A busy year for legislation and for engagement activity was highlighted today when the Scottish Parliament published its Annual Report.
Detailing the work of the Parliament from 9 May 2009 to 8 May 2010, the Report covers the day-to-day work of Holyrood, including in-depth information on each parliamentary committee, as well as a look at key chamber debates and legislation.
During that time, 15 bills received Royal Assent and became Acts of the Scottish Parliament. One of the acts was promoted by a backbench MSP, one was a Private Bill and the remainder were Government bills.
The new Acts included:
- Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009
- Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009
- Marine (Scotland) Act 2010
- Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010
- Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010
A total of 284 new petitions were lodged through the Scottish Parliament’s public petitions system with two-thirds being lodged online as e-petitions via the Scottish Parliament website.
The Parliament also strengthened its commitment to wider public engagement with a range of activities to mark its 10 th anniversary that helped to increase visitor numbers to Holyrood by 25 per cent during 2009 – marking one of the busiest years since the building opened in 2004, and bringing its total number of visitors to more than 2.5 million.
Some of the 10th anniversary activities included:
- Free guided tours: from September 2009 all tours of the Holyrood building were free of charge to visitors.
- Travelling community exhibition: more than 100,000 people had the opportunity to view Holyrood's unique Moving Stories exhibition as it travelled the country documenting the experience of 10 men and women and their connection with Parliament.
- Community Partnerships programme: a unique pilot programme was launched designed to attract people to work with Holyrood who are typically under-represented in parliamentary engagement. The programme worked with partner organisations Action for Children, Haggeye and Multi-ethnic Aberdeen Limited.
- A 1 July Birthday Party on this date in 2009: 143 of the 163 children born in Scotland on 1 July 1999 and share a 'birthday' with the Scottish Parliament were brought together for a party at Parliament which was opened by an address by HM The Queen.
Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP said: "This report reflects another extremely full year of parliamentary activity both in terms of significant and far-reaching legislation and our wider innovative engagement activities.
“Our 10th anniversary in July 2009 marked a visible strengthening of our very clear commitment to public engagement and with increasing visitor numbers drawn from across the country it is clear that we are successfully engaging with more of Scotland ’s people than ever before.”
Other facts and figures from the 36-page report include:
- Holyrood’s fifth Festival of Politics again welcomed thousands of visitors to a mix of politically-themed debates, lectures and events.
- Two new quotations for Holyrood's Canongate Wall were selected from more than 300 public suggestions; works by Norman MacCaig and Mary Brooksbank now feature.
- A new public engagement leaflet was published, “Making the Scottish Parliament work for you” – available in nine languages and five different formats.
- Holyrood now has an official tartan designed by Fife textiles student Teri Scott. Her winning design for the Parliament educational competition is now included in the new Scottish Register of Tartans.
- The launch of a new pairing initiative linking 10 MSPs with 10 Malawian members to share ideas and best practice on the development of parliamentary democracy.
Over the report period approximately 27,000 guests attended 425 MSP-sponsored events.
You can now get in touch with the Parliament by text message. Our interactive service enables you to get the name of your MSP by sending your postcode, lets you ask questions about the Parliament and its work, and enables you to request a selection of free leaflets. The number to take advantage of is 07786 209888. Texts are charged at standard network rates. More details can be found on our Text Service page.