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Meeting of the Parliament

Wednesday 16 March 2005

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

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1. Time for Reflection: Rev Graham K Blount, Scottish Churches Parliamentary Officer led Time for Reflection.

2. Procedures Committee Report, Procedures in Relation to the Commissioner for Public Appointments: Karen Gillon moved S2M-2569—That the Parliament notes the Procedures Committee’s 3 rd Report 2005 (Session 2), Procedures in relation to the Commissioner for Public Appointments (SP Paper 304), and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 18 March 2005.

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

3. Housing: The Minister for Communities moved S2M-2585—That the Parliament acknowledges the wide range of policies outlined in Homes for Scotland’s People to increase the quantity and improve the quality of homes in both the social rented and private sectors; welcomes the £1.2 billion investment to achieve the three-year target of 21,500 affordable homes and the 23% increase in the Communities Scotland budget for next year; endorses the Homestake initiative to help first-time buyers and others into home ownership; acknowledges new planning advice setting a benchmark, where need is demonstrated, of 25% of all new housing development to be affordable homes; supports recent announcements and ongoing work to develop water and sewerage infrastructure for new housing and boost the availability of land, and welcomes the Housing (Scotland) Bill published last week which will seek to raise standards in the private housing sector and strengthen the rights of private sector tenants.

Linda Fabiani moved amendment S2M-2585.2 to motion S2M-2585—

Leave out from “to increase the quantity” to end and insert—

“and, while welcoming the Housing (Scotland) Bill, notes that the target of 21,500 affordable homes over three years has to be offset against the 18,000 homes per year sold under the right to buy; therefore calls for the right to buy to be reformed for new tenants, while preserving the rights of existing tenants; further acknowledges the insurmountable difficulties for many young people in a first-time purchase, and calls for the introduction of a range of financial packages to assist first-time buyers, including a first-time buyers’ grant.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 25, Against 76, Abstentions 12).

Mary Scanlon moved amendment S2M-2585.4 to motion S2M-2585—

Leave out from second “acknowledges” to end and insert—

“and supports extra funding to be given to other low-cost home ownership schemes; is concerned that local authorities are unable to meet the requirements of the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2004; acknowledges that, under the Conservative’s right to buy policy, home ownership in Scotland has increased from 35% in 1979 to over 65% today, with around 400,000 tenants exercising the right to buy since 1980, and believes that the right to buy should be protected for the next generation of homeowners in Scotland; supports recent announcements and ongoing work to develop water and sewerage infrastructure for new housing and boost the availability of land, and welcomes some parts of the Housing (Scotland) Bill published last week which will bring improvements to private sector housing but is opposed to Part 3 of the Bill, the introduction of the Single Seller Survey.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 14, Against 97, Abstentions 2).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 86, Against 16, Abstentions 11).

4. Scottish Commission for Public Audit: Robert Brown, on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, moved S2M-2511—That the Parliament agrees to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body’s proposal to appoint George Lyon to be a member of the Scottish Commission for Public Audit.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

5. Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2596—That the Parliament agrees

(a) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 23 March 2005

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Executive Debate: Growing an Enterprise Culture

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 24 March 2005

9.30 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish National Party Business

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm Question Time—

Environment and Rural Development;
Health and Community Care;
General Questions

3.00 pm Executive Debate: Life Sciences

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Wednesday 13 April 2005

9.30 am Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Independents’ Group Business

2.30 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Executive Business

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 14 April 2005

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish National Party Business

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Enterprise, Lifelong Learning and Transport;
Justice and Law Officers

2.55 pm Executive Business

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

and (b) that the period for members to submit their names for selection for General Question Time and Themed Question Time on 14 April 2005 should end at 12 noon on Thursday 24 March 2005 .

The motion was agreed to.

6. Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2587—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Advice and Assistance (Assistance by Way of Representation) ( Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2005 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7. Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2588—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Advice and Assistance (Financial Conditions) ( Scotland) Regulations 2005 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2589—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions) ( Scotland) Regulations 2005 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9. Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2590—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Housing Support Grant ( Scotland) Order 2005 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10. Establishment of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2591—That the Parliament agrees to establish a committee of the Parliament as follows—

Name of Committee: The Baird Trust Reorganisation Bill Committee;
Remit: To consider and report to the Parliament on the Baird Trust Reorganisation Bill;
Duration: Until the Bill has received Royal Assent, falls or is withdrawn;
Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Liberal Democrat Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Labour Party;
Membership: Trish Godman (Labour), Scott Barrie (Labour), Mr Kenny MacAskill (SNP), Mr David Davidson (Conservative) and Mr Andrew Arbuckle (Liberal Democrat).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11. Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2592—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Antisocial Behaviour (Fixed Penalty Notice) (Additional Information) (Scotland) Order 2005 (SSI 2005/130).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

12. Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-2593—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 1 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Bail Conditions (Specification of Devices) and Restriction of Liberty Order ( Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2005 (SSI 2005/142).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

13. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 as noted above.

14. Franz Ferdinand Rocks: The Parliament debated S2M-2425 in the name of Pauline McNeill—That the Parliament congratulates Franz Ferdinand on winning the Best British Band and Best Rock Act awards at the 25th Brit Awards; welcomes the First Minister’s view that Scotland should be a future host to the Brit Awards; notes that Scotland has an abundance of talented musicians, demonstrated by the fact that 11 acts are to appear at the international music festival in Texas, South by Southwest; believes that Scotland has a strong contemporary music industry which makes a significant contribution to the Scottish economy, comprising of small, medium and large companies; supports the work of the Cross Party Group on the Scottish Contemporary Music Industry which brings together virtually all strands of the music industry; recognises the commitment of the Scottish Executive to the industry and the funding of research into the feasibility of creating a music industry forum; further recognises initiatives such as Music Works, funded by Scottish Enterprise, and the need for the enterprise agencies to promote a distinct music industry strategy so as to encourage further development of Scottish-based musicians and related business activity, and sends its good wishes to all bands who are participating in South by Southwest.

15. Motion without Notice: Rob Gibson moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended until 6.03 pm.

The meeting closed at 6.03 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
16 March 2005

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 March 2005 and is subject to annulment

The Home Energy Efficiency Scheme Amendment ( Scotland) Regulations 2005 (SSI 2005/144)

laid under section 15(8) of the Social Security Act 1990

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 15 March 2005 and are subject to annulment—

Act of Sederunt (Fees of Solicitors and Witnesses in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment) 2005 (SSI 2005/149)—

Act of Sederunt (Fees of Shorthand Writers in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment) 2005 (SSI 2005/150)—

laid under section 40 of the Sheriff Courts ( Scotland) Act 1907

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 16 March 2005 and is subject to annulment

The Pensions Appeal Tribunals ( Scotland) (Amendment) Rules 2005 (SSI 2005/152)

laid under paragraph 5 of the Schedule to, and read along with section 13 of, the Pensions Appeal Tribunals Act 1943

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 14 March 2005 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

Kilmarnock College Board of Management Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2004 (SE/2005/38)—

The Lauder Group Annual Accounts 2002-2003 (SE/2005/39)—

Motherwell College Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2004 (SE/2005/40)—

North Glasgow College Report of the Board of Management for period ended 31 July 2004 (SE/2005/41)—

The North Highland College Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2004 (SE/2005/42)—

Oatridge College Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2004 (SE/2005/43)—

Reid Kerr College Report and Financial Statements 31 July 2004 (SE/2005/44)—

South Lanarkshire College Financial Statements for the 12 months ended 31 July 2004 (SE/2005/45)—

Stevenson College Edinburgh Reports and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2004 (SE/2005/46)—

Stow College Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2004 (SE/2005/47)—

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

Note: The Lauder Group Annual Accounts 2002-03 (SE/2005/39), laid before the Parliament on 14 March 2005, was withdrawn on 15 March 2005.

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 14 March 2005

Communities Committee, 2nd Report 2005 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 310)

The following report was published on 16 March 2005

Audit Committee, 1st Report 2005 (Session 2): The 2003-04 Accounts of NHS Argyll and Clyde (SP Paper 311)