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Summary

  1. PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR TEXT COVERAGE OF THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT ON 14 JUNE 2016
  2. MSPs hold a minute's silence for the victims of the Orlando gun attack
  3. Topical questions features questions on hate crimes and concerns over privacy
  4. The Scottish government gives a statement on the Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2014 as Scotland surpasses its target for the first time
  5. It then leads a debate on Scotland’s colleges and universities
  6. Finally Labour MSP Iain Gray leads a member’s debate on protesting against the proposed closure of the RBS branch in Prestonpans

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

That's all from Holyrood Live

That's all from Holyrood Live on 14 June 2016, the day MSPs held a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the Orlando gun attack and expressed solidarity with LGBTI communities across the world.

MSPs hold a minute's silence for the victims of the Orlando shootings
BBC
People in Orlando hold a vigil for the victims
bbc
People in Orlando hold a vigil for the victims

Also on this day Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham welcomed  Scotland exceeding a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% - six years early.

New statistics show its 2014 emission levels were 45.8% lower than in 1990.

Scottish government picture celebrating meeting climate change targets six years early.
Scottish government

We're back tomorrow morning with the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee from 10am, until then have a peaceful evening. 

Parliament adjourned!

Deputy Presiding Officer Linda Fabiani adjourns the parliament.

Linda Fabiani
BBC

Minister says closure of a branch should be seen only as a last resort

Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse says the government understands RBS face difficult decisions but he accepts members do not feel there has been enough community engagement.

Mr Wheelhouse says the closure of a branch should be seen only as a last resort.

RBS
Getty images

The minister says there appears to be no opportunity for customers to complain about a closure as it is presented, as highlighted by Jackie Baillie, as a fait accompli.

He says not everyone has access to the internet and face to face banking is still seen as essential by many customers.

'No plans' for compulsory redundancies to branch staff

Paul Wheelhouse
BBC

Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse says it is important to note, as many have during the debate, that some of the branches closing are still busy.

"It is difficult to understand the decision behind it", he says.

Mr Wheelhouse says he does understand there is no plans for compulsory redundancy to the staff at these branches which is one positive.   

Labour MSP says RBS 'does not care'

Labour MSP Neil Findlay
bbc
Labour MSP Neil Findlay

Labour MSP Neil Findlay attacks RBS for providing only "corporate diktat".

Mr Findlay accuses the bank of poor management and says the public deserve far better.

He says RBS have a programme of closure and they are going to ram through the closures, saying the bank does not care.

RBS have given no consideration to customers who 'bailed them out'

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant says, in the Highlands and Islands, banks were having their operating hours reduced which caused problems as it is not always easy for people in these areas to access an alternative branch.

Rhoda Grant
BBC

Ms Grant says the service cuts have been followed up with closure with absolutely no consideration for customers.

"These are the customers that bailed them out a few years ago", she says.

Ms Grant says the broadband is not always good enough in the Highlands and Islands to allow customers to use internet banking. 

She says it is time for the government to intervene to stop the closures.

Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn MSP expresses concerns about RBS branch closures

SNP MSP Bob Doris
bbc
SNP MSP Bob Doris

SNP MSP Bob Doris thanks Iain Gray for this debate which alllows MSPs to express their concerns about RBS branch closures across Scotland.

Mr Doris expresses concerns about proposals for closure in his constituency of Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn.

He says he has had meetings with RBS in relation to proposed closures in Possilpark and Maryhill.

RBS decision has 'united' Labour and SNP

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says many will remember the RBS adverts saying they support local communities.

Ms Baillie says she feels "bitter about that".

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie
BBC

The Labour MSP says Alexandria residents were notified by letter that the branch was closing.

She says it is so short sighted as the Alexandria town centre is being regenerated.

Ms Baillie says this issue has united Labour and the SNP to petition RBS and ask them to think again. 

'Savage' cuts from RBS criticised

Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton
bbc
Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton

Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton lambasts the "savage" cuts from RBS.

Ms Hamilton says banks have lost the plot and she urges RBS to rethink its decision. 

Bank closures have impact on the wider community

SNP MSP Bruce Crawford says this is about how the bank works and whether or not it can be profitable.

SNP MSP Bruce Crawford
BBC

Mr Crawford says, as he understands it, RBS is owned mainly by the shareholders and little by the government. 

The SNP MSP says the Callander branch is one which is under threat of closure and the high street in this area has had its challenges.

He says this has an impact on the wider community. 

Scottish Parliament to fly rainbow flag to show solidarity with LGBTI community

East Lothian MSP says closure of the branch will not suit elderly and disabled customers

Mr Gray says the branch in Prestonpans has had queues outside the door so it is not a bank lacking in customers. 

The East Lothian MSP says the closure of the branch will not suit elderly and disabled customers. 

'To lose the last bank in a community is a serious matter'

Mr Gray says the RBS Prestonpans branch is the last branch there and there will be no banks in the town if it closes.

Iain Gray
BBC

The Labour MSP says we should guard the sustainability and viability of our small towns and a bank is crucial to that end.

"To lose the last bank in a community is a serious matter."

Proposed closure of RBS Prestonpans branch debate

Labour MSP Iain Gray leads this evening's member's debate on the closure of RBS Prestonpans branch.

Here's his motion...

Labour motion
Scottish Parliament

BreakingThe voting reboot has failed and decision time is delayed until tomorrow

The voting reboot has failed and the question on the motion and amendments will now take place tomorrow.

Empty chamber
BBC

Decision time will hopefully start shortly

Don't worry, you have not missed decision time the parliamentary voting system is undergoing the classic IT treatment: 

Switch off then switch on. 

Voting gremlins to be banished hopes presiding officer

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh announces a reboot of the voting system to banish some gremlins.

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh
BBC

'Lowest student debt in the UK'

Conservative MSP Liz Smith asks about the level of bursary support which she says is not as strong as the rest of the UK.

Mr Hepburn says he has already set out the £106m for college bursaries from the Scottish government.

Students graduate
BBC

The minister says the UK government is abolishing maintenance grants for tertiary education entirely whereas the SNP will be increasing the grant.

Mr Hepburn says the Tories come to the chamber and says students must pay tuition fees to widen access.

He says Scotland has the lowest student debt in the UK. 

Minister says SNP have a strong track record on colleges

Employability and Training Minister Jamie Hepburn says the government has a strong track record on colleges.

Employability and Training Minister Jamie Hepburn
BBC

Mr Hepburn concedes the need to maintain part-time courses and he insists his government is doing so.

The SNP MSP also praises his party's record on the budget for further education support.

He says: "There is more to do in terms of expanding the reach of the college sector."

Call for a modest graduate contribution to help widen access to universities

Mr Thomson says government decisions have had an impact on colleges and the positive destinations of young people.

College lecture
BBC

The Tory MSP says Sir Iain Wood called for greater collaboration between schools, employers and colleges and universities.

He says a modest graduate contribution could help widen access to universities. 

Mr Thomson also says college cuts should be reversed immediately.

Tory MSP says a number of colleges are in operational defecit

Conservative MSP Ross Thomson stresses the importance of colleges and universities but he says they are facing a changing landscape.

Conservative MSP Ross Thomson
BBC

Mr Thomson says they are facing major grant reductions from the SNP.

He says colleges are saying the current funding settlement is unsustainable. 

The Tory MSP says a number of colleges are in operational deficit.

Labour MSPs calls for a review of student support in tertiary education

Labour MSP Monica Lennon says "not everyone has a bank of mum and dad behind them".

Ms Lennon says transport and accommodation costs are a huge barrier to tertiary education.

Labour MSP Monica Lennon
BBC

She says University College Union Scotland have said it is difficult for staff at the moment as they are bearing the brunt of the cuts.

The Labour MSP says number of students from poorer backgrounds has decreased and she calls for a review of student support in tertiary education. 

SNP MSP says colleges and universities are 'formidable ambassadors'

SNP MSP Tom Arthur praises Scotland's tertiary educatiion institutions who provide courses based on "the ability to learn not on the ability to pay".

Mr Arthur says there is no mention of tuition fees in the Tory amendment unlike their manifesto.

SNP MSP Tom Arthur
BBC

Liz Smith tries to intervene, but Mr Arthur says he does not have time, despite Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame saying he has an extra minute.

He ploughs on to quote Jefferson, Carl Sagan and Orwell and says all our educational institutions must defend free inquiry.

Mr Arthur concludes saying our colleges and universities are "formidable ambassadors".

Tory MSPs says the SNP have damaged future

Conservative MSP Rachael Hamilton says it is important part time courses are kept for rural communities.

Conservative MSP Rachael Hamilton
BBC

Ms Hamilton says in East Lothian workers do not have the skills that employers require and she says colleges could deliver learning directly relevant to get a job, as recommended by SIr Iain Wood

The Tory MSP says colleges are key to economic growth and she says the SNP have damaged future generations through their college cuts. 

Funding support system should be 'entitlement based' - Green MSP

Green MSP Ross Greer says the question during this parliament is whether higher education institutions will be given financial support for students and staff.

Mr Greer says the funding support system is currently based on a fixed amount rather than the needs of students and that this should be "entitlement based". 

Green MSP Ross Greer
BBC

The Green MSP says students should be treated in the same way whether they attend college or university.

Mr Greer says his party is against tuition fees.

He says he left his university course after a job offer he "could not refuse".

In December 2012  Mr Greer left university to work for Yes Scotland as their Communities Coordinator during the Scottish independence referendum, 2014.

Mr Greer thanks Further Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville who offered him the job. 

Colleges must be resourced to prepare for advancements in technology

Labour MSP Daniel Johnson says if the future economy is going to be knowledge based then higher education will play a crucial role.

Labour MSP Daniel Johnson
BBC

Mr Johnson says colleges must be resourced properly in order to provide people with the skills necessary to fill jobs and prepare the future workforce for advancements in technology.   

'Gonnae chuck it when you've already had a slap in the face ?'

SNP MSP George Adam takes an intervention from Tory MSP Liam Kerr, who says colleges will find it difficult to maintain success in the face of "the cuts the government found so amusing".

Mr Adam replies: "I know the member is new, but gonnae chuck it when you've already had a slap in the face earlier on from my colleague.

George Adam and Liam Kerr
BBC
George Adam uses less than parliamentary language

Intriguing parliamentary language there from Mr Adam.

He says the Tories have a cheek talking about cuts.

Tory MSP calls for higher education graduate contribution to help poor students

Conservative MSP Jamie Green
BBC

Conservative MSP Jamie Green says he fears that funding for student support in Scotland is struggling to keep up with demand. 

Mr Green expresses further concern about bursary spend.

He says it is important that there is a proper debate on higher education graduate contribution.

Mr Green says the money raised would and should be used to help poor students. 

Government want higher education which offers 'level playing field' says SNP MSP

SNP MSP Jenny Gilruth says the government is committed to higher education which offers a level playing field.

Ms Gilruth says the government do not agree with the Tory plans to charge university fees.

SNP MSP Jenny Gilruth
BBC

The SNP MSP says every child, regardless of background, should have the opportunity to pursue higher education. 

Conservative MSP Liam Kerr intervenes to say Ms Gilruth has talked a lot about widening access but not about how to reverse the cuts.

Ms Giruth responds by saying "from the Tory benches. You really couldn't make it up".

Labour MSP calls for the cuts to grants to restored

Mr Gray calls for the cuts to grants to restored by the Scottish government.

The Labour MSP says there needs to be properly funded universities and colleges.

'Use the powers of this parliament to stop the cuts to education'

The Labour MSP says we must use the powers of this parliament to stop the cuts to education. 

Mr Gray points to the university access gap and the recent Sutton Trust findings.

He says those from poorer families that do go to university are more likely to drop out.

Strike action at colleges and universities highlighted by Labour MSP

Mr Gray says there have been cuts to university funding as well.

He say University of Edinburgh are on strike and Glasgow University will follow suit.

University of Edinburgh
BBC
Labour MSP Iain Gray says the University of Edinburgh is on strike

This is because staff are being asked, in part, to pay the price of budget cuts he says.

The Labour MSP says colleges have also gone on strike.

Labour MSP says education budgets have been cut by 10% over recent years

Scottish Labour education spokesman Iain Gray starts by agreeing wholeheartedly with the minister on the importance of universities and colleges.

Scottish Labour education spokesman Iain Gray
BBC

Mr Gray says they make an "enormous contribution to present day Scotland".

He says education budgets have been cut by 10% over recent years with colleges the hardest hit. 

Background: Scots students face 'shocking' university access gap

Young Scots from disadvantaged areas are four times less likely to go to university than those from wealthy backgrounds, researchers said last month.

Their study showed 90% of growth in higher education places for disadvantaged students came from colleges, not universities.

Students at lecture
SPL

The Sutton Trust said its findings showed a "shocking access gap".

The Scottish government said university access for students from poorer areas was up by 29% since it came to power.

In England, those from the poorest neighbourhoods are 2.4 times less likely to attend university than people in the richest areas.

Those in Northern Ireland and Wales are three times less likely to do so.

Here's the Scottish Labour amendment

Here's Scottish Labour education spokesman Iain Gray's amendment. 

Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament

Tory MSP says big questions on funding must be answered

Ms Smith calls for the Scottish government to answer the big questions about the funding of tertiary education.

How will the SNP fund the widening of access? Asks Tory MSP

Ms Smith asks if access to universities will achieved by finding more places.

The Tory MSP says the pressure is on to find more spaces and she asks how the SNP will fund the widening access project.

Tory MSP says colleges and universities have felt pressurised by the Scottish government

Scottish Conservative education spokesman Liz Smith says universities want to be able to get on with their work devoid of government influence.

Scottish Conservative education spokesman Liz Smith
BBC

Ms Smith says in the past year colleges and universities have felt pressurised by the Scottish government.

Here's the Scottish Conservative amendment

Here's Scottish Conservative education spokesman Liz Smith's amendment. 

Tory amendment
Scottish Parliament

Student support

The minister says there have been improvements in bursaries under the SNP.

Ms Somerville says there is a record level of support at colleges as well.

She says the maximum higher education bursary has been increased.

Iain Gray and Shirley-Anne Somerville
BBC

Labour MSP Iain Gray says that was a small increase on a bursary that had been slashed by 40% by her own government.

Ms Somerville says Labour has not got a grip on reality about the tough economic conditions the government is facing.