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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 6 October 2005

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. The Scottish Economy: Jim Mather moved S2M-3377—That the Parliament accepts that it is the duty of government to create conditions that foster meaningful levels of economic growth and result in rising living standards, increased life expectancy and a growing demographically balanced population; regrets the fact that the policies of the last 30 years have failed to meet this test, and believes that the time is now right for the Scottish Parliament to exercise full competitive control of the Scottish economy in order to achieve these objectives.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-3377.2 to motion S2M-3377—

Leave out from “create conditions” to end and insert—

“help create the conditions that foster a sustainable economy, rising living standards and an improving quality of life and welcomes the commitment of the Scottish Executive to sustainable economic growth, record levels of investment in public infrastructure and transport connections, its support for competitive business, skills development, training and education, and its promotion of Scotland as a vibrant place to live, work and do business.”

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-3377.1 to motion S2M-3377—

Leave out from “regrets” to end and insert—

“notes, however, that under the stewardship of the Scottish Executive economic growth has consistently trailed that of the United Kingdom; believes that independence would be a costly and unwelcome distraction from the concrete action that can be taken within the devolved framework to boost economic growth, and therefore urges the Executive to cut red tape, privatise Scottish Water, increase investment in transport and cut business rates at the earliest possible opportunity.”

After debate, amendment S2M-3377.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 47, Abstentions 10).  As a result amendment S2M-3377.1 was pre-empted. 

The motion, as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 69, Against 22, Abstentions 33).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament accepts that it is the duty of government to help create the conditions that foster a sustainable economy, rising living standards and an improving quality of life and welcomes the commitment of the Scottish Executive to sustainable economic growth, record levels of investment in public infrastructure and transport connections, its support for competitive business, skills development, training and education, and its promotion of Scotland as a vibrant place to live, work and do business.

2. Scottish Olympic Team: Michael Matheson moved S2M-3381—That the Parliament congratulates London on securing the 2012 Olympic Games, which will encourage many young Scots to become involved in sport; welcomes the recent launch of a campaign to establish a Scottish Olympic team; notes that 78 percent of Scots support the establishment of such a team; recognises that the creation of a Scottish Olympic team will inspire many young Scots to achieve sporting excellence in order to represent their nation in the Olympic arena, and calls on politicians from across the political spectrum to rise up to the challenge set by the people of Scotland and work to establish a Scottish Olympic team.

The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Patricia Ferguson) moved amendment S2M-3381.2 to motion S2M-3381—

Leave out from “recent launch” to end, and insert—

“Scottish bid to secure the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014; recognises that these two events would provide an unparalleled opportunity within the United Kingdom for Scots to perform at the highest level, and notes that both events would provide a major impetus to participation and performance in sport at all levels, with all the health and other benefits that brings.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 84, Against 33, Abstentions 7).

Mr Jamie McGrigor moved amendment S2M-3381.1 to motion S2M-3381—

Leave out from “London” to end and insert—

“the Great British effort, led by Sebastian Coe, which secured the 2012 Olympic Games for London; recognises that this will greatly encourage young people from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England to participate in sport and in the quest for Olympic glory for individuals and Team GB; acknowledges the pride of the many Scots who have competed successfully for Team GB; notes that different loyalties do not have to be divided loyalties and that many sports have traditionally been played at GB level, a structure which has served the United Kingdom, athletes and Scottish sport well since the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896; welcomes the news that Hampden Park will host the Olympic football and urges the Scottish Executive to promote other venues in Scotland, such as mountain biking at Fort William, rowing at Strathclyde Park and equestrianism at Gleneagles; further notes that Scottish athletes who compete for Great Britain under the Union Jack do not cease to be Scottish, and believes that, by pooling resources and expertise, Great Britain can compete successfully against much larger nations, providing invaluable experience for the athletes and a source of great national pride for sports fans.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 107, Abstentions 0).

The motion, as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 92, Against 7, Abstentions 25).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament congratulates London on securing the 2012 Olympic Games, which will encourage many young Scots to become involved in sport; welcomes the Scottish bid to secure the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014; recognises that these two events would provide an unparalleled opportunity within the United Kingdom for Scots to perform at the highest level, and notes that both events would provide a major impetus to participation and performance in sport at all levels, with all the health and other benefits that brings.

3. General Question Time:  Questions were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

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

5. Themed Question Time: Questions on Finance and Communities and on Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6. Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) made a statement and answered questions on Business Rates.

7. St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: Dennis Canavan moved S2M-3356—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Bill.

The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved amendment S2M-3356.2 to motion S2M-3356—

Leave out from “agrees” to end, and insert—

“notes that the Enterprise and Culture Committee supports the principles of the Bill; believes that St Andrew’s Day should be a day of national celebration and strongly supports the Executive’s commitment to achieving this objective; notes that the Enterprise and Culture Committee’s Stage 1 report concludes that the Bill does not fulfil this purpose and would not place a statutory obligation on employers to grant St Andrew’s Day as part of employee holiday entitlement; seeks to uphold the consensus across the Parliament that we should only legislate where necessary and when we can give effect to that legislation; believes that there is further work to be done to develop proposals to celebrate St Andrew’s Day; agrees to refer the St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Bill back to the Enterprise and Culture Committee for a further report on the general principles, and considers that further proposals should be developed for the celebration of St Andrew’s Day.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 58, Abstentions 0).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-3356.1 to motion S2M-3356—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, believes that a new bank holiday established as a result of the Bill should not be so established unless an existing bank holiday is no longer specified as a bank holiday.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 106, Abstentions 1).

The motion, as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 79, Against 31, Abstentions 14).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that the Enterprise and Culture Committee supports the principles of the Bill; believes that St Andrew’s Day should be a day of national celebration and strongly supports the Executive’s commitment to achieving this objective; notes that the Enterprise and Culture Committee’s Stage 1 report concludes that the Bill does not fulfil this purpose and would not place a statutory obligation on employers to grant St Andrew’s Day as part of employee holiday entitlement; seeks to uphold the consensus across the Parliament that we should only legislate where necessary and when we can give effect to that legislation; believes that there is further work to be done to develop proposals to celebrate St Andrew’s Day; agrees to refer the St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Bill back to the Enterprise and Culture Committee for a further report on the general principles, and considers that further proposals should be developed for the celebration of St Andrew’s Day.

8. Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill - UK Legislation: The Minister for Parliamentary Business (Ms Margaret Curran) moved S2M-3327—That the Parliament agrees that the provisions in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill relating to devolved matters and those that confer executive functions on the Scottish Ministers should be considered by the UK Parliament.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 89, Against 35, Abstentions 0).

9. Civil Aviation Bill - UK Legislation: The Minister for Parliamentary Business (Ms Margaret Curran) moved S2M-3328—That the Parliament agrees that the provisions in the Civil Aviation Bill, so far as they confer functions on the Scottish Ministers, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10. Scottish Commission for Public Audit: Nora Radcliffe, on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, moved S2M-3389—That the Parliament agrees to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body’s proposal to appoint Margaret Smith to be a member of the Scottish Commission for Public Audit.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11. Approval of SSIs: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-3373—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Public Appointments and Public Bodies etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 (Amendment of Specified Authorities) Order 2005 be approved; and

S2M-3374—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Public Appointments and Public Bodies etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 (Treatment of Office or Body as Specified Authority) Order 2005 be approved.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

12. Membership of Committees: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-3395—That the Parliament agrees that Karen Gillon be appointed to the Enterprise and Culture Committee;

S2M-3396—That the Parliament agrees that Mr Charlie Gordon be appointed to the Public Petitions Committee; and

S2M-3397—That the Parliament agrees that Mr Charlie Gordon be appointed to replace Karen Gillon on the European and External Relations Committee.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

13. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 as noted above.

14. South of Scotland Structural Funds: The Parliament debated S2M-3339 in the name of Euan Robson—That the Parliament welcomes the investment in Roxburgh and Berwickshire, the Borders and the South of Scotland from European Union structural funding, such as at Springwood Park in Kelso and at Ettrick Riverside in Selkirk; notes that the current round of such funding ends in March 2006, and believes that the south of Scotland has a clear case for continuing investment to support its economy and communities.

The meeting closed at 5.55 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
6 October 2005


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

New Bills introduced or reprinted on 5 October 2005

Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill—A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to amend the Animal Health Act 1981, including by making provision for preventing the spread of disease; to make provision for the welfare of animals, including for prevention of harm; and for connected purposes. (SP Bill 47) (Executive Bill)

Introduced by:  Ross Finnie

Explanatory Notes (and other accompanying documents) (SP Bill 47-EN) and a Policy Memorandum (SP Bill 47-PM) were printed to accompany the Bill.

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 6 October 2005 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

Scottish Environment Protection Agency Annual Report and Accounts 2004-05 (SE/2005/179)

laid under section 46 of the Environment Act 1995 and section 22(5) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

Historic Scotland Annual Review 2004-05 (SE/2005/183)

Historic Scotland Annual Accounts 2004-05 (SE/2005/184)

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

Historic Scotland Corporate Plan 2005-08 (SE/2005/185)

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 6 October 2005

Communities Committee, 10th Report, 2005 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 435)