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No. 45 Wednesday 11 January 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Reverend Peter Macdonald, Minister of St George’s West Church, Edinburgh, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Sustainable Development Strategy: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-3792—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s new sustainable development strategy, “Choosing our future”; supports the strategy’s vision of a vibrant resource-efficient economy with Scotland as a leader in green enterprise; welcomes its emphasis on reducing Scotland’s global environmental impact, protecting its natural heritage and resources for the long term, improving the quality of life of individuals and communities and securing environmental justice for those who suffer the worst local environments, and calls on all sections of society in Scotland to play their part in delivering these objectives.

Rob Gibson moved amendment S2M-3792.1 to motion S2M-3792—

Insert at end—

“and further calls on the Executive to set targets for individuals, businesses, local authorities and communities to play their part in reducing Scotland’s global footprint while working to gain full powers for this Parliament over the key areas of policy that are needed to guarantee a sustainable Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 36, Against 79, Abstentions 0).

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S2M-3792.2 to motion S2M-3792—

Insert at end—

“but considers that vision and aspiration, while commendable, will not of themselves deliver for future generations and therefore the Executive must begin to deliver greater tangible evidence of its own commitment.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 30, Against 65, Abstentions 20).

Mr Mark Ruskell moved amendment S2M-3792.3 to motion S2M-3792—

Insert at end—

“and moreover makes it clear that leadership and consistent action from the top of government is of critical importance to enable lasting change; considers the progress so far by the Executive since 1999 to be richer in rhetoric than reality but, nevertheless, a full 13 years since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, welcomes this first step towards a meaningful strategy; considers that sustainable development should be the top priority of government, and recognises the critical role of this Parliament and its structures in engaging fully with the strategy and holding the Executive to account on its delivery.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 78, Abstentions 21).

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

3.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3798—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Thursday 12 January 2006—

Thursday 12 January 2006

after,

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

insert,

2.00 pm                          Election to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body

The motion was agreed to.

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3799—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 18 January 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Ministerial Statement: The Cultural Commission

followed by                      Procedures Committee Debate: Report on the Private Bill Committee assessors

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 19 January 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Economic Benefits of the Air Routes Development Fund

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—

                                      Justice and Law Officers;

                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning

2.55 pm                          Stage 3 Proceedings: Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Health Bill Legislative Consent Motion – UK Legislation

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 25 January 2006

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 26 January 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—

                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities;

                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport

2.55 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 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-3796—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No. 18) (Scotland) Order 2005 (SSI 2005/626) be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3797—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Modifications of Schedule 5) Order 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

8.      Closure of Six Post Offices: The Parliament debated S2M-3735 in the name of Dr Elaine Murray—That the Parliament expresses its concern over Post Office Ltd’s announcement that it will be closing six town centre post offices, including the main post office in Dumfries, replacing them with franchises in SPAR shops; notes that SPAR itself is a franchise; is concerned over the implications for staff numbers and terms and conditions of employment; believes that in cases such as Dumfries the new location is less convenient for customers; further believes that the proposed arrangements may not offer a sustainable and long-term future for these post offices; expresses concern that the announcement was made less than two weeks before Christmas and considers that Post Office Ltd should extend the consultation period beyond the current seven weeks to ensure that all customers get the opportunity to express their views, and believes that no irreversible decisions should be made without paying full consideration and attention to the views of customers and staff.

The meeting closed at 6.07 pm.

No. 46 Thursday 12 January 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Local Government Finance: Mr John Swinney moved S2M-3795—That the Parliament notes the widespread concern over the inadequacy of the local government finance settlement for 2006-07 and 2007-08; notes the recommendations of the Finance Committee that the Scottish Executive should reconsider the settlement; welcomes the moves to make government more efficient but calls for this process to be applied equitably across national and local government and conducted with greater rigour; calls on the Executive to restore the £58.5 million in efficiency savings to local government baselines and to make available to local authorities £34.7 million from the pre-Budget report consequentials on condition that this is used to deliver a real-terms freeze in council tax, and recognises that these are short-term improvements to the unfair council tax that will only be resolved when the system is abolished and replaced by a local income tax based on the ability to pay.

The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform and Parliamentary Business (George Lyon) moved amendment S2M-3795.4 to motion S2M-3795—

Leave out from “widespread concern” to end and insert—

“record levels of finance provided to local government by the Scottish Executive which mean that by 2007-08 core funding will have increased by over £3 billion or 55% compared with 1999-2000; welcomes the report from the Local Government Improvement Service which confirms that councils are on course to achieve at least £122 million in efficiency savings in 2005-06; notes that the Executive has given a commitment to consider some further additional resources for 2007-08 subject to local government delivering on their efficiency targets and that the Executive is engaged in an ongoing discussion with local government about the financial pressures councils are facing and the steps local government can take to maintain downward pressure on council tax, and looks forward to the report of the independent committee on local government taxation, which is due later this year.”

David Davidson moved amendment S2M-3795.3 to motion S2M-3795—

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

“as many in Scotland are suffering as a result of the 55% rise in council tax since the Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition came to power; believes that a proposed new system of local income tax would be over-complicated, expensive to collect, would remove accountability and transparency from local government and adversely penalise young working households, and notes that the real problem in Scotland is the high level of council taxes charged, not the tax itself.”

Mark Ballard moved amendment S2M-3795.1 to motion S2M-3795—

Leave out from “local income tax” to end and insert—

“system of land value taxation that recognises that ability to pay is not determined solely by income.”

Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S2M-3795.5 to motion S2M-3795—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“believes that local authorities have taken giant strides to improve efficiency but are hampered by inefficient and uneconomic public private partnership deals and the use of expensive consultants which, coupled with the inadequacy of central government funding, makes the protection and expansion of vital local government jobs and services increasingly difficult to achieve; calls on the Executive to restore the £58.5 million in efficiency savings to local government baselines and to make available to local authorities £34.7 million from the pre-Budget report consequentials on condition that this is used to deliver a real-terms freeze in council tax; recognises that these are short-term improvements to the unfair council tax that will only be resolved when the system is abolished and replaced by a local income tax based on the ability to pay, and believes the Executive must fully fund equal pay restructuring across Scotland’s local authorities to deliver economic justice to the hundreds of thousands of women workers who have been illegally underpaid for years.”

After debate, amendment S2M-3795.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 56, Abstentions 0).  As a result, amendments S2M-3795.3, S2M-3795.1 and S2M-3795.5 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 56, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the record levels of finance provided to local government by the Scottish Executive which mean that by 2007-08 core funding will have increased by over £3 billion or 55% compared with 1999-2000; welcomes the report from the Local Government Improvement Service which confirms that councils are on course to achieve at least £122 million in efficiency savings in 2005-06; notes that the Executive has given a commitment to consider some further additional resources for 2007-08 subject to local government delivering on their efficiency targets and that the Executive is engaged in an ongoing discussion with local government about the financial pressures councils are facing and the steps local government can take to maintain downward pressure on council tax, and looks forward to the report of the independent committee on local government taxation, which is due later this year.

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

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

4.      Election of Member to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body: The following members were nominated as candidates for appointment to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body—

          Mr Kenny MacAskill    
          Margo MacDonald
         
The result was—

          Mr Kenny MacAskill   94
          Margo MacDonald      20
          Abstentions                 1
         
Mr Kenny MacAskill was duly elected as a member of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.

5.      Skills and Training for a Modern Scotland: The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) moved S2M-3806—That the Parliament agrees that developing the current and future workforce of Scotland is key to ending poverty and sustaining economic growth; recognises the very good progress that is being made in reducing unemployment through investment in skills and training, and welcomes the Scottish Executive’s intention to work with the United Kingdom Government, employers and employer organisations, universities, colleges, training organisations and other public agencies to drive forward opportunities for workforce development to strengthen the economy and improve the employability and skills of individuals across Scotland, in particular those furthest from employment and those in lower paid, low skilled jobs.

Jim Mather moved amendment S2M-3806.1 to motion S2M-3806—

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

“but regrets the continuing delay in the publication of the Scottish Executive’s employability strategy and the lack of any new measures to tackle the unacceptably high number of 16 to 19-year-olds who are neither in employment, education or training in Scotland and recognises that the Executive’s worthy objectives self-evidently can only be met comprehensively when Scotland couples relevant, valued and constantly improving training with the full range of economic powers that can credibly and tangibly improve competitiveness and create the levels of employment opportunity and sustainable income improvement for all which, in turn, will retain and attract talented people to Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 34, Against 81, Abstentions 6).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-3806.2 to motion S2M-3806—

Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—

“notes the outstanding success of modern apprenticeships in helping thousands of young people into work and training since 1994; welcomes the devolution of workforce services currently provided by the New Futures Fund from Scottish Enterprise to local community partnerships; notes with concern that Scotland has more young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) than any other OECD country or UK region; is disappointed at the delay in the Scottish Executive publishing its long-awaited Employability Framework; notes the findings of the NEET working group set up by the Executive that young people who are NEET are generally characterised by low educational attainment, truancy and/or disadvantaged backgrounds, and calls on the Executive to extend the vocational opportunities available at further education colleges from the age of 14 and to expand the role of community-based voluntary programmes which play a crucial role in combating deprivation.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 47, Against 72, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 75, Against 22, Abstentions 23).

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

7.      The Tayside Project: The Parliament debated S2M-3558 in the name of Shona Robison—That the Parliament commends Marie Curie Cancer Care for joining forces with NHS Tayside, Dundee City Council, Perth and Kinross and Angus Councils and the Scottish Ambulance Service to deliver the first Scottish project of the Delivering Choice Programme in Tayside, which aims to look at the problems in palliative care provision in the region before developing a strategy to deliver the best possible palliative care and end-of-life care for patients in the area, allowing them to be cared for in the place of their choice; notes that Tayside has specific problems in this area, with 75% of the admissions to the cancer centre in Ninewells Hospital being for palliative care, and that over the three-year project issues like this will be tackled, and believes that the findings of the project should be utilised in other areas of Scotland to inform palliative care policy so that everyone in Scotland can benefit from this ground-breaking project.

The meeting closed at 5.59 pm.

No. 47 Wednesday 18 January 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Mrs Carrie Varjavandi, representing the Baha’i Council for Scotland, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3832—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 January 2006 as follows—

Wednesday 18 January 2006

after

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection – Mrs Carrie Varjavandi, representing the Baha’i Council for Scotland

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

delete

followed by                      Ministerial Statement: The Cultural Commission

and insert

followed by                      Executive Debate: International Strategy

Thursday 19 January 2006

after

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time

delete

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.55 pm                          Stage 3 Proceedings: Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill

and insert

2.55 pm                          Ministerial Statement: The Cultural Commission

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill

The motion was agreed to.

3.      International Strategy: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-3826—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s ambitions and activities to build international relationships that benefit Scotland and Scotland’s interests throughout the world; supports its promotion of Scotland as an ideal place to live, work, study and do business; commends the Executive’s encouragement and support for Scottish contributions to international development and other challenges facing the international community; acknowledges the importance of working with the UK Government to achieve these aims, and underlines the importance of responding to changing international circumstances to ensure the greatest possible gains for Scotland in all sectors.

Mr John Swinney moved amendment S2M-3826.1 to motion S2M-3826—

Leave out from “acknowledges” to end and insert—

“but regrets that on major issues of international policy, such as the war in Iraq or CIA rendition flights, the Executive is unable effectively to represent the views of the people of Scotland, and recognises that this will be possible only when Scotland plays a constructive role as an independent member of the international community.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to (DT) by division: For 35, Against 79, Abstentions 0).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-3826.2 to motion S2M-3826—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes the Scottish Executive’s efforts to promote Scotland’s international image and to encourage Scottish contributions to international development; welcomes the work of Scottish Development International in building on the success of Locate in Scotland; is disappointed to note that no minister has participated in any Scottish Council for Development and Industry trade mission since 1999; believes that a more competitive economy and better public services are crucial to making Scotland a more attractive place in which to live and invest, and acknowledges that the Executive must work closely with Her Majesty’s Government in order to improve the image of Scotland overseas.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 79, Abstentions 21).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 69, Against 26, Abstentions 20).

4.      Private Bill Committee Assessors: Donald Gorrie, on behalf of the Procedures Committee, moved S2M-3794—That the Parliament notes the Procedures Committee’s 1st Report, 2006 (Session 2), Private Bill Committee assessors (SP Paper 481), and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 19 January 2006.

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

5.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3833—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 25 January 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Abolition of NHS Prescription Charges (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 26 January 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities;
                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport

2.55 pm                          Stage 1 Debate: Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill

followed by                      Ministerial Statement: Forestry

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 1 February 2006

2.15 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Question Time

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 2 February 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Health and Community Care;
                                      Environment and Rural Development

2.55 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3828—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Planning etc. (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 19 May 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3829—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 28 April 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

8.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3827—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2004 (Modification of the National Health Service (Scotland Act 1978) Order 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT) by division: For 108, Against 1, Abstentions 5).

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

10.   Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods: The Parliament debated S2M-3744 in the name of Christine May—That the Parliament recognises the many opportunities to improve community safety provided under the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 and other initiatives, such as Safer Routes to School; congratulates community safety partnerships, such as that in Fife, for the innovative ways in which they have developed local schemes; notes that initiatives, such as Fife’s Time2Act Safer Neighbourhoods campaign, cover a wide range of community safety matters such as safety of older people, women’s personal safety, reduction in domestic violence, drink driving and drunk pedestrians, safety of children and young people, safer town centres and neighbourhoods and support for victims of crime and anti-social behaviour; acknowledges the work done by public sector staff, uniformed services and many members of local communities to develop and support such schemes; believes that there is further scope for developments in this area, and considers that all concerned should continue to work together to make Scotland’s communities safer.

The meeting closed at 5.52 pm.

 No. 48 Thursday 19 January 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Air Route Development Fund: The Minister for Transport and Telecommunications (Tavish Scott) moved S2M-3837—That the Parliament endorses the success of the Air Route Development Fund (ARDF) in bringing direct Scottish air links to Europe, North America and within the UK; notes the economic advantages that have flowed to the Scottish economy and the reduced need for short haul flights through hub airports; supports the development of a European regime that tackles the environmental impact of aviation emissions; further supports work to improve rail journey times between Scotland and London in order to reduce the reliance on domestic short haul flights, and looks to the further use of the ARDF in developing Scotland’s international connections.

Fergus Ewing moved amendment S2M-3837.2 to motion S2M-3837—

Insert at end—

“further acknowledges the importance of aviation in the prime aim of growing the Scottish economy; urges the Executive to seek to remove barriers to further success in aviation policy; calls on the Executive to audit and review the ARDF and its efficacy thus far, with a view to refining and widening its terms, and to consider, for example, its extension to air freight traffic and to less frequent and seasonal services, and urges the Executive to work with Scotland’s airports and carriers to deliver a competitive economic environment, which should include the provision of appropriate and sufficient infrastructure for our airports.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 35, Against 74, Abstentions 1).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-3837.1 to motion S2M-3837—

Insert at end—

“notes, however, that the ARDF represents a comparatively modest contribution to the massive expansion of air services over recent decades, which is chiefly due to the substantial deregulation of the industry achieved by the liberalising policies of the last Conservative administration, such as the privatisation of the British Airports Authority (BAA), the privatisation of British Airways (BA), the Airports Act 1986, the Civil Aviation Act 1980 and the pursuit of a European single market in aviation.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 14, Against 94, Abstentions 2).

Mark Ruskell moved amendment S2M-3837.3 to motion S2M-3837—

Leave out from “endorses” to end and insert—

“questions the success of the Air Route Development Fund (ARDF) in bringing sustainable development benefits to Scotland; further questions whether economic advantages have flowed to the Scottish economy from the ARDF; supports the development of an international regime that reduces overall aviation emissions; notes that promoting expansion of aviation undermines existing emissions targets and that projected growth in aviation would necessitate cessation of economic activity in other sectors in order to achieve targets; notes that the net cost of aviation to the Scottish economy was £1.4 billion in 2004 and that the United Kingdom accounts for 87% of tourist visits to Scotland; supports work to improve rail journey times between Scotland and London in order to reduce the reliance on domestic short-haul flights but notes the lack of progress in this respect, and condemns the further use of public funds for the ARDF.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 7, Against 97, Abstentions 7).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 99, Against 12, Abstentions 1).

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

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

4.      Themed Question Time: Questions on Justice and Law Officers and on Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers and by the Scottish Law Officers.

5.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Patricia Ferguson) made a statement and answered questions on the Cultural Commission.

6.      Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill – Business Motion: Bill Aitken, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3836—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill, debate on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time limit indicated (that 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, other than a suspension following the first division in the Stage being called, or otherwise not in progress):

Groups 1 and 2 – 25 minutes

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

Amendment 1 was disagreed to (by division) (For 40, Against 65, Abstentions 1)

Amendment 2 was moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn.

8.   Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Robert Brown) moved S2M-3783—That the Parliament agrees that the Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill be passed.

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

9.      Health Bill - UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (Lewis Macdonald) moved S2M-3835—That the Parliament agrees that the UK Parliament should consider those provisions of the Health Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on 27 October 2005, which will legislate in devolved areas in respect of supervisory requirements on community pharmacists and recovery of NHS costs in cases of personal injury compensation, which will include the powers consequential on these amendments and which will alter the executive competence of the Scottish Ministers to enforce certain provisions in the Medicines Act, as laid out in LCM(S2) 1.1.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 105, Against 1, Abstentions 5).

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

11.   Communication Impairment: The Parliament debated S2M-3245 in the name of Mrs Nanette Milne—That the Parliament notes that there are an estimated 250,000 people in Scotland who have communication impairment; recognises that communication impairment can affect every waking moment of a person’s life and that those affected by communication impairment, by definition, are not easily able to speak up about their needs, and believes that the Scottish Executive should take immediate steps to support quality social action research in order to develop a comprehensive and coherent framework for action on communication impairment in Scotland.

The meeting closed at 5.52 pm.

No. 49 Wednesday 25 January 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Mrs Alison Twaddle, General Secretary of the Church of Scotland Guild, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Abolition of NHS Prescription Charges (Scotland) Bill: Colin Fox moved S2M-3808—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Abolition of NHS Prescription Charges (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 40, Against 77, Abstentions 1).

3.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3871—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 1 February 2006

2.15 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Question Time

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Council Tax Abolition and Service Tax Introduction          (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 2 February 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Human Tissue (Scotland) Bill

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Health and Community Care;
                                      Environment and Rural Development
2.55 pm                          Stage 1 Debate: Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice           (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice    (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 8 February 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Busines

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 9 February 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning;
                                      Justice and Law Officers

2.55 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

4.      Approval of SSIs: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-3864—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2006 be approved; and

S2M-3865—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Skin Piercing and Tattooing) Order 2006 be approved.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

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

6.      NHS Fife Waiting Times: The Parliament debated S2M-3825 in the name of Iain Smith—That the Parliament welcomes progress made on the reduction in waiting times for treatment of cancer patients in Scotland but notes with concern that 40% of patients in the NHS Fife area are waiting longer than two months for treatment and believes that the Scottish Executive should meet NHS Fife to discuss ways to cut waiting times for Fife cancer patients.

The meeting closed at 5.34 pm.

No. 50 Thursday 26 January 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      The Economy of the East of Scotland: Murdo Fraser moved S2M-3863—That the Parliament opposes the dramatic increase in tolls on the Forth Road Bridge being proposed by the Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA); notes that the proposals flow directly from the powers to implement road user charging granted under the Transport (Scotland) Act 2001 which were opposed by the Conservatives and supported by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party; further notes with concern the view of FETA that the bridge could be closed to heavy goods vehicles by 2013 and to all traffic by 2019; believes that either of these scenarios would have extremely serious consequences for the economy of the east of Scotland; supports the Scottish Executive’s decision to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the structure of the current bridge; further believes, however, that in light of the timescales involved, this must be conducted simultaneously with preliminary work on options for a new crossing and how this might be funded, and calls on the Executive to commence such work without delay.

The Minister for Transport and Telecommunications (Tavish Scott) moved amendment S2M-3863.2 to motion S2M-3863—

Leave out from “opposes” to end and insert—

“notes the record of successive Conservative governments in approving tolling regimes on bridges, and further notes that the Scottish Government believes that a Forth road crossing is essential for the Fife economy and that it will make its decision on the FETA toll application after examination of the condition of the current bridge and the need for any replacement.”

Bruce Crawford moved amendment S2M-3863.1 to motion S2M-3863—

Leave out from “opposes” to end and insert—

“notes with regret the announcement by Lexmark that it intends to close its factory in Rosyth with the loss of 700 jobs; expresses sympathy for the workers affected; is concerned about the impact the closure will have on the economy of Dunfermline and West Fife; believes that, in response to the closure, an action plan targeted at assisting the Lexmark workforce should be introduced immediately; further believes that the Scottish Executive, in conjunction with Fife Council, should put in place, as a matter of urgency, a strategy for the economic revitalisation of Dunfermline town centre and that Transport Scotland should be directed to improve the transport links to the area in order to make it more attractive for investors; agrees that, as part of a package to help the economy of Fife, an immediate announcement freezing the level of tolls on the Forth Road Bridge at £1 should be made, and further agrees that planning for a new crossing should begin immediately in view of the fact that the bridge will close to heavy goods vehicles in 2013 and to all traffic in 2019 if a satisfactory engineering solution cannot be found to overcome the bridge's structural problems.”

After debate, amendment S2M-3863.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 70, Against 38, Abstentions 0).  As a result amendment S2M-3863.1 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 70, Against 39, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the record of successive Conservative governments in approving tolling regimes on bridges, and further notes that the Scottish Government believes that a Forth road crossing is essential for the Fife economy and that it will make its decision on the FETA toll application after examination of the condition of the current bridge and the need for any replacement.

2.      Future Energy Policy: Alex Johnstone moved S2M-3870—That the Parliament notes with interest the UK Energy Review; believes that provision of a secure and affordable supply of electricity is essential to Scotland's future prosperity, and therefore believes that all options, including the construction of new nuclear power stations to replace existing nuclear capacity, should be considered for inclusion in Scotland's future energy mix.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-3870.4 to motion S2M-3870—

Leave out from “notes” to end and insert—

“supports the Scottish Executive’s continuing commitment to the development of a wide range of renewable energy technologies in Scotland as a key element of a balanced energy supply mix; supports the Executive’s target that 40% of electricity generated in Scotland by 2020 should come from renewable sources; looks forward to publication of the revised Scottish Climate Change Programme and the consideration given to the contribution of energy efficiency and renewables to reduce carbon dioxide emissions; endorses the Executive’s commitment to tackling fuel poverty; acknowledges the Executive’s commitment to not support further development of nuclear power stations while waste management issues remain unresolved; welcomes the forthcoming release of the first two volumes of the Scottish Energy Study; recognises the importance of the UK energy review, and supports the Executive’s engagement with the UK Government, Ofgem and the energy industry to ensure that the future energy supply needs of Scotland are met.”

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-3870.2 to motion S2M-3870—

Leave out from “with interest” to end and insert—

“that Scotland is an energy rich nation; rejects calls for investment in new nuclear power stations in favour of accelerating the development of our renewables potential and emerging clean technologies; notes that, contrary to the impression given by many commentators, Scotland is a gas exporter and consumes only one-eighth of gas produced, and believes that the Parliament requires the political powers to determine our own energy future and ensure that our energy resources benefit the people of Scotland.”

After debate, amendment S2M-3870.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 38, Abstentions 8).  As a result, amendment S2M-3870.2 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 38, Abstentions 7).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Executive’s continuing commitment to the development of a wide range of renewable energy technologies in Scotland as a key element of a balanced energy supply mix; supports the Executive’s target that 40% of electricity generated in Scotland by 2020 should come from renewable sources; looks forward to publication of the revised Scottish Climate Change Programme and the consideration given to the contribution of energy efficiency and renewables to reduce carbon dioxide emissions; endorses the Executive’s commitment to tackling fuel poverty; acknowledges the Executive’s commitment to not support further development of nuclear power stations while waste management issues remain unresolved; welcomes the forthcoming release of the first two volumes of the Scottish Energy Study; recognises the importance of the UK energy review, and supports the Executive’s engagement with the UK Government, Ofgem and the energy industry to ensure that the future energy supply needs of Scotland are met.

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

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

5.      Themed Question Time: Questions on Finance and Public Services and Communities and on Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6.      Budget (Scotland) No.3 Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-3854—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Budget (Scotland) (No. 3) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 5, Abstentions 40).

7.      Ministerial Statement: The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Rhona Brankin) made a statement and answered questions on Forests for Scotland.

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

9.      The Thistle Travel Card Scheme: The Parliament debated S2M-3553 in the name of Jackie Baillie—That the Parliament congratulates Enable, together with a consortium of Scottish charities including Down’s Syndrome Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland, for its work to introduce the Thistle Travel Card; welcomes the support of the Scottish Executive and transport companies for the implementation of the scheme, including in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh; acknowledges that many people with learning or physical disabilities, as well as those with dementia and epilepsy, may experience some difficulty in using public transport; considers that the Thistle Travel Card provides them with additional assistance by alerting travel staff to their particular needs; notes that awareness of the scheme is limited, and considers that the Scottish Executive and transport companies should actively promote awareness and uptake of the Thistle Travel Card.

The meeting closed at 5.46 pm.

No. 51 Wednesday 1 February 2006

The meeting opened at 2.15 pm.

1       Time for Reflection: Rt Rev David W. Lacy, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, led Time for Reflection.

2       SPCB Question Time: Questions were answered by members of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.

3       Council Tax Abolition and Service Tax Introduction (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: Tommy Sheridan moved S2M-3893—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Council Tax Abolition and Service Tax Introduction (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 12, Against 94, Abstentions 6).

4       Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3905—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 8 February 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Local Government Settlement 2006-2007

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 9 February 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill

followed by                      Executive Debate: Volunteering

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning;
                                      Justice and Law Officers

2.55 pm                          Executive Debate: Social Work for the 21st Century
followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time
followed by                      Members’ Business


Wednesday 22 February 2006

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 23 February 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport;
                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities

2.55 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Approval of SSIs: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-3903—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2005 Amendment Order be approved; and

S2M-3904—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Police Act 1997 Amendment (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

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

7.      Community and Village Halls: The Parliament debated S2M-3839 in the name of Mr Andrew Welsh—That the Parliament notes with concern the increased costs of water charges paid by new village and community halls and that these will also be imposed on older halls after 2010; recognises that these halls play a vital role as the hub of the community by providing a venue for educational classes, Scottish dancing, recreation, Scottish Women’s Rural Institute meetings, keep-fit classes, youth clubs, scouts, brownies and other activities; believes that these charges to charitable organisations are an undue burden on local rural communities in Angus; notes that the Scottish Executive has partly funded numerous new halls and refurbishments for many more which has caused an increase in the rateable value burden, and believes that the Executive should extend the exemption scheme to all community and village halls with charitable status and introduce legislation to reinstate the exemption for community and village halls which have charitable status.

The meeting closed at 5.35 pm.

No. 52 Thursday 2 February 2006

The meeting opened at 9.16 am.

1.      Human Tissue (Scotland) Bill – Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3907—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Human Tissue (Scotland) Bill, debate on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time limit indicated (that 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, other than a suspension following the first division in the Stage being called, or otherwise not in progress):

Groups 1 and 2 – 40 minutes
Groups 3 and 4 – 1 hour 10 minutes
Groups 5 to 7 – 1 hour 40 minutes

The motion was agreed to.

2.      Human Tissue (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 1, 2, 38, 61, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            11        (For 18, Against 87, Abstentions 0)
            13        (For 18, Against 84, Abstentions 0)
            15        (For 13, Against 67, Abstentions 0)
            59        (For 39, Against 66, Abstentions 0)

The following amendments were not moved: 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 60, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 40, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114 and 115.

Amendments 39 and 62 were pre-empted.

3.      Human Tissue (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (Lewis Macdonald) moved S2M-3785—That the Parliament agrees that the Human Tissue (Scotland) Bill be passed.

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

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

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

6.      Themed Question Time: Questions on Health and Community Care and on Environment and Rural Development were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

7.      Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-3786—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 98, Against 4, Abstentions 1).

8.  Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-3822—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill, agrees to—

(a) any expenditure of a kind referred to in paragraph 3(b)(ii) of Rule 9.12 of the Parliament’s Standing Orders;

(b) any increase in expenditure of a kind referred to in paragraph 3(b)(iii) of that Rule; and

(c) any charges or payments in relation to which paragraph 4 of that Rule applies, arising in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

10.  Childhood Obesity in Scotland: The Parliament debated S2M-3732 in the name of Elaine Smith—That the Parliament expresses concern at recent findings published by NHS Scotland which suggest that the proportion of Scottish children who are overweight, obese and severely obese is far higher than anticipated in all age groups and is twice that of the expected UK average; recognises this means that more than a third of our 12-year-olds were considered to be overweight last year, 19.4% were considered to be obese and 11.2% severely obese; accepts that these figures represent a potential time bomb for the NHS in terms of the future costs of the treatment of obesity and related illness; acknowledges the commitment by the Scottish Executive to tackle this problem; considers that more robust measures are needed, such as investing further in the promotion of breastfeeding as the healthiest start in life, removing unhealthy dietary choices from our school environments and increasing the focus and commitment to physical activity in our schools; acknowledges that examples of best practice exist, such as South Coatbridge’s Healthy Lifestyle Project, and believes that, in light of these findings, a national debate is needed to re-examine all possible options and means of making progress on this issue.

The meeting closed at 5.55 pm

No. 53 Wednesday 8 February 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Father Eddie McGhee, Parish Priest of St Joseph’s, Stranraer, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3930—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 8 February 2006—

Wednesday 8 February 2006

after,

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

insert,

followed by                      Ministerial Statement: Proposed Action following the Bichard Report

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3931—That the Parliament agrees that for the purposes of consideration of the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2006 on Wednesday 8 February 2006, the sentence “The debate on the motion shall last no more than 90 minutes” in Rule 10.7 of Standing Orders be suspended.

The motion was agreed to.

4.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) made a statement and answered questions on Proposed Action following the Bichard Report.

5.      Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2006: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-3922—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2006 (SSI 2006/29) be approved.

Mr John Swinney moved amendment S2M-3922.2 to motion S2M-3922—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, considers that, in order to protect council tax payers from above-inflation increases in council tax that will arise from the inadequate financial provision in this Order, local authorities should be permitted to retain £58.5 million in efficiency savings and obtain a £34.7m share of the public expenditure arising from the pre-Budget report to close the financial gap in support for local authority services that exists.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 27, Against 79, Abstentions 5).

David Davidson moved amendment S2M-3922.1 to motion S2M-3922—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, considers that there is a lack of democratic accountability at the local government level due to the high level of ring-fencing attached to the Scottish Executive’s revenue support grant, and further considers that only when councils are freer to set their own spending priorities will local needs be better met.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 34, Against 67, Abstentions 9).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 5, Abstentions 42).

6.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3932—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

No. 54 Thursday 9 February 2006

The meeting opened at 9.19 am.

1.      Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill – Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3934—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill, debate on amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion no later than 15 minutes after the Stage begins (excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended, other than a suspension following the first division in the Stage being called, or otherwise not in progress).

The motion was agreed to.

2.      Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

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

3.      Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill - Stage 3: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-3909—That the Parliament agrees that the Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 43, Against 2, Abstentions 32).

4.      Volunteering: The Parliament debated the subject of Volunteering.

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

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

7.      Themed Question Time: Questions on Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning, and on Justice and Law Officers were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers and by the Scottish Law Officers.

8.      Social Work for the 21st Century:  The Parliament debated the subject of Social Work for the 21st Century.

9.      Decision Time: The Parliament took a decision on item 3 as noted above.

10.    Cumbernauld Town Centre: The Parliament debated S2M-3848 in the name of Margaret Mitchell—That the Parliament notes that, in the Channel 4 programme, “Demolition”, broadcast in December 2005, the public nominated and voted for Cumbernauld Town Shopping Centre as the most hated building in Britain; acknowledges that Cumbernauld is in a great location; commends the residents of Cumbernauld for maintaining a sense of pride in their town despite the problems, which have existed for many years, associated with design and the lack of an identifiable town centre; congratulates Channel 4 for having produced this excellent piece of broadcast journalism which, firstly, ensured that these problems have been the subject of a national awareness-raising exercise and, secondly, which provided practical solutions to these problems; recognises that quality of life is the core issue; expresses concern that North Lanarkshire Council intends to proceed with design plans for the town shopping centre which will, in the view of those who took part in the programme, merely compound the problems which already exist; believes that the Scottish Executive should encourage North Lanarkshire Council to take on board the suggestions made in the programme to regenerate Cumbernauld by creating an identifiable town centre starting at St Mungo’s Church and continuing to tree-lined boulevards with shop fronts facing widened pavements where bistro and alfresco activities could be provided, and considers that North Lanarkshire Council should initiate a consultation with the residents of Cumbernauld on these proposals.

The meeting closed at 5.45 pm

Wednesday 22 February 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 23 February 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport;
                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities

2.55 pm                          Executive Debate: Fair to All, Personal to Each – the Progress on Waiting

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 1 March 2006

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 2 March 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Environment and Rural Development;
                                      Health and Community Care

2.55 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3925—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 28 April 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

8.  Substitution on Committees: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-3926—That the Parliament agrees that Patrick Harvie be appointed to replace Robin Harper as the Scottish Green Party substitute on the Procedures Committee; and

S2M-3927—That the Parliament agrees that Robin Harper be appointed as the Scottish Green Party substitute on the Finance Committee.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

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

10.   Linlithgow Primary School Volunteers: The Parliament debated S2M-3700 in the Mrs Mary Mulligan—That the Parliament congratulates the children of Linlithgow Primary School who were honoured by Historic Scotland this week, on International Volunteer Day, for the tremendous work they do as tour guides around Linlithgow Palace and further commends their volunteering to other young people as a way of developing personal skills, but also of establishing a pride in the history of their own town or community.

The meeting closed at 5.39 pm.

No. 54 Thursday 9 February 2006

The meeting opened at 9.19 am.

1.      Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill – Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3934—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill, debate on amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion no later than 15 minutes after the Stage begins (excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended, other than a suspension following the first division in the Stage being called, or otherwise not in progress).

The motion was agreed to.

2.      Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

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

3.      Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill - Stage 3: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-3909—That the Parliament agrees that the Budget (Scotland) (No.3) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 43, Against 2, Abstentions 32).

4.      Volunteering: The Parliament debated the subject of Volunteering.

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

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

7.      Themed Question Time: Questions on Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning, and on Justice and Law Officers were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers and by the Scottish Law Officers.

8.      Social Work for the 21st Century:  The Parliament debated the subject of Social Work for the 21st Century.

9.      Decision Time: The Parliament took a decision on item 3 as noted above.

10.    Cumbernauld Town Centre: The Parliament debated S2M-3848 in the name of Margaret Mitchell—That the Parliament notes that, in the Channel 4 programme, “Demolition”, broadcast in December 2005, the public nominated and voted for Cumbernauld Town Shopping Centre as the most hated building in Britain; acknowledges that Cumbernauld is in a great location; commends the residents of Cumbernauld for maintaining a sense of pride in their town despite the problems, which have existed for many years, associated with design and the lack of an identifiable town centre; congratulates Channel 4 for having produced this excellent piece of broadcast journalism which, firstly, ensured that these problems have been the subject of a national awareness-raising exercise and, secondly, which provided practical solutions to these problems; recognises that quality of life is the core issue; expresses concern that North Lanarkshire Council intends to proceed with design plans for the town shopping centre which will, in the view of those who took part in the programme, merely compound the problems which already exist; believes that the Scottish Executive should encourage North Lanarkshire Council to take on board the suggestions made in the programme to regenerate Cumbernauld by creating an identifiable town centre starting at St Mungo’s Church and continuing to tree-lined boulevards with shop fronts facing widened pavements where bistro and alfresco activities could be provided, and considers that North Lanarkshire Council should initiate a consultation with the residents of Cumbernauld on these proposals.

The meeting closed at 5.45 pm

No. 55 Wednesday 22 February 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3986—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 22 February 2006—

Wednesday 22 February 2006

after,

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

insert,

followed by                      Ministerial Statement: The Scottish Fingerprint Service

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3987—That the Parliament agrees under Rule 11.2.4 of the Standing Orders that Decision Time on Wednesday 22 February 2006 shall begin at 5.15 pm.

The motion was agreed to.

4.      Ministerial Statement: The Lord Advocate (Colin Boyd) and the Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) made statements and answered questions on the Scottish Fingerprint Service.

5.      Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Bill – Stage 1: The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Robert Brown) moved S2M-3895—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Bill.

Fiona Hyslop moved amendment S2M-3895.1 to motion S2M-3895—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, notes that parental involvement in the management of schools as institutions is not the same as parents’ involvement in their own children’s education which should be the focus of policy, and regrets that the Scottish Executive has failed to provide detail about its proposals for the role of parents in the appointment of headteachers and senior staff before introducing the Bill or the debate and vote on Stage 1 of the Bill, noting that this is now the most contentious part of the Bill since the Executive latterly introduced proposals for elected parent councils similar to elected school boards into the Bill.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 50, Against 62, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 17, Abstentions 32).

6.      Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Robert Brown) moved S2M-3486—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Bill, agrees to any expenditure or increase in expenditure of a kind referred to in Rule 9.12.3(b)(iii) of the Parliament’s Standing Orders arising in consequence of the Act.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 81, Against 0, Abstentions 29).

7.      Motion without Notice: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved without notice that motion S2M-3994 be taken at this meeting of Parliament.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3994—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 1 March 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Regeneration in Scotland – people and place

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 2 March 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish National Party Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Environment and Rural Development;
                                      Health and Community Care

2.55 pm                          Executive Debate: Architecture

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 8 March 2006

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 March 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Justice and Law Officers;
                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning

2.55 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

9.      Approval of SSIs: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3976—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Prohibition of Smoking in Certain Premises (Scotland) Regulations 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10.   Membership of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-3977—That the Parliament agrees that David McLetchie be appointed to replace Mr David Davidson on the Local Government and Transport Committee; and

S2M-3978—That the Parliament agrees that Mr David Davidson be appointed to replace Miss Annabel Goldie on the Justice 2 Committee.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

11.   Substitution on Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-3979—That the Parliament agrees that David McLetchie be appointed to replace Mr Brian Monteith as the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party substitute on the Enterprise and Culture Committee.

S2M-3988—That the Parliament agrees that Stewart Stevenson be appointed as the Scottish National Party substitute on the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Bill Committee.
The motions were agreed to (DT).

12.   Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 5, 6, 9, 10 and 11 as noted above.

13.    Beauly to Denny Power Line: Concerns Over Increase of Childhood Leukaemia: The Parliament debated S2M-3642 in the name of Bruce Crawford—That the Parliament notes the findings of the Draper Report into the link between high voltage power lines and levels of childhood leukaemia which, among other findings, concluded that children who live within 200 metres of high voltage power lines were nearly twice as likely to have childhood leukaemia as those who lived within 600 metres of a line; further notes that the National Radiological Protection Board recommended that the UK Government should consider the need for further precautionary measures and, as a consequence, the Stakeholder Advisory Group on ELF EMFs was formed to explore the implications of a precautionary approach and make practical recommendations; is concerned that, with regard to the application by Scottish and Southern Energy to construct a high voltage power line between Beauly and Denny, a survey carried out by Stirling Before Pylons of the Stirling Council area shows that 50 houses are within 100 metres of the pylon corridor, that 48 flats housing approximately 330 students at Stirling University are within 200 metres and that 878 houses are within 600 metres of the pylon corridor, and believes, therefore, in view of the reports showing a link between high voltage power lines and childhood leukaemia and the results of the Stirling Before Pylons survey, that the Scottish Executive should seriously examine these matters as part of its consideration of the application or indeed any future public enquiries which might be held.

14.   Motion without Notice: Mr Mark Ruskell moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended until 6.20 pm. 

The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.20 pm.

No. 56 Thursday 23 February 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-3894—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill.

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

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

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

4.      Themed Question Time: Questions on Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport, and on Finance and Public Services and Communities were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5.      Fair to All, Personal to Each - the Progress on Waiting: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Mr Andy Kerr) moved S2M-3990—That the Parliament welcomes the significant progress made by NHS Scotland to reduce waiting times; applauds the dedication and hard work of all NHS staff who have helped meet the targets for patients; acknowledges the contribution made by the Scottish Executive through additional investment in the NHS; notes that partnerships with the independent healthcare sector have also contributed to the capacity available to treat NHS patients; supports the continuing work by the NHS to modernise and redesign services to further improve access and accelerate diagnosis and treatment, and supports the Executive’s commitment to achieve further improvements in waiting times while securing a modern sustainable health service for Scotland on the basis of Delivering for Health.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-3990.3 to motion S2M-3990—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“congratulates NHS staff for their hard work in delivering progress in meeting targets for patients with waiting time guarantees; however recognises the recent concerns of Audit Scotland that the number of people without a waiting time guarantee has increased, that nearly 24,000 patients have been waiting more than six months for in-patient and day case treatment and that the total number of people waiting for in-patient and day case treatment has changed little in the last two years; further notes that Audit Scotland’s report, Tackling Waiting Times in the NHS in Scotland, regards the increased use of the private sector as being “relatively high-cost” compared to the NHS; welcomes the report’s recommendation that there should be greater involvement and choice for patients, and therefore commends the SNP’s Patient Rights proposals to provide every patient with an individual waiting time guarantee appropriate to them within national waiting time targets.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 30, Against 80, Abstentions 0).

Mrs Nanette Milne moved amendment S2M-3990.1 to motion S2M-3990—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes the progress in eliminating the longest waits; is concerned, however, at the corresponding rise in patients with Availability Status Codes who are not guaranteed treatment within the waiting times target; notes that the extra money going into the health service has not been matched by corresponding increases in productivity; further notes that, despite the efforts and hard work of the NHS staff, patients are not receiving the level of service they demand and deserve because of insufficient capacity to meet demand; is concerned by the stark health inequalities existing between each end of the social deprivation scale, local health service facilities being closed against the wishes of local communities and a slow adoption of new drugs and technologies, and believes that Scotland needs to move to a system with greater responsiveness to the needs of individual patients and communities, put power back in the hands of professionals to prioritise treatment by clinical need and increase the capacity available to treat NHS patients by extending the use of the independent sector.”

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

Carolyn Leckie moved amendment S2M-3990.2 to motion S2M-3990—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“applauds the dedication and hard work of all NHS staff who have helped meet the targets for patients; notes that the NHS has insufficient core capacity and insufficient core staffing of establishments resulting in increased overtime and locum costs; believes that resources that should be directly spent on patient care are being diverted to increasing the profits of private health providers; believes that NHS patients treated by the private sector have had their care standards compromised, for example patients treated by the Advanced Centre for Eye Care (ACE) and those in England with severe respiratory illnesses made reliant on oxygen supplied by the private sector; believes that all private healthcare providers in Scotland should be urgently audited by Audit Scotland to determine whether the standards of care provided are putting patients at risk or imposing additional care burdens on NHS staff; believes that the NHS is under threat as a public health care system and that urgent action is required to protect and improve it, including increased investment in training to provide more NHS doctors, dentists, clinicians, other professionals and support staff to increase the NHS’s own capacity, and believes that Scotland’s stark health inequalities will only be intensified by the increased involvement of the private sector.”

After debate, the amendment disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 13, Against 97, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 41, Abstentions 6).

6.      Substitution on Committees: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3995—That the Parliament agrees that Mr Andrew Welsh be appointed to replace Michael Matheson as the Scottish National Party substitute on the Education Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Membership of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4000—That the Parliament agrees that Mr Jamie Stone be appointed to replace Mike Pringle on the Subordinate Legislation Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 5, 6 and 7 as noted above.

9.   Air Ambulance Trials in Orkney: The Parliament debated S2M-3877 in the name of Mr Jim Wallace—That the Parliament notes the proposal of the Scottish Ambulance Service to replace the Kirkwall-based BN Islander aircraft, successfully used for many years to provide air ambulance cover for Orkney, with an Inverness-based EC 135 helicopter which also covers a much wider area of the Highlands and Islands and beyond; further notes that trials of the helicopter on service in Orkney, carried out since spring 2005, have done little to provide assurances that it can provide even an equal level of service to that provided by the Islander aircraft, with particular concerns relating to its ability to fly in Orkney's winter weather and also its ability to provide adequate cover for the wide area it will be required to serve, and believes that, if the Kirkwall-based Islander aircraft is not retained as a back-up facility beyond the end of March 2006, Orkney will be left with poorer quality and potentially unsafe air ambulance cover.

The meeting closed at 5.59 pm

No. 57 Wednesday 1 March 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Reverend Favian Straughan, Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, Portobello Buddhist Priory, Edinburgh, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4040—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 1 March 2006—

Wednesday 1 March 2006

after,

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

insert,

followed by                      Ministerial Statement: Tolled Bridges Review

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Transport and Telecommunications (Tavish Scott) made a statement and answered questions on the Tolled Bridges Review.

4.      Regeneration in Scotland - People and Place: The Minister for Communities (Malcolm Chisholm) moved S2M-4024—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Scottish Executive’s statement “People and Place: Regeneration Policy in Scotland”; notes the current support for the regeneration of communities across Scotland; supports the commitment from the Executive and its agencies to work with local authorities and other partners to ensure that communities benefit from economic activity and to attract further investment from the private sector, and welcomes the Executive’s determination to tackle those land, property and other issues that can act as a barrier to regeneration and to create successful, mixed and vibrant communities.

Christine Grahame moved amendment S2M-4024.1 to motion S2M-4024—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes that after some seven years of this Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition and the launch of yet another glossy brochure littered with self-evident axioms, one in four Scottish children and one in five pensioners remain in poverty; further notes that tens of thousands of young people remain not in education, training or employment and that 39,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the first three years of this government and that, according to a report in The Herald on 28 February 2006, a spokesman for the First Minister stated regarding regeneration, “England has jumped ahead of us on this. This is us getting our act together”; therefore welcomes the Finance Committee’s inquiry on deprivation spending, to report at the end of March, and recognises that, had the Scottish people not been deliberately misled about the impact of the energy reserves in the 1970s and the economic and social prospects of independence, poverty in Scotland would have been made history.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 26, Against 78, Abstentions 10).

Mary Scanlon moved amendment S2M-4024.2 to motion S2M-4024—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes the publication of the Scottish Executive’s statement “People and Place: Regeneration Policy in Scotland”; further notes that under the Executive’s stewardship the gap between the poorest and rich in our society is widening, as shown in recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation figures, and that the number of working-age adults without dependent children who are in income poverty has increased from around 300,000 in the mid-1990s to almost 400,000 in recent years; believes that the key to tackling poverty is to have a thriving economy where people can find secure employment, and accordingly calls on the Executive to create an environment for businesses to invest in Scotland by reducing the burden of regulation and tax and by investing in our infrastructure.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 40, Against 74, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to/disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 44, Abstentions 6).

5.      Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4041—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 8 March 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: International Women’s Day

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 9 March 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Justice and Law Officers;
                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning

2.55 pm                          Executive Debate: Agriculture Strategy

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 15 March 2006

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 March 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities;
                                      Education, Tourism, Culture and Sport

2.55 pm                          Executive Business
followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time
followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4033—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 24 March 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4034—That the Parliament agrees that the timetable for completion of consideration of the Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights Bill at Stage 1 be extended to 28 April 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

8.      Designation of Lead Committee: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4030—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 1 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9.      Approval of SSI: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-4031—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Transfer of Functions from the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority and the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive to the West of Scotland Transport Partnership Order 2006 be approved; and

S2M-4032—That the Parliament agrees that the draft National Bus Travel Concession Scheme for Older and Disabled Persons (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

10.    Establishment of Committee: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4035—That the Parliament agrees to establish a committee of the Parliament as follows:

Name of Committee: Glasgow Airport Rail Link Bill Committee;
Remit: To consider and report to the Parliament on the Glasgow Airport Rail Link Bill;
Duration: Until the Bill has received Royal Assent, falls or is withdrawn;
Convenership: The Convener and the Deputy Convener will be members of the Labour Party; 
Membership: Mr Andrew Arbuckle, Marlyn Glen, Margaret Jamieson, Michael Matheson, Mr Brian Monteith.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

12.   North Ayrshire Schools PPP Project: The Parliament debated S2M-3810 in the name of Campbell Martin—That the Parliament notes that North Ayrshire Council, through a PPP project, intends to amalgamate St Andrew’s Academy in Saltcoats with St Michael’s Academy in Kilwinning and to build a “superschool” to be erected on Laighdykes playing fields in Saltcoats, the only playing fields serving the towns of Saltcoats and Ardrossan; is concerned that the council’s plans will impact adversely on the educational attainment of pupils and on the provision of open space and sports pitches in Saltcoats and Ardrossan; is further concerned that questions remain over aspects of the bidding and procurement processes adopted by North Ayrshire Council in its PPP for Schools Project, and considers that public private partnerships do not represent best value for local taxpayers and local communities.

The meeting closed at 6.00 pm.

No. 58 Thursday 2 March 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Shirley McKie: Nicola Sturgeon moved S2M-4039—That the Parliament agrees with Lord McCluskey, retired High Court judge and former Solicitor General for Scotland, that one of the fundamental principles underlying the rule of law in a mature democracy is the principle that justice must be seen to be done; considers that in the case of Shirley McKie issues have arisen implying that justice has not been seen to be done, and, in further agreeing with Lord McCluskey that the issues involved are not party political but go to the heart of public trust in the criminal justice system, calls on the Scottish Executive to consider how the concerns expressed by Lord McCluskey should be addressed.

The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved amendment S2M-4039.2 to motion S2M-4039—

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

“that action needs to be taken to restore public and professional confidence in the Scottish Fingerprint Service; acknowledges that in 2000 the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau was the subject of an independent inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC); notes that following three further inspections HMIC reported that its 25 recommendations had been fully discharged; notes that further reforms are being taken forward; that the Minister for Justice has instructed the interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Police Services Authority to bring forward, by the end of March, a comprehensive action plan drawing on the best available international scientific advice and management expertise; notes that this action plan will be reported to the Parliament; believes that a public inquiry is not appropriate; notes that it is the responsibility of the Parliament to hold the Scottish Executive to account; welcomes the work already commenced by the Justice 1 Committee, and confirms the Executive’s commitment to co-operate with any inquiries that the Parliament may decide to take forward in scrutinising these reforms.”

Colin Fox moved amendment S2M-4039.1 to motion S2M-4039—

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

“the public is still not satisfied that the truth of the matter is all available; recognises that the McKie family campaign is not satisfied that there was no conspiracy against her; also recognises that the four Scottish Criminal Record Office (SCRO) fingerprint workers are furious that their competence and reputation has been sullied; believes that the Scottish Executive has a duty to address all these concerns, and calls for a public inquiry to get to the truth of this matter and to restore public confidence in the SCRO and the fingerprint service as soon as possible.”

2.      Scottish Water: Rob Gibson moved S2M-4036—That the Parliament notes that, despite assurances from ministers that Scottish Water’s investment plans were on target, the Chairman of Scottish Water has resigned due to disagreements with ministers and Scottish Water has been required to produce another business plan; considers that these events highlight poor stewardship of the water industry by the Scottish Executive; expresses its concern over the impact of delays in investment in water and sewerage infrastructure on economic, environmental and social development in Scotland, and calls on the Executive to set out promptly what impact these events will have on delivering the ministerial objectives for the water industry in Scotland.

The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved amendment S2M-4036.2 to motion S2M-4036—

Leave out from “, despite” to end and insert—

“Scottish Water’s draft business plan of April 2005 stated that achieving Scottish Ministers’ objectives for 2006 to 2010 would require a capital investment programme of £3.7 billion and a doubling in customer charges, that the Water Industry Commission's determination of charges for 2006 to 2010 allowed Scottish Water a capital investment programme of £2.1 billion and charges rising by less than the rate of inflation to achieve the objectives, that Scottish Water accepted the determination, but its plan demonstrating how it would deliver the objectives within the limits set by the determination was judged by the Scottish Executive, supported by the regulators, not to meet the requirements in a number of material aspects and Scottish Water was required to produce a new plan that would command the confidence of Ministers and regulators, and considers these actions by the Executive to represent good stewardship of Scottish Water in the public and customer interest.”

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-4036.1 to motion S2M-4036—

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

“further expresses concern that Scottish Water is failing to deliver an appropriate level of service to its customers; notes the concerns of the building community about Scottish Water’s failure to allocate sufficient resources to remove development constraints; further notes the Executive’s admission on 9 February 2005 that business customers have been overcharged £44 million a year for water; further notes that the introduction of Surface Water Drainage charges based on the size of the property are to be introduced into the denationalised English water market on 1 April which will lead to significantly lower charges for small businesses in England than in Scotland, thereby re-enforcing the present competitive disadvantage faced by Scots firms; further notes the comments of former Environment Minister, Sam Galbraith, that “We are slowly going broke and the only way to solve this is to reduce the public sector wage bill. Privatise water and, at a stroke, the bill is cut” (The Scotsman, 10 February 2005); believes that as long as Scottish Water remains a bureaucratic, nationalised monopoly it will struggle to adopt the private sector disciplines expected by the Executive and the Water Industry Commission, and therefore calls on the Executive to take its commitment to make economic growth its top priority seriously by creating a genuine market in water and privatising Scottish Water or adopting a “not for dividend” model such as Welsh Water.”

The Presiding Officer suspended the meeting under Rule 7.4.1(a) at 11.40 am.

The meeting closed at 11.40 am under Rule 7.4.3.

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