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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 3, No 25

Thursday 25 October 2001

 
 

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Railway Investment: Andrew Wilson moved S1M-2344—That the Parliament welcomes the desire of the Minister for Transport and Planning to increase investment in Scottish railways; notes that with the collapse of Railtrack plc there is an opportunity to introduce an innovative system of ownership and management for Scotland’s railway network that takes advantage of the good partnership that exists across the railway sector in Scotland, and calls upon the Scottish Executive and all interested parties in Scotland to work together in the Scottish national interest to (a) re-examine the financial and policy powers at the disposal of the Scottish Ministers with respect to railways investment and (b) develop an ownership and investment vehicle for Railtrack assets in Scotland that maximises both public accountability and investment in Scotland’s railways in the public interest and on a not for profit basis.

The Minister for Transport and Planning moved amendment S1M-2344.1 to motion S1M-2344—

Leave out from "with the collapse" to end and insert—

"it has been a difficult time for the railway industry since the tragedy at Hatfield a year ago and welcomes the steps that the Executive is taking to meet the needs of Scotland’s rail users; calls upon the Executive to continue its programme of record investment in the railways and its work to make sure that projects for enhancements to the rail network go ahead, building on the good partnership that exists across the railway industry in Scotland; also notes the recent placing into administration of Railtrack plc and the opportunity that this presents to re-examine the organisation of rail services across the UK; welcomes the Executive’s commitment to work closely with Her Majesty's Government to ensure that Scotland has a full and proper input into the restructuring of the UK rail industry, and calls upon all concerned to develop an ownership and investment framework for Railtrack assets that maximises both public and national interest."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 32, Abstentions 18).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 2, Abstentions 46).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the desire of the Minister for Transport and Planning to increase investment in Scottish railways; notes that it has been a difficult time for the railway industry since the tragedy at Hatfield a year ago and welcomes the steps that the Executive is taking to meet the needs of Scotland’s rail users; calls upon the Executive to continue its programme of record investment in the railways and its work to make sure that projects for enhancements to the rail network go ahead, building on the good partnership that exists across the railway industry in Scotland; also notes the recent placing into administration of Railtrack plc and the opportunity that this presents to re-examine the organisation of rail services across the UK; welcomes the Executive’s commitment to work closely with Her Majesty's Government to ensure that Scotland has a full and proper input into the restructuring of the UK rail industry, and calls upon all concerned to develop an ownership and investment framework for Railtrack assets that maximises both public and national interest.

2. Scotland and the Current International Situation: Mr John Swinney moved S1M-2347—That the Parliament recognises the significant impact of the current international crisis on our domestic security, on our economic prospects and on our Muslim community in Scotland and calls upon the Scottish Executive to continue to bring forward proposals to deal with these matters; supports the international community’s desire to bring to justice the perpetrators of the acts of terrorism in the United States of America on 11 September 2001, and agrees that any military action in Afghanistan must, as the Prime Minister has asserted, be compatible with an effective humanitarian operation which meets the desperate needs of the innocent Afghan population.

The First Minister moved amendment S1M-2347.3 to motion S1M-2347—

Leave out "compatible with" and insert—

"accompanied by".

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 78, Against 33, Abstentions 3).

David McLetchie moved amendment S1M-2347.2 to motion S1M-2347—

Leave out from "the international" to end and insert—

"Her Majesty’s Government in its aim of building the widest possible international coalition, with maximum United Nations support; welcomes NATO’s decision to invoke Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and its role in the international effort; agrees that the immediate objectives of the campaign should be to prevent Osama Bin Laden and the Al Qa’ida network from posing a continuing terrorist threat and, to this end, to ensure that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan ceases to harbour and sustain international terrorism and is replaced by a broadly-based government which is representative of all groups in the country; acknowledges that the attainment of these objectives requires the deployment of all available means, including taking steps to deal with the humanitarian crisis confronting Afghanistan and believes that halting the military action in Afghanistan at this time would hinder the achievement of these objectives and would simply prolong the suffering of people in Afghanistan."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 18, Against 96, Abstentions 1).

Dennis Canavan moved amendment S1M-2347.1 to motion S1M-2347—

Leave out from "and agrees" to end and insert—

"but agrees that any measure to that effect must be based on the rule of international law and respect for human rights, particularly innocent people’s right to life, and therefore calls for an end to the current military action in Afghanistan and for an effective humanitarian operation to meet the desperate needs of the innocent Afghan population."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 11, Against 77, Abstentions 26).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 106, Against 6, Abstentions 3).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the significant impact of the current international crisis on our domestic security, on our economic prospects and on our Muslim community in Scotland and calls upon the Scottish Executive to continue to bring forward proposals to deal with these matters; supports the international community’s desire to bring to justice the perpetrators of the acts of terrorism in the United States of America on 11 September 2001, and agrees that any military action in Afghanistan must, as the Prime Minister has asserted, be accompanied by an effective humanitarian operation which meets the desperate needs of the innocent Afghan population.

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

4. National Cultural Strategy - One Year On: The Deputy Minister for Sport, the Arts and Culture moved S1M-2354—That the Parliament welcomes the first report on the implementation of the National Cultural Strategy; notes the progress that has been made in the key priorities of the strategy and the actions that are proposed for further implementation; recognises the vital contribution of many agencies, individuals and bodies to ensuring that Scotland’s cultural life matches the aspirations of all Scotland’s people; believes in particular that culture has a vital role to play in delivering social justice throughout Scotland, in our schools, in lifelong learning and in the further development of our tourism industry, and therefore urges all relevant agencies, individuals and bodies to work effectively together in partnership to ensure that the potential of Scotland’s cultural life is fully realised at home and proudly promoted abroad, further encouraging the continuing pursuit and celebration of excellence and the widening of opportunities to participate in the development of Scotland’s cultural life.

Michael Russell moved amendment S1M-2354.1 to motion S1M-2354—

Leave out from "notes" to end and insert—

"regrets that the report is not available to MSPs or the public until 25 October 2001; notes that of the 64 strategic objectives, key priorities and supporting actions in the National Cultural Strategy document Creating our Future: Minding our Past, very few appear to have been progressed significantly; continues to express concern that the Scottish Executive’s present cultural policy, as expressed in its National Cultural Strategy, lacks coherence and vision, has failed to engage the support and enthusiasm of the Scottish community in general, and the arts communities in particular, and is unlikely to help fulfil the potential of Scotland at home and abroad or to widen opportunities or assist in delivering social justice; observes that funding crises and other operational difficulties continue to be the daily norm for most publicly subsidised arts bodies, museums and others within the arts and heritage sector, despite the Scottish Executive’s relentless self-congratulation about its own actions, and therefore calls upon the Scottish Executive to reconsider its policy and to begin to deliver on some of its promises, including a properly funded National Theatre within a clear and reasonable time-frame based upon a better supported theatre sector in Scotland."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 33, Against 82, Abstentions 0).

Mr Brian Monteith moved amendment S1M-2354.2 to motion S1M-2354—

Leave out from "notes" to end and insert—

"but regrets that the Strategy has failed to evoke any substantial response from the people of Scotland who are the ultimate and only source of Scottish culture; notes that the most recent achievements of Scottish culture such as the dramas "Gagarin Way" and "Wiping My Mother’s Arse" owed nothing whatsoever to the Cultural Strategy, and expresses confidence that Scots culture will continue to flourish without the intervention of the state as it has since 1707."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 14, Against 95, Abstentions 2).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 48, Abstentions 0).

5. Designation of Lead Committees: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-2351—That the Parliament agrees that the Rural Development Committee is designated as Lead Committee in consideration of the Fur Farming (Prohibition) (Scotland) Bill and that the Bill should also be considered by the Justice 1 Committee and the Justice 2 Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6. Designation of Lead Committees: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-2350—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 1 Committee is designated as Lead Committee in consideration of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Bill and that the Bill should also be considered by the Justice 2 Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7. Designation of Lead Committees: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-2349—That the Parliament agrees the following designation of Lead Committee—

the Health and Community Care Committee to consider the Feeding Stuffs and the Feeding Stuffs (Enforcement) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2001 (SSI 2001/334).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Approval of SSIs: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-2348—That the Parliament agrees that the following instruments be approved:

the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.6) (Scotland) Order 2001 (SSI 2001/316);

the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (East Coast) (Scotland) Order 2001 (SSI 2001/317); and

the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.7) (Scotland) Order 2001 (SSI 2001/322).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 as noted above.

10. Edinburgh Declaration for Ocean Recovery: The Parliament debated S1M-2279 in the name of Tavish Scott—That the Parliament notes the Edinburgh Declaration for Ocean Recovery to be put to WWF’s Oceans Recovery Campaign conference on 23 October 2001; agrees that our seas are in urgent need of sensible and sensitive management if they are to support abundant fish stocks, viable populations of marine wildlife and thriving coastal communities, and calls on the Scottish Executive to work with Her Majesty's Government, devolved bodies and all stakeholders to develop a co-ordinated stewardship strategy for our seas.

The meeting closed at 6.03 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

25 October 2001

Appendix

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

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instruments were laid in draft before the Parliament on 25 October 2001 for approval by resolution—

The Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971 (Privative Jurisdiction and Summary Cause) Order 2001—

The Small Claims (Scotland) Amendment Order 2001—

laid under the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971


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