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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 6 March 2008

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Nicola Sturgeon) made a statement and answered questions on the redevelopment of the State Hospital.

2. Scottish Law Commission’s Report on Rape and Sexual Offences: The Lord Advocate (Elish Angiolini) moved S3M-1490—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Scottish Law Commission’s final report on the law on rape and other sexual offences and supports the Scottish Government’s announcement that it will bring forward legislation to reform the law on rape and sexual offences in light of the consultation on the commission’s findings and proposed draft bill to ensure that Scotland has a modern and robust framework of laws in this area.

Pauline McNeill moved amendment S3M-1490.1 to motion S3M-1490—

insert at end—

“recognises that the proposals from the commission are complex and that it is important for the Parliament to be given every opportunity to interrogate the bill when it is published, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to aim at an agreement with the Justice Committee on a timetable which gives adequate time to properly scrutinise the bill.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to.

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Scottish Law Commission’s final report on the law on rape and other sexual offences and supports the Scottish Government’s announcement that it will bring forward legislation to reform the law on rape and sexual offences in light of the consultation on the commission’s findings and proposed draft bill to ensure that Scotland has a modern and robust framework of laws in this area; recognises that the proposals from the commission are complex and that it is important for the Parliament to be given every opportunity to interrogate the bill when it is published, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to aim at an agreement with the Justice Committee on a timetable which gives adequate time to properly scrutinise the bill.

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 Finance and Sustainable Growth were answered by the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers.

6. OECD Review of Scotland’s Rural Policy: The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment (Richard Lochhead) moved S3M-1489—That the Parliament recognises the progress made in supporting rural development since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament; welcomes the analysis set out in the independent review of rural policy in Scotland by the OECD, and believes that this report and other reports on the future of rural Scotland published in recent months provide the opportunity to further develop rural policy to ensure that all our rural communities enjoy the economic, social and environmental benefits of sustainable economic growth and that they are empowered to greater influence their own destiny.

Sarah Boyack moved amendment S3M-1489.2 to motion S3M-1489—

insert at end—

“however is concerned that recent Scottish Government budget decisions have the capacity to set back progress made.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 58, Against 65, Abstentions 1).

John Scott moved amendment S3M-1489.1 to motion S3M-1489—

insert at end—

“providing that the Scottish Government takes action to address the specific policy delivery concerns identified by the OECD including “centralisation and the lack of adequate bottom-up participation”, “weak integration”, “an overlap of different approaches and agencies” and “the extreme complexity of both the design and the delivery system linked with rural policy”.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to.

Mike Rumbles moved amendment S3M-1489.3 to motion S3M-1489—

insert at end—

“considers that the Scottish Government’s cut in funding for rural development and affordable housing does not match the OECD report’s recommendations, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to bring forward substantive measures to tackle rural housing shortages such as Community Land Trust schemes, an extension of the Croft House Grant Scheme and the development of redundant farm land for affordable housing.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 59, Against 64, Abstentions 0).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to.

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the progress made in supporting rural development since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament; welcomes the analysis set out in the independent review of rural policy in Scotland by the OECD, and believes that this report and other reports on the future of rural Scotland published in recent months provide the opportunity to further develop rural policy to ensure that all our rural communities enjoy the economic, social and environmental benefits of sustainable economic growth and that they are empowered to greater influence their own destiny providing that the Scottish Government takes action to address the specific policy delivery concerns identified by the OECD including “centralisation and the lack of adequate bottom-up participation”, “weak integration”, “an overlap of different approaches and agencies” and “the extreme complexity of both the design and the delivery system linked with rural policy”.

7. 2nd Report, 2008 (Session 3) of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, Draft Public Appointments Equalities Strategy - Diversity Delivers: Keith Brown, on behalf of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, moved S3M-1464—That the Parliament agrees that the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee’s 2nd Report, 2008 (Session 3): Draft Public Appointments Equalities Strategy – Diversity Delivers (SP Paper 65), together with the Official Report of the Parliament’s debate on the report, should form the Parliament’s response to the consultation by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland.

After debate, the motion was agreed to.

8. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 6 and 7 as noted above.

9. Anorexia and Bulimia: The Parliament debated S3M-1331 in the name of Kenneth Gibson—That the Parliament notes with unease that it is estimated that more than 80,000 people in Scotland suffer from anorexia, with 4,700 suffering from bulimia, and that the number of people diagnosed with eating disorders has increased by more than 15% since 1999, according to NHS Scotland; further notes that Eating Disorders Awareness Week takes place from 25 February to 1 March 2008; is aware that, despite guidelines issued by the health service watchdog in November 2006, Scotland still trails behind the rest of the western world in the treatment of eating disorders; is aware that the foremost expert on anorexia and bulimia in the United Kingdom, Bryan Lask, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of London, has voiced concern that the system for treating those with eating disorders in Scotland is “positively dangerous”; regrets that there is still no specific advice for GPs, despite every practice having patients suffering from eating disorders, and that only two private clinics in Edinburgh and Glasgow provide specialist care at a cost of around £3,000 per patient per week; believes there should be examination of why there is not one consultant specialising in eating disorders employed by the NHS in Scotland and that consideration should be given to how best to tackle this problem which can prove fatal and is deeply distressing both for patients and their families, and understands the need for ongoing research into eating disorders and their treatment.

The meeting closed at 5.35 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
6 March 2008

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

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 6 March 2008 and are subject to annulment—

The Rice Products from the United States of America (Restriction on First Placing on the Market) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/87)

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

The Road Works (Scottish Road Works Register, Notices, Directions and Designations) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/88)

laid under section 163(2) of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991

The Road Works (Settlement of Disputes and Appeals against Directions) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/89)

laid under section 163(2) of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 and section 52(2) of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2005

The National Health Service (Superannuation Scheme, Injury Benefits, Additional Voluntary Contributions and Compensation for Premature Retirement) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/92)

laid under section 12 of the Superannuation Act 1972

The Justice of the Peace Courts (Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highland and Islands) Order 2008 (SSI 2008/93)

laid under section 81(3) of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Scotland) Act 2007

Legislative Consent Memorandums

The following memorandum was lodged on 6 March 2008

Kenny MacAskill: Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Statute Law Repeals) Bill (UK Parliament Legislation) (LCM(S3) 11.1)

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 6 March 2008—

Local Government and Transport Committee, 4th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 68)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 10th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 69)

Justice Committee, 7th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 70)