Two Scottish manifestos are due out this week: SNP on Tuesday and Scottish LibDems on Wednesday. Take a trial of our Parliament Today daily bulletin and receive a free summary of each.
After a Scottish parliamentary long weekend, business starts back with a bang on Tuesday morning with 29 individuals scheduled to give evidence across four committee meetings. Members of the Economy, Jobs & Fair Work Committee will continue their evidence taking on the Scottish Government's draft Energy Strategy, hearing the views of two panels on energy efficiency, warm homes, district heating and other related issues. A fortifying breakfast will be necessary for the Health Committee as they tackle the meaty issues of budget allocations and NHS governance across two separate agenda items. This week's budget witnesses are drawn from health and social care partnerships and on governance the Committee will hear from health professional bodies, including BMA Scotland, RCN Scotland, the allied health professions and UNISON. Proposals to allow the shortening of the tails of spaniels and hunt point retriever puppies will be under discussion at the Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform Committee. Finally, legal experts (including Andrew Tickell aka Lallands Peat Worrier) is one of three witnesses giving evidence to the Justice Committee on the general principles of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill.
On Wednesday, Keith Brown and officials from Transport Scotland will give an update on the Forth Replacement Crossing to the Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee. MSPs will also hear an update on Scotland's food and drink strategy, a sector that could be significantly impacted by any Brexit-related changes to market access. Given the number of questions asked about the recruitment and retention of teachers, John Swinney's evidence on school workforce planning to the Education & Skills Committee on Wednesday (10:00) will be keenly scrutinised. Finally, on Thursday, the Culture, Tourism, Europe & External Relations Committee will get a update on the current health of film making in Scotland from regional film development offices. This will be the first such catch up since the planning approval of the studio complex proposed for the south of Edinburgh.
Post-legislative scrutiny is often discussed in the context of time-poor committees struggling to cover all angles of potential work, but this week there are three separate items of legacy work: the Equalities & Human Rights Committee will take evidence on Session 4 work on the gypsy traveller community; the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee will take evidence on the National Fraud Initiative and Local Government & Communities will take evidence from Jackie Baillie MSP on the Disabled Persons' Parking Places (Scotland) Act 2009.
This week's plenary brings a wide variety of both type and topic. Tuesday has two Ministerial Statements (on social security benefits and widening access to Higher Education) and a committee-led debate on destitution, asylum and insecure immigration status. On Wednesday the Scottish Government will bring forward a motion on workers' rights and on Thursday MSPs will debate and likely agree the general principles of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.
Member's Business debates this week are on out-of-hours services at Vale of Leven Hospital, child safety week and veterans.
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