Reform Scotland News 5 October 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. 



Prime Minister’s address: David Cameron is expected to make his keynote speech to the Conservative Party conference today. It has been reported that he will call on individuals to pay off personal debt on credit cards to help boost the economy.  Personal debt has reached £1.5trillion with average household debt, excluding mortgages, at £21,000.  However, Citizens Advice Scotland has commented that it is near impossible for people to pay back their debt if they have lost their job and have little income to live on. (Scotsman page 1, John McTernan in the Scotsman, Tom Miers in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Ian Bell in the Herald, Guardian page 1, Record page 1, Scottish Mail page 11, Express page 5, Patrick O’Flynn in the Express, The Daily Telegraph page 1, Benedict Brogan in The Telegraph, FT page 2, Times page 14, Daniel Finkelstein in The Times, Mirror page 10)


 ‘Cat-gate’: In her speech to the Conservative Party conference yesterday Home Secretary Theresa May outlined some cases where convicted criminals and illegal immigrants had been prevented from being deported due to the Human Rights Act.  One such case was an illegal immigrant who was prevented from being deported because he owned a cat.  However, within hours of her speech Justice Secretary Ken Clarke disputed the comments saying he would “have a small bet with her than nobody has ever been refused deportation on the grounds of the ownership of a cat”.  The judicial communications office, which represents senior judges, also insisted the case was not true. (Scotsman page 5, Guardian page 8, Scottish Mail page 10, Scottish Express page 5, Courier page 11, Press and Journal page 11,  Telegraph page 13, FT page 2, Times page 1, Mirror page 10)


Catholic Church: Philip Tartaglia, Bishop of Paisley, has reportedly warned Alex Salmond that his attempts to deal with sectarianism and his stance on gay marriage could lead to him losing the confidence of the Catholic Church.  Bishop Tartaglia suggested there was a “growing apprehension and disappointment” among Catholics with regard to the SNP’s position on controversial issues. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1)


Scottish Tory leadership:  Ruth Davidson, one of the contenders to replace Annabel Goldie, has indicated that she would like to go into an election with a pledge to cut income tax using devolved powers.  She has also said she would be willing to serve as Deputy First Minister for either a Labour or SNP- led administration. (Scotsman page 5, Express page 5)


Civil service redundancies: According to figures published by the Scottish Government yesterday almost £50million was paid in redundancy pay-offs to Scottish civil servants last year, including at least 117 people who received more than £100,000. (Scotsman page 15, Telegraph page 1)


RAF Leuchars: North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell has requested an investigation into the planned closure of RAF Leuchars, a decision made despite senior RAF officials appeals (Courier page 1)


UKIP leadership: Fife councillor Mike Scott-Hayward has replaced Paul Henke as UKIP’s Scotland chairman. (Courier page 11)



£3m tourism boost: The number of passengers on cruise liners visiting Scotland rose by 10 per cent to almost 300,000, adding £3million to the Scottish tourism industry. (Express page 15)



Calls for new approach on for victims of crime: Peter Morris, sister of murdered Claire Morris, presented a petition with 6000 names calling on the judicial system to re-evaluate the way police investigate incident and how the families of the bereaved are treated in trial. Speaking to Holyrood’s justice committee he suggested that liaison officers often didn’t have a good rapport with the victims’ families and that the accused should be prevented from getting close to the families while in court. (Herald page 2, Press and Journal page 7)



Ban expulsions: Brigadier Hugh Monro, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons in Scotland, has called for schools to be prevented from excluding pupils to prevent them falling into trouble and becoming young offenders. (Scotsman page 1, Ronnie Smith in the Scotsman, Anne Houston in the Scotsman, Herald page 10, Scottish Mail page 1, Courier page 1, Telegraph page 8, Times page 5)


University fees: At Holyrood’s education committee yesterday Edinburgh University’s principal Sir Timothy O’Shea said he was unsure how the introduction of the £9,000-a-year fees for students from the rest of the UK would affect intake and it was likely there would be some revisions for future years. (Scotsman page 2)


Gaelic learners: To halt the decline of Gaelic in Scotland the number or children entering primary one in Gaelic medium education will have to double in the next six years to prevent the language receding, according to the National Gaelic Language Plan. (Herald page 3, Press and Journal page 3)



‘Fat tax’: The National Obesity Forum (NOF) has accused the Scottish Government of ‘gross negligence’ after its refusal to put in place a tax on fatty foods. (Herald page 5)



Trams: City of Edinburgh Council has admitted responsibility for changes and delays to Edinburgh’s trams scheme and as a result has had to pay £66m in compensation to contractors. (Scotsman page 11)