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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 4 No 50 Session 1

Wednesday 12 February 2003

 
 

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

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Time for Reflection: Mrs Anne L McIntyre, Leader of the Prayer for Parliament – Scotland, Intercessors Team, led Time for Reflection.

2. Education: Michael Russell moved S1M-3879—That the Parliament notes Educating for Excellence: Choice and Opportunity, the Scottish Executive’s response to the National Debate on Education and the statement by the Minister for Education and Young People on launching the document; further notes that in places the document is contradicted by the Minister’s statement; expresses concern that the document contains little new despite the high quality of many responses to the consultation; is particularly concerned that, despite the Minister’s admission in her statement that matters of literacy and numeracy "are among our most pressing problems" and that "we will not tolerate underperformance in literacy and numeracy", the document contains no clear and firm commitment to actions that will change the present situation in which the number of pupils failing to meet the required standards of literacy and numeracy by S2 is unacceptably high, and therefore supports the Scottish National Party’s radical programme to reduce class sizes in the first three years of primary education to 18 or below and to re-focus teaching effort on core skills throughout the primary school and into the early secondary years.

The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People moved amendment S1M-3879.1 to motion S1M-3879—

Leave out from first "notes" to end and insert M-

"welcomes the strategy for the future of education in Scotland published in Educating for Excellence: Choice and Opportunity with its focus on raising standards and closing the opportunity gap; supports the plans to reduce class sizes and the measures to improve literacy and numeracy and to ease transitions between key stages, and endorses the strategy’s key objectives of an education system centred on the needs of each individual child with a more flexible and relevant curriculum, a streamlined assessment system and greater parental involvement in our schools."

Mr Brian Monteith moved amendment S1M-3879.2 to motion S1M-3879—

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

"the response of the Scottish National Party has been to advocate policies which, whilst well-intentioned, would require placing requests to be abolished, catchment areas to be re-drawn and, therefore, parental choice to be considerably restricted, and calls upon the Scottish Executive to reaffirm its support for the placing request provisions of the Education (Scotland) Act 1981."

After debate, amendment S1M-3879.1 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 47, Abstentions 1). As a result amendment S1M-3879.2 was pre-empted.

The motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 84, Against 30, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the strategy for the future of education in Scotland published in Educating for Excellence: Choice and Opportunity with its focus on raising standards and closing the opportunity gap; supports the plans to reduce class sizes and the measures to improve literacy and numeracy and to ease transitions between key stages, and endorses the strategy’s key objectives of an education system centred on the needs of each individual child with a more flexible and relevant curriculum, a streamlined assessment system and greater parental involvement in our schools.

3. Scottish Economic Growth: Andrew Wilson moved S1M-3880—That the Parliament notes with concern the long-term underperformance of the Scottish economy and the growing gap in wealth created per head between Scotland and the rest of the UK and the south east of England in particular; recognises that the symptoms of economic underperformance cannot be dealt with on a sustainable basis until the root cause of economic underperformance is addressed directly; calls for all leaders in Scottish public life to work towards a national consensus around the drive to bridge the gap between Scotland's economic performance and economic potential, and, in working towards that consensus, further recognises that differences of opinion on policy prescriptions are a healthy part of the democratic debate but calls for an open mind on all sides in respect of the range of policy options that are, and should be, available to the Scottish Executive in working towards making Scotland as competitive as its competitors.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning moved amendment S1M-3880.2 to motion S1M-3880—

Leave out from "notes" to end and insert—

"supports the Scottish Executive’s aim of increasing sustainable economic growth over the long term; recognises that increasing Scotland’s prosperity is essential to the fulfilment of the Executive’s objectives of closing the opportunity gap, building first-class public services and ensuring sustainable development; calls for all leaders in Scottish public life to work towards a national consensus around the drive to bridge the gap between Scotland’s economic performance and economic potential, and endorses the work being undertaken by the Executive to use the powers of the Parliament to help business grow and to secure a smart, successful Scotland by developing the science and skills base, improving global connections and investing in transport and communications infrastructure."

Miss Annabel Goldie moved amendment S1M-3880.1 to motion S1M-3880—

leave out from "long-term" to end and insert—

"competitive disadvantage at which Scottish business is being placed as a consequence of an onerous taxation and regulatory regime aggravated by inadequate investment in transport infrastructure and calls on the Scottish Executive to reduce the business rate poundage to the same level that exists in England thereby re-establishing a uniform business rate and to pledge an additional £100 million per annum for investment in our transport infrastructure."

After debate, amendment S1M-3880.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 48, Abstentions 0). As a result amendment S1M-3880.1 was pre-empted

The motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 29 Abstentions 18).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Executive’s aim of increasing sustainable economic growth over the long term; recognises that increasing Scotland’s prosperity is essential to the fulfilment of the Executive’s objectives of closing the opportunity gap, building first-class public services and ensuring sustainable development; calls for all leaders in Scottish public life to work towards a national consensus around the drive to bridge the gap between Scotland’s economic performance and economic potential, and endorses the work being undertaken by the Executive to use the powers of the Parliament to help business grow and to secure a smart, successful Scotland by developing the science and skills base, improving global connections and investing in transport and communications infrastructure.

4. Theatre in Scotland: The Parliament debated S1M-3715 in the name of Robin Harper—That the Parliament regrets the lack of sufficient funding for Scottish theatre; notes the cutbacks at Brunton Theatre; notes the contribution made over the years by groups such as the TAG Theatre Company, 7:84, Borderline, Theatre in Education and TWE Edinburgh; further notes the looming funding crisis for repertory theatre, especially the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh; notes that unless funding equivalent to the funding available to theatre in England and Wales is made available, there will be a drift of talent southwards that will result in the ability of professional theatre to survive in Scotland being undermined in the near future.

5. Business Motion: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-3892—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) as a revision to the programme of business agreed on 6 February 2003—

Wednesday 12 February 2003

after—

"followed by Stage 3 of Protection of Children (Scotland) Bill"

delete—

"followed by Executive Debate on Fisheries

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

7:00 pm Decision Time"

and insert—

"followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business – debate on the subject of S1M-3840 Tom McCabe: Young People in Sport"

(a). the following programme of business—

Wednesday 19 February 2003

9:30 am Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Executive Debate on Fisheries

11:30 am Stage 3 of Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill

followed by Members’ Business - debate on the subject of S1M-3864 Brian Monteith: Location of a New Hospital for Forth Valley

2:00 pm Continuation of Stage 3 of Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

7:00 pm Decision Time

Thursday 20 February 2003

9:30 am Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Continuation of Stage 3 of Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill

followed by Stage 3 of Building (Scotland) Bill

2:30 pm Question Time

3:10 pm First Minister's Question Time

3:30 pm Continuation of Stage 3 of Building (Scotland) Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business – debate on the subject of S1M-3860 Mr Andrew Welsh: Arbroath CAFE Project

Wednesday 26 February 2003

9:30 am Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

11:00 am Stage 3 of Title Conditions (Scotland) Bill

2:30 pm Continuation of Stage 3 of Title Conditions (Scotland) Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

Thursday 27 February 2003

9:30 am Stage 1 Debate on National Galleries of Scotland Bill

followed by Stage 1 Debate on Prostitution Tolerance Zones (Scotland) Bill

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 (c) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 17 February 2003 on the draft Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Covert Human Intelligence Sources – Code of Practice) (Scotland) Order 2003, the draft Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Covert Surveillance – Code of Practice) (Scotland) Order 2003, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Prescription of Offices, Ranks and Positions) (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Order 2003 (SSI 2003/50) and the draft Members of the Parole Board (Removal Tribunal) Regulations 2003.

After debate, the motion was agreed to/disagreed to (by division: For 65, Against 49, Abstentions 0).

6. Protection of Children (Scotland) Bill – Business Motion: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-3894—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Protection of Children (Scotland) Bill, debate on each part of the Stage 3 proceedings shall be brought to a conclusion by the time-limits indicated (each time-limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when those proceedings are suspended)—

Groups 1 and 2 – no later than 45 minutes

Groups 3 to 5 – no later than 1 hour and 30 minutes

Motion to pass the Bill – 2 hours

The motion was agreed to.

7. Protection of Children (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 1, 2, 3, 9, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.

8. Protection of Children (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Minister for Education and Young People moved S1M-3705—That the Parliament agrees that the Protection of Children (Scotland) Bill be passed.

After debate, the amendment was agreed to (DT).

9. Designation of Lead Committee: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-3887—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Prescription of Offices, Ranks and Positions) (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Order 2003 (SSI 2003/50).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10. Designation of Lead Committee: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-3888—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the draft Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Covert Surveillance – Code of Practice) (Scotland) Order 2003.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11. Designation of Lead Committee: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-3889—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the draft Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Covert Human Intelligence Sources – Code of Practice) (Scotland) Order 2003.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

12. Designation of Lead Committee: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-3890—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the draft Members of the Parole Board (Removal Tribunal) Regulations 2003.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

13. Decision Time: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved a motion, without notice, that the Parliament agrees under rule 11.2.4 of Standing Orders that Decision Time on Wednesday 12 February 2003 be taken at 3.42 pm.

14. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 as noted above.

15. Young People in Sport: The Parliament debated S1M-3840 in the name of Mr Tom McCabe—That the Parliament commends Hamilton International Sports Trust, which seeks to aid young amateur sports people in competition at the highest levels, for their support given to young people in South Lanarkshire; congratulates the young people supported by the trust on the success they have achieved; notes the work of sportScotland in this area, working to ensure that sport is more widely available to all with investment of £8.1 million per year; believes that such initiatives and investment promote confidence and community spirit among our young people; further believes that this type of community-based support from the local community would benefit other communities across Scotland, and believes that such initiatives, promoting access to sport and promotion of sporting excellence among young people, are worthy of suitable support from the Scottish Executive.

The meeting closed at 4. 26 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

12 February 2003

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 11 February 2003 for approval by resolution

The SFGS Farmland Premium Scheme 2003

laid under the Farm Land and Rural Development Act 1988

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 12 February 2003 for approval by resolution

The General Commissioners of Income Tax (Expenses) (Scotland) Regulations 2003

laid under the Taxes Management Act 1970

Note: The draft General Commissioners of Income Tax (Costs) (Scotland) Regulations 2003, which was laid before the Parliament on 30 January 2003, has been withdrawn

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 7 February 2003 and are subject to annulment—

The National Health Service Superannuation Scheme (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/55)

laid under the Superannuation Act 1972

The Registration of Foreign Adoptions (Scotland) Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/67)

laid under the Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978

The National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/69)

laid under the National Assistance Act 1948

The Road Traffic (Permitted Parking Area and Special Parking Area) (Aberdeen City Council) Designation Order 2003 (SSI 2003/70)—

The Road Traffic (Parking Adjudicators) (Aberdeen City Council) Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/71)—

The Parking Attendants (Wearing of Uniforms) (Aberdeen City Council Parking Area) Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/72)—

laid under the Road Traffic Act 1991

The Taxi Drivers’ Licences (Carrying of Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs) (Scotland) Regulations 2002 (SSI 2003/73)

laid under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 10 February 2003 and is subject to annulment

The Schools (Scotland) Code Amendment Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/75)

laid under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 7 February 2003 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

The St Mary’s Episcopal Primary School (Section 18) Order 2003 (SE/2003/20)

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 12 February 2003 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Committee Report on Lifelong Learning: Response by the Scottish Executive (SE/2003/64)

Committee Reports

The following Reports were published on 7 February 2003—

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 13th Report 2003: Delegated Powers Scrutiny: Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill as amended at Stage 2 (SP Paper 767)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 14th Report 2003: Delegated Powers Scrutiny: Building (Scotland) Bill as amended at Stage 2 (SP Paper 768)

The following Report was published on 11 February 2003

Justice 2 Committee, 5th Report 2003: Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 769)


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