REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 9 JULY 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 9 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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Temporary staff: It has been revealed that the Scottish Government spent £9.4 million on temporary staff in government departments during 2009-10, compared to £6 million in the previous year. Labour MSP Richard Baker accused the Finance Secretary of ‘profligate’ spending, but Mr Swinney blamed the increase on the hiring of specialist staff to deal with demands like the flu pandemic (Scotsman page 2).

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Scottish Affairs Committee: The Liberal Democrats have turned down the offer of an extra seat on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee. This means there will now be four Tories representing English constituencies on the committee (Scotsman page 2).

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Emissions: New research by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that more than £10 billion of investment is needed to help Scotland meet its target of cutting carbon emissions by 2020 (Scotsman page 2, P&J page 8).

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Scottish Tories: Bill Jamieson argues that there is still life left in the centre right in Scotland (Scotsman page 29).

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AV referendum: Gerry Hassan argues against holding the AV referendum on the same day as the devolved elections (Scotsman page 31).

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Lockerbie bombing: Four US senators have written a letter calling on the UK to investigate the circumstances surrounding the release of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing (Herald page 4).

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Devolution finance: Professor James Mitchell highlights the implications for Scotland of the final report of the Independent Commission on Funding and Finance for Wales (Herald page 15).

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Fiscal responsibility: Ben Thomson argues in a letter to the Financial Times that greater fiscal powers for Holyrood would be beneficial for both Scotland and England (FT page 12).

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Economy

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Pharmaceutical jobs: The MSD pharmaceutical plant in North Lanarkshire is to close, with the loss of up to 250 jobs (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1).

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Banks: A consortium headed by two experienced City of London executives is reported to be preparing to bid for Lloyds TSB’s 185 branches in Scotland. Lord Levene, chairman of Lloyd’s of London, and Sir David Walker have been linked with a project to raise billions of pounds to potentially buy parts of nationalised banks (Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 23, Scotsman page 33, Herald page 32).

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Justice

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Single police force: The head of Scotland’s largest police force has called for the creation of a single force for the whole of Scotland, saying he believes it would be the most effective model (Herald page 8).

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Transport 

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Borders rail link: A new report has claimed that the environmental benefits of the £300 million Borders rail link have been overstated by ignoring the impact of housing growth in the Borders (Herald page 10).

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Health

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Locum doctors: A consultant has warned that the use of unsuitable locum doctors is putting patients at risk. The consultant, who wishes to remain anonymous, has written to the Health Secretary to express concern about the use of temporary doctors and has suggested asking junior doctors to do more shifts (Herald page 1).