This Parliamentary week began with work in the constituency office on Monday, followed by a Hogmanay launch on Tuesday morning, and the usual parliamentary team meeting. In the afternoon, I’ll be attending a meeting ahead of the Members’ Business Debate on Moray Library closures as well as our weekly Independent/Green Group meeting. The rest of my afternoon will be busy, with two further meetings and a speaking slot in the City of Culture debate at Parliament. I’ll end Tuesday with a visit to the Edinburgh Napier University Merchiston Campus.
On Wednesday, I’ll begin with my usual attendance of the Finance Committee, of which I am a member. In the afternoon, I’ll be attending an information session with Scottish Water, then going to the University of Strathclyde to chair a session of an event on the Constitution of an Independent Scotland. I’ll be back in Edinburgh to attend a Visit Scotland event at the Parliament, then a Polish-Scottish multimedia showcase opening.
Thursday will begin with an STV breakfast reception, followed by meetings with various organisations. In the afternoon, I’ll be attending an event at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, another on levels of debt in Scotland, and the Stage 3 debate on the Independence Referendum Bill.
On Friday I’ll be in Forres for the A96 duelling exhibition, and then travelling back to Ullapool for the launch of Lesley Riddoch’s new book, Blossom.
Motion S4M-05639: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 14/02/2013
That the Parliament notes with sadness the passing of Dr Gavin Wallace, portfolio manager for literature, publishing and language at Creative Scotland; understands that Gavin began his career at the literary magazineCencrastus in 1991, becoming the co-editor of the Edinburgh Review in 1994; further understands that Gavin was then hired by the Scottish Arts Council in August 1997, going on to become head of literature for eight years before taking on his role at Creative Scotland; considers that the outpouring of tributes from the arts world demonstrates the respect and affection held for Gavin and his dedication to promoting and encouraging Scottish literature; believes that Scotland has tragically lost a passionate and able advocate of its literary culture, and passes on its condolences to Gavin’s partner, Pauline, and sons, Patrick and Alasdair.
Jean Urquhart MSP today welcomed the announcement by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop of the first ever Book Week Scotland, a national celebration of reading taking place from November 26th -December 2nd this year.
An avid reader, Jean Urquhart commented:
“I am delighted to see that the Scottish Government has initiated a week celebrating our literary heritage. Harnessing our talent, both past and present, to promote reading as a positive activity, is a welcome step that will help us to continue to benefit socially, economically and culturally from Scotland’s rich seam of talent.
“I am equally pleased to learn that there will be a range of free events and projects held throughout Book Week. It is important that as many people as possible across Scotland are able to participate in these events to grow or rediscover their love of literature.
“I would also urge everybody to submit an entry for the ‘My Favourite Places’ anthology being published as part of Book Week Scotland. Whether it be from childhood memories or from a regular holiday destination, there are corners of Scotland that will always be special to us. I hope to see a wide range of areas, including many in my own region of the Highlands and Islands, included in the final anthology.
“I hope that my parliamentary motion celebrating this announcement will draw support from across the Chamber, and that we can join together in celebrating and making a success of this inaugural event.”