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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 4 No 37 Session 1

Thursday 12 December 2002

 
 

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

The meeting opened at 9.30am.

1. Children’s and Young People’s Services in Scotland: Irene McGugan moved S1M-3698—That the Parliament commends the recent reports into children’s services of the Child Protection Audit and Review, It’s everyone’s job to make sure I’m alright, Audit Scotland, Dealing with offending by young people and the Scottish Committee of the Council on Tribunals, Special Report on the Children’s Hearings System; notes in particular the references to the need to address urgently the crisis in the recruitment and retention of social workers; urges the Scottish Executive to give serious consideration to this matter and to the other recommendations in the reports and to act upon them; agrees that, when implemented, the recommendations would offer substantial improvements to the services for our most vulnerable children and young people; recommends bringing forward legislation to provide a statutory basis for child protection committees thereby ensuring increased status and resources and uniformly high quality services across the country, and recognises the need for the Scottish Executive to tackle once and for all the underlying social problems which disfigure our nation by limiting the chances of Scottish children, too many of whom continue to live in poverty.

The Minister for Education and Young People moved amendment S1M-3698.2 to motion S1M-3698—

Leave out from "commends" to end and insert—

"welcomes the constructive recommendation of the recent reports into children’s services, the Child Protection Review, It’s Everyone’s Job to make Sure I’m Alright, the Audit Scotland report, Dealing with Offending by Young People and the Scottish Committee of the Council on Tribunals’ report into Children’s Hearings; notes the need to address recruitment and retention of social workers and welcomes progress in the Executive’s Action Plan for Social Services; notes that the reports highlight a need to continue to focus on delivery which improves outcomes for Scotland’s children, and agrees that the Executive should continue to address the problems of poverty and exclusion and close the opportunity gap."

Bill Aitken moved amendment S1M-3698.1 to motion S1M-3698—

Leave out from "in particular" to end and insert—

"the concern expressed within reports about the pressures facing children’s hearings and the inadequate nature of the resources and disposals available; acknowledges that the problems of youth disorder must be given high priority if the right to peace and security at home and in the community is to be protected; calls upon the Scottish Executive to introduce an increased range of disposals for children’s hearings, including weekend and evening detention, restriction of liberty orders and expansion of supervised attendance orders and community service orders along with an increase in secure accommodation and a substantial increase in police officers visible in our communities, and recognises that, while much material poverty has been alleviated, 21st Century forms of vulnerability require 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-3698.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 4, Abstentions 49). As a result, amendment S1M-3698.1 was pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 69, Against 1, Abstentions 50).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the constructive recommendation of the recent reports into children’s services, the Child Protection Review, It’s Everyone’s Job to make Sure I’m Alright, the Audit Scotland report, Dealing with Offending by Young People and the Scottish Committee of the Council on Tribunals’ report into Children’s Hearings; notes the need to address recruitment and retention of social workers and welcomes progress in the Executive’s Action Plan for Social Services; notes that the reports highlight a need to continue to focus on delivery which improves outcomes for Scotland’s children, and agrees that the Executive should continue to address the problems of poverty and exclusion and close the opportunity gap.

2. Business Motion: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S1M-3694—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) as a revision to the business programme agreed on 5 December 2002—

Thursday 12 December 2002

after "Business Motion" insert—

"followed by Motion on appointment of Scottish Information Commissioner

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions"

(b) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 18 December 2002

2:30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 1 Debate on Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Bill

followed by Financial Resolution in respect of Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business – debate on the subject of S1M-3526 Marilyn Livingstone: Solvent Abuse

Thursday 19 December 2002

9:30 am Finance Committee Debate on its 7th Report on Stage 2 of the 2003-04 Budget Process

followed by Business Motion

2:30 pm Question Time

3:10 pm First Minister's Question Time

3:30 pm Stage 1 Debate on Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business - debate on the subject of S1M-3393 Alex Neil: Firefighters and Fire Control Staff

Wednesday 8 January 2003

2:30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 3 of Local Government in Scotland Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

Thursday 9 January 2003

9:30 am Debate on the draft Scottish Parliament (Disqualification) Order 2003

followed by Stage 1 Debate on the Council of the Law Society of Scotland Bill

followed by Preliminary Stage Debate on Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Farm (Navigation and Fishing) (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 the Review of Child Protection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

and (c) that Stage 2 of the Building (Scotland) Bill be completed by 22 January 2003.

The motion was agreed to.

3. Motion without Notice: Fergus Ewing moved without notice that motion S1M-3706 be taken at this meeting of the Parliament.

After debate, the motion was disagreed to (by division: For 52, Against 54, Abstentions 0).

4. Appointment of Scottish Information Commissioner: Jackie Baillie, on behalf of the Selection Panel, moved S1M-3701—That the Parliament nominates Kevin Dunion to Her Majesty The Queen for appointment as the Scottish Information Commissioner.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 91, Against 15, Abstentions 14).

5. Approval of SSI: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-3702—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Cairngorms National Park Designation, Transitional and Consequential Provisions (Scotland) Order 2003 be approved.

Alex Fergusson moved amendment S1M-3702.1 to motion S1M-3702—

Insert at end—

"but, in doing so, notes amendments S1M-3621.1 and S1M-3621.2 which were approved by the Rural Development Committee on 10 December 2002 and therefore regrets the exclusion from the boundaries of the Cairngorms National Park of those areas of Highland Perthshire and Drumochter, including the forest of Atholl, Beinn a ‘Ghlo and Blair Atholl, all of which were recommended for inclusion within the park’s boundary by Scottish Natural Heritage in its report, prepared for the Scottish Executive, on the proposal for a National Park in the Cairngorms, and is concerned that, if these areas remain excluded, the attainment by the park of World Heritage Status may be put in jeopardy, and further regrets that the Order does not include the Gaelic translation of Cairngorms National Park which is Pàirc Nàiseanta a’ Chàirn Ghuirm."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 57, Against 63, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 100, Against 20, Abstentions 0).

6. Approval of SSI: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-3703—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Cairngorms National Park Elections (Scotland) Order 2003 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

8. Fisheries 2003: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development moved S1M-3700—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Executive in its efforts to negotiate an outcome from the Fisheries Council meeting in December 2002 that reflects both the best achievable deal for the Scottish fishing industry and the fishing communities that depend on it and the need to preserve stocks for the long term.

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S1M-3700.2 to motion S1M-3700—

Leave out from "supports" to end and insert—

"urges the Scottish Executive to officially lead the UK delegation at next week’s Fisheries Council with a view to opposing vigorously any draconian cuts in fishing opportunities; calls on the Executive to propose that viable quotas be set that will allow the fleet to return to sea in the new year, providing the opportunity for states with a direct interest in the North Sea and the Irish Sea to bring forward management plans later in 2003 that promote fisheries conservation and secure a future for our fisheries communities, and further calls on the Minister for Environment and Rural Development to engage directly with other EU states and Norway to achieve this objective."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 35, Against 83, Abstentions 0).

Mr Jamie McGrigor moved amendment S1M-3700.1 to motion S1M-3700—

Leave out from "supports" to end and insert—

"recognises the importance of sustainable fisheries for the well-being of the Scottish fishing industry and fishing communities and therefore strongly rejects any advice that would close Scotland’s mixed fishery; believes that more time is required to assess truly the current state of fish stocks and the effects of the conservation measures already taken by Scottish fishermen; believes that elected MEPs should have the opportunity to debate and vote on any new quota cuts before they are implemented; urges fisheries ministers Ross Finnie and Elliot Morley to ensure that they do not preside over the decimation of Scotland’s fishing industry but instead achieve an outcome that is fair and equitable to Scottish fishermen, and ultimately believes that the Common Fisheries Policy of collective management has failed and therefore should be scrapped and replaced by national and local control and management of European waters as the only way to ensure future sustainability of fish stocks and thus the fishing industry."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 70, Abstentions 33).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

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

10. Debt and Lending: The Parliament debated S1M-3464 in the name of Donald Gorrie—That the Parliament is concerned by the number of households badly affected by debt and by the contribution to debt problems made by banks, retailers issuing credit cards, building societies and money lenders vigorously encouraging people to borrow more money, when they are already heavily in debt or obviously have no means of repaying the loan, and as regulation in this sphere is outwith the powers of the Parliament, believes that the Scottish Executive should address this issue by means of holding discussions with these lending bodies to seek voluntary agreements that they will not advertise or press credit on people that are manifestly not creditworthy and should ask the banks instead to lend money to credit unions for them to lend to people of limited means on the basis of such unions’ better assessment of the likelihood of each loan.

The meeting closed at 5.49 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

12 December 2002

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 12 December 2002 for approval by resolution

The Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2003

laid under the Scotland Act 1998

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 12 December 2002 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics 2000-01 (SE/2002/313)

laid under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973

 

Committee Reports

The following Reports were published on 12 December 2002—

Rural Development Committee, 14th Report 2002: Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 717)

Health and Community Care Committee, 20th Report 2002: Report on Subordinate legislation (SP Paper 718)

Local Government Committee, 19th Report 2002: Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 720 )


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