Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
Good morning, everyone. I warmly welcome everyone to the first meeting in this session of the Local Government and Communities Committee. I will chair the meeting only briefly, as I am allegedly the oldest member of the committee. After the first two items, I will pass over to the individual who is chosen as convener.
I remind everyone to switch off any mobile phones, please, as they can interfere with the electronic sound system.
The first item on the agenda is declarations of interests. I will go round the table so that everyone can declare any interests that are relevant to the committee’s work.
I declare that I have a private flat in Glasgow that I let out to tenants.
Elaine Smith (Central Scotland) (Lab)
I previously received money from Unison to support taking forward in Parliament my Breastfeeding etc (Scotland) Bill. I am also a member of Unite the union.
Bob Doris (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (SNP)
Just for transparency, although I do not think that it is directly declarable, I declare that have on-going membership of the Educational Institute of Scotland. That is just for clarity and to put it on the record, although this is not the Education and Skills Committee.
Graham Simpson (Central Scotland) (Con)
I am a councillor in South Lanarkshire.
Mairi Evans (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
I am currently a councillor in Angus Council.
Andy Wightman (Lothian) (Green)
I have no declarable interests, although I was a member of the commission on local tax reform until December last year.
Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
I am a councillor on Perth and Kinross Council.
We move on to the second item on the agenda, which is to choose the convener. The procedure is very straightforward. Parliament has agreed that the Scottish National Party will have convenership of the committee, so only members of the SNP are eligible to be nominated. Do we have any nominations?
I nominate Bob Doris.
We do not need a seconder. Are there any further nominations? Graham Simpson winked at me. I thought that he was going to—
It was probably just a nervous twitch.
That must be what it was.
We have no further nominations. Is Bob Doris happy to accept the post of convener?
Bob Doris was chosen as convener.
Welcome to the post of convener of the Local Government and Communities Committee. I will vacate the chair and Bob Doris will take over.
The Convener (Bob Doris)
I thank Kenny Gibson for that, Mairi Evans for nominating me, and the committee for agreeing that I will be the convener. It is a privilege to be convener of the committee.
I will plough straight on to the next item on the agenda, which is—shock horror!—to choose the deputy convener. As Kenny Gibson said, the routine is fairly straightforward. Parliament has agreed that only members of the Scottish Labour Party are eligible to be nominated as deputy convener of the committee. I invite nominations for the post.
I nominate Elaine Smith.
That is noted. Are you happy to accept that nomination, Elaine?
I am, indeed. Thank you very much. I am pleased to accept the nomination.
Elaine Smith was chosen as deputy convener.
Congratulations on being chosen, Elaine.
Members will note that I did not ask whether there were any other nominations. That was because Elaine Smith is the only Labour member of the committee. I am delighted to have her as our deputy convener, and I am sure that we will work very well together.
Decision on Taking Business in Private
Agenda item 4 is to make a decision on taking items in private. Do members agree to consider in private agenda item 5, which will be the committee’s first opportunity to consider its approach to its work programme, and to consider our work programme in private at future meetings, as work programme items usually include discussions of approach papers in which committees have not yet reached a view on potential witnesses?
Members indicated agreement.
We move to agenda item 5, which we have just agreed to take in private.10:04 Meeting continued in private until 10:18.