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Minutes of Proceedings 1999-2011

Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

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No. 58 Thursday 4 March 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill – Business Motion: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-993—That the Parliament agrees that, during the Stage 3 proceedings of the Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill, debate on each part of those proceedings shall be brought to a conclusion by the time-limits indicated (each time-limit being calculated from when Stage 3 begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended or otherwise not in progress)

Groups 1 and 2 - no later than 45 minutes
Groups 3 and 4 - no later than 1 hour 10 minutes
Group 5 - no later than 1 hour 30 minutes
Groups 6 and 7 - no later than 1 hour 45 minutes
Group 8 - no later than 2 hours
Groups 9 to 11 - no later than 2 hours 30 minutes
Motion to pass the Bill – no later than 3 hours 20 minutes

The motion was agreed to.

2.      Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to (without division): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25.

Amendment 47 was agreed to (by division: For 81, Against 10, Abstentions 0).

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            37        (For 33, Against 64, Abstentions 0)

            49        (For 26, Against 69, Abstentions 0).

The following amendments were moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn: 26, 28, 34 and 66.

Other amendments were not moved.

3.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

4.      Question Time: Questions were answered by Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5.      Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-699—That the Parliament agrees that the Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

6.      Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Communities (Mrs Mary Mulligan) moved S2M-973—That the Parliament agrees to the principle that, in the contexts of provisions in the Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Bill enabling charities to convert to become community interest companies, conversion should be regulated and agrees that the provisions in the Bill that relate to the power to regulate such conversion should be considered by the UK Parliament.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 73, Against 3, Abstentions 32).

7.      Civil Contingencies Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-974—That the Parliament agrees the principle of a single statutory framework for civil protection across the UK, as set out in the Civil Contingencies Bill, and agrees that the relevant provisions in the Bill should be considered by the UK Parliament.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 69, Against 14, Abstentions 23).

8.      Motion without Notice: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved, without notice, a motion under Rule 11.2.4 of Standing Orders that Decision Time on 4 March 2004 be taken at 4.56 pm.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (by division: For 93, Against 13, Abstentions 1).

9.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 5, 6 and 7 as noted above.

10.    Achievements of Deaf Pupils in Scotland Project: The Parliament debated S2M-758 in the name of Cathie Craigie—That the Parliament congratulates the Scottish Executive for funding the Achievements of Deaf Pupils in Scotland project since November 2000; is concerned to note the gap in achievements between deaf and hearing children identified in its initial findings, and considers that the Executive should continue to fund the project so that groundbreaking year-on-year evidence can be collected to enable identification of factors which can be addressed by education services for deaf pupils in Scotland.

The meeting closed at 5.39 pm.

No. 59  Wednesday 10 March 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: President David McKelvie Rae, President of the Paisley Scotland Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1031—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 March 2004 agreed on 3 March 2004—

(a) Wednesday 10 March 2004

after,

“2.30 pm                         Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions”

insert,

followed by                     Ministerial Statement on GM Crops”

and

(b) Thursday 11 March 2004

after,

“2.00 pm                         Question Time -

                                      Enterprise, Lifelong Learning and Transport;

                                      Justice and Law Officers;

                                      General Questions”

insert,

followed by                     Ministerial Statement on the Outcomes of the Ministerial Group on Tourism”

Mark Ballard moved amendment S2M-1031.1 to motion S2M-1031—

after

“followed by                     Ministerial Statement on the Outcomes of the Ministerial Group on Tourism”

insert

“followed by                     Debate on GM Crops”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to (by division: For 54, Against 58, Abstentions 0).

Carolyn Leckie moved amendment S2M-1031.2 to motion S2M-1031—

delete

“followed by                     Ministerial Statement on GM Crops”

and insert

“followed by                     Ministerial Statement on the hunger strike by Farouk Haidari, Farnborz Gravindk and Mokhtar Haydary”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to (by division: For 39, Against 74, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to (by division: For 60, Against 46, Abstentions 7).

3.      Ministerial Statement: The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson) made a statement, and answered questions on GM crops.

4.      Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Communities (Ms Margaret Curran) moved S2M-532—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill.

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S2M-532.1 to motion S2M-532—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, calls on the Scottish Executive to review Part 3 of the Bill, in light of comments made by the Communities and Justice 2 Committees.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 47, Against 63, Abstentions 8).

Colin Fox moved amendment S2M-532.2 to motion S2M-532—

Leave out from “agrees” to end and insert—

“does not agree to the general principles of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill because it believes that the most effective way to address antisocial behaviour is through greater investment in a wide range of community support services, does not believe that the punitive measures contained in the Bill will address this issue, believes that a fully-resourced Children’s Hearings system represents the best way of dealing with young offenders; does not believe that extending the use of Antisocial Behaviour Orders to under-16s is appropriate, and considers that, rather than creating extra legal powers such as dispersal, the police should be provided with extra resources.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 13, Against 101, Abstentions 3).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 103, Against 14, Abstentions 1).

5.      Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Deputy Minister for Communities (Mrs Mary Mulligan) moved S2M-614—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any increase in expenditure charged on, and any expenditure payable out of, the Scottish Consolidated Fund in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 104, Against 6, Abstentions 8).

6.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-1023—That the Parliament agrees—

the following programme of business—

Wednesday 17 March 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Debate on Enterprise and Culture Committee’s 3rd Report, 2003 (Session 2): Scottish Solutions Inquiry

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 18 March 2004

9.30 am                          Scottish National Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time -

                                                  Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport;

                                                  Finance and Public Services and Communities;

                                                  General Questions

3.00 pm                          Executive Debate on Action to Promote Women in Scotland

followed by                      Motion on Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 24 March 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate on the Local Governance (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution in respect of the Local Governance (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 25 March 2004

9.30 am                          Scottish Green Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time -

                                      Environment and Rural Development;

                                      Health and Community Care;

                                      General Questions

3.00 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

and (b) that consideration of the National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 2 April 2004; that consideration of the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 31 March 2004; that the timetable for completion of consideration of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be extended to 17 March 2004; and that the timetable for completion of consideration of the Prostitution Tolerance Zones (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be extended to 2 July 2004.

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-1025—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Advice and Assistance (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-1026—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No. 2) (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/43) be approved.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 71, Against 23, Abstentions 23).

9.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-1027—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10.    Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9 as noted above.

11.    Commonwealth Day 2004: Sylvia Jackson moved S2M-913—That the Parliament recognises the valuable role of the Commonwealth in strengthening relationships between nations across the world; welcomes the continued contribution of Scotland and its people to those relationships; reaffirms its support for the work of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and commends the theme of Commonwealth Day this year, “Building a Commonwealth of Freedom”, that raises important issues of governance, democracy, human rights, citizenship, building communities and development that are relevant to all peoples of the Commonwealth.

The meeting closed at 5.54 pm.

No. 60 Thursday 11 March 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Pensioner Poverty: John Swinburne moved S2M-1020—That the Parliament agrees that pensioner poverty must be eradicated.

The Deputy Minister for Communities (Mrs Mary Mulligan) moved amendment S2M-1020.3 to motion S2M-1020—

Insert at end—

“and congratulates the Scottish Executive for closing the opportunity gap for Scotland’s poorest pensioners; welcomes Executive policies that are helping pensioners to save money on heating their homes effectively, providing assistance with bus fares and continuing free personal and nursing care, and supports the Executive in encouraging pensioners to claim benefits that are rightfully theirs, such as council tax benefit, through the central heating programme, and through disseminating information to local authorities and old people’s organisations.”

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-1020.2 to motion S2M-1020—

Insert at end—

“and that this can only be achieved if the Parliament has a full range of powers including control over pensions, tax and the benefits system.”

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-1020.1 to motion S2M-1020—

Insert at end—

“; acknowledges that the increases in means testing for pensioners introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, adversely affect many pensioners who are reluctant to claim the benefits to which they are entitled; supports the re-introduction of a link between pensions and earnings as proposed by the Conservative Party at Westminster, and recognises that a growing, dynamic economy through lower tax and regulation is the best way to address the problem of poverty for all, including pensioners.”

After debate, amendment S2M-1020.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 23, Abstentions 23). As a result amendments 1020.2 and 1020.1 were pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 18, Abstentions 29).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament agrees that pensioner poverty must be eradicated and congratulates the Scottish Executive for closing the opportunity gap for Scotland’s poorest pensioners; welcomes Executive policies that are helping pensioners to save money on heating their homes effectively, providing assistance with bus fares and continuing free personal and nursing care, and supports the Executive in encouraging pensioners to claim benefits that are rightfully theirs, such as council tax benefit, through the central heating programme, and through disseminating information to local authorities and old people’s organisations.

2.      Winter Cold-related Deaths: John Swinburne moved S2M-1021—That the Parliament notes with extreme concern recent figures that show that there were 2,510 deaths from cold-related illnesses during the winter of 2002-03, the majority of those being elderly people, an increase of nearly 700; condemns such statistics as reprehensible in Scotland in the 21st century, and, while welcoming the Scottish Executive’s free central heating programme, recognises that the delivery of such programmes must be improved and extended to reach all senior citizens in need as soon as possible.

The Deputy Minister for Communities (Mrs Mary Mulligan) moved amendment S2M-1021.2 to motion S2M-1021—

Leave out from “with extreme concern” to end and insert—

“the recent figures on winter cold-related deaths; recognises the decrease by half in the number of fuel-poor households in Scotland; welcomes the Scottish Executive’s extension of the central heating programme to upgrade or replace partial or inefficient central heating systems for the over-80s in the private sector, and reaffirms the commitment to eradicate fuel poverty as far as reasonably practicable by 2016 thereby combating the threat of winter cold-related deaths.”

Tricia Marwick moved amendment S2M-1021.1 to motion S2M-1021—

Insert at end—

“and that fuel poverty in Scotland will not be eradicated until the Parliament has the full range of powers, including control over the pension and benefit system.”

After debate, amendment 1021.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 30, Abstentions 24). As a result amendment S2M-1021.1 was pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 17, Abstentions 37).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the recent figures on winter cold-related deaths; recognises the decrease by half in the number of fuel-poor households in Scotland; welcomes the Scottish Executive’s extension of the central heating programme to upgrade or replace partial or inefficient central heating systems for the over-80s in the private sector, and reaffirms the commitment to eradicate fuel poverty as far as reasonably practicable by 2016 thereby combating the threat of winter cold-related deaths.

3.      Council Tax: Tommy Sheridan moved S2M-984—That the Parliament agrees that the council tax should be abolished and replaced with an income-based alternative.

The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Services (Tavish Scott) moved amendment S2M-984.2 to motion S2M-984—

Leave out from “council tax” to end and insert—

“forthcoming independent review of local government finance should be asked to conduct a thorough examination of a range of local taxation systems, including the various proposals for an income-based system and reforms to the present council tax system and encourages all those who wish to make meaningful contribution to the review to submit proposals when called upon to do so.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 88, Against 33, Abstentions 0).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 91, Against 30, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament agrees that the forthcoming independent review of local government finance should be asked to conduct a thorough examination of a range of local taxation systems, including the various proposals for an income-based system and reforms to the present council tax system and encourages all those who wish to make meaningful contribution to the review to submit proposals when called upon to do so.

4.      Nursery Nurses, A Just Claim: Frances Curran moved S2M-985—That the Parliament agrees that the nursery nurses have a just claim and that there should be a fair, nationally negotiated settlement to their current dispute.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton moved amendment S2M-985.1 to motion S2M-985—

Leave out from “agrees” to end and insert—

“supports local pay bargaining; welcomes the settlement by nine local authorities, but calls on UNISON to make a special dispensation for children who have special educational needs due to the severe impact that the strike has on them and their families.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 103, Abstentions 1).

The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Euan Robson) moved amendment S2M-985.2 to motion S2M-985—

Leave out from “agrees” to end and insert—

“recognises the importance of the pre-five sector to securing the best possible start to life for Scotland’s young people and the priority the Scottish Executive has given to pre-five provision; welcomes the significant progress in pre-school education entitlement for three and four-year-olds achieved over recent years; emphasises that nursery nurses and others in the early years workforce should receive pay that is fair to them and is financially sustainable; notes grading settlements made to date; urges COSLA to do all it can to support a resolution to the current dispute; further urges the local authority employers and unions to continue negotiations, and encourages the Executive to push forward with plans to secure improved workforce planning, qualifications structure and career pathways for the early years workforce as a means of securing recognition of the commitment and professionalism of pre-five workers, greater opportunities and equality in the workplace for this predominantly female workforce.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 70, Against 44, Abstentions 3).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 76, Against 41, Abstentions 4).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the importance of the pre-five sector to securing the best possible start to life for Scotland’s young people and the priority the Scottish Executive has given to pre-five provision; welcomes the significant progress in pre-school education entitlement for three and four-year-olds achieved over recent years; emphasises that nursery nurses and others in the early years workforce should receive pay that is fair to them and is financially sustainable; notes grading settlements made to date; urges COSLA to do all it can to support a resolution to the current dispute; further urges the local authority employers and unions to continue negotiations, and encourages the Executive to push forward with plans to secure improved workforce planning, qualifications structure and career pathways for the early years workforce as a means of securing recognition of the commitment and professionalism of pre-five workers, greater opportunities and equality in the workplace for this predominantly female workforce.

5.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

6.      Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Mr Jim Wallace) and the Minister for Transport (Nicol Stephen); by the Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson), the Solicitor General (Elish Angiolini) and the Lord Advocate (Colin Boyd); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

7.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Mr Frank McAveety) made a statement, and answered questions on the outcomes of the Ministerial Group on Tourism.

8.      The Historic Environment, A Valuable Resource for Scotland: The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Mr Frank McAveety) moved S2M-1033—That the Parliament recognises that Scotland’s rich heritage of historic buildings, conservation areas, monuments, archaeology, gardens and landscapes makes an important contribution to the cultural, economic and social well-being of contemporary Scotland.

Roseanna Cunningham moved amendment S2M-1033.2 to motion S2M-1033—

Insert at end—

“; regrets that, notwithstanding the work done by individuals and organisations, there remain serious concerns about (a) a lack of both resources and information and (b) the failure to sufficiently protect, conserve, interpret and promote Scotland’s historic environment and endorses the call for a review of the historic environment backed up by a regular audit to measure progress.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 54, Against 62, Abstentions 0).

Mr Jamie McGrigor moved amendment S2M-1033.1 to motion S2M-1033—

Insert at end—

“and believes that Historic Scotland, in its policies, must be mindful of the immense benefits to employment, income and culture brought by tourism and, in particular, art and archaeological tourism.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to (DT).

The motion as amended was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises that Scotland’s rich heritage of historic buildings, conservation areas, monuments, archaeology, gardens and landscapes makes an important contribution to the cultural, economic and social well-being of contemporary Scotland and believes that Historic Scotland, in its policies, must be mindful of the immense benefits to employment, income and culture brought by tourism and, in particular, art and archaeological tourism.

9.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8 as noted above.

10.    Maternity Services in Caithness: The Parliament debated S2M-746 in the name of Rob Gibson—That the Parliament notes the current review of maternity services in rural and remote communities of Caithness and north Sutherland; believes that no “one size fits all” model will deliver satisfactory solutions across the country; considers that staff shortages and widely differing geographical circumstances have to be accommodated, and further considers that the Scottish Executive should instruct NHS Scotland to draw up consultant contracts so that medical staff gain competencies in both large and small hospitals and therefore fulfil the Executive's pledge that every child in Scotland be given the best possible start in life.

The meeting closed at 6.08 pm.

No. 61 Wednesday 17 March 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Priya Sahi, 5th Year Student from Grove Academy, Broughty Ferry, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1048—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 17 March 2004—

after,

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

insert,

followed by                      Ministerial Statement on vCJD

 

Bill Aitken moved amendment S2M-1048.1 to motion S2M-1048—

Insert at end—

“and the following revision to the programme of business for Thursday 18 March 2004—

delete from,

“3.00 pm                         Executive Debate on Action to Promote Women in Scotland”

to end and insert,

“3.00 pm                         Debate on request from the Parliament to the BBC to release to the Fraser Inquiry the taped interviews conducted for “The Gathering Place”, especially those interviews with the late Donald Dewar and Enric Miralles

3.30 pm                          Executive Debate on Action to Promote Women in Scotland

followed by                      Motion on Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.30 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business – Debate on the subject of S2M-971 Rhona Brankin: World Health Organisation’s Bone and Joint Decade 2000 to 2010” ”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to (by division: For 24, Against 60, Abstentions 30).

Carolyn Leckie moved amendment S2M-1048.2 to motion S2M-1048—

Leave out from “insert” to end and insert—

“delete,

followed by                     Debate on Enterprise and Culture Committee’s 3rd Report 2003 (Session 2): Scottish Solutions Inquiry (for text of motion see S2M-1043 in Section F of the Business Bulletin for Monday 15 March 2004)

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time”

and insert,

followed by                     Ministerial Statement on vCJD

followed by                      Ministerial Statement on the situation of the three Iranian Kurdish hunger strikers in Glasgow

followed by                      Debate on Enterprise and Culture Committee’s 3rd Report 2003 (Session 2): Scottish Solutions Inquiry (for text of motion see S2M-1043 in Section F of the Business Bulletin for Monday 15 March 2004)

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.30 pm                          Decision Time” ”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to (by division: For 37, Against 77, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then agreed to (by division: For 86, Against 22, Abstentions 7).

3.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm) made a statement, and answered questions on vCJD.

4.      Enterprise and Culture Committee, Scottish Solutions Inquiry: Alasdair Morgan, on behalf of the Enterprise and Culture Committee, moved S2M-1043—That the Parliament notes the 3rd Report 2003 (Session 2) of the Enterprise and Culture Committee, Report on Scottish Solutions Inquiry (SP Paper 67), on the potential impact of the introduction of variable tuition fees in England and recognises the importance of a healthy higher education sector to Scotland’s economic development.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

5.      Business Motion:  Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1049—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 24 March 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate on the Local Governance (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution in respect of the Local Governance (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 25 March 2004

9.30 am                          Scottish Green Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time -

                                                  Environment and Rural Development;

                                                  Health and Community Care;

                                                  General Questions

3.00 pm                          Executive Debate on Protecting Communities – Reforming the Role of Non-Jury Courts

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 31 March 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 1 April 2004

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time -

                                                Enterprise, Lifelong Learning and Transport;

                                                Justice and the Law Officers;

                                                General Questions

3.00 pm                          Continuation of Stage 3 of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

and (b) that consideration of the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 4 June 2004.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1047—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Order 2004 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 4 and 6 as noted above.

8.      National Celebrations on St Andrew’s Day: The Parliament debated S2M-754 in the name of Donald Gorrie—That the Parliament believes that many aspects of Scottish life would benefit from the adoption of St Andrew’s Day as a focus for national celebration; recognises the value that similar national days, such as Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America, bring to other countries, and considers that the Parliament and the Scottish Executive should work with all relevant bodies to make St Andrew’s Day, or the weekend nearest to it, a basis for educational, cultural and sporting activity, family reunions, community events, the promotion of tourism and Scottish products abroad and for developing existing celebrations of Scottish life held abroad.

The meeting closed at 5.53 pm.

No. 62 Thursday 18 March 2004

The meeting opened at 9.31 am.

1.      GM Crops:  Roseanna Cunningham moved S2M-1051—That the Parliament notes the recommendations of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee’s report GM Foods – Evaluating the Farm Scale Trials; believes that the cultivation of Chardon LL maize should not be considered in Scotland until a full inquiry has been undertaken into the potential commercial, environmental and health impact of such an introduction, and believes that, pending the outcome of such an inquiry, all existing legal powers should be used to block the approval of Chardon LL maize in keeping with the precautionary principle.

The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-1051.1 to motion S2M-1051—

Leave out from “notes” to end and insert—

“acknowledges that at present there is little support for commercialisation of GM crops; acknowledges the European and UK legislative framework for GM; recognises that the Scottish Executive is not permitted by EU law to impose a blanket ban or blanket approval for GM crops; understands that decisions are required on a case by case basis; welcomes the Executive’s decision to reject the commercial growing of spring GM oil seed rape and beet; notes that the Executive does not have scientific evidence nor the powers to ban the cultivation of GM maize; supports the Executive’s decision to seek amendment to the EU approval for Chardon LL maize to restrict its cultivation; supports the Executive’s decision not to agree seed listing for Chardon LL unless and until such EU changes are made; welcomes the Executive’s commitment to consult on co-existence measures that will protect farmers who wish to grow conventional or organic crops, give consumers the choice not to consume GM foods and introduce compensation and liability measures; supports the Executive’s initiative with the farming industry to ensure consumer confidence and consumer choice in Scottish produce, and welcomes the continuing commitment in the Partnership Agreement to apply the precautionary principle.”

After debate, amendment S2M 1051.1 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 60, Against 59, Abstentions 1).

The motion, as amended, was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 60, Against 58, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament acknowledges that at present there is little support for commercialisation of GM crops; acknowledges the European and UK legislative framework for GM; recognises that the Scottish Executive is not permitted by EU law to impose a blanket ban or blanket approval for GM crops; understands that decisions are required on a case by case basis; welcomes the Executive’s decision to reject the commercial growing of spring GM oil seed rape and beet; notes that the Executive does not have scientific evidence nor the powers to ban the cultivation of GM maize; supports the Executive’s decision to seek amendment to the EU approval for Chardon LL maize to restrict its cultivation; supports the Executive’s decision not to agree seed listing for Chardon LL unless and until such EU changes are made; welcomes the Executive’s commitment to consult on co-existence measures that will protect farmers who wish to grow conventional or organic crops, give consumers the choice not to consume GM foods and introduce compensation and liability measures; supports the Executive’s initiative with the farming industry to ensure consumer confidence and consumer choice in Scottish produce, and welcomes the continuing commitment in the Partnership Agreement to apply the precautionary principle.

2.      Abolition of Council Tax:  Fergus Ewing moved S2M-1050—That the Parliament believes that the council tax should be abolished and replaced with a fair system of local income taxation based on ability to pay; notes that the Partnership Agreement published on 15 May 2003 included a commitment to establish an independent review of local government finance; further notes, however, that no such review has been established, and calls on the Scottish Executive to honour its commitment by establishing the review forthwith under an independent chair and reporting back to the Parliament by the end of 2004.

The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Services (Tavish Scott) moved amendment S2M-1050.4 to motion S2M-1050—

Leave out from “believes” to end and insert—

“agrees that the forthcoming independent review of local government finance should be asked to conduct a thorough examination of a range of local taxation systems, including the various proposals for an income-based system and reforms to the present council tax system, and encourages all those who wish to make a meaningful contribution to the review to submit their proposals when called upon to do so.”

Mr Brian Monteith moved amendment S2M-1050.3 to motion S2M-1050—

Leave out from “the council tax” to end and insert—

“local taxation cannot be viewed in isolation and must be seen as part of the overall taxation system, particularly as locally variable taxes only raise 18% of council revenues with the rest coming from charges, business rates and central government grants and further believes that the independent review of local government finance must take account of what range of responsibilities are best administered locally and ensure a broadly-based system of national and local taxation with a combination of income, consumption, capital and property taxes as the best way of delivering a fair and balanced system.”

Mark Ballard moved amendment S2M-1050.2 to motion S2M-1050—

Leave out from “income” to end and insert—

“taxation based on land values; notes that the Partnership Agreement published on 15 May 2003 included a commitment to establish an independent review of local government finance; further notes, however, that no such review has been established; calls on the Scottish Executive to honour its commitment by establishing the review forthwith under an independent chair and reporting back to the Parliament by the end of 2004; believes that local taxation based on land values will be to the benefit of Scotland’s economy, society and environment, and welcomes the commitment the Chancellor of the Exchequer made in presenting his budget for 2004 to the House of Commons to investigate the possibility of taxing land values.”

After debate, amendment 1050.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 77, Against 36, Abstentions 7). As a result amendments 1050.3 and 1050.4 were pre-empted.

The motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 78, Against 35, Abstentions 7).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—The Parliament agrees that the forthcoming independent review of local government finance should be asked to conduct a thorough examination of a range of local taxation systems, including the various proposals for an income-based system and reforms to the present council tax system, and encourages all those who wish to make a meaningful contribution to the review to submit their proposals when called upon to do so.

3.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

4.      Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) and the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Mr Frank McAveety); by the Minister Finance (Mr Andy Kerr) and Minister for Communities (Ms Margaret Curran); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5.      Action to Promote Women in Scotland:  The Minister for Communities (Ms Margaret Curran) moved S2M-1052—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the report of the Strategic Group on Women, Improving the Position of Women in Scotland: An Agenda for Action, and urges all individuals and organisations that have an influence on the lives of women in Scotland to work together for the benefit of the whole of Scottish society, to deliver more opportunities for all women and greater recognition of the contribution women make through paid and unpaid work to the economic and social well-being of the country.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-1052.2 to motion S2M-1052—

Insert at end—

“and, in recognition of the problem of low pay for many Scottish women, agrees that Scotland's nursery nurses have a just claim for a fair, nationally negotiated settlement to their current dispute.”

After debate, amendment 1052.2 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 44, Against 73, Abstentions 3).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

6.      Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-936—That the Parliament agrees that an amendment should be made to the Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill to provide for the compulsory transfer of prisoners from Northern Ireland to Scotland and that the amendment should be considered by the UK Parliament.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 78, Against 35, Abstentions 7).

7.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 5 and 6 as noted above.

8.      World Health Organisation Bone and Joint Decade: The Parliament debated S2M-971 in the name of Rhona Brankin—That the Parliament welcomes the World Health Organisation’s Bone and Joint Decade 2000 to 2010; recognises that musculoskeletal disorders are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability affecting hundreds of millions of people including many young people around the world; further recognises that joint diseases account for more than half of all chronic conditions in persons aged 60 years and over and that back pain is the second leading cause of sick leave, and believes that the Scottish Executive should consider how best to raise awareness of musculoskeletal disorders in Scotland such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and ankylosing spondylitis and their impact both on people’s lives and on the Scottish economy.

The meeting closed at 5.52 pm.

No. 63 Wednesday 24 March 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Father Philip Tartaglia of St Mary’s, Duntocher, Clydebank, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Local Governance (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Finance and Public Services (Mr Andy Kerr) moved S2M-682—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Local Governance (Scotland) Bill.

Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S2M-682.2 to motion S2M-682—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, notes the Interim Report of the Scottish Executive’s Single Transferable Vote Working Group and expresses its support for the principle of the recommendation that general ward sizes should be three to five members with the option of two member wards in exceptional circumstances in recognition that this member ward size better reflects the balance being sought between proportionality and the member/ward link.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 36, Against 83, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 95, Against 19, Abstentions 6).

3.      Business Motion: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1085—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 31 March 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 1 April 2004

9.30 am                          Ministerial Statement

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time –

                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning;

                                      Justice and Law Officers;

                                      General Questions

3.00 pm                          Continuation of Stage 3 of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 21 April 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Committee Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 22 April 2004

9.30 am                          Executive Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time –

                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport;

                                      Finance and Communities;

                                      General Questions

3.00 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

4.      Local Governance (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Services (Tavish Scott) moved S2M-777—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Local Governance (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any increase in expenditure payable out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 101, Against 18, Abstentions 0).

5.      Designation of Lead Committees: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-1080—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 1 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the draft Community Right to Buy (Definition of Excluded Land) (Scotland) Order 2004; and

S2M-1081—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 1 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the draft Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Travel Notification Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

6.      Approval of SSIs: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-1082—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2004 (Modification of Enactments) Order 2004 be approved; and

S2M-1083—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Housing Support Grant (Scotland) Order 2004 be approved.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

7.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 3, 5 and 6 as noted above.

8.      Millennium Development Goals: The Parliament debated S2M-972 in the name of Des McNulty—That the Parliament notes the 10th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda and continuing poverty in sub-Saharan Africa; recognises the extreme urgency of international efforts in making progress towards achieving the eight millennium development goals by 2015 including the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, achievement of universal primary education, promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women, reduction of child mortality, improvement of maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development; further recognises the role that churches and other civic society organisations in Scotland have played in reminding us of our responsibilities to people in the poorest countries, and looks forward to a timetable being set by Her Majesty’s Government for meeting its commitment to increase the UK aid budget to 0.7% of gross national product.

The meeting closed at 6.03 pm.

No. 64 Thursday 25 March 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Zero Waste: Shiona Baird moved S2M-1089—That the Parliament notes that, despite a small increase in recycling and composting, the Scottish Executive is yet to achieve any reduction in the overall production of waste; urges the Executive to adopt a “zero waste” approach, which has the potential to dramatically reduce waste from the design, production and use of materials and products, to boost reuse, recycling and composting rates and to cut costs for business, stimulate innovation and create more “green” jobs in Scotland, and recommends that the Executive produces a strategy for reaching a target of zero waste and reports back to the Parliament on the potential of that policy for Scotland.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Lewis Macdonald) moved amendment S2M-1089.4 to motion S2M-1089—

Leave out from “notes” to end and insert—

“welcomes the recent increase in recycling and composting; notes paragraph 7.3.3 of the National Waste Plan 2003 which states that zero waste “provides a platform for challenging our current systems and radically reducing waste beyond even the best current levels of achievement” and the aim in the National Waste Plan to stop growth in the amount of municipal waste produced by 2010; further notes the work being carried out by the Waste and Resources Action Programme, Envirowise, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and others to minimise business and household waste; recognises the Scottish Executive’s commitment to increasing packaging recovery targets from 59% to 70% by 2008, and calls on the Executive to continue its work to prevent and minimise waste, to increase recycling and to divert waste from landfill.”

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-1089.3 to motion S2M-1089—

Insert at end—

“and further notes that many of the powers required to reduce waste and achieve a sustainable Scotland reside with Her Majesty’s Government and that such powers should be transferred to the Scottish Parliament.”

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S2M-1089.2 to motion S2M-1089—

Leave out from “urges” to end and insert—

“notes that Scottish local authorities need to improve their recycling performance by 15.4% over the next two years, three times the figure they have achieved in the last four, to meet the Executive’s target of 25% of waste recycled by 2006; calls on the Executive to admit that its top-down approach is not working, and, as an alternative to a zero waste policy, urges it to allow local authorities the flexibility to deliver the best solutions for their areas in the long term.”

After debate, amendment 1089.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 79, Against 40, Abstentions 0).  As a result amendment S2M-1089.2 was pre-empted.

After debate, amendment 1089.3 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 80, Abstentions 0).

The motion as amended was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the recent increase in recycling and composting; notes paragraph 7.3.3 of the National Waste Plan 2003 which states that zero waste “provides a platform for challenging our current systems and radically reducing waste beyond even the best current levels of achievement” and the aim in the National Waste Plan to stop growth in the amount of municipal waste produced by 2010; further notes the work being carried out by the Waste and Resources Action Programme, Envirowise, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and others to minimise business and household waste; recognises the Scottish Executive’s commitment to increasing packaging recovery targets from 59% to 70% by 2008, and calls on the Executive to continue its work to prevent and minimise waste, to increase recycling and to divert waste from landfill.

2.      GM Crops: Patrick Harvie moved S2M-1091—That the Parliament notes with concern the preliminary legal opinion of independent counsel that the Scottish Executive had discretion to use legal powers to refuse the next stage of GM maize commercialisation which it chose not to exercise; calls for the Executive to review its own legal advice on which its decision over GM maize was based and to reassess the extent of its discretion accordingly, and calls on the Executive to put on hold the decision on final consent to the placement of GM maize on the UK National Seed List, at least until it has reported back to the Parliament on the outcome of such a legal review and satisfied the Parliament that the most legally-restrictive policy possible toward GM commercialisation has been used.

The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-1091.1 to motion S2M-1091—

Leave out from “notes” to end and insert—

“acknowledges that at present there is little support for commercialisation of GM crops; further acknowledges the European and UK legislative framework for GM; notes the legal advice provided by the parliamentary solicitor to the Transport and the Environment Committee and the European and External Relations Committee that the Scottish Executive is not permitted by EU law to impose a blanket ban on, or blanket approval for, GM crops; understands that decisions are required on a case by case basis; welcomes the Executive’s decision to reject the commercial growing of spring GM oil seed rape and beet; notes that the Executive does not have scientific evidence nor the powers to ban the cultivation of GM maize; supports the Executive’s decision to seek amendment to the EU approval for Chardon LL maize to restrict its cultivation; supports the Executive’s decision not to agree seed listing for Chardon LL unless and until such EU changes are made; welcomes the Executive’s commitment to consult on coexistence measures that will protect farmers who wish to grow conventional or organic crops, give consumers the choice not to consume GM foods, and introduce compensation and liability measures; supports the Executive’s initiative with the farming industry to ensure consumer confidence and consumer choice in Scottish produce, and welcomes the continuing commitment in the Partnership Agreement to apply the precautionary principle.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 57, Abstentions 1).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 56, Abstentions 2).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament acknowledges that at present there is little support for commercialisation of GM crops; further acknowledges the European and UK legislative framework for GM; notes the legal advice provided by the parliamentary solicitor to the Transport and the Environment Committee and the European and External Relations Committee that the Scottish Executive is not permitted by EU law to impose a blanket ban on, or blanket approval for, GM crops; understands that decisions are required on a case by case basis; welcomes the Executive’s decision to reject the commercial growing of spring GM oil seed rape and beet; notes that the Executive does not have scientific evidence nor the powers to ban the cultivation of GM maize; supports the Executive’s decision to seek amendment to the EU approval for Chardon LL maize to restrict its cultivation; supports the Executive’s decision not to agree seed listing for Chardon LL unless and until such EU changes are made; welcomes the Executive’s commitment to consult on coexistence measures that will protect farmers who wish to grow conventional or organic crops, give consumers the choice not to consume GM foods, and introduce compensation and liability measures; supports the Executive’s initiative with the farming industry to ensure consumer confidence and consumer choice in Scottish produce, and welcomes the continuing commitment in the Partnership Agreement to apply the precautionary principle.

3.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

4.      Question Time: Questions were answered by the Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson); by the Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5.      Protecting Communities – Reforming the Role of Non-Jury Courts: Cathy Jamieson moved S2M-1090—That the Parliament considers the continuing modernisation of the criminal justice system to be an important priority; notes the progress made to date to improve the delivery of a fair, efficient and accessible service for victims, witnesses and the accused; welcomes the recent report by Sheriff Principal McInnes into the operation of summary justice, and encourages everyone who wishes to do so to participate in the consultation on its recommendations.

Michael Matheson moved amendment S2M-1090.1 to motion S2M-1090—

Leave out from “considers” to end and insert—

“supports the need to have a fair, effective and efficient summary criminal justice system; welcomes the recent report by Sheriff Principal McInnes; acknowledges the note of dissent within the report, and believes that future changes to the summary justice system must impart confidence to everyone: victims, witnesses, accused persons, court users and, above all, the communities they serve.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 38, Against 62, Abstentions 18).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

6.      Designation of Lead Committee: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1084—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee report to the Justice 1 Committee by 16 April 2004 on the draft Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Travel Notification Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2004; and by 26 April 2004 on the draft Community Right to Buy (Definition of Excluded Land) (Scotland) Order 2004.

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2 and 5 as noted above.

8.      Crisis for Borders Schools: The Parliament debated S2M-1003 in the name of Christine Grahame—That the Parliament notes with concern the proposed closure of the following Borders schools: Cranshaws, Teviothead, Eccles/Leitholm, Hutton, Roberton, Ednam, Channelkirk, Newlands, Oxnam, Glen Douglas, Heriot and Fountainhall; further notes that Scottish Borders Council in its consultation document Management Review of the School Estate in the Scottish Borders, in particular the chart describing the factors that may be considered when making decisions on the schools’ long-term viability, did not include the “importance of the local school to the community” which had been included in the first stage evaluation; reminds the Scottish Executive of its commitment in A Partnership for a Better Scotland to “continued reform so that our public services are designed and delivered around the needs of individuals and the community within which they live” and also its commitment in Building our Future Scotland's School Estate to place “the child at the centre, meeting the needs of the individual” and “the school at the heart of the community, meeting the needs of the communities”; believes that the proposed closures, against the expressed wishes of many communities, are driven by the requirements of proposed PPP/PFI school building programmes, and therefore believes that the Executive should adhere to its aforesaid commitments and reject rural school closure proposals which, if they proceed, will permanently damage fragile communities.

9.      Motion without Notice: Christine Grahame moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended by 10 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.11 pm.

No. 65 Wednesday 31 March 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Mrs Helen McLeod, Elder in St Margaret’s Church of Scotland, Forfar, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Rule 2.2.4: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved, without notice, S2M-1135—That the Parliament agrees, in terms of Rule 2.2.4, that this meeting of the Parliament shall continue until 18.30 to consider Members’ Business.

The motion was agreed to.

3.      The Effect of Strip Stamps on the Whisky Industry: Murdo Fraser moved S2M-1116—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s commitment to the Scotch Whisky industry as set out in A Toast to the Future – working together for Scotch whisky, particularly the Executive’s commitment to a fair tax regime for the industry; notes with disappointment the announcement by Her Majesty’s Government in the 2004 Budget of the introduction of tax stamps on whisky and other spirits; recognises that the compliance costs associated with the measure will introduce a heavy burden on the Scotch whisky industry, thereby adversely affecting both it and the wider Scottish economy; believes that the £3 million compensation package announced by HM Treasury is wholly inadequate, given the estimated cost to the industry of some £60 to £70 million per annum, and accordingly calls on Her Majesty’s Government to reverse the decision to impose tax stamps and, failing this, to ensure that a properly-funded and comprehensive package of measures is put in place to minimise the damage caused to the industry.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Lewis Macdonald) moved amendment S2M-1116.2 to motion S2M-1116—

Leave out from “, thereby adversely” to end and insert—

“; and therefore calls on HM Treasury to engage in further discussion with the industry on the impact of these measures with a view to reaching a satisfactory outcome which deals with tax fraud and would lead to the decision being reversed, failing which to ensure that a comprehensive package of compensation measures is put in place to minimise the impact on the industry.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 112, Against 4, Abstentions 1).

Jim Mather moved amendment S2M-1116.1 to motion S2M-1116—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“agrees with the Scotch Whisky Association that the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s decision in the 2004 UK Budget to impose tax stamps on whisky and other spirits will damage the industry’s competitiveness at home and abroad but do little to tackle spirits fraud; deplores the damage that successive Westminster governments have done to this vital Scottish industry, and therefore agrees that, to reverse the tax stamp decision and ensure that the competitive position of Scotch whisky is not further eroded, the Scottish Parliament should be responsible for the setting of all national taxation within Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 26, Against 80, Abstentions 11).

The motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 111, Against 4, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s commitment to the Scotch Whisky industry as set out in A Toast to the Future – working together for Scotch whisky, particularly the Executive’s commitment to a fair tax regime for the industry; notes with disappointment the announcement by Her Majesty’s Government in the 2004 Budget of the introduction of tax stamps on whisky and other spirits; recognises that the compliance costs associated with the measure will introduce a heavy burden on the Scotch whisky industry; and therefore calls on HM Treasury to engage in further discussion with the industry on the impact of these measures with a view to reaching a satisfactory outcome which deals with tax fraud and would lead to the decision being reversed, failing which to ensure that a comprehensive package of compensation measures is put in place to minimise the impact on the industry.

4.      The Failure of the BBC to Hand Over Tapes to Fraser Inquiry: David McLetchie moved S2M-1117—That the Parliament agrees that the Holyrood Project has a significant contribution to make to the built environment in Scotland and should provide important lessons for future public procurement policy; notes that the report of the Holyrood Inquiry being conducted by The Rt Hon The Lord Fraser of Carmyllie QC, when presented to the Parliament, will be submitted to an appropriate Parliamentary committee for additional scrutiny and may thereafter be the subject of a full debate or debates in the Parliament; believes that consideration of the Holyrood Inquiry report and the public policy issues arising therefrom which are the general responsibility of the Scottish Executive would be enhanced if members had available to them recordings or transcripts of interviews given by the late Donald Dewar and Snr Enric Miralles to the production company, Wark Clements, in the making of the programme entitled “The Gathering Place”, which documents are in the custody or under the control of the British Broadcasting Corporation having its principal place of business in Scotland at Broadcasting House, Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow G12 8DG, and accordingly requires the British Broadcasting Corporation in terms of section 23 of the Scotland Act 1998 to deliver such documents to the Clerk of the Parliament in accordance with instructions to be given by him in terms of section 24 of said Act.

Fergus Ewing moved amendment S2M-1117.2 to motion S2M-1117—

Leave out from “agrees” to end and insert—

“believes that, whilst it is wholly inappropriate for any parliament to issue orders to the press and media requiring them to hand over material, the BBC should cooperate with the Holyrood Inquiry by providing to it the tape recordings of the interviews with the late Donald Dewar and Enric Miralles, which have been filmed for the proposed programme, “The Gathering Place”, because they may include material of relevance to the remit of the Holyrood Inquiry; further believes that the Holyrood Inquiry should have had conferred upon it at the outset the powers to compel the appearance of witnesses and production of documents set out in the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921; considers that the First Minister and the Presiding Officer should now explore whether such powers can yet be conferred upon the Holyrood Inquiry; believes that the leaders of all political parties in Scotland should immediately agree to write jointly to the BBC calling upon it to cooperate with the Inquiry, and considers that the First Minister should seek to appear before the Inquiry as a witness in order to answer questions about his role as Minister for Finance.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 24, Against 86, Abstentions 7).

Robert Brown moved amendment S2M-1117.4 to motion S2M-1117—

Leave out from “agrees” to end and insert—

“notes the current Holyrood Inquiry being conducted by The Rt Hon The Lord Fraser of Carmyllie QC as instigated by the First Minister and the Presiding Officer; encourages all those with an interest in the Inquiry to provide Lord Fraser with all required documentation and material and strongly encourages both the Inquiry and the BBC to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution to the ongoing issue surrounding the availability of information from tapes of the Wark Clements Productions’ programme entitled “The Gathering Place”; supports the independence of the BBC against political interference as a fundamental bulwark of our civil liberties, and believes that the Parliament would undermine the independence of the BBC by seeking to compel it to take any particular course of action but would nevertheless welcome a decision by the BBC to allow Lord Fraser appropriate access to the tapes.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 91, Against 26, Abstentions 0).

The motion, as amended, was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 92, Against 25, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the current Holyrood Inquiry being conducted by The Rt Hon The Lord Fraser of Carmyllie QC as instigated by the First Minister and the Presiding Officer; encourages all those with an interest in the Inquiry to provide Lord Fraser with all required documentation and material and strongly encourages both the Inquiry and the BBC to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution to the ongoing issue surrounding the availability of information from tapes of the Wark Clements Productions’ programme entitled “The Gathering Place”; supports the independence of the BBC against political interference as a fundamental bulwark of our civil liberties, and believes that the Parliament would undermine the independence of the BBC by seeking to compel it to take any particular course of action but would nevertheless welcome a decision by the BBC to allow Lord Fraser appropriate access to the tapes.

5.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1126—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—  

Wednesday 21 April 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      European and External Affairs Committee Debate on Enlargement of the European Union

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 22 April 2004

9.30 am                          Executive Debate

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time –

                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport;

                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities;

                                      General Questions

3.00 pm                          Executive Debate on Developing Scotland’s Renewable Energy

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 28 April 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 of the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 29 April 2004

9.30 am                          Scottish National Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time –

                                      Environment and Rural Development;

                                      Health and Community Care;

                                      General Questions

3.00 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

After debate, the motion was agreed to (by division: For 67, Against 43, Abstentions 7).

6.      Designation of Lead Committees: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-1129—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Criminal Legal Aid (Fixed Payments) (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/126);

S2M-1121—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Police (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/121);

S2M-1122—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Police Grant (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/120); and

S2M-1123—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 1 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

7.      Approval of SSI: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-1124—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Debt Arrangement Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2004 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 3, 4, 6 and 7 as noted above.

9.      Ministerial Statement: The Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Mr Jim Wallace) made a statement, and answered questions on Standard Life.

10.    London Olympic Bid: The Parliament debated S2M-811 in the name of Alex Neil—That the Parliament notes with concern the decision by Her Majesty's Government to provide an unlimited funding guarantee for the London bid to host the Olympic Games in 2012 and, whilst happy to support the bid’s success, believes that London should share financial responsibility for the guarantee in line with the original intention of Her Majesty’s Government, outlined in the response to A London Olympic Bid for 2012 by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The meeting closed at 6.22 pm.

No. 66 Thursday 1 April 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Communities (Ms Margaret Curran) made a statement, and answered questions on modernising and reforming Scotland’s planning system.

2.      Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill - Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1139—That the Parliament agrees that, during the Stage 3 proceedings of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill, debate on each part of those proceedings shall be brought to a conclusion by the time-limits indicated (each time-limit being calculated from when Stage 3 begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended or otherwise not in progress)

Groups 1 and 2 – no later than 40 minutes
Groups 3 and 4 – no later than 1 hour 10 minutes
Groups 5 to 8 – no later than 2 hours
Groups 9 and 10 – no later than 2 hours and 30 minutes
Groups 11 and 12 – no later than 3 hours and 10 minutes
Groups 13 to 16 – no later than 3 hours and 30 minutes
Motion to pass the Bill – no later than 4 hours

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 4, 8, 9, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 91, 32, 34 and 35.

Amendment 8A was agreed to (by division: For 56, Against 50, Abstentions 1)

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            61        (For 46, Against 61, Abstentions 0)

            73        (For 50, Against 61, Abstentions 0)

            5          (For 44, Against 61, Abstentions 5)

            62        (For 50, Against 61, Abstentions 0)

            10        (For 50, Against 60, Abstentions 0)

            74        (For 13, Against 82, Abstentions 17)

            11        (For 52, Against 61, Abstentions 0)

            14        (For 52, Against 58, Abstentions 0)

            66        (For 50, Against 59, Abstentions 0)

            67        (For 50, Against 59, Abstentions 0)

            3          (For 53, Against 60, Abstentions 0)

Other amendments were not moved or were pre-empted.

4.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

5.      Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Mr Jim Wallace) and the Minister for Transport (Nicol Stephen); by the Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6.      Emergency Question: An emergency question on the European Commission’s announcement on changes to the December 2003 fisheries agreement was answered by the Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson).

7.      Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Parliament resumed consideration of the Bill at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 46, 93, 51, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59 and 60.

The following amendments were agreed to (by division)—

            47        (For 61, Against 54, Abstentions 0)

            48        (For 60, Against 56, Abstentions 0)

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            76        (For 50, Against 59, Abstentions 0)

            77        (For 49, Against 61, Abstentions 0)

            92        (For 51, Against 60, Abstentions 1)

            40A     (For 53, Against 60, Abstentions 0)

            42        (For 51, Against 59, Abstentions 0)

            44        (For 51, Against 59, Abstentions 0)

            80        (For 54, Against 61, Abstentions 0)

            81        (For 55, Against 61, Abstentions 0)

            82        (For 54, Against 61, Abstentions 0)

            84        (For 54, Against 61, Abstentions 0)

            86        (For 54, Against 61, Abstentions 0)

            87        (For 43, Against 65, Abstentions 0)

            88        (For 42, Against 66, Abstentions 0)

            49        (For 51, Against 61, Abstentions 0)

            70A     (For 52, Against 59, Abstentions 0)

            70        (For 51, Against 59, Abstentions 0)

            71        (For 51, Against 60, Abstentions 0)

            52        (For 53, Against 60, Abstentions 0)

            90        (For 53, Against 60, Abstentions 0)

            72        (For 51, Against 60, Abstentions 3)

Amendment 68 was moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn.

Other amendments were not moved or were pre-empted.

8.      Motion without Notice: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved without notice, a motion under Rule 11.2.4 of Standing Orders that Decision Time on Thursday 1 April 2004 be taken at 5.33 pm.

The motion was agreed to.

9.      Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) moved S2M-1039—That the Parliament agrees that the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill be passed.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton moved amendment S2M-1039.1 to motion S2M-1039—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, expresses concern that the Scottish Executive did not act fully upon the recommendations of the Education Committee’s 2nd Report 2004 (Session 2), Stage 1 Report on Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Bill, and is concerned that a significant number of parents who formerly had records of needs for their child will no longer have comparable legal rights to those parents whose children will qualify for a Co-ordinated Support Plan.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 52, Against 61, Abstentions 0).

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 91, Against 6, Abstentions 15).

10.    Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1125—That the Parliament agrees—

(a)    that consideration of the Local Governance (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 4 June 2004;

(b)    that the timetable for consideration of the Fire Sprinklers in Residential Premises (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be extended to 8 October 2004; and

(c)     that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 16 April 2004 on the Police Grant (Scotland) Order 2004, (SSI 2004/120); the Police (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004 (SSI/2004/121); and the Criminal Legal Aid (Fixed Payments) (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Regulations 2004 (SSI/2004/126).

The motion was agreed to.

11.    Membership of Committees: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-1141—That the Parliament agrees that Ms Sandra White be appointed to replace Campbell Martin on the Equal Opportunities Committee;

S2M-1142—That the Parliament agrees that Campbell Martin be appointed to replace Ms Sandra White on the Public Petitions Committee; and

S2M-1143—That the Parliament agrees that Ms Sandra White be appointed to replace Campbell Martin on the Communities Committee.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

12.    Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 7 and 9 as noted above.

13.    Nursery Nurses’ Pay and Conditions: The Parliament debated S2M-977 in the name of Elaine Smith—That the Parliament recognises that the job of nursery nurse represents one of the remaining professions characterised by both an almost exclusively female workforce and an overarching legacy of low pay; notes however, that the increased academic and professional demands upon nursery nurses have been consistently recognised by both the Parliament and wider society in recent months; expresses concern that this consensual public recognition has not been reflected in the form of an adequate and timely settlement for those nursery nurses currently jeopardising their own financial security in an attempt to obtain a remuneration package that fairly represents their job and responsibilities; conveys regret that nursery nurses have now voted overwhelmingly for indefinite strike action to begin on 1 March 2004 that will result in widespread disruption to children’s education and massive inconvenience for parents; acknowledges that this dispute represents a potential watershed not only for the future of the nursery service and early years education but also for the issue of equal pay in Scotland, and suggests that a possible route to a satisfactory settlement would be a national review of the nursery service followed by a Scotland-wide regrading of the role of nursery nurses.

14.    Motion without Notice: The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Euan Robson) moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended by 15 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.40 pm.

No. 67 Wednesday 21 April 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Sandra Holt, National Assessor for the Church of Scotland’s Ministry selection process, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1181—That the Parliament agrees the following revisions to the programme of business agreed on 31 March 2004—

(a) Wednesday 21 April 2004

after,

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

insert,

followed by                      Ministerial Statement on Prisoner Escort and Court Custody Services Contract

(b) Thursday 22 April 2004

delete,

9.30 am                          Executive Debate

and insert,

9.30 am                          Ministerial Statement on Cultural Review

followed by                      Executive Debate on Mental Health

The motion was then agreed to.

3.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) made a statement and answered questions on the Prisoner Escort and Court Custody Services Contract.

4.      European and External Relations Committee, Enlargement of the European UnionRichard Lochhead, on behalf of the European and External Relations Committee, moved S2M-1098—That the Parliament welcomes the enlargement of the European Union that will see 10 new member states join on 1 May 2004; recognises that this provides both challenges and opportunities to Scotland, and encourages the Scottish Executive to promote actively the benefits of enlargement across Scotland.

Margo MacDonald moved amendment S2M-1098.1 to motion S2M-1098—

Leave out from “encourages” to end and insert—

“calls on the Scottish Executive to produce a balanced assessment of the economic and social impact of enlargement.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 48, Against 58, Abstentions 6).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

5.      Business Motion:  Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1180—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 28 April 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 of the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 29 April 2004

9.30 am                          Scottish National Party Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time—

                                      Environment and Rural Development;

                                      Health and Community Care;

                                      General Questions

3.00 pm                          Executive Debate on Reducing Reoffending – Improving the Effectiveness of Custodial and Non-Custodial Sentences

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 5 May 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 6 May 2004

9.30 am                          Stage 3 of the National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time—

                                      Enterprise, Lifelong Learning and Transport;

                                      Justice and Law Officers;

                                      General Questions      

3.00 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Nomination of Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

and (b) that consideration of the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 10 September 2004.

The motion was then agreed to.

6.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on item 4 as noted above.

7.      Loss of Green Space and Leisure Facilities in Glasgow: The Parliament debated S2M-1172 in the name of Robert Brown—That the Parliament notes with concern the continuing loss of green space in Glasgow and other areas due to planning encroachment and, in particular, the threat to the future of bowling greens, tennis courts, football fields, allotments and similar facilities and believes that the Scottish Executive and local authorities should review land use policies, strengthen the protection of green space and leisure facilities, enforce local planning policies, conservation and other planning protections stringently and halt the development for other purposes of green space and leisure areas in pressurised urban communities.

The meeting closed at 5.48 pm.

No. 68 Thursday 22 April 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Mr Frank McAveety) made a statement and answered questions on the Cultural Review.

2.      Mental Health: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm) moved S2M-1184—That the Parliament acknowledges, in National Depression Week, the Scottish Executive’s commitment, reflected in the Partnership Agreement, to maintain the mental well-being of the people of Scotland and to improve the situation of those with mental health problems; notes that National Depression Week aims to raise awareness of the realities of depression and to reduce the stigma associated with it; commends the work of the National Programme for Improving Mental Health and Well-Being and progress towards implementation of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003; welcomes specific initiatives in relation to workforce development and service re-design, such as the Doing Well by People with Depression projects, but also urges the Executive to continue to support efforts to reduce suicides through the “Choose Life” strategy, to remove stigma and to increase the range and quality of services available to those with mental health problems.

Stewart Stevenson moved amendment S2M-1184.1 to motion S2M-1184—

Insert at end—

“while expressing concern that the large number of vacant consultant psychiatrists’ posts represents a significant barrier to delivering much sought after improvements.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 54, Against 61, Abstentions 0).

Mr David Davidson moved amendment S2M-1184.2 to motion S2M-1184—

Leave out from “acknowledges” to end and insert—

“welcomes National Depression Week and its aims to raise awareness, reduce the stigma and make more effective the treatment of depression; notes the work of the Scottish Executive to implement the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 but also notes the conclusions of the National Mental Health Services Assessment which highlights shortcomings in mental health services; is concerned about recruitment, retention and support issues surrounding the mental health workforce; notes that the number of those receiving care in inappropriate settings is still too high, and urges the Executive to increase its efforts to address the rising incidence of suicide in Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 54, Against 62, Abstentions 0).

Carolyn Leckie moved amendment S2M-1184.3 to motion S2M-1184—

Leave out from “through” to end and insert—

“; notes that mental health problems disproportionately affect those living in deprived areas and that despite the Executive’s commitment to tackling mental health problems as a priority, mental health services remain underfunded and overstretched in many parts of Scotland; believes that abolishing prescription charges would help to address the poverty trap faced by mental health service users who return to work, and further believes that more resources should be directed towards treatment and rehabilitation in community settings, that there should be a greater emphasis on children’s mental health, that in-patient treatment facilities should be housed in modern buildings, accessible to the communities that they serve, that more practical and financial support should be given to the families and other carers of those experiencing mental health problems and that, as a priority, a well-resourced, independent national advocacy service for users of mental health services should be established in Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 77, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

3.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

4.      Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) and the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Mr Frank McAveety); by the Minister for Communities (Ms Margaret Curran); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5.      Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: The Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Mr Jim Wallace) moved S2M-1185—That the Parliament endorses the Scottish Executive’s targets to generate increasing amounts of electricity from renewable sources; notes that Scottish ministers have, in the last two years, approved 600 megawatts of wind farms and 7 megawatts of hydro power schemes and that Scottish local authorities in the same period have consented to approximately 170 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity; acknowledges the contribution of the Scottish Community and Householder Renewables Initiative in encouraging renewable energy capacity building for communities; acknowledges the long-term potential for the development of renewable energy technologies, including the associated economic benefits and rural regeneration and export opportunities; welcomes the associated drive to increase energy efficiency measures across Scotland, including the recent announcement of the public sector energy efficiency fund and the environmental best practice being promoted by the Scottish Energy Efficiency Office; also recognises the contribution that both renewable energy and energy efficiency make to reducing carbon emissions, and supports the Executive’s commitment to tackling climate change.

Roseanna Cunningham moved amendment S2M-1185.1 to motion S2M-1185—

Leave out from “endorses” to end and insert—

“recognises the contribution that both renewable energy and energy efficiency make to tackling carbon emissions; further recognises the importance of tackling climate change; agrees, therefore, to raise the Scottish Executive’s targets for generating increasing amounts of electricity from renewable resources to 25% of electricity generation capacity by 2010, 30% by 2015 and 50% by 2020; regrets that energy policy is largely reserved to Westminster and rejects calls for an expansion of the nuclear contribution to Scotland’s electricity production; acknowledges the important contribution that can be made by small-scale, domestic and community-based renewable energy projects; notes the recent growth in applications for wind farm developments and regrets the absence of clear, concise and coherent guidelines for the approval of such developments; acknowledges the long-term potential for the development of renewable energy technologies, including the associated economic benefits and rural regeneration and export opportunities, and urges the Executive to ensure that these technologies are supported beyond the research and development stage to ensure that Scotland can become a world leader in renewable energy technologies.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 77, Abstentions 0).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-1185.2 to motion S2M-1185—

Leave out from “endorses” to end and insert—

“notes the increasing scepticism about the achievability of the Scottish Executive’s targets for renewable energy from a number of sources, including former Energy Minister Brian Wilson MP and UNISON; further notes the publication of reports from the Royal Academy of Engineers and Professor David Simpson of the David Hume Institute on the costs of wind power generation as against other generation methods; regrets the current rush to develop onshore wind capacity to the exclusion of other technologies such as hydro, wave, tidal and biomass, and calls on the Scottish Executive and Her Majesty’s Government to work together to develop an energy strategy for Scotland which will include a mix of generating capacity, with components from renewables, gas, coal and nuclear power.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 100, Abstentions 0).

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-1185.3 to motion S2M-1185—

Leave out from “endorses” to end and insert—

“believes that the Scottish Executive can play a much more significant role in tackling climate change by encouraging reductions in energy use through greater energy efficiency and by achieving a greater shift in energy use from fossil fuels to renewable sources, whilst at the same time creating sustainable “green” jobs; welcomes the targets set by the Executive for generation of 40% of electricity from renewable sources but notes that this amounts to only about 8% of Scotland’s total energy use; recognises that a study commissioned by the Executive shows that the energy potential from renewable energy in Scotland is as much as 60 gigawatts and therefore that renewable energy has a massive potential to supply energy, not only for electricity but also for fuels; further recognises that Scotland leads the world in research and development of wave energy converters; is gravely concerned that the first order for wave converters has come from outside Scotland and that the potential for a manufacturing industry for wave converters may be lost to Scotland because of insufficient market incentives, and therefore calls on the Executive to set concrete targets for energy efficiency, to publish an action plan, including targets, for renewable energy to supply non-electrical uses and to improve market-based incentives for emerging renewable energy technologies.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 40, Against 76, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 87, Against 22, Abstentions 7).

6.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2 and 5 as noted above.

7.      MS Awareness Week: The Parliament debated S2M-1076 in the name of Tricia Marwick—That the Parliament pays tribute to the work carried out by the Multiple Sclerosis Society in helping thousands of people with multiple sclerosis across Scotland; welcomes MS Awareness Week, 18 to 25 April 2004, as an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of a condition that affects over 10,000 people in Scotland; recognises that there remain serious shortcomings in treatment and support for multiple sclerosis in Scotland, and believes that the Scottish Executive should develop a national standard of care for people with multiple sclerosis to ensure that levels of treatment and support are the same regardless of where in Scotland they live.

The meeting closed at 6.00 pm.

No. 69 Wednesday 28 April 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Sister Helen McLaughlin of the House of Prayer in Edinburgh led Time for Reflection.

2.      Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill - Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1220—That the Parliament agrees that, during the Stage 3 proceedings of the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland)  Bill, debate on each part of those proceedings shall be brought to a conclusion by the time-limits indicated (each time-limit being calculated from when Stage 3 begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended or otherwise not in progress):

Groups 1 and 2 – no later than 35 minutes
Groups 3 and 4 – no later than 1 hour 10 minutes
Groups 5 to 8 – no later than 1 hour 35 minutes
Groups 9 to 13 – no later than 1 hour 55 minutes
Motion to pass the Bill – no later than 2 hours 25 minutes

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 36, 37, 38, 39, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 90, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67 and 68.

The following amendments were agreed to (by division)—

            30 to 35          (For 100, Against 1, Abstentions 13)

            40A                 (For 100, Against 14, Abstentions 0)

            40                    (For 94, Against 13, Abstentions 6)

            41 to 47          (For 90, Against 10, Abstentions 14)

            55                    (For 96, Against 0, Abstentions 18)

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            91                    (For 52, Against 62, Abstentions 0)

            101                 (For 35, Against 76, Abstentions 0)

            107                 (For 48, Against 61, Abstentions 1)

            109                 (For 14, Against 96, Abstentions 1)

            115                 (For 48, Against 65, Abstentions 0)

            116                 (For 48, Against 67, Abstentions 0)

            69                    (For 21, Against 81, Abstentions 0)

            70                    (For 21, Against 84, Abstentions 0)

            71                    (For 21, Against 85, Abstentions 0)

            72                    (For 21, Against 87, Abstentions 0)

            120                 (For 52, Against 65, Abstentions 0)

Other amendments were not moved.

4.      Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-1100—That the Parliament agrees that the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 112, Against 0, Abstentions 5).

5.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1216—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 5 May 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 6 May 2004

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 of the National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time—

                                      Enterprise, Lifelong Learning and Transport;

                                      Justice and Law Officers;

                                      General Questions

3.00 pm                          Executive Debate on Scotland’s Beaches - A National Resource

followed by                      Nomination of Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

and (b) that the period for lodging questions for First Minister’s Question Time on 6 May 2004 should end at 2 pm on Friday 30 April 2004; and the period for lodging questions for First Minister’s Question Time on 3 June 2004 should end at 4 pm on Thursday 27 May 2004.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Designation of Lead Committees: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-1210—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 1 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Shorthand Writers in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment) 2004 (SSI 2004/149); and

S2M-1211—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 1 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Solicitors and Witnesses in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment) 2004 (SSI 2004/152).

The motions were agreed to (DT).

7.      Approval of SSIs: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved—

S2M-1212—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Travel Notification Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 be approved; and

S2M-1213—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Community Right to Buy (Definition of Excluded Land) (Scotland) Order 2004 be approved.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

8.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 4, 6 and 7 as noted above.

9.      Chiropody Care: The Parliament debated S2M-1144 in the name of Mary Scanlon —That the Parliament recognises the importance of regular chiropody and foot care in keeping Scotland’s elderly population mobile, pain free and independent; considers that the Scottish Executive should specify who is eligible for NHS chiropody and podiatry care, noting that local access policies differ throughout Scotland and promote variances in the provision of foot care, and further considers that NHS boards should ensure that access to foot health services are maintained in a fair and equitable manner to all patient groups including the elderly and schoolchildren.

The meeting closed at 5.47 pm.

No. 70 Thursday 29 April 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      European Union Constitution: Nicola Sturgeon moved S2M-1218—That the Parliament calls on Her Majesty’s Government to negotiate out of the draft EU Constitution the clause stipulating that the European Union shall have exclusive competence over the conservation of marine biological resources under the common fisheries policy, and ensure that the final draft of the Constitution is not detrimental to Scottish interests.

The Minister for Finance and Public Services (Mr Andy Kerr) moved amendment S2M-1218.4 to motion S2M-1218—

Leave out from “negotiate” to end and insert—

“agree a Treaty that, in the context of an enlarging Union, is clearer and simpler than the existing treaties, to bring the European Union closer to the citizens of Europe; notes that the current draft Treaty simply makes explicit the European Community’s exclusive competence over marine conservation as set out in the United Kingdom’s Treaty of Accession, as part of the Common Fisheries Policy, which both Her Majesty’s Government and the Scottish Executive are committed to reform to deliver effective regional management of, and a sustainable future for, Scotland’s fishing industry; notes that the text makes reference for the first time to the role of sub-national parliaments and offers enhanced scope for collaboration to tackle international crime and the threat of terrorism, and welcomes the benefits to Scotland of EU membership, including economic prosperity, trade, environmental and consumer protection and citizens’ and workers’ rights.”

Phil Gallie moved amendment S2M-1218.1 to motion S2M-1218—

Leave out from “calls on” to end and insert—

“recognises that the only way to ensure a sustainable future for the Scottish fishing industry is to restore national and local control of Scottish waters by negotiating withdrawal from the Common Fisheries Policy and calls on Her Majesty’s Government to hold the referendum on the EU Constitution following final agreement of its terms to give our people the opportunity to reject this centralising constitution and help to shape a new, flexible Europe of nation states working in partnership.”

Robin Harper moved amendment S2M-1218.3 to motion S2M-1218—

Leave out from “calls on” to end and insert—

“recognises that management of fisheries, as a shared resource in the seas around Europe, transcends national boundaries; condemns the long history of Common Fisheries Policy management driven by political rather than scientific considerations; recognises that such political management has led to the current plight of fish stocks and fishing communities; agrees that the newly-reformed Common Fisheries Policy offers a brighter future given the proposals for conservation of stocks based on scientific analysis combined with fishermen’s expertise to agree sustainable managements on a regional basis, and calls on the Scottish Executive and Her Majesty’s Government not to abandon the goal of sustainable management of fisheries and to engage actively in negotiations to ensure that the final draft of the Constitution is not detrimental to Scottish interests on fisheries, renewable energy and other matters.”

Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S2M-1218.2 to motion S2M-1218—

Leave out from “negotiate” to end and insert—

“recognise that the European Constitution makes fundamental changes to the structures of the European Union that will further erode local and national democracy, strengthen the grip of the largest and wealthiest nation states of Europe at the expense of the smaller nations and stateless nations, undermine public services in Scotland by opening the door to wholesale privatisation, jeopardise the existence of our fishing industry by engraving in stone the disastrous Common Fisheries Policy, transfer powers over energy to the EU which in turn can be used to block any future moves to bring our oil, gas, and electricity industries into public ownership, lead to a further militarisation of the European continent and give carte blanche to large multi-national states such as Spain and the United Kingdom to deny minority nations within these states the right to genuine self-determination, and, in the light of the damage that this constitution will do to Scotland’s present and future interests and given that opposition to the proposed constitution is even stronger in Scotland than the rest of the UK, calls on Her Majesty’s Government to call a separate referendum for Scotland.”

After debate, amendment S2M-1218.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 54, Abstentions 0).  As a result amendment S2M-1218.2 was pre-empted.

After debate, amendment S2M-1218.1 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 97, Abstentions 4).

After debate, amendment S2M-1218.3 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 7, Against 111, Abstentions 0).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 48, Abstentions 6).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament calls on Her Majesty’s Government to agree a Treaty that, in the context of an enlarging Union, is clearer and simpler than the existing treaties, to bring the European Union closer to the citizens of Europe; notes that the current draft Treaty simply makes explicit the European Community’s exclusive competence over marine conservation as set out in the United Kingdom’s Treaty of Accession, as part of the Common Fisheries Policy, which both Her Majesty’s Government and the Scottish Executive are committed to reform to deliver effective regional management of, and a sustainable future for, Scotland’s fishing industry; notes that the text makes reference for the first time to the role of sub-national parliaments and offers enhanced scope for collaboration to tackle international crime and the threat of terrorism, and welcomes the benefits to Scotland of EU membership, including economic prosperity, trade, environmental and consumer protection and citizens’ and workers’ rights.

2.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

3.      Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie); by the Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4.      Reducing Reoffending – Improving the Effectiveness of Custodial and Non-Custodial Sentences: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-1219—That the Parliament notes the publication of Reduce, Rehabilitate, Reform – A Consultation on Reducing Reoffending in Scotland and recognises the need for significant improvement and change in the management of offenders serving custodial and non-custodial sentences in order to reduce reoffending and step up the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system.

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S2M-1219.1 to motion S2M-1219—

Insert at end—

“but is, as yet, not persuaded of the case for a single national correctional agency.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 51, Against 64, Abstentions 3).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 112, Against 5, Abstentions 1).

5.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1209—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that consideration of the School Education (Ministerial Powers and Independent Schools) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 25 June 2004; and

(b) that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Justice 1 Committee by 7 May 2004 on the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Shorthand Writers in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment) 2004 (SSI 2004/149) and on the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Solicitors and Witnesses in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment) 2004 (SSI 2004/152).

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1 and 4 as noted above.

7.      Threat to Jobs at TransBus International: The Parliament debated S2M-1145 in the name of Dennis Canavan—That the Parliament is gravely concerned about the fact that the Mayflower Corporation has entered administration with a resultant threat to 1,000 jobs at TransBus International in Falkirk and Larbert and believes that the Scottish Executive should contact the employees’ trade union representatives, the administrator and any prospective buyers to offer assistance and advice so that everything possible is done to try to save the jobs of the TransBus workers who make a very important contribution to the Scottish economy.

The meeting closed at 5.58 pm

No. 71 Wednesday 5 May 2004

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Dr Salah Beltagui of the Muslim Association of Britain led Time for Reflection.

2.      Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill - Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1267—That the Parliament agrees that, during the Stage 3 proceedings of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill, debate on each part of those proceedings shall be brought to a conclusion by the time-limits indicated (each time-limit being calculated from when Stage 3 begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended or otherwise not in progress):

Groups 1 and 2 – no later than 20 minutes
Groups 3 to 7 – no later than 35 minutes
Groups 8, 9 and 10 – no later than 1 hour 5 minutes
Groups 11 and 12 – no later than 1 hour 35 minutes
Groups 13 and 14 – no later than 1 hour 55 minutes
Motion to pass the Bill – no later than 2 hours 25 minutes

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 2, 21, 22, 47, 3, 4, 17, 18, 19, 23, 5, 24, 20, 6, 25, 48, 7, 8, 9, 10, 26, 27, 28, 29, 11, 12, 30, 13, 14, 15, 35, 36, 37, 16, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 32, 33 and 34.

The following amendment was agreed to (by division)—

            1          (For 97, Against 1, Abstentions 16)

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            45        (For 34, Against 78, Abstentions 0)

            46        (For 32, Against 78, Abstentions 0) 

            49        (For 14, Against 101, Abstentions 0)  

            50        (For 14, Against 100, Abstentions 1)  

            31        (For 30, Against 87, Abstentions 1)           

            51        (For 37, Against 78, Abstentions 0)   

            53        (For 32, Against 81, Abstentions 2)

            33A     (For 32, Against 84, Abstentions 0)   

Other amendments were not moved.

4.      Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3:  The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-995—That the Parliament agrees that the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

5.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1257—That the Parliament agrees as a revision to the programme of business for Thursday 6 May 2004—

Thursday 6 May 2004

delete,

3.00 pm                          Executive Debate on Scotland’s Beaches – A National Resource

insert,

3.00 pm                          Ministerial Statement

followed by                      Executive Debate on Scotland’s Beaches – A National Resource

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1258—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Tuesday 18 May 2004

9.30 am                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate on Hearings Review – Getting it Right for Every Child

2.30 pm                          Continuation of Executive Debate on Hearings Review – Getting it Right for Every Child

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 19 May 2004

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

2.30 pm                          Executive Debate on Sustainable Management of Scotland’s Marine Environment

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 20 May 2004

9.30 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate on Skills and Continued Learning

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time—

                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport;

                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities;

                                      General Questions.

3.00 pm                          Executive Debate on Major Events and Festivals in Scotland

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 2 June 2004

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish National Party Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 3 June 2004

9.30 am                          Executive Business

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.00 pm                          Question Time—

                                      Environment and Rural Development;

                                      Health and Community Care;

                                      General Questions

3.00 pm                          Stage 1 Debate on the Tenements (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Designation of Lead Committees:  Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-1249—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 1 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Solicitors and Witnesses in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment No.2) 2004 (SSI 2004/196);

S2M-1250—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the European Communities (Services of Lawyers) Amendment (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/186); and

S2M-1251—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Supervised Attendance Order (Prescribed Courts) (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/194).

The motions were agreed to (DT).

8.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 4 and 7 as noted above.

9       Space Invaders: The Parliament debated S2M-1235 in the name of Duncan McNeil—That the Parliament notes the difficulties experienced by people within local communities who have secured disabled parking spaces outside their homes; deplores the fact that these spaces can become a focus of conflict within communities where people seek to use such a space, despite not having a disabled parking badge; notes with equal dismay the figures published by the Baywatch campaign group that show that over 20% of disabled parking bays in supermarket car parks are being used by non-disabled drivers; recognises that the current legal position, which distinguishes between courtesy parking spaces and those supported by traffic regulation orders, creates problems for people with disabilities who need to rely on a designated parking space outside their home; appreciates, in the case of car parks on private land such as those belonging to supermarkets, the frustration of disabled drivers where the store management appears reluctant to enforce its own parking policy; acknowledges that, for their part, some store managers are not clear about their powers to compel drivers to move from specially designated bays; notes that this situation leaves supermarkets vulnerable to future legal action under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended); therefore believes that the Scottish Executive, local authorities and all relevant agencies should work together to develop an awareness campaign to highlight the rights of disabled people and to emphasise the unacceptability of harassing those who have been allocated disabled parking spaces, and considers that, if a satisfactory solution cannot be found, the possibility of legislating to address the problem and giving local authorities the appropriate enforcement powers should be examined.

The meeting closed at 5.46 pm.

No. 72 Thursday 6 May 2004

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1.      National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill - Business Motion: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1275—That the Parliament agrees that, during the Stage 3 proceedings of the National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill, debate on each part of those proceedings shall be brought to a conclusion by the time-limits indicated (each time-limit being calculated from when Stage 3 begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended or otherwise not in progress):

Groups 1 and 2 – no later than 25 minutes
Groups 3 and 4 – no later than 1 hour
Groups 5, 6 and 7 – no later than 1 hour 50 minutes
Motion to pass the Bill – no later than 2 hours 30 minutes

The motion was agreed to.

2.      National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

              6        (For 38, Against 57, Abstentions 5)

            21        (For 15, Against 89, Abstentions 0)

            22        (For 16, Against 88, Abstentions 0)

            13        (For 48, Against 61, Abstentions 0)

            14        (For 43, Against 61, Abstentions 0)

The following amendments were moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn: 9, 12

Other amendments were not moved.

3.      National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm) moved S2M-1095—That the Parliament agrees that the National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Bill be passed.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-1095.1 to motion S2M-1095—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, remains concerned about the lack of detail in the Financial Memorandum regarding potential additional costs arising from the Bill.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 37, Against 78, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 99, Against 16, Abstentions 1).

4.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

5.      Question Time: Questions were answered by the Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Lewis Macdonald) and the Minister for Transport (Nicol Stephen); by the Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson), the Solicitor General for Scotland (Mrs Elish Angiolini) and the Lord Advocate (Colin Boyd); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) made a statement and answered questions on Scottish Borders Council Social Work Services.

7.      Scotland’s Beaches – A National Resource: The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Allan Wilson) moved S2M-1266—That the Parliament recognises the importance of Scottish beaches in attracting visitors to Scotland; welcomes the results of the recent Keep Scotland Beautiful survey of resort beaches with the granting of Seaside Awards to 40 Scottish beaches including 14 new recipients; acknowledges the impact of beach litter as highlighted in the recent Marine Conservation Society’s Beachwatch 2003 Report; commends the partnership approach taken between the Scottish Executive and other bodies to help address the issues raised in Beachwatch 2003; endorses the continuation of that approach, and encourages the public to take more responsibility for its own litter to ensure that Scotland’s beaches continue to be a valued and productive national resource.

Rob Gibson moved amendment S2M-1266.3 to motion S2M-1266—

Insert at end—

“and calls on the Executive to step up pressure against illegal disposal of waste at sea including discharges by the nuclear industry.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 54, Against 62, Abstentions 0).

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S2M-1266.1 to motion S2M-1266—

Insert at end—

“but notes the importance of continuing improvement in bathing water quality in Scotland to the quality of our beaches and believes that further progress is now dependent on addressing the limitations of Scottish Water and the planning system.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 71, Abstentions 7).

Mr Mark Ruskell moved amendment S2M-1266.2 to motion S2M-1266—

Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—

“, while welcoming the results of the recent Keep Scotland Beautiful survey of resort beaches with the granting of Seaside Awards to 40 Scottish beaches including 14 new recipients, acknowledges the impact of beach litter as highlighted in the recent Marine Conservation Society’s Beachwatch 2003 Report; notes that the report’s findings include a net increase in beach litter and that sewage-related debris accounts for a higher proportion of beach litter in Scotland than elsewhere in the United Kingdom; further notes that, while encouraging the public to take more responsibility for its own litter, the report also states that determined efforts are required to reduce pollution at source and that local authorities, water authorities and Her Majesty’s Government must play their part in reducing and cleaning up litter; further notes that the environmental quality of beaches encompasses much more than litter alone, and calls upon the Scottish Executive to display a strong lead following the consultation on the best strategy for protecting and enhancing all of Scotland’s coastline as pledged in A Partnership for a Better Scotland, including consideration of an integrated Marine Act.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 55, Against 63, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

8.      Nomination of Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland: Bristow Muldoon, on behalf of the Selection Panel, moved S2M-1255—That the Parliament nominates Karen Carlton to Her Majesty The Queen for appointment as the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

9.      Business Motion: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1253—That the Parliament agrees—

(i) that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Justice 1 Committee by 14 May 2004 on the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Solicitors and Witnesses in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment No.2) 2004 (SSI 2004/196); and

(ii) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 14 May 2004 on the Supervised Attendance Order (Prescribed Courts) (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/194); and by 21 May 2004 on the European Communities (Services of Lawyers) Amendment (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/186).

The motion was agreed to.

10.    Approval of SSI: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1252—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications and Deemed Applications) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11.    Membership of Committee: Tavish Scott, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-1276—That the Parliament agrees that Margaret Smith be appointed to replace Mike Pringle on the Waverley Railway (Scotland) Bill Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

12.    Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 3, 7, 8, 10 and 11 as noted above.

13.    Loch Lomond Rescue Boat: The Parliament debated S2M-1071 in the name of Jackie Baillie—That the Parliament warmly acknowledges the work of the Loch Lomond Rescue Boat; values the service it provides to local communities and visitors enjoying the delights of Loch Lomond; pays tribute to the dedication of the volunteers, who all give freely of their own time to run the service; recognises the importance of their work in promoting and teaching all aspects of safety in and around Loch Lomond, particularly for water sports; notes that a substantial portion of the annual funding is raised by the efforts of volunteers, and therefore considers that the Scottish Executive should investigate the provision of stable funding, similar to that provided for mountain rescue teams, to support this essential, life-saving service.

The meeting closed at 5.40 pm.

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