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Reform Scotland News: 10 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

Independence referendum: The new Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael, has said that he will not try to ‘out-Salmond Salmond” but he is prepared to be “feisty, spikey and combative” in his bid to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 1)

Gregor Gall comments in the Scotsman that it is unlikely that a No win in the referendum will definitively settle the constitutional position. (Scotsman page 29)

Legal experts have reportedly issued a warning that Alex Salmond’s independence plan risks forcing UK companies into an expensive overhaul of their pensions schemes. (Times page 11, Daily Mail page 4)

More than half of Scotland’s company bosses reportedly think that independence would be bad for business, but the gap is closing (Daily Record page 8)

Menzies Campbell: The formal Liberal Democrat leader has said he is to retire at the next election, and is expected to be given a seat in the House of Lords. (Herald page 7, Scotsman page 4, Times page 12, Telegraph page 6, Daily Express page 4, Sun page 2, Daily Record page 6, Press and Journal page 22, Courier page 8, Guardian page 6)

Press reform: There has been no breakthrough in the negotiations to make reforms to the way the press is regulated, with Labour and the Liberal Democrats reportedly ‘reluctant’ to make any changes. (Herald page 6, Daily Mail page 12)

Flag row: There has been a row over a bid by Labour and Conservative councillors to replace the Saltire with the Union flag over the headquarters of the local authority in Stirling (Herald page 9)

Mark Smith comments in the Herald that the Union flag should not be linked with only negative historic events and that to deny its flying is to deny the modern role of the UK in Scotland’s history. (Herald page 17)

Broadband exodus: Rural areas of Scotland are suffering from a new phenomenon of “digital refugees”, as slow internet speeds are forcing people out of rural areas (Scotsman page 19, Daily Mail page 19)

Royal Mail: Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman that Alex Salmond’s plan to renationalise the Royal Mail might not be a vote-winner, and that the huge take-up of shares proves a desperation to get the Royal mail out of government hands (Scotsman page 25)

Legal fees: Nicola Sturgeon has revealed that almost £20,000 of public money has been spent by the SNP in a court battle over EU legal advice that did not actually exist. (Herald page 6, Times page 23, Telegraph page 1, Daily Express page 11, Daily Record page 8, Daily Mail page 4, Press and Journal page 16, Courier page 23)

Commonwealth Games: Sir Chris Hoy delivered the baton to Buckingham palace. It is to be relayed around the world before the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 3, Times page 4, Daily Express page 3, Daily Mail page 3, Daily Record page 2, Sun page 11, Press and Journal page 15, Courier page 14)

Grangemouth industrial action: The oil workers union is claiming that bosses at Grangemouth are refusing to engage in talks. (Press and Journal page 17, Courier page 1)

 

Economy

Industrial production: Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that manufacturing output for August has missed expectations and fallen by 1.2%. (Financial Times page 2)

Austerity: The Office for Budget Responsibility does not believe that George Osborne’s deficit reduction measures were responsible for the UK’s poor economic performance after the 2010 election. (Financial Times page 2, Daily Mail page 2)

Welfare: MSPs have been told that welfare reforms and rising populations might lead to compulsory job losses and cuts to core council services. (Herald page 9, Daily Express page 2)

 

Health

Children’s wards: Despite promises by the Scottish government to end the practice, children as young as twelve are still being treated in general adult wards. According to Action for Sick Children Scotland, this causes them much distress and means that they miss out on education. (Herald page 2)

Access to drugs: Helen Puttick comments in the Herald that the Government must be firm with pharmaceutical companies.

NHS planning: Audit Scotland has expressed its concern about gaps in the long-term planning of the NHS in Scotland and has reported increasing signs of strain. They are calling for a greater focus on financial planning. (Herald page 2, Scotsman page 1, Times page 4, Daily Express page 23, Sun page 4, Press and Journal page 13, Guardian page 17)

Hospital redevelopment: Further steps have been taken in the redevelopment of a hospital for mental health patients in Edinburgh, with the submission of a planning permission application. (Herald page 10)

 

Education

Adult literacy: The Scottish Government has been criticised for not participating in an international adult literacy survey. (Herald page 9)

Joint-faith campus: Talks have been planned over the establishment of Scotland’s first combined campus for Jewish and Catholic primary school pupils. (Herald page 10, Scotsman page 17)

Animal Welfare: Gilly Mendes Ferreira of the Scottish SPCA comments in the Scotsman that education is the best way to stop the stream of cases of neglect, abandonment and abuse to animals, and that a profound difference can be made by teaching this to children in schools. (Scotsman page 30)

 

Justice

Rape: The number of recorded rape cases has now overtaken the number of robberies in Scotland, with 1,000 attacks reported since April. (Herald page 1)

Police: A deal between the Scottish Government and the police which would allow police officers to retire after 30 years of service has reportedly been shot down by HM Treasury. (Scotsman page 11)

 

Transport

Train drivers: Train drivers in Scotland are to vote on a new pay rise offer after a deal is reached between Scotrail and the train drivers union. (Herald page 5)

Prestwick Airport: Prestwick Airport owners Infratil have indicated that the airport could be given to the Scottish Government for free. (Scotsman page 15)