Motion S5M-00017: Returning Officer Bonuses

18 May 2016

That the Parliament understands that the returning officers responsible for organising elections are likely to be paid considerable extra on top of what many would consider to be extremely generous salaries; notes reports that, following the 2016 Scottish election and the EU referendum in June, returning officers across the country could benefit to the sum of almost £500,000 between them; affirms that returning officers have an extremely important role that is sometimes carried out in difficult circumstances; notes however the reported comments of Malcolm Burr, the chair of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives Scotland, that “the outdated system of remuneration requires a review” and of Willie Sullivan, the director of the Electoral Reform Society Scotland, that the running of elections should be “added to the job descriptions of local authority chief executives as an integral part of their role”, and agrees that, at a time of budgetary restraint, a review of this expenditure is required.

Motion S4M-15934: Earth Hour

17 Mar 2016

That the Parliament notes that 19 March 2016 once again sees the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) Earth Hour and everyone is encouraged to switch off lights for one hour from 8.30pm; understands that, since it started in 2007, the WWF Earth Hour has been a unique display of darkness bringing together hundreds of millions of people each year, with 2015 involving a record-breaking 172 countries; congratulates the people of Glasgow on its being named Scotland’s Earth Hour Champion for its advocacy in 2015; notes that more information about Earth Hour can be found on the WWF website, and encourages households, businesses and other organisations to take part in WWF’s Earth Hour to show their support for tackling climate change.

Motion S4M-15788: Costs of Smoking

02 Mar 2016

That the Parliament notes that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and ASH Scotland have carried out a pilot exercise that trained and supported money advice workers on how best to raise with their clients the financial benefits of stopping smoking; understands that, in addition to the training on how to raise and discuss the topic, staff, managers and clients were interviewed to evaluate the impact of the pilot and any perceived barriers to change; believes that positive feedback was received with every group suggesting that talking about the cost of smoking could be a useful addition to the support provided; welcomes the evaluation report, which it believes will be published on No Smoking Day, 9 March 2016, and looks forward to financial support services across Scotland engaging with their clients about the cost of smoking so that they can provide the best support to people experiencing financial difficulties.

Motion S4M-15689: Trident Costs Security

20 Feb 2016

That the Parliament notes the article in The Independent of 13 February 2016, which reports that the UK has had to rely on aircraft from allies over 20 times in the last year; further notes that aircraft have apparently had to be called from the US, Germany, Canada and France to protect Scottish waters due to a lack of maritime patrol aircraft that, among other uses, can detect and track Russian and other submarines; understands that the need for such support stems directly from the decision taken by the Ministry of Defence to cut the Nimrod patrol aircraft supposedly due to a deficit of £38 billion in the military budget; believes that if cuts are to be made in the defence budget they should take the form of scrapping the Trident nuclear submarines, which it considers make no sense either on moral, economic or strategic grounds, and considers that Trident is prioritised due to politicians in the UK Parliament clinging on to a false sense of Britain’s importance in the world and that this has led to real gaps in the conventional abilities of the armed forces thereby compromising the security of Scotland.