Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee
17th Meeting, 2022
- Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2022
- Session: 6
- Location: T1.40-CR5 The Smith Room
- Meeting opened at: 09:31
- Meeting closed at: 12:05
- Published: Thursday, December 8, 2022 09:50am
1 Decision on taking business in private:
The Committee will decide whether to take items 4, 5 and 6 in private.
2 Consideration of continued petitions:
The Committee considered the following continued petitions—
PE1900: Access to prescribed medication for detainees in police custody. The Committee took evidence from from the Minister for Drugs Policy, Morris Fraser, Head of Delivery and Support Unit, Drugs Policy Division and Henry Acres, Head of Cultural and Structural Change, Drugs Policy Division. The Committee agreed to consider the evidence heard at a future meeting.
PE1928: Provide free rail travel for disabled people who meet the qualifications for free bus travel. The Committee took evidenec from petitioner David Gallant and Nicoletta Primo, Sight Scotland. The Committee agreed to consider the evidence heard at a future meeting and to write to local authorities who offer the companion travel discount scheme.
PE1859: Retain falconers' rights to practice upland falconry in Scotland. The Committee took evidence from petitioner Barry Blyther. The Committee agreed to consider the evidence at a future meeting.
PE1905: Public Inquiry into the response of religious organisations to allegations of child sexual abuse since 1950. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government.
3 Consideration of new petitions:
The Committee considered the following new petitions—
PE1957: Home Reports – make surveyors more accountable. The Committee agreed to write to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Law Society of Scotland, Under One Roof, Built Environment Forum Scotland, and the Scottish Law Commission. Paul Sweeney MSP declared an interest as a board member of the Glasgow City Heritage Trust.
PE1958: Extend aftercare for previously looked after young people, and remove the continuing care age cap. The Committee agreed to write to CELCIS (Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection) and Staf (Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum). The Committee also agreed to invite the petitioner, representatives from Who Cares? Scotland, CELCIS, Staf, the Promise, the Children and Young People’s Commissioner, and individuals with lived experience, to a roundtable discussion.
PE1959: Tackle Scotland’s affordable housing crisis. The Committee agreed to close the petition under rule 15.7 of Standing Orders on the basis that the Scottish Government have no plans to reintroduce a Right to Buy scheme for council tenants and are committed to delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, of which at least 70% will be available for social rent.
PE1960: Formally recognise private hire cars and taxis as modes of public transport. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation Scotland, the Confederation of Passenger Transport, and Heads of Planning Scotland.
PE1961: Make it a specific offence to assault, threaten or abuse a private hire or taxi driver while at work. The Committee agreed to write to Police Scotland, the Scottish Taxi Federation and Unite Scotland.
PE1963: Phase in meat production ban by 2040. The Committee agreed to close the petition under rule 15.7 of Standing Orders on the basis that the UK Climate Change Committee recommends a reduction of meat consumption, rather than a ban on production, the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan Update sets out a plan for a 24% reduction in overall emissions from the agriculture category by 2032, banning meat production may have negative environmental and economic consequences, and the Scottish Government has stated that it continues to actively promote the consumption of fresh, local and seasonal produce.
PE1964: Create an independent review of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body.
4 Consideration of a continued petition:
The Committee agreed correspondence to the Scottish Government on the following continued petition—
PE1812: Protect Scotland's remaining ancient, native and semi-native woodlands and woodland floors.
5 Public Participation Inquiry:
The Committee agreed it’s approach. The Committee agreed to seek approval from the Parliament to visit other jurisdictions that have institutionalised delibertive approaches, including Belgium, France and Ireland.
6 Petitions management
The Committee agreed to revise its approach to the management of petitions. This will include a facility for all petitions to collect signatures while petitions are under consideration, rather than accepting individual submissions on petitions. The Committee agreed to implement this change at the earliest opportunity and to update the petitions system and guidance to reflect this. The Committee also agreed to accept an anonymous submission in relation to PE1979: Establish an independent inquiry and an independent national whistelblowing officer to investigate concerns about the alleged mishandling of child safeguarding enquiries by public bodies.