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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 4 No 29 Session 1

Thursday 14 November 2002

 
 

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

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Crime: Michael Matheson moved S1M-3569—That the Parliament acknowledges that all sectors of the criminal justice system must be managed effectively to ensure the even delivery of services across Scotland and calls on the Scottish Executive to conduct a fundamental review of the criminal justice system to establish how best to ensure that justice in Scotland is delivered in a fair, effective and appropriate manner.

The Lord Advocate moved amendment S1M-3569.2 to motion S1M-3569—

Leave out from "and calls on" to end and insert—

", welcomes the commitment of the Scottish Executive to systematic reappraisal of the way in which justice is delivered, building on the system’s strengths but also addressing the need for improvement; supports the major programme of modernisation, investment and review being undertaken by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service; awaits with interest the outcome of the major reviews of the criminal justice system currently being conducted by Lord Bonomy and Sheriff Principal McInnes and the work on integration of the system’s objectives being undertaken by the Crown Agent, Andrew Normand, and agrees that these reviews should inform proposals for the further improvement and modernisation of the criminal justice system to ensure that justice in Scotland is delivered in a fair, effective and appropriate manner."

Lord James-Douglas Hamilton moved amendment S1M-3569.1 to motion S1M-3569—

Leave out from "and calls on" to end and insert—

"regrets that the Scottish Executive has presided over rising crime and rising fear of crime; regrets that the Executive is only committed to "maintaining the capacity of the police" and not increasing the number of police officers on our streets; regrets that the Executive has chosen to focus on politically correct issues such as smacking, and calls on the Executive to address the real issues of concern to the Scottish public by increasing the number of police officers and procurators fiscal, overhauling the youth justice system and dealing adequately with the drugs problem that blights our communities."

After debate, amendment S1M-3569.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 59, Against 39, Abstentions 2). As a result, amendment S1M-3569.1 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 59, Against 13, Abstentions 28).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament acknowledges that all sectors of the criminal justice system must be managed effectively to ensure the even delivery of services across Scotland, welcomes the commitment of the Scottish Executive to systematic reappraisal of the way in which justice is delivered, building on the system’s strengths but also addressing the need for improvement; supports the major programme of modernisation, investment and review being undertaken by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service; awaits with interest the outcome of the major reviews of the criminal justice system currently being conducted by Lord Bonomy and Sheriff Principal McInnes and the work on integration of the system’s objectives being undertaken by the Crown Agent, Andrew Normand, and agrees that these reviews should inform proposals for the further improvement and modernisation of the criminal justice system to ensure that justice in Scotland is delivered in a fair, effective and appropriate manner."

2. Poverty: Mr Kenneth Gibson moved S1M-3570—That the Parliament deplores the fact that a quarter of all Scots and a third of all Scottish children live in poverty; accepts that any measure of poverty must satisfy the requirements of being relative and comparable, noting that the Scottish Executive appears to place less emphasis on reducing the incidence of poverty than changing its definition; is aware that the Scottish Executive is limited in its ability to eliminate poverty due to the inadequacy of the powers devolved to Scotland, and believes that the most effective way to tackle poverty in Scotland is to ensure that all powers over tax and spending decisions are transferred from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament.

The Minister for Social Justice moved amendment S1M-3570.2 to motion S1M-3570—

Leave out from "deplores" to end and insert—

"supports the Scottish Executive’s plans to tackle poverty as set out in Closing the Opportunity Gap: Scottish Budget 2003-2006; agrees that the definition of poverty extends beyond low income to include lack of opportunity in aspects of people’s lives such as jobs, health, education, transport and housing, and welcomes the progress that the Executive is making in tackling poverty in the broadest sense, in order to close the opportunity gap for the most disadvantaged people and communities, both urban and rural, across Scotland."

Mrs Lindsay McIntosh moved amendment S1M-3570.1 to motion S1M-3570—

Leave out from "deplores" to end and insert—

"recognises that poverty and vulnerability are still too widespread in 21st century Scotland, despite the fact that much material poverty has been alleviated, and believes that tackling modern forms of vulnerability requires policies that create wealth and provide economic opportunity and security for all, which can only happen within a framework of public order in which people have the security of strong families, communities and high quality public services."

After debate, amendment S1M-3570.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 39, Abstentions 1). As a result, amendment S1M-3570.1 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 14, Abstentions 26).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Executive’s plans to tackle poverty as set out in Closing the Opportunity Gap: Scottish Budget 2003-2006; agrees that the definition of poverty extends beyond low income to include lack of opportunity in aspects of people’s lives such as jobs, health, education, transport and housing, and welcomes the progress that the Executive is making in tackling poverty in the broadest sense, in order to close the opportunity gap for the most disadvantaged people and communities, both urban and rural, across Scotland."

3. Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-3573—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 20 November 2002

2:30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 1 Debate on Protection of Children (Scotland) Bill

followed by Financial Resolution in respect of the Protection of Children (Scotland) Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business – debate on the subject of S1M-3486 Duncan McNeil: Mis-selling of Utilities

Thursday 21 November 2002

9:30 am Stage 1 Debate on Title Conditions (Scotland) Bill

followed by Financial Resolution in respect of Title Conditions (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 Scottish Executive Response to Foot and Mouth Disease Inquiries

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business - debate on the subject of S1M-3538 John Farquhar Munro: Affordable Rural Housing

Wednesday 27 November 2002

2:30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Committee Debate on its 9th Report 2002 on Lifelong Learning

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business – debate on the subject of S1M-3565 John Swinney: A9 – Perth to Inverness

Thursday 28 November 2002

9:30 am Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

followed by Business Motion

2:30 pm Question Time

3:10 pm First Minister's Question Time

3:30 pm Executive Business

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

and (b) that Stage 1 of the Prostitution Tolerance Zones (Scotland) Bill be completed by 21 February 2003 and that Stage 2 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill be completed by 17 January 2003.

After debate, the motion was agreed to.

4. Regulation of Private Security Firms: The Parliament debated S1M-3522 in the name of Johann Lamont—That the Parliament notes with concern the lack of regulation of private security firms and the potential impact of unscrupulous activity by these firms on the safety and peace of mind of local communities within Glasgow Pollok constituency, across Glasgow and throughout Scotland; further notes the serious danger posed by any activity that undermines the confidence of the public in the police's capacity to deal with criminal behaviour within communities, and considers that the Scottish Executive, along with local authorities, the police and other relevant agencies, should develop as a matter of urgency means by which private security firms can be regulated and their activities scrutinised.

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

6. National Cultural Strategy: The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport moved S1M-3571—That the Parliament welcomes the second annual report on implementation of Scotland’s National Cultural Strategy; notes the action taken over the past year and welcomes the significant achievements of many dedicated artists and professionals throughout Scotland, and fully recognises the importance of culture in defining Scotland’s identity both at home and abroad, its contribution to the well-being of communities and individuals across the country and its role in helping to bridge the opportunity gap by extending participation in cultural activities.

Michael Russell moved amendment S1M-3571.1 to motion S1M-3571—

Insert at end—

"and therefore supports those who are calling for a new assessment of the actual financial and organisational needs of the arts in Scotland in order to achieve those objectives."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 42, Against 60, Abstentions 0).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S1M-3571.2 to motion S1M-3571—

Leave out from "the second" to "and welcomes."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 38, Against 62, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 70, Against 4, Abstentions 28).

Accordingly, the Parliament agreed—That the Parliament welcomes the second annual report on implementation of Scotland’s National Cultural Strategy; notes the action taken over the past year and welcomes the significant achievements of many dedicated artists and professionals throughout Scotland, and fully recognises the importance of culture in defining Scotland’s identity both at home and abroad, its contribution to the well-being of communities and individuals across the country and its role in helping to bridge the opportunity gap by extending participation in cultural activities.

7. Approval of SSI: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-3574—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.13) (Scotland) Order 2002 (SSI 2002/465) be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Approval of SSI: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-3575—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.14) (Scotland) Order 2002 (SSI 2002/482) be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9. Rule 2.3.1: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-3576—That the Parliament agrees that the Office of the Clerk will be closed on 27, 30 and 31 December 2002.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10. Suspension of Standing Orders: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-3577—That the Parliament agrees that Rules 13.6.4 and 13.6.7 of the Standing Orders be suspended for the purpose of Question Time on Thursday 9 January 2003.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 as noted above.

12. Licensing Scheme for Fireworks: Shona Robison moved S1M-3416—That the Parliament agrees with the view of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland in calling for the tightening up of legislation relating to the sale and use of fireworks; notes that the association specifically refers to a need for sellers to be stringently vetted in order to ensure that applicants for a certificate to sell fireworks are of good character and should be required to show "need" before being granted a certificate; believes that the best way of achieving this is through the introduction of a licensing scheme for vendors of fireworks, and considers that the Scottish Executive should, as part of the current review of licensing powers under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, consider extending licensing powers to include firework vendors.

The meeting closed at 5.54 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

14 November 2002

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 14 November 2002 for approval by resolution—

The Cairngorms National Park Elections (Scotland) Order 2003—

The Cairngorms National Park Designation, Transitional and Consequential Provisions Order 2003—

laid under the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000

The Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) (Scotland) Regulations 2002

laid under the European Communities Act 1972

Note: The Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) (Scotland) Regulations 2002, which were laid before the Parliament on 5 November 2002, have been withdrawn

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 14 November 2002 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

National Galleries for Scotland Audit for the year ended 31 March 2002 (SE/2002/306)—

Scottish Arts Council General Fund Audit for the year ended 31 March 2002 (SE/2002/307)—

laid under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

Scottish Arts Council National Lottery Distribution Account (SE/2002/308)

laid under the National Lottery etc. Act 1993

The Cairngorms National Park Consultation on Draft Designation Order: Section 6(6) Statement (SE/2002/325)

laid under the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000


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