National Galleries of Scotland Bill

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:17 pm on 26th March 2003.

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Photo of Alasdair Morgan Alasdair Morgan Scottish National Party 3:17 pm, 26th March 2003

I have three brief points to make. It is appropriate that, at the end of this parliamentary session, we are dealing with a bill and amendments to do with grid references. That is a nice balance, because close to the beginning of the parliamentary session, we also dealt with grid references in more controversial circumstances with the Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999. That lends a nice symmetry to proceedings over the four years of this Parliament.

To those who ask why it is necessary for an act of the Scottish Parliament to deal with boundaries in Princes Street gardens, I say that, apart from the obvious legal reasons, it is necessary that Princes Street gardens—which are a national treasure—should not be left to the whims of the City of Edinburgh Council, although it is undoubtedly an illustrious council in some circumstances. An asset such as Princes Street gardens should be subject to some scrutiny by the Parliament.

My third point is simply to echo what others have said. The bill is not a wholly essential part of the Playfair project because the promoters said that they had a contingency plan should the Parliament have turned the bill down. However, I am sure that the Playfair project will become an ornament in Scotland's capital in due course.