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 No. 16           Thursday 29 June 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Tourist Boards (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Patricia Ferguson) moved S2M-4612—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Tourist Boards (Scotland) Bill.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 83, Against 0, Abstentions 14).

2.      Compensation Bill - UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-4634—That the Parliament agrees that the UK Parliament should consider those provisions of the Compensation Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 2 November 2005, which will legislate in the devolved area of damages law in respect of joint and several liability, as laid out in LCM(S2) 8.1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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 Health and Community Care and on Environment and Rural Development were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6.      International Development and Co-operation with Malawi: The Parliament debated the subject of International Development and Co-operation with Malawi.

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

The meeting closed at 5.03 pm.

No. 17            Wednesday 6 September 2006

The meeting opened at 2.00 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Reverend Roddy MacRae, Glenelg and Kintail Parish Church, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4752—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 6 September 2006

2.00 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Future of Scotland

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 7 September 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Education First

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                          Stage 1 Debate: Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 13 September 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      SPCB Motion on the Reappointment of the Deputy Ombudsmen

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 14 September 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—

                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport;

                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities

2.55 pm                          Stage 1 Debate: Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 20 September 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Health Committee Debate: 10th Report 2006, Care Inquiry

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 21 September 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.

3.      Future of Scotland: The First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell) moved S2M-4746—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Futures Project work; recognises the key achievements of the past four years; acknowledges the importance, over the next 20 years, of securing the benefits from our older population, developing and maintaining a strong niche in the global economy and, above all else, promoting a thirst for knowledge and a passion for learning to help secure opportunity for all; notes the opportunities that exist for Scotland, within the United Kingdom, to build on the stability of the current constitutional arrangements, while using devolution to secure a competitive advantage and give Scots a better quality of life, and agrees that the best way for Scottish government to achieve this ambition and deliver a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future for the people of Scotland is to bring its devolved powers fully to bear rather than focussing on arguments over separation from the United Kingdom.

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S2M-4746.2 to motion S2M-4746—

Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—

“and agrees with its assessment that many key economic drivers are outwith the influence of devolved government and that as a devolved nation Scotland may find it increasingly difficult to assert influence within an enlarged European Union; considers that Scotland needs an ambitious government that will tackle barriers to individual fulfilment, such as child poverty and educational under-achievement, rising graduate debt, the unfairness of the council tax and the burden of rates on small businesses; further considers that a new Scottish government must be ready to fight Scotland’s corner on issues such as Trident and nuclear power and not run for cover, like the current one, when matters of UK foreign policy require to be challenged, and believes that, to create a competitive, growing economy that will generate wealth, boost employment and raise living standards for all Scotland badly needs the same powers of independence that other countries take for granted.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 26, Against 82, Abstentions 13).

Annabel Goldie moved amendment S2M-4746.1 to motion S2M-4746—

Leave out from “welcomes” to “four years” and insert—

“notes that since devolution the gap between the poor and the rich has widened, waiting lists and times are going up, crime is getting worse, council tax has increased by 60% and economic growth is lagging behind England; recognises that these problems are not the fault of devolution, but are the fault of the Labour and Liberal Democrat Scottish Executive; believes that, to make devolution work, more power and responsibility need to be returned to people and local communities, real public sector reform needs to be instigated and better value for money needs to be provided;”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 18, Against 103, Abstentions 0).

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-4746.3 to motion S2M-4746—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“acknowledges that ensuring a sustainable future for Scotland is the central responsibility of government and that none of the elements of sustainability: social justice, economic progress and environmental protection, can be viewed in isolation; rejects the concept that sustainable development simply means business as usual with a symbolic “green thread” running through it; accepts that the development of a truly sustainable Scotland requires a fundamental reassessment of our current needs within the context of increasingly pressing environmental limits and a recognition that the current inequalities of wealth and power within Scotland must be challenged; notes that our current economy, based as it is on the profligate consumption of fossil fuels and other finite resources, can never be described as sustainable and that a just transition to a low carbon economy is imperative for social, environmental and economic reasons; believes that Scotland is well placed to make such a transition and to develop a society characterised by social justice, respect for environmental limits and an economy fit for the long-term future, and calls on MSPs from all parties to act now for all our futures instead of for short-term political gain.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 9, Against 91, Abstentions 21).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 56, Abstentions 0).

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

S2M-4737—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Tourist Boards (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 29 September 2006;

S2M-4751—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 15 December 2006; and

S2M-4753—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Transport and Works (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 24 November 2006.

The motions were agreed to.

5.      Rule 9.6.3A: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4747—That the Parliament agrees under Rule 9.6.3A that the Parliament shall consider the general principles of the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill on the fourth sitting day after the publication of the lead committee report.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6.      Committee Remit: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4748—That the Parliament agrees that the remit of the Communities Committee be amended to—

To consider and report on matters relating to housing and area regeneration, poverty, voluntary sector issues, charity law; matters relating to the land use planning system and building standards; such other matters as fall within the responsibility of the Minister for Communities; and health promotion and nutrition in schools.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 103, Against 15, Abstentions 0).

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

8.      Passengers Before Profits - Greater Accountability in Public Transport: The Parliament debated S2M-4577 in the name of Pauline McNeill—That the Parliament reiterates its strong view that decent local bus services are vital to all Scotland’s communities and its belief that such services are integral to cutting road congestion and safeguarding the environment; welcomes the significant investment in bus infrastructure, including better terminuses, priority bus lanes and fast track traffic management systems which have received Scottish Executive support throughout Scotland; expresses significant concern that withdrawal of services is continuing resulting in, for example, a much poorer after-hours service in Glasgow, undermining investment and attempts to deliver more integrated and accessible health care and other public services, as well as leaving many areas of both urban and rural Scotland without adequate services, and believes that the Executive and Transport Scotland, in return for the increased investment, should ensure greater accountability of the bus industry for services across Scotland, should undertake speedily a review of how quality bus partnerships are operating and should consider seriously all possible options which could prevent the loss or absence of vital services, including new and greater forms of regulation such as franchise agreements or allowing the new Regional Transport Partnerships the power to determine routes and timetables, so as to guarantee all Scottish communities the bus links which they need and deserve.

The meeting closed at 6.13 pm.

 No. 18           Thursday 7 September 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Education First: The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) moved S2M-4755—That the Parliament welcomes the priority given to improving education standards by the Scottish Executive and the achievements delivered by schools, local authorities and other partners in taking forward the comprehensive modernisation of our schools and ensuring that Scotland’s education system is amongst the best in the world; recognises that the Executive’s investment in new and refurbished schools, increased teacher numbers, reducing class sizes, strong parental involvement, stable industrial relations and more targeted support for children with additional support needs is providing the right environment for real and lasting change for Scotland’s children; believes that the education of all Scotland’s children and young people is fundamental to securing a more productive, integrated and successful Scotland in which all our young people can compete in a global economy and all our 16 to 19-year-olds are in education, employment or training, and calls on all those in the Parliament to focus on Scotland’s future and put the education of our children before divisive arguments about separating Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom.

Fiona Hyslop moved amendment S2M-4755.3 to motion S2M-4755—

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

“continuing excellence within Scotland’s distinct and independent education system, appreciated internationally for its pioneering work in quality improvement; recognises the challenges faced by schools, education authorities and other partners to modernise the school estate, to drive up standards and to tackle deep-seated problems such as persistent under-performance among disadvantaged pupils; notes that the Scottish Executive’s promises to cut class sizes and adequately resource additional support needs remain unfulfilled; supports requests from school leaders for more funding for schools to be devolved, real cuts in class sizes, nursery teachers to remain in nursery classes and for the introduction of free school meals in the early years; calls for the replacement of PPP funding for school modernisation by not-for-profit trust funding; believes that the education of all Scotland’s children and young people is fundamental to securing a more productive, integrated and successful Scotland in which all our young people can participate fully, and looks forward to further strengthening of our distinctive education system using the enhanced powers and resources at the command of an independent parliament.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 35, Against 78, Abstentions 4).

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton moved amendment S2M-4755.2 to motion S2M-4755—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

"believes that the Scottish Executive is failing too many valued members of school staff in that incidences of physical and verbal assault remain commonplace in Scottish classrooms to the extent that, according to the Educational Institute of Scotland, “Teachers continue to regard the matter of indiscipline and how to solve it as their number one priority”; believes that special schools should have an important and secure place in Scotland’s educational system and should not be under threat; believes that the Executive is failing parents by abolishing tried and tested school boards against the overwhelming weight of public opinion, and therefore calls on the Executive to reconsider its decision to abolish school boards, give stronger support to special schools and ensure that head teachers have the authority to permanently exclude persistently disruptive pupils".

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 100, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 46, Abstentions 9).

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 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.

5.      Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-4713—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 115, Against 1, Abstentions 2).

6.      Membership of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4758—That the Parliament agrees that Carolyn Leckie be appointed to replace Frances Curran on the Equal Opportunities Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

8.      C-me West Lothian: The Parliament debated S2M-4387 in the name of Mrs Mary Mulligan—That the Parliament congratulates West Lothian Council, NHS Lothian, Lothian and Borders Police and the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration for launching the C-me information-sharing system which, at a time when there is a great deal of concern about child protection issues, is an example of agencies working together to create a clear picture of a child’s needs through sharing relevant background information and will improve the delivery of services to children throughout West Lothian.

The meeting closed at 5.30 pm.

No. 19            Wednesday 13 September 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: David McNeish, Citizens Advice Scotland, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Deputy Scottish Public Services Ombudsman:  John Scott, on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, moved—

S2M-4770—That the Parliament nominates Lewis Shand Smith to Her Majesty The Queen for reappointment as Deputy Scottish Public Services Ombudsman from 30 September 2006 until 29 September 2007;

S2M-4771—That the Parliament nominates Carolyn Hirst to Her Majesty The Queen for reappointment as Deputy Scottish Public Services Ombudsman from 30 September 2006 until 29 September 2007; and

S2M-4772—That the Parliament nominates Eric Drake to Her Majesty The Queen for reappointment as Deputy Scottish Public Services Ombudsman from 30 September 2006 until 29 September 2007.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

3.      Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) moved S2M-4711—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 103, Against 8, Abstentions 8).

4.      Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution: The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Robert Brown) moved S2M-4310—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any increase in expenditure of a kind referred to in paragraph 3(b)(iii) of Rule 9.12 of the Parliament’s Standing Orders arising in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

5.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4787—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 20 September 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Health Committee Debate: 10th Report 2006, Care Inquiry

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 21 September 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—

                                      Environment and Rural Development;

                                      Health and Community Care

2.55 pm                          Preliminary Stage Debate: Edinburgh Airport Rail Link Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Edinburgh Airport Rail Link Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 27 September 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 28 September 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—

                                      Justice and Law Officers;

                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning

2.55 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4779—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Automated Registration of Title to Land (Electronic Communications) (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4780—That the Parliament agrees that the Communities Committee be designated as the lead committee in consideration of the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

9.      Leisure Facilities in Penicuik: The Parliament debated S2M-4419 in the name of Christine Grahame—That the Parliament notes with concern the proposed closure of Ladywood Leisure Centre, Queensway Leisure Centre and the Jackson Street Centre and the threat to Penicuik Town Hall, all valuable resources for Penicuik's people; notes that the consultation by Midlothian Council was initiated after the decision to make the closures and is only directed at the transition of provision to the Penicuik High School development; considers that, while the facilities being provided adjacent to Penicuik High School are to be welcomed, these will not meet the requirement for those facilities which are to be closed nor will have the capacity to accommodate all activities; further considers that these closures will impact on the community's health and well-being, will remove the provision of services to the young in keeping them off the streets and to mothers and elderly people in providing a point of social contact, and considers that the Scottish government should enter into discussions with local community groups, including the community council, to assist in identifying options to ensure that these facilities remain open.

The meeting closed at 5.43 pm.

No. 20            Thursday 14 September 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Health: Shona Robison moved S2M-4784—That the Parliament does not accept the case put forward for the downgrading of the accident and emergency unit at Monklands Hospital and calls on the Scottish Executive to re-examine its decision to approve this downgrading.

The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (Lewis Macdonald) moved amendment S2M-4784.2 to motion S2M-4784—

Leave out from “does” to end and insert—

“reaffirms its support for Delivering for Health as the basis for service change in NHS Scotland; commends its commitment to shifting the balance of care to provide more safe and sustainable local services including the separation of scheduled and unscheduled care; notes the commitment of local communities to their health services and natural concerns when long-established services are changed, and remains committed to an NHS Scotland which responds to changes in the demands placed upon it.”

Karen Whitefield moved amendment S2M-4784.3 to motion S2M-4784—

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

“supports the need to modernise our National Health Service as outlined in Delivering for Health; acknowledges the investment and commitment of the Scottish Executive to improve health services across the country, and calls on the Scottish Executive to reverse its decision to approve the downgrading of accident and emergency services at Monklands.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4784.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 54, Abstentions 3).  As a result, amendment S2M-4784.3 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 45, Abstentions 11).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament reaffirms its support for Delivering for Health as the basis for service change in NHS Scotland; commends its commitment to shifting the balance of care to provide more safe and sustainable local services including the separation of scheduled and unscheduled care; notes the commitment of local communities to their health services and natural concerns when long-established services are changed, and remains committed to an NHS Scotland which responds to changes in the demands placed upon it.

2.      Access to Higher Education: Fiona Hyslop moved S2M-4788—That the Parliament recognises the opportunities made available to young people accessing higher education in Scotland and the importance to the Scottish economy of having a highly educated workforce; notes with concern, however, that debt and the fear of debt are having an adverse affect on Scots applying to universities; believes that access to university should be based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay, and calls for replacement of the current expensive and inefficient student loans system by a fairer grant system and for the problem of student loan graduate debt, which is a drag on the economy, to be addressed. 

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-4788.2 to motion S2M-4788—

Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—

“applauds the substantial growth of investment and participation in the higher education sector in Scotland in the last seven years, the growing opportunities made available to young people and others wishing to access higher education in Scotland, the increase in participation rates in higher education of those from disadvantaged backgrounds over the same period and the vital importance of having a skilled and highly educated workforce to the Scottish economy; welcomes the facts that 72,000 students have benefited from young student bursaries since the reintroduction of student grants in 2001, that Scottish students have had their fees abolished by the Scottish Executive and that the Executive continues to oppose top-up fees, but notes with concern that the £1.7 billion costs of replacing all student loans with grants and writing off student debt threatens the continued success and expansion of higher education institutions and diverts effort and resources from encouraging wider participation from under-represented groups.”

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-4788.3 to motion S2M-4788—

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

“the growing levels of student debt and bankruptcies among graduates; believes that an extension to the current student loans scheme with larger non-means-tested loans available at low commercial rates of interest would reduce student reliance on unsecured bank overdrafts and credit card borrowings and provide additional funds for higher education, and calls on the Scottish Executive to introduce such a scheme in preference to the current unsatisfactory arrangements and unrealistic and unaffordable proposals to replace loans with grants.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4788.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 54, Abstentions 0).  As a result, S2M-4788.3 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 54, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament applauds the substantial growth of investment and participation in the higher education sector in Scotland in the last seven years, the growing opportunities made available to young people and others wishing to access higher education in Scotland, the increase in participation rates in higher education of those from disadvantaged backgrounds over the same period and the vital importance of having a skilled and highly educated workforce to the Scottish economy; welcomes the facts that 72,000 students have benefited from young student bursaries since the reintroduction of student grants in 2001, that Scottish students have had their fees abolished by the Scottish Executive and that the Executive continues to oppose top-up fees, but notes with concern that the £1.7 billion costs of replacing all student loans with grants and writing off student debt threatens the continued success and expansion of higher education institutions and diverts effort and resources from encouraging wider participation from under-represented groups.

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.      Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-4712—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill.

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

7.      Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-4717—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill, agrees to—

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

(b)       any expenditure or increase in expenditure of a kind referred to in paragraph 3(b)(ii) or (iii) of that Rule,

arising in consequence of the Act.

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

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

9.      Farmers Weekly’s Local Food is Miles Better Campaign: The Parliament debated S2M-4590 in the name of John Scott—That the Parliament supports the Farmers Weekly’s Local Food is Miles Better campaign; believes that buying locally grown food is an excellent way for consumers to reconnect with farmers and develop a better understanding of where their food comes from; recognises that producing and buying food locally from farmers’ markets and farm shops can help the environment, boost the local economy and restore trust in food production; further recognises that locally produced food is likely to be fresher, healthier and have higher vitamin levels, and considers that all food retail outlets, in Ayrshire and throughout Scotland, should promote, label and stock more locally produced food to cut food miles and carbon emissions in order to protect our environment and support our farmers.

10.   Motion without Notice: Mr Mark Ruskell moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate be extended until 6.01 pm. 

The motion was agreed to.

The meeting closed at 6.01 pm.

No. 21            Wednesday 20 September 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Dr Gurudeo Singh Saluja, Westhill, Aberdeenshire, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Health Committee, Care Inquiry: Janis Hughes moved S2M-4795—That the Parliament notes the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Health Committee’s 10th Report, 2006 (Session 2): Care Inquiry (SP Paper 594).

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

3.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-4815—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 27 September 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Crofting Reform etc. Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Crofting Reform etc. Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 28 September 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—

                                      Justice and Law Officers;

                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning

2.55 pm                          Ministerial Statement: Right to Buy

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 4 October 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 5 October 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

After debate, the motion was agreed to.

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved—S2M-4816—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 10 November 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-4817—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 24 November 2006;

After debate, the motion was agreed to.

6.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-4818—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 3 November 2006

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-4819—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 12 January 2007.

The motion was agreed to.

8.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4814—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Fundable Bodies (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

10.   Maternity Services in Aberdeenshire: The Parliament debated S2M-4689 in the name of Mike Rumbles—That the Parliament notes with disappointment the decision of NHS Grampian to recommend to the Minister for Health and Community Care the closure of maternity units at Aboyne, Huntly, Fraserburgh and Banff; commends campaigners who have fought to retain these units on the positive way in which they have engaged in the board’s consultation process on the issue; continues to agree that these units are an excellent example of health services being delivered locally as advocated by Professor David Kerr in his report, Building a Health Service Fit for the Future; further agrees that expectant mothers should have the option of giving birth locally, at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary or in the home, and believes that the Minister should reject the board’s recommendation and retain these units to give expectant mothers a genuine choice.

The meeting closed at 6.00 pm.

No.22             Thursday 21 September 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      A Greener, Fairer Scotland: Miss Annabel Goldie moved S2M-4810—That the Parliament notes that, along with global poverty and terrorism, climate change is one of the three great challenges facing mankind; recognises that there needs to be a greater shared responsibility among government, business, individuals and families to meet this challenge; believes that combating the threat of climate change will require fresh ideas and radical thinking and, therefore, that the concept of decentralised energy should be seriously pursued; recognises that if we are going to achieve a sustainable Scotland we need to address culture and attitudes to raise awareness and encourage the public to be proactive and to assume personal responsibility for contributing to a sustainable Scotland, and calls, therefore, on the Scottish Executive to expand the Scottish community and householder renewables initiative to incentivise households, communities and small businesses to install modern energy creating and saving technologies as an important first step.

The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved amendment S2M-4810.3 to motion S2M-4810—

Leave out from “mankind” to end and insert—

“the planet; recognises that the Scottish Executive has already embodied fresh ideas, radical thinking and a uniquely Scottish approach in its response to this challenge in Changing our Ways: Scotland’s Climate Change Programme, and welcomes the significant initiatives that the Executive has taken to increase the level of renewable energy generation, improve the energy efficiency of new buildings, boost microrenewables, reduce energy poverty and increase investment in public transport, the introduction of Strategic Environmental Assessment and the promotion of sustainable development across its policies.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4810.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 49, Abstentions 3). 

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-4810.1 to motion S2M-4810—

Insert at end—

“believes that the building of new nuclear power stations would undermine Scotland’s efforts to tackle climate change, and recognises that, to make an effective contribution towards the global campaign to tackle global warming, our Parliament requires the powers of other independent nations including responsibility for energy and fiscal policy.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4810.1 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 28, Against 81, Abstentions 10).

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-4810.2 to motion S2M-4810—

Leave out from “notes” to end and insert—

“recognises the seriousness of climate change and the grave threat which it poses to humanity; notes the reality, as evidenced in the latest report from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, that it is vital to implement a major new programme of action to cut carbon emissions within the next four years if we are to play our part in keeping global temperatures below dangerous levels, and calls on the Scottish Executive to adopt a target for a 3 per cent year-on-year overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and to take action to achieve this target including reducing road traffic levels, bold energy efficiency measures, promoting micropower technologies and decentralised energy generation, the rapid expansion of renewable energy and the carbon proofing of all Executive decisions and policies to ensure a consistent rather than contradictory approach to emissions reduction.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4810.2 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 12, Against 82, Abstentions 25).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 52, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that, along with global poverty and terrorism, climate change is one of the three great challenges facing the planet; recognises that the Scottish Executive has already embodied fresh ideas, radical thinking and a uniquely Scottish approach in its response to this challenge in Changing our Ways: Scotland’s Climate Change Programme, and welcomes the significant initiatives that the Executive has taken to increase the level of renewable energy generation, improve the energy efficiency of new buildings, boost micro-renewables, reduce energy poverty and increase investment in public transport, the introduction of Strategic Environmental Assessment and the promotion of sustainable development across its policies.

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

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

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

5.      Edinburgh Airport Rail Link Bill – Preliminary Stage: Scott Barrie moved S2M-4809—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link Bill and that the Bill should proceed as a Private Bill.

David McLetchie moved amendment S2M-4809.1 to motion S2M-4809—

Insert at end—

“but, in doing so, considers that inadequate information has been provided to the Parliament on the funding of the project and on alternative methods of establishing a rail link to Edinburgh Airport, and requests that further information is provided by the promoter and the Scottish Executive on these matters in the course of the Consideration Stage.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 22, Against 96, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 69, Against 30, Abstentions 20).

6.      Edinburgh Airport Rail Link Bill – Financial Resolution: The Minister for Transport (Tavish Scott) moved S2M-4796—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link Bill, agrees to any expenditure of a kind referred to in Rule 9A.14.3(b)(ii) of the Parliament’s Standing Orders arising in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 84, Against 29, Abstentions 3).

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

8.      Elgin Bypass: The Parliament debated S2M-4632 in the name of Maureen Macmillan—That the Parliament notes the continued strong public support for an Elgin bypass; believes that a bypass is necessary to relieve the increasing problem of congestion in and around Elgin; welcomes the Moray 2020 strategy which recognises that, in order to enhance the area to attract inward investment, government dispersals and growing businesses, local transport links need to be transformed, and therefore believes that both Moray Council and the Scottish Executive should give a commitment to re-examine the case for an Elgin bypass.

The meeting closed at 5.39 pm.

 No. 23           Wednesday 27 September 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Colonel Ruth Flett, Salvation Army, Wick, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Crofting Reform etc. Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-4710—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Crofting Reform etc. Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 96, Against 17, Abstentions 1).

3.      Crofting Reform etc. Bill – Financial Resolution: The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Rhona Brankin) moved S2M-4562—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Crofting Reform etc. Bill, agrees to any expenditure or increase in expenditure of a kind referred to in Rule 9.12.3(b)(iii) of the Parliament’s Standing Orders arising in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 95, Against 17, Abstentions 1).

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4857—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Thursday 28 September 2006—

after,

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Bill

insert,                

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Standards and Public Appointments Committee Motion on Breach of the Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4867—That the Parliament agrees that, for the purpose of allowing the Parliament to meet at 9.00 am on Wednesday 25 October 2006, Rule 2.2.3 be suspended.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4866—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 4 October 2006

2.00 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Environment and Rural Development Committee Debate – 8th Report 2006, Report on an Inquiry into the Food Supply Chain

followed by                      European and External Relations Committee Debate – 3rd Report 2006, Report on an Inquiry into Possible Co-operation Between Scotland and Ireland

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 5 October 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Conservative and Unionist 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                          Procedures Committee Debate – 4th Report 2006, Motions and Decisions, and 5th Report 2006, Consultation Report on Parliamentary Time

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

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 25 October 2006

9:00 am                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Education Committee Debate – 7th Report 2006, Early Years

followed by                      Local Government and Transport Committee Debate – 10th Report 2006, Report on Inquiry into Freight Transport in Scotland

2.30 pm                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Tourist Boards (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Independents’ Group Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 26 October 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

and b) that the period for members to submit their names for selection for Question Times on 26 October 2006 should end at 12.00 noon on Wednesday 4 October 2006.

The motion was agreed to.

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

S2M-4868—That the Parliament agrees that the timetable for completion of consideration of the Environmental Levy on Plastic Bags (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be extended to 3 November 2006; and

S2M-4869—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 15 December 2006.

The motions were agreed to.

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

S2M-4858—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Community Right to Buy (Definition of Excluded Land) (Scotland) Order 2006 be approved;

S2M-4859—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Transfer of Functions to the Shetland Transport Partnership Order 2006 be approved;

S2M-4860—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Transfer of Functions to the South-West of Scotland Transport Partnership Order 2006 be approved; and

S2M-4861—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 (Consequential Modifications and Savings) Order 2006 be approved.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

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

10.   Glasgow Crossrail Scheme: The Parliament debated S2M-4688 in the name of Bill Butler—That the Parliament welcomes the progress that has been made to modernise Scotland’s rail infrastructure, the most recent example of which was the agreement to the general principles of the Bill to establish the Glasgow Airport Rail Link (GARL) on 21 June 2006; notes the points contained in the Glasgow Airport Rail Link Bill Committee’s preliminary stage report which highlight the national and local economic and transport benefits of the proposed Glasgow Crossrail scheme if introduced in conjunction with the GARL project; recognises the added value which the proposed crossrail scheme would bring not only to Glasgow but to Scotland’s rail transport infrastructure; acknowledges that the establishment of the scheme would bridge the missing link in Scotland’s rail network; realises that the scheme would further strengthen Glasgow’s bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and believes that the compelling economic and transport case for Glasgow Crossrail is such that the Scottish Executive should commit to the implementation of the project.

The meeting closed at 5.54 pm.

No. 24            Thursday 28 September 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Trident: Roseanna Cunningham moved S2M-4864—That the Parliament believes that there is no justification for the renewal or replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system.

Jackie Baillie moved amendment S2M-4864.5 to motion S2M-4864—

Leave out from “believes” to end and insert—

“notes that decisions pertaining to national defence, such as any future replacement of Trident, are reserved to the Westminster parliament; notes that the United Nations Security Council plays a vital role in working for peace and security on a global basis; welcomes the United Kingdom’s role within both the United Nations and NATO; notes that the General Election manifestos for 2005 of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties called for the retention of an independent nuclear deterrent; believes that there should be the widest possible debate on the future security of Scotland, the United Kingdom and the wider world, covering all options on Trident, including non-replacement; notes the comments of the UK Government that no decisions on replacing Trident have yet been taken; welcomes the significant reductions in the UK’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 56, Against 57, Abstentions 4).

Mike Rumbles moved amendment S2M-4864.3 to motion S2M-4864—

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 that “no decision on any replacement for Trident has been taken, either in principle or otherwise”; calls on the UK Government to ensure that there is a full public debate on the issue; further calls on the UK Government to press for a new round of multilateral arms reduction talks, and believes that the United Kingdom’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 17, Against 86, Abstentions 15).

Chris Ballance moved amendment S2M-4864.4 to motion S2M-4864—

Insert at end—

“but also recognises the concerns of workforce unions, such as the GMB, and therefore calls on the Scottish Executive to prepare Scotland for a weapons of mass destruction-free future by producing a plan for the redeployment of workers, such as at Faslane and Coulport, for peaceful purposes.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 43, Against 74, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 44, Against 72, Abstentions 2).

2.      Small Businesses: Jim Mather moved S2M-4863—That the Parliament recognises the critically important role that small businesses play in delivering economic growth and local services and confirms the need to deliver specific tangible measures to bolster the competitiveness of Scottish small businesses, such as the SNP’s recent Small Business Bonus Scheme which would result in 120,000 small businesses being freed from the burden of business rates, and also recognises that, in implementing such schemes, it will help to increase the viability of individual small businesses and contribute to creating the growth that would allow Scotland’s living standards to converge on the higher living standards enjoyed elsewhere, thereby encouraging yet more small business start-ups, creating many more jobs, widening the tax base, increasing local economic vibrancy and improving local services and confidence across Scotland.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-4863.2 to motion S2M-4863—

Leave out from “critically important” to end and insert—

“central role that small businesses play in delivering both economic growth and local services and welcomes the success that the Scottish Executive has had in supporting the growth in the total employment and overall number of small businesses and new business start-ups in Scotland since 1999; welcomes the benefit that small firms gain from a range of grant schemes that encourage the development of new products and processes, the creation or safeguarding of jobs and becoming more energy efficient, and also welcomes the Executive’s Small Business Rates Relief Scheme that results in around 70% of non-domestic rate subjects in Scotland receiving rates relief of up to 50% and the decision to equalise the poundage with England from 1 April 2007, which demonstrates our determination to deliver the right conditions for all businesses to grow by encouraging yet more small business start-ups, creating more jobs, widening the tax base, increasing local economic activity and improving local services across Scotland.”

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-4863.1 to motion S2M-4863—

Leave out from “confirms” to end and insert—

“believes that there is a need for government to create a business environment which will improve the competitiveness of Scottish small businesses; further believes that any detailed proposals to reduce the business rate burden for small businesses should be properly costed and the source of such monies identified; notes the impact of excessive regulation and poor levels of investment in infrastructure on the capacity of small businesses to grow; calls on the Scottish Executive to bring forward policies to create a more business-friendly environment in Scotland, and notes that the introduction of a local income tax as proposed by the SNP and the Liberal Democrats would directly penalise hundreds of thousands of unincorporated small businesses throughout Scotland.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4863.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 44, Abstentions 9).  As a result, amendment S2M-4863.1 was pre-empted.

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 23, Abstentions 31).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the central role that small businesses play in delivering both economic growth and local services and welcomes the success that the Scottish Executive has had in supporting the growth in the total employment and overall number of small businesses and new business start-ups in Scotland since 1999; welcomes the benefit that small firms gain from a range of grant schemes that encourage the development of new products and processes, the creation or safeguarding of jobs and becoming more energy efficient, and also welcomes the Executive’s Small Business Rates Relief Scheme that results in around 70% of non-domestic rate subjects in Scotland receiving rates relief of up to 50% and the decision to equalise the poundage with England from 1 April 2007, which demonstrates our determination to deliver the right conditions for all businesses to grow by encouraging yet more small business start-ups, creating more jobs, widening the tax base, increasing local economic activity and improving local services across Scotland.

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.      Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Communities (Malcolm Chisholm) made a statement and answered questions on Right to Buy.

7.      St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: Dennis Canavan moved S2M-4827—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Bill.

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

8.      Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-4872—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any expenditure of a kind referred to in Rule 9.12.3(b)(ii) of the Parliament’s Standing Orders arising in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9.      Breach of the Code of Conduct for MSPs: Brian Adam, on behalf of the Standards and Public Appointments Committee, moved S2M-4846—That the Parliament notes the 2nd Report, 2006 (Session 2) of the Standards and Public Appointments Committee, Complaint against Mike Pringle MSP (SP Paper 636) and agrees to impose the sanction recommended in the report that Mike Pringle MSP be excluded from all meetings of the Parliament and all meetings of its committees for the first five sitting days immediately after this motion is agreed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 91, Against 6, Abstentions 18).

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

11.    Withdrawal of Alimta for Mesothelioma Patients: The Parliament debated S2M-4742 in the name of Shona Robison—That the Parliament regrets that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s (NICE) final appraisal determination on Alimta does not recommend Alimta for the treatment of mesothelioma except as part of ongoing or new clinical trials; is concerned that the drug could potentially be withdrawn if NICE repeats that opinion in its final report due to be published in October 2006; realises that, in practice, NICE’s decisions ordinarily supersede Scottish advice which could lead to the withdrawal of this drug for Scottish sufferers; recognises that such a move would have a devastating effect on mesothelioma sufferers here in Scotland given that Alimta has been shown to be effective in increasing life expectancy and improving the quality of life of patients; is aware that NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (QIS) will be reviewing its decision to offer the drug in Scotland in light of the NICE recommendation; therefore urges NHS QIS to recognise the contextual differences in Scotland, such as in epidemiology, with a large concentration of mesothelioma cases in Dundee and other post-industrial areas of Scotland; furthermore recognises the existing advice from the Scottish Medicines Consortium that Alimta should be freely available in Scotland, and therefore believes that the Scottish Executive should guarantee the availability of Alimta to existing and future sufferers of mesothelioma in Scotland.

The meeting closed at 5.47 pm.

No. 25            Wednesday 4 October 2006

The meeting opened at 2.00 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Reverend Leith Fisher, Wellington Church, Glasgow, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Environment and Rural Development Committee – Inquiry into the Food Supply Chain: Sarah Boyack, on behalf of the Environment and Rural Development Committee, moved S2M-4884—That the Parliament notes the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Environment and Rural Development Committee’s 8th Report, 2006 (Session 2): Report on an Inquiry into the Food Supply Chain (SP Paper 595).

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

3.      European and External Relations Committee – Inquiry into the Possible Co-operation between Scotland and Ireland: Dennis Canavan, on behalf of the European and External Relations Committee, moved S2M-4899—That the Parliament notes the conclusions and recommendations contained in the European and External Relations Committee’s 3rd Report, 2006 (Session 2): Report on an Inquiry into Possible Co-operation between Scotland and Ireland (SP Paper 607).

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

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4907—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 25 October 2006

9:00 am                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Education Committee Debate – 7th Report 2006, Early Years

followed by                      Local Government and Transport Committee Debate – 10th Report 2006, Report on Inquiry into Freight Transport in Scotland

2.30 pm                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Tourists Boards (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Independents’ Group Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 26 October 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—

                                      Health and Community Care;

                                      Environment and Rural Development;

2.55 pm                          Executive Debate: Coastal and Marine National Parks

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 1 November 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 2 November 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—

                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning;

                                      Justice and Law Officers;

2.55 pm                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

After debate, the motion was agreed to.

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

S2M-4908—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 19 January 2007; and

S2M-4909—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the St Andrew’s Day Public Holiday (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 17 November 2006.

The motions were agreed to.

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

S2M-4910—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as the lead committee in consideration of the Civil Appeals (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1;

S2M-4911—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as the lead committee in consideration of the Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1; and

S2M-4912—That the Parliament agrees that the Communities Committee be designated as the lead committee in consideration of the Education (School Meals etc.) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

7.   Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4913—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Construction Contracts (Scotland) Exclusion Amendment Order 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

9.      No Need to Shout...Just Learn to Sign!: The Parliament debated S2M-4843 in the name of Cathie Craigie—That the Parliament notes Learn to Sign Week from 2 to 8 October 2006; commends the work of the British Deaf Association and supports its objective of building a nation where British Sign Language (BSL), with its Scottish dialect, is a shared communication medium for both deaf and hearing communities; welcomes its 2006 UK-wide campaign, “No need to shout...just learn to sign!”, which aims to encourage people to learn BSL; applauds the work of the Scottish Deaf Association (SDA) in raising awareness of deaf issues in our schools, further education establishments and workplaces, and considers that the Scottish Executive should be encouraged to support the efforts of the SDA.

The meeting closed at 5.41 pm.

No. 26            Thursday 5 October 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Scotland’s Duty to its Senior Citizens: Miss Annabel Goldie moved S2M-4901—That the Parliament believes that our senior citizens represent a valuable and under-acknowledged repository of skill, wisdom and experience and that they should be both respected and, where the need arises, cared for by both society and government to enable them to live in dignity and security in their old age; is therefore greatly concerned that the council tax has risen by 60% since 1997, resulting in many pensioners struggling to pay their bills, and believes that the Scottish Conservatives’ proposal for a 50% discount for all pensioner households would greatly alleviate the burden; is further concerned that the policy of free personal care, which was supported by all parties in the Parliament, is still not being universally or timeously implemented throughout Scotland, and therefore calls on the Scottish Executive, local authorities and all other relevant agencies to unite in securing the immediate and complete implementation of this policy in Scotland.

Malcolm Chisholm moved amendment S2M-4901.4 to motion S2M-4901—

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

“recognises the enormous contribution that our senior citizens make to Scottish society; supports action to challenge ageism, widen opportunities for older people and ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect; acknowledges the improvement to older people’s quality of life through groundbreaking policies such as free personal and nursing care, free bus travel and the central heating programme, and welcomes the continuing commitment of the Scottish Executive to recognising, valuing and supporting Scotland’s older people through the development of its Strategy for a Scotland with an Ageing Population.”

Christine Grahame moved amendment S2M-4901.3 to motion S2M-4901—

Leave out from “is therefore” to end and insert—

“expresses concern, therefore, that free personal care is not being delivered equitably, with waiting lists being operated in some regions, and believes that the Scottish Executive must take immediate action to eradicate these practices; also believes that pensioner poverty cannot be tackled without the abolition of the council tax and its substitution by the fairer system of a local income tax; is alarmed at the devastating fuel cost increases which must lead to increasing vulnerability of our older people to cold-related illnesses and early mortality, and, while welcoming legislation to end age discrimination, calls on the Executive to inquire into elder abuse.”

Colin Fox moved amendment S2M-4901.2 to motion S2M-4901—

Leave out from “and that they” to end and insert—

“believes that Scotland’s primary duty to its senior citizens is to lift them out of the poverty and deprivation that so many endure and that the effect of Conservative policies of the 1980s and 1990s, in particular the introduction of the hated council tax and the abandonment of the link between pensions increases and the increase in average earnings, has meant that their standard of living has significantly fallen; therefore calls for the abolition of the council tax, under which many pensioners pay up to 25% of their overall income on one bill, and its replacement with a system based on ability to pay, where the poor and low-paid are exempt and the tax obligation increases as income increases, and further believes that the restoration of the link between average earnings and pensions would ensure that Scotland’s senior citizens do not continue to fall behind the rest of the population and secure the right to live in dignity in retirement.”

John Swinburne moved amendment S2M-4901.1 to motion S2M-4901—

Leave out from “is therefore” to end and insert—

“and that the Scottish Executive should immediately take action to increase the income of every pensioner household in Scotland in a legal manner which is entirely compliant with the provisions of the Scotland Act 1998 and thereby follow up on that excellent social experiment by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown MP, in 2005 which should result in the first drop in winter-related deaths in Scotland in recent years.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4901.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 42, Abstentions 7).  As a result, amendments S2M-4901.3, S2M-4901.2 and S2M-4901.1 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 40, Abstentions 11).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the enormous contribution that our senior citizens make to Scottish society; supports action to challenge ageism, widen opportunities for older people and ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect; acknowledges the improvement to older people’s quality of life through groundbreaking policies such as free personal and nursing care, free bus travel and the central heating programme, and welcomes the continuing commitment of the Scottish Executive to recognising, valuing and supporting Scotland’s older people through the development of its Strategy for a Scotland with an Ageing Population.

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 Finance and Public Services and Communities, and on Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5.      Procedures Committee – Motions and decisions and Consultation Report on Parliamentary Time: Donald Gorrie moved S2M-4870—That the Parliament notes the Procedures Committee’s 4th Report 2006, (Session 2), Motions and decisions (SP Paper 589) and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 6 October 2006.

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

The Parliament also debated the Procedures Committee’s 5th Report 2006, Consultation Report on Parliamentary Time.

6.      Law Officers: The First Minister moved S2M-4924—That the Parliament agrees that it be recommended to Her Majesty that Elish Angiolini be appointed as the Lord Advocate and that John Beckett QC be appointed as Solicitor General for Scotland.

Miss Annabel Goldie moved amendment S2M-4924.1 to motion S2M-4924—

Leave out from “and that” to end.

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 97, Abstentions 3).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 99, Against 0, Abstentions 15).

7.      Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill - UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (George Lyon) moved S2M-4887—That the Parliament agrees that the relevant provisions in the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill introduced in the House of Commons on 11 January 2006, that relate to the implementation of European Union obligations and which are within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament, or which confer executive powers on the Scottish Ministers, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 102, Against 5, Abstentions 7).

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

9.      Knife Crime Education: The Parliament debated S2M-4708 in the name of Alex Johnstone—That the Parliament encourages all efforts to reduce knife crime; notes that educational programmes and courses on the dangers of carrying a knife have been shown to have been successful in the past, and congratulates Mr Mark Davies from Angus on using his experiences as a door supervisor and martial artist to put together a new course which educates our young people on the dangers and possible consequences of carrying a knife.

The meeting closed at 5.39 pm.

No. 27            Wednesday 25 October 2006

The meeting opened at 9.00 am.

1.      Time for Reflection: Katie McAdam, Barnardo’s Youthbuild Project, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Education Committee Debate, Report on Inquiry into Early Years: Iain Smith, on behalf of the Education Committee, moved S2M-4931—That the Parliament notes the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Education Committee’s 7th Report, 2006 (Session 2): Early Years (SP Paper 596).

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

3.      Local Government and Transport Committee, Report on Inquiry into Freight Transport in Scotland: Bristow Muldoon, on behalf of the Local Government and Transport Committee, moved S2M-4926—That the Parliament notes the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Local Government and Transport Committee’s 10th Report, 2006 (Session 2): Report on Inquiry into Freight Transport in Scotland (SP Paper 619).

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

4.      Tourist Boards (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Patricia Ferguson) moved S2M-4919—That the Parliament agrees that the Tourist Boards (Scotland) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 96, Against 2, Abstentions 15).

5.      Scotland International: The Parliament debated the subject of Scotland International.

6.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5000—That the Parliament agrees under Rule 11.2.4 of the Standing Orders that Decision Time on Thursday 2 November 2006 shall begin at 5.30 pm.

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5001—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 1 November 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      European and External Relations Committee Debate: 4th Report 2006, Inquiry into the Scottish Executive’s plans for future structural funds programmes 2007-13

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 2 November 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                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.30 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 8 November 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 9 November 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                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

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

S2M-5002—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Crofting Reform etc. Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 15 December 2006; and

S2M-5003—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 12 January 2007.

The motions were agreed to.

9.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-4992—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

S2M-4993—That the Parliament agrees that Mr Jamie Stone be appointed to replace Euan Robson on the Communities Committee; and

S2M-4994—That the Parliament agrees that Euan Robson be appointed to replace Mr Jamie Stone on the Subordinate Legislation Committee.

The motions were agreed to .(DT).

11.    Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 3, 4, 9 and 10 as noted above.

12.  The Caithness Economy Post-Dounreay: The Parliament debated S2M-4888 in the name of Jamie Stone—That the Parliament notes the severe economic and social challenges for the far north presented by the accelerated run-down and decommissioning at Dounreay and considers that the Scottish Executive should work with the UK Government and other key players to ensure that a costed and funded strategy is put in place as soon as possible so that suitable replacement industries and jobs can be established for the years to come.

The meeting closed at 5.42 pm.

No. 28            Thursday 26 October 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Young People and Families: Robin Harper moved S2M-4999—That the Parliament recognises that children and young people are shaped by their relationships and experiences at home, in their schools and communities, by the physical space they find themselves in and by their economic circumstances; understands the absolute importance of these factors at the centre of healthy development; acknowledges that families and young people need support from time to time and that communities, public services, local authorities and the Scottish Executive share a responsibility to meet this need; regrets, however, that public debate in Scotland has increasingly reduced children and young people to simplistic stereotypes, either as innocents to be protected or as problems to be contained; in particular regrets that the tone of debate on antisocial behaviour has distracted attention and resources from the need to address the wider issues in young people’s lives; believes that where problems such as youth disorder have arisen local communities are best placed to decide on the appropriate response; therefore rejects the idea of forcing local authorities to use specific antisocial behaviour measures against their better judgement, and calls on the Executive to develop a comprehensive strategy for supporting families and young people.

The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Robert Brown) moved amendment S2M-4999.2 to motion S2M-4999—

Leave out from “that children and young people” to end and insert—

“the vital importance of all young people being able to fulfil their potential; pays tribute to the contribution young people across Scotland make to their families and communities; knows the importance of the family in providing support and guidance for young people; welcomes the fact that child poverty has been reduced by over a quarter in Scotland, that the Scottish Executive has introduced universal nursery education for all three to four-year-olds, that the Executive has seen record levels of investment in schools and teachers, that more of our young people are going on to higher and further education, that youth unemployment is at a record low and that more parents are in work and have access to support and childcare; recognises further that some parents require extra support to bring up children, that decent families and young people need to be safe and protected in their homes and communities, that young people supported by and having access to good quality youth work opportunities have an important role to play in improving their communities, and reiterates the determination of this Parliament to stand up to antisocial behaviour, to end child poverty and to provide every child and young person with the best possible start in life.”

Derek Brownlee moved amendment S2M-4999.1 to motion S2M-4999—

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

“believes that the most important duties of the Executive towards young people are to provide them with better opportunities for education and employment, a safe environment with affordable housing in which to live and public services which are efficient and effective, and calls for a greater focus from the Executive on delivering improvements in public services and providing opportunities for young people, families, and everyone else in Scotland.”

After debate, amendment S2M-4999.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 51, Abstentions 1).  As a result, amendment S2M-4999.1 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 29, Abstentions 24).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the vital importance of all young people being able to fulfil their potential; pays tribute to the contribution young people across Scotland make to their families and communities; knows the importance of the family in providing support and guidance for young people; welcomes the fact that child poverty has been reduced by over a quarter in Scotland, that the Scottish Executive has introduced universal nursery education for all three to four-year-olds, that the Executive has seen record levels of investment in schools and teachers, that more of our young people are going on to higher and further education, that youth unemployment is at a record low and that more parents are in work and have access to support and childcare; recognises further that some parents require extra support to bring up children, that decent families and young people need to be safe and protected in their homes and communities, that young people supported by and having access to good quality youth work opportunities have an important role to play in improving their communities, and reiterates the determination of this Parliament to stand up to antisocial behaviour, to end child poverty and to provide every child and young person with the best possible start in life.

2.      Climate Change and Road Transport: Mr Mark Ruskell moved S2M-5005—That the Parliament welcomes growing public and parliamentary recognition of the threat posed by climate change; notes that cuts in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions of 60% to 90% are necessary to stabilise climate change within a generation; notes that transport, excluding aviation, accounts for 19% of Scotland’s climate change emissions, over 97% of which comes from road transport, and that road traffic is predicted to grow a further 27% by 2021; recognises that without reducing traffic levels it will be impossible to reduce Scottish greenhouse gas emissions to a level consistent with the need to address climate change; further recognises the need for urgent political action within the next four years to achieve year-on-year reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and calls on the Scottish Executive to set year-on-year overall greenhouse gas reduction targets and interim targets to reduce road traffic levels.

The Minister for Transport (Tavish Scott) moved amendment S2M-5005.3 to motion S2M-5005—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“supports the Scottish Executive’s record investment of 70% of the transport budget in public transport; notes the significant investment in Scotland’s bus services, which rely upon a modern road infrastructure, and in the rail network, where the Executive has already opened the Larkhall to Milngavie line, all with the aim of improving the environment; further supports the Executive’s investment to reduce road deaths and casualties, improve safety on roads outside schools, and provide attractive, integrated and affordable public transport alternatives, and welcomes the Executive’s climate change programme and sustainable development campaign.”

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-5005.2 to motion S2M-5005—

Leave out from “within a generation” to end and insert—

“recognises that a range of measures are required to reduce transport emissions, including a clean transport fuels strategy and provision of sustainable alternatives to road transport, and further recognises that the energy sector accounts for the greatest proportion of emissions and that Scotland has enormous potential to develop cleaner and renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Ted Brocklebank moved amendment S2M-5005.1 to motion S2M-5005—

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

“believes that, along with global poverty and terrorism, climate change is one of the three greatest challenges facing mankind today and therefore supports David Cameron MP’s call for a Climate Change Bill to be included in this year’s Queen’s Speech to establish year-on-year targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 60% by 2050 and to establish an independent monitor to report to the UK Parliament on Britain’s progress in meeting those annual targets and to audit government policy to assess whether we remain on track to hit future targets; acknowledges, however, that ongoing investment in the Scottish road network remains vital for public safety, cutting congestion and to protect both small businesses and remote rural communities in particular; further acknowledges that more must be done to encourage modal shift from road to rail for both passenger and freight traffic, and therefore calls on the Scottish Executive to ensure that those road and rail projects of greatest importance be prioritised for investment, specifically a new Forth crossing, the refurbishment of Waverley Station, the completion of the central belt motorway network and the upgrading of many important trunk routes alongside increased efforts to move more freight from road to rail.”

After debate, amendment S2M-5005.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 54, Abstentions 1). As a result, amendments S2M-5005.2 and S2M-5005.1 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 30, Abstentions 24).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Executive’s record investment of 70% of the transport budget in public transport; notes the significant investment in Scotland’s bus services, which rely upon a modern road infrastructure, and in the rail network, where the Executive has already opened the Larkhall to Milngavie line, all with the aim of improving the environment; further supports the Executive’s investment to reduce road deaths and casualties, improve safety on roads outside schools, and provide attractive, integrated and affordable public transport alternatives, and welcomes the Executive’s climate change programme and sustainable development campaign.

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 Health and Community Care and on Environment and Rural Development, were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6.      Coastal and Marine National Parks: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-5008—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Executive’s commitment to manage Scotland’s coastline and seas in a sustainable way; welcomes the Executive’s public consultation on proposals to establish Scotland’s first Coastal and Marine National Park, and notes that the Executive will take account of the views expressed in response to the consultation before taking decisions on how to progress the proposals.

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-5008.2 to motion S2M-5008—

Leave out from “supports” to end and insert—

“notes that coastal and marine national parks may have a role to play in the future but that at the present time there are many other more pressing priorities facing our coastal communities; further notes that, according to Scottish Environment Link, there are already over 85 Acts of Parliament that apply to Scotland’s waters and yet a further layer of bureaucracy would not be helpful or popular and would only add to the existing complexity of marine and coastal management in Scotland; calls for a review of the governance of the marine environment before additional legislation is considered; believes that the creation of coastal and marine national parks should not be considered until other priorities are addressed and there is evidence that there is sufficient demand within local communities, and calls for the Scottish Parliament to have additional powers to help protect and promote our marine environment.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 26, Against 90, Abstentions 5).

Ted Brocklebank moved amendment S2M-5008.1 to motion S2M-5008—

Insert at end—

“and, in particular, urges the Executive to carefully consider the impact of a Coastal and Marine National Park on local fishermen, the aquaculture industry and all whose livelihoods are directly dependent on the sea.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 42, Against 71, Abstentions 7).

Eleanor Scott moved amendment S2M-5008.3 to motion S2M-5008—

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

“expects the Executive to take account of all stakeholders’ views with no one sector having primacy; recognises that very many livelihoods depend on our safeguarding our coastal and marine environment; expects local management of marine resources to underpin the organisation of any future coastal and marine national park, and believes that location should not be a barrier to the siting of a marine national park.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 82, Abstentions 22).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 90, Against 26, Abstentions 5).

7.      Membership of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5014—That the Parliament agrees that Kate Maclean be appointed to replace Cathie Craigie on the Procedures Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

9.      Aberdeen’s Bid for the National Energy Technologies Institute: The Parliament debated S2M-4904 in the name of Richard Baker—That the Parliament notes the current and future importance of the energy sector to the north east’s economy; recognises that Aberdeen and the north east are home to a unique cluster of skills and expertise in energy exploration and development; notes the success of the Intermediary Technology Institute for Energy which is based in Aberdeen and works closely with the network of intermediary technology institutes throughout Scotland and also sources academic research across the United Kingdom and worldwide; believes that this successful model based in Aberdeen shows that the city has a unique potential to be the hub for a Scottish bid for the UK Energy Technologies Institute; notes both the location of leading oil and gas operators and contractors in Aberdeen and the work of the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, and welcomes the efforts to ensure that the UK Energy Technologies Institute is located in Aberdeen so that the north east remains a global leader in the energy industry.

The meeting closed at 5.44 pm.

 No. 29           Wednesday 1 November 2006

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5060—That the Parliament agrees the following revision to the programme of business for Wednesday 1 November 2006—

after,

followed by European and External Relations Committee Debate: 4th Report 2006, Inquiry into the Scottish Executive’s plans for future structural funds programmes 2007-13

insert,

followed by                      Ministerial Statement – Severe weather in the north of Scotland

The motion was agreed to.

3.      European and External Relations Committee, Report on an Inquiry into the Scottish Executive’s Plans for Future Structural Funds Programmes 2007-13: Linda Fabiani, on behalf of the European and External Relations Committee, moved S2M-5013—That the Parliament notes the conclusions and recommendations contained in the European and External Relations Committee’s 4th Report, 2006 (Session 2): Report on an Inquiry into the Scottish Executive’s plans for future structural funds programmes 2007-13 (SP Paper 611).

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

4.      Ministerial Statement: The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Rhona Brankin) made a statement and answered questions on severe weather in the north of Scotland.

5.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5061—That the Parliament agrees that—

(a) for the purposes of allowing the meeting of the Parliament on Thursday 2 November 2006 to continue beyond 5.30 pm, the word “Wednesday” in Rules 2.2.4 and 2.2.5(c) be suspended and that the word “Thursday” be substituted for it in each place, and that Rule 2.2.5(a) be suspended;

(b) under Rule 2.2.4 thus varied, the meeting of the Parliament on Thursday 2 November 2006 may continue to 7.00 pm; and

(c) Decision Time on Thursday 2 November 2006 shall begin at 6.00 pm.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5062—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 8 November 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 9 November 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish Socialist Party Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—

                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport;

                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities;

2.55 pm                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Violence Against Women

followed by                      Education Committee Motion – Report on Draft National Plan for Gaelic

followed by                      Local Government and Transport Committee Motion – Provision of Rail Passengers Services (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 15 November 2006

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Planning etc. (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 16 November 2006

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Continuation of Stage 3 Proceedings: Planning etc. (Scotland) Bill

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                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Conclusion of Stage 3 Proceedings: Planning etc. (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5051—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Social Work Inspections (Scotland) Regulations 2006 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Membership of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-5052—That the Parliament agrees that Mr Stewart Maxwell be appointed to replace Michael Matheson on the Enterprise and Culture Committee; and

S2M-5053—That the Parliament agrees that Michael Matheson be appointed to replace Mr Stewart Maxwell on the Justice 2 Committee.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

9.      Substitution on Committees: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5054—That the Parliament agrees that Dave Petrie be appointed as the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party substitute on the Health Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10.    Designation of Lead Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5059—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 1 Committee be designated as the lead committee in consideration of the Rights of Relatives to Damages (Mesothelioma) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

12.    Public Inquiries into Wind Farm Proposals in the Ochil Hills: The Parliament debated S2M-4648 in the name of Roseanna Cunningham—That the Parliament notes the large number of planning applications to construct wind farms in the Ochil Hills, with six consecutive public inquiries scheduled between October 2006 and March 2007; considers that all appropriate expert evidence must be made available to such public inquiries; notes the Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development’s parliamentary answer on 8 June 2006 confirming that both Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have adequate resources to make representations to public local inquiries, and considers that SNH, SEPA and Historic Scotland should provide witnesses to all pertinent public inquiries so that the burden of providing evidence to such inquiries does not fall disproportionately on communities.

The meeting closed at 5.46 pm.

No. 30            Thursday 2 November 2006

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      The Scottish Executive Budget Review: Mr John Swinney moved S2M-5063—That the Parliament calls on the Scottish Executive to publish the Howat review of the Executive’s budget before the conclusion of Stage 1 of this year’s budget process.

The Deputy Minister for Finance, Public Services Reform and Parliamentary Business (George Lyon) moved amendment S2M-5063.1 to motion S2M-5063—

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

“notes that preparation for the 2007 Spending Review, including the provision of advice to Scottish Ministers by the Budget Review Group, is ongoing and further notes the Scottish Executive’s intention to publish a comprehensive suite of documents including the completed Howat review as part of the Spending Review package.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 52, Abstentions 0).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 51, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that preparation for the 2007 Spending Review, including the provision of advice to Scottish Ministers by the Budget Review Group, is ongoing and further notes the Scottish Executive’s intention to publish a comprehensive suite of documents including the completed Howat review as part of the Spending Review package.

2.      The Financial Powers of the Parliament: Jim Mather moved S2M-5055—That the Parliament recognises the need for an open, inclusive and objective debate about the financial powers that it requires to have in order to maximise accountability, efficient government, economic growth, public services, infrastructure development and good social outcomes in Scotland and further encourages the business community, the trade unions, the public sector, the voluntary sector, academia and wider civic Scotland to participate in this debate, the objective of which must be to make Scotland a more prosperous country, able to deliver social justice to its people.

Richard Baker moved amendment S2M-5055.3 to motion S2M-5055—

Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—

“believes that the arguments for further fiscal autonomy are being used as a cover for the debate on independence; calls on those MSPs who support a separate Scotland to give an honest explanation of what a separate Scotland would mean for our economy, and further believes that we should continue to use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to deliver better health, education, lower crime and economic growth.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 47, Against 69, Abstentions 0).

Derek Brownlee moved amendment S2M-5055.1 to motion S2M-5055—

Leave out from “powers” to end and insert—

“and non-financial powers that it requires to have in order to maximise accountability, efficient government, economic growth, public services, infrastructure development and good social outcomes in Scotland and further encourages the business community, the trade unions, the public sector, the voluntary sector, academia and wider civic Scotland to participate in this debate, the objective of which must be to make Scotland a more prosperous country, able to deliver social justice to its people, and notes that a more effective and accountable devolved Scottish Parliament would strengthen the United Kingdom.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 99, Abstentions 0).

Jeremy Purvis moved amendment S2M-5055.2 to motion S2M-5055—

Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—

“believes that the Scottish Parliament needs significant new powers that follow federal principles; calls for a significant increase in the taxation powers of the Parliament in order to improve competitiveness and accountability, increase transparency, encourage more efficient allocation of resources and allow the Parliament to have greater fiscal levers to influence the direction of the Scottish economy; notes that full fiscal autonomy does not exist in any developed economy in the world and rejects the argument for such autonomy as a cloak for independence which would damage Scotland and our economy; calls for the establishment of a second constitutional convention during the next session of the Parliament to improve the home rule settlement in order to deliver real benefits to the people of Scotland; calls on all political parties and civic Scotland to participate in the new convention; believes that the new convention should also consider the case for additional legislative powers for Scotland and new procedures to improve joint working between the Scottish and UK Parliaments, and calls for the new legislative and fiscal powers of the Scottish Parliament to be enshrined in a written constitution for the United Kingdom.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 18, Against 98, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 51, Against 65, Abstentions 0).

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

4.      First Minister’s 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.

5.      Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights – Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5058—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights 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:

Group 1:                        50 minutes

Group 2:                        1 hour 20 minutes

Groups 3 to 5:               1 hour 45 minutes

Groups 6 and 7:           2 hours 20 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Scottish Commissioner for Human Rights Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 131, 132, 133, 134, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173 and 174.

The following amendments were agreed to (by division)—

            1          (For 75, Against 37, Abstentions 0)

            2          (For 73, Against 39, Abstentions 0).

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            5          (For 37, Against 73, Abstentions 1)

            29        (For 32, Against 73, Abstentions 1)

            35        (For 32, Against 72, Abstentions 0)

            100A   (For 34, Against 70, Abstentions 0)

            105     (For 37, Against 71, Abstentions 0)

            135     (For 34, Against 71, Abstentions 0)

            157     (For 38, Against 69, Abstentions 0).

Amendment 27 was moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn.

The following amendments were not moved: 129 and 130.

The following amendments were pre-empted: 3 and 4.

7.      Scottish Commission for Human Rights Bill: The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Robert Brown) moved S2M-4920—That the Parliament agrees that the Scottish Commission for Human Rights Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 41, Abstentions 0).

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

9.      Clydesdale Parks: The Parliament debated S2M-4811 in the name of Karen Gillon—That the Parliament welcomes the decision by the Heritage Lottery Fund to award over £1.3 million to help renovate Castlebank Park and Delves Park in Lanark; congratulates South Lanarkshire Council on its ambitious proposals to significantly improve access, interpretation and learning opportunities at the two historic parks; believes that restoration of the 18th century walled garden, the reinstatement of the glasshouses and the development of a multi-sports play area will attract many new visitors and increase community involvement in local history, gardening and other activities, and looks forward to the parks playing an important role in celebrations such as Lanimer Day, the medieval fayre and other special events in the future.

The meeting closed at 6.32 pm.

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