Greens vote for Scotland’s right to decide on Brexit

28 March, 2017 - 17:05

The Green MSPs have voted for Scotland to have its say over Brexit, giving the Scottish Government a mandate to seek permission from the UK government to hold an independence referendum.

As well as voting for a “section 30” order, MSPs backed a Green amendment calling for European Union citizens and 16 and 17 year olds to have the ability to vote in the forthcoming independence referendum, a privilege denied to them in the 2016 EU referendum.

Targets for referring and treating people for cancer are still not being met

28 March, 2017 - 15:11

Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, today (28 March) expressed concern that targets for referring and treating people for cancer are still not being met.

The NHS standard is that 95 per cent of patients should start their first treatment within 62 days of being referred. Figures for the final quarter of last year show that only 87.5 per cent of patients started treatment within 62 days.

Only five health boards - Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Lanarkshire, Orkney and Shetland - met the target.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Wildlife crime: Ruskell hits out at Scottish Government delay on powers

27 March, 2017 - 16:30

Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, has hit out at the Scottish Government for failing to extend the powers of animal charity the SSPCA so they can tackle wildlife crime.

It comes as Holyrood's Environment Committee, of which Mr Ruskell is a member, warns of “alarming distrust” between groups that tackle wildlife crimes. The Committee has written to the Environment Secretary, urging greater cooperation and improved reporting.

Mark Ruskell, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said:

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.