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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 3, No 35 Session 1

Thursday 29 November 2001

 
 

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Proportional Respresentation: Tricia Marwick moved S1M-2487—That the Parliamentapproves the principle of proportional representation for local government elections, as recommended in the Kerley Report.

The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Services moved amendment S1M-2487.1 to motion S1M-2487—

Leave out from "approves" to end and insert—

"notes the Scottish Executive’s continuing commitment to the pledge made in its Programme for Government to make progress on electoral reform, to the principles of renewing local democracy as set out in the Kerley report, including the importance of the member/ward link in local government, to the need to secure general consent and wide support for the system of electing local councils and to producing a timetable for further progress with urgency."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 34, Abstentions 15 ).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 3, Abstentions 46).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the Scottish Executive’s continuing commitment to the pledge made in its Programme for Government to make progress on electoral reform, to the principles of renewing local democracy as set out in the Kerley report, including the importance of the member/ward link in local government, to the need to secure general consent and wide support for the system of electing local councils and to producing a timetable for further progress with urgency.

2. Scottish Transport Group Pensions Scheme: Fergus Ewing moved S1M-2486—That the Parliament notes that both the Scottish Transport Group Staff Pension Fund and the Scottish Transport Group Transport Operatives Pension Scheme have still to be wound up some eight years after privatisation; further notes that the Scottish Executive promised in December 2000 that a total sum of £100 million would be distributed to the pension scheme members and that this would result in a payment of an average of about £7,000 for each member; recognises that the actual total surplus of the pension funds is considerably in excess of £100 million; believes that the level of payment proposed last December by the Scottish Executive is inadequate and should be increased, and calls upon the Scottish Executive to meet representatives of the Scottish Bus Group Pensioners’ Action Committee and to make available to them all relevant information to enable them to assist the pensioners in achieving a just settlement.

The Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning moved amendment S1M-2486.1 to motion S1M-2486—

Leave out from "both" to end and insert—

"Scottish Ministers have secured from HM Treasury a substantial pay out for Scottish Transport Group Pension Scheme former members despite the absence of any legal entitlement; further notes that any change to the amount to be distributed to former members is a matter for HM Treasury, and finally notes that the key remaining step is the winding up of the pension scheme, which is a matter for the schemes’ trustees."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 81, Against 33, Abstentions 1).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 81, Against 34, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that Scottish Ministers have secured from HM Treasury a substantial pay out for Scottish Transport Group Pension Scheme former members despite the absence of any legal entitlement; further notes that any change to the amount to be distributed to former members is a matter for HM Treasury, and finally notes that the key remaining step is the winding up of the pension scheme, which is a matter for the schemes’ trustees.

3. Election of Deputy Presiding Officer: The following members were nominated as candidates for appointment as deputy Presiding Officer: Cathy Peattie and Mr Murray Tosh. The result of the first round of voting was—

Cathy Peattie 45

Mr Murray Tosh 68

Mr Murray Tosh was duly elected as a Deputy Presiding Officer.

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

5. Social Justice: The Minister for Social Justice moved S1M-2492—That the Parliament welcomes the Executive’s publication of the Social Justice Annual Report 2001; notes the progress which is being made, and supports the work of the Executive, local government and other public agencies and the voluntary, community and private sectors in working together to deliver social justice in Scotland.

Kenneth Gibson moved amendment S1M-2492.3 to motion S1M-2492—

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

"the slow progress in addressing social inequality and believes that the Parliament could best succeed in driving forward the social justice agenda if it had the powers of an independent sovereign state."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 33, Against 81, Abstentions 1).

Lyndsay McIntosh moved amendment S1M-2492.1 to motion S1M-2492—

Leave out from "welcomes" to end and insert—

"notes the information to date which shows that the Scottish Executive still has a long way to go to meet its own objectives against the targets and milestones it set itself on social justice; affirms its commitment to building a civic society based on opportunity and responsibility for all, and calls upon the Scottish Executive to address the problems of crime in Scotland’s communities and devolve power to individuals, families and communities as an essential step on the road to achieving social justice."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 67, Abstentions 31).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 47, Abstentions 1).

6. Suspension of Standing Orders: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-2481—That the Parliament agrees that Rule 9.5.3A of the Standing Orders be suspended for the purposes of the Scottish Local Government (Elections) Bill.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7. Approval of SSIs: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-2490—That the Parliament agrees that the following instruments be approved—

The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.10) (Scotland) Order 2001 (SSI 2001/406);

The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.11) (Scotland) Order 2001 (SSI 2001/420);

The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.12) (Scotland) Order 2001 (SSI 2001/423); and

The draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2001 (Amendment) Order 2001.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Designation of Lead Committee: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S1M-2494—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Scottish Public Sector Ombudsman Bill and that the Health and Community Care Committee and the Social Justice Committee be secondary committees.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9. Motion without Notice: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved without notice that S1M- 2499 be taken at this meeting of Parliament.

The motion was agreed to.

10. Membership of Committees: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-2499—That the Parliament agrees that the following Members be appointed to Committees—

Tom McCabe and Des McNulty to replace Dr Richard Simpson and Mike Watson on the Finance Committee;

Sarah Boyack to replace Hugh Henry on the European Committee;

Susan Deacon to replace Patricia Ferguson on the Procedures Committee and on the Standards Committee;

Jackie Baillie to replace Cathy Peattie on the Education Committee;

Angus MacKay to replace Andy Kerr on the Transport and the Environment Committee;

Alasdair Morrison to replace Mary Mulligan on the Justice 2 Committee;

Alasdair Morrison and Irene Oldfather to replace Cathy Jamieson and Dr Elaine Murray on the Rural Development Committee; and

Tommy Sheridan to be appointed to the Equal Opportunities Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 as noted above.

12. Digital Hearing Aids and Review of Audiology Services: The Parliament debated S1M-2436 in the name of Mr Mike Rumbles—That the Parliament notes that the Scottish Executive is conducting an audiology services review; recognises that many hard of hearing and profoundly deaf people are still provided with out-dated analogue hearing aids; is aware that new digital hearing aids can improve the quality of life for those who need them; realises that digital hearing aids are not widely available on the NHS in Scotland and are expensive to purchase privately; understands that the cost can be dramatically reduced by a system of bulk-buying; further notes that such a scheme has been introduced into 20 NHS hospitals in England, and considers that the Scottish Executive should make a commitment to provide digital hearing aids on the NHS in Scotland.

The meeting closed at 6.00 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

29 November 2001

Appendix

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

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 29 November 2001 and are subject to annulment—

Act of Sederunt (Fees of Solicitors in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment) 2001 (SSI 2001/438)

laid under the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907

Act of Sederunt (Fees of Sheriff Officers) 2001 (SSI 2001/439)

laid under the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907 and the Execution of Diligence (Scotland) Act 1926

The Beef Special Premium (Scotland) Regulations 2001 (SSI 2001/445)

laid under the European Communities Act 1972

The Local Government Act 1988 (Competition) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2001 (SSI 2001/446)

laid under the Local Government Act 1988

The Community Care (Direct Payments) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2001 (SSI 2001/447)

laid under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968

Not Subject to any Parliamentary Procedure

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 29 November 2001 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (Scotland) Order 2001 Revocation Order 2001 (SSI 2001/442)—

The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning) (East Coast) (No.2) (Scotland) Revocation Order 2001 (SSI 2001/443)—

The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.3) (Scotland) Revocation Order 2001 (SSI 2001/444)—

laid under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 29 November 2001 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

Statistical Bulletin: Homicide in Scotland 2000 (SE 2001/278)

laid under the Police (Scotland) Act 1967 as amended by the Police Magistrates’ Courts Act 1994

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Annual Report and Accounts 2000-01 (SE 2001/279)

laid under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act

Committee Reports

The following Reports were published on 29 November 2001—

Transport and the Environment Committee, 15th Report 2001: Stage 1 of the Water Industry (Scotland) Bill (SP Paper 456)

Health and Community Care Committee, 22nd Report 2001: Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 459)


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