring shots of alcohol directly into their eyes in a bid to get drunker faster. (Scotsman page 3, Sun page 21, Express page 1, Mail page 5, Record page 9)

Free personal care: The cost of free personal care has increased by 52% in four years from £212million to £322 million. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 1, Express page 4, Times page 3, Mail page 1, Record page 12, Telegraph page 1)

Bowel cancer: Nationwide screening programmes for bowel cancer could save 150 lives a year in Scotland according to research from a pilot scheme in Tayside, Grampian and Fife. (Herald page 8, Scotsman page 11, P&J page 13)

A&E waiting times: Waiting times at A&E departments in Scotland have fallen to a record low. (Express page 15, Record page 12, Courier page 11)

Suicide rates: Suicides in Scotland rose by 10% last year despite a multi-million pound campaign to tackle the problem. (Express page 16, Times page 19, P&J page 4, Courier page 3)

Obesity: The Conservatives are to launch a new deal on public health today stating that there are “no excuses” for being obese. (Guardian page 13, Telegraph page 14, FT page 2)

Local Government
Aberdeen City: Sue Bruce, the new Chief Executive of Aberdeen City Council has vowed to restore the city’s reputation and public confidence in the council. (P&J page 8)

Politics
Lib Dems: Tavish Scott, the new leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, has said he would consider a multi-option referendum on independence. (Scotsman page 6, Hamish Macdonell in the Scotsman, Sun page 2, Herald page 1, Robbie Dinwoodie in the Herald, Express page 4, Dorothy-Grace Elder in the Express page 14, Times page 1, Mail page 4, P&J page 1, Courier page 1, Telegraph page 11)

Quango to run elections: The Electoral Commission is considering setting up a body made up of returning officers to run all elections in Scotland. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 4, Times page 8, Record page 2, P&J page 9)

Gordon Brown: Further comment and analysis on Gordon Brown’s trouble at Westminster. Senior officials from the trade union Unite has demanded change “at the highest level” of government, whilst the Prime Minister has decided to head the by-election campaign in Glenrothes himself. (Gerri Peev in the Scotsman, Express page 2, Mail page 2, Record page 2, Irwin Stelzer in the Telegraph)

Thatcherism: Allan Massie in the Mail (page 12) questions whether Alex Salmond is the new face of Thatcherism.

Glenrothes by-election: Harry Wills has been selected to contest the Glenrothes by-election for the Liberal Democrats. (P&J page 8, Courier page 6)

Cabinet road-show: Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph (page 10) comments on the Scottish Government’s road-show over the summer break.