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Chamber and committees

Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee

Minutes: 18 June 2024

Tuesday, 18 June 2024

20th Meeting, 2024

Start time: 09:30am
Location: T4.60-CR6 The Livingstone Room
Published: Tuesday, 18 June 2024


1. Decision on taking business in private:

The Committee agreed to take item 4 in private.

2. Housing (Scotland) Bill:

The Committee took evidence on the Bill at Stage 1 from—

John Blackwood, Chief Executive , Scottish Association of Landlords;

Anna Gardiner, Policy Adviser (Rural Property), Scottish Land and Estates;

Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Propertymark;

Dr John Boyle, Director of Research and Strategy, Retties;

Cedric Bucher, Chief Executive, Hearthstone Investments;

Robin Blacklock, Managing Director, Dowbrae Limited;

and then from—

Ally Macleod, Head of Housing and Building Standards, Aberdeenshire Council;

Derek McGowan, Service Director for Housing and Homelessness and Lisa Mallon, Housing Manager, City of Edinburgh Council;

Kelly Ferns, Research and Development Officer, Argyll and Bute Council;

Jennifer Sheddan, Head of Housing, Glasgow City Council.


Mark Griffin and Collin Beattie declared an interest as having previously owned a private rented property.

3. Housing (Scotland) Bill (in private):

The Committee agreed to defer the consideration of the evidence heard to its next meeting.

4. Work programme:


The Committee considered its work programme and agreed to:

  • write to the Scottish Government and COSLA for an update on when the monitoring and accountability and fiscal frameworks are expected to be agreed and published;  
  • focus its pre-budget scrutiny on the financial sustainability of local government, with a particular emphasis on debt, reserves and capital investment;
  • a programme of written and oral evidence to inform its pre-budget scrutiny;
  • seek the agreement of the Parliamentary Bureau to the appointment of an adviser to support its pre-budget scrutiny;
  • write to the Scottish Government asking when it intends to publish its response to the Scottish Local Authority Remuneration Committee (SLARC)’s recommendations on councillor remuneration;
  • write to the Scottish Government seeking an update on legislative reforms to the process for approving proposals for boundary changes from Boundaries Scotland; 
  • write to the Scottish Government seeking an update on the timescales for the publication of the report on Democracy Matters, what consideration it gave to the role of community councils and what its next steps will be;
  • write to stakeholders to get an understanding of their experience of community empowerment a year on from the conclusion of the Committee’s work on the Community Empowerment Act;  and
  • write to the Scottish Government asking for an update on how the Scottish Government is progressing in responding to the Committee’s recommendations on the Community Empowerment Act as well as an update on when the Government will be reporting on its own review of the Community Empowerment Act.

The Committee will continue its work programme discussion at its meeting next week.

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