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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 28 September 2021

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Covid-19, Universal Credit, Environmental Standards Scotland (Chief Executive), Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Scottish Ambulance Service


Environmental Standards Scotland (Chief Executive)

The next item of business is consideration of motion S6M-01397, in the name of Michael Matheson, on Environmental Standards Scotland: appointment of the chief executive. I call Màiri McAllan to speak to and move the motion.


The Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport explained the background to the motion in his letter of 6 September to the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee. The committee had the opportunity to ask questions then but did not raise any.

As was expressed in the letter, the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2020, as an extra safeguard to the independence of the new body, provides for the appointment of the first chief executive of the statutory body Environmental Standards Scotland to be made by ministers with the approval of the Scottish Parliament. The motion proposes the appointment of a suitably qualified and experienced civil servant to the post on a temporary basis, which will allow ESS to make a longer-term appointment.

I move,

That the Parliament welcomes the statutory vesting of Environmental Standards Scotland, the new environmental governance body for Scotland, which will ensure that high standards of environmental governance are maintained, and approves the Scottish Ministers’ appointment of Brendan Callaghan as the first chief executive of Environmental Standards Scotland, as required by the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021, and as communicated to the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee by correspondence on 6 September 2021 by the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport.

The question on the motion will be put at decision time.