Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No.189/2005: Thursday 22 December 2005
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Contents An A B C D E F G H I J

Section A – Today’s Business

Meeting of the Parliament

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Socialist Party Business: Blood Products—

S2M-3767 Carolyn Leckie: Blood Products—That the Parliament recognises the dogged efforts of patients, relatives, campaigners and all those who have highlighted the issues around the contamination of blood products, including those with viruses such as Hepatitis C and HIV, in the past and the serious consequences for the recipients of these products and their families; acknowledges the previous and continuing work of the Parliament’s Health Committee and MSPs; accepts that campaigners’ demands for a full, independent, public inquiry remain outstanding; believes that there is now more information in the public domain and that the debate has moved on, and agrees that there should now be a full, independent public inquiry.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S2M-3767.2 Lewis Macdonald: Blood Products—As an amendment to motion (S2M-3767) in the name of Carolyn Leckie, leave out from "recognises" to end and insert "expresses its profound sympathy for those patients who have been infected with Hepatitis C through NHS treatment with blood or blood products; welcomes the payments which are being made by the Scottish Executive to help with the suffering and hardship involved; notes that there have been significant improvements in knowledge and in the safety of blood products since these events took place; believes that there is now more information in the public domain and that the debate has moved on, and believes that the focus should now be on practical action which would benefit the future delivery of services or patient care."

S2M-3767.1 Mrs Nanette Milne: Blood Products—As an amendment to motion (S2M-3767) in the name of Carolyn Leckie, leave out from "accepts" to end and insert "extends its sympathy to those infected with Hepatitis C through contaminated blood products; welcomes the move to place information in the public domain, and believes at this moment in time that the best way to get clear decisive answers would be for those campaigners to bring forward a test case to the courts."

followed by Scottish Socialist Party Business: "Torture Flights" on Scottish Soil—

S2M-3766 Frances Curran: "Torture Flights" on Scottish Soil—That the Parliament considers, in light of recent decisions by the governments of Sweden, Spain and Iceland, by the European Union and now by Michael Todd, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police in England, to undertake inquiries into rendition flights, that the Scottish Executive should follow these examples; believes that there are sufficient grounds to justify an independent inquiry into the possible use of Scottish airports by CIA rendition flights, and further believes that the Lord Advocate should instruct the police to investigate without delay whether there has been a breach of Scots Law.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S2M-3766.4 Scott Barrie: "Torture Flights" on Scottish Soil—As an amendment to motion (S2M-3766) in the name of Frances Curran, leave out from "considers" to end, and insert "notes the allegations that have been made about the possible use of Scottish airports by CIA rendition flights; shares the public concern; condemns the use of torture wherever and whenever it may occur; notes that torture constitutes a crime under Scots and international law; reasserts its commitment to Article 4 of the UN Convention Against Torture and notes that this refers not only to acts of torture but to "an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture"; welcomes the assurances from the Lord Advocate that, if offences are committed in the jurisdiction of Scotland and he is made aware of supporting evidence, these allegations will be investigated; further welcomes the commitment of the First Minister to co-operate with any reasonable request from the Council of Europe or any other international organisation; calls on the Scottish Executive to co-operate with any inquiry into rendition flights in British airspace and calls for a commitment that on any issue for which it has responsibility it will take action if presented with credible and reliable information; reasserts that the investigation of crime is a matter for the police and that decisions on whether to investigate in particular cases are for the police to take without political interference, and calls for anyone having evidence of torture or any other crime taking place in Scotland to take that evidence to the police."

S2M-3766.1 Phil Gallie: "Torture Flights" on Scottish Soil—As an amendment to motion (S2M-3766) in the name of Frances Curran, leave out from "considers" to end and insert "supports the UN Convention Against Torture, of which the United Kingdom is a signatory; believes that there is never any justification for torture; welcomes the judgement by the Law Lords that evidence obtained under torture was inadmissible in court and was also inadmissible in a Special Immigration Appeals Commission case; notes the allegations in the press that CIA rendition flights have refuelled in Scotland; trusts that the Foreign Secretary’s assurances that such flights have not landed in Scotland are true, and calls for the Scottish Executive to detail what communications it has had with the Foreign Office over this matter."

S2M-3766.2 Mr Jim Wallace: "Torture Flights" on Scottish Soil—As an amendment to motion (S2M-3766) in the name of Frances Curran, leave out from "considers" to end and insert "deplores all forms of torture; notes that torture, an attempt to commit torture or conspiracy to commit torture are crimes punishable under Scots Law at common law and through the UN Convention against Torture as incorporated into UK law by the Criminal Justice Act 1988; welcomes the inquiry by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to verify if the European Convention on Human Rights has been contravened and that member states have complied with their international obligations; further welcomes the First Minister’s commitment that the Scottish Executive would respond to the inquiry; in light of the public admissions by the US Government of the existence of rendition flights and the interim findings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on this issue, calls on the UK Government to hold an immediate and independent inquiry into rendition flights using British airspace and airports and to make clear to the US Government that extraordinary rendition flights are unacceptable in British airspace and in Britain, and further calls on the UK Government to work with the international community to review the adequacy of the Chicago Convention, in light of international security and human rights concerns."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive by what proportion it estimates that Scotland’s ecological footprint will be reduced by 2015 as a result of its Sustainable Development Strategy. (S2O-8599)

2. Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to review the operation of the Memorandum of Understanding and Supplementary Agreements. (S2O-8559)

3. Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to reduce waiting times for cancer treatments. (S2O-8592)

4. Susan Deacon: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans there are to change the arrangements for health checks of pre-school children by health visitors. (S2O-8531)

5. Marilyn Livingstone: To ask the Scottish Executive when it plans to report on the consultations on the future of emergency fire service control rooms in Scotland. (S2O-8540)

6. Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive, following the initial experience of the Domestic Abuse Court in Glasgow, what plans there are to extend the project across Scotland. (S2O-8546)

7. Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is satisfied with the accident safety record on the A9 between Perth and Inverness. (S2O-8566)

8. Mike Pringle: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to encourage the use of solar power. (S2O-8586)

9. Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure that young people contribute to ensuring the sustainability of the environment for future generations. (S2O-8557)

10. Mr Mark Ruskell: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made on excluding tallow from the scope of the Waste Incineration Directive, in light of its support for the UK Government’s representations to the European Commission on the matter. (S2O-8597)

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 they will discuss. (S2F-2019)

2. Miss Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Scottish Executive’s Cabinet. (S2F-2020)

3. Colin Fox: To ask the First Minister whether the Scottish Executive will fund the full implementation of equal pay across Scotland’s local authorities. (S2F-2031)

4. Cathy Peattie: To ask the First Minister what security measures are in place at Grangemouth petrochemical plant. (S2F-2028)

5. Alex Neil: To ask the First Minister when the Scottish Executive expects proposals for the reorganisation of local enterprise companies to be announced. (S2F-2022)

6. Donald Gorrie: To ask the First Minister what further action the Scottish Executive is taking to reduce alcohol-related health problems. (S2F-2037)

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S2M-3698 Mr Andrew Welsh: Gas Work Notification Scheme—That the Parliament notes with concern the introduction by CORGI of a mandatory notification scheme for all new gas installations in April of this year; further notes that, whilst supporting all measures which genuinely improve gas safety standards, the Gas Work Notification Scheme does not serve to improve standards or to tackle cowboy traders, that it was conceived around the requirements of the Home Information Pack which will apply only in England and Wales and that it places a wholly unnecessary time and cost burden on Scottish registered gas installers, which in turn places an additional cost burden on their major customers, such as Scottish housing associations and local authorities, with no benefit to the Scottish customer; is concerned at the implications of the scheme for gas installers and consumers in Angus; is further concerned that the scheme was introduced by CORGI without due consultation with Scottish member organisations, and considers that the Scottish Executive should ensure that this scheme is withdrawn from Scotland.

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport

1. Iain Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will respond to the recommendations in respect of social work and related services of the joint Social Work Inspection Agency and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary report on the Colyn Evans case. (S2O-8585)

2. Chris Ballance: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it has made in encouraging education for peace in schools. (S2O-8595)

3. Carolyn Leckie: To ask the Scottish Executive what new or revised policies it is considering introducing in relation to initiatives in schools to address the issue of childhood obesity. (S2O-8578)

4. Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what policy changes at UK level it would be satisfied would ensure that the sensitive and humane treatment of children is reflected in policies on the removal of failed asylum seeker families. (S2O-8596)

5. Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to give young people the opportunity to participate in football. (S2O-8569)

6. Maureen Macmillan: To ask the Scottish Executive how young people in the Highlands are being encouraged to take part in sport. (S2O-8541)

7. Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure that education authorities ensure adequate provision for school nurses in primary schools to deal with young people’s health issues. (S2O-8581)

8. Mr Kenneth Macintosh: To ask the Scottish Executive how the funding to employ additional teachers is being distributed to local authorities. (S2O-8545)

9. Nora Radcliffe: To ask the Scottish Executive whether special equipment and equipment adaptation for school pupils with learning needs are funded through the overall education budget or through a dedicated fund. (S2O-8590)

10. Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to encourage tourists to Loch Lomond to visit Scotland’s first National Park. (S2O-8525)

Finance and Public Services and Communities

1. Paul Martin: To ask the Scottish Executive when it last met representatives of Glasgow City Council and what issues were discussed. (S2O-8542)

2. Tommy Sheridan: To ask the Scottish Executive what further steps it will take to assist local authorities to meet their equal pay responsibilities towards women workers who have been underpaid over the last six years. (S2O-8576)

3. Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Scotland’s local authorities will benefit from the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement that local authorities are to receive £500,000 each over the next two years to fund activities for young people. (S2O-8519)

4. Mr Jim Wallace: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress is being made to eliminate development constraints on plans for socially rented housing. (S2O-8588)

5. Helen Eadie: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to increase resources for the regeneration of the most deprived communities. (S2O-8532)

6. Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures are being taken to ensure access to public services for people whose first language is not English. (S2O-8534)

7. Cathy Peattie: To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to build capacity within the black and minority ethnic community. (S2O-8555)

8. Mrs Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive what contribution it has made to ensure the availability of affordable housing in the Linlithgow constituency. (S2O-8552)

9. Dr Sylvia Jackson: To ask the Scottish Executive what financial resources and practical measures it is taking to alleviate fuel poverty this winter. (S2O-8538)

10. Dr Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether its relocation guide, published in June 2005, will ensure a fair distribution of civil service jobs around Scotland. (S2O-8553)

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions—

S2M-3759 Ms Margaret Curran on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Health Committee by 13 January 2006 on the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2006.

2.55 pm Decision Time

Contents An A B C D E F G H I J