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Meeting of the Parliament

Wednesday 8 November 2006

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

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm .

1. Time for Reflection: Reverend Malcolm Rooney, Glens and Kirriemuir Old Parish Church, led Time for Reflection.

2. Supporting Positive Transitions from School Towards Work: The Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Nicol Stephen) moved S2M-5098—That the Parliament acknowledges that the transition to adulthood is an important stage in people’s lives; welcomes the fact that the vast majority of young people successfully engage in education, volunteering, training and employment opportunities; agrees that supporting all young people to utilise these opportunities in the transition from school towards work is a national priority, and endorses the leadership of the Scottish Executive, working with schools, colleges, voluntary organisations and employers in Scotland through the NEET strategy, in seeking a successful and positive outcome for all young people.

Alex Neil moved amendment S2M-5098.3 to motion S2M-5098—

Leave out from “and endorses” to end and insert—

“regrets the poor performance of the current Scottish Executive which has led to far more of our young people, compared with their European peers, not in education, employment or training; calls for a fresh approach to engage schools, colleges, voluntary organisations and employers in Scotland to recognise the importance of early intervention for children, particularly those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, to realise their potential in later life and so secure the opportunities that other young Scots enjoy, and recognises that, for Scotland to achieve a situation where every 16 to 19-year-old can have the opportunity to secure a place in education, employment, training or volunteering, it will require a concerted national effort and support from all sectors in Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 34, Against 64, Abstentions 13).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-5098.1 to motion S2M-5098—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“is therefore deeply concerned that so many young people in Scotland remain disengaged from education, employment or training; is further concerned by recent remarks from CBI Scotland that companies are having “to invest an unacceptably high proportion of the £2 billion they commit to training annually on what is effectively remedial education”; acknowledges, however, that voluntary agencies across Scotland are working hard to engage young people who are NEET; congratulates the Smith Group, which is dedicated to empowering such agencies already involved in this work; welcomes the Scottish Executive’s financial support provided to many of these agencies but, in light of the extreme difficulties voluntary organisations routinely face in terms of accessing secure funding, calls on it to reduce the bureaucracy involved in applying for funds and to ensure that long-term funding is available for successful and proven projects.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 38, Against 74, Abstentions 0).

Rosemary Byrne moved amendment S2M-5098.2 to motion S2M-5098—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“is concerned about the numbers of young people not in education, employment or training; recognises that there is a need to address the reasons why schools are failing these young people and to take immediate action to address these problems by reducing class sizes, offering a broader curriculum and engaging more with young people, their parents and their communities, and calls on the Scottish Executive to offer fully supported and resourced modern apprenticeships based on the needs of young people and communities.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 37, Against 77, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 19, Abstentions 30).

3. Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5106—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 15 November 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection
followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions
followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Planning etc. (Scotland) Bill
followed by                      Business Motion
followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions
5.00 pm                          Decision Time
followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 16 November 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions
followed by                      Continuation of Stage 3 Proceedings: Planning etc. (Scotland) Bill
11.40 am                        General Question Time
12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time
2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                                 Environment and Rural Development;
                                                 Health and Community Care;
2.55 pm                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions
followed by                      Conclusion of Stage 3 Proceedings: Planning etc. (Scotland) Bill
followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions
5.00 pm                          Decision Time
followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 22 November 2006

2.15 pm                          Time for Reflection
followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions
followed by                      Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Question Time
followed by                      Executive Business
followed by                      Business Motion
followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions
5.00 pm                          Decision Time
followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 23 November 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—
                                                 Justice and Law Officers;
                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning
2.55 pm                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions
followed by                      Executive Business
followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions
5.00 pm                          Decision Time
followed by                      Members’ Business

and (b) that the period for members to submit their names for selection for Question Times on 11 January 2007 ends at 12.00 noon on Wednesday 20 December 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

4. Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5102—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Rights of Relatives to Damages (Mesothelioma) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 2 February 2007.

The motion was agreed to.

5. Office of the Clerk: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5103—That the Parliament agrees that the Office of the Clerk will be closed on 27, 28 and 29 December 2006.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

7. Community Health: The Parliament debated S2M-5045 in the name of Mark Ballard—That the Parliament recognises the great importance of community health projects in tackling the health problems that our nation faces; believes that community, independent and voluntary sector organisations addressing health inequalities play a crucial role in meeting the Scottish Executive’s targets on health improvement; in particular, congratulates the Edinburgh Community Food Initiative on 10 years of working to remove barriers to a healthy diet by consistently developing innovative and effective programmes such as the Snack Attack project; notes that the future of this project, like many others, depends on its ability to continue to identify, secure and manage a wide variety of short-term funding sources; notes with concern the sense of fragility across the sector due to the uncertainty inherent in the funding system, and considers that the Executive should show much greater support to community health projects and act to reduce the financial insecurity that they are forced to face.

The meeting closed at 5.59 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
1 November 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 7 November 2006 for approval by resolution

The Public Appointments and Public Bodies etc (Scotland) Act 2003 (Treatment of Office or Body as Specified Authority) (Scottish Legal Complaints Commission) Order 2006

laid under section 18(4) of the Public Appointments and Public Bodies etc. (Scotland) Act 2003

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 8 November 2006 for approval by resolution

The Registration Services (Consequential Provisions) (Scotland) Order 2006

laid under section 61(4) of the Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Act 2006

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 3 November 2006 and is subject to annulment

The Building (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2006 (SSI 2006/534)

laid under section 54(5) of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 8 November 2006 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

Scottish Public Pensions Agency Report and Accounts 2005-06 (SE/2006/199)—

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Annual Accounts, Year Ended 31 March 2006 (SE/2006/220)—

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

Performance Management in the Scottish Qualifications Authority, A main report and key messages summary prepared for the Auditor General for Scotland (AGS/2006/11)

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

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 3 November 2006

Procedures Committee, 7th Report, 2006 (Session 2): Members’ Interests (Parliamentary Determinations and Resolutions) (SP Paper 659)

The following report was published on 6 November 2006

Justice 2 Committee, 13th Report, 2006 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 660)

The following report was published on 8 November 2006

Health Committee, 15th Report, 2006 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 661)