National Alliance Against Tolls - Public Petitions Cttee in Dunfermline on 30th January 2005 - Complaint by Tom Minogue

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Public Petitions Cttee in Dunfermline on 30th January 2005 - Complaint by Tom Minogue

Dr Jim Dyer/The Presiding Officer

The Scottish Parliament

Holyrood

EDINBURGH

EH99 1SP

Monday 30th January 22006

Dear Sir,

Complaint.

I wish you to investigate my complaint against Helen Eadie MSP that she abused her position on the Public Petitions Committee to promote Labour MPs and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Dr Gordon Brown as supporting a policy of removal of toll increase on the Forth Road Bridge when there is no evidence that this is the case. I would submit that in so doing she (Helen Eadie) has used her public platform as an MSP to engage in By-electioneering for the Labour Party to the public attending the meeting, Holyrood TV live, and the media reports of the PPC.

Background.

With reference to the above I would set out below the background to this complaint:

This morning I attended the Public Petitions Committee (PPC) meeting at the Glen Pavilion Dunfermline. The morning session consisted of 6 new petitions. Of the 6 petitions 4 had been assisted in their preparation by Helen Eadie in that she was quoted as the person who had assisted the petitioners in seeking alternative resolution prior to resorting to the PPC. All 4 of these petitioners were granted an opportunity to address the Committee and the remaining 2 petitions were did not address the Committee (one I spoke to had wished to but had been refused). Both of the non-speaker's petitions were "lumped" together with the other similar petitions.

The 6 petitions in the order they were taken were:

1/ PE 908 Disabled parking petitioner, a constituent of Mr Eadie who spoke.

2/ PE 909 Disabled parking petitioner refused leave to speak this petition taken with 908.

3/ PE 920 Provision of dental services petitioner and friend or person well known to Mrs Eadie who spoke.

4/ PE922 Provision of dental services petitioner did not speak. This petition taken with 920.

5/ PE921 Petition calling for no increase on Forth Road Bridge Tolls. Petitioner friend of Mrs Eadie spoke.

6/ PE923 Petition calling for spiritual care in hospital.

It was my perception that Helen Eadie MSP was dominating proceedings but there are no grounds for complaint on that basis.

Nor do I have any complaint about the Committee's dealings with the first two petitions PE908 & 909 re disabled parking.

When PE 920 + 922 were discussed by Mrs Eadie she made much of new expenditure by the Scottish Executive of 3.5 million and 1.5 million and while it seemed that she made Holyrood party politics of this point I have cause for some little concern but not complaint.

When the petitioner had made his submission and PE 921 was discussed by the Committee Jackie Bailie (Labour) made a reference to Dr Gordon Brown being in favour of no rises in tolls I thought that she strayed beyond her remit. I say this as she was a visiting guest in a constituency where Dr Brown's reported asides in this matter are already a matter of some controversy particularly as there is a by-election campaign in progress. Helen Eadie then spoke to the petition and in what I consider to be a blatant attempt at party politics she said something to the effect of:

"All Labour MSP's Councillors, MP's and the Chancellor are campaigning for the removal of the toll increase"

I find these remarks staggering as there is no evidence to support that there has been any such support for a removal at least not before there was a possibility of a By-election.

I immediately stood up and voiced my protest from the public benches by making it clear that I thought that Mrs Eadie was out of order in that she had used the PPC as a husting for the Labour Party and had perpetrated a "political stunt". I was asked to leave and did so willingly and have returned home to prepare this complaint.

I would be obliged if you could provide me with a verbatim extract of the proceedings and a copy of the Video Live Stream of today's meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Minogue, candidate in the Dunfermline and West Fife By-election.

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