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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
Vol. 2, No. 33 Session 2
Meeting of the Parliament
Thursday 25 November 2004
Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.
The meeting opened at 9.30 am.
1. Supermarkets and the Scottish Food Chain: Shiona Baird moved S2M-2056—That the Parliament notes that more than three-quarters of the UK grocery sector is dominated by just four supermarket chains; is concerned about the negative impact that the dominance of supermarkets is having on Scottish farmers, independent retailers, high streets, local economies and consumer choice and health; notes that supermarkets also have significant power to control and lower prices being paid to Scottish producers but fail to translate this into lower prices for consumers; notes the Office of Fair Trading’s report that fear among suppliers of being delisted by the major supermarkets is preventing them from complaining under the current Supermarket Code of Practice; calls for an independent overseer of the code of practice who will proactively ensure that it is enforced and who will protect complainants from reprisals, and further calls for the code of practice to apply to the whole food supply chain in order to ensure fair trade for all.
The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved amendment S2M-2056.4 to motion S2M-2056—
Leave out from first "notes" to end and insert—
Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-2056.1 to motion S2M-2056—
Alex Fergusson moved amendment S2M-2056.2 to motion S2M-2056—
Leave out from "negative" to end and insert—
After debate, amendment S2M-2056.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 50, Abstentions 0). As a result amendment S2M-2056.2 was pre-empted.
Amendment S2M-2056.1 was then disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 30, Against 82, Abstentions 0).
The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 28, Abstentions 20).
Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament, while recognising that competition matters, including those relating to supermarkets and the food sector, are reserved to the UK Parliament, notes that the Office of Fair Trading is currently carrying out an independent audit of the Supermarket Code of Practice; agrees with the Executive’s objective, as set out in A Partnership for a Better Scotland: A Forward Strategy for Scottish Agriculture and Scottish Food and Drink Strategy, of supporting Scotland’s food and drinks industry to build on its reputation for high quality and its strong export record and to ensure that more Scottish produce is processed in Scotland; supports the Executive’s funding of the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society which assists farmer co-ops, and welcomes the implementation of the Organic Action Plan and the Eating for Health action plan.
3. Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Mr Jim Wallace) and the Minister for Transport (Nicol Stephen); by the Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) and the Solicitor General for Scotland (Mrs Elish Angiolini); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.
4. Violence Against Women: The Deputy Minister for Communities (Johann Lamont) moved S2M-2059—That the Parliament supports the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women on 25 November 2004; affirms its commitment to eradicating all forms of violence against women in Scotland; acknowledges the significant funding that has gone into domestic abuse initiatives over the last four years; welcomes the more recent work of the Scottish Executive in setting up the Violence Against Women Service Development Fund and supporting Rape Crisis Scotland and the ten rape crisis centres throughout Scotland, and, noting the complexity of many of the issues involved, supports the Executive’s decision to set up an expert committee to support the development of a strategic approach to tackling these issues in future.
Christine Grahame moved amendment S2M-2059.2 to motion S2M-2059—
Insert at end—
After debate, the amendment was agreed to (DT).
The motion, as amended, was then agreed to (DT).
Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women on 25 November 2004; affirms its commitment to eradicating all forms of violence against women in Scotland; acknowledges the significant funding that has gone into domestic abuse initiatives over the last four years; welcomes the more recent work of the Scottish Executive in setting up the Violence Against Women Service Development Fund and supporting Rape Crisis Scotland and the ten rape crisis centres throughout Scotland, and, noting the complexity of many of the issues involved, supports the Executive’s decision to set up an expert committee to support the development of a strategic approach to tackling these issues in future and, in particular to explore the cultural reasons underlying the recent report that one in five young men and one in ten women thought that violence against women was acceptable and to examine the crucial role that the media and entertainments industry has in compounding such attitudes, and, furth of Scotland, abhors the increased use of violence against women as a weapon of war.
6. Encouraging School Debating: The Parliament debated S2M-1998 in the name of Mr Brian Monteith—That the Parliament recognises the great benefits that school debating can offer to students; believes that debate develops powers of argument, increases understanding, boosts critical thinking and promotes engagement with society; considers that students who take part in debating show stronger communication skills, raised self-esteem, are better at working in teams, become more articulate and objective and are likely to be better equipped to become active citizens; believes that the opportunity to take part in debate can have a real impact on the life-chances of young people, particularly of those from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds; supports the work of the English-Speaking Union (ESU), with schools throughout Scotland, in promoting and organising debate; notes that its National Juniors Debating Competition has attracted more than eighty entries from schools across the country, and welcomes the innovative new debating outreach programme that the ESU is launching in January 2005 in conjunction with North Lanarkshire Council.
The meeting closed at 5.57 pm.
Clerk of the Parliament
25 November 2004
(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)
New Bills introduced or reprinted on 24 November 2004
Emergency Workers (Scotland) Bill—The Bill was reprinted as amended at Stage 2. (SP Bill 21A) (Executive Bill)
The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 25 November 2004 for approval by resolution
The following document was laid before the Parliament on 25 November 2005 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure
The following Reports were published on 25 November 2004—