Alex Johnstone MSP

Welcome to Alex Johnstone MSP's biography pages

Parliamentary Activities

Member of the Scottish Commission for Public Audit
Trustee of the Scottish Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund

Search for other Speeches made by Alex Johnstone

Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Alex Johnstone (North East Scotland) (Con)

Is there anything else you can say to update us on the work that the Scottish Government is undertaking to introduce mandatory data collection? How advanced is that process?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Alex Johnstone

Once you have that information, how do you intend to use it? You mentioned looking at the Scottish Housing Regulator’s recommendations, but do you feel that you will be able to get a better understanding of, for example, the success of housing options?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Alex Johnstone

At this stage, are you able to give any indication of the timescales that will be involved in the loop that you describe? We often we get figures that are one, three or six months or a year out of date. How quickly will the feedback loop work, and how quickly will you be able to act on information received?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Alex Johnstone

Thank you.

Moving on, the committee has heard evidence to suggest that the housing options approach has not always improved housing outcomes for young people. How can the Scottish Government help to facilitate good outcomes for young homeless people?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Alex Johnstone

I agree with the minister. We have heard some strong positives when we have talked to people about that, but we have also heard some concerns expressed. A specific concern was about the housing options route for care leavers. Is there anything that you want to say about that?



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Alex Johnstone (North East Scotland) (Con)

I thank the minister for his statement and for advance sight of it.

As a North East Scotland MSP, I am, naturally, sad to hear that the Aberdeen-based FirstGroup has lost out in its bid to retain the ScotRail franchise. It is no coincidence that its tenure has seen a dramatic reverse in the decline of rail passenger numbers in Scotland. Its investment and sound management have delivered significant improvements in comfort and punctuality, as well as a substantial increase in the number of routes and capacity across the Scottish rail network.

The competitive nature of the franchising mechanism has played a key role in reviving rail transport in the United Kingdom. I believe that the minister’s announcement will further strengthen that recovery in Scotland.

The transport minister has done well to resist calls from the sirens of the extreme left, who would see us return to the investment vacuum and catastrophic management failures of state-owned monopolies in the 1970s. Keith Brown must guarantee that he will play his part in making the franchise a success. Will he give a sound undertaking that he will stand by the contract that he has signed and that he will not exploit the five-year break clause in an inappropriate way in order to end the contract before it delivers everything that it has the capacity to deliver?



Welfare Reform Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Alex Johnstone (North East Scotland) (Con)

I will play devil’s advocate. During the discussion with the previous panel, the convener said that, when we look at appeals procedures, we invariably find that they are successful, because they do all the things that were probably not done properly in the initial application. As a result, the quality of the application might be upgraded and the evidence that had been required might be provided.

I just wonder whether we are taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut by going straight from the initial rejection to a high-level appeals process without there being something in between that provides an opportunity for that correction and review to take place. That often seems to be what the appeals procedure is delivering.



Welfare Reform Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Alex Johnstone

Moving on slightly, I wonder whether anybody would be willing to speculate on how efficient the proposed process would be and how many cases—or what proportion of cases—might emerge at the top of the process. That will make a big difference. If 10 per cent of cases make it to the top, that might be acceptable, but if 50 per cent get to the top, it will become an administrative and financial burden.



Welfare Reform Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Alex Johnstone

I take this unique opportunity to agree with everything that Kevin Stewart has just said.



Welfare Reform Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Alex Johnstone

I think that the secret to success may lie in practice in local authorities. The interim legislation has been in place, and there appears to be mixed practice and experience. I think that we can find best practice if we look hard enough for it.

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
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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 Johnstone
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11023.3: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 29/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10777.2: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10185.1: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 02/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10051.2: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 14/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10003: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 08/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09747.1: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 17/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09593: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 02/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09447.1: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 24/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09209.2: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 03/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08900: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 30/01/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Alex Johnstone
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03568: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03503: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03476: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 04/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03383: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 09/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03350: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 02/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21386: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 28/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21384: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 28/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21385: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 28/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03258: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-20939: Alex Johnstone, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 30/04/2014 Show Full Question >>

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