Reform Scotland News: 15 August 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

Scottish Affairs Committee:
Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee has commented in a report that any inclusion of a ‘devo-max’ third option on the referendum ballot paper would be ‘fatally flawed’. The Scottish government responded by saying that it was still waiting on an analysis of their consultation into the referendum. (Herald page 6, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 11, P&J page 13, Courier page 19)

Referendum talks: Scottish Secretary Michael Moore yesterday reportedly invited First Minister Alex Salmond to the negotiating table to sort out details for the 2014 independence referendum. (Daily Record page 2)

Olympics: First Minister Alex Salmond has said that the timing of Olympics has helped Glasgow as it prepares to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014, suggesting that the opportunity to learn from mistakes made in ticketing and security has been beneficial. He also reiterated his praise for the contribution of Scottish athletes to Team GB’s medal haul. Meanwhile, the First Minister is under to pressure to reveal details of homecoming events to welcome Scotland’s Olympic medal winning contingent. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 6, Express page 7)

Alex Falconer: Tributes have been paid to former Labour MEP Alex Falconer who died yesterday, aged 72. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown called him a committed trade unionist, committed to standing up against fairness and injustice. (Herald page 9, Courier page 12, P&J page13)

Independence debate: Gregor Gall in the Scotsman, suggests that weaknesses in the respective sides of the independence debates could turn out to be their greatest strengths.

Olympics and independence: Andrew Nicholl in the Sun suggests that the notion that Britain’s Olympic success has caused a major setback to the independence cause is wide of the mark.

The First Minister Alex Salmond has given his backing to the campaign to save the Dandy comic after its publishers, DC Thompson, announced that its future was under review. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 12, Alan Taylor in the Herald, Daily Record page 18, Kerry Gill in the Express, P&J page 16, Simon Heffer in the Mail)

Hall’s meat processing plant: There are high hopes that Hall’s meat processing plant in Broxburn could be saved from closure after two potential buyers have emerged, possibly saving as many as 1,700 jobs. (Express page 9)

House sales: The number of houses sold in Scotland in the first half of the year went up 9% compared to the same period last year, according to the LSL/Acad Scotland house price index. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 10, Courier page 20)

Fringe: Sales of tickets for the opening weekend of the Edinburgh Fringe were down, the first drop in sales for ten years for some venues. Organisers hope the end of the Olympics may give ticket sales a boost. (Scotsman page 12)

Scotland and the UK economy: The Lord Mayor of the City of London has insisted that Scotland plays a vital role in ensuring the continued success of the UK’s financial services industry. (Telegraph page 11)

Rail fares:
Rail passengers in Scotland are expected to be faced with a 4.2% increase in fares from next year. Cross border fares will rise by an average of 6.2%. The Scottish figures represent an increase 1% higher than inflation. Rail union RMT has suggested that the new fares could lead to job losses. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 8, Daily Record page 6, Sun page 1, Express page 1, Telegraph page 6, Guardian page 4, P&J page 12, Mail page 8)

Bed shortages
: Doctors are sending home patients before they have recovered fully to free up their beds, the Scottish Intensive Care Society has found. The problem has reportedly been exacerbated due to cuts in staff numbers. (Herald page 9)

Whooping cough: Cases of whooping cough have increased by 2325% according to Health Protection Scotland, the highest instances of the illness for 25 years. The outbreak is being blamed on the whooping cough vaccination wearing off as adolescents enter adulthood. (Herald page 3)

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland has come under fire after announcing that a planned computer system geared towards giving the public access to information concerning how forces are performing has been scrapped. The cancellation is expected to cost taxpayers £7m (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1)

Open University
: According to the Open University’s director in Scotland Dr James Miller as living costs increase more and more Scots under the age of 25 are choosing to study with the Open University. There has been a 48% increase in under 25s studying this way over the past 5 years. (Scotsman page 17, Courier page 9)

University fees: Scottish universities are offering courses to fee-paying foreign and English students whilst restricting access to non-paying Scottish applicants, an investigation by the Daily Telegraph has found. (Telegraph page 1)