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Scottish Government (not Executive) 2007-09-03

Posted by clype in Humanities, Money, Scotland.
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[Scottish Government Logo]Scottish Ministers have formally adopted the title ‘Scottish Government’ to replace the term ‘Scottish Executive’ as an expression of corporate identity.

The change is intended to help the public more clearly understand the role and functions of the devolved Government in Scotland.

The rebranding has immediate effect. Signs at the six main Government buildings in Edinburgh and Glasgow have already been changed but other material such as stationery will only be changed gradually to be as cost effective as possible in the transition.

The decision was taken to adopt the new identity because research showed that the term ‘Scottish Executive’ was confusing or meaningless to many members of the public.

‘The Scottish Social Attitudes survey’ and a Citizens’ Jury examining ‘Scottish Executive’ communications have both indicated limited understanding of what ‘The Scottish Executive’ does and some confusion with other government bodies, notably ‘The Scottish Parliament’ but also ‘The UK Government’.

The Government believes that 1.1 million GBP savings made from having fewer Cabinet Ministers than the previous administration, fewer private office staff and fewer special advisers more than covers the cost of rebranding.

The cost of creating the new logo and changing the main signage on the buildings has been 100 000 GBP.

  • The term ‘Scottish Executive’, as defined by ‘The Scotland Act 1998’ will continue to be used in formal legal documents such as legislation and contracts.

The Scottish Parliament resumes today, with an ambitious programme of work including reforming the law on rape, abolishing bridge tolls and outlawing airguns.

The minority¬† ‘Scottish National Party’-led government is expected to push for new laws on limiting hospital waiting times as well as a number of non-legislative measures aimed at boosting the economy and tackling climate change.

From today, the term ‘Scottish Executive’ will be consigned to history.

The heading on buildings, note paper and public messages will be changed to the Scottish Government and the sign of Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom will be replaced by a Saltire design.

The 100 000 GBP rebranding has been criticised by other parties as a costly publicity stunt. But the new Scottish government insists it is a ‘commonsense change’. A spokesman said:

‘Research shows the term ‘Scottish Executive’ is confusing or meaningless to people, which undermines the business of good governance in Scotland.

‘This has been recognised across the political parties and under successive administrations since 1999.

‘The time is right to make this common-sense change.’

In the election, the Scottish Natioanl Party made number of expensive pledges including building a new crossing across ‘The Firth of Forth’, cutting rates for small businesses and freezing council tax.

‘The Scottish Labour Party’ said the programme would add up to a 3 200 million GBP ‘black hole’.

JUSTICE

Scotland’s rape laws are to be overhauled for the first time in 30 years.

A definition of consent is to be included in Scots law to close the loophole allowing accused to escape because the alleged victim had been drinking.

Sexual attacks on men will also be included.

The measures are supported by other parties and women’s groups.

THE ARTS

The Government will set up a new agency to promote the arts.

However, many in the arts community are afraid current plans for ‘Creative Scotland’, which will replace ‘The Scottish Arts Council’ and ‘Scottish Screen’, will allow ministers to interfere in the arts.

The SNP has also promised to increase grants for up-and-coming artists.

HEALTH

The government wants to introduce a legally binding guarantee on waiting times so that no patient is waiting more than 18 weeks after visiting a GP.

However, physicians fear the compensation payments awarded to patients left waiting will drain NHS resources.

A bill to introduce direct elections to health boards will also be introduced.

CLIMATE CHANGE

A consultation is to be launched on ways to tackle climate change.

The SNP promised to introduce a climate change bill, which will commit the government to reducing carbon output each year, as part of its agreement with the Greens.

A website telling companies how they can help the environment will be launched today.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Decoupling Holyrood and council elections so that they can be held on separate days is likely to be backed.

However, long-term plans to replace the council tax with local income tax are likely to be more difficult, with ‘The Scottish Labour Party’ insisting it will be ‘less efficient and less fair’.

There could also be problems over the council tax rebate.

TARTAN REGISTER

First Proposed by ‘The Conservative Party’s’ MSP Mr.Jamie Mcgrigor, a national register of tartans is to be introduced to ensure Scotland remains at the forefront of the industry.

The publicly owned and managed register received cross-party support.

But opponents have called it a ‘cosmetic exercise that will not protect designs from commercial exploitation’.

FIREARMS

Following the death of Scottish toddler Andrew Morton, the government wants to bring in firearms legislation to control airguns.

However, this is dependent on approval from Westminster, as powers will have to be devolved or Holyrood allowed to pass its own law in a one-off procedure.

TRANSPORT

A Bill to abolish tolls on the Forth and Tay bridges will be easy to pass and spending on a new Forth crossing is also likely to be popular.

However, other transport measures on roads, such as the M74, are likely to be opposed by the Greens.

The government has already delayed the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link, but is committed to trams in Edinburgh.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Legislation to scrap the graduate endowment fee paid by students after they complete a university course is likely to be backed by other parties.

However, controversial plans to scrap student debt are likely to be more difficult to pass. Replacing student loans with grants will also be expensive.

COMMONWEALTH GAMES

Legislation Is needed to support spending on Glasgow’s bid for the 2014 Games.

Rogue traders and unauthorised advertisers will also face being fined up to 20 000 GBP under proposals contained in the Commonwealth Games Bill.

However, the bill could be a waste of time if Glasgow fails to win the bid, with a decision expected in November 2007.

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