Last days before dissolution

by Gráinne Byrne

Third session of Holyrood about to go into recess

As we approach the last official day for Holyrood MSPs before Parliamentary recess, opposing parties are marking their line in the sand ahead of tomorrow’s final questions session.  This final session, before dissolution, sets the tone for a battle between the parties leading to the election on 5 May 2011.

In an attempt to engage with the public, First Minister Alex Salmond and his main opponent, Labour leader Iain Gray, will take part in various debates over the next few weeks.  Key issues in the frame include higher education, the economy, the health system and, perhaps most importantly, how they will deal with the financial cuts.

These sessions, which usually take place on a Thursday, have been arranged on Tuesday this year to mark the last day of the third parliamentary session since devolution.

Liberal Democrat, Robert Brown MSP, who is unlikely to return to a seat at Holyrood’s fourth session, spoke to Edinburgh Napier News about the topic worrying many voters: the cuts to public spending. Listen here:

The return to the fourth session will commence with a ceremony involving Her Majesty the Queen. The Queen will address the newly-elected MSP’s in the Chamber and meet with 10 members of the public before a traditional ‘riding’ of the Royal Mile, a special procession to mark the special relationship between the Parliament and the people.

Presiding Officer, Rt Hon Alex Fergusson MSP has indicated that the first meeting of the new parliamentary session will take place on 11 May 2011.