Friday, 29 October 2010

Yet more history in the making!

Yet more history in the making by the committee today (the committee of 'firsts'!). The PPC will be the first committee to hold a formal meeting in this Debating Chamber when it holds a meeting as part of the Scottish Youth Parliament conference. This is also the first time it has held a meeting to consider only petitions from a 'dedicated group' as the three petitions on the agenda are from young people. The other first is (I think) this will be the first time the PPC has met on a Friday (OK that one a bit weak!).
You can watch the meeting live via Holyrood TV. Meeting starts at 10.30 am. I think today will form another chapter in my memoirs!
Fergus, Clerk to the PPC
Here is a link to Holyrood TV interview with PPC COnvener and SYP Chair (sorry, not a live hyperlink so you need to paste URL into your browser)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

PPC mtg 26 October

Well I have come to the conclusion that meetings of 3+ hours are the norm for the Committee now, particularly in the run up to Dissolution.
A first yesterday with the Committee hearing oral evidence from a UK government minister for the first time. Members indicating how useful the session with Mike Penning MP (minister at Dept for Transport); Stewart Stevenson MSP (Scottish Govt transport minister) and police representatives from Association of Chief Police Officers and ACPO Scotland was in taking forward the two petitions on school bus safety. Some helpful commitments to come back to the committee with more information.
So another first for this committee is having UK government minister giving evidence. More firsts on Friday when the PPC has its second meeting this week. This time in the Debating Chamber as part of the Scottish Youth Parliament conference. Post to follow on that.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Understanding Parliament conference and social media

One of the workshops at last Saturday's Understanding and Influencing your Parliament conference was on the use of social media. Big thanks to Peter Cruickshank from the International Teledemocracy Centre at Edinburgh Napier Uni (folk behind e-petitioning) and petitioner Bob Thomsom who took part. Sorry I couldn't get to this but I was at the petitions workshop. Anyway, Bob and Lesley Thomsom who also took part have both blogged on this.
Fergus, Clerk to the PPC

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

PPC meeting Tuesday 5 October

Phew, phew, phew! PPC meeting yesterday lasted 3 1/2 hours . Jings, crivvens, help ma boab. Some very interesting discussions on the petitions. I've made the point before about the breadth of topics but quite amazing how the discussion jumps from one topic to the next to the next etc.
Lots of follow up points which we will be taking forward today with around 60 letters going out to various organisations. Most of yesterday's petitions probably coming back to PPC at end November which is likely to be a long agenda with around 40+ petitions being considered at 23 November meeting. I feel a sickie coming on!
Fergus, Clerk to the PPC

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Understanding Parliament conference

Well, the second Understanding and Influencing your Parliament conference now underway. Opened by the Presiding Officer with some interactive voting. Interesting results on people's awareness of the Parliament and the methods available to get involved in what goes on here. Of course, that is what today is all about, to explain and clarify.

Colleague David McGill, who heads up the Legislation team here, made a really good contribution particularly on petitions. David used to Clerk the PPC a few years ago - pinnacle of his career!
Going back in for next session when Ron Beaty will be talking about his petition and his school bus safety campaign. Move into workshops this afternoon so will give a wee update before then.

Fergus, Clerk to the PPC