GAINS submits complaint against Public Petitions Committee for failing to provide a reason for rejecting petition, 22 July 2011
From: Michael Gallagher
Sent: Friday, July 22, 2011 1:32 AM
Subject: Decision over Petition 1379
Green Alternatives to Incineration in Scotland
To: Mr David Stewart, Convenor of the Public Petitions Committee
Cc: Green Alternatives to Incineration in Scotland
Members of the following committees:
Public Petitions Committee
Government Environment Committee
Dear Mr Stewart
Decision over Petition 1379
I recently received an email from Anne Peat informing me that the Petitions Committee had rejected my petition (no.1379) calling for a ban on new waste incinerators and the closure of existing plants within 5 years.
The Committee has decided that the closure of existing plants within 5 years "is unrealistic and unachievable". However the committee has not said why it believes this to be the case. As you know, the commitee is required under Rule 15.7 to explain why it is rejecting a petition. I am sure you will agree that simply stating that it is "unrealistic and unachievable" does not constitute a satisfactory explanation. I would therefore like a full explanation of this decision. If the German Government can state that it will not allow any more nuclear power stations to be built, and that it will shut existing ones by 2022, why can't the Scottish Government make a similar decision about waste incinerators?
I am also concerned that members of the committee have described my petition as "incompetent", thereby inferring that it should never have been presented to them in the first place. I would like to point out that the wording of the petition went through an extensive approval process by the Clerk to the Petitions Committee. Ms Peat has subsequently confirmed that my petition was indeed competent, and I would therefore like the Committee to acknowledge this at its next meeting.
I am thankful that the Committee has at least expressed its willingness to accept a revised petition. However if members of the Committee are free to dismiss a petition without so much as a rational explanation, how can anyone have any faith in the petition process? Also, how can we revise the wording of our petition if we do not know what the Committee will regard as realistic and achievable?