REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 29 SEPTEMBER 2010

Reform Scotland

\r\n

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 29 September 2010

\r\n

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.

\r\n

In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News.

\r\n

Politics

\r\n

Ed Miliband’s conference address: There is widespread coverage in the papers of Ed Miliband’s first speech as leader of the Labour Party in which he repeated his message that he represented ‘a new generation.’ (Scotsman page 4 & The Times page 1 & The Times page 7 & Daily Telegraph page 10 & Guardian page 1, FT page 1, Daily Mail page 1, Press and Journal page 1, page 6, Courier page 10, Daily Record page 1, Sun page 6, Daily Mirror page 1)

\r\n

David Miliband: Expectations are that David Miliband will bow out of frontline politics today. He left Manchester just after Ed’s speech and commentators say he does not look set to return. He had apparently expressed discomfort during his brother’s leadership speech. (Scotsman page 5). The prospect of him walking away increased significantly after he reacted negatively to a passage on Iraq in brother Ed’s keynote speech. (Herald page 6 & The Times page 8). David Miliband will today end speculation on his political future with a statement expected to announce his departure from the Labour frontbench. Nominations for the shadow cabinet are due to close at 5pm and the shadow foreign secretary is expected to confirm he will not seek to serve under his brother Ed after his devastating loss in Labour\’s leadership election. (Guardian).

\r\n

Under 21s alcohol ban: Student leaders will today issue a plea to MSPs to overturn plans for a ban on the sale of alcohol to under-21s. (Herald page 5). The SNP proposals would give licensing boards the discretion to ban sales in areas where excessive drinking has led to antisocial behaviour. Scottish Labour public health spokesman Richard Simpson has lodged an amendment to the Alcohol Bill on this issue which is being discussed by the committee today. (Press and Journal page 12)

\r\n

RAF bases: Scottish Secretary Michael Moore spent yesterday touring Moray’s closure-threatened RAF bases but could give no guarantees on their future. The minister divided his day between Kinloss and Lossiemouth before holding brief talks with the taskforce that has been set up to save the bases from closure. Fears are widespread that one or both of Moray’s airbases could close as part of the autumn announcement. (Press and Journal page 10)

\r\n

Army spared cuts: Although the PM did not make any definitive statements after the National Security Council met in Downing Street yesterday, signs afterwards suggested that the army would be spared the worst of the cuts. (Scotsman page 2). This comes in response to pressure from Defence Secretary Liam Fox, who has warned that “draconian” spending cuts in wartime would result in grave consequences. (Herald page 4 & The Times page 1)

\r\n

Economy

\r\n

Economic Recovery: The CBI quarterly Distributive Trades Survey reported that retailers are experiencing their third consecutive year-on-year increase in high street sales. Furthermore, the Office for National Statistics confirmed that the economy grew at its fastest pace in nine years in the second quarter of 2010. However, economists warn that the growth in the second quarter represents a peak in the economic recovery. (Scotsman page 6 & Press and Journal page 7, Daily Express page 1)

\r\n

Fuel Bills Hike: Industry experts have warned today that switching to renewable energy in Scotland will result in fuel bill hikes of up to £100 a year. This came after First Minister Alex Salmond claimed he was confident Scotland would generate 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable resources within 15 years; this was a week after he raised the 2020 target from 50 per cent to 80 per cent of electricity to be generated from renewable resources. The average person’s fuel bill is £1,030, with only £19 going towards renewable. (Scotsman page 1). Speaking to industry leaders, Mr Salmond further claimed that the energy revolution would create 60,000 new jobs over a decade. (Herald page 8 & The Times page 5)

\r\n

Ryder Cup: Hosting the 2014 Ryder Cup is expected to be worth £100 million to the Scottish economy when an estimated 180,000 visitors attend the event. (Scotsman page 11)

\r\n

Youth employment: 47 per cent of young people in Scotland are prepared to work for free in order to get onto the career ladder, a new survey finds. The same survey also found that younger workers are being squeezed out of a job by older, more experienced workers. A recent study estimated that there are approximately 70 applicants for every graduate job, as employers cut back on recruitment spending. (Scotsman page 22)

\r\n

Lloyds Banking Group: Senior Scottish property figures criticised Lloyds Banking Group last night following the collapse of another big company in the sector. Elphinstone Estates and a number of its subsidiaries were put into administration after the bank pulled its funding, estimated to be worth £175 million. (Scotsman/Business Section page 1 & Herald page 10)

\r\n

Eastern Holdings: One of Scotland’s biggest motor dealership empires returned to the black last year thanks to improved margins, cost cutting and lower interest rates. The firm saw profits double from £2.3 million in 2008 to £5.4 million in 2009. (Scotsman/Business Section page 2)

\r\n

Justice

\r\n

Hate Crime: Police are hoping to drive up reporting of hate crime by promising minorities will see a swifter and tougher response to offenders than other victims. The new hate crime guidance manual is aimed at instituting a cultural change in Scotland. (Scotsman page 7)

\r\n

Short Jail Sentences: Ed Milliband delivered a major embarrassment to Labour’s Holyrood leaders yesterday by indicating he wants the justice system to impose fewer short custodial sentences. (Daily Telegraph page 5)

\r\n

Local Government

\r\n

Hogmanay: Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations have been forced to axe several of the events and start the festival a day later than normal due to problems financing the event. The festival was said to be worth £29 million to the Scottish economy last year, and yet funding has been cut from £1.38 million to £1.04 million. (Scotsman page 9)

\r\n

Leith Waterfront Development: Edinburgh’s Leith waterfront is to be revamped with millions of pounds of new funding, thanks to an innovative ‘American-style’ way of paying for major public projects. The scheme allows local authorities to use their borrowing power against future income from business rates generated by a new project. The £84 million investment will create a cruise liner terminal, lock gates, and esplanade and a new link road, bringing in an estimated £660 million private investment and create 4,900 new jobs. (Herald page 4). The additional local business taxes that new businesses would pay in the area would be used to repay the loan over 25 years. (The Times page 5)

\r\n

Health

\r\n

Health/Obesity Improvement: A new survey shows that Scottish children are swapping junk food for healthier snacks, such as fibre bread and oily fish. (Scotsman page 10). Furthermore, the number of overweight Scots has fall for the first time in 15 years, according to the Scottish Health Survey. (Herald page 1).

\r\n

Anti-Depressants: A ministerial target to halt the increase in the use of anti-depressants in Scotland has been missed, figures reveal. The SNP’s 2007 manifesto pledged to reduce reliance on the drugs by 10 per cent; however official figures showed a 7 per cent increase on 2009. (Scotsman page 14 & Herald page 2)

\r\n

Diabetes: Half a million pounds is to be spent on a scheme to store the DNA of Scots with a potentially fatal form of diabetes. As many as 22,000 people in Scotland are living with type 1 diabetes, and the plan will collect the biological information of 10,000 patients to improve the support for sufferers of the illness. (Scotsman page 17 & Herald page 8)

\r\n

Assisted Suicide Bill: Disability campaigners said yesterday the proposals would take Scotland down the wrong route, making “death a better choice”. (The Times page 15)

\r\n