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Reform Scotland News:21 August 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
 

Politics
David McLetchie: The funeral of the former Scottish Conservative leader David McLetchie MSP took place in Edinburgh yesterday. (Scotsman page 1, Record paged 19, Herald  page 6, Times page 9, Press and Journal page 15, Sun page 18, Expresspage 9, Telegraph page 9, Mail page 10)
 
Henry McLeish: Labour politicians have criticised comments made by former First Minister Henry McLeish where he suggested that the UK was becoming “intolerant and unfair”. (Scotsman 
page 12)
 
Ed Miliband: Alistair Darling, the former chancellor, and David Blunkett, the former home secretary, have reportedly made it clear that they believe Mr Miliband should tell voters what the Labour party stands for. (Herald 
page 6, The Courier page 20, Brian Wilson in the Scotsman, Paul Goodman in The Times, Mail page 2).
 
Email Hacking: Allegations that yes Scotland’s emails may have been hacked are described by Alex Salmond as “very serious”. Police were called in by yes Scotland over concerns that a message from a personal account had been leaked. (Times page 5, 
Herald)
 
Referendum: 
Sam Ghibaldan in the Scotsman comments that a credible Labour opposition to the Tories at Westminster is needed to help the unionists win the independence referendum.
 
Culture: 
Margaret Curran in the Scotsman comments that it should not matter where an individual running a national culture bodies comes from.
 
 

Economy
Tax Policy: Labour and the trade unions have criticised the coalition government’s tax policy after official figures show £1.7 billion more in bonuses were paid out in April following the top rate tax cut from 50p to 45p. (Herald page 1)
 
Commonwealth Games hotel costs: It has been reported that visitors coming to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games are facing soaring hotel costs despite attempts to promote the event as affordable and accessible.  One budget hotel rate has reportedly increased by 1,282 per cent for the Games. (Scotsman 
page 1 )
 
Oil & gas: Total spending by the UK’s oil and gas industry was more than £20 billion last year.  This is the first time it has reached that level in almost 50 years. (Scotsman
page 1, Herald page 24)
 
Energy report: Energy Secretary Ed Davey has reportedly blocked the publication of a report carried out by the Department for the Environment & Rural Affairs on renewable energy and the rural economy because it could expose shortcomings in his department’s renewable energy strategy. (Scotsman page 4)
 
Mortgage lending: According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, an estimated £16.6 billion of mortgages were advanced to borrowers in July, the highest total since October 2008. (Scotsman 
page 14)
 
Benefits: Official figures have reportedly suggested that a crackdown on benefit cheats and tax dodgers has saved £6.5bn. (Express 
page 1)
 
 

Health
Hospital Beds: NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will need 500 extra hospital beds by 2020 to cope with patient numbers, according to documents it released today. (Heraldpage 3)

Justice
Stop and search: There has been a large rise in the number of stop and searches carried out by the new Scotland-wide police force, with twice as many people being stopped in Edinburgh in the three months to June. (Herald page 1)
 

Crime 
Clear-up: According to official figures nearly 134,000 crimes in Scotland were unsolved last year, including three- quarters of all housebreakings and more than 500 rapes. (Mail page 1)
 

Transport
Petrol prices: Petrol prices are expected to rise by 5p a litre in the coming weeks as oil prices rise at the same time as a fall in the value of the pound. (Times page 2)
 
HS2: Treasury officials are reportedly privately warning that the cost of the High Speed 2 rail line will reach a cash cost of £73 billon. (FT 
page 1)
 

Education
Castlebrae Community High School: Castlebrae Community High School in Edinburgh, which is less than a third full and was saved from closure earlier this year, has been criticised by Education Scotland, which commented “overall, at all stages, there has been insufficient improvement in young people’s attainment.” (Scotsmanpage 10)