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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 2 April 2009

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

The meeting opened at 9.00 am.

1. Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Consitution (Michael Russell) made a statement and answered questions on Creative Scotland.

2. Hospital Waiting Times: The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Nicola Sturgeon) moved S3M-3848—That the Parliament welcomes the most recent progress that has been made in reducing waiting times for patients; applauds the commitment, dedication and hard work of all NHS staff who have contributed to delivering these significant improvements for the people of Scotland; notes the progress made by the previousadministration; acknowledges the substantial investment being made to increase NHSScotland capacity and the continuing work on integrating, modernising and redesigning services to speed access, diagnosis and treatment, and supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to deliver a maximum “whole journey” waiting time of 18 weeks by 2011.

Cathy Jamieson moved amendment S3M-3848.3 to motion S3M-3848—

leave out from “acknowledges” to end and insert—

“while welcoming the extension of the waiting times guarantee to include child and adolescent mental health services, calls on the Scottish Government to consider extending the range of specialties to include adult mental health services; further calls on the Scottish Government to ensure sufficient resources to bring NHSScotland in line as soon as possible with the NHS in England where a “whole journey” national waiting time standard of 18 weeks was delivered by December 2008, and notes that this compares to a target of 18 months introduced by the previous Conservative administration.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 92, Against 31, Abstentions 0).

Mary Scanlon moved amendment S3M-3848.1 to motion S3M-3848—

leave out from “staff” to end and insert—

“and independent sector staff who have contributed to delivering these significant improvements for the people of Scotland; notes the progress made by the previous administration; acknowledges the substantial investment being made to increase NHSScotland capacity and the continuing work on integrating, modernising and redesigning services to speed access, diagnosis and treatment, but cautions that, while shorter waiting times are welcome, patient care and health outcomes should not be jeopardised by attempts to meet centrally determined targets.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 31, Against 91, Abstentions 1).

Ross Finnie moved amendment S3M-3848.2 to motion S3M-3848—

insert at end—

“but believes that the achievement of maximum waiting times should ultimately be at the discretion of clinicians to protect those with the greatest clinical need.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 31, Against 89, Abstentions 3).

After debate, the motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 91, Against 16, Abstentions 15).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the most recent progress that has been made in reducing waiting times for patients; applauds the commitment, dedication and hard work of all NHS staff who have contributed to delivering these significant improvements for the people of Scotland; notes the progress made by the previous administration; while welcoming the extension of the waiting times guarantee to include child and adolescent mental health services, calls on the Scottish Government to consider extending the range of specialties to include adult mental health services; further calls on the Scottish Government to ensure sufficient resources to bring NHSScotland in line as soon as possible with the NHS in England where a “whole journey” national waiting time standard of 18 weeks was delivered by December 2008, and notes that this compares to a target of 18 months introduced by the previous Conservative administration.

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

6. Antisocial Behaviour Framework: The Minister for Community Safety (Fergus Ewing) moved S3M-3849—That the Parliament notes the publication of the new Antisocial Behaviour Framework, Promoting Positive Outcomes: Working Together to Prevent Antisocial Behaviour in Scotland, which has been developed in partnership with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and other national partners; further notes that it builds on the success achieved since the Parliament introduced the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004; agrees that antisocial behaviour blights the quality of people’s lives and should not be tolerated but believes that prevention is better than cure when it comes to protecting communities from disorder; values the cross-party and cross-organisational input and support that the framework has received; appreciates the wealth of good practice across Scotland and the importance of replicating it as widely as possible, and embraces the framework’s commitment through enhanced prevention, integration, community engagement and communication to making our communities safer and stronger.

Paul Martin moved amendment S3M-3849.2 to motion S3M-3849—

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

“believes that too many communities in Scotland are still blighted by antisocial behaviour and recognises that the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 was a response to these concerns; further believes that there should not be reduced use of legal remedies, which have been effective in providing individuals and communities with relief from the selfish activities of a minority; recognises that while the Antisocial Behaviour Framework is right to highlight good practice and preventative measures, such initiatives must be properly resourced; acknowledges that, while only a small minority of young people engage in antisocial behaviour, parental responsibility is crucial in addressing this problem, and believes in widening access to legal remedies for communities that wish to tackle problems of antisocial behaviour in their areas.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 44, Against 79, Abstentions 0).

Bill Aitken moved amendment S3M-3849.1 to motion S3M-3849—

leave out from “it builds” to end and insert—

“the success of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 has not been universal; agrees that antisocial behaviour blights the quality of people’s lives and should not be tolerated but believes that prevention is better than cure when it comes to protecting communities from disorder and encourages communities to report all incidents of crime and disorder so that they can be properly addressed, and appreciates the wealth of good practice followed in some areas of Scotland and the importance of replicating it as widely as possible.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 79, Against 44, Abstentions 0).

Robert Brown moved amendment S3M-3849.3 to motion S3M-3849—

insert at end—

“; welcomes the framework’s emphasis on addressing the causes of antisocial behaviour, such as drug and alcohol addiction and deprivation, and on improving life chances; supports the promotion of the new prevention, early intervention, enforcement and rehabilitation (PIER) model, including the use of acceptable behaviour contracts pioneered by Liberal Democrats in Islington, and regards increased community involvement and empowerment as vital components of success in action to tackle antisocial behaviour.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 58, Abstentions 2).

After debate, the motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 79, Against 44, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the publication of the new Antisocial Behaviour Framework, Promoting Positive Outcomes: Working Together to Prevent Antisocial Behaviour in Scotland, which has been developed in partnership with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and other national partners; further notes that the success of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 has not been universal; agrees that antisocial behaviour blights the quality of people’s lives and should not be tolerated but believes that prevention is better than cure when it comes to protecting communities from disorder and encourages communities to report all incidents of crime and disorder so that they can be properly addressed; appreciates the wealth of good practice followed in some areas of Scotland and the importance of replicating it as widely as possible; welcomes the framework’s emphasis on addressing the causes of antisocial behaviour, such as drug and alcohol addiction and deprivation, and on improving life chances; supports the promotion of the new prevention, early intervention, enforcement and rehabilitation (PIER) model, including the use of acceptable behaviour contracts pioneered by Liberal Democrats in Islington, and regards increased community involvement and empowerment as vital components of success in action to tackle antisocial behaviour.

7. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2 and 6 as noted above.

8. Huntington's Disease: The Parliament debated S3M-3000 in the name of Hugh Henry—That the Parliament recognises that Huntington’s disease is a devastating, high-risk, inherited, neurological condition that causes a profound form of dementia and mental ill health; notes that the Scottish Huntington’s Association (SHA), based in Paisley, was established in 1989 by families living with the disease because they could not get help with health and social care services; congratulates SHA in approaching its 20th anniversary in 2009 and on providing Huntington’s disease services staffed by skilled nurses that make a significant difference to the lives of those affected by the disease; expresses its concern that only nine out of the 15 NHS boards provide this service, and considers that all people living with the condition would benefit from access to the type of support provided by SHA.

The meeting closed at 5.42 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
2 April 2009

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

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 2 April 2009 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure—

Scottish Government Rural Directorate, 2008 Return of Expenditure Incurred, Prosecutions Taken and Incidences of Notifiable Disease in Imported Animals (SG/2009/16)

laid under section 80 of the Animal Health Act 1981

Graduate Endowment Abolition (Scotland) Act 2008 Widening Access Report 2009/10 (SG/2009/59)

laid under section 4 of the Graduate Endowment Abolition (Scotland) Act 2008

North Highland College report and financial statements for the year ended 31 July 2008 (SG/2009/60)—

Perth College Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2008 (SG/2009/61)—

Reid Kerr College Report and Financial Statements 31 July 2008 (SG/2009/62)—

Stevenson College Edinburgh Reports and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2008 (SG/2009/63)—

West Lothian College Annual Accounts 2007-08 (SG/2009/64)—

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

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 2 April 2009––

Public Petitions Committee, 1st Report, 2009 (Session 3): Knife crime (SP Paper 246)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 21st Report, 2009 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 247)

Health and Sport Committee, 4th Report, 2009 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 248)