|Back to the Scottish Parliament||Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 1, No. 55 Session 3|
Meeting of the Parliament
Thursday 21 February 2008
Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.
The meeting opened at 9.15 am.
1. The Future of Scottish Water: Derek Brownlee moved S3M-1386—That the Parliament calls on the Scottish Government to establish a review of the structure and operations of Scottish Water with a remit to consider whether the current model delivers best value for taxpayers and customers, to consider alternative models, including mutualisation, and to report back to the Parliament on the conclusions of the review in such time as to allow any changes to the structure of Scottish Water to be in place prior to commencement of the next spending review period in 2011.
Des McNulty moved amendment S3M-1386.1 to motion S3M-1386—
leave out from “calls on” to end and insert—
Liam McArthur moved amendment S3M-1386.2 to motion S3M-1386—
After debate, the amendment S3M-1386.1 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 87, Against 32, Abstentions 0). As a result, amendment S3M-1386.2 was pre-empted.
The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 86, Against 33, Abstentions 0).
Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the retention of Scottish Water under public ownership and in that context calls on the Scottish Government to keep under review the structure and operations of Scottish Water, the regulatory arrangements for the water industry to ensure that the interests of domestic and business customers are properly protected and alternative public sector models, including mutualisation, and to report back to the Parliament in due course.
2. Prisons Policy: Bill Aitken moved S3M-1385—That the Parliament acknowledges the importance of a criminal justice system in which the public has confidence and which upholds the fundamental right of the public to a secure and safe society; notes with concern the current pressure on prison capacity; believes that the courts must be supported in sentencing disposals and, where that includes custody, believes that it is the obligation of the government to ensure that adequate custodial provision exists; views with concern deficiencies in the prison regime to address drug addiction, and deplores the Scottish Government’s hostility to deploying the private sector in new prison provision.
Kenny MacAskill moved amendment S3M-1385.2 to motion S3M-1385—
leave out from first “with concern” to end and insert—
Margaret Smith moved amendment S3M-1385.2.1 to amendment S3M-1385.2—
insert at end—
Pauline McNeill moved amendment S3M-1385.1 to motion S3M-1385—
leave out from “acknowledges” to end and insert—
After debate, amendment S3M-1385.2.1 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 55, Abstentions 0).
Amendment S3M-1385.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 55, Abstentions 0).
Amendment S3M-1385.1 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 41, Against 76, Abstentions 2).
The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 55, Abstentions 0).
Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament acknowledges the importance of a criminal justice system in which the public has confidence and which upholds the fundamental right of the public to a secure and safe society; notes that, while the offending rate has been falling, the number of people in prison currently stands at record levels and that Scotland has one of the highest imprisonment rates in the world; welcomes the McLeish Commission into Penal Policy and recognises that, in the case of serious and dangerous individuals, custody is the only appropriate punishment; notes that the Scottish Government is committed to three new prisons and has increased investment in the prisons estate to an average of £120 million a year; recognises the need to reduce the number of low-level receptions into custody for short-term sentences by focusing on tough community sentences that pay back into the community for the harm caused; further notes the need to improve treatment for those with mental health problems and drug and alcohol addictions, thus addressing the underlying causes of offending, and calls on the Scottish Government to build on schemes which provide offenders with education and skills training for work, not crime.
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 Health and Wellbeing were answered by the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers.
6. Ministerial Statement: The First Minister (Alex Salmond) made a statement and answered questions on the British-Irish Council Summit.
7. Democracy in Local Health Care: The Parliament debated the subject of democracy in local health care.
8. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1 and 2 as noted above.
9. Central Scotland Rail Improvements: The Parliament debated S3M-916 in the name of Jamie Hepburn—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Government’s plans to electrify the Glasgow to Edinburgh and Cumbernauld railway lines; believes that this will have a positive effect on the commuting experience for people across Scotland, particularly those in central Scotland; recognises the importance of providing alternatives to the private car to reduce congestion and pollution and of opening up social and economic opportunities to the 32% of Scottish households that do not have access to a car; notes the campaigns by various rail user groups calling for the introduction of a national railcard scheme which would provide discounted travel to all regular train users, and believes that such a scheme should be considered for introduction in Scotland.
The meeting closed at 5.40 pm.
P E Grice
The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 21 February 2008 and are subject to annulment—
Legislative Consent Memorandum
The following memorandum was lodged on 21 February 2008
The following document was laid before the Parliament on 21 February 2008 and is not subject to any parliamentary procedure
The following reports were published on 21 February 2008—