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Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 4, No. 26 Session 3

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 7 October 2010

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. The Future of Scotland’s Supported Employment Workplaces: Lewis Macdonald moved S3M-7157—That the Parliament notes the Scottish Government’s policy that every public body should aim to have at least one contract with a supported factory or business, as set out in its Social Issues in Public Procurement guidance document in October 2007 and reiterated as part of the Scottish Sustainable Procurement Action Plan in October 2009; welcomes this approach as the most effective means of public policy support for the sector; regrets the lack of evidence that this policy has been effectively pursued over the last three years, and calls on the Scottish Government to set a timetable for every public body in Scotland for which it is responsible to have at least one contract with a supported factory or business.

The Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism (Jim Mather) moved amendment S3M-7157.2 to motion S3M-7157—

Insert at end—

“, and notes the recognition given to sustainability in the procurement reform programme and in particular the progress on community benefit clauses.”

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

Gavin Brown moved amendment S3M-7157.1 to motion S3M-7157—

Insert at end—

“and, in so doing, take account of the fact that there may be a small minority of public bodies that will face practical difficulties in achieving this aim, and, in addition, believes that main contractors should be actively encouraged, on a voluntary basis, to use supported employment organisations as subcontractors on public sector contracts.”

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 policy that every public body should aim to have at least one contract with a supported factory or business, as set out in its Social Issues in Public Procurement guidance document in October 2007 and reiterated as part of the Scottish Sustainable Procurement Action Plan in October 2009; welcomes this approach as the most effective means of public policy support for the sector; regrets the lack of evidence that this policy has been effectively pursued over the last three years, and calls on the Scottish Government to set a timetable for every public body in Scotland for which it is responsible to have at least one contract with a supported factory or business; notes the recognition given to sustainability in the procurement reform programme and in particular the progress on community benefit clauses, and, in so doing, take account of the fact that there may be a small minority of public bodies that will face practical difficulties in achieving this aim, and, in addition, believes that main contractors should be actively encouraged, on a voluntary basis, to use supported employment organisations as subcontractors on public sector contracts.

2. General Question Time: Questions were answered by Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers and Scottish Law Officers.

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. Refresh of the Skills Strategy: The Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning (Keith Brown) moved S3M-7164—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the refreshed Skills for Scotland skills strategy and agrees that the principles of flexibility, responsiveness and partnership working are critical to meeting Scotland's skills needs and accelerating economic recovery.

David Whitton moved amendment S3M-7164.1 to motion S3M-7164—

Insert at end—

“ and calls on the Scottish Government to ensure that there is sustained investment in skills training to meet the recognised demand for a well skilled, well trained workforce.”

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

Elizabeth Smith moved amendment S3M-7164.2 to motion S3M-7164—

Insert at end—

“ and calls on the Scottish Government to fully engage employers in the process of ensuring that the system is more demand-led and that publicly funded training matches far more closely the needs of employers.”

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

Margaret Smith moved amendment S3M-7164.3 to motion S3M-7164—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes the publication of the refreshed Skills for Scotland skills strategy, three years after the original strategy was rejected by the Parliament; regrets the confusion and bureaucracy in the Scottish Government’s approach to the skills system and meeting the needs of the key economic sectors and industries of the future, and believes that the priority given by the Scottish Government to the new centralised skills quango, Skills Development Scotland, which has £22 million of administrative expenses, has not added any clarity to the Scottish Government’s skills agenda.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 14, Against 102, Abstentions 0).

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

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the refreshed Skills for Scotland skills strategy and agrees that the principles of flexibility, responsiveness and partnership working are critical to meeting Scotland's skills needs and accelerating economic recovery; calls on the Scottish Government to ensure that there is sustained investment in skills training to meet the recognised demand for a well skilled, well trained workforce, and further calls on the Scottish Government to fully engage employers in the process of ensuring that the system is more demand-led and that publicly funded training matches far more closely the needs of employers.

6. Approval of SSI: Bruce Crawford moved S3M-7154—That the Parliament agrees that the Climate Change (Annual Targets) (Scotland) Order 2010 be approved.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 72, Against 3, Abstentions 41).

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

8. Support for Sport in Scotland’s Communities: The Parliament debated S3M-6498 in the name of James Kelly—That the Parliament notes the positive impact that sport can have on people right across Scotland’s communities and the physical and mental wellbeing that it promotes; considers that the advent of the 2014 Commonwealth Games represents an excellent opportunity through sport to improve public health, contribute to Scotland’s economy and help build strong communities; notes the contribution made to this process by the Scottish Sports Alliance, and welcomes the opportunity that such benefits have to grassroots sports organisations in communities such as Rutherglen and Cambuslang, which involve people of all ages in sport and encourage the values of team spirit and tolerance.

The meeting closed at 5.55 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
7 October 2010

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

New Bills introduced or reprinted on 7 October 2010

Legal Services (Scotland) Bill—The Bill was reprinted as passed (SP Bill 30B) (Executive Bill).

Public Records (Scotland) Bill—A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to make provision about the management of records by certain authorities; to amend the Public Records (Scotland) Act 1937 (c.43) in relation to court records; and for connected purposes. (SP Bill 56) (Executive Bill)

Introduced by: Fiona Hyslop
Supported by: Bruce Crawford

Explanatory Notes (and other accompanying documents) (SP Bill 56-EN) and a Policy Memorandum (SP Bill 56-PM) were printed to accompany the Bill.

Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Bill—A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to establish an Electoral Management Board for Scotland; to confer functions on the Electoral Commission in relation to local government elections; and for connected purposes. (SP Bill 57) (Executive Bill)

Introduced by: John Swinney

Explanatory Notes (and other accompanying documents) (SP Bill 57-EN) and a Policy Memorandum (SP Bill 57-PM) were printed to accompany the Bill.

Certification of Death (Scotland) Bill—A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to make provision about the certification of death and still-birth certificates; to make provision for medical reviewers, the senior medical reviewer and their functions; and for connected purposes. (SP Bill 58) (Executive Bill)

Introduced by: Nicola Sturgeon

Explanatory Notes (and other accompanying documents) (SP Bill 58-EN) and a Policy Memorandum (SP Bill 58-PM) were printed to accompany the Bill.

Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Bill—A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to make provision as to the circumstances in which a person convicted or acquitted of an offence may be prosecuted anew; and for connected purposes. (SP Bill 59) (Executive Bill)

Introduced by: Kenny MacAskill

Explanatory Notes (and other accompanying documents) (SP Bill 59-EN) and a Policy Memorandum (SP Bill 59-PM) were printed to accompany the Bill.

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 7 October 2010 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Annual Accounts 2009-10 (SG/2010/219)—

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

Committee Reports

The following report will be published the on 8 October 2010—

Local Government and Communities, 9th Report 2010 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 499)

For further information on accessing committee reports, please contact either the relevant clerk or webpage (see end of Bulletin for contact details or access the general committee webpage ).

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/committees/index.htm