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Meeting of the Parliament

Wednesday 29 April 2009

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

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1. Time for Reflection: Father Eoin Patten, St Mirin’s Cathedral, Paisley, led Time for Reflection.

2. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-3998—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 29 April 2009—

after

2.30 pm Time for Reflection – Father Eoin Patten, St Mirin’s Cathedral, Paisley

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

insert

followed by Ministerial Statement: Swine Flu/AH1N1

The motion was agreed to.

3. Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Nicola Sturgeon) made a statement and answered questions on Swine Flu/AH1N1.

4. Housing: The Minister for Housing and Communities (Alex Neil) moved S3M-3994—That the Parliament notes the steps being taken by the Scottish Government to accelerate and increase the supply of affordable housing in response to the current economic downturn; recognises the record investment being made this year; further notes that housing associations still have to secure through borrowing a significant proportion of the money required to build new housing and are facing challenges from the financial sector; also notes the Scottish Government’s initiative to kick-start a new generation of council house building and the increasing contribution that this is enabling local authorities to make in meeting housing need, which complements the high level of social housing built by housing associations over the last 10 years, and supports proposals in the consultation on the draft Housing (Scotland) Bill to reform the right to buy to encourage council house building and to safeguard Scotland’s stock of social housing for the benefit of future generations of tenants.

Mary Mulligan moved amendment S3M-3994.3 to motion S3M-3994—

leave out from “the steps” to end and insert—

“with concern the latest Scottish Government housing statistics showing a 29% decline in the building of housing association houses in the first three quarters of 2008 compared to the previous year; believes that affordable house building has beendamaged by the SNP government’s decision to cut the Housing Association Grantat a time when borrowing from the financial sector is particularly challenging; further notes the latest available figures showing that all but one council house built since May 2007 have been by Midlothian Council in a programme that commenced prior to the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections; further believes that the Scottish Government has failed to put in place adequate measures for financial and legal protection for householders facing repossession; further notes the proposals outlined in the consultation on the draft Housing (Scotland) Bill to reform the right to buy as well as the existing restrictions introduced by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 but believes that these proposals are in themselves no substitute for building affordable energy-efficient houses, andtherefore calls on the Scottish Government to ensure that the £45 million in Barnett consequentials for Scotland arising from housing spending in the UK Budget are allocated in full towards more affordable housing for Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 42, Against 81, Abstentions 0).

Jamie McGrigor moved amendment S3M-3994.1 to motion S3M-3994—

leave out from “10 years” to end and insert—

“30 years; urges the Scottish Government to engage proactively with the 26 local authorities yet to transfer their housing stock with a view to effecting stock transfers to community-based housing associations with the consent of the tenants of these homes, thus achieving the write-off of Scotland’s estimated £2 billion housing debt and facilitating further investment in affordable housing in Scotland, and rejects the further restrictions on the right to buy proposed in the draft Housing (Scotland) Bill as being unfair and failing to meet the aspirations of many of today’s tenants.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 107, Abstentions 0).

Ross Finnie moved amendment S3M-3994.2 to motion S3M-3994—

after “financial sector” insert—

“; further recognises the particular need for more high quality affordable housing in the rental sector and the economic imperative of action to support Scotland's beleaguered building industry”.

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 124, Against 0, Abstentions 0).

After debate, the motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 108, Against 16, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the steps being taken by the Scottish Government to accelerate and increase the supply of affordable housing in response to the current economic downturn; recognises the record investment being made this year; further notes that housing associations still have to secure through borrowing a significant proportion of the money required to build new housing and are facing challenges from the financial sector; further recognises the particular need for more high quality affordable housing in the rental sector and the economic imperative of action to support Scotland's beleaguered building industry; also notes the Scottish Government’s initiative to kick-start a new generation of council house building and the increasing contribution that this is enabling local authorities to make in meeting housing need, which complements the high level of social housing built by housing associations over the last 10 years, and supports proposals in the consultation on the draft Housing (Scotland) Bill to reform the right to buy to encourage council house building and to safeguard Scotland’s stock of social housing for the benefit of future generations of tenants.

5. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-3999—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 6 May 2009

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 1 Debate: Climate Change (Scotland) Bill

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 7 May 2009

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Justice and Law Officers;
Rural Affairs and the Environment

2.55 pm Stage 1 Debate: Climate Change (Scotland) Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Wednesday 13 May 2009

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 3 Proceedings: Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Bill

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 14 May 2009

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Government Business

11.40 am General Question Time

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Finance and Sustainable Growth

2.55 pm Scottish Government Business

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

6. Business Motion: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-4000—That the Parliament agrees that Rule 9.5.3A of Standing Orders be suspended for the purposes of consideration of the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill.

The motion was agreed to.

7. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on item 4 as noted above.

8. Developing Telehealth in Scotland: The Parliament debated S3M-3847 in the name of Dr Richard Simpson—That the Parliament welcomes the developing role of the Aberdeen-based Scottish Centre for Telehealth and the contribution that it can make to developing telehealth across Scotland; in particular considers that there has been significant investment in angiography facilities for coronary heart disease across Scotland, and considers that a national system of decision support for healthcare professionals would optimise coronary reperfusion for patients suffering an acute heart attack.

The meeting closed at 5.54 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
29 April 2009

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

Affirmative Instruments

The following instruments were laid in draft before the Parliament on 24 April 2009 for approval by resolution—

The Community Right to Buy (Definition of Excluded Land) (Scotland) Order 2009

laid under section 98(5) of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003

The Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 (Designation of Participating Countries) (Scotland) (No. 2) Order 2009

laid under section 50(5)(b) of the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 28 April 2009 for approval by resolution

The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 Amendment (Scotland) Order 2009

laid under section 16(5) of the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 24 April 2009 and are subject to annulment—

The Community Right to Buy (Prescribed Form of Application and Notices) (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (SSI 2009/156)––

The Crofting Community Body (Prescribed Form of Application and Notice) (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (SSI 2009/160)––

laid under section 98(2) of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 27 April 2009 and is subject to annulment

Act of Sederunt (Fees of Members of the Association of Commercial Attorneys in the Sheriff Court) 2009 (SSI 2009/162)

laid under section 40 of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 29 April 2009 and is subject to annulment

The National Health Service (Appointment of Consultants) (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (SSI 2009/166)

laid under section 105(2) of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 24 April 2009 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure—

Jewel & Esk Valley College Annual Report and Financial Statements For the year ended 31 July 2008 (SG2009/76)—

Kilmarnock College Board of Management Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2008 (SG/2009/77)—

Langside College Year End Accounts and the Report of the Board of Management for the year ended 31 July 2008 (SG/2009/78)—

North Glasgow College Report and Financial Statements for the period 1 August 2007 – 31 July 2008 (SG/2009/79)—

South Lanarkshire College Annual Report and Financial Statements for the 12 months ended 31 July 2008 (SG/2009/80)—

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

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 28 April 2009 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure—

A Report by the Auditor General for Scotland on the 2007/2008 Audit of Stow College (SG/2009/82)

Stow College Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2008 (SG/2009/81)

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

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 29 April 2009

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 24th Report, 2009 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 253)