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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 2 JULY 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 2 July 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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In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News.

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Politics

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Fiscal responsibility: The Economist reports on Alex Salmond’s support for the Scottish Parliament being given tax-raising powers beyond those proposed by Calman and mentions the Campaign for Fiscal Responsibility (The Economist). 

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Crofting: The Crofting Reform Bill was debated by the Scottish Parliament yesterday and was passed, although there was controversy over plans for a map-based register of every croft in Scotland (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 12, Courier page 14). 

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The Gathering: It has been reported that arguments have been taking place within the Scottish Government about the Gathering event. Environment minister Roseanna Cunningham has written to the Finance Secretary, John Swinney, to protest that a company in her constituency has not been paid for catering at the controversial event (Scotsman page 15, Telegraph page 10, P&J page 1, Mail page 1).

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Public sector pay: It has been revealed that more than 350 top public officials earn more than the Prime Minister and First Minister (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 15). 

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Council housing: £120million is to be spent on building new council houses in Scotland. The First Minister said this would support 2,000 jobs and brings the total number of houses built under the Scottish Government’s ‘Kickstart’ housing scheme to 3,300 (Herald page 6).

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Creative Scotland: The new arts agency Creative Scotland was officially launched yesterday. Its new Chief Executive said that it would have to prove its worth very quickly in a difficult financial climate (Herald page 11, Scotsman page 23, Times page 13, Telegraph page 4).

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AV referendum: The government is reportedly planning to hold a referendum on changing the voting system to the alternative vote on 5 May 2011. This is the same date as elections to the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and some English local authorities. It is unclear whether the Labour Party will support this (Guardian page 1, Herald page 10). 

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Transport 

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Edinburgh Airport: There has been widespread criticism of Edinburgh Airport’s decision to charge motorists £1 to drop passengers off at the front of the terminal building (Scotsman page 1). 

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Health

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Choice and competition: John McTernan argues that it is time to follow England’s example and introduce choice and competition into the Scottish NHS (Scotsman page 33).

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Swine flu: Scotland has been left with a stockpile of unused flu virus vaccines because of contracts signed by the Scottish and UK governments during the swine-flu outbreak. A report praised most aspects of the Government’s response, but said that in future contracts with pharmaceutical companies should be more flexible (Scotsman page 9).

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Education

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Teacher training: In its submission to a review of teacher training, the General Teaching Council for Scotland has suggested that trainee teachers could be left under-prepared because they are being taught by staff who have been out of the classroom for too long (Scotsman page 11).