Results 141–160 of 1123 for speaker:Colin Smyth

Scottish Parliament: Circularity Scotland (Chief Executive’s Salary) (21 Mar 2023)

Colin Smyth: The minister needs to learn to answer the questions that she is asked. I asked her whether she was aware of the wage structures when she appointed Circularity Scotland as the administrator, when she became aware and whether she has, at any time, expressed concern. Given the importance of ensuring value for money, small producers are deeply worried about the cost of the scheme. Surely the...

Scottish Parliament: Circularity Scotland (14 Mar 2023)

Colin Smyth: Accessibility is important. The Government recently took a decision to exempt small retailers from the online takeback scheme. Can the minister explain how people who are housebound or disabled, for example, will have their bottles taken back if they have bought them online from a small retailer? There is a real accessibility challenge for those people.

Scottish Parliament: Net Zero: Local Government and Cross-sectoral Partners (14 Mar 2023)

Colin Smyth: I thank the members of the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee for carrying out the inquiry, the many organisations and individuals who gave evidence and the committee clerks and researchers for their work in distilling the evidence into the committee’s excellent report, which makes an important contribution to the debate on how we get Scotland on track to meet our climate commitments....

Scottish Parliament: Net Zero: Local Government and Cross-sectoral Partners (14 Mar 2023)

Colin Smyth: I certainly will. Will I get extra time for Stephen Kerr putting his card in?

Scottish Parliament: Net Zero: Local Government and Cross-sectoral Partners (14 Mar 2023)

Colin Smyth: The point was well worth waiting for, and it is a point that COSLA made in its recent response to the committee’s report. It said that the Government has no overall costed and coherent road map to net zero by 2040 or to the arguably more demanding target of a 75 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030. That was also the conclusion of the Climate Change Committee in its recent report card on...

Scottish Parliament: Net Zero: Local Government and Cross-sectoral Partners (14 Mar 2023)

Colin Smyth: There is no question but that the cuts in support for bus companies will hit rural areas harder, as those are the more heavily subsidised parts of our network scheme. What frustrates me is that, nearly four years after the Parliament passed the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019, the Government is still dragging its heels on giving councils the powers secured in that act and, more importantly, the...

Scottish Parliament: Net Zero: Local Government and Cross-sectoral Partners (14 Mar 2023)

Colin Smyth: Does the cabinet secretary accept that, since 2009, there has been a reduction of 38 per cent in budgets for planning departments and of a quarter of planning department staff? The big fear is that if, for example, we cannot get it right for onshore wind projects—I gave the example of those that have been delayed in Dumfries and Galloway—we could have an even bigger challenge when it...

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (Payments) ( 7 Mar 2023)

Colin Smyth: For clarification, can the minister say whether she was consulted on the changes in those handling fees? Yes or no? Last week, we heard producers give a resounding vote of no confidence in the scheme, with less than 16 per cent registering. This week, it is retailers who are expressing concern. Pete Cheema of the Scottish Grocers Federation said that the scheme was not fit for purpose and...

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme ( 1 Mar 2023)

Colin Smyth: We want there to be a viable deposit return scheme, but today’s statement leaves more questions than answers. The minister said that producers representing more than 90 per cent of the volume of products have signed up. Big producers were always going to sign up. Will she confirm that less than 20 per cent of the total number of producers in Scotland have registered? For the many thousands...

Scottish Parliament: Dementia Strategy ( 1 Mar 2023)

Colin Smyth: The first cross-party group that I joined when I was elected in 2016 was on dementia. More than 90,000 people live with dementia in Scotland but, as we have heard, that number is set to rise by 50 per cent in the next 15 years. Dementia touches the lives of so many of our constituents, and I was always immensely grateful for the contribution made at meetings of the cross-party group by those...

Scottish Parliament: Parliamentary Bureau Motions ( 1 Mar 2023)

Colin Smyth: I recognise that the SSI covers more than the deposit return scheme but, since it was agreed by the net zero committee, it has become increasingly clear, as Edward Mountain has highlighted—and no more so than in today’s statement—that more questions than answers remain around the current plans for the DRS. Today, for example, we heard that fewer than 16 per cent of producers have signed...

Scottish Parliament: Parliamentary Bureau Motions ( 1 Mar 2023)

Colin Smyth: Like the deposit return scheme, the Greens are making the standing orders up as they go along. We do not yet know whether there will be the delay for small producers that Labour has called for and we do not even know whether there will be an exemption from the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020. Does Edward Mountain agree that the Government should pause the SSI and bring it back when it...

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (28 Feb 2023)

Colin Smyth: Last week, Labour proposed a delay in the introduction of the scheme for small producers, which SNP and Green MSPs voted down. However, days later, the minister said that she was actively considering such a delay. When will the minister make a decision on the request for a delay for small businesses? Is it not the case that the minister is losing the confidence of small businesses, has lost...

Scottish Parliament: Retail and Town Centres (28 Feb 2023)

Colin Smyth: I am pleased that the Economy and Fair Work Committee agreed to carry out an inquiry into the future of our town centres. Members will not be surprised to know that I am especially pleased that the committee agreed to visit my home town of Dumfries as part of that inquiry. Dumfries is where I was born, where I have always lived and where I bring up my family, and it has been heartbreaking to...

Scottish Parliament: Retail and Town Centres (28 Feb 2023)

Colin Smyth: I agree entirely with what Stuart McMillan has said. I will come to that point in a moment. Professor Leigh Sparks made the very good observation that we need to stop damaging our town centres in the way that we have certainly done in the past. That means providing more support for the independent shops in our town centres, which have a real stake in our high streets. Retail will be crucial....

Scottish Parliament: Offsore Wind Resources (Statistics) (28 Feb 2023)

Colin Smyth: The cabinet secretary was advised by his officials in September not once but twice not to use the 25 per cent figure. Can he tell us why he ignored that advice when pushing the bogus stats to a French Government minister? Then he doubled down by citing the dodgy figures in newspaper columns and in speeches. Why did he do that? Why did he ignore the advice? Given the importance of the...

Scottish Parliament: Offsore Wind Resources (Statistics) (28 Feb 2023)

Colin Smyth: What has this got to do with it?

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (Impact on Small-scale Drinks Producers) (22 Feb 2023)

Colin Smyth: The minister will know that a Scotland-wide tender was issued to American hedge fund-owned Biffa to provide collections under the deposit return scheme. What assessment has the minister made of the impact on the small and medium-sized businesses in rural communities that are excluded from that decision, and which in some cases will lose existing contracts for recycling collections?

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (22 Feb 2023)

Colin Smyth: Labour supports the introduction of a viable deposit return scheme—a view that is shared by the overwhelming number of producers, suppliers and retailers that, ultimately, will have to implement any proposals. An effective scheme would reduce our waste and our carbon emissions at a time when Scotland is failing to meet its climate commitments and is falling behind on recycling. As a...

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (22 Feb 2023)

Colin Smyth: Our support for such a scheme cannot and will not blind us to the genuine concerns about the Government’s proposals as they currently stand, which Mark Ruskell does not seem to be interested in. It will not stop us from seeking to improve those proposals. Perhaps Mark Ruskell can think about and listen to some of our proposals. We welcome recent changes by the Government in relation to...


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