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Meeting of the Parliament

Wednesday 8 March 2006

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

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1. Time for Reflection: Mrs Liz Hood, Business Education Teacher at Perth Academy, led Time for Reflection.

2. International Women’s Day, 8 March 2006: The Deputy Minister for Communities (Johann Lamont) moved S2M-4063—That the Parliament notes the significance of 8 March 2006 as International Women’s Day; endorses the role which this day plays in recognising, promoting and celebrating women’s issues worldwide; congratulates the many groups and organisations which, and individuals who, strive for gender equality and to create a fairer and more equal society for women in Scotland, and, in particular, acknowledges the wide range of Scottish Executive work to advance the women’s agenda in Scotland.

Ms Sandra White moved amendment S2M-4063.1 to motion S2M-4063—

Insert at end—

“however, notes that 30 years after the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 came into force, the pace of change remains painfully slow; further notes with great concern the trafficking of women throughout Europe, and calls on the Executive to do all in its power to stop this horrific practice.”

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

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the significance of 8 March 2006 as International Women’s Day; endorses the role which this day plays in recognising, promoting and celebrating women’s issues worldwide; congratulates the many groups and organisations which, and individuals who, strive for gender equality and to create a fairer and more equal society for women in Scotland, and, in particular, acknowledges the wide range of Scottish Executive work to advance the women’s agenda in Scotland however, notes that 30 years after the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 came into force, the pace of change remains painfully slow; further notes with great concern the trafficking of women throughout Europe, and calls on the Executive to do all in its power to stop this horrific practice.

3. Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4079—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 15 March 2006

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Executive Debate: Improving the Legislative Process

followed by Members’ Business: S2M-3890 Mr Kenneth Macintosh: The Importance of Play

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 16 March 2006

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Ministerial Statement: Major Public Transport Projects update

followed by Appointment of the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

followed by Non-Executive Business: Independents’ Group

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

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

2.55 pm Justice 1 Committee Debate: European Commission Green Papers on Applicable Law in Divorce and Succession and Wills

followed by European and External Relations Committee Debate: 4th Report 2005, An Inquiry into the Scottish Executive’s Fresh Talent Initiative Examining the Problems It Aims to Address, Its Operation, Challenges and Prospects

followed by Company Law Reform Bill Legislative Consent Motion – UK Legislation

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Wednesday 22 March 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 23 March 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—

Health and Community Care;

Environment and Rural Development

2.55 pm Executive Business

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

4. Business Motions: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-4075—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 31 March 2006;

S2M-4076—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc. (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 25 May 2006; and

S2M-4077—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 21 April 2006.

The motions were agreed to.

5. Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4065—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2005 Amendment (No. 2) Order 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6. Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4066—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be referred to the Justice 2 Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7. Decision Time: The Parliament took the following decisions on motions and amendments debated on Thursday 2 March 2006—

Amendment S2M-4039.2, in the name of Cathy Jamieson, to motion (S2M-4039) in the name of Nicola Sturgeon, was agreed to (by division: For 64, Against 51, Abstentions 0). As a result, amendment S2M-4039.1 in the name of Colin Fox was pre-empted.

Motion S2M-4039, as amended, was then agreed to (by division: For 66, Against 51, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament agrees that action needs to be taken to restore public and professional confidence in the Scottish Fingerprint Service; acknowledges that in 2000 the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau was the subject of an independent inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC); notes that following three further inspections HMIC reported that its 25 recommendations had been fully discharged; notes that further reforms are being taken forward; that the Minister for Justice has instructed the interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Police Services Authority to bring forward, by the end of March, a comprehensive action plan drawing on the best available international scientific advice and management expertise; notes that this action plan will be reported to the Parliament; believes that a public inquiry is not appropriate; notes that it is the responsibility of the Parliament to hold the Scottish Executive to account; welcomes the work already commenced by the Justice 1 Committee, and confirms the Executive’s commitment to co-operate with any inquiries that the Parliament may decide to take forward in scrutinising these reforms.

Amendment S2M-4036.2, in the name of Ross Finnie, to motion (S2M-4036) in the name of Rob Gibson, was agreed to (by division: For 65, Against 47, Abstentions 6). As a result, amendment S2M-4036.1, in the name of Murdo Fraser was pre-empted

Motion S2M-4036, as amended, was then agreed to (by division: For 65, Against 47, Abstentions 6).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that Scottish Water’s draft business plan of April 2005 stated that achieving Scottish Ministers’ objectives for 2006 to 2010 would require a capital investment programme of £3.7 billion and a doubling in customer charges; notes that the Water Industry Commission’s determination of charges for 2006 to 2010 allowed Scottish Water a capital investment programme of £2.1 billion and charges rising by less than the rate of inflation to achieve the objectives; notes that Scottish Water accepted the determination but its plan demonstrating how it would deliver the objectives within the limits set by the determination was judged by the Executive, supported by the regulators, not to meet the requirements in a number of material aspects; notes that the Executive has required Scottish Water to produce a new plan which will command the confidence of Ministers and regulators, and considers these actions by the Executive to represent good stewardship of Scottish Water in the public and customer interest.

The Parliament then took decisions on items 2, 7 and 8 as noted above.

8. 21st Anniversary of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation: The Parliament debated S2M-3928 in the name of Maureen Macmillan—That the Parliament recognises the importance to Scotland of wild salmon conservation; further recognises the vital work undertaken by the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO), the only international treaty organisation based in Scotland, and welcomes the 21st anniversary of the establishment of NASCO.

The meeting closed at 5.48 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
8 March 2006

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

New Bills introduced or reprinted on 2 March 2006

Crofting Reform etc. Bill—A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to make further provision as regards crofting and as regards the Scottish Land Court; and for connected purposes. (SP Bill 57) (Executive Bill)

Introduced by: Ross Finnie
Supported by: Rhona Brankin

Explanatory Notes (and other accompanying documents) (SP Bill 57-EN) and a Policy Memorandum (SP Bill 57-PM) were printed to accompany the Bill.

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 3 March 2006 and are subject to annulment—

The Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions (Scotland) Rules 2006 (SSI 2006/94)

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

The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 (Consequential Amendments) Order 2006 (SSI 2006/95)

laid under section 39 of the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 6 March 2006 and are subject to annulment—

The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/96)—

The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (Registration) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/97)—

laid under section 125(3) of the Police Act 1997

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 7 March 2006 and is subject to annulment

The Fish Labelling (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/105)

laid under section 48(3) of the Food Safety Act 1990

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 8 March 2006 and are subject to annulment—

The Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003 (Rural Housing Bodies) Amendment Order 2006 (SSI 2006/108)—

The Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003 (Conservation Bodies) Amendment Order 2006 (SSI 2006/110)—

laid under section 127(1) of the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003

The Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 (Specified Day) Order 2006 (SSI 2006/109)

laid under section 74(1) of the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000

The Transfer of Property, Rights and Liabilities from the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority and the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive to the West of Scotland Transport Partnership Order 2006 (SSI 2006/111)—

The National Bus Travel Concession Scheme for Older and Disabled Persons (Eligible Persons and Eligible Services) (Scotland) Order 2006 (SSI 2006/117)—

laid under section 52(2) of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2005

The Strathclyde Passenger Transport Area (Variation) Order 2006 (SSI 2006/112)

laid under section 40(9) of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994

The National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/113)—

The National Assistance (Sums for Personal Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/114)—

laid under section 63(3) of the National Assistance Act 1948

The Civil Partnership Family Homes (Form of Consent) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/115)

laid under section 126(4) of the Civil Partnership Act 2004

The Diligence against Earnings (Variation) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/116)

laid under section 104 of the Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987

Not Subject to any Parliamentary Procedure

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 7 March 2006 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (East Coast) (Scotland) Order 2005 Revocation Order 2006 (SSI 2006/102)—

The Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.14) (Scotland) Order 2005 Partial Revocation Order 2006 (SSI 2006/103)—

laid under section 1(10) of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 7 March 2006 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Scottish Law Commission Annual Report 2005 (SE/2006/11)

laid under section 3(3) of the Law Commissions Act 1965

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 8 March 2006 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Implementing the NHS Consultant Contract in Scotland: A report prepared for the Auditor General for Scotland (AGS/2006/3)

laid under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

Legislative Consent Memorandums

The following memorandum was lodged on 2 March 2006

Cathy Jamieson: Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill(UK Parliament legislation (LCM(S2) 5.1)

Committee Reports

The following Report was published on 3 March 2006

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 11th Report, 2006 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 513)

The following report was published on 6 March 2006

Finance Committee, 3rd Report, 2006 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 514)