Lothian MSPs’ report – November 2019

Alison Johnstone MSP and Andy Wightman MSP

 

This is a report to you, our Party colleagues, focusing on our work as MSPs in recent weeks.

To keep up with our work from day-to-day, you can follow us via our social media pages, and the Party website:

Twitter@alisonjohnstone and @andywightman
Facebook@Alison.Johnstone.Greenand @AndyWightmanMSP
SGP website greens.scotAlison’s page and Andy’s page.


 

 

  • Alison lodged a motion calling for the Scottish Government to support the Save Gorgie Farm campaign, by working with the City of Edinburgh Council and others to ensure one of the last urban farms in Scotland has the sustainable future that it deserves. Alison also attended a meeting at the City Chambers with Cllr Gavin Corbett and others, including members of staff from the farm.

 

  • Andy spoke in the Non-domestic Rates Bill stage 1 debate – the first ever primary legislation in the history of devolution that deals with the system responsible for raising the second largest total revenue of all devolved taxes.

 

 

  • Following Underbelly’s construction, without planning permission, of a huge platform for this year’s Christmas Market, Andy highlighted that Princes Street Gardens forms part of the Common Good of the City of Edinburgh, belonging to the people, to be managed on their behalf – which is difficult without any Common Good Fund Committee. Meanwhile, Alison called for comprehensive democratic oversight following this private takeover of public space on a monstrous scale.

 

 

  • Calls for reform of defamation law in Scotland were highlighted in news coverage of the £750,000 action against Andy, described as a “threat to both free expression and how we engage with private companies and individuals in Scotland”. The Wildcat Haven Enterprises CIC vs Andy Wightman defamation case ran from Tuesday 29th October to Friday 8th November at the Court of Session. The Closed Record is available here.

 

  • Alison welcomed the broad support in the Scottish Government consultation on social security for reducing face-to-face benefits assessments, but warned that establishing a new system that is fair and well-resourced will be “one of devolution’s biggest challenges”.

 

 

 

  • Andy will be speaking at the fifth Howard Liddell Memorial Lecture on Thursday 21st November, with the theme being ‘Is Scotland’s Housing Fit for Purpose?’ Event details here.