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Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 4, No. 60 Session 3

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 10 March 2011

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Local Services: Robert Brown moved S3M-8120—That the Parliament is concerned by the apparently endless desire on the part of centralising national politicians to attempt to take over control of local services, witnessed by proposals on police, fire and social work; opposes the flawed proposals for a single police force, under which, for example, local control of policing will be removed from the Northern and Grampian police force areas; does not support centralisation by government assertion, where no robust costs of change are produced; believes that a single one-size-fits-all approach to social work will waste money by destroying those successful local initiatives that are already in place, and believes that the people of Scotland will be better served by a new approach from government that trusts local people to make good decisions for their areas and equips local government with the powers, levers and authority to drive innovation and improvement in local services.

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Kenny MacAskill) moved amendment S3M-8120.2 to motion S3M-8120—

Leave out from “is concerned” to end and insert—

“notes that Scotland and policing have changed significantly since the existing structure of policing was introduced over 35 years ago; notes the Scottish Government’s consultation papers on police and fire services reform and agrees that, given the significant financial challenges, such reform is necessary to protect and improve local services and to strengthen and improve local accountability and engagement; agrees that reform can only happen if it gives local communities and local elected members a greater say on local priorities and services, and notes that the expectations and requirements of health and social care have similarly changed significantly since existing structures were introduced and that reform is needed to deliver integrated services that are sustainable and appropriate and that make best use of resources focussed on the needs of local populations.”

Richard Baker moved amendment S3M-8120.1 to motion S3M-8120—

Leave out from “is concerned” to end and insert—

"believes that the case for reform and innovation in Scotland’s public services is unanswerable and that meeting the needs of the public is more important than preserving structures; recognises that the need to protect frontline services in the face of UK Government cuts requires the status quo in public services to be reassessed; believes that moving to a single fire and rescue service, a single police service and the creation of a national care service offers the best opportunity for improving delivery of these services in Scotland, and believes that these new structures will allow the reinvestment of savings to maintain frontline staff while ensuring that there are improved mechanisms for local democratic accountability and delivery on local priorities."

After debate, amendment S3M-8120.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 18, Abstentions 45). As a result, amendment S3M-8120.1 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 106, Against 18, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that Scotland and policing have changed significantly since the existing structure of policing was introduced over 35 years ago; notes the Scottish Government’s consultation papers on police and fire services reform and agrees that, given the significant financial challenges, such reform is necessary to protect and improve local services and to strengthen and improve local accountability and engagement; agrees that reform can only happen if it gives local communities and local elected members a greater say on local priorities and services, and notes that the expectations and requirements of health and social care have similarly changed significantly since existing structures were introduced and that reform is needed to deliver integrated services that are sustainable and appropriate and that make best use of resources focussed on the needs of local populations.

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. 30th Anniversary of the Lee Jeans Sit-in: The Parliament debated S3M-7898 in the name of Duncan McNeil—That the Parliament remembers the 240 women who staged what it sees as a historic sit-in at the Lee Jeans factory in Greenock 30 years ago, beginning on 5 February 1981; notes that the workers barricaded themselves into the canteen for seven months in protest at the decision to close the factory; salutes the workers for capturing the imagination of the whole country and achieving a landmark victory against a US multinational; wishes the former convener, Helen Monaghan, and machinists, Margaret Wallace and Catherine Robertson, well for the 30th anniversary reunion event that they have organised, and considers the Lee Jeans sit-in to be an inspiration to women workers all over the world.

5. Themed Question Time: Questions on Europe, External Affairs and Culture and on Education and Lifelong Learning, were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

6. Scotland Bill - UK Legislation: Pauline McNeill moved S3M-8114—That the Parliament agrees that, further to motion S3M-7550 passed on 9 December 2010 supporting the general principles of the Scotland Bill as introduced in the House of Commons on 30 November 2010, the Bill be considered by the UK Parliament; invites the UK Government and the UK Parliament to consider the amendments and proposals made in the report of the Scotland Bill Committee, and looks forward to considering any amendments made to the Bill with a view to debating them in a further legislative consent motion before the Bill is passed for Royal Assent.

The Minister for Culture and External Affairs (Fiona Hyslop) moved amendment S3M-8114.1 to motion S3M-8114—

Leave out from first “the Bill” to end and insert—

“Scotland is best served by a Scottish Parliament that has the full range of powers and responsibilities necessary to improve Scotland’s economic performance and promote sustainable economic growth; agrees that the current provisions of the Scotland Bill do not provide those powers and responsibilities; recognises the improvements to the Bill suggested by the Scotland Bill Committee but is of the view that further improvements are needed to provide the financial responsibility that Scotland needs and to address other flaws in the Bill; nevertheless agrees that the UK Parliament should consider the Bill, apart from the provisions that reserve insolvency and the regulation of health professions (clauses 12 and 13) and allow UK ministers to implement international obligations in devolved areas (clause 23) and partial suspension of Acts subject to scrutiny by the Supreme Court (clause 7), and further agrees that, given the amendments requested by the Scottish Parliament, the incoming Scottish Parliament should consider the Bill as amended by the UK Parliament in a further legislative consent motion before the Bill is passed for Royal Assent.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 46 , Against 78, Abstentions 1.

Margaret Mitchell moved amendment S3M-8114.2 to motion S3M-8114—

After “Committee” insert—

“together with the proposal that a nationwide referendum be held in Scotland on the fiscal powers of the Scottish Parliament on the grounds that the public has a democratic right to decide whether to transfer powers such as income tax from MPs to MSPs”.

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 47, Against 77, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 121, Against 3, Abstentions 1).

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

8. The Co-operative Model, Born in Fenwick, 14 March 1761, Still Flourishing: The Parliament debated S3M-8024 in the name of Willie Coffey—That the Parliament celebrates the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Fenwick Weavers Society in the Kilmarnock and Loudoun village of Fenwick as a significant milestone in the development of co-operative enterprises in Scotland and throughout the world; welcomes plans to recognise the founding of the society, which was recorded in the signing of a charter in Fenwick Parish Church on 14 March 1761, in a range of projects organised by the modern-day Fenwick Weavers Society in co-operation with East Ayrshire Council and with the support of a wide range of funders; notes that the projects will include the building of a commemorative wall on the spot in Fenwick where the weavers held their parliament and by the signing of a modern Fenwick Charter, to take place in the same church on 14 March 2011; further notes that the Fenwick Weavers Society has been described as "the oldest example of distributive Co-operation of which there is documentary evidence" and also as "probably the pioneer of what is now described as the 'Co-operative supply association’”; highlights that among those signing the Fenwick Charter will be Scots from all walks of life including Scotland’s growing co-operative sector, representatives of UK co-operative bodies, including Co-operatives UK and the Co-operative Group, the president and director general of the International Co-operative Alliance and a representative of the MONDRAGON Corporation, a co-operative group founded in 1956 that now has over 85,000 employees and plants in 18 countries, the largest business group in the Basque Country and seventh largest in Spain; applauds the fact that the worldwide co-operative movement, of which the early roots are in Fenwick, now brings together over one billion members, providing in excess of 100 million jobs, and considers that, in addition to being an important part of Scotland’s history, co-operative enterprises offer Scotland a viable, efficient and accountable means of organising to produce goods and services for their members, for the wider Scottish community and for export.

The meeting closed at 5.51 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
10 March 2011

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

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 10 March 2011 and is subject to annulment

The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (Consequential Provisions) Amendment Order 2011 (SSI 2011/187)

laid under section 146(4) of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 10 March 2011––

European and External Relations Committee, 1st Report, 2011 (Session 3), Scottish Government’s International Engagement Strategy (SP Paper 607)

Public Audit Committee, 6th Report, 2011 (Session 3): Legacy Paper Session 3 (SP Paper 620)

Rural Affairs and Environment Committee, 4th Report, 2011 (Session 3): The Future of Agricultural Support in Scotland (SP Paper 622)

Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee, 4th Report, 2011 (Session 3): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 623)

Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee, 5th Report, 2011 (Session 3): Report on the legislative consent memorandum on the Education Bill (LCM(S3) 34.1) (SP Paper 624)

Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, 2nd Report, 2011 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 625)