Herald Society focusses on the public and voluntary sector, with coverage of health, education, criminal justice, and all the services in this arena provided by charities.

This blog aims to provide more insight into the topics we cover in print, as well as giving airtime to some which will only be available to readers online.

I also hope it will offer the chance of debate and discussion of what we are covering and why, and scope for feedback on what we are doing right and what we could be doing better.

You can read Stephen Naysmith's news stories here


  • In their report this week, doctors called for councils to have the power to limit the number of fast food outlets near schools.

    In fact, Glasgow City Council first introduced a ban on mobile food vans operating within 300m of its schools in 2009.

    The only problem is, it doesn't seem to work - a recent paper presented to the Children' and families Policy Committee warned councillors: "mobile vans continue to operate in close proximity to schools."

  • I've been writing this week about the FareShare scheme, which collaborates with big food retailers to ensure that unwanted food destined for landfill is redirected instead to help homeless people and others who have an urgent need for it.

    At a time when food banks, and the number of people using them across the UK are both rising fast, it seems obscene that so much food is wasted. Especially as so much of the discarded food is not even near its sell-by-date.

  • The opening evidence session at Holyrood revealed that MSPs decided to focus on the topic because of the 'failure' of existing efforts to tackle the 'problem' of pregnant teens.

    The terminology is interesting, because as some of those giving evidence pointed out, it is far from clear that many of the young women involved believe that starting a family is a problem for them. Dr Lorna Watson, of NHS Fife, told the committee that “we certainly come across young women who say it is what they want.”

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Stephen Naysmith

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