Scotland's Futures Forum announces project board members for alcohol and drugs study


Holyrood’s think-tank, Scotland’s Futures Forum, has announced the membership of its Project Board which will lead an innovative year-long study into alcohol and drugs use in Scotland.

The investigation entitled “Fresh Perspectives on Alcohol and Drugs” will seek to establish a new political perspective on Scotland’s approach to alcohol and drugs.

The Board, which met for the first time on Tuesday 8 May 2007, comprises leading figures from business, health, academia, media, charity and community sectors.

The Fresh Perspectives on Alcohol and Drugs Project Board members are:

Frank Pignatelli, (Chair)

Victor Everhard, The Trimbos Institute

Ian Gordon, Chief Executive, Bethany Christian Trust

Gavin Hewitt, CMG, Chief Executive of The Scotch Whisky Association

Barclay McBain, Managing Editor, The Herald

Louise Macdonald, Deputy Chief Executive, Young Scot

Fiona Moriarty, Director, British Retail Consortium

Professor Richard Sparks, Edinburgh University

Tom Wood, Scottish Association of Alcohol and Drug Action Teams

Frank Pignatelli, Chair of the Fresh Perspectives on Alcohol and Drugs Project Board stated:

"I am delighted that we have attracted such a broad range of expertise onto the Project Board. The Futures Forum now has the opportunity to exploit their knowledge and understanding as we move towards a fresh perspective on alcohol and drugs in Scotland.

"I relish the prospect of working with board members, our project partners and the wider public in responding to the obvious need for long-term strategic thinking.”

The latest study by Scotland’s Futures Forum will be undertaken in the context of recent research which suggests that there are currently in excess of 100,000 children in Scotland affected by parental alcohol use and nearly 60,000 by parental drug use (source: Scottish Executive, May 2006).

The Forum seeks to stimulate open and honest debate on the causes and impacts of drug and alcohol misuse across Scottish society. The study will consider the views of local communities, a wide range of harm reduction measures, the role of poverty, and review international best practice.

It is hoped that the project will inform public policy debate and challenge policy makers to consider new long-term approaches to problematic alcohol and drug use.

The Project Board will announce shortly its remit, project plan and methodology for the year-long study.

Biographies of Project Board

Frank Pignatelli CBE (Chair)

Frank Pignatelli spent 26 years working in the public sector, latterly as Executive Director of Strathclyde's education service before moving to the private sector, first as Group Director of Human Resources with Associated Newspapers London and subsequently as Managing Director of a Scottish-based business offering executive support and development to directors and senior managers of companies in the UK and abroad.

In 1999, he was appointed the first Chief Executive Officer of the Scottish University for Industry, known to the public as learndirect scotland, a post from which he retired in December 2006.

Victor Everhard

Programme Manager, The Trimbos Institute

Victor Everhard is the Programme Manager for The Trimbos Institute, the Netherlands national knowledge institute for mental health care, addiction care and social work. The institute provides services for and cooperates with over 400 local, national and international organizations and institutions. Most recently it has supported the mental health work of Who Europe as a Leading Collaborative Centre.

His key responsibilities lie in the field of prevention programmes for alcohol and illegal drugs (development, implementation and research).

Iain Gordon

Chief Executive of Bethany Christian Trust

Iain Gordon is the Chief Executive of Bethany Christian Trust, a charity working to reduce suffering and meet the long term needs of homeless and vulnerable people in Scotland . He has twenty years experience of managing professional service organisations in the private and voluntary sectors in the UK , Asia and the Middle East.

Gavin W Hewitt CMG

Chief Executive of The Scotch Whisky Association

Gavin Hewitt has been Chief Executive of The Scotch Whisky Association since October 2003. Born and educated in Scotland to where he has returned after a distinguished career in the British Diplomatic Service, culminating in appointments as HM Ambassador to Croatia (1994-97), Finland (1997-2000) and Belgium (2001-2003).

Barclay McBain

Managing Editor, The Herald

Barclay McBain has worked with the Herald for over 20 years in various capacities encompassing news, features and business. He was the paper's Education Correspondent for a number of years before becoming a leader writer. Until recently chief leader writer, he is currently Managing Editor.

Louise Macdonald

Deputy Chief Executive of Young Scot

Louise Macdonald is Deputy Chief Executive of Young Scot, the national youth information charity. She has extensive experience of working in the voluntary and statutory sector, specialising in civic participation, communications and engagement with young people. A former journalist, she is also an active volunteer with her local Citizens Advice Bureau and a member of the Scottish Committee of the RSA.

Fiona Moriarty
Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium

Responsible for maintaining the political and industry profile of the retail sector in Scotland, through information sharing, research activity and further developing links with key sector partners, including the Scottish Executive and Scottish Parliament. Fiona Moriarty sits on the Executive Committee of the SCDI and board of the Scottish Business Crime Centre. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commence, and a member of the Institute of Directors.

Professor Richard Sparks

Edinburgh University

Richard Sparks is Professor of Criminology at the University of Edinburgh . His main research interests lie in the sociology of punishment (especially imprisonment); penal politics; and public responses to crime and punishment. Richard is the author of Television and the Drama of Crime (1992) and co-author (with Tony Bottoms and Will Hay) of Prisons and the Problem of Order (1996) and (with Evi Girling and Ian Loader) of Crime and Social Change in Middle England (2000). He has edited several books including, most recently (with Tim Newburn), Criminal Justice and Political Cultures (Willan, 2004).

Tom Wood

Scottish Association of Alcohol and Drug Action Teams

Tom Wood is the chair of the Scottish Association of Alcohol and Drugs Action Teams, and chair of the Edinburgh Alcohol and Drug action team. He was previously a career police officer and was latterly the Deputy Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police in Edinburgh. He is a frequent commentator on Criminal Justice, Alcohol and Drugs policy.

Scotland’s Futures Forum was created by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body in August 2005. The forum aims to identify key challenges facing the nation and stimulate debate between MSPs, academics, civic society, wealth creators and international organisations on the ways of meeting them.

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