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Summary

  1. The Education Committee takes evidence on the recruitment and retention of teachers in Scotland's schools
  2. Tory MSP Liam Kerr leads a debate on cycle capacity on Scotland's railways
  3. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gives a ministerial statement at 2pm
  4. Economy, jobs and fair work ministers are in the hot seats for portfolio questions followed by finance and the constitution ministers
  5. The Scottish government leads a debate on achieving a cyber-resilient Scotland
  6. Tory MSP Finlay Carson leads this evening's member's debate on the establishment of new national parks

Live Reporting

By Colin Bell and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight from Holyrood Live...

    Holyrood

    That ends our coverage of the Scottish Parliament for Wednesday 24 May 2017.

    We'll be back tomorrow,

    Have a good night.

  2. 'I don't believe we can divert resources from other priority areas to create a new national park at present'

    Ms Cunningham says before applying national park status to new areas, the impact to areas must be considered.

    The land reform secretary says that today she has seen no evidence that the creation of seven national parks will be of economic benefit.

    Tory MSP Edward Mountain intervenes to say that no one is suggesting seven national parks should be set up at once.

    Ms Cunningham says that is not what she is suggesting but there would be a rigorous conversation over which should be given national park status first.

    "I don't believe we can divert resources from other priority areas to create a new national park at present," she says.

  3. 'We simply don't have tens-of-millions of pounds' to assign to a new national park

    Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham

    Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham says the benefits of existing national parks are recognised by the government.

    Ms Cunningham says Galloway is only one of seven locations mentioned as potential sites for national park status.

    Green MSP Mark Ruskell asks if SNH do not have the money to look into potential sites for a new national park.

    Ms Cunningham says the government does not share the confidence at others that a new national park could be set up at minimal costs.

    "We simply don't have tens-of-millions of pounds" to assign to a new national park, she says.

  4. 'National parks benefit our well being'

    Greens MSP Alison Johnstone

    Greens MSP Alison Johnstone says there is a convincing case to offer national park status to any of the seven sites mentioned.

    Ms Johnstone says she is in favour of more national parks in Scotland and highlights the benefits in economic growth and employment.

    The Green MSP says the Visit Norway website boasts 44 national parks.

    She says the government's objections are cost related but that she would encourage a long term view.

    "National parks benefit our well being", she says

  5. Background: Five-year plan for UK's biggest national park

    Cairngorms
    Image caption: The Cairngorms National Park is twice the size of the Lake District National Park

    A plan has been produced for managing the largest national park in the UK for the next five years.

    Proposals for the Cairngorms include increasing woodland, restoring peatland and investing in walking routes on Deeside and Speyside.

    The proposal will be considered by the Cairngorms National Park Authority's (CNPA) board before going to the Scottish government for approval.

    The park covers parts of the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and Perthshire.

    It also covers Angus and Moray.

  6. Tory MSP calls for government review into a potential Galloway National Park

    Tory MSP Edward Mountain

    Tory MSP Edward Mountain says that Scotland only having two national parks does not seem right considering its landscape.

    Mr Mountain says the issue of governance within the Cairngorms National Park still remains an issue.

    The Tory MSP says he is surprised that the government cannot see any benefits in another national park and that it may be a fear of giving more powers locally.

    He says another park could help economic growth develop further.

    He calls on the government to hold a review into whether Galloway would be a suitable site for a national park.

  7. Background: Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park camping by-laws come into force

    Map
    Image caption: The camping permit areas are shown in orange

    New seasonal by-laws came into force in February restricting camping around Loch Lomond and in the Trossachs.

    Camping in four management zones in popular areas between March and September will require a permit or booking a campsite pitch.

    Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park said the move was to protect the area from antisocial behaviour, including littering and fireraising.

    Ramblers Scotland say there will not be enough pitches to cope with demand.

  8. SNP MSP questions where the money will come from to fund a new national park

    SNP MSP Graeme Dey

    SNP MSP Graeme Dey says there will always be challenges around national parks point out the camping by-laws required in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

    Mr Dey says the creation of a new national park could take between 2-4 years.

    The SNP MSP asks where the money is going to come from to fund a new park.

    He says does in principle support further national parks but that there are challenges to consider.

  9. A new park could attract between 250,000 and 500,000 extra visitors per year

    Labour MSP Colin Smyth

    Labour MSP Colin Smyth says the national parks that already exist have brought many benefits.

    Mr Smyth says Scotland has just two of the UK's 15 national parks with 10 in England and three in Wales.

    The Labour MSP says it is "unfinished business" because Scotland's landscape means it could have more national parks.

    He says seven possible locations have been mentioned as possible sites for national parks and that these could bring benefits to the local regions.

    He says a new park could attract between 250,000 and 500,000 extra visitors per year.

  10. Important and right to have more national parks says Tory MSP

    Tory MSP Maurice Corry

    Tory MSP Maurice Corry says the Scottish Conservatives supported further national parks in its 2016 manifesto.

    Mr Corry says 58% of Scotland's visitors said that the appeal of visiting Scotland was the landscape and scenery.

    SNP MSP Kate Forbes says one of the problems with national parks is that house prices rise and she asks if that has also been a problem in Loch Lomond.

    Mr Corry says this has been and issue.

    The Tory MSP says it is important and right to have more national parks but that they must be used correctly.

  11. 'National parks are not a silver-bullet and do carry significant costs'

    SNP MSP Emma Harper

    SNP MSP Emma Harper says the proposal for a Galloway national park will have to suit the whole region and there are advantages and disadvantages to it.

    The SNP MSP says there has been opposition to it from people in the area.

    She says "national parks are not a silver-bullet and do carry significant costs."

  12. 'In Galloway we tick all the boxes'

    Mr Carson says "In Galloway we tick all the boxes" and all that's required is recognition.

    The Tory MSP says Dumfies and Galloway council have agreed to be actively involved in any proposals.

    He says it is important that any new part is demanded by a community and not imposed on a community.

    Mr Carson says the cost of running the park could be more than off-set against the economic benefits.

    He says there would be a boost to employment and that people come from all over the world to enjoy Scotland's scenery.

  13. 'We don't want to moth-ball our area'

    Tory MSP Finlay Carson

    Tory MSP Finlay Carson says national parks welcome many visitors who enjoy their natural qualities.

    Mr Carson says "we don't want to moth-ball our area" in Galloway.

    The Tory MSP says he does not believe that anyone can make better decisions about how to manage an area than those living there.

    He says a Galloway national park would be very different to those that already exist.

  14. Tory MSP calls on government review of national parks...

    Loch Lomond and the Trosssachs

    Tory MSP Finlay Carson highlights the value of Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty, which creates jobs, contributes to the economy and attracts millions of tourists.

    Mr Carson highlights the success of the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs national parks in conserving and enhancing the natural heritage of these areas.

    The Tory MSP calls on the Scottish government to conduct a review of national parks and consider the establishment of new ones.

  15. Here is Tory MSP Finlay Carson's motion

    Here is Tory MSP Finlay Carson's motion...

    Motion
  16. 'The Establishment of New National Parks' debate

    Conservative MSP Finlay Carson will now lead a member's debate entitled 'The Establishment of New National Parks'.

  17. The government motion as amended is agreed to unanimously

    The government motion as amended is agreed to unanimously

    Government motion
    Tory amendment
    Labour amendment
  18. The Scottish Labour amendment is agreed to unanimously

    The Scottish Labour amendment is agreed to unanimously

    Labour amendment
  19. The Scottish Conservative amendment is agreed to unanimously

    The Scottish Conservative amendment is agreed to unanimously

    Tory amendment
  20. We now move to decision time....

    MSPs will now vote on the achieving a cyber resilient Scotland debate.