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  1. 5pm: Members' Business: Fuel poverty in pre-1919 residential properties

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Ailsa Brown

All times stated are UK

That's all folks

Ms Burgess concludes her speech by saying the Scottish government awaits further detail about the scope of new powers relating to energy efficiency which the Smith Commission has recommended be devolved.

Parly at night

That's all from BBC Scotland's Democracy Live coverage of the Scottish Parliament, join us again at 9.30am when we cover the Local Government's evidence session on the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill.

Amongst those giving evidence will be Dr Michael North from the Gun Control Network, whose daughter was killed in the Dunblane shootings in 1996.

Housing Minister

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess says tackling fuel poverty is a major part of the Scottish government's strategy to create a fairer Scotland and to tackle inequality.

Ms Burgess says disrepair in our older housing stock and the resultant heating inefficiency.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess
Housing Minister Margaret Burgess

"Responsibility for looking after homes lies, in the first instance, with the owners."

Modern Technology

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone says housing built in 19th century was in its day of high quality - however not to the standard we'd wish them to be in terms of energy efficiency today.

Alex Johnstone

Mr Johnstone says "the challenge we have is to let people know what modern technology can do".

He also says "we need people to understand the benefits they will get from a little investment".

Islands fuel poverty

SNP MSP Mike McKenzie says as a Highlands and Islands member he is "acutely aware of fuel poverty that runs at over 50% on many of our islands".

He continues part of the explanation is about fuel costs, part is about low wages and part about the high proportion of housing stock across the Highlands and Islands which is in poor repair and not energy efficient.

Almost 60% of people aged over 60 and living in rural parts of Scotland are living in fuel poverty, according to a report published in June.

The highest levels of fuel poverty among older people were found in Orkney and the Western Isles

The study by Scotland's Rural College said that the figure compared with 45% of over 60s in urban areas.

According to the report, Rural Scotland in Focus 2014, the highest levels of fuel poverty were found in Orkney and the Western Isles.

The study suggested 75% and 76% of older people there were affected.

Scottish government's fuel poverty policy

The Scottish government aims to ensure that by November 2016, so far as is reasonably practicable, people are not living in fuel poverty in Scotland.

The Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS) replace the previous Energy Assistance Package, Universal Home Insulation Scheme and Carbon Emissions Reduction Scheme.

The Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland: Area Based Schemes are designed and delivered by local authorities, targeting fuel poor areas, to provide energy efficiency measures to a large number of Scottish households while delivering emission savings and helping to reduce fuel poverty.

From summer 2013 they may offer you energy efficiency measures, depending on where you live. The schemes are delivered by local authorities in conjunction with local delivery partners.

Energy Efficiency initiative

In September

the Scottish government announced a £4.5m energy efficiency initiative that will benefit almost 1,700 council and housing association homes .

The Green Homes Cashback Scheme will give grants to 24 councils and social landlords.

Council homes
Ms Burgess announced the £4.5m scheme ahead of a Holyrood debate on affordable housing.

A total of 1,677 homes will be made warmer and cheaper to heat.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said the initiative "will make a real difference to families who are struggling to make ends meet".

Energy efficiency

Labour MSP Margaret McDougall highlights the problems facing people living in old homes, both financial and health.

Labour MSP Margaret McDougall
Labour MSP Margaret McDougall

Ms McDougall says fuel poverty must be tackled via energy efficiency and the improvements needed to make traditional buildings easier to heat.

'Stone deteriorates in water'

Mr Don says most MSPs have the experience of talking to councils who are trying to leave old buildings, so they don't have to deal with the backlog of maintenance.

Owners probably do not understand the problem says the SNP MSP.

As owners of buildings, they need to understand, that stone deteriorates in water, therefore roofs and walls need to be waterproof, with functional gutters and drains, he says.

Most people do not give much thought to this, the SNP MSP says, yet these buildings are very poor at retaining heat.

Fuel poverty in pre-1919 residential properties debate

SNP MSP Nigel Don leads a debate on fuel poverty in pre-1919 residential properties.

In his motion Mr Don says that most residential properties built before 1919 show significant disrepair and that a quarter have extensive disrepair.

SNP MSP Nigel Don
SNP MSP Nigel Don

He thinks that residents in these dwellings are more likely to be in fuel poverty than those in more modern buildings and recognises the social consequences of poor housing conditions.

Mr Don is calling for those responsible for these properties to make a priority of effecting suitable repairs.

Decision time

At decision time, not surprisingly after such a consensual debate, the motion from Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing is unanimously passed.

'You ain't seen nothing yet'

One Direction
One Direction couldn't be at the MTV EMAs and accepted their award via a video

The minister concludes praising MTV Europe as a "showcase for popular music in the post Frank Sinatra era".

Mr Ewing closes by misquoting Al Jolson saying "tourism in Scotland you ain't seen nothing yet".


The minister also praises the work of Phillip Briggs, Sally Hyder and Moria Henderson for promoting accessible tourism.

Euan's guide

Mr Ewing praises

Euan's Guide, a disabled access review website and app, capturing attention and support where others have failed.

When Euan MacDonald became disabled due to Motor Neurone Disease diagnosed 10 years ago, he got frustrated that the only way to discover if a venue was fully accessible was by visiting it himself.


Married with two young children, MacDonald has a ventilator, speaks with a speech synthesizer and uses a powered wheelchair to get around.

To help him, the family of the 39-year-old started to note down the accessible venues in his home city of Edinburgh. Soon they had the beginnings of Euan's guide, a disability review website and smart phone app.

600 places have been reviewed by disabled people in 250 towns across the UK with 400 more reviews by the venues themselves.

Six people now work for Euan's Guide, including MacDonald's sister Kiki MacDonald, who recently gave up her job in investment management to focus on the project because she's "passionate" about it.

Disability access

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing stresses the importance of accessible tourism as there are 11m people in the UK with a disability but only 2m get a holiday or a break.

So four out of five people with a disability do not get a holiday because it is "too difficult" - something we need to tackle.

He praises

VisitScotland for leading the way on this issue.

Air Passenger Duty

The Scottish government's submission to the Smith Commission set out the package of further powers it believed the Scottish Parliament required in order to meet the expectations of the Scottish people as expressed in the referendum and also to enhance the financial and democratic accountability of the Scottish Parliament and Government.


Responsibility for Air Passenger Duty being held in this Chamber could be used to boost international connectivity and tourism in Scotland - a view also endorsed by the major Scottish airports in their submissions.

The Smith Commission said Air Passenger Duty should be fully devolved.

Sporting awards

Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson says 2014 has been a marvellous year for tourism and a year when Scotland shone on stage.

Ms Ferguson says the 2014 Sport's Personality of the Year awards is the perfect opportunity to shed light on this success.

Ten contenders have been shortlisted for the award on 14 December, which will take place at the Hydro in Glasgow.

BBC Sports Personality contenders: Kelly Gallagher and Charlotte Evans, Rory McIlroy, Carl Froch, Lewis Hamilton, Max Whitlock, Adam Peaty, Gareth Bale, Charlotte Dujardin, Jp Pavey, Lizzy Yarnold
BBC Sports Personality contenders: Kelly Gallagher and Charlotte Evans, Rory McIlroy, Carl Froch, Lewis Hamilton, Max Whitlock, Adam Peaty, Gareth Bale, Charlotte Dujardin, Jp Pavey, Lizzy Yarnold

The Labour MSP says the figures are backing up the story of success, with 250,000 unique visitors spending at least one night in Scotland, but on average spending 5.8 nights.

Ms Ferguson echoes previous contributors saying 93% of visitors rated Scotland a good place to visit.

Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson
Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson

Year of Food and Drink

Food Secretary Richard Lochhead launched the Year of Food and Drink in Edinburgh in November.

It is being supported by VisitScotland and will include a new TV advert which will be shown across the UK.

Scotland's food and drink tourism industry is estimated to be worth £2.5m a day to the economy.

Haggis neeps and tatties
Haggis neeps and tatties

The TV advert will feature iconic images of Scotland such as the Isle of Rum, Eilean Donan Castle and the Ring of Brodgar, as well as berry-picking in Perthshire, seafood from North Berwick and entertainment from the Speyside Whisky Festival.

The Year of Food and Drink is aimed at raising awareness of Scotland's restaurants, hotels, food and drink producers, B&Bs, cafes and visitor attractions.

Conservative closing

Scottish Conservative MSP Cameron Buchanan praises the success of the Edinburgh Festival, as he closes for his party.

Royal mile during the Fringe
Royal mile during the Fringe

The government needs to secure the legacy from 2014, says Mr Buchanan.

It is important the momentum of the success of 2014 is carried forward, particularly capitalising on the increased interest in sport.

Conservative MSP Cameron Buchanan
Conservative MSP Cameron Buchanan

The Conservative MSP says the Scottish government's rating scheme will hit rural tourism and lead to an increase in prices for tourists and asks that the issue be addressed.

He then says the 2015 Year of Food and Drink is the perfect opportunity to build on the momentum of 2014.

More tourism success

Loch Ness

Last year was the 80 year anniversary of hotel manageress Mrs Aldie Mackay's first reported sighting of a "whale-like fish" in the waters of Loch Ness.

An academic at St Andrew's University trawled through 1,000 eye-witness accounts since to see what they can tell us.

He wryly noted more than a few hotel proprietors among typical spotters. So is "Nessie" just a conspiracy to boost tourism?

Desperate Dan statue in Dundee
Undiscovered Scotland
Desperate Dan statue in Dundee

Desperate Dan - the most famous comic character of all time according to some Dundonians - was immortalised in Dundee, the city of his "birth" in 2001.

Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle
The castle is one of several Historic Scotland sites with record-breaking visitor numbers over the summer


Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is leading the way in building on this year's success, with the news today that it sold almost half of its tickets for next year's show in a matter of hours.

Tickets for the three week run went on sale at 10:00 on Monday and by lunchtime more than a 100,000 had been sold.

The event - which will feature 1,200 performers from five continents - will have an east meets west theme in 2015.

The Tattoo, which runs between 7 and 29 August, plans to target audiences in China and India.

Tourism success

MSP after MSP says 2014 has been a success for tourism in Scotland in what is turning out to be an extremely consensual approach.

Here are some images of tourist attractions which are likely to have benefited from such a strong year for the industry:

Eilean Donan castle
Visit Scotland
Eilean Donan castle

Eilean Donan castle is one of Scotland's iconic images and is situated at the point where three sea lochs meet in the Scottish Highlands.

West Highland Way
Walter Baxter
West Highland Way

According to the

West Highland Way website the 154Km (96miles) West Highland Way begins at Milngavie passes through Mugdock Country Park, follows the shores of Loch Lomond, passing Ben Lomond, through Glen Falloch and Strathfillan, crossing Rannoch Moor.

It then goes past Buachaille Etive Mor to the head of Glencoe, climbing the Devil's Staircase, descending to the Loch Leven before entering Lairigmor and Glen Nevis and finishes at Gordon Square in Fort William.

The Kelpies
Andrew Milligan/PA
The Kelpies are two 30m-tall horse heads made of steel, now standing alongside the Forth and Clyde Canal near Falkirk.

Glaswegian sculptor Andy Scott created the Kelpies, which are two 30m-tall horse heads made of steel, now standing alongside the Forth and Clyde Canal near Falkirk.

They started off as a drawing on his Dutch girlfriend's kitchen table in Amsterdam and after eight "tortuous" years they are finally built and open to the public.

The £5m Kelpies are the centrepiece of the 740-acre Helix Park, which has been built on reclaimed scrubland between Falkirk and Grangemouth and they are already becoming one of Scotland's most photographed landmarks.

andy scott with cldesdales

Ryder Cup legacy

Antonia Beggs, operations director at Ryder Cup Europe, said there was no doubt the Gleneagles Ryder Cup was gone but not forgotten.

She added: "We believe that a strong legacy is being left for the area through new education materials, infrastructure improvements, upgrades to the telecommunications network and, not least, a very strong tourism legacy."

Ryder Cup

Sports minister Jamie Hepburn said: "The local support around the course was fantastic, giving a warm welcome to visitors from 96 countries and showing half a billion TV viewers that Scotland is the perfect stage for world class events.

"There are lasting benefits for local businesses, residents and school children, while the successful ClubGolf programme will be expanded to give more people the chance to try golf.

"A stream of world class tournaments will ensure Scotland continues to be a leading golf event destination in the coming years."

Gleneagles Ryder Cup

Many of the MSPs have also highlighted the success of the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles.

Organisers of the 2014 Ryder Cup say the Gleneagles tournament has left a

"strong economic and tourism legacy".

Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup Europe paid tribute to the local community.

The event team hailed "significant investment, tourism and education initiatives all providing a major economic boost to the area".

The Ryder Cup was staged in September with Europe defeating the USA 16½-11½.

Glasgow Commonwealth Games

The Glasgow Commonwealth Games led to

£282m worth of tourism, according to official research.

It found that 690,000 people travelled to the city to attend the games. Hotel occupancy in Glasgow reached 95%.

Commonwealth games

Other parts of Scotland were also said to have benefited, with visitors spending an average of five days in the country.

Leader of Glasgow City Council Gordon Matheson said the event had been "the best games ever".

Air Passenger Duty

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser says he agrees with much of what the tourism minister said and that "this has been a great year for Scotland".

However, he says challenges still remain and "perhaps the greatest one is one of skills" as there is still a perception that much work in the tourist sector is low paid, low skilled and seasonal.

Standards and training opportunities need to be improved he says and industry, colleges and the Scottish government "need to work closely together".

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser
Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser

Mr Fraser says Air Passenger Duty is holding back the growth of tourism in Scotland and everyone should welcome that the Smith Commission has called for its devolution and that the Treasury has agreed to this.

He says the question now is "what will we do with this power" and calls on the Scottish government to reduce or eliminate it as quickly as possible.

Holiday parks

During Mr Ewing's opening speech says "brand new research" has been announced that shows in the 12 months leading to October this year visitors to Scottish holiday parks spent a total of £700m in the Scottish economy.

The minister said "the caravan and holiday park sector has not really received the credit it deserves".

Holiday park

As well as revealing the £700m figure, the

survey by the Scottish Caravan and Camping Forum (SCCF) also found that the sector provided almost 5,700 full-time equivalent jobs.

Its estimates were based on expenditure by holidaymakers and park owners over the 12 months to October.

The forum said it was the first time the value of the sector had been examined in detail.

Dundee accolade

Scottish Labour MSP Jenny Marra begins her speech saying the debate will be consensual following the successes of 2014 for tourism in Scotland.

Ms Marra says her home city of Dundee has just been given the "stupendous and incredible news" that it has been named he UK's first City of Design by the United Nations.

Labour MSP Jenny Marra
Labour MSP Jenny Marra

Dundee has been recognised by Unesco for its diverse contributions to fields including medical research, comics and video games.

The City of Design designation has previously been awarded to 12 cities, including Beijing, Berlin and Montreal.

Dundee was added to the Unesco grouping of "creative cities" alongside European cities Turin, Helsinki, Bilbao and Curitiba in Brazil.

Dundee Law
Gordon Czeschel
Dundee is the first city in the UK to win Unesco City of Design status

The title recognises the design innovations Dundee has contributed to the world, including aspirin, biomedical research which has led to hundreds of new cancer drugs, comics including the Beano and Dandy, orange marmalade, and video games including Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto.

V&A Dundee
V&A Dundee
The V&A Dundee design museum is being built as part of the city's waterfront regeneration

The city's waterfront is also undergoing a 30-year, £1bn regeneration project including the V&A Dundee museum of design.

'Year to succeed'

Mr Ewing concludes: "Scotland welcomed the world this year, as Shona Robinson put it, 2014 was a year to remember 2015 will be a year to succeed."

Looking forward

Mr Ewing, cautions ,however that: "We have to look forward to tomorrow, and we have to replicate the success of 2014 and make sure Scotland stays a world leader on the tourism stage."

Conference funding

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing tells MSPs there will be a £1 million investment from the Scottish government to help attract major international conferences to Scotland.

The money will be made available in 2015/16 through the Conference Bid Fund, which provides financial assistance through match funding to Scottish destinations bidding to host eligible conferences.

SECC Glasgow
Chris Downer
SECC Glasgow

Mr Ewing

made the announcement at a VisitScotland business tourism conference taking place in Edinburgh this morning, ahead of this debate.

Since its introduction in 2012, match-funded commitments from the Conference Bid Fund have helped secure 72 conferences over the next seven years.

The government estimates that this will bring in 84,000 global delegates and generate £143 million for Scotland's economy, in return for just £1.4 million of spending commitments.

Tourism, A Legacy from 2014 debate

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing is leading a debate on 'Tourism, A Legacy from 2014'.

Mr Ewing's motion states: "That the Parliament celebrates the success achieved for tourism in Scotland during 2014 and urges the Scottish Government to renew its efforts for the years ahead."

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing
Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing

The minister highlights a series of "momentous events" in 2014, led by the Commonwealth games,

He says 690,000 visitors attended Commonwealth games events bringing in £282m.

The Ryder Cup was the "best organised ever" according to Sky Sports pundit Butch Harman, says the minister.

Ministerial statement

Mr Swinney details representatives of civic Scotland who were disappointed with the proposals.

He says: "It should therefore be of little surprise that given none of these responsibilities were devolved, there was such widespread disappointment on the publication of the report last week.

"The proposals mean control over 71% of taxes in Scotland remains at Westminster along with 85% of welfare decisions - including the conditions and sanctions that are causing so much distress in our country.

"These proposals cannot be characterised as Home Rule or as near federalism as is possible in the UK.

"The Vow has simply not been fulfilled."

Power's welcomed

During his statement, Mr Swinney outlined a number of recommendations that will enable this Parliament to "better serve the people of Scotland".

•Devolution of Air Passenger Duty, "a tax which impacts on our tourism industry and the wider business sector".

•More extensive powers over income tax, albeit within the reserved framework set by Westminster, opens up new opportunities to this parliament and will increase accountability, says Mr Swinney.

•The devolution of some benefits for disabled people, carers and our elderly will enable us to develop more effective approaches to support the most vulnerable people in our communities, he says

Swinney wide shot

•Mr Swinney says subject to this Parliament's ability find the required resources, we now have the prospect of being able to create new benefits which could assist our people.

•The long overdue agreement to transfer to this Parliament responsibilities and revenues of the Crown Estate to 200 nautical miles is a proposal that has had long standing support across the parties.

•Finally he welcomes the fact that Holyrood will have control over its own elections.

'Open and transparent'

Mr Swinney agrees with Mr Harvie that the implementation of the proposals will be crucial if they are to meet the needs and expectations of the Scottish people.

He says the two governments must work together in an "open and transparent fashion", with joint authorship of legislation so that the parliament is able to consider the output as a joint process.

The deputy first minister says the first minister has raised this with the prime minister, but, to date, there has been no response.

UK and Scottish Governments

Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie, who sat on the Smith Commission, says the impact of the recommendations in the Smith Commission report will depend on the way in which they are implemented.

Green MSP Patrick Harvie
Green MSP Patrick Harvie

Mr Harvie asks if Mr Swinney agrees the detailed implementation of the proposals will require agreement between the Scottish and UK governments and if he has had any indication that the UK government is prepared to work with him before January.

'Rubbish the report'

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie says the deputy first minister's statement was "all too predictable".

Mr Rennie says for the first time ever all five parties were in one room and agreed the constitutional future of Scotland.

Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie
Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie

He says it only took minutes for Mr Swinney to rubbish the report he had agreed to.

The government could embrace these new radical powers, says Mr Rennie, or is he going to forever re-run the referendum he just lost.


Mr Swinney hits back saying it was not just the SNP that were disappointed by the proposals, listing quotes from a number of organisation.

The deputy first minister concludes "the people of Scotland are disappointed by the conclusions of the Smith Commission."

Shot fox

One of the Scottish Conservative representative's on the commission, Annabel Goldie, says the Smith Commission has delivered a "powerful effective and implementable package of powers for this parliament".

Conservative MSP Annabel Goldie
Conservative MSP Annabel Goldie

Ms Goldie says Scotland will now raise over 60% of what she spends and be one of the most powerful legislators in the world.

"The SNP knows the Smith agreement shot their fox."


Mr Swinney says this parliament has to have the powers to generate the revenue to pay for measures.

The fact the punitive welfare sanctions are still under the power of Westminster is a travesty of the position Iain Gray is putting forward.

On the questions of a "depressing lack of ambition", Mr Swinney says the Labour party personifies it.

'Vow delivered'

Labour MSP Iain Gray says Mr Swinney has displayed a "depressing lack of imagination" in his speech and details the powers that are in the Smith Commission proposals.

Labour MSP Iain Gray
Labour MSP Iain Gray

"This is the vow delivered" asserts Mr Gray

Vow not fulfilled

Mr Swinney says the proposals means that control over 71% of taxes remain at Westminster and 85% of welfare decisions, which have caused misery in Scotland.

"The vow has quite simple not been fulfilled."