Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The Commission on Scottish Devolution (The Calman Commission)

The Commission reported, yesterday. It was established by the Scottish Parliament and the United Kingdom government with a remit: To review the provisions of the Scotland Act 1998 in the light of experience and to recommend any changes to the present constitutional arrangements that would enable the Scottish Parliament to serve the people of Scotland better, improve the financial accountability of the Scottish Parliament, and continue to secure the position of Scotland within the United Kingdom

Although the Income Tax proposals may have scooped the headlines, there are several recommendations that are relevant to our activities, and I have summarised these below:

Matters to be devolved
5.10 Funding for policy relating to animal health should be devolved whilst responsibility for funding exotic disease outbreaks should be retained at a UK level

5.13 The regulation of airguns.

5.17 Following devolution of marine powers to Scotland, creating a Scottish sea zone, the commission agreed that the natural extension of this was to devolve all nature conservation responsibilities to Scotland as soon as possible.

Retained at UK Level
5.2 There should be a single definition of each of the expressions “charity” and “charitable purpose(s)”.

5.3 A charity registered in one part of the United Kingdom should be able to conduct its charitable activities in another part of the UK without being required to register separately.

Closer working between Parliament & Governments
5.18 Funding by the Research Councils should be re-examined so that Scottish institutions [such as the Scottish Agricultural College] delivering a comparable function to institutions elsewhere in the UK have access to the same sources of research funding.

The Final Report and Executive Summary are available as downloads.

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