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Daily Political Media Summary: 11 August 2009

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 11 August  2009

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.

Economy

Edinburgh: Four progress reports due to be released tomorrow for submission to Edinburgh City Council’s  economic development committee show that, despite the disruption to the city centre and sharp falls in business for Princes Street retailers, Edinburgh is outperforming comparable cities such as Manchester, Newcastle, London, Birmingham, Bristol and Glasgow on a range of indicators. (The Scotsman Page 1)

Housing prices: Surveyors in Scotland are the most optimistic in the UK and the number of new buyers inquiring about houses is rising. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors have described last month as a ‘turning point’ in the Scottish housing market. (The Telegraph page 10, The Press and Journal page 6)

Crime

Drugs: A record two tonnes of drugs, half of which was heroin and cocaine, was taken by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency last year. (The Herald page 1, The Times page 19, The Telegraph page 4, The Press and Journal page 9, The Courier and Advertiser page 6 )

Police forces amalgamation: The Convenor of the Northern Joint Police Board has dismissed a call to amalgamate Scotland’s eight police forces into three as inappropriate and potentially damaging. Chief Superintendent John Pollock, President of the Association of Police Superintendents, has said restructuring is necessary in the face of a £35 million deficit at Strathclyde Police and tight budget at other forces. (The Press and Journal page 4)

Glasgow Airport bombing: Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini has denied that she was put under pressure by Scottish Government ministers when taking the decision that the Glasgow Airport bombing case should be handled in London and not Scotland. Ms Angiolini rejected the claim by Andy Hayman, former head of counter-terrorism at the Metropolitan Police, in a letter to Tory MSP Bill Aitken, convenor of Holyrood’s justice committee. (The Press and Journal page 9, The Courier and Advertiser page 3)

Knife Crime: Dundee West MSP Joe Fitzpatrick has warned that more information on the penalties of carrying a knife should be given to people who come to live and work in Scotland. (The Courier and Advertiser page 8)

Transport

Edinburgh Airport: The capital’s airport has recorded its fourth successive month of passenger growth while Glasgow and Aberdeen airports continue to lose passengers. The Herald page 9 , The Times page 18, The Press and Journal page 15)

Local Government

Edinburgh bin strike: Bin men have voted to continue industrial action meaning that the dispute with Edinburgh City Council will run deep into the Edinburgh Festival season. (The Scotsman page 15)

 

Mainshill Woods open-cast mine: Climate Change activists, who are protesting against the plans for a new open-cast coal mine at Mainshill Wood, have dumped coal outside the offices of South Lanarkshire in protest. (The Scotsman page 13)

 

Donald Trump: Debra Storr, an Aberdeenshire councillor, has been cleared by the Standards Commission of making “defamatory” comments about the Trump Organisation after accusing the group of thuggish behaviour. (The Herald page 11)

 

Edinburgh: Despite a series of setbacks with tram planning and the bin strike, Edinburgh is showing signs of recovery in the economic, transport, foreign direct investment and housing sectors. Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman. (Scotsman page 1)

 

Health

Genetically Modified crops: The Scottish Government has announced it has no plans to introduce GM crops despite UK Environment Secretary Hilary Benn’s call for the issue to be re-examined. (The Herald page 1)

 

Mental health services: Angus Council looks set to receive planning permission to develop new mental health services at Stracathro Hospital in a £95million plan. (The Press and Journal page 3)

 

Education

Supply teachers: The number of supply teachers in Scotland continues to decrease. Variations have emerged across Scotland with Glasgow, Edinburgh and East Lothian better supplied with supply teachers than Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray. However, despite this general pattern, the City of Edinburgh Council currently has 1,000 unemployed supply teachers. (The Herald page 13)

 

Politics

Scottish Labour: It is thought that Labour will go into the 2011 Holyrood election with a pledge to replace council tax with a new tax based on the value of homes. Individuals who build a conservatory or a garage would pay more under the plans. (The Times page 1)