Daily Political Media Summary: 26 March 2010


Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 26 March 2010

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.



Scottish Government Cuts: Scotland will face large financial cuts under Alistair’s Darling’s budget plans. Experts have predicted the Scottish budget would face real terms cuts of £3bn by 2013-14. The Chancellor stated £38bn projected savings in the Budget. (Scotsman page 1)


Voluntary Sector: Statistics from the Scottish Government show the third sector has remained buoyant despite the recession – experiencing a 4% rise in annual income to £3bn. (Scotsman page 12, Courier page 8)


Highland Airways: Troubled airline Highland Airways went into voluntary administration yesterday, leaving islanders in the Hebrides without lifeline air services. Politicians have accused HM Revenue and Customs of reneging on promises to be flexible when dealing with the tax accounts of businesses struggling with the recession after it emerged the airline faced tax bills of £500,000. The lifeline flights will resume next week with new operators. (Times page 1, Scotsman page 9, Telegraph page 16, Courier page 8, Press & Journal page 6, Mail page 13, Record page 2)


Clyde Contract: Hopes have been raised that a new generation of Royal navy warships will be built at the Clyde shipyards, Glasgow after BAE systems won a share of the Ministry of Defence’s £127m contract for a four year project. (Herald page 7, Courier page 6, Press & Journal page 9)



Care Homes: Widespread inspection by the Care Commission of its services has deemed one in ten care homes for the elderly unsatisfactory in Scotland. The report, released today, is based on the results of inspections carried out in 2008/9, including 71% of the services registered with the Care Commission. (Scotsman page 3)


Scottish Beaches: A new report based on the findings of an extensive ‘litter pick’ across British beaches has shown Scotland’s remain the dirtiest in the UK – despite improving standards since last year. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 3)


Patient Records: More than 101,000 NHS staff nationwide have access to confidential patient records, including those with no direct involvement in patient treatment. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 10)  


Male Life Expectancy: Men living in Scotland’s most economically deprived areas have a life expectancy that is more than 13 years shorter than their counterparts in the most affluent communities. (Herald page 6, Times page 12)  



Islanders’ Plea: Parents from Barra have written to the Scottish Education Minister to ask for intervention with the island’s only all-through school amid growing concerns about the quality of the education it provides. (Herald page 12)



Quangos: Finance Secretary John Swinney has won backing at Holyrood to reduce the number of quangos from 199 to 161 (falling to 120 by next year) – saving around £127m between 2008-13. (Herald page 6, Press & journal page 9)


An attempt to prevent quango chief executives in Scotland from receiving bonuses for the next two years has failed to pass through Holyrood after MSPs were warned that it was open to legal challenge. (Times page 12, Telegraph page 8, Courier page 12, Mail page 8)


Mephedrone: T in the Park organisers have banned the consumption of ‘legal high’ mephedrone at this year’s event. First Minister Alex Salmond has also vowed to take action in Scotland to ban the potentially lethal party drug (Herald page 8, Scotsman page 19, Press & Journal page 9)


STV News Pilot: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has selected The Scottish News Consortium (SNC) – an alliance of leading Scottish media organisations including Herald and Times Group – to provide the news for STV. The decision will mean the creation of the UK’s first fully integrated TV-to-internet news service under the name ScotlandFirst. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 10, Telegraph page 18, Courier page 12, Press & Journal page 7, Express page 3)


Purcell Deals Probe Rejected: Calls for a probe into deals by firms owned by Glasgow City Council following the resignation of disgraced former leader Steven Purcell have been rejected by Scotland’s public spending watchdog and police. (Herald page 1, Sun page 4)


Rail Strike: Rail unions have decided to delay strike action until after the Easter holidays but have announced a four day, consecutive, strike of maintenance workers and signallers immediately afterwards. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 1, Times page 3, Telegraph page 1, Press & Journal page 1, Mirror page 6, Express page 7, Mail page 1, Record page 6)


Holyrood Exchanges: Heated exchanges took place in the Scottish Parliament yesterday during First Minister’s Questions. ‘Ya numpty’ was Labour finance spokesman Andy Kerr’s response to Alex Salmond’s contributions to the discussion of the Chancellor’s Budget, who in turn referred to his Holyrood Labour rival Iain Gray as a “sap”. (Scotsman page 7, Courier page 3, Herald page 6, Record page 10)