Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 39/2007: Thursday 1 March 2007
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Section A – Today’s Business

Meetings of Committees

All meetings take place in the Scottish Parliament, unless otherwise specified. Contact details for Committee Clerks are provided at the end of the Bulletin.

Airdrie-Bathgate Railway and Linked Improvements Bill Committee
2nd Meeting, 2007

The Committee will meet at 12.45 pm in Committee Room 4

1. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee will consider whether to take items 2 and 3 in private and whether to consider its draft Consideration Stage and European Protected Species reports in private at future meetings.

2. Draft Consideration Stage report: The Committee will consider a draft Consideration Stage report.

3. Draft report on European Protected Species: The Committee will consider a draft report on European Protected Species.

Meeting of the Parliament

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Executive Debate: Dealing with Illegal Money Lenders—

S2M-5669 Des McNulty: Dealing with Illegal Money Lenders—That the Parliament condemns the activities of illegal money lenders who prey on and exploit vulnerable individuals and communities; welcomes the Scottish Executive’s determination to work in partnership with the UK Government to tackle illegal lending through enforcement and by developing new approaches, such as the successful illegal money lending task force pilots, and supports the Executive’s activity to help affected individuals by increasing affordable credit from credit unions, by improving the availability of money advice, through citizens’ advice, local authority trading standards departments and other organisations which provide invaluable help to those with unmanageable debt, and by extending financial education in schools and in other settings such as the workplace and the community.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S2M-5669.1 Mr Kenny MacAskill: Dealing with Illegal Money Lenders—As an amendment to motion (S2M-5669) in the name of Des McNulty, leave out from "welcomes" to end and insert "notes the significant debt problem in Scotland, a problem that is more serious than in the rest of the United Kingdom; recognises that a main cause of Scotland’s debt crisis is the irresponsible actions of legal money lenders; believes that the causes as well as the consequences of unmanageable debt must be addressed; regrets that current consumer legislation at Westminster is inadequate in protecting vulnerable groups from predatory lending; calls for the Parliament to have appropriate powers to deal with Scotland’s distinct debt problem, and further calls for the removal of dwelling homes from the land attachment method of debt recovery, thereby ending the draconian situation of a person’s home being at risk over a small amount of debt."

S2M-5669.2 Margaret Mitchell: Dealing with Illegal Money Lenders—As an amendment to motion (S2M-5669) in the name of Des McNulty, insert at end "recognises that an increase in the number of police walking our streets would encourage and give people more confidence to report the activities of illegal money lenders in local communities, and believes that tackling personal debt and financial exclusion is an issue of social responsibility."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. John Home Robertson: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it estimates would be payable in local income tax by a household with two people earning average wages and how that compares with the average band D council tax in Scotland. (S2O-12223)

2. Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it is making in obtaining Fair Trade Nation status for Scotland. (S2O-12243)

3. Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there will be increased community involvement in the ongoing work on the draft West Edinburgh Planning Framework. (S2O-12203)

4. Alex Fergusson: To ask the Scottish Executive what weight will be given to local objections when determining the location of Scotland’s first marine national park. (S2O-12165)

5. Mr Alasdair Morrison: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will give an update on the PPP scheme for schools in the Western Isles. (S2O-12236)

6. Christine May: To ask the Scottish Executive how it is supporting housing regeneration in central Fife. (S2O-12230)

7. Cathy Peattie: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to extend the availability of NHS dentistry. (S2O-12242)

8. Donald Gorrie: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with local authorities to create a co-ordinated programme to improve the quality of football pitches and changing facilities in response to concerns illustrated by the march to the Parliament on 14 February 2007. (S2O-12204)

9. Michael Matheson: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to address the concerns of residents in town centres who suffer from high levels of noise pollution. (S2O-12167)

10. Mr Adam Ingram: To ask the Scottish Executive what the unitary charge paid out over the lifetime of the current South Ayrshire schools PPP project will be and how much of that cost will be borne by the Executive and South Ayrshire Council respectively. (S2O-12244)

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time—

1. Nicola Sturgeon: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Prime Minister and what issues they will discuss. (S2F-2749)

2. Miss Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Scottish Executive’s cabinet. (S2F-2750)

3. Dennis Canavan: To ask the First Minister what recent representations the Scottish Executive has received about its contribution to international development. (S2F-2754)

4. Fergus Ewing: To ask the First Minister, in light of the Cumbria train crash, what action it will take within its responsibilities in the interests of passenger safety. (S2F-2760)

5. Tommy Sheridan: To ask the First Minister, on the eve of the second anniversary of the fatal shooting of toddler, Andrew Morton, whether the Scottish Executive considers that general air gun sales should be banned. (S2F-2752)

6. Jackie Baillie: To ask the First Minister, in light of recent statistics, what steps are being considered to help raise children out of poverty. (S2F-2751)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Justice and Law Officers

1. Mr Jim Wallace: To ask the Scottish Executive how many prosecutions have been brought in respect of selling tobacco to underage purchasers in each of the last three years. (S2O-12199)

2. Carolyn Leckie: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to remove gender inequalities from the criminal justice system. (S2O-12175)

3. Mr David Davidson: To ask the Scottish Executive when it anticipates that local authorities will be in a position to implement the provisions of the Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Bill. (S2O-12193)

4. Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many community police officers there are in Scotland. (S2O-12202)

5. Mr Stewart Maxwell: To ask the Scottish Executive what the estimated cost is for the public sector to bid for the right to build and operate the replacement HM Prison Low Moss and whether it will list what that money would be spent on. (S2O-12169)

6. Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to improve the prosecution and detection of environmental crime. (S2O-12188)

7. Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive when it last met the Chief Constable of Tayside Police and what issues were discussed. (S2O-12178)

8. Mark Ballard: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will carry out an investigation into CIA rendition flights, in light of the recent report of the European Parliament. (S2O-12186)

9. Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive what action is being taken through the criminal justice system to tackle "loan sharks". (S2O-12217)

10. Nora Radcliffe: To ask the Scottish Executive what the relationship is between recidivism rates and whether people serve (a) community or (b) custodial sentences. (S2O-12201)

Enterprise, Lifelong Learning and Transport

1. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will meet the Scottish Funding Council and the University of Glasgow to discuss the latter’s presence at the Crichton Campus in Dumfries. (S2O-12159)

2. Susan Deacon: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to increase the involvement of business people, both at a local and national level, in the development and delivery of enterprise education in schools in line with the Determined to Succeed strategy. (S2O-12218)

3. Richard Lochhead: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made on the dualling of the A96. (S2O-12180)

4. Mr Charlie Gordon: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it promotes entry to apprenticeships in the construction and engineering industries by women and ethnic minority people and whether it will provide figures for those categories in those industries, as a proportion of total apprenticeships available. (S2O-12222)

5. Paul Martin: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps are being taken to improve public transport links to health facilities. (S2O-12229)

6. Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has for improving bus services across Scotland. (S2O-12215)

7. David McLetchie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it supports the principle of road pricing in Scotland. (S2O-12174)

8. Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive whether any changes have made to the enterprise and lifelong learning budget for 2007-08. (S2O-12184)

9. Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to support short sea shipping services as a means to reduce road congestion by heavy freight vehicles. (S2O-12181)

10. Dr Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has had any discussions with representatives of the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Funding Council regarding the proposed withdrawal of the university from the Crichton Campus in Dumfries (S2O-12239)

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions—

S2M-5666 Ms Margaret Curran: Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill, debate on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time limit indicated, each time limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when a meeting of the Parliament is suspended (other than a suspension following the first division in the Stage being called) or otherwise not in progress:

Groups 1 and 2: 35 minutes
Groups 3 and 4: 1 hour 5 minutes
Groups 5, 6 and 7: 1 hour 20 minutes.

2.55 pm Stage 3 Proceedings: Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill—

S2M-5630 Ross Finnie: Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill—That the Parliament agrees that the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill be passed.

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S2M-5305 Tricia Marwick: Tysabri for People with MS—That the Parliament deplores the decision by the Scottish Medicines Consortium not to recommend that Tysabri be prescribed to people with multiple sclerosis (MS); notes that, for a small number of those with the most aggressive form of relapsing-remitting MS for whom existing treatments do not work, Tysabri represents the only treatment available; believes that Tysabri has the potential to alleviate suffering for MS patients in Fife and across Scotland; notes that Tysabri is prescribed in Germany, Ireland and the United States of America but not in Scotland, which has the highest rate of MS in the world, and considers that NHS boards in Scotland should prescribe Tysabri which had been described by Dr Gavin Giovannoni, of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, as the most significant advance in MS treatment for nearly a decade.

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