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Seòmar agus comataidhean

Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee

Meeting date: Tuesday, September 20, 2022



The Deputy Convener

Agenda item 2 is appointment of the committee’s new convener. On 15 June 2021, the Parliament agreed motion S6M-00393, which resolved that members of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party were eligible to be chosen as convener of this committee. I understand that the Conservative nominee for convener is Edward Mountain.

Edward Mountain was chosen as convener.

Congratulations, Edward. I pass over to you to convene the remainder of the meeting.

The Convener (Edward Mountain)

Thank you very much. We had a bit of musical chairs there, but I hope that I can stay in this chair for a bit.

First of all, I thank you. I have been reading the committee’s work in the inquiry that we will continue today. I note that you called for evidence on 21 November 2021, which seems an awfully long time ago. Up to today, you have had 11 meetings, I think, on the matter; you have received more than 51 online responses; and you have received responses from the Accounts Commission, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and other individuals.

Here I must make an admission: I have not read the Official Reports of all your evidence sessions. I think that it was Councillor McVey who said in the first session that there was an “elephant in the room” when it came to the subject—well, this is my elephant in the room. Reading 11 Official Reports’ worth of meetings is a bit like eating Jacob’s crackers—they might be very tasty to start with, but you can take them only in small doses. It will take me a bit of time to get through the Official Reports. I apologise if it takes me slightly longer to do so but, if you try reading them, you will see why.

I am looking forward to joining this committee, which has obviously done a huge amount of work on the issue. As convener, I will be looking for members’ guidance and help, given that you have done much more on it than I have.