Reform Scotland News: 17 September 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


Liberal Democrat Conference: Vince Cable has attacked the Conservatives, branding their policies ‘ugly’. In his key note speech at the party conference he announced a formal government consultation of zero-hour contracts, and said the Liberal Democrats would continue to act against bad practice. (Herald page 7, Scotsman page 8)
In a speech to the party conference, Michael Moore, the Liberal Democrat Scottish Secretary, has suggested that Alex Salmond and the SNP are the Scottish equivalent of UKIP. (Herald 
page 7, Times page 15)
A memo, accidently sent to journalists as well as party members, said the Lib Dems were considering how higher earners could make more contributions and suggested that people earning over £50,000 should pay more in tax. The party held their autumn conference in Glasgow over the weekend, with over 5,000 people attending.(Scotsman 
page 8, Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Daily mail page 13)
Dunfermline: The SNP have announced their candidate for the Dunfermline by election, Shirley-Anne Somerville, a former Lothian MSP. Cara Hilton is the Labour candidate. The by-election has been called following the resignation of Bill Walker. (Scotsman 
page 13, Herald page 2, Courier page 20, Daily Record page 2)
Royal Mail: The SNP have stated that the Royal Mail should be re-nationalised in an independent Scotland, but according to the SNP’s postal affairs spokesperson, it is impossible to calculate the cost of this. (Scotsman page 6, Herald 
page 5, Press and Journal page 14, Daily Mail page 4)
Coal Industry: Energy minister, Fergus Ewing, has unveiled plans for new regulations to ensure that sights are properly restored. This follows an earlier court decision that allowed Scottish Coal’s liquidators the right to abandon clean up operations on opencast mines (Scotsman 
page 14)
Alastair Darling: Alastair Darling has today insisted that David Cameron is irrelevant to the Scottish independence debate. Stating that he ‘speaks for Scotland’, the Better Together campaign leader has dismissed the SNP claim that the No campaign is based on fear and negativity. (Herald 
page 1)  
Mobile Phones: A report has found that more than one-quarter of Scotland has no mobile phone coverage. 27.5% of Scotland is without the necessary 2G signal needed to make calls, while larger parts of the country are without 3G. The report has called for phone mast planning rules to be reviewed to ensure that planning regulations are proportionate. (Herald 
page 3, Daily Mail page 10)
Beaches: All of Scotland’s bathing waters and beaches have passed European water quality standards. All 83 beaches reached the mandatory standard, with 47 of them additionally gained the stricter guideline standard. This is the first time since 2006 that all 83 beaches passed. (Herald 
page 4)
Independence Poll: A new poll has showed that almost 47% of Scots would vote yes for independence, if independence would make than £500 a year better off. (Times page 10, Daily Express page 6, Press and Journal page 14)


Lloyds Banking Group: The government has announced the start of a share sale scheme, worth over £3 billion. This follows the public bail out of Lloyds five years ago. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 1, Financial Times page 1, Daily Express page 3)


Police: The head of Police Scotland’s cyber crime fighting squad has stated that the police are using ‘19th century legal system’ to fight ‘21st century crimes’. Evidence taken from social media sites is increasingly used to solve crimes, but takes too long to gather. (Herald page 4)