Capital hosts conference on parliamentary relevance

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A TWO-DAY international conference on how to make parliaments more relevant was getting under way at Holyrood today.

More than 50 parliamentarians are attending the 42nd annual conference of the British Islands and Mediterranean Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Today’s agenda was focusing on the benefits of preventative spending and how to deliver services in the context of cost cutting, with Finance Secretary John Swinney and Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan, director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, among the speakers.

Tomorrow, the conference will hear from Sir William Patey, former UK Ambassador to Afghanistan, who will outline his views on political change in the 21st century, and a panel session, including former Labour MSP John McAllion, will debate whether the media is taking democracy to new audiences.