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Minutes of Proceedings 1999-2011

Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

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No. 32 Thursday 10 November 2005

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Energy Policy: Richard Lochhead moved S2M-3543—That the Parliament considers it unacceptable that in energy-rich Scotland fuel poverty blights our society; notes with concern that, despite Scotland possessing massive energy resources, urgent action is required to avoid an energy gap in the next decade; calls for the development of an energy policy for Scotland that will deliver security of supply, affordability, self-sufficiency and energy efficiency; recognises that the transmission charges for power generators, as permitted by the UK Government, will undermine these objectives; rejects nuclear power in favour of an energy mix that includes making Scotland the world leader in renewable energy and carbon capture and storage technology; believes that such a policy will boost our economy and meet our environmental obligations, and recognises that the Scottish Parliament requires the necessary energy powers and control over our oil and gas resources to deliver the nation’s energy needs in the 21st century.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-3543.4 to motion S2M-3543—

Leave out from “considers” to end and insert—

“supports the Scottish Executive’s continuing commitment to the development of a wide range of renewable energy technologies in Scotland as a key element of a balanced energy supply mix; supports the Executive’s commitment to achieving 40 per cent renewable electricity generation by 2020; supports the Executive’s attempts to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016; looks forward to publication of the revised Scottish Climate Change Programmeand the consideration given to the contribution of energy efficiency and renewables to reduce carbon dioxide emissions; recognises the Executive’s commitment, as set out in the Partnership Agreement, not to approve the construction of any new nuclear power stations in Scotland until the issue of waste has been addressed, and supports the Executive’s commitment to continue to work with the UK Government and energy supply industries to ensure that the immediate and future energy supply needs of Scotland are met.”

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S2M-3543.1 to motion S2M-3543—

Leave out from first “recognises” to end and insert—

“believes that renewable and nuclear energy are complementary and that, in order to achieve a balanced energy policy, no existing or potential resource should be ignored; urges the Scottish Executive to revisit its renewable energy policy to provide proper planning guidance to local authorities, communities and developers in relation to the siting of wind farms and, until this guidance is implemented, calls on the Executive to declare a moratorium on the determination of locally-opposed wind farm planning applications, and believes that the North Sea oil and gas industry is best served by the current regulatory arrangements.”

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-3543.3 to motion S2M-3543—

Leave out from “to deliver the nation’s” to end and insert—

“in order to deliver Scotland’s sustainable energy needs and to tackle climate change which is recognised as one of the greatest threats to our economy, communities and environment; further considers that, if we are serious about tackling climate change, a radical overhaul of our energy use is urgently required, particularly addressing contradictory transport policies which are increasing carbon emissions, and further notes that a truly sustainable energy policy will require the widespread adoption of domestic and community-based renewable micro-generation as well as the development of decentralised energy networks.”

After debate, amendment S2M-3543.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 48, Abstentions 0).  As a result, amendments S2M-3543.1 and S2M-3543.3 were pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 47, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Executive’s continuing commitment to the development of a wide range of renewable energy technologies in Scotland as a key element of a balanced energy supply mix; supports the Executive’s commitment to achieving 40 per cent renewable electricity generation by 2020; supports the Executive’s attempts to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016; looks forward to publication of the revised Scottish Climate Change Programmeand the consideration given to the contribution of energy efficiency and renewables to reduce carbon dioxide emissions; recognises the Executive’s commitment, as set out in the Partnership Agreement, not to approve the construction of any new nuclear power stations in Scotland until the issue of waste has been addressed, and supports the Executive’s commitment to continue to work with the UK Government and energy supply industries to ensure that the immediate and future energy supply needs of Scotland are met.

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

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

4.      Themed Question Time: Questions on Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport, and on Finance and Public Services and Communities were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5.      The Future of Rail in Scotland: The Parliament debated the subject of The Future of Rail in Scotland.

6.      London Olympics Bill - UK Legislation: The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Patricia Ferguson) moved S2M-3506—That the Parliament agrees that those provisions in the London Olympics Bill which relate to the arrangements for staging Olympic football matches at Hampden and the prevention of ticket touting and which are within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament, including those which confer powers on the Scottish Ministers, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

8.      Scottish Food Fortnight: The Parliament debated S2M-3242 in the name of Alex Johnstone—That the Parliament congratulates the organisers of Scottish Food Fortnight which seeks to reconnect the people of Scotland with their countryside through the continuing promotion of high quality local produce to local people; recognises the importance of food production to the rural economy and supports efforts to promote rural enterprise and diversification of small businesses; notes the nutritional value of quality local fresh produce and the environmental benefits of reducing transport costs as promoted by Scottish Food Fortnight, and believes that the Scottish Executive should take measures to increase the use of local, regional and Scottish produce by organisations such as schools and hospitals.

The meeting closed at 5.45 pm.

No. 33 Wednesday 16 November 2005

The meeting opened at 2.00 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Mr Muhamed Tufail Shaheen of the Islamic Centre, Glasgow, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-3581—That the Parliament agrees under Rule 11.2.4 of the Standing Orders that Decision Time on Wednesday 16 November 2005 shallbegin at 5.30 pm.

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3580—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 16 November 2005—

Wednesday 16 November 2005

delete,

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business – Debate on the subject of S2M-3507 Colin Fox: Scotland’s Social Housing Provision

and insert,


5.30 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business – Debate on the subject of S2M-3507 Colin Fox: Scotland’s Social Housing Provision

The motion was agreed to.

4.      Licensing (Scotland) Bill – Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3583—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Licensing (Scotland) Bill, debate on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time limits indicated (each time limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended, other than a suspension following the first division in the Stage being called, or otherwise not in progress):

Groups 1 to 4 - 25 minutes
Groups 5 to 8 - 55 minutes
Groups 9 to 11 - 1 hour and 15 minutes
Groups 12 to 15 - 2 hours
Groups 16 to 19 - 2 hours and 25 minutes
Groups 20 to 22 - 2 hours and 40 minutes

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Licensing (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 6, 60, 14, 15, 16, 17A, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24A, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 38, 39, 40, 66, 67, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56 and 57

The following amendments were agreed to (by division)—

            12A     (For 106, Against 12, Abstentions 0)
            63        (For 72, Against 46, Abstentions 0)
            64A     (For 97, Against 21, Abstentions 1)
            64        (For 92, Against 27, Abstentions 0)
            37        (For 99, Against 1, Abstentions 1)

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            58        (For 45, Against 73, Abstentions 0)
            62        (For 43, Against 76, Abstentions 0)
            83        (For 23, Against 95, Abstentions 1)
            65        (For 19, Against 98, Abstentions 0)
            68        (For 13, Against 96, Abstentions 2)

The following amendments were moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn: 61 and 1

The following amendments were not moved: 59, 21A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 69, 70 and 71.

6.      Motion without Notice: Ms Margaret Curran moved without notice that, under Rule 9.8.5A, the debate on Groups 5 to 8 be extended by 20 minutes. 

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Motion without Notice: George Lyon moved without notice that, under Rule 9.8.5A, the debate on Groups 5 to 8 be extended by a further 10 minutes. 

The motion was agreed to.

8.      Licensing (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform and Parliamentary Business (George Lyon) moved S2M-3437—That the Parliament agrees that the Licensing (Scotland) Bill be passed.

The motion was agreed to (DT) by division: For 71, Against 42, Abstentions 4).

9.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3577—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 23 November 2005

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Ministerial Statement: Local Government Finance Settlement 2006-2007

followed by                      Procedures Committee Debate: 7th Report 2005, The Sewel Convention

followed by                      Procedures Committee Debate: 6th Report 2005, Admissibility and Closure of Public Petitions

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 24 November 2005

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Housing (Scotland) Bill

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Justice and Law Officers;
                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning

2.55 pm                          Conclusion of Stage 3 Proceedings: Housing (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Tim

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 30 November 2005

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 1 December 2005

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities;
                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport

2.55 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

10.    Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3578—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 7 December 2005.

The motion was agreed to.

11.   Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3579—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 23 February 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

12.   Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-3569—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.13) (Scotland) Order 2005 (SSI 2005/520) be approved; and

S2M-3570—That the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.14) (Scotland) Order 2005 (SSI 2005/529) be approved.

The motions were agreed to ((DT) by division: For 113, Against 3, Abstentions 0).

13.   Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 8 and 12 as noted above.

14.    Scotland’s Social Housing Provision: The Parliament debated S2M-3507 in the name of Colin Fox—That the Parliament recognises that affordable social housing is in short supply across Scotland in both rural and urban areas and welcomes all efforts to ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to live in a decent home fit for the 21st century; welcomes the decision of Midlothian Council, for example, to build 1,000 new council houses; urges all council tenants in Edinburgh to make their views known in the stock transfer referendum scheduled for later this month, and believes that local tenant-led participation is crucial to the effective democratic management of social housing projects all across Scotland.

The meeting closed at 6.56 pm.

No. 34 Thursday 17 November 2005

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Dentistry: The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (Lewis Macdonald) moved S2M-3584—That the Parliament notes the widespread concern about loss of access to NHS dentists; endorses the view that public resources should be focussed on the provision of NHS dentistry available to all and measures proven to improve oral health; welcomes the progress that has been made to date in implementing Improving Oral Health and Modernising NHS Dental Services in Scotland; recognises the positive developments in improving oral health, supporting dental education and training, increasing the workforce and supporting primary care dental services, and acknowledges the vital contribution which NHS dental services make to health improvement and patient care.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-3584.2 to motion S2M-3584—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“acknowledges the vital contribution which NHS dental services make to health improvement and patient care; believes that to progress implementing Improving Oral Health and Modernising NHS Dental Services in Scotland requires the co-operation of the dental profession, and therefore urges the Scottish Executive and the British Dental Association urgently to reach agreement on the definition of “NHS commitment” in order to secure the future of NHS dentistry in Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 33, Against 85, Abstentions 0).

Mrs Nanette Milne moved amendment S2M-3584.1 to motion S2M-3584—

Leave out from “endorses” to end and insert—

“is further concerned that the Scottish Executive’s initiatives will not entice dentists back to the NHS; recognises the increased support in dental education, employment of overseas dentists and financial packages enacted by the Executive but sees this as a stopgap solution which will do nothing to stem the tide of dentists leaving the NHS in the future; calls for more initiatives for dentists to undertake preventative work, a reduction in bureaucracy and for the Executive to create a more genuine and innovative debate on the future of dentistry, and further calls on the Executive to engage positively with the wider profession to ensure that reforms and initiatives enable every patient to have access to a dentist.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 72, Abstentions 29).

Carolyn Leckie moved amendment S2M-3584.3 to motion S2M-3584—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“regrets that inequalities in dental health status and access to dental services persist; believes that NHS dental provision is under serious threat; further believes that radical action in recruitment and widening of access to dentistry training is urgently required, and believes that the dentists whom the state educates and trains should be required to give a minimum commitment to NHS service of five years, within an agreed NHS salaried career structure.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 8, Against 80, Abstentions 30).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 15, Abstentions 29).

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

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

4.      Themed Question Time: Questions on Environment and Rural Development, and on Health and Community Care were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5.      Waste Strategy: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-3585—That the Parliament welcomes the progress made in implementing the National Waste Plan; commends the response of the Scottish public to the efforts of local authorities, the community sector, the waste management industry and others which has led to major improvements in Scotland’s recycling and composting rate for municipal waste; acknowledges the increased use of recycled material and the economic opportunities which this creates, and welcomes the Executive’s consultation on the Sustainable Management of Waste from Business and Public Sector Organisations in Scotland and its forthcoming consultation on preventing household waste.

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-3585.1 to motion S2M-3585—

Insert at end—

“notes that the key to a sustainable waste strategy is a greater emphasis on reducing the level of waste produced; recognises that to maintain public support and participation, waste collected for recycling should not go to landfill; notes that municipal waste accounts for only 25% of waste and that the other 75% comes from business and industry and accurate information on the amount of such waste recycled is required; notes concerns over the lack of accessible recycling infrastructure; calls for waste management support for the small business sector, and recognises that, for any waste strategy to be truly effective, Scottish ministers require the necessary political powers to ensure they have all options available to them, including measures relating to manufacturing, design and taxation.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 38, Against 78, Abstentions 0).
John Scott moved amendment S2M-3585.2 to motion S2M-3585—

Leave out from first “welcomes” to end and insert—

“believes that the Scottish Executive’s policy on waste is failing and that the amount of waste being sent to landfill is increasing, so that local authorities will have to double their recycling performance in one year to meet the 2006 targets, and further believes that after six years the Executive needs to take immediate steps to free up local authorities to enable them to deliver innovative and appropriate solutions to suit their local circumstances.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 74, Abstentions 29).

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-3585.3 to motion S2M-3585—

Leave out from “implementing” to end and insert—

“improving Scottish recycling and composting rates but acknowledges that, in spite of these improvements, Scotland still lags behind many of our European partners and that the overall volume of waste being created continues to rise; notes that there is a wide variation in recycling rates across Scottish local authorities and strongly believes that access to comprehensive recycling facilities should not be a postcode lottery; commends the efforts of the public in rising to the challenge of recycling an increasing proportion of their waste in spite of often poor facilities and lack of clear information; expresses concern that many Scottish businesses and community groups engaged in recycling have found their efforts thwarted by inappropriate levels of regulation and heavy financial costs, and believes that a policy of zero waste, bringing environmental, economic and social benefits, is the only truly sustainable way to tackle Scotland’s throwaway culture.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 80, Abstentions 23).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 90, Against 20, Abstentions 8).

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

7.      Aboyne Maternity Unit: The Parliament debated S2M-3400 in the name of Mike Rumbles—That the Parliament welcomes the excellent work carried out by staff at Aboyne Hospital’s maternity unit; notes that the number of mothers giving birth at Aboyne is increasing, with the number of deliveries rising from 34 in 2003 to 60 in 2004, and notes that the number of bookings has increased by 71 per cent for the coming year; agrees that the unit is an excellent example of health services being delivered locally as advocated by Professor David Kerr in his report, Building a Health Service Fit for the Future; further agrees that expectant mothers should have the option of giving birth locally, at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary or in the home; notes with concern the possibility of the unit being closed, and considers that NHS Grampian should work with local people to ensure that the unit remains open.

The meeting closed at 6.01 pm.

No. 35 Wednesday 23 November 2005

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Father Joe Boland, Parish Priest of St Matthew’s Kilmarnock, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) made a statement and answered questions on the local government finance settlement 2006-07.

3.      Procedures Committee, The Sewel Convention: Donald Gorrie, on behalf of the Procedures Committee, moved S2M-3594—That the Parliament notes the Procedures Committee’s 7th Report, 2005 (Session 2), The Sewel Convention (SP Paper 428); endorses its conclusions and recommendations, and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 30 November 2005, subject to the requirement in new Rule 9B.3.1 applying only in relation to Bills introduced, or amendments agreed to or tabled (as the case may be), after that date.

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

4.      Procedures Committee, Admissibility and Closure of Public Petitions: Donald Gorrie, on behalf of the Procedures Committee, moved S2M-3595—That the Parliament notes the Procedures Committee’s 6th Report, 2005 (Session 2), Admissibility and Closure of Public Petitions (SP Paper 420), and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 30 November 2005.

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

5.      Motion without Notice: Ms Margaret Curran moved, without notice that, under Rule 11.2.4, Decision Time be taken at 5.15 pm.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3617—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 30 November 2005

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Human Tissue (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 1 December 2005

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Ambitious Excellent Schools – One Year On

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities;
                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport

2.55 pm                          Executive Debate: Sea Fisheries

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 7 December 2005

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 8 December 2005

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Health and Community Care;
                                      Environment and Rural Development

2.55 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Bill Aitken moved amendment S2M-3617.1 to motion S2M-3617—

leave out—

followed by           Executive Debate: Ambitious Excellent Schools – One Year On”

and insert—

followed by           Executive Debate: Protocol between Scottish Executive and UK Government on Treatment of Asylum Seekers

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to (by division: For 50, Against 65, Abstentions 1).

Chris Ballance moved amendment S2M-3617.2 to motion S2M-3617—

After—

2.30 pm               Time for Reflection

followed by            Parliamentary Bureau Motions”

Insert—

followed by           Executive Debate: Removal of Asylum Seekers”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to (by division: For 51, Against 66, Abstentions 0).

Colin Fox moved amendment S2M-3617.3 to motion S2M-3617—

After—

followed by          Stage 1 Debate: Human Tissue (Scotland) Bill”

Insert—

followed by          Executive Debate: Removal of Asylum Seekers”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to (by division: For 51, Against 66, Abstentions 0).

After debate, the motion was then agreed to (by division: For 65, Against 51, Abstentions 1).

7.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3610—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Transfer of Rail Functions to the Scottish Ministers Order 2005 be approved.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 93, Against 17, Abstentions 7).

8.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3611—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Civil Partnership (Jurisdiction and Recognition of Judgment) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3612—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning) (Orkney) (No. 2) (Scotland) Order 2005 (SSI 2005/548) be approved.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 108, Against 6, Abstentions 1).

10.   Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3613—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Regional Transport Partnerships (Establishment, Constitution and Membership) (Scotland) Order 2005 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11.   Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3614—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Victim Statements (Prescribed Courts) (Scotland) Revocation Order 2005 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

12.    Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3615—That the Parliament agrees that the Enterprise and Culture Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc. (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

13.   Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 as noted above.

14.    Promoting Energy Saving Using Micro and Small-Scale Renewable Technology: The Parliament debated S2M-3320 in the name of Ms Sarah Boyack—That the Parliament believes that micro and small-scale renewable technology offers huge opportunities to tackle both fuel poverty and the causes of climate change; notes the Scottish Executive’s target of achieving a 20% improvement in energy efficiency on 2000 levels by 2010; believes that, to help achieve this target, building standards should be amended to include micro-renewable technology as permitted developments and should require generation capacity to be included in all new developments; particularly notes examples of good practice in Edinburgh Central such as Dunedin Canmore Housing Association’s European award-nominated Slateford Green Development; believes that local authorities should be required to consider the role that micro-generation targets could deliver in achieving sustainable energy and to set appropriate targets accordingly; notes the Energy Savings Trust’s proposal of a flat rate reduction on council tax or its replacement for houses which incorporate certified energy efficiency or micro-renewable technology, and believes that fiscal measures such as these should be actively considered.

The meeting closed at 6.17 pm.

No. 36 Thursday 24 November 2005

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Housing (Scotland) Bill – Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3620—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Housing (Scotland) Bill, debate on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time-limits indicated (each time limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended (other than a suspension following the first division in the Stage being called) or otherwise not in progress):

Groups 1 to 6 – 55 minutes
Groups 7 to 10 – 1 hour and 25 minutes
Groups 11 to 15 – 2 hours and 20 minutes
Groups 16 to 18 – 2 hours and 55 minutes
Groups 19 to 21 – 3 hours and 25 minutes

The motion was agreed to.

2.      Housing (Scotland) Bill:  The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 70, 72, 5, 6, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56 and 57

Amendment 30 was agreed to (by division) (For 94, Against 14, Abstentions 0)

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            12        (For 30, Against 72, Abstentions 0)
            24        (For 15, Against 93, Abstentions 0)
            25        (For 13, Against 94, Abstentions 0)
            2          (For 36, Against 65, Abstentions 7)
            47        (For 39, Against 63, Abstentions 0)

The following amendments were moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn: 80 and 23

The following amendments were not moved: 81, 82, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 and 46

The following amendments were pre-empted: 73, 74, 75 and 76.

The Presiding Officer extended the time-limits under Rule 9.8.4A (a).

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

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

5.      Themed Question Time: Questions on Justice and Law Officers, and on Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers and by the Scottish Law Officers.

6.      Housing (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Parliament resumed consideration of the Bill at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 58, 59, 61, 62, 63, 84, 64, 65, 67, 69, 7, 8, 9, 10, 48, 3, 86
and 4

Amendment 85 was agreed to (by division): (For: 91, Against 19, Abstentions 2)

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            1A       (For 8, Against 84, Abstentions 20)
            1B       (For 8, Against 83, Abstentions 20)
            1C       (For 15, Against 77, Abstentions 20)
            1D       (For 14, Against 77, Abstentions 20)
            1          (For 36, Against 76, Abstentions 0)
            68        (For 14, Against 99, Abstentions 0)
            87        (For 14, Against 100, Abstentions 1)

Amendment 66 was moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn.

7.      Housing (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3:  The Minister for Communities (Malcolm Chisholm) moved S2M-3438—That the Parliament agrees that the Housing (Scotland) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 116, Against 1, Abstentions 0).

8.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decision on item 7 as noted above.

9.      TV Licence and Digital Reception: The Parliament debated S2M-3415 in the name of Roseanna Cunningham—That the Parliament recognises that there are still many areas in Scotland, including parts of Perthshire, where digital television reception is not possible; notes with concern the desire by the BBC to increase the television licence fee by 2.3% above inflation, and believes that, until such time as the BBC’s entire broadcast output is available to all licence payers, a differential should be introduced into the licence fee to ensure that people who are not receiving a full service do not pay the same licence fee as those who do.

The meeting closed at 5.46 pm.

No. 37 Wednesday 30 November 2005

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Reverend Alastair H. Symington, Troon Old Parish Church, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Human Tissue (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (Lewis Macdonald) moved S2M-3627—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Human Tissue (Scotland) Bill.

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

3.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3655—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 7 December 2005

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Executive Debate: Violence Against Women

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 8 December 2005

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: First Anniversary of the Criminal Justice Plan

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Health and Community Care;
                                      Environment and Rural Development

2.55 pm                          Executive Debate: Future Arrangements for Health Services in the Argyll and Clyde Areas
followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 14 December 2005

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 15 December 2005

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Family Law (Scotland) Bill

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time
2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning;
                                      Justice and Law Officers
2.55 pm                          Conclusion of Stage 3 Proceedings: Family Law (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

4.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3650—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Consequential Amendments) (Scotland) Order 2005 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

5.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2 and 4 as noted above.

6.      Outsourcing of Rail Call Centre Jobs from Vertex Call Centre, Dingwall: The Parliament debated S2M-3473 in the name of Maureen Macmillan—That the Parliament notes with concern the issuing of the 90-day notices to the 200-plus workforce at the Vertex Call Centre in Dingwall; notes that the loss of these jobs will have a major impact on this small Highland town; further notes that these jobs have been put in jeopardy by the decision of TheTrainline, a company which has Virgin Trains as its major shareholder, to move the contract outwith the European Union, in spite of Virgin Trains being in receipt of substantial amounts of UK taxpayers’ money; supports the campaign of the Transport Salaried Staff’s Association on behalf of the call centre workers who are a highly skilled and loyal workforce, and believes that the Scottish Executive should consider what influence it can exert to reverse TheTrainline’s decision or assist Vertex in finding a new contract.

The meeting closed at 5.43 pm.

No. 38 Thursday 1 December 2005

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Ambitious, Excellent Schools: One Year On: The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) moved S2M-3658—That the Parliament recognises that young people are one of Scotland’s greatest resources; believes that every child is entitled to the opportunity to fulfil his or her full potential; notes the significant progress made over the last year by the Scottish Executive on the most comprehensive programme of modernisation in Scottish schools for a generation or more; supports the objectives set out in Ambitious, Excellent Schools; welcomes the emphasis on heightened expectations, stronger leadership, greater freedom for teachers and schools, increased choice and opportunity for pupils, better support for learning and more appropriate accountability, and supports the Executive’s ongoing modernisation of Scotland’s schools.

Fiona Hyslop moved amendment S2M-3658.1 to motion S2M-3658—

Leave out from “the significant progress” to end and insert—

“that all schools should be Schools of Ambition; notes the objectives set out in Ambitious, Excellent Schools and, in particular, the cultural emphasis of a number of the successful bids for schools of ambition status but, in doing so, notes the general concern that Scotland’s culture, history and heritage lack national support from the Scottish Executive in the education system; notes with serious concern the proposals by the Executive to make history history in S1 and S2; asserts the importance of children in Scotland having a firm understanding and appreciation of Scottish heritage, culture and history; recognises and supports creative ways to weave this into every subject in the curriculum providing a Scottish perspective; rejects, however, any attempt to remove the stand-alone subject of history from S1 and S2 in schools in Scotland, and regrets any suggestion of this by any Scottish minister, reflecting that such a move would not be even countenanced in other countries who have a pride in promoting their nation’s history.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 36, Against 65, Abstentions 17).

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton moved amendment S2M-3658.2 to motion S2M-3658—

Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—

“acknowledges the aims of the Scottish Executive's agenda in Ambitious, Excellent Schools; believes, however, that in order for each child to have the opportunity to reach his or her potential, the Executive must explore all avenues for supporting schools in providing the broadest range of subjects to stimulate the broad range of our children's aptitude and interest; notes that the Executive’s schools modernisation programme, set out in The 21st Century School, Building Our Future: Scotland's School Estate, is leading to many valued rural primary schools being closed or amalgamated with other schools on new sites in the name of rationalisation; acknowledges that in order to achieve its professed aim of emphasising strong leadership and greater freedom for teachers, schools must be granted more genuine autonomy, and urges the Executive to consider education reforms of the sort being contemplated at Westminster, so that every school will be able to become a self-governing independent state school to give genuine choice and opportunity to all pupils.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 101, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then agreed to (DT) by division: For 71, Against 18, Abstentions 30).

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

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

4.      Themed Question Time: Questions on Finance and Public Services and Communities and on Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5.   Sea Fisheries: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-3657—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Executive in its efforts to negotiate the best possible outcome from the EU Fisheries Council in December 2005, an outcome that delivers sustainable fisheries and a fair deal for Scotland’s fishermen and fishing communities.

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-3657.2 to motion S2M-3657—

Insert at end—

“notes that Scotland has achieved its effort reduction target for cod mortality in the North Sea; believes that Scotland must now be rewarded for this disproportionate sacrifice and that any further cuts in key stocks must be resisted; calls for the level of effort reduction achieved by other national fleets that fish Scottish waters to be made available; urges the Scottish Executive to help our fishing communities cope with rising costs such as for fuel and leasing quota; urges the Minister to include representatives from the fishing industry in his negotiating team to provide advice, and calls for Scotland to lead the UK negotiating team in Europe later this month and beyond, until control over our fishing grounds is returned to the Scottish Parliament.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 26, Against 92, Abstentions 1).

Mr Ted Brocklebank moved amendment S2M-3657.1 to motion S2M-3657—

Leave out from “an outcome” to end and insert—

“urges the Minister for Environment and Rural Development to press for significantly increased quotas for nephrops and monkfish, coupled with no reduction in haddock total allowable catch and the confirmation of the proposed pelagic quotas to secure a sustainable future for our remaining fishermen and processors, as well as for our beleaguered coastal communities, but ultimately believes that the only solution for the Scottish fishing industry is to leave the discredited Common Fisheries Policy and to regain national and local control of UK waters.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 78, Abstentions 24).

Eleanor Scott moved amendment S2M-3657.3 to motion S2M-3657—

Insert at end—

“and calls on the Scottish Executive beyond the December Council to press for changes to the operation of the Common Fisheries Policy to support healthier and more sustainable seas through a broad range of measures complementary or alternative to total allowable catches, including marine protected areas, regeneration zones and onboard observers, and to consider bycatch quotas to address discards and the innovative use of European Fisheries Funds to support profitability and sustainability.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 70, Against 43, Abstentions 5).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 22, Abstentions 23).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Executive in its efforts to negotiate the best possible outcome from the EU Fisheries Council in December 2005, an outcome that delivers sustainable fisheries and a fair deal for Scotland’s fishermen and fishing communities and calls on the Scottish Executive beyond the December Council to press for changes to the operation of the Common Fisheries Policy to support healthier and more sustainable seas through a broad range of measures complementary or alternative to total allowable catches, including marine protected areas, regeneration zones and onboard observers, and to consider bycatch quotas to address discards and the innovative use of European Fisheries Funds to support profitability and sustainability.

6.      Rule 9.6.3A: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3665—That the Parliament agrees under Rule 9.6.3A that the Parliament shall consider the general principles of the Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill on the third sitting day after the lead committee report is published.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

8.      Council Tax in Very Sheltered Housing: The Parliament debated S2M-3549 in the name of Alex Neil—That the Parliament expresses astonishment and concern at the decision of the valuation boards in Renfrewshire and Lanarkshire to designate single rooms occupied by residents of very sheltered housing complexes, such as Abbeyfield Homes in Coatbridge, as being fully liable for council tax; furthermore notes that a review of this matter is currently being undertaken by the Scottish Executive; recognises that this injustice has to be rectified as a matter of urgency by redesignating each very sheltered housing complex as being liable for council tax as a whole rather than individual living units, and believes that any council tax payments made as a result of the current designation should be refunded.

The meeting closed at 5.46 pm.

No. 39 Wednesday 7 December 2005

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Mr Donald Matheson, Elder of the Free Church of Scotland and Session Clerk of the Falkirk Congregation, led Time for Reflection.

2.   Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) moved S2M-3629—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill.

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

3.      Violence Against Women: The Deputy Minister for Communities (Johann Lamont) moved S2M-3670—That the Parliament believes that the International Day of Action to Eliminate Violence Against Women and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence are vital in continuing to raise awareness of violence against women; supports the work of the Scottish Executive in seeking to challenge violence against women in its commitment to the new Violence Against Women Fund and the Rape Crisis Specific Fund; welcomes the work of the Scottish Law Commission and Crown Office to review the law on rape and its investigation and prosecution to ensure it is effective, fair and robust, and, in particular, supports all efforts to challenge the attitudes which place the blame on the woman and not the perpetrator, thereby allowing gender-based violence including domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault to continue.

Christine Grahame moved amendment S2M-3670.2 to motion S2M-3670—

Insert at end—

“, and further, in challenging the attitudes which place the blame on the woman and not the perpetrator, condemns the overt sexualised representation of young women prevailing in a range of publications, electronic or paper, driven by commercialism, which presents women as objects rather than individuals.”

Margaret Mitchell moved amendment S2M-3670.1 to motion S2M-3670—

Insert after “Rape Crisis Specific Fund;”—

“recognises the expertise and contribution the voluntary sector can provide in dealing with domestic abuse; acknowledges that usually the best outcome for women and children is one where they can remain in the family home;”

Amendments S2M-3670.2 and S2M-3670.1 were agreed to (DT).

The motion as amended was then agreed to (DT).
Accordingly, the Parliament agreed—That the Parliament believes that the International Day of Action to Eliminate Violence Against Women and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence are vital in continuing to raise awareness of violence against women; supports the work of the Scottish Executive in seeking to challenge violence against women in its commitment to the new Violence Against Women Fund and the Rape Crisis Specific Fund; recognises the expertise and contribution the voluntary sector can provide in dealing with domestic abuse; acknowledges that usually the best outcome for women and children is one where they can remain in the family home; welcomes the work of the Scottish Law Commission and Crown Office to review the law on rape and its investigation and prosecution to ensure it is effective, fair and robust, and, in particular, supports all efforts to challenge the attitudes which place the blame on the woman and not the perpetrator, thereby allowing gender-based violence including domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault to continue, and further, in challenging the attitudes which place the blame on the woman and not the perpetrator, condemns the overt sexualised representation of young women prevailing in a range of publications, electronic or paper, driven by commercialism, which presents women as objects rather than individuals.

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3692—That the Parliament agrees that—

(a) for the purposes of allowing the meeting of the Parliament on Thursday 15 December 2005 to continue beyond 5.30 pm, the word “Wednesday” in Rules 2.2.4 and 2.2.5(c) be suspended and that the word “Thursday” be substituted for it in each place, and that Rule 2.2.5(a) be suspended;

(b) under Rule 2.2.4 thus varied, the meeting of the Parliament on Thursday 15 December 2005 may continue to 7.00 pm; and

(c) Decision Time on Thursday 15 December 2005 shall begin at 6.30pm.

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3693—That the Parliament agrees that Rule 5.6.1(c) of Standing Orders be suspended for the purposes of Members’ Business on Thursday on 15 December 2005.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3689—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 14 December 2005

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Ministerial Statement: Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 15 December 2005

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Family Law (Scotland) Bill

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning;
                                      Justice and Law Officers

2.55 pm                          Conclusion of Stage 3 Proceedings: Family Law (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Motion on Animal Welfare Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

6.30 pm                          Decision Time

Wednesday 21 December 2005

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 22 December 2005

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Socialist Party Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport;
                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities

2.55 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3679—That the Parliament agrees that the timetable of consideration of the Council Tax Abolition and Service Tax Introduction (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be extended to 3 February 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

8.      Approval of SSIs: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-3675—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.15) (Scotland) Order 2005 (SSI 2005/575) be approved; and

S2M-3676—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.16) (Scotland) Order 2005 (SSI 2005/579) be approved.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

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

10.   A76 - The Case for Improvement: The Parliament debated S2M-3520 in the name of Alex Fergusson—That the Parliament notes with regret the two recent deaths on the A76 in separate incidents north of Sanquhar and near Auldgirth; recognises that the upgrading of the A77 to motorway standard from Glasgow to Kilmarnock has brought about a steady increase in the amount of traffic using the A76; notes that there have been three deaths in five years on the same stretch north of Sanquhar which would have been upgraded by now had the Scottish Executive not shelved plans agreed in the route action plan in favour of an easier option south of Sanquhar; recognises the formation of the A76 Action Group, and considers that the Executive should identify priority stretches of the A76 for urgent upgrading on safety grounds before further lives are lost.

The meeting closed at 5.48 pm.

No. 40 Thursday 8 December 2005

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      First Anniversary of the Criminal Justice Plan: The Parliament debated the First Anniversary of the Criminal Justice Plan.

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

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

4.      Themed Question Time: Questions on Health and Community Care and on Environment and Rural Development were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5.      Future Arrangements for Health Services in the Argyll and Clyde Area: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Mr Andy Kerr) moved S2M-3684—That the Parliament supports the decisive action announced by the Scottish Executive on 19 May 2005 to dissolve Argyll and Clyde NHS Board and to redraw the boundaries of the neighbouring boards to take over its responsibilities from April 2006; believes that these steps will address the board’s structural and financial problems; applauds the continued successful efforts of staff in NHS Argyll and Clyde to maintain comprehensive healthcare services for the people of the area; notes that a full public consultation has been held on the boundary option to be adopted, and supports NHS Highland and NHS Greater Glasgow in their task of returning services to financial balance while maintaining high standards of quality and access.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-3684.2 to motion S2M-3684—

Leave out from first “supports” to end and insert—

“regrets the failure of the Scottish Executive to direct effectively the management of Argyll and Clyde NHS Board prior to its reorganisation of December 2002 and the continuing lack of direction and support that resulted in the Executive’s decision to dissolve the board two years and five months later in May 2005 and to redraw the boundaries of the neighbouring boards to take over its responsibilities from April 2006; applauds the continued successful efforts of staff in NHS Argyll and Clyde during these difficult times to maintain comprehensive healthcare services for the people of the area; demands clear evidence that input from the public consultation on the boundary option to be adopted has been fully and objectively considered; supports NHS Highland and NHS Greater Glasgow in their task of returning services to financial balance while maintaining high standards of quality and access, and demands that the Executive provides these boards with adequate support and more effective leadership and direction that will assist them to address credibly the structural and financial problems in NHS Argyll and Clyde.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 30, Against 67, Abstentions 19).
Miss Annabel Goldie moved amendment S2M-3684.4 to motion S2M-3684—

Leave out from first “supports” to end and insert—

“applauds the efforts of all clinicians and staff in NHS Argyll and Clyde, at this unsettling time, to maintain the delivery of services; expresses profound concern about the inadequate nature of the consultation process concerning the future of NHS Argyll and Clyde; believes that the consultation paper lacked both a clear analysis of the structural and financial problems facing the existing NHS Board and any robust information about the implications of revised NHS board areas for acute hospital services, which the public needs to make informed choices about the options presented, and therefore calls for the necessary analysis and information to be provided for the public as a matter of urgency and for the consultation to be reopened, in order that informed decisions can be made.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 22, Against 73, Abstentions 21).

Frances Curran moved amendment S2M-3684.3 to motion S2M-3684—

Leave out from first “supports” to end and insert—

“believes that the Scottish Executive’s decision to dissolve Argyll and Clyde NHS Board was hasty and the subsequent consultation document issued concerning the new boundary options for the services provided by NHS Argyll and Clyde was completely inadequate, lacking both financial information and possible impact assessment on service provision from a reallocation of resources to NHS Highland and NHS Greater Glasgow; further believes that no-one responding to the consultation could reach an informed view on these issues; therefore calls for this information to be placed in the public domain before any decision, which could have a major impact on jobs and services within the existing Argyll and Clyde NHS Board area, is taken by the Executive, and applauds the work of the existing staff to continue to provide healthcare services within NHS Argyll and Clyde despite the enormous uncertainty that they feel about their own employment.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 6, Against 73, Abstentions 37).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 19, Abstentions 23).

6.      Rule 9.5.3A: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3677—That the Parliament agrees, for the purposes of consideration of the Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2, that Rule 9.5.3A be suspended.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services – Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3678—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Joint Inspection of Children’s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 22 December 2005.

The motion was agreed to.

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

9.      Supporters Hope that SFA will Admit John Thomson to Hall of Fame: The Parliament debated S2M-3243 in the name of Helen Eadie—That the Parliament notes that football supporters across Scotland continue to honour the memory of John Thomson, the young Celtic football player who so tragically lost his life in 1931; further notes that the people of Cardenden, in particular, and Scotland, generally, have continued annually since his death to honour and pay tribute to this legendary international football player who continues to serve as a role model for Scotland’s children as a person who was so decent, so upstanding and so honoured for setting standards for behaviour in football of all that is best, and hopes that the Scottish Football Association will admit John Thomson to Scotland’s Hall of Fame.

The meeting closed at 5.42 pm.

No. 41 Wednesday 14 December 2005

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Reverend Tony Schmitz, Director of the Ogilvie Institute, Aberdeen, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Ministerial Statement: The Deputy Minister for Communities (Johann Lamont) made a statement and answered questions on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

3.      Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Bill – Stage 1: Bill Butler, on behalf of the Standards and Public Appointments Committee, moved S2M-3633—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Bill.

Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S2M-3633.1 to motion S2M-3633—

Insert at end—

“but, in doing so, considers that it should cover homes which have been purchased under the Parliament’s accommodation allowance and that amendments should be brought forward at Stage 2 to achieve this purpose.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 8, Against 114, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 115, Against 0, Abstentions 5).

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3727—That the Parliament agrees that Rule 5.6.1(c) of Standing Orders be suspended for the purposes of Members’ Business on Thursday 22 December 2005.

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3730—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 21 December 2005

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Ministerial Statement: Abolition of Priority Need

followed by                      Finance Committee Debate: Budget Process 2006-07

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 22 December 2005

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Socialist Party Business: Blood Products

followed by                      Scottish Socialist Party Business: “Torture Flights” on Scottish Soil

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport;
                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.55 pm                          Decision Time

journal-05/jour-050519-0907.htm#29jun05

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 12 January 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Environment and Rural Development;
                                      Health and Community Care

2.55 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Family Law (Scotland) Bill – Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3731—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Family Law (Scotland) Bill, debate on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time-limits indicated (each time-limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended, other than a suspension following the first division in the Stage in the morning and afternoon being called, or otherwise not in progress):

Groups 1 to 4 – 1 hour and 15 minutes
Groups 5 to 8 – 2 hours and 10 minutes
Groups 9 to 13 – 3 hours and 30 minutes
Groups 14 to 16 – 4 hours and 25 minutes
Groups 17 to 20 – 4 hours and 55 minutes

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Approval of SSIs: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-3720—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Fundable Bodies (Scotland) Order 2005 be approved;

S2M-3721—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Private Landlord Registration Modification (Scotland) Order 2005 be approved; and

S2M-3722—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Contaminated Land (Scotland) Regulations 2005 be approved.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

8.      Approval of SSIs: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3723—That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No.17) (Scotland) Order 2005 (SSI 2005/585) be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT) by division: For 114, Against 8, Abstentions 0).

9.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3724—That the Parliament agrees that the Environment and Rural Development Committee be designated as lead committee, and that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as secondary committee, in consideration of the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2006.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10.   Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 3, 7, 8 and 9 as noted above.

11.   Benefits of Dialogue between Steiner and Mainstream Education Sectors: The Parliament debated S2M-3117 in the name of Mike Pringle—That the Parliament commends Steiner Schools in Scotland, including the Edinburgh Rudolf Steiner School, for providing education which focuses on a child’s spiritual, physical and moral well-being as well as academic progress; notes the recent research publication, Steiner Schools in England, by Professor Woods of the University of West of England, which compared Steiner Schools with those in the state sector; agrees with him that “there is great potential benefit from mutual dialogue and professional interaction between Steiner and mainstream educators”; welcomes high-level dialogue between the Steiner Fellowship (the UK Steiner accreditation body), local education authorities in England and the UK Government which has led to the prospect of the United Kingdom’s first publicly funded Steiner Academy in Hereford, and considers that the Scottish Executive should engage actively with local authorities in Scotland and encourage the schools to be brought within the publicly funded sector, in a similar fashion to other European countries such as Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

The meeting closed at 5.55 pm.

No. 42 Thursday 15 December 2005

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Family Law (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 1, 2, 6, 7 and 11

The following amendments were agreed to (by division)—

            8          (For 91, Against 34, Abstentions 0)
            9          (For 93, Against 31, Abstentions 1)

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            35        (For 13, Against 111, Abstentions 1)
            10        (For 7, Against 108, Abstentions 1)
            39        (For 10, Against 95, Abstentions 8)

The following amendments were moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn: 36 and 40.

The following amendments were not moved: 37 and 38.

The Presiding Officer extended the time-limits under Rule 9.8.4A.

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

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

4.      Excess Winter Deaths in Greater Glasgow: The Parliament debated S2M-3482 in the name of Paul Martin—That the Parliament notes this year’s Scottish excess winter death figures, which show that the NHS Greater Glasgow area has the largest number of excess winter deaths in Scotland; expresses great concern that the number of excess winter deaths in Glasgow among older people has increased from 410 to 460; supports the Scottish Executive’s fuel poverty programmes; believes that the Executive should continue to commit to the programmes and its pledge to eradicate fuel poverty by 2017, and supports the work of the Scottish Gas Help the Aged Partnership and its call to the Executive for a holistic approach to address the problem of excess winter deaths, including looking at nutrition, regular exercise, flu jab uptake, appropriate clothing, maximising incomes, proper insulation and heating systems for homes, extending the gas main where it is economically viable and providing greater face-to-face support and practical help for older people.

5.      Themed Question Time: Questions on Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning, and on Justice and Law Officers were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers and by the Scottish Law Officers.

6.      Family Law (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Parliament resumed consideration of the Bill at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 12, 13, 14, 18, 50, 51, 25, 26, 5, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34.

The following amendments were agreed to (by division)—

            15        (For 78, Against 39, Abstentions 0)
            4          (For 92, Against 10, Abstentions 11)

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            41        (For 21, Against 96, Abstentions 2)
            42        (For 45, Against 74, Abstentions 0)
            44        (For 28, Against 87, Abstentions 0)
            3          (For 22, Against 91, Abstentions 2)
            49        (For 34, Against 85, Abstentions 0)

The following amendments were moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn: 45, 16, 22 and 47.

The following amendments were not moved: 17, 18A, 46, 23, 24, 48, 52, 53, 54, 27 and 28.

The Presiding Officer extended the time-limits under Rule 9.8.4A.

7.      Motion without Notice: Margaret Curran moved without notice that, under Rule 9.8.5A, the debate on Group 20 be extended by 10 minutes. 

The motion was agreed to.

8.      Family Law (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-3628—That the Parliament agrees that the Family Law (Scotland) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 104, Against 12, Abstentions 6).

9.      Animal Welfare Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Rhona Brankin) moved S2M-3741—That the Parliament agrees the principle of reciprocal recognition of court orders in relation to animal welfare and agrees that the relevant provisions of the Animal Welfare Bill, introduced into the House of Commons on 13 October 2005, so far as they relate to matters within the legislative competence of the Parliament, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 94, Against 1, Abstentions 26).

10.   Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3725—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Environment and Rural Development Committee by 13 January 2006 on the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

11.   Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3726—That the Parliament agrees that the timetable for consideration of the Environmental Levy on Plastic Bags (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be extended to 27 October 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

12.   Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3729—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Human Tissue (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 20 January 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

13.    Establishment of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3738—That the Parliament agrees to establish a committee of the Parliament as follows:

Name of Committee: Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Bill Committee;

Remit: To consider the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Bill at Stage 2;
Duration: Until the Bill is passed, or falls or is otherwise no longer in progress;

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Labour Party; 

Membership:  Susan Deacon and Margaret Jamieson (Labour), Mrs Margaret Ewing (SNP), Mr Jamie McGrigor (Conservative), Mike Rumbles (Liberal Democrat).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

14.    Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 8, 9 and 13 as noted above.

The meeting closed at 6.34 pm.

No. 43 Wednesday 21 December 2005

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Rt. Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Communities (Malcolm Chisholm) made a statement and answered questions on Abolition of Priority Need.

3.      Finance Committee, Stage 2 of the 2006-07 Budget Process: Des McNulty, on behalf of the Finance Committee, moved S2M-3746—That the Parliament notes the 5th Report 2005 (Session 2) of the Finance Committee on Stage 2 of the 2006-07 Budget Process (SP Paper 471) and refers the report and its recommendations to the Scottish Executive for consideration.

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

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3765—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

journal-05/jour-050519-0907.htm#29jun05

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Sustainable Development Strategy

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 12 January 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish National Party Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Environment and Rural Development;
                                      Health and Community Care

2.55 pm                          Executive Debate: Workforce Development
followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 18 January 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Procedures Committee Debate: Report into the Private Bills Procedure

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 19 January 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—
                                      Justice and Law Officers;
                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning

2.55 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Rule 2.3.1: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3754—That the Parliament agrees the following dates in terms of Rule 2.3.1: 7 – 22 October 2006 (inclusive) and 23 December 2006 – 7 January 2007 (inclusive).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6.      Office of the Clerk: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3755—That the Parliament agrees that, between 4 September 2006 and 3 January 2007, the Office of the Clerk will be open on all days except: Saturdays and Sundays, 1 December 2006, 22 December 2006 (pm), 25 and 26 December 2006 and 1 and 2 January 2007.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-3756—That the Parliament agrees that the Communities Committee be designated as lead committee, and that the Local Government and Transport Committee be designated as secondary committee, in consideration of the Planning etc. (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1;

S2M-3757—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government and Transport Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1; and

S2M-3758—That the Parliament agrees that the Health Committee be designated as lead committee, and that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as secondary committee, in consideration of the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2006.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

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

9.      Earthquake in Kashmir: The Parliament debated S2M-3407 in the name of Des McNulty—That the Parliament expresses its deepest sympathy for the victims of the earthquake affecting Kashmir and Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province which took place on Saturday 8 October 2005; recognises that many families in the west of Scotland and across Scotland as a whole will have lost relatives and friends as a result of the tragedy or are awaiting information about those who are missing; congratulates Islamic Relief and other charitable organisations on their swift response, and welcomes the steps taken by the UK Government to provide urgent assistance to the affected areas.

The meeting closed at 5.47 pm.

No.44 Thursday 22 December 2005

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Blood Products: Carolyn Leckie moved S2M-3767—That the Parliament recognises the dogged efforts of patients, relatives, campaigners and all those who have highlighted the issues around the contamination of blood products, including those with viruses such as Hepatitis C and HIV, in the past and the serious consequences for the recipients of these products and their families; acknowledges the previous and continuing work of the Parliament’s Health Committee and MSPs; accepts that campaigners’ demands for a full, independent, public inquiry remain outstanding; believes that there is now more information in the public domain and that the debate has moved on, and agrees that there should now be a full, independent public inquiry.

The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (Lewis Macdonald) moved amendment S2M-3767.2 to motion S2M-3767—

Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—

“expresses its profound sympathy for those patients who have been infected with Hepatitis C through NHS treatment with blood or blood products; welcomes the payments which are being made by the Scottish Executive to help with the suffering and hardship involved; notes that there have been significant improvements in knowledge and in the safety of blood products since these events took place; believes that there is now more information in the public domain and that the debate has moved on, and believes that the focus should now be on practical action which would benefit the future delivery of services or patient care.”

Mrs Nanette Milne moved amendment S2M-3767.1 to motion S2M-3767—

Leave out from “accepts” to end and insert—

“extends its sympathy to those infected with Hepatitis C through contaminated blood products; welcomes the move to place information in the public domain, and believes at this moment in time that the best way to get clear decisive answers would be for those campaigners to bring forward a test case to the courts.”

After debate, amendment S2M-3767.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 76, Against 16, Abstentions 21).  As a result, S2M-3767.1 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 77, Against 14, Abstentions 22).

Accordingly, the Parliament—That the Parliament expresses its profound sympathy for those patients who have been infected with Hepatitis C through NHS treatment with blood or blood products; welcomes the payments which are being made by the Scottish Executive to help with the suffering and hardship involved; notes that there have been significant improvements in knowledge and in the safety of blood products since these events took place; believes that there is now more information in the public domain and that the debate has moved on, and believes that the focus should now be on practical action which would benefit the future delivery of services or patient care.

2.      “Torture Flights” on Scottish Soil: Frances Curran moved S2M-3766—That the Parliament considers, in light of recent decisions by the governments of Sweden, Spain and Iceland, by the European Union and now by Michael Todd, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police in England, to undertake inquiries into rendition flights, that the Scottish Executive should follow these examples; believes that there are sufficient grounds to justify an independent inquiry into the possible use of Scottish airports by CIA rendition flights, and further believes that the Lord Advocate should instruct the police to investigate without delay whether there has been a breach of Scots Law.

Scott Barrie moved amendment S2M-3766.4 to motion S2M-3766—

Leave out from “considers” to end, and insert—

“notes the allegations that have been made about the possible use of Scottish airports by CIA rendition flights; shares the public concern; condemns the use of torture wherever and whenever it may occur; notes that torture constitutes a crime under Scots and international law; reasserts its commitment to Article 4 of the UN Convention Against Torture and notes that this refers not only to acts of torture but to “an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture”; welcomes the assurances from the Lord Advocate that, if offences are committed in the jurisdiction of Scotland and he is made aware of supporting evidence, these allegations will be investigated; further welcomes the commitment of the First Minister to co-operate with any reasonable request from the Council of Europe or any other international organisation; calls on the Scottish Executive to co-operate with any inquiry into rendition flights in British airspace and calls for a commitment that on any issue for which it has responsibility it will take action if presented with credible and reliable information; reasserts that the investigation of crime is a matter for the police and that decisions on whether to investigate in particular cases are for the police to take without political interference, and calls for anyone having evidence of torture or any other crime taking place in Scotland to take that evidence to the police.”

Phil Gallie moved amendment S2M-3766.1 to motion S2M-3766—

Leave out from “considers” to end and insert—

“supports the UN Convention Against Torture, of which the United Kingdom is a signatory; believes that there is never any justification for torture; welcomes the judgement by the Law Lords that evidence obtained under torture was inadmissible in court and was also inadmissible in a Special Immigration Appeals Commission case; notes the allegations in the press that CIA rendition flights have refuelled in Scotland; trusts that the Foreign Secretary’s assurances that such flights have not landed in Scotland are true, and calls for the Scottish Executive to detail what communications it has had with the Foreign Office over this matter.”

Mr Jim Wallace moved amendment S2M-3766.2 to motion S2M-3766—

Leave out from “considers” to end and insert—

“deplores all forms of torture; notes that torture, an attempt to commit torture or conspiracy to commit torture are crimes punishable under Scots Law at common law and through the UN Convention against Torture as incorporated into UK law by the Criminal Justice Act 1988; welcomes the inquiry by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to verify if the European Convention on Human Rights has been contravened and that member states have complied with their international obligations; further welcomes the First Minister’s commitment that the Scottish Executive would respond to the inquiry; in light of the public admissions by the US Government of the existence of rendition flights and the interim findings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on this issue, calls on the UK Government to hold an immediate and independent inquiry into rendition flights using British airspace and airports and to make clear to the US Government that extraordinary rendition flights are unacceptable in British airspace and in Britain, and further calls on the UK Government to work with the international community to review the adequacy of the Chicago Convention, in light of international security and human rights concerns.”

After debate, amendment S2M-3766.4 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 47, Against 53, Abstentions 12).  

After debate, the amendment S2M-3766.1 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 59, Against 33, Abstentions 21).  As a result, S2M-3766.2 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 59, Against 26, Abstentions 28).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the UN Convention Against Torture, of which the United Kingdom is a signatory; believes that there is never any justification for torture; welcomes the judgement by the Law Lords that evidence obtained under torture was inadmissible in court and was also inadmissible in a Special Immigration Appeals Commission case; notes the allegations in the press that CIA rendition flights have refuelled in Scotland; trusts that the Foreign Secretary’s assurances that such flights have not landed in Scotland are true, and calls for the Scottish Executive to detail what communications it has had with the Foreign Office over this matter.

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

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

5.      Gas Work Notification Scheme: The Parliament debated S2M-3698 in the name of Mr Andrew Welsh—That the Parliament notes with concern the introduction by CORGI of a mandatory notification scheme for all new gas installations in April of this year; further notes that, whilst supporting all measures which genuinely improve gas safety standards, the Gas Work Notification Scheme does not serve to improve standards or to tackle cowboy traders, that it was conceived around the requirements of the Home Information Pack which will apply only in England and Wales and that it places a wholly unnecessary time and cost burden on Scottish registered gas installers, which in turn places an additional cost burden on their major customers, such as Scottish housing associations and local authorities, with no benefit to the Scottish customer; is concerned at the implications of the scheme for gas installers and consumers in Angus; is further concerned that the scheme was introduced by CORGI without due consultation with Scottish member organisations, and considers that the Scottish Executive should ensure that this scheme is withdrawn from Scotland.

6.      Themed Question Time: Questions on Education, Tourism, Culture and Sport, and on Finance and Communities were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

7.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-3759—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Health Committee by 13 January 2006 on the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

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

The meeting closed at 3.06 pm.

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