Reform Scotland News: 3 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



Conservative Party conference:  Yesterday David Cameron told the Conservative Party conference in Manchester that everyone under the age of 25 should be “learning or earning” and that a Conservative government elected in 2015 would stop paying out some benefits, including housing benefits, to the under 25s. (Scotsman page 6, Tavish Scott in the Scotsman, Telegraph page 1, Daily Record page 8, Guardian page 1, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, Sun page 1, Times page 8, Express page 1, Leo McKinstry in the Express, FT page 2, Matthew Engel in the FT, Mail page 2, Courier page 14,Herald page 1, Telegraph page 6,  Iain Macwhirter in the Herald)


Ruth Davidson also spoke at the Conservative Party conference yesterday telling delegates that English support for Scotland to stay in the union was crucial in helping encourage Scots to vote to stay in the UK. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 7, Daily record page 8, Express page 5, Courier page 15)


Referendum: The UK Statistics Authority has announced that the Office for National Statistics will publish a “referendum bible” early next year to give voters the information they need to make a decision in 2014 (Herald page 7)


North Sea resources: Stuart McDonald in the Herald comments that the oil and gas in the North Sea are a bonus, and should not be the basis for voting Yes in the referendum.


Oil funds: The Scottish government’s Fiscal Commission working group has called for Scotland to set up two “oil funds” immediately after independent to provide a “lasting benefit for future generations”.  It called for a short-term “stabilisation” fund to be set up to buffer Scotland’s finances against volatility in the oil price, as well as a long-term fund. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 2, Telegraph page 8, Daily Record page 2, Press and Journal page 10, Sun page 8, Times page 1, Express page 4, Mail page 19, Courier page 23)


Identity: Tom Devine in the Scotsman comments that statistics on identity can be misleading.



Wind farm legal case: Lady Clark of Calton yesterday ruled at the Court of Session that almost all wind turbines require an electricity-generating license before consent for planning is granted. The ruling could reportedly cast doubt on the legality of a number of developments in Scotland. (Scotsman page 1, Niall Stuart in the Scotsman, Herald page 3, Press and Journal page 18)


Waste reduction plan: The Scottish Government has published a plan to cut waste by 7% by 2017 and by 15% by 2025 (Herald page 2)


Debt: A study by the Debt Advisory Centre Scotland has found that more than half a million Scottish adults borrowed money to buy food in July. (Scotsman page 20, Herald page 4)


Grangemouth industrial action: The latest meeting of refinery workers at the Grangemouth plant has not ruled out strike action. Trade union, Unite, also says that an overtime ban and work-to-rule are to begin on Monday in response to the increased use of agency workers and the apparent ill-treatment of a union representative. (Herald page 5)



Computer failure: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde had to cancel 590 appointments yesterday following an IT failure which meant medical records could not be accessed.  Back-up systems had also failed.  Health secretary Alex Neil told the Scottish Parliament that he has ordered a full review of all IT systems across the NHS in Scotland. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 16, Record page 11 , Sun page 8, Express page 2, Courier page 13)



High speed rail: Helen McArdle comments in the Herald that a failure to include Scotland in HS2 will leave Scotland more isolated from UK markets, leaving Scotland worse off economically, while only cutting the travel time between Glasgow and London by 53 minutes.



Police attacks: Chief Constable Stephen House yesterday commented that police in Scotland are likely to be attacked within two years of joining the force. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 5)


Police numbers: 155 police officers reportedly left the police in the first five months that the new single force was in operation, compared to 107 officers leaving in the same period in 2012 when there were eight regional forces. (Express page 11)


Police stations:  Police Scotland is considering closing more than 60 police stations around the country to the public. (Graeme Pearson in the, Mail page 1, Courier page 1, Record page 4, Press and Journal page 14)


Drugs: David Aaronovitch in the Times argues in favour of legalizing drugs in order to take crime and contamination out of the equation.



Scottish universities: The annual Times Higher Education World University Rankings has listed Edinburgh in 39th place, down from 32nd; St Andrews at 117th, down from 108th; Glasgow also at 117th, up from 139th; Aberdeen 188th, down from 176th; and Dundee re-entered the top 200 at 196th. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 13, Telegraph page 10, Press and Journal page 8, Mail page 10, Courier page 17)


Teaching of creationism: The Scottish Secular Society has called for a ban on the teaching of creationism in schools. (Herald page 5)


Local Government

Glasgow parking losses: Glasgow City Council is accused of wasting taxpayer funds after its parking company makes £22millon loss. Opposition blames this on financial mismanagement by council leader Gordon Matheson and calls for a full investigation. (Herald page 4)