Reform Scotland News: 5 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.



Labour Falkirk row: Labour election co-ordinator Tom Watson resigned yesterday and two party workers were suspended following the Unite trade union’s alleged attempt to rig candidate selection in the Falkirk constituency. Hours after Mr Watson’s resignation, Ed Miliband announced that he had suspended constituency chairman Stephen Deans and Karie Murphy, Unite’s favoured candidate for the seat. (Scotsman page 1, Simon Pia in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Robert McNeil in the Herald, Telegraph page 4, Times page 1, Philip Collins in the Times, FT page 2, Record page 8, Express page 7, Sun page 2, Guardian page 1, Mail page 6 and page 7, P&J page 12, Courier page 17)


Wind farms: Controversial plans have been lodged to build a 213-turbine offshore wind farm in the Firth of Tay within ten miles of the Angus coastline. The site could generate enough power for 680,000 homes and the plans have been welcomed by Scottish Renewables. (Scotsman page 19, Herald page 3, Courier page 2)


Right to Buy: Alan Cochrane writing in the Telegraph comments on Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement of the end of council house sales in Scotland.


EU and independence: In response to a Freedom of Information request, the Scottish Government has ruled against the publication of legal advice they have received on an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU. (Mail page 18)



Interest rates: The new governor of the Bank of England has signalled that interest rates may remain at a record low of 0.5 per cent for two more years. Mark Carney released a statement saying that an expectation of an interest rate rise in early 2015 was unwarranted. Following his statement, the FTSE 100 made its biggest daily rise since November 2011.  (Scotsman page 1, Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, FT page 1, Guardian page 30, Mail page 4, P&J page 35)


Remploy: Almost 140 disabled workers in Scotland face redundancy following five further Remploy factories being earmarked for closure. Former Prime Minister and Fife MP Gordon Brown questioned why the factories facing closure in Leven and Cowdenbeath had not been taken over following at least one bid to take over the facilities. Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Government’s enterprise minister, has called on UK ministers to rethink the closures, which have also faced criticism from union leaders. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 6, Times page 9, Record page 2, Express page 2, Sun page 2, Mail page 19, Courier page 18)


Town centres: A review commissioned by the Scottish Government has warned that a strong mix of leisure, public facilities and homes are needed in town centres to create a thriving community. The National Review of Town Centres also advised that town centres should be prioritised over out-of-town developments and that vacant homes in town centres needed to be filled too. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 9, Times page 6, Record page 19, Express page 21, P&J page 17, Courier page 17)


Cost of living: People living in rural areas of Scotland have to pay up to 40 per cent more for a basic standard of living, according to a report published yesterday and commissioned by several councils, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and housing bodies. The study also found that remote Scottish towns are also 25 per cent more expensive to live in than English hamlets due to the higher cost of food, household items, transport, fuel and clothing. The study concluded that the high living costs threaten the sustainability of local communities by making it harder for people to live there at an acceptable standard. (Scotsman page 19, Herald page 13, Telegraph page 8, Mail page 26, P&J page 20, Courier page 17)



Ageing population: Hugh McLachlan writing in the Scotsman warns that an ageing population will force health secretary Alex Neil and fellow politicians to face difficult choices when forming future health policy.


Antidepressants: New figures have revealed a 16 per cent rise in people in Scotland taking antidepressants. Experts have warned that doctors are handing out the drugs too easily. Nearly £90million has been spent on 14.7million antidepressant subscriptions over the past three years, despite SNP pledges to halt the rise. (Express page 2, Mail page 21)


School nurses: Parents have called for the title of ‘school nurse’ to be reinstated and the Royal College of Nursing is backing the move. Since 2004 medics in schools working with children aged five to 18 have been called Public Health Nurses but the old title of School nurse is to be reinstated to help distinguish them from Health Visitors. (Sun page 2, P&J page 12)