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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 15 February 2007

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Workers’ Rights: Ms Rosemary Byrne moved S2M-5581—That the Parliament supports the Simclar workers and calls for an appropriate redundancy package for them; welcomes the DTI investigation into the circumstances surrounding the closure of the Ayrshire plants; condemns poor employment practices that result in workers being sacked via text messages, video conferences and factory gate notices and denied real and proper consultation and appropriate redundancy payments, illustrated by the recent examples at Simclar Ayrshire, NCR Dundee and Young’s in Annan; recognises the need to improve workers’ rights and the existence of the Trade Union Freedom Bill in the Westminster Parliament last session which attracted cross-party support from 187 MPs and the re-lodged bill in the current term; recognises that this Trade Union Freedom Bill is supported and promoted by most trade unions, including the RMT and TGWU, and agrees to endorse and encourage support throughout Scotland for this necessary bill.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-5581.4 to motion S2M-5581—

Leave out from “supports” to end and insert—

“believes that the right to work is a fundamental human right; supports the objective of full employment and welcomes the 150,000 new jobs created in Scotland since devolution in 1999; further supports the Simclar workers and calls for an appropriate redundancy package for them; supports the Scottish Executive’s call for a DTI investigation into the circumstances surrounding the closure of the Ayrshire plants; condemns poor employment practices that result in workers being sacked via text messages and factory gate notices and denied real and proper consultation and appropriate redundancy payments, illustrated by the recent example at Simclar Ayrshire; recognises the need to further improve workers’ rights and entitlements and agrees that the Parliament supports the enhancement of employee rights on consultation in a redundancy situation; reaffirms its commitment to providing appropriate resources to meet the costs of retraining and upskilling workers affected, and recognises the role that the Irvine Bay Regeneration Company will have in creating new job opportunities for the workforce.”

Jim Mather moved amendment S2M-5581.2 to motion S2M-5581—

Leave out from “existence of” to end and insert—

“need to create a new era of social cohesion where employers, employees and the state work together to ensure that Scotland achieves new higher levels of competitiveness and co-operation in the workplace so that we achieve increased economic vibrancy, better terms and conditions in the workplace and an improved safety net for redundant employees.”

After debate, amendment S2M-5581.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 30, Abstentions 23). As a result, amendment 5581.2 was pre-empted.

Phil Gallie moved amendment S2M-5581.1 to motion S2M-5581—

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

“or factory gate notices and denied real and proper consultation and appropriate redundancy payments, as illustrated by the recent example of Simclar Ayrshire.”

After debate, amendment S2M-5581.1 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 77, Abstentions 24).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament believes that the right to work is a fundamental human right; supports the objective of full employment and welcomes the 150,000 new jobs created in Scotland since devolution in 1999; further supports the Simclar workers and calls for an appropriate redundancy package for them; supports the Scottish Executive’s call for a DTI investigation into the circumstances surrounding the closure of the Ayrshire plants; condemns poor employment practices that result in workers being sacked via text messages and factory gate notices and denied real and proper consultation and appropriate redundancy payments, illustrated by the recent example at Simclar Ayrshire; recognises the need to further improve workers’ rights and entitlements and agrees that the Parliament supports the enhancement of employee rights on consultation in a redundancy situation; reaffirms its commitment to providing appropriate resources to meet the costs of retraining and upskilling workers affected, and recognises the role that the Irvine Bay Urban Regeneration Company will have in creating new job opportunities for the workforce.

2. School Education: Mr Brian Monteith moved S2M-5570—That the Parliament believes that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) plays a vital role in raising standards of attainment and enhancing the learning of pupils and students at all stages of school and college education and supports its strategic priorities of promoting public accountability through inspection and reporting, working with other organisations to build the capacity of high-quality education and informing education policy development through knowledge of the whole education system, while managing and developing HMIE as a best value public body.

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

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

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

5. Themed Question Time: Questions on Education, Tourism, Culture and Sport, and on Finance and Public Services and Communities were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6. Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5580—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill, debates on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time limit indicated, each time limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when a meeting of the Parliament is suspended (other than a division following the first division in the afternoon being called) or otherwise not in progress:

Groups 1 - 4: 25 minutes
Groups 5 - 8: 45 minutes
Groups 9 - 12: 1 hour and 10 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

7. Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22 and 20.

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

1 (For 18, Against 84, Abstentions 0)
4 (For 23, Against 64, Abstentions 0)

Amendment 23 was moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn.

The following amendments were not moved: 24, 25, 26 and 16A.

Amendment 27 was pre-empted.

8. Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (Lewis Macdonald) moved S2M-5362—That the Parliament agrees that the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill be passed.

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

9. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2 and 8 as noted above.

10. Threat to Crichton Campus in Dumfries: The Parliament debated S2M-5444 in the name of Dr Elaine Murray—That the Parliament recognises and applauds the success of the Crichton university campus in Dumfries over the past seven years and the contribution made by all stakeholders involved in this unique partnership; is therefore concerned that the University of Glasgow is considering reducing its presence on the campus and possibly withdrawing from the site; notes that the University of Glasgow is considering this action because of an £800,000 annual shortfall in running its campus at the Crichton, and considers that the Scottish Funding Council should assist the University of Glasgow to maintain its presence at its Dumfries site and that the University of Glasgow should defer making any decision to reduce its presence or to withdraw from the site until after this year’s spending review and the forthcoming review of higher education funding.

The meeting closed at 5.53 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
15 February 2007

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

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instruments were laid in draft before the Parliament on 15 February 2006 for approval by resolution—

The Fundable Bodies (Scotland) Order 2007

laid under section 34(4) of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2006

The Number of Inner House Judges (Variation) Order 2007

laid under section 2(2D) of the Court of Session Act 1988

The Fundable Bodies (Scotland) Order 2007, which was laid on 2 February 2007, has been withdrawn

The Number of Inner House Judges (Variation) Order 2007, which was laid on 9 February 2007, has been withdrawn

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 15 February 2007 and are subject to annulment—

The Local Government Pensions Etc. (Councillors and VisitScotland) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/71)

laid under section 24(5) of the Superannuation Act 1972

The Housing Revenue Account General Fund Contribution Limits (Scotland) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/73)

laid under section 331 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 (Alteration of Housing Finance Arrangements) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/74)

laid under section 109 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001

The Licensing (Clubs) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/76)—
The Personal Licence (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/77)—

laid under section 146(4) of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005

The Food Supplements (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2007
(SSI 2007/78)

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

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 15 February 2007—

Justice 1 Committee, 3rd Report, 2007 (Session 2): Inquiry into the Scottish Criminal Record Office and Scottish Fingerprint Service (SP Paper 743)

Local Government and Transport Committee, 4th Report, 2007 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 745)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 12th Report, 2007 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 746)