Section 6 — Involving children and young people

Part of Commissioner for Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:30 pm on 26 March 2003.

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Photo of Fiona McLeod Fiona McLeod Scottish National Party 3:30, 26 March 2003

In line with Pauline McNeill's opening remarks, I congratulate the committee on its work. I also begin by apologising for introducing my amendment at stage 3. Saying that I was involved in the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Bill and the Building (Scotland) Bill is not an excuse; it is simply my explanation for missing stage 2 committee meetings.

What lies behind amendment 1, which I may not press on hearing the convener's response, is the concern that I felt when I read section 6(2)(b). At the moment, the bill ensures that young people will have their views taken into consideration when the commissioner is deciding what work to undertake. I want to ensure that the voice of young people is a critical and continuing voice in the work of the commissioner. Young people should not be able to say only what they would like to see the commissioner doing; they should also be able to comment on the work that the commissioner is undertaking and to assess critically any work that has been undertaken in the past.

On the annual report being laid before the Parliament, I noticed that section 10(2)(d) states that the report will include

"the strategy for involving children and young people in the work of the Commissioner."

Will the convener of the committee assure me that we can ensure that the spirit of the bill relating to young people's continuing and critical voice in the work of the commissioner can be encompassed under that section, rather than under section 6(2)(b), which to me says that they will be able to comment only on forward planning rather than being able to assess critically work that has been undertaken?

I move amendment 1.