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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 4 December 2008

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 pm.

1. Broadcasting: Ted Brocklebank moved S3M-3013—That the Parliament notes that 4 December 2008 is the final date for submissions to Ofcom’s Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) Review, Preparing for the Digital Future; recognises that, while broadcasting is reserved, there is a need for a healthy, competitive Scottish-based television programme-making sector outwith the BBC, notwithstanding that organisation’s historic, respected and pivotal role in Scottish broadcasting; recognises the role of STV as the only remaining Scottish-based commercial PSB provider; prefers Ofcom’s enhanced evolution option with a commercial TV channel continuing to provide PSB for Scotland as part of a wider UK network; recognises that STV’s survival as a PSB provider is at risk in the current economic climate, particularly since ITV is now advocating a single UK-wide brand, and calls on Ofcom to explore all options to ensure that there is PSB competition for BBC Scotland in the nation’s rapidly changing broadcasting landscape.

Iain Smith moved amendment S3M-3013.1 to motion S3M-3013—

insert at end—

“; further believes that all Scottish residents should have access to the full range of broadcasting following digital switchover, and calls on Ofcom to ensure that all relay transmitters are capable of transmitting the full spectrum of free-to-view broadcasting and that the 7th Mux is enabled in Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 1, Abstentions 49).

After debate, the motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 75, Against 0, Abstentions 49).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that 4 December 2008 is the final date for submissions to Ofcom’s Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) Review, Preparing for the Digital Future; recognises that, while broadcasting is reserved, there is a need for a healthy, competitive Scottish-based television programme-making sector outwith the BBC, notwithstanding that organisation’s historic, respected and pivotal role in Scottish broadcasting; recognises the role of STV as the only remaining Scottish-based commercial PSB provider; prefers Ofcom’s enhanced evolution option with a commercial TV channel continuing to provide PSB for Scotland as part of a wider UK network; recognises that STV’s survival as a PSB provider is at risk in the current economic climate, particularly since ITV is now advocating a single UK-wide brand; calls on Ofcom to explore all options to ensure that there is PSB competition for BBC Scotland in the nation’s rapidly changing broadcasting landscape; further believes that all Scottish residents should have access to the full range of broadcasting following digital switchover, and calls on Ofcom to ensure that all relay transmitters are capable of transmitting the full spectrum of free-to-view broadcasting and that the 7th Mux is enabled in Scotland.

2. Local Government Finance: Derek Brownlee moved S3M-3014—That the Parliament notes the intention of the Scottish Government to introduce legislation to reform the system of local government taxation and calls on it to ensure that the scope of the Bill when introduced is sufficiently wide as to enable members to debate and vote on all options, including reform of the council tax, a land value tax, a local income tax with variable rates determined locally and the Scottish Government’s own proposals.

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (John Swinney) moved amendment S3M-3014.2 to motion S3M-3014—

leave out from “calls on” to end and insert—

“believes that the council tax is discredited and should be abolished and that a local income tax based on ability to pay is a fairer system of local taxation, and calls on the Scottish Government to publish early in 2009 its detailed response to the consultation on local income tax for debate by this Parliament.”

Jeremy Purvis moved amendment S3M-3014.2.1 to amendment S3M-3014.2—

insert at end—

“, giving further consideration to a system of local taxation that includes local variability, protection for those in full-time education, transition support for businesses and appropriate taxation for people receiving high levels of income from dividends.”

After debate, amendment S3M-3014.2.1 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 64, Abstentions 0).

After debate, amendment S3M-3014.2 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 60, Against 65, Abstentions 0).

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 60, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the intention of the Scottish Government to introduce legislation to reform the system of local government taxation and calls on it to ensure that the scope of the Bill when introduced is sufficiently wide as to enable members to debate and vote on all options, including reform of the council tax, a land value tax, a local income tax with variable rates determined locally and the Scottish Government’s own proposals.

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 Health and Wellbeing were answered by the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers.

6. Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Children and Early Years (Adam Ingram) made a statement and answered questions on Report into Child Protection Services in Aberdeen.

7. Forced Marriages: The Minister for Community Safety (Stewart Maxwell) moved S3M-3011—That the Parliament recognises the right of every person to choose whom to marry without fear of physical, emotional or psychological abuse; recognises that forced marriage is a violation of internationally recognised human rights and a form of violence against women and has no place in Scotland; makes a clear distinction between arranged marriages to which both parties have freely consented, and which are an established and accepted practice, and forced marriage; welcomes the Scottish Government’s consultation that asks whether forced marriage civil legislation is required and provides an opportunity to consider what more can be done to help those affected in Scotland and to ensure our communities are safer, stronger and fairer places for all; acknowledges the work of the Forced Marriage Network in tackling this issue, and supports continued efforts to assist those affected, raise awareness of the impact of forced marriage and to end this terrible practice.

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

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the right of every person to choose whom to marry without fear of physical, emotional or psychological abuse; recognises that forced marriage is a violation of internationally recognised human rights and a form of violence against women and has no place in Scotland; makes a clear distinction between arranged marriages to which both parties have freely consented, and which are an established and accepted practice, and forced marriage; welcomes the Scottish Government’s consultation that asks whether forced marriage civil legislation is required and provides an opportunity to consider what more can be done to help those affected in Scotland and to ensure our communities are safer, stronger and fairer places for all; acknowledges the work of the Forced Marriage Network in tackling this issue, and supports continued efforts to assist those affected, raise awareness of the impact of forced marriage and to end this terrible practice.

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

9. Safe Drivers are Made, Not Born: The Parliament debated S3M-2650 in the name of Alison McInnes—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Young drivers - where and when they are unsafe report by the IAM motoring trust; notes with dismay the number of young people killed and seriously injured on Scotland’s roads in the last five years, including nearly 100 people aged 17 to 25 in the Grampian area alone; further notes the 10 key recommendations of the IAM report, and believes that schools, young people, road agencies and local and national authorities should work together in order to introduce these measures and improve road safety for all our young drivers.

The meeting closed at 5.49 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
4 December 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 4 December 2008 and are subject to annulment—

The Private Landlord Registration (Advice and Assistance) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/402)

laid under section 141(3) of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004

The Private Landlord Registration (Information and Fees) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/403)

laid under section 141(3) of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004

The Law Applicable to Non-Contractual Obligations (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/404)

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

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 4 December 2008 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure—

Scottish Arts Council National Lottery Distribution Fund Annual Report and Accounts for the year to 31 March 2008 (SG/2008/236)

laid under section 35 of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993

Scottish Arts Council Group Annual Report and Accounts for the year to 31 March 2008 (SG/2008/237)

laid under section 22(5) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

Water Industry Commission for Scotland Accounts for the year to 31 March 2008 (SG/2008/242)

laid under section 5(1)(a) of the Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on Thursday 4 December—

Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee, 8th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 178)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 42nd Report 2008 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 180)