Tracker 15 February 2017

Useful information

Commission on Parliamentary Reform survey

The Commission on Parliamentary Reform has launched a short online survey to gather views on the Scottish Parliament and people’s experience of engaging with it.

Brexit

The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has moved to the House of Lords. The debate on its key purpose and principles (second reading) is scheduled for Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 February 2017.

The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee in the House of Lords has published a report which highlights key actions that will be needed to ensure environmental protections are not eroded as a result of Brexit.

Future Me

The Scottish Government has launched the ‘Future Me’ campaign, which encourages parents or guardians to talk to children about their dreams for the future.

Teacher recruitment campaign

A ‘Teaching Makes People’ campaign has been launched by Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP, targeting science, technology, engineering and maths.

Digital strategy

The UK Government has published its digital transformation strategy. This sets out how it will use digital to change the relationship between the citizen and the state and encourage culture change within the civil service.

NHS governance call for evidence

The Health and Sport Committee has launched an inquiry to explore the culture of the NHS and the way this impacts on patients. The committee plans to look at a number of issues related to this theme including how change is managed in the NHS and the impact this has on staff.

Gender pay gap inquiry

An inquiry into the impact of equal pay has been launched by the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee.

Post-legislative scrutiny

The Local Government and Communities Committee is undertaking post-legislative scrutiny of the Disabled Persons' Parking Places (Scotland) Act 2009 and the High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013, and is calling for views on how the current legislation is working.

New landlord registration scheme

A new digital application for Scotland’s register of landlords has gone live. It can be accessed using a smartphone, tablet or computer and will make it much easier to search the public register of landlords, for landlords to apply for or renew their registration and for local authorities to maintain the register in their areas.

Enquiries

I am interested in the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill and wondered if you could send out updates to me as they happen.

On the bill’s page, you will see a small orange icon. This is an RSS link you can click on to subscribe to the list for this feed. Updated information from the feed is then automatically downloaded to your computer.

SPICe briefings and resources

SB 17-08 Labour Market Update: February 2017

Bills

Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill

Parliamentary questions

Article 50

S5W-6501 Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the Supreme Court's judgement of 24 January 2017 in respect of the triggering of Article 50 in relation to the UK leaving the EU and, in light of the Supreme Court limiting the Lord Advocate to legal argument based on devolved issues, whether it plans to take further legal action or appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

James Wolffe QC: In R (Miller) v. Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union the UK Supreme Court decided that the UK Government may not lawfully notify the European Council under Article 50 TEU of the UK's intention to withdraw from the European Union without the authority of an Act of the UK Parliament.

The decision of the UK Supreme Court on these issues is final. There is no right of appeal from the UK Supreme Court to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Scottish Government will keep under review the question of what steps it should take to defend Scotland’s interests and the role of the Scottish Parliament as the process of triggering Article 50 and negotiating the UK exit from the EU continues.

Drug-driving

S5F-00890 Stuart McMillan: To ask the First Minister what legislation is in place to deal with drug-driving.

The First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon): […] Scotland has long-standing legislation in place that makes it an offence to drive while impaired due to drugs. It is used by Police Scotland, prosecutors and courts to ensure that those who take drugs and drive can be held to account for putting their lives and those of others at risk. […] We will wait for the evaluation of the drug-driving limits in England and Wales to inform our consideration of the best approach to the issue in Scotland and to see whether that development would help us to make our roads even safer. […] The evaluation is due to be published this year.

Treatment of wheelchair users

S5W-06684 Gordon Lindhurst: To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of First Group plc v Paulley, what its position is on revising the guidelines for public service vehicle providers regarding the treatment of wheelchair users.

Humza Yousaf: The Government will carefully consider the judgement regarding the use of wheelchair spaces on buses. It involves a reserved policy area and Transport Scotland will work with the UK Government and affected stakeholders in Scotland to develop policy options which satisfy the published outcome. [,,,]

Private schools

S5W-6644 Ross Greer: To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to review the charitable status of private schools.

John Swinney: The Scottish Government does not have any plans to review the charitable status of independent schools at present.

The Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (“OSCR”) is responsible for determining charitable status in Scotland in accordance with the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005. […] The Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 (‘the 2005 Act’) is reviewed regularly as part of the Scottish Government’s formal and informal engagement with OSCR.

Feedback and comments

If you have any comments or suggestions about the Weekly Tracker or if there is something you would like to contribute, please email sp.info@parliament.scot by the end of Tuesday.

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