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The Week Ahead in 60 Seconds

Sarah Nimmo

All will be revealed on Wednesday when Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivers his Autumn Statement; getting a good breakfast out of the way beforehand is recommended as it is Brexit that is expected to dominate the announcements.

The implications of leaving the EU will also be on the menu on Thursday at an EU Justice Summit, organised by Michael Matheson, that will bring together some of Scotland’s leading legal and justice experts, including representatives from Police Scotland and the Law Society of Scotland. In the Chamber on Wednesday Portfolio Questions will focus on Education and Skills, with questions on the operation and future of the Scottish Funding Council, the attainment fund and free childcare provision. General Questions on Thursday will cover topics including the impact of potential closures of some police stations; proposals for reductions to NHS services in Dumbarton, and the future of the Kilcreggan to Gourock ferry route.

Continuing its focus on mental health, the Health and Sport Committee will hear from the Scottish Association for Mental Health and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland amongst others. The Justice Committee will settle in on Tuesday to hear evidence on the ongoing inquiry into the role and purpose of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service; Annabelle Ewing will hope to gain Committee approval of the draft Air Weapons Licensing (Exemptions) (Scotland) Regulations 2016. Fergus Ewing will be in front of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee providing evidence relating to priorities for crofting law reform. The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee look at deer management in Scotland with contributions from Scottish Natural Heritage, before a draft order is presented to the Committee by Humza Yousaf who will be hoping his intentions regarding the Crown Estate in Scotland are not derailed. Additionally, the Public Audit Committee will be taking evidence on the Audit Scotland report on the maintenance of Scotland’s roads, and on the Government’s Major Capital Projects with contributions from Transport Scotland and the Scottish Futures Trust.

Tuesday’s debate in the Chamber will cover Adoption and Permanence in Scotland, with the Future of Social Security taking centre stage on Wednesday, followed by a look at Supporting and Strengthening Scotland’s Island Communities on Thursday. Members’ Business debate subjects include the 100th anniversary of Erskine, a Scottish charity that cares for military veterans, while Miles Briggs turns Parliament’s attention to access arrangements at Edinburgh Waverley train station, particularly focusing on access for older or disabled travellers and calls for ScotRail to alter current arrangements.

Maree Todd sponsors an event on the Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation later this week after the Charter recently received its 100th endorsement. Fan-tash-tic things will surely be seen in the Garden Lobby mid-week as Prostate Cancer UK host a Movember photocall. Friday will see the Scottish Older People’s Assembly gather in the chamber, including contributions from the Conveners of the Health and Sport, and Equalities and Human Rights Committees.

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