Results 101–120 of 234 for speaker:Mercedes Villalba

Scottish Parliament: Primary Care (23 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I have previously raised with the cabinet secretary my constituents’ concerns about the declining quality of patient care at some general practices in Aberdeen. He has given a commitment that his officials will determine improvement plans for practices to put in place, but I am yet to receive an update from him. I seek confirmation that that will be forthcoming.

Scottish Parliament: Primary Care (23 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Why are the member’s expectations of and ambitions for our health service so low?

Scottish Parliament: Cost of Living: Mortgage Rescue Scheme (23 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Will the minister give way?

Scottish Parliament: Fisheries Negotiations (22 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak in the debate because, in the wake of COP27, many campaigners are concerned about the lack of significant progress internationally towards achieving net zero and environmental targets. Today’s debate is a welcome opportunity for the Scottish Government to set out what it hopes to emerge from the upcoming coastal states negotiations. There is...

Scottish Parliament: Fisheries Negotiations (22 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Will I get the time back, Presiding Officer?

Scottish Parliament: Fisheries Negotiations (22 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I am sorry, but I do not have the time to take an intervention. If we fail to grasp the opportunity to use existing mechanisms such as quotas to support Scottish fishers, it is coastal communities that will pay the price for our political inaction. Just as Scotland’s mining communities suffered serious economic hardship that still scars us today, the loss of fishing jobs and opportunities...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Depopulation (Impact of Carbon Offset Schemes) (17 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: We will never reverse rural depopulation without tackling the centuries-old inequality of land ownership in Scotland. Instead of promoting carbon offsetting for a wealthy elite, is it not time for the Scottish Government to introduce a land cap so that our natural resources will work for the many, not the few?

Scottish Parliament: Higher Education Workers Dispute (17 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I refer members to my entry in the register of interests, and I thank my comrade Katy Clark for securing this important debate. As a former rep for the University and College Union—the UCU—I know all too well what struggles the staff in higher education are facing. For years, those workers have been undervalued as the UK and Scottish Governments have allowed low pay, casualisation and...

Scottish Parliament: Higher Education Workers Dispute (17 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I thank the minister for that intervention and for his commitment to meet the workers. I will pass that on. The invitation was extended to every MSP in Parliament and I raised it at First Minister’s question time. I even gave the time and place. I can only apologise if the minister was not paying attention that day. Where is the fairness in low pay, in casualised contracts and in the...

Scottish Parliament: Mental Health (Workplace Stigma) (10 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: As we have heard today, the workplace can often be a major contributor to poor mental health, particularly due to low pay, insecure work and poor working conditions. At this year’s congress of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers—USDAW—highlighted how strong collective bargaining rights are crucial to better terms and conditions and...

Scottish Parliament: Forestry (Contribution to Net Zero) ( 9 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: The debate could not have been timelier as COP27 continues in Egypt. If we are to become a truly net zero Scotland, we have to ensure that forestry makes a significant contribution in delivering that. That is why there is much in the Scottish Government’s motion that we welcome, particularly the renewed commitment to increase the annual woodland creation target to 18,000 hectares by 2025....

Scottish Parliament: Forestry (Contribution to Net Zero) ( 9 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I would like to see a lot more of Scotland’s land in public and community ownership. The Conservative amendment refers to commercial forestry, which is an issue that I want to address. We have to recognise that the land use sector, which includes forestry, is a major contributor to net emissions. In order to reduce emissions, we have to consider ways to make forest management more...

Scottish Parliament: Forestry (Contribution to Net Zero) ( 9 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I do not think that I have time, sorry. The Scottish Government’s commitment to increase the use of domestic timber is welcome, because the current situation is unacceptable. Forestry and Land Scotland has highlighted that the UK imports 80 per cent of our annual timber requirement, leaving us in the position of often having to rely on imported wood for house building and other...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture Support and Food Security ( 8 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I am pleased to hear from the minister’s statement that action is being taken to improve food security in Scotland, because increasing local food procurement will reduce our carbon emissions and our reliance on imports. As highlighted by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, low pay and insecure work are endemic throughout our food supply chains. That issue must be addressed if we are...

Scottish Parliament: Industrial Action (University of Dundee) ( 3 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Unite the union members from the University of Dundee are in their third month of industrial action in defence of their pensions. Today, a delegation of those workers is in the Parliament to provide an update on the dispute, and every MSP has received an invitation to the meeting, which will be held in committee room 2 at 1 o’clock. Can the workers count on the First Minister and her...

Scottish Parliament: Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (25 Oct 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: As a member of the Rural Affairs, Islands and Natural Environment Committee, I begin by thanking the committee’s convener and deputy convener for their facilitation of a robust series of scrutiny sessions on the Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill, and the committee clerks for their detailed and thorough work throughout. It is fair to say that we knew from the outset that the bill would...

Scottish Parliament: Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (25 Oct 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I will take no interventions. The Scottish Government has been clear that the bill seeks to address inconsistencies and ambiguities in the language contained in the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002. Those inconsistencies and ambiguities often undermined attempts to investigate and prosecute alleged offences. However, as has been highlighted by the Law Society of Scotland, the...

Scottish Parliament: Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (25 Oct 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: No interventions. I also agree with animal welfare organisations that question why the bill permits the use of birds as a method of killing. It is not credible for the Scottish Government to suggest that the killing of an animal by a bird of prey rather than by a dog is better from an animal welfare perspective. In its written evidence the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission told the committee...

Scottish Parliament: Proposed Rent Freeze (29 Sep 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Scotland’s tenants union, Living Rent, continues to report rent increases on its members despite the First Minister’s announcement of a rent freeze on 6 September. What steps is the Scottish Government taking to ensure that every tenant and landlord knows about the rent freeze and the moratorium on evictions? Do they include writing to everyone who is affected?

Scottish Parliament: Covid Recovery Strategy (Dundee) (28 Sep 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Although the money that has been allocated to councils through the local authority Covid economic recovery fund is welcome, it does little to reverse the damage to local services that has been caused by a decade of cuts. The Scottish Government has cut real-terms—

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