Results 1–20 of 688 for speaker:Alison Johnstone

Scottish Parliament: Empty Homes (26 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: 2. To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to reduce the number of empty homes. (S5O-03432)

Scottish Parliament: Empty Homes (26 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: Since 2010, only 4,340 homes have been brought back into use. At the current rate of progress, we will have to wait 173 years until all the empty homes in Scotland are in use. Local authorities have a role, but surely the minister must recognise that national leadership is key, that legislation might be required and that current funding may be insufficient to address the fact that more than...

Scottish Parliament: Tackling Child Poverty (Progress Report) (26 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: I thank the cabinet secretary for providing advance sight of her statement. Across the board, means-tested payments have lower rates of take-up than universal payments. Child benefit, which is a trusted and well-known source of support, is claimed by around 95 per cent of eligible families. The Scottish Government’s own analysis suggests that it would achieve better coverage through child...

Scottish Parliament: Transvaginal Mesh (26 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: I appreciate the cabinet secretary’s assurances that there are no plans to lift the halt on the use of transvaginal mesh. However, I am concerned by her statement that “such a halt would be lifted only if a restricted-use protocol could be developed”. In March 2017, the Scottish independent review of the use of transvaginal mesh reported: “In the surgical treatment of POP, current...

Scottish Parliament: Education Reforms (25 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: The intention behind devolving powers to schools is to empower headteachers as education leaders, but it is not clear what accountability mechanisms are in place to ensure effective oversight and scrutiny of headteachers, who now have enhanced powers over budgets and staffing. When power was with the local authority, we had democratically elected councillors to scrutinise. What mechanisms are...

Scottish Parliament: Planning (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (Day 2) (19 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: I believe that Graham Simpson is firmly in favour of equal rights of appeal, but, although I understand why he feels he needs to—as he put it himself—come up with something, this is a feeble response. We need mediation only because the system is confrontational, and part of the reason why the system is confrontational is that it is not equitable. When people know that, at the end of the...

Scottish Parliament: Cycling Action Plan (18 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: Cabinet secretary, there was more spin in your statement than you will see in a peloton. You have a vision for 10 per cent of journeys to be made by bike by next year, and you have declared a climate emergency, yet you have announced nothing new beyond more monitoring and analysis. You even failed to acknowledge that, with just six months to go, the rate sits at just 2 per cent, which is even...

Scottish Parliament: General Practice (Funding) (13 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: 3. Like me, the First Minister will have received hundreds of emails from constituents this week backing calls for 11 per cent of national health service funding to go to general practice, to enable our local surgeries to employ more doctors and nurses, to provide longer appointments, and to tackle the health inequality that continues to blight Scotland. In April, Parliament voted for a Green...

Scottish Parliament: General Practice (Funding) (13 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: The fact is that the overwhelming majority of patient contacts are made with our GPs, yet they receive less than 8 per cent of the NHS budget. Although 11 per cent of the budget may be going to primary care, the call is for 11 per cent to go to GP practices. They are overstretched and underresourced. A quarter of GPs do not think that they will be in general practice five years from now and...

Scottish Parliament: World Environment Day 2019 (13 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: I thank Gillian Martin for bringing this important debate to the chamber as we mark world environment day. It has taken decades, but we have finally reached a point when news about our natural environment makes daily headlines. We can no longer claim ignorance of the impact that human activity is having on the natural ecosystems that sustain us—although, sadly, a few prominent individuals...

Scottish Parliament: Restricted Roads (20 mph Speed Limit) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (13 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: The cabinet secretary suggests that we should not pass laws unless we are absolutely sure that they will be enforced. Did he take that view when Scotland decided to ban smoking in public places? The cabinet secretary must have a vision. He does not like presumed liability, he will not pay for infrastructure and he is not interested in reducing the speeds on our roads. What exactly will he do...

Scottish Parliament: Restricted Roads (20 mph Speed Limit) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (13 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: Will the member give way?

Scottish Parliament: Restricted Roads (20 mph Speed Limit) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (13 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: The latest Transport Scotland statistics tell us that serious accidents involving children walking and cycling have increased, that adult pedestrian deaths have increased, and that there has been a marked increase in the number of adult cyclists involved in serious accidents. Things are going in the wrong direction. What I am trying to understand is this. The cabinet secretary’s investment...

Scottish Parliament: Veterans Strategy (Update) (12 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: A report from veterans gateway said that financial advice is consistently one of the top three needs for people when they leave military life, and the veterans strategy said that, on leaving military life, veterans can be “uniquely unprepared for balancing the financial demands of civilian life”. The minister spoke of his desire to improve the information and guidance that are available...

Scottish Parliament: Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill (11 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: I, too, thank all those who have campaigned for many years to change the law. I thank the Royal College of Nursing, the British Medical Association, the British Heart Foundation and the Law Society of Scotland for their briefings, and I express my gratitude to Mark Griffin for his lengthy campaigning and to Anne McTaggart for her work to introduce a bill in 2015. Although that bill did not...

Scottish Parliament: First Responders (Trauma Recovery and Support) (6 Jun 2019)

Alison Johnstone: I thank Alex Cole-Hamilton for the opportunity to debate this important matter. His motion calls on the Scottish Government to bring forward a national first responder trauma recovery strategy, and I am pleased to support that call. We are all hugely appreciative of our first responders. We are beyond grateful to all who intervene to save lives. In some cases, they are not professionals, but...

Scottish Parliament: Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (28 May 2019)

Alison Johnstone: Will the member take an intervention?

Scottish Parliament: Universal Credit and Mental Health (28 May 2019)

Alison Johnstone: Our social security system should do what it says on the tin. It should be there for all of us when we need it, to provide support and security. However, too often, it does the opposite: it can foster insecurity, anxiety and—as the title of the report that we are debating today acknowledges—confusion. That is bad enough for anyone, but it is of particular concern for people who experience...

Scottish Parliament: Cycling Targets (Road Safety) (22 May 2019)

Alison Johnstone: 3. I am sure that all members will wish to join me in extending my sincere sympathies to the family and friends of the cyclist who tragically lost her life in Glasgow this morning. Sustrans research that is out today tells us that children on bikes or on foot in the most deprived areas of Scotland are more than three times as likely to be injured or killed on the roads, simply as a result of...

Scottish Parliament: Cycling Targets (Road Safety) (22 May 2019)

Alison Johnstone: Let us bear it in mind that the budget that was doubled has increased from 1.5 per cent to 3 per cent of the transport budget. It is tokenistic. Reducing speed limits is one of the cheapest ways to make our roads safer for everyone. They are not safe enough, which is why, currently, 3 per cent of journeys in Scotland take place on a bike. The First Minister of Wales has announced that 20mph...

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