Back
 

MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 1, No 64 Session 2

Thursday 25 March 2004

 
 

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

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Zero Waste: Shiona Baird moved S2M-1089—That the Parliament notes that, despite a small increase in recycling and composting, the Scottish Executive is yet to achieve any reduction in the overall production of waste; urges the Executive to adopt a "zero waste" approach, which has the potential to dramatically reduce waste from the design, production and use of materials and products, to boost reuse, recycling and composting rates and to cut costs for business, stimulate innovation and create more "green" jobs in Scotland, and recommends that the Executive produces a strategy for reaching a target of zero waste and reports back to the Parliament on the potential of that policy for Scotland.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Lewis Macdonald) moved amendment S2M-1089.4 to motion S2M-1089—

Leave out from "notes" to end and insert—

"welcomes the recent increase in recycling and composting; notes paragraph 7.3.3 of the National Waste Plan 2003 which states that zero waste "provides a platform for challenging our current systems and radically reducing waste beyond even the best current levels of achievement" and the aim in the National Waste Plan to stop growth in the amount of municipal waste produced by 2010; further notes the work being carried out by the Waste and Resources Action Programme, Envirowise, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and others to minimise business and household waste; recognises the Scottish Executive's commitment to increasing packaging recovery targets from 59% to 70% by 2008, and calls on the Executive to continue its work to prevent and minimise waste, to increase recycling and to divert waste from landfill."

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-1089.3 to motion S2M-1089—

Insert at end—

"and further notes that many of the powers required to reduce waste and achieve a sustainable Scotland reside with Her Majesty's Government and that such powers should be transferred to the Scottish Parliament."

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S2M-1089.2 to motion S2M-1089—

Leave out from "urges" to end and insert—

"notes that Scottish local authorities need to improve their recycling performance by 15.4% over the next two years, three times the figure they have achieved in the last four, to meet the Executive's target of 25% of waste recycled by 2006; calls on the Executive to admit that its top-down approach is not working, and, as an alternative to a zero waste policy, urges it to allow local authorities the flexibility to deliver the best solutions for their areas in the long term."

After debate, amendment 1089.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 79, Against 40, Abstentions 0). As a result amendment S2M-1089.2 was pre-empted.

After debate, amendment 1089.3 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 80, Abstentions 0).

The motion as amended was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the recent increase in recycling and composting; notes paragraph 7.3.3 of the National Waste Plan 2003 which states that zero waste "provides a platform for challenging our current systems and radically reducing waste beyond even the best current levels of achievement" and the aim in the National Waste Plan to stop growth in the amount of municipal waste produced by 2010; further notes the work being carried out by the Waste and Resources Action Programme, Envirowise, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and others to minimise business and household waste; recognises the Scottish Executive's commitment to increasing packaging recovery targets from 59% to 70% by 2008, and calls on the Executive to continue its work to prevent and minimise waste, to increase recycling and to divert waste from landfill.

2. GM Crops: Patrick Harvie moved S2M-1091—That the Parliament notes with concern the preliminary legal opinion of independent counsel that the Scottish Executive had discretion to use legal powers to refuse the next stage of GM maize commercialisation which it chose not to exercise; calls for the Executive to review its own legal advice on which its decision over GM maize was based and to reassess the extent of its discretion accordingly, and calls on the Executive to put on hold the decision on final consent to the placement of GM maize on the UK National Seed List, at least until it has reported back to the Parliament on the outcome of such a legal review and satisfied the Parliament that the most legally-restrictive policy possible toward GM commercialisation has been used.

The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-1091.1 to motion S2M-1091—

Leave out from "notes" to end and insert—

"acknowledges that at present there is little support for commercialisation of GM crops; further acknowledges the European and UK legislative framework for GM; notes the legal advice provided by the parliamentary solicitor to the Transport and the Environment Committee and the European and External Relations Committee that the Scottish Executive is not permitted by EU law to impose a blanket ban on, or blanket approval for, GM crops; understands that decisions are required on a case by case basis; welcomes the Executive's decision to reject the commercial growing of spring GM oil seed rape and beet; notes that the Executive does not have scientific evidence nor the powers to ban the cultivation of GM maize; supports the Executive's decision to seek amendment to the EU approval for Chardon LL maize to restrict its cultivation; supports the Executive's decision not to agree seed listing for Chardon LL unless and until such EU changes are made; welcomes the Executive's commitment to consult on coexistence measures that will protect farmers who wish to grow conventional or organic crops, give consumers the choice not to consume GM foods, and introduce compensation and liability measures; supports the Executive's initiative with the farming industry to ensure consumer confidence and consumer choice in Scottish produce, and welcomes the continuing commitment in the Partnership Agreement to apply the precautionary principle."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 57, Abstentions 1).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 56, Abstentions 2).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament acknowledges that at present there is little support for commercialisation of GM crops; further acknowledges the European and UK legislative framework for GM; notes the legal advice provided by the parliamentary solicitor to the Transport and the Environment Committee and the European and External Relations Committee that the Scottish Executive is not permitted by EU law to impose a blanket ban on, or blanket approval for, GM crops; understands that decisions are required on a case by case basis; welcomes the Executive's decision to reject the commercial growing of spring GM oil seed rape and beet; notes that the Executive does not have scientific evidence nor the powers to ban the cultivation of GM maize; supports the Executive's decision to seek amendment to the EU approval for Chardon LL maize to restrict its cultivation; supports the Executive's decision not to agree seed listing for Chardon LL unless and until such EU changes are made; welcomes the Executive's commitment to consult on coexistence measures that will protect farmers who wish to grow conventional or organic crops, give consumers the choice not to consume GM foods, and introduce compensation and liability measures; supports the Executive's initiative with the farming industry to ensure consumer confidence and consumer choice in Scottish produce, and welcomes the continuing commitment in the Partnership Agreement to apply the precautionary principle.

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

4. Question Time: Questions were answered by the Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson); by the Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5. Protecting Communities – Reforming the Role of Non-Jury Courts: Cathy Jamieson moved S2M-1090—That the Parliament considers the continuing modernisation of the criminal justice system to be an important priority; notes the progress made to date to improve the delivery of a fair, efficient and accessible service for victims, witnesses and the accused; welcomes the recent report by Sheriff Principal McInnes into the operation of summary justice, and encourages everyone who wishes to do so to participate in the consultation on its recommendations.

Michael Matheson moved amendment S2M-1090.1 to motion S2M-1090—

Leave out from "considers" to end and insert—

"supports the need to have a fair, effective and efficient summary criminal justice system; welcomes the recent report by Sheriff Principal McInnes; acknowledges the note of dissent within the report, and believes that future changes to the summary justice system must impart confidence to everyone: victims, witnesses, accused persons, court users and, above all, the communities they serve."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 38, Against 62, Abstentions 18).

The motion was then agreed to/disagreed to (DT).

6. Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1084—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee report to the Justice 1 Committee by 16 April 2004 on the draft Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Travel Notification Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2004; and by 26 April 2004 on the draft Community Right to Buy (Definition of Excluded Land) (Scotland) Order 2004.

The motion was agreed to.

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

8. Crisis for Borders Schools: The Parliament debated S2M-1003 in the name of Christine Grahame—That the Parliament notes with concern the proposed closure of the following Borders schools: Cranshaws, Teviothead, Eccles/Leitholm, Hutton, Roberton, Ednam, Channelkirk, Newlands, Oxnam, Glen Douglas, Heriot and Fountainhall; further notes that Scottish Borders Council in its consultation document Management Review of the School Estate in the Scottish Borders, in particular the chart describing the factors that may be considered when making decisions on the schools' long-term viability, did not include the "importance of the local school to the community" which had been included in the first stage evaluation; reminds the Scottish Executive of its commitment in A Partnership for a Better Scotland to "continued reform so that our public services are designed and delivered around the needs of individuals and the community within which they live" and also its commitment in Building our Future Scotland's School Estate to place "the child at the centre, meeting the needs of the individual" and "the school at the heart of the community, meeting the needs of the communities"; believes that the proposed closures, against the expressed wishes of many communities, are driven by the requirements of proposed PPP/PFI school building programmes, and therefore believes that the Executive should adhere to its aforesaid commitments and reject rural school closure proposals which, if they proceed, will permanently damage fragile communities.

9. Motion without Notice: Christine Grahame moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended by 10 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.11 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

25 March 2004

Appendix

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

New Bills introduced or reprinted on 24 March 2004

Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill—The Bill was reprinted as amended at Stage 2. (SP Bill 10A) (Executive Bill)

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 25 March 2004 for approval by resolution

The draft Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Travel Notification Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2004

laid under section 138(2) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 25 March 2004 and are subject to annulment—

The General Medical Services (Transitional and Other Ancillary Provisions) (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/142)

laid under section 7(4) of the Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2004

The Organic Aid (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/143)

laid under paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 2 to the European Communities Act 1972

The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Point of Sale) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/144)

laid under section 19(5) of the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 25 March 2004 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

Food Standards Agency Annual Report and Accounts 2002-03 (SE/2004/9)

laid under section 4 of the Food Standards Act 1999

Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel Annual Report and Accounts 2002-03 (SE/2004/60)—

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Annual Report and Accounts 2002-03 (SE/2004/61)—

laid under section 6 of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1995

Committee Reports

The following Reports were published on 25 March 2004

Standards Committee, 1st Report, 2004 (Session 2): Complaint against David Davidson MSP (SP Paper 114)

Health Committee, 7th Report 2004 (Session 2): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 115)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 11th Report 2004 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 116)

Communities Committee, 3rd Report 2004 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 117)


Back