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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 1 No 12 Session 2

Thursday 19 June 2003

 
 

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

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Water Industry: Murdo Fraser moved S2M-162-That the Parliament notes with concern the dramatic increases in charges by Scottish Water to businesses in 2003-04 which, in some cases, amount to nearly 500% more than the amount charged in 2002-03; believes that these increased charges bear no relation to the service provided by Scottish Water to these customers; is concerned that these rising costs have increased the competitive disadvantage faced by Scottish firms, particularly in relation to England; further notes that household bills have gone up by 94% in real terms over the past decade, while English domestic bills have only risen by 22% since 1989; acknowledges that privatisation in England has brought substantial capital investment which has led to lower bills for businesses and households alongside improved water quality; calls on the Scottish Executive to address urgently the concerns of domestic and business customers in relation to these higher charges and to look at widening competition with a view to reducing costs, and further believes that, as public ownership has failed customers in Scotland, the Executive should investigate models of private ownership.

The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-162.3 to motion S2M-162-

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

"believes that, having established Scottish Water in 2002, this is the right means of delivering cost-effective and improved services in accordance with the requirements of the Parliament and that, in the short time since Scottish Water's establishment, it has started the process of delivering cost effective and improved services, and further believes that a review of its ownership and funding now would undermine that progress to the detriment of all customers."

Roseanna Cunningham moved amendment S2M-162.4 to motion S2M-162-

Leave out from "acknowledges" to end and insert-

"believes that the offices of the Water Industry Commissioner for Scotland and the Water Quality Regulator should be amalgamated to create a tough new champion on behalf of customers; further believes that a full and detailed review of the financial control arrangements for Scottish Water requires to be undertaken as a matter of urgency with a view to affording Scottish Water greater financial flexibility, and calls on the Scottish Executive to consider a not-for-profit trust to provide an appropriate vehicle for investment which would allow Scottish Water to be free of artificial constraints and keep charges under control."

After debate, amendment S2M-162.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 69, Against 41, Abstentions 0). As a result amendment S2M-162.4 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 43, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved-That the Parliament believes that, having established Scottish Water in 2002, this is the right means of delivering cost-effective and improved services in accordance with the requirements of the Parliament and that, in the short time since Scottish Water's establishment, it has started the process of delivering cost effective and improved services, and further believes that a review of its ownership and funding now would undermine that progress to the detriment of all customers.

2. Care Homes for the Elderly: David Davidson moved S2M-161-That the Parliament notes with concern the threat of closure to the majority of the Church of Scotland's care homes; further notes that this crisis has occurred against a background of the Scottish Executive's assurance in the last session of the Parliament that funding issues had been resolved; believes, therefore, that this matter needs to be re-examined as a matter of urgency with a view to achieving a sustainable funding agreement and ending inequality in funding between local authority-run homes and independent homes; recognises that there is a longer term issue to be addressed by government, and calls on the Executive to consult with Her Majesty's Government on how people might be encouraged to make greater provision for their own long-term care.

The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (Mr Tom McCabe) moved amendment S2M-161.4 to motion S2M-161-

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

"acknowledges the problems faced by some Church of Scotland care homes but recognises that the Scottish Executive has met in full the recommendations of the National Review Group on care home fees which resulted in an extra investment of over 130 million in the care home sector since July 2001; welcomes the work currently being undertaken by COSLA and the care home sector in establishing a framework for assessing the cost of providing care for older people from 2005-06, and notes the continuing commitment of the Executive to shift the balance of care from institutional settings to providing care at home and its setting up of the national care standards which provide a quality framework."

Stewart Stevenson moved amendment S2M-161.1 to motion S2M-161-

Leave out from "believes" to end and insert-

"regrets that the present funding levels to the voluntary and private sectors leave vulnerable older people exposed to disruption and distress at a point in their lives when they deserve support and stability; believes that the Executive should undertake an urgent review of funding for the care home sector based on an analysis of the true cost of care, and calls on the Executive to carry out an urgent review of bed provision in care homes in order to establish and commit to a long-term plan for the sector."

John Swinburne moved amendment S2M-161.3 to motion S2M-161-

Leave out from "there is" to end and insert-

"means testing discriminates against residents who have made provision for their long-term care and calls on the Executive to provide long-term care for the elderly without such discrimination."

After debate, amendment S2M-161.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 48, Abstentions 0). As a result amendments S2M-161.1 and S2M-161.3 were pre-empted

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 47, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved-That the Parliament acknowledges the problems faced by some Church of Scotland care homes but recognises that the Scottish Executive has met in full the recommendations of the National Review Group on care home fees which resulted in an extra investment of over 130 million in the care home sector since July 2001; welcomes the work currently being undertaken by COSLA and the care home sector in establishing a framework for assessing the cost of providing care for older people from 2005-06, and notes the continuing commitment of the Executive to shift the balance of care from institutional settings to providing care at home and its setting up of the national care standards which provide a quality framework.

3. Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-158-That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business-

Wednesday 25 June 2003

2:30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Executive Debate on Modernising Justice

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business - debate on the subject of S2M-140 Phil Gallie: Red Brae School

Thursday 26 June 2003

9:30 am Landfill (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2003

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Final Stage of 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

followed by Motion on Fireworks Bill - UK Legislation

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5:00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business - debate on the subject of S2M-110 Irene Oldfather: Valuing Carers.

The motion was agreed to.

4. Ministerial Statement: The First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell) made a statement on the Inquiry into the Holyrood project.

5. Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell), the Lord Advocate and other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6. The Draft Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2003: The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson) moved S2M-144-That the Parliament agrees that the draft Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2003 be approved.

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

7. Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill - UK Legislation: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm) moved S2M-137-That the Parliament endorses the principle of ensuring consistency in recovery of NHS charges where compensation is paid following injury as set out in Part 3 of the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill and agrees that the relevant provisions to achieve this end including extending ministers' powers to make regulations under a scheme for recovery should be considered by the UK Parliament.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 76, Against 35, Abstentions 0).

8. Draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2003 Amendment Order 2003: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-168-That the Parliament agrees that the draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2003 Amendment Order 2003 be approved.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 80, Against 28, Abstentions 3).

9. Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (Orkney) (Scotland) Order 2003: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-169-That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (Orkney) (Scotland) Order 2003 (SSI 2003/260) be approved.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 86, Against 19, Abstentions 6).

10. Membership of Committee: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-170-That the Parliament agrees that Mrs Margaret Smith be appointed a member of the Equal Opportunities Committee

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

11. Decision Time: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, move without notice that, under Rule 11.2.4 of Standing Orders, Decision Time on Thursday 19 June be taken at 4.58 pm.

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

13. Glasgow and Edinburgh Airport Investment: The Parliament debated S2M-31 in the name of Ms Sandra White-That the Parliament notes the response by BAA plc to Her Majesty's Government's consultation document, The Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom: A National Consultation - Scotland, which states that the upgrading of Glasgow Airport to international hub status would cost 1.1 billion, 200 million less than government estimates, and that the cost of upgrading Edinburgh Airport would be 1.3 billion, 400 million more than previous estimates; further notes the massive investment planned for airport expansion in the south east of England; expresses its support for Scottish Airports Ltd's call on Her Majesty's Government not to put Scotland's long-term economical prospects at risk by opting to develop only one of the country's main airports, and believes that the Scottish Executive should make representations to Her Majesty's Government to ensure that the necessary investment is made available to ensure that both airports grow to their full potential.

The meeting closed at 5.52 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

19 June 2003

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 19 June 2003 for approval by resolution-

The Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) (No.2) Order 2003

laid under the Scotland Act 1998

The Welfare of Farmed Animals (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2003

laid under the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968

Not Subject to any Parliamentary Procedure

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 19 June 2003 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (Scotland) Partial Revocation Order 2003 (SSI 2003/315)

laid under of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985

Other Documents

The following draft document was laid before the Parliament on 19 June 2003 for approval by resolution

Code of Recommendation for the Welfare of Livestock: Pigs (SE/2003/173)

laid under the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968

Committee Reports

The following report is being published on 19 June 2003

Finance Committee, 1st Report 2003 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 2)


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