The resettlement of refugees is sure to be high on the agenda as the Scottish Parliament comes to Motherwell for the day next month.
Holyrood’s Parliament Day initiative, introduced by the Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP, takes the Parliament into communities around Scotland, encouraging local people to take an interest in and engage directly with the Parliament and its work.
As part of Parliament Day Motherwell on Monday, November 9, the Convener of the European and External Relations Committee Christina McKelvie MSP will meet staff and pupils from local schools to explore preparations for the integration of refugees and asylum seekers into the education system and communities.
At 5.30pm there will be an informal Q&A session in the GLO Centre, hosted by the Presiding Officer, where local people are invited to quiz MSPs about how their Parliament works for them.
Ms Marwick said: “The Scottish Parliament is there to represent all of Scotland’s communities and it’s important we hear directly from local people about what matters to them.
“I’m sure the people of Motherwell will take this opportunity to make their voice heard about issues affecting their daily lives.
“I would encourage everyone who can to come along to the GLO Centre to chat to me, my fellow MSPs and Parliament staff and find out more about the work of the Parliament. We want to hear from you.”
Twelve Parliament Days have been held across Scotland since 2012.
Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland said: “The Scottish Parliament has brought democracy closer to people in a variety of ways. It is easy for the public to visit Holyrood and many of my constituents have done so.
“The Scottish Parliament is accessible in terms of engagement with the policy process, with the public able to submit views, and take part in committee meetings and cross party groups. We also have an open system for consideration of petitions.
“This visit by the Parliament to Motherwell and Wishaw takes this one step further, by bringing the parliament to the people. I hope that as many local people as possible will participate in the visit and help build interest in our democratic processes.
“I am pleased Ms McKelvie will be discussing refugee resettlement. This is particularly appropriate because Motherwell was the first and so far only resettlement in Scotland under the UK Gateway Protection Programme.
“North Lanarkshire Council won the ‘Creating Integrated Communities’ category in the UK Housing Awards for its involvement in the programme and I am sure the experience and expertise that was developed will be helpful in addressing the future needs of refugees in communities across Scotland.”