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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 3 November 2005

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

  1. Children with Special Needs: Lord James Douglas-Hamilton moved S2M-3490—That the Parliament recognises that many children with additional support needs draw educational and social benefit from being educated in a mainstream setting; acknowledges, however, that in order for such children to flourish, appropriate resources and support must be available; further believes that the educational and social development of some children with multiple and complex needs can best be promoted through the concentrated support provided in special schools; notes with concern that 33 special schools have been closed since 1997; believes that there should be no presumption, statutory or otherwise, in favour of or against mainstreaming and that parents should be able to make a genuine informed choice between mainstream schools and special school provision, so that they can decide on the educational provision that is best suited to the needs of their child, and calls on the Scottish Executive to put in place a moratorium on the closure of special schools until the series of assumptions behind the mainstreaming policy is reviewed.

The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Robert Brown) moved amendment S2M-3490.3 to motion S2M-3490—

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

“and that, prior to the enactment of the Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc. Act 2000, many children were denied access to such benefits; acknowledges that meeting the needs of the individual child is of paramount importance and that a range of mainstream, specialist and mixed provision will always be necessary; notes that there has been a net increase of 28 special schools and units since 1997, which demonstrates the continuing commitment of local authorities and the Scottish Executive to specialist provision where appropriate, and believes that, following the Parliament’s recent approval, the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 will, when it comes into force on 14 November 2005, strengthen the rights of children and their parents to ensure that their additional support needs are met fully, whatever the school setting.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 73, Against 22, Abstentions 22).

Mr Adam Ingram moved amendment S2M-3490.2 to motion S2M-3490—

Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—

“supports the fundamental principle of inclusion that was introduced into our education system with the presumption of mainstreaming; recognises the widespread concerns that the resources made available to implement the policy have been inadequate, and calls, therefore, for a review of the operation of the policy to establish what additional means are required to ensure that every pupil with additional support needs has the opportunity to fulfil his or her potential, either within the mainstream setting or in a special school depending on their individual circumstances.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 29, Against 80, Abstentions 8).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 73, Against 17, Abstentions 27).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises that many children with additional support needs draw educational and social benefit from being educated in a mainstream setting; and that, prior to the enactment of the Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc. Act 2000, many children were denied access to such benefits; acknowledges that meeting the needs of the individual child is of paramount importance and that a range of mainstream, specialist and mixed provision will always be necessary; notes that there has been a net increase of 28 special schools and units since 1997, which demonstrates the continuing commitment of local authorities and the Scottish Executive to specialist provision where appropriate, and believes that, following the Parliament’s recent approval, the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 will, when it comes into force on 14 November 2005, strengthen the rights of children and their parents to ensure that their additional support needs are met fully, whatever the school setting.

  1. The Decline of Scottish Manufacturing:  Murdo Fraser moved S2M-3497—That the Parliament notes with concern that the value of the manufacturing sector fell every year between 1997 and 2002, having previously risen year-on-year between 1992 and 1997, and that nearly 100,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost since 1997; further notes with concern the recent findings of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry that exports have fallen below £15 billion in value for the first time in a decade; believes that Scotland can benefit from a solid manufacturing base as part of a diverse and modern economy, and therefore calls on the Scottish Executive to take the action required to increase the competitiveness of the sector by taking measures such as reducing red tape and the size of the public sector, privatising Scottish Water, encouraging greater participation in vocational training at further education colleges and bringing forward the promised business rates cut to April 2006.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-3497.3 to motion S2M-3497—

Leave out from first “with concern” to end and insert—

"the important role that manufacturing plays in creating a diverse and growing Scottish economy and supports Scottish manufacturers adopting innovative and modern approaches to face the challenge of global competition; supports the move to higher value and quality products, and further notes the range of measures brought forward by the Scottish Executive to support manufacturing: investing in transport infrastructure and the skills of our people, creating the right environment by reducing business poundage rates and establishing a Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service to support and encourage Scottish manufacturing industry to adapt to the global competitive environment.”

Jim Mather moved amendment S2M-3497.1 to motion S2M-3497—

Leave out from “having previously” to end and insert—

“considers that this was partly the result of the failure of earlier policies which attracted many foreign direct inward investors who did very little research and development in Scotland and which on their own were neither sufficient nor a substitute for real economic power and the full ability to compete, and therefore calls on the Scottish Executive to recognise this fact and the evidence that makes the status quo untenable and damaging to Scotland.”

After debate, amendment 3497.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 21, Abstentions 29).  As a result amendment 3497.1 was pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 21, Abstentions 30).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the important role that manufacturing plays in creating a diverse and growing Scottish economy and supports Scottish manufacturers adopting innovative and modern approaches to face the challenge of global competition; supports the move to higher value and quality products, and further notes the range of measures brought forward by the Scottish Executive to support manufacturing: investing in transport infrastructure and the skills of our people, creating the right environment by reducing business poundage rates and establishing a Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service to support and encourage Scottish manufacturing industry to adapt to the global competitive environment.

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

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

  3. Question Time: Questions on Enterprise, Lifelong Learning and Transport, and on Justice and Law Officers were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers and by the Scottish Law Officers.

  4. Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3504—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Bill, debate on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time limits indicated (each time limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended (other than a suspension following the first division in the Stage being called) or otherwise not in progress):

Groups 1 to 3 - 30 minutes
Groups 5 to 7 - 55 minutes
Groups 8 to 11 - 1 hour and 20 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

  1. Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

    The following amendments were agreed to without division: 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24

    Amendment 1 was disagreed to (by division: For 14, Against 96, Abstentions 0)

    The following amendments were moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn: 25 and 6

    Amendments 26, 27 and 2 were not moved.

  2. Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Bill: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-3436—That the Parliament agrees that the Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Bill be passed.

    After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 96, Against 20, Abstentions 0).

  3. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2 and 8 as noted above.

  4. Air Pollution in Glasgow: The Parliament debated S2M-3461 in the name of Patrick Harvie—That the Parliament recognises that Glasgow city centre, now designated as an Air Quality Management Area, has the most serious air pollution problems in Scotland, with a 70% reduction of nitrogen dioxide levels required in some areas if the objectives set by the Scottish Executive are to be met; is concerned at the health implications for those who live and work in the city, such as breathing problems, chronic bronchitis and many premature deaths; accepts that this problem is overwhelmingly caused by increasing road traffic levels; is further concerned that Glasgow City Council's Air Quality Action Plan does not propose measures which will reverse increases in road traffic levels or prevent further increases, and believes that the Executive should work with Glasgow City Council to ensure that Glasgow’s citizens and workers can breath air which meets the minimum standards which are the norm in other European cities.

The meeting closed at 5.51 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
3 November 2005

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

New Bills introduced or reprinted on 2 November 2005

Housing (Scotland) Bill—The Bill was reprinted as amended at Stage 2. (SP Bill 40A) (Executive Bill)

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

Note: The draft Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Consequential Amendments) (Scotland) Order 2005, laid on 19 October 2005, has been withdrawn

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 3 November 2005 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

Annual Report of thoe Chief Surveillance Commissioner to the Prime Minister and to Scottish Ministers for 2004-05 (SE/2005/100)

laid under section 107(3) of thoe Police Act 1997

Report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner for 2004 (SE/2005/203)

laid under section 58(6) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 3 November 2005—

Health Committee, 17th Report, 2005 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 440)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 37th Report, 2005 (Session 2): Report on the Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Bill as amended at Stage 2 (SP Paper 441)