Coronavirus (COVID-19): Cross Party Covid Recovery Steering Group minutes - 26 May 2021

Note of the first meeting of the cross-party steering group held on 26 May 2021.

Attendees and apologies

  • John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery, (Scottish Government) (Chair)
  • Jackie Baillie MSP (Scottish Labour)
  • Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP (Scottish Liberal Democrats)
  • Murdo Fraser MSP (Scottish Conservatives)
  • Patrick Harvie MSP (Scottish Greens)

A number of Scottish Government officials also attended the meeting.

Items and actions

Item 1 Introductions

1. The chair welcomed members of the group to the first meeting and explained the roles and responsibilities of officials in attendance.

Item 2 Purpose of the group

2. The chair explained that the group was not intended to replace or duplicate existing forms of parliamentary scrutiny and accountability. It was agreed that the group should be a forum to consider strategic issues relating to Covid recovery and identify areas of common ground, but that members should not feel constrained in raising more operationally-focused issues if they felt that was appropriate.

Item 3 Views on areas of focus for the group

3. It was agreed that the broad thematic areas which the group would initially focus on were economic recovery, the NHS and education, with tackling inequalities a cross-cutting theme across all aspects of Covid recovery.

Item 4 Views on draft Terms of Reference

4. The draft Terms of Reference were agreed subject to:

  • reflecting the views of the group that, in the first instance, economic recovery, the NHS and education should be the main thematic areas of focus for the group, with tackling inequalities a cross-cutting theme; and
  • changing the meeting frequency to reflect that the group might initially meet weekly.

Item 5 Next meeting

5. It was agreed that the group would aim to meet again in the week beginning 31 May, and that the substantive item for discussion would be a presentation from the Scottish Government’s Chief Economist on economic recovery. A similar session on NHS remobilisation would then be arranged.

Item 6 AOB

6. No other business was raised.

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