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Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

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No. 43 Wednesday 7 January 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-759—That the Parliament agrees a revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 7 January 2004, as agreed on 17 December 2003—

after—

2.30pm                         Time for Reflection  - Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh

followed by                    Parliamentary Bureau Motions

insert—

followed by                    Ministerial Statement on Fisheries

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) made a statement on Fisheries, and answered questions on the statement.

4.      Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-425—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill.

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

5.      Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-500—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Nature Conservation (Scotland) 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).

6.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-760—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business— 

Wednesday 14 January 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate on Developing a Sexual Health and Relationship Strategy for Scotland

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 15 January 2004

9.30 am                          European and External Relations Committee Debate on the European Commission’s Work Programme for 2004

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Executive Debate on Protection of Emergency Workers

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 21 January 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Debate on Environment and Rural Development Committee’s 4th Report 2003 (Session 2):  Inquiry into the National Waste Plan

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 22 January 2004

9.30 am                          Scottish National Party 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

The motion was agreed to.

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

8.      Closure of Holy Trinity Episcopal Primary School: The Parliament debated S2M-702 in the name of Mr Brian Monteith—That the Parliament regrets the decision of Stirling Council’s ruling Labour administration to close Holy Trinity Episcopal Primary School in the top of the town area of the city; notes that the council has failed to listen to the wishes of parents, the local community and those involved in the school as recorded in its report on its own consultation exercise; believes that Stirling Council has therefore failed to make an adequate case for the closure of the school, and further believes that the Scottish Executive should use its powers over the closure of denominational schools to ask the council to find a way to keep the school open.

The meeting closed at 5.45 pm.

No. 44 Thursday 8 January 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Delivering a Quick, Effective Youth Justice System: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-762—That the Parliament recognises the importance of dealing quickly, firmly and effectively with the minority of young people who offend; acknowledges that progress has been made by local authorities and partners in the statutory and voluntary sectors to encourage rehabilitation, prevent reoffending and tackle and reduce youth crime, but recognises that further work must be done to ensure that the quality of life in our communities continues to improve.

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S2M-762.2 to motion S2M-762—

Leave out from "acknowledges" to end and insert—

“however notes with concern the contents of the Audit Scotland report, Dealing with offending by young people, published in November 2003, that too many children placed on supervision for reasons of offending are not receiving the required level of service and considers that efforts to encourage rehabilitation and prevent re-offending are being undermined as a result; further notes that the shortage of places in secure units constrains the ability of children's hearings to make the most appropriate decisions, and considers that the Scottish Executive must guard against complacency and redouble its efforts to provide both the leadership and resources that will enable its partners in local authorities and the voluntary and statutory sectors to make the progress required to deliver an appreciable reduction in youth crime.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 37, Against 77, Abstentions 1).

Miss Annabel Goldie moved amendment S2M-762.1 to motion S2M-762—

Insert at end;

“; in particular considers that at the heart of effective youth justice is the Children’s Hearings system; calls, therefore, for the Children’s Hearings system to be better resourced with a wider range of disposals in order that hearings can perform a more effective role in relation to youth justice and assist in the wider function of community mediation, and further calls on the Scottish Executive to alleviate the burden on the Children’s Hearings system by sending persistent 14 and 15-year-old offenders to youth courts, while keeping 16 and 17-year-olds in adult courts.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 13, Against 101, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 84, Against 0, Abstentions 31).

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.      Improving Scotland’s Homes: The Minister for Communities (Ms Margaret Curran) moved S2M-761—That the Parliament welcomes the report of the Housing Improvement Task Force and believes that its adoption will make a major contribution to the delivery of good quality, sustainable and affordable housing for all in Scotland.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-761.3 to motion S2M-761—

Insert at end—

“and calls on the Scottish Executive to bring forward a timetable for the implementation of the task force recommendations and to ensure that the necessary resources are made available for their implementation.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 51, Against 63, Abstentions 1).

Mary Scanlon moved amendment S2M-761.1 to motion S2M-761—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes the report of the Housing Improvement Task Force; recognises that housing stock transfer to community-based housing associations gives tenants far more say in the way their housing is run, giving tenants greater rights and responsibilities, and therefore believes that, to improve the standard of housing for everyone in Scotland, it is necessary to step up the process of devolving control of housing from local authorities to community-based housing associations, housing co-operatives or a range of other providers to give tenants a real choice of landlord and a real say in the management of their homes.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 100, Abstentions 0).

Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S2M-761.2 to motion S2M-761—

Leave out from “will” to end and insert—

“and implementation will make a contribution to the delivery of good quality, sustainable and affordable housing for all in Scotland; notes, however, the net loss of 103,000 homes from local authority housing stock since 1997; believes that such ongoing loss is unsustainable, and calls for a replacement of the right to buy scheme with a right to rent discount scheme to reward long-term tenants while protecting local authority and housing association stock and for the implementation of a programme of sustained investment in local authority housebuilding to build at least 10,000 new units a year to reverse the disastrous decline in the availability of affordable social housing.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 13, Against 102, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).
5.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1 and 4 as noted above.

6.      Horse Racing Industry in Scotland: The Parliament debated S2M-474 in the name of Susan Deacon—That the Parliament recognises the significant contribution that the horse racing industry makes to the economy, generating up to £125 million annually and providing the equivalent of 1,700 full-time jobs; commends the success of the racing industry in continuing to expand and develop, recognising its contribution to local economies and tourism; notes that there is widespread concern regarding the potential implications of the proposed Office of Fair Trading (OFT) rule 14 notice on the deregulation of the British horse racing industry and, in particular, on its likely impact on Scotland’s five racecourses, Ayr, Hamilton Park, Kelso, Musselburgh and Perth, each of which is independently owned and managed with profits generated ploughed back into the sport for long-term growth, and considers that the Scottish Executive should work with representatives of the racing industry to identify opportunities to promote and develop the industry and to explore the possible implications of the OFT ruling.

The meeting closed at 6.03 pm.

No. 45 Wednesday 14 January 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Marilyn Douglas, Parish Assistant, Cumbernauld led Time for Reflection.

2.      Developing a Sexual Health and Relationship Strategy for Scotland: The Parliament debated Developing a Sexual Health and Relationship Strategy for Scotland.

3.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-783—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—  

Wednesday 21 January 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Debate on Environment and Rural Development Committee’s 4th Report 2003: Inquiry into the National Waste Plan

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 22 January 2004

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 the Comprehensive Programme of Education Reforms

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 28 January 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate on the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution in respect of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 29 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

The motion was agreed to.

4.      May 2004: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-779—That the Parliament agrees to meet in The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh during the period from 17 to 21 May 2004.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

5.      Designation of Lead Committee: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-780—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003 (Conservation Bodies) Amendment Order 2003 (SSI 2003/621).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6.      Decision Time: 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 14 January be taken at 4.57 pm.

The motion was agreed to.

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

8.      Social Work Review: The Parliament debated S2M-642 in the name of Brian Adam—That the Parliament notes with concern the shortage of social workers throughout Scotland and considers that the Scottish Executive should initiate a McCrone-type review to look at social workers' pay and conditions in order to attract and retain more social workers.

The meeting closed at 5.49 pm.

No. 46 Thursday 15 January 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      European and External Relations Committee Debate on the European Commission’s Work Programme for 2004: Richard Lochhead, on behalf of the European and External Relations Committee, moved S2M-771—That the Parliament notes the publication of the European Commission’s work programme for 2004, which is dominated by the enlargement of the European Union, and agrees that it contains a number of legislative and non-legislative plans of importance to Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S2M-771.2 to motion S2M-771—

Insert at end—

“and calls on the Scottish Executive to publish its position on the Commission’s programme in order to inform the Parliament and Scotland about the aims and objectives that the Executive has in relation to it and to publish a strategy paper outlining how the Executive intends to achieve these, but considers that Scotland’s interests in relation to the Commission’s programme would be best represented if Scotland was an independent member state of the EU.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 28, Against 81, Abstentions 0).

Phil Gallie moved amendment S2M-771.1 to motion S2M-771—

Leave out “is” and insert—

“was compiled on the presumption that the European Constitution would have been accepted and is now”.

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 88, Abstentions 5).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

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.      Protection of Emergency Workers: The Parliament debated the Protection of Emergency Workers.

5.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-781—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 30 January 2004 on the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003 (Conservation Bodies) Amendment Order 2003 (SSI 2003/621); and

(b) that consideration of the Fire Sprinklers in Residential Premises (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 30 April 2004.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on item 1 as noted above.

7.      Medical Services in the West Highlands: The Parliament debated S2M-629 in the name of George Lyon—That the Parliament  recognises the deep concern of the communities in Fort William and Oban regarding the threat to future provision of acute medical services in the west Highlands; notes that over 3,500 people, so far, have turned out at public meetings to express their opposition to Argyll and Clyde and Highland NHS boards’ plans to downgrade Oban and Fort William hospitals to community status; recognises that, if the proposals go ahead, patients from the West Highlands would be forced to travel hundreds of miles to Glasgow or Inverness to access treatment, and therefore believes that the Scottish Executive should reject these plans and give a commitment that the current service provision will continue to be delivered locally to communities in the West Highlands.

8.      Motion without Notice: Mrs Margaret Ewing moved without notice a motion under Rule 8.14.3 that the Parliament agrees that Members’ Business on 15 January 2004 be extended by up to 30 minutes.

The meeting closed at 6.10 pm.

No. 47 Wednesday 21 January 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Mrs Sheena MacGillivray, Deputy Head of Nairn Academy, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Inquiry into the National Waste Plan: Sarah Boyack, on behalf of the Environment and Rural Development Committee, moved S2M-769—That the Parliament notes the recommendations contained in the Environment and Rural Development Committee’s 4th Report 2003 (Session 2): Inquiry into the National Waste Plan (SP Paper 47).

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

3.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-800—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 28 January 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate on the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution in respect of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 29 January 2004

9.30 am                          Executive Debate on Modernising the Court System – A New Supreme Court

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Stage 1 Debate on the Budget Bill

followed by                      Motion on the Health Protection Agency Bill - UK Legislation

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 4 February 2004

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 5 February 2004

9.30 am                          Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party 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

and (b) (i) that consideration of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 5 March 2004; (ii) that consideration of the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 17 September 2004; and (iii) that the completion date for consideration of the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be extended to 27 February 2004.

The motion was agreed to.

4.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-799—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Solvent Emissions (Scotland) Regulations 2004 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

5.      Establishment of Committee: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-805—That the Parliament agrees to establish a committee of the Parliament as follows:

Name of Committee: Waverley Railway (Scotland) Bill Committee.

Remit: To consider and report to the Parliament on the Waverley Railway (Scotland) Bill.

Duration: Until the Bill has received Royal Assent, falls or is withdrawn.

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Labour Party.

Membership: Gordon Jackson (Lab), Christine May (Lab), Tricia Marwick (SNP), Mr Ted Brocklebank (Conservative) and Mike Pringle (LD).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

7.      Economic Potential of the Renewable Energy Industry: The Parliament debated S2M-569 in the name of Christine May—That the Parliament recognises the outstanding economic potential presented by the renewable energy industry, not only in the field of wind power but also through other forms of energy such as biomass and wave power and further recognises that, if the Scottish Executive is to meet all of its renewable energy targets, it needs to do all it can to encourage all forms of renewable energy so that the market is there to support future projects.

8.      Motion without Notice: Mr Mark Ruskell moved without notice a motion under Rule 8.14.3 that the Parliament agrees that Members’ Business on 21 January 2004 be extended by up to 20 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.01 pm.

No. 48 Thursday 22 January 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Impact of Top-up Fees on Higher Education in Scotland: Fiona Hyslop moved S2M-803—That the Parliament believes that the Higher Education Bill published by the Department for Education and Skills on 8 January 2004 will have an adverse effect on Scottish higher education and therefore calls on all Scottish MPs to vote against the bill at Second Reading.

The Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Mr Jim Wallace) moved amendment S2M-803.2 to motion S2M-803—

Leave out from “believes” to end and insert—

“recognises that Scotland’s distinctive higher education system is a valuable asset which must be maintained and developed for the good of the nation; further recognises that its competitive advantage must be maintained; welcomes the commitment in the Partnership Agreement that the Executive “will not support the introduction of top-up tuition fees” in Scotland; notes that the Enterprise and Culture Committee’s report on its Scottish Solutions Inquiry considers that the Executive’s decision to respond to developments in England by proceeding with a third phase of its higher education review in order to establish a robust evidence base “is wholly appropriate”, and looks forward to this third phase of the review reporting in the early spring.”

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-803.3 to motion S2M-803—

Leave out from “will” to end and insert—

“imposing top-up fees may have an adverse effect on Scottish higher education; calls on the Scottish Executive to set out its proposals for dealing with any consequential impact on Scottish universities and on Scottish students if top-up fees are introduced in England; rejects the politically opportunistic stance of the SNP on this issue which is intended to destabilise the Union, and calls on all Scottish MPs to follow the lead of Peter Duncan MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, and abstain from voting on this Bill and, indeed, all Bills that relate only to England and/or Wales.”

After debate, amendment S2M-803.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 37, Abstentions 14).  As a result amendment S2M-803.3 was pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 71, Against 7, Abstentions 37).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises that Scotland’s distinctive higher education system is a valuable asset which must be maintained and developed for the good of the nation; further recognises that its competitive advantage must be maintained; welcomes the commitment in the Partnership Agreement that the Executive “will not support the introduction of top-up tuition fees” in Scotland; notes that the Enterprise and Culture Committee’s report on its Scottish Solutions Inquiry considers that the Executive’s decision to respond to developments in England by proceeding with a third phase of its higher education review in order to establish a robust evidence base “is wholly appropriate”, and looks forward to this third phase of the review reporting in the early spring.

2.      Fisheries Council December 2003: Richard Lochhead moved S2M-798—That the Parliament recognises that the fisheries agreement signed in December 2003 discriminates against Scotland and as a result is unworkable and unjust and therefore calls upon the Scottish and UK governments to seek an urgent renegotiation of the agreement to ensure the survival of our fishing communities.

The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-798.4 to motion S2M-798—

Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—

“supports the more balanced outcome negotiated by ministers at the December Fisheries Council; welcomes the fact that this will benefit many sections of the Scottish fishing industry while ensuring conservation of key stocks on which the long-term viability of the industry depends; deplores the calls by the SNP leader for fishermen to break the law; recognises that there are elements of the detailed agreement which are the subject of further technical discussion with the European Commission; supports the efforts made by the Scottish Executive to address these, and further supports the willingness of Scottish Ministers to monitor the socio-economic impact on fishermen, ports and communities following the conclusions of the technical discussions and EU negotiations with Norway with a view to taking appropriate action if necessary.”

Mr Ted Brocklebank moved amendment S2M-798.1 to motion S2M-798—

Leave out from “discriminates” to end and insert—

“is unjust and discriminates against Scottish fishermen and has produced, in the words of Ross Finnie, “unintended consequences” which further reduce the catching powers of the white fish fleet; commends the efforts of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and Fishermen’s Association Ltd to mount legal challenges to the agreement, and seeks urgent clarification from the European Commission on the technical adjustments to no-go areas.”

After debate, amendment S2M-798.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 70, Against 43, Abstentions 1).  As a result amendment S2M-798.1 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 42, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the more balanced outcome negotiated by ministers at the December Fisheries Council; welcomes the fact that this will benefit many sections of the Scottish fishing industry while ensuring conservation of key stocks on which the long-term viability of the industry depends; deplores the calls by the SNP leader for fishermen to break the law; recognises that there are elements of the detailed agreement which are the subject of further technical discussion with the European Commission; supports the efforts made by the Scottish Executive to address these, and further supports the willingness of Scottish Ministers to monitor the socio-economic impact on fishermen, ports and communities following the conclusions of the technical discussions and EU negotiations with Norway with a view to taking appropriate action if necessary.

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.      Comprehensive Programme of Education Reforms: The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) moved S2M-806—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Executive’s additional financial support and reform programme for school education, the focus on the needs of the individual child within a reinvigorated comprehensive system and delivering excellence in Scotland’s schools through reduction in class sizes in P1 and in S1 and S2 for maths and English, reform of the curriculum to ensure it offers increased choice to young people including a changed ethos in P1 and better opportunities for students over 14, reform of parental involvement to achieve a better partnership between parents and schools and reform of additional support for learning to focus better on the needs of the child.

Fiona Hyslop moved amendment S2M-806.1 to motion S2M-806—

Leave out from “supports” to end and insert—

“notes the Scottish Executive’s additional financial support and reform programme for school education; welcomes its belated adoption of longstanding SNP policies on the principle of class size reduction, tackling the bureaucratic problems associated with national tests and the damaging impact of the national publication of school league tables; looks forward to the Parliament’s involvement in the review and reform of the curriculum, in the opportunities available around the transition period of pupils into primary, secondary and post-14 education and in additional support for learning, and calls on the Executive to ensure that resources, in particular sufficient properly trained and qualified teachers, are in place to meet these demands.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 37, Against 78, Abstentions 0).

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton moved amendment S2M-806.2 to motion S2M-806—

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

“for school education, but believes that the Scottish Executive’s reform programme for school education is insufficient to deal with the inherent problems thrown up by Scotland’s comprehensive system and that the Scottish educational system needs radical reform, and would therefore support any visit by the Minister for Education and Young People to New Zealand in order that he can be inspired by New Zealand’s devolved and diverse system, where, for the last 16 years under Labour and Conservative governments, schools have been managed by local school boards and parents have chosen the schools that their children attend, similar to the schools passport policy advocated by Scottish Conservatives.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 13, Against 95, Abstentions 7).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

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

7.      Recognition of Kinship Care: The Parliament debated S2M-792 in the name of John Swinburne—That the Parliament recognises that many grandparents have become the new foster care parents of children whose mothers and fathers have become disconnected from mainstream society; acknowledges that such care arrangements are usually more stable and result in a positive impact on the young person, as a consequence of grandparents’ strong sense of commitment to provide care; further acknowledges that current legislation enables local authorities to contribute to the maintenance of a young person in kinship care; recognises that not all kinship carers will wish to undergo formal scrutiny, but shares concerns about the financial consequences experienced by kinship carers who have satisfied the relevant scrutiny requirements to provide this care, and considers that the Scottish Executive should ensure that local authorities make the appropriate contribution to these carers.

The meeting closed at 6.02 pm.

No. 49 Wednesday 28 January 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Rabbi Moshe Rubin of Giffnock and Newlands Hebrew Congregation led Time for Reflection.

2.      Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) moved S2M-529—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 69, Against 0, Abstentions 40).

3.      Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) moved S2M-616—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill, agrees to the following expenditure payable out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund, namely–

           (a)   any expenditure of the Scottish Ministers in consequence of the Act; and

(b)  any increase attributable to the Act in expenditure payable out of the Fund under any other enactment.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 25, Abstentions 23).

4.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-824—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business— 

Wednesday 4 February 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Ministerial Statement - A Housing Standard for the 21st Century

followed by                      Motion on the Energy Bill - UK Legislation

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 5 February 2004

9.30 am                          Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Executive Debate on the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2004

followed by                      Motion on Gender Recognition Bill - UK Legislation

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 11 February 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish National Party Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 12 February 2004

9.30 am                          Procedures Committee Debate on its 2nd Report 2003: Oral Questions in the Chamber

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Stage 3 of the Budget (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Motion on Higher Education Bill - UK Legislation

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

After debate, the motion was agreed to (by division: For 99, Against 10, Abstentions 0).

5.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-825—That the Parliament agrees that the draft National Health Service (Distribution of Endowment Income Scheme) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 be approved.

The motion was agreed (DT).

6.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-826—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Scottish Hospital Trust (Transfer of Property) Regulations 2004 be approved.

The motion was agreed (DT).

7.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 3, 5 and 6 as noted above.

8.      Food for Good: The Parliament debated S2M-742 in the name of Mark Ballard—That the Parliament commends UNISON on the production of its “Food for Good Charter” and considers that NHS Scotland should adopt the targets set out therein for organic produce, animal welfare and fair trade and accept the UNISON Food for Good recommendations on meat quality, five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, recycling and composting, patients not profit, resources, real food and fair pay as policy.

9.      Motion without Notice: Shiona Baird moved without notice a motion under Rule 8.14.3 that the Parliament agrees that Members’ Business on 28 January 2004 be extended by up to 10 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.08 pm.

No. 50 Thursday 29 January 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Modernising the Court System – A New Supreme Court: The Minister for Justice moved S2M-828—That the Parliament believes that it is a cardinal feature of a modern democratic state that the judiciary should be separated from the legislature and therefore supports the creation of a new Supreme Court believing that it will strengthen the independence of the judiciary.

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S2M-828.1 to motion S2M-828—

Leave out from “believing” to end and insert—

“for England and Wales; considers, however, that its creation affords an opportunity for the modernisation and repatriation of Scotland’s justice system, including an end to the historic anomaly that allows civil, but not criminal, cases to be appealed to a UK court and, having established that principle, calls on the Scottish Executive to consult on whether the Inner House of the Court of Session or a higher appellate authority within Scotland should be the final court of appeal in Scottish civil cases.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 30, Against   75,  Abstentions 0).

Miss Annabel Goldie moved amendment S2M-828.2 to motion S2M-828—

Leave out from “it is” to end and insert—

“in the event of a United Kingdom Supreme Court being created, the Scottish Executive needs to ensure both that Scottish judges are appointed to sit in all civil appeals from Scotland and that decisions of the Supreme Court in non-Scottish cases are not binding in Scots law except in so far as the law determining such cases is applicable on a United Kingdom basis.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 46, Against 60, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 18, Abstentions 27).

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.      Budget (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Finance and Public Services (Mr Andy Kerr) moved S2M-807—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Budget (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 9, Abstentions 37).

5.      Health Protection Agency Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-786—That the Parliament endorses the principle that the Health Protection Agency should be able to carry out, in Scotland, certain devolved radiation protection functions and, subject to the prescribed statutory requirements and procedures, other devolved health protection functions as set out in the Health Protection Agency Bill; agrees that the Bill should confer powers and functions on the Scottish Ministers and make provision for various other related matters in respect of the Health Protection Agency, and agrees that the Bill should be considered by the UK Parliament.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

7.      Public Consultation on Private Prisons: The Parliament debated S2M-793 in the name of Fiona Hyslop—That the Parliament notes the concerns of many of its members and amongst the wider public about the proposals for private prisons in Scotland; notes that applications for two new prisons have now been lodged in Addiewell and Low Moss but that as yet the public have not been informed if either or both are intended to operate as private prisons, and expresses the view that the public should be entitled to know what kind of operation is being planned for their local communities as part of any consultation and decision-making process.

8.      Motion without Notice: Fiona Hyslop moved without notice a motion under Rule 8.14.3 that the Parliament agrees that Members’ Business on 29 January 2004 be extended by up to 5 minutes.

The meeting closed at 6.00 pm.

No. 51 Wednesday 4 February 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: The Rt Reverend Professor Iain Torrance, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-852—That the Parliament agrees a revision to the following programme of business for Wednesday 4 February 2004, as follows—

after,

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection – The Rt Rev Prof Iain Torrance, Moderator of the Church of Scotland

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

insert,

followed by                      Ministerial Statement on Fatal Fire at Rosepark Care Home

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) made a statement and answered questions on the Fatal Fire at Rosepark Care Home.

4.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Communities (Ms Margaret Curran) made a statement and answered questions on A Housing Standard for the 21st Century.

5.      Energy Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Lewis Macdonald) moved S2M-788—That the Parliament agrees that those provisions in the Energy Bill that relate to devolved matters and those that confer executive powers and functions on the Scottish Ministers should be considered by the UK Parliament.

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-788.1 to motion S2M-788—

Leave out “agrees” and insert—

“believes that the Energy Bill as proposed will disadvantage the Scottish renewables industry, endanger the Scottish Executive’s targets for renewable energy development, establish a UK Nuclear Decommissioning Agency for the management and handling of radioactive waste with no environmental objectives and maintain the current lack of Executive powers over stored radioactive waste; considers that these issues of concern could be resolved through consultation with Her Majesty’s Government to the satisfaction of this Parliament, and therefore until those issues have been resolved does not agree”.

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 12, Against 78, Abstentions 23).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 78, Against 37, Abstentions 0).

6.      Business Motion: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-851—That the Parliament agrees—

the following programme of business—

Wednesday 11 February 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish National Party Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 12 February 2004

9.30 am                          Procedures Committee Debate on its 2nd Report 2003 (Session 2): Oral Questions in the Chamber; on its 1st Report 2004: Oral Questions and Time in the Chamber; and on its 2nd Report 2004: Emergency Bills

followed by                      Motion on the Appointment of a Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Stage 3 of the Budget (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Motion on Asylum and Immigration Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Motion on Higher Education Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 25 February 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate on the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution in respect of the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 26 February 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

and (b) that consideration of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 to be completed by 10 March 2004.

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Designation of Lead Committee: Tavish Scott moved S2M-853—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Tenements (Scotland) Bill.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

9.      Photodynamic Therapy for the Treatment of Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment (AMD): The Parliament debated S2M-667 in the name of Kate Maclean—That the Parliament notes the recent decision by NHS Quality Improvement Scotland on the use of photodynamic therapy for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and acknowledges that photodynamic therapy is the only effective treatment for wet AMD, the most aggressive form of the disease and the leading cause of blindness in the UK, with around 650 new patients diagnosed with wet AMD in Scotland every year; is deeply concerned that funding has not been made available for clinicians to treat on the NHS those patients who urgently require the therapy, and endorses the demand by the Royal National Institute of the Blind Scotland and the Macular Disease Society that the Scottish Executive ensures that funding is immediately provided by all NHS boards, thereby saving the sight of those who could benefit from the therapy.

The meeting closed at 5.48 pm.

No. 52 Thursday 5 February 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Police Accountability: David McLetchie moved S2M-849—That the Parliament notes that there is widespread public misunderstanding of who is responsible for what in terms of policing in Scotland; recognises that there needs to be greater local involvement in policing along with a police service that is more responsive to public demands, and calls on the Scottish Executive to strengthen public accountability and involvement by considering ideas such as the direct election of conveners of police boards and the regular publication of localised crime statistics.

The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved amendment S2M-849.3 to motion S2M-849—

Leave out from “notes” to end and insert—

“endorses the Scottish Executive’s commitment to work for a safer Scotland by reducing crime and re-offending; welcomes its commitment to enhance community accountability for policing through local police boards; endorses its promotion of responsiveness to local communities through police boards’ duty to secure Best Value and to report to the public on performance, and welcomes its policy of Community Planning which is enabling police forces to improve the delivery of services to local communities through more effective collaboration with other public bodies.”

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S2M-849.1 to motion S2M-849—

Leave out from “notes” to end and insert—

“believes that the public’s concern about policing is less about the lack of police accountability and more about the lack of police officers; calls for an overall increase in the number of police officers to take account of the fact that many more are now engaged in specialist activity, rather than community policing; recognises the right of the police to set local priorities free from political interference; encourages an intensive targeting of crime hotspots, low-level offending that nevertheless impinges on the quality of life in communities and persistent offenders who account for a disproportionate amount of crime, but urges all those involved in the criminal justice system not to lose sight of the fact that it is serious violent crime that is on the increase in Scotland.”

After debate amendment S2M-849.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 47, Abstentions 7).  As a result amendment S2M-849.1 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 47, Abstentions 7).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament endorses the Scottish Executive’s commitment to work for a safer Scotland by reducing crime and re-offending; welcomes its commitment to enhance community accountability for policing through local police boards; endorses its promotion of responsiveness to local communities through police boards’ duty to secure Best Value and to report to the public on performance, and welcomes its policy of Community Planning which is enabling police forces to improve the delivery of services to local communities through more effective collaboration with other public bodies.

2.      The Scottish Economy: Murdo Fraser moved S2M-855—That the Parliament notes with concern the consistent underperformance of the Scottish economy relative to that of the UK as a whole; recognises that the burdens of higher rates, water charges and regulation faced by businesses in Scotland are factors contributing to this underperformance, and calls upon the Scottish Executive to take immediate steps to create a more business friendly environment by reducing business rates and water charges and cutting red tape, thereby encouraging business development, improving the outlook for economic growth, and contributing to a reverse in Scotland’s trend of population decline.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Lewis Macdonald) moved amendment S2M-855.3 to motion S2M-855—

Leave out from “with” to end and insert—

“the evidence of an upturn in global economic activity and the opportunities for Scottish businesses and the Scottish economy to grow; rejects the proposition that increased competitiveness is best achieved by reductions in business taxation; believes instead that economic growth and wealth creation require targeted investment in skills and learning, business growth and innovation, and global connections, and supports the Scottish Executive’s strategy of sustained investment in these areas to improve Scotland’s competitive position in the global economy.”

Jim Mather moved amendment S2M-855.1 to motion S2M-855—

Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—

“welcomes growing calls for the Scottish Parliament to enjoy the full range of tax powers available to Scotland’s competitors, and recognises that only with the normal economic powers of an independent parliament will the competitive conditions be created in Scotland to reverse low growth and population decline.”

Carolyn Leckie moved amendment S2M-855.2 to motion S2M-855—

Leave out from “with” to end and insert—

“the complete absence of real economic powers for example in its inability to eradicate pensioner poverty by raising the state pension, its inability to raise the taxes of the rich and its inability to set a decent minimum wage rate for all workers in both the private and public sector and believes that it will only be when the Parliament has full control of fiscal and economic policy that Scotland will be able to achieve substantial and lasting economic growth.”

After debate amendment S2M-855.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 54, Abstentions 1).  As a result amendments 855.1 and 855.2 were pre-empted.
The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 54, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the evidence of an upturn in global economic activity and the opportunities for Scottish businesses and the Scottish economy to grow; rejects the proposition that increased competitiveness is best achieved by reductions in business taxation; believes instead that economic growth and wealth creation require targeted investment in skills and learning, business growth and innovation, and global connections, and supports the Scottish Executive’s strategy of sustained investment in these areas to improve Scotland’s competitive position in the global economy.

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.      Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2004: The Minister for Finance and Public Services (Mr Andy Kerr) moved S2M-821—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/14) be approved.

Mr Brian Monteith moved amendment S2M-821.1 to motion S2M-821—

Insert at end—

“but, in doing so, considers that any consequential funding under the Barnett Formula accruing to Scotland as a result of an increase in the grant given to English and Welsh local authorities will be allocated to the Scottish Local Authorities’ Revenue Support Grant.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 89, Abstentions 12).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 95, Against 18, Abstentions 5).

6.      Gender Recognition Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-813—That the Parliament endorses the principle of giving transsexual people legal recognition of their acquired gender and agrees that the provisions in the Gender Recognition Bill that relate to devolved matters should be considered by the UK Parliament thereby ensuring a consistent UK approach and early compliance with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights with respect to the Convention rights of transsexual people under Article 8 (right to respect for private life) and Article 12 (right to marry).

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 76, Against 35, Abstentions 7).
7.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 5 and 6 as noted above.

8.      Tax Stamps on Scotch Whisky Products: The Parliament debated S2M-833 in the name of Mr Brian Monteith—That the Parliament notes with concern that Her Majesty’s Government is once again considering the introduction of tax stamps on spirits, but not on wine or beer; recognises that any such tax stamp would impact particularly on the Scotch whisky industry; believes that the case for a tax stamp system is not proven and that it would be an ineffective means of combating fraud and illicit trade while imposing substantial costs and practical problems on the industry, particularly in relation to labelling and storage; notes the Scottish Executive’s Scotch whisky framework which supports a fair taxation regime for Scotch whisky, and therefore believes that the Executive should make representations to Her Majesty’s Government against the introduction of tax stamps or any similar burdens on the Scotch whisky industry.

The meeting closed at 5.59 pm.

No. 53 Wednesday 11 February 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.         Time for Reflection: Rev Dr Michael Purcell, Parish Priest, St Mary of the Angels, Camelon led Time for Reflection.

2.         The Future of Scottish Football: Mr Kenny MacAskill moved S2M-889—That the Parliament notes the crisis faced by Scottish football; recognises football’s significant contribution and potential impact in terms of its economic, social and health benefits and its role in our culture and identity; sympathises with the backroom and playing staff of those clubs worst affected; calls on professional football clubs to work with their supporters to harness the emotional and financial investment they make in their clubs; calls on the football authorities and clubs to ensure better business planning and financial management; believes that public funding for the game is essential but not the bail out of individual clubs; welcomes current and proposed financial support from the Scottish Executive but calls for such support to be matched by structural change; calls for the Scottish Football Association (SFA) to be a more integrated governing body for the game; calls for the for a review of the professional league structure in Scotland and the criteria for membership, and further calls for the SFA to regulate and develop participation by all ages and at all levels from grassroots in the community through to the national team.

Mr Jamie McGrigor moved amendment S2M-889.1 to motion S2M-889—

Leave out from “significant” to end and insert—

“importance in terms of its economic, social and health benefits and also its contribution to our culture and identity; believes, however, that football clubs must take responsibility for their own commercial decisions and that a well-run football club should be sustainable without the need for public funding; further believes that the Scottish Executive can help club finances by lifting the outdated alcohol ban in all-seater stadia, and invites the Scottish Football Association to consider reinstating the home international championship as a means of generating additional revenue for the development of the game.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 96, Abstentions 1).

Colin Fox moved amendment S2M-889.2 to motion S2M-889—

Leave out from “sympathises” to end and insert—

“notes the experience of successful club teams such as Barcelona that are mutually owned and elect their own board of directors to run the club; further notes that some clubs in the English Nationwide League have already chosen this path by setting up supporters’ trusts, and believes that public funding should be made available to allow for wider community involvement in the clubs and to co-ordinate the game across Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 13, Against 101, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 99, Against 15, Abstentions 0).

3.      Nuclear Waste: Roseanna Cunningham moved S2M-890—That the Parliament is concerned that policies related to nuclear waste management are being discussed and debated at UK and European level without significant input from Scotland; believes that appropriate statutory guidance for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on radioactive discharges is urgently required, and considers that decisions regarding the control, management and disposal of nuclear waste material in Scotland should be a matter solely for the Scottish Ministers.

The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-890.3 to motion S2M-890—

Leave out from “is concerned” to end and insert—

“agrees that the review of options for the long-term management of radioactive waste, currently being undertaken by the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, is the correct means of engaging Scotland in the debate to find a long-term publicly acceptable solution to the disposal of long-lived radioactive waste and that the Scottish Executive should continue to input into UK, European and international radioactive waste issues and require the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to implement policy such as the UK Strategy for Radioactive Discharges 2001-2020.”

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S2M-890.1 to motion S2M-890—

Leave out from “is concerned” to end and insert—

“believes that nuclear power capacity is vital in meeting Scotland’s future energy needs; recognises technical advances in the handling and disposal of the associated waste materials, and considers that the resolution of nuclear waste issues and the development of new nuclear power capacity can and must run in parallel, as the lengthy commissioning process means that decisions about new nuclear power stations cannot be put off any longer.”

Mr Mark Ruskell moved amendment S2M-890.4 to motion S2M-890—

Insert after “Parliament”—

“acknowledges that radioactive nuclear waste for which there is no safe disposal route will remain harmful to human health and the environment for many thousands of years and that responsibility for nuclear waste created by this generation will have to be inherited by countless future generations; considers that the most important step in tackling the growing problem of nuclear waste must be to stop creating the waste in the first instance; believes that Scotland should not accept nuclear waste originating outside Scotland and that waste arising from Scottish civil and military nuclear facilities should remain on the site of the originating facility in secure, monitorable and retrievable storage;”

After debate amendment 890.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 77, Against 37, Abstentions 1). As a result amendments S2M-890.1 and S2M-890.4 were pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 78, Against 37, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament agrees that the review of options for the long-term management of radioactive waste, currently being undertaken by the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, is the correct means of engaging Scotland in the debate to find a long-term publicly acceptable solution to the disposal of long-lived radioactive waste and that the Scottish Executive should continue to input into UK, European and international radioactive waste issues and require the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to implement policy such as the UK Strategy for Radioactive Discharges 2001-2020.

4.         Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-906—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Thursday 12 February 2004—

after,

9.30 am                        Procedures Committee Debate on its 2nd Report 2003 (Session 2): Oral Questions in the Chamber; on its 1st Report 2004: Oral Questions and Time in the Chamber; and on its 2nd Report 2004: Emergency Bills

insert,

followed by                    Motion on Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill – UK Legislation

and after,

2.30 pm                        Question Time

delete,

3.10 pm                        Stage 3 of the Budget (Scotland) Bill

followed by                    Motion on Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill – UK Legislation

and insert,

3.10 pm                        Ministerial Statement on Common Agricultural Policy Reform

followed by                    Stage 3 of the Budget (Scotland) Bill

The motion was agreed to.

5.         Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-898—That the Parliament agrees—  

(a)       the following programme of business—

Wednesday 25 February 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate on the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution in respect of the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 26 February 2004

9.30 am                          Executive Debate on a Better Deal for Young People

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Executive Debate on Building and Supporting the NHS Workforce

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

and (b) that consideration of the Tenements (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 3 June 2004.

The motion was agreed to.

6.         Designation of Lead Committee: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-899—That the Parliament agrees that the Health Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Prohibition of Smoking in Regulated Areas (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

8.         VisitScotland Tourist Information: The Parliament debated S2M-847 in the name of Nora Radcliffe—That the Parliament notes the criticisms from the tourism industry about the performance and operation of the visitscotland.com website; in particular, notes the concerns among some operators about the negative impact the website is having on their custom due to technical problems with the site, the high cost of subscription, the apparent lack of reliable information in some instances and the cost in lost tourism; recognises how important tourism is to the Scottish economy, and therefore considers that the Scottish Executive and VisitScotland must ensure that these problems are resolved ahead of the 2004 tourist season.

The meeting closed at 5.59 pm.

No. 54 Thursday 12 February 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Procedures Committee, Oral Questions and Emergency Bills: Iain Smith, on behalf of the Procedures Committee, moved S2M-864—That the Parliament notes the Procedures Committee’s recommendations for changes to the format of Question Time and other aspects of oral questioning in its 2nd Report, 2003 (Session 2), Oral Questions in the Chamber, and about the timing of First Minister’s Question Time and Question Time in its 1st Report, 2004 (Session 2), Oral Questions and Time in the Chamber, further notes the Committee’s recommendations for changes to the procedure for Emergency Bills in its 2nd report, 2004 (Session 2), Report on Emergency Bills, and agrees that the changes to standing orders set out in Annexe A to the 2nd Report, 2003 (Session 2) and in Annexe A to the 2nd Report, 2004 (Session 2) should be made with effect from 13 February 2004.

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

2.      Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-838—That the Parliament endorses the principle of creating a new offence to combat trafficking in human beings for non-sexual exploitation as set out in the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill and agrees that the provisions to achieve this end in Scotland which relate to devolved matters should be considered by the UK Parliament.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 76, Against 33, Abstentions 1).

3.      Appointment of a Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland: Scott Barrie, on behalf of the Selection Panel, moved S2M-886—That the Parliament nominates Kathleen Marshall to Her Majesty The Queen for appointment as the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland.

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

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.      Ministerial Statement: The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson) made a statement and answered question on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

7.      Budget (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Services (Tavish Scott) moved S2M-902—That the Parliament agrees that the Budget (Scotland) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 86, Against 10, Abstentions 14).

8.      Higher Education Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Mr Jim Wallace) moved S2M-787—That the Parliament agrees that the provisions contained in the Higher Education Bill which have the effect of creating a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and which confer powers and functions on Scottish Ministers, so far as those provisions relate to matters within the legislative competence of the Parliament, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 77, Against 22, Abstentions 10).

9.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8 as noted above.

10.    Sewage Dumping: The Parliament debated S2M-770 in the name of Ms Rosemary Byrne—That the Parliament accepts that the dumping of untreated or semi-treated sewage on land is a revolting concept to the public with potentially devastating health and environmental effects; notes with strong disapproval the current practice of the dumping of semi-treated waste in various sites in the south of Scotland by a subsidiary of Thames Water plc, and considers that the Scottish Executive should ban this practice completely by ensuring safe scientific methods of disposal under both the precautionary and proximity principles.

11.    Motion without Notice: Alasdair Morgan moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended by 5 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.06 pm.

No. 55 Wednesday 25 February 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Mr Habib Malik a director of Multi Ethnic Aberdeen Limited and Scotland Area Manager for Islamic Relief, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-953—That the Parliament agrees a revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 25 February 2004, as follows—

after,

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection – Mr Habib Malik, a director of Multi Ethnic Aberdeen Limited and Scotland Area Manager for Islamic Relief

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

insert,

followed by                      Ministerial Statement on Fresh Talent

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Ministerial Statement: The First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell) made a statement and answered questions on Fresh Talent.

4.      Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-473—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 112, Against 0, Abstentions 3).

5.      Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Minister for Finance and Public Services  (Mr Andy Kerr) moved S2M-536—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any increase, in consequence of the Act, in expenditure payable out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 112, Against 0, Abstentions 3).

6.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-952—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business

Wednesday 3 March 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate on the National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution in respect of the National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 4 March 2004

9.30 am                          Stage 3 of the Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm                          Question Time

3.10 pm                          Continuation of Stage 3 of the Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Motion on Companies (Audit Investigations and Community Enterprise) Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Motion on Civil Contingencies Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 10 March 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate on the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution in respect of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 11 March 2004

9.30 am                          Scottish Senior Citizens’ Unity Party Business

followed by                      Scottish Socialist Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time

3.00 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

and (b) that the rota for departmental themes for Question Time, to run for a trial period from 11 March 2004 to the summer recess, be as follows:

Week 1           Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning; Justice and Law Officers;

Week 2           Education, Tourism, Culture and Sport; Finance and Communities;

Week 3           Environment and Rural Development; Health and Community Care.

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Designation of Lead Committees: Patricia Fergusson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-947—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the draft Advice and Assistance (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2004;

S2M-948—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the draft Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2004;

S2M-949—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004, (SSI 2004/49);

S2M-950—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/50); and

S2M-951—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Criminal Legal Aid (Fixed Payments) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/51).

The motions were agreed to (DT).

8.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-946—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2003 Amendment Order 2004 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-945—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/21) be approved.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 70, Against 22, Abstentions 23).

10.    Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9 as noted above.

11.    General Medical Services Contracts: Alasdair Morgan moved S2M-728—That the Parliament is concerned that the provisions made for contracting-out out-of-hours care from GPs to local NHS boards may be insufficiently funded to meet the unique challenges encountered in rural practices; believes that rural practices thus unable to opt out will have serious difficulty in recruiting new doctors, and considers that the Scottish Executive should re-examine the level of funding allocated to NHS boards providing these services in rural areas.

The meeting closed at 6.04 pm.

No. 56 Thursday 26 February 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      A Better Deal for Young People: The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) moved S2M-943—That the Parliament values the very positive contribution made by Scotland’s young people and is committed to ensuring that they have the opportunities and support that they need to develop their skills and talents and participate fully and actively; supports the Scottish Executive’s commitment to working with young people, their families and communities, with the newly appointed Children’s Commissioner, and with those responsible for service delivery, to provide high quality universal services and targeted support for the most vulnerable; welcomes the Executive’s commitment to helping looked after children make the transition to successful, independent adulthood, to ensuring that all children are safe from abuse and neglect, to addressing offending behaviour and to reviewing the Children’s Hearings system to develop and improve the current service; recognises that young people are often predominantly the victims of anti-social behaviour, and welcomes the Executive’s commitment to tackling it more effectively.

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S2M-943.1 to motion S2M-943—

Insert at end—

“and calls on the Executive, as part of its overall strategy to address the offending behaviour of young people, to reconsider its decision to withdraw funding from the Airborne Initiative.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 63, Abstentions 0).

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton moved amendment S2M-943.2 to motion S2M-943—

Leave out from “supports” to end and insert—

“acknowledges that having a strong economy with efficient and effective well-run public services benefits all in society, and specifically calls on the Executive to adopt the schools passport policy, which gives all schools the incentive to achieve and maintain high standards, thereby ensuring a better start in life for Scotland’s young people.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 19, Against 104, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 14, Abstentions 45).

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.      Building and Supporting the NHS Workforce: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm) moved S2M-944—That the Parliament appreciates the vital contribution of a high quality healthcare system to the lives of everyone in Scotland and to our economy; acknowledges the fundamental importance of the 150,000 staff who help care for patients and pays tribute to their dedication and professionalism; welcomes the recent significant increases in staff numbers across the NHS in Scotland and the action taken to promote more flexible ways of working, create safer workplaces and protect frontline staff, support continuing professional development, and develop new roles and teamworking, but recognises the challenges facing the Scottish Executive in achieving a sustainable healthcare workforce in the long term through local, regional and national service and workforce planning and redesign, against the background of wider demographic and labour market challenges.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-944.2 to motion S2M-944—

Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—

“is concerned that consultant, nurse and allied health professional vacancies are at an all-time high and that these healthcare workforce shortages are resulting in the ad-hoc and arbitrary centralisation of services across Scotland without adequate public consultation and often to the detriment of patient care, and therefore urges the Scottish Executive to carry out a national review of service planning and redesign in order to ensure equality of access to acute and primary care services in all parts of Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 43, Against 81, Abstentions 0).

Mr David Davidson moved amendment S2M-944.1 to motion S2M-944—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes the recent increases in staff numbers across the NHS in Scotland and the need to promote more flexible ways of working, create safer workplaces and give greater protection for all frontline staff; seeks improvement in support for continuing professional development and in developing new roles and teamworking, but recognises the challenges facing the Scottish Executive in achieving a sustainable healthcare workforce in the long-term through local, regional and national service and workforce planning and redesign, against the background of wider demographic and labour market challenges, while recognising that over-centralisation of services and critical GP and consultant shortages in some board areas is leading to reduced patient access to health care.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 18, Against 67, Abstentions 39).

Carolyn Leckie moved amendment S2M-944.3 to motion S2M-944—

Leave out from “recent” to end and insert—

“moderate increases in staff numbers in some staff and professional groups but regrets the lack of resources and effective planning devoted to the NHS workforce by successive governments, in particular the failure to plan effectively to ensure that enough NHS professionals were trained and employed to meet the needs and changing demography of the Scottish population, the requirements of the working time directive, the New Deal for Junior Doctors, the new consultant and GP contracts or the increasing demands for staff in specialisms; further regrets the continuance of the two tier workforce through PFI/PPP and the unacceptably wide gaps in pay and pay settlements between NHS workers; believes that our health service in Scotland will only be able to properly meet the needs and aspirations of the people of Scotland by stopping all PFI/PPP projects, making substantially greater investment in training, professional development, recruitment and retention, eradicating poverty pay and gender discrimination in pay, rewarding all NHS staff equally, proportionately and appropriately and by reducing the unacceptably high workload pressures on NHS staff.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 82, Abstentions 26).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 75, Against 22, Abstentions 27).

5.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-942—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 12 March 2004 on the draft Advice and Assistance (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2004; the draft Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2004; the Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004, (SSI 2004/49); the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004, (SSI 2004/50); and the Criminal Legal Aid (Fixed Payments) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004, (SSI 2004/51); and

(b) that consideration of the Prohibition of Smoking in Regulated Areas (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 2 November 2004.

The motion was agreed to.

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

7.      Planning for a Co-operative Development Agency: The Parliament debated S2M-827 in the name of Johann Lamont—That the Parliament notes the crucial role of co-operative and mutual organisations within local communities and across Scotland; recognises the wide variety in size, capacity and in areas of activity of co-operative and mutual initiatives; congratulates those involved within the co-operative and mutual sector both on the key role they play in local and Scottish-wide economic activity and in delivering social justice; welcomes the commitment of the Scottish Executive to establish a Co-operative Development Agency (CDA), and believes that departments across the range of Executive responsibilities must work together to ensure that the CDA will effectively support and strengthen co-operative and mutual enterprises in all their diversity.

The meeting closed at 5.58 pm.

No. 57 Wednesday 3 March 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Rodef Shalom Eliyahu McLean, Co-ordinator of the Jerusalem Circle, led Time for Reflection.

2.      National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm) moved S2M-215—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-215.1 to motion S2M-215—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, believes that there must be safeguards in place to ensure the independence of the proposed new Scottish Health Council and is concerned about the lack of detail in the Financial Memorandum regarding potential additional costs arising from the Bill.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 77, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 94, Against 17, Abstentions 5).

3.      National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm) moved S2M-227—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any increase in expenditure of the Scottish Ministers payable out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund in consequence of the Act.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 73, Against 44, Abstentions 0).

4.      Business Motion: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-983—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 10 March 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate on the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution in respect of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business – Debate on the subject of S2M-913 Dr Sylvia Jackson: Commonwealth Day 2004

Thursday 11 March 2004

9.30 am                          Scottish Senior Citizens’ Unity Party Business

followed by                      Scottish Socialist Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time –

                                      Enterprise, Lifelong Learning and Transport;

                                      Justice and Law Officers;

                                      General Questions

3.00 pm                          Executive Debate on the Historic Environment, a Valuable Resource for Scotland

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business – Debate on the subject of S2M-746 Rob Gibson: Maternity Services in Caithness

Wednesday 17 March 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Debate on Enterprise and Culture Committee’s 3rd Report, 2003 (Session 2) Scottish Solutions Inquiry

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 18 March 2004

9.30 am                          Scottish National Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time –

                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport;

                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities;

                                      General Questions

3.00 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Business Motion: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-989—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Thursday 4 March 2004—

Thursday 4 March 2004

delete,

9.30 am                                    Stage 3 of the Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill

and insert,

9.30 am                                    Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                                Stage 3 of the Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Office of the Clerk: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-986—That the Parliament agrees that between 3 July 2004 and 7 January 2005 the office of the Clerk shall be open all days except: Saturdays and Sundays, 3 December 2004, 24 December 2004 (pm), 27 and 28 December 2004 and 3 and 4 January 2005.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Rule 2.3.1: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-987—That the Parliament agrees the following dates under Rule 2.3.1: 5 July – 3 September 2004 (inclusive), 11 – 22 October 2004 (inclusive), 27 December 2004 – 7 January 2005 (inclusive).

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 112, Against 4, Abstentions 1).

8.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 3, 6 and 7 as noted above.

9.      The Institute for Science Education in Scotland: The Parliament debated S2M-870 in the name of Lord James Douglas-Hamilton—That the Parliament notes the widespread concerns about the future of science education in Scotland; believes the declining popularity of science subjects in schools and at further and higher education levels has consequences for economic development; welcomes the establishment of the Institute for Science Education in Scotland, a unique network of scientists working with science teachers to support excellence in science teaching throughout Scotland; notes that the aim of the institute is to work with the thousands of people in the Scottish science community who are determined to reverse the decline in the popularity of science at schools, colleges and universities; further notes the priority set by the Scottish Science Advisory Committee in its recent report, Why Science Education Matters, on development of the institute; notes that the institute has the support of all Scotland’s universities, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the General Teaching Council for Scotland; further notes the creation of a National Centre for Excellence in Science Education in England with support from the Wellcome Trust and the Department for Education and Skills, and considers that the Scottish Executive should support the development of the institute.

The meeting closed at 6.12 pm.

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