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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Vol. 3, No. 4 Session 1

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 24 May 2001

 


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

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Justice: Roseanna Cunningham moved S1M-1958—That the Parliament notes with concern the developing crisis in the administration of Scotland’s justice system; recognises that public confidence in the criminal justice system is being eroded by the system’s inability to deal with the current level of prosecutions, and asserts that urgent action must now be taken to ensure that resourcing levels are assessed and addressed if this crisis is not to deepen.

The Deputy Minister for Justice moved amendment S1M-1958.1 to motion S1M-1958—

Leave out from "with concern" to end and insert—

"the increased resources going into the justice system as a whole; further notes the decision of the Justice 2 Committee to hold an inquiry into the operation of the Crown Office and the Procurator Fiscal Service, and looks forward to their report."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 55, Against 35, Abstentions 1).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 55, Against 10, Abstentions 26).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the increased resources going into the justice system as a whole; further notes the decision of the Justice 2 Committee to hold an inquiry into the operation of the Crown Office and the Procurator Fiscal Service, and looks forward to their report.

2. Education: Michael Russell moved S1M-1957—That the Parliament notes Labour’s failure to meet its 1997 and 1999 manifesto pledges with regard to class sizes in the early primary years and the failure of the Executive to meet the same targets, as set in its first programme for government; further notes the examples of good practice that indicate a direct correlation between class sizes substantially smaller than the Executive’s target and higher sustained levels of attainment; recognises also the clear results from programmes of class reduction that show the particularly strong effect which class sizes of 18 or less have on children suffering from social exclusion, and therefore calls upon the Executive to follow the SNP’s lead and work much harder to achieve real and meaningful reductions in class sizes in the early primary years, setting 18 as the maximum figure.

The Minister for Education, Europe and External Affairs moved amendment S1M-1957.1 to motion S1M-1957—

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

"continues to support the framework for school improvement which it put in place in the Standards in Schools etc. Act 2000 and recognises that to achieve the highest possible standard for each and every pupil investment must be made across the whole of a child’s education, providing a quality experience in pre-school for every 3 and 4-year-old child, effective early intervention to ensure a good foundation in literacy and numeracy, support for all children with special educational needs, a modern, well-resourced school environment and a highly motivated, professional teaching staff."

Mr Brian Monteith moved amendment S1M-1957.2 to motion S1M-1957—

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

"believes that there is no uniform homogenous educational system that can provide the right type of education for every child and that such a dogmatic approach should be replaced with a liberal and diverse system which provides specialisation by schools and more choice for parents; further believes that class size is only one aspect of educational provision which may help to improve standards in Scotland’s schools, and considers that greater devolution of decision making to teachers and parents should be the goal of the Scottish Executive."

After debate, amendment S1M-1957.1 to motion S1M-1957 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 55, Against 36, Abstentions 0). As a result, amendment S1M-1957.2 was pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 79, Against 16, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament continues to support the framework for school improvement which it put in place in the Standards in Schools etc. Act 2000 and recognises that to achieve the highest possible standard for each and every pupil investment must be made across the whole of a child’s education, providing a quality experience in pre-school for every 3 and 4-year-old child, effective early intervention to ensure a good foundation in literacy and numeracy, support for all children with special educational needs, a modern, well-resourced school environment and a highly motivated, professional teaching staff.

3. Suspension of Standing Orders: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-1962—That the Parliament agrees that Rules 9.5.3B and 9.7.9 of the Standing Orders be suspended on Wednesday 6 June 2001 for the purposes of the Scottish Local Authorities (Tendering) Bill.

The motion was agreed to.

4. Committee of the Whole Parliament: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-1961—That the Parliament agrees that, in accordance with Rule 9.7.1(b) of the Standing Orders, Stage 2 of the Scottish Local Authorities (Tendering) Bill be taken in whole by a Committee of the Whole Parliament and directs that any vote to be taken shall be conducted using the electronic voting system.

The motion was agreed to.

5. Business Motion: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-1956—That the Parliament agrees

(a) the following programme of business:

Wednesday 30 May 2001

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 3 Debate on the Convention Rights (Compliance) (Scotland) Bill

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business - debate on the subject of S1M-1927 Des McNulty: Chester Street Insurance Holdings Ltd

Thursday 31 May 2001

9.30 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 3 Debate on the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Bill

followed by Business Motion

2.30 pm Question Time

3.10 pm First Minister's Question Time

3.30 pm Continuation of Stage 3 Debate on the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Bill

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business - debate on the subject of S1M-1932 David McLetchie: Proposed Cuts to the Scottish Regiments

Wednesday 6 June 2001

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Business Motion

followed by Committee of the Whole Parliament: Stage 2 Debate on the Scottish Local Authorities (Tendering) Bill

followed by Stage 3 Debate on the Scottish Local Authorities (Tendering) Bill

followed by, no

later than 4.00 pm Question Time

followed by, no

later than 4.40 pm First Minister's Question Time

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business - debate on the subject of S1M-1867 Dorothy-Grace Elder: "Freedom from Pain" Campaign

and (b) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 28 May 2001 on the Sex Offenders (Notification Requirements) (Prescribed Police Stations) (Scotland) Regulations 2001 (SSI 2001/173) and that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Justice 1 Committee by 28 May 2001 on the European Communities (Service of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents) (Scotland) Regulations 2001 (SSI 2001/172).

The motion was agreed to.

6. Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister and other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

7. Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development made a statement on the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.

8. Motion without notice: Mr Tom McCabe, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved without notice that motion S1M-1966 be taken at this meeting of the Parliament.

Agreed to.

9. Decision Time: Mr Tom McCabe, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-1966—That the Parliament agrees under Rule 11.2.4 of the Standing Orders that Decision Time on Thursday 24 May 2001 shall begin at 16.43 pm.

The motion was agreed to.

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

11. School Swimming Lessons: The Parliament debated S1M-1921 in the name of Kay Ullrich—That the Parliament notes the report compiled by Scottish Swimming, which highlights that almost 50% of local authorities in Scotland no longer provide school swimming lessons; acknowledges that this coincides with the report from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents which records an increase in the number of children in Scotland who die as a result of drowning; recognises that the withdrawal of local authority provided school swimming lessons has a greater impact on children from less well off backgrounds, and calls on the Scottish Executive to encourage local authorities to ensure that every pupil has access to at least one publicly funded course of swimming lessons prior to leaving primary school.

The meeting closed at 5.26 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
24 May 2001

 

Appendix

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

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 24 May 2001 and is subject to annulment

The Sex Offenders (Notification Requirements) (Prescribed Police Stations) (Scotland) (No.2) Regulations 2001 (SSI 2001/190)

laid under the Sex Offenders Act 1997 as amended by the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000

Note: These Regulations replace SSI 2001/173 laid on 9 May 2001 which contained a defect and have been revoked.

Committee Reports

The following Report is being published on 24 May 2001

Local Government Committee, 9th Report 2001: Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 337)

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