Scottish Parliament Briefing on Infrastructure Plan

26 March 2012

The latest briefing for Scottish Parliamentarians was held at Holyrood, Edinburgh, last week.

IOP members at meeting
Graham Barber and the IET

Maureen Watt MSP, Convenor of the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee, hosted and chaired the Briefing on the Scottish Infrastructure Plan.

Organised by the IET’s Engineering Policy Group Scotland, the event was attended by IOP's National Officer (Scotland), Alison McLure, and attracted seven MSPs and 46 professionals from industry and academia.

The Scottish Infrastructure Plan is an over-arching plan for all Scotland’s major capital expenditure. Two aspects were covered in detail at the Briefing: waste and water.

Professor Jim Baird of Glasgow Caledonian University presented the current Scottish situation and issues regarding waste, including its use as an energy source.

Andrew Oldfield of Mott MacDonald presented on Scotland’s water issues, including the challenges of ensuring its suitability for safe consumption despite an aging infrastructure.

After the two speakers the panel of experts and MSPs answered questions from the audience, which proved to be both constructive and informative.

In her concluding remarks Maureen Watt MSP emphasised the benefit that she and fellow MSPs gained from these events, both in hearing from well-informed experts on the topic, and having the opportunity to engage with a cross-disciplinary group of engineers and scientists.

The IET’s Graham Barber said: “The willingness of the major professional engineering and science bodies in Scotland to co-operate has considerable advantage when informing Scottish policy makers about technical matters. The Scottish Parliamentarians for their part show a great willingness to listen to well informed views. The net beneficiary of this happy situation is Scottish society.”