Scottish news bulletin: 15th April 2009

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All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy

Further banking fears: Calls for requirements that banks should hold larger reserves in case of future economic problems, as proposed by Lord Adair Turner of the FSA, have caused senior bankers to fear that the Royal Bank of Scotland would be forced into full public ownership. (The Scotsman Business 32)

Mortgage rise: Figures looking at mortgages taken out by homebuyers in February show a 4% increase according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). (The Herald page 8, The Times page 3, The Scotsman page 33, FT page 2)

Transport

Waverley plans: Plans have been submitted to Edinburgh City Council to overhaul the city’s Waverley train station by constructing a huge glass roof at an estimated cost of £130million. (The Herald page 4, The P & J page 11)

Biofuel: Environmentalists have claimed that the use of biofuels in cars, including ethanol or biodiesel, could produce twice the carbon emissions of fossil fuels. (The Herald page 10)

Local Government

Glasgow City praise: Glasgow City Council has been praised by local government watchdog Audit Scotland for lowering unemployment and boosting education. (The Herald page 2)

Health

Childhood obesity plans: The Scottish Government plans to check all primary school children annually for their body mass index (BMI) in an effort to tackle obesity problems. (The Scotsman
page 4)

Elderly concerns: Many older people are putting their health at risk by eating less in order to save money, a survey has shown. One fifth are said to skip meals and two fifths are cutting back on other essentials such as electricity and gas. (The Herald page 8, The P & J page 12, Daily Mirror page 8, The Daily Telegraph page 8, Daily Mail page 21)

Education

Primary school closure protest: The parents and pupils of two primary schools in Glasgow threatened with closure have promised to continue their ‘sit-in’ until the schools are saved. Protests are expected to gain momentum on Friday as they will protest in the city centre’s George Square. (The Herald page 11, Daily Mail page 19)

Politics

‘Homecoming’ advert: Lewis MacDonald, Labour’s tourism spokesman, has compared the cost of film Slumdog Millionaire to the Scottish Government’s ‘Homecoming’ advert which cost £600,000 to produce and air. (The Sun page 2, The Herald page 6, Daily Express page 11, The P & J page 13, The Courier and Advertiser page 9, Daily Record page 19)

North Sea accident: First Minister Alex Salmond along with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and HRH Prince Charles, are expected to attend a memorial service for the 16 victims of the helicopter crash in the North Sea on April 1. It has been reported that the bodies of thirteen of the men are now being released to their families. (The Sun page 2, Daily Express page 8, The P & J page 1, The Courier and Advertiser page 6)

Alcohol prices: Labour’s Henry McLeish yesterday supported the Scottish Government’s plans to tackle binge drinking by introducing a minimum charge that licensed properties must ask. (The Sun page 2, The Herald
page 6, The Times page 18, The P & J page 10, The Courier and Advertiser page 9)

Brown-Salmond dinner: First Minister Alex Salmond will tonight join PM Gordon Brown at his home to discuss cooperation on the economic crisis over dinner.
This comes ahead of the meeting of the UK Cabinet in Glasgow tomorrow – the first time the Cabinet has convened in Scotland since 1921. (The Herald page 1, The Scotsman page 10, Daily Record page 2)

Loch rescue: Alan Reid, MP for Argyll and Bute, is pushing for clarification as to who is responsible for the emergency rescue of people from Scotland’s 560 lochs, after the loss of four men on Loch Awe last month.
Previously, larger attractions, such as Loch Ness and Loch Lomond, have been covered by the voluntary sector and while police will conduct searches, no single body is charged with ensuring this. (The Herald page 2)

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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