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Results 1–20 of 107 for speaker:Tom Mason

Scottish Parliament: Hospital Opening Delays (Aberdeen) (6 Feb 2020)

Tom Mason: The new Foresterhill cancer centre and family hospital in Aberdeen are now more than £60 million over budget. The cancer centre has been delayed for one year and the family hospital, which is to replace the city’s maternity unit, has been delayed for two years. The overall cost of the work has increased by more than 40 per cent on the original estimates. Does the First Minister think that...

Scottish Parliament: Scottish Elections (Reform) Bill: Stage 1 (6 Feb 2020)

Tom Mason: Because elements of the bill relate to local government, I declare an interest as a councillor in Aberdeen City Council. The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee has been pleased to scrutinise the bill, and I am grateful to the minister for his response to our recommendations in the stage 1 report. Broadly, the bill seeks to make changes to electoral law—mostly to reform...

Scottish Parliament: Scottish Elections (Reform) Bill: Stage 1 (6 Feb 2020)

Tom Mason: Will the member take an intervention?

Scottish Parliament: Scottish Elections (Reform) Bill: Stage 1 (6 Feb 2020)

Tom Mason: Is it the case that up to very recently—when we left the European Union—every member of the Scottish community had 19 elected representatives?

Scottish Parliament: Consumer Scotland Bill: Stage 1 (23 Jan 2020)

Tom Mason: An important piece of legislation is being considered today. A new consumer protection agency has the potential to help many people across the country and further promote consumer confidence across a variety of business sectors. Currently, there are a number of organisations that offer similar services, and a new statutory agency such as the one that is proposed in the bill can complement the...

Scottish Parliament: Consumer Scotland Bill: Stage 1 (23 Jan 2020)

Tom Mason: Thank you. That helps, and it adds to the debate. External organisations have also raised a few concerns about elements of the bill, and I will touch on a few of those. The first is the potential duplication of work that is done by other organisations—for instance, in the charitable sector. In its very helpful briefing, the Law Society of Scotland has pointed out that there is not...

Scottish Parliament: Local Government (Funding) (22 Jan 2020)

Tom Mason: The Labour Party has raised an important topic today, as the issue of funding settlements is particularly salient. There is a certain amount in the motion to agree with. It is the case that council funding has not kept pace with increases in the block grant given to the Scottish Government. In fact, every single council faced unnecessary budget cuts—sometimes well over 3 per cent—in the...

Scottish Parliament: Local Government (Funding) (22 Jan 2020)

Tom Mason: Let us be real about the effect of the cuts. I will use the example of Aberdeen. In the previous budget, we were able to safeguard libraries, community learning centres, and school crossing patrols. Some of the alternative suggestions were staggering, and included £1.8 million being cut out of the health and social care partnership, or getting £1.1 million from a blanket 3 per cent...

Scottish Parliament: Veterans (21 Jan 2020)

Tom Mason: I thank the minister for his statement and for the constructive tone with which the Scottish Government has approached the issue. On data collection, the report states that if veterans’ questions are included in the 2021 census—as, I hope, they will be—analysing the data might take some time. Can the minister provide an estimate of when that data might be available to use? Also, we all...

Scottish Parliament: NHS Grampian (Waiting Times) (16 Jan 2020)

Tom Mason: According to the latest statistics, 44 per cent of chronic pain sufferers in NHS Grampian waited longer than the 18-week target for their first pain clinic appointment. The Affa Sair patient group has been trying to organise a meeting to discuss the issue with the Scottish Government since October, without success. The group said: “the lack of care, respect and compassion by the Scottish...

Scottish Parliament: Empty Homes (7 Jan 2020)

Tom Mason: I declare an interest as a councillor at Aberdeen City Council. It is a pleasure to contribute to the debate, because finding a solution to the problem of empty homes is so important in helping us to improve the housing situation in Scotland. The report that was recently published by the Local Government and Communities Committee has given us a good insight into the current situation. It...

Scottish Parliament: Transient Visitor Levy (11 Dec 2019)

Tom Mason: 7. To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to support hospitality businesses negatively impacted by the introduction of transient visitor levies. (S5O-03905)

Scottish Parliament: Transient Visitor Levy (11 Dec 2019)

Tom Mason: UKHospitality has warned that if local authorities across Scotland implement the tourist tax, it would cost almost 6,000 jobs and cost our economy more than £200 million. What plans does the Scottish Government have to engage with businesses—especially small and medium-sized enterprises—to alleviate any damage that such a tax would do to their revenue stream and to help to protect their jobs?

Scottish Parliament: Disability Sport and Participation (5 Dec 2019)

Tom Mason: Today’s debate is one that I am glad to speak in, having some considerable experience over my 75 years—sorry, my 76 years—of a fair few of the challenges that have been discussed so far. In fact, it is almost 77 years. [ Laughter .] It goes without saying that access to sport and exercise is vital for the health of everybody in Scotland. When a group in society is unable to fully...

Scottish Parliament: Veterans and the Armed Forces Community (3 Dec 2019)

Tom Mason: I am pleased to speak in this debate as we work towards delivering for our veterans—individuals who have served our country with distinction and deserve only the highest praise. I welcome the update from the minister regarding the Scottish Government’s strategy for our veterans, and I look forward to seeing further work done to implement it in the months and years ahead. I also commend...

Scottish Parliament: Day of the Imprisoned Writer (14 Nov 2019)

Tom Mason: I thank Ruth Maguire for this important members’ business debate. A free press speaks to the very core of the ideals that we hold dear. The ability to speak truth to power is essential in any functioning democratic system. Unfortunately, across the world, we have seen the erosion of civil liberties and the rights of writers, activists and journalists to speak their minds without fear of...

Scottish Parliament: Legislative Priorities (Advice) (14 Nov 2019)

Tom Mason: 5. To ask the Scottish Government what advice it has received from the permanent secretary regarding its legislative priorities for the remainder of the parliamentary session. (S5O-03757)

Scottish Parliament: Legislative Priorities (Advice) (14 Nov 2019)

Tom Mason: Papers obtained by the Scottish Conservatives show that civil servants have deprioritised policy areas to work on the Scottish National Party’s indyref 2 plans. When will the SNP Government put schools, hospitals and policing ahead of its indyref 2 obsession and stop blaming all its problems on the Westminster Government?

Scottish Parliament: Aberdeen Art Gallery (7 Nov 2019)

Tom Mason: I remind colleagues that I am a councillor in Aberdeen City Council. Last week the First Minister told me that Aberdeen City Council had never applied for funding for the new art gallery, calling my question “a bit rich”. However, at 10pm on Friday night, the First Minister’s spokesperson confirmed that in fact the council had applied during the planning stage in 2013. The First...

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