Reform Scotland News: 1 October 2013

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 1 October 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

Conservative conference: Coverage of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.  Yesterday George Osborne announced a freeze in fuel duty until 2015 and a vow to overhaul public finances so that the government runs a surplus in future.  It was also announced that Karren Brady was taking up a role as the Conservatives’ “small business ambassador”. (Scotsman page 6, David Maddox in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Record page 6, Express page 1, Times page 6, Rachel Sylvester in the Times, FT page 1, Janan Ganesh in the FT, Telegraph page 1, Judith Woods in the Telegraph, Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph, Guardian page 1, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, Mail page 2, Courier page 18, P&J page 14)

Cameron & the Union: At a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference yesterday, the Prime Minister made a plea for English Tories to tell Scots “we want you to stay” in the Union. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 1, Courier page 19)

Freedom of Information: According to information published by the information Commissioner, there has been a 14 per cent rise in the number of appeals to decisions taken by public bodies regarding freedom of information, with 27 per cent of those down to bodies not responding to requests with the 20 day time limit. (Scotsman page 12, Record page 4, Courier page 14, P&J page 13)

Nato: Danish MP John Dryby Paulsen, who is also chairman of the Nato Parliamentary Assembly’s transatlantic relations committee, has commented that he believes that Scotland would be invited to join Nato immediately upon independence. (P&J page 10)

Referendum: Peter Jones in the Scotsman considers a scientific approach to examining the facts on the independence debate.

Price-freeze: Tom Greatrex in the Scotsman outlines the benefits of Ed Miliband’s proposed energy price-freeze.

Ukip: Harry Reid in the Herald argues that Ukip has no relevance in Scotland.

Economy

Grangemouth: The owner of Grangemouth Petrochemicals, Ineos, has stated that the plant will run out of raw materials and close by 2017 unless a “survival plan”, including job cuts and a new pension plan, is agreed. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 2, Times page 1, P&J page 17)

Transport

Pedestrian deaths: According to new figures more than one-third of pedestrian road deaths in Scotland last year across a 98-square-mile accident blackspot. (Herald page 1)

Justice        

Corroboration: The Faculty of Advocates has suggested that the removal of corroboration could see a reduction in the successful prosecution of rapists because cases could be prosecuted where there is no strong likelihood of success and the police may not investigate with a view to finding corroboration if there is no requirement for it. (Scotsman page 19)

Education

Scottish Tories: Ruth Davidson has called for schools to be able to opt out of local authority control and have the ability to select pupils. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 6, Express page 4, Telegraph page 7, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Mail page 8, Courier page 19, P&J page 14)

Higher education: Lucy Hunter in the Scotsman argues that that Higher Education in Scotland is facing a continued squeeze on student funding.

Health

Underage drinking: According to research undertaken by the BBC, which covered the whole of the UK, three Scottish health boards, Ayrshire & Arran, Grampian and Greater Glasgow & Clyde, have some of the highest number of under-18s admitted to accident and emergency for drinking too much. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 10, Record page 4, Express page 4)

NHS helpline: A new NHS helpline, which allows patients to find out how long they have to wait for treatment, is to be piloted for 12 months from today. (Scotsman page 14, Courier page 13)

Prescriptions: According to a study by led by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, mistakes are made on more than one in 20 prescriptions written in Scottish hospitals. (Herald page 1)