REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 8 JULY 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 8 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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Scottish spending cuts: The Scottish Government’s chief economic adviser has projected that Scotland is facing a £42 billion cut in its budget over the next 16 years. However, Professor Arthur Midwinter, a former adviser to the Scottish Parliament’s finance committee, accused him of ‘scaremongering’ and said that projections over 16 years were bound to be inaccurate (Scotsman page 2, Bill Jamieson in Scotsman, Herald page 2, Times page 6, Telegraph page 1, P&J page 9).

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Rhona Brankin: The Labour MSP and former minister Rhona Brankin will step down at the next Holyrood elections. She said she wanted to spend more time with her family and take on other public roles (Scotsman page 22).

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Fiscal powers: George Kerevan argues that Holyrood’s flaws can be resolved with more fiscal powers, not fewer (Scotsman page 29).

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Drought fears: Scottish Water has applied for a drought order in Dumfries and Galloway which would allow it to implement water restrictions. Reservoirs in the area are two-thirds below their usual summer levels (Herald page 5).

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Scottish Tories: Alan Cochrane thinks that the Prime Minister has given up on the Scottish Tories (Telegraph page 13).

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Economy

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Car sales: Sales of new cars in Scotland fell last month, in contrast to the rest of the UK which recorded an overall rise of 12.56 per cent (Scotsman page 21).

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Justice

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Police cuts: The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) has agreed to set up a task force to examine options for savings, including the possibility of a single Scottish police force, a move which some officers see as inevitable. Acpos members were told at a meeting yesterday that they may have to find savings of 10-12 per cent, far higher than the 4 to 6 per cent they had been expecting (Herald page 1).

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Lawyers’ fees: A deal has been reached between the Scottish Government and lawyers about how much they should be paid to visit police stations to advise suspects who are not their clients. New regulations entitle anyone questioned by police to legal advice (Herald page 1).

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Local Government

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Child Trust Fund: An investigation has found that 20 of Scotland’s 32 councils have failed to give children the £100 top-up payment owed to them under the government’s Child Trust Fund scheme (Scotsman page 1).

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Health

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Hospital infections: According to new figures, rates of the superbug Clostridium difficile are at their lowest level ever and rates of MRSA are at the second lowest level since records began in 2003 (Herald page 6, Telegraph page 4).