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Business Bulletin No. 184/2004

Monday 13 December 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. Each Monday the full text of all motions lodged the previous week will appear in the Business Bulletin together with motions previously lodged that are due to be debated that week.

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-2148 Fiona Hyslop: The State of the World’s Children—That the Parliament notes the recent UNICEF report, Childhood Under Threat, published on 9 December 2004; expresses its concern at the findings of the report; concurs with the comments of UNICEF director, Carol Bellamy, that "too many governments are making informed, deliberate choices that actually hurt childhood", and calls on the governments of the world to increase their efforts to work together to end the scourge of poverty, work towards conflict resolution and curtail the spread of AIDS.

*S2M-2147 Mr Brian Monteith: Scotland - World Elephant Polo Champions—That the Parliament congratulates the Scotland team for winning the Elephant Polo World Championships in Nepal, beating National Parks of Nepal 12-6 in the final to regain the title won by Scotland in 2001; supports the comments of the team captain, His Grace the Duke of Argyll, that "with this victory, no one can deny Scotland is one of the world’s sporting heavyweights"; believes that this victory should be an inspiration to all Scotland’s sportsmen and sportswomen; notes that the sport was co-founded by a Scotsman and is registered as an Olympic Sport with the Nepal Olympic Committee, and further supports any application to make it an official Commonwealth Games competition.

*S2M-2146# Mr Kenneth Macintosh: Skin Disease to be Recognised as a Chronic Condition—That the Parliament recognises the potentially debilitating affect of skin disease on many individuals in Scotland; notes the distress, discomfort, isolation and frustration experienced by many people with skin disease; believes that the impact on people’s lives, on their self-esteem and relationships with others is often underestimated; notes that classifying skin disease as a minor ailment fails to take account of the effect it can have on people’s lives; welcomes recent initiatives, such as Skin Action Scotland, as a move in the right direction in giving dermatological services the priority they deserve within the health service, and believes that the Scottish Executive should recognise skin disease as a chronic condition, so giving residents in East Renfrewshire and elsewhere assistance with prescription charges and giving them better access to the best drugs and treatment available.

S2M-2145# Elaine Smith: Oxfam Asylum Positive Images Project—That the Parliament congratulates Oxfam on its Asylum Positive Images Project; welcomes the project’s aims of promoting accurate, fair and well-informed media coverage of asylum issues; recognises the findings of a recent Mori Poll commissioned by Oxfam which found that more than 83% of people surveyed agreed that individuals seeking asylum in Scotland should be given the opportunity to work; notes that 64% of people maintained that Scotland should be a safe haven for those fleeing persecution and that a further 60% believed that children should not be held in detention centres; acknowledges that these findings illustrate the goodwill that exists towards refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland; considers that the Scottish Executive has a responsibility to recognise, promote and encourage such attitudes as part of the drive towards a more inclusive and tolerant Scotland, and suggests that the continued operation of Dungavel House immigration removal centre undermines this objective.

Supported by: Rosie Kane*, Michael Matheson*, Mr Kenny MacAskill*, Tommy Sheridan*, Frances Curran*, Ms Sandra White*, Robin Harper*, Ms Rosemary Byrne*, Brian Adam*, Shiona Baird*

S2M-2144# Linda Fabiani: Scotland’s Nobel Prize Winners—That the Parliament notes those Scots who have become Nobel Laureates since the prize was inaugurated in 1901 and, in particular, notes the contribution of Scotland’s first Nobel Laureate, Sir William Ramsay, who received the honour in 1904 "in recognition of his services in the discovery of the inert gaseous elements in air, and his determination of their place in the periodic system" and recognises that the example set by Scotland’s Nobel Laureates is an effective generator of confidence and wellbeing.

S2M-2143 Mr Jamie McGrigor: Scottish Elephant Polo Team—That the Parliament congratulates the Scottish elephant polo team on its success in winning the Elephant Polo World Championships in Nepal and commends the enterprise and adventurous spirit of the team members and their sponsors for promoting Scotland in such an original fashion.

S2M-2142# Rob Gibson: Counterdrift Index—That the Parliament notes the continued loss of population from rural and island areas and its harmful effects on many communities; believes that the Scottish Executive should create a "Counterdrift Index" that sets out the details of its achievements in tackling this issue, and considers that the index, published quarterly, should flag up all relevant indicators, including the number of affordable houses built and public jobs dispersed to areas of depopulation, the amount of land transferred for community use from both public and private sectors, the number of modern apprenticeships turned into permanent sustainable jobs and incentives delivered for tradespeople to work in the affected areas.

Supported by: Tommy Sheridan*

S2M-2141# Cathie Craigie: Eco Schools Programme—That the Parliament recognises the importance of education in raising environmental awareness; notes the continuing and growing success of the Eco Schools programme, run in Scotland by Keep Scotland Beautiful; encourages the Scottish Executive to give continued support to the programme, and congratulates Whitelees Primary School in Cumbernauld on being the 100th school in Scotland to be awarded a Green Flag.

Supported by: Tommy Sheridan*

S2M-2140 Mike Pringle: Continued Arms Embargo Against China—That the Parliament congratulates the European Union (EU) on its decision not to lift its arms embargo against China; is disappointed that both Germany and France had called for the embargo to be lifted; notes that the continued embargo is a recognition by the EU of the lack of progress on human rights in China since the brutal massacre of unarmed civilians in Tiananmen Square in 1989, and calls on the UK Government to resist any further attempts within the EU to lift the embargo.

S2M-2139# Cathy Peattie: BBC, Scottish Culture and Economy—That the Parliament notes the central role of the BBC in the promotion of Scottish culture and society and coverage of Scottish current affairs and its contribution to Scottish creative industries and the Scottish economy; expresses concern at the recent announcement by BBC’s Director-General, Mark Thompson, and subsequently by the Controller of BBC Scotland, Ken McQuarrie, regarding restructuring, cutbacks and outsourcing and, in particular, the implications of this announcement for Scotland, and believes that the BBC’s historic obligation to provide high-quality public service broadcasting and its contribution to the economic and cultural life of Scotland should be enhanced, not diminished.

Supported by: Tommy Sheridan*

S2M-2138 Margaret Smith: Royal Highland and Agricultural Society—That the Parliament expresses its concern about the plans contained in the UK Government’s White Paper, The Future of Air Transport, which would require the relocation of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society’s headquarters and showground at Ingliston as a result of the proposed expansion of Edinburgh Airport; values the immense contribution that the Royal Highland Centre makes to the Lothian economy, attracting 1.2 million visitors and over £80 million every year; recognises that the centre has not just provided 50 years of the Royal Highland Show, but also accommodates a variety of special events throughout the year, including fairs, concerts, conventions and sporting events; is further concerned by the estimated costs of relocating the centre, which vary between £95 million and over £400 million with further costs to the Edinburgh economy, and encourages the Scottish Executive, the UK Government, British Airports Authority and others to work together to produce a set of proposals which will allow the society to remain at its Ingliston site.

S2M-2137 Irene Oldfather: Band Aid 20—That the Parliament congratulates Sir Bob Geldof and the Scottish musician, Midge Ure, for organising Band Aid 20, a re-recording of the 1984 single, Do They Know It’s Christmas?; applauds the contribution on this recording of all artists, who have given their time free of charge, including Scottish bands, Travis and Snow Patrol; is aware that proceeds of the sales are going towards relief for the Darfur region of Sudan and to combat HIV and AIDS across Africa; notes that more than 300,000 copies of the CD single have been sold in the first week of release alone; acknowledges that the Band Aid Trust has contributed £75 million to famine relief projects across Africa between January 1985 and November 2004; welcomes the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Right Honourable Gordon Brown MP’s decision to waive VAT on sales of both the new CD single and the newly-released DVD of the original Live Aid concert in 1985, and encourages as many Scottish people as possible to buy a copy of the CD single and make a difference to the lives of many in Africa this Christmas.

S2M-2136 Tommy Sheridan: Verification of the Number of Civilian Deaths in the Iraqi Conflict—That the Parliament notes the open letter sent to the Prime Minister by 46 high-profile individuals representing the army, church and legal establishment, following a study published in The Lancet in October which estimated the number of excess deaths in Iraq since the beginning of the war in March 2003 as 98,000, most of them being women and children; notes that the letter was signed, amongst others, by Lord Garden, former assistant chief of defence staff, retired General, Sir Hugh Beech, Sir Stephen Egerton, ex-ambassador to Iraq, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Colin Bennetts, Bishop of Coventry and Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford; supports the signatories’ call for an independent inquiry to establish in detail the numbers killed or injured in Iraq, along with the reasons, so that the true extent of the human suffering caused by the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq is publicly documented and recognised by the UK Government, and, in addition, calls on the UK Government to put pressure on the US administration to publish the Pentagon’s records which do document the number of civilian deaths in the conflict.

Supported by: Frances Curran, Carolyn Leckie, Rosie Kane, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Colin Fox, Donald Gorrie

S2M-2135 Tommy Sheridan: Zero Tolerance to Drink-Driving—That the Parliament notes that over one-in-four fatal road accidents in Scotland last year were caused by drivers with alcohol levels above the legal minimum, while 560 people were killed and 2,600 seriously injured across Britain in drink-driving related accidents; further notes that the legal amount of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood is greater than the maximum 50mg per 100ml in most other European Union countries; believes that a consistent, all-year message has to be communicated that drink-driving is unsafe and unacceptable; calls on the UK Government to remove the current and confusing legal limit and replace it with a zero tolerance approach, making driving while having consumed any alcohol illegal, and believes that such an approach could save lives and make drink-driving even less socially acceptable than is currently the case.

Supported by: Carolyn Leckie, Frances Curran

S2M-2134# Carolyn Leckie: Freedom of Expression for Politics, Posters and Art—That the Parliament regrets the decision of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB), without consultation, to ban political posters and other expressive materials from the walls and windows of MSPs’ offices; believes in itself as a parliament, not an ornament, and that without expression of politics in various forms the Parliament has no business calling itself a parliament; further believes that the diversity of the politics of the parties represented in the Parliament is of interest to visitors and adds vitality to Scotland’s limited democratic autonomy; believes, in terms of the ethos and principles that were enshrined in the establishment of the Parliament, which include a commitment to be more open, more democratic, more diverse, more pluralistic and of the people, for the people and by the people, that the SPCB has no right to censor the political expression of legitimately elected representatives; recognises that no damage has been, or will be, caused to the fabric of the building by posters; considers that Sr. Miralles would have agreed that an artwork should not be stagnant and preserved in formaldehyde, especially the parliament building as an art form, which is supposed to have grown from Scotland’s earth and Scotland’s people, and that Scotland and its people should not stand still within a sedentary edifice; believes that any suppression of such expression is surely regressive in a parliament and an art work that claims to be progressive, and therefore considers that the SPCB should reverse its recent decision and withdraw the edict.

Supported by: Frances Curran, Christine Grahame, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Colin Fox, Tommy Sheridan, Mr Mark Ruskell*, Rosie Kane*

S2M-2133 Irene Oldfather: Road Safety for the Elderly—That the Parliament acknowledges the increased vulnerability of elderly pedestrians on the roads; notes that, in the last four years, an average of 1,103 people aged over 60 and 1,189 people aged over 70 were involved in road accidents; recognises that some elderly pedestrians can be at a greater risk of involvement in accidents due to sight, mobility and hearing impairment; acknowledges the Scottish Executive’s continued investment in road safety programmes such as the foolsspeed and Christmas drink driving campaigns, but calls on the Executive to consider running a road safety awareness campaign to encourage drivers to recognise the specific difficulties that elderly and disabled pedestrians face.

Supported by: Donald Gorrie

S2M-2131 Bristow Muldoon: Fire Safety—That the Parliament notes with concern the unacceptably high level of fire deaths and injuries within Scotland, 84 fatal casualties and 1,718 non-fatal casualties, as reported in HM Chief Inspector of Fire Services for Scotland – Annual Report 2002-03; believes that the most effective way to reduce this unacceptable level of human suffering is to ensure that the fire and rescue services develop more effective community safety initiatives; recognises the excellent work carried out within West Lothian where Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade carried out a home safety fire risk assessment in every home within the area; further recognises the quality of the success of this initiative, where over 94% of respondents were very satisfied with the home safety check, 92% stated that they now felt safer from fire in their home, 95% of the firefighters involved in the project agreed that the community welcomed their efforts to reduce the number of fire fatalities occurring within the home and 85% agreed that it should be the fire brigade’s responsibility to give home fire safety advice to the community; confirms that fire safety is high on the agenda of the Parliament, and encourages the Scottish Executive in its determination to make community fire safety a statutory duty for fire authorities.

Supported by: Alex Neil, Scott Barrie, Donald Gorrie

S2M-2128# Roseanna Cunningham: Westminster Energy Bill and EC State Aid Rules—That the Parliament welcomes the decision by the European Commission to launch an investigation into whether the UK Government will contravene EU competition rules in establishing a nuclear decommissioning authority which could provide subsidies of £48 billion to the nuclear industry; notes that legal opinion obtained by Greenpeace makes a case that the Westminster Energy Bill involves the establishment of a state aid scheme which enables the proposed nuclear decommissioning authority to carry out decommissioning for private, as well as state, operators from public funds and that it provides the legislative infrastructure to enable further aid to be granted to British Energy over and above that proposed by the restructuring package; recognises that the nuclear industry has, for decades, depended on direct state support while leaving a legacy of nuclear waste and vast stocks of weapons-usable plutonium, and believes that the new commission now has the opportunity to demonstrate its independence from the nuclear lobby by reaching a decision which could bring an end to the massive state subsidies enjoyed by the nuclear industry.

Supported by: Rob Gibson, Richard Lochhead, Michael Matheson, Stewart Stevenson, Mr Adam Ingram, Brian Adam, Bruce Crawford, Donald Gorrie, Eleanor Scott, Chris Ballance, Ms Sandra White, Robin Harper*, Tommy Sheridan*

S2M-2127 Margaret Smith: Public Liability Insurance and Community Organisations—That the Parliament notes with concern the massive increase in the cost of public liability insurance over the last three years and the negative impact that this is having on traditional community events throughout the country; notes that, in one case in Edinburgh, an insurance quote of £14,500 was given to the Corstorphine Fair from the same company that quoted just £1,000 two years ago; recognises that the cost of insurance is now jeopardising the future of a number of fundraising and community events, including Christmas events, and rejects the main excuse put forward by insurance companies that the increased premiums are required because of the rise of international terrorism, and therefore calls on the Scottish Executive to look into this issue as a matter of urgency to ensure that these events, which are so important to local communities, are able to continue.

Supported by: Alex Fergusson, Mr Kenneth Macintosh, Mike Pringle, Nora Radcliffe, Roseanna Cunningham, Robin Harper, Mark Ballard, Robert Brown, Stewart Stevenson, Jeremy Purvis, Brian Adam, Chris Ballance, Frances Curran, Phil Gallie, Mr John Swinney, Colin Fox, Donald Gorrie

S2M-2122 Mr Adam Ingram: Prescribing Anti-Depressants—That the Parliament acknowledges the warnings from the medical profession, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the National Institute of Clinical Excellence regarding the rise in the prescribing of anti-depressants and, in particular, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and their safety; notes that, whilst medication has a role to play for some patients, other non-pharmacological therapies must be made widely available to offer both patients and GPs alternative methods of treatment, and calls on the Scottish Executive to commit itself to increase both the standard and availability of non-pharmacological treatment.

Supported by: Alex Neil, Michael Matheson, Donald Gorrie

S2M-2121 Colin Fox: Scotland’s Private Prisons—That the Parliament notes the remarks of Tony Blair MP in April 1994, in condemning government proposals to privatise Scottish prisons, that "these proposals are wrong in principle and is committed to opposing them at every opportunity. … those who are sentenced to imprisonment by the state should be deprived of their liberty by those who are accountable to the state and not to private shareholders. … A Labour Government would bring the prisons back within the proper public prison system at the earliest opportunity"; further notes plans by the Scottish Executive for two further prisons that may be privately owned in addition to the one at Kilmarnock owned by Premier Prisons Ltd; believes that imprisonment remains the responsibility of the state and that profiteering from the incarceration of others is immoral, and therefore believes that all Scotland’s privately-owned prisons ought to be "back within the proper public prison system at the earliest opportunity".

S2M-2120# Christine Grahame: Scottish Borders Children’s Panel—That the Parliament notes with concern the terms of the letter of 3 December 2004 from the Chairman of Scottish Borders Children’s Panel Advisory Committee, as instructed by the Committee, to the Minister for Education and Young People which states, inter alia, serious concern that increasing demands on panel members in terms of number and complexity of cases and additional training are having a detrimental effect on the welfare of those members, that this has led to an increasing turnover in members, causing hearings to be cancelled, that some panel members are experiencing training and hearing commitments "overload" and that "what is being asked is beyond the voluntary nature of the appointment"; notes that there are "grave concerns that the current review may not happen soon enough"; further notes that, because of resignations, the panel is operating with 30% fewer members and that approaches have now had to be made to East Lothian and Midlothian panel areas to establish whether those panel members could be made available; notes that this undermines the ethos of the panel system, that cases should be heard before representatives of the local community; further notes that phase 2 of the review, due to commence in November, has now been postponed, and therefore considers that the Scottish Executive should, as a matter of urgency in the above circumstances and recognising the sterling work of panel members and the distinctive and crucial function of the children’s hearing system, intervene to assist panel members in the Scottish Borders and further should accelerate the review.

Supported by: Alex Neil, Michael Matheson, Donald Gorrie

S2M-2119 Cathy Jamieson: Constitutional Reform Bill - UK Legislation—That the Parliament agrees the principle of having a clear and transparent separation between the judiciary and the legislature and agrees that provisions in the Constitutional Reform Bill establishing a Supreme Court, and provisions consequential thereto, so far as they relate to matters within the legislative competence of the Parliament, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

Supported by: Hugh Henry

S2M-2118 Mr Tom McCabe: Gambling Bill - UK Legislation—That the Parliament agrees the principle of including in the Gambling Bill provisions which confer powers on the Scottish Ministers, including powers to set fees and make regulations on the conditions to be attached to gambling premises’ licences and permits, and agrees that the relevant provisions to achieve this end should be considered by the UK Parliament.

Supported by: Tavish Scott

S2M-2116# Paul Martin: Reviewing Arrangements for Managing Registered Sex Offenders—That the Parliament commends those who took part in the Voice for our Children march on 30 October 2004; recognises that, following the murder of eight-year-old Mark Cummings by registered sex offender, Stuart Leggate, there is a requirement for a root-and-branch review of how registered sex offenders are monitored and managed in the community; believes that the current sentencing policy for dealing with registered child sex offenders is grossly inadequate and requires review, that it is not acceptable that registered sex offenders are able to legally act under an alias identity and that the current housing allocation policies for dealing with registered child sex offenders present a serious risk to local communities; considers that an inquiry should be held into the events leading up to the murder of Mark Cummings, and believes that the Scottish Executive should, as a matter of urgency, bring forward measures that will ensure that the risk to our children posed by registered child sex offenders is radically minimised.

Supported by: Shiona Baird, Mr Kenny MacAskill, Mr David Davidson, Phil Gallie, Jackie Baillie, Pauline McNeill, Ms Sandra White, Mike Watson, Cathie Craigie, Trish Godman, Donald Gorrie, Mr Duncan McNeil, Cathy Peattie, Richard Baker*, Elaine Smith*, Michael McMahon*, Irene Oldfather*, Bill Butler*, Mr Alasdair Morrison*, Karen Gillon*, Janis Hughes*, Tommy Sheridan*

S2M-2115 Alex Neil: Research Pooling for Chemistry and Physics—That the Parliament welcomes the initiative to pool physics and chemistry research groups in Scottish universities; notes that the aim is to create two world-class research alliances, ScotCHEM for chemistry and SUPA for physics, with over 380 researchers; notes that this collaboration is a bottom-up initiative from the chemistry and physics researchers with a £37 million investment from six universities, the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council and the Office of Science and Technology; believes that ScotCHEM and SUPA will help develop a distinctive, radically-new research landscape in Scotland with powerful, well-resourced research communities, attractive to leading researchers around the world, producing world-class research, and believes that this collaborative and creative initiative will be crucial to ensuring that the Scottish research base is able to maintain its competitive edge both internationally and within the United Kingdom and to support Scotland’s knowledge economy.

Supported by: Mike Pringle, Michael Matheson, Donald Gorrie

S2M-2114# Mr Adam Ingram: Robert Burns National Heritage Park—That the Parliament deplores the impending disintegration of the Robert Burns National Heritage Park; questions the wisdom of the actions of South Ayrshire Council in withdrawing from the joint board responsible for the park and, in particular, in leasing out the park’s visitor centre, the Tam O’Shanter Experience, to a commercial operator thereby eliminating a vital income stream for the upkeep of the Burns cottage and museum; expresses alarm at the formal withdrawal of an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund which, if granted, would have allowed rebuilding and modernisation of the Burns museum enabling proper storing, archiving and display, and considers that all interested parties should work together to ensure that flagship assets for Burns heritage tourism are properly developed in good time for the major events planned for the 2009 Homecoming Year, marking the 250th anniversary of the birth of the national bard.

Supported by: Rob Gibson, Mr Kenny MacAskill, Roseanna Cunningham, Jim Mather, Mike Pringle, Richard Lochhead, Stewart Stevenson, Brian Adam, Fergus Ewing, Christine Grahame, Tricia Marwick, Alex Neil, Tommy Sheridan, John Swinburne, Mr John Swinney, Michael Matheson, Mrs Margaret Ewing, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Ms Sandra White, Mr Andrew Welsh, Phil Gallie*

S2M-2113 Jeremy Purvis: Congratulations to David Steel on Appointment to the Order of the Thistle—That the Parliament congratulates Lord Steel of Aikwood, first Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament and former MP for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale, on his appointment as a Knight of the Order of the Thistle, and recognises that the Order represents the highest honour in Scotland probably dating to the reign of James III and that the appointment recognises the substantial contribution that Lord Steel has made to political and social life in Scotland and the United Kingdom.

Supported by: John Farquhar Munro, Donald Gorrie, Mr Jamie Stone, Nora Radcliffe, George Lyon, Robert Brown, Mr Jim Wallace, Euan Robson, Iain Smith, Ross Finnie, Mr Keith Raffan, Margaret Smith

S2M-2112 Donald Gorrie: Erskine—That the Parliament recognises the contribution made to Scottish life by the Erskine organisation through its care for ex-servicemen and women throughout Scotland since its foundation in 1916 as Erskine Hospital for men who had lost a limb in the First World War; recognises its continuation as an independent Scottish charity supported by voluntary contributions, providing physical and emotional care to ex-service people harmed in the Second World War and the many wars since; further recognises its employment of people with disabilities in its commercial gardening, furniture and print outlets, and wishes it well in its continuing development of its services at Erskine and in Edinburgh.

Supported by: Trish Godman, Mr Brian Monteith, Michael Matheson, Tommy Sheridan*

S2M-2111 Richard Lochhead: Green Energy Awards—That the Parliament congratulates all nominees and winners of the Green Energy Awards on 2 December 2004 who represented businesses, communities, individuals, organisations and academia committed to harnessing the potential for renewable energy in Scotland; further congratulates the Scottish Renewables Forum for its organisation of the event; commends the efforts of those involved in all sectors of renewable energy in Scotland for the work they do to try and exploit the potential for Scotland to become one of the most prominent renewable energy nations in the world, and calls on the Scottish Executive to assist these groups and individuals to help Scotland develop and harness its renewable energy potential and catch up with those nations who have already developed significant renewable energy sectors.

Supported by: Rob Gibson, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Patrick Harvie, Shiona Baird, Jim Mather, Brian Adam, Alex Neil, Stewart Stevenson, Robin Harper, Michael Matheson, Donald Gorrie, Mr Mark Ruskell*, Tommy Sheridan*

S2M-2110 Chris Ballance: Safeguarding Rural Shops—That the Parliament notes with alarm that proposals being considered by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to deregulate the system of wholesale distribution of newspapers and magazines could jeopardise the guaranteed distribution of publications to rural retailers, and believes that the Scottish Executive should make representations to the OFT without delay to guarantee consumers continuing access to a wide range of reasonably priced publications and diminish the threat of closure to rural village shops.

Supported by: Carolyn Leckie, Patrick Harvie, Eleanor Scott, Mrs Margaret Ewing, Stewart Stevenson, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Shiona Baird, Mark Ballard, Donald Gorrie, Tommy Sheridan, John Swinburne, Rosie Kane*

S2M-2109 Linda Fabiani: Burns Monument in Kilmarnock—That the Parliament calls on the Scottish Executive, in full consultation with East Ayrshire Council, to guarantee the restoration of the Burns Monument in Kay Park, Kilmarnock; expresses deep concern for the firemen who were injured in the fire which destroyed the monument, and calls for an investigation into the failures of East Ayrshire Council in their maintenance and management of this historic monument.

Supported by: Michael Matheson, Tommy Sheridan*

S2M-2107# Iraq War Reparations (lodged on 2 December 2004) Elaine Smith*

S2M-2106 Threat to Scottish Magazine and Newspaper Distribution (lodged on 2 December 2004) Alasdair Morgan*

S2M-2105 Palestinian Election (lodged on 2 December 2004) Tommy Sheridan*

S2M-2101 A Climate of Fear (lodged on 2 December 2004) Elaine Smith*

S2M-2092 Lauder College, Dunfermline - Scottish Employer of the Year (lodged on 30 November 2004) Rosie Kane*

S2M-2083 Gaelic and Scots Translations of the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe (lodged on 29 November 2004) Rosie Kane*

S2M-2064.1 Doctors’ Responsibility to the Public Sector (lodged on 25 November 2004) Tommy Sheridan*

S2M-2038# Mr Frank McAveety: Knife Crime in Glasgow—That the Parliament recognises the unacceptable number of incidents involving knife crime in Scotland and particularly in the east end of Glasgow; believes that the Scottish Executive, Strathclyde police and other key agencies need to work more effectively to tackle this problem; considers that a range of measures to deal with knife crime are required, and believes that the Executive should consider measures such as restricting access to the purchase of knives, ensuring appropriate programmes are in place to educate young people on the dangers and consequences of carrying and using knives, speedier and effective sentencing for those convicted of knife crime and ensuring that the police have effective powers to deal with those who carry and use knives.

Supported by: Mike Pringle, Donald Gorrie, Janis Hughes, Bill Butler, Scott Barrie, John Swinburne

S2M-2032 Energy Jobs for Aberdeen (lodged on 18 November 2004) Mrs Nanette Milne*

S2M-2022.1# Scottish History (lodged on 22 November 2004) Mrs Nanette Milne*

S2M-1921 Open Source and Free Software (lodged on 29 October 2004) Mr Stewart Maxwell*, Mr Mark Ruskell*

S2M-1916# Cuts in Local Benefits Services (lodged on 28 October 2004) Rosie Kane*

S2M-1721# Eleanor Scott: Rural Abattoirs—That the Parliament notes that the number of red meat abattoirs in Scotland has fallen from 79 to only 44 in the past 20 years, whereas Austria has sustained over 3,000 slaughter facilities in this period; deplores this reduction, given the detrimental impact on animal welfare that results from increased transportation times; recognises the benefits to rural livelihoods, animal welfare and local food production that more rural abattoirs would bring, and considers that the Scottish Executive should invest in, and support the establishment of, new, modern slaughterhouses throughout rural Scotland.

Supported by: Tommy Sheridan, Donald Gorrie, Shiona Baird, Mark Ballard, Linda Fabiani, Mr Stewart Maxwell, Robin Harper, Dr Jean Turner, Christine Grahame, Chris Ballance, Rob Gibson, Carolyn Leckie, Frances Curran, Ms Rosemary Byrne, Patrick Harvie, Mr Mark Ruskell, Mr Adam Ingram, Bruce Crawford, Mrs Margaret Ewing