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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 1 No 68 Session 2

Thursday 22 April 2004

 
 

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

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Mr Frank McAveety) made a statement and answered questions on cultural review.

2. Mental Health: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm) moved S2M-1184—That the Parliament acknowledges, in National Depression Week, the Scottish Executive’s commitment, reflected in the Partnership Agreement, to maintain the mental well-being of the people of Scotland and to improve the situation of those with mental health problems; notes that National Depression Week aims to raise awareness of the realities of depression and to reduce the stigma associated with it; commends the work of the National Programme for Improving Mental Health and Well-Being and progress towards implementation of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003; welcomes specific initiatives in relation to workforce development and service re-design, such as the Doing Well by People with Depression projects, but also urges the Executive to continue to support efforts to reduce suicides through the "Choose Life" strategy, to remove stigma and to increase the range and quality of services available to those with mental health problems.

Stewart Stevenson moved amendment S2M-1184.1 to motion S2M-1184—

Insert at end—

"while expressing concern that the large number of vacant consultant psychiatrists’ posts represents a significant barrier to delivering much sought after improvements."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 54, Against 61, Abstentions 0).

Mr David Davidson moved amendment S2M-1184.2 to motion S2M-1184—

Leave out from "acknowledges" to end and insert—

"welcomes National Depression Week and its aims to raise awareness, reduce the stigma and make more effective the treatment of depression; notes the work of the Scottish Executive to implement the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 but also notes the conclusions of the National Mental Health Services Assessment which highlights shortcomings in mental health services; is concerned about recruitment, retention and support issues surrounding the mental health workforce; notes that the number of those receiving care in inappropriate settings is still too high, and urges the Executive to increase its efforts to address the rising incidence of suicide in Scotland."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 54, Against 62, Abstentions 0).

Carolyn Leckie moved amendment S2M-1184.3 to motion S2M-1184—

Leave out from "through" to end and insert—

"; notes that mental health problems disproportionately affect those living in deprived areas and that despite the Executive’s commitment to tackling mental health problems as a priority, mental health services remain underfunded and overstretched in many parts of Scotland; believes that abolishing prescription charges would help to address the poverty trap faced by mental health service users who return to work, and further believes that more resources should be directed towards treatment and rehabilitation in community settings, that there should be a greater emphasis on children’s mental health, that in-patient treatment facilities should be housed in modern buildings, accessible to the communities that they serve, that more practical and financial support should be given to the families and other carers of those experiencing mental health problems and that, as a priority, a well-resourced, independent national advocacy service for users of mental health services should be established in Scotland."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 77, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

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

4. Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) and the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Mr Frank McAveety); by the Minister for Communities (Ms Margaret Curran); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5. Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: The Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Mr Jim Wallace) moved S2M-1185—That the Parliament endorses the Scottish Executive’s targets to generate increasing amounts of electricity from renewable sources; notes that Scottish ministers have, in the last two years, approved 600 megawatts of wind farms and 7 megawatts of hydro power schemes and that Scottish local authorities in the same period have consented to approximately 170 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity; acknowledges the contribution of the Scottish Community and Householder Renewables Initiative in encouraging renewable energy capacity building for communities; acknowledges the long-term potential for the development of renewable energy technologies, including the associated economic benefits and rural regeneration and export opportunities; welcomes the associated drive to increase energy efficiency measures across Scotland, including the recent announcement of the public sector energy efficiency fund and the environmental best practice being promoted by the Scottish Energy Efficiency Office; also recognises the contribution that both renewable energy and energy efficiency make to reducing carbon emissions, and supports the Executive’s commitment to tackling climate change.

Roseanna Cunningham moved amendment S2M-1185.1 to motion S2M-1185—

Leave out from "endorses" to end and insert—

"recognises the contribution that both renewable energy and energy efficiency make to tackling carbon emissions; further recognises the importance of tackling climate change; agrees, therefore, to raise the Scottish Executive’s targets for generating increasing amounts of electricity from renewable resources to 25% of electricity generation capacity by 2010, 30% by 2015 and 50% by 2020; regrets that energy policy is largely reserved to Westminster and rejects calls for an expansion of the nuclear contribution to Scotland’s electricity production; acknowledges the important contribution that can be made by small-scale, domestic and community-based renewable energy projects; notes the recent growth in applications for wind farm developments and regrets the absence of clear, concise and coherent guidelines for the approval of such developments; acknowledges the long-term potential for the development of renewable energy technologies, including the associated economic benefits and rural regeneration and export opportunities, and urges the Executive to ensure that these technologies are supported beyond the research and development stage to ensure that Scotland can become a world leader in renewable energy technologies."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 77, Abstentions 0).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-1185.2 to motion S2M-1185—

Leave out from "endorses" to end and insert—

"notes the increasing scepticism about the achievability of the Scottish Executive’s targets for renewable energy from a number of sources, including former Energy Minister Brian Wilson MP and UNISON; further notes the publication of reports from the Royal Academy of Engineers and Professor David Simpson of the David Hume Institute on the costs of wind power generation as against other generation methods; regrets the current rush to develop onshore wind capacity to the exclusion of other technologies such as hydro, wave, tidal and biomass, and calls on the Scottish Executive and Her Majesty’s Government to work together to develop an energy strategy for Scotland which will include a mix of generating capacity, with components from renewables, gas, coal and nuclear power."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 100, Abstentions 0).

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-1185.3 to motion S2M-1185—

Leave out from "endorses" to end and insert—

"believes that the Scottish Executive can play a much more significant role in tackling climate change by encouraging reductions in energy use through greater energy efficiency and by achieving a greater shift in energy use from fossil fuels to renewable sources, whilst at the same time creating sustainable "green" jobs; welcomes the targets set by the Executive for generation of 40% of electricity from renewable sources but notes that this amounts to only about 8% of Scotland’s total energy use; recognises that a study commissioned by the Executive shows that the energy potential from renewable energy in Scotland is as much as 60 gigawatts and therefore that renewable energy has a massive potential to supply energy, not only for electricity but also for fuels; further recognises that Scotland leads the world in research and development of wave energy converters; is gravely concerned that the first order for wave converters has come from outside Scotland and that the potential for a manufacturing industry for wave converters may be lost to Scotland because of insufficient market incentives, and therefore calls on the Executive to set concrete targets for energy efficiency, to publish an action plan, including targets, for renewable energy to supply non-electrical uses and to improve market-based incentives for emerging renewable energy technologies."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 40, Against 76, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 87, Against 22, Abstentions 7).

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

7. MS Awareness Week: The Parliament debated S2M-1076 in the name of Tricia Marwick—That the Parliament pays tribute to the work carried out by the Multiple Sclerosis Society in helping thousands of people with multiple sclerosis across Scotland; welcomes MS Awareness Week, 18 to 25 April 2004, as an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of a condition that affects over 10,000 people in Scotland; recognises that there remain serious shortcomings in treatment and support for multiple sclerosis in Scotland, and believes that the Scottish Executive should develop a national standard of care for people with multiple sclerosis to ensure that levels of treatment and support are the same regardless of where in Scotland they live.

The meeting closed at 6.00 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

22 April 2004

Appendix

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

Subordinate Legislation

Not Subject to any Parliamentary Procedure

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 20 April 2004 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No. 2) (Scotland) Revocation Order 2004 (SSI 2004/192)

laid under section 1(10) of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 20 April 2004 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Glasgow College of Food Technology Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2003 (SE/2004/84)—

Lews Castle College Annual Accounts for the year ended 31 July 2003 (SE/2004/85)—

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

British Potato Council Report and Accounts 2002-03 (SE/2004/86)

laid under section 7 of the Industrial Organisation and Development Act 1947

Committee Reports

The following Reports were published on 22 April 2004—

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 14th Report 2004 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 126)

Enterprise and Culture Committee, 2nd Report 2004 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 124)


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