Sandra White MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 26 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Sandra White (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)

I welcome the First Minister to her new role and I congratulate all my colleagues on their ministerial appointments.

Along with everyone else, I look forward to progressing the programme for government. I welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to legislate to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in the 2016 Scottish elections. From speaking to many young people in my constituency, I know that they would welcome that; they also want the opportunity to vote in Westminster elections, so I hope that that matter will go forward, whether as a result of the Smith commission or otherwise.

I welcome the strengthening of community involvement, which my colleague Kevin Stewart mentioned. That is fantastic news. Groups in my constituency and in many other constituencies throughout Scotland will benefit from that move.

I will touch on two areas: gender equality and domestic abuse. The First Minister mentioned the new Cabinet’s make-up, and the 50:50 split sends out a strong message about gender equality. The United Nations hailed that move, and we in the Scottish Parliament should be very proud of that.

The Scottish Parliament does not have the legislative powers to address gender equality, as the First Minister said. I understand that, in August, the Scottish Government wrote to the UK Government proposing a transfer of the relevant provisions in the Equality Act 2010 to the Scottish Parliament. Can we have an update on that issue?

The Scottish Government’s “Women on Board: Quality through Diversity” consultation, which was launched in April 2014, proposed measures to achieve gender equality through quotas on public body boards. Like other members, I welcome the consultation and the announcement of the 50:50 by 2020 pledge, and the Government and this Parliament should be proud of those measures. However, in the long term, we need to change the culture in Scotland to get full gender equality.

The commitment to increase childcare will help to create gender equality by giving all three and four-year-olds and our most disadvantaged two-year-olds 600 hours of childcare a year. We all know that that equals 16 hours a week during term time, and there are plans to increase it to 30 hours a week if the Government is re-elected. That would make it so much easier for mothers, and parents in general, to go back to work.

Perhaps the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning will want to look at and take on board an issue that relates to local authorities. We need local authorities to play their part and ensure that places are available for those hours in pre-school provision such as nurseries.

Stopping domestic abuse is a crucial issue for us all; indeed, we are united behind that goal. I will mention some of the things that this Government has been doing in that area. Since 2007, it has funded initiatives to tackle the domestic abuse of women, which has increased by 62 per cent. Between 2012 and 2015, the Scottish Government is investing £34.5 million, which is to be targeted at a wide range of initiatives to tackle violence against women.

The First Minister mentioned Clare’s law. Yesterday, a six-month trial of Clare’s law started in Ayrshire and Aberdeen. It will allow women and men to access information on their new partner’s offending history. That information can be used by someone who is concerned about their partner’s abusive behaviour or by a third party. It is really important that a third party who is worried about someone who is in a potentially dangerous relationship will be able to access such information, and I look forward to the pilot being rolled out throughout the rest of the country.

The consultation on the introduction of a criminal offence of committing domestic abuse is also to be welcomed, as are the proposed legislation on revenge porn and the proposed new trafficking laws.

I look forward to the introduction of legislation not just in the areas that I have mentioned, but in all those that the First Minister mentioned. I think that it is an excellent programme for government. The Scottish Government should be proud of its record on equalities and social issues since 2007. We have tried to look at all aspects of government. We have focused on the economy, but we have also dealt with social issues. I thank the First Minister for putting forward her programme for government, and I look forward to working with members of the Government.

16:11  

Justice Committee 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Sandra White

No, I am sorry, convener—



Justice Committee 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Sandra White

We have not previously accepted late submissions, so I do not see why we should accept this one.



Justice Committee 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Sandra White

I certainly was not aware of the submission until I came into the committee room this morning and found it sitting on my desk. Previously, the committee and the convener have been most annoyed about late submissions. I have read the other papers on the regulations, which I received at the weekend. The policy note says that the Law Society, which is the regulator and representative body, is happy with the proposal. However, I came into the committee room this morning and found the submission sitting in front of me—I have not even had a chance to look at it. If the Law Society had wanted to raise concerns, it could have done so earlier.

The regulations have been before the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee, which raised no concerns. We came in today and found the submission sitting on our desks, and we have been asked to delay the regulations. I for one do not think that we should do that, because we have not—



Justice Committee 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Sandra White

I was just clarifying it.



Justice Committee 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Sandra White

Thank you. I just wanted to clarify that, and the fact that NPD stands for non-profit-distributing.



Justice Committee 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Sandra White

I want to ask about the purpose-built justice centres. According to its evidence, the Scottish Court Service thinks it desirable to move into the centres, but what are the cabinet secretary designate’s thoughts on their advantages? Moreover, given the Scottish Court Service’s comments about the need for them to be financed, how will the Scottish Government do that?



Justice Committee 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Sandra White

Yes, I did.



Justice Committee 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Sandra White

Convener—



Justice Committee 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Sandra White

The correspondence that the cabinet secretary mentioned would be helpful. Hopefully, that would lead to—if the committee decided to seek it—a Treasury minister coming to the committee.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
YesCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

S4M-11567.2 Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit—As an amendment to motion S4M-11567 in
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YesCarried

S4M-11507.1 Cameron Buchanan: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11507 Angela Constance: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—Th
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11494.3 Jackie Baillie: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11494.2 Alex Johnstone: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11494 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—That the Parliament
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11484.1 Jackson Carlaw: Human Rights—As an amendment to motion S4M-11484 in the name of Roseanna
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Sandra White
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11705: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11624: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11350: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11290: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11288: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11274: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11266: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11265: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11264: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11179: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Sandra White
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4T-00818: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03541: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03526: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4T-00756: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03432: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03219: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03107: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/03/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03008: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/03/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-02979: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/02/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-02910: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/02/2014 Show Full Question >>

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