Daily Political Media Summary: 28 January 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 28 January 2010

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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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Banking reform: At the annual World Economic Forum global business leaders warned that a crackdown on the financial industry could hamper economic recovery. (Scotsman page 8)

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Spending cuts: The Chancellor is expected today to instruct Cabinet ministers to bring forward specific departmental spending cuts to form part of his pre-election budget. (Herald page 7)

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Interest rates: Andrew Sentance, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, has said the UK needed to avoid a double-dip recession and hinted that an increase in interest rates could help prevent this. (Scotsman Business 2)

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Paternity leave: The Government is set to announce new rights for fathers which would allow them to take up to six months paternity leave, three of which would be paid from 2011. The time can be taken off in the second half of the child’s first year if the mother returns to work. (Scotsman page 8, Telegraph page 1)

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Oil & Gas: Yesterday the Chancellor announced a multi-million pound package of tax incentives aimed at unlocking oil and gas reserves in the Atlantic frontier west of Shetland. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 10, Record page 2, P&J page 1)

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Job losses: The Student Loans Company announced yesterday that it is to axe 150 jobs in Scotland (Herald page 4, Scotsman page 14, Mail page 24, Record page 14)

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Crime

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Serial sex offender: The High Court in Edinburgh heard yesterday that a serial sex offender who had just been released from prison tried to murder a pensioner in a park so he could rape her granddaughters. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 4, Sun page 1, Mail page 7, Record page 15, Express page 7, Times page 9, P&J page 1, Courier page 1)

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Motorist blows nose: A man is facing a criminal trial after being caught blowing his nose behind the wheel of his car.  Michael Mancini was given a £60 fixed penalty notice and 3 penalty points for blowing his nose with both hands while his car was stationary in traffic with the handbrake on.  (Scotsman page 3, Sun page 5, Record page 1, Express page 3)

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Data loss: In two years more than 300 computers and data storage devices have disappeared from council offices, schools and hospitals in Scotland putting many at risk of identity fraud. (Mail page 1)

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Transport

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Glasgow trams and congestion charge: A report was published by University of Strathclyde yesterday calling for congestion charging, trams, tree lined boulevards and solar-powered swimming pools in an effort to make Glasgow one of the greenest cities in Europe.  City leaders believe the plans could regenerate Glasgow and create thousands of jobs. (Scotsman page 6, Jenny Fyall in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Chris Watt in the Herald)

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Education

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PE: Figures released by the Scottish Conservatives show that only one in three primaries and one in five secondaries were reaching government targets to give pupils 2 hours of PE a week.  In response the Tories are setting up a new sporting trust with Gavin Hastings as its ambassador to encourage more children to get active. (Sun page 2, Liz Smith MSP in the Sun, Mail page 19, Record page 14, Times page 9, P&J page 8, Telegraph page 12)

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Education Maintenance Allowance:  Critics have called for the education maintenance allowance scheme, which encourages 16 to 19 year olds to stay on at school, to be abandoned after it was revealed that it cost more than £35million in 208-09. (Telegraph page 12)

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Glasgow education plans: Glasgow City Council are expected to announce a raft of budget changes to create savings to be spent on education.  However rather than invest in the Scottish Government’s priorities of smaller class sizes and free school meals to primary 1 to 3, the council is creating nurture classes which will give pupils with behavioural or emotional difficulties lessons in social skills. (Herald page 1)

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Local Government

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Review of local government services: The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government Committee has called for a fundamental review of local government services and how they are provided. (Herald page 6, Courier page 10)

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Gritting: Jim Irons, the Executive Environment Director at Perth & Kinross Council, said yesterday that the public had “unrealistic expectations” about the ability of road-gritting crews to deal with the worst winter conditions for 30 years. (Scotsman page 21)

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Health

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Tobacco and Primary Care Bill: Yesterday the Scottish Parliament passed the Tobacco and Primary Care Bill which will ban the display of tobacco products everywhere except in specialist shops, bans cigarette vending machines and introduces a registration scheme for tobacco retailers.  The Bill also bans private sector companies from running GP surgeries.  Only the Conservatives voted against the Bill. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 6, Mail page 25, Express page 4, Times page 19, P&J page 9, Courier page 6)

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Alcohol: Gavin Hewitt, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association argues in the Scotsman that the Scottish Government’s plan for minimum pricing of alcohol threatens the whisky industry.

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Politics

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Nuclear power: Lord Hunt, the UK Energy Minister, has said the political block on new nuclear power stations in Scotland was “a tragedy for Scotland”. (Scotsman page 20)

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TV channels for Scottish cities: The Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP said yesterday that under a Conservative Government a broadcasting model would be encouraged which would see Scotland’s cities producing their own local news stations. (Scotsman page 24, Herald page 2)

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Creative Scotland: Gerry Hassan in the Scotsman comments on the creation of Creative Scotland.

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Commonwealth Games: The Scottish Parliament’s Audit Committee heard yesterday that the cost of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games was out of control because the effects of inflation were left off the budget. (Sun page 2, Mail page 12, Telegraph page 8)

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Civil Servants: Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments on the neutrality of civil servants.

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