Recent member's motions supported by David
The Scottish Sports Association
That the Parliament recognises what it sees as the contribution of the Scottish Sports Association (SSA) in raising the profile and promoting the benefits of sport, and to over 13 policy areas in the Scottish Government; considers that the role of the SSA as the independent and collective voice for sport in Glasgow and across the country is vital; is concerned that, after 18 years of core funding, there are reports of a proposed withdrawal of funding for the SSA from both the government and sportscotland; believes that this is an unacceptable situation; understands that the government funds other membership organisations across the voluntary sector to enable their voices to be heard, and notes the view that, to ensure a sustainable future for the organisation, the SSA's funding should be restored in 2018-19.
Great Polish Map of Scotland
That the Parliament welcomes the completion of the restoration of the Great Polish Map of Scotland in Eddleston near Peebles, which is the largest three-dimensional map in the world; notes that the map, a 40 by 50 metre, three-dimensional scale model of Scotland complete with surrounding seas and estuaries, was commissioned in the 1970s by the Polish soldier, Jan Tomasik, who arrived in Scotland during the Second World War, and was constructed by a team led by Dr Kasimierz Trafas before being forgotten for several years until MAPA Scotland launched a restoration project in 2010; further notes that the project has involved dozens of volunteers and has been funded by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, the European LEADER Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Polish Foreign Ministry and other organisations, as well as donations from the public; congratulates MAPA Scotland on its success in creating what will prove to be a major landmark in Scotland’s cultural offering for tourists and locals alike, and considers that the restoration over many years is testament to the determination and to what can be achieved in preserving Scotland’s heritage by dedicated volunteers in Eddleston, across the Borders and Midlothian and elsewhere in Scotland.
Increasing Awareness of the Work of Veteran Charities in Scotland
That the Parliament recognises the important work undertaken by veteran charities and organisations in Scotland; highlights the difficulty of veterans seeking help for physical or mental health problems, especially within the armed forces community where it believes the culture can make seeking help appear difficult; notes the work of the Aberdeenshire-based military charity, Horseback UK; understands that, for just under 10 years, Horseback UK has helped injured soldiers and veterans using horsemanship skills, and continues to do so today; acknowledges that the purpose behind the charity is to inspire recovery, regain self-esteem and provide a sense of purpose and community to the wounded, injured and sick within the military community; notes that, for the last four years, the charity has taken its knowledge gained from working with veterans to other communities, including activities involving sport and disengaged young people, in order to enable those who have been injured mentally or physically to then help others, after clinical care, and further notes that the charity has developed mentoring programmes to create a sense of community and purpose for those hurt and who now have a real desire to change public perception towards mental health and disability.
Adverse Childhood Experiences
That the Parliament notes that in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, and across Scotland, there are still many children who are growing up with adverse childhood experiences (ACE), a term that covers abuse, neglect and household adversity, the effects of which can cause chronic stress responses and have a lasting impact on children as they grow into adults; notes research, which suggests that instances of ACE rise with the level of deprivation that a child is living in; understands that there are no published studies to date of the prevalence specifically of ACE among the general population of Scotland; notes what it sees as the benefits of early intervention and addressing ACE; considers that such an approach has a positive impact on the person as well as society as a whole, and notes the view that, in order to mitigate against these experiences, a greater understanding must be achieved among policy makers and that focus should lie on prevention, resilience and enquiry.
Blacklisting Day of Action
That the Parliament notes that, on 6 December 2017, Unite the Union will hold its Day of Action Against Blacklisting across the UK, which will include a demonstration at the St James’ Centre redevelopment site in Edinburgh; is alarmed at reports that the principal contractor at that site, Laing O'Rourke, is refusing the union adequate access to its members; notes that this company as was a member of the Consulting Association, which, it understands was central to the blacklisting of construction workers in Scotland; is aware that the Scottish Government expects companies that are awarded public contracts to maintain high standards of business and professional conduct; understands however that many of the companies many of the companies allegedly involved in blacklisting are reportedly continuing to profit from investment in public services in Scotland, notes the view that blacklisted workers should have the right to be re-employed in the sector in which they worked and for there to be a public inquiry in Scotland into blacklisting, to shed a light on the role played by companies and arms of the state in this practice, which it believes has denied thousands of workers their right to earn a living and support their families.
Supported by: Andy Wightman, Claudia Beamish, John Finnie, Jackie Baillie, Monica Lennon, Iain Gray, David Stewart, Rhoda Grant, James Kelly, Elaine Smith, Lewis Macdonald, Colin Smyth, Richard Leonard
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Tackling Commercial Sexual Exploitation
That the Parliament recognises that 25 November each year marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women; acknowledges the inclusion of commercial sexual exploitation in the Scottish Government’s definition of violence against women in the paper, Equally Safe, Scotland’s strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls; considers that prostitution is both a form of such violence and a barrier to gender equality; notes the view that those who purchase sexual services should be held accountable for their part in this violence, and commends the many organisations across Scotland and internationally supporting women to exit prostitution.
Gourock-Kilcreggan Ferry Service
That the Parliament understands that the Gourock–Kilcreggan ferry service has been affected by unprecedented levels of disruption since the contract with the current operator, Clydelink, was renewed by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT); believes that services have been suspended, often for days at a time, due to technical faults with the vessel or following failed Maritime and Coastguard Agency spot inspections; understands that, on several occasions, capacity has been reduced to a maximum of 12 passengers due to a lack of appropriately qualified staff; believes that the unreliability has become particularly acute since June 2017, with the ferry being suspended for several days each month, causing severe disruption for travellers and businesses in both the Dumbarton and Greenock and Inverclyde constituencies; understands that SPT has agreed to retender the contract to secure a more reliable operator until responsibility for the route is transferred to Transport Scotland, and notes the calls on the Scottish Government to make progress with the transfer.
Supported by: Ross Greer, James Kelly, David Stewart, Rhoda Grant, Maurice Corry, Neil Findlay, Jackson Carlaw, Anas Sarwar, Jamie Greene, Stuart McMillan, Neil Bibby, Lewis Macdonald
The Caithness Health Action Team
That the Parliament congratulates the Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT) on bringing together the community on 28 October 2017 to support the excellent work carried out by NHS staff, and further congratulates CHAT and the communities of Caithness on highlighting the view that palliative care for terminally-ill people is best kept local, as they could benefit from the support of their community, family and friends.
St John’s Children’s Ward Closed to Out-of-hours Inpatients, Over 100 Days and Counting
That the Parliament notes that the St John’s Hospital children’s ward was closed to out-of-hours inpatients on 7 July 2017 for the third in five years; understands that the latest report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has concluded that the area's population should be served by a 24/7 inpatient service, which it believes reaffirms the college's previous report on this matter; further understands that the closure is due an ongoing failure to recruit the appropriate staff; notes the reports’ findings, including that the exiting staff are exhausted because of the continued pressure to maintain the service with too few colleagues, and notes the view that NHS Lothian and the Scottish Government should set out a clear and realistic timetable for the establishment of a staffing model that will both support the ward and its staff and end a closure that has lasted over 100 days.
Supported by: Miles Briggs, David Stewart, Elaine Smith, Jeremy Balfour, Iain Gray, Alexander Stewart, Edward Mountain, Alex Rowley, Gordon Lindhurst, Jackie Baillie, Alison Johnstone
Road Safety Week 2017
That the Parliament recognises that the week commencing 20 November 2017 is Road Safety Week; notes that this is an annual event to raise awareness about road safety and was started in 1997 by Brake, a road safety charity that works to prevent road death or injury, campaigns to make streets and communities safer and supports the victims of road crashes; acknowledges that the theme for 2017 is Speed Down Save Lives focussing on the dangers of driving over the speed limit; understands that breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions is recorded by police as a contributory factor in 23% of crash scenes in the UK; notes that the 2017 campaign will also highlight intelligent speed adaptation devices, which it believes are likely to become more prevalent in the future; commends Road Safety Week for promoting steps that everyone can take to stop needless road deaths and injuries year-round; supports the thousands of schools, organisations and communities that are involved in the event each year; welcomes this year's week, and notes hopes that the event will inspire communities to take action on road safety through promoting lifesaving messages during the week and beyond.
Member's motions tabled by David since June 2017
That the Parliament congratulates the Glenwyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society on commencing whisky distillation on Burns Day, 25 January 2018; welcomes the return of whisky distilling to Dingwall after almost a century; notes that the distillery is entirely powered by sustainable energy; welcomes that it is a community benefit society, meaning that it is owned by thousands of people in the local community; notes the assistance given by Community Shares Scotland and the co-operative movement in establishing the distillery; recognises the potential of community benefit societies and community share issues to make an economic, social and environmental difference across the Highlands and Islands, and wishes the Glenwyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society success in the future.
That the Parliament congratulates The Inverness Courier on its 200th anniversary, which will be marked on 4 December 2017, the date of its first publication; notes that it has been marking the milestone in the paper's history with a 200-day countdown highlighting some of the headlines on a year-by-year basis, starting with the very first front page; further notes that, since the first edition in 1817, The Inverness Courier has been a constant and reliable presence in reporting the news and providing information, from significant and momentous events to local human interest stories; acknowledges that it reported on the opening of the Caledonian Canal, the last public hanging in Inverness, the coronation of Queen Victoria and, on 2 May 1933, first reported on the phenomenon that became known as the Loch Ness Monster, and praises all staff past and present for keeping up the tradition of fair and accurate reporting.
That the Parliament supports the road safety charity, BRAKE, during Road Safety Week 2017, which extends from 20 to 26 November; acknowledges that the theme this year is Speed Down Save Lives; accepts that speed is the number one contributory factor in most road collisions and notes that one in four fatalities across the UK is caused by excessive speed; understands that driving too fast, either in a built-up area or a country road, can have lethal consequences for drivers, their passengers and other road users, and urges all motorists not to take the risk and just slow down.
That the Parliament welcomes the launch of UNISON’s Residential Care Charter aimed at protecting residential care workers in their place of work; recognises the important role of care workers in supporting and protecting individuals in residential settings, often in challenging circumstances; understands the importance of ensuring that care staff themselves are given adequate and appropriate training and support; acknowledges the reported challenges faced in the sector due to low pay, and appreciates the necessity of reflecting the hard work of care workers within their level of pay in order to protect the quality of work within the sector.
That the Parliament congratulates all the athletes from the Highland Disability Sport squad who came home with a haul of 58 medals for the region at the Special Olympics GB National Games in Sheffield; notes that this resulted in 20 gold, 27 silver and 11 bronze for the area; praises every athlete who took part and every volunteer who helped the group, both at the event and before the event with fundraising and training, and wishes everyone all the best and continued success for the coming years, including for possible selection in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2019.
That the Parliament congratulates Kara Hanlon from Stornoway on winning three gold medals at the NatWest Island Games 2017 in Sweden; understands that the teenager won the gold medals in the 50m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley; acknowledges that Kara has dedicated her young life to swimming and has won many local and national titles; understands that 2,500 athletes from 24 islands throughout the world compete in the games; believes that Kara is a tremendous inspiration to all young people, especially those on the Western Isles, demonstrating the results of hard work and commitment while living and growing up on the islands, and wishes her all the best for the future.
That the Parliament congratulates the popular Kinloss-based science, technology and aviation experience project and tourist attraction, Morayvia, on it being awarded a certificate of excellence by TripAdvisor; acknowledges the input from staff and many volunteers, including businesses in the Moray area, towards this success; notes that these certificates celebrate hospitality businesses that consistently receive strong praise and ratings from travellers, and wishes Morayvia continued success.
That the Parliament welcomes the launch of SEFARI, which is the collective of Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes; recognises that each constituent institute, which are the Moredun Research Institute, Scotland’s Rural College, The Rowett Institute, Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and The James Hutton Institute, brings particular skills and expertise to the table, but are working together to deliver leading ideas for better lives, and looks forward to the development of SEFARI in translating research and expertise, with funding from the Scottish Government and elsewhere, into practical solutions for policy, business and public audiences.
That the Parliament congratulates the management and staff of Inverness Airport on it being named Airport of the Year at the 2017 Scottish Transport Awards, which were presented in Glasgow; notes the airport’s importance to the Highland economy; understands that, in the last year, it has had a record 796,854 passengers, which represents a 17.4% increase on the previous 12 months, and has made improvements to its terminal and facilities, with £900,000 of investment to improve the arrivals area, departure lounge, retail outlets and its catering services, and commends everyone involved on what it sees as this magnificent achievement in the face of stiff competition.