David Torrance MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 Business until 14:18 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
David Torrance (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)

Yesterday’s announcement by Tesco that it is closing its Kirkcaldy store is devastating news for the employees and will have a huge impact on the surrounding area. What assistance can the Scottish Government give the 189 employees who face losing their jobs?



Public Audit Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
David Torrance (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)

Good morning, everybody. How much engagement have community planning partnerships had with local communities and local stakeholders to ensure that they are delivering for local needs?



Meeting of the Parliament 20 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 20, 2015
David Torrance (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)

I thank Jim Eadie for bringing this motion to the chamber and I extend my congratulations to Mercy Corps in celebration of its 35th anniversary.

Since its establishment in 1979, Mercy Corps has, through its various activities, made a real difference to an increasing number of people. Currently, the organisation is implementing projects in more than 34 countries, ranging from war-torn regions such as Syria and Gaza to countries repeatedly hit by natural disasters, including Haiti and Sri Lanka.

Considering the devastating situation that many people are faced with daily in those and many other countries, I believe that we have a responsibility as an affluent nation to help. Having recognised its role as a modern global citizen, Scotland is committed to contribute to the fight against global poverty.

I express my solidarity with Malawi today, as the country was hit by severe floods last week. At least 176 people have died so far, more than 200,000 people have lost their homes and continued heavy rainfall is forecast in the coming weeks. Malawi’s president has appealed for international assistance. As the catastrophe has hit one of the poorest regions in the world, the country itself is not able to counteract the immediate damage and put in place a plan to help the country to rebuild structurally and economically. Therefore, I welcome the help that the First Minister has offered this week.

Besides providing desperately needed support in emergency situations, I believe that we should look at the wider picture and address the issues involved in international development in the long term. In recent years, some experts such as Zambian-born Dambisa Moyo have tried to discredit the impact of international aid. Over the past 50 years, over $1 trillion in aid has been transferred to Africa alone, although many Africans continue to live below subsistence levels. That argument is controversial, but it reminds us that international aid has to be scrutinised carefully if we want it to be sustainable.

Those are just some of the questions that must be asked. What are the purposes and goals of international development? How should it be implemented and who should implement it? How can Scotland contribute to a just and fair world? Mercy Corps seeks to answer those and similar questions daily. Thus it has created a framework for change, which focuses on three main elements: involving local communities; building on local markets and economies; and assistance in developing good governance.

Being aware of and actively encouraging all the stakeholders involved was identified as key to securing sustainable change. Mercy Corps projects connect the civil society with the private and public sectors to create secure, productive and just societies. The organisation also tries to strengthen the ties between all participating parties, enabling them to interact effectively with each other while facilitating their engagement with the local population. Lastly, the organisation has generated the ability to determine and truly understand the support needs of people in developing countries.

The latter point has led to a focus on promoting self-empowerment by providing people in developing countries with the tools to shape their own futures. It is therefore important that we focus not solely on the aid budget but on the overall impact of Scotland’s actions on international development.

Money alone cannot eradicate poverty. Instead we should take a coherent approach to pro-development policy. That can be achieved by promoting equality, human rights and democratic governance in all our external actions, especially in the areas of the economic and financial system, trade and climate justice. I am proud to say that even though Scotland is a small country, it is committed to sharing its experiences on issues ranging from public financial management to holding democratic elections and strengthening civil society.

Since the Scotland Malawi Partnership was established, it has facilitated networking, promoted best practice examples, and—not least—created many friendships across two geographically distant countries. Because of such achievements, I believe that it is important not only to consider what still has to be done but to remind ourselves of the work that has been accomplished by the Scotland Malawi Partnership and Mercy Corps. Many other organisations and volunteers are contributing to and continuing to strengthen Scotland’s impact on the world. I take this opportunity to mention Pauline Cafferkey and all the others who have bravely volunteered to support the fight against Ebola in the affected regions in West Africa.

Lastly, I congratulate Mercy Corps once more and wish its staff in Scotland, as well as in all those countries that work in partnership with Mercy Corps, continued success in their work.

17:24  

Public Petitions Committee 13 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 13, 2015
The Deputy Convener (David Torrance)

Good morning and welcome to the first meeting in 2015 of the Public Petitions Committee. I remind all present, including members, that mobile phones and BlackBerrys should be turned off completely, as they interfere with the sound system, even when switched to silent.

We have received apologies from Jackson Carlaw. I welcome to the committee John Pentland and Hanzala Malik, who replace David Stewart and Anne McTaggart as members. I put on record my thanks for the work that David Stewart and Anne McTaggart did for the committee over the past months. They were on the committee for a long time and their work was greatly appreciated by members.

Agenda item 1 is a declaration of interests. In accordance with section 3 of the code of conduct, I invite John Pentland to declare any interests that are relevant to the committee’s remit. Any declarations should be brief but sufficiently detailed to make clear to any listener the nature of the interest.



Public Petitions Committee 13 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 13, 2015
The Deputy Convener

Thank you, John. I invite Hanzala Malik to declare any relevant interests.



Public Petitions Committee 13 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 13, 2015
The Deputy Convener

Thank you very much.



Public Petitions Committee 13 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 13, 2015
The Deputy Convener

Agenda item 2 is the choice of a convener. The Parliament has agreed that only members of the Scottish Labour Party are eligible for nomination to be the committee’s convener. That being the case, I seek a nomination for the position of convener.



Public Petitions Committee 13 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 13, 2015
The Deputy Convener

As there are no other nominations, I invite John Pentland to take the chair.

John Pentland was chosen as convener.



Public Petitions Committee 13 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 13, 2015
David Torrance (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)

Under the legislation, OSCR has wide discretion to decide on a case-by-case basis whether a charity meets the charity test. Do you think that the degree of discretion that is afforded to OSCR introduces a level of flexibility and unpredictability to the charity test?



Public Petitions Committee 13 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 13, 2015
David Torrance

I would like us to keep the petition open until the Scottish Government publishes revised guidelines.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12160.2 Michael Matheson: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Kez
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12160.3 Margaret Mitchell: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Ke
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12160 Kezia Dugdale: Women Offenders—That the Parliament welcomes the decision of the Scottish G
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12154.1 Lewis Macdonald: Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) – Supporting Indivi
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12120.1 Jenny Marra: 2020 Vision, the Strategic Forward Direction of the NHS—As an amendment to
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12101 John Swinney: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the general prin
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

S4M-12095.4 Ken Macintosh: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12095.2 Alex Johnstone: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12095.1 Willie Rennie: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12095 Alex Neil: Tackling Inequalities—That the Parliament agrees that a strong, sustainable eco
>> Show more
YesCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by David Torrance
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12208: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12198: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12170: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12169: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12109: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12021: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12000: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11998: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11997: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11952: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by David Torrance
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03794: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03740: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03494: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03354: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-02895: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/01/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-02537: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/10/2013 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-02427: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/09/2013 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-02368: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/09/2013 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-02306: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/06/2013 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-02265: David Torrance, Kirkcaldy, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/06/2013 Show Full Question >>

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