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The Week Ahead in 60 Seconds

Laura MacLaughlin

After a ruff weekend of election results, pawlitical events at Holyrood this week got off to a dif-fur-ent start when MSPs paraded their pets for Holyrood Dog of the Year. Emma Harper’s collie Maya won the day, with Mark Ruskell’s greyhound Bert capturing the public vote.

In the Chamber, it is back to normal scheduling, with Topical Questions on the SQA’s decision to restrict teachers’ access to exam papers and the promotion of safe recreational water activity kicking us off on Tuesday. This will be followed by a Ministerial Statement on Forensic Examinations and the Stage 1 debate on the Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill. Tuesday’s Member’s Business will focus on foodbanks.

Wednesday’s agenda is health heavy, with Health & Sport Portfolio Questions, followed by a Labour-led debate on health and Emma Harper’s Member’s Business on International Nurses Day.

On Thursday, after General Questions and FMQs, Gail Ross leads a Member’s Business on International ME Day, followed by a Government debate on keeping children safe online.

At Committee’s, Tuesday’s Health & Sport agenda is full, with panels giving evidence on the preventative agenda and the NHS National Waiting Times Centre and Minister for Childcare & Early Years, Mark McDonald, giving evidence on subordinate legislation on the Registration of Social Workers & Social Service Workers.

Also on Tuesday, Justice will hear from Minister for Community Safety & Legal Affairs, Annabelle Ewing, on the Apologies (Scotland) Act 2016. The Rural Economy & Connectivity Committee will hear evidence from Minister for Transport & the Islands, Humza Yousaf, and Gillian Martin (Aberdeenshire East) (SNP) on the Seat Belts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill, and Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy & Connectivity, Fergus Ewing, on CAP and small landholdings.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Constitution, Derek Mackay, will give evidence on the Scotland Act 2012 and 2016 implementation reports to Finance on Wednesday, while Minister for Local Government & Housing, Kevin Stewart, will discuss strategic housing investment plans with the Local Government & Communities Committee.

The two new bill Committees, for the Pow of Inchaffray Drainage Commission (Scotland) Bill and the Edinburgh Bakers’ Widows’ Fund Bill, will meet for the first time on Wednesday. Both will elect a Convener before moving into private to discuss their work programmes.

In General Election news, parties kick off campaigning in earnest across Scotland this week, with Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats launching their official campaigns today. The deadline for nomination papers is 16:00 on Thursday, with a full list of names expected shortly thereafter.

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