Parliament Days aim to take the Parliament out of Edinburgh and into communities around Scotland, inspiring local people to take an interest in and engage directly with the Parliament and its work.
Initiated by the Parliament in 2012, Presiding Officer the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP says she wants to see even greater focus on public engagement across Scotland with an increased frequency of Parliament Day visits.
The Presiding Officer has announced she will take part in the following visits:
Ahead of Parliament Day Fort William taking place next week (Monday 24 November), the Presiding Officer said:
“We know that the people of Scotland want to be involved in the political process and that is why I want the Parliament to get out and about across Scotland all the more often.
“The Scottish Parliament belongs to all the people of Scotland and Dumfries offers the Parliament a great opportunity to hear from the community about the issues that matter to them.”
Parliament Day invites people to see the Parliament first-hand, be it ‘official’ business, or on a less formal level, and helps the Parliament listen to local people. As part of Parliament Day Dumfries, the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee will hold a formal sitting on Monday 23 February, as well as meeting with a range of local people, organisations and businesses.
To date the Public Petitions Committee has received more than 1,500 petitions from the public. Petitions can result in a wide range of actions, including parliamentary debate, changes to law and policy direction and even official government apologies for past wrongs.
Public Petitions Committee Convener David Stewart MSP commented:
“One of the things I am proudest of as Convener of the Committee is that, unlike the system in place at Westminster, each and every petition lodged is considered properly by the Committee at a formal meeting. The PPC consists of seven MSPs from all the main parties. Although we may have our political differences, we wholeheartedly agree that we want many more people in Dumfries, who are passionate about campaigning for positive change to submit a petition directly to the Scottish Parliament.”
More details will be announced in the coming months on the activities, which will also include a conference to help local organisations and individuals understand more about how the Parliament works and how to have their voices heard on issues that are important to them.
Parliament Days to date:
24 February 2014 – Dumbarton
4 November 2013 – Arbroath
21 June 2013 – Stirling
15 March 2013 – Stornoway
5 November 2012 – Hawick
For more information, please visit www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentdays
You can also follow us on twitter @scotparl and @SP_Petitions and #PDDumfries