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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 21 September 2006

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. A Greener, Fairer Scotland: Miss Annabel Goldie moved S2M-4810—That the Parliament notes that, along with global poverty and terrorism, climate change is one of the three great challenges facing mankind; recognises that there needs to be a greater shared responsibility among government, business, individuals and families to meet this challenge; believes that combating the threat of climate change will require fresh ideas and radical thinking and, therefore, that the concept of decentralised energy should be seriously pursued; recognises that if we are going to achieve a sustainable Scotland we need to address culture and attitudes to raise awareness and encourage the public to be proactive and to assume personal responsibility for contributing to a sustainable Scotland, and calls, therefore, on the Scottish Executive to expand the Scottish community and householder renewables initiative to incentivise households, communities and small businesses to install modern energy creating and saving technologies as an important first step.

The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved amendment S2M-4810.3 to motion S2M-4810—

Leave out from “mankind” to end and insert—

“the planet; recognises that the Scottish Executive has already embodied fresh ideas, radical thinking and a uniquely Scottish approach in its response to this challenge in Changing our Ways: Scotland’s Climate Change Programme, and welcomes the significant initiatives that the Executive has taken to increase the level of renewable energy generation, improve the energy efficiency of new buildings, boost microrenewables, reduce energy poverty and increase investment in public transport, the introduction of Strategic Environmental Assessment and the promotion of sustainable development across its policies.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4810.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 49, Abstentions 3). 

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-4810.1 to motion S2M-4810—

Insert at end—

“believes that the building of new nuclear power stations would undermine Scotland’s efforts to tackle climate change, and recognises that, to make an effective contribution towards the global campaign to tackle global warming, our Parliament requires the powers of other independent nations including responsibility for energy and fiscal policy.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4810.1 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 28, Against 81, Abstentions 10).

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-4810.2 to motion S2M-4810—

Leave out from “notes” to end and insert—

“recognises the seriousness of climate change and the grave threat which it poses to humanity; notes the reality, as evidenced in the latest report from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, that it is vital to implement a major new programme of action to cut carbon emissions within the next four years if we are to play our part in keeping global temperatures below dangerous levels, and calls on the Scottish Executive to adopt a target for a 3 per cent year-on-year overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and to take action to achieve this target including reducing road traffic levels, bold energy efficiency measures, promoting micropower technologies and decentralised energy generation, the rapid expansion of renewable energy and the carbon proofing of all Executive decisions and policies to ensure a consistent rather than contradictory approach to emissions reduction.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4810.2 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 12, Against 82, Abstentions 25).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 52, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that, along with global poverty and terrorism, climate change is one of the three great challenges facing the planet; recognises that the Scottish Executive has already embodied fresh ideas, radical thinking and a uniquely Scottish approach in its response to this challenge in Changing our Ways: Scotland’s Climate Change Programme, and welcomes the significant initiatives that the Executive has taken to increase the level of renewable energy generation, improve the energy efficiency of new buildings, boost micro-renewables, reduce energy poverty and increase investment in public transport, the introduction of Strategic Environmental Assessment and the promotion of sustainable development across its policies.

2. General Question Time:  General 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. Edinburgh Airport Rail Link Bill – Preliminary Stage: Scott Barrie moved S2M-4809—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link Bill and that the Bill should proceed as a Private Bill.

David McLetchie moved amendment S2M-4809.1 to motion S2M-4809—

Insert at end—

“but, in doing so, considers that inadequate information has been provided to the Parliament on the funding of the project and on alternative methods of establishing a rail link to Edinburgh Airport, and requests that further information is provided by the promoter and the Scottish Executive on these matters in the course of the Consideration Stage.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 22, Against 96, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 69, Against 30, Abstentions 20).

6. Edinburgh Airport Rail Link Bill – Financial Resolution: The Minister for Transport (Tavish Scott) moved S2M-4796—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link Bill, agrees to any expenditure of a kind referred to in Rule 9A.14.3(b)(ii) of the Parliament’s Standing Orders arising in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 84, Against 29, Abstentions 3).

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

8. Elgin Bypass: The Parliament debated S2M-4632 in the name of Maureen Macmillan—That the Parliament notes the continued strong public support for an Elgin bypass; believes that a bypass is necessary to relieve the increasing problem of congestion in and around Elgin; welcomes the Moray 2020 strategy which recognises that, in order to enhance the area to attract inward investment, government dispersals and growing businesses, local transport links need to be transformed, and therefore believes that both Moray Council and the Scottish Executive should give a commitment to re-examine the case for an Elgin bypass.

The meeting closed at 5.39 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
21 September 2006


Appendix

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

New Bills introduced or reprinted on 20 September 2006

Commissioner for Older People (Scotland) Bill—A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to provide for the establishment and functions of a Commissioner for Older People in Scotland; and for connected purposes. (SP Bill 71) (Member’s Bill)

Introduced by:  Alex Neil

Explanatory Notes (and other accompanying documents) (SP Bill 71-EN) and a Policy Memorandum (SP Bill 71-PM) were printed to accompany the Bill.

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 21 September 2006 for approval by resolution

The Social Work Inspections (Scotland) Regulations 2006

laid under section 6(4) of the Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Act 2006

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 21 September 2006 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Annual Report 2005-06 (SPSC/2006/1)

laid under section 18 of the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Act 2002

The Queen’s Printer for Scotland Report covering the period 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006 (SE/2006/133)

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

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 21 September 2006—

Enterprise and Culture Committee, 15th Report, 2006 (Session 2): Second Report at Stage 1 on the St Andrew's Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Bill (SP Paper 637)

Local Government and Transport Committee, 12th Report, 2006 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 638)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 34th Report, 2006 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 639)