Reform Scotland News: 1 July 2013


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.

Trident: A review of the UK’s nuclear deterrent options, expected next month, will show that there are more possible choices to replace Trident than just a like-for-like replacement. Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has said that although the review does not come to any conclusions, it does show there are options available. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 18, P&J page 19)
Green Investment Bank: Lord Smith of Kelvin has been criticised after it emerged that he reportedly earns £120,000 a year in his part-time role as chairman of the UK Government’s Green Investment Bank, where he works one day a week. His per-day basic salary of £2,300 is thought to be the highest in the public sector outside of the banks which received bailouts. (Herald 
page 1)
Gay Marriage Bill: 89 MSPs have stated their support for the gay marriage bill which was published at Holyrood last week, including all cabinet ministers, the leaders of each of the four parties, and every MSP from the Liberal Democrats. 11 MSPs have stated their opposition to the bill and 29 are publically undeclared, making it a now seemingly impossible task to block legalisation of same-sex marriage in Scotland. (Herald 
page 3)
EU Referendum Bill: Liberal Democrat ministers will not attend Parliament during the discussion of the EU Referendum Bill. Danny Alexander has called the bill a ‘parliamentary stunt’. The bill was in doubt last night, however, after an official House of Commons analysis warned that the referendum legislation would not be legally binding and could be ignored by a future Government. (Scotsman page 15, Telegraph 
page 1)

Brian Monteith in the Scotsman comments on an official statement about Scotland’s strategy for EU entry in response to questions from David Lidington, the minister for Europe at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, about Scottish Independence.
Labour and the unions: Former Labour minister Kim Howells has advised party leader Ed Miliband to address the power that trade union movements have over the party. This warning follows claims that the trade union Unite tried to control the candidate selection process in Falkirk by flooding the local party with new members. (Herald 
page 6, Andrew Nicoll in the Sun, Guardian page 8, P&J page 18)
Alex Salmond’s security: Alex Salmond’s security arrangements are to be reviewed, following suggestions that current plans do not guarantee his safety. The First Minister does not travel with police protection officers, and there are concerns for his safety as the independence referendum approaches. (Express 
page 5, Sunday Herald page 3)
SNP dossier: According to an SNP dossier, the Ministry of Defence is withholding information to prevent an informed debate about next year’s independence referendum. (Scotsman page 12)

Mark Carney: Britain’s banking sector has fallen to 10th in the world, after losses at institutions like RBS and Lloyds according to a ranking by The Banker magazine’s Top 1,000 World Banks. The new ranking was announced today, as Mark Carney takes over as the new governor of the Bank of England. Lord Lamont has called on the new governor to stop printing new money, and instead deliver the ‘hard messages’ about how to get the economy into better shape. (Scotsman page 1, Telegraph page 1, Lord Lamont in the Telegraph, FT page 3, Panel of experts in the Guardian, Courier page 13)
Home reports: Leaders in the housing industry, including estate agents and lenders, have said that controversial Home Reports are having a negative impact on Scotland’s property market, and have called for the expensive packs to be reformed. Home Reports, which require a revaluation every three months, replaced surveys five years ago. (Herald
page 1)
Open cast mines: Energy Minister Fergus Ewing will lead a meeting to discuss the reopening of open cast mines following the liquidation of Scottish Coal, a major mining company. He said that between 300 and 500 of the 648 lost jobs could be replaced. (The Herald 
page 3, Scotsman page 20, Times page 9)
Graduate jobs: According to a report, an average of 46 people competed for each graduate vacancy this year, down from 51 last year. In 2008, before the recession, there were 35 applications received for each job. The report suggests that competition is most fierce for jobs in the consumer goods, media, banking and finance and oil and energy fields. (Herald 
page 5, Scotsman page 15, P&J page 19)
Independence uncertainty: Two thirds of firms in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire say they are unsure how they will vote in the independence referendum, as there is too much uncertainty about the implications of a yes vote. (Herald 
page 6)
Married couples’ tax allowance: David Cameron has pledged to introduce legislation on a tax break for married couples within months, following threats of revolt from Tory backbenchers. (Times page 7, Sun page 2, Guardian 
page 1Melissa Kite in the Guardian)

Road levy: The UK government has given warnings to haulage firms, private motorists and air passengers about the dangers of a Yes vote in the independence referendum. A report, to be published tomorrow, claims that Scottish hauliers could be charged up to £1000 for driving on English roads, private motorists could be penalised for taking their cars to England for long periods of time and Scotland would incur considerable costs to set up its own Air Accident Investigation Branch. The report follows warnings about roaming charges and higher bills for calls, text messages, internet access and mail services. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 12, Telegraph page 7Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Times page 2, Express page 2, Record page 2, Sunday Times page 7, Scotland on Sunday page 1, Sunday Herald page 8, P&J page 11)

Obesity in children: Almost 200 children as young as three have been treated by the NHS for obesity in recent years. Figures have been released amidst warnings that the epidemic of childhood obesity is getting worse. (Scotsman page 1)
Out-of-hours healthcare: Out-of-ours healthcare needs to be rethought, according to doctors in Scotland. The warning comes amid fears of a shortage of GPs in evenings and at weekends, with many Scottish NHS boards struggling to arrange summertime cover and a number of doctors unwilling to work unsocial hours due to their increased workloads. (Times page 5, Scotland on Sunday 
page 1)

Age of criminal responsibility: A legal reform bill has failed to include a pledge to increase the age of criminal responsibility from eight to twelve, to the dismay of many children’s groups and charities. (Herald page 9, P&J page 17)
Prison Crime: Nearly 5000 crimes have reportedly been committed in Scotland’s prisons since 2010, with almost a quarter of these remaining unsolved. (Express page 10)

Local Government
Council tax debt: Local authorities across Scotland failed to collect over £1bn of council tax debt, according to a government report. The report suggest that councils’ failure to deal with non-payment has led to arrears equivalent to 10% of their annual budget. (Sunday Times page 2)
Youth Olympics: Organisers of Glasgow’s bid for host city of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games have revealed plans for their £15.2 million Culture and Education Programme. As part of this programme, a global exchange project would see 50 young people from all over the world move to Glasgow to assist with the development of the programme and help with the games. (Herald 
page 2)