Point of Order

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 29 February 2024.

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Photo of Alex Cole-Hamilton Alex Cole-Hamilton Liberal Democrat

On a point of order, Presiding Officer.

I seek your advice on whether the Scottish Government has contacted you about holding an urgent statement this afternoon on the very worrying news coming out of Aberdeen. It is being reported that hundreds of people are set to be moved out of their homes because of the presence of potentially dangerous reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete. Aberdeen City Council says that there is RAAC in 500 homes in the Balnagask area, including 364 council properties.

I have pressed the Government for almost a year to get serious about dangerous concrete. We have helped to uncover its presence in schools, hospitals, universities, colleges, fire stations, police stations, courts and—yes—homes. Now, the news from Aberdeen will turn the lives of hundreds of people upside down.

I am sure that members across the chamber will want to join me in asking the Government questions this afternoon, if possible, about the timescale in which that will occur. Does “as soon as possible” mean immediately, days, weeks or months? Where will those people be rehomed temporarily or even permanently? Was the Scottish Government aware that that decision was about to be taken? What precisely was contained in the report that Aberdeen City Council was given a week ago that caused the decision to be taken? What has changed? What impact does that have on policy in the rest of Scotland?

The Scottish National Party Government has been too casual about the issue from the very start. I have uncovered a pattern of the Government not telling Parliament, ignoring it internally and cutting budgets. The news from Aberdeen today must force the Government to be open with Parliament and to come to Parliament this afternoon.

Have you been contacted by the Government about holding such an urgent statement this afternoon, Presiding Officer?

Photo of Liam McArthur Liam McArthur Liberal Democrat

Thank you, Mr Cole-Hamilton. I am not aware of either those reports or any approach in relation to a statement. You will be aware that the business for the week is agreed in the Parliamentary Bureau, and that business has been approved by Parliament. However, I am sure that your comments will have been noted.