Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 70/2006: Thursday 4 May 2006
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Section A – Today’s Business

Meeting of the Parliament

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Green Party Debate: Replacement of Trident—

S2M-3866 Chris Ballance: Replacement of Trident—That the Parliament believes that the United Kingdom should not seek to replace the Trident nuclear missile system; notes that in 2005 the UK Government reaffirmed its commitment to all its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 1967 (NPT), including its legally binding obligation to negotiate nuclear disarmament in good faith; agrees with the legal opinion of Rabinder Singh QC and Professor Christine Chinkin of Matrix Chambers on 19 December 2005 that any replacement of the Trident system would constitute a material breach of Article VI of the NPT, and calls on the Scottish Executive to seek an early assurance from the UK Government that it will fully comply with our legal obligations in respect of the NPT and that it will not seek to replace the Trident nuclear missile system with another weapon system of mass destruction.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S2M-3866.4 Jackie Baillie: Replacement of Trident—As an amendment to motion (S2M-3866) in the name of Chris Ballance, leave out from "believes" to end and insert "notes that in 2005 the UK Government reaffirmed its commitment to all its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 1967; notes the commitment of all three major UK parties to retain an independent nuclear deterrent; notes the comments of the UK Government that no decisions on replacing Trident have yet been taken; believes there should be the fullest possible public debate on any decision to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system, considering all possible options including non-replacement; notes the significant reductions in the United Kingdom’s nuclear weapons arsenal; is committed to the goal of the global elimination of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and wishes to see the United Kingdom continue to work both bilaterally and through the United Nations to urge states not yet party to non-proliferation instruments to become so, to remain committed to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and to make further progress toward significant reductions in the nuclear arsenals of the major nuclear powers."

S2M-3866.1 Bruce Crawford: Replacement of Trident—As an amendment to motion (S2M-3866) in the name of Chris Ballance, insert at end "and believes that the best way to ensure that nuclear weapons are removed from Scotland is for Scotland to become an independent nation."

S2M-3866.2 Phil Gallie: Replacement of Trident—As an amendment to motion (S2M-3866) in the name of Chris Ballance, leave out from "that the United Kingdom" to end and insert "it essential that the United Kingdom should continue to play a full and effective role in the world and in NATO and that to do that requires the continuation of an effective defence capacity; notes that as long as other countries have nuclear weapons it is essential that Britain has the capacity to address that threat; supports the principle of replacing or updating the current Trident system with a successor generation nuclear deterrent when necessary; believes that there should be an objective of multilateral global nuclear disarmament, and further believes that, however, that objective can only safely be achieved by ensuring that no rogue dictatorships have the capacity to use nuclear weaponry unchallenged."

S2M-3866.3 Euan Robson: Replacement of Trident—As an amendment to motion (S2M-3866) in the name of Chris Ballance, leave out from "believes" to end and insert "wishes to see the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons; notes the UK Government’s commitment, made in June 2005, to reach a decision on the replacement of the Trident system by the end of the current Westminster Parliament; further notes that the Secretary of State for Defence stated in June 2005 that "no decision on any replacement for Trident has been taken, either in principle or otherwise"; calls on the UK Government to publish a White Paper on the issue in order to stimulate a full public debate; further calls on the UK Government to press for a new round of multilateral arms reduction talks, and believes that the UK’s current minimum nuclear deterrent should be retained for the foreseeable future until sufficient progress has been made towards the global elimination of nuclear weapons."

followed by Scottish Green Party Debate: Pledge Against New Nuclear Power Stations in Scotland—

S2M-4329 Shiona Baird: Pledge Against New Nuclear Power Stations in Scotland—That the Parliament notes the interim report of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) which states "CoRWM takes no position on the desirability or otherwise of nuclear new build. We believe that future decisions on new build should be subject to their own assessment process"; further notes that government advisors on sustainable development have reported that there are issues other than waste management that should rule out new nuclear power, including risk of accident, terrorist threat, security of supply, economic cost and the availability of safe, clean and economic renewable energy and energy efficiency measures; recognises the opposition to nuclear new build in Scotland by the Green, SNP, SSP and Liberal Democrat parties; notes in particular that Nicol Stephen MSP recently stated  "The Liberal Democrats have a tough, clear and consistent position across the UK….We oppose new nuclear power....  the Liberal Democrats remain determined to oppose this year, next year and every year", and calls on all political parties opposed to new nuclear power stations in Scotland to pledge that they will not be part of, or support, a Scottish Executive that allows new nuclear power stations to be built, even if the issue of nuclear waste management may be considered to have been resolved.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S2M-4329.3 Ross Finnie: Pledge Against New Nuclear Power Stations in Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S2M-4329) in the name of Shiona Baird, leave out from first "notes" to end and insert "appreciates the work of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management; welcomes the position statement on its draft recommendations published by the committee on 27 April 2006; agrees that the review of options for the long-term management of radioactive waste, currently being undertaken by the committee, is the correct means of engaging Scotland on the crucial issue of finding a long-term management option for higher activity radioactive waste, and notes the Executive’s position, as outlined in the Partnership Agreement, that it will not support the further development of nuclear power stations while waste management issues remain unresolved."

S2M-4329.2 Richard Lochhead: Pledge Against New Nuclear Power Stations in Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S2M-4329) in the name of Shiona Baird, insert at end "and therefore agrees that no nuclear power stations should be built in Scotland."

S2M-4329.1 Alex Johnstone: Pledge Against New Nuclear Power Stations in Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S2M-4329) in the name of Shiona Baird, leave out from first "notes" to end and insert "believes that Scotland needs a balanced energy policy to meet the energy needs of the nation, including a mixture of generation from a range of technologies, including coal, oil, gas, renewables and nuclear; further believes that our energy policy must support sustainable economic growth while simultaneously fighting against fuel poverty, and believes that the decisions on the future make-up of our energy provision, which should include a nuclear component, need to be made now."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Mr Kenny MacAskill: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to protect Scottish literature, given the decision of the Competition Commission in respect of the proposed takeover of Ottakar’s book stores by HMV. (S2O-9714)

2. Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans there are to improve the infrastructure of water mains in Scotland. (S2O-9686)

3. Maureen Macmillan: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will welcome the Barnardo’s Scotland "Toddlers’ March to Parliament" on 4 May 2006 which aims to raise awareness of Barnardo’s call for more support for children’s opportunities to play. (S2O-9694)

4. Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it shares concerns of MPs and MSPs in respect of the reorganisation of health services in Glasgow and the West of Scotland. (S2O-9712)

5. Carolyn Leckie: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it will take to address the shortfall in funding to NHS Lanarkshire through incomplete application of the Arbuthnott formula. (S2O-9671)

6. Karen Gillon: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance has been made available to private landlords in respect of their obligations under the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004. (S2O-9685)

7. Susan Deacon: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to develop the use of information and communication technology to improve care and support to elderly and disabled people in their own homes and so promote independence and improved quality of life. (S2O-9683)

8. Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive what its position is on the guidance, recently issued by the Scottish Medicines Consortium, in relation to the use of temozolomide for the treatment of newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme. (S2O-9682)

9. Eleanor Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with the UK Government about having the country of origin on Scottish meat labels identified as Scotland rather than the United Kingdom. (S2O-9733)

10. Janis Hughes: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it is making in providing treatment for people with age-related macular degeneration. (S2O-9689)

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-2264)

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-2265)

3. Shiona Baird: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Secretary of State for Scotland and what issues he intends to discuss. (S2F-2266)

4. Michael McMahon: To ask the First Minister what steps are being considered to ensure that this year’s marching season does not disrupt communities. (S2F-2271)

5. Nora Radcliffe: To ask the First Minister what the timetable is for taking decisions on the management of radioactive waste in Scotland, in light of the interim report from the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. (S2F-2277)

6. Alex Neil: To ask the First Minister whether the Scottish Executive has now agreed a revised budget for Scottish Enterprise for this financial year. (S2F-2269)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Justice and Law Officers

1. Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how many cases have been pursued in relation to the grooming offence established by the Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005 and how many risk of sexual harm orders have been made. (S2O-9679)

2. Dr Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what action is being taken to reduce waiting times for treatment for heroin addicts in Dumfries and Galloway. (S2O-9706)

3. Iain Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive how many foreign prisoners have been released from Scottish prisons who could have faced deportation and what measures are being taken to track down these individuals. (S2O-9725)

4. Mark Ballard: To ask the Scottish Executive what its response is to the main recommendations of The Civil Justice System in Scotland: a case for review?, published by the Scottish Consumer Council. (S2O-9732)

5. Euan Robson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there are any precedents that bar a person from extradition to another country to face criminal charges following conviction for the same offence within Scotland. (S2O-9724)

6. Christine May: To ask the Scottish Executive how it is encouraging young people to become involved in reducing anti-social behaviour. (S2O-9696)

7. Tricia Marwick: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects to make public the findings of the consultation undertaken by Julius Lang into the possibility of introducing community courts in Scotland. (S2O-9711)

8. Paul Martin: To ask the Scottish Executive how many reparation orders have been served since the enactment of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004. (S2O-9695)

9. Elaine Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made in reducing the number of women in prison. (S2O-9709)

10. Withdrawn

Enterprise, Lifelong Learning and Transport

1. Mr Frank McAveety: To ask the Scottish Executive what action is being taken to address the impact of Scottish Enterprise budget pressures on small and medium-sized enterprises and training programmes for employees. (S2O-9697)

2. Frances Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is aware that the Principal of James Watt College in Greenock has breached the terms of a collective agreement with the Educational Institute of Scotland and has announced 100 redundancies and the dismissal of all academic staff, some of whom will be re-hired on new contracts, and whether it considers that this action is acceptable on behalf of a publicly funded board. (S2O-9670)

3. Margaret Mitchell: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to improve transport connections in the northern corridor of North Lanarkshire. (S2O-9662)

4. Bristow Muldoon: To ask the Scottish Executive what action has been taken to encourage a resolution of the pay dispute in higher education. (S2O-9704)

5. Linda Fabiani: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will designate a specific department with responsibility for developing a framework for language skills for Scottish businesses. (S2O-9728)

6. Scott Barrie: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will ensure that applications for senior citizens’ concessionary travel cards are processed as rapidly as possible. (S2O-9678)

7. Mr Andrew Arbuckle: To ask the Scottish Executive what economic initiatives it will implement to help the biofuel industry, with particular reference to crop production. (S2O-9723)

8. Withdrawn

9. Nora Radcliffe: To ask the Scottish Executive what it considers to be the main functions of Business Gateways and whether, as part of these functions, they will be encouraged towards risk-taking in supporting business start-ups and growth. (S2O-9726)

10. Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive what trunk road upgrades or improvement schemes it is (a) committed to and (b) considering in the south of Scotland. (S2O-9666)

2.55 pm Stage 1 Debate: Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill—

S2M-4272 George Lyon: Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill.

followed by Financial Resolution: Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill—

S2M-4222 Mr Tom McCabe: Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill, agrees to—

(a)  any increase in expenditure of a kind referred to in paragraph 3(b)(iii) of Rule 9.12 of the Parliament’s Standing Orders; and

(b)  any charges or payments in relation to which paragraph 4 of that Rule applies, arising in consequence of the Act.

followed by Police and Justice Bill Legislative Consent Motion – UK Legislation

S2M-4317 Cathy Jamieson: Police and Justice Bill - UK Legislation—That the Parliament agrees that the UK Parliament should consider those provisions of the Police and Justice Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on 25 January 2006, which will legislate in devolved areas in respect of the abolition of the Police Information Technology Organisation and the establishment of the National Policing Improvement Agency and the Justice, Community Safety and Custody Inspectorate, and computer misuse, and which will alter the executive competence of the Scottish Ministers on extradition matters, as laid out in LCM(S2) 4.1. —

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment

S2M-4317.1 Mr David Davidson: Police and Justice Bill - UK Legislation—As an amendment to motion (S2M-4317) in the name of Cathy Jamieson, insert at end "but, in doing so, expresses serious concerns over the ambiguity of the status of an extradition request in respect of a person domiciled in Scotland against whom the Lord Advocate has decided not to proceed; notes that the United States of America has not, over a period of some three years, ratified the bilateral extradition treaty with the United Kingdom, and accordingly, in the interest of equality between nations and recognising the distinctive nature of the Scottish legal system and the need to protect the civil liberties and human rights of those living in Scotland, urges the Minister for Justice to make representations to the UK Government based upon these concerns."

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions—

S2M-4338 Ms Margaret Curran on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Membership of Committee—That the Parliament agrees that Richard Lochhead be appointed to the Environment and Rural Development Committee.

S2M-4339 Ms Margaret Curran on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Substitution on Committees—That the Parliament agrees that Richard Lochhead be appointed as the Scottish National Party substitute on the European and External Relations Committee.

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S2M-4103 Margaret Mitchell: Strathaven Academy—That the Parliament congratulates Strathaven Academy on its selection to represent central Scotland at the Youth Forum to be held at the Scottish Parliament on 7 and 8 May 2006; recognises the excellent extra-curricular activities currently offered at Strathaven Academy; expresses concern that these activities will be curtailed during the proposed decant of the school to Crosshouse Campus in East Kilbride whilst a new school is built on the existing Strathaven Academy site; expresses further concern at reports of asbestos being present on the Crosshouse Campus; notes that no consultation has been held regarding the possibility of locating Strathaven Academy on a new site, and considers that South Lanarkshire Council should enter into a consultation, which should include the option to consider locating the school on an alternative site which would enable the Scottish Executive’s target of two hours of physical education per pupil per week by 2008 to be met

Meetings of Committees

All meetings take place in the Scottish Parliament, unless otherwise specified. Contact details for Committee Clerks are provided at the end of the Bulletin.

Justice 1 Committee
14th Meeting, 2006

The Committee will meet at 1.00 pm in Committee Room 4

1. Scottish Criminal Record Office inquiry: The Committee will consider the timetable and potential witnesses for the inquiry.

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