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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 1, No 16 Session 2

Thursday 4 September 2003

 
 

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

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Closing the Opportunity Gap: The Minister for Communities (Ms Margaret Curran) moved S2M-293—That the Parliament welcomes the Executive's continuing commitment to breaking down the social, educational and economic barriers that create inequality and the commitment to working to end poverty by tackling deprivation and social needs, and notes that to close the opportunity gap the Executive will deliver community regeneration to build strong, safe and attractive communities; measures to increase financial inclusion to reduce debt, measures to improve standards of housing and to tackle homelessness and measures to overcome barriers to training and employment to increase participation in the labour market.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-293.3 to motion S2M-293—

Insert at end—

"but recognises that none of this action will be enough to reduce poverty levels in Scotland, which will only be achieved once the Executive has power and control over tax and social security policy."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 29, Against 79, Abstentions 1).

 

Mary Scanlon moved amendment S2M-293.1 to motion S2M-293—

Leave out from "welcomes" to end and insert—

"notes with concern that waiting lists are getting longer, children are failing to meet education attainment levels, violent crime is increasing, anti-social behaviour is rising and our economy is lagging behind that of the rest of the United Kingdom; recognises that it is the poorest and most vulnerable in society that suffer most as they are trapped in failing schools, most likely to suffer from ill health and most likely to be victims of crime, and believes ultimately that only by reforming key public services through offering choice and decentralisation, whilst encouraging economic growth by cutting business rates, removing red tape and mutualising Scottish Water, can we close any opportunity gap and give the people of Scotland a better future.

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 18, Against 91, Abstentions 0).

Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S2M-293.2 to motion S2M-293—

Leave out from "welcomes" to end and insert—

"condemns the failure of the Scottish Executive's policy over the last four years to deal with the problem of poverty in Scotland; notes the findings of the recent Rowntree report on poverty and social inclusion which shows that the proportion of the population living in poverty in Scotland has risen to 23% and the proportion of children in poverty to 30%; believes that the problem of poverty will never be solved until there is a fundamental redistribution of income and wealth which requires an independent Scotland, but considers, however, that even with its limited power the Parliament could begin this process by abolishing regressive council tax and introducing a Scottish service tax based on people's ability to pay and, in addition, introduce a minimum wage in the public sector of £7.50 an hour and free, nutritious school meals for all state school children in Scotland."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 6, Against 102, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 41, Abstentions 1).

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

3. Investment and Change in Cancer Services: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm) moved S2M-292—That the Parliament acknowledges the progress made and the remaining challenges in implementing the cancer strategy; recognises that the £60 million investment is leading to many improvements to patient care; welcomes the development of managed clinical networks and the redesign of cancer services under way across the three regional cancer networks; supports an increased focus on patient experience and patient involvement, and looks forward to continuing change and innovation in order to reduce waiting times and improve the quality of care.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-292.2 to motion S2M-292—

Insert at end—

"but recognises that further action is required to tackle staffing shortages in the oncology field in Scotland, including consideration of enhanced terms and conditions."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 29, Against 63, Abstentions 17).

Mr David Davidson moved amendment S2M-292.1 to motion S2M-292—

Leave out from "acknowledges" to end and insert—

"welcomes the improvement in survival rates for the majority of cancers, thanks to scientific advances, and praises those in the health service who work to combat this disease, but notes with grave concern that the delivery of health care in Scotland has fallen short of the standards that people expect and deserve, with patients' chances of survival under threat due to unacceptably long waiting times, staff shortages, postcode prescribing and the inequalities in accessing clinical assessment throughout Scotland."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 18, Against 66, Abstentions 25).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 93, Against 0, Abstentions 16).

4. Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-298—That the Parliament agrees

(a) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 10 September 2003

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Executive Debate on Strategic Framework for Aquaculture

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business - debate on the subject of S2M-106 Dr Sylvia Jackson: Scotland's European Pollutant Emission Register

Thursday 11 September 2003

9.30 am Scottish National Party Business

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm Question Time

3.10 pm Ministerial Statement on Delivering for Scotland – Funding the Partnership Agreement

followed by Executive Debate on Ministerial Statement

followed by Motion on Legal Deposit Libraries Bill 2003 - UK Legislation

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business - debate on the subject of S2M-145 Elaine Smith: Obesity Amongst the Scottish Population

Wednesday 17 September 2003

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Executive Debate on Review of Licensing Laws

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

Thursday 18 September 2003

9.30 am Executive Debate on Health

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.30 pm Question Time

followed by Continuation of Executive Debate on Health

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

and, (b) that the Environment and Rural Development Committee reports to the Communities Committee by 26 September 2003 on the Environmental Impact Assessment (Water Management) (Scotland) Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/341) and that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Justice 1 Committee by 16 September 2003 on the draft Advice and Assistance (Assistance by Way of Representation) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2003 and on the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) (No.2) Order 2003.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (by division: For 88, Against 15, Abstentions 2).

5. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1 and 3 as noted above.

6. Defence Aviation Repair Agency, Almondbank: The Parliament debated S2M-264 in the name of Roseanna Cunningham—That the Parliament notes the continued speculation about the impact of the Ministry of Defence’s ‘End to End Review’ on the future of the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) in Almondbank; is concerned about the threat to the 325 jobs at the facility; recognises the important and specialised skills of the workforce there which are significant to both Perthshire locally and Scotland as a whole; acknowledges the massive local economic impact of DARA in Almondbank as evidenced by the Mackay Consultants’ report of August 2003; further notes the cross party and multi-agency Welsh campaign to defend DARA jobs in Wales, and believes that the Scottish Executive should ensure that a similar campaign is organised in Scotland in order to protect and defend the continued existence of defence jobs at DARA in Almondbank.

The meeting closed at 5.52 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

4 September 2003

Appendix

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

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 4 September 2003 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

Report by the Scottish Ministers on Further Education in Scotland 2002 (SE/2003/239)

laid under section 1(6) of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992

Scottish Economic Report September 2003 (SE/2003/239)

Report by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman of an investigation into a complaint against Lanarkshire Primary Care NHS Trust

laid under section 15(1) of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002 (SPSO/2003/10)

Committee Reports

The following report is being published on 4 September 2003

Enterprise and Culture Committee, 1st Report 2003 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 10)

 

 


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