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Live Reporting

Andrew Southwick and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holryood Live tonight

    Police

    That's all from Holryood Live on 6 December 2017.

    MSPs clash over a Lib Dem call for a vote of no confidence in the structures of Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority.

    The no confidence motion was defeated.

    Passions also ran high during the Lib Dems debate on ferry fares for the journies to Orkney and Shetland.

  2. 'Often no logical explanation for amounts demanded'

    Richard Lochhead
    Image caption: Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse praises the campaigning of Richard Lochhead (above)

    Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse says there is "often no logical explanation for the amounts demanded".

    He says he is happy to write to companies where bad practice has been identified and invite an explanation for such practice.

    Mr Wheelhouse calls for the UK government to take a more active role.

  3. Background: A report - The Postcode Penalty Delivering Solutions

    parcel

    A report - The Postcode Penalty Delivering Solutions - found that higher charges were not confined to rural areas but affected all addresses north of the central belt including urban areas such as Inverness and Aberdeen.

    Nina Ballantyne, spokeswoman for the CAS Consumer Futures Unit said: "This new data is stark and shows that people in the northern half of Scotland are hit by delivery surcharges which can be difficult to justify.

    "This is not just a problem for remote and rural areas. The areas affected include Perthshire, Moray, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City, as well as the Highlands and Islands.

    "In addition, many online retailers are not transparent about the charges. So, consumers are unable to make informed choices. We believe that any delivery charges should be up front and justifiable, and would like to see consistent pricing policies across the UK."

    The report accepts that it costs delivery firms more to deliver items in some areas, but says a collaborative approach may help reduce extra overheads.

    It backs previous suggestions public bodies play a role, for example, by helping to establish a pick-up drop-off (Pudo) network.

  4. Minister says unfair charges for delivery are deeply unfair

    Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse
    Image caption: Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse

    Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse pays tribute to the campaiging of Richard Lochhead.

    Mr Wheelhouse says businesses should do the right thing and treat their customers well.

    He says the unfair charges for delivery are deeply unfair.

    The minister says it makes business sense to to stop overcharging.

  5. Time to 'name and shame' retailers

    Kate Forbes

    SNP MSP Kate Forbes says Highlands and Islands are classed as "overseas" and says "I go home on the train to Dingwall and I've never needed a passport yet."

    She also says: "Sometimes you do not even get the luxury of overpriced delivery charges as many refuse to deliver at all".

    Ms Forbes says it is time they "named and shamed" retailers who refused to deliver to remote areas.

  6. Charges 'fundamentally unjust' says Tory MSP

    Conservative MSP Donald Cameron

    Conservative MSP Donald Cameron says delivery charges are "fundamentally unjust".

    He says: "Unless we see real change those living in remote communities are only going to suffer more."

    He pays tribute to Tory MP Douglas Ross for raising the issue in Westminster, and hopes that the UK parliament will also debate the issue.

  7. Trip down memory lane.........

    SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson
    Image caption: SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson

    SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson says in 1812 his great, great, great grandfather required pension information it cost him a pretty penny.

    That changed with the introduction of the penny standard delivery charge.

    The Royal Mail can trace its history back to 1516, when Henry VIII established a "Master of the Posts", a position that was renamed "Postmaster General" in 1710.

    So that's even further back than Mr Stevenson's story.

    Sir Brian Tuke, the first Master of the Posts, created a formal postal network to carry mail across England between key towns and cities such as Dover and London
    Image caption: Sir Brian Tuke, the first Master of the Posts, created a formal postal network to carry mail across England between key towns and cities such as Dover and London
  8. 'Stepping up of efforts'

    Lib Dems MSP Liam McArthur says he hopes we will see a "stepping up of a collaborate effort with CAS".

    Lib Dems MSP Liam McArthur
  9. Whistle blower.................

    Green MSP John Finnie
    Image caption: Green MSP John Finnie jokes about
    Lionel Messi and Douglas Ross
    Image caption: Lionel Messi and Douglas Ross

    Green MSP John Finnie jokes about Moray MP Douglas Ross, a Scottish Premiership referee, who raised the issue in Westminster today.

    He says: "I noted Richard Lochhead used an example of the cost of a referee's whistle and I wondered if the two were related."

    He adds: "It is very difficult to get competing companies to co-operate."

    View more on twitter
  10. Background: A report - The Postcode Penalty Delivering Solutions

    Delivery charges for customers in Scotland were examined in a recent report by Citizens Advice Scotland
    Image caption: Delivery charges for customers in Scotland were examined in a recent report by Citizens Advice Scotland

    CAS has called on delivery firms to consider collaborating with each other and the public sector to reduce costs.

    A report - The Postcode Penalty Delivering Solutions - found that higher charges were not confined to rural areas but affected all addresses north of the central belt including urban areas such as Inverness and Aberdeen.

    CAS

    The research looked at delivery options for a range of online purchases to 12 addresses representing various areas of the UK - including urban and rural, mainland and island.

    The discrepancy was most marked for heavier items. When compared with average costs for urban consumer in the rest of the UK the research found that:

    • For smaller parcels, average delivery charges were 13% higher in the Highlands and Islands.
    • For larger parcels (1-20kg) the delivery cost was 23% higher
    • In the 20-30kg category the costs more than doubled
    • Above 30kg, prices were typically four times higher
  11. 'Not good for UK economy'

    SNP MSP Gillian Martin

    SNP MSP Gillian Martin notes that some peple, in order to get cheaper delivery, will use overseas companies rather than UK ones.

    She says: "This is not good for the UK economy."

  12. Background: Northern Scotland faces 'postcode penalty' for parcel delivery

    Parcels

    Consumers in northern Scotland and the islands are paying a "postcode penalty" in delivery charges for online purchases, research has found.

    A study for Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) found those living in the north and north-east pay at least 30% more than consumers elsewhere.

    The figure rises to 50% more on average in the Scottish islands.

    CAS has called on delivery firms to consider collaborating with each other and the public sector to reduce costs.

    A report - The Postcode Penalty Delivering Solutions - found that higher charges were not confined to rural areas but affected all addresses north of the central belt including urban areas such as Inverness and Aberdeen.

  13. Labour MSP Rhoda Grant says consumers in the Highlands are being ripped off

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant
    Image caption: Labour MSP Rhoda Grant

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant says consumers in the Highlands are being ripped off.

    Ms Grant says she bought some furniture online and the delivery cost was quite high, but this doubled in the invoice due to her living in the Highlands and Islands.

    She threatened to cancel the order and the extra delivery was waived.

    The Labour MSP says don't accept it.

  14. Over one million Scots will suffer high delivery charges this Christmas

    SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson

    SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson says: "For those living in urban areas it is easy to take delivery for granted, but over one million Scots will suffer from increased delivery charges this Christmas."

    He notes someone living in Arran can have a parcel delivered in Ardrossan, and pay the £7.80 fee for a ferry to pick it up, which would be cheaper than having a parcel delivered directly to them.

    He calls this a "ludicrous situation".

  15. 'People across the Highlands and Islands have suffered'

    Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston

    Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston says that some firms refuse to deliver to Orkney and Shetland at all.

    He says charges are inflated at places like Elgin and Inverness.

    He adds: "Some people will recognise there are time there are additional costs to rural areas, sometimes they are reasonable, many times they are not."