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Business Bulletin No. 174 / 2003

Monday 15th December 2003

Section F : Motions and Amendments


A full list of current motions is available to view each Monday in paper copy at the Chamber Desk or alternatively on the Scottish Parliament web site as Current Motions. The full text of all motions lodged the previous week will appear in the Business Bulletin the following Monday.


Items marked with an asterisk (*) are new or have been altered. Asterisks in the text show the extent of alterations made.

Motions which members wish to be considered for debate as members' business in the Parliament are marked with a hash symbol (#)

*S2M-731 Tommy Sheridan: Killing of Afghan Children by US Forces-That the Parliament is appalled at the killing of 15 Afghan children in the last 14 days by US forces involved in "clinical strikes" against alleged Taliban members; notes that these children were killed while playing near their homes and that it represents an atrocity as reprehensible as any of those atrocities executed by alleged terrorists across our world, and calls on Her Majesty's Government to issue a firm statement of condemnation for the continued killing of children in Afghanistan by US armed forces.

*S2M-730# Colin Fox: Algerian Arrests-That the Parliament condemns the arrest of Ghalem Belhadj, Salah Moullef, Hakim Ziem and Lasnan Lasnami, along with five Algerians from England, on terrorism charges in December 2002; notes that all charges have now been dropped against these men; believes that this case further highlights the flaws in the Terrorism Act 2000 that currently allows sweeping powers of arrest and imprisonment, often wrongly targeting individuals, particularly from the Muslim community, and considers that much greater evidence should exist before any future arrests of this nature are made.

S2M-729 Alasdair Morgan: Reform of Personal Bankruptcy Proceedings-That the Parliament notes the Opinion in the case of Advocate General v Maureen Taylor, wherein the obtaining of a warrant to inhibit on the dependence without judicial consideration contravenes Article 1, Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights; recognises that the imposition of such measures to freeze an individual's assets is often unnecessary and can cause hardship and suffering, and calls on the Scottish Executive to include reform of this practice in its proposed legislation on the reform of personal bankruptcy proceedings.

Supported by: Tommy Sheridan*, Linda Fabiani*

S2M-728# Alasdair Morgan: General Medical Services Contracts-That the Parliament is concerned that the provisions made for contracting-out out-of-hours care from GPs to local NHS boards may be insufficiently funded to meet the unique challenges encountered in rural practices; believes that rural practices thus unable to opt out will have serious difficulty in recruiting new doctors, and considers that the Scottish Executive should re-examine the level of funding allocated to NHS boards providing these services in rural areas.

Supported by: Tommy Sheridan*

S2M-727 Murdo Fraser: Tax Stamps on Spirits-That the Parliament notes that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has stated that Her Majesty's Government is again considering the introduction of tax stamps on spirits throughout the United Kingdom; recognises that any such tax stamp would impact directly on the Scotch whisky industry; believes that a tax stamp system would be an ineffective means of combating fraud and illicit trade while imposing substantial costs and practical problems on the industry, particularly in relation to labelling and storage, and calls on the Scottish Executive to make representations to Her Majesty's Government against the introduction of tax stamps.

Supported by: Alex Johnstone, Mrs Nanette Milne, Phil Gallie, Murray Tosh, Margaret Mitchell, Mr Ted Brocklebank, Fergus Ewing, Roseanna Cunningham, Alex Fergusson, Mr David Davidson, Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

S2M-727.1 Jackie Baillie: Tax Stamps on Spirits-As an amendment to motion (S2M-727) in the name of Murdo Fraser, leave out from "notes" to end and insert "welcomes the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the freeze on whisky duty for the remainder of the United Kingdom parliamentary term; recognises the importance of the Scotch whisky industry to the Scottish economy; notes that both the industry and government are united in their desire to combat duty fraud; whilst recognising that tax stamps are not considered to be the most effective option by the industry, understands that Her Majesty's Government is seeking a continued dialogue with the Scotch whisky industry to arrive at a voluntary agreement that is both proportionate and sustainable but, ultimately, which tackles the growing problem of duty fraud, and encourages the Scotch Whisky Association to take the lead in bringing this dialogue to a successful conclusion."

Supported by: Dr Sylvia Jackson, Christine May, Margaret Jamieson, Sarah Boyack, Richard Baker*, Mr Kenneth Macintosh*, Dr Elaine Murray*, Cathie Craigie*

S2M-726 Nicola Sturgeon: Guantanamo Bay-That the Parliament notes that 660 suspected terrorists, including nine UK citizens, continue to be detained at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; further notes that these prisoners, who have been detained for almost two years, are being denied access to US courts to test the legality of their continued detention, have no access to civilian lawyers and that their only prospect of trial will be by closed military tribunals in which military personnel will act as interrogators, prosecutors, defence counsel, judges and, in cases where the death penalty is imposed, executioners; welcomes the fact that the US Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether lower courts in the United States of America were right to conclude that US courts lack jurisdiction to consider challenges to the legality of the detention of foreign nationals captured abroad in connection with hostilities and incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay; is concerned, however, that, in reaching a decision, the Supreme Court has access to all relevant information including the evidence that many of the individuals held at Guantanamo Bay were not arrested in connection with hostilities; welcomes, in that regard, the involvement of lawyers in the United States of America, England and Scotland in trying to secure basic human rights for those held at Guantanamo Bay, and agrees that this motion may be submitted as part of, and that those signing give support to, a parliamentarians' amicus brief being prepared by lawyers for submission to the US Supreme Court calling for all prisoners to have access to an impartial court to determine their status and test the legality of their continued detention.

Supported by: Mr Stewart Maxwell*, Rob Gibson*, Tommy Sheridan*, Linda Fabiani*, Frances Curran*, Robert Brown*

S2M-725# Carolyn Leckie: Danger Faced By Iraqi Trade Unionists-That the Parliament is concerned to hear of the appeal by the Iraqi Federation of Workers Trade Unions (IFTU), which tells of a raid by dozens of US troops in 10 armoured cars on the IFTU temporary headquarters in Baghdad on Saturday 6 December 2003, where windows were smashed, documents seized, posters and banners condemning terrorism torn down, eight IFTU leaders arrested but subsequently released and no reason or explanation given for the raid, and supports the call of the IFTU for President Bush to conduct a full investigation into the raid and to ensure that it will not be repeated and for the United States of America to respect the right of workers under international law to form free and independent trade unions.

Supported by: Stewart Stevenson, Campbell Martin, Tommy Sheridan, Frances Curran*, Chris Ballance*, Elaine Smith*, Linda Fabiani*, Robert Brown*

S2M-724 Miss Annabel Goldie: Supreme Court-That the Parliament calls upon Her Majesty's Government, in the event of a United Kingdom Supreme Court being created, to ensure both that Scottish judges are appointed to sit in all civil appeals from Scotland and that decisions of the Supreme Court in non-Scottish cases are not binding in Scots law except in so far as the law determining such cases is applicable on a United Kingdom basis.

Supported by: Alex Fergusson, Murdo Fraser, Phil Gallie, Robert Brown, Mr Ted Brocklebank, Lord James Douglas-Hamilton*, David McLetchie*

S2M-723 Trish Godman: Banks, Credit Companies and Loan Sharks-That the Parliament welcomes the recently announced measures designed to (a) control the unseemly practices of banks and other agencies that encourage people to take on financial burdens that they can ill afford and (b) pursue the loan sharks, who batten upon poor people, whom the banks ignore, and inflict upon them scandalously high levels of interest; believes that there is no place for such activities in Scotland in the 21st century, and supports the Scottish Executive, Her Majesty's Government and local authorities who are introducing measures that will drive these loan sharks from the streets whilst at the same time encouraging those in debt to approach the appropriate agencies for help in dealing with this serious problem.

Supported by: Linda Fabiani*

S2M-722 Trish Godman: The Commonwealth and Zimbabwe-That the Parliament commends those Commonwealth leaders who stood firmly against the lifting of the suspension of Zimbabwe from the organisation; is of the view that that stance will hearten Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition and currently on trial in that country, and will also send a message of hope to Mr Tsvangirai's colleagues, trade unionists, journalists and others who have been brave enough to oppose President Mugabe's oppressive regime, but believes, at the same time, that more affluent Commonwealth nations have to do much, much more in order to help eradicate the grinding poverty that blights the lives of so many Commonwealth citizens and, if there is a failure of political will in this regard, then those suffering people will inevitably question the value, or the point, of membership of the organisation.

S2M-721 Mr Stewart Maxwell: Smoking Ban in Shopping Centre Concourse-That the Parliament applauds the decision by the Avenue Shopping Centre in Newton Mearns to ban smoking from the common areas of the centre; appreciates the rights of units within the centre to make their own decision, but points out that this decision is based on public demand, and encourages other shopping centres and the units within the Avenue Shopping Centre to follow the example set.

Supported by: Michael Matheson, Brian Adam, Richard Lochhead, Stewart Stevenson, Rosie Kane, Robert Brown, Robin Harper, Mike Pringle, Rob Gibson*, Eleanor Scott*, Tommy Sheridan*, Nicola Sturgeon*

S2M-719 John Swinburne: VIP Radio-That the Parliament welcomes the introduction of VIP Radio, the first radio station aimed at breaking down social isolation faced by people with sight problems, which in the first instance will help 10,000 people with sight problems in the Greater Glasgow area; congratulates the station on employing a mix of sighted, blind and partially sighted people; welcomes the potential for this radio station, although initially broadcasting via an internet channel, to extend the service, and therefore calls upon the Scottish Executive to support all public service organisations to ensure that their services and information are fully accessible to people with sight problems and other disabilities.

Supported by: Linda Fabiani*

S2M-716 Des McNulty on behalf of the Finance Committee: 4th Report 2003 (Session 2) of the Finance Committee, Stage 2 of the 2004-05 Budget Process-That the Parliament notes the 4th Report 2003 (Session 2) of the Finance Committee, Stage 2 of the 2004-05 Budget Process (SP Paper 62).

S2M-714 Colin Fox: Australian Government's Treatment of Refugees-That the Parliament condemns the actions of the Australian government in refusing to grant sanctuary to refugees arriving there and in jeopardising the lives of such refugees by preventing them from reaching Australia, forcibly removing them, detaining them in prisons for indefinite periods of time and failing to grant residence when their refugee status has been recognised.

Supported by: Linda Fabiani*

S2M-713# Robin Harper: Sustainability in Higher Education-That the Parliament, on the occasion of the conference on sense and sustainability in Scottish higher education, organised by the Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability in Scotland (HEPS), commends the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) on its promotion of sustainable development in the sector, including its support for HEPS, led by University of Aberdeen, Heriot Watt University, University of St. Andrews and University of Stirling and their support for the Scottish Universities' Network for Sustainability comprising the University of Aberdeen, University of Abertay Dundee, Bell College, University of Dundee, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow College of Art, Heriot Watt University, Napier University, Open University in Scotland, University of Paisley, Queen Margaret University College, The Robert Gordon University, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, University of St Andrews, University of Stirling, University of Strathclyde; also commends the UHI Millennium Institute and Forum for the Future for their contribution; further commends these organisations and universities for their pro-active agenda and the progress they have made so far in mainstreaming sustainability good practice into the management, research, and curriculum of the higher education sector; recognises the importance of these developments for the economy, environment, and future of Scotland, and considers that the Scottish Executive should request SHEFC, the Scottish Further Education Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise to require sustainability reporting and monitoring as a condition for funding and grant aid.

Supported by: Patrick Harvie, Des McNulty, Mr Mark Ruskell, Sarah Boyack, Eleanor Scott, Shiona Baird, Chris Ballance, Dr Jean Turner

S2M-712# Domestic Wind Turbines (lodged on 5 December 2003) Robin Harper*

S2M-705 Counterdrift Index (lodged on 3 December 2003) Mr Mark Ruskell*, Chris Ballance*

S2M-704 End to Energy Disconnections for Debt (lodged on 3 December 2003) Mr Mark Ruskell*, Bruce Crawford*, Linda Fabiani*, Robert Brown*

S2M-703 Schools Junior Debating Competition (lodged on 3 December 2003) John Swinburne*

S2M-701# Coca Cola Sponsorship of UK Charts (lodged on 3 December 2003) Linda Fabiani*

S2M-698 Malcolm Chisholm: Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill-That the Parliament agrees that the Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill be passed.

Supported by: Mr Tom McCabe

S2M-690 Fife Domestic Abuse Forum (lodged on 2 December 2003) Mr Mark Ruskell*, Dr Sylvia Jackson*

S2M-689# Safe Drive - Stay Alive Roadshow (lodged on 2 December 2003) Dr Sylvia Jackson*, Chris Ballance*

S2M-679 Fairtrade Universities (lodged on 27 November 2003) Linda Fabiani*

S2M-678# Winter Fuel Deaths (lodged on 27 November 2003) Linda Fabiani*

S2M-676# Fatigue and Chronic Neurological Illnesses (lodged on 27 November 2003) Chris Ballance*, Marilyn Livingstone*

S2M-674# 7:84 Theatre Company (lodged on 26 November 2003) Linda Fabiani*

S2M-669 Help the Aged SeniorLine (lodged on 26 November 2003) Linda Fabiani*

S2M-664 7:84 Theatre Company (lodged on 26 November 2003) Linda Fabiani*

S2M-659.1 Nicola Sturgeon: Glasgow City Council Constitution Insult-As an amendment to motion (S2M-659) in the name of Phil Gallie, leave out from "unacceptable" to end and insert "courageous, worthy of support and fully in keeping with the pride in their Scottish identity that new Scots feel and notes that more and more Scots consider themselves to be Scottish rather than British and that British identity is becoming increasingly artificial as the recent English rugby victory celebrations, with not a Union flag in sight, demonstrated."

Supported by: Rob Gibson, Roseanna Cunningham, Mr Stewart Maxwell, Tricia Marwick, Fergus Ewing, Mr Bruce McFee, Alasdair Morgan, Michael Matheson, Alex Neil, Linda Fabiani, Jim Mather, Ms Sandra White, Bruce Crawford, Richard Lochhead, Brian Adam

S2M-655# Drug Assisted Rape (lodged on 25 November 2003) Linda Fabiani*

S2M-648# European Chemicals Regulation (lodged on 24 November 2003) Linda Fabiani*

S2M-647# Richard Lochhead: Access to Children's Therapy Services in North East Scotland-That the Parliament notes with great concern the problems facing children with special needs in Aberdeenshire and elsewhere with regard to accessing vital physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and orthotics; further notes the difficulties of recruiting speech and language therapists in the north east of Scotland and that the speech and language therapy training courses are located in the central belt and are oversubscribed; further notes that those staff currently in place do a tremendous job given the strain that they are being placed under, and considers that the Scottish Executive should (a) make greater funding available for these courses, (b) promote the location of a speech and language therapy training course in the north east, (c) provide funding for training and employment of additional orthotic staff and technicians in the north east and (d) provide additional funding to NHS Grampian and Aberdeenshire Council to allow short-term solutions to be quickly implemented to improve the immediate situation.

Supported by: Richard Baker, Shiona Baird, Michael Matheson, Nora Radcliffe, Brian Adam, Alex Neil, Stewart Stevenson, Mr David Davidson, Eleanor Scott, Rob Gibson, Mr Stewart Maxwell, Mr Adam Ingram, Chris Ballance, Ms Sandra White, Carolyn Leckie, Roseanna Cunningham, Christine Grahame, Robin Harper, Rosie Kane, Tommy Sheridan, Fiona Hyslop, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Dr Jean Turner

S2M-646 Holyrood Centenary (lodged on 24 November 2003) Linda Fabiani*

S2M-643 Official Opening of RECAP Recycling Project in Cumbernauld (lodged on 21 November 2003) Linda Fabiani*

S2M-641 Female Genital Mutilation and Asylum Seekers (lodged on 20 November 2003) Linda Fabiani*

S2M-365# Bristow Muldoon: Edinburgh's Proposals for Congestion Charging-That the Parliament notes that the draft congestion charging scheme approved by the City of Edinburgh Council proposes to exempt Edinburgh residents who live outwith the proposed outer cordon from paying a congestion charge, whilst still proposing to levy a charge on residents of other local authorities; believes that such a proposal is discriminatory and unfair, thus failing to meet the requirement of "fair treatment" emphasised by the Scottish Executive in giving approval in principle to a charging scheme, and therefore considers that the Scottish Executive should reject any subsequent proposal from the City of Edinburgh Council which is based on this form of charging regime.

Supported by: Cathie Craigie, Dr Elaine Murray, Helen Eadie, Pauline McNeill, Mr Kenny MacAskill, Alex Neil, Fiona Hyslop, Scott Barrie, Christine May, Marilyn Livingstone, Mr John Home Robertson, Mike Watson, Cathy Peattie, Rhona Brankin, Ms Sandra White, Brian Adam, Dr Jean Turner, Karen Whitefield