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The Minister for Transport, Graeme Dey MSP, today announced the reappointment of Naghat Ahmed and Audrey Birt as members of the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland.
Naghat Ahmed is a law and accountancy graduate. Her current role at Glasgow City Council includes both programme and project management and Naghat has previously worked on policy and strategy development, equality and diversity, corporate governance and utilising project methodologies. She has, in the past worked for the Commission for Racial Equality and NHS 24, specialising in equality and diversity. She is also a carer for disabled relatives.
Audrey Birt has had a long career in health and social care and brings this experience to the work on transport to health and social care. She has a commitment to human rights approaches, and viewing transport as being a key enabler. She is an experienced influencer and campaigner, especially as her passion has been to support the voices of the seldom heard to speak up and influence both policy and practice. Her Masters in Public Health has helped inform her work in MACS. Audrey also brings her lived experience of becoming disabled recently. She understands the need for accessible and person-centred transport to avoid widening social and economic inequalities.
The reappointments are for four years and run from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2026.
The reappointments are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.
Remuneration and time commitment
Members of the Committee receive a fee of £162.00 per day. Ms Ahmed has a time commitment of 18 days per year with Ms Birt having a time commitment of a maximum of 48 days per year for her role as a MACS Lead.
Other ministerial appointments
Ms Ahmed is a Non-Executive Member of the Executive Advisory Body of Social Security Scotland for which she receives £239.00 per day for a time commitment of ten days per year. She is also a member of the Board of the Care Inspectorate for which she receives £183.00 per day for a time commitment of up to two days per month.
Ms Birt does not hold any other ministerial appointments.
All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.
Ms Ahmed and Ms Birt have not undertaken any political activity in the last five years.
Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland
The Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS) was established in 2002 and is an advisory non-departmental public body. The Convener and Members are appointed by the Minister for Transport.
MACS was formally constituted under section 72 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2001.
The role of MACS is set out in the Act as being to:
consider matters about the needs of disabled persons in connection with transport that the committee think are appropriate
advise the Scottish Ministers about those matters that the committee think are appropriate
The Committee has 15 members with various skills, knowledge and experience gained through their fields of expertise and lived experiences. Members have collective responsibility for the effective operation of MACS, and are led by the Convener.
MACS believes in a Scotland without the barriers that isolate and exclude disabled people from making their choice of successful door to door journeys.