Select here to go directly to the document text
 
 Home > Parliamentary Business > The Chamber > Journal & Minutes > ..back
Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 3, No. 30 Session 3

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 5 November 2009

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Supporting Families: Elizabeth Smith moved S3M-5112—That the Parliament considers that the family is the natural building block of our society; notes the significant pressures facing families in Scotland today arising from relationship breakdown, poverty, unemployment and substance abuse; regrets that one in four Scottish children is growing up in a single-parent household and that 137,000 Scottish children have no parent in work, and believes that action is required to improve parenting support, to expand the role of health visitors, to fully harness the voluntary sector in this work and to recognise marriage in the tax and benefits system.

The Minister for Children and Early Years (Adam Ingram) moved amendment S3M-5112.1 to motion S3M-5112—

Leave out from “regrets” to end and insert—

“believes that the Scottish Government should focus on addressing the impact of the recession and take steps to ease the burden on families; recognises that long-term relationships provide stability in many families and acknowledges the status of marriage in society, and believes that the needs and best interests of the child should always be at the centre of policies to support and promote stable families and reflect the reality of family life in Scotland.”

Des McNulty moved amendment S3M-5112.1.1 to amendment S3M-5112.1—

Insert at end—

“and urges the Scottish Government to prioritise support for parents and extended families, ensuring that evaluation of these services is geared towards improving the quality and range of support that can be offered.”

Margaret Smith moved amendment S3M-5112.1.2 to amendment S3M-5112.1—

Insert at end—

“, and notes the valuable role of the voluntary sector in the delivery of services to children, parents and families, particularly those in vulnerable or disadvantaged circumstances.”

After debate, amendment S3M-5112.1.1 was agreed to (DT).

Amendment S3M-5112.1.2 was agreed to (DT).

Amendment S3M-5112.1, as amended, was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 87, Against 15, Abstentions 1).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 87, Against 15, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament considers that the family is the natural building block of our society; notes the significant pressures facing families in Scotland today arising from relationship breakdown, poverty, unemployment and substance abuse; believes that the Scottish Government should focus on addressing the impact of the recession and take steps to ease the burden on families; recognises that long-term relationships provide stability in many families and acknowledges the status of marriage in society; believes that the needs and best interests of the child should always be at the centre of policies to support and promote stable families and reflect the reality of family life in Scotland; urges the Scottish Government to prioritise support for parents and extended families, ensuring that evaluation of these services is geared towards improving the quality and range of support that can be offered, and notes the valuable role of the voluntary sector in the delivery of services to children, parents and families, particularly those in vulnerable or disadvantaged circumstances.

2. Minimum Pricing of Alcohol: Murdo Fraser moved S3M-5118—That the Parliament recognises that alcohol misuse cost Scottish society an estimated £2.25 billion in 2006-07, with almost one in three men and one in five women exceeding the recommended maximum level of consumption per week; believes that Scotland needs to examine its complex relationship with alcohol; further believes that to address this problem action needs to be taken that is properly targeted, effective, evidence based, and legally competent, and, accordingly, rejects the Scottish Government policy of minimum pricing on the basis that it will penalise responsible drinkers and damage Scotland’s vital drinks industry.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Nicola Sturgeon) moved amendment S3M-5118.2 to motion S3M-5118—

Leave out from “action” to end and insert—

“effective enforcement of existing laws is needed, as is further actionthat is properly targeted, effective, evidence-based and legally competent, and, accordingly, is willing to examine, consider and debate all evidence and representations presented to it in seeking support for minimum pricing and the other measures in the Bill that will be introduced laterin 2009.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 45, Against 58, Abstentions 0).

Jackie Baillie moved amendment S3M-5118.1 to motion S3M-5118—

Leave out from “rejects” to end and insert—

“looks forward to considering the evidence of all the different approaches that can help to tackle the misuse of alcohol, and urges the Scottish Government to share the substance of all of the legal advice obtained.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 33, Against 70, Abstentions 0).

Robert Brown moved amendment S3M-5118.3 to motion S3M-5118—

Insert at end—

“and fails to recognise the role of individual responsibility or meet the key test of bringing about fundamental, rather than marginal, cultural change”.

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 29, Against 74, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 28, Against 74, Abstentions 1).

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. Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Kenny MacAskill) made a statement and answered questions on Sex Offenders.

7. Autumn Fisheries Negotiations: The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment (Richard Lochhead), moved S3M-5119—That the Parliament notes the Scottish Government’s commitment to secure a fair deal at the forthcoming EU fisheries negotiations and to continue seeking radical and urgent changes to EU regulations to help cut discards and improve fisheries conservation and the industry's profitability; calls forScotland's fishermen’s growing reputation for innovative fisheries conservation to be given due recognition, and notes the European Commission Green Paperon the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, which recognises the failures of theCommon Fisheries Policy.

Sarah Boyack moved amendment S3M-5119.2 to motion S3M-5119—

Insert at end—

“welcomes the meeting of Inter Regional Advisory Council members, stakeholders and fisheries ministers from across the United Kingdom in Edinburgh this week; notes the growing support for ecosystem-based regional fisheries management amongst fisheries experts and interests, and agrees that the Scottish Government should put in place effective measures to support Scottish fishing communities in light of the outcomes of last year’s fisheries negotiations and the ongoing recession.”

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

John Scott moved amendment S3M-5119.1 to motion S3M-5119—

Insert at end—

“, and believes that, in that context, a more regionally responsible approach to fisheries management is required and that, in order to achieve this, the Scottish Government and HM Government must work together in the interests of a sustainable Scottish fishing industry.”

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

Liam McArthur moved amendment S3M-5119.3 to motion S3M-5119—

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

“recognises the need for a complete overhaul of the Common Fisheries Policy and action to address the environmental and economic folly of discards; believes, however, that the Government’s immediate priority must be to tackle the current crippling situation facing Scotland’s fishing fleet and the prospect of further cuts in effort and quotas, and therefore urges the Scottish Government to work urgently and constructively with the fishing industry and the UK Government on priorities for the forthcoming EU fisheries negotiations to secure the best possible outcome for the Scottish fleet and the longer term sustainability of fish stocks.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 14, Against 87, Abstentions 2).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 100, Against 1, Abstentions 2).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the Scottish Government’s commitment to secure a fair deal at the forthcoming EU fisheries negotiations and to continue seeking radical and urgent changes to EU regulations to help cut discards and improve fisheries conservation and the industry's profitability; calls forScotland's fishermen’s growing reputation for innovative fisheries conservation to be given due recognition, and notes the European Commission Green Paperon the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, which recognises the failures of theCommon Fisheries Policy; welcomes the meeting of Inter Regional Advisory Council members, stakeholders and fisheries ministers from across the United Kingdom in Edinburgh this week; notes the growing support for ecosystem-based regional fisheries management amongst fisheries experts and interests, and agrees that the Scottish Government should put in place effective measures to support Scottish fishing communities in light of the outcomes of last year’s fisheries negotiations and the ongoing recession, and believes that, in that context, a more regionally responsible approach to fisheries management is required and that, in order to achieve this, the Scottish Government and HM Government must work together in the interests of a sustainable Scottish fishing industry.

8. Committee Membership: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-5136—That the Parliament agrees that Christina McKelvie be appointed to replace Bill Wilson as a member of the Equal Opportunities Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9. Committee Membership: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-5137—That the Parliament agrees that—

Rhona Brankin be appointed to replace Charlie Gordon as a member of the European and External Relations Committee;

Tom McCabe be appointed to replace Jackie Baillie as a member of the Finance Committee;

Malcolm Chisholm be appointed to replace James Kelly as a member of the Finance Committee;

James Kelly be appointed to replace Paul Martin as a member of the Justice Committee;

Rhona Brankin be appointed to replace Marlyn Glen as a member of the Public Petitions Committee;

Margaret Curran be appointed to replace Tom McCabe as a member of the Subordinate Legislation Committee;

Rhoda Grant be appointed to replace Malcolm Chisholm as a member of the Subordinate Legislation Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10. Substitution on Committees: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-5138—That the Parliament agrees that—

Dave Thompson be appointed to replace Andrew Welsh as the Scottish National Party substitute on the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee;

Stewart Maxwell be appointed to replace Kenneth Gibson as the Scottish National Party substitute on the Finance Committee;

Bill Wilson be appointed to replace Christina McKelvie as the Scottish National Party substitute on the Public Petitions Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11. Substitution on Committees: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-5139—That the Parliament agrees that—

Rhoda Grant be appointed to replace Jackie Baillie as the Scottish Labour Party substitute on the Equal Opportunities Committee;

Margaret Curran be appointed to replace Paul Martin as the Scottish Labour Party substitute on the Local Government and Communities Committee;

Rhona Brankin be appointed to replace Rhoda Grant as the Scottish Labour Party substitute on the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

12. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 as noted above.

13. Conduct of Inquiries into Fatalities at Level Crossings: The Parliament debated S3M-4986 in the name of Willie Coffey—That the Parliament regrets the continuing loss of life at railway level crossings, most recently at Halkirk in Caithness and, in January 2009, at Gatehead in Kilmarnock and Loudoun; notes the large number of organisations involved in the investigation of rail accidents and incidents in Scotland, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the British Transport Police, Scotland’s eight police forces and the Office of Rail Regulation, and considers that, following the Review of Fatal Accident Inquiry Legislation being conducted by Lord Cullen, a modernised system of fatal accident inquiries can contribute to greater coordination and scrutiny of any inquiries, including the implementation of any recommendations, by whichever agency, following such tragic incidents.

The meeting closed at 5.46 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
5 November 2009

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

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 5 November 2009 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure—

Scottish Arts Council National Lottery Distribution Fund Annual Report and Accounts for the year to 31 March 2009 (SG/2009/219)

laid under section 35 of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993

Scottish Arts Council Group Annual Report and Accounts for the year to 31 March 2009 (SG/2009/220)

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

Scottish Screen National Lottery Distribution Fund Accounts and Report 2008/2009 (SG/2009/231)

laid under section 26(3) , (3A) and (4) of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993

Learning and Teaching Scotland Annual Review 2008/2009 (SG/2009/238)

Learning and Teaching Scotland Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31 March 2009 (SG/2009/239)

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

Renewable Heat Action Plan for Scotland (SG/2009/241)

laid under section 62(1) of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009