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The Pagoda Perspective 27.02.17

27th February 2017

BREXIT / INDEPENDENCE

·         Theresa May has urged voters in Scotland to use the upcoming council elections to make clear they do not want another independence referendum, by choosing the Conservatives in the local ballot.

SCOTTISH LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE

·         Speaking at Scottish Labour’s party conference this weekend, Jeremy Corbyn urged supporters to remain united and not to “give up” following the Copeland by-election defeat.

·         Kezia Dugdale has defended London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, after a row over comments made at the party conference which compared Scottish nationalism to racism.

TRANSPORT

·         Alex Neil has suggested double decker train services between Glasgow and Edinburgh could solve the country’s rail crisis. However, union leaders have branded the idea “pie in the sky”.

MEDIA

·         Scotland’s newspapers sales have continued to decline. The country’s newest title, The National, experienced the sharpest decline of more than 30%.

HEALTH

·         Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, has outlined a ‘realistic medicine’ plan, which aims to reduce unnecessary treatments by having more open and honest conversations about the benefits and risks of procedures or medication.

ENVIRONMENT& ENERGY

·         Coca-Cola has announced its support for a bottle deposit return scheme, after previously campaigning against such a venture.

·         The Scottish Conservatives have backed the creation of two new nuclear power plants in Scotland.

EDUCATION

·         The only state-funded single sex school in Scotland is facing calls to admit male students.

WELFARE

·         Despite the Prime Minister last year pledging to ‘remove the stigma’ surrounding mental health, George Freeman, her head of policy at no.10 has said disability benefits should only  be available for the “really disabled”  and not those “taking pills at home, who suffer from anxiety”.

·         Campaigners opposed to the Scottish Government’s named person scheme have claimed ministers have refused to engage during the consultation process.

COMING UP

·         The Scottish Conservative Conference will take place this weekend, Friday 3 – Saturday 4 March.

·         Police Scotland is to conduct a consultation on the future of the force. The 10 week long exercise will seek views on the next 10 years, however no detailed plan will be produced.

·         Members of Holyrood’s Health and Sport Committee will undertake a series of visits across Scotland to explore the barriers to participation in sport.