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No. 45            Wednesday 10 January 2007

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Sister Andrea Fraile, Sisters of the Gospel of Life, Glasgow led Time for Reflection.

2.      Public Service Investment: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-5378—That the Parliament recognises that there have been continuing record levels of public investment in Scotland, as indicated in the most recent publication of Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland 2004-05; further recognises the record levels of finance provided to local government which mean that by 2007-08 core funding will have increased by almost £3.2 billion, or 57.9% compared with 1999-2000, and believes that this position is a result of being part of the United Kingdom.

Mr John Swinney moved amendment S2M-5378.2 to motion S2M-5378—

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

“notes the fact that council tax has increased by 60% since 1997 at a time when the Scottish Executive has reduced the local authority share of Executive spending; welcomes the fact that the Executive has at last begun to address the funding pressures in Scottish local authorities in the most recent financial settlement; notes that Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland was devised as part of a Tory scare-mongering campaign that has been continued by Labour; notes that there are fundamental errors in the publication making this an unreliable, discredited source of information, and believes that Scotland will only reach her full potential with the normal powers of an independent parliament.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 32, Against 78, Abstentions 5).

Derek Brownlee moved amendment S2M-5378.1 to motion S2M-5378—

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

“notes the publication of Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland 2004-05; recognises that levels of taxation and public spending in Scotland have reached record levels; believes that the Scottish Executive has failed to deliver value for money for taxpayers, and calls on the Executive to place more emphasis on delivering public services more efficiently.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 38, Against 70, Abstentions 7).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 50, Abstentions 0).

3.      Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5388—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 17 January 2007

2.00 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Legislative Consent Motion: Consumers, Estates Agents and Redress Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Legislative Consent Motion: Further Education Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

6.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 18 January 2007

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

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

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—

                                      Justice and Law Officers;

                                      Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning

2.55 pm                          Conclusion of Stage 3 Proceedings: Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 24 January 2007

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 25 January 2007

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Crofting Reform etc. Bill

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—

                                      Finance and Public Service and Communities;

                                      Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport

2.55 pm                          Conclusion of Stage 3 Proceedings: Crofting Reform etc. Bill

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

After debate, the motion was agreed to (by division: For 98, Against 16, Abstentions 1).

4.      Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5387—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 16 February 2007.

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Rule 9.6.3A: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5381—That the Parliament agrees under Rule 9.6.3A that the Parliament shall consider the general principles of the Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Bill on the fourth sitting day after the publication of the lead committee report.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6.      Designation of Lead Committee: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5382—That the Parliament agrees that the Subordinate Legislation Committee should report on the draft Scottish Parliament (Disqualification) Order 2007 and that the Order should be considered by the Parliament.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Substitution on Committees: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-5383—That the Parliament agrees that Ms Rosemary Byrne be appointed as the Solidarity Group substitute on the Local Government and Transport Committee; and

S2M-5384—That the Parliament agrees that Tommy Sheridan be appointed as the Solidarity Group substitute on the Education Committee.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

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

9.      Bring Back Our Buses Campaign: The Parliament debated S2M-5327 in the name of Colin Fox—That the Parliament notes that several vital community bus services in the Edinburgh area have been cut or made virtually unaffordable through fare increases over the last year; applauds the efforts of the South Queensferry Bus Users’ Group in campaigning for affordable fares and of the “Bring Back our Buses” campaign in calling for the retention of frequent services on the 13, 18, 38 routes and the reinstatement of full services on the 67, 20 and 60 routes, which are much used by OAPs and other vulnerable members of excluded communities in Blackhall, Ratho, Dumbiedykes, Wester Hailes and Pilton, and believes that local authorities should be allowed to regulate bus routes and timetables to ensure that marginalised communities are able to access services and amenities.

The meeting closed at 5.54 pm.

No. 46            Thursday 11 January 2007

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Education with specific reference to Skills Academies: Murdo Fraser moved S2M-5386—That the Parliament believes that our education system should provide children with opportunities to flourish along the lines of their own particular aptitudes and inclinations; notes that for many children over the age of 14 this could predominantly involve activity in a practical or vocational sphere, rather than in a traditional academic one, and welcomes the proposal to establish skills academies, be they stand-alone or attached to schools or colleges, depending on what is most appropriate for a local area, as centres of excellence to extend opportunities to access vocational education to students from the age of 14.

The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Robert Brown) moved amendment S2M-5386.4 to motion S2M-5386—

Leave out from “believes” to end and insert—

“welcomes the priority given to improving education standards by the Scottish Executive, local authorities, schools and other partners; recognises that the Executive’s investment in new and refurbished schools, increased teacher numbers, reducing class sizes, strong parental involvement and stable industrial relations is providing the right environment for real and lasting change for Scotland’s children; welcomes the new opportunities that are being developed through A Curriculum for Excellence and Determined to Succeed, including enabling young people across Scotland aged 14 to 16 to undertake vocational learning in further education colleges as part of the school-based curriculum; believes that a strong and relevant education system is fundamental to securing a smart, successful Scotland in which all our 16 to 19 year-olds are in education, employment or training, and calls for steadily improving opportunities for young people to achieve success in education including, particularly, opportunities to study a wider range of vocational options.”

Fiona Hyslop moved amendment S2M-5386.2 to motion S2M-5386—

Leave out from “for many children” to end and insert—

“most political parties have recognised the need for more vocational experiences for pupils over 14 since 2003 and is concerned about lack of progress in providing this to date; agrees with the position of the Schools and Colleges Review and the Parliament’s Education Committee in its recent Pupil Motivation inquiry that all children should have vocational opportunities and that these should not be restricted by assessment of academic ability at the age of 14; acknowledges that the real challenge is to provide opportunities and choice for all pupils, working together with schools and colleges, and notes the concerns of skills and trades organisations that the proposal for skills academies provided for pupils with lack of academic ability, as proposed recently by the First Minister, is not what is required by them to meet current and future skills demand.”

After debate, amendment S2M-5386.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 45, Abstentions 8).  As a result, amendment S2M-5386.2 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 45, Abstentions 8).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the priority given to improving education standards by the Scottish Executive, local authorities, schools and other partners; recognises that the Executive’s investment in new and refurbished schools, increased teacher numbers, reducing class sizes, strong parental involvement and stable industrial relations is providing the right environment for real and lasting change for Scotland’s children; welcomes the new opportunities that are being developed through A Curriculum for Excellence and Determined to Succeed, including enabling young people across Scotland aged 14 to 16 to undertake vocational learning in further education colleges as part of the school-based curriculum; believes that a strong and relevant education system is fundamental to securing a smart, successful Scotland in which all our 16 to 19 year-olds are in education, employment or training, and calls for steadily improving opportunities for young people to achieve success in education including, particularly, opportunities to study a wider range of vocational options.

2.      Health with specific reference to Accident and Emergency Unit Provision: John Scott moved S2M-5389—That the Parliament does not accept the case put forward for the closure of accident and emergency units at Ayr Hospital and Monklands Hospital; recognises the real dangers of the proposals for accident and emergency provision in Greater Glasgow, and calls on the Scottish Executive to re-examine its decision to approve these closures.

The Minister for Health and Community Care (Mr Andy Kerr) moved amendment S2M-5389.3 to motion S2M-5389—

Leave out from “does not” to end and insert—

“reaffirms its view that Delivering for Health provides a coherent and consensual basis for service change in NHS Scotland; notes the support expressed in previous debates by Members from across the Parliament and health stakeholders for key aspects of the policy, including promoting local access to services and balancing local delivery with the need to have centres of excellence that provide high-quality, modern, specialist care, focusing on primary care services, separating scheduled and unscheduled care and providing community casualty units; commends the progress being made to implement the key directions set out in Delivering for Health; supports the unparalleled investment in health and health improvement made by the Scottish Executive; welcomes the requirement for investment in primary care and in community casualty services before changes are made to existing accident and emergency services; commends the hard work and outstanding commitment of NHS staff to new and flexible ways of working needed to provide modern and responsive services; supports the principle of a modern, well-resourced NHS in Scotland, free at the point of need, and believes that any necessary changes in the NHS in Scotland should be based on the needs of local communities.”

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-5389.2 to motion S2M-5389—

Insert at end—

“particularly in the light of recent events at Wishaw General Hospital which was forced to close its doors to all but the most severe emergency cases.”

Carolyn Leckie moved amendment S2M-5389.1 to motion S2M-5389—

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

“further expresses concern that hospitals are showing the strain caused by insufficient capacity with, for example, Wishaw General closing to admissions; believes that PFI costs are sucking resources from the NHS, and calls on the Scottish Executive to reverse the closure decisions and conduct an urgent review of NHS capacity with reference to meeting actual need and to abandon the wasteful PFI policy to fund capital projects.”

After debate, amendment S2M-5389.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 54, Abstentions 1).  As a result, amendments S2M-5389.2 and S2M-5389.1 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 52, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament reaffirms its view that Delivering for Health provides a coherent and consensual basis for service change in NHS Scotland; notes the support expressed in previous debates by Members from across the Parliament and health stakeholders for key aspects of the policy, including promoting local access to services and balancing local delivery with the need to have centres of excellence that provide high-quality, modern, specialist care, focusing on primary care services, separating scheduled and unscheduled care and providing community casualty units; commends the progress being made to implement the key directions set out in Delivering for Health; supports the unparalleled investment in health and health improvement made by the Scottish Executive; welcomes the requirement for investment in primary care and in community casualty services before changes are made to existing accident and emergency services; commends the hard work and outstanding commitment of NHS staff to new and flexible ways of working needed to provide modern and responsive services; supports the principle of a modern, well-resourced NHS in Scotland, free at the point of need, and believes that any necessary changes in the NHS in Scotland should be based on the needs of local communities.

3.      General Question Time:  General 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 Environment and Rural Development, and on Health and Community Care were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6.      Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-5336—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 87, Against 2, Abstentions 28).

7.      Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Johann Lamont) moved S2M-5346—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any increase in expenditure—

            (a)       charged on the Scottish Consolidated Fund; and

            (b)       payable out of that Fund for existing purposes,

in consequence of the Act.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8.      Appointment of Minister: The First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell) moved S2M-5390—That the Parliament agrees that Rhona Brankin be appointed as a Minister.

The motion was agreed to.

9.  Appointment of Junior Scottish Minister: The First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell) moved S2M-5391—That the Parliament agrees that Sarah Boyack be appointed as a junior Scottish Minister.

The motion was agreed to.

10. Substitution on Committees: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-5395—That the Parliament agrees that Carolyn Leckie be appointed as the Scottish Socialist Party substitute on the Justice 2 Committee;

S2M-5396—That the Parliament agrees that Frances Curran be appointed as the Scottish Socialist Party substitute on the Equal Opportunities Committee; and

S2M-5397—That the Parliament agrees that Colin Fox be appointed as the Scottish Socialist Party substitute on the Public Petitions Committee.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

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

12.   Neighbourhood Services: The Parliament debated S2M-5332 in the name of Margaret Jamieson—That the Parliament congratulates East Ayrshire Council and NHS Ayrshire and Arran on the establishment of the North West Kilmarnock Primary Care Neighbourhood Services Centre, an ambitious multi-agency partnership project delivering world-class public services for local communities through the co-location of interconnected public bodies at a single site where those who need them most can access them, exemplifying the practice of building public services around the people who use them.

The meeting closed at 5.31 pm.

 No. 47           Wednesday 17 January 2007

The meeting opened at 2.00 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Maureen McIntyre, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Education and Young People (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-5338—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill.

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

3.      Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Robert Brown) moved S2M-5363—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any expenditure of a kind referred to in paragraph 3(b)(iii) and any charge or payment of a kind referred to in paragraph 4 of Rule 9.12 of the Parliament’s Standing Orders arising in consequence of the Act.

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

4.      Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Bill: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-5334—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 108, Against 1, Abstentions 10).

5.      Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) moved S2M-5398—That the Parliament endorses the principle of giving consumers an effective voice as set out in the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 16 November 2006, and agrees that the relevant provisions to achieve this end in the Bill should be considered by the UK Parliament.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

6.      Further Education and Training Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) moved S2M-5399—That the Parliament agrees that the relevant provisions of the Further Education and Training Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 20 November 2006, relating to the devolved matters of training and employment, to alter the executive competence of the Scottish Ministers in respect of services to share information and assistance in relation to employment and training, and in respect of industrial training levies, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 88, Against 30, Abstentions 1).

7.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5422—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 24 January 2007

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Financial Resolution: Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Debate on the draft Scottish Parliament (Disqualification) Order 2007

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 25 January 2007

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Crofting Reform etc. Bill

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                          Standards and Public Appointments Committee 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Reports 2006: Determinations required under the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill

followed by                      Debate on the draft Scottish Local Government Elections Order 2007

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 31 January 2007

 

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 1 February 2007

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—

Health and Community Care;
Environment and Rural Development

2.55 pm                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

8.      Membership of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5420—That the Parliament agrees that Peter Peacock be appointed to replace Sarah Boyack on the Environment and Rural Development Committee.

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

9.      Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 as noted above.

10.   Dennistoun Dispersal Order: The Parliament debated S2M-5368 in the name of Paul Martin—That the Parliament welcomes the success of the dispersal order in the Dennistoun area of Glasgow; notes that the dispersal order has been widely welcomed by residents who live in the Dennistoun area; recognises the importance of ensuring that the legal remedies provided by the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 are enforced; congratulates Strathclyde Police E Division on its commitment to ensuring that the dispersal order introduced on 13 October 2006 is a success, and believes that steps should be taken to ensure that a comprehensive exit plan is in place after the dispersal notice expires, that there is a local plan to ensure that local youth diversionary activities are in place and that an independent evaluation is carried out.

The meeting closed at 6.48 pm.

 No. 48           Thursday 18 January 2007

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill – Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5423—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) 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 in the morning and afternoon being called) or otherwise not in progress:

Groups 1 to 3:               50 minutes

Groups 4 to 8:               1 hour 45 minutes

Group 9:                        2 hours 5 minutes

Groups 10 to 11:          2 hours 55 minutes

Groups 12 to 15:          3 hours 25 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

2.      Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 37, 38, 39, 67, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 57, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61 and 62.

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            10        (For 31, Against 65, Abstentions 2)

            11        (For 32, Against 65, Abstentions 0)

            12        (For 32, Against 67, Abstentions 0)

            1          (For 15, Against 82, Abstentions 0)

            35        (For 28, Against 67, Abstentions 3)

            65        (For 40, Against 54, Abstentions 1)

            66        (For 11, Against 91, Abstentions 0)

The following amendments were not moved: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 13, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 36, 40, 8 and 9.

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 the Scottish Law Officers and by the Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6.      Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Johann Lamont) moved S2M-5337—That the Parliament agrees that the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Bill be passed.

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

7.      Motion without Notice: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved without notice that the Parliament agrees under Rule 11.2.4 of the Standing Orders that Decision Time on Thursday 18 January 2007 be taken at 3.51 pm. 

The motion was agreed to.

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

9.      Home Smart: The Parliament debated S2M-5079 in the name of Linda Fabiani—That the Parliament welcomes the home smart campaign by the Scottish Council for Single Homeless (SCSH) and its aim of ensuring that school leavers understand the issues surrounding homelessness and how to avoid it; commends those schools in the Central Scotland region which have committed themselves to participate; values the contribution made by organisations like SCSH in tackling homelessness, and calls for a renewed effort to end homelessness.

The meeting closed at 4.26 pm.

 No. 49           Wednesday 24 January 2007

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Linda Todd, National Director, the Leprosy Mission Scotland, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Education and Young People (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-5339—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Bill.

Fiona Hyslop moved amendment S2M-5339.3 to motion S2M-5339—

Insert at end—

"but, in so doing, regrets that provision for the piloting of free and nutritious school meals on a universal basis in public sector nurseries and the early years of primary school has not been included in the Bill, nor the flexibility to introduce this at a later date, as a key element in tackling health and nutrition of children and improving the uptake of school meals in the longer term."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 34, Against 77, Abstentions 2).

Frances Curran moved amendment S2M-5339.4 to motion S2M-5339—

Insert at end—

"and, in so doing, urges the Scottish Executive to consider the crucial research by Hull City Council, announced on 22 January 2007, which shows how free healthy school meals can assist take up and improve learning and behaviour; acknowledges evidence already given to the Communities Committee which supports free healthy school meals, and considers that amendments should be brought forward at Stage 2 which would introduce free healthy school meals for all state school children, including those in nurseries."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 13, Against 77, Abstentions 23).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 107, Against 0, Abstentions 6).

3.      Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Bill – Financial Resolution: The Minister for Education and Young People (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-5410—That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any increase in expenditure for existing purposes payable, in consequence of the Act, out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund.

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 106, Against 4, Abstentions 2).

4.      The Draft Scottish Parliament (Disqualification) Order 2007: The Deputy Minister for Finance, Public Service Reform and Parliamentary Business (George Lyon) moved S2M-5442—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Scottish Parliament (Disqualification) Order 2007 be approved.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 107, Against 6, Abstentions 0).

5.      Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5461—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 31 January 2007

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 1 Debate: Health Board Elections (Scotland) Bill

followed by                                                            Legislative Consent Motion: Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 1 February 2007

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                                                                Stage 1 Debate: Rights of Relatives to Damages (Mesothelioma) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                                                            Legislative Consent Motion: Statistics and Registration Services Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 7 February 2007

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 8 February 2007

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                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

 

6.      Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5462—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 2 March 2007.

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Approval of SSIs: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-5452—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Farm Woodland Premium Schemes and SFGS Farmland Premium Scheme Amendment (Scotland) Scheme 2007 be approved; and

S2M-5453—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2007 be approved.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

8.      Substitution on Committees: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5455—That the Parliament agrees that Mr Andrew Arbuckle be appointed to replace Jeremy Purvis as the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party substitute on the Environment and Rural Development Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9.      Rule 10.6.5: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5463—That the Parliament agrees that, for the purpose of allowing up to 30 minutes to debate motion S2M-5454 in relation to the draft Local Government Elections Order 2007 on Thursday 25 January 2007, the second and third sentences of Rule 10.6.5 of Standing Orders be suspended.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10.   Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 as noted above.

11.  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month: The Parliament debated S2M-5406 in the name of Patrick Harvie—That the Parliament notes that February is LGBT History Month and that events will be taking place around Scotland to celebrate the lives of Scottish LGBT people, past and present; congratulates the many organisations that have contributed to LGBT History Month, including voluntary organisations, religious groups, businesses and the Scottish Executive; regrets that LGBT history, from the horrors of the gulags and gas chambers to the achievements of LGBT people in all spheres of life, often remains unwritten and unspoken; believes that this represents a cultural loss to the whole of society; further believes that young LGBT people in particular have a right to learn about their cultural heritage in all its forms, and hopes therefore that many communities, including schools, will participate in LGBT History Month this year and in the future.

The meeting closed at 5.53 pm.

No. 50            Thursday 25 January 2007

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Crofting Reform etc. Bill – Business Motion: Alasdair Morgan, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5464—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Crofting Reform etc. Bill, debate on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time limit indicated, that time limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when the meeting of the Parliament is suspended (other than a suspension following the first division in the Stage being called) or otherwise not in progress:

Groups 1 to 5:  55 minutes

Groups 6 and 7:  1 hour 15 minutes

Groups 8 to 11: 1 hour 35 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

2.      Crofting Reform etc. Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 42, 43, 5, 6, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 50, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 38, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25.

Amendment 1 was agreed to by division: (For 97, Against 3, Abstentions 0).

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            39        (For 45, Against 55, Abstentions 0)

            28        (For 15, Against 87, Abstentions 0)

            32        (For 16, Against 85, Abstentions 0)

            34        (For 16, Against 87, Abstentions 0)

            40        (For 44, Against 58, Abstentions 0)

            41        (For 14, Against 86, Abstentions 0).

The following amendments were moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn: 26, 33 and 35.

The following amendments were not moved: 29, 30, 31, 36, 37, 38A and 2.

3.      Crofting Reform etc. Bill - Stage 3: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-5335—That the Parliament agrees that the Crofting Reform etc. Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 91, Against 5, Abstentions 20).

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

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

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

7.   Determinations required under the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006: Brian Adam, on behalf of the Standards and Public Appointments Committee, moved—

S2M-5431—That the Parliament notes the Standards and Public Appointments Committee’s 5th Report, 2006 (Session 2), Determinations required under the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 - Determination required under Section 4 (SP Paper 706), and agrees that the determination set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 4 April 2007;

S2M-5432—That the Parliament notes the Standards and Public Appointments Committee’s 6th Report, 2006 (Session 2), Determinations required under the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 - Determination required under Section 11 (SP Paper 707), and agrees that the determination set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 4 April 2007;

S2M-5433—That the Parliament notes the Standards and Public Appointments Committee’s 7th Report, 2006 (Session 2), Determinations required under the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 - Determination required under Section 13 (SP Paper 708) and agrees that the determination set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 4 April 2007; and

S2M-5434—That the Parliament notes the Standards and Public Appointments Committee’s 8th Report, 2006 (Session 2), Determinations required under the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 - Determination required under the schedule, paragraph 8 (SP Paper 709), and agrees that the determination set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 4 April 2007.

After debate, the motions were agreed to (DT).

8.      Budget (Scotland) (No. 4) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-5441—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Budget (Scotland) (No. 4) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 90, Against 7, Abstentions 18).

9.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5454—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Scottish Local Government Elections Order 2007 be approved. 

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 108, Against 6, Abstentions 3).

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

11.    Fair Parking for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh: The Parliament debated S2M-5414 in the name of Mike Pringle—That the Parliament welcomes the plan to build a new hospital for sick children alongside the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France in south Edinburgh; notes that parking costs only 70p per hour and is free in the evening and at weekends near the current Royal Hospital for Sick Children site in Sciennes but that parking at the Royal Infirmary is almost £1.20 per hour, up to a maximum of £10 per day, and that this applies for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and believes that bus services to the Little France area should be improved from all parts of the city and that NHS Lothian should guarantee that parking at any new hospital will not cost any more than the current site and that the mistakes that were made in respect of fixing parking charges at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh are not made in planning the new sick children’s hospital.

The meeting closed at 5.41 pm.

 No. 51           Wednesday 31 January 2007

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Rev Murdo Maclean from Carmyle and Kenmuir Mount Vernon Churches, Glasgow, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Health Board Elections (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: Bill Butler moved S2M-5478—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Health Board Elections (Scotland) Bill.

After debate, the motion was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 55, Against 64, Abstentions 0).

3.      Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Johann Lamont) moved S2M-5427—That the Parliament agrees that the relevant provisions of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 16 November 2006, (a) relating to the establishment of a new Tribunals Service and an Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council and (b) providing immunity from seizure for international works of art on loan to exhibitions in this country, so far as these matters fall within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

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

4.      Business Motion: Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-5515—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 7 February 2007

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Promotion of Tartan and Scotland’s Tartan Industry

followed by                      Debate on the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2007

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 8 February 2007

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                          Stage 3 Debate: Transport and Works (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 14 February 2007

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Debate: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill

followed by                      Executive Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 15 February 2007

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, Tourism, Culture and Sport;

                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities

2.55 pm                          Stage 3 Debate: Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

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

S2M-5514—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 23 February 2007; and

S2M-5516—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 16 February 2007.

After debate, the motions were agreed to.

6.      Designation of Lead Committee: Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5511—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2007 be considered by the Parliament.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

8.   90th Anniversary of Passchendaele: The Parliament debated S2M-5290 in the name of Murdo Fraser—That the Parliament notes that 31 July 2007 will mark the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele which was launched on 31 July 1917 and continued until the fall of Passchendaele village on 6 November 1917; notes that Passchendaele saw the biggest loss of life of any battle in the First World War with over half a million British, Commonwealth and German troops killed, wounded or missing; notes that the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 is currently planning a number of events to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the battle, including unveiling a Celtic cross as a memorial to commemorate Scottish soldiers who took part in the battle; thanks all governments, organisations and individuals that have contributed towards commemorations planned and towards the memorial; welcomes the memorial as it will commemorate the Scottish regiments that played a pivotal role in the battle, which saw the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, the Black Watch, the Cameronians, the Gordon Highlanders, the Highland Light Infantry, the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, the Royal Scots, the Scots Guards and the Seaforth Highlanders in combat for the United Kingdom, fighting with dignity, skill and honour in treacherous conditions, and believes that the Scottish Executive should mark the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele and contribute towards the commemorations.

The meeting closed at 5.47 pm.

No. 52            Thursday 1 February 2007

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Green Procurement: Patrick Harvie moved S2M-5494—That the Parliament notes the transposition into Scots Law of the European public procurement directive (2004/18/EEC) in January 2006 and, in particular, notes the directive’s clarification that public bodies may legitimately specify social and environmental criteria in their procurement contracts; welcomes the publication by the European Commission of Buying Green!: A Handbook on Environmental Public Procurement but regrets that Scottish-specific guidance on the matter is not currently available, and calls on the Scottish Executive to make social and environmental criteria mandatory in all public contracts and to issue guidance to all local authorities and public bodies to enable them to meet these requirements.

The Deputy Minister for Finance, Public Service Reform and Parliamentary Business (George Lyon) moved amendment S2M-5494.4 to motion S2M-5494—

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

“recognises the Scottish Executive’s record on sustainable/green procurement; notes that Scottish-specific guidance on sustainable procurement for public sector buyers and sellers is available on the Executive’s website; notes that the Executive has issued best practice guidance on sustainable procurement, including a contribution to the Best Value toolkits, to local authorities and public bodies, and welcomes the contribution which public procurement has made, and will continue to make, to the achievement of the partnership commitments to a successful, sustainable Scotland.”

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-5494.3 to motion S2M-5494—

Insert at end—

“and further calls on the Executive to report to the Parliament, prior to dissolution, providing details of any measures taken, and their results, in response to the call made by the Environment and Rural Development Committee in its report published in May 2005 for public procurement to be used to tackle climate change.”

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-5494.2 to motion S2M-5494—

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

“further regrets that, whilst there are some good examples of local food procurement in Scotland, as the Environment and Rural Development Committee’s 8th Report (2006) notes, “there is no sense that the Executive has a robust strategy for rolling this out”; further regrets the bureaucratic hurdles faced, especially by small and social firms, in tendering for public contracts, and therefore calls on the Scottish Executive to establish a dedicated procurement unit to act as a single point of entry for the public sector and to be tasked with taking forward ways of procuring local produce without contravening European law.”

After debate, amendment S2M-5494.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 57, Against 49, Abstentions 1). As a result, amendment S2M-5494.2 was pre-empted. Amendment S2M-5494.3 was then disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 33, Against 72, Abstentions 2).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 58, Against 47, Abstentions 2).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the Scottish Executive’s record on sustainable/green procurement; notes that Scottish-specific guidance on sustainable procurement for public sector buyers and sellers is available on the Executive’s website; notes that the Executive has issued best practice guidance on sustainable procurement, including a contribution to the Best Value toolkits, to local authorities and public bodies, and welcomes the contribution which public procurement has made, and will continue to make, to the achievement of the partnership commitments to a successful, sustainable Scotland.

2.      Scottish Water: Mark Ruskell moved S2M-5510—That the Parliament notes growing pressure for Scottish Water to be privatised; further notes the substantial improvements that have been made in Scottish Water’s performance, all of this having been achieved while keeping Scottish Water in the public sector; notes the Water Industry Commission’s lack of a wider social and environmental remit and its use of a regulatory model more suited to a private utility than to a public one; considers that improving the service, upgrading the water and sewerage system, reducing leakages and ensuring effective regulation should not centre on short-term efficiency measures but on the quality and safe delivery of services in the long term, and affirms its commitment to keeping Scottish Water under public ownership and control.

The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Sarah Boyack) moved amendment S2M-5510.2 to motion S2M-5510—

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

“welcomes the substantial improvements that have been made in Scottish Water’s performance, all of this having been achieved while keeping Scottish Water in the public sector; recognises that the objectives set by ministers for 2006-14, which properly recognise the social and environmental priorities of the Scottish Executive, will not only deliver further improvements in drinking water quality, environmental protection, and customer service but also relieve development constraints, upgrade the water and sewerage system and reduce leakages; recognises that the role of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland is to assess the lowest reasonable overall costs of delivering the objectives that ministers have specified, taking account of appropriate external benchmarks, and affirms that Scottish Water operating in the current regulatory framework will go on to deliver further improvements in this vital public service.”

Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-5510.1 to motion S2M-5510—

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

“believes that Scottish Water is failing its customers because it is inefficient, misallocates resources, overcharges customers, particularly businesses which were overcharged by £44 million every year, and holds back much-needed development; further believes that Scottish Water must be removed from state control and transferred into a “not-for-dividend” organisation in line with Welsh Water, and considers that this would enable Scottish customers to benefit from the lower costs and higher levels of service enjoyed by their counterparts south of the Border.”

After debate, amendment S2M-5510.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 58, Against 48, Abstentions 1). As a result, amendment S2M-5510.1 was pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 57, Against 48, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the substantial improvements that have been made in Scottish Water’s performance, all of this having been achieved while keeping Scottish Water in the public sector; recognises that the objectives set by ministers for 2006-14, which properly recognise the social and environmental priorities of the Scottish Executive, will not only deliver further improvements in drinking water quality, environmental protection, and customer service but also relieve development constraints, upgrade the water and sewerage system and reduce leakages; recognises that the role of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland is to assess the lowest reasonable overall costs of delivering the objectives that ministers have specified, taking account of appropriate external benchmarks, and affirms that Scottish Water operating in the current regulatory framework will go on to deliver further improvements in this vital public service.

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.      Rights of Relatives to Damages (Mesothelioma) (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-5360—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Rights of Relatives to Damages (Mesothelioma) (Scotland) Bill.

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

7.      Statistics and Registration Service Bill - UK Legislation: The Minister for Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-5467—That the Parliament agrees that the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on 21 November 2006, which relate to statistics in Scotland and which are within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament or which confer functions on the Scottish Ministers, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 57, Against 36, Abstentions 14).

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

9.      Cervical Cancer and the HPV Vaccine: The Parliament debated S2M-5359 in the name of Kenneth Macintosh—That the Parliament welcomes the licensing of the first vaccine against strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV) responsible for around 70% of cases of cervical cancer; expresses its concern that, despite a 40-year history of cervical screening in the United Kingdom, almost 3,000 women are diagnosed and 1,000 women still die of cervical cancer each year in the UK; recognises that the vaccine will not prevent all cases of cervical cancer and that it is not known whether it will prevent cancer in women already infected with HPV; therefore believes that the cervical cancer screening programme should be continued and that further action should be taken to increase the take-up of screening in more deprived areas, among ethnic minority groups and among women with learning difficulties; further believes that this will improve early detection and allow earlier treatment of this disease; recognises the role of charities such as Jo’s Trust, Cancerbackup and Cancer Research UK, amongst others, in supporting patients with cervical cancer and their families and in counselling the thousands more women who worry about their health following an abnormal smear result; recognises the huge potential benefits to be had through vaccination in East Renfrewshire and throughout Scotland from reducing the incidence of cervical cancer, reducing the number of colposcopies, reducing the number of abnormal smears and reducing the number of people requiring treatment for genital warts; further recognises the success of the Scottish Executive in its public health campaigns and cancer prevention strategies, and considers that ministers should put in place measures to raise awareness and to prepare for a vaccination programme.

The meeting closed at 5.44 pm.

 No. 53           Wednesday 7 February 2007

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: The Right Reverend Alan McDonald, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Promotion of Tartan and Scotland’s Tartan Industry: The Parliament debated the subject of Promotion of Tartan and Scotland’s Tartan Industry.

3.      The Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2007: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-5503—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2007 be approved.

Derek Brownlee moved amendment S2M-5503.1 to motion S2M-5503—

Insert at end—

“but, in so doing, considers that the accountability of both the Scottish Executive and local authorities for their role in determining the level of the council tax, and the impact on services provided, would be strengthened by a more transparent budget process with a reduced level of “ring fencing” of grants to local authorities by the Executive.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 49, Against 67, Abstentions 0).

The motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 110, Against 5, Abstentions 1).

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-5552—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 14 February 2007

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill

followed by                      Executive Debate: Taking the NHS Local

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 15 February 2007

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Solidarity Group Business

followed by                      Independent Group Business

11.40 am                        General Question Time

12 noon                          First Minister’s Question Time

2.15 pm                          Themed Question Time—

                                      Education, Tourism, Culture and Sport;

                                      Finance and Public Services and Communities

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.55 pm                          Stage 3 Proceedings: Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 21 February 2007

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 22 February 2007

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                          Executive Business

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5553—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Rights of Relatives to Damages (Mesothelioma) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2 be completed by 23 February 2007.

The motion was agreed to.

6.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5554—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exclusions and Exceptions) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2007 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7.      Membership of Committee: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5555—That the Parliament agrees that Malcolm Chisholm be appointed to replace Dr Elaine Murray on the Finance Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

9.      Disabled Access to Shotts Railway Station: The Parliament debated S2M-5450 in the name of Karen Whitefield—That the Parliament believes that all railway stations in Scotland should be fully accessible to people who have a disability; in particular, notes that the east-bound platform at Shotts railway station has no disabled access, which means that wheelchair users currently must use an alternative railway station, and considers that Transport Scotland should provide suitable disabled access to this station as a matter of urgency.

The meeting closed at 5.46 pm.

 No. 54           Thursday 8 February 2007

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Transport and Works (Scotland) Bill – Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5561—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Transport and Works (Scotland) 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 a meeting of the Parliament is suspended (other than a suspension following the first division in the Stage being called) or otherwise not in progress:

         Groups 1 to 5:   1 hour 5 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

2.      Forth and Tay Road Bridges Tolls: Tricia Marwick moved S2M-5535—That the Parliament believes that the tolls should be removed from the Forth Road Bridge and the Tay Road Bridge.

The Minister for Transport (Tavish Scott) moved amendment S2M-5535.2 to motion S2M-5535—

Leave out from “believes” to end and insert—

“commits to a replacement crossing across the Forth and calls on the Cabinet to commit to preparatory work to start immediately; calls for the case for abolition of the tolls on the Fife Bridges to be considered in the light of the commitment to the new crossing; notes that the SNP’s sums do not add up and that under its current plans the SNP would not be able to afford to lift the tolls and pay for the construction of a new crossing; notes that its proposals do not address the impact of congestion or other environmental, social and economic impacts, and notes the importance of a sustainable transport policy, including smart tolling and investment in public transport to meet the long-term needs of Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 56, Against 66, Abstentions 1).

Mark Ballard moved amendment S2M-5535.1 to motion S2M-5535—

leave out from “the tolls” to end and insert “existing tolls on the Forth Road Bridge and the Tay Road Bridge should be replaced with a scheme of variable charging which takes into account factors such as occupancy levels, peak hour traffic flows and specific exemptions, including for public transport, and that the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board and the Forth Transport Estuary Forum should be given more flexibility to use toll revenues to deal with transport issues in the vicinity.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 7, Against 117, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 58, Against 65, Abstentions   1).

3.      Early Years Education, Development and Care: Fiona Hyslop moved S2M-5549—That the Parliament believes that early years education, care and development support for our youngest children can provide firm foundations for later life and that there needs to be an increase in pace and attention in terms of delivery for the early years in Scotland; further believes that Scotland needs a 10-year strategy for care, development and education in the early years; recognises the vital role that nursery nurses play in delivery of this service as part of a team approach to early years services; calls for a 50% increase in free nursery education with access to a nursery teacher for all children; condemns the Scottish Executive for falling two years behind England and Wales in the provision of nursery education despite the fact that resources have been made available through the Barnett formula, and calls on ministers to offer an explanation.

The Deputy Minister for Education and Young People (Robert Brown) moved amendment S2M-5549.2 to motion S2M-5549—

Leave out from “that there needs” to end and insert—

“welcomes the significant increase in pre-school education entitlement that has been delivered since 1999; recognises that teachers have, and will continue to have, a major role to play in delivering pre-school education; recognises the vital role that qualified early years practitioners play in delivering early years services and welcomes proposals to deliver greater professionalism and improved career pathways for early years staff; welcomes proposals under A Curriculum for Excellence to introduce more active learning into early primary education; recognises that early years strategy needs to reflect these developments, and recognises that the Scottish Executive’s investment in education has rebuilt the foundations of a successful education system in Scotland”.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton moved amendment S2M-5549.1 to motion S2M-5549—

Leave out from—

“that there needs” to end and insert “can assist parents with the difficult but rewarding task of raising children; further believes that provision must be advanced, highly-skilled and flexible in order to meet the range of needs that parents and children in Scotland have; therefore expresses its concern that access to qualified teachers in nurseries may be insufficient in some areas of Scotland; recognises the potential that early intervention has for helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds, or who have additional support needs or are otherwise at risk, and calls for serious consideration to be given to expanding the number of family centres, particularly in areas of deprivation.”

After debate, amendment S2M-5549.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 51, Abstentions 6).  As a result, amendment S2M-5549.1 was pre-empted.

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 68, Against 24, Abstentions 31).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament believes that early years education, care and development support for our youngest children can provide firm foundations for later life and welcomes the significant increase in pre-school education entitlement that has been delivered since 1999; recognises that teachers have, and will continue to have, a major role to play in delivering pre-school education; recognises the vital role that qualified early years practitioners play in delivering early years services and welcomes proposals to deliver greater professionalism and improved career pathways for early years staff; welcomes proposals under A Curriculum for Excellence to introduce more active learning into early primary education; recognises that early years strategy needs to reflect these developments, and recognises that the Scottish Executive’s investment in education has rebuilt the foundations of a successful education system in Scotland.

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

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

6.      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.

7.      Transport and Works (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.

Amendment 16 was disagreed to (by division: For 5, Against 97, Abstentions 1)

Amendment 1 was moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn.

The following amendments were not moved: 2 and 3.

8.      Transport and Works (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Minister for Transport (Tavish Scott) moved S2M-5361—That the Parliament agrees that the Transport and Works (Scotland) Bill be passed.

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

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

10.    School Transport Safety: The Parliament debated S2M-5425 in the name of Ms Maureen Watt—That the Parliament notes that current legislation regarding the provision of seatbelts on school transport does not require all school buses to be fitted with seatbelt facilities; further notes that the mandatory fitting of seatbelts on school buses only applies to those vehicles first used on or after 1 October 2001 or those manufactured six months before that date; recognises that this loophole can result in children’s safety being jeopardised, as was experienced at a recent accident in Aberdeenshire, and considers that the Scottish Executive should make representations to the Department for Transport in order to have legislation amended so that all school buses, regardless of age and size, are fitted with adequate seatbelt facilities.

The meeting closed at 5.39 pm.

No. 55            Wednesday 14 February 2007

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Imam Arif, Central Scotland Islamic Centre, Stirling, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill – Stage 3: The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe) moved S2M-5551—That the Parliament agrees that the Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 108, Against 5, Abstentions 1).

3.      Making the NHS Local: The Minister for Health and Community Care (Mr Andy Kerr) moved S2M-5572—That the Parliament supports the goal of further shifting the balance of care away from reactive, episodic care in the acute sector towards preventive, integrated and continuous care embedded in local communities; congratulates NHS Scotland on the significant progress in making its service more local, as required by “Delivering for Health”; welcomes for instance the 50% increase in funding for primary medical services over the period from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and unprecedented investment in primary and community care premises; supports the new community hospital strategy with its focus on providing local facilities and services appropriate to modern-day demands; welcomes the establishment of the Scottish Centre for Telehealth in Grampian and the approaches it will bring to widening access to specialist services, such as seen in the tele-neurology service in Orkney; commends the shift from hospital-based provision to local access for services such as chemotherapy and dialysis and expects community health partnerships to continue to accelerate such a shift; recognises the benefits to communities of more local access for the majority of their unscheduled care needs that will be brought about by the development of community casualty units; welcomes the continuing development of new staff roles and expertise as a means to carry services closer to patients; supports the community pharmacy minor ailments service as an excellent example of improved local access; supports the Scottish Executive’s intention to improve Scotland’s health, focussing especially on reducing inequalities between those with the best and worst health; acknowledges the contribution to improving health of services in local communities for people of all ages, from improving children’s dental health in Glasgow to promoting walking for health by older people; applauds the world-leading anticipatory care “Keep well” services which tackle coronary heart disease in the most deprived communities, and welcomes this package of service change and the continued development of local community health partnerships as a strong and coherent response to the changing pattern of demand that NHS Scotland will face.

Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-5572.2 to motion S2M-5572—

Leave out from “the goal of” to end and insert—

“the delivery of core acute services, such as accident and emergency and maternity services, as locally as possible while also recognising that some specialist services may need to be delivered in larger centres; recognises that "Delivering for Health" provides an opportunity to reverse the trend of further centralisation and keep services local; welcomes the additional investment in primary medical services; supports the new community hospital strategy with its focus on providing local facilities and services appropriate to modern-day demands; welcomes the establishment of the Scottish Centre for Telehealth in Grampian and the approaches it will bring to widening access to specialist services, such as seen in the tele-neurology service in Orkney; commends the shift from hospital-based provision to local access for services such as chemotherapy and dialysis and expects community health partnerships to continue to accelerate such a shift; recognises the benefits of community casualty units which can help to relieve pressure from busy accident and emergency departments; welcomes the continuing development of new staff roles and expertise as a means to carry services closer to patients; supports the community pharmacy minor ailments service as an excellent example of improved local access; supports the increasing focus of NHS Scotland on reducing inequalities between those with the best and worst health; acknowledges the contribution to improving health of services in local communities for people of all ages, from improving children’s dental health in Glasgow to promoting walking for health by older people; applauds the world-leading anticipatory care "Keep well" services which tackle coronary heart disease in the most deprived communities, and welcomes the continued development of local community health partnerships as a strong and coherent response to the changing pattern of demand that NHS Scotland will face.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 30, Against 67, Abstentions 15).

Mrs Nanette Milne moved amendment S2M-5572.3 to motion S2M-5572—

Leave out from “congratulates” to end and insert—

“however recognises the importance of retaining a sustainable number of acute sector beds and services and recognises continuing public concern over the extent of proposed centralisation of hospital services; congratulates the NHS where it has established innovative approaches to meeting modern day demands such as the use of tele-medicine in Grampian and Orkney and the shift of chemotherapy and dialysis to the local community; recognises the increase in funding for the NHS however notes that despite this substantial increase there are still many issues to address; supports the Scottish Executive’s focus on health promotion and reducing inequalities between those with the best and worst health however believes that patient need would be best met with more purchasing power being placed in the hands of patients and GPs so that their choices determine the development of the service, and also seeks to develop a health service driven by clinical need rather than responding to centrally imposed targets.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 98, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 73, Against 5, Abstentions 36).

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5577—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 21 February 2007

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Antisocial Behaviour

followed by                      Scottish National Party Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 22 February 2007

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                          Executive Debate: Affordable Housing

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 28 February 2007

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 1 March 2007

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

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.55 pm                          Stage 3 Proceedings: Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

5.      Approval of SSI: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5574—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Public Appointments and Public Bodies etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 (Amendment of Specified Authorities) Order 2007 be approved.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

7.      Awareness of Coeliac Disease: The Parliament debated S2M-5385 in the name of Margo MacDonald—That the Parliament is concerned that the average general practitioner has little or no experience of coeliac disease, an extremely debilitating illness that affects one in 100 of the population, of which seven out of eight are undiagnosed; regrets that the lack of knowledge of this condition prevents many people with coeliac disease from receiving early diagnosis, leading to serious complications such as osteoporosis and bowel cancer if left undetected; welcomes the work done by Coeliac UK in providing literature, advice, a helpline and dietary information to address this need, and believes that the Scottish Executive should promote such measures as it sees fit to ensure that GPs in the Lothians and throughout Scotland receive more appropriate training and support to enable them to recognise and to diagnose the disease more accurately.

The meeting closed at 5.58 pm.

No. 56            Thursday 15 February 2007

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Workers’ Rights: Ms Rosemary Byrne moved S2M-5581—That the Parliament supports the Simclar workers and calls for an appropriate redundancy package for them; welcomes the DTI investigation into the circumstances surrounding the closure of the Ayrshire plants; condemns poor employment practices that result in workers being sacked via text messages, video conferences and factory gate notices and denied real and proper consultation and appropriate redundancy payments, illustrated by the recent examples at Simclar Ayrshire, NCR Dundee and Young’s in Annan; recognises the need to improve workers’ rights and the existence of the Trade Union Freedom Bill in the Westminster Parliament last session which attracted cross-party support from 187 MPs and the re-lodged bill in the current term; recognises that this Trade Union Freedom Bill is supported and promoted by most trade unions, including the RMT and TGWU, and agrees to endorse and encourage support throughout Scotland for this necessary bill.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) moved amendment S2M-5581.4 to motion S2M-5581—

Leave out from “supports” to end and insert—

“believes that the right to work is a fundamental human right; supports the objective of full employment and welcomes the 150,000 new jobs created in Scotland since devolution in 1999; further supports the Simclar workers and calls for an appropriate redundancy package for them; supports the Scottish Executive’s call for a DTI investigation into the circumstances surrounding the closure of the Ayrshire plants; condemns poor employment practices that result in workers being sacked via text messages and factory gate notices and denied real and proper consultation and appropriate redundancy payments, illustrated by the recent example at Simclar Ayrshire; recognises the need to further improve workers’ rights and entitlements and agrees that the Parliament supports the enhancement of employee rights on consultation in a redundancy situation; reaffirms its commitment to providing appropriate resources to meet the costs of retraining and upskilling workers affected, and recognises the role that the Irvine Bay Regeneration Company will have in creating new job opportunities for the workforce.”

Jim Mather moved amendment S2M-5581.2 to motion S2M-5581—

Leave out from “existence of” to end and insert—

“need to create a new era of social cohesion where employers, employees and the state work together to ensure that Scotland achieves new higher levels of competitiveness and co-operation in the workplace so that we achieve increased economic vibrancy, better terms and conditions in the workplace and an improved safety net for redundant employees.”

After debate, amendment S2M-5581.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 30, Abstentions 23).  As a result, amendment 5581.2 was pre-empted.

Phil Gallie moved amendment S2M-5581.1 to motion S2M-5581—

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

“or factory gate notices and denied real and proper consultation and appropriate redundancy payments, as illustrated by the recent example of Simclar Ayrshire.”

After debate, amendment S2M-5581.1 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 77, Abstentions 24).

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

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament believes that the right to work is a fundamental human right; supports the objective of full employment and welcomes the 150,000 new jobs created in Scotland since devolution in 1999; further supports the Simclar workers and calls for an appropriate redundancy package for them; supports the Scottish Executive’s call for a DTI investigation into the circumstances surrounding the closure of the Ayrshire plants; condemns poor employment practices that result in workers being sacked via text messages and factory gate notices and denied real and proper consultation and appropriate redundancy payments, illustrated by the recent example at Simclar Ayrshire; recognises the need to further improve workers’ rights and entitlements and agrees that the Parliament supports the enhancement of employee rights on consultation in a redundancy situation; reaffirms its commitment to providing appropriate resources to meet the costs of retraining and upskilling workers affected, and recognises the role that the Irvine Bay Urban Regeneration Company will have in creating new job opportunities for the workforce.

2.      School Education: Mr Brian Monteith moved S2M-5570—That the Parliament believes that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) plays a vital role in raising standards of attainment and enhancing the learning of pupils and students at all stages of school and college education and supports its strategic priorities of promoting public accountability through inspection and reporting, working with other organisations to build the capacity of high-quality education and informing education policy development through knowledge of the whole education system, while managing and developing HMIE as a best value public body.

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

6.      Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill – Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5580—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill, debates on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time limit indicated, each time limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when a meeting of the Parliament is suspended (other than a division following the first division in the afternoon being called) or otherwise not in progress:

Groups 1 - 4:     25 minutes

Groups 5 - 8:     45 minutes

Groups 9 - 12: 1 hour and 10 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

7.      Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22 and 20.

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            1          (For 18, Against 84, Abstentions 0)

            4          (For 23, Against 64, Abstentions 0)

Amendment 23 was moved and, with the agreement of the Parliament, withdrawn.

The following amendments were not moved: 24, 25, 26 and 16A.

Amendment 27 was pre-empted.

8.      Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care (Lewis Macdonald) moved S2M-5362—That the Parliament agrees that the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill be passed.

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

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

10.   Threat to Crichton Campus in Dumfries: The Parliament debated S2M-5444 in the name of Dr Elaine Murray—That the Parliament recognises and applauds the success of the Crichton university campus in Dumfries over the past seven years and the contribution made by all stakeholders involved in this unique partnership; is therefore concerned that the University of Glasgow is considering reducing its presence on the campus and possibly withdrawing from the site; notes that the University of Glasgow is considering this action because of an £800,000 annual shortfall in running its campus at the Crichton, and considers that the Scottish Funding Council should assist the University of Glasgow to maintain its presence at its Dumfries site and that the University of Glasgow should defer making any decision to reduce its presence or to withdraw from the site until after this year’s spending review and the forthcoming review of higher education funding.

The meeting closed at 5.53 pm.

No. 57            Wednesday 21 February 2007

The meeting opened at 2.15 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Reverend Joe Kavanagh, Mearns Parish Kirk, Newton Mearns, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Community Safety: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Johann Lamont) moved S2M-5608—That the Parliament acknowledges the good progress being made towards making our communities safer; notes that crime is falling and violent crime is at its lowest level since devolution; welcomes the record numbers of police officers now helping to prevent and detect crime; notes that antisocial behaviour legislation has made a real difference, with effective use being made by the police and local authorities of new measures contained in the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004; welcomes work by community safety partnerships to focus resources on tackling crime and disorder in response to local community needs, and supports the Scottish Executive’s determination to keep working with communities and to make further progress with its partners towards ensuring that decent and law-abiding people can feel safe in their homes and on their streets wherever they live.

Mr Kenny MacAskill moved amendment S2M-5608.1 to motion S2M-5608—

Leave out from “acknowledges” to end and insert—

“recognises the concern and anxiety in our communities caused by both low-level antisocial behaviour and serious and violent crime; appreciates the increased burden placed on our police forces by new legislation and additional requirements; believes that the best way of tackling both serious crime and antisocial behaviour is a visible police presence to reassure the public and deter criminals, and therefore commits to the recruitment of 1,000 additional police officers for our communities.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 23, Against 85, Abstentions 9).

Margaret Mitchell moved amendment S2M-5608.2 to motion S2M-5608—

Leave out from “acknowledges” to end and insert—

“notes, in relation to community safety, that since 1999 crimes and offences are up, that according to the Scottish Crime survey only one in four crimes is reported to the police, that drug crime has increased 5.7% in the last year, that automatic early release of prisoners is not being adequately addressed and that there is a crisis of public confidence in the criminal justice system, and calls on the Scottish Executive to increase police numbers to improve levels of community policing, to bring forward an expansion of drug rehabilitation facilities and to restore clarity and honesty in sentencing in order to improve community safety and rebuild public confidence in our criminal justice system.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 79, Abstentions 23).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 43, Abstentions 7).

3.      The Environment: Richard Lochhead moved S2M-5607—That the Parliament welcomes the recent ruling by the High Court in London that declared the UK Government’s decision to back new nuclear power stations illegal due to a failure to consult adequately; recognises that the judgement is a further blow to the UK Government’s pro-nuclear policy, and rejects the case for new nuclear power stations in Scotland in favour of developing our nation’s enormous renewables and clean energy potential which is the quickest, most effective, safest and less expensive energy option for tackling climate change.

Allan Wilson moved amendment S2M-5607.3 to motion S2M-5607—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes the ruling by the High Court in London regarding the UK Government consultation on energy; notes that the DTI has accepted the judgement and will consult further; believes that the way ahead for energy in Scotland is to deliver on the Scottish Executive’s energy policies; further welcomes the announcement by the Executive that it has already met its 2010 target of 18% of Scotland’s electricity from renewable energy; welcomes the Executive’s support for nine marine power projects, including one set to be the world’s largest, and its commitment to the world-leading European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney; notes that the achievement of the Executive’s renewable energy targets has been through a mix of renewable technologies, including the major Blacklaw windfarm constructed on a former open-cast coal site generating 140MW; notes that projects for the future include the substantial Glen Doe hydro power project, world-leading offshore wind development and significant biomass energy schemes, and believes that Scotland can achieve its future renewables targets if it is supported with determination and consistency by the Executive.”

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S2M-5607.1 to motion S2M-5607—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that human beings are, with a 90% probability, responsible for accelerating climate change and believes that this report simply reinforces the need for urgent action; therefore welcomes the Conservatives’ commitment to a climate change Bill to introduce annual targets and their call for carbon capture and storage to be put on an equal footing with other low-carbon energy sources; believes that we need a broad-based strategy of energy production for future energy provision in Scotland, and further welcomes the Scottish Conservatives’ proposal for a Scottish eco-bonus scheme to incentivise households, communities and small businesses to install modern energy-creating and energy-saving technologies that will have the triple benefit of cutting their energy bills, reducing CO2 emissions and giving a boost to new small-scale renewable technologies.”

Shiona Baird moved amendment S2M-5607.2 to motion S2M-5607—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“recognises that developing a sustainable energy policy is one of the most serious environmental challenges currently facing Scotland, given the need to reduce our climate changing emissions; believes that Scotland’s energy future is best served by a combination of energy conservation, energy efficiency and clean decentralised production of energy; notes that nuclear power remains an expensive, dangerous and fundamentally unsustainable power source that is by no means carbon-free and that the long-term storage of radioactive waste continues to pose an insurmountable challenge to the nuclear industry; welcomes therefore the success of Greenpeace’s judicial review of the UK Government’s flawed consultation on nuclear power and hopes that a properly conducted consultation exercise will arrive at a more sustainable outcome; calls on the Scottish Executive to prepare and submit a timely response to the new UK energy review consultation which highlights the environmental, social and economic benefits offered by energy conservation and efficiency and renewable energy in Scotland, and calls on all political parties that oppose nuclear power to publicly rule out coalition with any party that refuses to rule out new nuclear build in Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment S2M-5607.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 35, Abstentions 15).  As a result, amendments S2M-5607.1 and S2M-5607.2 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 35, Abstentions 15).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the ruling by the High Court in London regarding the UK Government consultation on energy; notes that the DTI has accepted the judgement and will consult further; believes that the way ahead for energy in Scotland is to deliver on the Scottish Executive’s energy policies; further welcomes the announcement by the Executive that it has already met its 2010 target of 18% of Scotland’s electricity from renewable energy; welcomes the Executive’s support for nine marine power projects, including one set to be the world’s largest, and its commitment to the world-leading European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney; notes that the achievement of the Executive’s renewable energy targets has been through a mix of renewable technologies, including the major Blacklaw windfarm constructed on a former open-cast coal site generating 140MW; notes that projects for the future include the substantial Glen Doe hydro power project, world-leading offshore wind development and significant biomass energy schemes, and believes that Scotland can achieve its future renewables targets if it is supported with determination and consistency by the Executive.

4.      Business Motion: Ms Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-5612—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 28 February 2007

2.30 pm                          Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Executive Debate: Future of Scotland’s Organic Farming 

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 1 March 2007

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Debate: Dealing with Illegal Money Lenders

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

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.55 pm                          Stage 3 Proceedings: Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Procedures Committee Debate: 10th Report 2006, Scottish Commission for Public Audit

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 7 March 2007

10.00 am                        Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Executive Business

2.30 pm                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish National Party Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 8 March 2007

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill

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, Tourism, Culture and Sport

2.55 pm                          Conclusion of Stage 3 Proceedings: Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Legislative Consent Motion: Serious Crime Bill – UK Legislation

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

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

6.      Making our Transport Fit for Purpose: The Parliament debated S2M-5523 in the name of Nora Radcliffe—That the Parliament, recognising that transport is integral to the economic, environmental and social well-being of communities, commends the joint initiative of the Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum and the City of Aberdeen Environmental Forum in organising a public meeting on “Making our Transport System Fit for Purpose” on 1 February 2007 in Aberdeen, to inform and facilitate the debate on the future of transport in the north east; notes that the meeting is being held during the current Nestrans consultation on its proposed regional transport strategy, and, in light of the Stern and Eddington reports, believes it is important that the people of the north east think carefully about making the transport system that serves them fit for purpose in a world in which the threat of climate change has become a factor.

The meeting closed at 5.38 pm.

No. 58            Thursday 22 February 2007

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.      Road Tolling: Mr David Davidson moved S2M-5598—That the Parliament opposes the introduction of any additional nationwide charges for using Scotland’s existing roads and calls for the repeal of Part 3 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2001.

The Minister for Transport (Tavish Scott) moved amendment S2M-5598.2 to motion S2M-5598—

Leave out from “opposes” to end and insert—

“welcomes the Scottish Executive’s massive increase in funding for public transport since 1999; notes the growing problem of traffic congestion in Scotland and the impact this has on the economy and the impact of pollution on health and the environment; notes the lack of an alternative from the opposition parties to tackling congestion; notes that the Executive does not support penalising motorists, and believes that the potential benefits of all new measures to tackle congestion, such as road user charging, need to be fully assessed, tested and evaluated in order to keep Scotland moving.”

Fergus Ewing moved amendment S2M-5598.1 to motion S2M-5598—

Insert at end—

“believes further that full fiscal powers should be transferred to the Scottish Parliament in respect of taxation of motorists; notes that levels of taxation levied on motorists by successive Labour and Conservative governments have consistently been, or been among, the highest in Europe; considers that a variety of measures is needed to tackle levels of congestion, including more use of park and ride schemes as well as the use of flexible working and home working, and supports the further expansion of public transport in Scotland to provide people in Scotland with more alternatives to car use.”

Mark Ruskell moved amendment S2M-5598.3 to motion S2M-5598—

Leave out from “opposes” to end and insert—

“notes that traffic congestion creates a huge burden for society in terms of delays, ill-health and social exclusion; notes that “the CBI estimates that the costs to employers of transport congestion are around £20 billion a year”; recognises that any long-term strategy to reduce congestion and climate changing pollution will require the provision of quality public transport alternatives to car use together with a sensible and appropriate system of demand management; notes the failure of the Scottish Executive to provide leadership over the City of Edinburgh Council’s proposal for a congestion charging scheme and the Executive’s plans for massive investment in new road capacity; notes that new road capacity has been shown to generate more traffic; notes that studies indicate that the introduction of nationwide road pricing is at least 10 years away; therefore calls on ministers to work with regional transport partnerships to consider the introduction of congestion charging and smart charge schemes at specific pinch points and congested areas of the road network, and believes that, in the immediate term, the Executive must reallocate funding for new road schemes to invest in public transport and cancel plans for new trunk roads that will generate increased traffic such as the M74 extension and the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.”

After debate, amendment S2M-5598.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 41, Abstentions 7).  As a result, amendments S2M-5598.1 and S2M-5598.3 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 41, Abstentions 7).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s massive increase in funding for public transport since 1999; notes the growing problem of traffic congestion in Scotland and the impact this has on the economy and the impact of pollution on health and the environment; notes the lack of an alternative from the opposition parties to tackling congestion; notes that the Executive does not support penalising motorists, and believes that the potential benefits of all new measures to tackle congestion, such as road user charging, need to be fully assessed, tested and evaluated in order to keep Scotland moving.

2.      Double Jeopardy: Miss Annabel Goldie moved S2M-5613—That the Parliament agrees that the criminal law of Scotland be changed so that persons acquitted of serious criminal charges can be tried again if new and compelling evidence comes to light.

The Deputy Minister for Justice (Johann Lamont) moved amendment S2M-5613.1 to motion S2M-5613—

Leave out from “agrees” to end and insert—

“recognises the issue of the double jeopardy rule in the operation of the criminal justice system; recognises that this issue must not be seen in isolation, but instead should be considered within the wider context of the Scottish Executive’s ongoing reform and modernisation programme; commends the Executive’s commitment to placing the needs of victims at the heart of the criminal justice system and its achievements over the last four years in fundamentally modernising and reforming that system, including the introduction of the Victim Information and Advice Service across Scotland and the Victim Notification Scheme, and further recognises that any decision on the future of double jeopardy should be taken within the context of Scots law.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 41, Abstentions 9).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 39, Abstentions 10).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the issue of the double jeopardy rule in the operation of the criminal justice system; recognises that this issue must not be seen in isolation, but instead should be considered within the wider context of the Scottish Executive’s ongoing reform and modernisation programme; commends the Executive’s commitment to placing the needs of victims at the heart of the criminal justice system and its achievements over the last four years in fundamentally modernising and reforming that system, including the introduction of the Victim Information and Advice Service across Scotland and the Victim Notification Scheme, and further recognises that any decision on the future of double jeopardy should be taken within the context of Scots law.

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

6.      Affordable Housing: The Minister for Communities (Rhona Brankin) moved S2M-5617—That the Parliament welcomes the importance that the Scottish Executive has placed on ensuring the provision of affordable housing across Scotland; notes the significant investment of £1.2 billion that is delivering 21,500 new affordable homes and the success of the innovative shared equity scheme, Homestake; welcomes the additional steps that have been taken to increase the proportion of affordable homes within new housing developments, and notes the intention of the Executive to ensure that affordable houses are also sustainable houses.

Tricia Marwick moved amendment S2M-5617.2 to motion S2M-5617—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes that between 1999 and 2004 fewer houses were built for social rent under the Labour/Liberal Democrat government than in 1995 under the Conservative government and that waiting lists and those presenting as homeless are at record levels; notes the failure of the Scottish government to keep the promises made to Glasgow tenants on second stage stock transfer, and considers that this Scottish government has failed to adequately address the housing crisis in Scotland.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 36, Against 63, Abstentions 15).

Mr David Davidson moved amendment S2M-5617.1 to motion S2M-5617—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“recognises that the private and public rental and purchase sectors are under considerable pressure and are not able to keep up with the high demand for affordable housing, especially in rural areas; is alarmed that last year first-time buyer activity reached its lowest level in 25 years; regrets that the Lib-Lab pact has failed to enable Scottish tenants to take advantage of housing stock transfer and, over the last year, has overseen four “no” votes in Edinburgh, Stirling, Renfrewshire and the Highlands and welcomes the Scottish Conservatives’ support for housing stock transfer and the continuation of tenants' right to buy their local authority homes; is opposed to the proposal for the single seller survey as it “will cause difficulties for disadvantaged buyers and sellers, who may be on low incomes and/or be buying or selling low-value properties in areas of low demand”, as highlighted by the Scottish Consumer Council, and considers that the single seller survey is based on an inadequate pilot and is an unnecessary and costly intervention in a sensitive market.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 98, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 39, Abstentions 10).

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

8.  Clyde Fishermen Ahead of the Game on Conservation!: The Parliament debated S2M-5481 in the name of Phil Gallie—That the Parliament applauds the intention of the Clyde Fishermen’s Association to stop, voluntarily, trawling in areas of Upper Loch Fyne and Loch Shira in the interests of biodiversity and conservation and notes that such action provides a further example of the fishing industry’s commitment to a sustainable environment by adding to the association’s weekend ban on fishing in the Clyde estuary, self-imposed some 20 years ago when its awareness of the need for conservation preceded the anxieties now expressed by politicians at European, UK and Scottish government levels.

The meeting closed at 5.46 pm.

No. 59            Wednesday 28 February 2007

The meeting opened at 2.30 pm.

1.      Time for Reflection: Reverend Andrew Hill, Minister of St Mark’s Unitarian Church, Edinburgh, led Time for Reflection.

2.      Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5664—That the Parliament agrees the following revisions to the programme of business for Wednesday 28 February and Thursday 1 March 2007—

(a) Wednesday 28 February 2007

delete,

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

and insert,

5.30 pm                          Decision Time

and;

(b) Thursday 1 March 2007

after,

2.55 pm                          Stage 3 Proceedings: Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill

delete,

followed by                      Procedures Committee Debate: 10th Report 2006, Scottish Commission for Public Audit

The motion was agreed to.

 

3.      Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Bill – Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5667—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Bill, debate on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time limit indicated, each time limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when a 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: 15 minutes

Group 2: 40 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

4.      Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Bill - Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

            1          (For 24, Against 85, Abstentions 0)

            3          (For 24, Against 87, Abstentions 0)

            4          (For 1, Against 100, Abstentions 8)

The Presiding Officer extended the time-limits under Rules 9.8.4A(c) and 9.8.4A(a).

5.      Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Bill: The Deputy Minister for Finance, Public Service Reform and Parliamentary Business (George Lyon) moved S2M-5629—That the Parliament agrees that the Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Bill be passed.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 103, Against 4, Abstentions 8).

6.      The Future of Scotland’s Organic Farming: The Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Sarah Boyack) moved S2M-5655—That the Parliament acknowledges the progress made to date in implementing the Organic Action Plan; welcomes the increasing consumer demand for Scottish organic produce, the contribution of organic producers in improving the availability of good quality local food at local markets and the contribution of organic producers to sustainable development, and commits to continue to support the organic sector in the future.

Richard Lochhead moved amendment S2M-5655.2 to motion S2M-5655—

Insert at end—

“but believes that, as many of the targets in the current Organic Action Plan have only been partially met, it is time for a new updated organic action plan that encourages a more balanced basket of healthy, locally grown organic produce, and pledges to use public procurement to promote organic produce, to communicate the benefits to consumers and to minimise the bureaucracy associated with organic production.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 38, Against 76, Abstentions 1).

Alex Johnstone moved amendment S2M-5655.1 to motion S2M-5655—

Insert at end—

“but also recognises the high quality, environmental and welfare standards achieved by most Scottish farmers using a range of traditional methods.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 39, Against 66, Abstentions 10).

Eleanor Scott moved amendment S2M-5655.3 to motion S2M-5655—

Insert at end—

“and further commits to the production of a revised and strengthened organic action plan to include ambitious targets for increased land area and market penetration, prioritised support for the organic sector through land management contracts, grants and support for local supply chain development, including a review of barriers to further growth across the sector, an organic public procurement strategy adopting the successful "Food for Life" standards across the public sector, a communication strategy to engage with the public about the benefits of organic food and farming, strengthened advisory support and a review of SEERAD’s research and development strategy.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 38, Against 77, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 105, Against 2, Abstentions 8).

7.      Business Motion: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5665—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Wednesday 7 March 2007

10.00 am                        Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Christmas Day and New Year’s Day Trading (Scotland) Bill

2.30 pm                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Scottish National Party Business

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 8 March 2007

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill

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, Tourism, Culture and Sport

2.55 pm                          Conclusion of Stage 3 Proceedings: Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Legislative Consent Motion: Serious Crime Bill – UK Legislation

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

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Wednesday 14 March 2007

10.00 am                        Time for Reflection

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                                Stage 3 Proceedings: Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Bill

2.30 pm                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Final Stage: Edinburgh Airport Rail Link Bill

followed by                      Standards and Public Appointments Committee Debate: Report on Code of Conduct for MSPs

followed by                      Business Motion

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

Thursday 15 March 2007

9.15 am                          Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by                      Stage 3 Proceedings: Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Bill

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                          Conclusion of Stage 3 Proceedings: Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Bill

followed by                      Procedures Committee Debate: 10th Report 2006, Scottish Commission for Public Audit

followed by                      Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm                          Decision Time

followed by                      Members’ Business

The motion was agreed to.

8.      Approval of SSIs: George Lyon, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved—

S2M-5658—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2006 Amendment Order 2007 be approved; and

S2M-5659—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 (Minimum Frequency of Inspections) Order 2007 be approved; and

S2M-5660—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Mental Health (Safety and Security) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2007 be approved; and

S2M-5661—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Transfer of Functions, Property, Rights and Liabilities from the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive to the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority Order 2007 be approved.

The motions were agreed to (DT).

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

10.    Switch Off Energy Debt: The Parliament debated S2M-5525 in the name of Scott Barrie—That the Parliament expresses concern at the high level of energy debt in Scotland; notes from the most recent figures published by Ofgem that 343,617 customers in Dunfermline and elsewhere owe their energy supplier an average of £181; further notes that energy prices remain high, with Scottish consumers typically paying more than £1,000 per year for their gas and electricity; is concerned that, according to Ofgem, the number of disconnections from energy supply has risen by 285% between September 2005 and September 2006, and believes that all energy suppliers should take urgent action to address the burden of debt on Scotland's most vulnerable households.

The meeting closed at 6.21 pm.

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