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Business Bulletin No. 21 / 2004

Monday 2nd February 2004

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-844# Carolyn Leckie: Hutton Report-That the Parliament notes that there are widespread allegations that the Hutton Report is a cover-up conducted by a hand-picked member of the British legal establishment who previously represented British soldiers in the now discredited Widgery Inquiry into Bloody Sunday which many consider covered up the role of British paratroopers; views the attacks on the BBC in the Hutton Report as an attempt to create a climate of fear and intimidation within the organisation and further evidence of moves towards the suppression of free and open reporting within the UK; congratulates all BBC staff in Scotland and the rest of the UK for taking action in defence of journalistic integrity within the organisation; is outraged at the apology offered to the government by the former political secretary to Margaret Thatcher who is now acting chair of the BBC Board of Governors, and further considers that the war against Iraq was based entirely on a tissue of lies and therefore that the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, should resign.

*S2M-843 Christine Grahame: Dead Tired-That the Parliament notes the findings in the report endorsed by the British Sleep Society Dead Tired, in particular that the International Classification of Sleep Disorders lists some 84 sleep disorders placed in various categories including dysomnias (initiating and maintaining sleep), parasomnias (nightmares, sleep-walking, sleep-talking) and extrinsic sleep disorders such as alcohol-dependent sleep, that some 70,000 Scots are estimated to have some form of sleep disorder though the actual figure may be much higher, that sleepiness is estimated to be the cause of some 20% of motorway accidents, that sleep disorders have a direct impact on the workplace and employment prospects, that the direct costs to the NHS have never been properly assessed and that the impact on the individual and his or her family can be family break-up; notes that healthcare provision for sleep disorders in the NHS is, to say the least, inadequate; notes that there has been little or no training for professionals and little or no research into sleep disorders, and therefore considers that the Scottish Executive should issue, as a first step, guidance for professionals and the general public on sleep disorders and initiate research into the (a) scale of the problem, (b) cost to the public purse and (c) current provision in the public, private and voluntary sectors, of people with sleep disorders.

*S2M-842 Mike Pringle: Congratulations to the University of Edinburgh-That the Parliament congratulates the University of Edinburgh for being ranked 8th in Europe and 43rd worldwide in the table of world universities compiled by the prestigious Shanghai Jiao Tong University Institute of Higher Education; recognises that the University of Edinburgh continues to provide a world class education for all Scottish students and applauds the fact that nine of its departments received excellent ratings in the last UK Government Research Assessment Exercise, and believes that the whole of Scotland will benefit from a mix of students from around the world attending Scottish universities.

*S2M-841 Jim Mather: The Future of Caledonian MacBrayne-That the Parliament welcomes unreservedly the European Commission's revised guidelines on State Aid to Maritime Transport, published on 17 January 2004, and the Commission Communication (COM (2003) 595); salutes the work done by Professor Sir Neil MacCormick MEP in forcing the Commission to acknowledge that the previous guidelines did not take into account the special conditions that prevail around Scotland's coast; recognises that ferry services need no longer be put out to tender, that public service contracts can now be awarded simply on the basis of a call for expressions of interest, that public service obligations will now be permitted on mainland to mainland routes instead of only routes to islands and that public service contracts may now be imposed throughout the network if an international transport service is necessary to meet imperative transport needs, and calls on the Scottish Executive to scrap once and for all the costly, and now pointless, tendering process for Caledonian MacBrayne.

S2M-840 Marlyn Glen: 20 mph Speed Zones Around Schools in Dundee-That the Parliament congratulates Dundee City Council on its decision to introduce 20 mph speed limits in the area of all of its primary and secondary schools; regards this decision as an important step in improving road safety amongst both school children and road users in and around schools, and further regards it as a step towards the successful accomplishment of the Scottish Executive's target of reducing by half the number of children killed or seriously injured in road accidents by the year 2010.

Supported by: Kate Maclean*

S2M-839# Dennis Canavan: Safety Belts on School Buses-That the Parliament believes that the Scottish Executive should ensure greater standards of safety in school transport by drawing up a phased timetable, with appropriate targets, so that all buses contracted by local education authorities to carry children between school and home and on school trips will be fitted with seatbelts.

Supported by: Alex Neil, Richard Lochhead, Ms Sandra White, Mr Stewart Maxwell, Elaine Smith*, Christine Grahame*, Tommy Sheridan*, Carolyn Leckie*, Mike Rumbles*, Bruce Crawford*, Bristow Muldoon*, Fiona Hyslop*, Rob Gibson*, Mike Pringle*

S2M-838 Cathy Jamieson: Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill - UK Legislation-That the Parliament endorses the principle of creating a new offence to combat trafficking in human beings for non-sexual exploitation as set out in the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill and agrees that the provisions to achieve this end in Scotland which relate to devolved matters should be considered by the UK Parliament.

Supported by: Hugh Henry

S2M-837 Ms Rosemary Byrne: Solidarity with Diane Wilson-That the Parliament notes with alarm the charges of criminal trespass and resisting arrest brought against leading US environmental activist Diane Wilson; acknowledges that these charges are an attempt to silence a woman whose only crime has been to act peacefully in the interests of the people of Texas; recognises that the actions committed were only an attempt to draw attention to Union Carbide/Dow's moral responsibility to face up to the ongoing horrors in Bhopal, India, the scene of the world's worst industrial disaster, and calls upon the Texan authorities to recognise that Diane was motivated by nothing more than the necessity of alerting the people of Texas to the dangers posed by the pesticide industry and to drop all criminal charges against her.

S2M-836# Helen Eadie: Inadequate Consultation by Royal Mail on Closure of Local Post Offices-That the Parliament notes that the consultation period for Royal Mail's proposed closures of post offices started on 2 December 2003 and ended only six weeks later, spanning the Christmas and New Year holiday period, thereby pressurising post office users and elected representatives to respond to a critically important consultation at a time when they were focused on celebrations and preparations for the holiday period; further notes that Royal Mail based its decisions on incomplete information and a classification of settlements as rural or urban that was 15 years out of date and proposed closures of post offices that do comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 while keeping open post offices that do not comply with the Act; notes that decisions to close post offices in some instances appear to have been made with little regard to submissions from local representatives or the views of post office users and that in some cases the decisions have been made prior to consultation meetings with the public having taken place, and is concerned at Royal Mail's style of consultation that goes to the heart of how this decision-maker has treated with contempt individuals in communities across Scotland.

S2M-835# Shona Robison: Hepatitis C Ex Gratia Payment Scheme-That the Parliament notes that the ex gratia payment scheme for people infected with hepatitis C from NHS blood or blood products will now be administered through a UK-wide scheme; regrets that there has been a delay of over a year in establishing this scheme due to protracted negotiations between the Scottish Executive and Her Majesty's Government; believes that the scheme is flawed as it does not include payments to the relatives of those who have died from hepatitis C, and further believes that the Executive should reconsider the level of payments and the exclusion of family members from the ex gratia payment scheme.

Supported by: Ms Sandra White, Christine Grahame, Rob Gibson, Roseanna Cunningham, Nicola Sturgeon, Stewart Stevenson

S2M-834 Mr Andy Kerr: The Draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2003 Amendment Order 2004-That the Finance Committee recommends that the draft Budget (Scotland) Act 2003 Amendment Order 2004 be approved.

Supported by: Tavish Scott

S2M-833# Mr Brian Monteith: Tax Stamps on Scotch Whisky Products-That the Parliament notes with concern that Her Majesty's Government is once again considering the introduction of tax stamps on spirits, but not on wine or beer; recognises that any such tax stamp would impact particularly on the Scotch whisky industry; believes that the case for a tax stamp system is not proven and that it 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; notes the Scottish Executive's Scotch whisky framework which supports a fair taxation regime for Scotch whisky, and therefore believes that the Executive should make representations to Her Majesty's Government against the introduction of tax stamps or any similar burdens on the Scotch whisky industry.

Supported by: Lord James Douglas-Hamilton*, Mary Scanlon*, John Scott*, Mr Jamie McGrigor*, Margaret Mitchell*, Murdo Fraser*, Bill Aitken*

S2M-832# Mrs Nanette Milne: Charitable Organisations' Water Charges-That the Parliament expresses concern over the current rules of the Water and Sewerage Charges Exemption Scheme for charities which exclude charities formed after 1 April 1999, and any formed before that date which subsequently moved premises, from exemption from water and wastewater charges; notes that the move to high standing charges recommended by the Water Industry Commissioner has adversely affected such organisations, and further notes that the Water Customer Consultation Panel's report on the principles of charging in August 2003 sought a national, open consultation on the best principles to be applied and that such consultation needs to be started soon.

Supported by: Murray Tosh, Rob Gibson, Richard Lochhead, John Scott, David Mundell, Phil Gallie, Mr Ted Brocklebank, Roseanna Cunningham, Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, Mr Stewart Maxwell, Alex Fergusson, Ms Sandra White, Mary Scanlon, Dennis Canavan, Chris Ballance*, Murdo Fraser*, Mark Ballard*

S2M-831# Johann Lamont: Disabled Parking Spaces-That the Parliament notes the difficulties experienced by people within local communities who have secured disabled parking spaces outside their homes; deplores the fact that these spaces can become a focus of conflict within communities where people seek to use a space, although they do not have a disabled parking badge; recognises that the current legal position, which distinguishes between courtesy parking spaces and those supported by traffic regulation orders, creates problems for people with disabilities who need to rely on a designated parking space; considers that the Scottish Executive should examine how it might legislate to address this problem, and believes that the Scottish Executive, local authorities and all relevant agencies should work together to develop an awareness campaign to highlight the rights of disabled people and to emphasise the unacceptability of harassing those who have been allocated such spaces.

Supported by: Bill Butler, Scott Barrie, Dr Elaine Murray, Christine Grahame*, Kate Maclean*, Mr Stewart Maxwell*, Bristow Muldoon*, Helen Eadie*, Fiona Hyslop*, Rob Gibson*, Bruce Crawford*, Mike Pringle*, Chris Ballance*

S2M-830 Mrs Margaret Ewing: Rikki Fulton-That the Parliament notes with great affection the work of Rikki Fulton for the joy and laughter he brought to generations of Scots; extends its sympathy to his wife, family and wide circle of friends, and commends his courage in speaking openly of his struggle with the debilitating illness, Alzheimer's Disease, over the last two years.

Supported by: Fergus Ewing, Shiona Baird, David Mundell, Murray Tosh, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Jim Mather, Christine Grahame, Tommy Sheridan, Paul Martin, George Lyon, Brian Adam, Bruce Crawford, Nicola Sturgeon, Mike Pringle, Mrs Nanette Milne, Des McNulty, Mr Stewart Maxwell, Carolyn Leckie, Margaret Jamieson, Colin Fox, Frances Curran, Campbell Martin, Dr Elaine Murray, Bristow Muldoon, Robert Brown, Mary Scanlon, Michael McMahon, Roseanna Cunningham, Richard Lochhead, Rob Gibson, Karen Gillon, John Swinburne, Tricia Marwick, Mr Andrew Welsh, Stewart Stevenson, Nora Radcliffe, Phil Gallie, Michael Matheson, Sarah Boyack, Margaret Mitchell, Chris Ballance, Eleanor Scott, Bill Butler, Irene Oldfather, Mr Jamie Stone, Christine May, Dr Jean Turner, Dennis Canavan, Alex Fergusson, Alex Neil, Ms Sandra White, Scott Barrie, Bill Aitken, Margaret Smith, Marilyn Livingstone, Iain Smith, Cathy Peattie*, Karen Whitefield*, John Scott*, Margo MacDonald*, Mr Mark Ruskell*

S2M-829 Tommy Sheridan: Scotland-Wide Cannabis Tolerance Zones-That the Parliament agrees that, in order to strike a blow at the criminal black market, help free up police time and help agencies deal more effectively with the problem of hard drugs, the Scottish Executive should seek to reach an agreement with the eight regional police forces in Scotland to create a Scotland-wide cannabis tolerance zone where users would cease to be criminalised for possessing amounts of cannabis for personal use and where a network of licensed cannabis outlets can be established along the lines of the Dutch model for the sale of small amounts of cannabis prior to any change in the legal status of the Class C substance.

Supported by: Carolyn Leckie, Frances Curran

S2M-827# Johann Lamont: Planning for a Co-operative Development Agency-That the Parliament notes the crucial role of co-operative and mutual organisations within local communities and across Scotland; recognises the wide variety in size, capacity and in areas of activity of co-operative and mutual initiatives; congratulates those involved within the co-operative and mutual sector both on the key role they play in local and Scottish-wide economic activity and in delivering social justice; welcomes the commitment of the Scottish Executive to establish a Co-operative Development Agency (CDA), and believes that departments across the range of Executive responsibilities must work together to ensure that the CDA will effectively support and strengthen co-operative and mutual enterprises in all their diversity.

Supported by: Sarah Boyack, Bill Butler, Scott Barrie, Helen Eadie*

S2M-823 Mr Kenneth Macintosh: Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January 2004-That the Parliament recognises the importance of Holocaust Memorial Day; acknowledges the significance of 27 January as the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945 and remembers those before and since whose lives were cut short because of acts of genocide; thanks the survivors for their enduring courage and strength, for sharing their memories and for their living testimony to the inhumanity of which we are capable; warns of the dangers that still exist because of racial discrimination; reaffirms the need to make succeeding generations aware of the horrors that can stem from ignorance and prejudice, and pledges tolerance and respect for others as a fitting memorial to those who died in the cruelty and barbarity of the Holocaust.

Supported by: Chris Ballance, Michael McMahon, David Mundell, Mr Alasdair Morrison, Richard Lochhead, Mr Stewart Maxwell, Tommy Sheridan, Murray Tosh, Bill Butler, Margaret Jamieson, Christine Grahame, Karen Gillon, Bristow Muldoon, Helen Eadie, Mike Rumbles, Cathie Craigie, Frances Curran, Murdo Fraser, Richard Baker, Dr Elaine Murray, Brian Adam, Des McNulty, Mike Pringle, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Mr Jamie Stone, John Scott, Jackie Baillie, Pauline McNeill, Marlyn Glen, Tricia Marwick, Kate Maclean, Fergus Ewing, Alex Neil, Scott Barrie, Mr David Davidson, Mr John Home Robertson, Phil Gallie, Janis Hughes, Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, Miss Annabel Goldie, Johann Lamont, Irene Oldfather, Eleanor Scott, Dr Jean Turner, Ms Sandra White, Marilyn Livingstone, Cathy Peattie*, Karen Whitefield*, Mr Brian Monteith*, Margo MacDonald*

S2M-822# Christine Grahame: "In Touch", Out of Touch?-That the Parliament notes the success of projects such as "In Touch" in Galashiels which, through New Futures funding, enables young people between the ages of 16 and 25 to move towards education, training and employment; further notes that since January 2000, when the project started, some 200 young people have used its facilities, that currently there are 35 to 40 clients, that some referrals are from social work, some from youth offending services and some are from Penumbra, among other agencies, that of those who have taken part for whom outcomes are known only five are known to have gone to, or returned to, prison and that 23 started in full-time employment, four started in part-time work and 31 went into some form of further education; is most concerned that this project will run out of New Futures funding at the end of March 2004, and therefore believes that the Scottish Executive should as a matter of urgency provide, either through direct funding or through the Scottish Enterprise New Futures Fund, interim funding until either the termination of the New Futures Fund nationally or "In Touch" secures substitute funding, whichever is the earlier.

Supported by: Mr Stewart Maxwell, Alex Neil, Rob Gibson, Michael Matheson, Bruce Crawford, Ms Sandra White

S2M-821 Mr Andy Kerr: Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2004-That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2004 (SSI 2004/14) be approved.

S2M-820 Carolyn Leckie: Alternative MMR Vaccine Research-That the Parliament commends the Irish Government and the Science Foundation of Ireland for awarding a 482,000 grant to fund research by Professor Greg Atkins of Trinity College, Dublin, into the development of a new synthetic alternative to MMR; believes that the Irish Government has shown foresight and helped move the debate on vaccination policy forward everywhere by recognising that a causal link between MMR and children having autism and bowel disease has neither been confirmed or refuted; further believes that compatible research should be funded in Scotland and that, in the meantime, single vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella should be made available to all parents as well as MMR, and believes that this would improve confidence in vaccination policy and increase uptake to levels more likely to ensure herd immunity.

Supported by: Frances Curran, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Chris Ballance, Colin Fox, Tommy Sheridan, Alex Neil, Margo MacDonald*

S2M-819 Donald Gorrie: Definition of Domestic Abuse-That the Parliament calls upon the multi-agency Scottish Partnership on Domestic Abuse, while continuing its efforts to campaign against abuse by a partner, to widen the definition of domestic abuse to cover all abuse among the members of a household.

Supported by: Christine Grahame, Nora Radcliffe, Mike Pringle, Mr Jamie Stone, Dr Jean Turner, John Farquhar Munro*, Margo MacDonald*, Chris Ballance*

S2M-818 John Swinburne: Retrospective Graduate Tax-That the Parliament condemns, given the current uncertainty over the funding of higher education, the response by some alumni who expect today's higher education students to incur significant debt to pay for a privilege that they received at no direct cost to themselves, upfront or thereafter and who, in addition, received adequate financial assistance at the expense of the general taxpayer, and therefore believes it is incumbent on the Scottish Executive to ensure that any future review of higher education funding guarantees that everyone who has benefited from a university education contributes fairly to it through a retrospective but progressive graduate tax.

Supported by: Dr Jean Turner

S2M-817 Protecting Children from Advertising in Schools (lodged on 23 January 2004) Margo MacDonald*, Mr Mark Ruskell*

S2M-813 Cathy Jamieson: Gender Recognition Bill - UK Legislation-That the Parliament endorses the principle of giving transsexual people legal recognition of their acquired gender and agrees that the provisions in the Gender Recognition Bill that relate to devolved matters should be considered by the UK Parliament thereby ensuring a consistent UK approach and early compliance with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights with respect to the Convention rights of transsexual people under Article 8 (right to respect for private life) and Article 12 (right to marry).

Supported by: Hugh Henry

S2M-809 Access to Scottish Current Accounts from the Post Office (lodged on 21 January 2004) Cathy Peattie*

S2M-788 Mr Jim Wallace: Energy Bill - UK Legislation-That the Parliament agrees that those provisions in the Energy Bill that relate to devolved matters and those that confer executive powers and functions on the Scottish Ministers should be considered by the UK Parliament.

Supported by: Lewis Macdonald, Allan Wilson, David Mundell

S2M-785.1 Celtic Connections (lodged on 16 January 2004) Cathy Peattie*

S2M-730# Algerian Arrests (lodged on 12 December 2003) Dennis Canavan*

S2M-667# Kate Maclean: Photodynamic Therapy for the Treatment of Wet-Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)-That the Parliament notes the recent decision by NHS Quality Improvement Scotland on the use of photodynamic therapy for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and acknowledges that photodynamic therapy is the only effective treatment for wet AMD, the most aggressive form of the disease and the leading cause of blindness in the UK, with around 650 new patients diagnosed with wet AMD in Scotland every year; is deeply concerned that funding has not been made available for clinicians to treat on the NHS those patients who urgently require the therapy, and endorses the demand by the Royal National Institute of the Blind Scotland and the Macular Disease Society that the Scottish Executive ensures that funding is immediately provided by all NHS boards, thereby saving the sight of those who could benefit from the therapy.

Supported by: Carolyn Leckie, Stewart Stevenson, Robert Brown, Frances Curran, John Swinburne, Mr Stewart Maxwell, Ms Sandra White, Nicola Sturgeon, Murray Tosh, Elaine Smith, Margaret Jamieson, Jackie Baillie, Trish Godman, Sarah Boyack, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Mr Mark Ruskell, Alex Neil, Dr Elaine Murray, Mr David Davidson, Cathie Craigie, Mark Ballard, Linda Fabiani, Mrs Nanette Milne, Helen Eadie, Bill Butler, Shona Robison, Eleanor Scott, Marlyn Glen, Mike Pringle, Dennis Canavan, Irene Oldfather, Christine Grahame, Mr Kenneth Macintosh, Phil Gallie, Patrick Harvie, Roseanna Cunningham, Cathy Peattie, David Mundell, Marilyn Livingstone, Shiona Baird, Dr Jean Turner, Christine May, Margaret Mitchell, Dr Sylvia Jackson, Donald Gorrie