Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 83/2007: Thursday 7 June 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 Labour Party Debate: Sustainable Public Transport Systems—

S3M-127 Des McNulty: Sustainable Public Transport Systems—That the Parliament believes that Scottish Executive ministers should respect decisions of this Parliament and, in keeping with that key principle, believes that ministers should not delay, substantially alter or cancel strategic transport projects, such as the Edinburgh Tram and Edinburgh Airport Rail Link schemes that have already been subject to parliamentary scrutiny and approval; further believes that any proposed departure from those agreed parliamentary consents should also be subject to parliamentary approval; notes the urgency given that considerable expenditure has already been committed on these schemes, and re-affirms that ministers bear the responsibility for the effective procurement and delivery of major infrastructure projects.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-127.3 Stewart Stevenson: Sustainable Public Transport Systems—As an amendment to motion (S3M-127) in the name of Des McNulty, leave out from first "believes" to end and insert "recognises the different policy positions of various political parties; notes that the Scottish Government has invited the Auditor General to consider the approach to financial and risk management taken in the preparation of the Edinburgh Tram and Edinburgh Airport Rail Link proposals, and welcomes the fact that ministers will report to the Parliament on this matter before the summer recess."

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment to amendment

S3M-127.3.1 Alex Johnstone: Sustainable Public Transport Systems—As an amendment to amendment (S3M-127.3) in the name of Stewart Stevenson, insert at end "and calls on the Scottish Executive to bring forward a motion for parliamentary debate within its own time on these issues."

S3M-127.2 Tavish Scott: Sustainable Public Transport Systems—As an amendment to motion (S3M-127) in the name of Des McNulty, insert at end "and notes with concern the decision to involve Audit Scotland in reviewing the Edinburgh Trams and Edinburgh Airport Rail Link projects, particularly given the short timescale in which Audit Scotland is to undertake the review, the lack of detail provided to the Parliament on the terms of reference for the review and the possible implications for the independence of Audit Scotland."

followed by Labour Party Debate: Skills and Vocational Education—

S3M-126 Hugh Henry: Skills and Vocational Education—That the Parliament recognises the concerns in the business community about the shortage of school leavers proficient in science and technical subjects; believes that there is a role for academic institutions concentrating on vocational skills and science, and calls for the introduction of skills academies and science centres of excellence as a contribution to improving both the skills needed for 21st Century Scotland and the life opportunities for our young people.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-126.3 Fiona Hyslop: Skills and Vocational Education—As an amendment to motion (S3M-126) in the name of Hugh Henry, leave out from "recognises" to end and insert "notes the concerns raised by the business community about the shortage of school leavers proficient in science and technical subjects; believes that there is a need for more vocational skills experience for 14 to 18-year-olds, including improvements in school/college links and increased focus on the teaching of science in schools, and notes the Scottish Government’s decision to develop a Scottish skills strategy to help deliver the skills needed for 21st century Scotland."

S3M-126.1 Murdo Fraser: Skills and Vocational Education—As an amendment to motion (S3M-126) in the name of Hugh Henry, insert at end "but also appreciates the excellent facilities and expertise in further education colleges and believes that more use must be made of these for educating school-age pupils so that, taken together with the introduction of specialist vocational schools, this ensures that every young person can readily access vocational education courses from the age of 14, and further believes that each local authority should work with head teachers and local further education institutions to produce a strategy for teaching science and technology."

S3M-126.2 Jeremy Purvis: Skills and Vocational Education—As an amendment to motion (S3M-126) in the name of Hugh Henry, leave out from "about the shortage" to end and insert "that opportunities should exist for school pupils to gain vocational and educational skills from the age of 14 through both school and college; believes that there should be closer links between schools, colleges and local businesses building on the highly successful school and college partnerships and the Skills for Work and Determined to Succeed initiatives; reaffirms its support for comprehensive secondary education; rejects the establishment of skills academies, and rather believes that Scotland’s colleges should receive an annual 3% real terms increase in funding to help support partnerships with schools, that there should be a new target of 50,000 Modern Apprenticeships by 2011 to widen training opportunities for young people, that secondary schools and colleges should have business incubators to develop entrepreneurial skills and to ensure that Scotland remains competitive in delivering high-level skills and research and that the Scottish Executive should meet the funding bid from Universities Scotland for an additional £168 million funding over the next spending review period."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what its priorities are for culture in Scotland. (S3O-123)

2. Jackson Carlaw: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress is being made with the proposal to implement a local income tax.(S3O-94)

3. Marilyn Livingstone: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to increase the number of students training as British Sign Language interpreters. (S3O-135)

4. Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress is being made on the development of new renewable energy schemes. (S3O-115)

5. Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the remuneration of foster carers will be included in its fostering strategy. (S3O-167)

6. Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will ensure that peaceful protest does not hinder access to roadways. (S3O-113)

7. Michael Matheson: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to use the justice system to tackle noise pollution in town centres. (S3O-164)

8. Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with Bath Press Ltd and what specific action it will take to assist the 47 members of staff who have lost their jobs at the Blantyre-based printers. (S3O-138)

9. Mr Frank McAveety: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will reaffirm its support for the relocation of sportscotland to the east end of Glasgow. (S3O-137)

10. Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive how many dispersal orders have been introduced and where they have been applied. (S3O-121)

12.00 noon First Minister’s Question Time—

1. Jack McConnell: To ask the First Minister what engagements he has planned for the rest of the day. (S3F-27)

2. Miss Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-28)

3. Nicol Stephen: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer and what issues they will discuss. (S3F-29)

4. Pauline McNeill: To ask the First Minister when the Executive will increase the threshold for free school meals in primary and secondary schools to help Scottish families. (S3F-46)

5. Ian McKee: To ask the First Minister whether the Executive has plans to review the NHS general practitioner contract. (S3F-33)

6. Elizabeth Smith: To ask the First Minister what plans the Executive has to improve discipline in primary schools. (S3F-32)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Health and Wellbeing

1. Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to abolish prescription charges. (S3O-168)

2. Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to reduce hospital waiting times across Scotland. (S3O-100)

3. Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what recognition is being given to the performance of NHS staff in meeting and exceeding the targets set for outpatient waiting times, as recorded in the acute activity waiting times and waiting list figures to 31 March 2007, published on 29 May 2007. (S3O-144)

4. Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to reverse the decision to downgrade the accident and emergency department at Monklands Hospital. (S3O-154)

5. Elaine Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Coatbridge and Chryston. (S3O-152)

6. James Kelly: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list any proven cases of abuse of the system of availability status codes in the last two years. (S3O-132)

7. Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will support the regeneration of town centres in the Dumfries constituency. (S3O-146)

8. Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to open Scotland’s third dental school in Aberdeen. (S3O-102)

9. Stuart McMillan: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will implement a policy of presumption against the centralisation of core hospital services. (S3O-163)

10. Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with the independent elderly care home sector about increasing care home places in the Highlands and Islands. (S3O-86)

Rural Affairs and the Environment

1. Trish Godman: To ask the Scottish Executive what the current number is of Scottish fishing vessels of over 10 metres overall length and what the comparable figure was in 1993. (S3O-126)

2. Iain Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding will be provided for the individual elements of the Scottish Rural Development Programme; what level of voluntary modulation will be required, and how it will support land managers so that they achieve the objectives of the EU Water Framework Directive, identified as a key outcome of the programme. (S3O-103)

3. Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive what support is available to volunteer groups working for the development of new parks in existing green spaces. (S3O-120)

4. Ian McKee: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to introduce measures to reduce the carbon footprint of domestic households. (S3O-156)

5. Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to review the regulations that introduced new tests for private water supplies in Scotland. (S3O-90)

6. Bill Aitken: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there are plans to extend the labelling of locally produced food to clearly record that Scotland is the country of origin. (S3O-85)

7. Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will undertake a review of the system of penalties applied to mistakes in applications for agricultural grants and subsidies, and of the associated appeal system, with a view to finding ways of making the system fairer and quicker for farmers and crofters. (S3O-101)

8. John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what new measures it will put in place to support rural development and, in particular, wealth creation in the Borders and across Scotland. (S3O-91)

9. Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to enhance the organic aid scheme. (S3O-162)

10. Alex Johnstone: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to streamline the operation of Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. (S3O-93)

followed by Establishment of Committees—

S3M-137 Bruce Crawford on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Establishment of Committees—That the Parliament shall establish committees of the Parliament as follows:

Name of Committee: Audit

Remit: Set out in Rule 6.7

Number of members: 8

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Labour Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.

Name of Committee: Equal Opportunities

Remit: Set out in Rule 6.9

Number of members: 8

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Labour Party.

Name of Committee: European and External Relations

Remit: Set out in Rule 6.8

Number of members: 8

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Labour Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party.

Name of Committee: Finance

Remit: Set out in Rule 6.6

Number of members: 8

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Labour Party.

Name of Committee: Public Petitions

Remit: Set out in Rule 6.10

Number of members: 9

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Labour Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party.

Name of Committee: Procedures

Remit: Set out in Rule 6.4

Number of members: 7

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Labour Party.

Name of Committee: Standards and Public Appointments

Remit: Set out in Rule 6.5

Number of members: 7

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Labour Party.

Name of Committee: Subordinate Legislation

Remit: Set out in Rule 6.11

Number of members: 7

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party.

Name of Committee: Justice

Remit: To consider and report on (a) the administration of criminal and civil justice, community safety, and other matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and (b) the functions of the Lord Advocate, other than as head of the systems of criminal prosecution and investigation of deaths in Scotland.

Number of members: 8

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Labour Party.

Duration: For the whole session of the Parliament

Name of Committee: Economy, Energy and Tourism

Remit: To consider and report on the Scottish economy, enterprise, energy, tourism and all other matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth apart from those covered by the remits of the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change and the Local Government and Communities Committees.

Number of members: 8

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party.

Duration: For the whole session of the Parliament

Name of Committee: Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change

Remit: To consider and report on matters relating to transport, infrastructure and climate change falling within the remit of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth.

Number of members: 8

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish Green Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Labour Party.

Duration: For the whole session of the Parliament

Name of Committee: Health and Sport

Remit: To consider and report on (a) health policy and the NHS in Scotland and other matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing and (b) matters relating to sport falling within the responsibility of the Minister for Communities and Sport.

Number of members: 8

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party.

Duration: For the whole session of the Parliament

Name of Committee: Local Government and Communities

Remit: To consider and report on (a) the financing and delivery of local government and local services and planning; and (b) housing, regeneration, anti-poverty measures and other matters (apart from sport) falling within the responsibility of the Minister for Communities and Sport.

Number of members: 8

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Labour Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party.

Duration: For the whole session of the Parliament

Name of Committee: Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture

Remit: To consider and report on (a) further and higher education, lifelong learning, schools, pre-school care, skills and other matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning; and (b) matters relating to culture and the arts falling within the responsibility of the Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture.

Number of members: 8

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Labour Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party.

Duration: For the whole session of the Parliament

Name of Committee: Rural Affairs and Environment

Remit: To consider and report on agriculture, fisheries and rural development and other matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment.

Number of members: 8

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.

Duration: For the whole session of the Parliament

followed by Executive Debate: Sex Offenders

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-29 Des McNulty: Alimta for Mesothelioma Sufferers—That the Parliament recognises that mesothelioma is a particularly aggressive cancer of the lungs, almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos; also recognises that West Dunbartonshire has the highest incidence of this work-related disease in Scotland and the second highest in the United Kingdom; further recognises that Alimta is the only drug licensed to treat mesothelioma, where it has been found to deliver significant improvements in the quality of life of sufferers, and considers that Scottish Executive ministers should ensure that Alimta continues to be made available to all existing and new mesothelioma sufferers who, in the professional opinion of consultant oncologists, would benefit from it.

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