Daily Political Media Summary: 7 May 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 7 May 2009

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All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined.

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 Economy

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Darling’s Optimism: Severe doubt was yesterday cast over UK Government predictions that the recession would end later this year and the UK economy bounce back strongly in 2011. An influential committee of MPs said Chancellor Alistair Darling’s growth forecasts might be too optimistic. (Scotsman page 10, FT page 2, Press and Journal page 10)

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 Transport 

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Edinburgh Trams: Edinburgh’s tram project descended into further acrimony yesterday after Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson questioned the environmental benefits of similar schemes over buses. (Herald page 12)

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 ScotRail: Plans for a new fleet of trains that will offer improved comfort and better facilities were unveiled yesterday. (Herald page 12)

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 Local Government

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Glasgow City Council: Scotland’s largest local authority is warning that an expected freeze in council budgets next year could see it forced to make cuts of up to £100m in just 12 months. (Herald page 1)

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 Health

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Swine Flu: Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that 28 possible cases of swine flu are being investigated in Scotland. Scotland has 4 confirmed cases, but the minister has stressed the risk to public health remains low. (Herald page 8, Courier page 6)

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 Education

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Neglected schools: An assessment by Audit Scotland has highlighted that around one-third of schools in Scotland are in poor or bad condition. (Scotsman page 8)

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 Studying abroad: All Scottish university students taking part in overseas exchange programmes will have their fees paid for them from next year under Scottish Government plans. (Herald page 12)

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 Politics

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Lockerbie: Alex Salmond was preparing his legal team last night for the most difficult decision of his time in office. He must decide whether to allow Britain’s biggest mass murderer to be released from jail and serve the remainder of his sentence in Libya. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 2, Daily Express page 1, Daily Mail page 1, Courier page 1, Press and Journal page 13, Telegraph page 1, Times page 8)

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 Holyrood: Alex Salmond yesterday predicted that Scotland would move towards independence over the next 10 years. Speaking on the 10th anniversary of the election of the first Scottish Parliament, the FM said, ‘I believe independence is the next step for Scotland, as we move into the second decade of our parliament.” (Courier page 7, Alan Cochrane in Telegraph page 2)

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 Devolution: Ten years of devolution have failed to produce the massive improvements in public services that its supporters predicted, despite a huge increase in public spending. (Times page 1)

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 Gurkhas: Gurkhas rights campaigner Joanna Lumley faces the media following a meeting with Gordon Brown to discuss the issue at Westminster yesterday. The opposition has suggested that Gordon Brown’s career is in trouble, as he has made yet another climb down. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 6, FT page 2, Press and Journal page 1)

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 Emission targets: The Scottish Government has been accused of a betrayal of the trust put in them by voters by not bringing in early annual targets to tackle climate change. The SNP made a manifesto pledge to bring in targets for an annual 3 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions. (Scotsman page 10)

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 Trident: Scotland is to become home to all of Britain’s nuclear submarines, the Ministry of Defence announced yesterday, bringing 1000 jobs to Faslane on the Clyde. The SNP warned that people did not want more submarines on the river and expressed concern over the repeated nuclear safety breaches at the base. (Herald page 1, FT page 3, Press and Journal page 13, Telegraph page 2, Times page 8)