MSP quizzed on issues by Banchory Academy pupils

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MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Dennis Robertson, was at Banchory Academy to answer questions on his life and role as a Member of the Scottish Parliament and tell S4 and S6 modern studies pupils about recent Bills debated at parliament.

While the younger pupils are studying the work of a MSP and how they represent their constituents in the area, the Advanced Higher Students asked Mr Robertson to attend Banchory Academy to answer questions on the issue of crime in Grampian to help them with their dissertation research.

Dennis Robertson MSP said after the visit: “The level of interest of the pupils on my daily life as a Member of the Scottish Parliament shows both how much they understand the world today and the quality of modern studies taught locally. From the political make up of the Parliament today to the future of the institution after the 2014 referendum, the pupils knew very much already.

“Sometimes, it is easy to forget the number and the quality of the Bills introduced since the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. Starting with the Crofting Reform Bill, the abolition of university tuition fees and the introduction of free personal care for the elderly, the present Scottish Government is now bringing forward a Bill on minimum pricing on alcohol and another to tackle offensive behaviour at football.

“The young people had a particular interest in the proposed Vote at 16 Referendum Bill. They might have to wait a few months before knowing if they will all be eligible to vote in 2014, but I made it clear to them that they have a better awareness of the political issues facing us today than most of people living in Scotland busy at work or raising a family.

“I shared the latest crime statistics with the Advanced Higher Students; communities across Scotland are increasingly safer places to live as reconviction rates in Scotland have fallen to their lowest levels in the last 13 years. Community sentences are shown to be a far more effective option than short prison sentences, and 1,000 additional police officers across Scotland including106 in Grampian alone are helping to drive crime down.