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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 10 AUGUST 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 10 August 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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National Trust: The chief executive of the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) reported that the conservation charity will have no option but to hand over the running of sites across the country. A vast majority of the properties are losing money, and the trust cannot afford to carry out the repairs required. (The Scotsman page 1 and page 32, The Daily Telegraph page 8, The Financial Times page 2, Scottish Daily Mail page 13, Daily Express page 10) 

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Labour Party: After a poll by TNS-BMRB showed a slump for the Tories, the Labour Party has claimed that Scottish voters have firmly rejected the Conservatives’ planned public service cuts. (The Herald page 6, The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Courier page 8, Daily Express page 2, Times page 12) 

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Cabinet meetings: Alex Salmond has taken annual leave and will not be leading a series of Cabinet events being held in Stirling today. This has led to much criticism from opposition MSPs who stated that Salmond was not taking the high-profile events “seriously”. (Press and Journal page 9) 

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EU direct tax proposal: Yesterday, Tory Treasury minister Lord Sassoon made clear that the UK Government opposed any attempt to bring in a direct tax of EU member states. (Guardian page 2) 

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Economy

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Unemployment: Research carried out by the Prince’s Trust reveals that 73 per cent of the Scottish youngsters with parents who do not have a job have found getting a job for themselves difficult. Calls have been made to end this “cycle of joblessness.” (The Scotsman page 11) 

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Renewable energy: Chris Huhne has announced a decision to end the ban on councils selling electricity, making it possible for councils to raise up to £100 million a year in income. The move has been hailed as a potential turning point in the renewable revolution in the UK since new wind farms on council land can now be economically beneficial for a community. The Scottish Government raised concerns last night that Scotland could still miss out, because the UK government has refused to abandon the transmission charge which penalises energy production in Scotland. (The Scotsman page 12, The Herald page 2 

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Housing Market: House prices have fallen for the first time since June 2009, it is thought this has been caused by first time buyers being unable to raise the money for the much larger deposits needed than before, a large number of sellers in the market and business worries about the VAT increases next year. (Times page 1, Guardian page 1) 

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Cuts: A review of all government department proposed spending cuts has been ordered so as there is no repeat of the school milk fiasco. (Times page 6) 

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Growth Slows: The growth in retail sales slowed sharply last month due to government spending cuts causing consumers to focus on only buying the essentials. (Press and Journal page 10) 

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Justice

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Jurors: Judges have opposed plans to allow jurors to be over the age of 70. (Times page 2)

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Transport 

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Drop-off fee: The new managing director of Edinburgh Airport, Kevin Brown, said to the Scotsman that making drivers pay £1 to drop-off passengers was “the right thing to do” and that the fee is here to stay. (The Scotsman page 6) 

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Petrol: RMI Petrol warns that Scots petrol prices could increase to £6 a gallon by January, this due to a combination of rising crude oil costs and increasing Government taxes. The increase will be especially devastating for families in rural areas. (The Scotsman page 9, The Herald page 1 and page 14, The Courier page 10, Scottish Daily Mail page 1, Daily Express page 1, Press and Journal page 8) 

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Inverness-London trains: David Stewart, Labour MSP for the Highlands and Islands has called for the UK government to scrap their plans to cut the direct trains between Inverness and London which is under serious consideration as part of the government’s cost cutting measures. (Press and Journal page 4) 

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Local Government

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Councillor arrested: Gilbert Davidson, a Glasgow councillor, has been arrested and charged over allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards a former lord provost of the city. Last night the Labour party suspended the councillor in the wake of the development. (The Herald page 3 

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Council spies: In the North-East and Tayside covert CCTV cameras, bugging devices and spies, made legal by anti-terrorist laws, have been used by council to tackle a range of issues. (Press and Journal page 1)

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Health

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Smoking fines: Outside Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, officers now have the power to give an on the spot £50 fine for anybody caught smoking as part of a yearlong crack down. (Press and Journal page 3) 

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Education

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Exam results: Headmaster Peter Hogan argues in the Scotsman that there is too much focus on exam results and that this “stifles real learning success.” (The Scotsman page 32)   

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Graduate Tax: It is thought the proposed graduate tax will unfairly hit actors, musicians and entrepreneurs; however Vince Cable still favours the plan over raising the tuition fee cap. (Times page 15) 

\r\nFree Schools: The Liberal Democrats are preparing to tell parents not send their children to the Conservative planned free schools at their conference next month, which could turn out to be a significant split within the coalition government. (Guardian page 8)