Reform Scotland New: 10 November 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



Scottish Tories: The Scottish Tories are reportedly in crisis after some senior MSPs refused to accept front-bench roles offered to them by the new leader, Ruth Davidson.  The majority of the Tory group of MSPs had supported Murdo Fraser’s leadership campaign.  Jackson Carlaw is reported to be the new deputy leader, though it is suggested the role was first offered to Alex Fergusson and Murdo Fraser.  Murdo has turned down a front-bench role with a spokesman suggesting he did not want to become a “distraction” to the new leader following his calls for creating a new centre-right party in Scotland.  Liz Smith has apparently forced Ruth Davidson to keep her as education spokesman after an attempt to demote her to rural affairs while Mary Scanlon is thought to have rejected an offer to be the party’s health spokeswoman. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Scottish Daily Mail page 11, Sun page 2, Times page 18, Daily Record page 2, Courier page 11, Daily Telegraph page 1, Daily Express page 4)


Independent Scotland in EU: During Scottish questions in the House of Commons yesterday Michael Moore suggested that the prospect of an independent Scotland joining the EU would be a “journey into the unknown”. SNP ministers have reportedly refused to publish the legal advice they have received. (Scotsman page 2, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Scottish Daily Mail page 14, Times page 5, Daily Record page 2, Daily Telegraph page 14, Press & Journal page 16, Daily Express page 2)


Troops to Kinloss:  More than 900 troops are to be transferred to RAF Kinloss next summer, two years earlier than expected. (Herald page 1, Press & Journal page 11)



Power plant: North Ayrshire Council yesterday rejected controversial proposals for Scotland’s first new fossil fuel power station for four decades.  21,000 objections had been submitted against plans for a new coal-fired plant at Hunterston. (Scotsman page 1, Jenny Hogan in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Scottish Daily Mail page 19, Times page 1, Daily Record page 6, Courier page 8, Daily Telegraph page 19, Daily Express page 4)


Carbon capture: Scottish & Southern Energy and Shell revealed yesterday a joint development agreement to develop a carbon capture and storage plant at the former ‘s gas-fired power station in Peterhead Aberdeenshire. (Daily Telegraph page 19, Financial Times page 4)


Tax cuts: Labour and the SNP are expected to urge George Osborne to cut VAT on home improvements from 20% to 5% in an effort to help the economy. (Scotsman page 18, Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman)


Youth unemployment: Statistics show that the number of unemployed youths has doubled in some parts of Scotland. Labour says that the figures show that the Coalition government’s plan is not working and calls for change. However, Tory and Lib Dem ministers insist on sticking to their policies, claiming the most important priority is to reduce the deficit. (Herald page 6)


Comment on SNP policies: Prof Arthur Midwinter, a former adviser to the Scottish Parliament finance committee, concludes that it is “doubtful” the spending plans for 2011-2012 will help boosting economic growth. His analysis will be presented to a public conference tomorrow. (Daily Telegraph page 14)



UK Border Agency:  Former Home Secretary Jack Straw has accused Theresa May of a “vindictive and punitive approach of hanging someone out to dry” over the controversy over the relaxation of immigration controls.  Brodie Clark, who has quit his position as head of the UK Border Agency, has accused Theresa May of misleading parliament and of blaming him for “political convenience”. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 6, Scottish Daily Mail page 10, sun page 2, Times page 16, Guardian page 1, Daily Record page 6, Daily Mirror page 9, Courier page 11, Financial times page 2, Press & Journal page 5, Daily express page 20)


Scottish Labour motion: Following the revelation that the number of unprocessed criminal cases sitting within the Crown Office has doubled in the past six months, Scottish Labour has launched a motion in the Scottish Parliament warning that the cuts in the Crown Office and police staff numbers are undermining “the public confidence in the justice system”. (Herald page 2)



Clocks: Scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have suggested that child obesity could be reduced if the clocks did not go back in autumn and have backed proposals for a Daylight Saving Bill which would bring the UK into the same time as Central European Time.  The researchers found that children were most active on days with 14 or more hours of sunlight. (Scotsman page 11, Michael Kelly in the Scotsman, Herald page 9, Daily Mirror page 19)


GP salaries: A report on GP pay has found that average GP pay went up 3.5% in 2009/10 to £89,500.  More than 10% of GPS were reported to be earning over £125,000 a year. (Scotsman page 17, Financial Times page 8)


Medicine students: Ian Anderson, President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, is to announce today that trainees are not assured employment. (Herald page 5)


Babies at risk: According to the NSPCC more than 18,400 babies in Scotland are at risk of suffering from abuse because they were born into families with drugs, mental health or addiction problems.  The charity reports that one in five babies in Scotland is living in a family where a parent or carer is at high risk of depression or serious anxiety. One in 60 mothers and one in 12 fathers of babies under one also report hazardous levels of alcohol consumption.  . (Scotsman page 20, Herald page 1, Times page 24, Press & Journal page 16)


Local Authority

Edinburgh: Brian Ferguson in the Scotsman comments on the political relationship between the Lib Dem leader, Jenny Dawe, and SNP leader, Steve Cardownie, who run Edinburgh Council.


Outsourcing: Rhona Harper in the Scotsman comments that local authorities need to seriously consider outsourcing certain responsibilities.


Welfare Bill: Council bosses have warned that the UK government’s Welfare Reform Bill will squeeze budgets, impact the wider economy and could lead to a rise in evictions and homelessness. This took place yesterday before the Holyrood’s Local Government Committee. (Herald page 7, Courier page 11, Press & Journal page 8)