REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 28 October 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 28 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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EU budget: David Cameron is to fight a proposed 5.9% increase in the EU’s budget; however it is thought that he will not be able to accomplish a freeze in funding. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 2, Times pages  1,2,6,27, Telegraph pages 1&27, Financial Times page 3, Guardian page 2, Express page 2)

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Council backlash: Pat Walters, Scotland’s most senior councillor, has attacked the SNP’s plan to freeze council tax over the next two years, saying that Alex Salmond is ‘misleading the public’ with such claims. (Herald page 6)

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Sheridan trial:  Frances Curran, a former Scottish Socialist Party MSP, has told the court that she asked Tommy Sheridan to step down as leader of the party. She also accused him of sealing out his party and voters. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 11, Telegraph page 10, Courier page 13, Press and Journal page 1&7, Express page 7, Record page 5, Mail page 25, Sun page 17)

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Moderator Appointed: Former jail Chaplain, Reverend David Arnott, has been appointed Moderator of the General assembly of the Church of Scotland. (Herald page 4, Times page 9, Express page 4) 

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The Caledonian Club: After 119 years the club has finally decided to admit woman as full members. (Scotsman page3)

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Economy

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Compulsory pension schemes: Scottish business leaders have warned that the new plans for employers to provide pensions schemes for all employees regardless of the size of their business could lead to lower wages and fewer jobs. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 12, Telegraph page 18, Press and Journal page 13, Mail pages 6&7)

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Justice

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Emergency Justice Bill: The Scottish Government has responded quickly to the Supreme Court ruling in the Cadder case, which found that questioning under detention without access to a lawyer was contrary to the ECtHR. The emergency bill which was passed yesterday requires police to offer legal assistance immediately, whilst also extending the time a suspect can be held in detention from 6 to 12 hours, or even 24 hours with special approval. Liberal democrat, Mike Rumbles, has reportedly deemed the bill shameful. It is thought that these changes will cost the taxpayer around £30 million in additional staffing costs and increased legal aid. (Scotsman page 6, 31, Herald page 1&5, Times page 17, Telegraph pages 1&13, Courier page 1&13, Press and Journal page 5, Express page 10&14, Record page 7, Mail page 1&4)

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Transport 

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Airport security: The Scottish Passengers Agents Association has added to calls from British Airways Chairman, Martin Broughton, that security checks should be streamlined and made consistent across all airports. The Government last night gave its backing for airport operators to carry out a review. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 2, Times page 8, Telegraph page 9, Financial Times page 4, Courier page 10, Press and Journal page 5, Mail page 8, Sun page 29) 

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Local Government

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Scottish councils conned: North Ayrshire Council has admitted losing £270,000 to an elaborate scam. South Lanarkshire Council also lost £100,000 in a similar fraud scheme. (Herald page 3)

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Fire services: Scotland’s fire service watchdog has issued a statement calling for Scotland’s eight fire brigades to be merged into one, a plan that they say ‘would protect front-line jobs’. (Herald page 4)

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Health

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Winter death toll: Last winter Scotland had the lowest amount of deaths in the past 20 years, though 163 lives were still lost everyday. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 12, Express page 4, Male page 24)

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Education

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Scottish graduate contributions: Universities Scotland, the umbrella group for Scotland’s 20 higher education institutions, has today called for the urgent reform of Scottish university funding. The group of Principles has put forward that the system of ‘free degrees’ should be ended and that Scottish graduates should contribute to their tuition fees. They say this will be necessary if Scotland is to maintain its reputation and standards internationally, advising that these reforms will have to be made as soon as is possible, suggesting in 2 years. The cost of supporting Scottish students is thought to be around £500 million pounds a year. (Scotsman pages 1&4, Director of Reform Scotland Geoff Mawdsley comments on page 5, Herald page 7, Times page 5, Telegraph page 1&2, Mail page1&2)

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Primary Education: The McCrone deal, which guarantees teachers 12 hours a week for administrative tasks, is to be re-opened. The education committee of MSP’s also approved legislation to limit class sizes to 25 pupils. (Herald page 8, Courier page 11, Express page 10)