The next Scottish Parliament Day will be held in Arbroath on Monday 4 November 2013.
The Presiding Officer will undertake a series of visits with constituency MSP Graeme Dey to local organisations, there will be school visits by MSPs and a workshop and formal meeting of the Finance Committee.
Announcing Parliament Day Arbroath, Presiding Officer the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP said:
“Arbroath is a great place for us to hold our latest Parliament Day. It is an ideal opportunity for the people of Arbroath to experience for themselves ‘a snapshot’ of the Parliament’s work and activities. It lets people meet and question MSPs and become involved in the work of their nation’s Parliament.”
Finance Committee Convener Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“We are delighted to be part of Parliament Day in Arbroath following our participation in the inaugural event last year.
“We believe it is important to involve local people in our scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s draft budget. Our morning workshops will allow us to meet local business and community groups to hear directly from them on what the Scottish Government’s spending plans mean for people living and working in Arbroath.
“The views we hear will contribute to the questions that we put to John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth at our meeting that afternoon.”
The Scottish Parliament’s Education Outreach Team will work with pupils from surrounding schools on activities relating to the draft Scottish Government budget.
In a mock budget activity, pupils will decide how much money to spend on areas such as health, education and justice and gain an understanding of the scrutiny process the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee undertakes.
The pupils will also attend the Finance Committee meeting at 2pm on Monday 4 November with John Swinney.
On the same date, regional MSPs will visit primary schools to be interviewed by pupils about the work of the Parliament and the MSPs role in representing their constituents. Each class aims to publish a special front page of a Parliament Day newspaper.
The Finance Committee is responsible for scrutinising public spending and examining the Scottish Government’s £30 billion draft budget for 2014-15.
The Finance Committee is made up of seven MSPs from across the political parties with Kenneth Gibson MSP as Convener plus John Mason MSP as Deputy Convener, Jamie Hepburn MSP, Gavin Brown MSP, Jean Urquhart MSP, Michael McMahon MSP and Malcolm Chisholm MSP.
Scrutiny of public spending means that the Committee looks carefully at how the Scottish Government proposes to spend its money and the results that spending is meant to achieve.
As part of the scrutiny process the Committee believes it is vital to hear from local groups and organisations who will be taking part in the private morning workshops with committee members to be held at the Webster Memorial Theatre.
The issues raised by the people of Arbroath at the workshops will then be put directly to John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, when he gives evidence to the Finance Committee at 2pm on Monday 4 November.
Photographs of the event will be available free of charge from Andrew Cowan, Scottish Parliament photographer on 0131 348 5878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.