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Reform Scotland News: 12 October 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

WW1 memorial: David Cameron announced plans for a centenary memorial for the outbreak of the First World War, in 2014, and for Armistice Day in 2018. The plans are accompanied with a £5million educational programme for school pupils and support for the Imperial War Museum. [Scotsman page 18, Herald page 1, Mail page 8, Guardian page 13, Courier page 17, P&J page 13]

Referendum votes ignored: Scottish Labour has accused Alex Salmond of making a deal “behind closed doors” with David Cameron regarding Scottish independence ahead of a meeting of the two on Monday. Patricia Ferguson, Scottish Labour’s external affairs spokeswoman accused the SNP of disregarding the 26,000 voter responses to the consultation on the 2014 referendum. [Scotsman page 8, Telegraph page 8, Sun page 2]

Votes for U-18s: A debate has sparked over SNP plans to extend the referendum vote to under-18s. Unions have called for greater resources and guidance of non-partisan materials to be available to schools and colleges in order to discuss the independence referendum. This follows concerns from electoral experts and parents. [Herald page 1, Telegraph page 8, Daily Record page 2, Mail page 10, Guardian page 5, P&J page 12]

SNP Conference: George Kerevan writes in The Scotsman that the discussions at the SNP conference in Perth ought to focus on staying in NATO, rather than focusing on the Scottish economy, as it may help the SNP win the independence referendum. 

Royal Marine Arrests: Last night, the Ministry of Defence announced the arrest of seven Royal Marines part of the 45 Commando, based at Arbroath. The arrest was made by the Royal Military Police on suspicion of a murder related to an incident in Afghanistan in 2011 and an investigation has been launched by the Service Justice System [Scotsman page 1, Daily Record page 1, Sun page 2]

UK Poll Results: The latest YouGov poll for The Sun newspaper shows David Cameron to have a 14 point lead ahead of Ed Miliband in response to who would make the best prime minister. However, 42 per cent of people intend to vote Labour, a seven point lead over the Conservative Party. [Sun page 2]

Marine environment: A two-year delay in the publication of new environmental planning guidelines by the Scottish government could place Scotland’s marine environment at risk from the impact of billion pounds worth of green energy projects according to an umbrella group Scottish Environmental LINK. [Herald page 6]

Economy

Fuel bills: 1.5 million homes in Scotland face an increase in gas bills from Scottish Gas. The increase is expected to be a £100 annual rise. [Scotsman page 1, Herald page 5, Sun page 6, Express page 1, Mail page 1, P&J page 11]

Commonwealth Games 2014: Organisers have been congratulated on progress for the Glasgow 2014 games. However, Mr Robertson, the Commonwealth Games Federation vice-president did warn the organisers to focus on security following concerns with G4S at the Olympic Games in London. [Sun page 12, P&J page 23]

Public-sector jobs: Scottish Labour has warned that John Swinney’s budget could lead to the loss of 8,333 public-sector jobs within Scotland. The SNP disputed the claim by Labour on the ground that there was the further £250million being transferred from the government’s resource budget – which includes salaries – to its capital budget. [Scotsman page 8]

Education

Super-college: The cost of creating Edinburgh College, a new “super-college” is set to be £17.6million which would be over the whole budget for all college mergers throughout Scotland. The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has already spent roughly £8million on the college by merging three existing institutions. [Scotsman page 4]

College funding: The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union has accused the Scottish government of allowing a postcode lottery over college provision following cuts in educational spending. [Herald page 4]

Transport

Aberdeen bypass: Five judges on the Supreme Court are expected to rule on the final appeal which looks to stop plans for the proposed Aberdeen bypass. The bypass is expected to cost £400 million. [Scotsman page 12, P&J page 1]

Easyjet flights at Edinburgh: The airline company Easyjet announced yesterday that it is looking to connect Edinburgh airport to four new destinations. It is expected that there will be 160 new jobs created. [Scotsman page 17, Herald page 10]

Road contract row: The Scottish government has delayed signing contracts worth £230 million for major road maintenance after Amey, a bidder who currently maintains 430 miles of Scottish roads and motorways, brought a legal objection after losing the bid to Scotland Transerv which is due to take over  responsibility for the routes next March. [Herald page 7]