Reform Scotland News

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 4th August 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

Freedom of Information: Scottish ministers have come under pressure to ensure Scotland does not “lag behind” the rest of Britain over freedom of information laws, after the UK government unveiled plans to extend legislation. (Scotsman page 13)

RAF Leuchars: Commercial airline flights could take off from Leuchars as part of its controversial future as a home to the army, the Scottish Government has suggested. (Courier page 1)

Gay Marriage: SNP MSP John Mason surprised his party’s leadership by tabling a motion at the Scottish Parliament arguing that no one “should be forced to be involved in or to approve of same-sex marriages” as “free speech is a fundamental right”. Alex Salmon’s SNP administration refused to back the Glasgow Shettleston MSP, instead confirming that a formal consultation on gay marriage was to begin later this year. (Daily Telegraph page 4, Daily Mail page 24)

Economy

Retail Sales: Growth in retail sales in Scotland outstripped the UK as a whole last year, according to new figures. Scotland’s annual sales grew by 3.3 per cent, compared with 2.9 per cent UK-wide, the Retail Sales Index revealed. (Scotsman page 2, Courier page 11)

Fishing: It has been revealed that Scottish white fish trawlers and fish processing companies are being driven to the brink of bankruptcy by anonymous “quota barons” outside the industry who no control the rights to thousands of tonnes of fish worth millions of pounds. (Scotsman page 16)

Holiday Woes: Around 13,000 Britons, including 300 Scottish tourists are among those whose holidays have been thrown into disarray after the sudden collapse of tour operator Holidays 4 U meaning they will have to be flown home from Turkey. (Herald page 1, Courier page 11, Daily Mail page 6, Daily Express page 5, Sun page 6)

Justice

SCDEA: More than £33 million worth of drugs have been seized and a record number of crime bosses arrested in the past year, according to figures. The Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) said better intelligence had been used to pinpoint “soft spots” in sophisticated criminal operations. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 12, P&J page 13, Daily Express page 10)

Transport

Road Repairs: John Gooday, Scottish Road Works Commissioner, has criticised councils for failing to take action against utility companies over delays to repairs, A fifth of utility works-equating to more than 15 000 of all such repairs- take longer than scheduled, while a further 4% overrun without notice being given. (Herald page 1)

166 Mile Detour: Motorists face a 166-mile detour if a Highland trunk road is closed for repair works. A spokesman for Scotland Transerv, the operating company contracted ban option the Scottish Government to maintain trunk roads, said; “This is only an option that is out for local consultation and we are awaiting responses”. (Herald page 12)

Education

Exam Results: Scottish exam results have shown record numbers pass their Highers. The pass rate for Highers – the equivalent of A-levels – is 75.2%, up 0.5% on last year, said the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). However, an error meant that almost 29,000 received theirs via text message on Wednesday. Scotland’s exam board has launched an urgent inquiry into the blunder. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Courier page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, P&J page 7, Daily Mail page 8, Daily Express page 5, Sun page 1)

Health

NHS Transport: Audit Scotland has made a report which states that changes must be made to improve the transport organised to take people to health and social care services in Scotland. They said transport services were “fragmented” and lacking in “leadership, ownership and monitoring”. (Scotsman page 18)