Back to the Scottish Parliament Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 3, No. 6 Session 3
Archive Home

Business Bulletin 1999-2011

Minutes of Proceedings 1999-2011

Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

Committees Sessions 1, 2 & 3

Annual reports

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 28 May 2009

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. A Missing Children Alert System: Robert Brown moved S3M-4245—That the Parliament supports the establishment of strong cross-Europe working to ensure that there are effective, linked "amber alert" systems in place to bring European-wide attention to missing children; understands that early action is critical in locating missing and abducted children and that the experience of those countries that have alert systems in place, such as the United States of America, is extremely positive; welcomes the formal adoption of the written declaration on Emergency Cooperation In Recovering Missing Children as a resolution of the European Parliament in April 2009 but regrets that European countries currently fail to cooperate effectively when recovering missing children and that progress has been slow, and calls on the Scottish Government to work proactively and constructively with the UK Government to ensure that all missing children alert systems and cross-border cooperation policies, including the 116 000 European hotline, are operational as soon as possible to bind the country effectively into the European system.

Paul Martin moved amendment S3M-4245.1 to motion S3M-4245—

after "UK Government" insert—

"and to encourage Scottish police forces to collaborate with their UK and European counterparts".

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 supports the establishment of strong cross-Europe working to ensure that there are effective, linked "amber alert" systems in place to bring European-wide attention to missing children; understands that early action is critical in locating missing and abducted children and that the experience of those countries that have alert systems in place, such as the United States of America, is extremely positive; welcomes the formal adoption of the written declaration on Emergency Cooperation In Recovering Missing Children as a resolution of the European Parliament in April 2009 but regrets that European countries currently fail to cooperate effectively when recovering missing children and that progress has been slow, and calls on the Scottish Government to work proactively and constructively with the UK Government and to encourage Scottish police forces to collaborate with their UK and European counterparts to ensure that all missing children alert systems and cross-border cooperation policies, including the 116 000 European hotline, are operational as soon as possible to bind the country effectively into the European system.

2. Supporting Scottish Business: Jeremy Purvis moved S3M-4246—That the Parliament notes the serious difficulties faced by the Scottish businesses struggling to access the funds that they need during the economic downturn, with the double squeeze of late payment and tighter lending a critical concern for small businesses in particular; notes that the Welsh Assembly Government is using European Investment Bank (EIB) funding to help small businesses bridge funding gaps, supporting the expansion of 800 businesses and creating up to 15,000 jobs across Wales; regrets that the Scottish Government has not introduced a similar initiative in Scotland; further regrets the Scottish Government’s inaction and delay in utilising the EIB funding available to it; believes that SNP ministers should use every lever at their disposal to help Scotland’s economy, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to bring forward a statement before the summer recess containing new plans to use EIB funding to support small businesses so that they do not continue to be at a competitive disadvantage to their Welsh counterparts.

The Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism (Jim Mather) moved amendment S3M-4246.2 to motion S3M-4246—

leave out from "regrets" to end and insert—

"further notes that the Scottish Investment Bank, announced by the First Minister on 21 April 2009, will initially bring together approximately £150 million in public sector resource to support company growth in Scotland; also notes that, following this first step, the Scottish Government will look to enhance the scale and impact of such financial support to growing Scottish businesses including the potential to secure significant additional funds from the European Investment Bank through the establishment of a Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) fund for Scotland, and considers that, among other measures that the Scottish Government has introduced, its small business bonus scheme has helped the tens of thousands of Scottish firms now exempt from paying local business rates."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 56, Abstentions 0).

John Park moved amendment S3M-4246.1 to motion S3M-4246—

insert at end—

"and to provide detailed information about the Scottish Investment Bank proposal announced by the First Minister at the STUC conference on 21 April 2009."

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

After debate, the motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 105, Against 14, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the serious difficulties faced by the Scottish businesses struggling to access the funds that they need during the economic downturn, with the double squeeze of late payment and tighter lending a critical concern for small businesses in particular; notes that the Welsh Assembly Government is using European Investment Bank (EIB) funding to help small businesses bridge funding gaps, supporting the expansion of 800 businesses and creating up to 15,000 jobs across Wales; further notes that the Scottish Investment Bank, announced by the First Minister on 21 April 2009, will initially bring together approximately £150 million in public sector resource to support company growth in Scotland; also notes that, following this first step, the Scottish Government will look to enhance the scale and impact of such financial support to growing Scottish businesses including the potential to secure significant additional funds from the European Investment Bank through the establishment of a Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) fund for Scotland, and considers that, among other measures that the Scottish Government has introduced, its small business bonus scheme has helped the tens of thousands of Scottish firms now exempt from paying local business rates, and calls on the Scottish Government to provide detailed information about the Scottish Investment Bank proposal announced by the First Minister at the STUC conference on 21 April 2009.

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. The Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland – Re-appointment: Alex Johnstone moved S3M-4250—That the Parliament nominates Karen Carlton to Her Majesty The Queen for reappointment for a second term as the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland from 1 June 2009.

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

7. Cashback for Communities: Investing the Proceeds of Crime Back Into Our Communities: The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Kenny MacAskill) moved S3M-4244—That the Parliament welcomes the fact that, since its launch in January 2008, the CashBack for Communities programme has provided positive opportunities and activities for over 100,000 young people in Scotland; recognises that providing healthy and fun activities not only gives young people something to do, but can help in reducing crime and antisocial behaviour by diverting the small minority who cause trouble away from such behaviour; welcomes the fact that the CashBack programme has been funded through £12 million recovered from criminals using the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and commends the significant efforts of partners in the CashBack programme including Youthlink, Scottish Football Association, Scottish Rugby Union, Basketballscotland, Scottish Sports Futures, sportscotland, Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council, as well as the very many local projects and volunteers that are making the scheme a success.

Richard Baker moved amendment S3M-4244.1 to motion S3M-4244—

insert at end—

"; believes that every effort should be made to ensure further progress in recovering assets from those who profit from crime, and believes that funds obtained through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 should continue to be focussed on projects in communities affected by crime and in activities that provide diversion from offending."

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

Robert Brown moved amendment S3M-4244.2 to motion S3M-4244—

insert at end—

", and calls on the Scottish Government to promote closer working and engagement between safer neighbourhood and community police teams and young people in efforts to prevent and tackle crime and antisocial behaviour and to ensure that the CashBack money is distributed fairly so that the whole of Scotland can reap the benefits of the scheme".

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 welcomes the fact that, since its launch in January 2008, the CashBack for Communities programme has provided positive opportunities and activities for over 100,000 young people in Scotland; recognises that providing healthy and fun activities not only gives young people something to do, but can help in reducing crime and antisocial behaviour by diverting the small minority who cause trouble away from such behaviour; welcomes the fact that the CashBack programme has been funded through £12 million recovered from criminals using the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002; commends the significant efforts of partners in the CashBack programme including Youthlink, Scottish Football Association, Scottish Rugby Union, Basketballscotland, Scottish Sports Futures, sportscotland, Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council, as well as the very many local projects and volunteers that are making the scheme a success; believes that every effort should be made to ensure further progress in recovering assets from those who profit from crime, and believes that funds obtained through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 should continue to be focussed on projects in communities affected by crime and in activities that provide diversion from offending, and calls on the Scottish Government to promote closer working and engagement between safer neighbourhood and community police teams and young people in efforts to prevent and tackle crime and antisocial behaviour and to ensure that the CashBack money is distributed fairly so that the whole of Scotland can reap the benefits of the scheme.

8. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 6 and 7 as noted above.

9. Inadequate Infertility Treatment in Scotland: The Parliament debated S3M-3741 in the name of Helen Eadie—That the Parliament notes with concern that couples seeking fertility treatment in the NHS have to wait for 20 months in Glasgow, 13 months in Lanarkshire, 13 months in Ayrshire and Arran, 15 months in Dumfries and Galloway, three years in Lothian, six months for Lothian self-funding, up to 18 months in Grampian, up to 14 months in Highland, 12 months in Tayside, up to two years in Fife and up to two years in Forth Valley and that Orkney decides on a case-by-case basis; is pleased to learn that Shetland has no waiting restrictions; is extremely disturbed to note that Fife NHS board ranks among the worst providers of the service in Scotland in that each frozen embryo is counted as a cycle when other NHS boards require fresh and frozen embryo(s) to count as a cycle and that Fife NHS board only provides two cycles whereas other NHS boards provide three, thereby effectively giving Fife couples a third less of an opportunity for this treatment that some other couples in Scotland have; expresses particular concern that when a woman is in a relationship with a partner who has a child from a previous relationship she is denied access to any form of NHS provision in this area of specialism, and considers that NHS Lothian provides an example in increasing the age at which it accepts prospective fertility treatment candidates in consideration of the fact that many couples will not know that they need fertility treatment until their late 30s and are subsequently restricted by the unacceptable waiting times.

The meeting closed at 5.40 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
28 May 2009

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

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 28 May 2009 and are subject to annulment—

The Radioactive Contaminated Land (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/202)

laid under section 161 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990

The Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) (Fees) Amendment Regulations 2009 (SSI 2009/203)

laid under section 37 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 28 May 2009 and is subject to parliamentary procedure

Environmental Protection Act 1990: Part IIA Contaminated Land – the Radioactive Contaminated Land (Scotland) Regulations 2007 – Statutory Guidance (SG/2009/87)

laid under section 78 YA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 28 May 2009

Rural Affairs and Environment Committee, 7th Report, 2009 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 272)