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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 29 November 2007

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

The meeting opened at 9.15am.

1. Tourism: The Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism (Jim Mather) moved S3M-945—That the Parliament recognises the vital role that tourism has in increasing sustainable economic growth in line with the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy; reiterates its support for the ambitions set out in the Tourism Framework for Change that tourism revenue should increase by 50% in real terms in the decade to 2015 and that Scotland should be one of Europe’s most sustainable tourism destinations; recognises the appetite in the industry to improve and exceed visitor expectation, and welcomes the fact that these ambitions are shared between the public, private and third sectors.

Lewis Macdonald moved amendment S3M-945.2 to motion S3M-945—

After "destinations" insert—

"recognises the importance to tourism of improved access for visitors to Scotland by land, sea and air; notes with concern the Scottish Government’s failure to propose an alternative to the Route Development Fund or to increase the marketing budget of VisitScotland over the next three years; believes that improved skills and training are the key to achieving higher standards".

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 58, Against 61, Abstentions 1).

Gavin Brown moved amendment S3M-945.3 to motion S3M-945—

Insert at end—

"further recognises the important work done by the excellent network of tourist information centres; believes that decision-making at a local level is a crucial element of an effective tourism strategy, and calls on the Scottish Government to give a more detailed explanation as to how the 50% growth ambition is to be met and the role of the public, private and third sectors in doing so."

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

Liam McArthur moved amendment S3M-945.1 to motion S3M-945—

Leave out from second "recognises" to end and insert—

"believes that this objective is put at risk by the cuts to the budgets and business support activities of Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise which will reduce local decision-making and have a negative impact on the start-up and growth of tourism businesses across Scotland; notes with concern the lack of consultation over the restructuring of VisitScotland, and calls on the Scottish Government to commit to safeguarding the budgets and autonomy of the island offices under the control of VisitOrkney, VisitShetland and VisitHebrides."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 56, Against 63, Abstentions 1).

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

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the vital role that tourism has in increasing sustainable economic growth in line with the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy; reiterates its support for the ambitions set out in the Tourism Framework for Change that tourism revenue should increase by 50% in real terms in the decade to 2015 and that Scotland should be one of Europe’s most sustainable tourism destinations; recognises the appetite in the industry to improve and exceed visitor expectation; welcomes the fact that these ambitions are shared between the public, private and third sectors; further recognises the important work done by the excellent network of tourist information centres; believes that decision-making at a local level is a crucial element of an effective tourism strategy, and calls on the Scottish Government to give a more detailed explanation as to how the 50% growth ambition is to be met and the role of the public, private and third sectors in doing so.

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

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

4. Themed Question Time: Questions on Education and Lifelong Learning, Europe, and on External Affairs and Culture were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

5. St Andrew’s Day: The Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture (Linda Fabiani) moved S3M-946—That the Parliament believes in the importance of celebrating Scotland’s national day; recognises the opportunity that it offers to both celebrate what it means to be Scottish in the 21st century and to promote a fair and inclusive society; notes the Scottish Government’s proactive support of a programme of events throughout the country and all of Scotland’s six cities; commends the work of schools and community groups across Scotland in teaching our young people about St Andrew’s Day and promoting diversity through their celebrations, and furthermore thanks the St Andrew’s societies, Caledonian societies, Scottish Development International, Globalscots, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and all the other overseas organisations who have planned over 100 wide-ranging celebrations in countries around the world.

Malcolm Chisholm moved amendment S3M-946.3 to motion S3M-946—

Insert at end—

"and, recognising that St Andrew’s Day is the start of Scotland’s Winter Festival which includes Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and concludes on Burns Night, looks forward to the success of all components of the Winter Festival starting with the events on St Andrew’s Day, and in this context regrets that the Scottish Government has overturned the decision of the previous Parliament to commission a study into the impact of a ban on large retailers trading on New Year’s Day."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 44, Against 60, Abstentions 15).

Ted Brocklebank moved amendment S3M-946.2 to motion S3M-946—

Leave out from "to both celebrate" to end and insert—

"both to celebrate what it means to be Scottish in the 21st century and to promote a fair and inclusive society; notes the Scottish Government’s proactive support of a programme of events throughout the country and all of Scotland’s cities, including the cathedral city of St Andrews itself and urges it to build on St Andrew’s Day as a launch-pad for a winter tourist season; commends the work of schools and community groups across Scotland in teaching our young people about St Andrew’s Day and its importance in a national as well as an international context and promoting diversity through their celebrations, and furthermore thanks the St Andrew’s societies, Caledonian societies, Scottish Development International, Globalscots, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and all the other overseas organisations who have planned over 100 wide-ranging celebrations in countries around the world."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 78, Against 42, Abstentions 0).

Iain Smith moved amendment S3M-946.1 to motion S3M-946—

Insert at end—

"but notes the failure of the SNP government to keep the SNP manifesto promise to "make St Andrew's Day a full national holiday"."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 72, Against 46, Abstentions 2).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 46, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament believes in the importance of celebrating Scotland’s national day; recognises the opportunity that it offers both to celebrate what it means to be Scottish in the 21st century and to promote a fair and inclusive society; notes the Scottish Government’s proactive support of a programme of events throughout the country and all of Scotland’s cities, including the cathedral city of St Andrews itself and urges it to build on St Andrew’s Day as a launch-pad for a winter tourist season; commends the work of schools and community groups across Scotland in teaching our young people about St Andrew’s Day and its importance in a national as well as an international context and promoting diversity through their celebrations, and furthermore thanks the St Andrew’s societies, Caledonian societies, Scottish Development International, Globalscots, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and all the other overseas organisations who have planned over 100 wide-ranging celebrations in countries around the world but notes the failure of the SNP government to keep the SNP manifesto promise to "make St Andrew's Day a full national holiday".

6. Appointment of the Chair of the Scottish Commission for Human Rights: Pauline McNeil moved S3M-884—That the Parliament nominates Professor Alan Miller to Her Majesty The Queen for appointment as Chair of the Scottish Commission for Human Rights.

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

7. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 5 and 6 as noted above.

8. Coalfields Regeneration Trust in Scotland: The Parliament debated S3M-524 in the name of Cathy Jamieson—That the Parliament commends the work of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust in Scotland in supporting and helping to rebuild coalfield communities; notes the positive impact made by the trust throughout the former Scottish coalfields; welcomes the support that the trust has provided for community-based organisations in East Ayrshire, such as Yipworld.com, the Muirkirk Enterprise Group and the Bellsbank Women’s Project, and for other projects in local authority areas throughout Scotland that provide opportunities and activities for local people, and hopes that support will continue for the work of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust in helping to create healthy, prosperous and sustainable communities in Scotland’s coalfield areas.

9. Motion without Notice: Cathy Jamieson moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended until 6.08 pm. The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.08 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
29 November 2007

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

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 29 November 2007 and are subject to annulment—

The Police (Promotion) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/528)

laid under section 26(10) of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967

The Water Environment (Drinking Water Protected Areas) (Scotland) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/529)

laid under section 36 of the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003

The Registration Services (Fees, etc.) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/531)

laid under section 54(2)(a) of the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965, section 126(4) of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and section 61(3) of the Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Act 2006

The Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003 (Conservation Bodies) Amendment Order 2007 (SSI 2007/533)—

The Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003 (Rural Housing Bodies) Amendment (No. 2) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/535)—

laid under section 127(1) of the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003

The Food Labelling (Declaration of Allergens) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/534)

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

The Seeds (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/536)

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

The Fishery Products (Official Controls Charges) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/537)—

The Meat (Official Controls Charges) (Scotland) (No. 2) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/538)—

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

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 29 November 2007 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure—

David MacBrayne Group Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements 31 March 2007 (SE/2007/228)—

CALMAC Ferries Limited Directors’ Report and Financial Statements 31 March 2007 (SE/2007/229)—-

NorthLink Ferries Limited Directors’ Report and Financial Statements 31 March 2007 (SE/2007/230)—

Cowal Ferries Limited Directors’ Report and Financial Statements 31 March 2007 (SE/2007/231)—

Rathlin Ferries Limited Directors’ Report and Financial Statements 31 March 2007 (SE/2007/232)—

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (Formerly Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd) 2006-07 Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements (SE/2007/245)—

laid under section 8(1) of the Transport (Scotland) Act 1986

Maps for the Water Environment (Drinking Water Protected Areas) (Scotland) Order 2007 (SE/2007/254)

laid under section 6(2) of the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003

Treasure Trove in Scotland Annual Report by the Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer (SE/2007/255)

Deer Commission for Scotland Annual Report 2006-07 (SE 2007/256)

laid under section 2(2) of the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996

Accountant in Bankruptcy Annual Report and Accounts 2006-07 (SE/2007/252), laid on 28 November 2007, has been withdrawn

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 29 November 2007

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 13th Report, 2007 (Session 3): Report on Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Climate Change Bill (SP Paper 30)