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Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 3, No. 62 Session 3

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 18 March 2010

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Climate Change: Sarah Boyack moved S3M-5978—That the Parliament notes the publication of the UK Climate Change Committee Report, Scotland's path to a low carbon economy; believes that the Scottish Government needs to review its Climate Change Delivery Plan to take into account the passing of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009; believes that there are economic opportunities to be gained from investment in low-carbon technologies and that the Scottish Government needs to take a lead through public procurement, particularly in the fields of transport and construction, and specifically calls on the Scottish Government to put in place a programme to replace its own fleet with low-carbon or electric vehicles and to enable the public and businesses to make the practical changes required to meet the targets set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change (Stewart Stevenson) moved amendment S3M-5978.1 to motion S3M-5978—

Insert at end—

“, and urges the European Unionand UK Government to take action to support Scotland’s ambitious plans and targets.”

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

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S3M-5978.4 to motion S3M-5978—

Insert at end—

“, also noting that, while preserving the environment must not be seen as being in conflict with economic growth, it is vital that current economic circumstances are recognised and that all public expenditure offers value for money to the taxpayer.”

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

Alison McInnes moved amendment S3M-5978.3 to motion S3M-5978—

After “vehicles” insert—

“, to bring forward the planning and development of a national vehicle battery-charging infrastructure”.

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

Patrick Harvie moved amendment S3M-5978.2 to motion S3M-5978—

Insert at end—

“; also opposes new unabated coal power capacity, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to reject plans to build a new coal-fired power station at Hunterston, given that large-scale carbon capture and storage at existing coal or gas plants has never been successfully demonstrated.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 26, Abstentions 10).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 10, Abstentions 26).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the publication of the UK Climate Change Committee Report, Scotland's path to a low carbon economy; believes that the Scottish Government needs to review its Climate Change Delivery Plan to take into account the passing of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009; believes that there are economic opportunities to be gained from investment in low-carbon technologies and that the Scottish Government needs to take a lead through public procurement, particularly in the fields of transport and construction, and specifically calls on the Scottish Government to put in place a programme to replace its own fleet with low-carbon or electric vehicles, to bring forward the planning and development of a national vehicle battery-charging infrastructure and to enable the public and businesses to make the practical changes required to meet the targets set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009; urges the European Unionand UK Governmentto take action to support Scotland’s ambitious plans and targets; notes that, while preserving the environment must not be seen as being in conflict with economic growth, it is vital that current economic circumstances are recognised and that all public expenditure offers value for money to the taxpayer; also opposes new unabated coal power capacity, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to reject plans to build a new coal-fired power station at Hunterston, given that large-scale carbon capture and storage at existing coal or gas plants has never been successfully demonstrated.

2. Building Better Buses: Charlie Gordon moved S3M-5973—That the Parliament notes that some transport authorities have secured better value for money when tendering for bus services by purchasing vehicles themselves rather than incurring costs that include a vehicle supplied by the bidders; further notes the flexibility and efficiency of the five Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) ALX 300 buses operating in the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport area, which are fully compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and which have variable numbers of seats in various configurations enabling one vehicle to be used for demand-responsive services, school services and local scheduled bus services in the course of a single day; considers that to the proven efficiency and social benefits of such buses should be added the environmental and jobs benefits of increasing production of ADL’s new hybrid bus, which is compliant with both DDA requirements and with emissions targets, but notes with concern that over 900 workers at ADL, Scotland’s sole bus manufacturer, are on a three-day week, and calls on the Scottish Government, as a matter of urgency, to fund grants for acquisition of ADL buses by transport authorities and by commercial bus operators to ensure a new generation of bus-build that secures Scottish jobs and skills, world-class bus manufacturing in Falkirk and the provision of world-class transport for the Scottish public.

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (John Swinney) moved amendment S3M-5973.1 to motion S3M-5973—

Insert at end—

“and notes changes to the Bus Services Operators Grant scheme promoted by the Scottish Government that will promote more environmentally friendly buses.”

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

Alison McInnes moved amendment S3M-5973.2 to motion S3M-5973—

Insert at end—

“; notes that a number of UK cities, including Aberdeen and Glasgow, did not meet EU air pollution targets in 2009; further notes that poor air quality causes tens of thousands of premature deaths across the UK each year; believes that a bus scrappage scheme, making grants available to bus operators to replace old, polluting buses, would have a serious impact on reducing air pollution and carbon emissions, and further believes that the benefits to the environment and the economic boost to bus manufacturers will be considerably greater if the UK Government announces funding for a bus scrappage scheme in the Budget on 24 March 2010.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 101, Against 16, Abstentions 0).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 100, Against 0, Abstentions 16).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that some transport authorities have secured better value for money when tendering for bus services by purchasing vehicles themselves rather than incurring costs that include a vehicle supplied by the bidders; further notes the flexibility and efficiency of the five Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) ALX 300 buses operating in the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport area, which are fully compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and which have variable numbers of seats in various configurations enabling one vehicle to be used for demand-responsive services, school services and local scheduled bus services in the course of a single day; considers that to the proven efficiency and social benefits of such buses should be added the environmental and jobs benefits of increasing production of ADL’s new hybrid bus, which is compliant with both DDA requirements and with emissions targets, but notes with concern that over 900 workers at ADL, Scotland’s sole bus manufacturer, are on a three-day week; calls on the Scottish Government, as a matter of urgency, to fund grants for acquisition of ADL buses by transport authorities and by commercial bus operators to ensure a new generation of bus-build that secures Scottish jobs and skills, world-class bus manufacturing in Falkirk and the provision of world-class transport for the Scottish public; notes changes to the Bus Services Operators Grant scheme promoted by the Scottish Governmentthat will promote more environmentally friendly buses; notes that a number of UK cities, including Aberdeen and Glasgow, did not meet EU air pollution targets in 2009; further notes that poor air quality causes tens of thousands of premature deaths across the UK each year; believes that a bus scrappage scheme, making grants available to bus operators to replace old, polluting buses, would have a serious impact on reducing air pollution and carbon emissions, and further believes that the benefits to the environment and the economic boost to bus manufacturers will be considerably greater if the UK Government announces funding for a bus scrappage scheme in the Budget on 24 March 2010.

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. International Development in Malawi: The Parliament debated International Development in Malawi.

7. Establishment of Committee: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-5984—That the Parliament agrees to establish a committee of the Parliament as follows—

Name of Committee: William Simpson’s Home (Transfer of Property etc.) (Scotland) Bill Committee;

Remit: To consider and report to the Parliament on the William Simpson’s Home (Transfer of Property etc.) (Scotland) Bill;

Duration: Until the Bill has received Royal Assent, falls or is withdrawn;

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Scottish Labour Party;

Membership: Nanette Milne, Shirley-Anne Somerville, David Stewart.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

9. 175 Years of the Airdrie Savings Bank: The Parliament debated S3M-5436 in the name of Jamie Hepburn—That the Parliament notes that 2010 represents the 200th anniversary of the Scottish savings bank movement; recognises that Airdrie Savings Bank is the last remaining independent savings bank in the United Kingdom; further notes that Airdrie Savings Bank was formed in 1835 and celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2010; congratulates Airdrie Savings Bank for its relative success compared with the large banking groups during the recession, and considers that the success of Airdrie Savings Bank proves that a model of prudent and responsible banking continues to work after 175 years.

The meeting closed at 5.48 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
18 March 2010

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

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 18 March 2010 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure—

Lews Castle College Financial Statements for the year to 31 July 2009 (SG/2010/46)—

Motherwell College Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2009 (SG/2010/47)—

Oatridge College Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2009 (SG/2010/48)—

Perth College Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2009 (SG/2010/49)—

South Lanarkshire College Annual Report and Financial Statements for the 12 months ended 31 July 2009 (SG/2010/50)—

Stevenson College Edinburgh Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2009 (SG/2010/51)—

West Lothian College Operating and Financial Review for the year ended 31 July 2009 (SG/2010/52)—

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

Passengers’ View Scotland Annual Report 2008-09 (SG/2010/53)

laid under section 12 of the Public Transport Users’ Committee for Scotland Order 2006 (SSI 2006/250)

Overdraft Guarantee for Scottish Water (SG/2010/54)

laid under section 43(2) of the Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002

Committee Reports

The following Reports were published on 18 March 2010—

Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, 3rd Report, 2010 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 404)

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, 3rd Report 2010 (Session 3): Report on the way forward for Scotland's banking, building society and financial services sector (SP Paper 405)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 18th Report, 2010 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SPPaper 406)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 19th Report, 2010 (Session 3): Scottish Parliamentary Commissions and Commissioners etc. Bill (SPPaper 407)