Reform Scotland News: 6 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.



SNP Victory:  Early indications suggest SNP leader Alex Salmond is set for his second term as First Minister. Most morning papers predict a clear SNP victory although votes remain to be counted.  Mr Salmond described the unfolding Holyrood election results as “historic”. His party is on course to be the largest party in the Scottish Parliament. By 1039 BST, the SNP had won 49 seats (up 19), Labour 23 (down 9), Conservatives 7 (down 3) and Lib Dems 2 (down 8). Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, Scottish Daily Mail page 1, Courier page 1, BBC News election updates)


Voter Turnout: Early figures suggested that turnout could be less than 50 per cent by the time all the votes are counted this afternoon.  The lowest turnout in a Holyrood election since devolution came in 2003 when just 49.42 per cent of voters came out to elect Jack McConnell as First Minister. In 2007, when Alex Salmond was elected, 51.77 per cent of the electorate voted.  (Scotsman page 7)



Kelvingrove Park: One of Glasgow’s busiest parks will be closed for the first time in its 150-year history because of fears of a repeat of the illegal party which caused £25,000 worth of damage last week. Almost 6,000 people gathered in Kelvingrove Park to celebrate the royal wedding last Friday, but the event spiralled out of control with 22 arrested and 11 police officers injured. Since then, plans for a party celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden and a huge water fight have been posted on Facebook – where the royal wedding party was also organised. Now the council has decided to ask everyone to leave and then it will lock the gates from 8pm tonight. (Scotsman page 23, Herald page 7)



Edinburgh Airport: The longest-ever routes from Edinburgh airport were announced yesterday, with flights next year to Mexico and Florida. Thomson Airways will fly weekly to Cancun during June, July and August, and to Orlando Sanford in July and August, in what could be the first stage of the capital challenging Glasgow airport’s dominance of the long-haul market. (Scotsman page 17)


Free Bus Tickets: A crackdown on companies allegedly defrauding the Scottish Government’s concessionary bus travel scheme has succeeded in saving millions of pounds every year, figures obtained by The Herald show. Less than £20,000 in suspected fraudulent claims were discovered last year, a dramatic reduction on the £2.2 million in suspect payments made four years earlier, according to Transport Scotland, the agency that administers the scheme. (Herald page 11)



University Jobs: Academics from a leading Scottish university have launched an outspoken attack on moves by the Principal to turn it into an internationally renowned technological institution. Lecturers from Strathclyde University said the strategy adopted by Professor Jim McDonald threatens the future of the institution as a broad-based university. The Strathclyde branch of the UCU Scotland lecturers’ union also criticised recent plans to axe up to 100 jobs, claiming the losses will damage the student experience. In a paper sent to university staff ahead of a meeting of Strathclyde’s ruling court today, unions state the overall strategy carries “significant potential risks for the institution’s future status, financial sustainability, reputation and integrity”. (Herald page 8)