RURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
10th Meeting, Session 1 (1999)
3 December 1999
Mrs Cathy Peattie
Also Present for Public Items:
Mr Ross Finnie, Minister for Rural Affairs
Mr Jamie McGrigor, MSP
Mr Fergus Ewing, MSP
Mrs Margaret Ewing, MSP
Dr Winnie Ewing, MSP
The meeting opened at 9.35 am.
1. The Scottish Zone of British Fishery Limits (in private): The Committee resumed consideration of the draft report on this matter.
2. Inquiry into the impact of changing employment patterns on
rural communities: The Committee agreed to consider the views of Reporters on the
appointment of a Committee Adviser in private, at the end of the meeting.
4. Westminster Legislation: Sea Fishing Grants (Charges) Bill 1999: The Committee considered a memorandum by the Deputy Minister for Rural Affairs and, having heard the Minister for Rural Affairs, agreed that the matter be dealt with at Westminster.
5. Petition: Scottish Homing Union on Raptor Predation: The Committee considered a research note on Petition PE8 (Save Our Sport) from the Scottish Homing Union and agreed to defer further consideration until the publication of the DETR report on Raptor Predation.
6. Petition: National Farmers Union of Scotland on Pesticides: The Committee considered petition PE24 (Proposal to oppose the introduction of a pesticide tax) from the National Farmers' Union of Scotland and agreed to forward the petition to the DETR, and ask for a response on this matter.
8. National Pig Association: The Committee considered a letter from the National Pig Association Scottish Support Group and agreed that the Convener should meet them. It was further agreed that the Committee would receive briefing on pig farming issues on Thursday 9th December 1999.
9. Inquiry into the impact of changing employment patterns on rural communities (in private): The Committee resumed consideration of a draft report on the job specification of an adviser. The specification, as amended, was agreed.
10. The Highlands and Islands Agricultural Programme: Agricultural Business Improvement Scheme (ABIS) (in private): The Committee took advice from Mr Dave Fergusson, Audit Adviser to the Parliament. It was agreed that the Convener should write to the Audit Committee Convener, asking that the Comptroller and Auditor General be requested to audit the Agricultural Business Improvement Scheme. The Committee agreed to copy this letter to the National Audit Office. The Committee also appointed Rhoda Grant as a Reporter to work with Clerks to prepare an interim report on this matter, for approval at the next meeting of the Committee.
The meeting closed at 1.17 pm.