Results 1–20 of 8600 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament written answers — Community Wardens: Community Wardens (7 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: An independent evaluation of community warden schemes was commissioned by the Scottish Executive and published on 23 March 2007. The evaluation, by GEN consulting, was broadly positive and found that there is some statistical evidence, much of it supported by anecdote and perception, that wardens are having a positive impact on antisocial behaviour in their target areas. The report is...

Scottish Parliament written answers — Community Wardens: Community Wardens (7 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: Following the concordat between COSLA and the Scottish Government, the operation of each community warden scheme is now the responsibility of its local authority. Most local authorities have since undertaken a review of their services, or are in the process of doing so, in order to determine the most effective configuration of warden services and direct funding appropriately. The Scottish...

Scottish Parliament written answers — Community Wardens: Community Wardens (7 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: Following the concordat between COSLA and the Scottish Government, the operation of each community warden scheme is now the responsibility of its local authority, having been piloted and developed by the Scottish Government in previous years. The Scottish Government does not seek to intervene in the running of individual schemes but maintains regular contact with the Scottish Community...

Scottish Parliament: Offender Management Plan (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: Will the member take an intervention?

Scottish Parliament: Offender Management Plan (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: The member said that he is against removing all discretion from sheriffs, but that is not what is proposed. We are not removing discretion but creating a presumption. Does he accept that his analysis of the Government's position is fundamentally flawed?

Scottish Parliament: Offender Management Plan (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: Is it not a bit sweeping to say that the public have no confidence in community disposals, given that 1.3 million hours of community service is performed and thousands of people are engaged in supervising that work? Is it not a real slur on Scottish citizens who are trying their best to carry out that difficult work for Mr Aitken to say unequivocally that the public have no confidence...

Scottish Parliament: Offender Management Plan (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: The logic of the Tory position is that there will need to be new prisons. Mr Aitken announced previously that he was looking for suitable hospitals—in use or, perhaps, not in use. Will Mr Lamont give us an update on his hospital hunt? How is it going? Has he found any and, if so, where are they? Has he worked out how much it might cost to convert these as-yet-unidentified hospitals into...

Scottish Parliament: Offender Management Plan (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: The debate has been about offender management. It germinated in the work of the McLeish commission, which set out a clear vision and a stark choice in relation to how we as parliamentarians who belong to different parties should approach the future. It was about the Scotland that we would like to exist. Some of us should perhaps lift our eyes to the horizon a bit more, because the Scotland...

Scottish Parliament: Offender Management Plan (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: Not at the moment. The document states that if a sheriff passes a custodial sentence of six months or less he or she must "explain in court the circumstances which made them conclude that only a custodial sentence" is appropriate. That is an extremely sensible suggestion that I am happy to defend. I am confident that, once the heat has lessened and the light has obtruded back into the room,...

Scottish Parliament: Offender Management Plan (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: It is because there are too many people in our prisons. Despite the fact that crime is at its lowest level, Scotland has more people in prison serving short sentences than the other countries that I have mentioned. Indeed, the cabinet secretary quoted the Scottish Prisons Commission's finding that, in 2006-07, 7,000 prisoners had in total served 47,500 previous sentences. Part of the purpose...

Scottish Parliament: Offender Management Plan (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: The comparison that Ian McKee drew between Bill Aitken and Alf Garnett was not entirely apposite—even if these debates can, in their longevity, feel like an episode of "Till Death Us Do Part". Do the Tories seriously think that the public is going to be persuaded by this plan—which has been announced by Annabel Goldie and reported in the annals of that august journal The Courier under...

Scottish Parliament: Aberdeen Forensic Science Laboratory (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: I begin by congratulating Lewis Macdonald on bringing the matter to the Parliament for debate. It is a good thing that he has done so, because it is right that we debate hotly disputed, controversial issues that affect people's lives. I also commend members from all parties for speaking. There are clearly strong feelings on the issue. Rightly, all members—particularly members from the...

Scottish Parliament: Aberdeen Forensic Science Laboratory (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: I do not think that anyone is suggesting that the SPSA plans to diminish the level of service, so I agree with that as a general proposition. It is clear to everyone that urgent investment is required. We are committed to ensuring that the SPSA provides the best possible service to all eight Scottish police forces, which is why the taxpayer, through the Scottish Government, is funding new...

Scottish Parliament: Aberdeen Forensic Science Laboratory (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: I fully understand the view that Lewis Macdonald expresses. He is perhaps speaking on behalf of all the members who have made similar points. The SPSA understands that the process of engagement and consultation has been regarded as flawed and defective. When any one body or person is being attacked by a group of people, it is reasonable for someone to say a word in defence, otherwise the...

Scottish Parliament: Aberdeen Forensic Science Laboratory (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: I was just about to come to the member, but I am happy to give way.

Scottish Parliament: Aberdeen Forensic Science Laboratory (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: I am willing to go on for longer, if there is time, Presiding Officer. I do not know whether that is possible within parliamentary procedures. There are many interested people in the public gallery who would perhaps like to hear a little more.

Scottish Parliament: Aberdeen Forensic Science Laboratory (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: I am grateful. I was almost going to move a motion myself, which would not have been very parliamentary. The paper is not a consultation paper; it is a question and answer paper. To characterise it as a consultation paper is perfectly understandable, but it is not a consultation paper. It clearly states that comments are being sought, and I am delighted that we have comments. Some members,...

Scottish Parliament: Aberdeen Forensic Science Laboratory (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: I do not have much time, Lord Foulkes, so I am afraid that I will not.

Scottish Parliament: Aberdeen Forensic Science Laboratory (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: I am not taking an intervention, so sit down. The documents need to be considered seriously. I understand that the SPSA may not yet have received them all. Plainly, it must study them extremely seriously, and I am fully confident that that is exactly what it will do.

Scottish Parliament: Aberdeen Forensic Science Laboratory (8 Jan 2009)

Fergus Ewing: Thank you, Presiding Officer. I will return to the relevant parts of the debate. The matter is extremely serious.


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