Results 41–60 of 8797 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament: Wildfires (29 Nov 2023)

Fergus Ewing: The minister mentioned the use of muirburn without permission in an emergency. However, is it not the case that, if we wait for an emergency, it is too late? Everyone whom I speak to in rural Scotland who deals with wildfires says that, if muirburn is reduced, the risk of loss of human life increases. Does the minister share my concern that any such diminution of muirburn, particularly on a...

Scottish Parliament: Fossil Fuel Boilers (Replacement) (23 Nov 2023)

Fergus Ewing: We all agree that there is an acute housing shortage in this country, yet Homes for Scotland, Cala Homes, Taylor Woodrow and Persimmon—all of which are major house builders—have repeatedly warned that the heat pump targets, especially for new builds, have had the effect of forcing up house-building costs so that fewer homes are being built in Scotland. If the First Minister wants to...

Scottish Parliament: Fossil Fuel Boilers (Replacement) (23 Nov 2023)

Fergus Ewing: — to work out a plan to solve the problem? [ Applause .]

Scottish Parliament: Delays on A9 (SGN Works) (31 Oct 2023)

Fergus Ewing: As well as the extreme economic damage to businesses locally and in the whole of the Highlands—if that goes on until February, it will be on a devastating scale—is there not a further risk to human life? If drivers who plan the journey to expend three hours normally find that it takes six hours and not three hours and are fatigued, the risk of driver error and therefore fatalities surely...

Scottish Parliament: Rural and Islands Housing (31 Oct 2023)

Fergus Ewing: On 1 September, I wrote to the minister suggesting that, in order to meet the laudable aim of delivering 11,000 affordable homes by 2032, he should work closely with farmers and landowners, and that he should use permitted development of up to five new homes per farm unit. I am not talking about simply converting existing homes but about building new homes. Given that farms cover 71 per cent...

Scottish Parliament: Rural and Islands Housing (31 Oct 2023)

Fergus Ewing: I refer members to my entry in the register of members’ interests. I own a small cottage in Lossiemouth, which has been let on a long-term basis for the past 16 years. This is not the first time that I have made this speech in this session of the Parliament and I have a feeling that it might not be the last occasion. When I previously made the points that I am going to make again, the...

Scottish Parliament: Rural and Islands Housing (31 Oct 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Thank you. That is for the minister to say. I am attempting to persuade the minister to adopt measures in addition to his plan, which contains many welcome steps, because I believe that it would make a tremendous contribution to tackling the problem. Of course, it would not be so expensive. If we enable people to use their own money instead of taxpayers’ money, what is not to like about...

Scottish Parliament: A96 Dualling (28 Sep 2023)

Fergus Ewing: In the programme for government, the First Minister reaffirmed the welcome commitment to dual the A96 between Inverness and Auldearn, including the Nairn bypass. In November last year, the then transport secretary assured the chamber that the necessary statutory orders relating to compulsory purchase and ancillary roads would be made in a matter of weeks. Nearly a year later, my constituents...

Scottish Parliament: Education (National Discussion) (31 May 2023)

Fergus Ewing: It is a real pleasure to warmly welcome to her role the new cabinet secretary—this is the first opportunity that I have had to do so. I have no doubt that she brings energy, enthusiasm and a great deal of effort with her, and I wish her well. It will come as no surprise to many members that I will focus my remarks on what I consider will be the enormous benefits that will accrue to our...

Scottish Parliament: Education (National Discussion) (31 May 2023)

Fergus Ewing: I am delighted to hear that; I think that it displays a particular intelligence on the part of the Conservative Party. [ Laughter .]

Scottish Parliament: Education (National Discussion) (31 May 2023)

Fergus Ewing: I totally agree with Mr Whitfield that it is in the curriculum, but the problem is that, although it is in the curriculum, supervision, which is essential, is not provided for. I will come on to that. My attempts have failed thus far.

Scottish Parliament: Education (National Discussion) (31 May 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Yes, of course I will.

Scottish Parliament: Education (National Discussion) (31 May 2023)

Fergus Ewing: I am extremely grateful to Mr Rennie. This spontaneous expression and outburst of cross-party support is extremely welcome. However, it is a very serious issue, because that support demonstrates that this is not a party-political issue. Absolutely nothing that I have to say has anything to do with party politics; it is all about the enormous benefits that I think can be achieved for virtually...

Scottish Parliament: Education (National Discussion) (31 May 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Yes, I absolutely agree with that. I want to say to the cabinet secretary that the information that I have, which also comes from members in the chamber about personal experiences in their lives and with their families, is that, as Willie Rennie alluded to earlier, it is especially children with special needs—children with dyslexia and autism—who benefit from the acquisition of this...

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (30 May 2023)

Fergus Ewing: In the past couple of days, the minister has warned—indeed, threatened—that if the Scottish DRS fails and does not go ahead, that would result in littering in Scotland of 600 million bottles. The population of this country is 5.5 million. That would require every person—every man, women and child—to litter 109 bottles on our streets, beaches and parks a year. That obviously does not...

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (23 May 2023)

Fergus Ewing: The last gateway review was completed two months ago, in March. Why has that not been made public? When will it be made public? Irrespective of who is responsible for compensation, will the minister simply confirm that businesses, producers and retailers have incurred costs—as required by law—and that therefore, if the scheme fails, they must get compensation? Does the minister accept...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Vaccination Programme (16 May 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Following on from that point, GPs in Nairn, in my constituency, very much want to continue providing vaccination services. There is a procedure to exempt them from the requirement in the GP contract, but that was taken away. Will the minister and the cabinet secretary look at that again? It would be a better solution for patients and for health, and it would be far cheaper, saving millions of...

Scottish Parliament: Bracken (Use of Asulox) (11 May 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Uncontrolled bracken is the perfect breeding ground for ticks, which carry diseases that infect humans, including the debilitating Lyme disease. Will the First Minister end the delay and instruct the authorisation of Asulox, which is the only effective treatment to control bracken? Given that time is running out for both its procurement and use in the available season, will he do that...

Scottish Parliament: Supporting Mental Health in Rural Communities (11 May 2023)

Fergus Ewing: I entirely agree with what Rachael Hamilton has said thus far. Does she also recognise the really critical and practical work of the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution, which is carried out by volunteers who provide assistance to farmers—and particularly to crofters, who live remotely and may not see anyone for weeks on end—and give invaluable support to people in those...

Scottish Parliament: Charities (Regulation and Administration) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (11 May 2023)

Fergus Ewing: You are so kind, Presiding Officer. Thank you for that. As Pam Duncan-Glancy so eloquently said, we—all of us—owe a debt to those who give their time freely, generously and copiously to support charitable efforts throughout the country. Scotland would not be what it is without the effort of such individuals. I add my thanks to OSCR and to the people who work in OSCR. I had the privilege...

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