Prior to the SNP Government’s Cabinet Meeting today on Arran, individual Cabinet Secretaries will meet with individuals, groups organisations and businesses relevant to their portfolio.
At the Auchrannie Hotel, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP will attend three meetings to discuss employee ownership, the Food and Drink Tourism Action Plan and then meet privately with care experienced young people.
Simultaneously, Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP will visit Arran Outdoor Centre and Corrie Primary School before meeting the Arran Youth Foundation; Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Aileen Campbell MSP will join Arran Gateway/Brodick Harbour followed by a Housing Stakeholder meeting; Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP, will meet VisitArran; Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Climate Change, Roseanna Cunningham MSP will meet with Arran Coastal Way; and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, Derek Mackay MSP will visit Arran Distillery.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP, will visit Arran Memorial Hospital and a GP practice; Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf MSP will visit Lamlash Police Station; Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity will meet Isle of Arran Ferry Committee and Arran Economic Group members; Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People will met Arran Elderly Forum; Mike Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations will discuss Brexit with island stakeholders; Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy will also participate in the Food and Drink Tourism Action Plan and Minister for Parliament and Veterans, Graeme Dey MSP will speak to Arran veterans in Legion Scotland.
Following a full Cabinet meeting, the First Minister and her colleagues will answer questions for 90 minutes, taken from the floor from some 200 islanders at a public meeting in Arran High School.
The Minister for Parliamentary Business will randomly select questions from the audience in groups of three.
The First Minister will then decide if they are appropriate for her to answer or if they should be passed to the relevant Cabinet Secretary.
Time permitting, there will be six rounds of three questions.
For anyone who has a question but is not selected, there will be a questionnaire on each seat in the audience. Audience members may fill this out, return it at the end of the session, and these will be returned to St Andrew’s House. The relevant Cabinet Secretary will then respond to the question in writing in due course.
Arran’s MSP Kenneth Gibson said:
“I am delighted that the SNP Government will hold a Cabinet meeting on Arran. It is even better that the First Minister, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretaries will engage with community groups, organisations and businesses in the morning and will take questions from islanders in the afternoon.
“With the Independence Referendum only a few months away, in February 2014 the UK Government Cabinet made a token visit to Scotland. During this ‘flying’ visit to Aberdeen, UK Ministers refused to engage with the public and soon flew home to London. The contrast with the SNP Cabinet, which actively seeks engagement and is not afraid of public scrutiny is stark.
“I wish the Cabinet and my constituents who will meet them an interesting, productive and enjoyable day on ‘Scotland in Miniature’; the beautiful island of Arran.”