The Scottish Parliament Debate: Past, Present and Future

This article is from 2009.

The Scottish Parliament

Marking a dramatic decade of rising costs and thrusting legislation

It’s now ten long years since Winnie Ewing, as the oldest member of the newly reformed institution, declared: ‘the Scottish Parliament, adjourned on the 25th day of March in the year 1707, is hereby reconvened.’ In the period since devolution, the parliament has often attracted controversy, not least for the escalating price of the Enrique Miralles-designed Holyrood building, which was officially opened in 2004.

Despite such teething problems, the institution has become securely established in the public consciousness. A recent opinion poll suggested that 70% of people believe that devolution has been good for Scotland. And there has been eye-catching legislation too, distinguishing Holyrood from its Westminster forbear: free personal care for the elderly, land reform, the smoking ban, abolishing student tuition fees and the phasing out of prescription charges.

This special event, chaired by BBC Scotland’s political editor Brian Taylor, brings together current Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP with his predecessors David Steel and George Reid as they reminisce about the Scottish Parliament’s achievements and the challenges it has faced to date. They will also consider the issues to be tackled by Scotland’s legislators in the future as further power is devolved from central government.

18 Aug, 4.30pm, free.

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