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Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

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No. 59 Wednesday 8 March 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Mrs Liz Hood, Business Education Teacher at Perth Academy, led Time for Reflection.

2.      International Women’s Day, 8 March 2006: The Deputy Minister for Communities (Johann Lamont) moved S2M-4063—That the Parliament notes the significance of 8 March 2006 as International Women’s Day; endorses the role which this day plays in recognising, promoting and celebrating women’s issues worldwide; congratulates the many groups and organisations which, and individuals who, strive for gender equality and to create a fairer and more equal society for women in Scotland, and, in particular, acknowledges the wide range of Scottish Executive work to advance the women’s agenda in Scotland.

Ms Sandra White moved amendment S2M-4063.1 to motion S2M-4063—

Insert at end—

“however, notes that 30 years after the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 came into force, the pace of change remains painfully slow; further notes with great concern the trafficking of women throughout Europe, and calls on the Executive to do all in its power to stop this horrific practice.”

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

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the significance of 8 March 2006 as International Women’s Day; endorses the role which this day plays in recognising, promoting and celebrating women’s issues worldwide; congratulates the many groups and organisations which, and individuals who, strive for gender equality and to create a fairer and more equal society for women in Scotland, and, in particular, acknowledges the wide range of Scottish Executive work to advance the women’s agenda in Scotland however, notes that 30 years after the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 came into force, the pace of change remains painfully slow; further notes with great concern the trafficking of women throughout Europe, and calls on the Executive to do all in its power to stop this horrific practice.

3.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4079—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 15 March 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Improving the Legislative Process

followed by                      Members’ Business: S2M-3890 Mr Kenneth Macintosh: The Importance of Play

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 16 March 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Ministerial Statement: Major Public Transport Projects update

followed by                      Appointment of the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

followed by                      Non-Executive Business: Independents’ Group

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

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

2.55 pm                          Justice 1 Committee Debate: European Commission Green Papers on Applicable Law in Divorce and Succession and Wills

followed by                      European and External Relations Committee Debate: 4th Report 2005, An Inquiry into the Scottish Executive’s Fresh Talent Initiative Examining the Problems It Aims to Address, Its Operation, Challenges and Prospects

followed by                      Company Law Reform Bill Legislative Consent Motion – UK Legislation

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 22 March 2006

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 23 March 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—
                                      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

The motion was agreed to.

4.      Business Motions: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-4075—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 31 March 2006;

S2M-4076—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc. (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 25 May 2006; and

S2M-4077—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 21 April 2006.

The motions were agreed to.

5.      Approval of SSI:  Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4065—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2005 Amendment (No. 2) Order 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4066—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be referred to the Justice 2 Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Decision Time: The Parliament took the following decisions on motions and amendments debated on Thursday 2 March 2006—

Amendment S2M-4039.2, in the name of Cathy Jamieson, to motion (S2M-4039) in the name of Nicola Sturgeon, was agreed to (by division: For 64, Against 51, Abstentions 0).  As a result, amendment S2M-4039.1 in the name of Colin Fox was pre-empted.

Motion S2M-4039, as amended, was then agreed to (by division: For 66, Against 51, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament agrees that action needs to be taken to restore public and professional confidence in the Scottish Fingerprint Service; acknowledges that in 2000 the SCRO Fingerprint Bureau was the subject of an independent inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC); notes that following three further inspections HMIC reported that its 25 recommendations had been fully discharged; notes that further reforms are being taken forward; that the Minister for Justice has instructed the interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Police Services Authority to bring forward, by the end of March, a comprehensive action plan drawing on the best available international scientific advice and management expertise; notes that this action plan will be reported to the Parliament; believes that a public inquiry is not appropriate; notes that it is the responsibility of the Parliament to hold the Scottish Executive to account; welcomes the work already commenced by the Justice 1 Committee, and confirms the Executive’s commitment to co-operate with any inquiries that the Parliament may decide to take forward in scrutinising these reforms.

Amendment S2M-4036.2, in the name of Ross Finnie, to motion (S2M-4036) in the name of Rob Gibson, was agreed to (by division: For 65, Against 47, Abstentions 6).  As a result, amendment S2M-4036.1, in the name of Murdo Fraser was pre-empted

Motion S2M-4036, as amended, was then agreed to (by division: For 65, Against 47, Abstentions 6).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that Scottish Water’s draft business plan of April 2005 stated that achieving Scottish Ministers’ objectives for 2006 to 2010 would require a capital investment programme of £3.7 billion and a doubling in customer charges; notes that the Water Industry Commission’s determination of charges for 2006 to 2010 allowed Scottish Water a capital investment programme of £2.1 billion and charges rising by less than the rate of inflation to achieve the objectives; notes that Scottish Water accepted the determination but its plan demonstrating how it would deliver the objectives within the limits set by the determination was judged by the Executive, supported by the regulators, not to meet the requirements in a number of material aspects; notes that the Executive has required Scottish Water to produce a new plan which will command the confidence of Ministers and regulators, and considers these actions by the Executive to represent good stewardship of Scottish Water in the public and customer interest.

The Parliament then took decisions on items 2, 7 and 8 as noted above. 

8.      21st Anniversary of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation: The Parliament debated S2M-3928 in the name of Maureen Macmillan—That the Parliament recognises the importance to Scotland of wild salmon conservation; further recognises the vital work undertaken by the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO), the only international treaty organisation based in Scotland, and welcomes the 21st anniversary of the establishment of NASCO.

The meeting closed at 5.48 pm.

No. 60 Thursday 9 March 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Future Energy Policy: Alex Johnstone moved S2M-4074—That the Parliament calls on the Scottish Executive to support the adoption of a balanced energy policy to meet the energy needs of the nation, including the promotion of clean coal technology, new and replacement nuclear build, as well as oil and gas and renewables and therefore considers that immediate plans must be started to replace or renew our existing coal-fired and nuclear generating stations where required.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-4074.3 to motion S2M-4074—

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

“notes the progress made at Longannet to secure future base load energy supplies; supports the Scottish Executive’s 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 target that 40% of electricity generated in Scotland by 2020 should come from renewable sources; looks forward to publication of the revised Scottish Climate Change Programme and the consideration given to the contribution of energy efficiency and renewables to reduce carbon dioxide emissions; endorses the Executive’s commitment to tackling fuel poverty; acknowledges the Executive’s commitment to not support further development of nuclear power stations while waste management issues remain unresolved; welcomes the release of the first two volumes of the Scottish Energy Study; recognises the importance of the UK Energy Review, and supports the Executive’s engagement with the UK Government, Ofgem and the energy industry to ensure that the future energy supply needs of Scotland are met.”

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-4074.2 to motion S2M-4074—

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

“believes that there is no case for the building of new nuclear power stations in Scotland and that decisions on our energy future should be the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament rather than the UK Government, in line with the wishes of the people of Scotland.”

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-4074.1 to motion S2M-4074—

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

“acknowledges that the development of stable, secure and sustainable future energy policy is one of the most pressing and most challenging tasks facing the present generation; recognises that any future energy policy must consider all energy and not merely electricity, which accounts for only around one-fifth of total energy demand; accepts that such a policy must take into account the twin problems of climate change and dwindling supplies of oil and other fossil fuels; welcomes the recent publication by the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) of its position paper, The Role of Nuclear Power in a Low Carbon Economy; supports the conclusion of the SDC that nuclear power is not the answer to tackling climate change or security of supply; further notes the results of a BBC Scotland opinion poll indicating that a majority of Scots favour more renewable energy while a small minority supports new nuclear power, and calls on the Scottish Executive to ensure that Scotland’s future energy policy involves radical energy efficiency measures, the expansion of all renewable technologies, decentralised networks and the widespread adoption of microgeneration.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4074.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 41, Abstentions 7).  As a result, amendments S2M-4074.2 and S2M-4074.1 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 41, Abstentions 7)

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the progress made at Longannet to secure future base load energy supplies; supports the Scottish Executive’s 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 target that 40% of electricity generated in Scotland by 2020 should come from renewable sources; looks forward to publication of the revised Scottish Climate Change Programme and the consideration given to the contribution of energy efficiency and renewables to reduce carbon dioxide emissions; endorses the Executive’s commitment to tackling fuel poverty; acknowledges the Executive’s commitment to not support further development of nuclear power stations while waste management issues remain unresolved; welcomes the release of the first two volumes of the Scottish Energy Study; recognises the importance of the UK Energy Review, and supports the Executive’s engagement with the UK Government, Ofgem and the energy industry to ensure that the future energy supply needs of Scotland are met.

2.      Drug Abuse: Miss Annabel Goldie moved S2M-4073—That the Parliament notes the increasing drugs problem in Scotland which has seen rises in the number of drug-related deaths and drug-related crimes; recognises that drug abuse destroys lives, tears families apart, leads to widespread and recurring crime and the disintegration of entire communities; believes that there should be a zero tolerance drugs strategy which aims to rid Scotland of drugs; believes that such a strategy should place an emphasis on early intervention and include a coherent education programme which prioritises abstinence, and believes that there needs to be a change in the help offered to drug addicts, away from an over-reliance on methadone and towards a drug-free lifestyle.

The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved amendment S2M-4073.3 to motion S2M-4073—

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

“recognises that drug abuse destroys lives and tears families apart; recognises that more needs to be done, particularly to support and protect children in drug misusing households; believes that there should be an early intervention strategy; believes that there is a need to help addicts to move towards a drug-free lifestyle by offering a range of interventions; believes that for those on methadone there should be a care plan which includes an exit strategy from methadone use; believes that there should be an education programme which continues to reinforce the dangers of taking drugs; believes that employability issues should be addressed as part of re-establishing a drug-free stable lifestyle, and welcomes the enhancements to the Scottish Drugs Misuse Database which should lead to an improvement in the collection of data to help shape and target investment and services.”

Stewart Stevenson moved amendment S2M-4073.1 to motion S2M-4073—

Leave out from “notes” to end and insert—

“acknowledges that drug abuse creates feelings of hopelessness, despair and low self-worth in individuals and communities; recognises that drug misusers are individuals who will vary widely as to the best approach to address their addictions and therefore dismisses single dogmatic solutions to this complex problem; believes that the Scottish Executive should focus resources on appropriate support and child protection measures for children in drug misusing families; notes that access to support for addicts varies widely across Scotland; recommends that substantial additional resources are focused on addiction services and on recovering profits from illegal drugs trade barons, and calls on all in public life to make common cause in the fight against drug misuse.”

Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S2M-4073.2 to motion S2M-4073—

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

“calls for a radical overhaul of the unhelpful drugs laws which cause more problems rather than providing solutions; further calls for a pilot scheme to be initiated into the prescribing of heroin under clinical conditions; calls for massive investment in drug rehabilitation and treatment, based on the fact that it is nine times more effective to treat drug addicts than pay the cost of drug-related crime, and calls for a recognition of the role of extended family members, particularly grandparents, in supporting and protecting children in families where there is drug misuse.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4073.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 17, Abstentions 30).  As a result, amendments S2M-4073.1 and S2M-4073.2 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 90, Against 17, Abstentions 2)

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises that drug abuse destroys lives and tears families apart; recognises that more needs to be done, particularly to support and protect children in drug misusing households; believes that there should be an early intervention strategy; believes that there is a need to help addicts to move towards a drug-free lifestyle by offering a range of interventions; believes that for those on methadone there should be a care plan which includes an exit strategy from methadone use; believes that there should be an education programme which continues to reinforce the dangers of taking drugs; believes that employability issues should be addressed as part of re-establishing a drug-free stable lifestyle, and welcomes the enhancements to the Scottish Drugs Misuse Database which should lead to an improvement in the collection of data to help shape and target investment and services.

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.      Agriculture Strategy: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-4081—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s commitment as set out in A Forward Strategy for Scottish Agriculture: Next Steps to secure a prosperous and sustainable farming industry in Scotland, focussed on producing food and other products for the market, contributing to sustainable rural development, protecting and enhancing the environment and contributing to improvements in animal health and welfare and human health and well-being, and approves the actions outlined in the strategy for achieving these objectives in partnership with other stakeholders.

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-4081.4 to motion S2M-4081—

Leave out from “and approves” to end and insert—

“while approving many of the actions outlined in the strategy, regrets the lack of support and initiative from Ministers for the farmers’ campaign to curb the power of the supermarkets and secure a more equitable trading relationship throughout the supply chain; calls for more effort to allow agriculture to compete on a level playing field by addressing the issue of inferior imports and costly red tape; further calls on Ministers to do more to promote locally produced food, especially through the use of public procurement, not only to boost the industry but to cut the number of food miles, and urges the Executive to accelerate the production of energy crops.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 49, Against 60, Abstentions 0).

Mr Ted Brocklebank moved amendment S2M-4081.1 to motion S2M-4081—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes the aims for the Scottish agricultural industry set out in A Forward Strategy for Scottish Agriculture: Next Steps and acknowledges that the vision outlined in that document is one with which we can all agree; notes that under Scottish Executive stewardship, Total Income from Farming statistics show that returns are down by 11% and average net farm incomes have fallen by 34%, indicating that the agricultural sector is beleaguered by uncertainty and despondency, and calls on the Executive to act to restore confidence to the sector in order to reverse the current trend of young people deserting the land.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 46, Against 61, Abstentions 3).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 68, Against 0, Abstentions 42).

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

8.   Ship-to-Ship Oil Transfer: The Parliament debated S2M-4017 in the name of Robin Harper—That the Parliament notes with concern the application by Forth Ports plc and Melbourne Marine Services to introduce ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of Russian heavy crude oil at swinging anchorage in the Firth of Forth; recognises the unprecedented scale and nature of such operations and the pollution risks posed by their routine operation and possible accidental spillage; notes the very recent identification by the UK Government of marine environment high risk areas around the Scottish coastline, and notably the Forth estuary, as being most sensitive and highly vulnerable to accidents involving merchant shipping and in need of protection; further notes that the Firth of Forth is a Special Protection Area containing numerous conservation sites of national and European importance, and a Ramsar site of international designation; acknowledges the devastating impact on the economy and ecology of areas, such as the Forth, that could occur in the event of a heavy crude oil spill; recognises the opposition to the Forth proposal by Fife Council, the City of Edinburgh Council, East Lothian Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, major environmental groups and agencies and local communities; expresses concern that any such proposal should be considered in the absence of either a UK or EU statutory regulatory framework for the control or monitoring of STS oil transfer operations along the Scottish coastline; notes that the current consultation by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is not a full public consultation about the context or strategic merit of the Forth proposal, but is restricted to a discussion of Forth Ports’ oil spill contingency plan, and considers that the Scottish Executive should use its powers, particularly under the EU Habitats Directive, to oppose the application for heavy oil transfer from ship to ship.

The meeting closed at 5.52 pm

No. 61 Wednesday 15 March 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Father Douglas Macmillan, St. Mirin’s Cathedral, Paisley, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Improving the Legislative Process: The Parliament debated the subject of Improving the Legislative Process.    

3.      The Importance of Play: The Parliament debated S2M-3890 in the name of Mr Kenneth Macintosh—That the Parliament welcomes calls from Play Scotland and Barnardo’s for a play strategy that recognises the right of all children in East Renfrewshire and across Scotland to a safe, challenging and accessible play environment; is aware of the public and political concerns over levels of obesity, mental health problems and anti-social behaviour amongst children and young people; notes that lack of opportunity to play is a contributing factor to these problems; is concerned that traffic growth, loss of open space and fears over safety are further restricting play opportunities, and therefore believes that play should be supported with a vigour that reflects its importance.

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4115—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 22 March 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Ministerial Statement: Scotland’s Species

followed by                      Final Stage Proceedings: Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill

followed by                      Legislative Consent Motion: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 23 March 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Growing a Knowledge Economy

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: Strategy for an Ageing Population

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 29 March 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Final Stage Proceedings: Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 30 March 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—
                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning
                                      Justice and Law Officers;

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.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-4105—That the Parliament agrees that the timetable for consideration of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be extended to 5 May 2006;

S2M-4106—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Crofting Reform etc. Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 30 June 2006; and

S2M-4107—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 8 September 2006.

The motions were agreed to.

6.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4108—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Renewable Obligations (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 80, Against 7, Abstentions 0).

7.      Decision Time: The Parliament took a decision on item 6 as noted above.

8.      Banffshire Partnership and Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus: The Parliament debated S2M-3882 in the name of Stewart Stevenson—That the Parliament congratulates the Banffshire Partnership and the Buchan Dial-a-Community Bus, who provide an essential transport service in areas with virtually no public transport; notes that transport problems faced by many people in rural communities lead to many forms of exclusion; further notes that at present the national concessionary travel scheme does not encompass transport outwith conventional services, and hopes that the formation of Transport Scotland will enable new ideas to be implemented to tackle the problem of rural transport.

The meeting closed at 5.45 pm.

No. 62 Thursday 16 March 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Transport and Telecommunications (Tavish Scott) made a statement and answered questions on an update on Major Public Transport Projects.

2.      Appointment of the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for a second period: John Scott, on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, moved S2M-4095—That the Parliament agrees with the recommendation of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body under Rule 3A.1.2 of Standing Orders that Dr James Dyer should be appointed for a second period as the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner with effect from 1 April 2006.

Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S2M-4095.1 to motion S2M-4095—

Leave out from “agrees” to end and insert—

“does not, at this stage, agree with the recommendation of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body that Dr James Dyer should be appointed for a second period as Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner and agrees that an independent investigation should be instigated into the transparency and accountability of the actions of the Standards Commissioner and the standards process.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to (DT) by division: For 12, Against 77, Abstentions 12).
The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 17, Abstentions 16).

3.      Make Poverty History: The Parliament debated the subject of Make Poverty History.

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

5.      First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Nicol Stephen).

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

7.      European Commission Green Papers on Applicable Law in Divorce and Succession and Wills: Pauline McNeill, on behalf of the Justice 1 Committee, moved S2M-4088—That the Parliament notes the concerns raised by the Justice 1 Committee in relation to recent European Commission Green Paper proposals on applicable law in divorce and succession and wills; agrees that the proposals are not in the best interests of the people of Scotland, and, in light of the Committee’s views that these proposals are fundamentally flawed and unnecessary, calls on the Scottish Executive to urge the UK Government not to opt in to any draft European Community instruments which emerge following the conclusion of these consultation processes.

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

8.      The Scottish Executive’s Fresh Talent Initiative: Linda Fabiani, on behalf of the European and External Relations Committee, moved S2M-4110—That the Parliament notes the 4th Report 2005 (Session 2) of the European and External Relations Committee, Report on an Inquiry into the Scottish Executive’s Fresh Talent Initiative Examining the Problems It Aims to Address, Its Operation, Challenges and Prospects (SP Paper 448).

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

9.      Company Law Reform Bill - UK Legislation: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-4109—That the Parliament agrees that the relevant provisions of the Company Law Reform Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 1 November 2005, which will legislate in devolved areas in respect of sole traders, accounting standards and audit for charitable companies and which will alter the executive competence of the Scottish Ministers to allow them to issue guidance to regulatory enforcers and to specify companies to be audited by the Auditor General for Scotland, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

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

10.    Motion without Notice: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved without notice that motion S2M-4128 be taken at this meeting of Parliament.

The motion was agreed to.

11.   Rule 2.7.2: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4128—That the Parliament agrees under Rule 2.7.2 that the Parliament shall meet in Committee Rooms 2 and 6 of the Parliament at Holyrood as recommended by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body until 31 March 2006.

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 95, Against 2, Abstentions 2).

12.   Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 7, 8, 9 and 11 as noted above.

13.   Commonwealth Day 2006: The Parliament debated S2M-4060 in the name of Dr Sylvia Jackson—That the Parliament recognises the valuable role of the Commonwealth in strengthening relationships between nations across the world; welcomes the continued contribution of Scotland and its people to those relationships; reaffirms its support for the work of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA); notes that this year the CPA Scotland Branch and the Scottish Executive have, as a key focus, continued to develop relationships with Malawi; notes Scotland’s longstanding work, particularly in the area of health, throughout the Commonwealth, and commends the theme of Commonwealth Day this year, “Health and Vitality – the Commonwealth Challenge”, which highlights the relevance of health, as illustrated in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

The meeting closed at 5.58 pm.

No. 63 Wednesday 22 March 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Reverend Martin Johnston, Priority Areas Worker for Church of Scotland, Glasgow, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Motion without Notice: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved without notice that motion S2M-4165 be taken at this meeting of Parliament.

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Motion of Condolence: Nicola Sturgeon moved S2M-4165—That the Parliament expresses its deep regret and sadness at the death of Margaret Ewing MSP; offers its sympathy and condolences to her family and friends, and recognises her widely appreciated contribution to Scottish politics and public life.

The motion was agreed to.

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved motion S2M-4151—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 22 March 2006—

Wednesday 22 March 2006

after,

followed by Final Stage Proceedings: Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill

delete,

followed by Legislative Consent Motion: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill – UK Legislation

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill – Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved motion S2M-4162—That the Parliament agrees that, during the Final Stage of the Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill, the debate on the final group of amendments will conclude no later than 30 minutes after the final stage proceedings commence.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Ministerial Statement: The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Rhona Brankin) made a statement and answered questions on Scotland’s Species.

7.      Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill – Final Stage: The Bill was considered at Final Stage.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29.

8.      Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill – Final Stage: Bill Aitken, on behalf of the Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill Committee, moved S2M-3838—That the Parliament agrees that the Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 88, Against 20, Abstentions 0).

9.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved motion S2M-4161—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 29 March 2006

2.30 pm            Time for Reflection

followed by        Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by        Final Stage Proceedings: Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Bill

followed by        Business Motion

followed by        Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm            Decision Time

followed by        Members’ Business

Thursday 30 March 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—
                        Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning;
                        Justice and Law Officers

2.55 pm            Executive Debate: Curriculum Review and Qualifications

followed by        Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm            Decision Time

followed by        Members’ Business

Wednesday 19 April 2006

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 20 April 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—
                        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

(b) that the period for lodging First Minister’s Questions for First Minister’s Question Time on 20 April 2006 should end at 4.00 pm on Thursday 13 April;

(c) that the period for lodging First Minister’s Questions for First Minister’s Question Time on 4 May 2006 should end at 4.00 pm on Friday 28 April;

(d) that the period for lodging First Minister’s Questions for First Minister’s Question Time on 1 June 2006 should end at 5.00 pm on Thursday 25 May; and

(e) that the period for members to submit their names for selection for Question Times on 20 April 2006 should end at 12.00 noon on Wednesday 29 March 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

10.   Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4152—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 15 September 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

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

S2M-4153—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Risk Assessment and Minimisation (Accreditation Scheme) (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved;

S2M-4154—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 be approved;

S2M-4155—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Advice and Assistance (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 be approved;

S2M-4156—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Water Environment (Consequential and Savings Provisions) (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved;

S2M-4157—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Non-Domestic Rating (Electronic Communications) (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved; and

S2M-4158—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Valuation and Rating (Exempted Classes) (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

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

13.   Lanarkshire United Health for All: The Parliament debated S2M-3944 in the name of Carolyn Leckie—That the Parliament notes NHS Lanarkshire’s consultation, A Picture of Health; is concerned that the board has written off the status quo as “unsustainable” without giving the public the opportunity to make that judgement about their health service; believes that to consult on options which exclude the possibility of a community retaining emergency and planned services at their local hospital is no choice at all; questions the rationale and evidence that the consultation is predicated on, such as whether planned capacity will be sufficient; is concerned that health inequalities will not be addressed and may indeed be perpetuated; recognises the growing anger of communities throughout Lanarkshire, and believes that the board and politicians alike have a duty to explore all options and strategies required to meet the needs of Lanarkshire’s citizens and unite with them to secure full and equal health services for all.

The meeting closed at 5.54 pm.

No. 64 Thursday 23 March 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Growing a Knowledge Economy: The Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Nicol Stephen) moved S2M-4163—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s record investment in further and higher education and recognises its significance in Scotland’s current and future economic growth with the sector’s focus on key issues including sustainable development, research and innovation, globalisation, productivity and skills.

Jim Mather moved amendment S2M-4163.2 to motion S2M-4163—

Insert at end—

“and now wishes to see that investment subjected to close scrutiny to identify its effectiveness in terms of growth, jobs and incomes under a process of independent statistical control that fosters an era of perpetual improvement and benchmarks Scotland's performance against international competitors.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 106, Against 4, Abstentions 1).

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-4163.1 to motion S2M-4163—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes the valuable contribution made by the further and higher education sectors to the Scottish economy, particularly their success in attracting overseas students; notes, however, the poor levels of knowledge transfer in the economy and that, although Scotland secured 17% of all UK patents, only 1.5% of GDP was invested in research and development and only 0.59% of this was successfully commercialised, and believes that a more competitive economic environment would encourage higher levels of commercial activity and help secure additional external funding for the sector.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 74, Abstentions 21).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 95, Against 16, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s record investment in further and higher education and recognises its significance in Scotland’s current and future economic growth with the sector’s focus on key issues including sustainable development, research and innovation, globalisation, productivity and skills and now wishes to see that investment subjected to close scrutiny to identify its effectiveness in terms of growth, jobs and incomes under a process of independent statistical control that fosters an era of perpetual improvement and benchmarks Scotland's performance against international competitors.

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.      Strategy for an Ageing Population: The Minister for Communities (Malcolm Chisholm) moved S2M-4164—That the Parliament acknowledges the changing age structure of Scotland’s population and the benefits and opportunities it brings; values the enormous contribution of older people as volunteers, carers, workers and in many other ways; recognises the need to challenge stereotypes of older people and support them to contribute in ways which they choose; supports the further development of effective integrated services for older people, and welcomes the consultation and ongoing work currently being carried out to develop a Strategy for a Scotland with an Ageing Population.

Ms Sandra White moved amendment S2M-4164.1 to motion S2M-4164—

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

“notes, however, the injustice of charging for food preparation under the free personal care legislation, ageism, fuel poverty and associated excess winter deaths, the punitive council tax and the discredited basic state pension, all of which deprive our elderly population of independence, security and choice, and recognises that until Scotland has power over tax and benefits many of Scotland's pensioners will continue to live in poverty.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 33, Against 78, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

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

7.      Proposed Closure of Coldstream and Jedburgh Hospitals: The Parliament debated S2M-3921 in the name of Euan Robson—That the Parliament notes the contents of NHS Borders’ consultation document, Getting Fit for the Future; believes that the preferred options for the closure of Coldstream and Jedburgh cottage hospitals manifestly do not command the confidence of the respective local communities; further believes that NHS Borders must take advantage of opportunities to redevelop both hospitals in conjunction with other statutory bodies, private providers and voluntary organisations in the spirit of Professor Kerr’s report, Building a Health Service Fit for the Future, and the Scottish Executive’s response to the report; congratulates the local action groups on their constructive approach to these issues, and believes that the Executive should reject closure and require redesign of the proposals to redevelop these locally delivered NHS services.

The meeting closed at 5.48 pm

No. 65 Wednesday 29 March 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Reverend Graham S. Taylor, Rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Aberdeen, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Bill – Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4204—That the Parliament agrees that, during the Final Stage of the Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Bill, the debate on groups of amendments shall be brought to a conclusion by the time limit indicated (that time 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 or otherwise not in progress):

Groups 1 to 4 - 35 minutes
Groups 5 to 7 - 1 hour and 25 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

3.  1st Report 2006 (Session 2) of the Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Bill Committee, Appropriate Assessment on the Firth of Forth Special Protection Area:  Jackie Baillie, on behalf of the Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Bill Committee, moved S2M-4130—That the Parliament notes the 1st Report 2006 (Session 2) of the Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Bill Committee, Appropriate Assessment on the Firth of Forth Special Protection Area (SP Paper 486), and agrees that the works proposed in the Bill will not adversely affect the integrity of the Firth of Forth Special Protection Area.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

4.      Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Bill – Final Stage: The Bill was considered at Final Stage.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33.

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

8          (For 17, Against 79, Abstentions 0)
12        (For 14, Against 82, Abstentions 2)
13        (For 17, Against 80, Abstentions 1)
15A     (For 14, Against 80, Abstentions 0)
15        (For 15, Against 81, Abstentions 0)

Amendment 14 was moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn.

The following amendments were not moved: 7, 16, 17 and 18.

5.      Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Bill – Final Stage: Jackie Baillie, on behalf of the Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Bill, moved S2M-4129—That the Parliament agrees that the Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Bill be passed.

Margaret Smith moved amendment S2M-4129.1 to motion S2M-4129—

Leave out from “agrees” to end and insert—

“does not agree that the Edinburgh Tram (Line One) Bill be passed because the tram route does not directly service the Western General Hospital.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 19, Against 81, Abstentions 2).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 84, Against 17, Abstentions 1).

6.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4200—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Thursday 30 March 2006—

Thursday 30 March 2006

delete,

2.55 pm            Executive Debate: Curriculum Review

and after,

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

insert,

2.55 pm            Ministerial Statement: Scottish Enterprise

followed by        Executive Debate: Curriculum Review

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4203—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 19 April 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      European and External Relations Committee Debate: European Commission’s Legislative and                                       Work Programme 2006

followed by                      Procedures Committee Debate: 2nd Report 2006: Procedures relating to Crown appointments

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 20 April 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Non-Executive 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 Debate: Civil Justice Reform

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 26 April 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Debate: Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Bill

followed by                      Legislative Consent Motion: Police and Justice Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 27 April 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.

8.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4192—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 30 June 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

9.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4193—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Tourist Boards (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 30 June 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

10.    Membership of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4182—That the Parliament agrees that Robin Harper be appointed to replace Chris Ballance on the Procedures Committee.
The motion was agreed to (DT).

11.    Substitution on Committees: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-4183—That the Parliament agrees that Mrs Nanette Milne be appointed to replace Bill Aitken as the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party substitute on the Equal Opportunities Committee; and

S2M-4184—That the Parliament agrees that Bill Aitken be appointed to replace Miss Annabel Goldie as the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party substitute on the Justice 1 Committee.
The motions were agreed to (DT).

12.    Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4185—That the Parliament agrees that the Education Committee be designated as the lead committee in consideration of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

S2M-4186—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Community Justice Authorities (Establishment, Constitution and Proceedings) (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved;

S2M-4187—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Protection of Charities Assets (Exemption) (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved;

S2M-4188—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Charity Test (Specified Bodies) (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved;

S2M-4189—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exclusions and Exceptions) (Amendment) (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved; and

The motions were agreed to (DT).

14.    Approval of SSIs: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4190—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992 Modification Order 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 82, Against 0, Abstentions 19).

15.    Approval of SSIs: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4191—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to Scottish Ministers) (No.2) Order 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to.

16.    Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 3, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 as noted above.

17.    50th Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award: The Parliament debated S2M-4068 in the name of Karen Whitefield—That the Parliament congratulates the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in its 50th anniversary year; recognises the contribution made by the organisations that operate the award and the exceptional number of hours of volunteering undertaken by leaders in supporting over 20,000 young people each year in Scotland; further recognises the efforts of participants in the volunteering section of the award and its wider benefits to communities across Scotland and across the world; acknowledges the contribution the award makes to promoting a healthy lifestyle to young people; recognises the benefits in terms of skills development, enterprise, teamwork and personal and social development; acknowledges the findings of recent research which indicated the tremendous value placed by employers on the award programme, and looks forward to welcoming the International Forum and UK General Council to Edinburgh in November 2006.

The meeting closed at 5.45 pm.

No. 66 Thursday 30 March 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Congratulations Team Scotland: Michael Matheson moved S2M-4196—That the Parliament congratulates Team Scotland for winning 29 medals at the 18th Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, which is the largest number of medals ever won by a Scottish team at an overseas games; recognises that this success is due to the hard work and dedication of our athletes and coaching staff; believes that Team Scotland's success in Melbourne should act as a springboard to ensure even greater success for our sportsmen and women in the international sporting arena and will also inspire many young Scots to participate in sport; recognises that access to good sporting facilities plays a significant role in the development of our nation's sporting talent, and calls on the Scottish Executive to publish sportscotland’s audit of local sports facilities to ensure that the necessary facilities are in place to develop our future sporting talent.

The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Patricia Ferguson) moved amendment S2M-4196.2 to motion S2M-4196—

Leave out from “; believes” to end and insert—

“and the valuable support provided by the Institute network, sportscotland and the World Class Performance Programme; believes that Team Scotland’s success in Melbourne should act as a springboard to ensure even greater success for our sportsmen and women in the international sporting arena and will also inspire many young Scots to participate in sport; recognises the significant benefits to be gained for Scotland from London 2012 and a successful bid for Glasgow to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014; acknowledges that access to good sporting facilities plays a significant role in the development of our nation’s sporting talent; welcomes the investment in facilities through the Executive’s National and Regional Facilities Strategy which will provide a first-class setting for our elite and developing athletes and which can also be enjoyed by local communities, and welcomes the imminent publication of the reports on the audit of local facilities.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 80, Against 26, Abstentions 6).

Mr Jamie McGrigor moved amendment S2M-4196.1 to motion S2M-4196—

Insert at end—

“notes, however, the words of Simon Clegg, the Chief Executive of the British Olympic Association, who said that “the British Olympic Association...strongly believes that we are stronger collectively than as individual countries…Any distractions, dilution or further fragmentation of sport in the UK will seriously undermine the once in a lifetime opportunity British sport has to capitalise on the unique benefits of hosting an Olympic Games”, and therefore believes that there is a need to support both grass-roots sport infrastructure and elite athletes through the valuable work of the Scottish Institute of Sport which aims to change the culture and raise the ambitions and aspirations within sport in Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 96, Abstentions 0).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 108, Against 2, Abstentions 2).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament congratulates Team Scotland for winning 29 medals at the 18th Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, which is the largest number of medals ever won by a Scottish team at an overseas games; recognises that this success is due to the hard work and dedication of our athletes and coaching staff and the valuable support provided by the Institute network, sportscotland and the World Class Performance Programme; believes that Team Scotland’s success in Melbourne should act as a springboard to ensure even greater success for our sportsmen and women in the international sporting arena and will also inspire many young Scots to participate in sport; recognises the significant benefits to be gained for Scotland from London 2012 and a successful bid for Glasgow to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014; acknowledges that access to good sporting facilities plays a significant role in the development of our nation’s sporting talent; welcomes the investment in facilities through the Executive’s National and Regional Facilities Strategy which will provide a first-class setting for our elite and developing athletes and which can also be enjoyed by local communities, and welcomes the imminent publication of the reports on the audit of local facilities.

2.      Bridge Tolls: Shona Robison moved S2M-4197—That the Parliament agrees that the tolls on the Tay bridge should be removed.

The Minister for Transport and Telecommunications (Tavish Scott) moved amendment S2M-4197.3 to motion S2M-4197—

Leave out from “agrees” to end and insert—

“notes the responses, analysis and conclusions set out in the recent consultation and review of Scotland’s tolled bridges, including the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board’s response; notes that the bridges review met all of the Board’s requests, and recommends an examination of the economic, social and environmental impact and cost of retaining or removing tolls from the Tay and Forth bridges, on Fife and Dundee, the proposals for which will be reported on as soon as possible.”

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-4197.1 to motion S2M-4197—

Insert at end—

“and notes that in so doing the costs of relocating the toll plaza from the north end of the bridge to the south would be saved.”

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-4197.2 to motion S2M-4197—

Insert at end—

“for public transport in addition to the existing exemptions, that a scheme of “smart tolls” should be introduced, which takes into account factors such as occupancy levels and peak hour traffic flows, and that the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board should be given more flexibility to use toll revenues to deal with transport issues in the vicinity.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4197.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63,   Against 48, Abstentions 2).  As a result, amendments S2M-4197.1 and S2M-4197.2 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 45, Abstentions 3).

Accordingly, the Parliament agreed—That the Parliament notes the responses, analysis and conclusions set out in the recent consultation and review of Scotland’s tolled bridges, including the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board’s response; notes that the bridges review met all of the Board’s requests, and recommends an examination of the economic, social and environmental impact and cost of retaining or removing tolls from the Tay and Forth bridges, on Fife and Dundee, the proposals for which will be reported on as soon as possible.

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 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.      Ministerial Statement: The Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Nicol Stephen) made a statement and answered questions on Scottish Enterprise.

7.      Curriculum Review: The Parliament debated the Curriculum Review.

8.      Establishment of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4217—

That the Parliament agrees to establish a committee of the Parliament as follows:
Name of Committee: Edinburgh Airport Rail Link Bill Committee;
Remit: To consider and report to the Parliament on the Edinburgh Airport Railway Link Bill;
Duration: Until the Bill has received Royal Assent, falls or is withdrawn;
Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Labour Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party; 
Membership: Christine Grahame, Jamie McGrigor, Iain Smith, Scott Barrie, Mr Charlie Gordon.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT) by division: For 102, Against 10, Abstentions 1).

9.      Rule 2.7.2: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4202—That the Parliament agrees under Rule 2.7.2 that the Parliament shall meet in Committee Rooms 2 and 6 of the Parliament at Holyrood as recommended by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body until 21 April 2006.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

11.   Post Office Card Accounts: The Parliament debated S2M-4101 in the name of Richard Lochhead—That the Parliament notes the recent announcement that Post Office Card Accounts are to be phased out by 2010; notes that this news has come as a shock to pension and benefits claimants in north-east Scotland, many of whom rely on the service especially where there are no local bank branches, as well as to Post Office staff who view the scheme as a vital service; believes that the phasing out of this service could put the future of some rural post offices in severe jeopardy and lead to many of these lifeline services being lost to communities already being stripped of other vital services; supports the National Federation of SubPostmasters’ campaign to have Post Office Card Accounts retained, and considers that the Scottish Executive should make appropriate representations to the UK Government on behalf of Post Office Card Account users in Scotland.

The meeting closed at 5.54 pm.

No. 67 Wednesday 19 April 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Reverend Rodger Neilson, Cruden Parish Church, Aberdeenshire, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4249—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 19 April 2006—

Wednesday 19 April 2006

after,

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

delete,

followed by                      European and External Relations Committee Debate: European Commission’s Legislative and                                       Work Programme 2006

followed by                      Procedures Committee Debate: 2nd Report 2006: Procedures relating to Crown appointments

and insert,

followed by                      Members’ Oaths/Affirmations - David Petrie and Maureen Watt

followed by                      Motion on Her Majesty The Queen’s 80th Birthday

followed by                      European and External Relations Committee Debate: European Commission’s Legislative and                                       Work Programme 2006

followed by                      Nominations to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Oaths and Affirmations: Mr Dave Petrie and Ms Maureen Watt took oaths of allegiance before the Clerk.

4.      The Queen’s 80th Birthday: The First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell) moved S2M-4240—That the Parliament congratulates Her Majesty the Queen on the occasion of her 80th birthday.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 83, Against 5, Abstentions 0).

5.      European and External Relations Committee, The European Commission’s Work Programme 2006: Linda Fabiani, on behalf of the European and External Relations Committee moved S2M-4221—That the Parliament notes the European Commission’s Legislative and Work Programme for 2006 and its importance for the work of the Parliament and its committees and to Scotland.

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

6.      Nominations to the Economic and Social Committee of the European Union: The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform and Parliamentary Business (Mr George Lyon) moved S2M-4238—That the Parliament endorses the Scottish Executive’s proposal to nominate Mr Kenneth Fraser, nominated by CBI Scotland and the Institute of Directors Scotland, Mr Sandy Boyle, nominated by the STUC, and Ms Maureen O’Neill, nominated by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, to the UK delegation on the Economic and Social Committee of the European Union for the forthcoming mandate from September 2006 to September 2010.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 88, Against 0, Abstentions 4).

7.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4248—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 26 April 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: 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 27 April 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Scottish Rural Development Plan

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: Scottish Historic Environment Policies
followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time
followed by                      Members' Business

Wednesday 3 May 2006

2.00 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Procedures Committee Debate: 2nd Report 2006: Procedures relating to Crown appointments

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members' Business

Thursday 4 May 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Green Party 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                          Stage 1 Debate: Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members' Business

The motion was agreed to.

8.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-4250—That the Parliament agrees that the timetable for consideration of the Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be extended to 5 May 2006; and

S2M-4251—That the Parliament agrees that the timetable for consideration of the Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights Bill at Stage 1 be extended to 5 May 2006.

The motions were agreed to.

9.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4242—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as the lead committee in consideration of the Christmas Day and New Year’s Day Trading (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10.  Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4243—That the Parliament agrees that the Health Committee be designated as the lead committee in consideration of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11.   Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10 as noted above.

12.  Supporters Direct in Scotland: The Parliament debated S2M-4080 in the name of Frank McAveety—That the Parliament recognises the work carried out by Supporters Direct in Scotland in promoting and supporting the concept of democratic supporter ownership and representation in Scottish football through mutual, not-for-profit structures; notes the role of Supporters Direct in Scotland in promoting football clubs as civic and community institutions and welcomes the development of Supporters Direct among Glasgow football clubs and across Scotland; further notes the contribution of Supporters Direct in Scotland to preserving the competitive values of football in Scotland through promoting the health of the game as a whole, and applauds Supporters Direct in Scotland’s aim of helping people who wish to play a responsible part in the life of the football club they support through support, advice and information to groups of football supporters.

The meeting closed at 5.52 pm.

No. 68 Thursday 20 April 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Statutory Right to Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation: Ms Rosemary Byrne moved S2M-4252—That the Parliament notes the continuing social and human cost of drug misuse across Scotland and that past and current policy approaches have failed communities, drug users and their families miserably; regrets the fact that drug-related crime, premature death and family breakdowns continue to rise; believes that the predominant criminal justice-oriented approach to drug-misuse problems in Scotland is not only failing to address the problems but is actually counter-productive in diverting resources and attention away from treatment and rehabilitation; further believes that a predominantly social and health-led approach is now necessary and that a statutory right to a holistic treatment and care plan should be established within a seven-day period of seeking help and should include residential care where required; considers that the introduction of such a statutory right would not only lead to improved care for users and their families, but result in significant crime reduction within communities and subsequent net savings to the public purse; further considers that cannabis use in Scotland should be decriminalised but not encouraged, that debate on the legal status of other drugs must be promoted and that substitute prescription programmes, such as the provision of heroin or buprenorphine for treatment of appropriate users, should be introduced and supported across Scotland, and believes that significant investment in community and sporting facilities to tackle poverty and offer positive recreational activities to Scotland’s young people is an essential but under-invested element of anti-drug abuse strategy.

The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved amendment S2M-4252.4 to motion S2M-4252—

Leave out from “notes” to end and insert—

“recognises that drug abuse destroys lives and tears families apart; believes that improved treatment and rehabilitation should be at the heart of our approach; further believes that there is need to help addicts to move towards a drug-free lifestyle by offering a range of interventions; welcomes the progress made but recognises that more needs to be done, particularly to make sure that treatment is linked to further support, and believes that early intervention is the most effective way of helping offenders and reducing drug-related crime.”

Stewart Stevenson moved amendment S2M-4252.3 to motion S2M-4252—

Leave out from “the continuing” to end and insert—

“that the cost to communities, drug addicts and their families, and the public purse of drug misuse remains unacceptably high; believes that a range of interventions must be available to addicts across Scotland that are tailored to their individual needs; encourages the Scottish Executive to give further support to efforts to recover assets from drug barons; recognises that drug abuse is primarily a health issue but that intervention from the criminal justice system will often be the first opportunity for users to start on the road to recovery, and, in the absence of any compelling evidence, does not believe that any relaxation of the rules on drug misuse would do other than exacerbate current problems.”

Miss Annabel Goldie moved amendment S2M-4252.1 to motion S2M-4252—

Leave out from “the predominant” to end and insert—

“we need a drugs strategy which aims to reduce and ultimately eliminate drugs dependency in Scotland and that such a strategy should place an emphasis on early intervention and include a coherent education programme which prioritises abstinence, and further believes that there needs to be a radical change in the help offered to drug addicts, to provide counselling and rehabilitation rather than an over-reliance on methadone.”

Margo MacDonald moved amendment S2M-4252.2 to motion S2M-4252—

Leave out from “notes” to end and insert—

“regrets the continuing economic and social cost of alcohol and drug abuse across Scotland and calls on the Scottish Executive to establish a commission of investigation into such misuse.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 79, Against 6, Abstentions 19).  As a result, amendments S2M-4252.3, S2M-4252.1 and S2M-4252.2 were pre-empted.

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

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises that drug abuse destroys lives and tears families apart; believes that improved treatment and rehabilitation should be at the heart of our approach; further believes that there is need to help addicts to move towards a drug-free lifestyle by offering a range of interventions; welcomes the progress made but recognises that more needs to be done, particularly to make sure that treatment is linked to further support, and believes that early intervention is the most effective way of helping offenders and reducing drug-related crime.

2.      Local Government Pensions: Colin Fox moved S2M-4253—That the Parliament notes with concern the Scottish Executive’s announcement on 17 January 2006 to abolish the Rule of 85 for members of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) in Scotland; recognises that the proposed changes will have a detrimental impact on many working people who support vital public services, often on low wages, in a wide range of occupations in Scotland, including workers in local government, the Environment Agency, police support, cleaning and waste companies, the voluntary sector, bus companies, higher education and others; notes that this decision means that LGPS members are denied the same rights and protections as members of other public sector pension schemes which have agreed to allow retirement at the age of 60 on a full pension; further notes recent comments made by EU Commissioners on this issue indicating that changes to the Rule of 85 would not necessarily be a requirement under EU legislation and previous assurances given to COSLA and the relevant trade unions that the Rule of 85 for members of the LGPS in Scotland would be retained; recognises that members of the LGPS contribute to the scheme and want to ensure that there is a viable and sustainable future for it; further recognises that the financial standing of Scotland’s LGPS is significantly healthier than schemes elsewhere in the UK and therefore calls for a distinctive approach, and further calls on the Executive to review and publish its legal advice regarding the Rule of 85 and to work with trade unions and COSLA to find a settlement which protects local government workers’ pension rights.

The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved amendment S2M-4253.1 to motion S2M-4253—

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

“the current issues surrounding the future of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS); recognises that these issues will impact on a wide range of public sector workers; recognises that members of the LGPS contribute to this scheme and want to ensure that there is a viable and sustainable future for it; notes that the correct manner for dealing with the consequences of any changes to the LGPS, or any disagreement in legal opinion in respect of it, is through open and fair discussion with trade unions, employers and the Scottish Public Pensions Agency, and therefore welcomes the decision of the trade unions to suspend strike action as a result of the constructive dialogue which is currently taking place.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 26, Abstentions 3).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 90, Against 2, Abstentions 11).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the current issues surrounding the future of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS); recognises that these issues will impact on a wide range of public sector workers; recognises that members of the LGPS contribute to this scheme and want to ensure that there is a viable and sustainable future for it; notes that the correct manner for dealing with the consequences of any changes to the LGPS, or any disagreement in legal opinion in respect of it, is through open and fair discussion with trade unions, employers and the Scottish Public Pensions Agency, and therefore welcomes the decision of the trade unions to suspend strike action as a result of the constructive dialogue which is currently taking place.

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 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.

6.      Civil Justice: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-4255—That the Parliament recognises that an effective and efficient civil justice system is a crucial part of the foundations of a peaceful and prosperous society and welcomes the commitment to undertake a programme of work to modernise civil law.

Mr Kenny MacAskill moved amendment S2M-4255.1 to motion S2M-4255—

Insert at end—

“and further notes that such a system, whilst being quick, efficient and just, must also be affordable and accessible to the ordinary citizen.”

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

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

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises that an effective and efficient civil justice system is a crucial part of the foundations of a peaceful and prosperous society and welcomes the commitment to undertake a programme of work to modernise civil law and further notes that such a system, whilst being quick, efficient and just, must also be affordable and accessible to the ordinary citizen.

7.      Membership of Committees: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-4259—That the Parliament agrees that Bruce Crawford be appointed to the European and External Relations Committee;

S2M-4260—That the Parliament agrees that Ms Maureen Watt be appointed to replace Bruce Crawford on the Local Government and Transport Committee;

S2M-4261—That the Parliament agrees that Euan Robson be appointed to replace Mike Rumbles on the Health Committee; and

S2M-4262—That the Parliament agrees that Mr David Petrie be appointed to the Communities Committee.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

8.      Substitution on Committees: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4258—That the Parliament agrees that Ms Maureen Watt be appointed to replace Stewart Stevenson as the Scottish National Party substitute on the Subordinate Legislation Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9.      Rule 2.7.2: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4254—That the Parliament agrees under Rule 2.7.2 that the Parliament shall meet in Committee Rooms 2 and 6 of the Parliament at Holyrood as recommended by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body until 12 May 2006.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 96, Against 7, Abstentions 1).

10.    Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 as noted above.

The Future Provision of Emergency and Unscheduled Care Services in Ayrshire and Arran: The Parliament debated S2M-4008 in the name of John Scott—That the Parliament notes the public consultation on the future provision of emergency and unscheduled care in Ayrshire, which closed in December 2005; expresses concern that this consultation only included options to downgrade the existing accident and emergency unit at Ayr Hospital, and expects NHS Ayrshire and Arran to abide by the spirit of the report, Building a Health Service Fit for the Future, by Professor David Kerr by listening to the views of both the public and health professionals in Ayrshire and taking full account of these views before reaching a decision on the future of accident and emergency care provision in the county.

The meeting closed at 5.46 pm.

No. 69 Wednesday 26 April 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Ms Maariya Masud, Scottish Inter Faith Council, Glasgow, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Bill – Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4295—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Bill, debate on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time limit indicated, that 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 3: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Groups 4 to 6: 1 hour and 50 minutes

The motion was agreed to.

3.      Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

Amendment 13 was agreed to without division.

The following amendments were agreed to (by division)—

            6            For 40, Against 28, Abstentions 2)
            9            (For 56, Against 18, Abstentions 0)
            11          (For 65, Against 10, Abstentions 2)
            2            (For 53, Against 22, Abstentions 2)
            12          (For 61, Against 16, Abstentions 3)
            3            (For 58, Against 17, Abstentions 2)
            14          (For 64, Against 8, Abstentions 8)
            15          (For 65, Against 6, Abstentions 7)
            16          (For 66, Against 6, Abstentions 7)
            17          (For 65, Against 5, Abstentions 7)
            18          (For 66, Against 6, Abstentions 7)
            19          (For 66, Against 6, Abstentions 7)
            20 to 22  (For 66, Against 6, Abstentions 7)
            23 to 31  (For 63, Against 9, Abstentions 5)

Amendment 4 was disagreed to (by division: For 19, Against 56, Abstentions 2)

Amendment 32 was moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn.

The following amendments were not moved: 5, 7, 8, 10 and 33.

4.      Motion without Notice: Ms Margaret Curran moved, without notice, a motion under 9.8.5A to extend the time-limit for groups 4 to 6 by 20 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Motion without Notice: Ms Margaret Curran moved, without notice, a motion under 9.8.5A to extend the time-limit for groups 4 to 6 by a further 10 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Motion without Notice: Brian Adam moved, without notice, a motion under Rule 9.8.5C that the remaining proceedings at Stage 3 be adjourned to a later day.

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Motion without Notice: Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved, without notice, a motion under 11.2.4 of Standing Orders that Decision Time on Wednesday 26 April 2006 be taken at 5.12 pm.

The motion was agreed to.

8.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4293—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 3 May 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Member’s Oath/Affirmation

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 4 May 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Green Party 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                          Stage 1 Debate: Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Police and Justice Bill Legislative Consent Motion – UK Legislation

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 10 May 2006

2.15 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Question Time

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 11 May 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—
                                      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.

9.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4287—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 15 September 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

10.   Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4288—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Maximum Number of Part-Time Sheriffs (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11.   Decision Time: The Parliament took a decision on item 10 as noted above.

12.    20th Anniversary of Nuclear Accident at Chernobyl: The Parliament debated S2M-4057 in the name of Des McNulty—That the Parliament notes that 26 April 2006 is the 20th anniversary of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl and that the cross-party International Development Group is holding a meeting on that date to observe the anniversary of the accident, learn lessons from the past and look to the future; reflects upon the terrible social and environmental legacy that this horrific accident left, and continues to leave, in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and beyond; pays respect to the many people whose lives were lost following the explosion; acknowledges with sadness the implications for all those who continue to suffer ill-health caused by radiation poisoning today and the severe difficulties still faced by the communities worst affected; further notes that pollution from the accident affected countries as far away as Scotland, where it continues to leave an environmental legacy; strongly commends Scottish charities and civic organisations for their outstanding work in supporting individuals and affected communities, and recognises the need to take national and international action to avoid any possibility of future environmental catastrophes such as the Chernobyl nuclear accident ever being repeated.

The meeting closed at 5.56 pm.

No. 70 Thursday 27 April 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Scottish Rural Development Plan: The Parliament debated the Scottish Rural Development 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 Environment and Rural Development, and on Health and Community Care were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5.      The New Scottish Historic Environment Policy Series: The Parliament debated The New Scottish Historic Environment Policy Series.

6.      Wanlockhead Museum Trust and Museum of Lead Mining: The Parliament debated S2M-3933 in the name of Alasdair Morgan—That the Parliament notes that 2006 is the 250th anniversary of the founding of Wanlockhead Miners’ Library, established by the lead miners as part of their educational and cultural activity and now under the care of the Wanlockhead Museum Trust; recognises that the award-winning museum itself is a unique monument to industrial workers in the Lowther Hills, as well as being a valuable economic asset to today’s economy, and believes that the Scottish Executive should act to ensure that arrangements are in place so that the museum's trustees can plan for the future with some degree of certainty instead of encountering the intermittent financial uncertainty which, on occasion, threatens the very existence of the museum.

The meeting closed at 5.44 pm

 No. 71 Wednesday 3 May 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Time for Reflection: Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh led Time for Reflection.

2.      Oaths and Affirmations: Richard Lochhead took the affirmation of allegiance before the Clerk.

3.      Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights Bill – Stage 1: The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Robert Brown) moved S2M-3908—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 69, Against 18, Abstentions 25).

4.      Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights Bill: Financial Resolution: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-3948—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights Bill, agrees to any expenditure of a kind referred to in paragraph 3(b)(ii) of Rule 9.12 of the Parliament’s Standing Orders arising in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 70, Against 21, Abstentions 24).

5.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4326—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 10 May 2006

2.15 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Question Time

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Bill

followed by                      Housing Corporation (Delegation) etc. Bill Legislative Consent Motion – UK Legislation

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 11 May 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—
                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities;
                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport

2.55 pm                          Executive Debate: Drugs and Hidden Harm
followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time
followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 17 May 2006

2.00 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Planning etc. (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Planning etc. (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.30 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 18 May 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—
                                      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

The motion was agreed to.

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

S2M-4319—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (Commencement No.2 and Consequential Provisions) (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved; and

S2M-4320—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Joint Inspections (Scotland) Regulations 2006 be approved.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

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

8.      Funding the Voluntary Sector: The Parliament debated S2M-4284 in the name of Donald Gorrie—That the Parliament is concerned about the funding problems faced by many voluntary organisations, including groups involved in youth work, caring, and advice and support-giving services in Central Scotland, to which the general method of public funding contributes, with its over-emphasis on funding mainly innovative projects for no longer than three years; welcomes some useful funding initiatives by the Scottish Executive and local authorities, imaginative new ways of deciding on the distribution of funding set up by the Big Lottery Fund and other grant givers, some progress towards better targeted funding of community enterprises and the social economy, and full cost recovery in project funding; believes, however, that the funding system should concentrate first on providing successful voluntary organisations with continued core funding, guaranteed so long as a group fulfils its remit of public benefit, and second on providing continuing funding for proven successful projects rather than insisting that projects have to be reinvented to claim that they are innovative, and considers that the Executive, local authorities, other public and charitable grant-giving bodies and the Big Lottery Fund should co-operate in developing policies along these lines.

The meeting closed at 6.01 pm

No. 72 Thursday 4 May 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Replacement of Trident: Chris Ballance moved S2M-3866—That the Parliament believes that the United Kingdom should not seek to replace the Trident nuclear missile system; notes that in 2005 the UK Government reaffirmed its commitment to all its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 1967 (NPT), including its legally binding obligation to negotiate nuclear disarmament in good faith; agrees with the legal opinion of Rabinder Singh QC and Professor Christine Chinkin of Matrix Chambers on 19 December 2005 that any replacement of the Trident system would constitute a material breach of Article VI of the NPT, and calls on the Scottish Executive to seek an early assurance from the UK Government that it will fully comply with our legal obligations in respect of the NPT and that it will not seek to replace the Trident nuclear missile system with another weapon system of mass destruction.

Jackie Baillie moved amendment S2M-3866.4 to motion S2M-3866—

Leave out from “believes” to end and insert—

“notes that in 2005 the UK Government reaffirmed its commitment to all its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 1967; notes the commitment of all three major UK parties to retain an independent nuclear deterrent; notes the comments of the UK Government that no decisions on replacing Trident have yet been taken; believes there should be the fullest possible public debate on any decision to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system, considering all possible options including non-replacement; notes the significant reductions in the United Kingdom’s nuclear weapons arsenal; is committed to the goal of the global elimination of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and wishes to see the United Kingdom continue to work both bilaterally and through the United Nations to urge states not yet party to non-proliferation instruments to become so, to remain committed to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and to make further progress toward significant reductions in the nuclear arsenals of the major nuclear powers.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 44, Against 65, Abstentions 6).

Bruce Crawford moved amendment S2M-3866.1 to motion S2M-3866—

Insert at end—

“and believes that the best way to ensure that nuclear weapons are removed from Scotland is for Scotland to become an independent nation.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 32, Against 82, Abstentions 1).

Phil Gallie moved amendment S2M-3866.2 to motion S2M-3866—

Leave out from “that the United Kingdom” to end and insert—

“it essential that the United Kingdom should continue to play a full and effective role in the world and in NATO and that to do that requires the continuation of an effective defence capacity; notes that as long as other countries have nuclear weapons it is essential that Britain has the capacity to address that threat; supports the principle of replacing or updating the current Trident system with a successor generation nuclear deterrent when necessary; believes that there should be an objective of multilateral global nuclear disarmament, and further believes that, however, that objective can only safely be achieved by ensuring that no rogue dictatorships have the capacity to use nuclear weaponry unchallenged.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 14, Against 100, Abstentions 1).

Euan Robson moved amendment S2M-3866.3 to motion S2M-3866—

Leave out from “believes” to end and insert—

“wishes to see the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons; notes the UK Government’s commitment, made in June 2005, to reach a decision on the replacement of the Trident system by the end of the current Westminster Parliament; further notes that the Secretary of State for Defence stated in June 2005 the “no decision on any replacement for Trident has been taken, either in principle or otherwise”; calls on the UK Government to publish a White Paper on the issue in order to stimulate a full public debate; further calls on the UK Government to press for a new round of multilateral arms reduction talks, and believes that the UK’s current minimum nuclear deterrent should be retained for the foreseeable future until sufficient progress has been made towards the global elimination of nuclear weapons.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 18, Against 97, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 38, Against 73, Abstentions  4).

2.      Pledge Against New Nuclear Power Stations in Scotland: Shiona Baird moved S2M-4329—That the Parliament notes the interim report of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) which states “CoRWM takes no position on the desirability or otherwise of nuclear new build. We believe that future decisions on new build should be subject to their own assessment process”; further notes that government advisors on sustainable development have reported that there are issues other than waste management that should rule out new nuclear power, including risk of accident, terrorist threat, security of supply, economic cost and the availability of safe, clean and economic renewable energy and energy efficiency measures; recognises the opposition to nuclear new build in Scotland by the Green, SNP, SSP and Liberal Democrat parties; notes in particular that Nicol Stephen MSP recently stated “The Liberal Democrats have a tough, clear and consistent position across the UK….We oppose new nuclear power....  the Liberal Democrats remain determined to oppose this year, next year and every year”, and calls on all political parties opposed to new nuclear power stations in Scotland to pledge that they will not be part of, or support, a Scottish Executive that allows new nuclear power stations to be built, even if the issue of nuclear waste management may be considered to have been resolved.

The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved amendment S2M-4329.3 to motion S2M-4329—

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

“appreciates the work of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management; welcomes the position statement on its draft recommendations published by the committee on 27 April 2006; agrees that the review of options for the long-term management of radioactive waste, currently being undertaken by the committee, is the correct means of engaging Scotland on the crucial issue of finding a long-term management option for higher activity radioactive waste, and notes the Executive’s position, as outlined in the Partnership Agreement, that it will not support the further development of nuclear power stations while waste management issues remain unresolved.”

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-4329.2 to motion S2M-4329—

Insert at end—

“and therefore agrees that no nuclear power stations should be built in Scotland.”

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S2M-4329.1 to motion S2M-4329—

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

“believes that Scotland needs a balanced energy policy to meet the energy needs of the nation, including a mixture of generation from a range of technologies, including coal, oil, gas, renewables and nuclear; further believes that our energy policy must support sustainable economic growth while simultaneously fighting against fuel poverty, and believes that the decisions on the future make-up of our energy provision, which should include a nuclear component, need to be made now.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4329.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 49, Abstentions 0).  As a result, amendments S2M-4329.2 and S2M-4329.1 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 46, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament appreciates the work of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management; welcomes the position statement on its draft recommendations published by the committee on 27 April 2006; agrees that the review of options for the long-term management of radioactive waste, currently being undertaken by the committee, is the correct means of engaging Scotland on the crucial issue of finding a long-term management option for higher activity radioactive waste, and notes the Executive’s position, as outlined in the Partnership Agreement, that it will not support the further development of nuclear power stations while waste management issues remain unresolved.


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.      Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform and Parliamentary Business (George Lyon) moved S2M-4272—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill.

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

7.      Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution: The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform and Parliamentary Business (George Lyon) moved S2M-4222—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Bill, agrees to—

(a)  any increase in expenditure of a kind referred to in paragraph 3(b)(iii) of Rule    9.12 of the Parliament’s Standing Orders; and

(b)  any charges or payments in relation to which paragraph 4 of that Rule applies,
arising in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8.      Police and Justice Bill - UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-4317—That the Parliament agrees that the UK Parliament should consider those provisions of the Police and Justice Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on 25 January 2006, which will legislate in devolved areas in respect of the abolition of the Police Information Technology Organisation and the establishment of the National Policing Improvement Agency and the Justice, Community Safety and Custody Inspectorate, and computer misuse, and which will alter the executive competence of the Scottish Ministers on extradition matters, as laid out in LCM(S2) 4.1.

Mr David Davidson moved amendment S2M-4317.1 to motion S2M-4317—

Insert at end—

“but, in doing so, expresses serious concerns over the ambiguity of the status of an extradition request in respect of a person domiciled in Scotland against whom the Lord Advocate has decided not to proceed; notes that the United States of America has not, over a period of some three years, ratified the bilateral extradition treaty with the United Kingdom, and accordingly, in the interest of equality between nations and recognising the distinctive nature of the Scottish legal system and the need to protect the civil liberties and human rights of those living in Scotland, urges the Minister for Justice to make representations to the UK Government based upon these concerns.”

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

The motion, as amended, was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 101, Against 6, Abstentions 7).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament agrees that the UK Parliament should consider those provisions of the Police and Justice Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on 25 January 2006, which will legislate in devolved areas in respect of the abolition of the Police Information Technology Organisation and the establishment of the National Policing Improvement Agency and the Justice, Community Safety and Custody Inspectorate, and computer misuse, and which will alter the executive competence of the Scottish Ministers on extradition matters, as laid out in LCM(S2) 4.1 but, in doing so, expresses serious concerns over the ambiguity of the status of an extradition request in respect of a person domiciled in Scotland against whom the Lord Advocate has decided not to proceed; notes that the United States of America has not, over a period of some three years, ratified the bilateral extradition treaty with the United Kingdom, and accordingly, in the interest of equality between nations and recognising the distinctive nature of the Scottish legal system and the need to protect the civil liberties and human rights of those living in Scotland, urges the Minister for Justice to make representations to the UK Government based upon these concerns.

9.      Membership of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4338—That the Parliament agrees that Richard Lochhead be appointed to the Environment and Rural Development Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10.  Substitution on Committees: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4339—That the Parliament agrees that Richard Lochhead be appointed as the Scottish National Party substitute on the European and External Relations Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11.    Motion without Notice: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved without notice that S2M-4351 be taken at this meeting of Parliament.

The motion was agreed to.

12.    Meetings of the Parliament: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4351—That the Parliament agrees that the Parliament shall return to meeting in the Debating Chamber of the Parliament at Holyrood from 10 May 2006.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

13.   Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 as noted above.

14.    Strathaven Academy: The Parliament debated S2M-4103 in the name of Margaret Mitchell—That the Parliament congratulates Strathaven Academy on its selection to represent central Scotland at the Youth Forum to be held at the Scottish Parliament on 7 and 8 May 2006; recognises the excellent extra-curricular activities currently offered at Strathaven Academy; expresses concern that these activities will be curtailed during the proposed decant of the school to Crosshouse Campus in East Kilbride whilst a new school is built on the existing Strathaven Academy site; expresses further concern at reports of asbestos being present on the Crosshouse Campus; notes that no consultation has been held regarding the possibility of locating Strathaven Academy on a new site, and considers that South Lanarkshire Council should enter into a consultation, which should include the option to consider locating the school on an alternative site which would enable the Scottish Executive’s target of two hours of physical education per pupil per week by 2008 to be met.

The meeting closed at 5.45 pm.

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