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Reform Scotland News: 11 May 2012

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: Between 2,500 and 3,000 prison officers walked out yesterday in protest at UK government changes to pensions, affecting every publicly-operated Scottish jail. Job centre, some NHS and Scottish Parliament workers were among the other public sector workers striking. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 2, Telegraph page 1, Times page 13, Guardian page 7, FT page 2, Sun page 2, Express page 2, P&J page 18)


Leveson inquiry: Andy Coulson has told the Leveson inquiry that David Cameron asked him once about hacking at News of the World, and that he told Mr Cameron that he “knew nothing” of phone hacking. He held £40,000 of News International shares while working for the Conservatives, but that he had not considered that it may be a conflict of interest as he was not involved in any commercial decisions. He also saw top secret documents and attended National Security Council meetings with only basic security checks. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 10, Telegraph page 4, Times page 6, Guardian page 14, FT page 2, Sun page 4, Express page 11, Mail page 8)


Fighter jets: Westminster has announced a U-turn over fighter jets, abandoning a new version announced in 2010. The news, while reportedly embarrassing for the coalition government, may benefit Scotland as it is more likely that the planes will be based at RAF Lossiemouth. (Scotsman page 6, Times page 12, FT page 2, Mail page 2)


Referendum consultation: The SNP were accused by Labour of ‘skewing’ the consultation by creating ‘pop-ups’ on the consultation website with the questions that the SNP want answered with “yes.” (Scotsman page 14)


Referendum talks: Scottish Secretary Michael Moore has called for talks after the close of the referendum consultation. (Herald page 1, Sun page 2)


Historic Scottish regiments: Proposals to merge two historic regiments, the Black Watch and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, were branded a “calamity” by Alex Salmond at FMQs, and also opposed by Labour. David Cameron is also reportedly concerned over the Defence Secretary’s proposals. (Scotsman page 7, Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane comments in the Telegraph, Times page 11, Record page 10)


North Sea rescue: Two helicopter pilots were praised for their skill after everyone on board survived a controlled ditching in the North Sea. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, Sun page 1, P&J page 1)



BMI Regional: A consortium of Scottish businesses has agreed to buy Aberdeen-based airline BMI Regional for £8 million, creating Scotland’s largest airline. The deal is subject to approval by the Civil Aviation Authority. (Herald page 5)


Local Government

Election blunder: Senior local government officer George Black will lose the £4,000 payment made to him for overseeing the election in Langside ward in Glasgow, after the results were called into question following a failure to count votes correctly. (Herald page 6, Express page 2)


Council control: The SNP have lost control of key councils such as Stirling and Alex Salmond’s ‘backyard’ of Aberdeenshire, with Labour now controlling almost half of Scotland’s councils. (Scotsman page 16, Record page 2, Mail page 2)



Inducing births: Researchers at Edinburgh University have found that inducing birth at 40 weeks reduces stillborns and newborn death rates, although the results come with some caveats. (Scotsman page 23)


Child obesity: A Scottish government report has found that 86% of mothers with overweight children don’t think that their children have a problem. (Herald page 7, Telegraph page 7)



Teachers’ strike: The Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association have lodged a motion for a ballot on striking over the implementation of the controversial incoming National qualifications. (Scotsman page 8)


Bullying: A report by Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People has warned that bullying of disabled children is “prevalent” in Scottish schools. (Scotsman page 13)



Single police force: MSPs voted in support of police and fire services reform after Kenny MacAskill said that he never wanted a single police force, but that Westminster budget cuts had made it a necessity. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 5, P&J page 14)


Sex crimes: Since the end of 2010, just under half of all sexual offenses have been against child victims. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 1)