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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 6 September 2007

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment (Richard Lochhead) made a statement and answered questions on the Foot and Mouth Outbreak.

2. Tackling Drugs Misuse: The Minister for Community Safety (Fergus Ewing) moved S3M-415—That the Parliament recognises that tackling drugs misuse is one of the great social challenges of our time, requiring determined and sustained action; welcomes the Scottish Government’s commitment to build consensus around a new strategy for tackling drugs misuse; welcomes the recent publication of reports, commissioned by the previous administration, on key aspects of drugs services; supports the Government’s determination to improve services to promote recovery from drug addiction, to ensure that children are protected from the drug addictions of their parents, to improve drugs education, to offer young people more opportunities to do something positive and constructive with their lives, to strengthen enforcement and to provide courts with more effective ways of dealing with those whose crimes are driven by addiction, and recognises that there will be resource implications in meeting this challenge.

Margaret Smith moved amendment S3M-415.1 to motion S3M-415—

Leave out from "supports" to end and insert—

"believes that increased opportunities, improved facilities, more drug-free activities and better drug education are necessary to give young people a positive alternative to drugs; calls on the Scottish Government to introduce a strategy for early intervention with vulnerable young people, particularly those in care or living with a parent who has a drug problem; calls for the establishment of a national register of drug and alcohol services including residential placements; believes that additional resources are required to increase drug and alcohol treatment places, cut waiting times and create more family support services; calls on the Scottish Government to commit to at least double the funding for drug and alcohol treatment in the first year of the next spending review; further notes the direct link between drug and alcohol use and crime and supports the greater use of arrest referral schemes across Scotland; further believes that Drug Testing and Treatment Orders (DTTOs) introduced by the previous administration can make a real difference in cutting crime and reoffending, and calls for DTTOs to be extended to Scotland’s district courts and used more frequently to address alcohol abuse among offenders."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 55, Against 61, Abstentions 0).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

3. General Question Time: Questions were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

4. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Alex Salmond).

5. Themed Question Time: Questions on Finance and Sustainable Growth, and on Justice and Law Officers, were answered by Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers and by the Scottish Law Officers.

6. A Sustainable Future for Crichton University Campus: The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (Fiona Hyslop) moved S3M-416—That the Parliament congratulates local campaigners, including MSPs from all parties, on effectively highlighting the issues surrounding the future of Crichton University Campus in Dumfries, leading to a successful outcome; commends the work of the local stakeholders, academic partners and the Scottish Funding Council in developing an academic strategy for the campus; welcomes the allocation of additional resources by the Scottish Government to protect existing provision, help deliver the strategy and widen the range of higher education opportunities delivered in the south west of Scotland on a long-term sustainable basis, and recognises the importance of the ability of students in rural and island communities to access higher and further education.

Hugh Henry moved amendment S3M-416.1 to motion S3M-416—

Insert at end—

"and calls for an assurance that this funding will be maintained and guaranteed and that this is not being provided to the detriment of funding for other institutions, and further asks for a guarantee that none of the institutions will be able to walk away from any aspects of this arrangement."

After debate, with the agreement of the Parliament, the amendment was withdrawn.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7. Membership of Committee and Substitution on Committees: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S3M-422—That the Parliament agrees that Shirley-Anne Somerville be appointed to replace Stefan Tymkewycz on the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee; and

S3M-423—That the Parliament agrees that Shirley-Anne Somerville be appointed to replace Stefan Tymkewycz as the Scottish National Party substitute on the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

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

9. Maintenance of Common Land on Scottish Housing Estates: The Parliament debated S3M-347 in the name of Trish Godman—That the Parliament is concerned about the many complaints voiced by people throughout Scotland over the neglect of common land on their housing estates, such as Gryffe Castle in Bridge of Weir and Inch Meadows/Roseland Brae in Erskine, even although some residents pay upwards of £400 per annum for the maintenance of such areas of land adjacent to their homes; notes that many of these complainers accuse the Greenbelt Group, in particular, of failing to honour its obligations to householders in relation to the company’s maintenance of local common land; is of the view that this company and others engaged in this service should aim for the very best standards of performance, which is a legitimate demand made by householders, and, in addition to the enhancement of these maintenance standards, firmly believes in the examination of alternative management procedures and practices, such as the common hold system, which would enable the community of householders to be given more control of the common land surrounding or adjacent to their homes.

The meeting closed at 5.48 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
6 September 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 6 September 2007 for approval by resolution—

The Club Gaming and Club Machine Permits (Scotland) Regulations 2007—

The Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permits (Scotland) Regulations 2007—

laid under section 355(9) of the Gambling Act 2005

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 6 September 2007 and are subject to annulment—

The National Health Service (Pharmaceutical Services) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/390)—

The National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/392)—

The National Health Service (Primary Medical Services Section 17C Agreements) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/393)—

The National Health Service (Primary Medical Services Performers Lists) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/413)—

laid under section 105(2) of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978

The Miscellaneous Food Additives and the Sweetners in Food Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/412)

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

The Common Agricultural Policy Single Farm Payment and Support Schemes (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/414)

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

The Plant Health (Scotland) (Amendment) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/415)—

The Plant Health (Phytophthora ramorum) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2007 (SSI 2007/416)—

laid under section 6(1) of the Plant Health Act 1967