"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 March 2012

Planning Reform

Mar. 29th 2012

This week the Scottish Government published details of its ‘Planning Reform – Next Steps’ programme. Following a Ministerial Statement by Derek McKay, the Local Government and Planning Minister, on the issue Margaret questioned why the Scottish Government is failing to address inadequate enforcement of planning regulations and criticised the absence of the issue in the ‘Planning Reform – Next Steps’ document.

Commenting, Margaret said:

‘When questioned Derek McKay avoided answering and when pressed further, then argued that the present enforcements were adequate. Clearly the Minister is totally out of touch with how the reforms are currently operating specifically in terms of enforcement procedure, which in most local authorities is practically non-existent.

‘Elected members know all too well from their constituents what a huge issue this is and how frustrating the lack of enforcement procedures of the regulations can be for those who conscientiously abide by the rules.

‘In addition to this in his statement the Minister stated that the Planning etc. (Scotland) Act 2006 had ‘bedded down well’. Audit Scotland, however, merely stated that while progress had been made: ‘more progress is needed to realise the full potential of modernisation’.

‘This confirms that the Scottish Government is totally out of touch with how planning reforms are working in practice at community level.’

The Official Report of the Minister’s statement and Margaret’s question can be found here:

For more information on ‘Planning Reform – Next Steps’, visit:

 The Audit Scotland report can be found here:

Posted by Kate | in Issues and events, Parliament

Life Sciences

Mar. 23rd 2012

This week Margaret popped into the Life Sciences exhibition at the Scottish Parliament to learn more about this growing industry.

Commenting, Margaret said:

‘Life Sciences is the study of living organisms and includes pharmaceuticals, medical technology, animal health and biofuels.

Scotland’s life sciences research is ranked number 1 in the world for impact. There are 57 research institutes in Scotland including 15 universities, which employ 11,00 staff and produce 9,000 graduates in life sciences disciplines annually.

In Central Scotland, the industry is growing and the Scottish Enterprise Technology Park based in East Kilbride, is a fantastic 34 acre park for the biotechnology, medical and pharmaceutical sectors.’


Posted by Kate | in Issues and events, Parliament

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