Reform Scotland News: 15 September 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. 




Public Sector Strikes: The TUC announced last night that they would ballot on a day of strike action on 30th November, pledging the biggest union mobilisation in a generation over proposed reforms to public sector pensions. Up to three million workers ranging from fire fighters to social workers are expected to take part. (Scotsman page 11, The Sun page 8, The Times page 12, The Guardian page 4, Daily Record page 2, P&J page 5, The Herald page 1, The Daily Mail page 12, Daily Express page 1, Daily Express page 7, Daily Mirror page 7, Courier page 1)


Independence Referendum: MPs are to hold an inquiry into the Scottish independence referendum amid growing anxiety in Westminster over the strategy of leaving the issue to the Scottish Government.  The Scottish affairs select committee yesterday discussed the terms of the inquiry, which will look both at the mechanics and at legal problems surrounding a referendum and the issues set to be debated. (Scotsman page 12)


Planning: A major overhaul of Scotland’s planning system has failed to cut delays and has left a £20million black hole in council finances, Audit Scotland has found. The watchdog said it could not fully account for the rise in expenditure by all 32 local authorities on planning applications in the past six years – despite the number of applications dropping by a third. Efforts to modernise the system were at the centre of the Planning Act of 2006. (Scotsman page 10, Daily Mail page 24, Daily Express page 10)



Unemployment: Alex Salmond has put pressure on George Osborne to change his economic plans as unemployment fell in Scotland but increased overall in the UK to 2.51million. The First Minister said the figures showed the success of the SNP’s approach to boosting growth north of the Border.  However, the problem of youth unemployment in Scotland is growing, rising 10% in the last 21months, yesterday’s official figures showed. (Scotsman page 1, The Sun page 2, The Times page 23, The Guardian page 1 and page 4, Daily Record page 2, P&J page 10, The Herald page 1 and page 2, Daily Mail page 20, Financial Times page 4, Daily Express page 4, Daily Mirror page 7, The Courier page 8)


Lloyds Online Banking: Lloyds banking group has stated that it does not know when it will be able to solve a glitch which has left millions of its customers, including Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers, without internet banking for three days.  The error came as a result of the two banks’ systems being merged onto the Lloyds internet banking platform. (Scotsman page 2)



Edinburgh Trams: The Scottish Government has stepped in to effectively take control of Edinburgh’s tram project.  Ministers confirmed they would now oversee the delayed scheme and bring in their own experts in an attempt to get the tram running by 2014. These powers come in return for a £72million grant given by the Scottish Government to Edinburgh council for the tram project. (Scotsman page 1, The Telegraph page 4, The Sun page 2, The Times page 1, Daily Record page 6, The Herald page 1, The Daily Mail page 2, Daily Express page 2, The Courier page 6)



University Mergers: Scottish universities could be merged as part of a shake-up, Scottish education minister Mike Russell has said.  Colleges could also be brought together under plans for regional groupings of institutions and greater collaboration. (Scotsman page 1, The Sun page 2, The Times page 22, The Herald page 6, Daily Mail page 29, Daily Express page 36, The Courier page 9)



Supreme Court: A group of Scotland’s top legal minds, led by Lord McCluskey, have concluded in a report that the Supreme Court should continue to have a role in Scots law – but only where judges north of the Border request it.  The report also argues that the Supreme Court in London – not the European Court in Strasbourg – should interpret how the European Convention on Human Rights relates to Scottish cases. (Scotsman page 7, The Telegraph page 12, The Times page 22, P&J page 11, The Herald page 6, The Daily Mail page 12)