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Results 1–20 of 413 for speaker:Marco Biagi

Scottish Parliament: Support to Communities (Highlands and Islands) (23 Mar 2016)

Marco Biagi: The Scottish Government and its public sector partners continue to make significant investment in our communities, including the Highlands and Islands. For example, yesterday we announced a £315 million Inverness and Highland city region deal, including a Scottish Government commitment of up to £135 million over 10 years. The deal, which also includes up to £53 million from the United...

Scottish Parliament: Support to Communities (Highlands and Islands) (23 Mar 2016)

Marco Biagi: Highland Council is receiving £439 million from the Scottish Government and as my colleague the cabinet secretary has already said, the overall reduction nationally for local government is 1 per cent when the figures for health and social care are taken into account. That money is going towards achieving the living wage for health and social care staff and a further freeze on council tax...

Scottish Parliament: Community Councils (Strengthening) (23 Mar 2016)

Marco Biagi: Although local authorities have statutory oversight of community councils, the Government has been working with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the Improvement Service and Edinburgh Napier University to further enhance their role.

Scottish Parliament: Community Councils (Strengthening) (23 Mar 2016)

Marco Biagi: I share that concern. Community councils that do not feel listened to will not attract people and will struggle to recruit. Our work includes a website to support community councils; digital engagement workshops to support them in recruiting new people; and a fairer Scotland community council event that we are hosting, to which all community councils are invited. Last year, I met the national...

Scottish Parliament: Local Control (22 Mar 2016)

Marco Biagi: I think that that was a call to speak. The motion is a fitting send-off for my colleague Rob Gibson because, a bit like him, it is packed with ideas for local democracy, communities and land reform. Taken together, the unifying message is testament to the role that the motion’s lodger has carved out as a dedicated, thoughtful and occasionally just-the-right-amount-of-outspoken champion for...

Scottish Parliament: Orkney Islands Council (Meetings) (25 Feb 2016)

Marco Biagi: On Monday I, along with my ministerial colleague Derek Mackay, met the leader and chief executive of Orkney Islands Council as part of the latest island areas ministerial working group meeting. The Minister for Transport and Islands also met representatives of the council on Tuesday to discuss ferries issues.

Scottish Parliament: Orkney Islands Council (Meetings) (25 Feb 2016)

Marco Biagi: I take the view that it is certainly far better, when asking local government to take forward key priorities, such as a living wage for every social care worker, protecting the council tax freeze and maintaining the pupil teacher ratio, that we put money on the table to fund that, as we have done. When we take into account the £250 million, the overall reduction in funding for local...

Scottish Parliament: Orkney Islands Council (Meetings) (25 Feb 2016)

Marco Biagi: The issue of the interconnector from Orkney to the rest of Scotland so that Orkney can export renewable energy has been the subject of some debate in the islands areas ministerial working group and there have been discussions about that vis-à-vis the islands deal. Just this week, I have had meetings with developers in Orkney to discuss how we might be able to respond to calls for a different...

Scottish Parliament: Fairer Fife Commission (24 Feb 2016)

Marco Biagi: I thank Jayne Baxter for her motion on the fairer Fife commission and for securing the opportunity to be here. The debate has been quite fascinating for me as local government minister, because the fairer Fife commission is a wonderful example of a local authority leading a partnership approach and reconnecting with some of the spirit when—this was even before Beveridge—our local...

Scottish Parliament: Female Genital Mutilation (10 Feb 2016)

Marco Biagi: Some battles constantly need to be refought because they seem to re-emerge each generation. I was going to remark on the fact that the practice being made illegal in 1985 and the closing of the loophole in the law in 2015 were separated by 30 years and on the fact that we still need to have the debate, to take the action and to produce the action plan, but Christian Allard suggested—indeed,...

Scottish Parliament: Argyll and Bute Council (Discussions) (3 Feb 2016)

Marco Biagi: I am meeting Argyll and Bute Council on 1 March to discuss matters of mutual interest. Other ministers and officials also meet council representatives regularly.

Scottish Parliament: Argyll and Bute Council (Discussions) (3 Feb 2016)

Marco Biagi: The local government settlement as a whole has been challenging but fair. That applies to Argyll and Bute as much as it does to anywhere else, and represents a 2 per cent reduction of the overall expenditure available. I point out that, for Argyll and Bute, many of the things that we are asking for come with attached funding. The council tax freeze will be funded to the tune of £1.4 million...

Scottish Parliament: Argyll and Bute Council (Discussions) (3 Feb 2016)

Marco Biagi: It is always a ray of sunshine when Neil Findlay comes to ask a question, isn’t it? I am very proud of the effect that our policies have had on local government since we came into government.

Scottish Parliament: Argyll and Bute Council (Discussions) (3 Feb 2016)

Marco Biagi: We came into government and we immediately removed £2.7 billion of ring fencing, allowing local government to address its own priorities and answer to its own electorate. We have consistently protected local government from the scale of the cuts that have happened in England. If we really want to see what an embarrassing record on local government is, I suggest looking at...

Scottish Parliament: Argyll and Bute Council (Discussions) (3 Feb 2016)

Marco Biagi: There, figures range from 27 per cent in cuts to a figure I saw last night in an analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which said that, in the run-up to the 2015 election, there was a 36 per cent cut in central Government funding to local government in England. We are far away from that and I am very proud that we are.

Scottish Parliament: Third Sector Services (Commissioning) (3 Feb 2016)

Marco Biagi: Scottish ministers and Government officials regularly meet representatives of all local authorities to discuss a wide range of matters of current interest to local organisations. Under the local authority single outcome agreement, delivery decisions on commissioning services are made locally, reflecting knowledge and understanding of local need.

Scottish Parliament: Third Sector Services (Commissioning) (3 Feb 2016)

Marco Biagi: The member raises some very important issues and I will endeavour to have my justice colleagues investigate and respond in as short order as possible.

Scottish Parliament: Gender Recognition Act 2004 (Update) (28 Jan 2016)

Marco Biagi: Scotland has a good record in that area. In 2015, Scotland was ranked by ILGA-Europe—the European region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association—in its rainbow map as the most inclusive country in Europe for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex equality, as a result of meeting 92 per cent of the organisation’s 45 criteria. However, the...

Scottish Parliament: Gender Recognition Act 2004 (Update) (28 Jan 2016)

Marco Biagi: As I have said, we are considering the issue, which I have already met the Scottish Transgender Alliance to discuss. We have noted the United Kingdom Women and Equalities Committee report, and I have discussed its inquiry with my colleague the member of Parliament for Lanark and Hamilton East, who took part in it. I would not want to prejudge the outcome of any consideration and any...

Scottish Parliament: Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Bullying (28 Jan 2016)

Marco Biagi: The Scottish Government takes bullying very seriously. Bullying of any kind, including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, is unacceptable and must be addressed wherever it arises. We want all children and young people to be free from discrimination so that they can learn and reach their full potential. Our “A National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young...


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