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Meeting of the Parliament

Wednesday 12 September 2007

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

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1. Time for Reflection: Dr Jagtar Singh Nijjar, Scottish Interfaith Council, led Time for Reflection.

2. The Scottish Government’s Skills Strategy: The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (Fiona Hyslop) moved S3M-443—That the Parliament believes that to equip the Scottish economy for the 21st century it will require its people to be skilled; notes the publication of Skills for Scotland, the Scottish Government’s strategy to help deliver the skills needed for the 21st century, and the call to action that it contains for individuals, employers, national and local government, trade unions, colleges, universities and schools, community learning and development providers, training providers, public agencies and the third sector, and urges all those involved in the delivery of skills in Scotland to actively engage in its implementation.

Iain Gray moved amendment S3M-443.2 to motion S3M-443—

Leave out from—

“and the call” to end and insert “believes it to fall short of the step change required in raising skill levels in Scotland, and calls on Scottish ministers to urgently bring forward proposals to increase access for apprenticeships, expand vocational choices in the school system and ensure that all 16 to 18-year-olds have the opportunity for education, volunteering, training or employment and guarantee the funding required to ensure that our universities and colleges remain world class.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 42, Against 77, Abstentions 0).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S3M-443.1 to motion S3M-443—

Leave out from—

 “and urges” to end and insert “believes that all young people should be given the opportunity to access vocational education from the age of 14; calls on the Scottish Government to consider the establishment of skills academies as part of a diverse education system, and, while welcoming the merger of Careers Scotland and learndirect Scotland, calls on the Scottish Government to go further and add the skills functions currently exercised by Scottish Enterprise to the remit of the merged body, in order to form a complete skills agency.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 103, Abstentions 0).

Jeremy Purvis moved amendment S3M-443.3 to motion S3M-443—

Leave out from—

“the Scottish Government’s” to end and insert “and regrets that the strategy contains no specific targets or indicators of success for improving skills in Scotland, fails to respond to the recommendations of the Leitch Review of Skills and makes no commitment to increased investment in further or higher education; calls on the Scottish Government to amend its strategy to include specific skills targets, including targets for modern apprenticeships and widening access, and details of how it will measure progress towards these targets and commit to report annually to the Parliament on that progress, and further calls on the Scottish Government to commit to providing an additional £168 million for Scottish universities and at least a 3% real terms annual funding increase for Scotland’s colleges over the period of the spending review to ensure that the sectors can make an increased contribution to improving skills in Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 104, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 47, Against 72, Abstentions 0).

3. Emergency Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment (Richard Lochhead), under Rule 13.2.2, made a statement and answered questions on the Foot and Mouth Outbreak in Surrey.

4. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-460—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Thursday 13 September 2007—

delete

2.55 pm Ministerial Statement: Broadcasting

and insert

2.55 pm Ministerial Statement: The Case of Angus Sinclair

The motion was agreed to.

5. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-454—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 19 September 2007

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Ministerial Statement: NHS Waiting Times

followed by Scottish Government Debate: European Treaty

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 20 September 2007

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Managing the Risks of Flooding in Scotland

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Health and Wellbeing;
Rural Affairs and the Environment

2.55 pm Scottish Government Debate: Penal Policy

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Wednesday 26 September 2007

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Government Business

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 27 September 2007

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Liberal Democrats Business

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Finance and Sustainable Growth;
Justice and Law Officers

2.55 pm Scottish Government Business

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

6. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-452—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Abolition of Bridge Tolls (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 16 November 2007.

The motion was agreed to.

7. Rule 10.6.5: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-453—That the Parliament agrees that, for the purpose of allowing up to 10 minutes to debate motion S3M-445 on Thursday 13 September 2007, the second and third sentences of Rule 10.6.5 of Standing Orders be suspended.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

9. Save the Land Reform Act and Restore the Will of Parliament: The Parliament debated S3M-187 in the name of Sarah Boyack—That the Parliament is concerned about the decision by Perth Sheriff Court to grant a declarator to Ann Gloag, owner of the Kinfauns Castle estate, which has the effect of denying the statutory right to roam over parts of the estate that was previously allowed under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003; notes that Perth and Kinross Council and the Ramblers Association opposed the declarator and gave evidence to the court that such a declarator would be contrary to the intention of the Act; believes that this decision undermines the clear will of the Parliament which legislated for the widest possible access to the countryside and that the court judgement ignores the significance of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code approved by MSPs to accompany and inform the operation of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, and considers that the judgement should be examined and appropriate action taken to give proper effect to the land reform legislation and, if necessary, guidance issued to the courts on the status of the access code.

10. Motion without Notice: Pauline McNeill moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended until 6.10 pm.  The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.10 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
12 September 2007

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

Affirmative Instruments

The following instruments were laid in draft before the Parliament on 12 September 2007 for approval by resolution—

The Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971 (Privative Jurisdiction and Summary Cause) Order 2007

laid under section 41(5) of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971

The Small Claims (Scotland) Amendment Order 2007

laid under sections 35(4) and 36B(4) of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 7 September 2007 and are subject to annulment—

The National Health Service (Travelling Expenses and Remission of Charges) (Scotland) Amendment (No.3) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/391)—

The National Health Service (General Dental Services) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/422)—

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

The Disclosure Scotland (Staff Transfer) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/417)

laid under section 100(3) of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007

The Seed Potatoes (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/418)

laid under section 16(6) of the Plant Varieties and Seeds Act 1964

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (Repayment Charge and Discharge) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/419)

laid under section 191(3) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006

The Zoonoses (Monitoring) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/420)

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

The Porcine Semen (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/421)

laid under section 11(4) of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 1984

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 12 September 2007 and is not subject to any parliamentary procedure

Estate Management in Higher Education, a report prepared for the Auditor General for Scotland (AGS/227/6)

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