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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 17 November 2005

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Dentistry: The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (Lewis Macdonald) moved S2M-3584—That the Parliament notes the widespread concern about loss of access to NHS dentists; endorses the view that public resources should be focussed on the provision of NHS dentistry available to all and measures proven to improve oral health; welcomes the progress that has been made to date in implementing Improving Oral Health and Modernising NHS Dental Services in Scotland; recognises the positive developments in improving oral health, supporting dental education and training, increasing the workforce and supporting primary care dental services, and acknowledges the vital contribution which NHS dental services make to health improvement and patient care.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-3584.2 to motion S2M-3584—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“acknowledges the vital contribution which NHS dental services make to health improvement and patient care; believes that to progress implementing Improving Oral Health and Modernising NHS Dental Services in Scotland requires the co-operation of the dental profession, and therefore urges the Scottish Executive and the British Dental Association urgently to reach agreement on the definition of “NHS commitment” in order to secure the future of NHS dentistry in Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 33, Against 85, Abstentions 0).

Mrs Nanette Milne moved amendment S2M-3584.1 to motion S2M-3584—

Leave out from “endorses” to end and insert—

“is further concerned that the Scottish Executive’s initiatives will not entice dentists back to the NHS; recognises the increased support in dental education, employment of overseas dentists and financial packages enacted by the Executive but sees this as a stopgap solution which will do nothing to stem the tide of dentists leaving the NHS in the future; calls for more initiatives for dentists to undertake preventative work, a reduction in bureaucracy and for the Executive to create a more genuine and innovative debate on the future of dentistry, and further calls on the Executive to engage positively with the wider profession to ensure that reforms and initiatives enable every patient to have access to a dentist.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 72, Abstentions 29).

Carolyn Leckie moved amendment S2M-3584.3 to motion S2M-3584—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“regrets that inequalities in dental health status and access to dental services persist; believes that NHS dental provision is under serious threat; further believes that radical action in recruitment and widening of access to dentistry training is urgently required, and believes that the dentists whom the state educates and trains should be required to give a minimum commitment to NHS service of five years, within an agreed NHS salaried career structure.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 8, Against 80, Abstentions 30).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 15, Abstentions 29).

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

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

4. Themed Question Time: Questions on Environment and Rural Development, and on Health and Community Care were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5. Waste Strategy: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-3585—That the Parliament welcomes the progress made in implementing the National Waste Plan; commends the response of the Scottish public to the efforts of local authorities, the community sector, the waste management industry and others which has led to major improvements in Scotland’s recycling and composting rate for municipal waste; acknowledges the increased use of recycled material and the economic opportunities which this creates, and welcomes the Executive’s consultation on the Sustainable Management of Waste from Business and Public Sector Organisations in Scotland and its forthcoming consultation on preventing household waste.

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-3585.1 to motion S2M-3585—

Insert at end—

“notes that the key to a sustainable waste strategy is a greater emphasis on reducing the level of waste produced; recognises that to maintain public support and participation, waste collected for recycling should not go to landfill; notes that municipal waste accounts for only 25% of waste and that the other 75% comes from business and industry and accurate information on the amount of such waste recycled is required; notes concerns over the lack of accessible recycling infrastructure; calls for waste management support for the small business sector, and recognises that, for any waste strategy to be truly effective, Scottish ministers require the necessary political powers to ensure they have all options available to them, including measures relating to manufacturing, design and taxation.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 38, Against 78, Abstentions 0).

John Scott moved amendment S2M-3585.2 to motion S2M-3585—

Leave out from first “welcomes” to end and insert—

“believes that the Scottish Executive’s policy on waste is failing and that the amount of waste being sent to landfill is increasing, so that local authorities will have to double their recycling performance in one year to meet the 2006 targets, and further believes that after six years the Executive needs to take immediate steps to free up local authorities to enable them to deliver innovative and appropriate solutions to suit their local circumstances.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 74, Abstentions 29).

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-3585.3 to motion S2M-3585—

Leave out from “implementing” to end and insert—

“improving Scottish recycling and composting rates but acknowledges that, in spite of these improvements, Scotland still lags behind many of our European partners and that the overall volume of waste being created continues to rise; notes that there is a wide variation in recycling rates across Scottish local authorities and strongly believes that access to comprehensive recycling facilities should not be a postcode lottery; commends the efforts of the public in rising to the challenge of recycling an increasing proportion of their waste in spite of often poor facilities and lack of clear information; expresses concern that many Scottish businesses and community groups engaged in recycling have found their efforts thwarted by inappropriate levels of regulation and heavy financial costs, and believes that a policy of zero waste, bringing environmental, economic and social benefits, is the only truly sustainable way to tackle Scotland’s throwaway culture.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 80, Abstentions 23).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 90, Against 20, Abstentions 8).

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

7. Aboyne Maternity Unit: The Parliament debated S2M-3400 in the name of Mike Rumbles—That the Parliament welcomes the excellent work carried out by staff at Aboyne Hospital’s maternity unit; notes that the number of mothers giving birth at Aboyne is increasing, with the number of deliveries rising from 34 in 2003 to 60 in 2004, and notes that the number of bookings has increased by 71 per cent for the coming year; agrees that the unit is an excellent example of health services being delivered locally as advocated by Professor David Kerr in his report, Building a Health Service Fit for the Future; further agrees that expectant mothers should have the option of giving birth locally, at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary or in the home; notes with concern the possibility of the unit being closed, and considers that NHS Grampian should work with local people to ensure that the unit remains open.

The meeting closed at 6.01 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
17 November 2005

 

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

New Bills introduced or reprinted on 16 November 2005

Licensing (Scotland) Bill—The Bill was reprinted as passed (SP Bill 37B) (Executive Bill).

Subordinate Legislation

Super-Affirmative Procedure

The following proposed draft order was laid before the Parliament on 17 November 2005

The Student Fees (Specification) (Scotland) Order 2006

laid under section 9(13) of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2005

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 17 November 2005 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Home-Grown Cereals Authority Annual Report and Accounts 2004-05 (SE 2005/227)

laid under section 21 of the Cereals Marketing Act 1965 and section 88 of the Scotland Act 1998

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 17 November 2005—

European and External Relations Committee, 4th Report, 2005 (Session 2): Report on an Inquiry into the Scottish Executive’s Fresh Talent Initiative Examining the Problems It Aims to Address, Its Operation, Challenges and Prospects (SP Paper 448)

Local Government and Transport Committee, 12th Report, 2005 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP 449)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 41st Report, 2005 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 450)