Graeme Dey MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 Business until 15:00 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Graeme Dey (Angus South) (SNP)

The review group report states that there are a number of benefits to the approach taken by the Irish Republic to tackling NPS, citing as an example the reduction in the number of head shops from 102 in 2010, when legislation was introduced, to just 10. Does the minister accept that shutting down such premises, welcome though that would be, will not in itself solve the problem of NPS, not least because the addictions that they have helped to create will presumably be fed via the internet instead?



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Graeme Dey (Angus South) (SNP)

One of the key themes to emerge from the work of the Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee on tackling climate change is the critical need for behavioural change. We will not respond to the challenges posed by global warming if we do not take drastic action to tackle our emissions, and we will be successful in tackling emissions only if, as a society and as individuals, we alter our behaviours. In many respects, the same points apply to the scandal of littering, which is a subject in which I know you take a strong personal interest, Presiding Officer.

One might almost say that the mission statement of the Scottish Government's litter strategy, “Towards a Litter Free Scotland: A Strategic Approach To Higher Quality Local Environments”, is the need to encourage

“individuals to take personal responsibility to make sure that waste does not pollute the environment in the first place.”

It is truly a national disgrace that a country as beautiful as Scotland is blighted by littering to such an extent. The fact that it costs an estimated £78 million annually to clean up litter gives us an idea of the scale of the issue. Of course, that cost, which is ultimately borne by us taxpayers, also hammers home the price of behaving in a socially unacceptable way.

However, it seems that, in the same way as the public are beginning to embrace recycling, they are getting on board with tackling the littering issue. I therefore congratulate my colleague Bruce Crawford on lodging this motion for debate and highlighting the vehicle for positive behavioural change that KSB’s clean up Scotland campaign is. The campaign has attracted a coalition of support from the business community and local authorities—and, indeed, I will return to the local authority issue in a second.

More than anything, it is the buy-in from individuals and local groups that will ultimately determine the success or otherwise of the campaign. After all, if we realise the ambition to get 1 million people to take action, with the demonstrable impact that that will have on our environment, we will find ourselves in a far better place.

We must also recognise the leadership role that our councils must have and which they are fulfilling. For example, in the local authority area that I represent, a clean up Angus campaign is being supported by the council’s pride in place group. Funding from Zero Waste Scotland is also being deployed on two innovative litter projects.

First of all, the prevent litter and pick up three campaign, which was launched earlier this month at the West Links area in Arbroath, aims to reduce the incidence of littering between Arbroath and East Haven by encouraging all users—local residents, visitors and so on—to stop littering and to pick up any three items of litter that they see and place them in nearby litter or recycling bins.

Secondly, there is Forfar academy’s litter prevention scheme, which school pupils, school staff and local businesses have been heavily involved in developing. The scheme, which includes the adoption of a school litter charter, followed a survey of the school’s pupils that found that 84 per cent felt the area around the campus to be moderately to heavily littered and that one in three had themselves littered in the preceding month.

We are also seeing the branding of new litter bins with the clean up Angus logo. The campaign is being promoted via presentations at primary and high schools; free equipment and collection of waste are being offered to groups that carry out community litter clean-ups; and a litter awareness short film linked to the campaign is currently in production.

Beyond the work that has been instigated by the council, we are seeing individuals and communities stepping up to the mark, and I would like to highlight some examples.

Scott Smith, who is a cerebral palsy sufferer from Carnoustie, was named clean up Scotland’s first ever ditch the dirt hero in September 2013. Scott was involved in taking the lead in work with primary school pupils of Burnside primary school and the Carnoustie canine capers group in addressing dog dirt in the town’s Pitskelly park. It is worth noting in passing that 64 per cent of the litter picks that were registered with clean up Scotland recorded instances of dog fouling.

Kris Auchinleck of the Monifieth eco force was named hero of the month that same month for work to improve the appearance and experience of that town. In Forfar, Whitehills primary school pupil Sophie-Ann Robson was awarded the clean up hero award in 2013 for her campaigning work on dog fouling.

All three are due to attend Bruce Crawford’s event in the Parliament, which follows this debate. All three have demonstrated the campaign’s mantra. They have demonstrated civic responsibility and have taken pride in where they live, work and spend their leisure time. All of us surely must follow that lead.

17:30  

Meeting of the Parliament 19 February 2015 : Thursday, February 19, 2015
Graeme Dey

That is one point of view, but the fact is that a significant series of critical offshore developments are under threat because of that.

Appropriate expertise and support will be critical and, as the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment has acknowledged, a significant amount of effort will be required to build up the necessary expertise at the local level. His commitment during evidence to the committee, which was reinforced in his response to our report, that Marine Scotland will take a lead in ensuring that best practice and expertise are shared across Scotland—followed, as it has been, by an explanation of the support that is being provided for the preparation for the first marine planning partnerships in Shetland and Clyde—is therefore welcome.

It is clear that the process of shaping the national plan and then working up 11 regional plans is—and will be for some time to come—a work in progress. Indeed, the cabinet secretary admitted in evidence to the committee that it will take quite a few years to complete the jigsaw of regional plans. That is appropriate, as it is important that we get this right.

That said, with work supported by Marine Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, among others, already going on as part of the pre-marine plan development phase for Shetland and Clyde, the opportunity should be there relatively soon to identify any sticking points that might arise and to identify what should be included in the plan that perhaps did not feature in initial thinking. It ought to be possible to establish a solid foundation relatively soon, although I understand entirely the point made by the cabinet secretary about not spreading too thinly the support that will be required.

In terms of making progress and calling upon available expertise, I suggest that, in seeking to equip those local authorities that lack a full understanding of all relevant aspects of the marine environment, we should encourage dialogue—even informal dialogue—with local Royal National Lifeboat Institution stations during both the consultation and the development phases.

On a visit to the Arbroath RNLI station earlier this week, I was struck by the very detailed knowledge of the local marine environment that exists within lifeboat crews. Often crew members have been crewing the lifeboat over many years or they make their living at sea. In either case, they have built up a detailed understanding of navigational channels, local fishing areas and the interactions between recreational boating and commercial vessels. The chances are that, unlike others who gave evidence to the committee, they will not have a vested interested in ensuring that local plans—or, indeed, the national plan—take a particular direction.

It strikes me that it would be crazy for those charged with shaping the regional plans not to sit down with the RNLI volunteers and seek their input as we seek to draw up plans that, as well as fitting in with the overarching national strategy, accurately reflect local circumstance. Any relevant data that comes to the fore but is not already included in the national marine plan interactive could then be fed in to it.

In paragraph 71 of the committee’s report, we talked of the need to encourage use of the information contained within the NMPi for the purpose of developing the regional plans, but we also called for all relevant data held by local authorities to be fed in. In hindsight, perhaps we ought to have added a line somewhere in the report that stressed the need for councils to tap into local expertise to ensure that the whole process is as fully informed as it might be, so that the NMPi becomes the single, first-class, authoritative mapping source for Scotland’s marine areas that we all want it to be. One would hope that that will happen anyway.

As we said in the committee’s report—and as Claudia Beamish touched upon—the marine plan requires amendment to make it fully fit for purpose. As we have heard, the committee members stand by that observation—certainly as an observation at that time. In light of the cabinet secretary’s formal response to the report and his comments today, I think that we are making some progress. Richard Lochhead’s commitment to review the text of the plan to ensure that the relationship between the general and sectoral policies is representative and his commitment that the engagement of Marine Scotland with local authorities will be proactive are examples of that progress, as is the fact that we are already seeing movement in developing the plans for Shetland and Clyde. The cabinet secretary also indicated in his opening remarks that he is open to making further changes.

It is worth pausing for a moment to consider the scale of what is being taken on. The plan and its regional subsets have to take into consideration 900 islands, around 6,500 species, aquaculture, the interaction between fishing and subsea cables, navigational channels, areas for depositing the consequences of dredging, and so on. It must balance the promotion of economic activity while ensuring that that activity takes place in a sustainable manner that not only protects but enhances the natural marine environment. It must also provide a clear steer on consistency while allowing for local flexibility. Let us recognise both the importance of the plan and the fact that, as I mentioned, it is understandably a work in progress and will be so for some time to come.

To that end, I am sure that successors of the current RACCE Committee will in due course return to the subject to monitor the progress that is being made.

14:48  

Meeting of the Parliament 19 February 2015 : Thursday, February 19, 2015
Graeme Dey (Angus South) (SNP)

Pivotal to successful delivery of the marine plan in both the national and local contexts will be the points that are covered in paragraph 43 of the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee report, which notes Marine Scotland’s role in providing advice on conflict resolution between different sectors and intervening in such circumstances as required. More importantly, it sees the committee call on Marine Scotland to be proactive in engaging with local authorities and relevant others to ensure that they are aware of the support that is available.

Proactive engagement both in that regard and in respect of the general expertise that can be called upon will be essential when it comes to local authorities, because there is a concern that some, at least, are not as well equipped to develop the regional plans as they will need to be. The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities advised the committee that it holds no central data on the level of experience and expertise in marine planning across the 32 authorities, and a conversation with a senior official in my council regarding available and appropriate expertise for that did nothing to ease my concerns about how well placed, as things stand, those who are charged with drawing up a plan for the area that I represent may be.

I hope that, despite the best—or perhaps more accurately the worst—efforts of the Westminster Government and the RSPB, we will ultimately have offshore wind developments to factor into consideration along the Angus coast, along with inshore fisheries, recreational angling and the activities of a commercial port with the dredging that that requires.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Graeme Dey

Scottish Land & Estates and NFUS have questioned whether it is appropriate for ministers to assess compensation levels, and SLE suggested that advice from experienced valuers should come into the process. Do the panel members have any concerns about the objectivity of ministers and their ability to determine appropriate levels of compensation in such cases?



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Graeme Dey

You have made a good point. It is clear that mediation skills exist, but does the knowledge base to mediate in the crofting sphere exist?



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Graeme Dey

Just to tease this out a little bit, I want to be clear that the witnesses feel that the amendments fully and appropriately address the concerns that were raised during the consultation process. To what extent will the proposed changes allow more crofting communities to exercise their right to buy? Are further amendments needed—perhaps to create a mediation service, which has been mentioned?



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Graeme Dey

I am the MSP for Angus South.



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Graeme Dey

Your report finds that

“the principles behind the protection order system are fundamentally sound”

but that the system needs

“a thorough overhaul”.

Will you expand on that for us?



Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Graeme Dey

Would you expect the decisions to be made locally and to be specific to individual rivers, or would you expect a national move?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12423.1 Alex Rowley: Commission on Local Tax Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-12423 in the n
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12423 Marco Biagi: Commission on Local Tax Reform—That the Parliament supports the establishment
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12385 Liz Smith: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—That the Parliament agrees that a solid grou
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12395.1 Fergus Ewing: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in the
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12395.2 Patrick Harvie: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in t
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12395 Murdo Fraser: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—That the Parliament notes with concern the l
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12385.3 Alasdair Allan: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—As an amendment to motion S4M-12385 i
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12382.3 Mary Fee: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to motion S4
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12382.1 Gavin Brown: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to motion
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12382.2 Willie Rennie: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to moti
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Graeme Dey
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12404: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12373: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12367: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12312: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12292: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12289: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12283: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12252: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12232: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12217: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 30/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Graeme Dey
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-04087: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-04009: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03839: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03791: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03643: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03583: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03556: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03474: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03409: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02143: Graeme Dey, Angus South, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/06/2014 Show Full Question >>

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