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Vol. 2, No. 29 Session 2

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 11 November 2004

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

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Fostering: The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Euan Robson) moved S2M-1984—That the Parliament, in acknowledging that children thrive best in strong families, recognises the important role that foster carers play in providing a supportive and loving family environment for many of our most vulnerable children and welcomes the Scottish Executive’s intention to invest in the future of the fostering service to increase the number of high quality placements and give local authorities resources to establish a fair and consistent system of allowances for foster carers.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

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 Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) and the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Patricia Ferguson); by the Minister for Finance and Public Sector Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) and the Minister for Communities (Malcolm Chisholm); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4. Procedures Committee, A New Procedure for Members’ Bills: Iain Smith, on behalf of the Procedures Committee, moved S2M-1957—That the Parliament notes the Procedures Committee’s 6th Report, 2004 (Session 2), A New Procedure for Members’ Bills (SP Paper 193), and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 12 November 2004 but with new Rule 9.14A having effect only for as long as at least one Member’s Bill introduced before that date remains in progress.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

5. Procedures Committee, Timescales and Stages of Bills: Karen Gillon, on behalf of the Procedures Committee, moved S2M-1982—That the Parliament notes the Procedures Committee’s 7th Report, 2004 (Session 2), Timescales and Stages of Bills (SP Paper 228), and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 10 January 2005.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

6. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 4 and 5 as noted above.

7. Dying with Dignity: The Parliament debated S2M-1673 in the name of Jeremy Purvis—That the Parliament acknowledges the commencement of the select committee of the House of Lords’ consideration of physician-assisted dying and euthanasia; further acknowledges the publication of an NOP opinion poll that showed that 82% of respondents in Scotland favour a change in the law to permit people with an incurable terminal illness close to death to seek help to die with dignity; is concerned that 39% of respondents in Scotland said that they would break the law if a loved one who became terminally ill and was suffering unbearably asked them to help them die; recognises the huge benefit to society and individuals of professionals, volunteers and carers working in palliative care and the hospice movement who work tirelessly with compassion and commitment but recognises that there are some people who will not be helped and that they will seek the right to die with dignity, and calls for a wide debate on end of life issues and consideration of a change in the law.

The meeting closed at 5.50 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
11 November 2004


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

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 11 November 2004 and is subject to annulment
The Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004 (Notice of Potential Liability for Costs) Amendment Order 2004 (SSI 2004/490)
laid under section 32(2) of the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 11 November 2004 and is subject to annulment
The Holyrood Park Amendment Regulations 2004
laid under section 6(2) of the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 as read with article 3(3) of the Scotland Act 1998 (Transitory and Transitional Provisions) (Statutory Instruments) Order 1999 (SI 1999/1096)

Note: the Holyrood Park Amendment Regulations 2004, which were laid before the Parliament on 2 November 2004, have been withdrawn

Committee Reports

The following Report was published on 11 November 2004

Justice 2 Committee, 8th Report 2004 (Session 2): Stage 1 Report on the Fire (Scotland) Bill (SP Paper 234)