Daily Political Media Summary: 10 September 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 10 September 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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Diageo: Drinks giant Diageo is to press ahead with plans to shed hundreds of jobs after rejecting an alternative plan submitted by Scottish ministers as "unworkable". In a verdict on attempts by politicians to save 900 jobs at its Kilmarnock and Glasgow plants, Diageo executives accused MSPs of failing to understand "the basic economics of our business". David Maddox comments in the Scotsman. (Scotsman page 1, page 26, Herald page 1, Times page 3, Telegraph page 12, FT page 2, Courier page 1, Press and Journal page 13) 

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Properties: House prices in Scotland will continue to drop next year prior to the start of a "saw-edged recovery", according to a new analysis of the housing market. Research carried out by estate agents Savills has projected that property prices will drop by 2.1 per cent in 2010, as the effects of the recession and rising unemployment continue to depress the market. (Scotsman page 8)

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Recovery: A raft of good economic news last night raised hopes the worst of the recession could be over. The Prime Minister\’s official spokesman said Gordon Brown saw “encouraging signs”, and Chancellor Alistair Darling said he was “confident” the economy would see sustained growth. Alf Young comments in the Herald on the road to economic recovery and the media ‘clamour to call the recession over’. (Press and Journal page 1, Herald page 32)

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Transport 

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National Express: The bus and rail operator, which is encumbered with £1bn of debt, voted to allow the consortium of private equity house CVC and Spain\’s Cosmen family to conduct due diligence with a view to recommending its £765m bid. An announcement could be made as early as today. (Telegraph page B1)

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Local Government

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Council Jobs: Radical plans by Scotland’s councils to address the imminent financial squeeze on the public purse are emerging, with one major authority axing 150 management posts and outsourcing services, while three others are to merge most of their regulatory operations. South Lanarkshire, in preparation for “the dark times ahead”, is planning a cull, with further impacts on jobs expected in the near future.The council, the fifth biggest in Scotland in terms of population, is looking to secure annual savings of £6m by making some managers redundant and redeploying others, as well as creating a trust to run its arts and culture services and sourcing alternative providers to run and maintain its fleet of vehicles. (Herald page 1)

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Health

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Swine Flu: The Queen has been forced to call off a visit to one of Scotland\’s leading private schools following a major outbreak of swine flu that has affected almost a fifth of its pupils.

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She was due to open a new sports hall at Gordonstoun School in Moray, where the Prince of Wales was a pupil, next Tuesday as part of the institution\’s 75th anniversary celebrations, but the visit was called off at the request of the school\’s head, Mark Pyper. (Scotsman page 15, Courier page 13, STV)

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Education

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Tuition Fees: Tuition fees should be reintroduced in Scotland, the former head of Universities Scotland has said.  Lord Sutherland said some of the money should go to scholarships for students from poor backgrounds who cannot afford fees and living costs.  Up-front tuition fees were abolished in Scotland in 2000, two years after their introduction by the Blair government. (BBC)

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Politics

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Scottish Independence: George Kerevan comments in the Scotsman on the SNP’s plan for global relations. (Scotsman page 29)

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National Trust for Scotland: National Trust for Scotland leaders have defended their cost-cutting drive that caused dozens of redundancies, comparing it to bereavement. (Herald page 6, Times page 10, Telegraph page 8, Courier page 9, STV, BBC)