Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 137/2010: Thursday 23 September 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 Labour Party Business: The Future of Forensics Services in Scotland

S3M-7045 Richard Baker: The Future of Forensics Services in Scotland—That the Parliament recognises the importance of a national forensic service which is able to serve the needs of the whole country; acknowledges the key role of forensic services and speedy access to evidence for the detection of those responsible for crimes and the prevention of further offences; notes the consultation by the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) on a number of options for the future of forensic services in Scotland; believes that the recommendation for the future structure of the service which has now been made by the SPSA Board to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice should be made public immediately; further believes that Option 3, which would result in the closure of the laboratories in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, and that Option 4, which would see their services very significantly reduced, would be detrimental to very many communities in Scotland, and accordingly believes that Option 2 should be the basis on which services are developed.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-7045.2 Kenny MacAskill: The Future of Forensics Services in Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S3M-7045) in the name of Richard Baker, leave out from first "believes" to end and insert "notes that the recommendation for the future structure of the service has not yet been made by the SPSA Board to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and that the cabinet secretary, in making the decision, should listen to the views of the Parliament, and further notes the valuable work done by SPSA’s expert staff across Scotland and the positive way that they have engaged in this process."

S3M-7045.1 John Lamont: The Future of Forensics Services in Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S3M-7045) in the name of Richard Baker, insert at end "; acknowledges the concerns raised about the loss of specialist jobs, and further notes the concerns of local communities and the police about the proposed changes."

S3M-7045.3 Robert Brown: The Future of Forensics Services in Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S3M-7045) in the name of Richard Baker, insert at end "; believes that decisions on the future of the national forensic service should be driven by the quality of the services needed and provided; regrets the history of inadequate consultation and consideration by the SPSA over the structure of the service; deplores the way in which the SPSA regarding the closure of regional services as a foregone conclusion, and considers that the controversy surrounding the issue serves as a warning as to the dangers of dogmatic centralisation."

11.40 am General Question Time –

1. John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has had discussions with the UK Environment Agency regarding the management of the River Esk in the south of Scotland. (S3O-11376)

2. Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidelines it has issued to public bodies regarding the awarding of contracts to consultants. (S3O-11406)

3. Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to improve freight rail services in south west Scotland. (S3O-11418)

4. Aileen Campbell: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has had discussions with the banking sector regarding the provision of services in rural areas. (S3O-11444)

5. Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with teachers and teaching unions to determine whether guidelines will be required for the implementation of maximum-sized primary one classes. (S3O-11384)

6. Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has given instructions to police forces regarding how people whose roadside walls, fences or buildings have been damaged as a result of vehicle accidents access their reports. (S3O-11382)

7. Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what actions it has taken to improve the A92. (S3O-11403)

8. Helen Eadie: To ask the Scottish Executive for what reason it has not used the EU directive for reserving contracts for supported factories and businesses to award a contract to sheltered workshops. (S3O-11410)

9. Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to protect bird-of-prey populations. (S3O-11432)

10. Paul Martin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it expects the forthcoming teacher numbers statistics to show an increase or decrease in teacher employment and for what reasons. (S3O-11423)

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-2576)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Secretary of State for Scotland. (S3F-2577)

3. Tavish Scott: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-2578)

4. Stewart Maxwell: To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government’s position is on prisoners having the right to vote. (S3F-2579)

5. Des McNulty: To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government’s response is to the recently published public sector employment statistics, which showed a reduction of almost 3,000 in teacher numbers between 2007 and 2010. (S3F-2581)

6. Jeremy Purvis: To ask the First Minister how many people employed in the public sector are paid more than he is. (S3F-2588)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Health and Wellbeing—

1. Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing last met the chief executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and what issues were discussed. (S3O-11411)

2. Withdrawn

3. Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive what legal requirements regarding equality legislation local authorities have to take account of when considering changes to services for vulnerable groups. (S3O-11467)

4. Ken Macintosh: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is aware of any patient concerns regarding the proposed closure of the breast cancer ward at the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow. (S3O-11426)

5. Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure that rural areas are fairly treated by the NHSScotland Resource Allocation Committee formula. (S3O-11393)

6. Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive how it is supporting access to health information for people with a visual impairment. (S3O-11391)

7. Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive what its position is on the findings regarding the effects of deprivation on life expectancy made by the Registrar General for Scotland in the latest annual review of demographic trends. (S3O-11468)

8. Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what its position is on there being no CT scanner available in Orkney and what the implication of this is for patients. (S3O-11389)

9. Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive what it is doing to support children and young people with cleft palates and related conditions. (S3O-11388)

10. Michael Matheson: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing last met the chair of NHS Forth Valley and what issues were discussed. (S3O-11457)

11. Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive what its position is on the UK Government’s approach to the reform of housing benefit. (S3O-11417)

12. Withdrawn

13. John Park: To ask the Scottish Executive what consideration it is giving to the use of community benefit clauses in its housing strategy. (S3O-11434)

14. Nicol Stephen: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures are being put in place to minimise the impact of the closure of triage ward 6 at Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen on healthcare in the region. (S3O-11397)

15. Iain Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure that best use is made of emergency care resources and that accident and emergency departments are able to function effectively. (S3O-11395)

16. Mike Pringle: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of the effects on the NHS of the implementation of the European working time directive in relation to junior doctors’ hours. (S3O-11392)

17. Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive, following its advice on capital allocations to NHS boards, what safeguards it has put in place to ensure an equitable share of resources will be available to NHS Grampian and Tayside. (S3O-11390)

18. Maureen Watt: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that the current GP out-of-hours service offers value-for-money for the taxpayer and best meets the needs of the patient. (S3O-11465)

19. Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive what the rate of absence due to sickness was in days lost per full-time equivalent employee in each NHS board in the last year. (S3O-11381)

20. Angela Constance: To ask the Scottish Executive what improvements have been made in health services in West Lothian since 2007. (S3O-11446)

2.55 pm Scottish Government Debate: A Low Carbon Economy for Scotland—

S3M-7047 Stewart Stevenson: A Low Carbon Economy for Scotland—That the Parliament acknowledges that Scotland is developing a national consensus and determination to play a full role in developing the technologies skills and expertise to build a low carbon economy; welcomes the job opportunities associated with the further development of low carbon technologies, and notes that the net effect of these and other initiatives has been to position Scotland as a preferred international destination for low carbon investment.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-7047.2 Sarah Boyack: A Low Carbon Economy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S3M-7047) in the name of Stewart Stevenson, leave out from first "developing" to end and insert "; continuing to develop a national consensus and determination to play a full role in developing the technologies, skills and expertise to build a low-carbon economy; welcomes the job opportunities associated with the further development of low-carbon technologies and acknowledges the need for skills development; notes that the net effect of these and other initiatives has been to position Scotland as a preferred international destination for low-carbon investment, and believes that the Scottish Government should use its powers to the full in support of the development of low-carbon technologies in energy, transport and housing and in the promotion of existing technologies, such as combined heat and power and microgeneration, in order to underpin Scotland’s recovery from economic recession."

S3M-7047.1 Jackson Carlaw: A Low Carbon Economy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S3M-7047) in the name of Stewart Stevenson, insert at end "; further notes the conclusion of the report, Scotland’s Generation Advantage, produced for the Scottish Government, that the scheduled closure of Hunterston B and Torness means that Scotland will lose a significant volume of low-carbon power, and therefore considers that the extension or ultimate replacement of Scotland’s nuclear facilities will be crucial in maintaining a safe, secure and low-carbon energy supply going forward."

S3M-7047.3 Liam McArthur: A Low Carbon Economy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S3M-7047) in the name of Stewart Stevenson, insert at end "; welcomes the announcement by Ofgem of a review of the charging arrangements for gas and electricity transmission networks and hopes that this will pave the way to removing barriers to the development of Scotland’s renewable energy industry, and believes that the UK Government’s plans for a Green Investment Bank to fund low-carbon transport and energy schemes and a Green Deal to overhaul the energy efficiency of homes and small businesses will benefit Scotland’s efforts to build a low-carbon economy."

S3M-7047.4 Patrick Harvie: A Low Carbon Economy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S3M-7047) in the name of Stewart Stevenson, leave out from "acknowledges" to end and insert "regrets that the cross-party support for the long-term targets in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 has not been followed by consensus on the urgent and radical policy changes that are needed to bring about a low-carbon economy; believes that the Scottish Government should reconsider its support for increased road capacity, growing the aviation industry and building new coal-fired power stations, given the detrimental impact on Scotland’s climate change emissions; regrets the lost economic opportunities from the Scottish Government’s failure to heed calls for a rapid increase in investment in energy efficiency; calls on the Scottish Government to introduce more substantial support for the marine renewables industry, and believes that a sustainable economic vision should not leave Scotland dependent on the whims of the international money markets, which have failed the country repeatedly in the past, but instead should focus on building resilient low-carbon local economies."

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

S3M-7051 Bruce Crawford on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Substitution on Committees—That the Parliament agrees that Tricia Marwick be appointed to replace Bill Wilson as the Scottish National Party substitute on the Equal Opportunities Committee.

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-6753 Jackie Baillie: Keep Leuchie House—That the Parliament regrets the decision to close Leuchie House; notes that Leuchie House is the only respite home operating in Scotland and northern England for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and is one of only four across the United Kingdom; believes that the level of care given at Leuchie House is exceptional; notes that the facility that it offers MS patients to holiday with their carer and their children is unique; notes that it has continually achieved the maximum evaluation of excellent in every area of inspection by the Care Commission; recognises that Leuchie House is much valued by service users; believes that the closure of such a specialised facility will cause a strain on families not just in the Lothian area, but across Scotland as well as impacting on other services, such as the NHS, as they struggle to cope with the needs of MS patients, and is of the view that the facility should be retained.

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