Results 1–20 of 577 for speaker:Mr Raymond Robertson

Clause 2: Restrictions on Disposal (18 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: Although the issues have had a good airing at the Grand Committee in Montrose, on Second Reading, in Committee and tonight, it is only right that I should respond to some of the points that have been raised. The hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) talked of the success of the crofting trusts at Assynt and Borve. Their success, with that of Annishadder, has demonstrated...

Clause 2: Restrictions on Disposal (18 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: I understand where the hon. Gentleman is coming from, but, as he says, it is difficult to legislate for something that may or may not happen. It is unlikely that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State would allow any trust to go forward that had not proved itself financially viable not only in the short and medium term but in the long term. I hope that the hon. Gentleman is reassured by...

Orders of the Day — New clause 1 (18 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: It is a sign of the times that the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. McFall) cannot even speak on a Bill that has all-party support without an hon. Member from his leader's office sitting by his side reminding him what to say. The new clause is unnecessary. Both I and my noble Friend in another place have made it clear that the Secretary of State would transfer those maintenance and repair...

Orders of the Day — New clause 1 (18 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: That assurance was given to the Committee, but I recognise that the hon. Gentleman was not a member of it. I reiterate the other reassurances that the Government have given: there is no intention to transfer the responsibility for community assets to crofting trusts, nor is there any intention to burden trusts in such a way as to jeopardise their financial viability. I have made it clear that...

Clause 1: Disposal of Crofting Property (18 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: As the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. McFall) said, the Bill gives the Government the flexibility to address the circumstances of each proposal for a trust on a case-by-case basis. Surely that is right. Ownership of sporting rights runs with the land, although it may be let to other parties. Sporting rights will therefore be transferred automatically. The Bill would not prevent the Secretary...

Clause 2: Restrictions on Disposal (18 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: We believe that the amendment may risk jeopardising the ability of some crofters to establish crofting trusts. I know that that is not what the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. McFall) would wish. Any requirement that a crofting trust represent a community may be interpreted to require that a community be shown to exist on the relevant property. Decisions of the Scottish land court have found...

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Wild Salmon (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: The recent excellent report produced by Lord Nickson's task force on Scotland's salmon fisheries, subject to consultation, will form the basis of future Government policy in this important sector.

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Wild Salmon (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: My noble Friend's task force has approached the matter head on but, as my hon. Friend will know, its findings are out for consultation, and I think it only right to wait until the end of that consultation before presenting specific proposals.

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Wild Salmon (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: My noble Friend's task force was not asked specifically to look at the impact of red dye on salmon in the Clyde, but I am sure that, were its members to do so, they would be appalled—as are most people in Scotland—that Glasgow city council is considering spending up to half a million pounds of council tax payers' money on a ridiculous stunt.

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Wild Salmon (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: The hon. Gentleman has obviously not looked at the membership of the task force. There were no landowning hereditary peers on it. It represented all those in Scotland—and, indeed, beyond—who regularly fish for salmon and support the salmon industry.

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Wild Salmon (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: "Spiteful" and "irrational" are not adjectives that I would use to describe my noble Friend's task force report, but I would use them to describe the hon. Gentleman. Once again, he has shown complete disregard for a proud industry that brings in thousands of jobs, tourists, other visitors and money to the most rural parts of Scotland, some of which are very fragile and depend on the very...

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Teachers (Appraisal) (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: Appraisal should be the basis for assuring teaching standards in Scottish schools. The present voluntary arrangements have resulted in too few teachers being appraised. My right hon. Friend and I have therefore decided that appraisal should be put on a statutory basis. Consultation on the draft regulations has begun and will be operational by the start of the new school session.

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Teachers (Appraisal) (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: My hon. Friend is right. Our approach to appraisal of teaching, and testing in S1 and S2 in secondary schools, is part of our continuing drive to push up even further standards in Scottish schools. That contrasts sharply with the attitude of Labour Members, whose answer to all this seems to be to close bad schools.

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Teachers (Appraisal) (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: As I understand it, those people were demonstrating not against the Government's policy but against the spending decisions and expected spending decisions of local authorities. Every teacher on that march and every parent of every child in Scotland's schools should know that every local authority in Scotland has more money to spend next year on education than last year. We expect those local...

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Teachers (Appraisal) (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: Every parent in Scotland of a pre-school child should know what the Labour party intends to do this year, next year and the year after. It would snatch back the vouchers, worth £1,100, which we are issuing and allow parents to choose, for the first time, whether to send their child to a nursery in the private or local authority sector. We are empowering parents by giving them that money and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Teachers (Appraisal) (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: The hon. Member who should be condemned is the hon. Lady who, two weeks ago, was briefing the press that the Government intended to privatise HMI. That was absolutely untrue. As always, the hon. Lady seeks to hector and lecture all involved in Scottish education with the attitude that granny knows best. That is why granny wants to snatch back £1,100 from the hands of parents in Scotland.

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Secondary Education (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: Current expenditure per secondary pupil in 1994–95 was £2,874. That is 37 per cent. higher in real terms than in 1979.

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Secondary Education (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We are putting more money in and our standards are rising. As we made clear in our White Paper "Raising the Standard", which we published a month ago, in the next Parliament we will continue that work.

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Secondary Education (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: Every teacher marching in Glasgow will want to know what Glasgow city council has been doing with the additional £3.5 million, compared with last year, for education that it has received for next year. They will want to know why that city council is saying that it must cut front-line education services while it has managed to find money to send councillors to a symposium on cultural policies...

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Secondary Education (5 Mar 1997)

Mr Raymond Robertson: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. His local authority has received almost £2 million more than last year to spend on education next year. The Scottish National party-controlled council in the constituency of the hon. Member for Angus, East (Mr. Welsh) will have £250,000 more to spend next year in comparison with last year. Teachers, parents and pupils should ask those councils what they...


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