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ERD/S2/05/19/M

19th Meeting, 2005 (Session 2)

Wednesday 22 June 2005

Present:

Sarah Boyack (Convener)
Karen Gillon
Richard Lochhead
Mr Alasdair Morrison
Mr Mark Ruskell (Deputy Convener)
Rob Gibson
Alex Johnstone
Maureen Macmillan
Nora Radcliffe

The meeting opened at 10.03 am.

1. Item in private: The Committee agreed that, in the event that it decided to publish a report to the Parliament on the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill, it would consider the evidence in private.

2. Inquiry into rural development: The Committee took evidence from —

Panel 1

Professor Philip Lowe, Board Member, Countryside Agency;
Professor Mark Shucksmith, Professor of Planning, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne;
Dr Dominic Moran, Senior Natural Resource Economist , Scottish Agricultural College;

Panel 2

Graham McKee, Senior Director of Network Operations, and Irene Walker, Director, Rural Relations, Scottish Enterprise;
Sandy Brady, Director of Strategy, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and Stuart Black, Chief Executive, Inverness and Nairn Enterprise;
Wendy Bullard, Director of Area Network, and David Nicol, Area Director, Inverness, Communities Scotland;

Panel 3

Stephen Boyd, Assistant Secretary, Scottish Trades Union Congress;
Niall Stuart, Deputy Parliamentary Officer and Press Officer, Federation of Small Businesses;
Helen Betts-Brown, Assistant Director for Rural Affairs, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations; and
Jonathan Hall, Head of Rural Policy, Scottish Rural Property and Business Association.

3. Subordinate legislation: The Committee considered the following negative instruments—

the Animals and Animal Products (Import and Export) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2005 (SSI 2005/278);
the Seed Potatoes (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 (SSI 2005/279);
the Seed Potatoes (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2005 (SSI 2005/280);
the Pesticides (Maximum Residue Levels in Crops, Food and Feeding Stuffs) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2005 (SSI 2005/281); and
the Registration of Fish Sellers and Buyers and Designation of Auction Sites (Scotland) Regulations 2005 (SSI 2005/286).

The Committee agreed, being content with the instruments, to make no recommendation to the Parliament.

4. Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill – UK Legislation: The Committee considered the Scottish Executive’s proposal to seek the Parliament’s consent to the UK Parliament legislating on devolved matters in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill, and took evidence from—

Lewis Macdonald MSP, Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development.

The Deputy Minister assured the Committee that, if the Bill is substantially amended during its passage through the UK Parliament to include a measure not yet considered by the Committee, the Executive would inform the Committee, return to the Committee to provide further evidence and lodge a Sewel motion which reflects the amendment.

On that basis, the Committee agreed, by division (For 7, Against 2, Abstentions 0), to recommend to the Parliament that it consent to the UK Parliament legislating on devolved matters in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill.

Having considered the evidence, the Committee agreed not to publish a report to the Parliament on the Bill.

The meeting closed at 12.56 pm.

 

Mark Brough
Clerk to the Committee