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Reform Scotland News: 26 October 2010

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 26 October 2010

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. 

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

Politics

Budget Cuts: The poorest 20 per cent of Scotland\’s population will be hit hardest by the Coalition Government\’s proposed budget cuts. Speaking for the first time on the challenges facing Scotland, Carl Emmerson, acting director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, told an Edinburgh audience last night that the effects of the government\’s spending review amounted to a "regressive" burden on the poor. His assessment came just hours after Scottish business leaders welcomed David Cameron\’s call for a "new economic dynamism" to rescue Britain\’s crisis-hit economy. (Scotsman page 1 & 4, Sun page 8 & 9)  

Nuclear Submarine: The nuclear submarine that grounded off Skye last week, HMS Astute, arrived at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde yesterday, with no timescale for its return to service. The Ministry of Defence said damage to the £1 billion Astute, – the Royal Navy\’s newest and largest attack submarine – would now be assessed and any necessary repairs carried out. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 3, Press & Journal page 9, Courier page 8, Daily Express page 16, sun page 2, Telegraph page 6, Daily Record page 4) 

RAF Moray: First Minister Alex Salmond yesterday pledged his support for the fight to retain vital Royal Air Force jobs in Moray. And he announced plans to join forces with the Moray task force, spearheading the campaign to ensure the area retains at least one RAF base. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 7, Press & Journal page 8, Daily Express page 16) 

East Ayrshire Regeneration: Prince Charles has made a visit to Scotland to reveal a bold development in East Ayrshire for an upmarket hotel and a training centre for local youngsters to learn traditional skills. The new hotel complex and training centre, which will teach crafts such as joinery and dry stone walling and will be based in an unused sawmill, is to be created on estate land adjacent to the 770-home leafy village development which has been widely compared to the Prince\’s village in Dorset. (Scotsman page 3, comment page 28, Courier page 14) 

Superfast Broadband: The UK Government announced last week that the Highlands and Islands had been successful in its bid to become one of four UK rural market-testing projects for the next generation of broadband. At a meeting of the Convention of Highlands and Islands in Orkney, Mr Salmond said the Scottish Government wanted to see the whole of Scotland getting improved digital infrastructure. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 6, sun page 11)  

Lockerbie Inquiry: The leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland last night backed calls for an independent inquiry into the conviction of the Lockerbie bomber.  Cardinal Keith O\’Brien said he would add his name to an online petition calling for a review of the 2001 jailing of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103. (Scotsman page 9, Courier page 3) 

Sheridan Trial: A former professional footballer has admitted in court to visiting an “unusual” club in Manchester with Tommy Sheridan, where pornography was shown on TV screens. (Herald page  9, Press & Journal page 9, page 5, Scottish Daily Mail page 5, Guardian page 15, Sun Page 1 & 7, Times page 21, Telegraph page 6)

Glasgow: One of Britain’s most prominent historians yesterday described Glasgow as a “state subsidised backwater”, drawing anger and criticism from the city. David Starkey said on BBC radio that Glasgow had declined from a world city to a provincial city dependent on state funding. (Herald page 8)

Denny Power lines: Ministers yesterday approved plans to minimise the visual impact of the existing overhead lines around the Beauly-Denny power line. (Herald 8, Press & Journal page 7, Daily Express page 19)

Economy

Finance Jobs: First Minister Alex Salmond has welcomed plans to create hundreds of financial services jobs. They include the 200 posts that were announced by Tesco Bank last week and a further 168 as part of plans set out yesterday by financial firm Vertex. The Scottish Government is pumping £1.7 million into the proposed centre of excellence in Glasgow\’s financial services hub through regional selective assistance funding. (Scotsman page 15)

Wind Turbine Jobs: Hopes are rising that Scotland will benefit from a multimillion-pound investment announced yesterday by a Spanish wind turbine manufacturer. After months of speculation, Gamesa said it would open a research and development centre for offshore technology, build a manufacturing plant in the UK and base the global headquarters of its offshore division in London. (Herald page 7, Courier page 9)

Port Development: Scottish harbours are to miss out on a £60million fund to redevelop British ports to support new offshore windfarms. UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne announced yesterday that the scheme will only apply in England – although he said funding had been made available to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to support potential projects in the devolved administrations. Last night the Scottish Government said it was finalising a “comparable” package of support in Scotland. (Press & Journal page 6)

Justice

Emergency Legislation: Ministers will today announce emergency legislation to rush through the biggest changes in the Scottish criminal justice system for 30 years in the space of a few hours. The Scottish Government has drawn up plans to give all suspects held by police the right to consult a lawyer – but to extend the time they can be detained without charge from six hours to a maximum of 24. Their hurry comes amid predictions that the Scottish Government will today lose a test case brought in Britain’s highest court by a man who says his human rights were infringed when he was denied access to a lawyer. (Herald page 1 & 5, Courier page 1, Sun page 2)

Police Cuts: Police have urged politicians to vote down any Scottish budget that leads to a cut in front-line officers and a rise in crime. In talks with MSPs, the Scottish Police Federation, representing the rank and file, said it would accept cuts where waste can be found, but not a reduction in funding across the board. (Scotsman page 15, comment page 28, Herald page 6, Scottish Daily Mail page 2, Guardian page 16, sun page 4, Daily Record page 2) 

Sex Offenders: Scottish parents will be able to find out if sex offenders have access to their children when a pilot scheme is rolled out nationwide. The 36-week disclosure trial in Tayside has been praised for reassuring parents and keeping police informed about the movements of former criminals. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 10, Press & Journal page 7, Courier page 11, Scottish Daily Mail page 1 & 4, Telegraph page 12) 

Transport 

Edinburgh Trams: An Edinburgh City council-backed study declares that trams will be "key" to unlocking the full potential of regeneration areas across the capital. Despite fears that the project will run out of funding before it even gets off the ground, the report claimed that Edinburgh’s controversial tram system is "crucial" to the growth of the city over the next 20 years. (Scotsman page 8 & 9) 

Local Government

Aberdeen Council: Aberdeen City councillors are due to debate next month a series of potential options to save more than £127 million over the next five years. The 750 potential budget savings options include closing every public park, art gallery and museum, and shutting seven primary and secondary schools. They will also debate plans to scrap free personal care for the elderly, ending nursery education for the under-fours and delaying financial backing for Aberdeen\’s bypass (Scotsman page 20, Press & Journal page 1, 10 & 11, Courier page 6) 

Health

Care Home Abuse: Five members of staff have been suspended from a care home over allegations of abuse of an elderly female resident, it was confirmed yesterday. The staff at the Four Seasons Baillieston Care Home in Glasgow allegedly tied the 84-year-old woman – who suffers from severe dementia and is prone to wandering – to her bed at night leaving her with bruises across her chest. (Scotsman page 6, Courier page 9, Daily Express page 19, Scottish Daily Mail page 3, Daily Record page 14)

Flying Doctor: The flying doctor service is to be extended to cover all remote areas of Scotland, it has been announced. The service was initially based in the Western Isles and west coast areas when it was launched in 2008. (Herald page 10, Scotsman page 16, Press & Journal page 7, Courier page 8, Sun page 2, Daily Record page 26)

Education

University Placements: Pressure on the limited number of places at Scotland’s universities is increasing with newly released figures showing a surge in applications for next year. Official statistics show there has been a 9% increase in the number of people who want to go to university in Scotland in 2011. The figures from Ucas – the UK body that administers university applications – show 2,773 have been received so far, compared to 2,547 the previous year. (The Herald page 2, Scottish Daily Express page 19, Telegraph page 1 & 2)

Class Sizes: Conservative schools spokeswoman Liz Smith will tomorrow oppose new legislation that would legally lower class sizes to 25. She will argue at the Scottish Parliament\’s education committee that the move would reduce parental choice and have a negative effect on many youngsters. (Scotsman page 17)