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Live Reporting

By Ailsa Brown and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

Good night

And that concludes our live coverage from the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 6 May 2015.

Holyrood at night

Remember you can catch up on business from Holyrood at

BBC Scotland's Democracy Live.

We will be back on Tuesday 12 May 2015. Until then enjoy the rest of the week and the weekend.

Decision time

After that brief decision time, where parliamentary bureau motions were passed, the day comes to an early end at holyrood.

First World War commemorations

SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell asks the Scottish government whether it will provide an update on the Scottish Commemorations Programme's First World War commemorations for 2015.

European Parliament

Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon asks the Scottish government how it monitors proceedings at the European Parliament.

European Parliament

Ministerial response

The culture secretary says she has met with both sides of the dispute calling for a more productive relationship to find a solution.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop

Mr Findlay asks the culture secretary if she has so little "clout" that she cannot get the £200,000 to pay low paid staff the money they are owed for working anti-social hours.

Ms Hyslop says the Labour MSP is wrong in a couple of areas and the cost per year would be£400,000 a year.


Two national museums in Edinburgh shut for a second day after workers walked out in a dispute over pay, in April.

About 100 Public and Commercial Services Union workers at the National Museum of Scotland went on strike.

National Museum of Scotland staff are in a long-running dispute over pay
National Museum of Scotland staff are in a long-running dispute over pay

The union said it was attempting to get museum management to reverse its decision to remove weekend working allowances for staff.

The National Museum of Scotland and the National War Museum were closed.

National Museum of Scotland

Labour MSP Neil Findlay asks the Scottish government what progress is being made in bringing to an end the dispute at the National Museum of Scotland.

Creative Scotland

Labour MSP Ken Macintosh asks the Scottish government when it last met Creative Scotland.


Ms Hyslop says all of Scotland's festivals are hugely influential to Scotland and are supported via Creative Scotland and VisitScotland.

Festivals across South Scotland

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish asks the Scottish government what support it will give to local festivals and community celebrations across South Scotland, such as Beltane in Peebles, Lanimers in Lanark and the Wickerman Festival in Dumfries and Galloway.

The festival culminated in fireworks and the burning of the wicker man at midnight
The festival culminated in fireworks and the burning of the wicker man at midnight

Shetland film and arts sectors

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant asks the Scottish government what support it provides to the film and arts sectors in Shetland.

Announcement as soon as possible

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop says due diligence on a film studio has now been completed but the issue has been more complicated than first thought.

Ms Hyslop says she is unable to provide a definitive date at this time but will seek to make an announcement as soon as possible.


A decision on a private bid to build a

Scottish film and television studio should be made "as soon as possible", a group of MSPs has warned.

A report by the economy, energy and tourism committee said a delay could cause "lasting damage" to the industry.

The television series Outlander was filmed on location in Scotland
Nick Briggs
The television series Outlander was filmed on location in Scotland but news on a studio for the country has yet to be announced.

Last month Scottish Enterprise confirmed it was considering the bid and expected to reach a decision by the end of April.

The committee also called for a plan to develop the television sector.

Film studio

Labour MSP John Pentland asks the Scottish government when the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs will announce the location and timetable for the development of a permanent Scottish film studio.

Ministerial response

Europe and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop
Europe and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop

Europe and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop details the cultural, social and economic benefits of being in the EU saying the Scottish government will continue to highlight the advantages of membership.

EU benefits

EU flag

SNP MSP Chic Brodie asks the Scottish government what benefits it considers the EU brings to Scotland.

Culture, Europe and external affairs questions

It's now the turn of the culture, Europe and external affairs ministers to take the portfolio questions hot seat.

Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme

SNP MSP John Mason asks the Scottish government whether it will provide an update on the status of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme.

Enhanced devolution

SNP MSP Richard Lyle asks the Scottish government what opportunities enhanced devolution could bring to the transport system.

Ministerial response

Mr Harvie says the government has been called on to assess the carbon impact of any changes to Air Passenger Duty.

Transport Minister Derek Mackay says carbon emissions must be taken into account, the government supports electric cars.

Transport Minister Derek Mackay
Transport Minister Derek Mackay

Mr Mackay says there are no plans to introduce congestion charges but the government is doing all it can to address climate change.


Congestion charges should be considered to help the Scottish government reach its climate change targets, a report recently concluded.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said stronger policies were needed in transport, renewable heat, agriculture and forestry if targets were to be met.

It warned plans to cut air passenger duty by 50% could lead to increased carbon emissions.

Holyrood's Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod welcomed the report.

Climate change recommendations

Green MSP Patrick Harvie asks the Scottish Government what its position is on the transport recommendations made by the Committee on Climate Change in its 2015 progress report.

Planning applications

Infrastructure and Investment Secretary Keith Brown says when a planning application is made the impact on the road network must be taken into account.

Roads investment

Conservative MSP Cameron Buchanan asks the Scottish government what plans it has to increase investment in roads as a result of the forecast population increase.

Road network

Ministerial response

Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown says a public consultation on procurement ended last week and the government is currently analysing the responses.

Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown
Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown

Mr Brown, the Tory MSP, says the FSB suggests one change to procurement to include a break down of business sizes, would the cabinet secretary agree to this.

His namesake the cabinet secretary says he would rather see all the consultation responses before coming to a judgement.

Government procurement

Conservative MSP Gavin Brown asks the Scottish government what changes it has planned for government procurement.

Highland mainline journey times

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser asks the Scottish government what progress has been made on reducing journey times on the Highland mainline between Inverness and Edinburgh.

Supermarket lorries

SNP MSP Rob Gibson asks the Scottish government what carbon saving would be made by removing one supermarket lorry from the A9 between Edinburgh and Thurso and carrying the contents by rail.

Portfolio question time

MSPs are quizzing Scottish government ministers at portfolio question time.

That's it folks

That ends our coverage of first minister's questions and we move swiftly on to portfolio questions.

Working age population

Ms Sturgeon our working age population is boosted by immigrants which helps deal with our ageing population.

'Always welcoming'

The first minister says Scotland should always be welcoming to people who want to come and live here.


Scotland's population

reached its highest ever total in 2014.

Statistics published by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) showed that the estimated population of Scotland was 5,347,600 in mid-2014.

Population rise

The figures showed a rise of 19,900 (0.4%) people since mid-2013.

About 3,500 more people were born than died and in-migration, which includes people from the rest of the UK, exceeded out-migration by about 17,600 between mid-2013 and mid-2014.

Population rise

SNP MSP Roderick Campbell asks the first minister what the Scottish government's position is on the increase in Scotland's population.


tweets: "#FMQs" is now trending at rank 1 in United Kingdom

Fracking and the economy

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser asks how a moratorium on fracking will help expand the economy.

The first minister says the precautionary approach is the right one.

'Full ban'

Green MSP Patrick Harvie says people are impatient to see the moratorium on fracking turned into a full ban.

Ms Sturgeon says the government is striking the right balance with its precautionary evidence based approach.

'Good relationship'

Ms Sturgeon says the government will comply with the process of the freedom of information process.

She says Ineos is a major employer in Scotland and any first minister should seek to have a good relationship with the company. The first minister says the relationship will not influence the decision on fracking which will be evidence based.

Freedom of Information

Mr Findlay says since January he has been pursuing an FOI about the government's dealings with Ineos which has been refused.

'Cautious approach'

The Scottish government is taking a cautious and evidence based approach to fracking, hence the moratorium and public consultation. This is in contrast to the "gung ho" approach of the UK government.