Reform Scotland News: 12 May 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.



Lib Dems: Scottish Secretary Michael Moore is facing internal party calls to quit his post over his response to the SNP’s victory in last week’s election. It has been reported that many Lib Dems believe they must push forward party plans for a federal UK, under which the decisions over almost all taxes would be made by Scottish ministers. Moore says he is standing by less extensive reforms enshrined in the UK government’s Scotland Bill, currently going through parliament. (Scotsman page 1)


Presiding Officer: The SNP has been accused of trying to “take complete control” of parliament after Nationalist MSP Tricia Marwick was elected as Presiding Officer, defeating the Labour candidate Hugh Henry. Former Scottish Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott, who had been touted for the role, claimed that the result was “pretty worrying” and suggested that the SNP has used its parliamentary muscle to deliver the Presiding Officer’s role to Marwick. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 7 , Courier page 1, P&J page 9, Times page 8, Daily Telegraph page 8, Daily Mail page 8, Daily Express page 2, Daily Record page 2)


Referendum: David Cameron said that when the referendum campaign arrived, he would argue “being part of the United Kingdom is good for Scotland, and Scotland being part of the United Kingdom is good for the rest of the United Kingdom”. (Herald page 6, P&J page 9, Daily Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Daily Mail page 9, Daily Express page 2)


Gender Equality: Equality organisation ‘Engender’ has claimed that the Scottish political outlook remains male dominated and “suspiciously like politics as usual” after the Holyrood election. (Herald page 7)



Cinema Plan: A developer has mounted a last minute legal bid to rescue plans to convert a former Edinburgh cinema. The city council is being threatened with court action over claims that it is blocking the conversion of a listed landmark that has been lying empty for eight years. Councillors have agreed to put off a decision over the fate of the former Odeon cinema after Duddingston House Property accused the authority of putting at risk 120 new jobs and £5 million worth of economic benefit a year. The firm claims planning officials have been biased against a bid to bring the B-listed cinema back into use, despite securing backing for its scheme three years ago. (Scotsman page 19)


Wind Farms: According to a recent report by PwC the cost of offshore wind farms will have to be cut considerably if they are to be a viable part of Scotland’s energy future. This position echoes comments this week by the UK Government’s Committee on Climate Change. (Times page 19)



Trams: Edinburgh’s main shopping thoroughfare will again be closed to traffic to make way for repairs on the city’s tram-works. Cars and buses will be banned from Princes Street for almost a year throughout the summer festivals and during the crucial run-up to Christmas under plans to get the troubled project up and running again. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 9, Courier page 7, Times page 5, Daily Telegraph page 6, Daily Mail page 11,  Daily Express page 15)



English Students: Scotland’s university principals are to seek an urgent meeting with Alex Salmond’s new Scottish Government in an attempt to pin down the size of the fees to be paid by students from elsewhere in the UK who decide to study north of the Border. (Scotsman page 6)


Glasgow Caledonian: Glasgow Caledonian University has been allowed to sponsor foreign students again after its licence was suspended, amid concerns its visa system was being abused. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 1, P&J page 6)


Cuts: The UCU Scotland union, which represents academics, and student body NUS Scotland, have stated that recent proposals for course cuts and job losses across Scottish universities were “ad hoc” and failed to take into account the traditional breadth of higher education. (Herald page 5)



Legionnarie’s: Health leaders are investigating an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease after two more people from Glasgow and Lanarkshire have died from the bug. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 1, Times page 19)


HIV: Scientists have discovered a vaccine with the potential to clear the body of all traces of HIV. The injected vaccine is carried by a virus-Cytomegalovirus that remains in the body for life and enables the immune system to be constantly on the alert for HIV and to re-act if it re-emerges. (Scotsman page 13, Daily Mirror page 14)


Schizophrenia: Researchers at Glasgow University have found that defects in the protein DISCI, which plays a role in brain development, could be rectified with drugs to combat their effects on schizophrenia. (Scotsman page 14)