6th Meeting, 2003 (Session 1)

Tuesday 18 March 2003



Bruce Crawford

Robin Harper

Angus MacKay

Maureen Macmillan

Bristow Muldoon (Convener)

Nora Radcliffe (Deputy Convener)

John Scott

Elaine Thomson

Also present: Lewis Macdonald.

Apologies were received from Fiona McLeod.


The meeting opened at 11.05 am.


1. Items in private: The Committee agreed to take agenda items 5 and 6 in private.

2. Petitions PE 462, PE 463 and PE 464: The Committee considered three petitions on Scottish Natural Heritage's consultation procedures: PE 462 by Mrs Margie Currie, PE 463 by Councillor Donald Manford and PE 464 by Robert Cunyngham Brown. The Committee agreed that an opportunity to look at the issues raised by the petitions is likely to arise at an early stage in the next parliamentary session, as part of the scrutiny of a Nature Conservation Bill. Nonetheless, the Committee agreed to refer the petition back to the Public Petitions Committee on the basis that its successor committee may wish to examine the issues on a standalone basis if it became apparent that there was likely to be a significant delay in the introduction of a Nature Conservation Bill.

3. Petition PE 508: by Mr Philip Graves on the implementation of Environmental Impact Assessments and PAN 58 guidelines. The Committee considered the petition in light of the evidence given by the Deputy Minister for Social Justice and the Chief Planner of the Scottish Executive on 4 March. The Committee agreed to conclude the petition and, in so doing, the Committee agreed to write to the Executive recommending that research be conducted into a number of issues relating to environmental impact assessments.

4. UK Railways and Transport Safety Bill: The Committee took evidence on the UK Railways and Transport Safety Bill from-

Lewis Macdonald MSP, Deputy Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning

Andrew Maclaren, Transport Division, Scottish Executive.

5. Subordinate legislation: The Committee considered the following negative instrument-

the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority (Constitution, Membership and Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Amendment Order 2003, (SSI 2003/128)

The Committee had nothing to report on the instrument.

6. Annual report (in private): The Committee agreed its annual report.

7. Witness expenses (in private): The Committee agreed to a claim made under the witness expenses scheme.

The meeting closed at 11.48 am

    Callum Thomson
    Clerk to the Committee