Reform Scotland News: 4 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.

Territorial Army: 26 army reserve bases across the UK, including seven in Scotland, are to be closed as part of government reforms which will also see the Territorial Army change its name to Army Reserve.  Army reservists will also reportedly get improved benefit and pension entitlements. (Scotsman page 1, Times page 1, The Courier page 16-17, Press and Journal page 13, Sun page 6, Telegraph page 13, Mail page 11)
BBC: A report commissioned by the BBC Trust has reported that a “deep liberal bias” in the BBC prevented it from accurately reflecting public views on immigration. (Scotsman
page 13, Times page 2, Guardian page 13, Telegraph page 7, Peter Oborne in the Telegraph, Mail page 12)
Labour and the unions: Trade unions reportedly paid for hundreds of their members to join Labour party constituency associations across the UK. (Scotsman 
page 20, The Herald page 6, The Courier page 19, Press and Journal page 18, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 12, Mail page 4, Guardian page 11Martin Kettle in the Guardian)
Dispute over Warship deal: Scottish defence contractor, Ticon Insulation, has been accused of contempt of court after admitting it faked evidence in a legal row over the Royal Navy’s new Type-45 destroyers. It will go to Scotland’s highest court today. (The Herald 
page 1)
Jackie Brock in the Scotsman comments on the need to reduce the cost of childcare to help support low-income families.

Scottish balance sheet: Audit Scotland has published the first assessment of Scotland’s public-sector assets and liabilities which suggests a shortfall of £8bn. (Scotsman page 4, John McLaren in the Scotsman)
PM endorses RBS intervention: David Cameron has reportedly backed George Osborne’s claim that ministers should be able to interfere in Royal Bank of Scotland. (The Herald 
page 6)

Local Government
Right-to-buy: The Scottish government yesterday announced that people living in social housing will have until 2017 to apply to buy their home at a reduced rate, after which point the right-to-buy scheme would be abolished in Scotland. (Scotsman page 1,Michael Kelly in the Scotsman, Herald page 4, Times page 6, the Courier page 18, Press and Journal page 20, Sun page 2, Malcolm Rifkind in the Sun , FT page 2, Telegraph page 6)
Council workers may strike: The Unison trade union is asking its members if they will strike in an attempt to increase the 1% pay rise they have been offered. A total of 75,000 workers across 32 councils are being balloted. (The Courier 
page 20)

High speed rail: The Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems have all reportedly backed the High-Speed 2 rail project following criticism of the proposal from Lord Mandelson. (FT page 2)

Rise in fraud: Levels of fraud committed in Scotland during the first six months of this year are 61% higher than those for the same period in 2012. (The Herald Page 1, Press and Journal page 21)

Scottish Medicines Consortium: A report from Holyrood’s health committee has claimed that the review of the Scottish Medicines Consortium, which advises NHS Boards on whether to use new drugs, did not go far enough and a “better and more transparent” system is needed. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 2, Times page 14, Daily Recordpage 8-9, The Courier page 19, Press and Journal page 12, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 6)