Scottish news bulletin: 30th January 2009

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All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined.

Education

Parent power: There has been coverage in numerous newspapers on Reform Scotland’s latest report Parent Power, which examines how the principles of greater choice and competition might be applied to the Scottish education system to raise overall standards and extend educational opportunity. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 4, page 19, Times page 5, Press and Journal page 17, Daily Telegraph page 11, Daily Mail page 19)

Economy

Oil-refinery strike: Strikes were spreading across Britain today over a decision to use foreign workers to carry out a building project at an oil refinery in Lincolnshire. Around 700 contractors working at Grangemouth refinery in Scotland walked out today in support of workers at the Lindsey plant where protests at the use of around 100 Italian and Portuguese workers have entered their third day. (Guardian page 20, Telegraph page 1, Daily Mail page 5)

Gleneagles: Every member of staff at Gleneagles, Scotland’s most famous five star hotel has been asked to consider redundancy in response to the global economic downturn. (Scotsman page 6, Press and Journal page 10, The Courier page 6)

Devolution and the Economy: Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman on the SNP budget and whether devolution could survive recession. ( page 24)

Wind farm: The Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) and the Swedish utility company Vattenfall have formed a joint venture company to build a £100m offshore wind farm. The wind farm was listed as a ‘European test centre’ with a recommendation that it should receive £36m from the European Commission. (Scotsman page 9

World Economic Forum: The World Economic Forum convened in Davos, Switzerland yesterday with an all-pervasive gloom hanging over the global leaders in politics, business and banking. (Herald page 10, Times page 54)

Crime

ACPOS: An influential committee of MSPs has criticised ACPOS, Scotland’s top police officers association, warning it is unaccountable and should be subjected to closer scrutiny. (Herald page 2)

Violence against women: Female victims of violence are suffering a postcode lottery of support across the UK while service provision in Scotland is under threat because of the concordat between councils and the Scottish Government, a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission revealed today. (Herald page 9)

Politics

Budget: Alex Salmond was on the verge last night of rescuing the SNP Government’s Budget by making enough concessions to bring all opposition parties on board. It is reported that the First Minister believes he can secure the unanimous backing of every MSP for the Budget by making a series of simple changes. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Alf Young, Times page 1, page 3, Guardian page 18, Press and Journal page 1, page 9, The Courier page 1, Telegraph page 1)

Reform Scotland is an independent, non-party think tank that aims to set out a better way to deliver increased economic prosperity and more effective public services based on the traditional Scottish principles of limited government, diversity and personal responsibility.

www.reformscotland.com

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