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Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 3, No. 58 Session 3

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 4 March 2010

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Factoring Services: Patricia Ferguson moved S3M-5872—That the Parliament notes that the Office of Fair Trading market study into the property management market found that the market is not working well for consumers in Scotland; welcomes the recent cross-party support for proposals to require property factors to register and to make provision for an accessible form of dispute resolution between homeowners and property factors, and further welcomes this positive progress toward the introduction of legislation to ensure better accountability of property managers for their standards and the services that they provide.

The Minister for Housing and Communities (Alex Neil) moved amendment S3M-5872.1 to motion S3M-5872—

Insert at end—

“, and seeks to ensure that the appropriate authorities are given the powers necessary for effective enforcement of any new legislation.”

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

Mary Scanlon moved amendment S3M-5872.3 to motion S3M-5872—

Leave out from “for proposals” to end and insert—

“to debate proposals to require property factors to register and to make provision for an accessible form of dispute resolution between homeowners and property factors, and considers that an accreditation scheme should be given time to work before further legislation is considered.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 13, Against 57, Abstentions 46).

Robert Brown moved amendment S3M-5872.2 to motion S3M-5872—

Insert at end—

“, and calls on the Scottish Government to give consideration to the introduction of a mandatory accreditation scheme to cover private, public and voluntary sector property managers.”

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 that the Office of Fair Trading market study into the property management market found that the market is not working well for consumers in Scotland; welcomes the recent cross-party support for proposals to require property factors to register and to make provision for an accessible form of dispute resolution between homeowners and property factors; further welcomes this positive progress toward the introduction of legislation to ensure better accountability of property managers for their standards and the services that they provide; seeks to ensure that the appropriate authorities are given the powers necessary for effective enforcement of any new legislation, and calls on the Scottish Government to give consideration to the introduction of a mandatory accreditation scheme to cover private, public and voluntary sector property managers.

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

3. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Alex Salmond).

4. Themed Question Time: Questions on Finance and Sustainable Growth were answered by the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers.

5. Educating Children and Young People to Compete in a Globalised 21st Century: The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lfielong Learning (Michael Russell) moved S3M-5871—That the Parliament recognises that in the globalised and increasingly interconnected 21st century it is essential that young people are equipped with the skills and capacities needed to succeed in the global marketplace; further recognises that it is essential that learning is placed in an international context, including learning about Scotland and its place in the world, as an integrated element of the curriculum; supports the aim of promoting Scotland’s education system and bolstering the international reputation that Scotland enjoys for excellence in education, and notes the Scottish Government’s determination to learn from other countries’ education systems to ensure that Scotland further improve its performance and applies a global perspective to its approach and ambitions.

Des McNulty moved amendment S3M-5871.1 to motion S3M-5871—

Leave out from “further recognises” to “excellence in education” and insert—

“regrets the absence of a coherent skills strategy and the lack of preparedness for implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence, particularly the lack of detail regarding the new qualifications and provision for vital continuing professional development”.

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 70, Against 48, Abstentions 0).

Elizabeth Smith moved amendment S3M-5871.3 to motion S3M-5871—

Insert at end—

“; believes that the priorities for parents and teachers across Scotland are substantial improvements in basic standards of literacy and numeracy, greater rigour and greater flexibility in the SQA qualifications structure and wider opportunities for young people to pursue formal vocational training so that Scotland can strengthen its international reputation in educational attainment.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 70, Against 1, Abstentions 47).

Margaret Smith moved amendment S3M-5871.2 to motion S3M-5871—

Insert at end—

“; notes the particular importance of modern languages and science in modern society and the global marketplace, and believes that the Donaldson review of teacher training must ensure that teachers are equipped with the right knowledge and skills to develop these and other key subjects and meet the needs of pupils in the 21st century.”

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

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 71, Against 45, Abstentions 2).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises that in the globalised and increasingly interconnected 21st century it is essential that young people are equipped with the skills and capacities needed to succeed in the global marketplace; regrets the absence of a coherent skills strategy and the lack of preparedness for implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence, particularly the lack of detail regarding the new qualifications and provision for vital continuing professional development; notes the Scottish Government’s determination to learn from other countries’ education systems to ensure that Scotland further improve its performance and applies a global perspective to its approach and ambitions; believes that the priorities for parents and teachers across Scotland are substantial improvements in basic standards of literacy and numeracy, greater rigour and greater flexibility in the SQA qualifications structure and wider opportunities for young people to pursue formal vocational training so that Scotland can strengthen its international reputation in educational attainment; notes the particular importance of modern languages and science in modern society and the global marketplace, and believes that the Donaldson review of teacher training must ensure that teachers are equipped with the right knowledge and skills to develop these and other key subjects and meet the needs of pupils in the 21st century.

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

7. South Lanarkshire College Unveils Aurora House, a First in Scotland: The Parliament debated S3M-5351 in the name of Linda Fabiani—That the Parliament welcomes the official opening by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth of Scotland’s first affordable, low-energy, low-carbon house at South Lanarkshire College in East Kilbride; notes that the Aurora house has an A-rated energy certificate, a heat recovery system, thermal energy pumps and the capacity to create more electricity than it uses; congratulates South Lanarkshire College, the Scottish construction company, Dawn Homes, and the other project partners for conceiving and building the Aurora; notes that the house will be used as a training facility for students and apprentices aiming to work in the construction industry, and believes that this flagship project gives Scotland the potential to become a world-leader in building a new generation of affordable low-carbon homes, helping to both combat climate change and address fuel poverty.

The meeting closed at 5.32 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
4 March 2010

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

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 4 March 2010 and is subject to annulment

The Non-Domestic Rating (Valuation of Utilities) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Order 2010 (SSI 2010/78)

laid under section 6A(2) of the Valuation and Rating (Scotland) Act 1956 and section 27(11) of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 4 March 2010—

Finance Committee, 1st Report, 2010 (Session 3): Report on the draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2009 Amendment Order 2010 (SP Paper 394)

Local Government and Communities Committee, 4th Report, 2010 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 395)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 15th Report, 2010 (Session 3): Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 (SP Paper 396)

Health and Sport Committee 2nd Report 2010: Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 397)