Scottish news bulletin: 16th January 2009

  • Reform Scotland
  • 16 January 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.


North Sea: a North Sea union leader voiced fears about widespread job cuts in Scotland’s oil and gas industry after Talisman Energy UK Ltd, a major operator, puts its platform drilling operations on hold. (Scotsman page 33)

RBS: Sir Philip Hampton, the chairman of J Sainsbury, has emerged as the leading candidate to take over as chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland. He is favoured by RBS to replace Sir Tom McKillop, who is expected to step down at the bank’s annual meeting later this year. (FT page 16)

Tourism: The Chairman of Visit Scotland, Peter Lederer, stated that the Scottish tourist industry can survive the current economic crisis because it has previously weathered the storm of 2001’s foot and mouth disease and the after-effects of 9/11. (Press and Journal page 1)

Economic Recovery: Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman on the exaggerated pessimism of the current economic climate and the damage it is doing to economic recovery. ( page 24)

Lloyds TSB: After the demise of HBOS, Lloyds TSB’s success is vital for Scotland, Peter Jones comments in the Scotsman. ( page 31)


Forth Road Bridge: Scottish Ministers have come under new pressure from MSPs over claims that a new Forth Bridge would not be able to cope with the increased traffic. Labour warned against SNP plans to build a new bridge while banking on the existing road crossing to take public transport. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 8, Courier page 1, Press and Journal page 17)

Local Government

Council Salaries: Scotland’s taxpayers pay nearly £20m annually for the salaries of 32 council chief executives and senior directors, the average salary being around £120,000. (Herald
page 1, page 6)

Council Funding: SNP ministers have been challenged on their decision to provide extra funding to only one of Scotland’s four main city councils. Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald is said to be unhappy that Aberdeen City Council has been overlooked while Edinburgh receives an additional £3.5m. (Press and Journal page 3)


Classroom Performance: A ‘black hole’ in children’s classroom performance could leave Scotland lagging behind other nations in literacy and numeracy, a major news report, Improving Scottish Education, warns today. Graham Donaldson, senior chief inspector for HMIe last night warned the problem might hamper Scotland’s efforts to combat economic recession. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 1, Times Educational Supplement page 1)


Borrowing Powers: The First Minister stepped up calls to Westminster for the Scottish Government to be handed borrowing powers. Mr Salmond is said to be setting out the Scottish Government’s response to the Council of Economic Adviser’s first annual report. (Press and Journal page 10)

Inquiry: Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson has ordered an investigation into the allegations that ministers are misleading the Scottish Parliament. The inquiry will be conducted by the Standards Committee and is welcomed by Alex Salmond. (Scotsman page 1, page 6, Herald page 1, page 8, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Sun page 6, Daily Express 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.