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Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 3, No. 32 Session 3

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 12 November 2009

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Nicola Sturgeon) made a statement and answered questions on Clostridium difficile outbreak at Ninewells Hospital.

2. Central Scotland Green Network: The Minister for Environment (Roseanna Cunningham) moved S3M-5173—That the Parliament recognises and supports the significant contribution that the Central Scotland Green Network can make to the quality of life of the three million people living in the central belt, not just through environmental and social benefits, such as improving habitat networks, enhancing landscapes, mitigating climate change, improving health and wellbeing and stimulating educational and cultural activity, outdoor recreation and community involvement, but also through increasing economic benefits, such as business development, urban regeneration and derelict land restoration.

Sarah Boyack moved amendment S3M-5173.1 to motion S3M-5173—

Insert at end—

“, and believes that there is a need for cooperation among the Scottish Government, local authorities and agencies and groups working in the area to ensure that maximum opportunities are delivered from the network.”

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

Alison McInnes moved amendment S3M-5173.2 to motion S3M-5173—

Insert at end—

“; notes the view of Forestry Commission Scotland that, without additional resources to invest in the Central Scotland Green Network, it will be difficult to deliver transformational change on the ground, and calls on the Scottish Government to clarify within the next six weeks its funding and delivery intentions for all the national developments in the National Planning Framework for Scotland 2 and how they link to the Scottish Government’s current expenditure proposals.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 13, Against 54, Abstentions 0).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises and supports the significant contribution that the Central Scotland Green Network can make to the quality of life of the three million people living in thecentralbelt, not just through environmental and social benefits, such as improving habitat networks, enhancing landscapes, mitigating climate change, improving health and wellbeing andstimulating educational and cultural activity, outdoor recreation and community involvement, but also through increasing economic benefits, such as business development, urban regeneration and derelict land restoration, and believes that there is a need for cooperation among the Scottish Government, local authorities and agencies and groups working in the area to ensure that maximum opportunities are delivered from the network.

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 Justice and Law Officers and Rural Affairs and the Environment were answered by Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers and Scottish Law Officers.

6. The Future of Community Fire Safety in Scotland: The Minister for Community Safety (Fergus Ewing) moved S3M-5172—That the Parliament notes the Scottish Government’s commitment to working in partnership with local government and the fire and rescue services to reduce fires and fire deaths in Scotland and that recommendations in the Scotland Together community fire safety study will contribute to a continued partnership approach to fire prevention.

John Lamont moved amendment S3M-5172.1 to motion S3M-5172—

Insert at end—

“and calls on the Scottish fire and rescue authorities to consider the benefits of joint working.”

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

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the Scottish Government’s commitment to working in partnership with local government and the fire and rescue services to reduce fires and fire deaths in Scotland and that recommendations in the Scotland Together community fire safety study will contribute to a continued partnership approach to fire prevention, and calls on the Scottish fire and rescue authorities to consider the benefits of joint working.

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

8. Citizens Advice Scotland Debt Findings: The Parliament debated S3M-5081 in the name of Jackie Baillie—That the Parliament welcomes the new research findings by Citizens Advice Scotland that set out the barriers and problems faced by vulnerable groups such as lone parents, older people, young people and sick and disabled people in Scotland in relation to debt as well as creditor behaviour; notes that the findings show that four in 10 clients have gone without essentials in order to try to cope with their debt, while one in four clients has borrowed further credit to pay existing debt; notes that two fifths of debt clients reported being pressurised or harassed by their creditors; further notes that two thirds of debt clients said that they would consider going bankrupt in order to manage their debt; believes that schemes such as the Low Income Low Asset (LILA) scheme and the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) should be made fully accessible to debtors who are stuck in a cycle of debt and that the £100 fee for accessing the LILA route into bankruptcy should be abolished as only one in five clients said they could unconditionally afford it; further believes that more affordable mainstream credit should be made available to low-income groups; commends the work of the Citizens Advice Bureau in Dumbarton and bureaux across Scotland in providing free, impartial and confidential frontline advice to all who need it, and would welcome the provision of sustained funding for agencies such as Citizens Advice in order to address the growing demand for such advice.

The meeting closed at 5.43 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
12 November 2009

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

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 12 November 2009

Justice Committee, 18th Report, 2009 (Session 3): Stage 1 Report on the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill (SP Paper 334)