Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.
The meeting opened at 9.30 am.
1. Economy of the Highlands and Islands: The Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Mr Jim Wallace) moved S2M-1395—That the Parliament endorses the ambition to create a diverse, dynamic and sustainable economy in the Highlands and Islands; congratulates Highlands and Islands Enterprise on the progress it has made with local partners towards realising this ambition, particularly in the areas of telecommunications, research and development and renewable energy; further welcomes the significant investment in critical transport infrastructure in the Highlands and Islands; recognises that serious challenges still lie ahead for the Highlands and Islands economy, not least in terms of sustaining more fragile areas, but believes that these can best be addressed through continuing the approach set out in A Smart, Successful Scotland.
Jim Mather moved amendment S2M-1395.2 to motion S2M-1395—
Leave out from "endorses" to end and insert—
"believes that the Highlands and Islands have both the right and the potential to be an economy that is diverse, dynamic and sustainable; commends the progress that has been achieved to date by individual endeavour, quality local services, business resilience and innovation in spite of hurdles which must be overcome in order for that potential to be realised; considers that these hurdles include the threats to primary and acute healthcare, the failure of the Scottish Executive to mount a coherent campaign for the contribution of adequate EU structural funds, the lack of affordable housing, poor transport links, higher fuel costs and an overall failure adequately to address the needs of key industries, and urges the Executive to produce a comprehensive strategy that will overcome these inhibitors and enable the Highlands and Islands to achieve its full potential."
After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 26, Against 65, Abstentions 14).
Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-1395.1 to motion S2M-1395—
Leave out from "congratulates" to end and insert—
"acknowledges that the long-term economic decline of the Highlands and Islands was reversed under the last Conservative government; believes that strong businesses are essential in bringing about further economic growth in the Highlands and Islands; notes with concern that businesses in the Highlands and Islands continue to be hampered by high business rates, excessive regulation and poor transport infrastructure; recognises, particularly, the need for improvement of the A9 as the major strategic link between the central belt and the north, and calls on the Scottish Executive to improve the business environment in the Highlands and Islands by lowering business rates, cutting regulation and investing in transport infrastructure improvements."
After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 14, Against 91, Abstentions 1).
Eleanor Scott moved amendment S2M-1395.3 to motion S2M-1395—
Leave out from ", particularly" to end and insert—
"; notes the lessons to be learned including the need to engage with, and invest in, local communities in areas such as telecommunications, research and development and renewable energy; further notes the need for investment in sustainable transport; recognises that serious challenges still lie ahead in terms of sustaining more fragile areas, and endorses the view expressed in A Smart, Successful Scotland – the Highlands and Islands dimension, that economic growth must be achieved in tandem with no less important aspects of Highlands and Islands life, such as social cohesion, vibrant cultures and natural environment, and that development activity must remain aware of the legacy it leaves for the future."
After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 73, Abstentions 17).
The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 59, Against 38, Abstentions 9).
2. First Minister's Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).
3. Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie); by the Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.
4. Tenements (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Communities (Ms Margaret Curran) moved S2M-848—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Tenements (Scotland) Bill.
After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).
5. Civil Partnership Bill – UK Legislation: The Deputy Minister for Justice (Hugh Henry) moved S2M-1202—That the Parliament endorses the principle of giving same sex couples in Scotland the opportunity to form a civil partnership and agrees that the provisions in the Civil Partnership Bill that relate to devolved matters should be based on Scots law and considered by the UK Parliament.
Bill Aitken moved amendment S2M-1202.1 to motion S2M-1202—
Leave out from "endorses" to first "and".
After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 14, Against 92, Abstentions 0).
The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 80, Against 25, Abstentions 1).
6. Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1378—That the Parliament agrees—
(i) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 4 June 2004 on the draft Advice and Assistance (Assistance by Way of Representation) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004; and by 11 June 2004 on the draft Advice and Assistance (Financial Limit) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004; and
(ii) that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Justice 1 Committee by 11 June 2004 on: the Crofting Community Body Form of Application for Consent to Buy Croft Land etc. and Notice of Minister's Decision (Scotland) Regulations 2004, (SSI 2004/224); the Crofting Community Right to Buy (Grant Towards Compensation Liability) (Scotland) Regulations 2004, (SSI 2004/225); the Crofting Community Right to Buy (Compensation) (Scotland) Order 2004, (SSI 2004/226); the Crofting Community Right to Buy (Ballot) (Scotland) Regulations 2004, (SSI 2004/227); the Community Right to Buy (Ballot) (Scotland) Regulations 2004, (SSI 2004/228); the Community Right to Buy (Compensation) (Scotland) Regulations 2004, (SSI 2004/229); the Community Right to Buy (Register of Community Interests in Land Charges) (Scotland) Regulations 2004, (SSI 2004/230); the Community Right to Buy (Specification of Plans) (Scotland) Regulations 2004, (SSI 2004/231); and the Community Right to Buy (Forms) (Scotland) Regulations 2004, (SSI 2004/233).
The motion was agreed to.
7. Committee Substitutes: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1362—That the Parliament agrees that Tricia Marwick be appointed to replace Brian Adam as the Scottish National Party substitute on the Education Committee.
The motion was agreed to (DT).
8. Office of the Clerk: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S2M-1390—That the Parliament agrees that between 8 January 2005 and 2 September 2005, the Office of the Clerk shall be open all days except: Saturdays and Sundays, 25 and 28 March, and 2, 27 and 30 May 2005.
The motion was agreed to (DT).
9. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 4, 5, 7 and 8 as noted above.
10. Asbestos-Related Illnesses: The Parliament debated S2M-866 in the name of Des McNulty—That the Parliament notes with deep concern recent projections regarding the increasing prevalence of asbestos-related illnesses in Scotland; notes that the historic concentration of heavy industry on Clydeside has left a devastating health legacy, affecting many former shipyard and engineering workers and their families; notes that although former shipyard communities show the highest incidence of asbestos-related disease, evidence now shows that ever-increasing numbers of workers from other parts of Scotland have also become victims of asbestos-related illnesses due largely to the past use of asbestos in construction; considers that the Scottish Executive should give urgent consideration to bringing forward an integrated strategy to assist all those affected by asbestos-related illnesses, which should combine screening and testing people who may have been at risk in order to ensure early diagnosis, counselling and support for victims and their families, and the provision of specialist palliative care, and further considers that the Scottish Executive should work along with COSLA, NHS boards and other key bodies, including the Health and Safety Executive to ensure that necessary information is made available to potential sufferers from asbestos-related illnesses and all those professionals in health, local government and other services who may be in the position of assisting victims and their families.
The meeting closed at 5.57 pm.
P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
3 June 2004
(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)
New Bills introduced or reprinted on 26 May 2004
Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill—The Bill was reprinted as amended at Stage 2. (SP Bill 12A) (Executive Bill)
The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 3 June 2004 for approval by resolution
The Town and Country Planning (Electronic Communications) (Scotland) Order 2004
laid under section 9 of the Electronic Communications Act 2000
Note: The Town and Country Planning (Electronic Communication) (Scotland) Order 2004, which was laid before the Parliament on 25 May 2004, has been withdrawn
The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 3 June 2004 and are subject to annulment—
The Police (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/257)
laid under section 48(2) of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967
The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/258)
laid under paragraph 2 of schedule 2 to the European Communities Act 1972
The following reports were published on 3rd June 2004—
Subordinate Legislation Committee, 24th Report 2004 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 167)
Health Committee, 11th Report 2004 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 168)