Scottish news bulletin: 4th March 2009
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.
PFI criticism: Money which will be lent to PFI projects across the UK to ensure continued development of infrastructure will not reach Scotland warned Jim Murphy, the Scottish Secretary last night. He attributes this to the SNP’s unwillingness to adopt PFI models for the building of schools and hospitals. (The Scotsman page 6, The Herald page 8, Daily Record page 2, FT page 2)
Mill closure: Harris Tweed’s largest mill, based in Stornoway, is due to close for at least a year making most of its 15 employees redundant. This follows last year’s job cuts which had already seen staff numbers fall from 85. (The Scotsman page 1)
Zoo visitors: It is claimed that Scottish zoos are experiencing increases in the numbers of visitors compared to last year, as high as 23% in one case, in contrast to museums and art galleries. (The Scotsman page 3)
Child’s death: Dundee City Council is conducting a review into the case of a baby boy who, it has been claimed, died at the hands of his mother and her partner despite being known to social services. (The Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 1, page 6 and page 7, The Daily Telegraph page 1, Daily Record page 1, page 4 & page 5, The Times page 1, page 8 & page 9, The P & J page 1, The Courier & Advertiser page 1, Daily Express page 1, Daily Mail page 8 & page 9, The Sun page 1, page 4 & page 5)
Victim statement: A committee of MSPs have agreed to allow victims of crimes to make court statements articulating the effects they have suffered, granting them greater participation in the process. (The Scotsman page 13, The Herald page 8)
Police numbers rise: Scottish government statistics released yesterday showed that numbers of police officers have increased for the fourth quarter in a row. Labour, however, have criticised the SNP claiming that their target to recruit 1000 more during their term has not been met. (The Herald page 10, The Daily Telegraph page 12, Daily Record page 2, P & J page 12, Daily Express page 4)
Hospital bug: Nicola Sturgeon, Health Secretary, has confirmed that amongst sufferers of a new strain of the hospital bug Clostridium Difficile, 1 in four have died since 2007. (The Scotsman page 10)
NHS24 recommendation: Doctors have called for an overhaul of the ‘out of hours’ NHS24 system giving GPs greater involvement. However, a consultation document released yesterday called for it to be scrapped altogether as the British Medical Association in Scotland claimed that too many patients are being passed for unnecessary treatment to health boards. (The Herald page 9, Daily Record page 12, P & J page 9, Daily Mail page 28)
School closure consultation: A Schools Consultation Bill launched yesterday has stated that councils in Scotland wishing to close schools will have to conduct six weeks of parent and teacher consultation before the closure can be approved. (The Scotsman page 15, The Herald page 4, The Times page 20, The P & J page 8, The Courier & Advertiser page 9)
Community campus: Glasgow City Council have announced plans to transform Govan High School into the first ‘community campus’ which would offer college courses to adults as well as conventional school education to children and teenagers. (The Herald page 4)
Referendum rejection: MSPs are expected to overwhelmingly reject the SNP’s call for a referendum in an upcoming Holyrood vote. The Liberal Democrats are expected to make a call tomorrow for First Minister, Alex Salmond, to halt his proposals while Labour and Conservatives have confirmed they are likely to follow suit. (The Daily Telegraph page 1)
Scots law concerns: Lord Drummond, Chairman of the Scottish Law Commission (SLC), has claimed that Scots law will fall behind other comparable legal systems, such as that of New Zealand, if the Scottish Government continue in their failure to implement the reform body’s recommendations. (The Scotsman page 6)
Climate change: Holyrood’s finance committee will today publish a scathing report on the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Bill, claiming that they have failed to work out the cost of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. (The Scotsman page 22)
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.