Alasdair Allan: If Brexit is, as the picture that the member paints suggests, an unqualified success, can he explain why many fish-processing businesses in my constituency cannot find a workforce?
Alasdair Allan: The fisheries negotiations are, if not exactly a festive occasion, at least a predictable feature of the advent season. This year the UK has ensured for itself less influence over the negotiations than ever before. The last few years could be described as having been challenging, at best, for Scotland’s fishing industry and for our coastal communities as a whole. The combination of Brexit...
Alasdair Allan: 7. To ask the Scottish Government what consultation is being undertaken with communities regarding next year’s summer timetable for ferry routes within the CalMac network. (S6O-00367)
Alasdair Allan: I thank the minister for his very helpful reply. He will be aware of concern in my constituency over proposed changes that would result in an overall reduction in the number of sailings from Lochmaddy and Tarbert. Will he comment on that and on why the consultation period for the issue was, apparently, so short?
Alasdair Allan: As the minister indicated, CalMac is consulting on two options for the Uig triangle timetable that have no additional cost implications but would result in less capacity than in previous years. Given how busy the route is in the summer months, can any consideration be given to alternative options that would see an increase rather than a decrease in capacity?
Alasdair Allan: I hope that the member will acknowledge at some point that these moneys are not acts of charity but are actually Scottish taxpayers’ moneys.
Alasdair Allan: Will the member take an intervention?
Alasdair Allan: My constituency of Na h-Eileanan an Iar received significant investment from EU funding sources over the years, much of it—to respond to a point that a member made earlier—while this place was in what we might call its long adjournment. That support helped to facilitate major infrastructure projects, transport links and new community facilities on the islands, as well as contributing to...
Alasdair Allan: As I said, the Scottish Government managed to work very well with the European Commission on some of the issues around promoting social cohesion to which the member alluded, and I am sure that we will do so again in the future. In the past, we had an understanding that money would be directed and spent in devolved areas by a Government that had gone to the trouble of being elected in Scotland...
Alasdair Allan: I do not have time, I am afraid. I must make some progress. The UK Government must engage properly with the Scottish Government to ensure that the development of any UK-wide funding programmes, such as the UK shared prosperity and levelling up funds, actually meet the needs of Scotland’s local communities. If the UK Government continues to attempt to impose its own agenda and undermine the...
Alasdair Allan: 6. A dh'fhaighneachd de Riaghaltas na h-Alba ciamar a tha e a’ smaointinn a bhios iomairt ùr SpeakGaelic a’ toirt àrdachadh air an àireamh de dhaoine a bhios a’ bruidhinn Gàidhlig agus ga dhèanamh nas fhasa do dhaoine an cànan ionnsachadh. Following is the translation: To ask the Scottish Government how it anticipates the new SpeakGaelic language learning initiative will help...
Alasdair Allan: I do not know whether other members heard the interpretation, but, as someone who wants to use Gaelic in Parliament, as is my right, I am beginning to weary of waiting for an occasion when I will get simultaneous translation either at a cross-party group or when I begin my contribution in the chamber. My question is—
Alasdair Allan: I thank the Presiding Officer and take that point. I suppose that I was referring to the fact that there have been numerous occasions—in cross-party groups, in the chamber, and in many other places—when it has been impossible to obtain the simultaneous interpretation. I thank you for your time. I ask, as a supplementary to that question, what difference the cabinet secretary thinks the...
Alasdair Allan: 5. To ask the Scottish Government how its policies across Government will support island communities to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. (S6O-00494)
Alasdair Allan: What can be done to build resilience to ensure that the supply chain issues that badly affected some island communities at various points throughout the pandemic are not repeated in the future?
Alasdair Allan: What engagement has the Scottish Government had with the United Kingdom Government on the waiver on Covid-19 vaccine property rights?
Alasdair Allan: What action is the Scottish Government taking to improve drug services in rural areas, in which there is often less choice in services? In particular, how are third sector organisations, such as the Shed Project in my constituency, being enabled to continue and expand the vital work that they do to support people, including those who are struggling with addiction?
Alasdair Allan: Will the member take an intervention?
Alasdair Allan: I am compelled to ask the member this question after that last intervention. Has she encountered any other opposition within Dumfries to the idea of city status, or is it just coming from over there, on the Conservative benches?
Alasdair Allan: 7. To ask the Scottish Government what work is being undertaken to change electricity levy schemes to tackle fuel poverty in rural and island areas of the north of Scotland. (S6O-00606)