Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 168/2008: Thursday 20 November 2008
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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 Government Debate: Supporting Scotland’s Looked-after Children—

S3M-2922 Adam Ingram: Supporting Scotland’s Looked-after Children—That the Parliament agrees that it is unacceptable that outcomes for looked-after children and young people and care leavers across a range of indicators fall so far behind those of their peers and agrees to do everything possible to end discrimination and stigmatisation of those who have experienced the care system and to challenge all services to offer the best possible childhoods to the children and young people in their care to ensure that looked-after children and young people and care leavers are able to grow up into successful, responsible and happy adults.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment

S3M-2922.1 Rhona Brankin: Supporting Scotland’s Looked-after Children—As an amendment to motion (S3M-2922) in the name of Adam Ingram, insert at end "; in that spirit recognises that looked-after children are among those considered as most vulnerable and therefore believes that integral to their success is for the Scottish Government to ensure that local authority funding for the care and safety of children more generally is properly protected, particularly in light of the recent worrying HM Inspectorate of Education report into child protection services in Aberdeen, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to make a statement on that report and to revisit the Children’s Services Bill consulted on in the previous parliamentary session."

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment to amendment

S3M-2922.1.1 Margaret Smith: Supporting Scotland’s Looked-after Children—As an amendment to amendment (S3M-2922.1) in the name of Rhona Brankin, insert at end "and to work with local authorities and other partner agencies to ensure that appropriate early intervention and support is available across Scotland and that child protection practices are kept under immediate and continuous review."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to renew and regenerate the schools estate. (S3O-4906)

2. Marilyn Livingstone: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to support the construction industry to retain its skills base during the economic downturn. (S3O-4888)

3. Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the guidelines issued to NHS boards regarding end-of-life choices are sufficiently clear. (S3O-4852)

4. Tricia Marwick: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans there are to upgrade the Glenwood Health Centre in Glenrothes. (S3O-4939)

5. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has held with Dumfries and Galloway Council and Scottish Borders Council on the possibility of a dedicated TV channel for the South of Scotland. (S3O-4854)

6. Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to address the concerns raised in Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons report on HMP Peterhead, published in October 2008. (S3O-4914)

7. David McLetchie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to legislate on the subject of high hedges and, if so, when. (S3O-4853)

8. Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will ensure that incidence of and mortality from Clostridium difficile are reported on a hospital-by-hospital basis. (S3O-4868)

9. Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive how much of the Scottish Government’s pledge of £100 million to alleviate a chronic housing shortage will be spent in Edinburgh. (S3O-4871)

10. Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what it is doing to reduce the number of babies being raised in prison, in light of recent media coverage on the matter. (S3O-4937)

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time—

1. Iain Gray: To ask the First Minister what engagements he has planned for the rest of the day. (S3F-1190)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Secretary of State for Scotland. (S3F-1191)

3. Tavish Scott: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-1192)

4. Nigel Don: To ask the First Minister, in light of the recent report by Barnardo’s regarding the increased stigmatisation of children, what action the Scottish Government can take to help reverse this trend. (S3F-1200)

5. Duncan McNeil: To ask the First Minister what action is being taken to address violent knife culture. (S3F-1214)

6. Mike Rumbles: To ask the First Minister whether the Scottish Government accepts the findings of the UK Organ Donation Task Force’s report on presumed consent for organ donation. (S3F-1197)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Finance and Sustainable Growth

1. Mr Frank McAveety: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it can confirm that HM Revenue and Customs has not been involved in the preparation of proposals by the Scottish Government on collection of the local income tax. (S3O-4890)

2. Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects to receive proposals from COSLA for amendments to the formula for distributing government funding to local authorities. (S3O-4913)

3. James Kelly: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it has made in achieving efficiency savings targets. (S3O-4885)

4. Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made on improving public transport access to Edinburgh Airport since 2007. (S3O-4921)

5. Elizabeth Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive how many schools it envisages will be built under the Scottish Futures Trust in this parliamentary session. (S3O-4866)

6. David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive when it last met Highland Council and what issues were discussed. (S3O-4905)

7. Angela Constance: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will promote the urgent need for banks to give additional flexible support to small and medium-sized businesses. (S3O-4930)

8. Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to encourage local authorities to bring derelict and disused land back into productive use. (S3O-4908)

9. Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many Scottish Government infrastructure investment projects are being accelerated for early delivery. (S3O-4918)

10. Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made in respect of the strategic transport projects review. (S3O-4873)

11. Duncan McNeil: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to review the 2% efficiency savings target set for local government. (S3O-4895)

12. Jim Tolson: To ask the Scottish Executive what support it is giving to tourism in Fife. (S3O-4923)

13. Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive, in light of the current economic climate, whether it will reinstate funding in order to give Scotland a higher profile at Expo 2010 in Shanghai. (S3O-4891)

14. Nigel Don: To ask the Scottish Executive what action ministers are taking to support businesses in the north east, in light of the current financial climate. (S3O-4931)

15. Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has held with Scottish Enterprise Grampian on proposals for a feasibility study into the potential redevelopment of the Union Terrace Gardens in Aberdeen. (S3O-4869)

16. John Farquhar Munro: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has plans to bring forward transport infrastructure investment ahead of the strategic transport projects review. (S3O-4915)

17. Christina McKelvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to support small businesses through the credit crunch. (S3O-4942)

18. Mike Pringle: To ask the Scottish Executive what it is doing to support cycling as a sustainable method of transport. (S3O-4917)

19. John Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to actively engage tourist businesses in Ayrshire and across Scotland in the Homecoming Scotland 2009 celebrations to ensure that the tourism industry achieves the maximum benefit from the celebrations and that Scottish businesses are better marketed abroad. (S3O-4863)

20. Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth last met COSLA. (S3O-4876)

2.55 pm Scottish Government Debate: A Fresh Start for Scottish Aquaculture—

S3M-2921 Michael Russell: A Fresh Start for Scottish Aquaculture—That the Parliament notes the recent consultation, Scottish Aquaculture: A Fresh Start; supports the continued development of an ambitious, sustainable, thriving and growing Scottish aquaculture industry; recognises the economic importance of the industry to Scotland as a whole and many coastal communities in particular; supports efforts to advance the enviable international reputation of quality Scottish aquaculture products, built on high environmental standards and excellent health status when compared to competitor nations, and welcomes the engagement of the shellfish and finfish industries and other stakeholders in the development of the new Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture, to be published in spring 2009.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-2921.2 Elaine Murray: A Fresh Start for Scottish Aquaculture—As an amendment to motion (S3M-2921) in the name of Michael Russell, insert at end "and believes that the renewed strategy for Scottish aquaculture must be consistent with the provisions of the forthcoming Marine Bill and the EU Water Framework Directive."

S3M-2921.1 John Scott: A Fresh Start for Scottish Aquaculture—As an amendment to motion (S3M-2921) in the name of Michael Russell, after "competitor nations" insert "further supports efforts to advance the enviable international reputation of Scotland’s wild salmon stocks and, in light of the potential damage to the health and integrity of wild stocks caused by escaped farmed fish, believes that a robust commitment to reducing escapes and improved traceability must be a central element of the new Strategic Framework; recognises the continued threat posed by Gyrodactylus salaris to farmed and wild salmon stocks alike and, in light of the economic and ecological damage that an outbreak could cause, considers that further serious consideration must be given to measures aimed at reducing the likelihood of the parasite entering Scotland".

S3M-2921.3 Jim Hume: A Fresh Start for Scottish Aquaculture—As an amendment to motion (S3M-2921) in the name of Michael Russell, insert at end "believes that Scotland can learn valuable lessons from its competitor nations with thriving aquaculture industries; further believes that Scottish aquaculture can maximise the opportunities presented by the current rapid expansion of the international industry to achieve genuinely sustainable growth, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to take decisive action to streamline the regulatory burden, introduce a fair inspection regime, improve community and industry liaison, and encourage the development and retention of a skilled and qualified workforce in the aquaculture industry."

followed by Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Motion: Expenses Scheme—

S3M-2912 Tom McCabe on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body: Expenses Scheme—That the Parliament recognises that Members’ staff salaries were last uprated in the financial year 2007-08 and in relation to the Resolution of the Parliament dated 12 June 2008 on the Expenses Scheme ("the Resolution")—

(i) amends the Schedule of Rates annexed as Annex 2 to the Resolution with immediate effect by deleting "£54,620" where it appears in line 2 and by inserting "£56,650" and

(ii) determines that all references to the Schedule of Rates and to the limit on entitlement to reimbursement of staff salary costs in paragraph (a) of the Resolution shall be read as references to the Schedule of Rates and limit on entitlement to reimbursement of staff salary costs as so amended.

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-2374 Alasdair Allan: Gaelic Language Development—That the Parliament commends Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, along with other local authorities and public bodies, for the recent publication of their Gaelic language plans; likewise commends the Gaelic plan of the Scottish Parliament and the soon to be published Gaelic language plan of the Scottish Government; notes the important work done by the community and by many agencies and bodies in Scotland to maintain and develop the Gaelic language; recognises that in the coming few years it will become clear whether or not Gaelic is to survive as a community language, and therefore recognises that a sense of urgency in this area of policy is essential, particularly in respect of the expansion of Gaelic medium education, if we are to ensure that the number of speakers has, by the 2021 census, been stabilised at 2001 levels as the prerequisite for long term growth.

The member has provided the following Gaelic translation:

Gu bheil a’ Phàrlamaid a’ moladh Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, cho math ri ùghdarrasan ionadail agus buidheannan phoblach eile, airson na planaichean Gàidhlig aca fhoillseachadh o chionn ghoirid; gu bheil i cuideachd a’ moladh nam planaichean Gàidhlig aig Pàrlamaid na h-Alba agus a’ phlana a tha Riaghaltas na h-Alba gu bhith a’ foillseachadh a dh’aithghearr; gu bheil i a’ toirt fa-near an obair chudromach a tha a’ choimhearsnachd agus tòrr bhuidheannan ann an Alba air dèanamh airson Gàidhlig a leasachadh agus a ghlèidheadh; gu bheil i ag aithneachadh gum fàs e soilleir anns na beagan bhliadhnaichean a tha romhainn am mair a’ Ghàidhlig mar chànan coimhearsnachd agus mar sin gu bheil i ag aithnicheadh gu bheil cùis-èiginn anns an roinn phoileasaidh seo, gu h-àraidh a thaobh leudachadh foghlam tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig ma tha sinn a’ dol a dhèanamh cinnteach gu bheil àireamhan an luchd-labhairt aig àm cunntas-sluaigh 2021, air an glèidheadh aig ìrean 2001 mar riatanas airson fàs san fhad-ùine.

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