Andy writes to FM over seconded representatives of private vested interests

24 March, 2017 - 09:08

Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman has today (24 March) written to the First Minister asking to see the assessments that were made before the Scottish Government seconded representatives of private vested interests to help write policy.

Ministerial answers to Mr Wightman show that in the last year there have been 82 secondments to the Scottish Government. In 2015 there were 125. Among the secondments are representatives from the National Farmers Union and Association of Salmon Fishery Boards.

The problems with education in Scotland are not about structure; they’re about funding and resources

23 March, 2017 - 12:07

Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (23 March) criticised the Education Secretary for describing opposition to proposed reforms as "worrying".

The Scottish Government has proposed changes including moving control from councils to new education regions and head teachers.

Ross Greer MSP said:

“From today’s comments it seems the Education Secretary still doesn’t get it. The problems with education in Scotland are not about structure, they’re about funding and resources. 

Ministers must pick up the pace on investment in childcare

23 March, 2017 - 08:00

Alison Johnstone MSP, Children & Young People spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (23 March) urged Scottish Ministers to pick up the pace on investment in childcare after a report showed just half of nurseries plan to offer the Government's pledge of 1,140 free hours of childcare a year.

The National Day Nurseries Association warns that hourly rates offered to private and third sector nurseries by local authorities are not enough to cover costs, and that a lack of places will increase pressure on unpaid carers, such as grandparents.

How you can help us elect more Green councillors than ever before on 4th May

Yvonne Mclellan Thu 23 Mar

 

At our Spring conference we heard about the hard work of our current Green councillors and their successes as well as learning more about some of our fantastic candidates and why they are standing for local council.

We are standing more candidates than ever before but we can’t elect them without help from people like you.

Here are just some of the ways you can get involved:

Andy urges Scot Gov to respond quickly to Court of Session ruling on tenant farmers

22 March, 2017 - 14:18

Andy Wightman MSP, Land Reform spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (22 March) urged the Scottish Government to respond quickly to a Court of Session ruling on tenant farmers.

In November, Mr Wightman challenged Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing to introduce emergency legislation to prevent tenant farmers losing their businesses and homes.

Yesterday the Court of Session ruled that tenant farmers who face eviction because of flawed legislation are entitled to Government compensation.

Andy said:

Universal Credit has caused rent arrears and hardship for people who need support

22 March, 2017 - 14:12

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (22 March) backed the call from Scottish Ministers for the UK Government to stop the roll out of Universal Credit in Scotland.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“Universal Credit has caused rent arrears and hardship for people who need support, with some distressing cases where people have been left with pennies to live on. There’s a six week wait time, during which you can apply for a crisis loan, but you then need to repay that from a very low income.

John Finnie to lead Scottish Parliament debate on ship to ship oil transfers

22 March, 2017 - 10:13

Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands, John Finnie, will tonight (22 March) lead a Scottish Parliament debate on ship to ship oil transfers.
 
Mr Finnie, who joined campaigners from the Cromarty Rising campaign group at the Public Petitions Committee last week, has been campaigning against the proposals to allow ship to ship oil transfers to take place in the Cromarty/Moray Firths since last year. 

A parliamentary motion (1) submitted by Finnie has received the necessary cross party to allow it to proceed to the chamber as a member’s business debate. 

It is right that the people - and not a government they did not elect - choose where we go from here

Ross Greer MSP Tue 21 Mar

This week, the Scottish Parliament will be asked to approve the Scottish Government seeking what’s known as a Section 30 Order. This would give Holyrood the temporary power to hold a referendum. It’s a step that is clearly needed if we’re to give Scottish voters a choice about their own future.

Patrick's open reply to Tory MSP's anti-independence letter

Patrick Harvie MSP Tue 21 Mar

Dear Annie,

 

Thanks for your email about my party’s position on the call for a Section 30 order. I’m sure you wrote it in all seriousness, but I hope you’ll understand why it set me laughing grimly on the train home from Edinburgh when I read it.

The timing was odd, coming nearly five months after we debated the consequences of the EU Referendum result and issued our call for a Section 30 order. However, that point is rather minor compared with the rest of the email.

Our amendment for this week's crucial Holyrood debate and vote on a fresh Scottish independence referendum

21 March, 2017 - 08:00

Scottish Green MSPs have lodged an amendment for this week's crucial Holyrood debate and vote on a fresh Scottish independence referendum.

The Green amendment adds to the Government motion a call for the referendum to have a franchise which includes votes for 16 and 17 year olds, and for EU citizens.

The amendment also adds that a referendum is necessary given the UK Government’s decision to negotiate a ‘hard’ exit from the EU and its failure to take account of the strong Remain vote in Scotland.

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said: