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  1. 5.00pm: Members' Business: Clean up Scotland

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Carol Duncan

All times stated are UK

BACKGROUND: Scrap metal

Metal dealing is defined as carrying out a business consisting partly or wholly of the buying and selling of used or partly manufactured metal.

Businesses which buy metal to manufacture other articles do not require a metal dealing licence, even if metal is sold as a bi-product or where surplus to requirements.

Metal cables in a scrap yard
Getty Images

A particular licence - known as an "itinerant metal dealer's licence" - is required where someone travels from place to place buying and selling metal without storing it at specific premises.

An itinerant metal dealer's licence has less onerous requirements attached to it - but records of purchases and sales must still be kept.

Where someone carries out a business as both a metal dealer and an itinerant metal dealer, both types of licence are required.

Good night

That's the end of our live coverage from the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 25 February 2015.

Remember you can go and watch the business from today at

BBC Scotland's Democracy Live.

Holyrood at night

We'll be back tomorrow morning with live coverage of the Devolution Committee from 9am.

Until then have a good night.

Debate ends

Mr Lochhead welcomes the Clean Up Scotland campaign celebrating local litter champions saying they are an inspiration to each generation.

500,000 volunteer clean-ups taking place to clear tens of thousands of tonnes of rubbish each year, he says.

Volunteers count litter on Porth Neigwl or Hell's Mouth beach, Gwynedd (Photo: Jacki Clarke)

The government's strategy has three routes is communication, infrastructure and enforcement as a deterrent.

£80 for littering, £200 for fly tipping, the introduction of the single use carrier bag charge, rolling out recycle and go points across Scotland as: "a vandalism of Scotlnad's communities and Scotland's environment" concludes the minister.

Cost to society

Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment Richard Lochhead MSP says "rubbish is a disgusting blight on our communities and coast", harming health and damaging morale.

Richard Lochhead

The cost of dealing litter stands at £78m each year: "the total cost of littering to society is unacceptable".

Ditch the Dirt Hero

SNP MSP Graeme Dey pays tribute to a number of volunteers who including Scott Smith, who has cerebral palsy, who was presented with the first ever Ditch the Dirt Hero certificate at the Carnoustie Canine Capers AGM in September 2013.

The Clean Up Scotland campaign named Scott as an ambassador ahead of Ditch the Dirt 2013.

'Blot on the landscape'

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says there is no doubt we live in a beautiful country.

Ms Baillie says the blot on our landscape is litter.

Jackie Baillie

There are 250m visible items every year, she says, which makes us understand the scale of the problem we face.

Ms Baillie commends the Keep Scotland Beautiful volunteers and charity and the Clean Up Scotland campaign.

'Two minute' campaign

Clean Up Scotland's hero of the month award helps keep Scotland litter free, making a difference to local and national environment.

Litter on street

Two minute clean-up campaign will see refuse bags distributed to help people clear litter and rubbish for two minutes a day.


Mr Crawford says in his motion that he welcomes the particular role that local authorities have played in adopting the Clean Up Scotland campaign and delivering integrated messages across the whole of Scotland.

Litter bin

The SNP MSP says that litter has a significant impact as well as a negative impact on civic pride and notes evidence that poor environmental quality standards impact on health and social justice outcomes and costs Scotland £78 million per annum to clean up.

He welcomes the renewed focus for the Clean Up Scotland campaign on opportunities for individuals to do the right thing with their litter.

Keep Scotland Beautiful

In his motion Mr Crawford says he recognises the scale of the remaining problem of litter impacting on Scotland's environment and welcomes the significant part played by the

Keep Scotland Beautiful charity though its Clean Up Scotland campaign in tackling the problem over the last two years.

School children clear litter from a beach

Mr Crawford says he welcomes the widespread national coalition that has been formed in support of the campaign, including the Scottish government, the business community, local authorities, campaign groups and individuals from across Scotland, resulting in over 500,000 volunteer actions to clean up individual communities.

Tarnished land

Mr Crawford says: "I despair when I when I see our land tarnished by those who litter, spit their chewing gum on the street, allow dog fouling or fly tipping whether that's through carelessness of illegal action."

Bruce Crawford

The cost of dealing with litter is over £1m each week.

Clean up Scotland debate

SNP MSP Bruce Crawford is leading a debate entitled 'Clean up Scotland'.

Decision time

MSPs vote to pass the amended motion from the Conservative debate on energy.

MSPs voting

The government amendment was passed, but the others fell.

Similarly the amended motion from the Conservative debate on education was passed, with only the SNP amendment being passed.

Teacher numbers

Ms Scanlon concludes by saying it is surely unacceptable Scotland has lost 383 maths teachers as part of the 10% decline since 2007.

Conservative close

Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon says in Dr Allan's summing up there were "encouraging signs".

Ms Scanlon says by 2030 there will be 7.1m science jobs in the UK and we can all agree we want Scottish children to share in these jobs.

Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon
Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon

The Tory MSP says it is not the setting of targets on teacher numbers but the achieving of these targets.

Heart of the economy

Learning and Science Minister Alasdair Allan says the parties agree the need to increase the number of computing teachers and to encourage more women to go into science careers.

Alasdair Allan

Mr Allan says "we have to be careful of prescribing the Highers that people, who want to become teachers, have to do".

He praises the good practice that exists in schools around the country in engaging with STEM subjects and says: "Science is at the very heart of Scotland's economy and our education system".

Labour close

Labour MSP Mark Griffin, closing for his party, calls for the education attainment to be tackled and says Labour welcomes the Scottish Attainment Fund.

He says Labour would introduce at least £25 million per year to further increase the level of funding to reduce educational inequality.

Labour MSP Mark Griffin

This would be funded by a 50p top rate of tax he says.

Engineering shortage

Mr Gray says "not enough equipment, not enough teachers and perhaps not enough pupils, and not enough basic numeracy skills so where on earth are we going to get those extra engineers?"

Pupil numbers falling

Labour MSP Iain Gray says as the new curriculum rolls out, pupil numbers in STEM subjects are falling behind the highers uptake quoted by the minister.

Scottish Labour

Scottish Labour MSP Iain Gray's amendment recognises the decline in the number of secondary teachers of science, maths, engineering and technology subjects and highlights the reduction in computing teachers too.

Labour MSP Iain Gray

Gender balance

Mr Allan says it is important "the number of women entering science professions is increased and challenged".

Popular science

Mr Allan acknowledges that there has been a reduction in the number of computing science teachers and says work is ongoing to reverse this.

More pupils have been sitting exams in STEM subjects with a 14.2% increase in numbers studying biology, a 17% in Maths, 18% in Physics and 24% in Chemistry.

Teacher numbers

The minister says arguably the most important thing in all of this is the quality of our teachers.

That is why we secured agreement with all local authorities to maintain teacher numbers, he says.

Increase in pupils

Mr Allan details increases in the number of pupils taking science highers.

Learning minister

Learning and Science Minister Alasdair Allan's amendment stresses the importance of the STEM subjects to Scotland's economy.

Alasdair Allan

Mr Allan says there is a need to tackle educational inequity through initiatives such as the Scottish Attainment Challenge to help develop young people in the workforce.

'Central issue'

Ms Smith says the central issue remains that there is a declining number of teachers in STEM subjects when the number of pupils wanting to take these subjects is rising.

Economic impact

There are worries that fewer science and maths teachers could impact on the science, engineering and technological sectors of the Scottish economy.

Teacher numbers

A decrease in the number of STEM teachers between 2007-08 and 2013-14 has, some believe, led to a fall in the number of pupils studying these subjects beyond school, says the Conservative MSP in her motion.

Ms Smith says there are 383 fewer Maths teachers in Scotland now than when the SNP took up power.

She is worried by a 9% rise in students taking maths and science subjects and a corresponding drop in teacher numbers of around 9% in those areas.

Primary schools

Ms Smith says there is a very important issue about science teaching at schools.

Young kids with hands up

There can be no more an important time to inspire our pupils than at primary school.

Education and skills

Ms Smith says it is plainly obvious that we must do everything we can to provide school leaves with a science education and skills.

Tory MSP Liz Smith

The Conservative MSP details some improvements in the uptake of STEM subjects.

Scientific future

Ms Smith motion calls on the Scottish government to increase the number of secondary school teachers in science, maths, engineering and technology (STEM) subjects.

STEM subjects

Teacher and pupils in classroom

STEM is an acronym referring to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Education debate

Scottish Conservative MSP Liz Smith is leading a debate on STEM education in Scottish schools.

Transmission costs

Mr Johnstone says: "the transmission scheme does not discriminate between generating methods".

Energy strategy

We need to have a clear picture of where our energy will come from in five, ten and twenty years time, says Mr Johnstone.

National Grid

The National Grid is not free, it costs money to build and money to maintain.

Mr Johnstone says he supports a more favourable charging regime being brought forward.

'Need for nuclear energy'

The Scottish government has instigated a massive shift to onshore wind, says Mr Johnstone.

He says the need for nuclear energy is agreed apon by everyone, if not nuclear power stations replacement.

Conservative close

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone says the truth is that Scotland is a country where energy is importa

The availability and affordabilty of energy are absolutely crucial, says Mr Johnstone.

Alex Johnstone

He says the generation of electricity has always been at the heart of Conservative concerns. nt.

Closure threat

Mr Ewing concludes saying this is very serious, Scottish Power must intimate to the National Grid by no later than the end of March that Longannet must close, unless the negotiations are successful.


Energy Minister Fergus Ewing says he has argued for the continued life of Hunterston and Torness nuclear power stations.

Mr Ewing says the fact that last year was Longannet's most successful year proves it should be able to last until 2020.

The minister says in addition to the legal requirement to reduce emissions and meet its coal fire levy, Longannet must find an additional £40m.

If it were located in the South of England Longannet would receive millions of pounds, in contrast.

'Premature closure'

Mr Ewing says the immediate threat of the premature closure of Longannet is too important to be made political.