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