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Daily Political Media Summary: 9 March 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 9 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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Banks: An inquiry by MPs on the Scottish affairs select committee has condemned banks, including RBS and Lloyds group which were bailed out by the taxpayer, for using “unfair and aggressive tactics” against most of their vulnerable customers and using “undesirable practices” when customers went into debt.(Scotsman page 1, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 1, Record page 2)

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In a keynote speech at Reform Scotland’s annual dinner last night, Vince Cable said a “re-think” of the banking industry was needed and that there should be a break-up of Britain’s gigantic banks. (Scotsman page 2)

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Pubs: Pubs in Scotland are closing at a rate of three per week.  Increased costs for landlords, the knock-on effects of the smoking ban, and growing amounts of licensing red tape have been blamed for the increase in closures.  (Scotsman page 12)

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Greenbelt threat: Firms are increasingly unable to afford to rehabilitate contaminated second-hand sites for new construction which is placing Scotland’s greenbelt under threat according to WWF Scotland.  (Herald page 10)

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North Sea supergrid: Creation of a £30 billion North Sea renewable power network linking Scotland, Norway, Germany, Denmark, France, and England took a step forward when major European businesses agreed yesterday to establish offices in London and Brussels in order to provide lobbying support in the European Commission.  (P&J page 8)

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Crime

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Jon Venables: Jack Straw defended the need for secrecy over why and where Jon Venables has been recalled to prison saying that it could threaten the fairness of any future trial while Baroness Butler-Sloss feared vigilante attacks if information was released. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 2, P&J page 1, Telegraph page 4, Times page 4, Guardian page 9, Sun page 5, Mirror page 9)

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Criminal assets: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill faced accusations from senior Glasgow SNP councillor Billy McAllister that he was not doing enough to seize assets from Scotland’s biggest criminals.  According to records, of £60 million of frozen criminal confiscations over the past three years, only £6 million has been recovered.  (Scotsman page 16)

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Transport 

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Forth Road Bridge: According to officials, the Forth Road Bridge will be able to carry a tram or light rail system once the new Forth crossing is built in 2016.  Under current plans, the bridge will be open only to buses and taxis.  (Courier page 14)

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Local Government

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Glasgow games: The new logo revealed yesterday for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games has been criticised as complicated, serious and messy. (Scotsman page 3, Herald page 3, P&J page 9)

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Council chiefs: Council chief executives across Scotland have agreed to freeze their pay. (Scotsman page 6, P&J page 1, Courier page 11)

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Steven Purcell: Former colleagues of Steven Purcell have distanced themselves from the former leader of Glasgow City Council by describing his leadership style as ‘presidential’ and saying he took decisions without consulting fellow councillors.  (Herald page 6, Times page 15, Express page 2)

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Education

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Tories education plans: The Scottish Conservatives will today announce plans to transfer power from centralised state control to parents through new ‘independently run free schools’.  The Tories envision these schools competing with existing local authority-run schools.  (Courier page 10)

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Politics

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Asylum family deaths: There have been calls for a public enquiry to investigate the UK Border Agency’s treatment of asylum seekers following the suicide of a Russian family in Glasgow.  The family had been denied asylum and were facing deportation.  (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 5, P&J page 9, Courier page 11, Guardian page 11, Sun page 8, Mail page 8)

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TV debates: SNP leaders will meet with the BBC in Edinburgh this Friday to spell out their complaints over being excluded from the Prime Ministerial debates.  (Herald page 4)

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Votes for prisoners: The EU’s human rights watchdog has declared that the UK’s upcoming general election will be in breach of human rights if British prisoners are not given the right to vote.  The body also declared that the growing number of prisoners facing a voting ban will mean an increase in human rights cases against the government.  (Scotsman page 21, P&J page 5)