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The Week Ahead in 60 Seconds

Sarah Nimmo

With political party conference season now underway, last weekend’s Scottish Labour event in Perth is followed by the arrival of the Scottish Conservatives at the SECC in Glasgow this Friday and Saturday.

Prior to that the Draft Climate Change Plan will be considered by both the Economy, Jobs & Fair Work Committee and the Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform Committee on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, the Chamber will host Topical Questions and a Committee debate on the second report on the Economic Impact of Leaving the European Union produced by the Economy, Jobs & Fair Work Committee. The Justice Committee will hear from Minister for Community Safety & Legal Affairs, Annabelle Ewing, on Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008 (Scottish Land Court) Order 2017 [draft], and continue inquiries regarding the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill. Chamber business will conclude with a Members’ Business Debate on Endometriosis.

Any thoughts of flying away to a bar in far Bombay are unlikely to come to fruition for the Finance & Constitution Committee who meet on Wednesday with Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Constitution, Derek Mackay, set to toot his flute by giving evidence on the Air Departure Tax (Scotland) Bill among other things, while the Local Government & Communities Committee meets in private to consider a draft report on the Draft Climate Change Plan. Portfolio Questions in the chamber will cover issues related to justice and culture, including funding for BBC Alba, call-handling in Police Scotland, sheriff court waiting times and support for rural tourism. An evidence session on additional support needs will form the basis of the Education & Skills Committee meeting, while the Seat Belts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill, crofting law reform and the Draft Climate Change Plan will come under scrutiny in a private meeting of the Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee.

On Thursday, the Public Audit & Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee will gather to hear evidence on the audit of the Scottish Police Authority from members of the organisation, Police Scotland and Audit Scotland. The Equalities & Human Rights Committee also meets and will take evidence on the topic of legacy work relating to recommendations made by the Equal Opportunities Committee report of 2016: Removing barriers: Race, Ethnicity and Employment. Minister for Social Security, Jeane Freeman, will be at the Social Security Committee as it is updated on devolved powers and relevant forthcoming legislation. The Scottish Patient Safety Programme will be the topic of a Scottish Government debate in the chamber on Thursday, preceded by a Ministerial Statement on the Child Protection Improvement Programme earlier in the afternoon. To mark the Scottish Apprenticeship Week, a Members’ Business Debate celebrating apprenticeships and work-based learning will also take place.

Saturday will see an event held in the chamber of Holyrood to mark International Women’s Day 2017, with Deputy Presiding Officer, Linda Fabiani, chairing the discussions that are under the theme of Empowering Women and increasing the involvement of women in influencing policy development.

Not able to make it to party conferences? newsdirect will be attending all the Scottish events and can report back on key developments for your organisation. Drop us a line to find out more.

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