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Daily Political Media Summary: 30 September 2009

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 30 September 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

Recession: Figures released yesterday show the recession was not as deep as previously feared between April and June, but economists warn that Britain still faces a “long, slow recovery.” (Scotsman page B1, Herald page 26, Guardian page 24, Financial Times page 2, Daily Telegraph)

 AG Barr:  Shares in the Scottish drinks-maker, AG Barr, rose more than 11 per cent yesterday after they announced a 27.1 per cent rise in sales. (Scotsman page B1, Herald page 26, Daily Telegraph B2)

 Bankers: Gordon Brown outlined his hardline position on bankers’ bonuses, announcing that banking executives will be disqualified from holding directorships if regulators decide they have overpaid themselves and their employees. (Times page 40, Daily Telegraph B1)

 Crime

Crime Rates: Recorded crime in Scotland is at its lowest level for 30 years, but Scottish Government statistics show that “dishonesty crimes” have increased. Shoplifting offences soared by 10 per cent to 32,048 in the year to April 2009 and rises in burglary and prostitution have sparked concerns that increasing unemployment and the difficult economic climate could be pushing Scots into criminality. (Scotsman page 9, Times page 20, Herald page 2, Daily Record page 2, Courier Page 9, Daily Telegraph page 10)

 Transport 

Forth Bridge: The £2.3 billion Forth Bridge construction project has attracted only 2 bidders amid fears over cost increases and funding. (Scotsman page 14)

 Train Crash: Three people were killed after a train and a car collided at a level crossing in the far north of Scotland. Politicians have called for an urgent safety probe into the accident despite Network Rail’s statement that there was no indication that the crossing was not functioning correctly when the crash happened.(Scotsman page 11, Times page 22, Herald page 1, Daily Record page 1, Daily Mirror page 9, Daily Mail page 13, Guardian page 12, Daily Telegraph page 9)

 Rail Link: SNP ministers appear to have been asked to choose between the £100 million Glasgow Airport Rail Link (GARL) and the £400 million Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) in order to find savings in the budget. (Scotsman page 23, Herald)

 Health

Cancer Vaccine: The Scottish Government has withdrawn the cervical cancer vaccines belonging to the same batch given to a 14-year-old girl who died. The Government has withdrawn stocks as a “precaution” but Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has said the vaccination programme will continue in Scotland. (Scotsman page 8, Times page 3, Herald page 3, Daily Mirror page 17, Daily Mail page 1, Financial Times page 6, Guardian page 11, Daily Telegraph page 14)

 Caesareans: The number of babies born by Caesarean section in Scotland has trebled over the past 30 years. (Scotsman page 8)

 Childbirth: New figures show that more women are postponing having children and that one in five Scots births is now to a mother aged 35 or over. (Herald page 7)

Hospitals: Hospitals in Scotland are failing to meet set standards for the care of stroke victims, with not one hospital meeting all the standards, and others meeting as few as one of the six set down by experts. (Scotsman page 15)

 Prescriptions: The cost of Scottish prescriptions to the NHS in Scotland has increased to £1.07 billion, the new total equates to £196.20 for every person who is registered with a GP. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 7)

 Obesity: More than a third of boys are now overweight, while a majority of adults in Scotland weigh too much, including more than two-thirds of men. (Scotsman page 21, Herald)

 Local Government

Dumfries and Galloway: Dumfries and Galloway Council is being asked to approve payments of up to £20,000 to each of the victims of a paedophile who abused them at a residential Children’s Home in Moffat. (Herald page 9)

 Education

Outdoor Play:  Nurseries across Scotland will be urged to adopt a more Scandinavian approach to pre-school education by taking children outdoors more often to learn through playing in a natural setting. (Herald page 1)

 School Buildings: Nearly a quarter of Scotland’s school buildings are in poor or bad condition, with critics arguing that it will take years to bring them up to standard. (Scotsman page 21, Herald page 10)

 ‘Super’ Teachers:  New guidelines for how the Chartered Teachers scheme will work have been published which include big changes to the original plan issued in 2003, but are essential in creating “a teaching profession that…prepares our young people for the challenges of the 21st century” according to schools minister Keith Brown. (Scotsman page 38, Herald page 10)

 Politics

Labour Conference: In his last conference speech before the election, Gordon Brown defiantly insisted that Labour was "not done yet", arguing that now "was not the time to give in" to the rising Tory challenge. In a speech full of policy announcements, the Prime Minister effectively laid out his election manifesto, aiming to show voters that, after 12 years, Labour was fresh enough to continue in office and urging them not to use the next poll as a referendum on his leadership. Brown promised to cut down anti-social behaviour to appeal to voters of ‘Middle Britain’. (Scotsman page 1, Times page 1, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 1, Financial Times page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1, Sun page 1, Daily record page 6-7, Daily Mail page 8-11, Daily Express page 4-5, Scottish Daily Mirror page 1)

 Scottish Independence: Prime Minister Gordon Brown is facing fresh pressure to call a referendum on Scottish independence after he pledged a ballot on a new voting system. The SNP has accused the Prime Minister of making contradictory statements by allowing debate on voting reform but not one on Scotland’s future. (Scotsman page 7)

 Campaign Money:  Labour is reportedly withholding campaign money from lazy MPs and candidates in marginal seats who are not showing an appetite to fight the election. (Times page 5)