Motion S5M-14705: Passing of Reverend Laurence Whitley

12 Nov 2018

That the Parliament notes with sadness the passing of Reverend Laurence Whitley, the former Church of Scotland minister of Glasgow Cathedral, at the age of 69; understands that Reverend Whitley was born in Port Glasgow to a family experienced in church service, with his father, Dr Harry Whitley, being minister of St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh; further notes that Reverend Whitley stood as a candidate for the SNP in the two 1974 General Elections, contesting the Dumfries seat and increasing the SNP share of the vote by 7%; understands that, after graduating in arts from the University of Edinburgh, he moved to St Andrews to study divinity; recognises that his probationary year was spent as minister of St Andrew’s Church in Dundee before taking over the linked charges of Busby West and Busby East; notes that he spent 10 years in Busby, which is where he met his future wife; understands that he then moved on to become the minister for Montrose Old, spending more than 20 years there before being called to service at Glasgow Cathedral in 2007; welcomes the efforts made by Reverend Whitley to improve the representation of the Kirk Session of the Glasgow Cathedral through the introduction of women to the membership; further welcomes his efforts to improve ecumenical relations, with Archbishop Mario Conti giving him praise for his work, and sends its deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Motion S5M-14629: Display of Graphic Images of Firework Use

07 Nov 2018

That the Parliament welcomes the campaign by the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), which calls for graphic images of injuries to be displayed on firework packaging; understands that the professional body hopes that the use of such images will deter some buyers and highlight the risks of irresponsible use; notes that BAPRAS has claimed that the “toy-like” packaging of fireworks can cause people to forget that they are handling explosives; acknowledges that a YouGov poll in October 2018 suggested that 62% of the public support the introduction of such graphic warnings, and believes that this call from BAPRAS, and others, should be considered seriously.

30 Oct 2018

John, has welcomed the launch of “Upstream Battle” a campaign which is running the length and breadth of the Clyde to tackle marine litter at source – raising awareness of the fact that 80% of litter in the sea comes from the land, and helping communities and businesses along the Clyde to take action.

The initiative, launched by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful in partnership with RECOUP, comes as new research reveals that 88% of people across Scotland are concerned by the extent of litter pollution in our rivers.

“I am very excited about the potential the Upstream Battle Campaign has to improve the quality of the Clyde and our oceans. The awareness raising alone will have a positive impact on how people living along the Clyde think about the litter we drop.

“Rubbish dropped in Dalmarnock can end up contributing to all kinds of problems if washed out into the ocean. I am also a big fan of local litter clean-ups and will look forward to getting involved in any organised as part of the Upstream Battle.”

The Upstream Battle campaign is backed by a range of high profile ambassadors, organisations and funders, including the renowned Blue Planet cameraman, Doug Allan. John is encouraging everyone to get involved and take part in a range of activities which will be taking place across the entire length of the River Clyde, from its source in the Lowther Hills in the South of Scotland, to Helensburgh and Greenock at the mouth of the Firth of Clyde.

Blue Planet cameraman Doug Allan, said:

“It’s hugely satisfying to see the part that the Blue Planet 2 series has played in heightening awareness of this devastating problem for the marine environment. I’m equally proud that it’s my native Scotland that’s setting the pace in recognising the scale of the problem, and taking practical steps to address it.

 

“It’s never been more important to look after our planet. What we do on land directly affects the health of our rivers and our seas and everything that lives in them. It’s time to get serious about the source of marine litter, and I’m delighted to be supporting Upstream Battle.

 

As the first “source to sea” campaign of its kind in Scotland, Upstream Battle will feature three major distinct strands of activity co-ordinated by Keep Scotland Beautiful, which focus on raising awareness and inspiring action. This will include:

  • significant community engagement, working with groups along the Clyde valley, making people aware of the problem of marine litter and how to keep the Clyde clean
  • a ‘citizen science’ project to empower thousands of people in the Clyde Valley to clean up and identify the litter along the banks of their local river
  • a schools programme to help educate young people about the path litter takes from source to sea

 

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful said:

“Our research clearly shows that people across Scotland are deeply concerned by the amount of litter finding its way into our rivers and oceans, and now is the time to take action.

“This 18-month campaign will raise awareness of the scale of the problem and motivate people to play their part in tackling it. In the end, this is about changing behaviour – we need to think differently about litter and how we dispose of it. The evidence is clear – the drinks bottle or crisp packet discarded in our streets, has a fair chance of ending up in our river and polluting the ocean. That has to stop, it’s time to look after our rivers and protect our seas.”

So far, partner funders of the Upstream Battle campaign, which is managed by Keep Scotland Beautiful and RECOUP, include the Scottish Government, Crown Estate Scotland, ScotMid Cooperative and RCP/bpi.

People can find out more about how to take part in the campaign by visiting www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/upstreambattle.

Year of the Young People – Business Conference in Parliament

29 Oct 2018