John asks about strengthening Community Councils

23 Mar 2016


  • 9. John Mason (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP):

    To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it has given to strengthening community councils. (S4O-05704)

  • The Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment (Marco Biagi):

    Although local authorities have statutory oversight of community councils, the Government has been working with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the Improvement Service and Edinburgh Napier University to further enhance their role.

  • John Mason:

    Does the minister share my concern that, although we want to push power down to local communities below the city council level, it is difficult when many community councils are not active, or are kept going only by a very small band of people?

  • Marco Biagi:

    I share that concern. Community councils that do not feel listened to will not attract people and will struggle to recruit. Our work includes a website to support community councils; digital engagement workshops to support them in recruiting new people; and a fairer Scotland community council event that we are hosting, to which all community councils are invited.

    Last year, I met the national body for English parish and town councils to learn more about their system. I would describe myself as actively interested, but any further work would be for the next Administration, of which I will clearly not be a part, to take forward.

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John asks about Economic Impact of Clydesdale Bank sale

19 Feb 2016

John Mason: To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it has made of the potential economic impact on Scotland of the Clydesdale Bank being floated on the stock market.

Answered by John Swinney (11/02/2016):Clydesdale Bank has an established presence in Scotland, as a bank servicing personal and business customers and as a substantial employer. While no specific economic analysis has been undertaken, we would expect the Clydesdale Bank to continue to have a similar presence in Scotland following the flotation of shares on the stock market.

John seeks clarity on Unpaid Internships

19 Feb 2016

John Mason: To ask the Scottish Government what its policy is on unpaid internships that last longer than one month.

Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (03/02/2016):We believe that fair work is crucial to delivering inclusive growth. The Scottish Government only offers support to external graduate placement programmes that offer good quality, paid internships. All interns on these programmes are paid at least the Scottish living wage for the work they do and these programmes are currently operating on a conversion rate of between 75 and 80 per cent of placements leading to permanent employment.


Question S5W-05858: Tobacco Duty Incomes

28 Jan 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what volumes of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco were sold in Scotland, which together generate the tobacco duty incomes set out in the GERS report, in each of the last five years.

Answered by Derek Mackay (12/01/2017):Information on the volumes of cigarettes or hand-rolling tobacco sold in Scotland is not collected by the Scottish Government, and is not used in estimating tobacco duty in Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland (GERS), which uses data on household expenditure on tobacco to apportion a share of UK wide revenue from tobacco duty to Scotland.

A review of sales estimates, which includes estimates of the volume of cigarettes sold in Scotland from 2008 to 2013, was published in November 2015 by NHS Health Scotland and is available at the link below:

Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 12/01/2017