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No. 32 Thursday 13 November 2003

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Reforming Child Protection in Scotland: The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) moved S2M-593—That the Parliament agrees that keeping Scotland’s children and young people safe from harm and neglect must be a priority for all; agrees the importance of having a sustainable programme of reform of child protection services; notes the progress on the three-year child protection reform programme and future plans, and supports the Scottish Executive’s decision to require local authorities, NHS boards and the police to review their practices in respect of child protection, take action where there are weaknesses, ensure that there are robust quality assurance processes in place and continue with initiatives to ensure that there are sufficient and well-trained social workers to meet current and projected needs.

Fiona Hyslop moved amendment S2M-593.3 to motion S2M-593—

Leave out from “continue” to end and insert—

“; acknowledges its own role in increasing the scale, pace and range of staff recruitment in social work and child care and protection to ensure there are sufficient, well-paid staff to meet current and projected needs, and agrees to review the role and powers of the Social Work Services Inspectorate in this area.”

After debate, the amendment disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 33, Against 81, Abstentions 1).

Mary Scanlon moved amendment S2M-593.1 to motion S2M-593—

Insert at end—

“; acknowledges the findings of Susan O’Brien QC’s inquiry into the death of Caleb Ness, and as a result calls for greatly improved co-operation and communication between agencies along with new arrangements that encourage greater responsibility and accountability within the child protection system.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to (DT).

Rosemary Byrne moved amendment S2M-593.2 to motion S2M-593—

Insert at end

“; notes the continuing shortage of social workers, particularly in the child and family teams and that the current initiatives will not produce sufficient new workers to fill these vacancies and replace those due to retire; recognises that the current situation of local authorities competing with each other to attract staff is counter-productive; notes that there is a need to invest significantly to retain and attract future staff; regrets the continuing scapegoating of social workers when things go wrong which only serves to undermine the confidence of staff and contributes to the difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff, and recognises the extremely valuable work that social workers carry out every day making significant contributions to the lives of children and their families.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 11, Against 81, Abstentions 23).

The motion as amended was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved— That the Parliament agrees that keeping Scotland’s children and young people safe from harm and neglect must be a priority for all; agrees the importance of having a sustainable programme of reform of child protection services; notes the progress on the three-year child protection reform programme and future plans, and supports the Scottish Executive’s decision to require local authorities, NHS boards and the police to review their practices in respect of child protection, take action where there are weaknesses, ensure that there are robust quality assurance processes in place and continue with initiatives to ensure that there are sufficient and well-trained social workers to meet current and projected needs; acknowledges the findings of Susan O’Brien QC’s inquiry into the death of Caleb Ness, and as a result calls for greatly improved co-operation and communication between agencies along with new arrangements that encourage greater responsibility and accountability within the child protection system.

2.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

3.      Question Time: Questions were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4.      Celebrating 150 Years of Public Libraries in Scotland: The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Mr Frank McAveety) moved S2M-594—That the Parliament notes that this year marks the 150th anniversary of the Public Libraries Act in Scotland; congratulates public libraries on the diverse service they provide and, in particular, commends them for the success of the People’s Network in encouraging even greater use of library facilities, and praises local authorities for the part they play in providing this service.

Roseanna Cunningham moved amendment S2M-594.2 to motion S2M-594—

Leave out from “and, in particular”, to end and insert—

“calls on the Scottish Executive to secure funding for the People’s Network beyond the cessation of New Opportunities Fund support in April 2004; recognises the important part that local authorities have played, and continue to play, in providing library services, and urges the Executive to enable local authorities to reverse the recent trend of a decline in the proportion of funds spent on libraries.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 27, Against 80, Abstentions 7).

Mr Jamie McGrigor moved amendment S2M-594.1 to motion S2M-594—

Insert at end—

“and notes the importance that libraries play in improving literacy rates for people of all ages.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to (DT).

Chris Ballance moved amendment S2M-594.4 to motion S2M-594—

Insert after “facilities”—

“congratulates Scotland’s librarians but notes with concern falling visitor numbers and calls on the Scottish Executive and local authorities to do all they can to reverse this situation; notes that libraries have great potential as community hubs and that their outreach and social inclusion functions are vital and often overlooked and applauds those libraries that are imaginatively tackling these important issues, and further congratulates those libraries that have put their catalogues online and engaged fully with new technology, enabling more of the population to access them,”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to (DT).

The motion as amended was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that this year marks the 150th anniversary of the Public Libraries Act in Scotland; congratulates public libraries on the diverse service they provide and, in particular, commends them for the success of the People’s Network in encouraging even greater use of library facilities, congratulates Scotland’s librarians but notes with concern falling visitor numbers and calls on the Scottish Executive and local authorities to do all they can to reverse this situation; notes that libraries have great potential as community hubs and that their outreach and social inclusion functions are vital and often overlooked and applauds those libraries that are imaginatively tackling these important issues, and further congratulates those libraries that have put their catalogues online and engaged fully with new technology, enabling more of the population to access them; praises local authorities for the part they play in providing this service and notes the importance that libraries play in improving literacy rates for people of all ages.

5.      Business Motion: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-588—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Justice 1 Committee by 24 November 2003 on the Victim Statements (Prescribed Offences) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2003 (SSI 2003/519);

(b) that Stage 1 of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill be completed by 12 March 2004; and

(c) that Stage 1 of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill be completed by 30 January 2004.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Office of the Clerk: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-586—That the Parliament agrees that the Office of the Clerk will be closed on 29, 30 and 31 December 2003.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Suspension of Standing Orders: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-587—That the Parliament agrees that Rules 13.6.4 and 13.6.7 of the Standing Orders be suspended for the purpose of Question Time on Thursday 8 January 2004.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 4, 6, and 7 as noted above.

9.      Women’s Social and Political Union: The Parliament debated S2M-481 in the name of Cathy Peattie—That the Parliament notes that, on 10 October 1903, a group of women met in the Manchester home of Emmeline Pankhurst and founded the Women's Social and Political Union, which became known as the suffragette movement, with the aim of recruiting more working class women into the struggle for the vote and believes that this centenary year should be marked by efforts to promote the participation of women in the democratic process.

The meeting closed at 5.55 pm.

No. 33 Wednesday 19 November 2003

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Mr Alan Sorensen, Minister of Wellpark Mid-Kirk, Greenock led Time for Reflection.

2.      Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-193—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

3.      Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-224—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Parliament resulting from the Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any increase, in consequence of the Act, in expenditure charged on, or payable out of, the Scottish Consolidated Fund.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

4.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-624—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 26 November 2003

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Debate on previous Procedures Committee’s 3rd Report 2003 (Session 1): The Founding Principles of the Scottish Parliament

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 27 November 2003

9.30 am                          Executive Debate on Violence Against Women

12 noon                          First Minister's Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Executive Debate on Physical Activity: the Need for Improvement and the Cost of Failure

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 3 December 2003

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 4 December 2003

9.30 am                          Scottish National Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister's Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Executive Debate on Protecting Bathing Water Quality

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Motion without Notice: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved without notice a motion under Rule 11.2.4 of Standing Orders that Decision Time on Wednesday 19 November 2003 be taken at 4.42 pm.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2 and 3 as noted above.

7.      Fairtrade: The Parliament debated S2M-502 in the name of Sarah Boyack—That the Parliament warmly welcomes moves by the City of Edinburgh Council to endorse the Fairtrade Towns Initiative supported by organisations including Oxfam, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, Traidcraft and the World Development Movement; pays tribute to the Fairtrade Foundation that exists to ensure a better deal for marginalised and disadvantaged producers in developing countries and to ensure that products marked with the Fairtrade logo meet internationally recognised standards of Fairtrade, and acknowledges the commitment of local authorities, churches, schools and universities across Scotland that are working towards achieving the Fairtrade mark. 

The meeting closed at 5.24 pm.

No. 34 Thursday 20 November 2003

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Poverty in Scotland: Carolyn Leckie moved S2M-625—That the Parliament recognises that only in an independent socialist Scotland will the obscene poverty and inequality that scars our nation be permanently tackled; recognises, however, that the limited powers available to it currently must be utilised fully to tackle the root causes of poverty as effectively as possible; accepts that it has complete power over pay and conditions in the public sector which involves almost 500,000 workers; resolves, in order to eradicate low pay and improve working conditions, to introduce a public sector minimum wage set at the internationally recognised European decency threshold and a maximum working week of 35 hours to tackle the socially destructive long hours culture which currently pervades too many Scottish workplaces; believes that a £7.50 per hour minimum wage and 35 hours a week policy funded by the abolition of Scottish Enterprise and full utilisation of existing block grant will eradicate low pay in the public sector and help increase wages in the private sector, and resolves to continue collectively the push for full independence and democratic control over Scotland’s vast wealth and resources to improve the standard and quality of life of all Scotland’s citizens.

The Minister for Communities (Ms Margaret Curran) moved amendment S2M-625.3 to motion S2M-625—

Leave out from first “recognises” to end and insert—

“welcomes the Scottish Executive’s commitment to tackling poverty and disadvantage; notes the Executive’s work towards increasing opportunities through growing the economy including delivering on A Smart, Successful Scotland, delivering excellent public services, particularly in education and health, and through supporting strong communities through community regeneration and focusing on the interests of the individual.”

Stewart Stevenson moved amendment S2M-625.2 to motion S2M-625—

Leave out from first “recognises” to end and insert—

“believes that the implementation of many of the proposals in the Scottish Socialist Party manifesto would only ensure that the unacceptable poverty of the poorest in our society would come to be shared by more of our citizens than at present.”

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-625.1 to motion S2M-625—

Leave out from first “recognises” to end and insert—

“notes that socialism has caused more poverty and human misery than any other political ideology in modern history; further notes that socialist policies, where implemented, have singularly failed to remedy the lack of economic growth that is the root cause of poverty; believes that the best way to tackle poverty is to create a strong, dynamic, free enterprise economy with opportunity for all, and therefore calls upon the Scottish Executive to reduce business rates and ease the burden of water charges on Scottish business thereby taking the first steps towards improving the Scottish economy.”

After debate amendment S2M-625.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 36, Abstentions 15).  As a result amendments S2M-625.2 and S2M-625.1 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 36, Abstentions 18).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s commitment to tackling poverty and disadvantage; notes the Executive’s work towards increasing opportunities through growing the economy including delivering on A Smart, Successful Scotland, delivering excellent public services, particularly in education and health, and through supporting strong communities through community regeneration and focusing on the interests of the individual.

2.      World Peace: Frances Curran moved S2M-618—That the Parliament opposes the state visit to the UK by George W Bush; deplores the complicity and subservience of the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who now shares the responsibility for the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis and dozens of British service personnel; considers that the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament were deceived into backing an illegal, immoral and unjustified war; believes that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned the world into a more dangerous and unstable place than ever before; agrees to send messages of support to the many thousands of protestors participating in the “Stop Bush” UK national demonstrations in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and recommends that the International Court of Justice should place George W Bush and Tony Blair on trial for war crimes.

Mr John Home Robertson moved amendment S2M-618.3 to motion S2M-618—

Leave out from “opposes” to end and insert—

“supports all those who are working for world peace and the extension of democracy; reasserts its support for the route map to peace in the Middle East; believes that the contribution of UK service personnel, including those from Scotland, should be commended, and expresses its sympathy to the families of those members of the armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country and in the pursuit of world peace.”

Mike Rumbles moved amendment S2M-618.3.1 to amendment S2M-618.3—

Leave out from “reasserts” to end and insert—

“acknowledges the deep feeling aroused by the State visit of the US President George W Bush; believes that initiating military action in Iraq without a clear UN mandate was wrong, and recognises the opportunity presented by the visit to make clear the public’s wish that those who initiated the war have a duty, under the supervision of the UN, to make Iraq safe and give its people the opportunity of a democratic future, that the British citizens in Guantanamo Bay are either charged and receive a fair trial or are sent home to face justice within the UK, and that the promise to continue the unremitting search for peace in the Middle East with security for Israel and justice for the Palestinians must be honoured.”

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S2M-618.2 to motion S2M-618—

Leave out from “opposes” to end and insert—

“regrets the State visit to the UK by George W Bush at a time when civilian and military casualties in Iraq continue to rise; condemns the decision by George W Bush and Tony Blair to pursue an illegal war in Iraq on the basis of false and misleading information; considers that US military command in Iraq should be passed to the United Nations and that the process of handing over control of the country to a democratic government should be accelerated in the interests of the Iraqi people rather than the re-election prospects of George W Bush; believes that the total disregard of the current US administration for the views of the international community, as illustrated by its stance on Iraq, the Kyoto Treaty, the International Criminal Court and its abuse of human rights at Guantanamo Bay, poses a threat to world peace, and calls on Tony Blair to raise these issues in the strongest possible terms with George W Bush during his visit to the UK.”

Phil Gallie moved amendment S2M-618.1 to motion S2M-618—

Leave out from “opposes” to end and insert—

“welcomes the state visit to the UK of the democratically elected President of the United States of America, recognises the close ties that have existed between governments and peoples of the UK and USA in times of world war, cold war and peace, and believes that without that level of co-operation there would be no free world as we know it today.”

After debate, amendment S2M-618.3.1 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 52, Against 61, Abstentions 3).

Amendment S2M-618.3 was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 77, Against 35, Abstentions 4).  As a result amendments S2M-618.2 and S2M-618.1 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 76, Against 13, Abstentions 26).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports all those who are working for world peace and the extension of democracy; reasserts its support for the route map to peace in the Middle East; believes that the contribution of UK service personnel, including those from Scotland, should be commended, and expresses its sympathy to the families of those members of the armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country and in the pursuit of world peace.

3.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

4.      Ministerial Statement: The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (Mr Tom McCabe) made a statement on dental services in Scotland, and answered questions on the statement.

5.      Question Time: Questions were answered by Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6.      Progress in Respect of Fuel Poverty in Scotland: The Minister for Communities (Ms Margaret Curran) moved S2M-627—That the Parliament welcomes the new fuel poverty figures from the Scottish House Condition Survey 2002 as good news for Scotland; endorses the Scottish Executive’s current fuel poverty programmes, and reaffirms the commitment to eradicate fuel poverty as far as reasonably practicable by 2016.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-627.3 to motion S2M-627—

Leave out from “endorses” to end and insert—

“recognises that in energy rich Scotland one in six households are still suffering fuel poverty, and believes that in order to help meet the Scottish Executive’s commitment to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016, the central heating programme should be extended to families with young children, people with disabilities and pensioners with inadequate heating.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 36, Against 63, Abstentions 17).

Mary Scanlon moved amendment S2M-627.2 to motion S2M-627—

Insert at end—

“and recognises that the single biggest contributor to a reduction in fuel poverty was the privatisation of the utilities by Conservative governments at Westminster.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 97, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

7.      Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Communities (Mrs Mary Mulligan) moved S2M-543—That the Parliament endorses the principle of including in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill provisions to remove Crown immunity from planning controls for development and agrees that the relevant provisions to achieve this end should be considered by the UK Parliament.

Patrick Harvie moved amendment S2M-543.1 to motion S2M-543—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, expresses its concerns over several provisions contained in the Bill, namely those relating to national security, urgency and enforcement; believes that these provisions could face objectors with a greater disadvantage in Crown planning cases than they are faced with in private planning cases, and considers that the UK Parliament should address these issues during its consideration of the Bill.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 35, Against 80, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 87, Against 4, Abstentions 24).

8.      Membership of Committee: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-620—That the Parliament agrees that Tommy Sheridan be appointed to replace Rosie Kane on the Local Government and Transport Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-621—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (Orkney) (No.4) (Scotland) Order 2003 (SSI 2003/501) be approved.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 87, Against 1, Abstentions 27).

10.    Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-622—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Agricultural Holdings (Consequential Amendments) (Scotland) Order 2003 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11.    Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-623—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2003 Amendment (No.2) Order 2003 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

12.    Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 as noted above.

13.    Review of Maternity Services in Glasgow: The Parliament debated S2M-511 in the name of Sandra White—That the Parliament notes the decision of Greater Glasgow Health Board to endorse the recommendations of the maternity working group to close the Queen Mother’s Hospital and transfer services to the Southern General Hospital; further notes the concerns of the public and hospital health professionals at the closure of the Queen Mother’s Hospital and subsequently services at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and the adverse effect that this will have on maternity and children’s services throughout Scotland, and considers that the Minister for Health and Community Care, Malcolm Chisholm, should launch an immediate investigation into the maternity services review by Greater Glasgow Health Board.

14.    Motion without Notice: Murray Tosh moved without notice a motion under Rule 8.14.3 that the Parliament agrees that Members’ Business on 20 November 2003 be extended by 15 minutes.

The meeting closed at 6.16 pm.

 

No. 35 Wednesday 26 November 2003

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Father Thomas Boyle, Parish Priest of St Joseph’s, Wemyss Bay led Time for Reflection

2.      Previous Procedures Committee’s 3rd Report 2003 (Session 1) – The Founding Principles of the Scottish Parliament: Karen Gillon moved S2M-603—That the Parliament takes note of the previous Procedures Committee’s 3rd Report, 2003 (Session 1), The Founding Principles of the Scottish Parliament (SP Paper 818); continues to endorse the four principles of access and participation, equal opportunities, accountability and power sharing as the guiding principles for the Parliament, and encourages all members to play a part in applying these principles throughout the range of their Parliamentary work.

After debate, the motion was agree to (DT).

3.      Business Motion: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-657—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 3 December 2003

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate on Modernising Access to Legal Advice, Information and Representation

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 4 December 2003

9.30 am                          Scottish National Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Executive Debate on Protecting Bathing Water Quality

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 10 December 2003

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate on Fisheries 2004

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 11 December 2003

9.30 am                          Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Preliminary Stage Debate on Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

After debate, the motion was agreed to (by division: For 71, Against 31, Abstentions 0).

4.      Designation of Lead Committee: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-652—That the Parliament agrees that the Communities Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Fire Sprinklers in Residential Premises (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

5.      Approval of SSI: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-653—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 Amendment (Scotland) Order 2003 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6.      Designation of Lead Committee: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-654—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Sheriff Officers) 2003 (SSI 2003/538).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 4, 5 and 6 as noted above.

8.      European Parliament Seat Numbers: The Parliament debated S2M-553 in the name of Nicola Sturgeon—That the Parliament notes the reduction of UK seats in the European Parliament from 87 to 78 to accommodate enlargement of the EU; welcomes the accession of 10 new countries in 2004; believes, however, that Scotland, with no seat on the Council of Europe, no Commissioners and fewer MEPs than comparably-sized independent member states, has little enough influence in the EU, and therefore believes that the Scottish Executive should resist the reduction in Scotland’s MEPs from eight to seven.

The meeting closed at 5.57 pm.

No. 36 Thursday 27 November 2003

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Violence Against Women: The Minister for Communities (Ms Margaret Curran) moved S2M-660—That the Parliament approves the continuing progress made in implementing the National Strategy to Address Domestic Abuse in Scotland by raising awareness of the issue and increasing the protection of women and children experiencing domestic abuse and the services available to them and welcomes the work of the National Group to Address Violence Against Women in tackling this unacceptable behaviour.

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S2M-660.2 to motion S2M-660—

Leave out from “approves” to end and insert—

“deplores the fact that while over 36,000 women reported a domestic abuse incident to the police in the last 12 months, over half of the incidents did not lead to the recording of a crime or offence and only 66% of those recorded were referred to the procurator fiscal; is appalled at recent research which shows that Scotland has a prosecution rate of 10% and a conviction rate of 6% following rape allegations, the second poorest conviction rate in Europe; welcomes the “prevention, protection, provision” theme of the National Strategy to Address Domestic Abuse in Scotland and work done to date, but believes that the Scottish Executive must consider what action could reasonably be taken to improve dramatically prosecution and conviction rates for rape and other cases of violence against women.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 30, Against 72, Abstentions 8).

Miss Annabel Goldie moved amendment S2M-660.1 to motion S2M-660—

Insert at end—

“but notes with grave concern the escalating pattern of repeat victimisation highlighting the fact that more and more victims are trapped in abusive situations.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 44, Against 67, Abstentions 1).

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-660.3 to motion S2M-660—

Insert at end—

“but urges the Scottish Executive to consider making an equally strong commitment to tackle rape and sexual abuse.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to (DT).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament approves the continuing progress made in implementing the National Strategy to Address Domestic Abuse in Scotland by raising awareness of the issue and increasing the protection of women and children experiencing domestic abuse and the services available to them and welcomes the work of the National Group to Address Violence Against Women in tackling this unacceptable behaviour but urges the Scottish Executive to consider making an equally strong commitment to tackle rape and sexual abuse.

2.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

3.      Question Time: Questions were answered Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4.      Physical Activity – The Need for Improvement and the Cost of Failure: The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-661—That the Parliament acknowledges the significance of the Scottish Executive’s physical activity strategy Let’s Make Scotland More Active as the approach to tackling the serious, nationwide problem of inactivity; acknowledges the need for urgency and the action taken thus far to tackle inactivity in Scotland as part of the Executive’s wide-reaching programme to improve health in Scotland; welcomes the Executive’s plans to emphasise walking as the means of increasing levels of physical activity in Scotland, and supports the Executive’s intentions to secure national leadership for physical activity in Scotland.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-661.2 to motion S2M-661—

Insert after first “physical activity in Scotland”—

“; recognises that the physical activity levels amongst children and adults would be enhanced by improved provision and access to community sports facilities”.

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 37, Against 60, Abstentions 15).

Mr David Davidson moved amendment S2M-661.1 to motion S2M-661—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes the Executive’s plans to emphasise walking as one of the means to increase levels of physical activity; encourages people to take more responsibility for their own health and that of their family; calls for more access to organised sport in schools and the community, and further calls on the Executive to provide more support for the voluntary sector, which provides a huge variety of sporting opportunities for children and adults alike”.

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 41, Against 63, Abstentions 8).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 97, Against 14, Abstentions 1).

5.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-651—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that the Justice 1 Committee report to the Justice 2 Committee by 5 December 2003 on the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Sheriff Officers) 2003 (SSI 2003/538); and

(b) that Stage 2 of the Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill be completed by 12 December 2003.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1 and 4 as noted above.

7.      World Aids Day: The Parliament debated S2M-564 in the name of Des McNulty—That the Parliament acknowledges the importance of World AIDS Day, 1 December 2003, both for Scotland and for all those nations and peoples most affected by the spread of HIV/AIDS; notes the need to combat HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination which is highlighted by this year’s theme, “Do you have time?”; further notes that there are now over 42 million people living with HIV/AIDS, including 50,000 people in the UK and nearly 4,000 people in Scotland; recognises that women account for half of those infected with HIV/AIDS and there are more than 13.2 million AIDS orphans; notes the importance of practical assistance for the poorer countries devastated by HIV/AIDS; believes that pharmaceutical companies and governments should take the steps necessary to allow access to appropriate antiviral treatments to all those who need them; congratulates and applauds all of the agencies that work with those living with HIV/AIDS in Scotland, the UK and worldwide, and encourages each MSP to raise awareness about the disease and work towards its global eradication.

The meeting closed at 5.59 pm.

No. 37 Wednesday 3 December 2003

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Reverend Marion Chatterley, Waverley Care, Chaplain to people living with HIV led Time for Reflection.

2.      Modernising Access to Legal Advice, Information and Representation: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-685—That the Parliament notes the progress made to date on modernising access to legal advice, information and representation; agrees the importance of increasing access to justice through a better and more consistent provision of legal information and advice throughout Scotland, and welcomes the strategic review of the delivery of legal aid, advice and information as a means of ensuring a better and more efficient public service in line with the needs of Scottish citizens.

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S2M-685.2 to motion S2M-685—

Insert at end—

“, but expresses concern that the reality for far too many people in need of legal advice, information and representation still falls far short of this standard, that availability of high quality legal advice and representation for people who cannot afford to pay for it is less accessible now than previously, and that access to advice and assistance from non-legally qualified providers, which in many circumstances is more appropriate than access to a solicitor, remains needlessly fragmented and geographically inconsistent due to a failure to build on best practice where it exists.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 36, Against 74, Abstentions 0).

Miss Annabel Goldie moved amendment S2M-685.1 to motion S2M-685—

Insert at end—

“; acknowledges, however, that improving confidence in our justice system means more than ensuring that people get legal advice, but is about creating a system of criminal justice in Scotland which works and in which the public has confidence, and therefore calls for an end to delays in cases coming to court, an end to automatic release of prisoners and the introduction of proper public accountability within our police forces.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 12, Against 97, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 86, Against 0, Abstentions 24).

3.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-692—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 10 December 2003

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate on Fisheries 2004

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 11 December 2003

9.30 am                          Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Preliminary Stage Debate on Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 17 December 2003

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Finance Committee Debate on Stage 2 of the 2004-05 Budget Process

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 18 December 2003

9.30 am                          Executive Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

After debate, the motion was agreed to (by division: For 67, Against 33, Abstentions 10).

4.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-687—That the Parliament agrees that the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (Grants) (Scotland) Amendment Scheme 2003 (SSI 2003/518) be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

5.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-688—That the Parliament agrees that the Mink Keeping (Scotland) Order 2003 (SSI 2003/528) be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 4 and 5 as noted above.

7.      Galloway Fisheries Inshore Exclusion Zone: The Parliament debated S2M-241 in the name of Alex Fergusson—That the Parliament  notes with concern the threat to the fisheries within Luce Bay and Wigtown Bay in Galloway posed by recent exploitation of the fisheries by a “supercrabber” and the consequential threat to the 20 local livelihoods that these fisheries sustain; further notes that any future expeditions by industrial vessels of this nature will inevitably deplete available stocks to unsustainable levels, and therefore believes that the Scottish Executive should introduce a three-mile exclusion zone for all vessels over 40 feet to cover both of these bays thereby safeguarding both the stocks and the jobs that they sustain.

The meeting closed at 5.51 pm.

No. 38 Thursday 4 December 2003

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Financial Powers of the Scottish Parliament: Mr John Swinney moved S2M-697—That the Parliament recognises that, in order to be properly accountable to the electorate, it should be responsible for raising its revenue as well as spending public money and agrees that making every country follow the same tax rules diminishes competitiveness by killing jobs and stifling growth.

The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Services (Tavish Scott) moved amendment S2M-697.3 to motion S2M-697—

Leave out from second “that” to end and insert—

“the significant benefit that Scotland gains from being part of the United Kingdom and notes that public expenditure in Scotland is at record levels and that this is helping to deliver the commitments in the Partnership Agreement to growing Scotland’s economy; delivering excellent public services; supporting stronger, safer communities; and developing a confident, democratic Scotland.”

David McLetchie moved amendment S2M-697.2 to motion S2M-697—

Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—

“notes that it will only regain the confidence of the people of Scotland if it addresses the issues of most concern to them and that we must therefore concentrate on improving our public services, strengthening our economy and tackling crime; recognises nevertheless that the relative responsibilities of the Parliament and Westminster, including the financial relationship, should be the subject of review in light of experience; calls for such a review to be conducted within the context of making the devolved settlement work better and thereby strengthening the United Kingdom, and believes that the most appropriate mechanism for such a review would be a Royal Commission or similar independent inquiry appointed by the UK government.”

Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S2M-697.1 to motion S2M-697—

Leave out from “making” to end and insert—

“acquiring additional powers to tax as well as spend would allow the Parliament to make the Scottish taxation structure much more progressive, begin the process of tackling the inequalities of wealth in Scotland and ending poverty; recognises, however, that fiscal autonomy alone would not overcome the serious distortions of the Scottish economy caused by our being part of the United Kingdom and will not allow the Parliament to stop the profligate expenditure of the UK government on immoral and illegal wars against the wishes of its people, nor the ongoing expenditure on weapons of mass destruction as typified by nuclear weapons at Faslane, and that it would still have insufficient fiscal powers to broaden its tax base and invigorate its economy and culture by adopting a policy of welcoming to Scotland the asylum seekers and other immigrants who it requires, and further agrees that only an independent Scotland will give the Scottish Parliament the powers to tackle these economic and social issues.”

After debate amendment S2M-697.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 50, Abstentions 1).  As a result amendment S2M-697.1 was pre-empted.

After debate amendment S2M-697.2 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 14, Against 100, Abstentions 0).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 49, Abstentions 16).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the significant benefit that Scotland gains from being part of the United Kingdom and notes that public expenditure in Scotland is at record levels and that this is helping to deliver the commitments in the Partnership Agreement to growing Scotland’s economy; delivering excellent public services; supporting stronger, safer communities; and developing a confident, democratic Scotland.

2.      European Parliament Seat Numbers: Nicola Sturgeon moved S2M-694—That the Parliament supports the European and External Relations Committee’s unanimous call for Scotland to retain eight Members of the European Parliament.

The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Services (Tavish Scott) moved amendment S2M-694.1 to motion S2M-694—

Leave out from “supports” to end and insert—

“welcomes the accession of the 10 new member states of the European Union on 1 May 2004; notes that the elections to the European parliament are a reserved matter; recognises that all 15 existing member states have agreed to reduce their quota of MEPs to enable the new member states to be represented on an equitable basis; notes the consequent reduction of United Kingdom seats in the European Parliament from 87 to 78, and considers that this is appropriate given the enlargement of the European Union.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 36, Abstentions 14).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 77, Against 35, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the accession of the 10 new member states of the European Union on 1 May 2004; notes that the elections to the European parliament are a reserved matter; recognises that all 15 existing member states have agreed to reduce their quota of MEPs to enable the new member states to be represented on an equitable basis; notes the consequent reduction of United Kingdom seats in the European Parliament from 87 to 78, and considers that this is appropriate given the enlargement of the European Union.

3.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

4.      Question Time: Questions were answered by Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5.      Protecting Bathing Water Quality: The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson) moved S2M-695—That the Parliament commends the results achieved during the 2003 bathing season for Scotland’s designated bathing waters; welcomes the Scottish Executive’s continued commitment to place the environment at the forefront of our strategy for protecting our bathing waters; acknowledges the importance of continuing to strive to achieve best value from the considerable investment that Scotland is applying, which in turn enhances Scotland’s tourist credentials, and endorses the partnership approach taken by the Executive to work with all sectors to reduce pollution to the water environment.

Roseanna Cunningham moved amendment S2M-695.3 to motion S2M-695—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“but believes that this is only one component in a larger concern about the marine environment that must be addressed urgently if the commitment to improving Scotland’s natural environment overall is to be realised.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 44, Against 61, Abstentions 6).

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S2M-695.1 to motion S2M-695—

Leave out from “commends” to end and insert—

“notes the continuing improvement in bathing water quality in Scotland but believes that further progress is now dependent on addressing the limitations of Scottish Water and the planning system.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 73, Abstentions 1).

Mr Mark Ruskell moved amendment S2M-695.4 to motion S2M-695—

Leave out from “commends” to end and insert—

“notes that while 2003 represents a record year for compliance with the Bathing Water Directive, some of Scotland’s best bathing locations still fail to meet minimum standards; notes that compliance with the higher standards required by a revised European Directive will place further demands upon Scottish Water, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and other bodies with responsibilities for water quality; further notes that other legislation also impacts on Scotland’s bathing water quality, and urges the Scottish Executive to be mindful of these considerations and of the importance of integrated coastal zone management when it consults on the best strategy for protecting and enhancing Scotland’s coastline.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 51, Against 62, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 78, Against 3, Abstentions 33).

6.      Business Motion: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-686—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that Stage 1 of the Local Governance (Scotland) Bill be completed by 2 April 2004; and

(b) that Stage 1 of the National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill be completed by 5 March 2004.

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2 and 5 as noted above.

8.      Unity Enterprise Glasgow Airport: The Parliament debated S2M-578 in the name of Trish Godman—That the Parliament commends Unity Enterprise, a registered charity, which provides education, training, work experience and other assistance to young people and adults who have disabilities and disadvantages of one kind or another; notes in particular the helpful and practical assistance given by a group of such young people and adults to passengers at Glasgow Airport, especially the help shown to those individuals who have to use wheelchairs, in relation to shopping requirements, visits to cafes and toilets and the company offered to passengers in allocated areas; believes that this is both a comfort to travellers and offers a useful introduction to the workplace for those who are themselves disadvantaged, and therefore considers that the Scottish Executive and other appropriate agencies should do what they can in order to extend similar services to other airports, bus terminals and railway stations.

The meeting closed at 5.47 pm.

No. 39 Wednesday 10 December 2003

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Mrs Janette Baird, Vice Convener of the Priority Areas Committee, Castlemilk, Glasgow led Time for Reflection.

2.      Fisheries 2004: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-715—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Executive in its efforts to negotiate the best possible outcome from the EU Fisheries Council in December 2003 that delivers sustainable fisheries management, sustainable fisheries and sustainable fishing businesses based on total allowable catches and effort controls that are both fair and effective.

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-715.4 to motion S2M-715—

Insert at end—

“but believes that the Common Fisheries Policy has failed and that it is in the interests of our fishing communities and fisheries conservation that fishing policy is repatriated to Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 29, Against 89, Abstentions 1).

Mr Ted Brocklebank moved amendment S2M-715.1 to motion S2M-715—

Leave out from second “that” to end and insert—

“in contrast to last year’s negotiations which saw draconian cutbacks in white fish quotas with accompanying hardship for our coastal communities and urges the Executive to support the view of the vast majority of Scottish fishermen that it is time to end the discredited Common Fisheries Policy and to regain national control of UK waters.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 43, Against 75, Abstentions 1).

Robin Harper moved amendment S2M-715.3 to motion S2M-715—

Insert at end—

“; believes that effort controls need to include limits to the total fishing capacity of the fleet, the establishment of regeneration areas, tighter controls over industrial fisheries and the widespread adoption of independent observers at sea and in ports as part of a European Union-wide recovery plan, and further believes that annual bartering is a fundamentally inappropriate approach to the sustainable management of fisheries and that multi-annual management planning is essential.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 13, Against 82, Abstentions 24).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

3.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-720—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 17 December 2003

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Ministerial Statement

followed by                      Finance Committee Debate on Stage 2 of the 2004-05 Budget Process

followed by                      Financial Resolution in respect of Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 18 December 2003

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motion

followed by                      Stage 3 of the Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Conclusion of Stage 3 of the Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 7 January 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate on the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 8 January 2004

9.30 am                          Executive Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Bruce Crawford moved amendment S2M-720.1 to motion S2M-720—

Under “Thursday 8 January 2004”, after “9.30 am”, leave out “Executive Business” and insert—

“Debate on Future of Health Service in Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to (by division: For 30, Against 81, Abstentions 8).

The motion was then agreed to (by division: For 90, Against 25, Abstentions 4).

4.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-717—That the Parliament agrees that The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.11) (Scotland) Order 2003 (SSI 2003/561) be approved.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 73, Against 22, Abstentions 24).

5.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2 and 4 as noted above.

6.      Laurencekirk Railway Station: The Parliament debated S2M-600 in the name of Mike Rumbles—That the Parliament welcomes the recent announcement made by Aberdeenshire Council and Scotrail on the possibility of reopening Laurencekirk Station; recognises the support in Laurencekirk and the north east as a whole for the station’s reopening; notes the Scottish Executive’s commitment to encouraging the increased use of rail transport as an alternative to the car, and encourages Aberdeenshire Council, Scotrail and the Scottish Executive to continue to make progress towards the station’s reopening.

The meeting closed at 5.58 pm.

No. 40 Thursday 11 December 2003

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Reform of Public Services: David McLetchie moved S2M-718—That the Parliament acknowledges the increased levels of spending on our public services, but notes that this has not been reflected in improved standards of service; recognises that fundamental reform is needed of public services in Scotland to achieve the standards of many other European countries and provide value for money for our taxpayers; calls, therefore, on the Scottish Executive to give patients genuine choice over the treatment they receive, establish foundation hospitals within the NHS in Scotland and promote the development of, and partnership with, the independent sector; calls on the Executive to expand choice and diversity in education by enabling taxpayers’ money to follow children to the schools of their parents’ choice and develop a network of state-funded but independently managed schools, and further calls on the Executive to enhance local accountability in respect of the provision of police services by the direct election of conveners of police boards.

The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) moved amendment S2M-718.3 to motion S2M-718—

Leave out from “acknowledges” to end and insert—

“supports the radical, demanding and relevant agenda set out in A Partnership for a Better Scotland including the delivery of excellent public services that put patients, pupils and victims first, ensure equality of access across urban and rural Scotland, devolve decision-making to frontline staff, establish national standards on which local excellence can be built, backed by inspection, and share best practice and action to tackle and turn around poor performance.”

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-718.1 to motion S2M-718—

Leave out from “acknowledges” to end and insert—

“rejects the proposals by the Conservative Party to privatise our public services and deplores the continued use of PPP/PFI to fund our public services by the current Labour/Liberal Democrat Scottish Executive; believes that the developing crisis in the NHS will only be addressed by increasing the capacity of the NHS to treat more patients and reduce waiting times through effective policies to recruit and retain staff within the NHS in Scotland, and calls for a national debate on the way forward for the health service in Scotland.”

Carolyn Leckie moved amendment S2M-718.2 to motion S2M-718—

Leave out from the second “the” to end and insert—

“the crucial role played by low-paid public sector workers in delivering high quality services in often stressful situations; notes however, that they are poorly rewarded for their efforts; recognises that the time has come for radical reform of public services so that they can play a fuller role in eradicating poverty and social exclusion; believes, therefore, that the Scottish Executive should reverse the privatisation of public services involved in PFI and PPP and ensure that all public services are directing their main efforts into reducing the inequalities caused by poverty and discrimination, and further believes that the Executive should introduce a £7.50 an hour minimum pay level for all public sector workers in Scotland, call a moratorium on the centralisation of hospital services which reduces access to maternity, accident and emergency and other health services for those living in our most deprived and isolated communities and instigate a full, democratic and inclusive public debate to establish the real health needs of communities and the resources and measures required to meet those needs.”

After debate, amendment S2M-718.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 48, Abstentions 1).  As a result amendments S2M-718.1 and S2M-718.2 were pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 51, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the radical, demanding and relevant agenda set out in A Partnership for a Better Scotland including the delivery of excellent public services that put patients, pupils and victims first, ensure equality of access across urban and rural Scotland, devolve decision-making to frontline staff, establish national standards on which local excellence can be built, backed by inspection, and share best practice and action to tackle and turn around poor performance.

2.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

3.      Question Time: Questions were answered by Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4.      Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill – Preliminary Stage:  Bill Butler, on behalf of the Stirling–Alloa–Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill Committee, moved S2M-711—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill and that the Bill should proceed as a Private Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

5.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1 and 4 as noted above.

6.      20 mph Speed Zones Around Schools: The Parliament debated S2M-615 in the name of Bill Butler—That the Parliament congratulates Glasgow City Council on its decision to introduce mandatory 20 mph speed limits outside every school in Glasgow; hopes that other local authorities will follow Glasgow City Council’s example in trying to improve the safety of pupils travelling to and from school, and views this as a significant and welcome step in implementing the Scottish Executive’s commitment to improve Scotland’s record on road traffic accidents, in particular the objective of cutting the number of young people killed and injured on roads each year.
The meeting closed at 5.54 pm.

No. 41 Wednesday 17 December 2003

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: The Right Reverend Michael Henley, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane led Time for Reflection.

2.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Finance and Public Services (Mr Andy Kerr) made a statement on the local government finance settlement, and answered questions on the statement.

3.      2004-05 Budget Process: Des McNulty, on behalf of the Finance Committee, moved S2M-716—That the Parliament notes the 4th Report 2003 (Session 2) of the Finance Committee, Stage 2 of the 2004-05 Budget Process (SP Paper 62).

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

4.      Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill – Financial Resolution: The Minister for Transport (Nicol Stephen) moved S2M-733—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill, agrees to any increase in expenditure payable out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

5.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-738—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 7 January 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate on the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution in respect of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 8 January 2004

9.30 am                          Executive Debate on Delivering a Quick, Effective Youth Justice System

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Executive Debate on Improving Scotland’s Homes

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-734—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2003 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-735—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 (Designation of Scotland River Basin District) Order 2003 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 3, 4, 6 and 7 as noted above.

9.      Access to Children’s Therapy Services in North East Scotland: The Parliament debated S2M-647 in the name of Richard Lochhead—That the Parliament notes with great concern the problems facing children with special needs in Aberdeenshire and elsewhere with regard to accessing vital physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and orthotics; further notes the difficulties of recruiting speech and language therapists in the north east of Scotland and that the speech and language therapy training courses are located in the central belt and are oversubscribed; further notes that those staff currently in place do a tremendous job given the strain that they are being placed under, and considers that the Scottish Executive should (a) make greater funding available for these courses, (b) promote the location of a speech and language therapy training course in the north east, (c) provide funding for training and employment of additional orthotic staff and technicians in the north east and (d) provide additional funding to NHS Grampian and Aberdeenshire Council to allow short-term solutions to be quickly implemented to improve the immediate situation.

The meeting closed at 5.49 pm.

No. 42 Thursday 18 December 2003

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm) made a statement on development in vCJD, and answered questions on the statement.

2.      Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill – Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-747—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill, debate on each part of the proceedings shall be brought to a conclusion by the time limits indicated (each time limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when a meeting of the Parliament is suspended)

            Group 1 – no later than 1 hour and 30 minutes
            Groups 2 and 3 – no later than 2 hours
            Groups 4 and 5 – no later than 2 hours and 30 minutes

            Motion to pass the Bill – no later than 3 hours and 50 minutes

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to (without division): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            16        (For 4, Against 92, Abstentions 6)
            17        (For 5, Against 92, Abstentions 6)
            18        (For 5, Against 98, Abstentions 0)

4.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

5.      Question Time: Questions were answered by Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6.      Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm) moved S2M-698—That the Parliament   agrees that the Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill be passed.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-698.1 to motion S2M-698—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, is concerned that rural practices unable to opt out of out-of-hours services will have serious difficulty in recruiting new doctors and therefore believes that it is imperative that the Scottish Executive ensures that NHS boards honour the principles of the Patient Services Guarantee in all areas, in particular in securing assistance for single-handed GP practices in the provision of out-of-hours services to remote and rural Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 33, Against 66, Abstentions 15).

Mr David Davidson moved amendment S2M-698.2 to motion S2M-698—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, expresses concern that the delivery of the objectives of the Bill requires scrutiny of all draft regulations by the Health Committee before they are laid before the Parliament.”

After debate the amendment was, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn.

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 110, Against 5, Abstentions 0).

7.      Motion without Notice: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved without notice a motion under Rule 11.2.4 of Standing Orders that Decision Time on Thursday 18 December be taken at 3.50 pm.

8.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on item 4 as noted above.

9.      Edinburgh’s Proposals for Congestion Charging: The Parliament debated S2M-365 in the name of Bristow Muldoon—That the Parliament notes that the draft congestion charging scheme approved by the City of Edinburgh Council proposes to exempt Edinburgh residents who live outwith the proposed outer cordon from paying a congestion charge, whilst still proposing to levy a charge on residents of other local authorities; believes that such a proposal is discriminatory and unfair, thus failing to meet the requirement of "fair treatment" emphasised by the Scottish Executive in giving approval in principle to a charging scheme, and therefore considers that the Scottish Executive should reject any subsequent proposal from the City of Edinburgh Council which is based on this form of charging regime.

10.    Motion without Notice: Robin Harper moved without notice a motion under Rule 8.14.3 that the Parliament agrees that Members’ Business on 18 December 2003 be extended by up to 30 minutes.

The meeting closed at 5.04 pm.

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