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Summary

  1. The Health Committee takes evidence on healthcare in prisons
  2. SNP MSP Joan McAlpine will ask today's topical question, asking what discussions the Scottish government have had with the UK government on triggering Article 50
  3. The Scottish government leads a debate on the impact of inclusive tourism on the economy
  4. This will be followed by the appointment of the new Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland
  5. SNP MSP Ruth Maguire will lead a debate entitled ‘Welcoming Play Scotland's Play Charter’

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

Good night from Holyrood Live

Holyrood at night
Scottish Parliament

That concludes Holyrood Live's coverage of the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 14 March 2017.

That concludes the debate on Play Scotland's Play Charter

Children playing.
Thinkstock

Minister says a series of trials looking at outdoor play are being run

children's play
Thinkstock
Minister says a series of trials looking at outdoor play are being run.

Childcare and Early Years Minister Mark McDonald says a series of trials looking at outdoor play are being run.

Mr McDonald says: "Fundamental to children's development I believe, is exploratory play."

He says: "Inclusive play is very important and something he wants to see encouraged much more widely."

The minister says he will raise an issue with the housing minister about new developments having suitable play areas.

'Play is crucial for a child's healthy development'

Childcare and Early Years Minister Mark McDonald
BBC
Childcare and Early Years Minister Mark McDonald

Childcare and Early Years Minister Mark McDonald thanks Play Scotland for their work in the area.

Mr McDonald says play is central to Scotland's National Play strategy.

The childcare and early years minister says the play charter will add to this.

He says "play is crucial for a child's healthy development" and that the imagination of a child can take you anywhere or make you anything.

Restrictions to play are counterproductive and they can be destructive

Green MSP Ross Greer
bbc
Green MSP Ross Greer

Green MSP Ross Greer says there is a lack of esteem for physical and creative components of the Curriculum for Excellence.

Mr Greer says restrictions to play are counterproductive and they can be destructive.

The Green MSP says many MSPs have reminisced about theiry childhood play and confesses his childhood play was not that long ago.

The youngest MSP says he played with Rona Mackay's son as they were in the same Cub's group and he suspects he may suffer for this comment later on.

Mr Greer congratulates Play Scotland as being a great focal point for professionals and practitioners in early years.

Play should be offered at all levels in school and in all aspects of the community says SNP MSP

SNP MSP Fulton Macgregor
BBC
SNP MSP Fulton Macgregor

SNP MSP Fulton Macgregor says play should be offered at all levels in school and in all aspects of the community.

Mr Macgregor says he also grew up in the 1980s and there was plenty of opportunity to play. 

The SNP MSP says there was an area he used to call "the grass" where he used to play and which now has a "no ball games" sign. 

Labour MSP highlights the importance of play in the early development of children

Labour MSP Iain Gray
bbc
Labour MSP Iain Gray

Labour MSP Iain Gray highlights the importance of play in the early development of children.

Mr Gray says it is quite remarkable no matter how difficult the circumstances, be it war or unimaginable poverty, children still play and exercise their imaginations.

He says, on the issue of play in Scotland, "we could do better."

Mr Gray says play must be embedded in early learning.

'We should not lose sight of the real benefits of play from an early age'

SNP MSP Clare Haughey
BBC
SNP MSP Clare Haughey

SNP MSP Clare Haughey says "we as parents can sometimes find it too easy to fear for the safety of children."

Ms Haughey says "we should not lose sight of the real benefits of play from an early age." 

The SNP MSP says children that play outside with other grow up to be healthy curious adults.

She says outdoor play is a great leveler and that not all children are interested in a football pitch or are able to take full advantages of facilities. 

She says she has signed up to be a play champion and she urges others to do the same.

'Switch of the television and go and do something more useful instead'

Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour
bbc
Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour

Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour highlights the benefit he got by watching the TV programme Why Don't You in his youth.

He cites their slogan to "Switch of the television and go and do something more useful instead."

Mr Balfour apologises for not coming to the reception as he is going to rush home to play with his children.

He praises Dad's Rock in Edinburgh which encourages fathers to play with their children.

The Conservative MSP says we need to look at how to encourage all fathers and mothers to take the time to interact with their children. 

88% of households now have access to a play area

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson
BBC
SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson says, thanks to Play Scotland, this charter is now a reality. 

Mr Gibson says he lived in Kelvingrove until the age of eight, building dens and climbing trees.

The SNP MSP talks about playing "rough and tumble" with his children saying that his daughter was much more violent and unforgiving, at this game, than her two brothers. 

He says 88% of households now have access to a play area. 

Green MSP says children's activity drops off as early as seven years old

Green MSP Alison Johnstone
bbc
Green MSP Alison Johnstone

Green MSP Alison Johnstone says she shares Daniel Johnson's approval of the play out days.

Ms Johnstone says it turns the street into a place for people.

The Grreen MSP says we all can do more to safeguard the rights of children and the right to play is absolutely central to this.

She says children's activity drops off as early as seven years old and she calls for a cultural shift.

Developing more child centered communities is absolutley crucial, she says.

One in six children in Scotland do not have access to outdoor space

Labour MSP Daniel Johnson
BBC
Labour MSP Daniel Johnson

Labour MSP Daniel Johnson says he is glad of the opportunity to contribute to this debate because it gives him the opportunity to talk about his children.

Mr Johnson says his 18-month-old daughter has started playing and  this is so important because it helps with development and learning. 

The Labour MSP says it is so concerning that the children's area where they are able to play has shrunk since the 1970s.

He says there can also be huge benefits for parents if a child is able to play. He says one in six children in Scotland do not have access to outdoor space.

SNP MSP says children have a right to play

SNP MSP Rona Mackay
bbc
SNP MSP Rona Mackay

SNP MSP Rona Mackay says children have a right to play and it teachers our children social skills and how to be sociable and responsible.

Ms Mackay welcomes Play Scotland's campaigning through the charter to put pla at the heart of policy.

She says she would be happy to be a play champion.

'We are obsessed with keeping our children still'

Tory MSP Brian Whittle
BBC
Tory MSP Brian Whittle

Tory MSP Brian Whittle says this is a topic very close to his heart. 

Mr Whittle says the attainment gap cannot be closed without addressing the physical issues that exist.

The Tory MSP says if a child is given the opportunity to play outside the classroom they are more likely to perform well inside the classroom.

He says "we are obsessed with keeping our children still".

"Children weren't built to sit still. Good grief, I'm not built to sit still," he says. 

SNP MSP to pledge their support to the charter and to become play champions

SNP MSP Ruth Maguire says it is not always about play equipment it is also about space and time.

Ms Maguire says one of the most depressing thing you can see is a No Ball Games sign on a beautiful piece of grass that is perfect for football. 

She encourages all MSPs to pledge their support to the charter and to become play champions.


          Scottish football legend Denis Law removes No Ball Games Sign
bbc
Scottish football legend Denis Law agreed with Ms Maguire on No Ball Games signs in 2015 in Aberdeen.

SNP MSP took for grated all the opportunities to play outside in the 1980s

SNP MSP Ruth Maguire
BBC
SNP MSP Ruth Maguire

SNP MSP Ruth Maguire says this debate is about the importance of play and children's right to play.

Ms Macguire says, growing up in the 1980s, she took for granted all the opportunites to play outside such as palying "kerby"

The SNP MSP says says play is often descibed as something children do when they are not being told by and adult what to do.

She says play is a fundamental and vital dimension of childhood development. 

Background: The right to play

Play Scotland
Play Scotland
Play Scotland's Play Charter

Ms Maguire says Scotland's Play Charte r describes a collective commitment to play for all babies, children and young people in Scotland.

The charter is in line with the right of children to play as set in out in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) .

Unicef
Unicef
Unicef

It builds on the Scottish government’s National Play Strategy and the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) approach to supporting children, young people and their families.

The SNP MSP says the charter’s aims to ensure that a commitment to play is more strongly embedded within policies, strategies, key qualifications and Continuous Professional Development training.

She says alll MSPs have been encouraged to become Play Champions by pledging their support to the charter, and wishes Play Scotland every success in its ongoing campaign.  

Play Scotland
Play Scotland
Play Scotland
Play Scotland
Play Scotland

SNP MSP Ruth Maguire uses her motion to welcome the promotion of Scotland’s first inclusive Play Charter by Play Scotland;

Play Scotland is a group which works to promote the importance of play for all children and young people across Scotland.

It campaigns to create increased play opportunities in the community.

SNP MSP Ruth Maguire leads a debate entitled 'Welcoming Play Scotland's Play Charter'

'Welcoming Play Scotland's Play Charter' motion
bbc
'Welcoming Play Scotland's Play Charter' motion

Appointment of the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland is unanimously agreed to.

The motion for the appointment of the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland is agreed to unanimously.  

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh pays tribute to the outgoing Tam Baillie and wishes Bruce Adamson all the best in his new role. 

Motion
Scottish Parliament

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh pays tribute to the outgoing Tam Baillie and wishes Bruce Adamson all the best in his new role.   

Bruce Adamson
BBC
Bruce Adamson

The government motion as amended is agreed to unanimously.

The government motion as amended is agreed to unanimously. 

Government motion
Scottish Parliament
Tory amendment
Scottish Parliament
Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament
Lib Dem amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Lib Dem amendment is agreed to unanimously

The Lib Dem amendment is agreed to unanimously.  

Lib Dem amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Labour amendment is agreed to unanimously

The Labour amendment is agreed to unanimously.

Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Tory amendment is agreed to unanimously

The Tory amendment is agreed to unanimously.

Tory amendment
Scottish Parliament

Warm tributes are paid to Tam Baillie

Children's commissioner Tam Baillie
bbc
Children's commissioner Tam Baillie

Mr Dornan says the parliament will wish to thank Tam Baillie for his work and wish him well.

Appointment of the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland


          Appointment of the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland motion
Scottish Parliament

          MSPs will nominate Bruce Adamson to be the new Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland.
Scottish Parliament
MSPs will nominate Bruce Adamson to be the new Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland.

SNP MSP James Dornan thanks all the children and young people that participated in the survey on the role of the children's commissioner.

Mr Dornan says the commissioner must lay before the parliament an annual report.

He says Bruce Adamson was the unanimous choice from a strong field.

Minister praises the accessibility of the Theatre Royal's website

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop says the Theatre Royal In Glasgow shows the difference removing some of the barriers can make.

Ms Hyslop praises the accessibility of the Theatre Royal's website .

Theatre Royal Glasgow
Theater Royal Glasgow
Theatre Royal Glasgow

Ms Hyslop says 2018 is Scotland's year of young people, creating opportunities for them to shine.

The minister says MSPs should set their minds to creating ambitions for young people.

She encourages everyone in the chamber to support Iain Gray's Leuchie House microflight.

Government to support Tory, Labour and Lib Dem amendments

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop
BBC
Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop says it has been a thought provoking and informative debate with a shared spirit. 

Ms Hyslop says there has also been a sense of realism with the challenges that are faced. 

The tourism secretary says the government will support the Tory and Labour amendments.

She says work is going into the reduction of ferry fares and the government are also happy to support the Lib Dem amendment. 

She says everyday things such as going for a drink or getting on a ferry needs to be accessible to everyone. 

'It is clear we need to raise awareness of inclusive tourism'

Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton
bbc
Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton

Conservative MSP Rachael Hamilton says she owns a hospitality business.

Ms Hamilton says the tourism sector should be proud of what it has achieved.

The Tory MSP says it is amazing George and Stacey Adam visited Rome as the Spanish steps are quite a challenge.

She praises accessible tourism and says there is an economic benefit to be had from inclusive tourism.

The Tory MSP says we need to make it possible for everyone to access Scotland's tourist sites.

Leuchie House
Leuchie House
Leuchie House

Ms Hamilton says people with MS, MND and Parkinson's are treated to microlight flights at Leuchie House and she offers to sponsor Iain Gray on his flight, echoing the deputy presiding officer.

"It is clear we need to raise awareness of inclusive tourism."

She praises Euan's Guide warmly. 

There is a need for audible announcements on public transport says Labour MSP

Labour MSP Monica Lennon
BBC
Labour MSP Monica Lennon

Labour MSP Monica Lennon says breaks are about health and wellbeing. 

Ms Lennon says a lot of the real challenges and physical barriers have been discussed during the debate. 

The Labour MSP says she gets annoyed about 'A boards' in Hamilton town centre because they can be a barrier to people trying to get around. 

She says there is a need for audible announcements on public transport. 

Ms Lennon says it is important to also consider LGBTI access to tourism.