The Scottish Parliament will soon be on its way to the Western Isles. On Friday 15 March the Presiding Officer, Tricia Marwick, will make her first ever visit to the area as part of the “Parliament Day” programme of events.
Designed to give people across Scotland an insight into the work of the Parliament and its politicians, Parliament Day will see the Presiding Officer visit a number of community organisations across the Western Isles. The Public Petitions Committee will hold a workshop giving local people the opportunity to learn more about how to petition Parliament. The Committee will also hold a formal meeting in Stornoway later in the day.
Speaking ahead of Parliament Day, the Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP said:
“Accessibility and openness are at the very heart of the Scottish Parliament and the Parliament Day is about making sure the work we do is just that - accessible to people across Scotland.
“I have already been impressed by the enthusiasm the people of the Western Isles have shown for Parliament Day and for engaging with their Parliament. By visiting and meeting the people living and working in their communities, we can make sure that the Parliament really is open to all.”
Public Petitions Convener David Stewart MSP said:
“The Scottish Parliament’s petitions process is all about putting ordinary people at the heart of the Parliament and by bringing Parliament Day to the Western Isles we are giving people a real opportunity to engage with their Parliament and the learn how they can make an impact.”
People from communities across the Western Isles will be involved in welcoming the Parliament as the series of activities around Parliament take place.
Parliament Day Activities
Amongst the organisations being visited by the Presiding Officer is the Harris Great Tapestry of Scotland Group who are working on the record-breaking tapestry illustrating the history of Scotland. She will also visit Hebrides Alpha, a project which provides therapeutic employment for people with drug and alcohol addiction. The Presiding Officer will also visit the Seallam Visitor Centre as well as hosting a meeting of community groups based in Harris.
The Parliament’s Education Outreach Team will work with pupils in local schools in the run up to Parliament day to gain a greater understanding of the work of the Parliament and of the Public Petitions Committee.
On Friday 15 March, local MSPs and members of the Public Petitions Committee will host a Q&A with local youth council members where they will be asked a range of questions about the work of the Parliament.
Public Petitions Committee
The Public Petitions Committee is to consider public petitions addressed to the Parliament. These can be on a wide range of subjects from access to medication to a national tree for Scotland.
The Committee is made up of seven MSPs from across the political parties with David Stewart MSP as Convener plus Chic Brodie MSP as Deputy Convener. The other members are Angus MacDonald MSP, John Wilson MSP, Adam Ingram MSP, Anne McTaggart MSP and Jackson Carlaw MSP.
As part of Parliament Day, the Committee will be holding a drop-in workshop where members of the public can meet Committee members and learn more about how to submit a petition to the Scottish Parliament. Members of Parliament staff will be on hand to help those wishing to submit a petition to the Parliament.
The agenda and papers for the Public Petition Committee meeting on Friday 15 March are available here:
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