Public Petitions Committee Minutes

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Tuesday 2 November 1999 

The Convener: I have missed out a petition, which is probably why I am getting mixed up. Petition 17 is from Western Isles Council and petition 27 is from Skye and Kyle Against Tolls. Both are asking for concessions and discounting options for Western Isles residents on tolls charged on the Skye bridge. It is recommended that the petitions should be passed to the Transport and the Environment Committee for its consideration.

Helen Eadie: We might want to pass these petitions to the Executive. As the First Minister gave dispensation to the Skye bridge, perhaps the Executive might tell us its thinking on the issue.

The Convener: Our clerk has already spoken to the clerk of the Transport and the Environment Committee. It will examine the petitions and refer the matter to the Executive.


Scottish Parliament
Audit Committee
Wednesday 23 June 1999

Andrew Wilson: I echo Cathie's congratulations on your appointment. I am sure you will fulfil the position with aplomb. In a moment, we will be discussing the limit to what the committee can do in advance of the full transfer of powers and with the reporting procedures being laid before the Parliament. Can we also discuss the list of value for money reports that we can scrutinise, and can you and the clerks confirm whether that list is exhaustive?

My immediate point is that the Liberal Democrats have tabled a motion calling for this committee to re-examine the National Audit Office's report on the Skye bridge. Perhaps that dovetails with Cathy's point about the committee meeting elsewhere. A meeting to discuss that matter could take place, if not on the island in "Ring of Bright Water", then certainly in the vicinity of that project.

Andrew Wilson: ...   I repeat that the Skye bridge is another important issue for us, given that a Liberal Democrat motion will be coming before Parliament, but the two reports that I mentioned are early priorities given the general concerns that have been raised outwith and within the Parliament. However, I am sure that other folk have other ideas.

The Convener: Scottish Enterprise is an important topic, but the report is not due until December 1999 so there will be a time delay before it is considered.

Andrew Wilson: Does that mean that we cannot consider it yet?

Brian Adam: I presume that there is a mistake in the final column and that it should say that the possible date for consideration is February 2000.

The Convener: The fact that the clerk is blushing should tell you the answer to that question.

Andrew Wilson: I beg your pardon.

The Convener: A National Audit Office report on the Skye bridge already exists and the matter has been considered at Westminster. There could be procedural problems if we were we to examine the issue, but we can look into whether that would be feasible.

Andrew Wilson: In that case, we should make representations to the relevant Westminster committee, as the briefing pack says that some matters can be considered subject to formal agreement being reached with the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. There is a motion before Parliament, so we might like to think about what our view on it is, although that will depend on the outcome of any decision. That is not a party issue.


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Copyright Ray Shields, 1999.

Most recent revision, 05 December 1999