John Wilson MSP

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Local Government and Regeneration Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
John Wilson

Thank you very much.



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
John Wilson

Mr Hetherington’s submission to the committee refers to the fact that the bill wants to ban cash payments for scrap metal. You go on to talk about the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 from England and Wales and you say that the bill contains significant weaknesses in comparison with the legislation down south. Will you expand on what those weaknesses are? Although we are not trying to mirror the English and Welsh legislation, we are certainly trying to achieve a level playing field and, if possible, to get better regulation in Scotland than currently applies.



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
John Wilson

Mr McCann said that a broker could lose their licence. Mr Williamson’s submission suggests that somebody found breaking the licensing conditions should be struck off after three misdemeanours. That gives the impression that the current penalties—including the possibility of losing your licence—are not strong enough. Do you think that the prosecution system and the licensing system are strong enough to deal with these issues?

I take on board what all the witnesses have said. You are all legitimate businesspeople who are running legitimate businesses. The issue is how we tackle the illegitimate businesses that are causing most of the problems. As the convener said, we hear reports about theft from British Telecom and Network Rail. We have seen the footage on the television. The scrap is loaded into a container, the container is shipped off to a port and it is in China or India within a couple of weeks. It does not go through any system in Scotland or the rest of the UK. How do we tackle that? Can you assure us that you are fully behind consideration of the penalties and other opportunities that we have to curtail this type of trade?



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
John Wilson

Thank you for your responses. As the convener has outlined, the committee is here to listen to your concerns about the legislation, because we need to ensure that we get the legislation right and relay your message to the Scottish Government. Part of the purpose of today’s evidence session is to allow us to hear what the industry thinks so that we can challenge the Government on what it puts forward.

Mr McCann, in your written submission you raise a concern over the separation of the waste management licence and the scrap metal broker’s licence. Can you expand on that so that we fully understand what you mean and what impact that separation might have on tackling the underlying problem of scrap metal theft?



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
John Wilson

Everybody around the table picked up on the convener’s example of BT and Network Rail losing materials, but the main concern for many of the public is the brass plaque, the miners’ memorial statue or whatever that is stolen and sold for scrap. How is the scrap metal industry challenging the perception that it is supporting that kind of crime?



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
John Wilson

Sorry, convener, but Ms Watson just said that the minor variation in her example was for accommodating the premises’ existing clientele rather than for increasing the clientele. Do we not therefore have a contradiction in what a minor variation of a licence is?

As I said, in city centres during the summer a lot of pedestrianised areas are opened up for the consumption of alcohol. It is a matter of how we get the message over in terms of what is regarded as a minor variation. I am not sure how city centre premises apply for the outside areas for the consumption of alcohol, but I would argue that those areas are in a public place in a city centre that people walk through. The issue is the consumption of alcohol in public places versus that in licensed premises and what message the former sends out to young people in particular, given Dr Scott’s comment about social norms.



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
John Wilson

I have a quick comment on that: the problem is that a lot of members’ clubs have changed their operational structures to allow them to open up to the public because of the trading pressures on their sustainability.

I want to tackle an issue raised in the West Lothian licensing board’s submission in relation to “minor variation”. Ms Watson can maybe address this point. The submission states that extending the area of licensed premises can be considered to be a minor variation—I assume that that would include, for example, a beer garden. How would that relate to the issue of the supply of alcohol in public places? For example, a local bar could decide to stick a beer garden on to the front of the premises that would be next to shops.

In terms of the supply of alcohol in public places, in Glasgow in the summer every bar in Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street, Gordon Street and Ingram Street seems to want to open up for the consumption of alcohol in what would be to my mind a public place. How does that equate with responsible drinking and its promotion, particularly for those under the age of 18? One of the issues that we should be trying to address is the responsible consumption of alcohol. Total abolition or promoting temperance might be a worthy cause, but surely we should be promoting responsible alcohol consumption, particularly to those under the age of 18.



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
John Wilson

In terms of police notifying the board of a potential prosecution or court action, is there no co-ordinated approach between the police and the board? Do the police notify the board that a licensee or premises has been reported to the procurator fiscal for court action?



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
John Wilson

Are there none in West Lothian?



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
John Wilson

Ms Watson, I want to tease out an answer on a point that you raised: the issue of boards and the evidence that is presented to boards. One question that has come up in connection with the bill concerns police intelligence being presented to boards. Tying in to your comment about the number of convictions that take place in licensed premises, a national newspaper reported yesterday that at a premises in a west of Scotland local authority area there have been 94 visits by the police, and the board has finally decided to take action.

Can you give any examples in which the police have tried to take action against a licensee and the courts have been reluctant to prosecute?

10:00  
Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11901.3 Neil Findlay: Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce—As an amendment to motion S4M-11901
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NoDefeated

S4M-11901.1 Mary Scanlon: Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce—As an amendment to motion S4M-11901
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11830.2 John Swinney: The Smith Commission—As an amendment to motion S4M-11830 in the name of Ru
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11830 Ruth Davidson: The Smith Commission—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Sm
>> Show more
YesCarried

Amendment 6 moved by Dr Richard Simpson on motion S4M-11826 Maureen Watt: Food (Scotland) Bill—That
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11825.3 Claire Baker: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the n
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11825.2 Jamie McGrigor: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11825.1 Tavish Scott: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the n
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11825 Richard Lochhead: End of Year Fish Negotiations—That the Parliament welcomes the successfu
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11763.3 Margaret Burgess: Private Sector Rent Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-11763 in the
>> Show more
NoCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by John Wilson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11816: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 04/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11521: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11520: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11247: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11246: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11245: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11213: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 15/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11208: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 14/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11105: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 06/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11009: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 25/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by John Wilson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-23345: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23341: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23344: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23343: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23340: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23342: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23145: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 13/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03723: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 11/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23043: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23044: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Question >>

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