Ruth Davidson visits Afghanistan

Ruth Davidson has visited Afghanistan during parliamentary recess to highlight the remarkable work of a Scots-based charity leading the world in mine clearance. 

The Scottish Conservative leader spent four days in Kabul at the invitation of the Dumfriesshire based HALO Trust - now the world’s largest humanitarian mine clearance operation.

During her visit, the Trust handed control of 95 million square metres of land in western Afghanistan back to the local government – following a ten year long operation to remove landmines and unexploded debris from the area.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service wastes £610k on abandoned procurement process

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has squandered £610,000 on legal fees and financial settlements during a two-year procurement process for firefighter safety kit including jackets, trousers, helmets, gloves and boots. The troubled process was eventually banned.

Shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr received a Scottish parliamentary written answer confirming the taxpayers’ money has been wasted on the failed procurement process for structural fire kit and personal protective equipment.

Over a quarter of eye patients missing waiting time targets

New figures have shown that 8,796 ophthalmology patients are waiting longer than the Scottish Government’s waiting time target of 12 weeks. This represents 26% of all ophthalmology outpatients.
These figures also demonstrate that since June 2015 the amount of patients missing this waiting time target has risen by 6,847 or 351%.
In the most extreme cases, patients are being forced to wait up to 546 days, or 78 weeks for essential cataract surgery. In addition, half of all health boards report substantially increased maximum waiting times.

Inmates assault staff every two days in Scotland's jails

A member of staff in Scotland’s prisons is assaulted every two days by an inmate, new figures have revealed.

Information obtained by the Scottish Conservatives has revealed there were 190 prisoner-on-staff attacks in 2016/17.

Today, shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr is visiting HMP Kilmarnock to discuss with staff how to reduce the level of assaults, and make them safer during the course of their working day.

The Independent Commission for Competitive and Fair Taxation in Scotland

A DYNAMIC SCOTLAND: a tax plan for Scotland’s parliament.Independent report publishes blueprint for a more competitive and fairer Scotland.  Major new tax powers set to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament in April 2017, making it one of the most powerful of its kind in the world