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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 5 March 2009

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 pm.

1. Scottish Government Failures: Johann Lamont moved S3M-3609—That the Parliament notes that SNP manifesto promises have been broken on a wide range of issues including health, housing, community safety and education; further notes the absence of a credible strategy to address the needs of people facing difficult economic circumstances and to tackle poverty and disadvantage; regrets that the Scottish Government prefers to focus its attention on the powers it does not have in order to pursue its party’s agenda of separation, and urges the Scottish Government to examine how it might effectively use the powers at its disposal to meet the needs of people by sustaining economic activity and employment and supporting communities across Scotland.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Nicola Sturgeon) moved amendment S3M-3609.3 to motion S3M-3609—

leave out from first “notes” to end and insert—

“commends the Scottish Government’s record of achievement since May 2007; believes that the benefits to the Scottish people of lower council tax bills, lower business rates, lower prescription charges and a return to free education are reflected in the SNP’s excellent poll ratings; notes the Scottish Government’s six-point economic recovery plan that is providing much-needed assistance during Labour’s recession; believes, however, that additional economic powers for the Scottish Parliament, in particular borrowing powers, are essential to steer the Scottish economy out of recession and thereafter to support economic growth; condemns the £500 million incuts that the UK Labour government plans to impose on the Scottish budget in 2010-11 and 2011-12, whichwill cost more than 8,000 jobs and represents a serious threat to economic recovery; calls on all parties with Scotland’s interests at heart to oppose these cuts, and looks forward to continuing a lively debate and National Conversation about Scotland’s future.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 45, Against 74, Abstentions 1).

Mike Rumbles moved amendment S3M-3609.1 to motion S3M-3609—

insert at end—

“and calls on the Scottish Government to concentrate its efforts on economic recovery and abandon its divisive plans for a Referendum Bill for the remainder of its term of office.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 72, Against 47, Abstentions 1).

After debate, the motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 72, Against 47, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that SNP manifesto promises have been broken on a wide range of issues including health, housing, community safety and education; further notes the absence of a credible strategy to address the needs of people facing difficult economic circumstances and to tackle poverty and disadvantage; regrets that the Scottish Government prefers to focus its attention on the powers it does not have in order to pursue its party’s agenda of separation; urges the Scottish Government to examine how it might effectively use the powers at its disposal to meet the needs of people by sustaining economic activity and employment and supporting communities across Scotland, and calls on the Scottish Government to concentrate its efforts on economic recovery and abandon its divisive plans for a Referendum Bill for the remainder of its term of office.

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 Finance and Sustainable Growth were answered by the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers.

5. National Planning Framework for Scotland 2 - Proposed Framework: Duncan McNeil, on behalf of the Local Government and Communities Committee, moved S3M-3584—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government and Communities Committee’s 5th Report, 2009 (Session 3): National Planning Framework for Scotland 2: Proposed Framework (SP Paper 218), together with the Official Report of the Parliament’s debate on the report, should form the Parliament’s response to the Scottish Government on the Proposed Framework.

Des McNulty moved amendment S3M-3584.2 to motion S3M-3584—

insert at end—

“supports the inclusion of the high-speed rail link between Scotland and London on the list of designated national developments; recommends that the Scottish Government ensures that both interim and long-term targets for reducing emissions are fully taken into account in land use and energy policies, and considers that local and national land use planning must facilitate walking and cycling in urban as well as rural areas.”

David McLetchie moved amendment S3M-3584.1 to motion S3M-3584—

insert at end—

“and endorses the recommendation of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee that the Scottish Government removes any technology-specific references from candidate national developments 8 and 9, and calls on the Scottish Government to amend the descriptions of these national developments to reflect this in the final version of the National Planning Framework for Scotland 2.”

Alison McInnes moved amendment S3M-3584.1.1 to amendment S3M-3584.1—

insert at end—

“and reaffirms that in accordance with paragraph 152 of the National Planning Framework for Scotland 2 proposed framework document it does not support the construction of new nuclear power stations in Scotland.”

After debate amendment S3M-3584.2 was agreed to (DT).

After debate, amendment S3M-3584.1.1 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 54, Abstentions 1).

After debate amendment S3M-3584.1 as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 14, Abstentions 42).

After debate, the motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 16, Abstentions 41).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government and Communities Committee’s 5th Report, 2009 (Session 3): National Planning Framework for Scotland 2: Proposed Framework (SP Paper 218), together with the Official Report of the Parliament’s debate on the report, should form the Parliament’s response to the Scottish Government on the Proposed Framework; supports the inclusion of the high-speed rail link between Scotland and London on the list of designated national developments; recommends that the Scottish Government ensures that both interim and long-term targets for reducing emissions are fully taken into account in land use and energy policies; considers that local and national land use planning must facilitate walking and cycling in urban as well as rural areas; endorses the recommendation of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee that the Scottish Government removes any technology-specific references from candidate national developments 8 and 9; calls on the Scottish Government to amend the descriptions of these national developments to reflect this in the final version of the National Planning Framework for Scotland 2, and reaffirms that in accordance with paragraph 152 of the National Planning Framework for Scotland 2 proposed framework document it does not support the construction of new nuclear power stations in Scotland.

6. Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill - UK Legislation: The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (John Swinney) moved S3M-3513—That the Parliament agrees that the relevant provisions in the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill, which repeal Sections 14-20 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and those which amend the construction contracts legislation in Part 2 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, introduced in the House of Lords on 4 December 2008, should, insofar as they relate to matters within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament or alter the executive competence of the Scottish Ministers, be considered by the UK Parliament.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

8. International Women’s Day: The Parliament debated S3M-3456 in the name of Cathy Peattie—That the Parliament welcomes the many events being organised throughout the world to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March 2009; notes the role that this day plays in recognising, promoting and celebrating women’s issues worldwide; considers that there are still many aspects of women’s rights, representation and welfare that need to be addressed through a gendered policy approach, including the gender pay gap, the under-representation of women in senior positions within the public and private sectors and as elected representatives, and with regard to the provision of violence-against-women support services; recognises the requirement under the Gender Equality Duty for the Scottish Government, local authorities and other public bodies to undertake needs analyses and equality impact assessments, and believes that these are central to single outcome and other agreements.

The meeting closed at 5.42 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
5 March 2009

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 March 2009 for approval by resolution

The Health Care and Associated Professions (Miscellaneous Amendments and Practitioner Psychologists) Order 2009
laid under section 62(10) of the Health Act 1999

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 5 March 2009 and is subject to annulment

The Aquatic Animal Health (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (SSI 2009/85)

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

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 5 March 2009 and is not subject to any parliamentary procedure

Department of Health - Health Care and Associated Professions (Miscellaneous Amendments and Practitioner Psychologists) Order 2009 Consultation report (SG/2009/25)

laid under paragraph 9(4) of schedule 3 to the Health Act 1999

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 5 March 2009—

Justice Committee, 5th Report, 2009 (Session 3): Report on the legislative consent memorandum on the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill (LCM(S3)15.1) (SPPaper 224)

Justice Committee, 6th Report, 2009 (Session 3): Stage 1 Report on the Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Bill (SP Paper 225)

Health and Sport Committee, 1st Report, 2009 (Session 3): Report on the legislative consent memorandum on the Welfare Reform Bill (UK Parliament legislation) (SP Paper 226)