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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 20 November 2008

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Supporting Scotland’s Looked after Children: The Minister for Children and Early Years (Adam Ingram) moved S3M-2922—That the Parliament agrees that it is unacceptable that outcomes for looked-after children and young people and care leavers across a range of indicators fall so far behind those of their peers and agrees to do everything possible to end discrimination and stigmatisation of those who have experienced the care system and to challenge all services to offer the best possible childhoods to the children and young people in their care to ensure that looked-after children and young people and care leavers are able to grow up into successful, responsible and happy adults.

Karen Whitefield moved amendment S3M-2922.1 to motion S3M-2922—

insert at end—

“; in that spirit recognises that looked-after children are among those considered as most vulnerable and therefore believes that integral to their success is for the Scottish Government to ensure that local authority funding for the care and safety of children more generally is properly protected, particularly in light of the recent worrying HM Inspectorate of Education report into child protection services in Aberdeen, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to make a statement on that report and to revisit the Children's Services Bill consulted on in the previous parliamentary session.”

Margaret Smith moved amendment S3M-2922.1.1 to amendment S3M-2922.1—

insert at end—

“and to work with local authorities and other partner agencies to ensure that appropriate early intervention and support is available across Scotland and that child protection practices are kept under immediate and continuous review.”

After debate, amendment S3M-2922.1.1 was agreed to (DT).

After debate, amendment S3M-2922.1 as amended was agreed to (DT).

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

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament agrees that it is unacceptable that outcomes for looked-after children and young people and care leavers across a range of indicators fall so far behind those of their peers and agrees to do everything possible to end discrimination and stigmatisation of those who have experienced the care system and to challenge all services to offer the best possible childhoods to the children and young people in their care to ensure that looked-after children and young people and care leavers are able to grow up into successful, responsible and happy adults; in that spirit recognises that looked-after children are among those considered as most vulnerable and therefore believes that integral to their success is for the Scottish Government to ensure that local authority funding for the care and safety of children more generally is properly protected, particularly in light of the recent worrying HM Inspectorate of Education report into child protection services in Aberdeen, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to make a statement on that report and to revisit the Children's Services Bill consulted on in the previous parliamentary session and to work with local authorities and other partner agencies to ensure that appropriate early intervention and support is available across Scotland and that child protection practices are kept under immediate and continuous review.

2. General Question Time: Questions were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

3. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the Deputy First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon).

4. Themed Question Time: Questions on Finance and Sustainable Growth were answered by the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers.

5. A Fresh Start for Scottish Aquaculture: The Minister for Environment (Michael Russell) moved S3M-2921—That the Parliament notes the recent consultation, Scottish Aquaculture: A Fresh Start; supports the continued development of an ambitious, sustainable, thriving and growing Scottish aquaculture industry; recognises the economic importance of the industry to Scotland as a whole and many coastal communities in particular; supports efforts to advance the enviable international reputation of quality Scottish aquaculture products, built on high environmental standards and excellent health status when compared to competitor nations, and welcomes the engagement of the shellfish and finfish industries and other stakeholders in the development of the new Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture, to be published in spring 2009.

Elaine Murray moved amendment S3M-2921.2 to motion S3M-2921—

insert at end—

“and believes that the renewed strategy for Scottish aquaculture must be consistent with the provisions of the forthcoming Marine Bill and the EU Water Framework Directive.”

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

John Scott moved amendment S3M-2921.1 to motion S3M-2921—

after “competitor nations” insert—

“further supports efforts to advance the enviable international reputation of Scotland’s wild salmon stocks and, in light of the potential damage to the health and integrity of wild stocks caused by escaped farmed fish, believes that a robust commitment to reducing escapes and improved traceability must be a central element of the new Strategic Framework; recognises the continued threat posed by Gyrodactylus salaris to farmed and wild salmon stocks alike and, in light of the economic and ecological damage that an outbreak could cause, considers that further serious consideration must be given to measures aimed at reducing the likelihood of the parasite entering Scotland.”

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

Jim Hume moved amendment S3M-2921.3 to motion S3M-2921—

insert at end—

“believes that Scotland can learn valuable lessons from its competitor nations with thriving aquaculture industries; further believes that Scottish aquaculture can maximise the opportunities presented by the current rapid expansion of the international industry to achieve genuinely sustainable growth, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to take decisive action to streamline the regulatory burden, introduce a fair inspection regime, improve community and industry liaison, and encourage the development and retention of a skilled and qualified workforce in the aquaculture industry.”

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

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

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the recent consultation, Scottish Aquaculture: A Fresh Start; supports the continued development of an ambitious, sustainable, thriving and growing Scottish aquaculture industry; recognises the economic importance of the industry to Scotland as a whole and many coastal communities in particular; supports efforts to advance the enviable international reputation of quality Scottish aquaculture products, built on high environmental standards and excellent health status when compared to competitor nations; further supports efforts to advance the enviable international reputation of Scotland’s wild salmon stocks and, in light of the potential damage to the health and integrity of wild stocks caused by escaped farmed fish, believes that a robust commitment to reducing escapes and improved traceability must be a central element of the new Strategic Framework; recognises the continued threat posed by Gyrodactylus salaris to farmed and wild salmon stocks alike and, in light of the economic and ecological damage that an outbreak could cause, considers that further serious consideration must be given to measures aimed at reducing the likelihood of the parasite entering Scotland; welcomes the engagement of the shellfish and finfish industries and other stakeholders in the development of the new Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture, to be published in spring 2009; believes that the renewed strategy for Scottish aquaculture must be consistent with the provisions of the forthcoming Marine Bill and the EU Water Framework Directive; believes that Scotland can learn valuable lessons from its competitor nations with thriving aquaculture industries; further believes that Scottish aquaculture can maximise the opportunities presented by the current rapid expansion of the international industry to achieve genuinely sustainable growth, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to take decisive action to streamline the regulatory burden, introduce a fair inspection regime, improve community and industry liaison, and encourage the development and retention of a skilled and qualified workforce in the aquaculture industry.

6. Expenses Scheme: Tom McCabe moved S3M-2912—That the Parliament recognises that Members’ staff salaries were last uprated in the financial year 2007-08 and in relation to the Resolution of the Parliament dated 12 June 2008 on the Expenses Scheme (“the Resolution”)—

(i) amends the Schedule of Rates annexed as Annex 2 to the Resolution with immediate effect by deleting “£54,620” where it appears in line 2 and by inserting “£56,650” and

(ii) determines that all references to the Schedule of Rates and to the limit on entitlement to reimbursement of staff salary costs in paragraph (a) of the Resolution shall be read as references to the Schedule of Rates and limit on entitlement to reimbursement of staff salary costs as so amended.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

8. Gaelic Language Development: The Parliament debated S3M-2374 in the name of Alasdair Allan—That the Parliament commends Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, along with other local authorities and public bodies, for the recent publication of their Gaelic language plans; likewise commends the Gaelic plan of the Scottish Parliament and the soon to be published Gaelic language plan of the Scottish Government; notes the important work done by the community and by many agencies and bodies in Scotland to maintain and develop the Gaelic language; recognises that in the coming few years it will become clear whether or not Gaelic is to survive as a community language, and therefore recognises that a sense of urgency in this area of policy is essential, particularly in respect of the expansion of Gaelic medium education, if we are to ensure that the number of speakers has, by the 2021 census, been stabilised at 2001 levels as the prerequisite for long term growth.

The member provided the following Gaelic translation:

Gu bheil a’ Phàrlamaid a’ moladh Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, cho math ri ùghdarrasan ionadail agus buidheannan phoblach eile, airson na planaichean Gàidhlig aca fhoillseachadh o chionn ghoirid; gu bheil i cuideachd a’ moladh nam planaichean Gàidhlig aig Pàrlamaid na h-Alba agus a’ phlana a tha Riaghaltas na h-Alba gu bhith a’ foillseachadh a dh’aithghearr; gu bheil i a’ toirt fa-near an obair chudromach a tha a’ choimhearsnachd agus tòrr bhuidheannan ann an Alba air dèanamh airson Gàidhlig a leasachadh agus a ghlèidheadh; gu bheil i ag aithneachadh gum fàs e soilleir anns na beagan bhliadhnaichean a tha romhainn am mair a’ Ghàidhlig mar chànan coimhearsnachd agus mar sin gu bheil i ag aithnicheadh gu bheil cùis-èiginn anns an roinn phoileasaidh seo, gu h-àraidh a thaobh leudachadh foghlam tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig ma tha sinn a’ dol a dhèanamh cinnteach gu bheil àireamhan an luchd-labhairt aig àm cunntas-sluaigh 2021, air an glèidheadh aig ìrean 2001 mar riatanas airson fàs san fhad-ùine.

9. Motion without Notice: Alasdair Allan moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended until 5.56 pm. The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 5.56 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
20 November 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 20 November 2008 and are subject to annulment—

The Zoonoses and Animal By-Products (Fees) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/378)

laid under section 56(4) of the Finance Act 1973

The Sports Grounds and Sporting Events (Designation) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2008 (SSI 2008/379)

laid under section 18(3) of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 20 November 2008 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure—

Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People Annual Accounts 2007-08 (SG/2008/240)

laid under paragraph 11(1) of schedule 1 of the Commissioner for Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2003

Treasure Trove in Scotland Report by Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer 2007/2008 (SG/2008/241)