Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 18 February 2011
All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is highlighted and underlined.
Wendy Alexander: Former Scottish Labour Party Leader and current Paisley MSP Wendy Alexander has revealed her intention to step down from politics. Her reasons include spending more time with her family and to pursue challenges outside politics. This decision has reportedly left Scottish Labour ‘reeling’ just weeks before the 5th May Holyrood elections. (Herald, page 1, Times, page 1, The Sun, page 10, Times, page 1, Telegraph, page 6, The Daily Express, page 2, Daily Record, page 2, Scotsman, page 1)
Housing Price Rise: Scottish house prices have risen by 4.7% compared to this month last year. This news comes following a period of decline in recent months. (Herald, page 15)
Law Council Reform: A group of lawyers headed by former Glasgow Bar Association president John McGovern are planning to ‘end the grip that the Law Society Council has on the profession.’ The group of solicitors have been unhappy with the way that the council has been run for some time and would like to change the compulsory membership to the council for all Scottish lawyers. (Herald, page 1)
Air Tax Rise: A rise in air tax means that the number of air routes connecting Scotland to the rest of the world will continue to decline during the next three years. A report conducted by BAA found that the tax rises mean around 1.2 million passengers will be lost costing Scotland up to £77 million in lost revenue by 2014. (Herald, page 14, Times, page 8, Telegraph, page 2, The Daily Express, page 10, Scotsman, page 2.)
Health Service Reform: Senior health service staff are calling for changes within hospital services. A report was sent to Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon requesting a review of the effort to cut waiting times and the axing of some departments and centralising of others, including head injury care and organ transplant. (Herald, page 1)
Glasgow University Cuts: The Astronomer Royal for Scotland has joined others in his attack on proposed cuts at Glasgow University. In an effort to save £20 million there have been proposed cuts in the departments of nursing, modern languages and social work. (Herald, page 13)