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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 1No 30 Session 2

Thursday 6 November 2003

 
 

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

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Sustainable Scotland: Robin Harper moved S2M-559—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s intention of placing the environment and sustainable development at the heart of all of its policy making; notes, however, the policy contradictions, including those in A Partnership for a Better Scotland, which indicate that this goal is not likely to be achieved, and therefore calls on the Executive to integrate sustainable development within all of its policy making and organise government to achieve this end.

The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved amendment S2M-559.3 to motion S2M-559—

Leave out from "intention" to end and insert—

"commitment to a Scotland that delivers sustainable development, puts environmental concerns at the heart of public policy and secures environmental justice for all of Scotland’s communities; welcomes the Executive’s commitment to introduce Strategic Environmental Assessment for public sector strategies, programmes and plans, and welcomes the demonstration of the commitment to sustainable development in every section of A Partnership for a Better Scotland."

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-559.1 to motion S2M-559—

Insert at end—

"and recognises that, by gaining the powers enjoyed by other independent member states of the EU, the Parliament’s efforts to achieve sustainable development will be greatly enhanced as this will provide legislative powers over matters currently reserved to Her Majesty's Government that influence sustainable development, the ability to use fiscal measures and direct representation on international bodies dedicated to protecting the environment".

Mr Ted Brocklebank moved amendment S2M-559.2 to motion S2M-559—

Leave out from "notes" to end and insert—

"but notes that this should be aimed at the individual, increasing choice and environmentally-friendly incentives while reducing the power of the bureaucracies, and further pledges its support for renewable policies as well as supporting rural businesses and industries, including fishing communities and aquaculture."

After debate, amendment S2M-559.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 36, Abstentions 0).

Amendment S2M-559.1 was then disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 36, Against 72, Abstentions 2).

As a result of amendment S2M-559.3 being agreed to, amendment S2M-559.2 was pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 73, Against 13, Abstentions 24).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s commitment to a Scotland that delivers sustainable development, puts environmental concerns at the heart of public policy and secures environmental justice for all of Scotland’s communities; welcomes the Executive’s commitment to introduce Strategic Environmental Assessment for public sector strategies, programmes and plans, and welcomes the demonstration of the commitment to sustainable development in every section of A Partnership for a Better Scotland.

2. Future of Scottish Agriculture: Mr Mark Ruskell moved S2M-560—That the Parliament calls upon the Scottish Executive to apply the precautionary principle and adopt the most legally restrictive policy, regardless of Her Majesty’s Government’s position, in relation to GM crops in recognition of the significant danger that they pose to GM-free conventional and organic farming and the potential risks to human health, animal health and the environment.

The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-560.2 to motion S2M-560—

Leave out from "calls" to end and insert—

"notes that in accordance with A Partnership for a Better Scotland the Scottish Executive will apply the precautionary principle in relation to the planting of GM crops; notes that no decision has been taken on the possible commercialisation of GM crops; recognises that it would be premature to do so before the results of the farm scale trials and the GM dialogue have been fully evaluated, and notes the Executive’s continuing commitment to protecting human health, animal health and the environment."

Roseanna Cunningham moved amendment S2M-560.3 to motion S2M-560—

Leave out from "calls" to end and insert—

"recognises the massive public opposition to GM crops; believes that the precautionary principle should be applied to any further development of GM crops, whether on a trial basis or for commercial planting, and considers that the future of Scottish agriculture lies in maintaining the integrity of GM-free crop production."

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S2M-560.1 to motion S2M-560—

Leave out from "apply" to end and insert—

"give an assurance that any decisions relating to future development and exploitation of GM technology shall be made on the basis of best scientific advice."

After debate, amendment S2M-560.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 36, Abstentions 0). As a result amendments S2M-560.3 and S2M-560.1 were pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 76, Against 34, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that in accordance with A Partnership for a Better Scotland the Scottish Executive will apply the precautionary principle in relation to the planting of GM crops; notes that no decision has been taken on the possible commercialisation of GM crops; recognises that it would be premature to do so before the results of the farm scale trials and the GM dialogue have been fully evaluated, and notes the Executive’s continuing commitment to protecting human health, animal health and the environment.

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

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

5. Common Agricultural Policy Reform: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-556—That the Parliament welcomes the CAP Reform Agreement of June 2003 as a good deal for Scotland; endorses the objectives of the strategy document A Forward Strategy for Scottish Agriculture, widely agreed by stakeholders, as providing the strategic focus for decision-making on the various flexibilities available to Scotland within the agreement; endorses the wide and open consultation which the Scottish Executive has now launched to canvass views across the whole range of stakeholders before final decisions are taken, and further welcomes the Executive’s initiative in setting up a stakeholder group comprising representatives of a wide range of stakeholders, farming, industry, consumer and environmental, to advise on the consultation process.

Roseanna Cunningham moved amendment S2M-556.1 to motion S2M-556—

Leave out from "welcomes" to end and insert—

"notes the CAP Reform Agreement of June 2003; recognises that it has the potential to deliver a better deal for Scottish agriculture and for rural Scotland as a whole than the current arrangements; believes that the range of agri-environmental measures should be expanded to promote a sustainable rural economy that will be of benefit to all those involved in Scottish agriculture as well as all those who live and work in rural Scotland, but urges the Scottish Executive to ensure that decisions about the various flexibilities are made in Scotland, on the basis of what is best for Scotland, and are not subject to external pressures dictating UK-wide uniformity."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 37, Against 72, Abstentions 1).

Alex Fergusson moved amendment S2M-556.3 to motion S2M-556—

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

"encourages representatives of the farming and crofting industries to use the consultation process to lobby for full de-coupling of support payments based on historical entitlements."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 11, Against 68, Abstentions 32).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 80, Against 6, Abstentions 24).

6. Business Motion: Patricia Fergusson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-549—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Justice 1 Committee by 22 November 2003 on the draft Proceeds of Crime 2002 Amendment (Scotland) Order 2003;

(b) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 22 November 2003 on the Scottish Legal Aid Board (Employment of Solicitors to Provide Criminal Legal Assistance) Amendment Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/511);

(c) that Stage 1 of the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill be completed by 13 February 2004; and

(d) that Stage 2 of the Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill be completed by 3 December 2003.

The motion was agreed to.

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

8. Wind Farms: The Parliament debated S2M-424 in the name of Murdo Fraser—That the Parliament notes with concern the proliferation of planning applications for onshore wind farms throughout Scotland; is further concerned, whilst supporting renewable energy, about the environmental and landscape impact of wind farms and understands that these frequently face vigorous local opposition; believes that the current planning regime provides inadequate guidance to local authorities, communities and developers in relation to the siting of wind farms; considers that the Scottish Executive should bring forward as a matter of urgency new planning guidance on the siting of wind farms taking proper account of these factors, and further considers that the Executive should declare a moratorium on the determination of locally-opposed wind farm planning applications until such guidance has taken effect.

9. Motion Without Notice: Rob Gibson moved without notice a motion under Rule 8.14.3 that the Parliament agrees that Members’ Business on 6 November 2003 be extended by 20 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.16 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

6 November 2003

Appendix

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

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 6 November 2003 for approval by resolution

The Mink Keeping (Scotland) Order 2003 (SSI 2003/528)

laid under section 10(1) of the Destructive Imported Animals Act 1932

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 6 November 2003 and are subject to annulment—

The Specified Sugar Products (Scotland) Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/527)

laid under section 48 (3) of the Food Safety Act 1990

The National Health Service Superannuation Scheme (Scotland) Amendment (No.3) Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/517)

laid under section 12(6) of the Superannuation Act 1972


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