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Business Bulletin 1999-2011

Minutes of Proceedings 1999-2011

Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

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No. 29 Thursday 11 November 2004 

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Fostering: The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Euan Robson) moved S2M-1984—That the Parliament, in acknowledging that children thrive best in strong families, recognises the important role that foster carers play in providing a supportive and loving family environment for many of our most vulnerable children and welcomes the Scottish Executive’s intention to invest in the future of the fostering service to increase the number of high quality placements and give local authorities resources to establish a fair and consistent system of allowances for foster carers.

After debate, the motion was 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 the Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) and the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Patricia Ferguson); by the Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) and the Minister for Communities (Malcolm Chisholm); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4.      Procedures Committee, A New Procedure for Members’ Bills: Iain Smith, on behalf of the Procedures Committee, moved S2M-1957—That the Parliament notes the Procedures Committee’s 6th Report, 2004 (Session 2), A New Procedure for Members’ Bills (SP Paper 193), and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 12 November 2004 but with new Rule 9.14A having effect only for as long as at least one Member’s Bill introduced before that date remains in progress.

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

5.      Procedures Committee, Timescales and Stages of Bills: Karen Gillon, on behalf of the Procedures Committee, moved S2M-1982—That the Parliament notes the Procedures Committee’s 7th Report, 2004 (Session 2), Timescales and Stages of Bills (SP Paper 228), and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 10 January 2005.

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

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

7.      Dying with Dignity: The Parliament debated S2M-1673 in the name of Jeremy Purvis—That the Parliament acknowledges the commencement of the select committee of the House of Lords’ consideration of physician-assisted dying and euthanasia; further acknowledges the publication of an NOP opinion poll that showed that 82% of respondents in Scotland favour a change in the law to permit people with an incurable terminal illness close to death to seek help to die with dignity; is concerned that 39% of respondents in Scotland said that they would break the law if a loved one who became terminally ill and was suffering unbearably asked them to help them die; recognises the huge benefit to society and individuals of professionals, volunteers and carers working in palliative care and the hospice movement who work tirelessly with compassion and commitment but recognises that there are some people who will not be helped and that they will seek the right to die with dignity, and calls for a wide debate on end of life issues and consideration of a change in the law.

The meeting closed at 5.50 pm.

No. 30 Wednesday 17 November 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Farkhandra Chaudry, member of the Muslim community of Scotland, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Water Services etc. (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-1463—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 96, Against 24, Abstentions 0).

3.      Water Services etc. (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-1567—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Bill, agrees to—

(a)       any expenditure or increase in expenditure of a kind referred to in Rule 9.12.3(b)(ii) or (iii) of the Parliament’s Standing Orders, and

(b)       any payments in relation to which Rule 9.12.4 of the Standing Orders applies,

arising in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 113, Against 7, Abstentions 0).

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2018—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 24 November 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate on Green Jobs

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 25 November 2004

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Green Party Debate on Food

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 Violence Against Women

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 1 December 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Public Petitions Committee Debate on Public Petition PE535

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 2 December 2004

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive 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                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Bill Aitken moved amendment S2M-2018.1 to motion S2M-2018—

Below Thursday 25 November 2004,

leave out

“3.00 pm               Executive Debate on Violence Against Women”

and insert

“3.00 pm               Ministerial Statement on Efficient Government

 3.45 pm  Executive Debate on Violence Against Women”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to (by division: For 17, Against 81, Abstentions 22).

The motion was then agreed to (by division: For 81, Against 17, Abstentions 22).

5.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2011—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2004 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2012—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the following instruments—

the Land Registration (Scotland) Amendment Rules 2004 (SSI 2004/476);

the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003 (Rural Housing Bodies) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/477);

the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 (Prescribed Periods) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/478);

the Lands Tribunal for Scotland (Title Conditions Certificates) (Fees) Rules 2004 (SSI 2004/479);

the draft Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2004; and

the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 (Notice of Potential Liability for Costs) Amendment Order 2004 (SSI 2004/490).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2013—That the Parliament agrees that the Communities Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

9.      Pools Companies Holding Scottish Football to Ransom: The Parliament debated S2M-1912 in the name of Roseanna Cunningham—That the Parliament  expresses its concern at the decision by Littlewoods, Vernons and Zetters football pools companies to cease payment to the Scottish Football League (SFL) of copyright payments for the right to use SFL fixtures in their pools games; notes that, for this season, the SFL was scheduled to receive around £600,000, which would have meant an income of some £20,000 for each club; recognises that 20% of the SFL’s commercial income comes from this source and that this decision will have a major impact on the finances of every member club of the SFL, and therefore believes that the three pools companies should reverse the decision.

The meeting closed at 6.05 pm.

10.    Diabetes in Scotland: The Parliament debated S2M-1837 in the name of Karen Whitefield—That the Parliament notes the rising numbers of people with diabetes in Scotland as evidenced in the recent report from Diabetes UK Scotland, Diabetes in Scotland and the UK 2004, which shows that there are 148,000 people in Scotland diagnosed with diabetes, a rise of 28,000 since 1996; is concerned that at least 65,000 people in Scotland are undiagnosed, as highlighted in the report, and that this number is rising year-on-year; recognises that diabetes is associated with chronic ill-health, disability and premature mortality and that long-term complications, including heart disease, strokes, blindness, kidney disease and amputations, make the greatest contribution to the costs of diabetes care, and believes that many of these long-term effects could be avoided with earlier identification and more effective treatment.

The meeting closed at 5.56 pm.

No. 31 Thursday 18 November 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Fire (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-1960—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Fire (Scotland) Bill.

Mr Kenny MacAskill moved amendment S2M-1960.2 to motion S2M-1960—

Insert at end—         

“but, in so doing, recognises that the Fire Service has served Scotland and its communities well and has done so with firefighters, management, employers and local authorities working in partnership and therefore expresses concern about the proposed abolition of the Scottish Central Fire Brigade Advisory Council and its replacement with a non-statutory body, in conjunction with increased ministerial powers allowing for Scottish Executive action without a forum for proper debate and discussion, at a time when there is concern over the retention of control rooms and other aspects of the service.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 40, Against 64, Abstentions 12).

Miss Annabel Goldie moved amendment S2M-1960.1 to motion S2M-1960—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, seeks assurances from the Scottish Executive that the ministerial powers in part 1 of the Bill will not be used to amalgamate existing fire boards in Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 41, Against 76, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 77, Against 14, Abstentions 26).

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

3.      Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie); by the Minister for Health and Community Care (Mr Andy Kerr); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2028—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Bill, debate on each part of the proceedings shall be brought to a conclusion by the time-limits indicated (each time-limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended or otherwise not in progress):

Group 1 – no later that 45 minutes
Group 2 – no later than 1 hour
Motion to pass the Bill – 2 hours

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendment was agreed to without division: 6

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            1          (For   7, Against  86, Abstentions 0)

            2          (For 14, Against  79, Abstentions 0)

            3          (For 13, Against  80, Abstentions 0)

            4          (For 13, Against  79, Abstentions 0)

            5          (For 12, Against  82, Abstentions 0)

6.      Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: Susan Deacon moved S2M-1968—That the Parliament agrees that the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 103, Against 13, Abstentions 0).

7.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2014—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that the timetable for completion of consideration of the Transport (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be extended to 4 March 2005;

(b) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 26 November 2004 on the Land Registration (Scotland) Amendment Rules 2004 (SSI 2004/476), the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003 (Rural Housing Bodies) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/477), the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 (Prescribed Periods) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/478) and the Lands Tribunal for Scotland (Title Conditions Certificates) (Fees) Rules 2004 (SSI 2004/479); and

(c) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 3 December 2004 on the draft Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2004 and the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 (Notice of Potential Liability for Costs) Amendment Order 2004 (SSI 2004/490).

The motion was agreed to.

8.      Fire (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: Ms Margaret Curran moved S2M-1623—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Fire (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any expenditure payable out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to.

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

10.    Diabetes in Scotland: The Parliament debated S2M-1837 in the name of Karen Whitefield—That the Parliament notes the rising numbers of people with diabetes in Scotland as evidenced in the recent report from Diabetes UK Scotland, Diabetes in Scotland and the UK 2004, which shows that there are 148,000 people in Scotland diagnosed with diabetes, a rise of 28,000 since 1996; is concerned that at least 65,000 people in Scotland are undiagnosed, as highlighted in the report, and that this number is rising year-on-year; recognises that diabetes is associated with chronic ill-health, disability and premature mortality and that long-term complications, including heart disease, strokes, blindness, kidney disease and amputations, make the greatest contribution to the costs of diabetes care, and believes that many of these long-term effects could be avoided with earlier identification and more effective treatment.

The meeting closed at 5.56 pm.

 

No. 32 Wednesday 24 November 2004 

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Rev Elizabeth Clelland of Alloa North Parish Church and member of the Clackmannanshire United Prayer Group led Time for Reflection.

2.      Towards a Green Jobs Strategy: The Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Mr Jim Wallace) moved S2M-2049—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s commitment in A Partnership for a Better Scotland to work with business to develop and implement a green jobs strategy; notes the publication of Towards A Green Jobs Strategy – Opportunities For Business in June 2004; recognises the importance of sustainable economic development; notes the leadership given by the Executive in identifying potential “big wins” for Scotland, and encourages early publication of a finalised Green Jobs Strategy with an emphasis on action to secure for Scotland the positive benefits to both business and the environment arising from demands for more sustainable products and processes.

Jim Mather moved amendment S2M-2049.3 to motion S2M-2049—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“recognises the need to have control over energy policy to better enable Scotland to control and capitalise on its natural resources and fully utilise its considerable research and development capability to develop new green technologies that promote green jobs and also recognises that, in order to achieve these objectives and successfully implement a green jobs strategy to the most comprehensive extent, Scotland needs to have the full range of fiscal powers with which to encourage investment, retain intellectual property and high quality jobs, thereby securing the long-term positive benefits for the economy and the environment arising from increased affluence, increased demand for more sustainable products and processes and increased “green” employment.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 29, Against 77, Abstentions 1).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-2049.2 to motion S2M-2049—

Insert at end—

“but urges the Executive to ensure that such green jobs are not created at the expense of jobs in other sectors of the Scottish economy.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 74, Abstentions 16).

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-2049.1 to motion S2M-2049—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“, while welcoming the Scottish Executive’s commitment to develop and implement a green jobs strategy, recognises the importance of placing sustainability at the heart of development and the inherent contradiction in A Partnership for a Better Scotland between having economic growth as top priority and having environmental concerns at the heart of public policy; notes that the leadership so far shown by the Executive in identifying and securing “big wins” in terms of green jobs for Scotland would be greatly enhanced if it broadened its conception of green jobs from jobs in the environmental sector alone to mainstreaming sustainability in all enterprise; notes that a broader conception of green jobs could help to resolve this contradiction in the Partnership Agreement, and encourages early publication of a finalised Green Jobs Strategy that covers all sectors of the Scottish economy.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 13, Against 77, Abstentions 17).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 72, Against 0, Abstentions 35).

3.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2054—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 1 December 2004

2.00 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Ministerial Statement on REGLEG

followed by                      Public Petitions Committee Debate: Public Petition PE535

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 2 December 2004

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Aquaculture

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 Debate: Efficient Government

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 8 December 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 9 December 2004

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Socialist Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time—

                                      Environment and Rural Development;

                                      Health and Community Care;

                                      General Questions      

3.00 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

(b) that consideration of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 11 March 2005;

(c) that consideration of the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 21 January 2005; and

(d)  that consideration of the Fire (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 28 January 2005.

The motion was agreed to.

4.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2053—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 Modification Order 2004 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

6.      Lung Cancer Awareness Month: The Parliament debated S2M-2003 in the name of Irene Oldfather—That the Parliament notes that November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the Macmillan Cancer Relief and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation’s month-long campaign to raise awareness of lung cancer and highlight the message that early diagnosis saves lives; recognises that lung cancer is now the United Kingdom’s biggest cancer killer with 94 people a day dying from the disease; recognises that people are 40 times more likely to survive if the disease is detected early on; congratulates NHS Ayrshire and Arran on its innovative Smoking in Schools scheme whereby health advisers visit secondary schools across North Ayrshire to educate them on the dangers of tobacco smoke and to offer cessation services for young people who have already taken up the habit; recognises the importance of educating our young people on the dangers of tobacco smoking; looks forward to the future development of this scheme, and welcomes the Scottish Executive’s plans to increase support for those wishing to stop smoking and to ban smoking in public places, which will help reduce cases of lung cancer in Scotland.

The meeting closed at 5.54 pm.

No. 33 Thursday 25 November 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Supermarkets and the Scottish Food Chain: Shiona Baird moved S2M-2056—That the Parliament notes that more than three-quarters of the UK grocery sector is dominated by just four supermarket chains; is concerned about the negative impact that the dominance of supermarkets is having on Scottish farmers, independent retailers, high streets, local economies and consumer choice and health; notes that supermarkets also have significant power to control and lower prices being paid to Scottish producers but fail to translate this into lower prices for consumers; notes the Office of Fair Trading’s report that fear among suppliers of being delisted by the major supermarkets is preventing them from complaining under the current Supermarket Code of Practice; calls for an independent overseer of the code of practice who will proactively ensure that it is enforced and who will protect complainants from reprisals, and further calls for the code of practice to apply to the whole food supply chain in order to ensure fair trade for all.

The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved amendment S2M-2056.4 to motion S2M-2056—

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

“, while recognising that competition matters, including those relating to supermarkets and the food sector, are reserved to the UK Parliament, notes that the Office of Fair Trading is currently carrying out an independent audit of the Supermarket Code of Practice; agrees with the Executive’s objective, as set out in A Partnership for a Better Scotland: A Forward Strategy for Scottish Agriculture and Scottish Food and Drink Strategy, of supporting Scotland’s food and drinks industry to build on its reputation for high quality and its strong export record and to ensure that more Scottish produce is processed in Scotland; supports the Executive’s funding of the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society which assists farmer co-ops, and welcomes the implementation of the Organic Action Plan and the Eating for Health action plan.”

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-2056.1 to motion S2M-2056—

Insert at end—

“recognises that the behaviour of supermarkets can be influenced by pressure from informed consumers as well as the government; calls for a Scottish Executive investigation into each sector’s share of the profits between the plough and plate and particularly the farmer’s share of every pound spent on groceries; further calls on the Scottish Executive to convene a supermarkets’ summit to discuss ongoing concerns; recognises that the more local produce on supermarket shelves and less “food miles” the better it is for the environment and costs; supports a public procurement policy that ensures where possible food is sourced locally; notes that the beef sector’s profitability can be increased by scrapping the Over Thirty Months scheme in accordance with Food Standards Agency advice, and calls for this to happen.”

Alex Fergusson moved amendment S2M-2056.2 to motion S2M-2056—

Leave out from “negative” to end and insert—

 “impact that the dominance of supermarkets can have on Scottish farmers, producers and communities; notes the Office of Fair Trading’s report that fear among suppliers of being delisted by the major supermarkets is preventing them from complaining under the current Supermarket Code of Practice; calls for an independent overseer of the code of practice who will proactively ensure that it is enforced and who will protect complainants from reprisals, and further calls for the code of practice to apply to the whole food supply chain in order to ensure fair trade for all, with particular emphasis on ensuring that the primary producer receives a fair reward for his or her product.”

After debate, amendment S2M-2056.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 50, Abstentions 0).  As a result amendment S2M-2056.2 was pre-empted.

Amendment S2M-2056.1 was then disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 30, Against 82, Abstentions 0).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 28, Abstentions 20).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament, while recognising that competition matters, including those relating to supermarkets and the food sector, are reserved to the UK Parliament, notes that the Office of Fair Trading is currently carrying out an independent audit of the Supermarket Code of Practice; agrees with the Executive’s objective, as set out in A Partnership for a Better Scotland: A Forward Strategy for Scottish Agriculture and Scottish Food and Drink Strategy, of supporting Scotland’s food and drinks industry to build on its reputation for high quality and its strong export record and to ensure that more Scottish produce is processed in Scotland; supports the Executive’s funding of the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society which assists farmer co-ops, and welcomes the implementation of the Organic Action Plan and the Eating for Health action plan.

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

3.      Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Mr Jim Wallace) and the Minister for Transport (Nicol Stephen); by the Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) and the Solicitor General for Scotland (Mrs Elish Angiolini); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4.      Violence Against Women: The Deputy Minister for Communities (Johann Lamont) moved S2M-2059—That the Parliament supports the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women on 25 November 2004; affirms its commitment to eradicating all forms of violence against women in Scotland; acknowledges the significant funding that has gone into domestic abuse initiatives over the last four years; welcomes the more recent work of the Scottish Executive in setting up the Violence Against Women Service Development Fund and supporting Rape Crisis Scotland and the ten rape crisis centres throughout Scotland, and, noting the complexity of many of the issues involved, supports the Executive’s decision to set up an expert committee to support the development of a strategic approach to tackling these issues in future.

Christine Grahame moved amendment S2M-2059.2 to motion S2M-2059—

Insert at end—

“and, in particular to explore the cultural reasons underlying the recent report that one in five young men and one in ten women thought that violence against women was acceptable and to examine the crucial role that the media and entertainments industry has in compounding such attitudes, and, furth of Scotland, abhors the increased use of violence against women as a weapon of war.”

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

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

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women on 25 November 2004; affirms its commitment to eradicating all forms of violence against women in Scotland; acknowledges the significant funding that has gone into domestic abuse initiatives over the last four years; welcomes the more recent work of the Scottish Executive in setting up the Violence Against Women Service Development Fund and supporting Rape Crisis Scotland and the ten rape crisis centres throughout Scotland, and, noting the complexity of many of the issues involved, supports the Executive’s decision to set up an expert committee to support the development of a strategic approach to tackling these issues in future and, in particular to explore the cultural reasons underlying the recent report that one in five young men and one in ten women thought that violence against women was acceptable and to examine the crucial role that the media and entertainments industry has in compounding such attitudes, and, furth of Scotland, abhors the increased use of violence against women as a weapon of war.

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

6.      Encouraging School Debating: The Parliament debated S2M-1998 in the name of Mr Brian Monteith—That the Parliament recognises the great benefits that school debating can offer to students; believes that debate develops powers of argument, increases understanding, boosts critical thinking and promotes engagement with society; considers that students who take part in debating show stronger communication skills, raised self-esteem, are better at working in teams, become more articulate and objective and are likely to be better equipped to become active citizens; believes that the opportunity to take part in debate can have a real impact on the life-chances of young people, particularly of those from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds; supports the work of the English-Speaking Union (ESU), with schools throughout Scotland, in promoting and organising debate; notes that its National Juniors Debating Competition has attracted more than eighty entries from schools across the country, and welcomes the innovative new debating outreach programme that the ESU is launching in January 2005 in conjunction with North Lanarkshire Council.

The meeting closed at 5.57 pm.

No. 34 Wednesday 1 December 2004

The meeting opened at 2.00 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Laura Anne Teece, John Ogilvie High School, Hamilton, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2094—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 1 December 2004—

after,

2.00 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

delete,

followed by                      Ministerial Statement on REGLEG

and insert,

followed by                      Ministerial Statement on Institutional Child Abuse

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Ministerial Statement: The First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell) made a statement on institutional child abuse.

4.      Public Petitions Committee, Public Petition PE535: Michael McMahon, on behalf of the Public Petitions Committee, moved S2M-1988—That the Parliament notes public petition PE535 calling for the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Executive to (a) conduct an inquiry into past institutional child abuse, in particular for those children who were in the care of the state under the supervision of religious orders and (b) make an unreserved apology for the said state bodies and to urge the religious orders to apologise unconditionally.

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

5.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2095—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 8 December 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Ministerial Statement on Local Government Finance Settlement and Non-Domestic Rate Poundage

followed by                      Executive Debate: Transport

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 9 December 2004

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Socialist Party Debate: Iraq

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time—

                                      Environment and Rural Development;

                                      Health and Community Care;

                                      General Questions      

3.00 pm                          Executive Debate: Fisheries

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 15 December 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 16 December 2004

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Conservative and Unionist 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 Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to. 

6.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2087—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.13) (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/484) be approved. 

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 73, Against 18, Abstentions 21).

7.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2088—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Agricultural Holdings (Right to Buy Modifications) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 be approved. 

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2089—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2004 Amendment (No.2) Order 2004 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2090—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the following instruments 

the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/491);

the Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Amendment (No.3) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/492); and

the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/493). 

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10.    Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 as noted above.

11.    St Andrew’s Day: The Parliament debated S2M-2006 in the name of Dennis Canavan—That the Parliament believes that St Andrew’s Day should be recognised as Scotland’s National Day with a nationwide celebration of Scotland’s diversity of cultures, faiths and ethnic origins.

12.    Motion without Notice: Tricia Marwick moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended by 10 minutes.

The meeting closed at 6.04 pm.

No. 35 Thursday 2 December 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Towards a Sustainable Aquaculture Industry: The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Lewis Macdonald) moved S2M-2096—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive commitment, as set out in A Partnership for a Better Scotland, to support a sustainable aquaculture industry, through the implementation of the Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture and other measures, including trade defence and a review of the regulatory procedures and associated costs and of the scope for improved access to veterinary medicines, all of which are designed to protect and improve employment and investment opportunities in many parts of the Highlands and Islands, including many of our most remote rural and island communities.

Rob Gibson moved amendment S2M-2096.2 to motion S2M-2096—

Insert at end—

“and agrees to set out a timetable for the adoption and application of a framework for spatial planning of marine and coastal resources, including fish farming, taking advantage where appropriate of the planned strategic environmental assessment of Scotland’s coastline announced by the Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning on 24 November 2004, and calls for a regulatory one-stop shop.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 49, Against 63, Abstentions 0).

Mr Ted Brocklebank moved amendment S2M-2096.3 to motion S2M-2096—

Insert at end—

“but questions the timetable and scope of the proposed Aquaculture bill; further notes that the Executive has still failed to meet 14 targets it set out in the Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture, and laments that it has taken it six years to set up a review into the current regulatory framework with a view to lightening the burden of regulation that threatens to choke the industry.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 34, Against 77, Abstentions 1).

Robin Harper moved amendment S2M-2096.1 to motion S2M-2096—

Leave out from “commitment” to end and insert—

“stated commitment to a sustainable aquaculture industry; welcomes and endorses the aim of the Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture to establish “a sustainable, diverse, competitive and economically viable aquaculture industry”; further welcomes the Executive’s commitment to a review of regulatory procedures and associated costs; notes that the wording of the title of the motion, through the use of the word “towards”, acknowledges that the industry is currently not sustainable, and calls on the Executive, following its review, to develop a regulatory framework and overarching statutory code of practice that will include statutory duties and greater transparency for area management groups, codification of sea cage containment standards, statutory sea lice monitoring and reporting, provisions in respect of wild salmon and sea trout lochs, no relaxation of present constraints on the use of veterinary medicines, properly-financed transfer of powers from the Crown Estate to local authorities, proper support for all aquaculture activities and implementation of locational guidelines and optimum stocking levels in addition to working within the carrying capacity of the environment both locally and nationally and throughout the supply chain.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 97, Abstentions 0).

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 the Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock); by the Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) and the Minister for Communities (Malcolm Chisholm); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4.      Efficient Government: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-2093—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of Building a Better Scotland: Efficient Government – Securing Efficiency, Effectiveness and Productivity; recognises the need to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of the Scottish public sector, and endorses the Scottish Executive’s ambition to make the Scottish public sector the most productive and innovative in the United Kingdom.

Alasdair Morgan moved amendment S2M-2093.1 to motion S2M-2093—

Leave out “welcomes” and insert “notes”.

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 26, Against 85, Abstentions 1).

Mr Brian Monteith moved amendment S2M-2093.2 to motion S2M-2093—

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

“believes that such efficiency savings can only be made if there is a substantial reduction in the scope and size of government in Scotland, and therefore calls on the Scottish Executive to move away from its target culture of intervention and interference as well as to end the monopoly provision of public services in order to ensure better value for money.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 95, Abstentions 1).

Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S2M-2093.3 to motion S2M-2093—

Insert at end—

“but believes that such efficiency, effectiveness and productivity will only be delivered with the co-operation and involvement of the workers who deliver these public services and not by attacking them or slashing the number of workers employed in these services; further believes that public service workers embody all that is good about our small country and that they should be properly paid and recognised for the essential duties they perform; rejects any suggestion that reducing workforces improves effectiveness, efficiency or productivity but does believe that such action reduces the quality and scope of public services available to citizens across Scotland, and further believes that the privatisation of public services to date has proved clearly that public provision is superior in relation to both efficiency and quality and that further privatisation should therefore be opposed.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 79, Abstentions 18).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 22, Abstentions 26).

5.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2091—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that the timetable for completion of consideration of the Prostitution Tolerance Zones (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be extended to 30 April 2005;

(b) that consideration of the Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Bill and the Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill at Preliminary Stage be completed by 25 February 2005; and

(c) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 3 December 2004 on the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/491); the Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Amendment (No.3) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/492); and the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/493).

The motion was agreed to.

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

7.      Domestic Abuse Services for All Victims: The Parliament debated S2M-2055 in the name of Mike Rumbles—That the Parliament recognises the very serious and totally unacceptable problem of domestic violence in Scottish society; notes in particular that all victims, whether they be women, men or children, need to be supported, and therefore considers that the Scottish Executive should provide practical help and assistance to all such victims.

The meeting closed at 5.58 pm.

No. 36 Wednesday 8 December 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Marie Cooke, Co-ordinator of the Youth Service of Aberdeen Diocese (based at the Youth Office in Inverness) led Time for Reflection.

2.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) made a statement and answered questions on the Local Government Finance Settlement and Non-Domestic Rate Poundage.

3.      Executive-Supported Lifeline Ferry Services in the Clyde and Hebrides: The Minister for Transport (Nicol Stephen) moved S2M-2117—That the Parliament commends the Scottish Executive’s continued commitment to supporting and investing in lifeline ferry services in the Clyde and Hebrides; endorses its proposals for tendering the main bundle of ferry services as required under European Union rules, and welcomes the proposals for a final round of consultation to obtain the views of local communities and freight service users before proceeding with the tender under EU rules.

Fergus Ewing moved amendment S2M-2117.1 to motion S2M-2117—

Leave out from “commends” to end and insert—

“believes that lifeline ferry services must be provided and an element of public subsidy will be required for that aim; further believes that the proposed national concessionary travel scheme should be extended to ferry travel; calls on the Scottish Executive to provide documented evidence showing that EU law requires that the tendering process which the Executive proposes must be undertaken; is concerned about the potential impact that this process may have upon the employment conditions of staff working on ferries, and notes that many passengers have voiced serious concerns about both the efficiency and effectiveness of the current ferry services provided by Caledonian MacBrayne which require a thorough and independent investigation.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 53, Against 65, Abstentions 1).

David Mundell moved amendment S2M-2117.2 to motion S2M-2117—

Leave out from “commends” to end and insert—

“notes the continued uncertainty inflicted upon Caledonian MacBrayne, its employees and customers as a result of the Scottish Executive’s handling of the tendering process; regrets that Clyde and Hebridean ferry services are going out to tender purely to satisfy the wishes of the European Commission, and calls on the Scottish Executive to put the interests of our island communities before those of the European Commission.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 32, Against 89, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 53, Against 54, Abstentions 15).

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2130—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 15 December 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Ministerial Statement on Concessionary Fares

followed by                      Executive Debate: Waiting Times

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 16 December 2004

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Conservative and Unionist 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: Tourism

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 22 December 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 of the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Motion on the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 23 December 2004

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Finance Committee Debate: Stage 2 of the 2005-06 Budget Process

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

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

3.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2123—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (East Coast) (No.2) (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/500) be approved.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 80, Against 19, Abstentions 19).

6.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2124—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2004 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2125—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 1 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the draft Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (Incidental, Supplemental and Consequential Provisions) Order 2005.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

9.      Retire into Action – CSV Report on Older Volunteers: The Parliament debated S2M-2033 in the name of Sarah Boyack—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of Retire into Action, the Community Service Volunteers’ research into the benefits of volunteering by older people; celebrates the contribution made by older citizens in supporting local community organisations and individuals in Scotland; notes the personal benefits to be gained by volunteers such as improved health and confidence, as well as great social benefits; believes that Scotland’s ageing population provides great opportunities as well as challenges; notes the work done by older citizens in Edinburgh Central in supporting homeless people and those with debt problems, assisting in schools and running community centres and the many community groups that would struggle to exist without the generous time, expertise and commitment given by so many older people, and, in particular, notes the contribution of the Parliament’s neighbours in the Old Town where organisations such as the Committee of the St Anne’s Community Centre and the committees of the Dumbiedykes Neighbourhood Association and the Writers Group have worked over many years to support people and enrich their lives.

The meeting closed at 5.55 pm.

No. 37 Thursday 9 December 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Iraq: Frances Curran moved S2M-2132—That the Parliament notes with grave concern that Iraqi civilians have reported the use of napalm and/or phosphorous cluster bombs by US forces in their attack on the city of Fallujah, that the use of such weapons is banned by the United Nations international treaty to which the United Kingdom is a signatory and therefore utterly condemns any failure of the United States to abide by international treaties and the use of such weapons of mass destruction; notes the International Committee of the Red Cross’s recent call to both parties to the conflict in Iraq which stated that it is prohibited to torture participants or to subject them to any form of inhuman, humiliating or degrading treatment and that both sides must do everything possible to help civilians caught up in the fighting obtain the basics of survival such as food, water and health care, notes that there were reliable reports of US forces cutting off water supplies to Fallujah prior to the assault and therefore, along with the Red Cross, believes that“for the parties to this conflict, complying with international humanitarian law is an obligation, not an option”; believes that the war in Iraq was based on deceit and lies and that far from ending terrorism “American actions have instead elevated the authority of the jihadi insurgents and tended to ratify their legitimacy among Muslims”and that most Muslims think that “the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq has not led to democracy there, but only more chaos and suffering”, as stated by the Defence Science Board, notes that the war has resulted in a humanitarian disaster with as many as 100,000 Iraqis having lost their lives and malnutrition amongst Iraqi children having almost doubled and that British and US troops are seen by most Iraqis as occupiers rather than liberators and therefore believes that it is in the best interests of all for all troops to be brought home for Christmas.

Mr Duncan McNeil moved amendment S2M-2132.6 to motion S2M-2132—

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

“believes that there should be a peaceful and democratic Iraq and supports all those who are working for world peace and the extension of democracy; recognises the importance of international support for the people of Iraq in their efforts to achieve stability and democracy; reaffirms its support for a route map to peace in the Middle East which delivers a free and viable Palestinian state and security for Israel; affirms the importance of the principles of the rule of law, including respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and of democracy, including free and fair elections; believes that the planned withdrawal of British forces should only occur at the first practicable opportunity after the establishment of a democratic government in Iraq; acknowledges that the United Nations should play the leading role in assisting the Iraqi people, in particular in the formation of institutions for representative government; continues to express its gratitude to UK service personnel and their families including those from Scotland, and offers its sincere sympathy to the families of those members of the armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country.”

Alex Neil moved amendment S2M-2132.1 to motion S2M-2132—

Leave out from “all for all” to end and insert—

“both Iraq and the international community that the United States of America, United Kingdom and other western forces be replaced as a matter of urgency by a force assembled under the auspices of the League of Arab States, with other appropriate international support.”

Phil Gallie moved amendment S2M-2132.3 to motion S2M-2132—

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

“after the cessation of the Iraq war, deaths as a consequence of conflict continue albeit at a much reduced rate from that of proceeding years; deplores the continuing violence; trusts the Iraqi people to take a giant step towards democracy and peace in the forthcoming elections; pays tribute to the courageous, professional and effective manner in which British forces are responding to the serious security situation in Iraq; welcomes the return of soldiers from the Black Watch regiment and, in doing so, thanks them for their service to this country and the people of Iraq; wishes the Scots Guards well on their current tour of duty, and believes that at a time of international turbulence our regiments should be strengthened not disbanded.”

Mr Keith Raffan moved amendment S2M-2132.5 to motion S2M-2132—

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

“deeply regrets that Her Majesty’s Government took the United Kingdom into an unjustified war in Iraq; believes that it would be irresponsible to withdraw British troops until a fully democratically elected Parliament has been established in Iraq and that then a phased withdrawal of troops should begin; believes that the continued presence of multinational forces is essential in order to maintain stability and security prior to the January elections and to avoid even greater loss of life among the civilian population; believes that concerted action must be taken to improve the security situation and to ensure that Iraqi security forces are fully trained and equipped; recognises the bravery and professionalism of our armed forces serving in Iraq, not least those from the Black Watch, who operate in difficult and dangerous circumstances, but believes that no further troops should be committed to Iraq unless requested by United Kingdom commanders for force protection purposes or to fulfil our international obligations towards the people of Iraq; believes that all British forces should serve under British command, and believes that greater United Nations involvement is essential, particularly in the urgently-required humanitarian effort to provide clean water, food and adequate health care and also in economic reconstruction and stabilisation.”

Chris Ballance moved amendment S2M-2132.4 to motion S2M-2132—

Leave out from “it is in the best interests” to end and insert—

“the only way forward for peace and justice in Iraq is for the British and US governments to request the United Nations to bring in a peacekeeping force made up of soldiers from countries which did not support the invasion to replace British and US troops immediately, in order to allow civic society to re-establish itself in Iraq, and calls on the Scottish Executive to launch an inquiry into the physical and mental health of Scottish soldiers returning from Iraq and to prepare for an anticipated increase in combat stress-related conditions by increasing its support for the charity, Combat Stress, and its Hollybush House appeal.” 

After debate, amendment S2M-2132.6 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 54, Abstentions 2).  As a result amendments S2M-2132.1, S2M-2132.3, S2M-2132.5 and S2M-2132.4 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 32, Abstentions 22).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament believes that there should be a peaceful and democratic Iraq and supports all those who are working for world peace and the extension of democracy; recognises the importance of international support for the people of Iraq in their efforts to achieve stability and democracy; reaffirms its support for a route map to peace in the Middle East which delivers a free and viable Palestinian state and security for Israel; affirms the importance of the principles of the rule of law, including respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and of democracy, including free and fair elections; believes that the planned withdrawal of British forces should only occur at the first practicable opportunity after the establishment of a democratic government in Iraq; acknowledges that the United Nations should play the leading role in assisting the Iraqi people, in particular in the formation of institutions for representative government; continues to express its gratitude to UK service personnel and their families including those from Scotland, and offers its sincere sympathy to the families of those members of the armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country.

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

3.      Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie); by the Minister for Health and Community Care (Mr Andy Kerr); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4.      Fisheries: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-2129—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Executive in its efforts to negotiate the best possible outcome from the EU Fisheries Council in December 2004, an outcome that delivers sustainable fisheries, sustainable fishing businesses and sustainable fishing communities based on Total Allowable Catches and management controls that are both fair and effective.

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-2129.2 to motion S2M-2129—

Insert at end—

“; recognises the healthy abundance of many stocks vitally important to Scotland, including nephrops, monkfish and the record haddock stocks, and calls for a management regime that provides adequate fishing opportunities for the fleet in light of this encouraging situation; notes that the general state of stocks in Scottish waters demands proper examination in light of up-to-date science and the views of the fishing industry before any further drastic and unworkable management measures are foisted on the fleet; believes that recent events further illustrate the flaws in a Common Fisheries Policy in which many Scots who support sustainable fishing policies have lost faith, and therefore calls for control over our fishing grounds to be returned to Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 31, Against 89, Abstentions 0).

Mr Ted Brocklebank moved amendment S2M-2129.1 to motion S2M-2129—

Leave out from “an outcome” to end and insert—

“urges the Minister for Environment and Rural Development to secure higher quotas and more days at sea to secure a future for our fishermen and their coastal communities, accompanied by an end to the discredited haddock permit scheme with no new restrictions for the nephrops sector, and calls on the Executive to support the view of the vast majority of Scottish fishermen that it is time to end the discredited Common Fisheries Policy and to regain national control of UK waters”.

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 75, Abstentions 6).

Mr Mark Ruskell moved amendment S2M-2129.3 to motion S2M-2129—

Leave out from “based” to end and insert—

“; notes the North Sea Regional Advisory Council’s opinion that “the concept of a partially closed or restricted access area in the North Sea is not ruled out in principle”, and calls on the Executive to make proportionate use of closed areas, on-board observers and bycatch quotas in addition to existing management controls in furtherance of its aim to maintain the sustainability of fish stocks at the heart of the strategic agenda for fisheries, as stated in the Strategic Framework for the Scottish Sea Fishing Industry and, with UK and European counterparts, to seek the necessary resources and investment required to support these measures and fishery-dependent communities while fish stocks recover.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 9, Against 102, Abstentions 8).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 94, Against 24, Abstentions 1).

5.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2126—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Justice 1 Committee by 7 January 2005 on the draft Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (Incidental, Supplemental and Consequential Provisions) Order 2005.

The motion was agreed to.

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

7.      Excess Winter Deaths: The Parliament debated S2M-2027 in the name of Mrs Margaret Ewing—That the Parliament notes with growing concern that, despite various efforts to reduce fuel poverty, excess winter deaths still continue to rise; believes that additional measures must be implemented to reverse this trend and eradicate this blight in an energy-rich nation, and therefore believes that the Scottish Executive should review the effectiveness of existing schemes.

The meeting closed at 5.59 pm.

No. 38 Wednesday 15 December 2004 

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Very Reverend Graham Forbes, Provost of St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved  S2M-2167—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 15 December 2004—

after,

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

delete,

followed by                      Ministerial Statement on Concessionary Fares

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Fair to All, Personal to Each – The Next Steps for NHS Scotland: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Mr Andy Kerr) moved S2M-2155—That the Parliament notes that continuing action is needed to turn round the poor health of many people in Scotland; supports the emphasis that the Scottish Executive has placed, across portfolios, on health promotion; agrees that the Executive is right in tackling the three big killers of coronary heart disease, cancer, and stroke and recognises the progress made to date in reducing mortality rates from these diseases; believes in putting patients first so that they are at the heart of NHS service developments and priorities, and supports the Executive’s determination to target additional investment and increase capacity so that the next steps are focused on reducing waiting for out-patient appointments and hospital admissions, on speeding diagnostic tests and on extending patient choice.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-2155.3 to motion S2M-2155—

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

“recognises the progress made in reducing mortality rates from coronary heart disease, cancer and stroke; believes in putting patients first by expanding capacity in the NHS to tackle unacceptably high waiting times for out-patient appointments and hospital admissions, and is concerned that any expansion of the private sector in Scotland can only be achieved at the expense of the NHS.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 81, Abstentions 1).

Mr David Davidson moved amendment S2M-2155.1 to motion S2M-2155—

Leave out from “continuing” to end and insert—

“there is an urgent need to reform the NHS in Scotland; calls on the Scottish Executive to place patients’ needs at the centre of the service, to give patients the choice to move anywhere within the NHS, to ensure that NHS capacity is supplemented where necessary by better collaboration and partnership with the independent and voluntary health and care sectors and to move to a system where money follows the patients, and further calls on the Executive to free health professionals and local managers to respond to patient needs on a local basis and to transfer resources away from bureaucracy and into front-line care.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 103, Abstentions 2).

Carolyn Leckie moved amendment S2M-2155.4 to motion S2M-2155—

Leave out from “continuing” to end and insert—

“radical continuing action is needed to turn around the poor health of many people in Scotland, most of it poverty-related; further notes that the Scottish Executive needs to do much more if mortality and morbidity are to be drastically reduced, life expectancy increased and health inequalities removed; recognises that the most effective health promotion measure would be the eradication of poverty; recognises that, while Scotland’s people continue to suffer unacceptable levels of ill-health, the NHS needs to have the capacity to treat patients quickly, effectively and as close to their homes as possible; believes that the NHS in Scotland has suffered unprecedented and unsustainable reductions of capacity, particularly through bed cuts, hospital closures, PFI and budget deficits in the last 10 years and that there needs to be an immediate reversal of that trend by securing the NHS as a publicly-owned, publicly-delivered, universal, comprehensive service free at the point of need with the capacity to meet the needs of the population, and considers private health care to be a parasitic drain on NHS assets, resources and staff that merely converts public money into private profit whilst undermining the founding principles of the NHS and threatens its very existence as envisioned by Aneurin Bevan.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 82, Abstentions 23).

Dr Jean Turner moved amendment S2M-2155.2 to motion S2M-2155—

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

“welcomes the additional investment on health promotion, including its targeting of heart disease, cancer and stroke; however, urges the Scottish Executive as part of its next steps strategy and to fulfil its aim of returning all patients to the heart of the NHS, to include as part of the strategy a comprehensive review of services dedicated to palliative care and chronic conditions and, further, develop a national programme of diagnostic care, all of which continue to be under-resourced and under-funded, and believes that such a review will save the NHS money by identifying, treating and controlling such conditions in a more structured, preventative and cost-effective manner which will alleviate the consequent pressure on hospital beds and in-patient services.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 40, Against 83, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 55, Abstentions 1).

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved, S2M-2169—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 22 December 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Ministerial Statement on Concessionary Fares

followed by                      Stage 3 of the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Motion on the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 23 December 2004

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Finance Committee Debate: Stage 2 of the 2005-06 Budget Process

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

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

3.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 12 January 2005

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 13 January 2005

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time—

                                      Environment and Rural Development;

                                      Health and Community Care

                                      General Questions

3.00 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Decision Time: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2159—That the Parliament agrees under Rule 11.2.4 of Standing Orders that Decision Time on Thursday 23 December 2004 be taken at 3.00 pm.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2160—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 1 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Part 1 Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003: Draft Guidance for Local Authorities and National Park Authorities (SE/2004/276).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2161—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Fire Services (Appointments and Promotion) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/527).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2162—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 1 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Sheriff Officers) 2004 (SSI 2004/513).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8 as noted above.

10.    Rural Abattoirs: The Parliament debated S2M-1721 in the name of Eleanor Scott—That the Parliament notes that the number of red meat abattoirs in Scotland has fallen from 79 to only 44 in the past 20 years, whereas Austria has sustained over 3,000 slaughter facilities in this period; deplores this reduction, given the detrimental impact on animal welfare that results from increased transportation times; recognises the benefits to rural livelihoods, animal welfare and local food production that more rural abattoirs would bring, and considers that the Scottish Executive should invest in, and support the establishment of, new, modern slaughterhouses throughout rural Scotland.

11.    Motion without Notice: Mark Ballard moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended until 6.14 pm.

The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.14 pm.

No. 39 Thursday 16 December 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Proposed Defence Reviews from a Scottish Perspective: Murdo Fraser moved S2M-2165—That the Parliament notes the proposed cuts in manpower from the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and Army throughout the United Kingdom; further notes that this would mean the merger of the Royal Scots and the King’s Own Scottish Borderers into one battalion and the amalgamation of all five battalions into a super regiment of five battalions and a reduction in jobs and operations at RAF Lossiemouth and Kinloss; believes that this will have an adverse economic impact on the areas affected by the cuts; further believes that the Scottish regiments are an important part of the tradition and heritage of Scotland; notes that the recent war in Iraq was the latest conflict which showed Scotland’s regiments to be a modern, effective fighting force; believes that, in a time of increased commitments across the globe, our armed forces must have the necessary resources and structure to protect our country, deter aggression and safeguard our vital interests in the wider world, and, accordingly, condemns any cuts and mergers and, in particular, believes that the six existing single battalion Scottish infantry regiments should be retained.

Mr John Home Robertson moved amendment S2M-2165.4 to motion S2M-2165—

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

“acknowledges the importance of Scotland’s substantial contribution to the armed forces of the United Kingdom; notes the social and economic value of the military to communities throughout Scotland; believes that Scotland is rightly proud of the historic and current contribution of Scottish service personnel to the defence of the United Kingdom and to peacekeeping operations worldwide; accepts the need for the military to drive decisions about the structure of efficient armed forces for the modern world, and believes that the traditions, community links and identities of Scotland’s infantry battalions should be maintained in the armed forces of the United Kingdom.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 50, Against 66, Abstentions 11).

Roseanna Cunningham moved amendment S2M-2165.3 to motion S2M-2165—

Insert at end—

“and condemns the fact that these proposals have been developed while Black Watch soldiers and other members of the armed forces are involved in a dangerous conflict in Iraq.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 50, Against 72, Abstentions 5).

Mike Rumbles moved amendment S2M-2165.1 to motion S2M-2165—

Insert at end—

“as the best way to maintain the operational effectiveness of the Scottish infantry.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 60, Against 55, Abstentions 12).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 59, Abstentions 7).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the proposed cuts in manpower from the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and Army throughout the United Kingdom; further notes that this would mean the merger of the Royal Scots and the King’s Own Scottish Borderers into one battalion and the amalgamation of all five battalions into a super regiment of five battalions and a reduction in jobs and operations at RAF Lossiemouth and Kinloss; believes that this will have an adverse economic impact on the areas affected by the cuts; further believes that the Scottish regiments are an important part of the tradition and heritage of Scotland; notes that the recent war in Iraq was the latest conflict which showed Scotland’s regiments to be a modern, effective fighting force; believes that, in a time of increased commitments across the globe, our armed forces must have the necessary resources and structure to protect our country, deter aggression and safeguard our vital interests in the wider world, and, accordingly, condemns any cuts and mergers and, in particular, believes that the six existing single battalion Scottish infantry regiments should be retained as the best way to maintain the operational effectiveness of the Scottish infantry.

2.      Justice Issues with Specific Relevance to Reoffending: Miss Annabel Goldie moved S2M-2158—That the Parliament notes the unacceptable rate of reoffending occurring in Scotland today; accepts that there is a place in our criminal justice system for a range of different sentencing options to address this problem but recognises that when a prison sentence is the appropriate disposal then prison is not simply a punishment but is intended to rehabilitate, deter and protect the public; believes that the way to reduce reoffending and subsequently the prison population is to reduce the overall incidence of crime in Scotland, and therefore calls on the Scottish Executive to increase the police presence in our communities to deter and detect crime and to end automatic early release from our prisons to ensure honesty in sentencing.

The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved amendment S2M-2158.3 to motion S2M-2158—

Leave out from “unacceptable” to end and insert—

“Criminal Justice Plan’s acknowledgement that the rate of reoffending occurring in Scotland today is unacceptable; agrees that prison should be used where prison is the appropriate punishment but notes that prison is also intended to rehabilitate the offender, deter the prospective offender and protect the public; agrees that prison must sit within a range of different sentencing options to address reoffending, and therefore notes the increase in police numbers compared to the numbers delivered by the Conservatives, the establishment of the Sentencing Commission to consider a number of issues including early release, and that the recently published Criminal Justice Plan includes measures to tackle Scotland's high reoffending rates, reduce crime and the fear of crime and strengthen confidence in the country’s criminal justice services.”

Mr Kenny MacAskill moved amendment S2M-2158.2 to motion S2M-2158—

Leave out from “accepts” to end and insert—

“further notes that the causes of crime are manifold, involving social and economic dislocation and family and community fragmentation with drink, drugs and deprivation remaining at the root of much crime and antisocial behaviour; notes with concern that Scotland is heading towards having the highest per capita prison population in western Europe; calls, therefore, for a visible police presence in our communities and for prison to be reserved for serious and dangerous offenders; calls for action to be taken to ensure that community-based disposals are available for minor offences to ensure rehabilitation and best use of public funds; calls, therefore, on the Executive to ensure that it is not only tough on crime but tough on the causes of crime, and recognises that the solutions are multifaceted and require individuals to take responsibility for their own actions and for society to take responsibility for all its communities.”

Colin Fox moved amendment S2M-2158.1 to motion S2M-2158—

Leave out from “the way” to end and insert

“, since 80% of male and female prisoners represent no danger to the public, non-custodial sentences should be given much greater consideration and support; calls on the Scottish Executive to provide more specially-trained community police officers accountable to the communities that they serve in order to increase public confidence in the justice system, and reaffirms that, in cases where serious crimes have been committed, remission should be earned and fully recognised by both the wider community and the prison population itself.”

After debate, amendment S2M-2158.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 93, Against 24, Abstentions 10).  As a result, amendments S2M-2158.2 and S2M-2158.1 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 95, Against 19, Abstentions 13).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the Criminal Justice Plan’s acknowledgement that the rate of reoffending occurring in Scotland today is unacceptable; agrees that prison should be used where prison is the appropriate punishment but notes that prison is also intended to rehabilitate the offender, deter the prospective offender and protect the public; agrees that prison must sit within a range of different sentencing options to address reoffending, and therefore notes the increase in police numbers compared to the numbers delivered by the Conservatives, the establishment of the Sentencing Commission to consider a number of issues including early release, and that the recently published Criminal Justice Plan includes measures to tackle Scotland's high reoffending rates, reduce crime and the fear of crime and strengthen confidence in the country's criminal justice services.

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

4.      Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Mr Jim Wallace) and the Minister for Transport (Nicol Stephen); by the Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) and the Lord Advocate (Colin Boyd); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5.      Tourism – Ambitions for Scotland: The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Patricia Ferguson) moved S2M-2166—That the Parliament recognises the economic benefits of promoting the long-term growth of Scotland’s tourism industry; approves of the Scottish Executive’s ambition, shared with VisitScotland and the tourism sector, of achieving 50% revenue growth over the next decade; notes that this will benefit the economies of rural as well as city and urban areas in every part of the country; appreciates that this long-term growth can only be achieved by ensuring that the marketing of Scotland in UK and overseas tourism markets is further strengthened and that the businesses that comprise the tourism and hospitality sectors are encouraged to compete even more strongly and coherently in this most competitive of global industries, and welcomes the additional funding given to VisitScotland to help achieve this.

Brian Adam moved amendment S2M-2166.2 to motion S2M-2166—

Leave out from “approves” to end and insert—

“further recognises that tourism requires good access and good tourism experiences as well as marketing strategies; expresses concern over the uncertainties introduced by the Tourism Network Scotland (TNS) project, including potential compulsory redundancies, the financial shortfall and lack of a detailed business plan; commends the development of niche marketing strategies and the extension of the seasonal events to ensure that all Scotland benefits from a growing industry; seeks continued commitment to improving access through the Route Development Fund and a strategy for dealing with the consequences of changes to structural funds, and calls on the Scottish Executive, contingent upon production of the TNS business plan, to consider making available transitional funding to address any shortfall due to potential loss of membership income, local authority funding, redundancy costs and the ongoing structural deficit.” 

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 35, Against 92, Abstentions 0).

Mr Jamie McGrigor moved amendment S2M-2166.3 to motion S2M-2166—

Leave out from “approves” to end and insert—

“urges the Scottish Executive to pursue a more ambitious target for growth in light of the aggressive policies being pursued by competitor countries; appreciates that long-term growth can only be achieved by ensuring that the marketing of Scotland in UK and overseas tourism markets is further strengthened and that the businesses that comprise the tourism and hospitality sectors are freed from the Executive’s policies which are hampering business growth and enterprise throughout Scotland; regrets the uncertainty and consequent damage caused to the industry by the Executive’s handling of the tourism network restructuring process; further regrets the potential loss of local knowledge and expertise that may result from the centralisation of the tourism network, and calls on the Executive to ensure that both the local tourist information centres and funding for the new tourism hubs are adequately protected once the new network commences in April.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 18, Against 82, Abstentions 27).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 95, Against 18, Abstentions 14).

6.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2173—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that the timetable for completion of consideration of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be extended to 21 January 2005;

(b) that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Justice 1 Committee by 24 December 2004 on the Part 1 Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003: Draft Guidance for Local Authorities and National Park Authorities (SE/2004/276) and by 7 January 2005 on the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Sheriff Officers) 2004 (SSI 2004/513); and

(c) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 24 December 2004 on the Fire Services (Appointments and Promotion) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/527).

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Business Motion: Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2174—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Council Tax Abolition and Service Tax Introduction (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 23 December 2005.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (by division: For 84, Against 42, Abstentions 1).

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

9.      Knife Crime in Glasgow: The Parliament debated S2M-2038 in the name of Mr Frank McAveety—That the Parliament recognises the unacceptable number of incidents involving knife crime in Scotland and particularly in the east end of Glasgow; believes that the Scottish Executive, Strathclyde police and other key agencies need to work more effectively to tackle this problem; considers that a range of measures to deal with knife crime are required, and believes that the Executive should consider measures such as restricting access to the purchase of knives, ensuring appropriate programmes are in place to educate young people on the dangers and consequences of carrying and using knives, speedier and effective sentencing for those convicted of knife crime and ensuring that the police have effective powers to deal with those who carry and use knives.

10.    Motion without Notice: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended by 10 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.19 pm.

No. 40 Wednesday 22 December 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.      Emergency Workers (Scotland) Bill – Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2201—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Bill, debate on each part of the proceedings shall be brought to a conclusion by the time-limits indicated (each time-limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended or otherwise not in progress):

Groups 1 and 2 – no later than 30 minutes
Groups 3 to 5 – no later than 55 minutes
Motion to pass the Bill – 1 hour 40 minutes

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Transport (Nicol Stephen) made a statement and answered questions on concessionary fares.

4.      Emergency Workers (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 4, 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14.

The following amendments were agreed to (by division)—

            5          (For 86, Against 11, Abstentions 0)

            6          (For 89, Against 9, Abstentions 0)

            7          (For 89, Against 12, Abstentions 0)

            8          (For 89, Against 13, Abstentions 0)

            12        (For 87, Against 14, Abstentions 0)                       

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            2          (For 31, Against 70, Abstentions 0)

            15        (For 31, Against 69, Abstentions 0)

            16        (For 30, Against 70, Abstentions 0)

Other amendments were not moved.

5.      Emergency Workers (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-2157—That the Parliament agrees that the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 95, Against 15, Abstentions 0).

6.      Motion on the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies: Trish Godman moved S2M-2097—That the Parliament notes that the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland proposes to adopt, as an interim measure, the UK Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies, until such time as a Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies in Scotland is agreed.

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

7.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2199—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 12 January 2005

2.15 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Education Committee Debate: 8th Report of the Education Committee on Child Protection Issues

followed by                      Motion on the Gambling Bill - UK Legislation

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 13 January 2005

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish National Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time—

                                      Environment and Rural Development;

                                      Health and Community Care;

                                      General Questions

3.00 pm                          Executive Debate: Victims and Witnesses

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 19 January 2005

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 20 January 2005

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate on the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Bill

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 Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

8.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2191—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the following instruments—

the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (Protection of Children) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/526);

the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Modifications to Schedule 5) Order 2005; and

the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2005.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2192—That the Parliament agrees that the Health Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10.    Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 5, 6, 8 and 9 as noted above.

11.    Congestion Charging Scheme Referenda: The Parliament debated S2M-2175 in the name of David McLetchie—That the Parliament congratulates West Lothian Council for agreeing to hold a consultative referendum on the City of Edinburgh Council’s congestion charging scheme and for setting a question which conforms with the guidelines issued by the Electoral Commission and regrets that the City of Edinburgh Council, in its referendum, has proposed for answer a question which does not conform with these guidelines and intends to circulate an information leaflet with the ballot paper which will not include statements from parties opposed to the scheme.

The meeting closed at 5.49 pm.

No. 41 Thursday 23 December 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Finance Committee, Stage 2 of the 2005-06 Budget Process: Des McNulty, on behalf of the Finance Committee, moved S2M-2179—That the Parliament notes the 8th Report 2004 (Session 2) of the Finance Committee on Stage 2 of the 2005-06 Budget Process (SP Paper 257) and refers the report and its recommendations to the Scottish Executive for consideration.

After debate, the motion was 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 the Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) and the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Patricia Ferguson); by the Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) and the Minister for Communities (Malcolm Chisholm); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2193—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that the Education Committee and Justice 1 Committee report to the Justice 2 Committee by 24 December 2004 on the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (Protection of Children) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/526); and

(b) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 14 January 2005 on the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Modifications to Schedule 5) Order 2005 and the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2005.

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Decision Time: The Parliament took a decision on item 1 as noted above.

6.      Closure of Craigneuk Development: The Parliament debated S2M-2080 in the name of Alex Neil—That the Parliament expresses its deep regret that the Craigneuk Development and Support Unit has been forced to announce its closure and the forced redundancy of its staff with effect from Christmas Eve, as a direct result of the actions taken by North Lanarkshire Council to withdraw funding from this organisation and the services it provides; notes that the withdrawal of the unit’s counselling and support services will have a detrimental effect on the levels of poverty and deprivation in the communities which it serves, and believes that the way in which the council has treated this excellent organisation should be the subject of a detailed examination by Audit Scotland and the auditors of the European Commission and that appropriate steps should be taken to stop local authorities creating third party agencies which deliberately undermine and subvert the work of existing providers who are doing an excellent job, as was the case with the Craigneuk Development and Support Unit.

The meeting closed at 3.28 pm.

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