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Minutes of Proceedings 1999-2011

Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

Committees Sessions 1, 2 & 3

Annual reports


Vol. 2, No. 25 Session 2

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 28 October 2004

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

The meeting opened at 9.31 am.

1. Improving the Quality and Availability of Scotland’s Housing: The Minister for Communities (Malcolm Chisholm) moved S2M-1898—That the Parliament endorses the Scottish Executive’s commitment to a 30% increase in affordable housing provision by 2007-08 in order to increase the availability of social rented accommodation for homeless people, reduce pressure on waiting lists and help first-time buyers on to the housing ladder; welcomes the introduction of the Housing Quality Standard and the improvements in housing quality that are resulting from substantial community ownership and fuel poverty programmes; recognises the major achievements flowing from devolution for housing in Scotland, such as a modernised and single tenancy in the social rented sector, progressive homelessness legislation and the development of tenant participation and rights, and looks forward to the forthcoming Housing Bill which will raise standards in the private housing sector and strengthen the rights of private sector tenants.

Christine Grahame moved amendment S2M-1898.1 to motion S2M-1898—

Leave out from "endorses" to end and insert—

"recognises that it is a basic human right to have the comfort, security and stability of a warm affordable home and that decent suitable housing is crucial to the individual’s quality of life, whether young or old, and crucial to healthy, thriving communities and the economy at large; notes that, after five years of the Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition, homelessness has increased substantially and that the right to buy has seriously damaged the socially rented sector; therefore calls on the Scottish Executive to revisit its right to buy policy, to utilise the proposed planning and housing legislation to facilitate the provision of affordable housing and to ensure that Scotland’s people have access to the homes they deserve across tenures and that the scourge of rooflessness, bed and breakfast and "sofa surfing" is consigned to history."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 36, Against 79, Abstentions 0).

Bill Aitken moved amendment S2M-1898.2 to motion S2M-1898—

Leave out from "endorses" to end and insert—

"recognises that housing stock transfer to community-based housing associations, a policy introduced by the Conservatives, gives tenants greater rights, responsibilities and input into the way their housing is run; believes that, to improve the standard of public housing for everyone, it is necessary to step up the process of devolving control of housing from local authorities to local community groups; further believes that, to improve the standard and supply of private housing for rent or purchase, a review and modernisation of the Scottish planning system is required to simplify and speed up the development process, and notes with concern the restraint on new housing construction currently imposed in Scotland by the inadequacies of Scottish Water’s sewerage network."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 98, Abstentions 2).

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-1898.4 to motion S2M-1898—Leave out from "endorses" to end and insert—

"acknowledges the Scottish Executive’s commitment to increase affordable housing provision and the beneficial consequences that this will have for a range of people in Scotland; notes that the welcome increases in the provision of new affordable housing may be offset by a loss of affordable housing stock through the right to buy; requests that the Executive’s review of right to buy in 2006 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 is informed by an open and comprehensive consultation on future options for right to buy; recognises the Executive’s efforts to improve standards in housing quality, especially with the introduction of the housing quality standard, fuel poverty programmes and the forthcoming Housing Bill; further recognises the contribution that poor quality housing and lack of environmental awareness in housing design make to Scotland’s disproportionate ecological footprint and number of winter deaths; supports WWF Scotland in its call for the Executive to set a target for 10,000 new or refurbished sustainable homes by 2012; believes, therefore, that whilst there have been notable achievements flowing from devolution for housing in Scotland, many challenges lie ahead, and calls on the Executive to report at appropriate intervals on its progress on improving the quality and availability of housing."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 37, Against 79, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 20, Abstentions 30).

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

3. Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie); by the Minister for Health and Community Care (Mr Andy Kerr); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4. Making the Most of Scotland’s Forests: The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Lewis Macdonald) moved S2M-1899—That the Parliament recognises the significant contribution which Scotland’s forestry and primary wood processing sector makes to the economy, tourism and jobs; recognises the environmental benefits of the creation and restoration of more than 8,600 hectares of native woodland in the last two years; believes that Scotland’s forests can contribute to the achievement of the Scottish Executive’s renewable energy targets; welcomes the contribution made to delivering greater benefits to communities through 70 partnership agreements between Forestry Commission Scotland and communities and through the setting up of the regional forestry forums and the Strategic Timber Transport Fund, and believes that all stakeholders from the public, private and voluntary sectors should continue to work together to maximise the value of forestry to the economy, the environment and the people of Scotland.

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-1899.1 to motion S2M-1899—

Insert at end—

"; further believes that increased emphasis should be placed on the principal economic concerns of the industry; calls on the Scottish Executive to introduce a specific target to promote the use of forestry for biomass; believes in the objective of a greater mix of public, community and private ownership of forestry, and urges ministers to take further steps to promote the use of timber in the construction industry."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 48, Against 67, Abstentions 0).

Alex Fergusson moved amendment S2M-1899.2 to motion S2M-1899—

Insert at end—

"notes, however, that new planting is at an all-time low, that Forestry Commission Scotland and Forest Enterprise Scotland are budgeted to receive £80 million in the next financial year from the taxpayer with the consequential competitive disadvantage to the private sector and that the promised Executive statement on the link between the agricultural and forestry industries following the introduction of the single farm payment has still not been made, and believes that these factors demonstrate that the Executive betrays a lack of understanding of the importance of the private sector to Scotland’s forestry industry."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 71, Abstentions 28).

The motion was then agreed to(DT).

5. Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1891—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that consideration of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 14 January 2005;

(b) that consideration of the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 3 December 2004;

(c) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 28 October 2004 on the Victim Notification (Prescribed Offences) (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/411); and

(d) that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Justice 1 Committee by the 12 November 2004 on the International Criminal Court (Enforcement of Fines, Forfeiture and Reparation Orders) (Scotland) (Revocation) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/437).

The motion was agreed to.

6. Membership of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1905—That the Parliament agrees that Mr Frank McAveety be appointed to replace Rhona Brankin on the Education Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7. Membership of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1906—That the Parliament agrees that Mrs Mary Mulligan be appointed to replace Rhona Brankin on the Audit Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Substitution on Committees: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1907—That the Parliament agrees that Margaret Jamieson be appointed to replace Rhona Brankin as the Labour Party substitute on the Enterprise and Culture Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9. Membership of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1908—That the Parliament agrees that Mr Frank McAveety be appointed to replace Kate Maclean on the Finance Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 as noted above.

11. National Construction Week, 6 to 13 October 2004: The Parliament debated S2M-1807 in the name of Marilyn Livingstone—That the Parliament supports National Construction Week from 6 to 13 October 2004 and recognises the many economic advantages for Scotland that an expanding construction industry will bring, notably in employment preservation and creation, training, skills and provision of the built environment; acknowledges the continuing work of the Cross Party Group on Construction which considers and debates all appropriate issues concerning the structure and operation of the construction industry in Scotland as they may affect all relevant stakeholders; supports the industry’s schemes to register construction firms through the Construction Licensing Executive and workers through approved registration schemes, thereby protecting the public by eradicating rogue traders, enhancing the industry’s image and improving the skills base and health and safety practices, and acknowledges that the Scottish Executive, local authorities and other government bodies can assist by supporting registration schemes by insisting that all public works contractors are committed to them, supporting the education and training infrastructure so that it meets Scotland’s construction requirements, acting as an enlightened client by ensuring, where possible, that there are advance programmes of work on which the industry can plan its skills requirements and provide its workforce with security of employment and ensuring that public works contracts are fair, open, effective and straightforward to administer and deliver.

The meeting closed at 5.54 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
28 October 2004

 

Appendix

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

New Bills introduced or reprinted on 27 October 2004

Baird Trust Reorganisation Bill—A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to transfer the property, rights, interests and liabilities of The Baird Trust to a successor company limited by guarantee and to dissolve The Baird Trust; and for connected purposes. (SP Bill 27) (Private Bill)

Introduced by: The Trustees of the Baird Trust

Explanatory Notes (and other accompanying documents) (SP Bill 27-EN) and a Promoter’s Memorandum (SP Bill 27-PM) were printed to accompany the Bill.

Transport (Scotland) Bill—A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to provide for the setting up and functions of new transport bodies and to enable the Scottish Ministers to discharge certain transport functions; to provide further for the control and co-ordination of road works and for the enforcement of the duties placed on those who carry them out; to set up national concessionary fares schemes; and to make other, miscellaneous modifications of the law relating to transport. (SP Bill 28) (Executive Bill)

Introduced by: Nicol Stephen

Explanatory Notes (and other accompanying documents) (SP Bill 28-EN) and a Policy Memorandum (SP Bill 28-PM) were printed to accompany the Bill.

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 28 October 2004 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Big Lottery Fund New Opportunities Fund Annual Report and Accounts and Big Lottery Fund New Opportunities Fund Policy Directions for the financial year ending 31 March 2004 (SE/2004/236)—

Big Lottery Fund Community Fund Annual Report and Accounts for the financial year ending 31 March 2004 (SE/2004/237)—

laid under sections 34(3) and 43D(4) of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 28 October 2004

Health Committee, 17th Report 2004 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 227)