Scottish Committee – 17 August
Current Scottish Parliament Issues
This paper summarises
the main current parliamentary issues of interest to UNISON Scotland.
There are 16 bills currently being considered
by the Parliament. A further 31 private member bills have been published. The
main ones of direct interest to UNISON include:
Awaiting assent. UNISON broadly supportive. Issues around public involvement,
Community Health Partnerships and GP staffs. See P&I Briefing and evidence
to Health Committee. Summary of bill progress published and significant improvements
include statutory recognition of staff governance.
Awaiting assent. Support electoral reform
proposals. Go further than bill on age qualifications and politically restricted
posts. See UNISON response and P&I Briefing.
Bill published. Welcome restrictions on common carriage
and domestic competition. Concern over the impact of retail competition in non-domestic
settings. Links to Finance Committee inquiry on water charges and STUC water campaign.
Bill will include changes to regulatory structure following critical Finance Committee
report. Invited to give verbal evidence at stage 1 consideration in September.
- Anti-Social Behaviour Bill
Stage 2 completed. General
concern over policy direction, specific concerns over impact on Children's Hearings
(now subject to separate consultation) and social work.
Stage 1. Submitted written and verbal evidence to
Committee. Want the bill to go further than proposed.
Active support for three current bills:
(Scotland) Bill: Introduced in December 2003. GPF funding for social impact
research and parliamentary support. Submitted evidence.
Smoking in Regulated Areas (S) Bill: Introduced February 2004. Evidence to
Stage 1. Scottish Executive consultation may result in this bill being incorporated
into an Executive Bill.
Direct Elections to Health Boards: Support
the principle. Details in public consultation paper.
Other private member
bills with significant UNISON interest lodged but not yet introduced include:
- Warm Homes
- Civil Registered Partnerships (dealt with by Sewell motion)
- Third Party Planning Rights (Also subject to Executive consultation)
of NHS Prescription Charges
- Abolition of Council Tax
Based Drug Facilities
- Green Transport
are 36 current Scottish Executive consultations. Those with significant UNISON
- Smoking in public places: Range of options
including a ban in public places.
- Implementation of EU procurement
- National Standards for Dental Services: Need to
expand NHS dentistry and role of UNISON members including hygienists and DSA's.
health care: three consultations on regulations and practice.
a Framework for Nursing Roles
- Development plans & third party
rights: Implications for planning departments and energy service group.
of health and social care support staff: extending regulation to support staff.
reoffending: Correctional agency removing criminal justice social work from
- Childrens Hearings review: Potential changes
to the system.
- Investing in Water Services: investment plans to
- Paying for Water Services: the principles of charging for
- Review of marches and parades: Publicity around
orange parades but could impact on demonstrations etc.
- Governance and
accountability in the FE sector: Board governance of financial and other procedures
outcomes for older people: Joint approaches to the management of this group.
addition there are committee inquiries. Issues of significant UNISON interest
- Impact of university top up fees in England.
able energy – report critical of emphasis on wind power.
- Relocation policy
– report critical of Executive policy
- Water charges – report critical
of WIC, influenced Bill.
Other Parliamentary Issues
UNISON MSP debate briefings published on: renewable energy, reoffending, social
work, nursery nurses, health improvement, NHS workforce, assaults on staff, anti
social behaviour and water quality.
21 July 2004