REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 04 November 2010

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 4 November 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

Right-to-buy abolished: MSPs have voted in favour of a Bill abolishing the right-to-buy of all new social homes built in Scotland. (Scotsman page 24, Herald page 6, Courier page 9, Press and Journal page 8)

Chief planner in conflict of interest row: Jim Mackinnon, Scotland’s chief planner, has reportedly aroused concerns over his involvement in Sir David Murray’s £1 billion ‘garden district’ development proposed for outside Edinburgh after publically praising it and also giving the opening speech at its official launch. (Scotsman page 1&2)

Aircraft carriers: Chief Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander has requested an investigation into the contracts for the two aircraft carriers, reportedly describing them as “unusual”. (Scotsman page 4)

RAF Lossiemouth: The First Minister, Alex Salmond, is to support the rally opposing the axing of the RAF base by joining the march this Sunday along with other party leaders. (Scotsman page 4)

Rare bird protection: New measures put forward yesterday could see landowners facing a prison sentence if workers are found to be poisoning rare birds. (Herald page 12, Times page 15, Telegraph page 5, Courier page 11, Press and Journal page 10)

Gathering: Edinburgh City Council leader Jenny Dawe and her deputy, Stewie Cardownie, have said that a statement sent out by the council claiming that a tourism group, Dema, would cover the debts of the Gathering venture had been sent out without their consent. Dema later said that the statement sent out was untrue.  Scotland’s former top civil servant, Sir John Elvidge, may be recalled to give further evidence. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 6, Press and Journal page 10)

New Tory candidate: Iain Whyte, an Edinburgh councillor, has been selected as the Tory candidate for the Glasgow seat of Maryhill & Springburn. The previous candidate, Ivor Tiefenbrun, stepped down after referring to Scots as “thick” concerning their views on Margret Thatcher. (Herald page 6)

Malawi project: Former First Minister Jack McConnell has praised the Scotland-Malawi cooperation agreement as a great success as it reaches its fifth anniversary. (Herald page 6)

Economy

Green Investment Bank: Scottish Secretary Michael Moore has given his support to calls for the coalitions new £1 billion Green Investment Bank to be housed in Scotland. (Herald page 6)

Victoria & Albert Museum Dundee: A Japanese architectural firm has won the contest to design the new museum in Dundee, which is planned to become one of the key attractions at the old docks. (Scotsman pages 6&7, Herald page 2, Guardian page 11, Times page 4, Telegraph page 15, Courier page 1,12,13, Press and Journal page 1&8, Record page 22)

Justice

Sheridan trial: A witness, Tony Cumberbirch, claiming to be at the sex club whilst Tommy Sheridan was there, has told the court that he was asked by a friend to score out a name from the visitors’ register, which had been Mr Sheridan’s.  Mr Sheridan denounced him as a “proven liar”. The trial continues. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 1&5, Times page 30, Telegraph page 10, courier page 1&3, express page 7, Mail page 5, Record page 9)

Transport 

Trams: David Mackay, the head of the Edinburgh tram project, has stepped down amid rows over the proposed merger with Lothian Buses, describing the scheme to the Scotsman as “hell on wheels”. There have also been calls for Tram chiefs to come before Parliament to answer for the apparent chaos. (Scotsman page 5 , Herald page 11, Telegraph page 6, Press and Journal page 9, Express page 2, Record pages 16&17)

Airport chargers: BAA has warned that travellers to Heathrow Airport will face an extra £7 charge per passenger in line with European flight fees. It is felt this will disproportionately hit Scottish passengers. (Scotsman page 19, Financial Times page 3)

Airport scare: The evacuation of part of Glasgow Airport last night after staff found a suspicious package was fortunately turned out to be a false alarm. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 2)

Education

University Funding: Universities Scotland, an umbrella group, has warned MSPs that the proposed 16% funding cut (£250m) will significantly damage Scottish Universities with the risk that some may go broke and that several thousand jobs could be lost. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 1, Times page 25, Telegraph pages 1&27)

Early alcohol education: The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has proposed that primary school children as young as seven should be given lessons on the dangers of alcohol to help mitigate the potential influence of parents who drink heavily. (Scotsman page 8)