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3rd Meeting, 2003 (Session 2)

Wednesday 3 September 2003

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Sarah Boyack (Convener)

Mr Rob Gibson

Karen Gillon

Alex Johnstone

Maureen Macmillan

Mr Alasdair Morrison

Nora Radcliffe

Eleanor Scott (Deputy Convener)

Apologies: Roseanna Cunningham

The meeting opened at 10.31 am.

1. Items in private: The Committee agreed to take items 4 and 5 in private.

2. Subordinate legislation: The Committee considered the following negative instruments-

The Litter (Fixed Penalty) (Scotland) Order 2003 (SSI 2003/268)

The Agricultural Wages (Scotland) Act 1949 Amendment Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/283)

The Agricultural Holdings (Relevant Date and Relevant Period) (Scotland) Order 2003 (SSI 2003/294)

The Sea Fishing (Restriction on Days at Sea) (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Order 2003 (SSI 2003/300)

The Urban Waste Water Treatment (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/273)

The Agricultural Subsidies (Appeals) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/302)

The Rural Stewardship Scheme (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/303)

The Oil and Fibre Plant Seeds Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/304).

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

3. Convener's report: The Convener gave a verbal report to the Committee on-

Correspondence received during the summer recess, particularly in relation to the Scottish Agricultural College, and

Her attendance during the summer recess at the Game Conservancy Council and an SE Link farming visit.

The Committee noted that a letter from the Minister for Environment and Rural Development referred to benchmarking SAC courses against other educational courses, and agreed to ask the Minister to clarify which courses are being used in benchmarking.

The Committee further noted two further letters relating to the current situation at the SAC, and agreed to write to the SAC inviting their response to the issues raised by the correspondents.

The meeting continued in private at 10.38 am.

4. National Waste Plan inquiry (in private): The Committee agreed-

the remit for the inquiry

the programme of evidence and timetable

to issue a news release and general call for written evidence

to delegate to the Convener authority to approve any claims under the witness expenses scheme arising from this inquiry.

5. Witness expenses (in private): The Committee approved claims under the witness expenses scheme.

The meeting resumed at 11.30 am.

6. Scottish Executive Partnership Agreement: The Committee heard evidence from Ross Finnie MSP (Minister for Environment and Rural Development) on his programme for implementation of the Executive's commitments as set out in "A Partnership for a Better Scotland".

7. Common Agricultural Policy: The Committee heard evidence from Ross Finnie MSP (Minister for Environment and Rural Development) on the results of the mid-term review of the CAP.

The meeting closed at 1.01 pm.

Tracey Hawe

Clerk to the Committee