Kenneth Gibson MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 29 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (SNP)

Does the cabinet secretary agree that, through the Wood commission recommendations, we can develop a world-class vocational education system that matches the best-performing economies in the European Union?



Meeting of the Parliament 29 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (SNP)

I thank Michael McMahon for securing valuable debating time to discuss a tragic and sensitive matter and to assess what measures can be put in place to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again as well as those measures that have already been put in place.

As Michael McMahon said, the Rosepark care home fire resulted in the deaths of 14 residents and constitutes the worst incident of its kind in Scottish history. The fire that tore through the building on that evening 10 years ago was started by an electrical defect and was fuelled by nearby aerosols, quickly growing out of hand. A catalogue of errors, including failure to contact the fire brigade quickly, failure to properly maintain electrical circuits and lack of a cohesive and effective fire plan point to the fact that some of those deaths—or all of them—were preventable.

The Rosepark care home fire has been subject to much legal scrutiny. Charges were brought against the owners of the home on successive occasions, with the case being dismissed by the Lord Advocate and, subsequently, by the appeal court. Following those unsuccessful attempts to prosecute, a fatal accident inquiry was held, with evidence heard from 212 witnesses between August 2010 and November 2011. Central to that inquiry was the examination of progress made in fire safety and prevention.

The key document on this issue is the Scottish Government publication “Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Care Homes”—the CHG. The document was originally issued in 2006—two years after the Rosepark fire—primarily as a response to the fire in order that the most glaring lessons from the tragedy could be learned. The document was amended in 2008.

Although the sheriff principal considered the document to be “excellent” and “the clearest guidance” available to those operating care homes, it was agreed that the CHG would be updated to reflect the fatal accident inquiry’s findings in order to make the guidelines even clearer and more robust.

In 2011, following the inquiry determination, the CHG was updated to include recommendations made during the inquiry, along with other issues unrelated to the Rosepark fire. There has been further revision, with the CHG continually updated. Also, in 2012, to meet a commitment by the Scottish Government to deal with issues raised in the fatal accident inquiry, the fire and rescue services division of the safer communities directorate issued a consultation document with the hefty title of “A Consultation on the Revision of the Scottish Government Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Care Homes and the Quality Assurance of Persons Who Offer Risk Assessment Services”.

The 12-week consultation attracted a great number of responses and the guidance was updated again, strengthened and then reissued in March this year. Crucially, the new CHG includes greater guidance and detail on evacuation procedures and the requirement to have a comprehensive plan in place; guidance on the benefits of third party certification; information on staff training and testing in fire safety; and details on sprinkler retrofitting and the benefits of sprinklers in areas with high dependency residents. Following publication, a targeted awareness campaign was carried out with key organisations, the healthcare sector and all registered care homes.

The matter of the competence and suitability of fire risk assessors was also considered in the 2012 consultation. It was deemed the best way forward that care home duty holders should check the competence of those carrying out fire risk assessments at their care homes. Registration schemes exist for companies and individuals carrying out a fire risk assessment. However, there are no plans to make that compulsory and enhanced guidance for duty holders is available online.

Ultimately, a fire safety certificate does not guarantee fire safety and it must be remembered that final responsibility for fire safety in care homes lies with those who operate the premises. The Rosepark care home fire was a terrible tragedy and it is poignant that Michael McMahon has brought such matters to the chamber 10 years on from the events.

The actions taken by this Government and the previous Administration have brought us to the point where legislation, assistance and guidance have substantially reduced the likelihood of such a horrible accident taking place again. However, there is no room for complacency when it comes to ensuring the safety and security of the most vulnerable in our society and we must ensure that those who are entrusted with the care of our older people are properly regulated and are held to account for the quality of care that they provide.

17:22  

Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (SNP)

The minister will be aware that this month Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd and Caledonian MacBrayne will place a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union indicating their plans to order a new Ardrossan to Brodick ferry. Can he confirm that the specification will be for a hybrid ferry, that the contract will be placed next spring and that building the vessel will be well within the capability and capacity of Ferguson’s in Port Glasgow?



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (SNP)

I warmly welcome the positive statement from the cabinet secretary. However, as convener of the Finance Committee, I record my concern that, as the cabinet secretary sets the rates and bands for the new devolved taxes, we still have no clear indication from the Treasury as to what impact that will have on the Scottish block grant because of the UK Government’s failure to address adequately the issue of the block grant adjustment. Does the cabinet secretary agree that UK Treasury politicking not only stands in stark contrast to the constructive approach that the Scottish Government has taken to the taxes, but raises concerns over the delivery of further devolved taxes, as promised by the unionist parties?



Finance Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
The Convener (Kenneth Gibson)

Welcome to the 25th meeting in 2014 of the Finance Committee. I remind everyone to turn off mobile phones and other electronic devices.

We have received apologies from Malcolm Chisholm.

Our first item of business is to decide whether to take item 5 in private. Do members agree to do so?

Members indicated agreement.



Finance Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
The Convener

Our second item of business is evidence from Professor David Bell and David Eiser from the University of Stirling’s division of economics, on their recently published paper, “Scotland’s Fiscal Future in the UK”.

The paper was circulated to members in advance of today’s meeting, so we will go straight to questions from the committee. As usual, I will start the questioning process.

Before we start, I point out that we have a full agenda today and are likely to be pressed for time. I therefore have to restrict each member’s questioning to no more than 10 minutes. I will also try to adhere to that timescale. I say to John Mason that that means no meandering when it comes to his turn. Either or both of our witnesses may answer questions that are put. It is completely up to them.

On options for further fiscal devolution, the third paragraph of page 5 of the paper says:

“The Labour Party’s proposals are somewhat more modest, amounting to an extension to the Scotland Act, so that the devolved part of income tax increases from 10p at each rate to 15p. The proposals also allow the Scottish Government to vary the progressivity of income tax, albeit in a fairly restrictive way”.

Any variation, of course, would be done so as not to reduce that progressivity. How would those proposals advantage or disadvantage Scotland?



Finance Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
The Convener

In his evidence to the committee, Professor McGregor suggested that a higher rate here, which could not be reduced, than in the rest of the UK, could cost Scotland 2 per cent of its gross domestic product and 75,000 jobs. Is that accurate or an exaggeration?



Finance Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
The Convener

The devo more recommendation is that half the VAT revenues that are raised in Scotland should be assigned to the Scottish Parliament. In that situation, would Scotland have a say in setting the rate?



Finance Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
The Convener

I am aware of that, but what is suggested is that maybe half the VAT receipts could be assigned to Scotland. In that case, would we have a role in setting the rate, even though there would not be a different rate in Scotland?



Finance Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
The Convener

We will move swiftly on. Your paper states:

“Corporation Tax has been proposed for devolution by DevoPlus on the basis that economic and business development are devolved policy areas, although most proposals recognise the risks inherent in devolving corporation tax, namely the fact that the high mobility of the tax base may trigger tax competition.”

However, surely there is already corporation tax competition right across the world. It almost looks as though you are referring to the issue only within the British Isles, as if somehow the rest of the world is not significant to the discussion.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

 
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11304.3 Michael Russell: Addressing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Schools—As an amendment to mo
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YesCarried

S4M-11304 Liz Smith: Addressing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Schools—That the Parliament believes
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YesCarried

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

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

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

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

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

Search for other Motions lodged by Kenneth Gibson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11353: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11259: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11219: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11217: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11180: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11155: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11118: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11035: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 30/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11006: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10977: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Kenneth Gibson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03647: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22920: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03471: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03429: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02217: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03396: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03317: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03236: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02090: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-20906: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/04/2014 Show Full Question >>