Reform Scotland News: 5 April 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.

 

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

 

Scottish election

Manifesto: The Scottish Conservatives launch their manifesto in anticipation of the upcoming Holyrood election. (Scotsman page 14-15, Herald page 6, P&J page 8, Times page 3, Telegraph page 4, Express page 2, Record page 2, Mail page 4, Sun page 4)

 

Lib Dem backing: Departing Scottish Lib Dem SMP, John Farquhar Munro, has said that the leader of his party, Tavish Scott, is “not a contender” for the role of First Minister, opting instead to back SNP leader, Alex Salmond. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 6, P&J page 8, Times page 9, Telegraph page 2, Express page 2, Record page 2, Mail page 4, Sun page 4)

 

Politics

Defence cuts: Over the next year, there will be 1,600 Royal Navy redundancies and 1,000 in the army, including 150 Gurkhas. This is becoming cause for concern for two Scottish infantry battalions as it was confirmed the next redundancies will result in a cut in their numbers once withdrawal from Afghanistan has begun. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 4, P&J page 10, Guardian page 5, Times page 13, Telegraph page 2, Express page 6, Record page 7, Mirror page 11, Mail page 11, Sun page 8)

 

Economy

Pension reform: Pensions minister Steve Webb officially unveiled details of a simpler state pension which, he said, would bring an end to the current complex arrangements which discourages people to save for retirement. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 7, P&J page 5, Times page 13, Express page 4, Mail page 8)

 

Local Government

Flood Plan: Work began yesterday on Scotland’s biggest flood defence project – the long-awaited £86 million flood alleviation scheme for the Moray town of Elgin. The scheme is designed to hold back flood water from the River Lossie, protecting hundreds of homes and businesses in Elgin in the biggest civil engineering project ever carried out in Moray.  (Scotsman page 20, Herald page 4, Record page 20)

 

Tidal Energy Plan: Highland council leader, Michael Foxley, is calling for “direct action” against a planned £40 million tidal farm off Skye as a protest for what he claims is inadequate consultation or “meaningful” discussion with either the local authority or the communities nearby. (Scotsman page 21, Herald page 11)

 

A9 Protests: Campaigners have issued an ultimatum to transport bosses to include an underpass in the £10.4 million upgrade project at Crubenmore near Newtonmore. (P&J page 6)

 

Justice

Lockerbie Bombing: Libyan defector and former secret service chief Moussa Koussa will be “encouraged” to speak to Scottish police and prosecutors about the Lockerbie bombing, William Hague has said. The Crown Office and Dumfries and Galloway Police both want to question Mr Koussa, 73, about the atrocity. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 4, Telegraph page 2)

 

 

Transport

Inter-City Travel: Air travel between UK cities is falling in popularity while the numbers journeying by train is soaring. If the trend continues, the percentage of travellers taking the train to major cities could soon be higher than those flying, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) said. (Scotsman page 21, Herald page 5)

 

Education

Edinburgh University: HRH The Princess Royal has been elected as Chancellor of the University with effect from 31st March 2011. (Scotsman page 10 & 20, Herald page 9, P&J page 8, Times page 12, Telegraph page 6, Mail page 31)

 

Head-teacher controversy: Glasgow City Council, Scotland’s largest council, has been criticised for failing in its duty to consult parents over the controversial appointment of primary school head-teachers, the Scottish Government has ruled. (Herald page 12)

 

Health

Brain Power: according to new research by researchers at Glasgow University the human brain is able to “see” objects even when our eyes cannot. A team from the university’s Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology conducted a series of experiments that showed how our brains predict what cannot be seen by drawing on our previous experiences to build up an accurate picture. (Scotsman page 13, Sun page 28)