Public Petitions Committee
considered new and current petitions on Tuesday 6 September 2011.
MSPs began taking evidence on a petition on tackling child sexual exploitation in Scotland entitled "Cut them free", from Martin Crewe, Mark Ballard, and Daljeet Dagon from Barnardo's Scotland.
Martin Crewe called on the Scottish government to commission research into the extent of the problem in Scotland and for new guidelines to be issued to local authorities.
The committee decided to continue the petition and write to the government and a number of organisations including the Association of Chief Police Officers.
MSPs then heard from Huw Francis and Angus MacMillan from Stòras Uibhist and Allan Henderson from Highland Council on a petition to reintroduce the Lochboisdale to Mallaig ferry service.
The committee again decided to continue the petition and contact the government on behalf of the petitioners.
The final evidence session was on a petition on overbreeding and ill treatment of Staffordshire dogs.
MSPs quizzed Ian Robb from Help for Abandoned Animals; Dr Alison Kennedy from Perthshire Abandoned Dogs Society and Lisa Hird from Staffordshire Rescue Scotland, and agreed to continue the petition.
The committee then considered a new petition on the future support of and funding for In Care Survivors Service Scotland and agreed to contact the minister.
It then moved on to consider current petitions, including one on the governance of essential ferry services, taking evidence from Professor Neil Kay.
The committee agreed to close three petitions, to refer one on West Highland wild salmon and sea trout to the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee.
Finally, the committee agreed to ask the Scottish government to continue to lobby the UK government on the closure of coastguard stations.