Approach to work this session:
In considering its future work programme the Committee agreed that the following three strategic priorities will guide its future inquiry work over this session. These priorities will be reviewed periodically to ensure they remain relevant and appropriate:
PRIORITY 1: Local Government, the future of local democracy, local services and the financing and fiscal affairs of local government.
PRIORITY 2: The planning system and meeting the needs of communities for housing, place making and other developments.
PRIORITY 3: Power to the people (empowering local communities).
Building Regulations and Fire Safety in Scotland
On Wednesday 5 September, continuing its earlier work on building regulations and fire safety, the Committee will hear from the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Professor John Cole (Chair of the review of enforcement and compliance), Professor Paul Stollard (Chair of the review of fire safety in building standards), and Dame Judith Hackitt (Chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety).
Planning (Scotland) Bill
The Committee was designated as lead Committee for this Bill which was introduced into Parliament on 4 December 2017. On 17 May 2018 the Committee published its Stage 1 Report. Following the summer recess the Committee will commence its scrutiny of the Bill at Stage 2. Information on the Committee's consideration to date can be found here. The Committee will begin Stage 2 consideration of the Bill (consideration of amendments) on 12 September and this is expected to continue over several meetings in autumn 2018.
Small Business Bonus Scheme
The Committee held a one-off evidence session on 21 February 2018 on the potential remit, status and evaluation measures of SBBS. This evidence will inform the Committee response to the Cabinet Secretary on the Scottish Government’s proposed review.
Following that evidence session and its response to the Scottish Government, the Committee agreed to undertake a wider review of the value for money and future of SBBS and to consider an approach paper for this inquiry, in private, at a future meeting.
On 23 May 2018 the Committee held a one-off evidence session on alcohol licensing in Scotland to explore the role of communities and engagement in alcohol licensing. A further evidence session with the Scottish Government is planned.
Scrutiny of public bodies
The Committee will undertake annual scrutiny of the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman and the Scottish Housing Regulator.
The Committee will also take evidence bi-annually from the Accounts Commission on their financial overview and overview of local government in Scotland.
The Committee will also review its work programme periodically.