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All Speeches

  • Article: Jan 19, 2015

    Tuesday 13 January 2015


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): The Justice Committee's report on the SSI is laden with provisos and caveats-in my view, far too many for comfort. Regular rigorous independent scrutiny of our prisons is essential in order to ensure that proper standards of care and decency are maintained. The proposals do not ensure that monitors will be truly independent; instead, independent prison monitors will sit in a hierarchy and their work will be directed by salaried co-ordinators who will, in turn, be overseen by Her Majesty's chief inspector of prisons for Scotland.

  • Article: Jan 19, 2015

    Thursday 15 January 2015


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): I gladly join members across the chamber in commending all those who work in many different ways to keep us safe.

    My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I are incredibly grateful for the work that the emergency services do for all our constituents around Scotland. Police officers, ambulance crews, firefighters, doctors, nurses and many more routinely put the needs of the public before their own. Each time that they start a shift, they are prepared to deal with unexpected, distressing and traumatic situations; incidents that the rest of us might never encounter at all-we certainly hope that we do not.

  • Article: Dec 4, 2014

    4 December 2014


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): SNAP has made an impact and good progress in its first year. It is good to have an opportunity to debate it today ahead of international human rights day on 10 December.

    Members have already spoken about SNAP's practical value in raising awareness of, understanding of and respect for human rights throughout the Government, public service and communities. The annual report notes that there is still a lack of understanding among decision makers and front-line workers about the value of human rights, so I welcome the cabinet secretary's announcement of an awareness-raising campaign on why rights matter and how to claim those rights. That is vital because, as the Scottish Human Rights Commission stresses,

  • Article: Dec 1, 2014

    27 November 2014


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): It would be remiss of me not to start with a mention of the recommendations of the Smith commission, which were unveiled just a few hours ago. Let us be clear: it is a bold package of new powers to give the Scottish Parliament the muscle that it needs to build a fairer society, with opportunity for all.

  • Article: Nov 20, 2014

    18 November 2014


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): The current drink-drive limit was set in 1965. Since then, I am glad to say, perceptions have changed. Public and scientific understanding of the risks has increased dramatically. However, for many folk there is still some confusion as to what the existing limit allows. Is it a pint or a glass of wine? What constitutes a unit, and how many can someone have and still drive legally?

  • Article: Nov 12, 2014

    12 November 2014


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): The Scottish Liberal Democrats will also support the motion, which sets out a robust defence of human rights.

    Some politicians and media would have us believe that, taken together, the European convention on human rights, the European Court of Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998 somehow amount to a criminals' charter or a terrorists' treaty. That is, of course, nonsense.

  • Article: Nov 6, 2014

    5 November 2014


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): Scottish Liberal Democrats welcome the opportunity to highlight the work of the advisory group on tackling sectarianism in Scotland.

    Scotland has wrestled with sectarianism for decades, and debate has too often been suppressed or sensationalised and reduced to simplistic understandings and stereotypes. The advisory group's initial contribution, in the report that it published in December 2013, moved matters on significantly.

  • Article: Nov 5, 2014

    Tuesday 5 November


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): I, too, am grateful to Stewart Stevenson for bringing this important issue to the chamber. I am pleased to record my gratitude for the tireless work of my constituent, Ron Beaty. Alongside others who have been touched by similar personal tragedies in my North East Scotland region, he has fought for a decade for safety improvements on school transport. Together, they have determinedly turned traumatic events into a positive and substantive campaign for change. That commitment and contribution of our campaigners must be matched by the relevant authorities. I hope that the minister will explain how the Scottish Government intends to encourage compliance with the 2010 transport guidance, if there are disparate approaches throughout the country.

  • Article: Oct 9, 2014

    8 October 2014


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): One could be forgiven for thinking that the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 established Police Scotland. It did not. This Parliament established the Police Service of Scotland. However, on taking command of the national force, the chief constable swiftly presided over a rebrand.

  • Article: Oct 8, 2014

    7 October 2014


    Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD): I thank the members of the legislation team for supporting me in drafting amendments. I also thank the Justice Committee clerks, as ever, and those who took time to give evidence to the committee.

    Working in conjunction with the Scottish Civil Justice Council's modernisation programme, the bill will enable our court structures to undergo significant reform.