Section 16 — Authorisations

Part of Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:45 am on 17th June 2004.

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Photo of Mike Rumbles Mike Rumbles Liberal Democrat 11:45 am, 17th June 2004

No. [ Interruption. ] Members should just listen—it helps if people listen.

Charities that have approached me to oppose dispersal include Barnardo's Scotland and ChildLine, both of which are against the power to disperse. If the power is supported in the Parliament today, it will drive a coach and horses through the evidence-based approach to legislation that the Parliament is supposed to have adopted.

Many people are specifically concerned that our hard-won right to peaceful assembly is under threat. I have heard no valid reason why we should support this draconian measure. Ministers accept the fact that the power to disperse was never part of the partnership agreement—or at least the First Minister does.