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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 24 January 2008

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Bill - UK Legislation: The Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism (Jim Mather) moved S3M-1200—That the Parliament supports the principle of clauses in the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 7 November 2007, providing for the collection and distribution of sums released from dormant bank and building society accounts for social and environmental purposes, and agrees that the provisions in the Bill that relate to the distribution of such sums in Scotland should be considered by the UK Parliament.

Jeremy Purvis moved amendment S3M-1200.1.1 to amendment S3M-1200.1—

after "young people;" insert—

"believes that ministers should make a clear statement of intent as part of the consultation exercise that funding for children and young people’s services is a priority, as was the case in the consultation launched by the UK Government".

Iain Gray moved amendment S3M-1200.1 to motion S3M-1200—

insert at end—

"and, in so doing, calls on ministers to ensure a full and open consultation involving all interests with a social or environmental purpose and, in particular, organisations providing services, facilities or opportunities to meet the needs of young people; notes that a further vote will be required in the Scottish Parliament, and calls on ministers to return to the Parliament at the conclusion of the consultation exercise for further consideration of the distribution of the funds not later than September 2008."

After debate, amendment S3M-1200.1.1 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 65, Abstentions 45).

Amendment S3M-1200.1 was agreed to (DT).

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

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the principle of clauses in the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 7 November 2007, providing for the collection and distribution of sums released from dormant bank and building society accounts for social and environmental purposes, and agrees that the provisions in the Bill that relate to the distribution of such sums in Scotland should be considered by the UK Parliament and, in so doing, calls on ministers to ensure a full and open consultation involving all interests with a social or environmental purpose and, in particular, organisations providing services, facilities or opportunities to meet the needs of young people; notes that a further vote will be required in the Scottish Parliament, and calls on ministers to return to the Parliament at the conclusion of the consultation exercise for further consideration of the distribution of the funds not later than September 2008.

2. Health Improvement: The Parliament debated the subject of health improvement.

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. Scottish Campuses Can Go Greener: The Parliament debated S3M-1100 in the name of Patrick Harvie—That the Parliament recognises the huge potential of educational institutions to provide organisational leadership in environmental performance, reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful impacts on the world and inspire individuals to take action on environmental issues; congratulates the student campaign group, People & Planet, for its Go Green programme which aims to promote a systematic approach to monitoring and improving environmental performance by schools, colleges and universities; recognises that most Scottish institutions appear at the lower end of the People & Planet environmental league table for 2007, showing that there is significant room for improvement; notes that People & Planet groups in Scotland, including at the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde, will be campaigning for greater progress during Go Green Week from 16 to 24 February 2008, and wishes the students every success in their campaign.

6. Themed Question Time: Questions on Justice and Law Officer, and Rural Affairs and the Environment were answered by Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers and Scottish Law Officer.

7. Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment (Richard Lochhead) made a statement and answered questions on Waste.

8. Scottish Biodiversity Strategy Report: The Minister for Environment (Michael Russell) moved S3M-1204—That the Parliament welcomes the collaborative work being undertaken by a wide variety of partners across the public, private and voluntary sectors to take forward implementation of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy from 2004 to 2007, as set out in Scotland’s Biodiversity: It’s In Your Hands – A Progress Report 2005-07; commends the enthusiasm and commitment of all those involved in that work, and acknowledges that continued effort by all the partners engaged in conserving biodiversity in Scotland is required in order to address the challenges identified in the progress report such as climate change, invasive non-native species, river basin management, sustainable management of the natural world, the development of the ecosystems approach, wildlife crime and the need for the broader engagement of all citizens so that Scotland can play its part in delivering our national and international commitments to the cause of halting biodiversity loss.

David Stewart moved amendment S3M-1204.1 to motion S3M-1204—

insert at end—

"and calls on the Scottish Government to confirm the commitment to meeting the 2010 EU Gothenburg biodiversity targets."

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

Jim Hume moved amendment S3M-1204.2 to motion S3M-1204—

insert at end—

"notes that land users, land managers, inshore fishery interests, sea fishing interests and land practitioners are charged with delivering environmental benefits, and recognises that there is a need for these stakeholders in particular to be formally involved in the strategy at all levels, to understand the objectives, and thereafter to contribute practical solutions to the strategy and its overall aim."

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

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

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the collaborative work being undertaken by a wide variety of partners across the public, private and voluntary sectors to take forward implementation of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy from 2004 to 2007, as set out in Scotland’s Biodiversity: It’s In Your Hands – A Progress Report 2005-07; commends the enthusiasm and commitment of all those involved in that work, and acknowledges that continued effort by all the partners engaged in conserving biodiversity in Scotland is required in order to address the challenges identified in the progress report such as climate change, invasive non-native species, river basin management, sustainable management of the natural world, the development of the ecosystems approach, wildlife crime and the need for the broader engagement of all citizens so that Scotland can play its part in delivering our national and international commitments to the cause of halting biodiversity loss; calls on the Scottish Government to confirm the commitment to meeting the 2010 EU Gothenburg biodiversity targets, and notes that land users, land managers, inshore fishery interests, sea fishing interests and land practitioners are charged with delivering environmental benefits, and recognises that there is a need for these stakeholders in particular to be formally involved in the strategy at all levels, to understand the objectives, and thereafter to contribute practical solutions to the strategy and its overall aim.

9. Reappointment of the Scottish Information Commissioner: Mike Pringle, on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, moved S3M-1193—That the Parliament nominates Kevin Dunion to Her Majesty The Queen for reappointment as the Scottish Information Commissioner from 24 February 2008 until 23 February 2012.

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

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

11. Time for a Fresh Debate on Organ Donation: The Parliament debated S3M-483 in the name of George Foulkes—That the Parliament commends the ongoing work that British Medical Association Scotland is doing to raise awareness of organ donation; recognises that the number of people on the active and temporarily suspended transplant waiting list in Scotland rose by almost 20% from 695 in September 2005to its highest level of 818 in July 2007 and yet only 50 organs were donated in Scotland last year and that at 10 June 2007 there were 135 people in the NHS Lothian area registered with UK Transplant as waiting for an organ; recognises that the current opt-in system of organ donation is unable to meet the increasing demands placed upon it; acknowledges the need for a full and proper public debate to establish the level of support that exists for a move to a system of presumed consent that will both inform future proposals in this area and raise awareness of the desperate need for organ donors, and considers that moves to turn the tremendous level of public and, increasingly, professional support that exists for organ donation into something meaningful should be supported by implementing a system of presumed consent.

12. Motion without Notice: George Foulkes moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended until 6.05 pm. The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.05 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
24 January 2008

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

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 24 January 2008 for approval by resolution

The Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2008

laid under paragraph 2(3) of Schedule 12 to the Local Government Finance Act 1992

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 24 January 2008 for approval by resolution

The Budget (Scotland) Act 2007 Amendment Order 2008

laid under section 7(2) of the Budget (Scotland) Act 2007

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 24 January 2008 and is subject to annulment

The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/17)

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

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 24 January 2008 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Scotland’s Budget Documents: The 2007-08 Spring Budget Revision to the Budget (Scotland) Act for the year ending 31 March 2008 (SG/2008/6)

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 24 January 2008

Justice Committee, 4th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Report on Inquiry into the Effective Use of Police Resources (SP Paper 50)