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This week in Scottish politics

This blog, as you might have guessed, is about this week at Holyrood. But a week at Holyrood is actually only three days long – MSPs turn up on Tuesday and finish on Thursday, spending Mondays and Fridays in their constituencies. You’d think not much could happen in three days…

 

On Tuesday, the first day of the week, the Local Government & Communities Committee published its report on the Scottish Government’s Planning Bill. Among other things, it suggested the Government needed to define the purpose of planning and consider restricting developers’ right of appeal. MSPs also wanted better protection for music venues hit by unfair noise complaints.

 

The other big deal on Tuesday was the Scottish Parliament refusing to consent to the UK Government’s Brexit Bill – such a big deal that we have an entire blog on it here.

 

On Wednesday, Conservative Rural Economy spokesperson, Peter Chapman, resigned after he had been lobbying councillors to approve a development he owned shares in. All would have been right and proper, of course, as the shares were declared on his register of interests, but he made an “honest mistake” and forgot to make this clear when he was speaking to the councillors. If you’re more interested in rural economy than resignation, check out this blog.

 

The SNP also had its own resignation – Brendan O’Hara, Westminster spokesperson on Culture & Media, stepped down for “personal reasons”. Hannah Bardell moved to the portfolio from her role as Trade & Investment spokesperson, and former Depute Leader Stewart Hosie returned to the front benches to take on her position.

 

If you’re still reading and a fan of the rural economy, this was also in abundance at the National Economic Forum in Dumfries. Attended by Nicola Sturgeon and most of the Cabinet, the forum dealt with a range of issues affecting the rural economy, from digital connectivity to sustainable tourism. The incoming South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, which the Government is consulting on, was also on the agenda.

 

A quick survey of the Newsdirect office concluded the highlight of Thursday – the last day of the week – was seeing MSPs on the Equality & Human Rights Committee getting a telling off. Convener, Christina McKelvie, was understandably frustrated that the contents of the Committee’s report on prisoner voting had been leaked to the press before publication. The “political stunt”, she said, had undermined trust “fundamental” to the Committee’s work. Watch for yourself here

 

This blog, as you might have guessed, is about this week at Holyrood. But a week at Holyrood is actually only three days long – MSPs turn up on Tuesday and finish on Thursday, spending Mondays and Fridays in their constituencies. You’d think not much could happen in three days…

On Tuesday, the first day of the week, the Local Government & Communities Committee published its report on the Scottish Government’s Planning Bill. Among other things, it suggested the Government needed to define the purpose of planning and consider restricting developers’ right of appeal. MSPs also wanted better protection for music venues hit by unfair noise complaints.

The other big deal on Tuesday was the Scottish Parliament refusing to consent to the UK Government’s Brexit Bill – such a big deal that we have an entire blog on it here.

On Wednesday, Conservative Rural Economy spokesperson, Peter Chapman, resigned after he had been lobbying councillors to approve a development he owned shares in. All would have been right and proper, of course, as the shares were declared on his register of interests, but he made an “honest mistake” and forgot to make this clear when he was speaking to the councillors. If you’re more interested in rural economy than resignation, check out this blog.

The SNP also had its own resignation – Brendan O’Hara, Westminster spokesperson on Culture & Media, stepped down for “personal reasons”. Hannah Bardell moved to the portfolio from her role as Trade & Investment spokesperson, and former Depute Leader Stewart Hosie returned to the front benches to take on her position.

If you’re still reading and a fan of the rural economy, this was also in abundance at the National Economic Forum in Dumfries. Attended by Nicola Sturgeon and most of the Cabinet, the forum dealt with a range of issues affecting the rural economy, from digital connectivity to sustainable tourism. The incoming South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, which the Government is consulting on, was also on the agenda.

A quick survey of the Newsdirect office concluded the highlight of Thursday – the last day of the week – was seeing MSPs on the Equality & Human Rights Committee getting a telling off. Convener, Christina McKelvie, was understandably frustrated that the contents of the Committee’s report on prisoner voting had been leaked to the press before publication. The “political stunt”, she said, had undermined trust “fundamental” to the Committee’s work. Watch for yourself here

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