Results 181–200 of 234 for speaker:Mercedes Villalba

Scottish Parliament: Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (22 Mar 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I have just knocked over and spilled a whole glass of water. However, now I can get started. I thank my colleagues on the committee and everyone who contributed the evidence that helped the committee produce its report. It is clear that there is broad support across the country and within Parliament for the principles that underlie the Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill. That is important...

Scottish Parliament: Offshore Wind and Green Economy Jobs (10 Mar 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Previously, the Scottish Government promised to deliver 130,000 green jobs by 2020. However, just a sixth of that number have been delivered. Latest figures reveal that the number of green jobs is falling, with the loss of nearly 3,000 since 2014. Will the Scottish Government support Labour’s call for the £700 million from the ScotWind licensing, and all annual income, to be ring fenced...

Scottish Parliament: Gas Prices (10 Mar 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Research by Energy Action Scotland shows that nearly 40 per cent of households will no longer be able to afford to heat their homes adequately due to rising energy prices. However, the Scottish Government has rowed back on its promise to create a publicly owned energy company, despite the outline business case showing that it would have produced annual savings for customers. I seek clarity...

Scottish Parliament: Peace Institute (10 Mar 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: 7. To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making towards the establishment of a peace institute by the end of 2022, as set out in its 2021-22 programme for government. (S6O-00844)

Scottish Parliament: Peace Institute (10 Mar 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: The Scottish Government has committed to establishing a peace institute, with a focus on human rights, by the end of this year. Amnesty International recently published a report into Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians. It includes a “call on states to immediately suspend the direct and indirect supply, sale or transfer” of arms to Israel. Given the human rights abuses that...

Scottish Parliament: Carmont Passenger Train Derailment (10 Mar 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: The tragedy has highlighted the need for a safe and resilient railway, but there are plans to cut thousands of safety-critical jobs at Network Rail. Earlier today, the First Minister failed to give a commitment that there will be no compulsory redundancies when ScotRail enters public ownership. Will the minister take action to ensure that those Network Rail cuts are scrapped and give a...

Scottish Parliament: Climate Emergency (10 Mar 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: The debate has rightly focused on the further action that is needed to tackle the climate emergency following COP26 as we look ahead to COP27 later this year. My colleague Colin Smyth pointed out that we need to reduce emissions in sectors of the economy, such as domestic transport, where they remain stubbornly high. Tess White spoke about concerns about the pace of the transition away from...

Scottish Parliament: Climate Emergency (10 Mar 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Okay. I will be happy to hear from the minister at another time. I would also like, finally, to get a commitment to s upport for an offshore training passport, at least in principle, because in the wake of COP26 and as we head towards COP27, we have an opportunity to demonstrate Scotland’s climate justice, underpinned by social and economic justice—

Scottish Parliament: Climate Emergency (10 Mar 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: The time for a green industrial revolution is now.

Scottish Parliament: Climate Emergency (10 Mar 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Will the minister take an intervention?

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Climate Assembly ( 1 Mar 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I thank the cabinet secretary for an advance copy of his statement. He mentioned the limits of devolved powers, but that does not excuse the lack of ambition shown by the Scottish Government over the powers that it has, including in relation to land use planning. On land, Scotland’s Climate Assembly has recommended that community right-to-buy legislation be enhanced to empower communities...

Scottish Parliament: Online Pimping (10 Feb 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I will not be taking interventions, as the dominant view has already been very well represented in today’s debate. I thank Ruth Maguire for bringing forward the motion for debate; I believe that her concerns are genuine. However, I am concerned that moves to criminalise online platforms that are used by sex workers will actually increase the risk to their safety. Sex workers themselves have...

Scottish Parliament: Breast Cancer Services (NHS Tayside) ( 9 Feb 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: 5. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on what steps it is taking to improve the provision of services for NHS Tayside breast cancer patients. (S6O-00728)

Scottish Parliament: Breast Cancer Services (NHS Tayside) ( 9 Feb 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Today, NHS Tayside revealed that unfilled vacancies mean that the health board will be left with no breast cancer oncology specialists. There seems to be a nationwide skills shortage. The minister mentioned looking at all options, including international recruitment and training. Will he outline what is being done to develop a long-term plan for training and recruitment for such specialists...

Scottish Parliament: Storm Malik and Storm Corrie ( 1 Feb 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: 2. To ask the Scottish Government what action it will take to support those communities affected by storm Malik and storm Corrie, including addressing the impact on the provision of services such as public transport. (S6T-00467)

Scottish Parliament: Storm Malik and Storm Corrie ( 1 Feb 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Compared with urban areas, rural areas across the north-east have been disproportionately impacted by recent storms. In recent years, the Scottish Government has made a series of commitments around rural repopulation. That is why the resilience of rural communities and their infrastructure, such as broadband and power, is vital. Will the minister outline what steps the Scottish Government is...

Scottish Parliament: Storm Malik and Storm Corrie ( 1 Feb 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: In 2020, the National Infrastructure Commission published a study into resilience, which made key recommendations, such as Government setting resilience standards every five years, and referred to the need for infrastructure operators to carry out regular stress tests and have long-term resilience strategies in place. I appreciate that we have had a spate of storms recently, but there is a...

Scottish Parliament: Afghan Refugees Resettlement (20 Jan 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: 6. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its discussions with the United Kingdom Government regarding the resettlement scheme for Afghan refugees who may be resettled in Scotland. (S6O-00647)

Scottish Parliament: Afghan Refugees Resettlement (20 Jan 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: The United Nations High Commission for Refugees can only register Afghan citizens as refugees or asylum seekers once they are outside Afghanistan and in another country. However, there are still those in Afghanistan who remain at severe risk from the Taliban, especially if they are caught trying to travel to Iran or Pakistan to seek asylum through the UNHCR. Will the Scottish Government push...

Scottish Parliament: Homeless Accommodation (Rural Communities) (19 Jan 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Last year, there were more than 27,000 households in Scotland assessed as being homeless, while 47,000 homes, valued at £8 billion, lay empty, including in rural areas. Compulsory purchase powers are no use to councils without fair funding. I welcome the Scottish Government’s “Housing to 2040” proposal to establish a new fund to enable local authorities to bring empty homes back into...


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