Results 1–20 of 2876 for speaker:Alex Johnstone

Scottish Parliament: Draft Budget 2017-18 (Timetable) (4 Oct 2016)

Alex Johnstone: This has been a worthwhile debate that has been useful in highlighting some of the challenges that this Parliament faces in revising our processes following the devolution of significant new powers. Before I summarise some of the excellent speeches that we have heard, I want to focus briefly on two issues. First, I want to comment on the need for some level of scenario planning to be...

Scottish Parliament: Residential Road Safety (28 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I congratulate Mark Ruskell on bringing this debate to the chamber. I will offer what I hope he will understand is my conditional support. It is clear that changes that have taken place, particularly the introduction of the 20’s plenty zones, have had a significant effect in improving road safety. As we have moved forward in considering and applying 20mph zones, we have found ourselves in a...

Scottish Parliament: Residential Road Safety (28 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Perhaps towards the end of my speech, but I have a number of points to make. Large 20mph zones are less likely to provoke the response from drivers that I described in key areas. It is also important that we deal with the issues of observance and enforcement if we bring in lower limits. By observance, I mean that drivers need to buy into the measures that we are bringing forward. A speed...

Scottish Parliament: Residential Road Safety (28 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Yes, I will at this point.

Scottish Parliament: Residential Road Safety (28 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I look forward to having the opportunity to discuss this matter at greater length with Mark Ruskell. I congratulate him on bringing the matter forward. I think that it is worthy of discussion, but it is also one that I have to express concerns about.

Scottish Parliament: Good Food from Angus (21 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Graeme Dey on bringing the motion before Parliament and to join him in welcoming the establishment of the food life in Angus to promote good food from Angus. The farming industry in Scotland has been at the cutting edge of development for most of its time. It is important to remember that we are an industry that is capable of producing on both the...

Scottish Parliament: Good Food from Angus (21 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I thank the member for his concern. He did mention, however, his habit of putting smokies on the barbecue. Some might like that sort of thing, but I have to say that they have never tasted a smokie until they have tasted it right off the fire; only then, when it is hot, newly cooked and still has the fresh taste of the smoke about it, will they understand the significance of the smokie in its...

Scottish Parliament: High-speed Broadband (14 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: 3. To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making in providing high-speed broadband to rural areas and town centres that are served by exchange-only lines. (S5O-00133)

Scottish Parliament: High-speed Broadband (14 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Permit me to declare an interest in that, since superfast broadband came to my town of Stonehaven over three years ago in a blaze of publicity, I have still been unable to obtain a connection, as I am on an exchange-only line. Correspondence with digital Scotland has indicated that there is no timescale in place. Given the promises that the Government has made in recent months, would it be...

Scottish Parliament: More Homes Scotland (Investment) (13 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Thank you, Presiding Officer. So that I do not fall foul of your ire at the end of my speech, may I begin by moving the amendment in my name? We have finally got round to a debate in this Parliament in which we are actually talking about what is important to people. It may surprise many people that much of what is contained in the commitments that the minister made in his opening speech will...

Scottish Parliament: More Homes Scotland (Investment) (13 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: No, thank you. That Government action was like setting fire to someone’s home and then expecting a medal for phoning the fire brigade. More seriously, it now points to the minister’s lazy analysis, which ran deep through his opening speech. If the minister wants to make comparisons, I will pick one for him: the number of completions of affordable houses in 2015 was 4,037.

Scottish Parliament: More Homes Scotland (Investment) (13 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: No, thank you. The total completions in 1983, at the height of the Conservative Government, was 4,763, which is 726 more than was achieved last year. It is worth noting that we can all draw comparisons and conclusions. The Scottish Government’s obsession with the figures for council houses alone rather than those for social rented housing further betrays the Government’s contempt for the...

Scottish Parliament: More Homes Scotland (Investment) (13 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Okay. Finally, I will.

Scottish Parliament: More Homes Scotland (Investment) (13 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I will acknowledge that the Scottish National Party forms the Government of Scotland and will be accountable for its actions in Scotland. If the Scottish National Party Government chooses to fall back on the slim defence of comparison with other parts of the United Kingdom, it is in breach of its own rules, as far as comparison is concerned. Let us talk about Scotland and what we can achieve...

Scottish Parliament: More Homes Scotland (Investment) (13 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I will carry on at the moment, thank you. The minister had a speech of his own. We want ambitious targets to be set for energy efficiency, and we want all properties to achieve an energy performance certificate C rating or above by the end of the decade. We are happy to work with the Government in order to achieve that. We want more investment in energy efficiency, and we do not believe that...

Scottish Parliament: More Homes Scotland (Investment) (13 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Will the member give way?

Scottish Parliament: More Homes Scotland (Investment) (13 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Will the cabinet secretary give way?

Scottish Parliament: More Homes Scotland (Investment) (13 Sep 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Along with everyone else in the chamber, I realise that there was a squeeze in finances during the financial crisis, but the SNP Government, in a previous incarnation, chose to target the housing budget for a 40 per cent cut in a single year. It reined back from that, because it realised how deep the cut was, but it was this Government’s decision.

Scottish Parliament: Social Rented Housing (Tenants in Moderate Housing Need) (29 Jun 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Having rejected the United Kingdom Government’s approach to underoccupancy, is the Scottish Government considering action of its own design to try to free up the vast amount of space in the social rented sector that is simply underoccupied?

Scottish Parliament: Provisional Outturn 2015-16 (29 Jun 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I note from the supporting documents an overspend of £128 million under health, wellbeing and sport. Does that reflect the growing problem of deficits in a number of Scottish health boards? Does that outstanding high figure indicate a growing problem that may destabilise budgets in coming years?


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