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Reform Scotland News: 30 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

Scottish Government budget: John Swinney, finance secretary, has announced that the Scottish Government’s provisional budget results for 2010-11 have revealed a £12 million under-spend. (Scotsman page 2, Courier page 12)

 

Strikes: It is expected that more than 200 UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff who work in Scotland’s airports and ports will take part in the day of industrial action by public sector workers, forcing the Home Office agency to draft in replacement staff. It is expected up to 30,000 Scottish Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) will take action today. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Guardian page 1, Financial Times page 2, Daily Express page 4, Daily Record page 2, Daily Mail page 4)

 

Labour: Labour leaders are worried their massive majority will be wiped out in today’s Inverclyde by-election, fearing the momentum from the SNP’s landslide in the Holyrood elections could sweep the Nationalists to victory. (Herald page 4, Times page 11)

 

Christie Commission: Public services in Scotland are facing their most serious challenge since the welfare state was created and reforms must begin immediately, a commission set up by the Government to examine their future has warned. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 8, Courier page 12, Daily Mail page 2)

 

Economy

Lloyds: Lloyds Banking Group has refused to rule out job losses in Scotland ahead of an announcement expected today of about 15, 000 redundancies. Lloyds employs about 20,000 workers in Scotland. (Scotsman page 2, Guardian page 28, Daily Express page 2)

 

Transport

Trams: Council leaders are today expected to back a £773 million tramline between Edinburgh airport and the city centre. The Liberal Democrats- the biggest party on Edinburgh City Council – were last night on the verge of backing officials’ recommendations to extend the route as far as St Andrews Square. (Scotsman page 1)

 

Bus Union: Union leaders representing workers at Edinburgh’s biggest bus company have mounted a new campaign against the capital’s tram scheme over fears the firm will be used to help keep the troubled project afloat. The United trade union had previously headed off plans to merge Lothian Buses with the city council’s tram firm. (Scotsman page 7)

 

ScotRail: ScotRail is the only train operator whose customer satisfaction has dropped “significantly” over the past year, an annual survey of rail passengers has revealed. The National Passenger Survey found customer satisfaction among ScotRail customers was down 5% over 12 months. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 5)

 

Education

Degree cost: Scottish degrees are set to become the most expensive in the UK after the SNP government said it would allow universities to charge up to £36,000 in fees to non-Scots students. Education secretary Michael Russell said students from other parts of the UK could be charged a maximum of £9,000 a year to study at universities in Scotland. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Courier page 1, Guardian page 9, Daily Telegraph page 1, Daily Express page 2, Daily Mail page 8)

 

Justice

Zero tolerance: Special anti-sectarian officers will be deployed to police the Orange Order parade this weekend. Around 8,000 marchers from 182 lodges are expected at the event in Glasgow on Saturday. Assistant Chief Campbell Corrigan, of Strathclyde Police, warned that police would be taking a tough approach. (Scotsman page 21)

 

Fraser retrial row: First Minister Alex Salmond and his ministers have been accused by a leading lawyer of destroying the prospects of a fair trial for Elgin businessman Nat Fraser. Maggie Scott, QC, told the Appeal Court in Edinburgh that the Scottish Government’s concerns about the “interfering” role of the UK Supreme Court has been prejudicial to Fraser. (Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 2, Daily Mail page 9)

 

Health

Research unit: Global challenges such as food shortages and the spread of diseases will be targeted by a new £60 million research unit. Researchers from the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh will take up residence in the purpose-built centre, which was opened yesterday. (Scotsman page 16)

 

Smoking ban: The British Medical Association (BMA) has backed calls to ask UK governments to introduce legislation to ban smoking while driving, to protect people-particularly children- from harmful tobacco fumes. (Scotsman page 20)

 

Measles surge: Health Protection Scotland (HPS) has announced that in the first 24 weeks of 2011, they have received 54 reports of suspected measles and 22 laboratory-confirmed cases. In the same period in 2010 there were 38 reports of suspected measles and no confirmed cases. (Scotsman page 21)

 

Alcohol: The UK’s first off-sales bans for under-21s and stings on licensees selling liquor to drunks are expected to be among a raft of measures launched in Glasgow to tackle the city’s chronic relationship with alcohol. (Herald page 5)