Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 89/2009: Thursday 28 May 2009
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Section A – Today’s Business

Meeting of the Parliament

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Liberal Democrats Debate: A Missing Children Alert System—

S3M-4245 Robert Brown: A Missing Children Alert System—That the Parliament supports the establishment of strong cross-Europe working to ensure that there are effective, linked "amber alert" systems in place to bring European-wide attention to missing children; understands that early action is critical in locating missing and abducted children and that the experience of those countries that have alert systems in place, such as the United States of America, is extremely positive; welcomes the formal adoption of the written declaration on Emergency Cooperation In Recovering Missing Children as a resolution of the European Parliament in April 2009 but regrets that European countries currently fail to cooperate effectively when recovering missing children and that progress has been slow, and calls on the Scottish Government to work proactively and constructively with the UK Government to ensure that all missing children alert systems and cross-border cooperation policies, including the 116 000 European hotline, are operational as soon as possible to bind the country effectively into the European system.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment

S3M-4245.1 Richard Baker: A Missing Children Alert System—As an amendment to motion (S3M-4245) in the name of Robert Brown, after "UK Government" insert "and to encourage Scottish police forces to collaborate with their UK and European counterparts".

followed by Scottish Liberal Democrats Debate: Supporting Scottish Business—

S3M-4246 Jeremy Purvis: Supporting Scottish Business—That the Parliament notes the serious difficulties faced by the Scottish businesses struggling to access the funds that they need during the economic downturn, with the double squeeze of late payment and tighter lending a critical concern for small businesses in particular; notes that the Welsh Assembly Government is using European Investment Bank (EIB) funding to help small businesses bridge funding gaps, supporting the expansion of 800 businesses and creating up to 15,000 jobs across Wales; regrets that the Scottish Government has not introduced a similar initiative in Scotland; further regrets the Scottish Government’s inaction and delay in utilising the EIB funding available to it; believes that SNP ministers should use every lever at their disposal to help Scotland’s economy, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to bring forward a statement before the summer recess containing new plans to use EIB funding to support small businesses so that they do not continue to be at a competitive disadvantage to their Welsh counterparts.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-4246.2 Jim Mather: Supporting Scottish Business—As an amendment to motion (S3M-4246) in the name of Jeremy Purvis, leave out from "regrets" to end and insert "further notes that the Scottish Investment Bank, announced by the First Minister on 21 April 2009, will initially bring together approximately £150 million in public sector resource to support company growth in Scotland; also notes that, following this first step, the Scottish Government will look to enhance the scale and impact of such financial support to growing Scottish businesses including the potential to secure significant additional funds from the European Investment Bank through the establishment of a Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) fund for Scotland, and considers that, among other measures that the Scottish Government has introduced, its small business bonus scheme has helped the tens of thousands of Scottish firms now exempt from paying local business rates."

S3M-4246.1 John Park: Supporting Scottish Business—As an amendment to motion (S3M-4246) in the name of Jeremy Purvis, insert at end "and to provide detailed information about the Scottish Investment Bank proposal announced by the First Minister at the STUC conference on 21 April 2009."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps its Directorate for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism is taking to promote equality in employment. (S3O-7112)

2. Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive what support is available from the Scottish judiciary for victims who give evidence in court. (S3O-7100)

3. Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive whether civil contingency plans will be revised in light of the recent disclosure that radioactive coolant from a nuclear submarine leaked at HM Naval Base Clyde. (S3O-7160)

4. Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is satisfied that maintenance loans available to Scottish full-time higher education students under the non-means-tested support system remain at £830 per year while in England students studying away from home can access at least £3,300 of non-means-tested maintenance loans. (S3O-7143)

5. Anne McLaughlin: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Sri Lanka. (S3O-7167)

6. Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that an increase in open-cast coal mining is compatible with its stated climate change targets and objectives. (S3O-7179)

7. Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it is taking to protect the public from the nuisance presented by gulls in urban and other populated settlements. (S3O-7127)

8. Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to review compulsory purchase legislation. (S3O-7109)

9. Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to review local courts. (S3O-7111)

10. Angela Constance: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will help to improve bus services in the Livingston parliamentary constituency. (S3O-7153)

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-1729)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Prime Minister. (S3F-1730)

3. Tavish Scott: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-1731)

4. Ian McKee: To ask the First Minister whether the Scottish Government plans to review the system of distinction awards for NHS consultants. (S3F-1733)

5. Johann Lamont: To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government is doing to support financial inclusion. (S3F-1736)

6. Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the First Minister what recent discussions the Scottish Government has had with Scotland’s Colleges about the recession. (S3F-1738)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Health and Wellbeing—

1. Jamie Stone: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans there are to decentralise inpatient and outpatient medical services to hospitals in remote areas. (S3O-7147)

2. Joe FitzPatrick: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it has taken to ensure that the best use is made of new medical technology. (S3O-7157)

3. John Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with the NHS about volunteer ambulance services in the last 12 months. (S3O-7078)

4. Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what representations it has received regarding the case for a CT scanner to be located in Orkney. (S3O-7137)

5. Paul Martin: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to procure the proposed extension to Stobhill Hospital in north Glasgow. (S3O-7114)

6. Christina McKelvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress there has been on the alternatives to detention pilot for asylum-seeking families. (S3O-7169)

7. Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, given the success of the wellman clinics run by Rangers and Celtic football clubs, whether it plans to encourage and assist other sports clubs to replicate these. (S3O-7090)

8. Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to improve care for people with Parkinson’s disease in the Lothians region. (S3O-7088)

9. Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to increase the availability of affordable homes for rent in Midlothian. (S3O-7096)

10. Willie Coffey: To ask the Scottish Executive what the most improved areas of treatment and survivability rates are for cancer in Scotland. (S3O-7152)

11. Linda Fabiani: To ask the Scottish Executive what importance it places on having combined falls prevention and bone health strategies in community health partnerships in relation to osteoporosis services. (S3O-7156)

12. Ian McKee: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide an update on progress being made towards meeting cancer waiting time targets. (S3O-7168)

13. Alex Johnstone: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to monitor ambulance response times in rural areas and what action can be taken to ensure that these times are reduced. (S3O-7079)

14. Iain Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will improve the provision of mental health services. (S3O-7144)

15. Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive whether all NHS boards have submitted equality impact assessments. (S3O-7119)

16. Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it is making in the provision of affordable housing in the north east. (S3O-7093)

17. Not Lodged

18. Helen Eadie: To ask the Scottish Executive what evidence it has of any adverse financial impact on individuals and couples arising from problems in relation to missives for new-build properties. (S3O-7101)

19. Bill Kidd: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is aware of the potential benefits of vitamin D supplements as a preventative measure against the occurrence of multiple sclerosis. (S3O-7163)

20. Christopher Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what advances have been made in the treatment of and research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy in Scotland in the last 12 months. (S3O-7161)

2.55 pm Reappointment of the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland –

S3M-4250 Alex Johnstone on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body: Reappointment of the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland—That the Parliament nominates Karen Carlton to Her Majesty The Queen for reappointment for a second term as the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland from 1 June 2009.

followed by Scottish Government Debate: CashBack for Communities: Investing the proceeds of crime back into our communities—

S3M-4244 Kenny MacAskill: Cashback for Communities: Investing the Proceeds of Crime Back Into Our Communities—That the Parliament welcomes the fact that, since its launch in January 2008, the CashBack for Communities programme has provided positive opportunities and activities for over 100,000 young people in Scotland; recognises that providing healthy and fun activities not only gives young people something to do, but can help in reducing crime and antisocial behaviour by diverting the small minority who cause trouble away from such behaviour; welcomes the fact that the CashBack programme has been funded through £12 million recovered from criminals using the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and commends the significant efforts of partners in the CashBack programme including Youthlink, Scottish Football Association, Scottish Rugby Union, Basketballscotland, Scottish Sports Futures, sportscotland, Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council, as well as the very many local projects and volunteers that are making the scheme a success.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-4244.1 Richard Baker: Cashback for Communities: Investing the Proceeds of Crime Back Into Our Communities—As an amendment to motion (S3M-4244) in the name of Kenny MacAskill, insert at end "; believes that every effort should be made to ensure further progress in recovering assets from those who profit from crime, and believes that funds obtained through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 should continue to be focussed on projects in communities affected by crime and in activities that provide diversion from offending."

S3M-4244.2 Robert Brown: Cashback for Communities: Investing the Proceeds of Crime Back Into Our Communities—As an amendment to motion (S3M-4244) in the name of Kenny MacAskill, insert at end ", and calls on the Scottish Government to promote closer working and engagement between safer neighbourhood and community police teams and young people in efforts to prevent and tackle crime and antisocial behaviour and to ensure that the CashBack money is distributed fairly so that the whole of Scotland can reap the benefits of the scheme".

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-3741 Helen Eadie: Inadequate Infertility Treatment in Scotland—That the Parliament notes with concern that couples seeking fertility treatment in the NHS have to wait for 20 months in Glasgow, 13 months in Lanarkshire, 13 months in Ayrshire and Arran, 15 months in Dumfries and Galloway, three years in Lothian, six months for Lothian self-funding, up to 18 months in Grampian, up to 14 months in Highland, 12 months in Tayside, up to two years in Fife and up to two years in Forth Valley and that Orkney decides on a case-by-case basis; is pleased to learn that Shetland has no waiting restrictions; is extremely disturbed to note that Fife NHS board ranks among the worst providers of the service in Scotland in that each frozen embryo is counted as a cycle when other NHS boards require fresh and frozen embryo(s) to count as a cycle and that Fife NHS board only provides two cycles whereas other NHS boards provide three, thereby effectively giving Fife couples a third less of an opportunity for this treatment that some other couples in Scotland have; expresses particular concern that when a woman is in a relationship with a partner who has a child from a previous relationship she is denied access to any form of NHS provision in this area of specialism, and considers that NHS Lothian provides an example in increasing the age at which it accepts prospective fertility treatment candidates in consideration of the fact that many couples will not know that they need fertility treatment until their late 30s and are subsequently restricted by the unacceptable waiting times.

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