Reform Scotland News: 3 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.

 

Reform Scotland apologises to any subscribers who received multiple copies of yesterday’s media summary, we were experiencing technical problems.

 

Politics

Royal Marines: The Royal Marines could pull out of their Scottish base at Arbroath as part of a major reorganisation of British forces. If a decision is made to move the unit, which is currently serving in Afghanistan, it will end a relationship with RM Condor that has lasted four decades since the unit was moved there from Plymouth in 1971. (Scotsman page 1)

 

Public Sector: All public sector workers should receive a “fair” wage rise next year, union leaders are demanding, as new figures showed how employee pay packets are shrinking compared to their counterparts in the private sector.  Union leaders hope to exploit a statement by First Minister Alex Salmond last week in which he pledged to “do things differently” with regard to the public sector in Scotland, promising to lead a “fair society” in contrast to the rest of the UK. (Scotsman page 12)

 

Care-home Crisis: The Scottish Government is under increasing pressure to intervene over the Southern Cross care home crisis after it emerged that most local authorities have no emergency plans to deal with elderly residents if the firm collapses under its debts. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 6, Times page 1, Courier page 1)

 

Council Double Pay: Ministers have announced plans to outlaw within weeks a controversial system of gratuity payments to councillors serving on the boards of bodies funded by the same local authority. Finance Secretary John Swinney will today publish new regulations to stop local authorities allowing a body it controls to award payments. The amended regulations will come into force on July 1, subject to Parliamentary approval. (Herald page 4)

 

UK Supreme Court Row: Alex Salmond has been forced to defend Kenny MacAskill after his Justice Secretary claimed UK Supreme Court judges learned about Scots Law from visits to the Edinburgh Festival and linked this with “ambulance-chasing” lawyers. The comments were raised at First Minister’s Questions yesterday as the row continued between the Scottish Government and the court over its rulings in the Fraser and Cadder cases. (Herald page 6, Times page 3, Daily Telegraph page 6, Daily Express page 15, Daily Record page 2)

 

RAF Leuchars: Eleven MSPs last night joined forces in a last-ditch bid to save RAF Leuchars. The Fife base faces the axe as the UK Government makes cuts to its defence budget. The cross-party group of MSPs insists closure would be a grave mistake. (Courier page 1)

 

Justice

Striking the Balance: Reform Scotland has today published its report ‘Striking the Balance’ which proposes making policing more effective by making local policing more accountable to local communities by matching force boundaries to those of local authorities, while strengthening the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency so that it can deal more effectively with national policing priorities and also play a co-ordinating and supporting role.  This is part of the debate on the restructuring of policing in Scotland following the Scottish Government’s consultation paper which proposed a single Scottish force as one of the options. (Scotsman page 2, Scotsman article by Alison Payne page 32, Herald page 12, Times page 7, P&J page 12, Courier page 13, Daily Express page 10, Daily Mail page 32, Daily Record page 2)

 

Cold Case Unit: A ‘cold case’ unit it to be set up to tackle Scotland’s unsolved murders and other serious crimes, the Lord Advocate has announced. Frank Mulholland QC said it would review unsolved cases to identify those that merited fresh investigation. (Herald page 9, Times page 7, P&J page 1, Courier page 6, Daily Express page 15)

 

War on Drugs: A controversial report demanding the decriminalising of drugs from the Global Commission on Drug Policy has been criticised by Graeme Pearson, former director of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. He has said decriminalisation would encourage criminal gangs to get involved with counterfeiting and that crime linked to substance abuse would be at least as bad as it is now. (Scotsman page 8)

 

Transport

Ryanair: Ryanair is to axe more than a quarter of its routes from Scotland’s busiest airport this winter to cut costs because of high oil prices. (Scotsman page 17)

 

Education

Student Protest: A student protest against cuts at Strathclyde University in Glasgow spiralled out of control when demonstrators clashed with police and security guards, resulting in two arrests. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 1, P&J page 13, Daily Express page 10)

 

St Andrews University: St Andrews University is hoping to become the first higher education institution in the country to generate all its power through its own wind farm. The University has submitted an application for planning permission for the farm, which would be built on farmland six miles from the town. (Scotsman page 24, P&J page 6)

 

Health

Cigarettes: The ban on cigarette sales from vending machines in Scotland has been postponed because of legal challenges. (Herald page 2)

 

Binge-Drinking: According to alcohol campaigners, nearly one in three children – around 330, 000 in total – under the age of 16 in Scotland lives with a binge-drinking parent. (Herald page 8)