The Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee will make history as the first parliamentary committee to hold a meeting on the isle of Arran, when it meets at Arran High School in Lamlash, on Monday 13 September.
Community groups and school pupils from across the island have been invited to attend the meeting alongside members of the public.
Two pupils from Arran High School, Katy Simmons and Scott Currie, will present their own petitions to the Committee.
Committee Convener Rhona Brankin MSP said: "The committee members are all looking forward to our meeting on Arran. It is fitting that after holding meetings all over Scotland we will hold our final external meeting this parliamentary session on the island described as ‘Scotland in miniature.’
"I am sure the pupils at Arran High School and the local community will come together to make it an enjoyable, interesting and informative meeting."
Head teacher at Arran High School, Douglas Auld, said: "In June 2008 our new school was opened by former First Minister, Jack McConnell. In March 2009 we hosted the Convention of the Highlands and Islands, which was attended by Alex Salmond and Cabinet colleagues. I am therefore delighted to continue our links with national politicians by welcoming the Public Petitions Committee, which will give our young people the opportunity to meet with politicians and witness the democratic process first hand."
The Committee's remit is to decide what action should be taken on admissible public petitions. It is also responsible for deciding, in cases of dispute, whether a petition is admissible. If it is, then the committee's next step is to decide what action to take, usually involving further inquiry, working with the Scottish Government, local council or public bodies, and sometimes the petitioner themselves.
Since 1999, over 1,300 petitions have been lodged with the Parliament and considered by the Public Petitions Committee. These have been on issues as diverse as:
- mandatory custodial sentencing for knife carrying (PE1171)
- access to cancer treatment drugs (PE1108)
- school bus safety (PE1098 and PE1223);
- the rights of healthy gay/bisexual men to donate blood (PE1135).