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"Politics is all about people. As a Central Scotland MSP it is both a pleasure and a privilege to meet and become involved with a hugely diverse number of people and organisations"

Margaret Mitchell
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Archive for November 2009

The Train is in Sight – at last!

Nov. 25th 2009

On Tuesday 23 November more than 40 representatives from Deafblind Scotland including deafblind people, their family, friends and guide/communicators descended in style on the Scottish Parliament in support of a motion presented by Margaret 5.00pm as part of Members’ Business.  The motion asked the Scottish Parliament to ensure that deafblind people have the right to genuinely free train travel.

Although in theory free travel is already available to those who are registered blind, including deafblind people, the fact is that deafblind people are rarely able to travel alone and currently must pay the fare charged for their essential companion, a fare which differs in each transport authority, all across Scotland. This therefore represents a clear and present disincentive for deafblind people to use rail travel. MSPs are being asked to ensure special arrangements can be made – perhaps by issuing a special Companion Card to deafblind people.

Before the public debate took place at 5pm, members of a deafblind drama group were invited to perform a sketch highlighting the daily difficulties they endure when travelling – which was a great success.

Posted by William | in Issues and events, Parliament

CPA International Parliamentary Governance Seminar

Nov. 25th 2009

Margaret took part in the visit of a delegation of around 60 CPA Parliamentarians, including Speakers visited the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 November. All were delegates of the 4th CPA (Commonwealth Parliamentary Association) International Parliamentary Governance Seminar which ran from 9 to 21 November. This year’s Seminar focused upon the principles of parliamentary democracy and good governance upheld by the Commonwealth and aspired by its member states. Participants had the opportunity to explore the practical implementation of the democratic principles of scrutiny, accountability, equal and fair participation, and national and international co-operation. In doing so, the seminar programme studied the different models of parliamentary democracy and good governance within the UK Governance system, and the delegation has visited the European Parliament, Westminster, the Scottish Parliament and Glasgow City Council.

This visit was very important  to the Scottish Parliament as it was organised under the auspices of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, a membership body that clearly fits with the Parliament’s international strategy. In addition, given the 60 strong delegation of Speakers and parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth, it fitted with the SPCB objective of “Enhancing the profile and reputation of the Scottish Parliament both within Scotland and internationally”. As many of the delegates were from emerging democracies, it also fitted with the SPCB objective, being “Supporting other legislatures by sharing the Scottish Parliament’s experience.

Posted by William | in Issues and events, Parliament

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