Daily Political Media Summary: 7 August 2009

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 7 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

Royal Bank of Scotland: The taxpayer was sitting on an estimated £1.2bn paper profit on its stake in Royal Bank of Scotland for the first time as the rally in the financial sector continued apace. Part-nationalised RBS soared 10%, or 4.75p to 53.45p, marking the first time the government\’s stake closed above water since bailing the bank out in return for shares. (Scotsman page 37, Herald page 1, Times page 38, Courier page 16, Press and Journal page 18, STV, BBC)

Insolvency Figures: A record number of Scottish companies went into liquidation over the past year, according to analysis of government insolvency figures. Accountant and business adviser PKF yesterday confirmed that 933 Scottish companies became insolvent in the 12 months to the end of June, 145 more than in 2002, the previous record year. (Scotsman page 35, Press and Journal page 17, Daily Mail page 1, Daily Express page 4)

Commercial Radio Stations: Scottish commercial radio stations are managing to maintain their popularity, according to the latest listener statistics. Stations such as Forth One and Northsound One have seen listener numbers rise by 17.9 per cent and 16.1 per cent respectively, according to UK radio body Radio Joint Audience Research (Rajar). (Scotsman page 12)

Edinburgh House Prices: Experts predict Scotland\’s capital will see a return to the days of annual house price rises, despite another month revealing the depth of the property slump in the city. Although the average house price in the capital is continuing to rise, and is well above the average figure notched up for the first two quarters of 2009, it is still some 13.5 per cent down on this time last year. (Scotsman page 21)

Scottish Enterprise: Calls for the chief executive of Scottish Enterprise to be denied an "inappropriate" bonus were made last night as the quango unveiled details of increased pay for its board in its annual accounts. (Scotsman page 33, Herald page 33, Daily Mail page 4)

Transport  

Stagecoach: Perth-based rail and bus company Stagecoach has been caught up in a serious dispute with competition regulators which could see it forced to sell off parts of its bus business in southern England or face strict fare and route restrictions. (Herald page 32, Press and Journal page 17)

Local Government

Glasgow City Council: Steven Purcell, the leader of Scotland\’s largest local authority, has given his personal assurance that rubbish and health hazards will not pile up on city streets in the event of a strike by cleaning staff. (Herald page 1)

Health

Swine Flu: Forty deaths in the UK have now been linked to swine flu but figures showed a drop in the number of cases of the virus. A total of 90 people have been hospitalised with the virus in Scotland since the outbreak began; five remain in hospital. The figures suggest Swine flu has peaked, reaching the high summer plateau across the UK that experts predicted. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 8, Financial Times page 2, Courier page 8, Press and Journal page 10, Daily Telegraph page 8, Daily Mirror page 25, Sun page 2)

Angina: Men with angina are twice as likely as women to die from a heart attack within five years of their initial diagnosis, according to research published today. The study of 1,785 patients from 40 primary care practices in Scotland also found that men were almost three times as likely to go on to die from heart disease than women with the condition, which is thought to affect almost 50,000 people north of the border. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 14, Press and Journal page 12, Daily Telegraph page 8, Daily Express page 35, STV, BBC)

Education

National Student Survey: The latest National Student Survey (NSS) shows St Andrews University topping a poll of student satisfaction in Scotland, with a 92 per cent rating. 86 per cent of final year students at Scottish Universities were either ‘mostly’ or ‘definitely’ satisfied with the quality of their course. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 2)

Politics

Police Cuts: Scotland’s police forces have issued a warning that they will have to cut the number of officers unless more funding can be found. The largest police force, Strathclyde, is facing a funding gap of up to £34.7 million in 2010-11; by 2013-14 it could hit £66m. One of Scotland\’s most senior police officers has warned that the only way to deal with the financial crisis currently facing the police service is to cut corporate roles and amalgamate the eight forces into three.  (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Daily Express page 12)

SNP ‘Electioneering’: A row has erupted over claims that the Scottish Government was "electioneering" at taxpayers\’ expense by holding a public meeting on independence in the Glasgow constituency that is set for a crucial by-election. The Labour Party has asked Scotland\’s most senior civil servant to investigate why the SNP Government is holding the event in Glasgow North East, the seat vacated by Michael Martin, the former Commons Speaker. The SNP said arrangements for the event had been in place before Mr Martin resigned. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, Times page 8, Press and Journal page 7, Sun page 2)

Town Centre Regeneration: Some of Scotland\’s most run-down town centres are to be improved after the Scottish Government announced a £40 million regeneration package. The first tranche of the new town centre fund will see 48 towns benefit in a bid to help them beat the recession. Alan Cochrane comments in the Daily Telegraph. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 6, Press and Journal page 3, Daily Telegraph page 6, Daily Record page 27, Daily Mail page 32, Daily Express page 4, STV, BBC)

Postal Strike: Scotland will be hit by another postal strike tomorrow as the escalating row over pay and jobs threatens to bring widespread disruption to deliveries. More than 800 Scottish postal workers are set to join colleagues across the UK on a three-day walkout in an ongoing dispute over job cuts and modernisation. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 4, Financial Times page 2, Courier page 11, Guardian page 16, Daily Telegraph page 2, Daily Record page 2, Daily Mail page 2, Daily Express page 12, Sun page 2, BBC)