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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 27 March 2008

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. The Home Detention Curfew Licence (Prescribed Standard Conditions) (Scotland) (No. 2) Order 2008: Bill Aitken moved S3M-1599—That the Parliament recommends that nothing further be done under the Home Detention Curfew Licence (Prescribed Standard Conditions) (Scotland) (No. 2) Order 2008 (SSI 2008/125).

After debate, the motion was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 58, Against 66, Abstentions 0).

2. Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment Order 2008: The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Development (John Swinney) moved S3M-1631—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment Order 2008 be approved.

Tavish Scott moved amendment S3M-1631.1 to motion S3M-1631—

Insert at end—

"but, in so doing, regrets the extent of public service cuts and closures in communities across Scotland as a direct consequence of the financial settlement received by local government from central government."

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

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 107, Against 1, Abstentions 16).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment Order 2008 be approved.

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 Justice and Law Officers and Rural Affairs and the Environment were answered by Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers and by the Scottish Law Officers.

6. Fatal Accident Inquiries: The Solicitor General (Frank Mulholland) moved S3M-1638—That the Parliament welcomes the review of the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976, to be led by Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, which will ensure that Scotland has an effective and practical system of public inquiry into deaths which is fit for the 21st century.

Margaret Smith moved amendment S3M-1638.2 to motion S3M-1638—

Insert at end—

"considers that there is a pressing need for the Scottish Government to enable inquiries to be held in Scotland into the deaths of military personnel, normally domiciled in Scotland, who are killed in active service overseas, and believes that the Scottish Government should give consideration to all available options, including the holding of fatal accident inquiries on a mandatory basis, so that the families of Scottish military personnel no longer have to suffer from the additional burden of attending coroners' inquests in England."

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 review of the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976, to be led by Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, which will ensure that Scotland has an effective and practical system of public inquiry into deaths which is fit for the 21st century; considers that there is a pressing need for the Scottish Government to enable inquiries to be held in Scotland into the deaths of military personnel, normally domiciled in Scotland, who are killed in active service overseas, and believes that the Scottish Government should give consideration to all available options, including the holding of fatal accident inquiries on a mandatory basis, so that the families of Scottish military personnel no longer have to suffer from the additional burden of attending coroners' inquests in England.

7. Approval of SSI: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-1646—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Companies Act 2006 (Scottish public sector companies to be audited by the Auditor General for Scotland) Order 2008 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 6 and 7 as noted above.

9. Elgin Bypass: The Parliament debated S3M-1529 in the name of —That the Parliament supports the need for a bypass for the city of Elgin; recognises the efforts of Moray Council, Elgin Community Council, the Elgin Bypass Steering Group and many other individuals and groups who have campaigned for this bypass for many years; notes that 26,000 vehicles pass through Elgin on a daily basis; further notes that four successive ministers with responsibility for transport have visited Elgin since the formation of the Parliament, all of whom have been supportive of the proposal; notes that Moray is the base of many world-renowned companies that distribute their produce globally but feel restricted in Elgin where traffic slows considerably; also notes that the Moray 2020 strategy recognised that local transport links needed to be transformed in order to enhance the area and to attract inward investment, government dispersals and growing businesses, and notes the need for bypasses for other towns along the A96 corridor.

The meeting closed at 5.36 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
27 March 2008

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

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 27 March 2008

Audit Committee, 1st Report, 2008 (Session 3): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 82)