Reform Scotland News: 8 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.



Michael Moore: Lib Dem Scottish Secretary Michael Moore’s position is reportedly under scrutiny as senior Conservatives have questioned his judgement and suggested he was “out of his depth” after he commented that there should be two independence referendums. (Scotsman page 8, James Mitchell in the Scotsman, John McTernan in the Scotsman, Alan Trench in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Kerry Gill in the Express)


Ed Miliband has suggested only one referendum would be needed because the SNP would lose the vote. (Times page 15)


Shipbuilding and independence: Defence Secretary Liam Fox has warned that uncertainty over independence could negatively affect shipbuilding on the Clyde and in Rosyth. (Scotsman page 1, Mail page 8, Telegraph page 1)


RAF Lossiemouth: Liam Fox has also suggested that he is leaning toward retaining the closure threatened RAF base at Lossiemouth. (Times page 14, Sun page 2, Express page 10, Courier page 1, P&J page 9)


By-election: The Inverclyde by-election to replace the late David Cairns will be held on 30th June.  The Labour candidate is Councillor Iain McKenzie while former MSP Anne McLaughlin will represent the SNP. (Scotsman page 2)



Energy bills: ScottishPower has indicated it will raise gas bills by 19% and electricity bills by 10% to increase its average customer bill to £1,391 a year.  ScottishPower has said that the increase is necessary due to increasing wholesale prices for gas and electricity. (Scotsman page 1, Scott Byron in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Sun page 2, Mail page 1, Express page 1, Mirror page 6, Record page 2, Guardian page 2, FT page 3, Telegraph page 1, Courier page 1, P&J page 1)


House prices: Statistics published by the Edinburgh Solicitors’ Property Centre (ESPC) revealed that the average house price in Edinburgh dropped 4.4% to £214,938 in the three months to May compared with the same period last year. (Scotsman page 14, David Alexander in the Scotsman)


Unemployment: According to the GMB union there are on average nine people chasing every job vacancy across Scotland.  The figures rise to 31 in East Ayrshire and 30 in Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire. (Herald page 4, Sun page 2, Mirror page 21, Record page 2)


Economic recovery: Martin Wolf in the FT comments on recent economic data and what it means for economic recovery.



Human trafficking: The head of the UK Border Agency in Scotland has criticised a “collective inability” to bring human trafficking cases to trial in Scotland due to a criminal justice system which is too slow. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 1)


Police numbers: Official figures show that at the end of March there were 17,263 police officers in Scotland.  Although the figures had fallen slightly over the past year, the figure for March is still 1,029 higher than in 2007 meaning that the SNP fulfilled its pledge to recruit an additional 1,000 officers over the last parliament. (Herald page 6, Times page 5, Sun page 2, Record page 6, Courier page 8, P&J page 8)


Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has been criticised for suggesting that there are too many police officers on the streets. (Mail page 6)



Teacher attacks: According to figures released under Freedom of Information, school staff in Scotland faced at least 7,692 incidents of violence in 2009/10, the equivalent of a violent attack ever 10 minutes of the school day. (Scotsman page 11, Hugh Reilly in the Scotsman, Herald page 13, Sun page 28, Mail page 10, Express page 2, Record page 10, Telegraph page 10, Courier page 8)


Strike: Scottish teachers are threatening to take industrial action over proposals for a two-year pay freeze and £45million of education cuts. (Herald page 13, Mail page 1)



Breast cancer: According to a survey by Breakthrough Breast Cancer, awareness of breast cancer symptoms is “worryingly low” in Scotland. (Herald page 11, Mail page 19, Courier page 3)


Sick Kids: A mother has asked the First Minister to look into the “inhuman and degrading treatment” of severely disabled children at the Sick Kids hospital in Edinburgh. (Times page 8, Herald page 11, Express page 6)