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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Vol. 2, No. 9 Session 1

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 15 June 2000

 

 
Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

 

1. Announcements made by the Scottish Executive: Bill Aitken moved S1M-905—That the Parliament agrees that considerable confusion has been caused by a number of recent Scottish Executive announcements, particularly funding announcements; believes that the way funding announcements are made by the Scottish Executive has done little to further open government; notes that the Executive has allowed the same resources to be announced as "new funding" on more than one occasion, thus damaging public scrutiny, and calls upon the Scottish Executive to institute a new protocol for all public and press announcements in order that these make clear whether funding announced is additional resources or whether it is part of a previous funding package and, if it is, when and through what statement the funding was previously announced.

 

The Minister for Parliament moved amendment S1M-905.1 to motion S1M-905—

 

Leave out from "agrees" to end and insert—

 

"notes that the provision of information by the Scottish Executive about its policies, spending plans and public services is an essential part of open, participative Government; agrees that such provision of information needs to be carried out in a modern, professional, pro-active and impartial manner so as to engage all interested citizens, and notes that the Scottish Executive will continue to pursue these aims".

 

Michael Russell moved amendment S1M-905.2 to motion S1M-905—

 

Leave out from "a new protocol" to end and insert—

 

"and implement with immediate effect a policy for all Parliamentary, press and public announcements which is based upon the founding principles of this Parliament as defined by the Consultative Steering Group, that is to be accountable, accessible and open, and in particular to make absolutely clear in all such announcements whether policy innovations are new or repeated, whether funding announcements are allocations or distributions and from what budget in what year these sums will come."

 

After debate, amendment S1M-905.1 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 51, Abstentions 0). As a result, amendment S1M-905.2 was pre-empted.

 

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 49, Abstentions 0).

 

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that the provision of information by the Scottish Executive about its policies, spending plans and public services is an essential part of open, participative Government; agrees that such provision of information needs to be carried out in a modern, professional, pro-active and impartial manner so as to engage all interested citizens, and notes that the Scottish Executive will continue to pursue these aims.

 

2. Crime and Punishment: Phil Gallie moved S1M-1008—That the Parliament notes that public confidence in the criminal justice system is at an all time low due to the Scottish Executive’s failure to take effective steps to curb rising crime; recognises the frustration and anxiety felt by the victims of crime and the wider Scottish public arising from early prisoner release and asks the Scottish Executive to restore honesty in sentencing by ending automatic remission; further notes with concern the proposals to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 8 to 12 and to bring 16 and 17 year old offenders within the Children’s Hearings System; calls upon the Executive to reject the proposals and demands that the Executive brings forward its proposals to strengthen the law in relation to the seizure and confiscation of assets suspected of being derived from drug dealing.

The Deputy Minister for Justice moved S1M-1008.1 to motion S1M-1008—

 

Leave out from first "notes" to end and insert—

"continues to support the Executive’s policies on law and order and commends the priorities identified in the Programme for Government being taken forward by the Executive, including combating drug misuse as set out in the Drugs Action Plan Protecting our Future and through the creation of the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency which will fund an additional 100 officers in local forces, tackling youth crime, particularly persistent offenders, as set out in the Report It’s a Criminal Waste: Stop Youth Crime Now and the Executive’s response, helping witnesses by extending a volunteer Witness Service to all Sheriff Courts, and the injection of an additional 8.9 million for the police which is sufficient for forces to recruit a further 300 extra officers".

Roseanna Cunningham moved amendment S1M-1008.2 to motion S1M-1008—

Leave out from first "notes" to end and insert—

"recognises that issues of crime and punishment are complex; contends that to ensure public confidence a criminal justice system requires to be effective, which in turn depends on adequate resourcing at every level; further recognises that there is some identifiable concern amongst the public about both current sentencing patterns and the effectiveness of detention; welcomes the fact that Scotland has human rights responsibilities as a result of the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights; and calls upon the Scottish Executive to consider the establishment of an accurate review of public attitudes to sentencing and detention which would inform both the judiciary and the Scottish Prison Service and further to address urgently the current under-resourcing of all parts of the criminal justice system in Scotland."

After debate, amendment S1M-1008.1 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 20, Abstentions 31). As a result, amendment S1M-1008.2 was pre-empted.

 

The motion as amended was then agreed to to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 20 , Abstentions 30).

 

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament continues to support the Executive’s policies on law and order and commends the priorities identified in the Programme for Government being taken forward by the Executive, including combating drug misuse as set out in the Drugs Action Plan Protecting our Future and through the creation of the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency which will fund an additional 100 officers in local forces, tackling youth crime, particularly persistent offenders, as set out in the Report It’s a Criminal Waste: Stop Youth Crime Now and the Executive’s response, helping witnesses by extending a volunteer Witness Service to all Sheriff Courts, and the injection of an additional 8.9 million for the police which is sufficient for forces to recruit a further 300 extra officers".

 

3. Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Transport and the Environment made a statement on the Water Industry

 

4. Business Motion: Mr Tom McCabe, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-1006—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

 

Wednesday 21 June 2000

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 3 Debate on the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc (Scotland) Bill

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business – debate on the subject of S1M-882 Roseanna Cunningham: Edinburgh Folk Festival

 

Thursday 22 June 2000

9.30 am Non-Executive Business – Scottish National Party

followed by Business Motion

followed by Executive Motion on Care Standards Bill – UK Legislation

followed by Members’ Business – debate on the subject of S1M-913 David McLetchie: Milestone House Hospice

2.30 pm Question Time

3.10 pm First Minister's Question Time

followed by Stage 1 Debate on the Bail and Judicial Appointments etc (Scotland) Bill

followed by Financial Resolution in respect of the Bail and Judicial Appointments etc (Scotland) Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.30 pm Decision Time

 

Wednesday 28 June 2000

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Committee Business – Finance Committee Debate

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

 

Thursday 29 June 2000

9.30 am Ministerial Statement

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 3 Debate on the Education and Training (Scotland) Bill

followed by Business Motion

2.30 pm Question Time

3.10 pm First Minister's Question Time

3.30 pm Executive Debate on Forward Strategy for Scottish Agriculture

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

The motion was agreed to.

 

5. Question Time: Questions were answered by the Deputy First Minister and Minister for Justice and other Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

 

6. Early Education and Childcare: The Minister for Children and Education moved S1M-1007That the Parliament supports the progress that the Executive has made towards the twin goals of free pre-school education and affordable, accessible, quality childcare in every locality and welcomes the additional resources allocated to local authorities and other bodies in order to make further progress with these objectives.

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S1M-1007.1 to motion S1M-1007—

Leave out from "supports" to end and insert—

"congratulates local authorities and childcare partnerships on the progress made by them in providing more nursery places to three and four year olds and increasing provision of affordable, accessible, quality childcare in every locality; welcomes the resources already allocated for the furtherance of these objectives: and calls upon the Scottish Executive to ensure that its future policies and spending plans will enable local authorities to make continued progress towards the achievement of universal access to free pre-school education and affordable, accessible, quality childcare.

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 51, Against 63, Abstentions 0).

Mr Brian Monteith moved amendment S1M-1007.2 to motion S1M-1007—

Insert at end—

"; recognises that this progress has built upon the achievements of the last UK Conservative Government in increasing demand for high quality pre-school education and childcare and in increasing choice for parents through the nursery voucher scheme and looks forward to the reintroduction of vouchers as a means to further extend provision of childcare and increase choice for parents".

 

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 20, Against 90, Abstentions 0).

 

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

 

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

 

8. Greenock Morton Football Club: The Parliament debated S1M-894 in the name of Mr Duncan McNeil—That the Parliament recognises that football plays an important part in our social culture and sporting life; recognises the important contribution made by local football clubs to the communities in which they are based; expresses concern over recent reports of developments at Greenock Morton Football Club; acknowledges that to lose a community asset such as Greenock Morton would be detrimental, not only to its supporters, but also to the community as a whole, and recognises that proposals such as community ownership and increased rights for supporters in the running of their teams offer the best opportunity for securing the long-term future of local clubs and promoting links between them and the communities they serve.

 

9. Motion without Notice: Trish Godman moved that under Rule 8.14.3 the debated be extended for up to 30 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 5.53 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

15 June 2000

 

 

Appendix

(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)

 

 

Subordinate Legislation

 

Affirmative Instruments

 

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 15 June 2000 for approval by resolution

 

The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000

laid under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999

 

Negative Instruments

 

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 15 June 2000 and are subject to annulment—

 

The Planning (Control of Major-Accident Hazards) (Scotland) Regulations (SSI 2000/179)

laid under the European Communities Act 1972 and the Planning (Hazardous Substances) (Scotland) Act 1997

The Advice and Assistance (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2000 (SSI 2000/181)—

The Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2000 (SSI 2000/182)—

laid under the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986

The Community Care (Direct Payments) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2000 (SSI 2000/183)

laid under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968

The Bovines and Bovine Products (Trade) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2000 (SSI 2000/184)

laid under the European Communities Act 1972

The Environmental Protection (Waste Recycling Payments) (Scotland) Regulations 2000 (SSI 2000/185)

laid under the Environment Protection Act 1990

The Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987 (Amendment) Regulations 2000 (SSI 2000/189)

laid under the Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987

The National Health Service (General Medical Services) (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Regulations 2000 (SSI 2000/190)—

The National Health Service (Choice of Medical Practitioner) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2000 (SSI 2000/191)—

laid under the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978

 

Committee Reports

 

The following Reports were published on 15 June 2000—

 

Audit Committee, 3rd Report 2000: Report on the Scottish Ambulance Service (SP Paper 142)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 24th Report, 2000: Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 145)

 
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