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Meeting of the Parliament

Wednesday 31 October 2007

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

The meeting opened at 2.00 pm.

1. Time for Reflection: Father Michael John Galbraith, St Kentigern’s, Edinburgh led Time for Reflection.

2. Ministerial Statement: The statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Nicola Sturgeon) on Housing was taken as read. The Cabinet Secretary answered questions on the statement.

3. Early Years and Early Intervention: The Minister for Children and Early Years (Adam Ingram) moved S3M-722—That the Parliament recognises the importance of early years policy in delivering improved outcomes for children and young people; believes that early intervention has a crucial role to play in reducing inequalities, particularly in health and education, but also more widely; welcomes the intention to develop a long-term early years strategy; agrees that parenting, support for families and community capacity-building are areas which require a strong focus; believes that services must work more closely together to support children and families, and highlights the importance of a highly skilled and collaborative workforce in delivering a new strategic approach to early years policy.

Rhona Brankin moved amendment S3M-722.2 to motion S3M-722—

Insert at end—

"notes the failure of the SNP Government to provide a statement on its commitment to reduce class sizes to 18 in primary 1 to primary 3 by 2011, as called for by the Parliament on 13 September 2007, and agrees that the Scottish Government should bring forward detailed plans and costings on its commitment to reduce class sizes within the imminent strategic spending review statement."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 75, Against 45, Abstentions 2).

Elizabeth Smith moved amendment S3M-722.3 to motion S3M-722—

After first "families" insert—

"and the institution of marriage".

The amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 59, Against 62, Abstentions 0).

Jeremy Purvis moved amendment S3M-722.1 to motion S3M-722—

Insert at end—

"further believes that the Scottish Government’s approach to early years must incorporate a strategy for play and communication, give greater support for play provision for two-year-olds and develop primary 1 into a transition year from nursery to formal education."

The amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 107, Against 15, Abstentions 0).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 45, Abstentions 15).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the importance of early years policy in delivering improved outcomes for children and young people; believes that early intervention has a crucial role to play in reducing inequalities, particularly in health and education, but also more widely; welcomes the intention to develop a long-term early years strategy; agrees that parenting, support for families and community capacity-building are areas which require a strong focus; believes that services must work more closely together to support children and families, and highlights the importance of a highly skilled and collaborative workforce in delivering a new strategic approach to early years policy; notes the failure of the SNP Government to provide a statement on its commitment to reduce class sizes to 18 in primary 1 to primary 3 by 2011, as called for by the Parliament on 13 September 2007; that the Scottish Government should bring forward detailed plans and costings on its commitment to reduce class sizes within the imminent strategic spending review statement; and further believes that the Scottish Government’s approach to early years must incorporate a strategy for play and communication, give greater support for play provision for two-year-olds and develop primary 1 into a transition year from nursery to formal education.

4. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-731—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 7 November 2007

2.15 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Question Time

followed by Ministerial Statement: Creative Scotland and Cultural Policy

followed by Scottish Government Debate: National Food Policy for Scotland

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 8 November 2007

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Labour Party Business

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Europe, External Affairs and Culture;
Education and Lifelong Learning

2.55 pm Scottish Government Debate: Scottish Government’s EU Priorities

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Wednesday 14 November 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 15 November 2007

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Government Business

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 Stage 1 Debate: Abolition of Bridge Tolls (Scotland) Bill

followed by Financial Resolution: Abolition of Bridge Tolls (Scotland) Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

5. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-730—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Graduate Endowment Abolition (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 21 December 2007.

The motion was agreed to.

6. Parliamentary Bureau Motions: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S3M-732—That the Parliament agrees that the Health and Sport Committee be appointed as the lead committee in consideration of the Public Health etc. (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

S3M-733—That the Parliament agrees that Nigel Don be appointed to replace Tricia Marwick as a member of the Public Petitions Committee.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

7. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 3 and 6 as noted above.

8. Further Job Losses at Young’s Seafood, Annan: The Parliament debated S3M-662 in the name of Elaine Murray—That the Parliament regrets the announcement on 11 October 2007 by Young’s Seafood of the loss of 89 jobs from its Annan plant; notes that 100 jobs had already been lost in February this year and at that time the company announced that it remained committed to a long-term future for its Annan site; notes also that only approximately 25 jobs are likely to remain at Young’s Seafood in Annan; believes that the workforce and the local community have been badly let down by the company, and considers that the consultation period for the current tranche of job losses should be extended from 30 to 90 days to enable workers facing redundancy to consider relocation options and that those workers wishing to take up employment opportunities at other sites should be offered appropriate financial support.

The meeting closed at 5.44 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
31 October 2007

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 26 October 2007 for approval by resolution

The Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007 (Incidental, Supplemental and Consequential Provisions) Order 2007

laid under section 82(3)(a) of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 26 October 2007 and are subject to annulment—

The District Courts and Justices of the Peace (Scotland) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/480)

laid under section 81 of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007

The Pesticides (Maximum Residue Levels in Crops, Food and Feeding Stuffs) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 3) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/481)

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

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 29 October 2007 and is subject to annulment

The Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water (Scotland) (No. 2) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/483)

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

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 31 October 2007 and are subject to annulment—

The Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/484)—

The Environmental Impact Assessment and Natural Habitats (Extraction of Minerals by Marine Dredging) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/485)—

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

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 29 October 2007 and is not subject to any parliamentary procedure

Western Isles NHS Board Annual Accounts and Notes for the Year Ended 31 March 2007 and the Report by the Auditor General for Scotland on the 2006-07 Audit of Western Isles Health Board (SE/2007/226)

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

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 30 October 2007 and is not subject to any parliamentary procedure

Highlands and Islands Enterprise Annual Report and Accounts (SE/2007/157)

laid under section 30(8) of the Enterprise and New Towns (Scotland) Act 1990 and section 22(5) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 31 October 2007 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure—

The Scottish Executive Consolidated Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2007 (SE/2007/178)—

The Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland Administration Annual Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2007 and a Report by the Auditor General for Scotland on the 2006-07 Audit of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland Administration (SE/2007/234)—

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

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 26 October 2007

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 7th Report, 2007 (Session 3): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 19)