Monday, 16 May 2011

Cant Get Enough!!

If you 'Can’t Get Enough' (as Paul Rodgers and Bad Company would say) of Scottish Parliament blogging and are a Gaelic speaker, you may be interested in the Parliament’s new Gaelic blog: Blog PĂ rlamaid na h-Alba.

Written by the Parliament’s Education and Community Outreach team, this new blog will feature news and information about the Parliament, focusing especially on parliamentary business and opportunities to engage with the Parliament.

So far the blog has been looking at the taking of the oaths/affirmations and the election of the Presiding officer. The Gaelic officers also plan to write a feature about the public petitions system shortly. That will be worth reading!

For more info, check out the Gaelic blog or contact our Gaelic officers.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Here I go again!

As Archie Bell and the Drells once sang. Well, oath/affirmation this morning for the new 129 MSPs and election of new PO as I type. So we start the 4th session of the Parliament and fairly soon we will have a new PPC ready to start work.
Not that many new petitions arriving since the dissolution of the session 3 Parliament but I suspect that will change over the coming weeks. So what happens with new PPC? Well, there will be some new petitions for it to consider and of course there are the 43 current petitions 'left' by the session 3 PPC under the legacy arrangements.
We'll see how things pan out over the coming weeks in terms of new membership and meeting dates. Watch this space!
Fergus, Clerk to the PPC

Friday, 18 March 2011

What are we doing?

So, no more PPC meetings, dissolution next Tuesday, surely we are just sitting about doing nothing? Well, no! Petitions continue to come in, we will be looking at them and discussing the terms with petitioners before they are lodged. We will be planning for the Session 4 Committee, what will it do at first few meetings, what new petitions to timetable. We are also dealing with the current petitions which the Session 3 committee is leaving for the S4 committee under the legacy arrangements.
We'll be getting letters off to the Scottish Government and others shortly initiating responses, updates etc on these 43 legacy petitions so that we can timetable them to go to the S4 committee ASAP. Jings, all very efficient and forward thinking of us! You must be impressed surely!
We also have various 'in house' tasks to be getting on with so we will be busy. This is the same across all committee clerking teams, dealing with remaining issues of the S3 committee and preparing for the next.
Its been a cracking committee to clerk these last few years and a real pleasure. The committee has been very pro-active in evolving the petitions process, getting out and about around Scotland, trying different ways at encouraging participation in the process. Most important, the work done to secure some very important decisions as a result of petitions which people brought forward. Quite a fantastic thing to see, when someone raises an issue with their Parliament, the PPC looks at it, takes it up with the appropriate bodies, and secures positive actions as a result. Petitioner is happy, job done. Looking forward to the next Session.
Fergus, PPC clerk

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Hold the front page!

Couple of real page turner report published this morning. The Committee's Annual Report for the last parliamentary year and its Legacy Paper highlighting issues for the next PPC. Both reports available online only.
The Legacy Paper lists the 43 petitions being left for the Session 4 to continue consideration of. Tuesday 8 March was the final meeting of this committee before dissolution. Great committee to clerk, some fantastic work discussing some really interesting topics and dealing with some really nice petitioners. Its been memorable.
Fergus, Clerk to the PPC

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

End of an era

Well, the end of an era this afternoon. An occasion as symbolic as a new album by the Blue Nile (sigh, if only). The PPC has its final meeting of this third parliamentary session and what a big agenda to go out on. Three Ministers in first giving oral evidence on three petitions including school bus safety and banning mosquito devices, one further oral evidence session on the research findings on the display of lads mags petition, and 27 other petitions to be considered. Then the committee will consider its Annual Report for the last year and the legacy paper for the Session 4 committee. Phew!
Some memorable events these last four years and the petitions process goes from strength to strength. Many achievements by petitioners which should not be underestimated. Could be a long meeting and not a dry eye in the room at the end!
Fergus, Clerk to the PPC

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Willkommen to Bundestag Petitions Committee

PPC pleased to be hosting a visiting to the Scottish Parliament today of the Petitions Committee of the German Bundestag. Should be a very interesting discussion, learning more about the German system of petitioning (which features a dual ombudsman function) and explaining more about the Scottish system. This is the latest in a series of meetings which have taken place over the years between the two committees as well as meetings between the PPC and various Lander petitions committees.
Fergus, Clerk to the PPC

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Biggest debate ever!

Well, perhaps not but big debate in Chamber this PM with a PPC inspired debate on the work of the committee during session 3. Dissolution of the Parliament fast approaching so an opportunity for the committee to reflect on its achievements and work since 2007.
80 minute debate starting at 2.50 pm and you can watch live via Holyrood TV.
Possible highlighting of 'successful' petitions, engagements work, external meetings, favourite moments. Its all there. Hope you enjoy.
Fergus, Clerk to the PPC