Official Report


Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill Committee, 18 Dec 2003

Scottish Parliament
Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill Committee
Thursday 18 December 2003

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: [The Convener opened the meeting at 13:34]

Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill: Consideration Stage

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The Convener (Bill Butler): : I welcome members to the committee's sixth meeting. The meeting is quorate and all committee members are present. I remind everyone to switch off mobile phones and pagers.

Following the Parliamentary Bureau's decision on Tuesday to refer the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill to the committee for the consideration stage and the Parliament's agreement yesterday to a motion on the financial resolution for the bill, the committee can commence the consideration stage.

The purpose of the first meeting at the consideration stage is to consider the paper in my name on groupings of objections. Fifty-two objections to the bill are outstanding. On the basis of the rules in standing orders and the "Guidance on Private Bills", the committee should consider the extent to which it wishes to group the objections. The committee is grateful to the objectors who wrote to say whether their objections should be grouped with those of others and, if so, which others. That was of considerable assistance to the committee.

The paper follows the approach in standing orders and guidance on groupings by suggesting that objections that are the same or similar should be grouped. I have suggested that objections from businesses rather than individuals should be grouped on their own, although there is merit in grouping objections 44 and 48 in group 12, given the similar issues that are involved. I have also suggested that community councils should be taken separately, because of the way in which they are constituted.

Group 4 is by far the largest. I am satisfied that all the objections in that group can be grouped, because of the commonality between them. The committee has already received a helpful suggestion as to which individuals could lead on behalf of that group.

Before inviting comments from members, I suggest that, if members are content to agree the groupings, it would help if the committee mandated the deputy convener and me to determine with the committee's clerks and adviser who should lead for the various groups. That would signal the start of the preparatory work that the promoter and the groups of objectors need to do before the committee can consider a timetable for the consideration stage.

Having said all that almost in one gulp, I invite comments from members.

Rob Gibson (Highlands and Islands) (SNP): : That approach sounds satisfactory.

The Convener: : I thought that it did.

David Mundell (South of Scotland) (Con): : I am happy to proceed on the basis that has been suggested.

The Convener: : Are we all happy to agree to the groupings in the paper?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener: : As that was the only item of business, I thank members for their attendance and close the meeting.

: Meeting closed at 13:37.