Official Report


  • Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill Committee, 29 Jun 2004    
      • [The Oldest Committee Member opened the meeting at 15:30]

      • Interests
        • Stewart Stevenson (Oldest Committee Member):
          Welcome to the inaugural meeting of the Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill Committee. I ask members to switch off their mobile phones and pagers.

          Apparently, I am the oldest committee member, so under rule 12.1.6 of the standing orders, I am to chair the meeting for the first two agenda items. Marilyn Livingstone has tendered her apologies as she is not very well.

          First are declarations of interests—I will start. I am not aware that I have any interests in respect of the Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill.

        • Bill Aitken (Glasgow) (Con):
          I have no interests to declare in respect of the bill.

        • Jeremy Purvis (Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale) (LD):
          I have no registered interests to declare. However, in my capacity as member of the Scottish Parliament for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale, I have had discussions with Transport Initiatives Edinburgh Ltd on congestion charging. I also have links with the Borders railway project. At no stage did the tram projects come up in those discussions. I thought that it might be useful, however, to place that in the Official Report.

        • Kate Maclean (Dundee West) (Lab):
          I am not aware that I have any interests to declare.

      • Convener
        • Stewart Stevenson:
          Members will be aware that Parliamentary Bureau motion S2M-1444, which was agreed by the Parliament, states that the convener of the committee is to be a member of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party. I invite an appropriate nomination.

        • Jeremy Purvis:
          I nominate Bill Aitken.

        • Stewart Stevenson:
          Thank you. There being no other nomination, I declare Bill Aitken to be our convener. I demit my temporary office and allow Bill to conduct the rest of the meeting.

        • Bill Aitken was chosen as convener.

      • Deputy Convener
        • The Convener (Bill Aitken):
          My initial task is to thank Stewart Stevenson for presiding over the start of the meeting with such efficiency. It is refreshing to find myself in a parliamentary gathering at which I am not the oldest member present.

          The next item is the committee's choice of deputy convener. Parliamentary Bureau motion S2M-1444, which was agreed by Parliament, states that the deputy convener of the committee is to be a member of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. I nominate Jeremy Purvis, who is the sole member of the Liberal Democrats to serve on the committee. Are we agreed?

          Members indicated agreement.

        • The Convener:
          I declare that Jeremy Purvis is duly chosen as deputy convener of the Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill Committee.

        • Jeremy Purvis was chosen as deputy convener.

      • Items in Private
        • The Convener:
          The next item is consideration of whether to discuss items 5, 6 and 7 in private. The items concern our approach to the preliminary stage of the bill and include a briefing on the environmental statement. Under item 5, the agreement of members is sought on the venue for future meetings and the appointment of an adviser to support the committee in its work.

          Committees usually discuss in private whether to appoint an adviser and who the adviser should be, which enables committees to discuss the relevant merits of potential candidates. Under item 6, the committee's agreement is sought on our approach to evidence gathering. As part of that approach, the committee's views will be sought on commissioning of external research. Tenders have been included in the paper, so I propose that item 6 be discussed in private.

          Under item 7, following a report from Bond Pearce, the view of the committee is sought on the adequacy of the bill's environmental statement. I propose that we discuss the item in private so that members' views on the report can be sought prior to the report's being made public.

          I intend to publish the results of the committee's discussions under all items as part of the minute of the meeting, so I seek the committee's agreement to discuss items 5, 6 and 7 in private. Are we agreed?

        • Stewart Stevenson:
          Before we agree, would it be appropriate for the people who have been involved in the preparation of the items to be present during our private discussion? I suspect that that would be useful.

        • The Convener:
          Yes. That is most certainly our intention.

        • Stewart Stevenson:
          In that case, and on that basis, I agree.

          Members indicated agreement.

        • Meeting continued in private until 16:40.