Reform Scotland News:16 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

Lawyer’s threat to Sue: One of Scotland’s leading human rights lawyers, Tony Kelly, is considering suing Alex Salmond for questioning his professional integrity. Salmond stated in an interview that the lawyer believed that the judicial system was there to “make sure” he could make an “incredibly comfortable living”.  Kelly has described Salmond’s comments as a “personal slur”. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, P&J page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Courier page 1, Times page 3, Daily Mail page 12, Daily Express page 1, Sun page 1)

 

Salmond attacks judge: Alex Salmond was accused of “juvenile” and ignorant behaviour by Jim Sillars, the former SNP deputy leader, after the First Minister criticised Lord Hope, one of the country’s most senior judges at the Supreme Court, for making “wrong-headed decisions” in human rights cases.  (Daily Telegraph page 1, P&J page 10)

 

Civil Servants strike: More than 30,000 civil servants are set to go on strike in Scotland over pay and pensions in the hope of bringing courts, school and the machinery of government to a halt. Members of the Public and Commercial Service (PCS) union voted to join teachers in England and Wales on a day of action on 30 June in opposition to government cutbacks brought in to tackle the problems of the deficit.  (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 2, Courier page 13, Times page 22, Guardian page 8, Daily Express page 2)

 

Time for reflection controversy: A decision to allow the head of an American university to speak at Holyrood, despite his college, which is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, labelling homosexuality “inappropriate”, has been criticised by MSPs. The move, arranged by the parliamentary business minister Brian Adam, himself a practising Mormon, was criticised in the Holyrood chamber for providing a platform to the head of an “institutionally homophobic academic institution”. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 3, Times page 26, Sun page 10)

 

Independence: David Cameron insisted Scotland would “always remain part of the UK” as he told MPs the so-called respect agenda between Westminster and Holyrood was a two-way street. (Herald page 6)

 

Police: A £1.3 million body set up to scrutinise Scotland’s largest police force has been heavily criticised by a public funding watchdog. Audit Scotland said in a report that Strathclyde Police Authority had been “inconsistent” and there was a “lack of clarity” about its role in overseeing Strathclyde Police. (Herald page 8)

 

Economy

Scottish Cities: Scotland’s cities are key to economic growth, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said. The Scottish Government is to create an economic strategy for cities over the coming months to ensure this role is preserved and expanded, she told the economy, energy and tourism committee. (Scotsman page 7)

 

Infrastructure: A report by the Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland has stated that significant investment is needed in Scotland for the transport network and the energy and water supply systems to ensure the economy recovers from recession. (Scotsman page 11)

 

Jobless: New figures have shown that while Scotland’s unemployment figures, which include everyone who is out of work whether or not they are looking for a job, is down by 10,000, the number of people actively seeking employment has risen. (Scotsman page 12, Courier page 6, Daily Express page 4, Daily record page 2, Sun page 5)

 

Public Sector: According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Scotland’s public sector employment increased by 2,000 during the first three months of 2011. (Scotsman page 13)

 

Transport

Border Rail Plans: The future of the planned Borders Railway has been thrown into doubt after another key player has pulled out of the race for the contract. The move by construction giant Carillion could leave a sole group bidding for the £230 million order to build and maintain the line- the longest new route. (Scotsman page 1)

 

Edinburgh Airport: A new tram-train interchange will be built to serve Edinburgh Airport as part of Scotland’s biggest rail upgrade even if the tram scheme is shelved. (Scotsman page 5)

 

Glasgow-Edinburgh Rail Link: A massive rail investment programme which will cut Glasgow-Edinburgh journey times to 37 minutes is running up to £200 million under budget, five years before it is due to be delivered according to senior officials. The savings emerged yesterday as a six-month consultation on the £1bn Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme was formally launched. (Herald page 7, Daily Express page 22)

 

Airport Strike: An airport boss has denied union claims that security staff are being forced to train management to do their jobs ahead of a threatened strike. The 160 workers at 11 airports run by state-owned Highland and Islands Airports Ltd are to be balloted later this month in a dispute over pay and conditions. (Scotsman page 20)

 

Education

Teacher Training: Universities have rejected calls for a complete freeze on the training of Scottish teachers as part of moves to address the current crisis in school recruitment. (Herald page 10, Times page 23, Daily Record page 2)

 

Health

Kinship Carers: A new study has found that one in 71 children in Scotland is being raised by members of their extended family because their parents are not fit to care for them. At least 15,000 youngsters are looked after by “kinship carers” with drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence among the reasons they have had to step in. (Herald page 1, Times page 24)