Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 74/2007: Wednesday 23 May 2007
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Announcements

This week’s business

Members are reminded that the Presiding Officer has called a meeting of the Parliament to commence at 2.30 pm today. Members will be invited to consider Business Motion S3M-61 as published in Section A which, if agreed to, will set business for this and following weeks.

Election of Members of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body

Further to the announcement in Monday’s Business Bulletin, if Business Motion S3M-61 is agreed to, elections for membership of the SPCB will take place at 9.15 am tomorrow. Nomination forms are available from the Parliamentary Business Team in T1.03 and must be returned there by 8.45 am on Thursday at the latest.

A guidance note on the procedure to be followed will be circulated to Parliamentary Bureau members and those not represented on the Bureau. If members have any queries about the procedure to be followed, they are asked to contact the Parliamentary Business Team on extension 85176.

First Minister’s Question Time, 31 May 2007

Members are reminded that the Parliament has agreed that the deadline for lodging questions for First Minister’s Question Time on 31 May 2007 is 4.00 pm tomorrow, 24 May. Questions should be lodged with the Chamber Desk.

General and Themed Question Time, 7 June 2007

Members are reminded that the deadline for submitting names for selection for General and Themed Question Time on 7 June 2007 is 4.00 pm tomorrow, 24 May. Names should be submitted to the Chamber Desk.

Subject to the Parliament’s agreement to the Business Motion today, the first theme for Themed Question Time on 7 June will be Health and Wellbeing and the second theme will be Rural Affairs and the Environment.

The 30 Members whose names are randomly selected will be notified by email later on 24 May and their names will be published in the Business Bulletin on Tuesday 29 May. These members should lodge their questions by 12 noon on Wednesday 30 May.

Guidance on Members’ Business

Members are advised that, at its meeting on 22 May 2007, the Parliamentary Bureau confirmed the following guidance on Members’ Business. Members’ attention is drawn, in particular, to criterion 2—

Members’ Business Debates

Members’ Business debates will normally follow the conclusion of Decision Time each day and last for 45 minutes. The member moving the motion will be allocated seven minutes to speak to the motion at the start of the debate, as will the Minister responding at the end of the debate. As with other debates, the Presiding Officer will select members to speak and allocate time for speeches.

Content of Motions

The Parliamentary Bureau will select motions to be debated as Members’ Business using the following criteria:

  1. Motions will (a) have an explicit local or regional dimension; or (b) raise issues of national policy in a local or regional context and have cross-party support; or (c) raise issue-commemorating anniversaries or marking national "weeks" or special events and have cross-party support; and

  2. As Members’ Business debates provide an opportunity for particular issues to be raised without a decision being taken, motions will not call on anybody to undertake specific actions or to take or reverse particular decisions.

The Chamber Desk will advise on compliance with the above at the time of lodging. Those motions which require cross-party support (b and c in the first criterion above) will be given a hash symbol once they have attained the requisite support and the Clerk will have the authority to publish any motion in the Business Bulletin without a Members’ Business designation. Only those motions with a hash symbol will be eligible for selection for Members’ Business debates. The Parliamentary Bureau will be the final arbiter in any unresolved dispute.

The Bureau may exceptionally select for debate a motion which falls outwith the above, should it have cross-party support and a majority of members in the Bureau supports its selection.

Timing

In order for the Parliamentary Bureau to be given as much notice as possible of motions to be debated and for checks against the above criteria to be made, the Parliamentary Bureau will only select for debate from those motions that comply with this guidance and that are lodged by the Monday of the week preceding the debate.

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