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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 1, No 22

Thursday 25 September 2003

 
 

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

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. European Constitution: Phil Gallie moved S2M-381—That the Parliament believes that any proposed major constitutional change affecting the governance of our country should be subject to a national referendum; believes that the proposed constitutional treaty for the European Union represents such a major change and accordingly should be the subject of such a referendum, and calls on the Scottish Executive to convey the Parliament’s concerns on this issue to Her Majesty’s Government.

The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Services (Tavish Scott) moved amendment S2M-381.3 to motion S2M-381—

Leave out from first "believes" to end and insert—

"recognises the many benefits that the European Union has delivered for Europe and Scotland; welcomes the draft constitutional treaty presented to the European Council by the Convention on the Future of Europe as an important step towards making the EU more effective, efficient, easier to understand, democratic, transparent and accountable; welcomes the reference in the draft treaty to subsidiarity and to the role of devolved parliaments in nations and regions, and welcomes the role that the Scottish Executive, in conjunction with Her Majesty's Government, has had in securing these references."

Mrs Margaret Ewing moved amendment S2M-381.1 to motion S2M-381—

Leave out from "affecting" to end and insert—

"of the constitution of the EU which seeks to reserve power over fishing to the sole competence of the EU is incompatible with Scotland’s interests."

After debate, amendment S2M-381.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 59, Against 27, Abstentions 8). As a result amendment S2M-381.3 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 60, Against 26, Abstentions 9).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the many benefits that the European Union has delivered for Europe and Scotland; welcomes the draft constitutional treaty presented to the European Council by the Convention on the Future of Europe as an important step towards making the EU more effective, efficient, easier to understand, democratic, transparent and accountable; welcomes the reference in the draft treaty to subsidiarity and to the role of devolved parliaments in nations and regions, and welcomes the role that the Scottish Executive, in conjunction with Her Majesty's Government, has had in securing these references.

2. Public Confidence in the Criminal Justice System: Miss Annabel Goldie moved S2M-380—That the Parliament welcomes the recognition by the First Minister of the need to "regain trust and confidence" in our criminal justice system; believes that a step towards restoring such confidence would be to introduce honesty in sentencing by re-enacting sections 33 to 41 of the Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997, which were repealed by section 108 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998; notes that public confidence has been further undermined by the lack of visible policing in too many communities, and calls on the Scottish Executive to consider how accountability to the public in the delivery of police services might be enhanced.

The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved amendment S2M-380.3 to motion S2M-380—

Leave out from "believes" to end and insert—

"welcomes the Scottish Executive’s decision to establish a judicially-led Sentencing Commission and the commitment to introduce legislation to modernise the operation of the High Court; recognises that the Scottish Executive will act on the McInnes Review and will bring forward further proposals for court reform; notes the measures being introduced that will give more support to victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system, and believes that the record number of police officers in Scotland, the substantial increase in civilian staff and the moves to release police officers for front-line duties will enhance delivery of police services in local communities."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 23, Abstentions 12).

Michael Matheson moved amendment S2M-380.1 to motion S2M-380—

Leave out from "welcomes" to end and insert—

"notes the First Minister’s recent recognition of the problems within the justice system; notes that public confidence in our justice system is undermined by insufficient resourcing of our police and prosecution service, and calls upon the Scottish Executive to ensure that future funding of the justice system reflects the demands being placed upon it."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 32, Against 64, Abstentions 0).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 13, Abstentions 21).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the recognition by the First Minister of the need to "regain trust and confidence" in our criminal justice system; welcomes the Scottish Executive’s decision to establish a judicially-led Sentencing Commission and the commitment to introduce legislation to modernise the operation of the High Court; recognises that the Scottish Executive will act on the McInnes Review and will bring forward further proposals for court reform; notes the measures being introduced that will give more support to victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system, and believes that the record number of police officers in Scotland, the substantial increase in civilian staff and the moves to release police officers for front-line duties will enhance delivery of police services in local communities.

3. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

4. Question Time: Questions were answered by Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5. Scottish National Theatre: The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Mr Frank McAveety) moved S2M-406—That the Parliament welcomes the announcement of Scottish Executive funding to realise the National Theatre of Scotland; commends the Executive on its vision in supporting the radical concept of a commissioning theatre of national and international status to present theatrical and writing excellence to all the people of Scotland and take Scotland's creative talent to the world stage, and endorses the Executive's commitment to the infrastructure of Scottish regional theatre from which new work will come.

Mr Jamie McGrigor moved amendment S2M-406.2 to motion S2M-406—

Leave out from "commends" to end and insert—

"and recognises that this is the culmination of a sixty-year campaign for a National Theatre Company; regrets the Executive’s past failure to deliver on its promises despite repeated underspends in its budget, and hopes that this commissioning body will produce theatre of such excellence and quality that theatre-going audiences will be captivated and enlarged in Scotland and that it will bring greater understanding of theatre to all corners of Scotland, provide inspiration and opportunity for actors, writers, designers and production staff to showcase their talents and provide greater cultural entertainment and enjoyment for present and future generations of local inhabitants and visitors."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 21, Against 74, Abstentions 1).

Colin Fox moved amendment S2M-406.1 to motion S2M-406—

Leave out from "commends" to end and insert—

"believes that the success of this radical concept of a commissioning theatre presenting theatrical and writing excellence to all the people of Scotland and the world will in part be measured by greater involvement in the theatre and access to productions by the people of Scotland both regionally and locally."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 36, Against 60, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

6. Membership of Committees: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-410—That the Parliament agrees that the following members be appointed to committees—

Scott Barrie to replace Maureen Macmillan on the Communities Committee, and Maureen Macmillan to replace Scott Barrie on the Justice 2 Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 5 and 6 as noted above.

8. Member’s Business: The Parliament debated S2M-210 in the name of Mr Kenneth Macintosh—That the Parliament notes with concern the level of violence and abuse that shopworkers deal with on a daily basis; further notes the recent survey by the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) that found that 47% of those responding to the survey reported physical attacks or assaults on staff in the last 12 months, that 72% reported staff being threatened with violence, that in one in four stores threats are being made every week, that in one-third of stores verbal abuse is a daily event, that almost 50% of staff have taken time off work as a result of violence and that stress-related problems are common and include sickness, insomnia, headaches and clinical depression; commends the USDAW campaign, "Freedom from Fear" and recognises its main objectives as raising awareness of the level of violence and abuse, making the workplace safer and protecting both shoppers and staff, and supports "Respect for Shopworkers Day" on 17 September 2003 aimed at preventing abusive behaviour, highlighting the support that retail companies can, and do, give their staff and encouraging the public to show respect for shopworkers.

The meeting closed at 5.46 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

25 September 2003

Appendix

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

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 25 September 2003 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

Argyll and Clyde Health Board Annual Accounts 2002-03 (SE/2003/129)—

Forth Valley Health Board Annual Accounts 2002-03 (SE/2003/134)—

Grampian Health Board Annual Accounts 2002-03 (SE/2003/135)—

Orkney Health Board Annual Accounts 2002-03 (SE/2003/139)—

laid under section 22(5) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

Report by the Auditor General for Scotland on the 2002-03 Audit of Argyll and Clyde Health Board (SE/2003/265)

Report by the Auditor General for Scotland on the 2002-03 Audit of Forth Valley Health Board (SE/2003/268)

Report by the Auditor General for Scotland on the 2002-03 Audit of Orkney Health Board (SE/2003/280)

The Queen’s Printer for Scotland – Report covering the period 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2003 (SE/2003/253)

Learning and Teaching Scotland, Annual Report 2002-03 (SE/2003/258)

Learning and Teaching Scotland, Report and Financial Statements, Twelve Months ended 31 March 2003 (SE/2003/259)

Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics 2001-02 (SE/2003/281)

Committee Reports

The following Reports were published on 25 September 2003—

Health Committee, 4th Report 2003 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 21)

Communities Committee, 2nd Report 2003 (Session 2): Report on

Subordinate legislation (SP Paper 22)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 6th Report 2003 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 23)


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