Reform Scotland News: 21 June 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.

 

Politics

Armed Forces Day: Over 100,000 people are expected to descend on Edinburgh city centre to show their support this weekend. The 3-day programme will include a parade down the Royal Mile, a flypast by the red arrows, a parachute display, combat demonstrations by the Royal Marines and a ‘beating the retreat’ ceremony, to mark the sunset, in the royal park. (Scotsman page 2)

 

Alex Salmond: A leading lawyer has accused the First Minister of showing a complete “disregard” for the independence of judges and human rights in his ongoing battle with the UK Supreme Court. He went on to say that Mr Salmond may be trying to “de-legitimise” the Supreme Court in the eyes of the Scottish public because he fears it may rule against the SNP over the wording of a referendum on Scottish independence. (Scotsman page 4)

 

Scotland Bill: Former Labour Minister Frank Field is proposing that Scotland’s spending per head should be limited to within 5% of England’s. This would mean Chancellor George Osborne would be forced to set out a replacement to Scotland’s funding formula. (Herald page 6, Daily Mail page 11)

 

Economy

M74 motorway: According to the Scottish Government, the new M74 extension plans could provide up to 700 new jobs in Glasgow. There is also a move to invest in a new business park, further boosting the local economy. (Scotsman page 20, Press and Journal page 7)

 

Mortgage lending: According to new statistics from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), mortgage lending in Scotland remained at a 30-year low at the beginning of the year. The total number of loans granted in the first three months of 2011 dropped by 19 per cent. (Scotsman page 14)

 

Cost of living: According to the Household Finance Index, households are being hit hard by the rising cost of living and are increasingly having to use their savings because salaries are not rising at the same rate as the cost of food, fuel and services. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 11)

 

Jobless generation:  New figures released by the Office for National Statistics reveal that the number of unemployed households more than doubled during the last Labour government and that there are now over 35,000 homes across Scotland where not a single adult has completed a day’s work or paid any income tax. (Daily Mail page 4)

 

Local Government

Free services: According to Rory Mair, Chief Executive of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), the rising demand for public services is “killing” Scotland and dwindling resources should be directed at those in greatest need. He also accused the Scottish Government of not having a debate about the emergence of a growing gap between public sector finances and demand for services. (Scotsman page 2)

 

Legal action: Senior council official Graham Wark is suing Aberdeen City Council for £500,000 after he was suspended from a job running sports centres on behalf of the local authority. His suspension was based on claims that he was “cutting corners” in his post as managing director of Sport Aberdeen. (Scotsman page 20)

 

Justice

Child protection: The Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) is becoming increasingly concerned about the difficulty faced by Scotland’s youngest children because of poor or abusive parenting. According to Carole Wilkinson, chair of the SCRA, abuse is a growing problem, with 678 youngsters needing child protection orders last year with almost half of those under the age of two. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 12m, Press and Journal page 7, Daily Mail page 2)

 

Drink driving: According to the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), drivers are failing to take on board the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Over a two-week period in June, some 230 people being reported for drink-driving, 21 were ‘unfit through drugs’ and 8 were repeat offenders. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 11, Press and Journal page 1)

 

Transport

High speed rail: Keith Brown will today attend a summit where he will unite with local authority leaders to support plans to extend the modernisation of train-travel north of the border as well as south of it. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 11)

 

Fuel costs: A new survey by the AA has revealed that two-thirds of drivers have reduced the amount they use their vehicle due to the rising cost of fuel. (Scotsman page 17. Herald page 8, Daily Record page 10

 

Road fatalities: The number of people killed on Scottish roads has dropped to the lowest level in 60 years. (Scotsman page 17, Press and Journal page 10, Daily Record page 2, Daily Express page 10, Sun page 2, Daily Mail page 19)

 

Education

Graduate contribution: Frances Cairncross, Rector of Exeter College, Cambridge and former economics journalist, has proposed Scotland follow England’s example and introduce a graduate contribution. (Scotsman page 14)

 

Student teachers: The General Teaching Council for Scotland has issued a warning to councils that it will withhold qualifying student teachers if they do not revise the way in which they are trained. (Herald page 1)