The amendments in this group provide for the widening and reinstating of paths. Although ploughing is the land-management activity that is most likely to disturb a core path, there are other such activities. Our amendments widen the provision in the bill to make it apply to any disturbance of a core path.
There is no reason why reinstatement should not take place relatively quickly, so we propose to reduce the relevant period from eight weeks to 14 days. As that could result in different requirements, our amendments seek to apply section 22 to all rights of way. We propose to repeal the existing provision in the Countryside (Scotland) Act 1967. Amendment 163 seeks to achieve that.
I move amendment 108.
We welcome amendments 112 and 113, which are very sensible. The period of eight weeks would have been onerous and could have removed many paths in Scotland for a large part of the summer season.
The removal of the necessity to give notice under those circumstances is a reasonable move, which would reduce bureaucracy. There is not much point in giving notice of something seven days after it has been done, when it is to be undone another seven days later.
We have no difficulty with the bulk of the amendments in this group. Amendment 113 is the only one that concerns us. The period that is stipulated is not nearly sufficient to resolve the difficulty in question.
On the basis of what I have intimated, Presiding Officer, you may wish to take the amendments in this group, excluding amendment 113, en bloc.
As I can imagine no circumstances in which good husbandry could justify the ploughing up of a core footpath, I am worried about the implications of the measure that is contained in section 22. Therefore, I urge the Executive to keep a close eye on whether some farmers or landowners try to take advantage of it.
Division number 25
For: Adam, Brian, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Campbell, Colin, Canavan, Dennis, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ewing, Fergus, Fabiani, Linda, Ferguson, Patricia, Finnie, Ross, Fitzpatrick, Brian, Gibson, Mr Kenneth, Gillon, Karen, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Grahame, Christine, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Hamilton, Mr Duncan, Harper, Robin, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Hyslop, Fiona, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Jenkins, Ian, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lyon, George, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, MacKay, Angus, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, Marwick, Tricia, Matheson, Michael, McAllion, Mr John, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McGugan, Irene, McIntosh, Mrs Lyndsay, McLeish, Henry, McLeod, Fiona, McMahon, Mr Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, Morgan, Alasdair, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Neil, Alex, Oldfather, Irene, Paterson, Mr Gil, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mr Mike, Scott, Tavish, Sheridan, Tommy, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stevenson, Stewart, Stone, Mr Jamie, Thomson, Elaine, Ullrich, Kay, Watson, Mike, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan, Wilson, Andrew, Young, John
Against: Aitken, Bill, Davidson, Mr David, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Fergusson, Alex, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Harding, Mr Keith, Johnstone, Alex, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, Monteith, Mr Brian, Mundell, David, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Tosh, Mr Murray, Wallace, Ben