Daily Political Media Summary: 2 September 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 2 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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Trump: Property owners have vowed to take their fight to the courts to prevent their homes being seized to pave the way for Donald Trump\’s £1 billion golf resort in Aberdeenshire. Four homeowners living on the fringe of the Menie Estate have been left facing the prospect of compulsory purchase orders being used to buy their houses after a decision by Aberdeenshire councillors to include their land in a revised plan of the Trump development near Balmedie. They now plan to unite to challenge the decision in the Court of Session. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 3)

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Personal debt:  Personal debt has fallen for the first time since records began, according to new figures released yesterday. The Bank of England said personal borrowing fell by £600 million in July, taking the total owed by individuals to £1,456 billion. The drop, the first recorded by the bank since it began gathering figures in 1993, was driven by a fall in both mortgage lending and unsecured credit. (Scotsman page 3, Herald page 12, Times page 25)

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Capital investment: The UK government\’s role as capital venture investor was criticised as having had only "a modest impact" in creating thriving companies and jobs between 1995 and 2008, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday. A report by the British Venture Capital and Private Equity Association and state-backed technology fund Nesta questioned the way taxpayer money is used to back start-up companies. The study looked at the funding of the 782 companies that received funding from six types of government-backed venture capital schemes in the 13 years to 2008. (STV)

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Crime

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Police recruitment: The Scottish Government has reached its target of putting an extra 1,000 police officers on Scotland\’s streets two years early, it has been revealed. The number of officers employed in Scotland rose to 17,278 in the second quarter of 2009, an increase of 1,044 since the SNP came to power in May 2007. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 10, Telegraph page 1, Press and Journal page 3)

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Health

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Alcohol consumption: British teenagers are more likely to get drunk than youngsters anywhere else in the industrialised world, an international survey has shown. A report by the OECD has stated that in the UK "drunkenness is the highest in the OECD, with one in three 13- and 15-year-olds having been drunk at least twice". The figure is more than double the rate for countries such as the United States, France and Italy. UK girls in particular, it said, have been responsible for pushing up the level of drunkenness among 13-15-year-olds. (Scotsman page 23, Herald page 15, Telegraph page 4)

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Politics

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Al-Megrahi: Gordon Brown and David Miliband supported releasing the Lockerbie bomber from prison, official minutes of a meeting with the Libyan government have revealed. Neither the Prime Minister nor the Foreign Secretary wanted Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi to die in jail, according to documents which were made public for the first time yesterday. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 1, Courier page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Daily Record page 1, BBC)

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Commonwealth Games Legacy: A £23.5 million investment aimed at ensuring a lasting legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow has been announced. First Minister Alex Salmond said he hoped the event would start a "physical regeneration" in Scotland and today\’s money would help to secure this. He was joined by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the People\’s Palace for the launch of a legacy blueprint for the Games. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 9, STV)

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Public sector: Scottish ministers must either open up schools and hospitals to competition or face having to cut back services in the coming budget squeeze, Edinburgh\’s Chamber of Commerce has claimed. The business group will mount a campaign this week to demand immediate reform, warning that an overhaul of the public sector is now necessary. (Scotsman page 5)

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National Trust: Shonaig Macpherson, chair of the National Trust for Scotland announced yesterday that she is to step down. Ms Macpherson will not stand for a second term of office when her appointment finishes next September. She is reportedly facing a vote of no confidence at the trust\’s annual general meeting in Edinburgh later this month. (Scotsman page 25, Herald page 1, Times page 11)