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Meeting date: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 18 January 2022

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Point of Order, Topical Question Time, Business Motion, Covid-19, ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Round, Retrofitting Buildings for Net Zero, Judicial Review and Courts Bill, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time, Scottish History in Schools


Time for Reflection

Good afternoon. I remind members of the Covid-related measures that are in place and that face coverings should be worn when moving around the chamber and the Holyrood campus.

The first item of business is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader today is Josh Kennedy, who is a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament and its outgoing chair.

Thank you, Presiding Officer, for inviting me to address Parliament today. It is a real privilege to be here.

The Scottish Youth Parliament is the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people and, as we are never shy of telling people, we are one day older than the Scottish Parliament.

Our members represent young people aged 12 to 25 the length and breadth of Scotland and, like members here, our role is to stand up for the issues that our constituents care about.

The young people whom we represent continue to endure the ramifications of the global pandemic and the inequalities that it has exacerbated. We have been hit hard by the pandemic, but have risen to the challenges that we have faced. Now, more than ever, the generation that I represent expects, given all that we have endured, that we will be listened to and taken seriously.

As we recover from the pandemic, my generation will no longer stand aside and allow themselves to be ignored, or to be on the periphery of decision making, which was too common in the past. Instead, we will be at the centre of decision making and power. On issues including climate change, education reform and mental health services, my generation expects to be heard and to be treated as equal partners by those who hold that power. The SYP, working closely with staff at Holyrood, are ideally placed to support members of the Scottish Parliament to deliver that.

Thousands of young people across Scotland voted to elect a new cohort of MSYPs in our elections at the end of last year. Those new MSYPs are raring to go and to make their impact, but they need members’ help to have their voices heard. I encourage all members to reach out to their newly elected local MSYPs. By working with them, members can help them to get the issues that young people care about addressed. Furthermore, MSYPs can help members to understand what issues young people in their constituencies think are most important.

We often hear it said that young people are the future. That is true to an extent, but it misses the bigger point that we are also the present; we are here, now. We are really excited to work with all members during this parliamentary session to improve young people’s lives in the future and in the present. Thank you for listening.

Air adhart

Point of Order