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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 30 SEPTEMBER 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 30 September 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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David Miliband: Has announced that he is to leave frontline politics, saying that he wants to give Ed “space” whilst admitting they have “their own views” on the direction of the party. This has raised speculation that David is distancing himself from the current leadership amid signals from Ed that he would raise taxes to cover public spending. (The Scotsman pages 4&5, The Herald pages 1&6, Times page 1&2, Telegraph page 1&19, Courier page 1&11, Guardian page 1, Press and Journal page 8, FT page 2, Daily Record page 8, Daily Mail page 6-9, Daily Mirror page 4)

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Alcohol ban: Plans from the SNP Government to allow local licensing boards to ban under-21s from buying alcohol have been rejected by MSPs. (The Scotsman page 13, The Herald page 9, Times page 14, Telegraph page 12, Courier page 6, Daily Express page 2, Press and Journal page 7)

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Renewables revenue: The SNP has reportedly changed its old call to receive the revenue from “Scotland’s oil” to a new call to receive the revenue from offshore renewable licences that currently go to the Crown Estate. (The Scotsman page 17, Times page 5)

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Expenses: David Mundell has been interviewed by police concerning his election expenses. (The Herald page 4)

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Gathering’s loss: New information obtained under a FOI request shows that Alex Salmond gave a personal pledge to the organisers of the Gathering in the hope that they would stage a second event. The organising company eventually collapsed with losses of £726,000 causing the SNP Government to write off a loan of £180,000. (Telegraph page 8)

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Economy

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Austerity Demonstrations: Amid Europe-wide protests against austerity measures, demonstrations have taken place in Scotland in both Dundee and Glasgow, with union meetings also being held in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. (The Scotsman pages 10&11, The Herald page 12, Telegraph page 14, Courier page 14)

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Underground power line: ScottishPower has refused to put sections of the Beauly-Denny power line underground citing costs as the prohibitive factor. This has sparked outrage from campaigners amid fears that the 137 mile line will irreparably damage some of Scotland’s most scenic landscape. Jim Mather, the energy minister, has approved this project despite the widespread opposition. (The Scotsman page 17, The Herald page 4, Courier page 15)

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Defence cuts warning: As well as the leaked letter from the Defence secretary, Liam Fox, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce has also written to the UK Government warning of the potential damage of defence cuts to the wider industry, emphasising Clyde shipbuilding. (The Scotsman page 2 & Business page 1, The Herald page 32)

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Justice

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Child welfare:  There was a record number of people reporting concerns about child welfare last year. (The Scotsman page 11)

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Al-Megrahi:  The Senate committee has heard that the US Government records hold no evidence of BP trying to secure the release of the Lockerbie bomber. However, BP has admitted that they urged the UK Government to sign a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya, though not specifically for Mr Megrahi. Meanwhile, a US Senator has claimed that the Scottish Government “intentionally skewed” the release of Mr Megrahi to ensure his release on compassionate grounds, provoking fury from the SNP. (The Scotsman page 20, the Herald page1, Times page 5, Courier page 11)

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Local Government

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Fife turbine plan: Fife Council yesterday rejected plans to construct two wind-turbines in central Fife. (Courier)

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Health

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ADHD: New research shows that Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder could have a genetic rather than behavioural root cause. (The Herald page 9, Times page 3)

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Education

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Scottish Schools: Scottish Highers results this year show a widening gap in improvement rates between affluent and poorer areas, suggesting a growing divide based on wealth. This comes amid government statistics showing children attending one in five Scottish schools have to put up with less than satisfactory conditions. This is down from 36 per cent in 2007. A survey of Scottish schools found that 19 per cent were in a “poor” condition while a further 2 per cent were classified as “bad”. In Aberdeenshire, a third of secondary schools and 6 per cent of primaries were poor. In Aberdeen, 12 per cent of primary schools were rated poor while all high schools were satisfactory or good. (The Scotsman page 1&6, the Herald page 7, Press and Journal page 13)

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Graduates: Official figures show record numbers (6.1 per cent) of Scottish graduates were unable to find jobs last year and of those who are employed 1 in 4 are overqualified for the job. (Telegraph page 6)