Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 34/2010: Thursday 25 February 2010
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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 Liberal Democrats Debate: Education—

S3M-5809 Margaret Smith: Education—That the Parliament supports the full and effective implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence; notes the ongoing concerns of teaching unions, education academics and parents’ organisations about the lack of clarity and the impact of education budget cuts and reduced teacher numbers and training places on implementation plans; agrees that it is essential that the new curriculum and assessment arrangements, including literacy and numeracy tests, are properly resourced over the full four years and that teachers are given the required continuing professional development and support; believes that if this cannot be guaranteed then the Scottish Government must be prepared to give the implementation process more time, and recommends that the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning take advice about the timetable from the Curriculum for Excellence Management Board with a view to making a final decision about the timetable for the introduction of the new curriculum by Easter.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-5809.3 Michael Russell: Education—As an amendment to motion (S3M-5809) in the name of Margaret Smith, leave out "by Easter" and insert "within a reasonable timeframe over the next few months".

S3M-5809.2 Ken Macintosh: Education—As an amendment to motion (S3M-5809) in the name of Margaret Smith, leave out from "and that teachers" to end and insert "believes that the professional development of teachers and the updating of their skills is vital to successful implementation; asks the Scottish Government, in conjunction with local authorities, to ensure that the continuing professional development needed to underpin the Curriculum for Excellence is put in place; considers that greater clarity is urgently needed for teachers and parents regarding the impact on subject choice in secondary schools and the standards that will be set for the new levels of qualification, together with reassurance that the necessary resources will be made available, and asks that consideration is given to greater consultation with parents and the involvement of parent representatives in the management and co-ordination of the implementation process."

S3M-5809.1 Elizabeth Smith: Education—As an amendment to motion (S3M-5809) in the name of Margaret Smith, insert at end ", and further seeks an assurance from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning that the reform of the exam system accompanying the Curriculum for Excellence will provide sufficient academic rigour and skills-based testing so as to ensure the highest possible standards of attainment in Scottish schools."

followed by Scottish Liberal Democrats Debate: Justice—

S3M-5808 Robert Brown: Justice—That the Parliament is concerned at the decision of the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police to issue Taser guns to 30 frontline police officers following a three-day training course; recognises the considerable concerns about the safety of Tasers raised by Amnesty International and Epilepsy Scotland among others; notes the view of the First Minister that this is an operational matter for chief constables, requiring no involvement of Scottish ministers; further notes that it was the Home Secretary who had responsibility for signing off the issuing of Tasers to more frontline police officers following a similar pilot in England and Wales; recognises that the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) currently subscribes to guidance on the deployment of firearms and less lethal weapons issued by the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO); believes that three days of training is not sufficient for officers with no previous training or experience of handling firearms, and further believes that extending the use of Tasers beyond firearms officers represents a shift in policy, not an operational decision, and requires ministerial sanction following debate in the Parliament.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-5808.2 Kenny MacAskill: Justice—As an amendment to motion (S3M-5808) in the name of Robert Brown, leave out from "is concerned" to end and insert"recognises that firearms legislation is reserved and that Strathclyde Policeis entitled to exercise operational discretion over the use of Tasers under this reserved legislation and notes the role of local police authorities and joint boards in scrutinising Scottish police forces."

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment to amendment

S3M-5808.2.1 Bill Aitken: Justice—As an amendment to amendment (S3M-5808.2) in the name of Kenny MacAskill, insert at end "; further notes that in 2006-07 there were 12,974 recorded assaults on police officers across Scotland, which was an increase of 58% between 2000-01 and 2006-07; believes that Tasers provide a less lethal option than firearms where police officers are facing violent or armed suspects and need to incapacitate them, and awaits the results of the pilot being run in Strathclyde, which sees 30 police officers being armed with Tasers after appropriate training."

S3M-5808.1 Richard Baker: Justice—As an amendment to motion (S3M-5808) in the name of Robert Brown, leave out from "is concerned" to end and insert "notes the decision of the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police to issue Taser guns to 30 specially selected frontline police officers after being trained over a three-day period on their proper use; recognises that this is a three-month pilot with the aim of reducing the number of assaults on officers and notes that an average of 4,000 Strathclyde Police officers have been assaulted in each of the last four years; recognises that a full evaluation of the pilot will take place at its conclusion and only then will a decision be made about rolling it out force-wide; believes that there must be a careful evaluation of the results of the pilot, including assessment of any risks, and transparency regarding those results before any decision is made on whether to extend the use of Tasers; further believes that there should be discussion not only between ministers and Strathclyde Police before a final decision is reached, but also with the Parliament and the Strathclyde Police Authority."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive whether recently reported concerns regarding the use of public funds by members of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport had previously been brought to the attention of Audit Scotland. (S3O-9663)

2. Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to improve the A82 and A83. (S3O-9571)

3. Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive what legal protection is available to local residents during major road projects. (S3O-9584)

4. Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive what additional European funding Scotland has received since the start of the recent economic crisis. (S3O-9621)

5. Withdrawn

6. Iain Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive when it received the report of the public local inquiry on the proposed A92 Road Orders in relation to the A92 east of Newport-on-Tay in Fife, and when it expects to announce its decision. (S3O-9629)

7. Aileen Campbell: To ask the Scottish Executive what importance it attaches to Scotland’s built heritage. (S3O-9638)

8. Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive how many GP practices it has taken action against since May 2007 for having broken their contract with NHS Lanarkshire. (S3O-9604)

9. John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive when details will be made available of the Post Office Diversification Fund announced in its 2010-11 budget. (S3O-9572)

10. Robert Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce or other business organisations on its decision to cancel the Glasgow Airport Rail Link. (S3O-9619)

12.00 pm 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-2220)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Secretary of State for Scotland. (S3F-2221)

3. Tavish Scott: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-2222)

4. Sandra White: To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government’s position is on recently reported concerns regarding the use of public funds by members of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport. (S3F-2227)

5. Elaine Smith: To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Government will take to assist in resolving the current dispute between First ScotRail and the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers. (S3F-2232)

6. David McLetchie: To ask the First Minister what discussions the Scottish Government has had with the Electoral Commission regarding the conduct of the proposed referendum on independence. (S3F-2229)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Rural Affairs and the Environment—

1. Bill Kidd: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will consider extending the community right to buy provisions in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 to urban areas. (S3O-9650)

2. Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is committed to protecting the native Scottish black bee on Colonsay. (S3O-9612)

3. Bob Doris: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made since the creation of the Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Glasgow and what discussions the Scottish Government has had with Glasgow City Council regarding events planned for the city to mark the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. (S3O-9642)

4. Nicol Stephen: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to ensure that any recommendations regarding the future of the single farm payment will address the decline in livestock in Scotland. (S3O-9631)

5. John Park: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made in achieving its Greener Scotland objectives. (S3O-9611)

6. Angela Constance: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress is being made towards meeting its 40% recycling target. (S3O-9640)

7. Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how it is supporting local authorities to achieve environmental targets. (S3O-9608)

8. Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress there has been in reviewing the West of Scotland catch composition rules since the December 2009 EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting. (S3O-9622)

9. George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how much EU funding was paid to Scottish farmers for agricultural support in 2008-09. (S3O-9588)

10. Alasdair Allan: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will consider expanding programmes to control numbers of greylag geese to cover small islands off Uist where they nest extensively. (S3O-9637)

Justice and Law Officers—

1. Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there is a Scottish national policy on the arming of police forces. (S3O-9625)

2. Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it is making on reforming the jury system. (S3O-9609)

3. Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it has taken in response to the conclusions in the recent HM Inspectorate of Prisons report on HMP Cornton Vale. (S3O-9614)

4. Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to combat serious and organised crime in the west of Scotland. (S3O-9587)

5. Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what its position is on specialist firearms training remaining a requirement for police officers who are to be armed. (S3O-9634)

6. Not Lodged

7. John Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will support Scottish Conservative proposals to amend the law on double jeopardy at stage two of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill. (S3O-9565)

8. Stuart McMillan: To ask the Scottish Executive what analysis it has made of the 620 responses to its consultation on high hedges and other nuisance vegetation. (S3O-9657)

9. Maureen Watt: To ask the Scottish Executive when it last met senior members of Grampian Police. (S3O-9661)

10. Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects to be able to reduce the number of prison places as a result of the introduction of effective policies to reduce reoffending. (S3O-9635)

2.55 pm Scottish Government Debate: Brian Pack Inquiry – Single Farm Payment—

S3M-5807 Richard Lochhead: Brian Pack Inquiry - Single Farm Payment—That the Parliament notes the publication of the Interim Report by the Inquiry into Future Support for Agriculture in Scotland; acknowledges the considerable work that has gone into producing this comprehensive and considered report, and welcomes theinquiry’s continuing commitment to extensive stakeholder engagement on the future application of the Common Agricultural Policy in Scotland.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-5807.4 Sarah Boyack: Brian Pack Inquiry - Single Farm Payment—As an amendment to motion (S3M-5807) in the name of Richard Lochhead, insert at end "; recognises the need for any future framework to ensure a sustainable farming sector within vibrant rural communities; acknowledges the challenges posed by climate change and food security, and calls on the Scottish Government to ensure that there is a clear focus on the supply of healthy, affordable food produced as locally as possible with good environmental stewardship."

S3M-5807.2 John Scott: Brian Pack Inquiry - Single Farm Payment—As an amendment to motion (S3M-5807) in the name of Richard Lochhead, insert at end ", while noting that as Scotland moves to an area-based payment scheme there will be redistribution of existing support, and therefore encourages the Scottish Government to ensure that the process of redistribution is as equitable as possible and takes particular account of the Less Favoured Areas."

S3M-5807.3 Liam McArthur: Brian Pack Inquiry - Single Farm Payment—As an amendment to motion (S3M-5807) in the name of Richard Lochhead, insert at end "; notes concerns over the possible removal of funding from active farmers and crofters; recognises, however, that the report makes a strong case for the ongoing direct support of agriculture and food production and therefore believes that the overall level of Single Farm Payment funding should be maintained, and opposes any reduction in agricultural spending through the CAP."

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-5459 Murdo Fraser: Perth 800—That the Parliament notes that 2010 marks the 800th anniversary of the granting of the Royal Burgh Charter to Perth; welcomes the launch of Perth 800, Perth and Kinross Council’s year-long programme of events and activities to celebrate this monumental anniversary; believes that the celebrations will allow Perth to showcase to the rest of the United Kingdom that Perth is one of the best places to live, visit and do business; further welcomes Perth 800 being used to progress Perth’s bid to gain official city status; considers that official city status will reflect Perth as being one of Scotland’s leading places for business, education, art, culture and sport, and supports Perth’s bid to become a city during HM the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

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