The Convener (Edward Mountain)
Good morning and welcome to the first meeting in 2018 of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee. I ask members and all others present to ensure that their mobile phones are on silent. No apologies have been received.
Item 1 is to take a declaration of interests. For this, I need to welcome Colin Smyth, who is a member for South Scotland, to the committee. Colin is replacing Rhoda Grant. Do you have any interests to declare to the committee?
Colin Smyth (South Scotland) (Lab)
The only relevant interests that I would like to volunteer are in my entry in the register of members’ interests. I am a member of the GMB, a member of Unite the union, and the volunteer chair of a campaign group for a railway station in Eastriggs.
Thank you. Before I leave this item, I want to record officially the committee’s thanks to Rhoda Grant for all the work that she put into the committee. She attended almost all the meetings and certainly made a huge effort to get out to all the islands during the islands visits and to attend all the videoconferencing that we did last year. On behalf of the committee, I record our thanks for her diligence during 2016 and 2017.
Decision on Taking Business in Private
Item 2 is a decision on taking business in private. The committee is to consider taking an item on post-legislative scrutiny in private at a future meeting. Do any members have a view?
Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
On this occasion, any discussion of the subject will not affect the interests of individuals, and I do not foresee that the issue will be particularly party driven. On this occasion, therefore, it would give greater credibility to items that we do take in private if we take this one in public and allow people who watch the committee’s activities to see our discussions on this subject, which will be pretty matter of fact.
The committee is always minded to take things in public when it can. Unless I hear any dissenting voices, it seems to be agreed that we should take the item in public at the future meeting. Are members agreed?
Members indicated agreement.
The committee will now move into private session to consider items 3 and 4.09:38 Meeting continued in private until 12:42.