Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 34/2007: Thursday 22 February 2007
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Contents An A B C D E F G H I J

Section A – Today’s Business

Meeting of the Parliament

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Debate: Road Tolling—

S2M-5598 Mr David Davidson: Road Tolling—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 Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S2M-5598.2 Tavish Scott: Road Tolling—As an amendment to motion (S2M-5598) in the name of Mr David Davidson, 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 fully assessed, tested and evaluated in order to keep Scotland moving."

S2M-5598.1 Fergus Ewing: Road Tolling—As an amendment to motion (S2M-5598) in the name of Mr David Davidson, 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."

S2M-5598.3 Mark Ballard: Road Tolling—As an amendment to motion (S2M-5598) in the name of Mr David Davidson, 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."

followed by Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Debate: Double Jeopardy—

S2M-5613 Miss Annabel Goldie: Double Jeopardy—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 Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment

S2M-5613.1 Johann Lamont: Double Jeopardy—As an amendment to motion (S2M-5613) in the name of Miss Annabel Goldie, 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."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Karen Gillon: To ask the Scottish Executive how the recently introduced Child Protection Information Line will help vulnerable children. (S2O-12135)

2. Helen Eadie: To ask the Scottish Executive how fixed penalty notices for antisocial behaviour will help to combat such behaviour in the community. (S2O-12134)

3. Margaret Mitchell: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has, in addition to building two new prisons, to assess and address any increase in the prison population over the next four years resulting from factors such as the provisions of the Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Bill. (S2O-12096)

4. Iain Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of the findings of the UNICEF report on child poverty in perspective. (S2O-12112)

5. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Scottish Executive what the estimated cost is of outstanding maintenance and repairs of roads under the control of local authorities. (S2O-12074)

6. Mr Jamie Stone: To ask the Scottish Executive when it intends to phase out trains not fitted with controlled emission toilets. (S2O-12107)

7. Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to fast track the Aberdeen 50-metre swimming pool and other sporting facility projects so that top-class facilities in Scotland can be offered as training camps for the 2012 Olympics and, if Glasgow’s bid is successful, the 2014 Commonwealth Games. (S2O-12079)

8. Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has made, or intends to make, any representations to the UK Government on behalf of the Scottish live music industry in respect of the recent meeting between the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport and representatives of the UK industry concerning ticket touting. (S2O-12150)

9. Donald Gorrie: To ask the Scottish Executive how many affordable rented homes it intends will be built by 2012 to meet its aim of abolishing all unintentional homelessness by then. (S2O-12106)

10. Maureen Macmillan: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will respond to concerns regarding toilet facilities on Highland trains. (S2O-12143)

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time—

1. Nicola Sturgeon: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Scottish Executive’s Cabinet. (S2F-2733)

2. Miss Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Prime Minister and what issues they will discuss. (S2F-2734)

3. Robin Harper: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Secretary of State for Scotland and what issues he intends to discuss. (S2F-2748)

4. Mrs Mary Mulligan: To ask the First Minister what progress is being made towards reducing class sizes in schools. (S2F-2736)

5. Carolyn Leckie: To ask the First Minister whether the independent public inquiry into the contamination of blood products will have the support of the Scottish Executive in accessing information held in Scotland. (S2F-2742)

6. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the First Minister what consideration the Scottish Executive has given to altering the civil legal aid rules for cases involving threats of harassment or assault. (S2F-2741)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Environment and Rural Development

1. Mr Alasdair Morrison: To ask the Scottish Executive how many homes have been built in the Western Isles under the Croft House Grants Scheme since its introduction and how this compares with the number built under the Crofting Building Grants and Loans Scheme. (S2O-12151)

2. Withdrawn

3. Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive what its assessment is of the current performance of Scottish Water. (S2O-12130)

4. Eleanor Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive how it is promoting the application of the proximity principle for waste management in island communities. (S2O-12121)

5. David McLetchie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it believes that the performance of Scottish Water would be enhanced by mutualisation and whether it has any plans to change the current status of Scottish Water. (S2O-12093)

6. Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to encourage consumers to buy local produce. (S2O-12129)

7. Euan Robson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is satisfied that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency is interpreting and enforcing regulations in a proportionate manner. (S2O-12110)

8. John Farquhar Munro: To ask the Scottish Executive what effect it considers its draft animal gatherings order will have on traditional agricultural shows. (S2O-12113)

9. Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive who the members will be of the committee of inquiry into crofting led by Professor Mark Shucksmith; when the committee will start work, and what timescale is envisaged for it to report. (S2O-12081)

10. Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive how any relocation of the freshwater laboratory from Faskally in Perthshire would fit with its policy of public sector job dispersal. (S2O-12099)

Health and Community Care

1. Cathy Peattie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide an update on the development of its strategy for carers. (S2O-12157)

2. Rosie Kane: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it intends to take to improve children’s health following the publication of the UNICEF report on child poverty in perspective. (S2O-12115)

3. Colin Fox: To ask the Scottish Executive what the latest position is on its review of NHS prescription charges for patients with long-term conditions and on what date it expects to present the outcome of the review. (S2O-12124)

4. Fergus Ewing: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will meet me and representatives of the communities served by Glencoe Hospital to discuss the future provision of services for elderly people in South Lochaber. (S2O-12076)

5. Gordon Jackson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide an update on the steps it is taking to improve the health of children in our communities, schools and homes. (S2O-12139)

6. Mr Frank McAveety: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will encourage NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to make Omacor available to patients to tackle the level of myocardial infarction in its area. (S2O-12146)

7. Bristow Muldoon: To ask the Scottish Executive what assurance it can give that it is taking all possible action to ensure that vulnerable groups receive the highest quality of health protection while reducing bureaucracy for local and national stakeholders. (S2O-12152)

8. Richard Lochhead: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will investigate the extent to which any shortage of nursing home places in Moray is exacerbating delayed discharges from local hospitals. (S2O-12082)

9. Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide an update on the outcomes of the Keep Well pilot schemes, including the one in North Lanarkshire. (S2O-12148)

10. Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what the estimated per capita expenditure on health will be in 2007-08 and what the comparable figure was in 1999-2000. (S2O-12136)

2.55 pm Executive Debate: Affordable Housing—

S2M-5617 Rhona Brankin: Affordable Housing—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.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S2M-5617.2 Tricia Marwick: Affordable Housing—As an amendment to motion (S2M-5617) in the name of Rhona Brankin, 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."

S2M-5617.1 Bill Aitken: Affordable Housing—As an amendment to motion (S2M-5617) in the name of Rhona Brankin, 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."

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S2M-5481 Phil Gallie: Clyde Fishermen Ahead of the Game on Conservation!—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.

Contents An A B C D E F G H I J