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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 19 June 2008

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (John Swinney) made a statement and answered questions on the Financial Outturn 2007-08.

2. Youth Justice: The Minister for Community Safety (Fergus Ewing) moved S3M-2204—That the Parliament acknowledges the positive contribution that children and young people across Scotland make to society; believes that every young person deserves the best start in life; is committed to giving young people more positive choices and chances and removing the barriers that prevent some from realising their potential and leading successful lives; notes that there are a number of young people who do not realise their potential and get into trouble and recognises the need to intervene quickly and effectively to turn their lives around; further recognises the need to support victims of offending, and considers that communities, the third sector, the private sector, public services, local authorities and the Scottish Government need to work together to build a more successful Scotland by preventing offending and intervening early with children and families at risk.

Pauline McNeill moved amendment S3M-2204.2 to motion S3M-2204—

insert at end—

“and, while recognising the demand for services and initiatives to prevent young people offending and re-offending, considers that the criminal justice system must also seek to deal with those offenders who persist in breaking the law and disrupting communities; further recognises the important role of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004; believes the youth court pilots have been successful and calls for further rolling out of youth courts across Scotland, and further believes that the Scottish Government should ensure adequate funding is in place to support youth services and the youth justice system across Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 58, Against 63, Abstentions 0).

Bill Aitken moved amendment S3M-2204.1 to motion S3M-2204—

after “around” insert—

“notes with concern the failure of the previous administration to reduce persistent young offending by 10% and recognises the increasing drain on time and resources that offence referrals are having on the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA); recommends that an increase in disposals available to SCRA, such as an extension of drug treatment and testing orders, would enable it to intervene more effectively; recognises that the sending of 14 and 15-year-old persistent young offenders to youth courts would allow children’s panels to concentrate more on referrals for non-offence grounds.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 104, Abstentions 1).

Mike Pringle moved amendment S3M-2204.3 to motion S3M-2204—

insert at end—

“calls on the Scottish Government to introduce children’s rights impact assessments to show how government decisions impact on the rights and wellbeing of children; notes that young people are themselves often the victims of crime and therefore calls for the extension of the Scottish Crime Survey to under 16s; believes that young people must be engaged fully in the ongoing review of the national antisocial behaviour strategy including improving the provision of diversionary activities; calls for increased involvement of young people in delivering solutions to youth crime through innovative measures such as a youth justice board and youth justice panels, and calls for an end to the use of all ultra-sonic “Mosquito” dispersal devices.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 103, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament acknowledges the positive contribution that children and young people across Scotland make to society; believes that every young person deserves the best start in life; is committed to giving young people more positive choices and chances and removing the barriers that prevent some from realising their potential and leading successful lives; notes that there are a number of young people who do not realise their potential and get into trouble and recognises the need to intervene quickly and effectively to turn their lives around; further recognises the need to support victims of offending, and considers that communities, the third sector, the private sector, public services, local authorities and the Scottish Government need to work together to build a more successful Scotland by preventing offending and intervening early with children and families at risk.

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 Europe, External Affairs and Culture and Education and Lifelong Learning, were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

6. Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Public Health (Shona Robison) made a statement and answered questions on the Ministerial Task Force on Health Inequalities Report.

7. Scottish Register of Tartans Bill: Jamie McGrigor moved S3M-2072—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Scottish Register of Tartans Bill.

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

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

9. Glasgow Passport Office: The Parliament debated S3M-1811 in the name of Sandra White—That the Parliament expresses deep concern at the plans to stop passport-processing services in Glasgow, resulting in the loss of over 100 jobs and leaving Scotland without a fully operational passport service; notes with further concern what appears to have been a deliberate run-down of the service in the lead-up to this announcement; believes that this streamlining process will see a further three or four passport offices throughout the United Kingdom affected, and further believes that concise information as to the effect of these changes should be issued immediately in order to remove the doubt and uncertainty surrounding the plans.

The meeting closed at 5.39 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
19 June 2008

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

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 19 June 2008 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People Fourth Annual Report 2007-08 (CCYP/2008/4)

laid under section 10(1) of the Commissioner for Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2003

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 18 June 2008

Public Petitions Committee, 3rd Report 2008 (Session 3): Availability on the NHS of cancer treatment drugs (SP Paper 133)