‘While the risks and complexities associated with extricating BTPs operations in Scotland are now coming to the fore, the advantages look increasingly distant.’
‘It’s now also clear that standing up to the political impulse to go national, fast, would have enabled the costs to be pinned down better before the long-term commitment was made…
.’.the allocation of an additional £1bn funding to Northern Ireland over two years represents a particularly large financial settlement to have bypassed Barnett. To secure an equivalent funding increase via the Barnett Formula, the UK Government would have had to increase comparable English spending by £30bn; this in turn would have generated Scottish consequentials of £3bn..’
‘The SPA should be made accountable to the Scottish Parliament, not to Ministers, and the appointment of the Chair and Board made subject to cross-party approval. Taking the politics out policing appointments…’
‘We believe there are now grounds for a review of the Scottish government’s treatment of and policies for dealing with freedom of information requests, and would urge the Scottish government to address these concerns by immediately acting within the spirit and letter of Scotland’s freedom of information legislation’.
“As far as the UK is concerned, the facts are absolutely clear. Those of us who believe in the economic and social benefits of an open, welcoming society should not be shy about using them.”
“Policing 2026 is not an officer reduction exercise, nor is at a ‘time-bomb’. Clearly Scottish policing is facing an eye-watering deficit: around £200 million by 2020/21 at the latest estimate. Still, putting it dryly, there are probably less painful ways to cut costs than devising and negotiating a ten-year national policing strategy.” A welcome shift to forward-looking, evidence-based policing strategy.
Devolution has failed to reduce Scotland’s stubborn health inequality. Norman Bonney doubts that greater powers are necessarily the answer to Scotland’s problems.
“This blog examines the recent trend in productivity in Scotland, and we unpick the numbers (3.5% rise in 2015) to see if they are as positive as would initially appear.” “..if policymakers are hoping that the recent statistics herald a new found surge in productivity in the Scottish economy then they are set to be disappointed”.
Almost 70 years old, the NHS has saved countless millions of lives, now it’s up to us to keep our NHS alive. Pat Sutherland makes a robust and moving case for action.