Reform Scotland News: 5 September 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


UK Cabinet reshuffle:  Changes to the UK government’s Cabinet were announced yesterday.  Key moves include Jeremy Hunt’s promotion to Health Secretary, while Andrew Lansley is now Leader of the Commons.  Chris Grayling becomes Justice Secretary, with Ken Clarke remaining in the Cabinet as the minister without portfolio.  Maria Millar is the new Culture Secretary and Grant Shapps replaces Baroness Warsi as party chairman.  Patrick McLoughlin replaces Justine Greening as Transport Secretary, leading to some speculating that the Prime Minister may be changing his opposition to a third runway at Heathrow, a suggestion which has led to an angry response from Boris Johnson who is opposed to a new runway.  It has also been reported that David Cameron wanted to move Iain Duncan Smith away from Work & Pensions to Justice, but Iain Duncan Smith refused. (Scotsman page 1, David Maddox in the Scotsman, Brian Wilson in the Scotsman, Times page 1, Michael Savage in the Times, Roland Watson in the Times, Daniel Finkelstein in the Times, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 1, Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph, Guardian page 1, Simon Jenkins in the Guardian, Seamus Milne in the Guardian, Courier page 14, P&J page 14, Mail page 1, Tim Montgomerie in the Mail, Herald page 1, Record, FT, James Purnell in the FT)

Independence referendum & legislative programme: Alex Salmond yesterday revealed the Scottish government’s legislative programme, which included a list of 15 bills for the next year including legislation for a referendum on independence, extending childcare provision for three and four year olds and bringing NHS and social care services under one umbrella. (Scotsman page 1, Allan Massie in the Scotsman, Times page 1, Peter Jones in the Scotsman, Sun page 1, Telegraph page 9, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Courier page 15, P&J page 11, Herald page 1, Ian Bell in the Herald, Express, Record, FT)

Better Together: The cross party campaign against independence is reportedly about to start a fundraising drive contacting 50,000 people who have all indicated they are willing to help the campaign. (Telegraph page 1, P&J page 20, Express)

MSPs’ bar: Taking photos in the MSPs’ new bar at Holyrood has reportedly been banned over fears MSPs privacy could be invaded. (Sun page 19, Herald page 9)

Nick Clegg: Alice Thomson in the Times considers Nick Clegg’s role in the coalition government.

Johann Lamont: Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman considers the work Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has ahead of her and comments that she must answer the question of how Labour proposes to run the country now that there’s no money left.

Devo Max: Phillip Blond in the Scotsman outlines his support for Devo Max.


Oil jobs in Aberdeen: PwC has warned that unless Aberdeen can attract 120,000 skilled workers over the next 10 years, the city could lose its reputation as one of the world’s foremost energy centres.  PwC’s reports comments that almost half the industry’s workforce is currently over 45 and it will be a massive task replacing these skilled workers. (Herald page 1, Record)


Castle Huntly: The number of prisoners escaping from Castle Huntly open prison has fallen from 66 to 12 in four years. A report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Brigadier Hugh Munro has called for inmates to be given more vocational training before release. (Scotsman page 18, Sun page 15, Courier page 18)

Methadone programme:  Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham has reportedly ordered officials to conduct a full and detailed audit into the dispensing of the heroin substitute methadone.   (Record)

Local government

Aberdeen City Council: Aberdeen City Council’s Labour administration was branded “anti-progress” and “anti-democratic” by Infrastructure and Capital Investment Minister Alex Neil yesterday in parliament after the council’s administration rejected plans to transform Union Terrace Gardens. (P&J page 1)


Rail cuts: A Freedom of Information request by the Herald has revealed that Scottish government Transport Minister Keith Brown announced cuts of £350m to the £1 billion Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme in July before a review undertaken by independent transport consultancy Jacobs was completed. (Herald page 11)


Breast cancer campaign:  Photos showing the breasts of women affected by cancer are to feature in a new advert launched to raise awareness breast cancer, which is part of a £30 million Scottish Government campaign to reduce cancer rates. (Scotsman page 1, Audrey Birt in the Scotsman, Herald page 12, Record)