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Meeting of the Parliament

Wednesday 11 January 2006

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

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1. Time for Reflection: Reverend Peter Macdonald, Minister of St George’s West Church, Edinburgh, led Time for Reflection.

2. Sustainable Development Strategy: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-3792—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s new sustainable development strategy, “Choosing our future”; supports the strategy’s vision of a vibrant resource-efficient economy with Scotland as a leader in green enterprise; welcomes its emphasis on reducing Scotland’s global environmental impact, protecting its natural heritage and resources for the long term, improving the quality of life of individuals and communities and securing environmental justice for those who suffer the worst local environments, and calls on all sections of society in Scotland to play their part in delivering these objectives.

Rob Gibson moved amendment S2M-3792.1 to motion S2M-3792—

Insert at end—

“and further calls on the Executive to set targets for individuals, businesses, local authorities and communities to play their part in reducing Scotland’s global footprint while working to gain full powers for this Parliament over the key areas of policy that are needed to guarantee a sustainable Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 36, Against 79, Abstentions 0).

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S2M-3792.2 to motion S2M-3792—

Insert at end—

“but considers that vision and aspiration, while commendable, will not of themselves deliver for future generations and therefore the Executive must begin to deliver greater tangible evidence of its own commitment.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 30, Against 65, Abstentions 20).

Mr Mark Ruskell moved amendment S2M-3792.3 to motion S2M-3792—

Insert at end—

“and moreover makes it clear that leadership and consistent action from the top of government is of critical importance to enable lasting change; considers the progress so far by the Executive since 1999 to be richer in rhetoric than reality but, nevertheless, a full 13 years since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, welcomes this first step towards a meaningful strategy; considers that sustainable development should be the top priority of government, and recognises the critical role of this Parliament and its structures in engaging fully with the strategy and holding the Executive to account on its delivery.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 78, Abstentions 21).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 110, Against 0, Abstentions 5).

3. Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3798—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Thursday 12 January 2006—

Thursday 12 January 2006

after,

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

insert,

2.00 pm Election to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body

The motion was agreed to.

4. Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3799—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 18 January 2006

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Ministerial Statement: The Cultural Commission

followed by Procedures Committee Debate: Report on the Private Bill Committee assessors

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 19 January 2006

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Executive Debate: Economic Benefits of the Air Routes Development Fund

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Justice and Law Officers;
Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning

2.55 pm Stage 3 Proceedings: Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill

followed by Health Bill Legislative Consent Motion – UK Legislation

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Wednesday 25 January 2006

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by 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 26 January 2006

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Executive Business

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Finance and Public Services and Communities;
Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport

2.55 pm Executive Business

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

5. Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3796—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No. 18) (Scotland) Order 2005 (SSI 2005/626) be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6. Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3797—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Modifications of Schedule 5) Order 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 5 and 6 as noted above.

8. Closure of Six Post Offices: The Parliament debated S2M-3735 in the name of Dr Elaine Murray—That the Parliament expresses its concern over Post Office Ltd’s announcement that it will be closing six town centre post offices, including the main post office in Dumfries, replacing them with franchises in SPAR shops; notes that SPAR itself is a franchise; is concerned over the implications for staff numbers and terms and conditions of employment; believes that in cases such as Dumfries the new location is less convenient for customers; further believes that the proposed arrangements may not offer a sustainable and long-term future for these post offices; expresses concern that the announcement was made less than two weeks before Christmas and considers that Post Office Ltd should extend the consultation period beyond the current seven weeks to ensure that all customers get the opportunity to express their views, and believes that no irreversible decisions should be made without paying full consideration and attention to the views of customers and staff.

The meeting closed at 6.07 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
11 December 2006

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

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 23 December 2005 for approval by resolution

The Prohibition of Smoking in Certain Premises (Scotland) Regulations 2006

laid under section 40(3) of the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 5 January 2006 and are subject to annulment—

The Public Contracts (Scotland Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/1)—

The Utilities Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/2)—

laid under paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 2 to the European Communities Act 1972

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 10 January 2006 and are subject to annulment—

The Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/3)—

The Older Cattle (Disposal) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/4)—

laid under paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 2 to the European Communities Act 1972

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 11 January 2006 and is subject to annulment

The Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions (Scotland) Amendment Rules 2006 (SSI 2006/5)

laid under section 42 of the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1989

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 23 December 2005 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Forestry Commission Scotland Annual Report and Accounts 2004-05 (SE/2005/262)

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

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 9 January 2006 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

Scottish Water Interim Accounts for the six months to 30 September 2006 (SE/2006/4)

Scottish University for Industry Limited: Reconciliation of Scottish Executive Funding for financial year 2004-05 (SE/2005/5)

SPCB Papers

The following document was published on 23 December 2005

Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Annual Report 2005 (SP Paper 477)

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 23 December 2005—

Justice 1 Committee, 13th Report, 2005 (Session 2): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 476)

Communities Committee, 12th Report, 2005 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 480)

The following report was published on 9 January 2006

            Procedures Committee, 1st Report, 2006 (Session 2): Private Bill Committee Assessors (SP Paper 481)

The following report was published on 10 January 2006

Education Committee, 1st Report, 2006 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 483)

The following report was published on 11 January 2006

Health Committee, 1st Report, 2006 (Session 2): Stage 1 Report on the Abolition of NHS Prescription Charges (Scotland) Bill (SP Paper 482)