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Reform Scotland News: 15 Feburary 2012

Reform Scotland

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
Jim Sillars:
Former deputy leader of the SNP, Jim Sillars, has claimed SNP plans to include a “devo-max” question in the referendum are a “fraudulent claim” to allow the party to hold on to power if they lose the independence vote.  He also commented that any question about extended powers would need greater involvement from the UK government because only Westminster could deliver further powers. (Scotsman page 1, Daily Telegraph page 6, Express page 2)

Same sex marriage: More than 1,000 campaigners for same-sex marriage marched to Holyrood yesterday. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 6, Courier page 21)

Currency: Daniel Gay in the Scotsman argues that the best option for an independent Scotland would be to keep the pound.

Independence questions: Unionist members of the Scottish Affairs select committee at Westminster have published a list of “unanswered questions” into independence. However, it is claimed that only 47 people responded to a consultation on the matter. (Sun page 2, P&J page 12, Mail page 10, Herald page 6, Courier page 2)

Canon Kenyon Wright: Canon Kenyon Wright has said that Scotland should not have to go “cap in hand” to London for permission to hold an independence referendum. (P&J page 12)

Economy
Rangers: Rangers FC has gone into administration. (Scotsman page 1, Neil Patey in the Scotsman, Sun page 1, Herald page 1, FT page 4, Courier page 3, Daily Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, Record page 1, Mirror page 1, Mail page 1, Express)

Retail sales: The Scottish Retail Consortium has reported that there was a 1.5 per cent drop in sales for January compared with the same time last year.  This is the biggest fall in sales since 1999. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 2, Courier page 33, Mail page 17, Express page 15)

Threat to credit rating: Ratings agency Moody’s has put the UK on “negative outlook”, increasing the chances of the country’s triple-A status being reduced. (Scotsman page 8, Sun page 2, Herald page 6, Guardian page 30, FT page 3, Courier page 27, Times page 6, Sean Fleming in the Times, Mirror page 4, Ed Balls in the Mirror, Mail page 2)

Local Government
Homelessness:
Figures publish yesterday show that homelessness in Scotland has fallen to its lowest level in a decade.  There were 23,796 homeless applications to local authorities between April and September 2011, a 20 per cent drop on the previous year. (Scotsman page 16, Alastair Cameron in the Scotsman, Courier page 9)

Glasgow Labour: Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman comments on the state of the Labour party in Glasgow, but doubts the SNP can win the city in May.

Child Protection: An investigation into the case of Declan Hainey, who was murdered by his mother, concluded that child protection officers were guilty of “widespread failure” and raised questions about their “professional competence and commitment”. (Herald page 1, Courier page 20, Times page 11, Record page 8, Scotsman page 7, P&J page 15, Mail page 10, Express page 9)

Transport
Edinburgh airport:
Edinburgh airport has been rated the second best in Europe and amongst the best in the world for customer satisfaction according to the annual Airport Service Quality survey. (Scotsman page 15)

Waverley Ban: By the end of July cars and taxis are to be banned from Waverley Station in order to reduce the risk of a potential terrorist attack during this summer’s Olympics.  Network Rail is working with Edinburgh City Council to explore other locations for a station taxi drop-off area. (Herald page 8, Courier page 3)

Whiplash: David Cameron yesterday said that Britain had become “the whiplash capital of Europe”.  Number 10 claimed that the 1,500 claims every day for even the most minor accidents were adding £90 a year to the average car insurance bill. (Scotsman page 19, Ian Crowder in the Scotsman)

Justice
Single police force:
Graeme Pearson, Labour MSP for South Scotland and former head of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, has criticised the proposed legislation to create a single police force, saying there was a lack of “open and positive public scrutiny.” (Herald page 1)

Anti-bigotry law: The Scottish Beer and Pub Association has joined the list of other parties asking for clarification on matters of the anti-bigotry law and what it constitutes in real-life situations. (Herald page 7)