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Daily Political Media Summary: 23 March 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 23 March 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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Green power: An average of 500 jobs are expected to be created every month until 2020 in sectors ranging from offshore wind power to carbon capture technology. (Scotsman page 9, Courier page 4)

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Energy costs: Scottish and Southern Energy has warned that it may be forced to close its power station in Peterhead in Aberdeenshire due to the cost of transmitting the electricity produced there to the National Grid.  SSE is currently paying a transmission fee of £20 per kilowatt compared to power stations in some areas of England that are subsidised up to £6 per kilowatt.  (Scotsman page 15)

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Petrol stations: A new report by the Energy Institute has found that the number of petrol stations in the UK has hit a new low, though the number in Scotland increased slightly.  (Scotsman page 16)

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Fuel costs: Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney yesterday launched the SNP’s Fair Fuel Campaign which is aimed at freezing the fuel duty and introducing a road fuel regulator.  (P&J page 1, Courier page 11)

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Local Government

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Consultants: Scottish councils have paid out more than £40 million in fees to consultancy firms in the past year. (Scotsman page 8, P&J page 11)

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Health

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Stop smoking campaign: A pilot programme in Dundee offering cash to smokers to stop smoking has been called a “resounding success”.  (Scotsman page 20)

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Kidney disease breakthrough: A University of Glasgow-based scientist has identified proteins found in the bloodstream that could indicate whether a person with diabetes is at risk for developing kidney disease later in life.  (Herald page 7)

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Crime

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Cutting crime: A study by the Institute for Public Policy Research has found that crime rates in Scotland have remained static over the past ten years while England, Wales and Northern Ireland have all seen a significant fall in crime. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 2, P&J page 9, Express page 2)

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Inmate mentor scheme: Boys aged 12-14 who are deemed to be at risk of becoming serious offenders are to be mentored for 12 weeks by inmates at the Glenochil Prison in a new pilot programme designed to reduce youth crime.  (Herald page 9)

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Anti-social behaviour: 87% of Scots consider anti-social behaviour to be a large problem for the country according to the latest Scottish Social Attitudes Survey.  (P&J page 9)

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Education

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Private schools: Lothians Labour MSP Lord George Foulkes has called for Edinburgh’s private schools to become state schools.  The motion filed in Scottish Parliament yesterday mirrors a proposal he made in the 1970s when he was education convener on the Lothian Regional Council.  (Scotsman page 11)

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Politics

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Lobbing for cash row: The Labour party last night suspended three former cabinet ministers over allegations they were prepared to use their positions to influence government policy for cash.  The MPs are Stephen Byers, Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt.  Backbencher Margaret Moran has also been suspended over the allegations. (Scotsman page 1, David Maddox in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, P&J page 8, David Aaronovitch in The Times, Guardian page 12, Sun page 2, Record page 2)

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Digital Britain: Gordon Brown laid out his vision of Britain’s digital future in a speech yesterday.  He proposed government information and services should be accessed through a “mygov” online portal and wants ensure super-fast broadband is supplied to every home in Britain.  (Herald page 6, P&J page 5, Guardian page 15)

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David & Samantha Cameron: The couple announced yesterday that they are expecting a baby in September. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 7, P&J page 5, Courier page 1, Telegraph page 3, Times page 4, Guardian page 1, Sun page 9, Mirror page 4, Express page 3, Mail page 6, Record page 2)

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Tory emergency budget: Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy has said that Conservative plans to hold an emergency budget should the win the election would risk “anarchy” in schools and hospitals. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 6, Courier page 9)

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Steven Purcell: City Building LLP, the company created by former Glasgow council leader Steven Purcell, will no longer host a stall at this weekend’s Labour party conference.  The company has been subject to numerous allegations since Mr Purcell resigned from the council.  (Herald page 1)

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Women in Holyrood: A study exploring the experiences of female MSPs from 1999 to 2007 by the Active Learning Centre at Glasgow University found that Scotland’s first female ministers believed they were hampered by a male-dominated Civil Service and a misogynistic Scottish press.  (Times page 10)

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Anne Moffat: The Labour MP for East Lothian has lodged an appeal with the party’s National Executive Committee to appeal her deselection by local party members.  (P&J page 9, Courier page 11)