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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 18 November 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 18 November 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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Scottish budget: Finance Secretary John Swinney yesterday announced £1.2 billion of cuts across the board. There will be a pay freeze for public sector staff earning more than £21,000 a year, though he also pledged a ‘living wage’ of £7.15-an-hour for staff on the minimum wage. Costs of senior civil service and NHS managers are to be cut by 25%, new people in top jobs can expect to see at least a 10% reduction against the wage of their predecessors. Higher education will see a cut of £216 million whilst the NHS will see a rise of £100 million. The majority of the cuts will fall on local government (£400 million reduction) which is less than expected, however they will have to freeze council tax, maintain police numbers and also keep free personal care despite these cuts, with failure to do so resulting in further cuts to their grants from the current 2.6% to 6.4%. The Justice budget has been cut by £168 million. It is reported that the cuts could see 20,000 public sector jobs lost. (Scotsman page 1,4-11, Herald page 1-3, Guardian page 15, Times page 1, 4-5, Telegraph page 10&11, Courier page 1&11, Press & Journal page 1&8, Record pages 8&9, Mail page 1,6-7, Sun pages 1,10&11, Express page 7)

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Powers to move Holyrood election: The UK Government has announced that Holyrood will receive new powers allowing it to vary its election date by six months in the situation where it would clash with a Westminster poll.  However, the powers will not be able to be used for the upcoming clash between the voting system referendum and next year’s May Holyrood election. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 3, Telegraph page 11, Courier page 3, Mail page 2)

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Glasgow refugee families’ eviction postponed: Damian Green, UK Immigration Minister, is to meet with Glasgow MPs to discuss the potential forced relocation of 600 families from Glasgow to locations around Scotland with only a few days notice. (Herald page 11)

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Economy

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1 million women jobless: As the female employment level across the UK reaches its highest since 1988, the unemployment rate for women in Scotland has been measured at seven times higher than that of men. (Herald page 8, FT page 3, Telegraph pages 11&20, Express page 7) 

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Justice

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Sheridan trial:  A former News of the World columnist tipped off Tommy Sheridan that he was under round-the-clock surveillance on the orders of Rupert Murdoch, a court has heard. Mr Sheridan\’s perjury trial was told the claim had been made by a psychic agony aunt whose predictions often proved to be wide of the mark. Bob Bird, editor of the paper\’s Scottish edition, ended four days in the witness box yesterday with a request from Mr Sheridan to tell his bosses in London they would never break the former MSP\’s marriage to his wife Gail. (Scotsman page 19, Herald page 9, Times page  25, Telegraph page 14 , Courier page 7, Press & Journal page 12, Record page 5, Express page 11)

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Right-to-buy dispute: The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of North Lanarkshire Council concerning a dispute whereby a right-to-buy clause included in a 50 year lease would have allowed Multi-Link Leisure Developments to purchase land from the council at £500,000 which was recently valued at £5 million after planning permission was granted. (Herald page 12)

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Local Government

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Perth waste plant blocked: Plans for a £100 million waste incinerator have been rejected by the Scottish Government, ending a dispute that has lasted 6 years. (Scotsman page 25)

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Education

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Headteachers ‘forced through hoops’: Colin Sutherland, president of School Leaders Scotland, a teaching union, says that pressures to ensure that pupils receive a minimum number of qualifications is leading to a ‘perverse incentive’ whereby the needs of certain children are not being met. (Scotsman page 12)

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International Students: Glasgow University is hoping to attract an extra 1,000 international students in order to help plug the funding gap. (Herald page 6)