Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 76/2009: Thursday 7 May 2009
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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 Conservative and Unionist Party Debate: School Discipline—

S3M-4067 Elizabeth Smith: School Discipline—That the Parliament deplores the rise in the number of exclusions from Scottish schools attributable to weapon attacks by pupils; notes the growing concern expressed by teachers and parents that serious and persistent offenders are not being punished appropriately; calls on the Scottish Government to publish detailed information at regular intervals on the level of reported physical and verbal attacks in schools, as called for by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning when in opposition, and believes that the Scottish Government should devolve more power to head teachers to deal with indiscipline in schools.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-4067.3 Keith Brown: School Discipline—As an amendment to motion (S3M-4067) in the name of Elizabeth Smith, leave out from "as called" to end and insert "welcomes the 11% reduction in exclusions from Scottish schools from 2006-07 to 2007-08; acknowledges that appropriate support should be provided to the small number of children and young people who persistently misbehave; further acknowledges that head teachers already have considerable power over school discipline through their responsibility for school discipline policies and their devolved responsibility for excluding pupils; agrees that the future policy on behaviour in schools should be informed by the survey currently being conducted by the University of Edinburgh on behalf of the Scottish Government, which will provide in-depth information on this area, and further welcomes the comments in the HM Inspectorate of Education report, Improving Scottish Education 2005-2008, in relation to secondary schools, which states "In almost all schools, climate and relationships are constructive and encouraging. While many schools have small numbers of young people with particularly challenging behaviour, any issues arising are usually handled effectively. Most schools have clear and concerted strategies for promoting positive behaviour"."

S3M-4067.1 Ken Macintosh: School Discipline—As an amendment to motion (S3M-4067) in the name of Elizabeth Smith, leave out from "notes" to end and insert "supports all appropriate measures to uphold the rights of teachers to teach and pupils to learn in a disciplined environment; notes the significant steps made by the previous administration to achieve this including the setting up of the Discipline Task Group, the removal of restrictions on head teachers to exclude pupils if necessary, the use of special units, support for teacher training, reduced class sizes and more classroom assistants, and calls on the Scottish Government to address the recent decline in teacher numbers and support staff, including behaviour support staff, and to work in partnership with key stakeholders to put in place a framework for a discipline code in every school incorporating rights and responsibilities for head teachers, teachers, parents and pupils."

S3M-4067.2 Margaret Smith: School Discipline—As an amendment to motion (S3M-4067) in the name of Elizabeth Smith, insert at end "and further believes that the Scottish Government should engage closely with pupils, staff, the voluntary sector and other partner organisations to improve formal and non-formal learning opportunities for young people to ensure that they are not excluded from education."

followed by Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Debate: Community Courts—

S3M-4065 Bill Aitken: Community Courts—That the Parliament notes with regret the decision of the Scottish Government not to proceed with the establishment of a community court in Glasgow; recognises that community courts based on the New York City model in Midtown can address patterns of offending behaviour by providing for swift and effective summary justice coupled with a range of rehabilitation services to break the cycle of reoffending, and believes that the recent action taken by the Scottish Government demonstrates its incoherent approach towards addressing crime and the causes of crime and to providing viable and robust alternatives to custody.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-4065.3 Fergus Ewing: Community Courts—As an amendment to motion (S3M-4065) in the name of Bill Aitken, leave out from "notes" to end and insert "recognises that community courts based on the New York City model in Midtown can help to address patterns of offending behaviour by providing for swift and effective summary justice coupled with a range of rehabilitation services to break the cycle of reoffending; notes the decision by the project board for the Glasgow Community Justice Centre that in the current economic circumstances they should not proceed with the development of a new court building, and supports the joint work underway between Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government to identify how best offenders can pay back for their crimes to the communities most in need of reinvestment and local services can be directed to support offenders out of a life of crime."

S3M-4065.1 Richard Baker: Community Courts—As an amendment to motion (S3M-4065) in the name of Bill Aitken, insert at end "and further believes that the Scottish Government should reverse its decision and seek to progress plans for a community court in Glasgow."

S3M-4065.2 Robert Brown: Community Courts—As an amendment to motion (S3M-4065) in the name of Bill Aitken, leave out from "and believes" to "custody" and insert "notes that the independent business plan in March 2009 anticipated numerous benefits from a community court project, including improved community safety, greater offender accountability and reduced rates of reoffending; believes that the cancellation of the community court project also undermines the Scottish Government’s own stated commitment to replace short-term prison sentences with tough and effective community sentences, and calls on the Scottish Government to continue to work with the Community Justice Project Board."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Ken Macintosh: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that it has made sufficient progress in securing employment for newly qualified teachers following a probationary year. (S3O-6810)

2. Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive when it now expects to make a decision on the future of the Scottish Qualifications Authority’s offices in Dalkeith. (S3O-6789)

3. George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive for what reason the First Minister has met the chairman of the Independent Commission on Funding and Finance for Wales but not the chairman of the Calman Commission on Scottish Devolution. (S3O-6796)

4. Christopher Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures are being put in place to enable Scotland to benefit from a higher price of oil in light of recent forecasts that the present economic crisis will not postpone the impact of peak oil. (S3O-6851)

5. Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive for what reason the family planning and well woman clinic is being withdrawn from Dumbarton Health Centre. (S3O-6785)

6. Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is aware of any progress that has been made toward the establishment of a pensioners’ parliament. (S3O-6867)

7. Charlie Gordon: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is considering funding part of the Clyde Fastlink project to enable it to serve the Southern General Hospital. (S3O-6798)

8. Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Executive when it plans to increase the fines for landlords of houses in multiple occupation who do not have an HMO licence. (S3O-6813)

9. Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive what representations it has made to the British Olympic Association and the UK Government regarding the estimated £150 million shortfall that could impact on Scottish good causes and voluntary organisations as a result of lottery funds being diverted to the London 2012 Olympic Games. (S3O-6850)

10. Ian McKee: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that suitable mechanisms are in place to allow effective review of the future of listed buildings when their preservation threatens other community interests. (S3O-6858)

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-1668)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Secretary of State for Scotland. (S3F-1669)

3. Tavish Scott: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-1670)

4. Brian Adam: To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Government is taking to support jobs and economic recovery. (S3F-1672)

5. Elaine Murray: To ask the First Minister what consideration the Scottish Government has given to the possible transfer of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi to a prison in Libya. (S3F-1678)

6. Murdo Fraser: To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Government is taking in response to research by the Centre for Public Policy for Regions, which predicts that in real terms the Scottish Government’s Departmental Expenditure Limit will be between £2.1 and £3.8 billion lower in 2013-14 than in 2009-10. (S3F-1685)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Justice and Law Officers—

1. John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with the Scottish Prison Service regarding the incorporation of the Road to Recovery drug strategy into prison policy on drugs. (S3O-6775)

2. Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is satisfied with Strathclyde Police’s approach to policing non-violent protest. (S3O-6783)

3. Not Lodged

4. Not Lodged

5. Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will introduce the practice of allowing a McKenzie’s friend into law courts. (S3O-6781)

6. Ross Finnie: To ask the Scottish Executive to what extent paid informants are used by police forces. (S3O-6826)

7. Withdrawn

8. Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive in what ways the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 contributes to addressing antisocial behaviour carried out by people using short-term holiday lets. (S3O-6788)

9. Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to improve drug addiction services. (S3O-6772)

10. David McLetchie: To ask the Scottish Executive what aspects of the Glasgow pilot community court will be brought forward. (S3O-6776)

Rural Affairs and the Environment—

1. Mike Pringle: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it has taken to encourage the use of fresh, local food throughout the public sector as part of its national food policy. (S3O-6832)

2. John Park: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made in achieving its greener Scotland objectives. (S3O-6818)

3. Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to improve the application process for the Scotland Rural Development Programme. (S3O-6786)

4. Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive what level of energy generation from waste it intends to achieve as part of its commitment to reduce the amount of waste to landfill. (S3O-6809)

5. Elizabeth Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress is being made to address flooding in Kinross-shire. (S3O-6766)

6. Nigel Don: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps are being taken to promote Scottish fish and shellfish. (S3O-6844)

7. Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive what its policy is with regard to the use of incinerators for waste management. (S3O-6823)

8. Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive how it views the current prospects for the dairy sector. (S3O-6819)

9. James Kelly: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it supports the proposal to introduce Saltire labelling for Scottish food. (S3O-6802)

10. Gil Paterson: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress there has been on the national food policy. (S3O-6862)

2.55 pm Continuation of Stage 1 Debate: Climate Change (Scotland) Bill—

S3M-3963 Stewart Stevenson: Climate Change (Scotland) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-3963.2 Sarah Boyack: Climate Change (Scotland) Bill—As an amendment to motion (S3M-3963) in the name of Stewart Stevenson, insert at end "and, in so doing, further agrees that unambiguous quantified targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for the period between 2010 and 2019 are needed so that the current government and governments elected in 2011 and 2015 can be held to account for delivering early action on tackling climate change."

S3M-3963.1 Alison McInnes: Climate Change (Scotland) Bill—As an amendment to motion (S3M-3963) in the name of Stewart Stevenson, insert at end "and, in so doing, calls on the Scottish Government to publish an energy efficiency action plan within six months and to bring forward amendments at Stage 2 that set out substantive transparent measures to put Scotland on a steady path to achieving the Bill’s emissions reduction ambitions, including early action to meet a scientifically credible 2020 interim target, the measurement and reporting of cumulative emissions, broad sectoral targets, a duty on public bodies to take account of climate change in their activities, the inclusion of Scotland’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions in its emission targets, a limit on the use of international carbon credits and a robust reporting mechanism that allows for detailed parliamentary scrutiny of progress."

followed by Financial Resolution: Climate Change (Scotland) Bill—

S3M-3923 John Swinney: Climate Change (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any expenditure or increase in expenditure of a kind referred to in Rule 9.12.3(b)(ii) or (iii) of the Parliament’s Standing Orders arising in consequence of the Act.

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-3691 Jamie Hepburn: Proposed Part-privatisation of Royal Mail—That the Parliament notes the continuing debate at Westminster about the possible part-privatisation of the Royal Mail; further notes that over 170 MPs, including over 140 Labour members, have signed the Early Day Motion in the name of Geraldine Smith MP opposing the plans; welcomes the leading role played by the Communication Workers Union in the campaign against the proposals, and believes that any privatisation of the Royal Mail will have a detrimental effect on postal services in central Scotland and across the country.

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