Alex Fergusson MSP

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Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Alex Fergusson (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)

Good morning. The field of agriculture is expected to play quite a large part in the process. The minister has already mentioned the farming for a better climate initiative and the fertiliser efficiency measures that are envisaged within RPP2. Of course, great store is also set by future technological developments to deliver carbon savings.

All those measures require voluntary uptake and a great deal of voluntary input. Without a really good method of monitoring and evaluating how all those things are taken up, it must be extremely difficult to attribute any resultant carbon savings. Can the minister expand a little bit on what plans the Government has to monitor the various initiatives? Is there an idea that the initiatives will have to change from proposals to policies to make them more effective? Will that take away the voluntary element, as some measures might have to become compulsory?



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Alex Fergusson

I am grateful to the minister for that explanation. I do not wish in any way to undermine the value of the initiatives that are being put in place. However, to specify a particular initiative, I note that a great deal of weight is given to the idea that 90 per cent uptake of the fertiliser efficiency measures will start in 2018, and in all the documentation and the forecasts, an allocation of carbon saving is given to that measure. How on earth do we know that there is going to be 90 per cent uptake? I appreciate that it is a guess, but unless there is really effective monitoring, it will be impossible to know what the uptake is. You have sort of answered that, but will you comment on it?



Meeting of the Parliament 02 October 2014 : Thursday, October 02, 2014
Alex Fergusson (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)

Is the cabinet secretary aware that many of my constituents in the west of my constituency, particularly in Stranraer, are concerned that as the development of the Dumfries hospital takes place, the run-down of services that are currently available through Stranraer hospital might continue? Will the cabinet secretary assure me that he will work with the local health board to ensure that the range of services that is currently available in Stranraer continues to be available as the new hospital is established?



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Alex Fergusson (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)

In the notes that accompany this bit of subordinate legislation, there is the phrase

“In order to benefit business by having as much uniformity between Scots, English and Northern Ireland law as possible”,

which suggests that there might be examples of where that level of uniformity is not possible. Is that just a useful phrase, or are you aware of any examples of where we cannot have the desired level of uniformity? If there are such examples, how might that affect the legislation in the future?



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Alex Fergusson

Thank you. That is fine.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Alex Fergusson

One of the critical aspects of land use in relation to what we are discussing is forestry, for which there are very ambitious planting targets that we are not meeting. I wonder whether anybody feels able to comment, first, on our not meeting those targets. A subsidiary point is my concern that although it is visually desirable that much of the replanting involves native species, they are not as efficient at carbon capture as the commercial species that we need to keep the forestry industry going. There is an argument for revisiting the percentages of native woodlands and commercial woodlands that we are replanting.

Secondly, when wind farms have been established in afforested areas and thousands of hectares of forestry have been cut down to make way for them, the developers are supposed to undertake compensatory planting. However, I understand that the figures for that are way below what they should be.

Obviously, I will put those points to the minister at next week’s meeting, but I wonder whether any of the witnesses wants to comment on that aspect of land use.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Alex Fergusson

The committee has previously discussed the problems associated with the time lag in data about Scotland’s efforts—if I can put it that way—coming to us. We raised the matter when Ute Collier was here previously. Has any progress been made in improving the process?



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Alex Fergusson

Does the same apply on a UK basis? Do those time lags apply across the UK?



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Alex Fergusson

I understand the point about the increased workload, but that does not make life any easier for us, frankly.



Meeting of the Parliament 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Alex Fergusson (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)

I am at a bit of a loss as to know where to start in summing up the debate because, had the motion mirrored the minister’s opening speech, I would have had no difficulty in supporting it. However, Tavish Scott was right that the motion could only divide the chamber.

Claudia Beamish was also right that, in past debates, we have always managed to come to a broadly consensual decision—cross-party agreement on the way forward and pride in the role that Scotland plays in addressing this internationally vital issue. I am truly sorry that the Government motion does not allow us to maintain that broad consensus.

Indeed, following the weeks of division and impassioned debate on both sides of the referendum campaign into which all of us put our hearts and souls, the debate offered us a fantastic opportunity to come together again—at least on one subject—and show the world that, although we can have huge differences on our constitutional future, we can still speak as one when it comes to our environmental future.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11123 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament
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NoCarried

S4M-11114.2 Kenny MacAskill: Policing—As an amendment to motion S4M-11114 in the name of Graeme Pear
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NoCarried

S4M-11114 Graeme Pearson: Policing—That the Parliament acknowledges that policing in Scotland contin
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NoCarried

S4M-11116.1.1 Patrick Harvie: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to amendment S4M-11116.1 in the name
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NoCarried

S4M-11116.1 Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-11116 in the name of Jo
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NoCarried

S4M-11116 Johann Lamont: Scotland’s Future—That the Parliament recognises the result of the independ
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NoCarried

Amendment 61 moved by Elaine Murray on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland) Bi
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NoDefeated

Amendment 62 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
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YesDefeated

Amendment 63 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
>> Show more
YesDefeated

Amendment 64 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
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YesDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Alex Fergusson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11093: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 03/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10562.1: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 09/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09617: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 03/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09572: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 01/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09425: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08943: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 04/02/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08857.1: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 28/01/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08278: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/11/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07892.2: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 02/10/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07061: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Alex Fergusson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03485: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 13/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03416: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03369: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 11/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03322: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 28/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03261: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 14/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03197: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 30/04/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-20685: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 08/04/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-20317: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 21/03/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-20316: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 21/03/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-20315: Alex Fergusson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 21/03/2014 Show Full Question >>

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