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Report sets out new programme of engagement

16 November 2015

Scottish Affairs Committee publishes its report on the Work of the Scottish Affairs Committee and sets the background for the future inquiries to be undertaken over the course of this Parliament.

Chair's comments

Pete Wishart, Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee, said:

"When we embarked on this report we were determined to hear from civic Scotland, representative organisations and individuals in Scotland. We want the Scottish Affairs Committee to be able to pick up the issues and agendas that are important to Scots.

This report sets out what we have learnt, both in terms of the issues raised with us and in understanding how we can engage with people more effectively.

We see this is as the beginning of a continuing process where you can feed in to the committee about the things that matter to you. If there is a topic you are particularly interested in that you think we should look at, or if you have something to say about one of our inquiries, don't hesitate to contact us on Twitter, facebook or by email.

The work of this inquiry will inform our future programme. You can see the range of issues submitted to us in the wordcloud produced alongside the report. Our first new inquiry based on these findings will look at post-study work schemes.

We have also identified five specific ways of working that we are committed to and will be central to how we work in this Parliament. You can read more about this below and in the report."

Coming to where you are

Over this parliament we aim to challenge the perception that Committees in Westminster are remote institutions. As part of this process we will regularly visit and take evidence in Scotland. We hope that in doing so we will be more accessible to people in Scotland and better able to take note of their concerns. We recognise that not everyone in Scotland lives in or can readily access the usual destinations of Glasgow and Edinburgh. When the opportunity and subject matter allows we will therefore endeavour to meet away from the cities of the Central Belt.

Speaking to people at all levels

We aim to incorporate informal meetings and visits in to our work wherever possible. Where practical to do so we will also liaise with organisations in Scotland that are involved with communities at a grassroots level.

Working collaboratively with Scottish institutions

We want to refresh and renew our working relationship with the Scottish Parliament and its Committees. We will seek opportunities for both Parliaments and their Committees to work constructively together. We believe that closer working between committees in Scotland and those in Westminster will enrich both Parliaments and allow for more effective scrutiny of our Governments.

Embracing new ways of communicating

Over the course of this Parliament we will improve our use of social media to make the Committee more visible and more accessible to a wider range of people and organisations. Furthermore, our commitment to examining how we approach our work does not end with the publication of this report. Throughout this parliament we will continue to reflect on how we can carry out our work more effectively and we will continue to welcome suggestions and comments from members of the public and other interested parties as our work progresses.

Examining issues that matter to you

Devolution, welfare reform, post-study work schemes, in-work poverty and precarious employment, countryside issues - these are just some of the issues you told us about when we asked you to give evidence and these are the sorts of issues we intend to look at through the course of this parliament.

Further information 

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