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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 5 June 2008

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Remote and Rural Health Care: The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Nicola Sturgeon) moved S3M-2056—That the Parliament commends the work of the Remote and Rural Steering Group and recognises that its report, Delivering for Remote and Rural Healthcare, forms the basis of a safe and sustainable service for remote and rural areas that will increase community resilience and guarantee the future of Scotland’s rural general hospitals; notes the extension of the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service pilot, providing consultant-led resuscitation and transfer of patients with life-threatening injuries or illness in remote and rural hospitals in the west of Scotland, which commenced on 2 June 2008, and further notes the work of the Remote and Rural Healthcare Education Alliance in providing a co-ordinated approach to the development of remote and rural health education programmes across Scotland to ensure that Scotland’s healthcare professionals can provide, and their patients can benefit from, the best possible healthcare, as locally as possible.

Margaret Curran moved amendment S3M-2056.2 to motion S3M-2056—

insert at end—

“and recognises the contribution made to remote and rural training by union learning representatives, however, expresses concern regarding the future funding under the NHS Scotland Resource Allocation Committee of rural NHS boards that are facing particular pressures regarding service delivery, including out-of-hours GP services and the provision of ambulance services.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 40, Against 79, Abstentions 0).

Mary Scanlon moved amendment S3M-2056.1 to motion S3M-2056—

insert at end—

“further notes the concerns raised regarding the provision of ambulance services, and asks the Scottish Government to ensure that those living in rural communities are not disadvantaged.”

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

Ross Finnie moved amendment S3M-2056.3 to motion S3M-2056—

insert at end—

“and in line with recommendation 10.12 of the NHS Scotland Resource Allocation Committee’s (NRAC) report calls on the Scottish Government to establish without delay a standing committee to lead work on the future development of the NHS board funding formula and to come forward with details on the precise membership, format and remit of the committee, and further calls on the Scottish Government to review the impact of the NRAC report on NHS boards’ ability to maintain and develop remote and rural services.”

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

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

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament commends the work of the Remote and Rural Steering Group and recognises that its report, Delivering for Remote and Rural Healthcare, forms the basis of a safe and sustainable service for remote and rural areas that will increase community resilience and guarantee the future of Scotland’s rural general hospitals; notes the extension of the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service pilot, providing consultant-led resuscitation and transfer of patients with life-threatening injuries or illness in remote and rural hospitals in the west of Scotland, which commenced on 2 June 2008; further notes the work of the Remote and Rural Healthcare Education Alliance in providing a co-ordinated approach to the development of remote and rural health education programmes across Scotland to ensure that Scotland’s healthcare professionals can provide, and their patients can benefit from, the best possible healthcare, as locally as possible; further notes the concerns raised regarding the provision of ambulance services and asks the Scottish Government to ensure that those living in rural communities are not disadvantaged; in line with recommendation 10.12 of the NHS Scotland Resource Allocation Committee’s (NRAC) report, calls on the Scottish Government to establish without delay a standing committee to lead work on the future development of the NHS board funding formula and to come forward with details on the precise membership, format and remit of the committee, and further calls on the Scottish Government to review the impact of the NRAC report on NHS boards’ ability to maintain and develop remote and rural services.

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

5. Investment in Scottish Infrastructure: The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (John Swinney) moved S3M-2057—That the Parliament notes the publication of Taking Forward the Scottish Futures Trust and the £14 billion of infrastructure investment set out in the Scottish Government’s Infrastructure Investment Plan; believes that it is important to ensure maximum value for the public purse from infrastructure investment and welcomes efforts to deliver better value, and further notes that 14 possible options for work to be carried out under the umbrella of the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) were identified and will be the subject of further development before being brought back to the Parliament.

Andy Kerr moved amendment S3M-2057.3 to motion S3M-2057—

insert at end—

“notes the comments of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth acknowledging that his priority is to get best value and the best deal for taxpayers whether that investment comes from private or public sources and welcomes the statement on page 7 of the strategic business case which provides for guidance, structuring and compliance for ongoing non-profit distribution (NPD)/PPP programmes, firmly placing PPP at the heart of the Scottish Government’s strategy, and believes that in the interests of Scotland and its people it is now time to end the confusion surrounding the SFT, admit that it is based on the same principles as those proven financial models which have delivered new schools and hospitals and that it is time to restart the building of schools, hospitals and the transport infrastructure.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 54, Against 66, Abstentions 0).

Derek Brownlee moved amendment S3M-2057.1 to motion S3M-2057—

insert at end—

“believes that a broad range of public and private options should be available for capital investment by public bodies and that the public sector should seek appropriate provisions in the best interests of taxpayers; calls on ministers to report to the Parliament on progress after the summer recess and regularly thereafter until the final range of options and shape of the SFT has been confirmed; calls on the Scottish Government to finalise the details of the SFT as soon as possible and, as part of its work on the SFT, to review how refinancing provisions in non-profit distributing models might be amended to ensure that they achieve intended aims without discouraging investment, and calls on the Scottish Government to develop and publish a robust investment option-appraisal framework capable of producing comparable information on whole-life costs for future projects regardless of which method of procurement or operation is used.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 54, Abstentions 1).

Liam McArthur moved amendment S3M-2057.2 to motion S3M-2057—

insert at end—

“but notes that the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth promised the Parliament that a decision on the method of financing for the new Forth crossing would be made in Autumn 2007; is concerned that eight months later no decision has been taken; further notes that the First Minister’s preferred method of issuing “patriotic bonds” has been dismissed as illegal and the non-profit distribution model is considered inappropriate for high risk projects, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to make a statement to the Parliament setting out method of funding, management arrangements and timetable for procurement of the new Forth crossing before the summer recess.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 54, Against 64, Abstentions 1).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 54, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the publication of Taking Forward the Scottish Futures Trust and the £14 billion of infrastructure investment set out in the Scottish Government’s Infrastructure Investment Plan; believes that it is important to ensure maximum value for the public purse from infrastructure investment and welcomes efforts to deliver better value, and further notes that 14 possible options for work to be carried out under the umbrella of the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) were identified and will be the subject of further development before being brought back to the Parliament; believes that a broad range of public and private options should be available for capital investment by public bodies and that the public sector should seek appropriate provisions in the best interests of taxpayers; calls on ministers to report to the Parliament on progress after the summer recess and regularly thereafter until the final range of options and shape of the SFT has been confirmed; calls on the Scottish Government to finalise the details of the SFT as soon as possible and, as part of its work on the SFT, to review how refinancing provisions in non-profit distributing models might be amended to ensure that they achieve intended aims without discouraging investment, and calls on the Scottish Government to develop and publish a robust investment option-appraisal framework capable of producing comparable information on whole-life costs for future projects regardless of which method of procurement or operation is used.

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

7. Holocaust Education in Scotland: The Parliament debated S3M-1960 in the name of Jackson Carlaw—That the Parliament accepts the crucial importance of ensuring that the genocide of the Jewish and other peoples and minority groups inflicted during the Holocaust is never allowed to slip from public consciousness; welcomes the commitment of successive Scottish governments to developing a permanent National Holocaust Museum based in East Renfrewshire and looks forward to the fulfilment of that commitment; applauds the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust, among other organisations, for the role it plays in educating young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons that can still be learned from it today, and considers that sufficient resources should be made available to allow schools across the west of Scotland and beyond to provide ongoing Holocaust education, with visits to the Auschwitz concentration camp being considered as part of that educational mix.

The meeting closed at 5.53 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
5 June 2008

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

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 5 June 2008 for approval by resolution

The Licensing of Animal Dealers (Young Cats and Dogs) (Scotland) Regulations 2008

laid under section 51(3) of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

The draft Licensing of Animal Dealers (Young Cats and Dogs) (Scotland) Regulations 2008, laid before the Parliament on 30 May 2008, has been withdrawn

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 5 June 2008 and are subject to annulment—

The Register of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/221)

laid under section 53(4) of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004

The Registration of Fish Farming and Shellfish Farming Businesses Amendment (Scotland) Order 2008 (SSI 2008/222)

laid under section 7(9) of the Diseases of Fish Act 1983

The National Health Service Superannuation Scheme (Additional Voluntary Contributions, Injury Benefits and Compensation for Premature Retirement) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/225)—

The National Health Service Superannuation Scheme (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/226)—

laid under section 12 of the Superannuation Act 1972

The Teachers’ Superannuation (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (SSI2008/227)

laid under sections 12(6) and 24(5) of the Superannuation Act 1972

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 5 June 2008—

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 24th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 108)

Rural Affairs and Environment Committee, 3rd Report, 2008 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 110)