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Reform Scotland News 5 July 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

 

Politics

Army: Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is expected to announce cuts to the armed forces today including a cut of about 30 per cent to the Royal Regiment of Scotland. It is expected that the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards will be given a reprieve following concerns they would be lost. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 2, Peter Wall in the Times page 24, Telegraph page 1, P&J page 17, Record page 2, Mail page 2, Courier page 1)

Tornadoes crash: One of the four members of the air crew involved in the Tornadoes crash over the Moray Firth has died in hospital with officials commenting yesterday that there was “no expectation” of recovering two missing airmen alive. There have been allegations that RAF personnel were “knackered” and flying old equipment due to funding cuts. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 5, Sun page 17, Times page 6, Telegraph page 2, P&J page 1, Record page 1, Express page 7, Mail page 9, Courier page 14)

Scottish water:  Five directors at publicly-owned Scottish Water have reportedly been handed high bonuses.  Chief executive, Richard Ackroyd’s received a bonus of £105,000 while four others received bonuses between £62,000 and £69,000. (Scotsman page 10, Telegraph page 10 )

Monuments quango: The Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, which has an annual budget of about £6m a year, could be merged into Historic Scotland. (Scotsman page 18, Herald page 3)

Referendum campaigns funding: The Electoral Commission has ruled that both sides of the Scottish independence referendum campaign will be permitted to accept foreign donations. (Herald page 6)

Salmond denied meeting: It has been revealed that a request repeatedly made to former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon by the British Embassy in Paris on behalf of Alex Salmond for a meeting in early 2010 was denied. Salmond had wanted the meeting to be symbolic of Scotland formulating its own foreign policy, separate to that of the UK. (Telegraph page 5)

Same-sex marriage: Former First Minister Jack McConnell has spoken out in favour of same-sex marriage, saying “it is clear that attitudes have progressed” since civil partnerships became legal in 2005. (Herald page 13)

 

Economy

Bob Diamond: Former chief executive of Barclays, Bob Diamond, gave evidence to MPs at Westminster yesterday.  He admitted that he was unaware of the rate-fixing scandal at his bank until last month when he received the FSA’s report.  It is also reported that Bob Diamond has declined to forgo his estimated £20m severance pay from the Bank.  (Scotsman page 4, Peter Jones in the Scotsman, Gregor Gall in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Sun page 8, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Michael Deacon in the Telegraph page 4, P&J page 10, Record page 2, Express page 5, Leo McKinstry in the Express, FT page 1, John Gapper in the FT, Andrea Leadsom in the FT, Mail page 6, Guardian page 4, Zoe Williams in the Guardian, Courier page 18)

Chancellor’s comments on previous Labour team: In an interview for the Spectator, George Osborne has reportedly said that members of Gordon Brown’s government were “clearly involved” in the rate-fixing scandal and that the former Prime Minister’s inner circle, including Ed Balls had “questions to answer”. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 6, Sue Cameron in the Telegraph page 21, P&J page 11, Express page 4, FT page 1, Guardian page 1, Martin Kettle in the Guardian)

Rangers: Yesterday the SPL voted to keep Rangers ‘newco’ out of the SPL next season. (Herald page 1, Sun page 4, Times page 3, Record page 1, FT page 4, Mail page 4)

Remploy strikes: The UK Government’s plans to close all of the Remploy factories, a major employer of people with disabilities, has caused controversy and solicited a workers’ vote in favour of industrial action. 100 jobs are at risk in Scotland, at sites in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Motherwell. (Herald page 3, Sun page 41)

DVLA cuts: Five DVLA offices in Scotland are among the 39 regional offices threatened with closure UK-wide, as the licensing agency seeks to make savings by centralising its services. Local MPs have labelled it a “false economy”. (Herald page 13, Sun page 41, P&J page 59)

 

Education

New childcare package: A consultation has been launched regarding the proposed Children and Young People Bill, which would seek to increase the provision of childcare and early-learning services for three- and four-year-olds to 600 hours per year. (Herald page 6, P&J page 17)

Children’s commissioner: Scotland’s children’s commissioner is reportedly going to be given new powers to enable him to intervene in disputes children have with their parents or schools. However, precise details of how the proposals would work in practice have yet to be unveiled. (Mail page 1)

 

Transport

Edinburgh to Glasgow: The train link between Edinburgh and Glasgow is to be cut by 10 minutes to 40 minutes through a £650m electrification plan of the line. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 1, Times page 19, Telegraph page 2, Express page 20, Mail page 9, Courier page 15) 

 

Local government

Edinburgh catchment areas: Edinburgh council is considering redrawing the boundaries of its primary schools due to tackle overcrowding in popular schools. (Scotsman page 14)

 

Justice

Unmarried couples: A ruling by the Supreme Court yesterday under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 has reportedly opened the door for unmarried couples who split up to claim compensation similar to divorcing couples. (Scotsman page 1, John Fotheringham & Marjory Blair in the Scotsman, Herald page 4, Mail page 5)

Discrimination in asylum claims: A study conducted by researchers at the University of Edinburgh has found that men who make claims of rape in asylum cases are more likely to be believed than women, and that preconceptions about rape on the part of immigration officials may affect women’s asylum application outcomes. (Herald page 13)

 

Health

Complaints: The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman upheld 56 per cent of complaints about patient treatment in the NHS last year, up from 45 per cent the previous year.  The overall number of complaints to the ombudsman also increased by 12 per cent. (Scotsman page 16)

Superbugs: The number of recorded cases of MRSA and C Diff acquired in hospitals in Scotland has fallen by 30 per cent and 7 per cent respectively over the past three years. (Scotsman page 17)

GPs warn of unequal services: GPs working in the 100 most deprived areas of Scotland have warned that the provision of NHS services is of unequal quality across the country, with the poorest areas worst affected. (Herald page 9). A Health Improvement Scotland study has also found evidence of a postcode lottery in the provision of neurological care. (Herald page 15)