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Business Bulletin No. 133 / 2004

Monday 20 September 2004

Section F : Motions and Amendments


A full list of current motions is available to view each Monday in paper copy at the Chamber Desk or alternatively on the Scottish Parliament web site as Current Motions. The full text of all motions lodged the previous week will appear in the Business Bulletin the following Monday.


Items marked with an asterisk (*) are new or have been altered. Asterisks in the text show the extent of alterations made.

Motions which members wish to be considered for debate as members’ business in the Parliament are marked with a hash symbol (#)

*S2M-1722 Colin Fox: NHS Prescription Charges—That the Parliament believes that NHS prescription charges undermine the founding principle of the NHS, namely that health treatment should be free; notes that there has been a 3,600% increase in prescription charges since 1979, that had the charge simply risen by the rate of inflation it would now be 64 pence instead of £6.40 and that income from charges represents less than 1/20th of the NHS drugs bill and less than 1/200th of total NHS income, and welcomes the decision of the National Assembly for Wales to completely abolish charges for everyone in Wales.

*S2M-1721# Eleanor Scott: Rural Abattoirs—That the Parliament notes that the number of red meat abattoirs in Scotland has fallen from 79 to only 44 in the past 20 years, whereas Austria has sustained over 3,000 slaughter facilities in this period; deplores this reduction, given the detrimental impact on animal welfare that results from increased transportation times; recognises the benefits to rural livelihoods, animal welfare and local food production that more rural abattoirs would bring, and considers that the Scottish Executive should invest in, and support the establishment of, new, modern slaughterhouses throughout rural Scotland.

*S2M-1720 Marlyn Glen: Dundee Historic Environment Trust—That the Parliament welcomes the formation of the Dundee Historic Environment Trust and wholeheartedly supports its objective of renovating the communities of Dundee whilst protecting the city’s architectural heritage and improving its physical environment.

*S2M-1719 Chris Ballance: UN International Day of Peace—That the Parliament expresses its support for the United Nations’ International Day of Peace on 21 September 2004 and congratulates Ben Macpherson on walking from Edinburgh to London to publicise the day.

*S2M-1718# Colin Fox: James Keir Hardie—That the Parliament notes that this month is the 89th anniversary of the death of James Keir Hardie, first leader of the Independent Labour Party; acknowledges that he originally supported the Liberal Party before quickly abandoning them in favour of the idea that the working class needed a party of their own; notes that he was elected as the United Kingdom’s first socialist MP, campaigned for the abolition of the House of Lords and was an outspoken anti-imperialist opponent of World War I, and wishes every success for the Keir Hardie Memorial Lecture to be held in Greenmills Primary School, Cumnock on Thursday 30 September 2004.

*S2M-1717 Ross Finnie: The Draft Scotland Act 1998 (Functions Exercisable in or as Regards Scotland) Order 2004—That the Environment and Rural Development Committee recommends that the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Functions Exercisable in or as Regards Scotland) Order 2004 be approved.

Supported by: Allan Wilson*

*S2M-1716 Ross Finnie: The Draft Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 (Modification of National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000) Order 2004—That the Environment and Rural Development Committee recommends that the draft Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 (Modification of National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000) Order 2004 be approved.

Supported by: Allan Wilson*

*S2M-1715 Ross Finnie: The Fishing Vessels (Satellite-Tracking Devices) (Scotland) Scheme 2004—That the Environment and Rural Development Committee recommends that the Fishing Vessels (Satellite-Tracking Devices) (Scotland) Scheme 2004 (SSI 2004/379) be approved.

Supported by: Allan Wilson*

*S2M-1714 Cathy Jamieson: The Draft Freedom of Information (Fees for Required Disclosure) (Scotland) Regulations 2004—That the Justice 1 Committee recommends that the draft Freedom of Information (Fees for Required Disclosure) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 be approved.

Supported by: Hugh Henry*

*S2M-1713# Helen Eadie: A First for Schools in Scotland—That the Parliament congratulates the Rector, teachers and pupils of Lochgelly High School on yet another major achievement in being the first school in Scotland to secure access to school for a guide dog for the blind, ensuring much needed support for a blind pupil; commends Fife Council for its hands-on, pragmatic approach and ongoing commitment to disability issues; considers that every local authority across Scotland should follow this example of good practice; commends BBC Scotland for giving coverage to such a vital aspect of our everyday life in Scotland, and applauds Guide Dogs for the Blind for the role it played in facilitating this achievement.

*S2M-1712 John Farquhar Munro: Environmental Protection (Restriction on Use of Lead Shot) (Scotland) (No.2) Regulations 2004—That the Environment and Rural Development Committee recommends that nothing further be done under the Environmental Protection (Restriction on Use of Lead Shot) (Scotland) (No.2) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/358).

S2M-1710 Bill Butler: Football Against Racism in Europe—That the Parliament supports the action week organised by Football Against Racism in Europe between 14 and 26 October 2004; hopes that Scottish football clubs and fans from all levels of the game will mark this occasion by organising and participating in events highlighting the continuing need to take a stand against racism and discrimination wherever it occurs; welcomes the increased efforts of Scottish clubs to implement the measures contained within UEFA’s ten point action plan to combat racism in the sport, and commends the work of "Show Racism the Red Card" and all anti-racism campaign groups.

Supported by: Richard Baker, Des McNulty*, Dr Elaine Murray*, Marlyn Glen*, Rob Gibson*, Ms Sandra White*, Karen Gillon*, Margaret Jamieson*, Scott Barrie*, Michael McMahon*, Mike Pringle*, Mr Alasdair Morrison*, Mr Kenny MacAskill*, Robin Harper*, Trish Godman*, Robert Brown*, Chris Ballance*, Elaine Smith*, Jackie Baillie*, Carolyn Leckie*, Eleanor Scott*, Tricia Marwick*, Bruce Crawford*

S2M-1709 Colin Fox: Save Lismore School Campaign—That the Parliament recognises the strength of public opposition to proposed primary school closures in Edinburgh; recognises the concerns of parents and staff wishing to retain local education facilities in their communities, and congratulates all those involved in the Lismore Primary School campaign who have argued successfully to keep their school open.

Supported by: Mr Kenny MacAskill*, Ms Sandra White*, Carolyn Leckie*

S2M-1708# Irene Oldfather: Partners in Excellence Project and European Day of Languages, 26 September 2004—That the Parliament congratulates North Ayrshire Council, East Ayrshire Council and Argyll and Bute Council on their involvement in the successful Partners in Excellence (PiE) modern language learning initiative; notes that the project uses immersion visits abroad, film-making in modern languages and information and computer technology to make modern language learning fun and relevant for secondary school pupils; welcomes the recent publication of a report by researchers at the Scottish Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research which found that the PiE initiative had achieved considerable success in both encouraging more young people to learn modern languages and in boosting levels of proficiency; notes that all three local authorities experienced an increase both in uptake levels for modern language courses in S5 and in overall pass rates; agrees that learning a modern language is a vital tool in equipping our young people for the jobs market of the 21st century and the opportunities that membership of an enlarged European Union offers; notes that 26 September 2004 has been designated by the Council of Europe as the annual European Day of Languages; is aware that hundreds of activities celebrating language diversity and promoting language learning are being held throughout Europe on and around 26 September, and believes that MSPs should work in partnership with the Scottish Executive and local authorities to celebrate the day with the aim of inspiring more young people to learn a modern language.

S2M-1707# Carolyn Leckie: Equal Pay is an Obligation not an Aspiration—That the Parliament notes that all member states of the European Union, including devolved legislatures, are obliged to do all they can to achieve equal pay; notes that mere calls for equal pay do not meet those obligations and are not enough to ensure that pay systems of, in particular, public sector employers are free from gender bias; notes the concerns of the Equal Opportunities Commission that local authorities have not done enough to achieve and implement pay structures free from gender bias; notes that nursery nurses remain on varying rates of unequal pay across authorities in Scotland and that generally the pay gap remains wide in local authorities; notes the development of Agenda for Change in the NHS, where pilot projects have shown over 30% of a predominantly female workforce losing out; believes that this is a great cause for concern and does not instil confidence that Agenda For Change can be the mechanism whereby gender bias will be removed from NHS pay, and therefore believes that the Scottish Executive is not currently meeting its obligations under equal pay legislation and that there needs to be immediate steps taken by the Executive to enforce the achievement of equal pay.

S2M-1706# Bruce Crawford: Closure of Public Telephone Boxes by BT—That the Parliament recognises the value of public telephone boxes as an important public service throughout Scotland in terms of social need and access to emergency services; is concerned about the plans by British Telecom (BT) to close 165 call boxes in towns and villages throughout mid-Scotland and Fife and around 1,000 around Scotland; supports the many community councils who have expressed grave concern at the planned closure of public call boxes in their communities; considers the consultation process conducted by BT to be inadequate, and therefore believes that BT should consult directly with the communities affected and reconsider its plans.

Supported by: Christine Grahame*, Jim Mather*, Eleanor Scott*, Mike Pringle*, Alasdair Morgan*, Ms Sandra White*, Carolyn Leckie*, Robin Harper*

S2M-1705 Karen Whitefield: The United States of America—That the Parliament notes that the United States of America is the largest foreign investor in Scotland; further notes that, for over twenty years, this special relationship has created wealth for the people of both countries; believes that the Democratic nominee, Senator John Kerry, has the best economic and social policies for both the United States and its foreign partners, and wishes him well in his attempt to defeat the Bush administration in November.

S2M-1704 Brian Adam: Congratulations to Aberdeen City on its Horticultural Victories—That the Parliament congratulates Aberdeen City Council for winning the best city prize in the Beautiful Scotland in Bloom Awards 2004 and for winning the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society Trophy in the local authority awards category and recognises the work put in by council staff, councillors and the many volunteers throughout the city whose efforts have led to these victories.

Supported by: Robin Harper*, Richard Lochhead*, Ms Sandra White*, Mr Jamie Stone*

S2M-1703# Mark Ballard: Current Account Access at Post Offices—That the Parliament notes the agreement announced on 15 September 2004 that Clydesdale Bank customers will, from 1 October 2004, be able to withdraw and deposit cash, check their account balances and deposit cheques at any of the 1799 post office branches in Scotland; believes that this will improve access to banking facilities for geographically-remote and socially-excluded communities in Scotland, while ensuring the viability of post offices in such areas, and considers that other banks should follow the lead of Clydesdale, the Co-operative Bank, Smile, Lloyds TSB, Barclays, Alliance and Leicester plc, Cahoot and First Direct in forming an alliance with the Royal Mail to offer banking services.

Supported by: Stewart Stevenson, John Swinburne

S2M-1701 Christine Grahame: Borders Citizens Advice Bureau—That the Parliament recognises the excellent work of the Borders Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) where, in the last year, more than 10,400 Borderers have contacted eight local CABs with over 16,400 separate problems, representing one in 10 of the population; notes that relationship breakdowns have risen by 38%, problems with utility companies have risen by 50%, debt enquiries by 29% and housing problems by 24%; further notes that the bureaux have achieved financial gains to clients to the value of £1,759,939, representing a 14.6 to 1 return on funding investment and that this money also benefits the local Borders’ economy, as well as providing a lifeline for clients, and congratulates all, from professionals to the volunteers, involved in this essential and successful work.

Supported by: Michael Matheson*

S2M-1697 Carolyn Leckie: Children Deserve Justice—That the Parliament recognises that a small number of fathers may have had their access and custody claims unfairly considered but recognises that most fathers lose contact with their children within five years of divorce, even though there are no restrictions placed on contact, that most single parents are women and are placed in poverty as a result and that most incidences of restrictions of access or contact are made to protect the interests and well-being of children and women, significant numbers of whom have been subjected to domestic abuse, which can be manifested in various forms; regrets the disproportionate attention campaigns for fathers’ rights have attracted when the concerns, pressures and poverty of mothers and children have resulted in no significant action; regrets that the effect of that attention has induced a climate of misogyny, pushed the welfare of children off the agenda and shifted the political debate on families and children to the right, and believes that it is time that the interests of children are placed at the top of the agenda, starting with the removal of the massive amount of children of single parents in poverty out of poverty and offering decent, safe affordable housing for all in an environment that can offer adequate protection from abusive men as and when necessary.

Supported by: Frances Curran, Rosie Kane, Patrick Harvie, Robin Harper*, Eleanor Scott*

S2M-1696 Bruce Crawford: Closure of Accident and Emergency Unit in Fife—That the Parliament expresses concern over the proposals by NHS Fife to move from two accident and emergency units serving Fife to only one; notes that initially accident and emergency services will be primarily based at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline, but that, in the longer term, these services will be relocated to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy; recognises that the move to only one unit is based primarily on advice from the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), but is concerned that wider risk assessment issues have not been given appropriate consideration, and calls on the Scottish Executive to ensure that, when decisions are taken to close an accident and emergency unit, advice and direction should not simply come from the RCS but that all risk assessment factors should be taken into account and given appropriate weighting, including advice from other royal colleges, the location and distance of communities from the accident and emergency unit, the length of time it takes for more remote communities to access such a unit, the services available from GP practices and the impact on the ambulance service.

Supported by: Ms Sandra White, Carolyn Leckie, Christine Grahame, Murdo Fraser, Jim Mather, Rob Gibson, Mr Stewart Maxwell, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Alex Neil, Chris Ballance, Mr Brian Monteith, Frances Curran, Michael Matheson*

S2M-1684 Alasdair Morgan: Scottish Definitive Postage Stamps—That the Parliament congratulates Royal Mail on continuing the production of Scottish definitive stamps and on issuing them in a special pack to mark the opening of the new Parliament building; believes that the use of these stamps would be much greater if they were also made available in sheets of self-adhesive stamps as is done with the UK definitive issue, and urges Royal Mail to reconsider its decision not to do so.

Supported by: Stewart Stevenson, Mr Kenny MacAskill, Brian Adam, Bruce Crawford, Alex Neil, Jim Mather, Robin Harper, Richard Lochhead, Campbell Martin, Ms Sandra White, Dr Elaine Murray, Mr Brian Monteith, Christine Grahame, Rob Gibson, Michael Matheson, Dr Jean Turner, Mr Stewart Maxwell, Mike Pringle*, Robert Brown*

S2M-1683 Mike Pringle: Congratulations to All at South Edinburgh Healthy Living Initiative—That the Parliament congratulates all the staff and volunteers at South Edinburgh Healthy Living Initiative for the work they have done in its first year of operation, including setting up health walks, advising of damp problems in homes, offering support to new mothers in feeding their babies, providing support for parents of difficult teenagers, offering stress management courses and running cookery classes for those on low incomes, and hopes that this scheme can be used as a model in other local authorities in dealing with the chronic problem of unhealthy lifestyles.

Supported by: Tommy Sheridan, Mr Kenny MacAskill, Rosie Kane, Mr Stewart Maxwell, Mrs Nanette Milne, Mr Jamie Stone, Ms Sandra White*, Robin Harper*, Chris Ballance*, Eleanor Scott*

S2M-1682 Jackie Baillie: NHS Argyll and Clyde’s Clinical Strategy Review—That the Parliament recognises the strength of public opposition to the proposals in NHS Argyll and Clyde’s clinical strategy review; notes that over 4,000 protestors took to the streets on Saturday 4 September 2004 to protest against the proposed downgrading of the Vale of Leven Hospital and the closure of the Dumbarton Joint Hospital and the Helensburgh Victoria Infirmary; congratulates Save our Services, the Vale of Leven Hospital Services Forum and the GMB Trade Union for organising the demonstration; recognises the anger and frustration that the proposals have generated; believes that NHS Argyll and Clyde should maximise services at the Vale of Leven Hospital and consider the use of Gartnavel Hospital and the Golden Jubilee National Hospital for specialist services; urges the Minister for Health and Community Care to defer any decision until the national framework is in place in 2005, and asks the minister to reject any clinical strategy that fails to adequately demonstrate regional planning.

S2M-1681 Sarah Boyack: Corporate Responsibility—That the Parliament notes the significant impact that businesses and corporations can have on communities and the environment in which they operate and supports efforts aimed at improving the accountability of companies for their actions.

Supported by: Karen Gillon, Irene Oldfather, Mark Ballard, Bill Butler, Trish Godman, Eleanor Scott, Cathie Craigie, Mr Jamie Stone, Richard Lochhead, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Mr Kenneth Macintosh, Chris Ballance, Jackie Baillie, Robert Brown, Margaret Jamieson, Marilyn Livingstone, Christine May, Karen Whitefield, Helen Eadie, Tommy Sheridan, Nora Radcliffe, Maureen Macmillan, Dr Jean Turner, Marlyn Glen, Robin Harper*

S2M-1680 Robin Harper: "Beachwatch" Survey and Beach Clean Weekend on 18 and 19 September 2004—That the Parliament welcomes and supports the Marine Conservation Society’s annual "Beachwatch" survey and beach clean-up scheduled for 18 and 19 September 2004; notes that it contributes to the International Coastal Clean-up taking place in over 90 countries coinciding with the United Nations Environment Programme’s "Clean Up the World" Weekend and commends the fact that over 40 community groups have registered to participate; notes that this annual voluntary operation continues to constitute the single most comprehensive snapshot of the degree of littering on Scotland’s beaches; further notes with concern that the 2003 survey results showed a 29% increase in the number of litter items recorded per kilometre surveyed compared with 2002 or 99% since 1994 and, while commending the Marine Conservation Society’s proven example of working successfully in partnership with Firth Forums and other groups, notes that the Scottish Coastal Strategy recognises that there are important benefits to be gained by co-ordinated working through adoption of a marine litter strategy for Scotland, and calls upon the Scottish Executive to take a firm lead following its recognition of beaches as a national resource and its commitment to consult on the best strategy for protecting and enhancing all of Scotland’s coastline.

Supported by: Mike Pringle, Mark Ballard, Eleanor Scott, Elaine Smith, Richard Lochhead, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Rosie Kane, Chris Ballance, Patrick Harvie, Tommy Sheridan, Dr Jean Turner, Marlyn Glen

S2M-1679 Donald Gorrie: Congratulations to Andrew Murray, Winner of US Boys’ Open Tennis Championship—That the Parliament congratulates Andrew Murray for winning the United States Boys’ Open Tennis Championship and calls on the Scottish Executive and sportscotland to ensure that he, and other promising young tennis players and sportspeople, receive all the support possible and that the successes of Andrew Murray and other Scots are used to encourage more young people to fulfil their potential in sport.

Supported by: Michael Matheson, Colin Fox, Phil Gallie, Tommy Sheridan

S2M-1678 Robert Brown: Threat from Large Casinos—That the Parliament is concerned at the implications of the proposed new regime for casino and gambling regulation contained in the UK Gambling Bill and the worrying potential for an increase in gambling addiction; believes that large new casinos neither add long-term value to, nor create sustained economic benefit and lasting additional job opportunities for, local communities; notes the number of potential new casinos being proposed in the Glasgow area in particular; believes that large-scale casinos are not a good use of scarce urban land; does not wish to see Glasgow become the "Las Vegas" of Scotland, and urges the Scottish Executive and local authorities to put in place strict planning and licensing regimes that will discourage such developments.

Supported by: Stewart Stevenson, Tommy Sheridan

S2M-1677 John Swinburne: Concessions for Elderly Passengers of Scottish Citylink—That the Parliament welcomes the additional concession by Scottish Citylink to allow concessionary passengers to travel across boundaries on all of their services; further congratulates Scottish Citylink on the introduction of lower fares for passengers aged 60 and over on its Glasgow to Edinburgh route; acknowledges that these concessions go beyond the current local concessionary travel scheme for the elderly; notes that the limitations of the local scheme impact negatively on the social exclusion of elderly people; agrees that this must only be a short-term solution, and therefore calls upon the Scottish Executive to implement its policy in the Partnership Agreement by properly financing and delivering a national concessionary travel scheme for elderly and disabled people forthwith.

Supported by: Ms Sandra White*, Carolyn Leckie*, Robin Harper*

S2M-1676# Mark Ballard: Student Loans Payment Date—That the Parliament notes that the student loan is currently paid in three instalments through the academic year, designed to correspond to three academic terms; further notes that the majority of students in Scotland attend higher education institutions that have a semester system; believes that the payment of student loan instalments in Scotland should correspond to the academic year followed by the majority of students in Scotland; believes that making a third of the student loan unavailable until a few weeks before the end of the academic year is likely to result in unnecessary student hardship, higher drop-out rates and increased administration costs for higher education institutions distributing welfare payments, and considers that the Student Loans Company, the Department for Education and Skills and the Student Awards Agency for Scotland should co-operate with student organisations and higher education institutions to arrange for student loans to be paid to all students studying in Scotland monthly or at intervals appropriate to the pattern of the academic year predominant in Scotland.

S2M-1673.1# Michael Matheson: Dying with Dignity—As an amendment to motion (S2M-1673) in the name of Jeremy Purvis, leave out from "further" to end and insert "notes that the Scottish Executive has been attempting to tackle Scotland’s high level of suicide and self harm; notes the evidence submitted to the House of Lords’ select committee by the Royal College of Nursing that involving nurses in assisted dying would undermine the nurse-patient relationship and frighten vulnerable people and that the Patient (Assisted Dying) Bill normalises the concept that some lives are not worth living; notes the BMA conference’s 2000 decision to reject any moves to change the law on physician-assisted suicide; rejects the principle that suicide is acceptable, and calls for better provision of palliative care and treatment for terminally-ill patients and sufferers of depression."

Supported by: Alex Neil*

S2M-1656 Centralisation of Health Services in Scotland (lodged on 7 September 2004) Carolyn Leckie*

S2M-1651 Segregation in the New Parliament (lodged on 7 September 2004) Carolyn Leckie*

S2M-1647# Fatigue and Chronic Neurological Illnesses (lodged on 6 September 2004) Carolyn Leckie*

S2M-1640 Elaine Smith: Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Bill.

Supported by: Tommy Sheridan

S2M-1635 Sexual Health and Relationships Strategy (lodged on 2 September 2004) Mr Keith Raffan*

S2M-1618.1 Mr Keith Raffan: Shameless Behaviour of Liberal Democrats on Perth and Kinross Council—As an amendment to motion (S2M-1618) in the name of Murdo Fraser, leave out from "unilaterally" to end and insert "form a new partnership administration with the SNP is in the best interests of all the people of Perth and Kinross; notes that, at the local elections in 2003, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the SNP together won nearly 60% of the vote, and believes that the new partnership will bring badly-needed stability and focus to the work of the council, especially as the Scottish Liberal Democrat and SNP councillors share the common aim of investing in, and so improving, public services, unlike the Conservative councillors, who are only interesting in toeing Michael Howard’s line by imposing highly damaging cuts in services which would hit hard at young and old alike."

S2M-1597 Israel’s Separation Wall (lodged on 4 August 2004) Carolyn Leckie*

S2M-1590# Murdo Fraser: Scotland’s Regiments—That the Parliament notes the outstanding commitment and service of Scotland’s six infantry regiments for this country over the centuries; further notes that the recent war in Iraq was the latest conflict which showed Scotland’s regiments to be a modern, effective fighting force as well as institutions steeped in history and tradition; condemns the proposed loss of one of Scotland’s regiments and the amalgamation of existing regiments into one or two new regiments, with the resultant loss of individual regimental identity and traditions; believes that, in a time of increased commitments across the globe, our armed forces must have the necessary resources and structure to protect our country, deter aggression and safeguard our vital interests in the wider world, and considers that the Scottish Executive should make urgent representations to the Ministry of Defence against these proposals in the interests of the Scottish economy and Scotland’s military culture.

Supported by: Mrs Nanette Milne, Mr Ted Brocklebank, Mike Rumbles, Margaret Mitchell, Mr David Davidson, Alex Johnstone, David Mundell, Christine Grahame, David McLetchie, Mr Brian Monteith, Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, Murray Tosh, Bill Aitken, Mr Jamie McGrigor, Mike Pringle, Mary Scanlon, Phil Gallie, John Scott, Donald Gorrie, Dr Jean Turner

S2M-1539 Death Sentences Imposed on Medical Staff in Libya (lodged on 24 June 2004) Kate Maclean*