Scotland politics

Scottish Parliament: Your guide to the week ahead

generic planning image Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The bill aims to make local development planning simpler and more embedded in communities

Legislation to reform the planning system will dominate chamber business this week.

The local government committee already made more than 230 amendments to the Planning (Scotland) Bill at stage 2.

But MSPs will consider over 200 further amendments at stage 3.

Some of these are designed to roll back changes made by the committee, which the government has warned could "create millions of pounds of new costs".

MSPs will spend nearly 11 hours considering the bill across Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Decision time has been put back by two hours on both Tuesday and Wednesday to allow time for the bill.

What else is happening this week?

Tuesday - climate change

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In the morning, the environment committee will be considering the Climate Change Bill.

The amendments include setting a new net-zero target by 2045, following advice from the Committee on Climate Change.

Outside parliament, climate change campaigners are calling for the government to go further than this.

Extinction Rebellion Scotland is planning a week of "non-violent direct action".

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After topical questions but before the Planning Bill debate, there will be a statement on the cycling action plan.

The third plan was published in January 2017, setting an aim for "10% of everyday journeys to be made by bike by 2020".

However, last year's figures indicated that just 3% of commutes were done by bike.

The member's debate starting at the later time of 19:00 will be on the Unforgotten Forces Consortium, led by Tory MSP Maurice Corry.

Wednesday - parking levy

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The controversial workplace parking levy will be voted on by the rural economy committee on Wednesday morning.

Green MSP John Finnie lodged amendments to empower councils to charge employers for each car park space used by staff.

The cost could then be passed on to employees.

The Scottish government agreed to back the amendments as part of the budget deal with the Scottish Greens.

But Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem MSPs are opposed to it - and SNP MSP Richard Lyle, a member of the committee, has also expressed reservations.

Six of the 11 committee members are SNP or Green, meaning Mr Lyle's vote could be pivotal.

However, if the amendment is voted down at stage 2 there is nothing to prevent the amendment being laid again at stage 3, where the full chamber will vote.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Katie Allans's parents have claimed that she was bullied in prison, and that prison staff failed to heed warnings that she was "vulnerable"

Later in the afternoon, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf will make a statement on mental health services for young people in custody.

A review ordered after the deaths of two young people called for the creation of a stronger suicide and self-harm strategy.

Katie Allan, 21, and 16-year-old William Lindsay died at Polmont Young Offenders' Institution last year.

Education questions and a debate on the marketing of alcohol, led by SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson, bookend the Planning Bill debate.

Thursday - GSA fire anniversary

After first minister's questions at midday, MSPs will mark the first anniversary of the Glasgow School of Art fire.

The debate will be led by Labour MSP Pauline McNeill.

After lunch, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay will make a statement on council finances. He will set out the provisional costs of local authority services.

The final vote on the Planning Bill will take place at 17:00, following an hour of general debate.

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