Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No.31/2005: Thursday 24 February 2005
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Section A – Today’s Business

Meeting of the Parliament

9.30 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Green Party Debate: Energy Efficiency—

S2M-2462 Shiona Baird: Towards an Energy Efficiency Strategy in Scotland—That the Parliament believes that energy efficiency has great potential to improve efforts to tackle climate change and fuel poverty and to improve quality of life; agrees that energy efficiency has a key part to play in meeting the Scottish Executive’s target of eradicating fuel poverty in Scotland by 2016; further agrees that more than half the emissions reductions in the United Kingdom’s climate change programme could come from energy efficiency, as stated in the UK Energy White Paper, and commends the Executive for its current initiatives to improve energy efficiency and for its move towards a national strategic approach to energy efficiency as outlined in its climate change consultation.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S2M-2462.1 Mr Jim Wallace: Towards an Energy Efficiency Strategy in Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S2M-2462) in the name of Shiona Baird, after "improve quality of life" insert "and increase competitiveness of businesses in Scotland"

S2M-2462.3 Christine Grahame: Towards an Energy Efficiency Strategy in Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S2M-2462) in the name of Shiona Baird, leave out from "and commends" to end and insert "while supporting any moves to increase energy efficiency notes that this must be in tandem with eradicating fuel poverty which affects 13% of households involving some 30,000 children; notes that, for every 5% increase in fuel prices, 30,000 are returned to fuel poverty and that one in five pensioners struggle to keep warm, all of which is often compounded by damp and poor housing conditions which is to be deplored in an energy and resources-rich nation; notes that endeavours to amend the Housing (Scotland) Bill in 2001 to raise tolerable standards, including measures to facilitate energy efficiency, were resisted by the Executive on the argument that its fuel poverty strategy would resolve these problems which it singularly is failing to do; calls on the Executive to raise mandatory housing standards as a matter of urgency, and affirms that only an integrated approach to energy efficiency and fuel poverty can both impact on climate change and improve quality of life."

S2M-2462.2 Alex Johnstone: Towards an Energy Efficiency Strategy in Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S2M-2462) in the name of Shiona Baird, leave out from "has a key part" to end and insert "is widely recognised as the cheapest, cleanest and safest way of achieving Britain’s climate change commitments; notes that while climate change is a global challenge, energy efficiency gives ordinary people an opportunity to act locally and make a contribution, but believes, however, that the Scottish Executive could do more to promote energy efficiency in Scotland."

followed by Scottish Green Party Debate: ID Cards—

S2M-2463 Patrick Harvie: Identity Cards—That the Parliament notes the Identity Cards Bill currently being considered by the Westminster Parliament; is concerned at the lack of time devoted to the scrutiny of this Bill, which has left important questions unanswered over how the identity card scheme will work in practice; believes the proposals to be flawed on political, technical and financial grounds; is concerned that the national identity card and database offer an ineffective response to problems of security and fraud and pose an unacceptable threat to civil liberties; notes that the current cost estimate for the scheme is £5.5 billion and that further escalation of this cost is expected; rejects the Prime Minister’s belief, stated on 1 December 2004 in the House of Commons, that "it is legitimate and right, in this day and age, to ask people to carry identity cards" which appears to go far beyond the current scope of the Bill and would require the consent of the Scottish Parliament; welcomes the Scottish Executive’s position that identity cards will not be required to allow access to devolved public services, and calls on the Executive to make a full statement on the intended use of the identity database by devolved institutions.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S2M-2463.4 Mr Alasdair Morrison: Identity Cards—As an amendment to motion (S2M-2463) in the name of Patrick Harvie, leave out from "is concerned" to end and insert "welcomes the current position of the Scottish Executive in relation to devolved services; believes that identity cards are a central tool in the fight against organised crime and international terrorism; further notes that ID cards would provide a gold standard of identity in the modern world, and recognises that ID cards have attracted overwhelming public support as they assist significantly in delivering safer, more secure communities."

S2M-2463.1 Stewart Stevenson: Identity Cards—As an amendment to motion (S2M-2463) in the name of Patrick Harvie, insert at end "and expresses concern that the data format and operation likely to be associated with proposed identity cards conforms to no formal international standard and carries the real risk of data disclosure to commercial interests."

S2M-2463.3 Jeremy Purvis: Identity Cards—As an amendment to motion (S2M-2463) in the name of Patrick Harvie, leave out from first "notes" to end and insert "regrets the introduction of the Identity Cards Bill to the UK Parliament, notes the consistent opposition to these proposals by Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons on the grounds that they will be ineffective in their stated aim of reducing terrorism; believes that there is an excessive cost to the individual and the taxpayer in introducing the identity card; believes that it will lead to increased discrimination and harassment; is concerned for the protection of civil liberties with the lack of definition of how the card will be used; further believes that the UK Government should explore more effective anti identity and benefits fraud, illegal immigration and illegal working measures; is further concerned with the UK Government’s intention that by 2013 it will be compulsory for UK citizens to possess an ID card and to produce it when accessing designated public services, and welcomes the commitment by the Scottish Executive that identity cards will not be necessary for accessing devolved services."

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time—

1. Nicola Sturgeon: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Prime Minister and what issues will be discussed. (S2F-1458)

2. David McLetchie: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Scottish Executive’s Cabinet. (S2F-1464)

3. Colin Fox: To ask the First Minister whether he will attend the Make Poverty History demonstration prior to the G8 summit. (S2F-1478)

4. Dr Elaine Murray: To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Executive will take to improve staffing levels in NHS 24. (S2F-1469)

5. Shona Robison: To ask the First Minister why top-up fees are being charged in care homes. (S2F-1480)

6. Mr Brian Monteith: To ask the First Minister what plans the Scottish Executive has to redraw local authority boundaries. (S2F-1460)

2.00 pm Question Time—

Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport

1. Withdrawn

2. Donald Gorrie: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it has taken with sportscotland to develop accreditation schemes and New Deal programmes to increase the number of people trained as coaches and sports assistants. (S2O-5527)

3. Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish Executive what efforts it is making to find more effective ways of increasing numeracy. (S2O-5531)

4. Ms Rosemary Byrne: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it is making in extending breakfast clubs to all schools. (S2O-5454)

5. Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to improve access to qualifications and training in the pre-school and childcare workforce. (S2O-5487)

6. Mr Adam Ingram: To ask the Scottish Executive whether additional funding will be provided to Scottish Screen to support its network of local film offices. (S2O-5538)

7. Bristow Muldoon: To ask the Scottish Executive how spending outlined in Expenditure on School Education in Scotland, 2005 is benefiting children. (S2O-5483)

8. Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive how many schools have been built or refurbished since the outset of devolution. (S2O-5473)

9. Dr Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how it ensures that modern science equipment is provided for schools. (S2O-5481)

10. Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made in promoting Scotland as a film location. (S2O-5475)

11. Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance it issues to local authorities on priorities for the replacement or refurbishment of schools. (S2O-5464)

12. Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it will take to reduce the number of pupils leaving school in Glasgow with no job to go to. (S2O-5549)

Finance and Public Services and Communities

1. Linda Fabiani: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to increase the supply of social rented housing. (S2O-5467)

2. Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will review the formula for allocating funding to local government and other bodies in order to give greater weight to deprivation. (S2O-5465)

3. Withdrawn

4. Elaine Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive what assistance is being provided to local authorities to support the implementation of the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003. (S2O-5469)

5. Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive how much local authority housing debt has been written off by central government since 1999 and which local authorities have benefited as a result. (S2O-5540)

6. Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that housing associations, such as Scottish Borders Housing Association, should continue to be exempted from the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and what the reasons are for its position on the matter. (S2O-5551)

7. Mr Kenny MacAskill: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to address the needs of refugees. (S2O-5459)

8. Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects to reach a final decision on the planning application from Eden Waste Recycling Ltd for a landfill site at Greengairs in Lanarkshire. (S2O-5478)

9. Withdrawn

10. Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress is being made in reducing fuel poverty and delivering its central heating programme to older people. (S2O-5489)

11. George Lyon: To ask the Scottish Executive how the funding for housing announced in the ministerial statement on Scottish Water on 9 February 2005 will help connect housing developments in rural areas to the water system. (S2O-5548)

12. Phil Gallie: To ask the Scottish Executive what the overall cost to local authorities would be if they were to meet in full the spending requirements placed on them by Executive legislation passed by the Parliament since its inception. (S2O-5513)

General

1. Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to reverse the trend in violent crime in Glasgow. (S2O-5545)

2. Mr Kenny MacAskill: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it is making in addressing gun crime. (S2O-5460)

3. Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive whether speed restrictions associated with planned roadworks should be lifted during the times when work is not being carried out. (S2O-5541)

4. Nora Radcliffe: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to address any systemic problems in the prosecution of environmental crimes. (S2O-5516)

5. George Lyon: To ask the Scottish Executive what support it is giving to community renewables initiatives. (S2O-5546)

6. Robert Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it supports modernising and extending the Glasgow subway. (S2O-5519)

7. Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what accreditation points were achieved for inspections by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for maternity units at St John’s Hospital, Simpson Maternity Unit and Borders General Hospital. (S2O-5510)

8. Mark Ballard: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to introduce autism awareness training for criminal justice professionals. (S2O-5572)

9. Alex Johnstone: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to monitor the system of GP out-of-hours cover in remote rural areas. (S2O-5543)

10. Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any proposals to ensure that botox treatment is provided in a safe manner by qualified and experienced staff. (S2O-5476)

11. Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what the position is in respect of NHS orthopaedic waiting times in the North Glasgow University Hospitals Division. (S2O-5574)

12. Shiona Baird: To ask the Scottish Executive how much funding from the strategic waste fund has been allocated to community waste management groups. (S2O-5463)

13. Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive whether its advice from officials is not to fund the Borders Railway and whether the matter will require a Ministerial direction. (S2O-5552)

14. Ms Rosemary Byrne: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress is being made on the provision of employability projects for people who are either homeless, drug or alcohol-addicted or a combination of these. (S2O-5453)

15. Eleanor Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it is making on the development of forest crofting. (S2O-5576)

3.00 pm Procedures Committee Debate: 2nd Report 2005, Final Review of Oral Questions—

S2M-2418 Iain Smith: Final Review of Oral Questions and Minor Rule-changes—That the Parliament (a) notes the Procedures Committee’s 2nd Report, 2005 (Session 2), Final Review of Oral Questions (SP Paper 287) and agrees that the changes to standing orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from Friday 18 March 2005, but that the current Rules 13.6 and 13.7 continue to have effect for the purposes of any Question Time in the week beginning Monday 21 March 2005; and (b) notes the Committee’s 1st Report, 2005 (Session 2), Minor Rule-changes (SP Paper 271) and agrees that the changes to standing orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 18 March 2005.

followed by Standards Committee Debate: 1st Report 2005, Replacing the Members’ Interest Order—

S2M-2417 Brian Adam: Proposal for a Committee Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the proposal for a Committee Bill under Rule 9.15 contained in the 1st Report 2005 (Session 2) of the Standards Committee, Replacing the Members’ Interests Order (SP Paper 266).

followed by Motion on Disability Discrimination Bill – UK Legislation—

S2M-2264 Malcolm Chisholm: Disability Discrimination Bill - UK Legislation—That the Parliament agrees the principles contained in the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Bill, including the power to impose duties on public authorities, so far as those provisions relate to matters within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament or confer functions on the Scottish Ministers, and agrees that they should be considered by the UK Parliament.

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

S2M-2448 Ms Margaret Curran on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Abolition of NHS Prescription Charges (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 22 December 2005.

S2M-2449 Ms Margaret Curran on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that the Justice 1 Committee report to the Justice 2 Committee by 4 March 2005 on the draft Advice and Assistance (Assistance by Way of Representation) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2005;

(b) that the Justice 1 Committee report to the Justice 2 Committee by 4 March 2005 on the draft Advice and Assistance (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2005; and

(c) that the Justice 1 Committee report to the Justice 2 Committee by 4 March 2005 on the draft Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2005.

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Debate on the subject of—

S2M-2384 Linda Fabiani: Scottish Civic Forum—That the Parliament notes the concerns raised about the financing of the Scottish Civic Forum; further notes that the forum was set up to help fulfil the founding principles of the Parliament and, in particular, the engagement of Scotland’s people in the new democracy; considers that all those who have an interest in the open democracy heralded in 1999 should act to ensure a continued and healthy future for the forum, and believes that the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body should investigate the possibility of funding the forum directly.



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