REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 21 October 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 21 October 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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Spending Review: George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has laid out plans for £81 billion in spending cuts and £29 billion in tax rises. Cuts have fallen across the board with the average cuts per government department being 19%. It is thought that the reductions will trigger around 490,000 public sector job losses. (Scotsman page 2&3, 6&7, 8-13, Herald pages 1&7, Guardian page 1-9, FT page 1, 3-4, 10, Times pages 1-2, 6-11, 29, Telegraph pages 1, 4-12, 28, 29, Courier page 1, 11-13, Mail 1&2, 12-15, Express page 1-5, Sun pages 4-5, Record 4-7, Mirror pages 4-7)

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Scotland’s budget: The Chancellor has presented the SNP administration with the task of finding £1.3 billion in cuts and savings across Scotland as part of the coalition’s deficit reduction plan.  It will prove to be a difficult task for Finance Secretary John Swinney, and difficult timing for the SNP with elections coming in May and a fresh poll out today commissioned by The Scotsman/YouGov putting Labour in the lead for the Holyrood elections. It is estimated that at least 12,000 jobs will be lost this year, with up to 86,000 by 2015. Scotland’s budget will be cut by £3 billion by 2015. (Scotsman page 1&2, 12, Herald page 7, Times page 6-7, Telegraph page 11, The Press and Journal page 1&14, Courier page 1, Mail page 10&11, Sun pages 6-7)

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Economy

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Forth Bridge: Finance Secretary John Swinney has pledged to protect the building of the new Forth Bridge despite the budget cuts, but other projects will be hit. (Scotsman page 4&5)

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Green Energy: ScottishPower is close to completing a deal to receive a £1 billion grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change. All other contestants pulled out of the bidding competition. If ScottishPower fulfil the criteria the grant will be used to create the world’s first commercial-scale clean coal plant using a carbon capture and storage facility. (Scotsman page 5, Guardian page 17)

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Scottish Growth: Scotland’s economy grew by 1.3% in the last quarter, Scottish Government data shows. (Herald page 33)

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Justice

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Sheridan Trial:  Former colleague and Scottish Socialist Party candidate, Katrine Trolle, has alleged in evidence that she and Tommy Sheridan had affairs on multiple occasions, one of which involved Sheridan’s brother-in-law Andy McFarlane. Tommy Sheridan reportedly attacked her in rebuttal yesterday as “cunning, devious and a conscious liar”. The trial continues. (Scotsman page 15, Herald pages 1&5, Times page 5, The Press and Journal page 9, Express page 7, Sun page 9)

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Transport 

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Edinburgh trams: The SNP anti-tram group has decided to renege on pushing motions to scrap the trams and have instead decided to abstain rather than vote against the scheme. (Scotsman page 17)

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Local Government

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Council Leisure Centres:  Meagre turnouts at council funded recreational activities/centres have put council participation strategies under scrutiny. It is estimated that councils spend £659 million a year on these projects. (Herald page 10)

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Education

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Independent Schools: Scotland’s private primary schools have seen a decline in pupil number s of 2.5% in the last year. This was partnered with a rise in secondary pupils of 0.9% and boarding school pupils of 3.2%. The sector remains positive, sighting the recession as a probable cause. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 8)