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Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 3, No. 24 Session 3

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 1 October 2009

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Report on Equal Pay in Local Government: Duncan McNeil moved S3M-4940—That the Parliament notes the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Local Government and Communities Committee’s 12th Report 2009 (Session 3): Equal Pay in Local Government (SP Paper 292).

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

2. General Question Time: Questions were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

3. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the Deputy First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon).

4. Themed Question Time: Questions on Rural Affairs and the Environment, and Justice and Law Officers were answered by Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers and Scottish Law Officers.

5. Role of Colleges in the Economic Recovery: The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (Fiona Hyslop) moved S3M-4956—That the Parliament recognises that Scotland’s colleges are central to the Scottish Government’s plans for tackling the recession and preparing for economic recovery; agrees that through the provision of flexible, locally relevant skills and training they are helping individuals and employers build for recovery; welcomes the fact that, as a result and working in partnership with other agencies, colleges are helping the communities that they serve to adapt to changed economic circumstances; notes the particular support that colleges provide to young people, and notes the continued financial support that the sector receives from the Scottish Government.

Claire Baker moved amendment S3M-4956.2 to motion S3M-4956—

Insert at end—

“notes the contribution that colleges are making in further developing links with industry that can help deliver the 7,800 apprenticeships promised in the 2009-10 budget; recognises the concerns that exist regarding the ability of colleges to fully accommodate the increase in applicants, including the 2009 Christmas school leavers, and to cope with pressures on childcare and hardship funds, and calls on the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning to report to the Parliament on how she intends to address these concerns.”

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

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S3M-4956.1 to motion S3M-4956—

Insert at end—

“and urges the Scottish Government to encourage the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council, in allocating funds to the sector, to recognise the particular needs of colleges in rural areas.”

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

Margaret Smith moved amendment S3M-4956.3 to motion S3M-4956—

Insert at end—

“and calls on the Scottish Government to review the current system of discretionary childcare funding, to work closely with the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council to develop articulation routes between further and higher education, helping to address problems that students face during transition and enhancing and developing links between the sectors, and, in recognising the valuable role of Scotland’s colleges in skills development, to bring the revised skills strategy before the Parliament to allow detailed debate of its recommendations.”

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

The motion as amended was then agreed to.

Accordingly, the Parliament agreed—That the Parliament recognises that Scotland’s colleges are central to the Scottish Government’s plans for tackling the recession and preparing for economic recovery; agrees that through the provision of flexible, locally relevant skills and training they are helping individuals and employers build for recovery; welcomes the fact that, as a result and working in partnership with other agencies, colleges are helping the communities that they serve to adapt to changed economic circumstances; notes the particular support that colleges provide to young people, and notes the continued financial support that the sector receives from the Scottish Government; notes the contribution that colleges are making in further developing links with industry that can help deliver the 7,800 apprenticeships promised in the 2009-10 budget; recognises the concerns that exist regarding the ability of colleges to fully accommodate the increase in applicants, including the 2009 Christmas school leavers, and to cope with pressures on childcare and hardship funds, and calls on the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning to report to the Parliament on how she intends to address these concerns; urges the Scottish Government to encourage the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council, in allocating funds to the sector, to recognise the particular needs of colleges in rural areas and calls on the Scottish Government to review the current system of discretionary childcare funding, to work closely with the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council to develop articulation routes between further and higher education, helping to address problems that students face during transition and enhancing and developing links between the sectors, and, in recognising the valuable role of Scotland’s colleges in skills development, to bring the revised skills strategy before the Parliament to allow detailed debate of its recommendations.”

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

7. World Pipe Band Championships: The Parliament debated S3M-4701 in the name of Stuart McMillan—That congratulates Simon Fraser University of Vancouver, Canada on winning the World Pipe Band Championships; notes the success of the event, held at Glasgow Green, which attracted over 40,000 spectators and bands from 16 countries; further notes that Strathclyde Police Pipe Band was the highest-placed Scottish band, finishing an excellent fourth overall out of over 200 bands, and considers that its future success will be jeopardised if planned cuts to Strathclyde Police Pipe Band are implemented.

The meeting closed at 5.34 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
1 October 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 1 October 2009 for approval by resolution—

The Water Environment (Groundwater and Priority Substances) (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (SSI 2009/draft)

laid under section 36(6) of the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 1 October 2009 and is subject to annulment—

The Rural Development Contracts (Rural Priorities) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 3) Regulations 2009 (SSI 2009/335)

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 1 October 2009 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure

David MacBrayne Limited Group Annual Report & Consolidated Financial Statements 2008-2009 (SG/2009/153)—
CalMac Ferries Limited Directors’ Report & Financial Statements 2008-2009 (SG/2009/154)—
NorthLink Ferries Limited Directors’ Report & Financial Statements 31 March 2009 (SG/2009/155)—
David MacBrayne HR (UK) Limited Directors’ Report & Financial Statements 31 March 2009 (SG/2009/156)—
Cowal Ferries Limited Directors’ Report & Financial Statements 31 March 2009 (SG/2009/157)—
Rathlin Ferries Limited Directors’ Report & Financial Statements 31 March 2009 (SG/2009/158)—
Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd. Annual Report and Accounts to 31 March 2009 (SG/2009/178)—

laid under section 8(1) of the Transport (Scotland) Act 1989