Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 127/2007: Thursday 27 September 2007
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Section A – Today’s Business

Meeting of the Parliament

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Liberal Democrats Debate: Waiting Times—

S3M-545 Ross Finnie: Waiting Times—That the Parliament is concerned that the Scottish Government’s approach to waiting times will lead to an increase in bureaucracy, placing an administrative burden on clinicians; believes that introducing a legally binding guarantee will put further pressure on health professionals leading to a litigation culture in the NHS; regrets the decision by the SNP to put political dogma before patient need in ruling out the use of the private sector to reduce waiting times; regrets the lack of commitment from the Scottish Government to invest further in primary health care facilities; calls on the Scottish Government to continue making progress in reducing the longest waits, while prioritising shorter waiting times for the most serious conditions; calls on the Scottish Government to make an early statement on how it intends to implement its maximum waiting time guarantee without impacting on those with the greatest clinical need, and believes that the Scottish Government must, as a matter of urgency, publish a comprehensive assessment identifying the additional administrative and bureaucratic burdens that these new proposals will place on the NHS, how much they will cost and where the money will come from.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-545.2 Nicola Sturgeon: Waiting Times—As an amendment to motion (S3M-545) in the name of Ross Finnie, leave out from "is concerned" to end and insert "calls on the Scottish Government to build on the progress made by the last administration in reducing waiting times by establishing a new 18-week whole journey waiting time guarantee by 2011 and consulting on a Patients’ Rights Bill that will ensure a more patient-focussed NHS."

S3M-545.1 Margaret Curran: Waiting Times—As an amendment to motion (S3M-545) in the name of Ross Finnie, leave out from "is concerned" to "on clinicians" and insert "calls on the Scottish Government to review the implementation proposals to ensure that the principles of Fair to All, Personal to Each are implemented with the least bureaucracy possible and ensure that the new waiting list system provides the highest quality support, particularly for the most vulnerable in our society".

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will pursue the write-off of Edinburgh’s housing debt. (S3O-707)

2. Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what its priorities are for community regeneration. (S3O-779)

3. Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive what health policies in Scotland are under review as a result of the success or failure of health policy initiatives in other jurisdictions. (S3O-712)

4. Andrew Welsh: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to strengthen the role of colleges. (S3O-737)

5. Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive what support it will provide to organisations and initiatives that are seeking to combat violence against women and to support the women affected. (S3O-764)

6. Christina McKelvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it will take to extend the provision of free school meals. (S3O-732)

7. Elaine Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it has taken to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004. (S3O-797)

8. Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to ensure that healthy living centres throughout Scotland receive the necessary funding to continue to operate when funding received from the Big Lottery Fund comes to an end in 2008. (S3O-738)

9. Alasdair Allan: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will set out the options for implementing the curriculum for excellence within the two-year secondary system which exists in many parts of the Western Isles. (S3O-722)

10. Joe FitzPatrick: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it will take to relieve the housing debt of councils, such as Dundee, which are proposing to retain their housing stock within council management. (S3O-726)

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time—

1. Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the First Minister what engagements he has planned for the rest of the day. (S3F-168)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Secretary of State for Scotland. (S3F-169)

3. Nicol Stephen: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-170)

4. Joe FitzPatrick: To ask the First Minister whether the Scottish Government has any plans to cut red tape for businesses. (S3F-187)

5. Margaret Curran: To ask the First Minister whether the Scottish Government will embark on a programme of deep cleaning in all hospital wards to eradicate superbugs, following the commitment by the Prime Minister on this matter. (S3F-184)

6. Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the First Minister what steps the Scottish Government is taking to protect the electronics industry in Scotland. (S3F-179)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Finance and Sustainable Growth

1. Ted Brocklebank: To ask the Scottish Executive what its position is on whether local communities and stakeholders should be consulted on wind farm applications in their area. (S3O-716)

2. Karen Gillon: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with HM Treasury ministers regarding its proposals for a futures trust. (S3O-770)

3. Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth last met CBI Scotland. (S3O-766)

4. John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to improve the East Coast Main Line and, in particular, to reopen a station at Reston. (S3O-714)

5. Aileen Campbell: To ask the Scottish Executive what representations it has made regarding Scotland receiving a share of oil and gas revenues. (S3O-801)

6. Ken Macintosh: To ask the Scottish Executive what calculations it has made of the cost of freezing council tax for the next three years. (S3O-785)

7. Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive how much additional capital will be allocated under the local government finance settlement for 2007-11 to support the reduction in class sizes to 18 in primary 1 to primary 3. (S3O-765)

8. Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive, following the recent Experian report showing that economic growth in the Scottish Borders was twice the national average, what additional investment is planned to improve productivity in the region. (S3O-729)

9. Michael Matheson: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to help promote greater financial stability for voluntary sector community organisations. (S3O-706)

10. Bill Aitken: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to improve rail services between Edinburgh and Glasgow. (S3O-709)

Justice and Law Officers

1. Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps the Cabinet Secretary for Justice is taking to tackle underage smoking and drinking. (S3O-760)

2. Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will support local initiatives to address antisocial behaviour in Dumfries and Galloway. (S3O-791)

3. David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Executive when it last considered the procurement issues in respect of Low Moss prison. (S3O-800)

4. Not Lodged

5. Gil Paterson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to increase the number of solicitors working in legal aid who assist women in taking forward cases against alleged abusers. (S3O-734)

6. Duncan McNeil: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress is being made towards working with the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland to take forward a model of integrated assessment to ensure that the needs of children of substance misusing parents are identified at the earliest opportunity, as stipulated in Hidden Harm - Next Steps. (S3O-787)

7. Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive what support it provides for CCTV schemes to town centres to help deter crime and antisocial behaviour. (S3O-717)

8. Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, when providing funding to Northern Constabulary, it takes into account policing costs in remote and rural areas and what information it has on what policing duties and equipment are more expensive in remote and rural forces. (S3O-728)

9. Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to deal with illegal drug use, in light of its decision not to establish a Scottish drugs commission, promised in the SNP manifesto, at the moment. (S3O-789)

10. Dave Thompson: To ask the Scottish Executive what proportion of the current prison population are reoffenders. (S3O-736)

2.55 pm Ministerial Statement: Rail Links to Edinburgh Airport

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Rail Links to Edinburgh Airport—

S3M-546 John Swinney: Rail Links to Edinburgh Airport—That the Parliament supports the Scottish Government’s plans to develop rail links to Edinburgh airport and to improve other rail services.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment

S3M-546.1 Iain Gray: Rail Links to Edinburgh Airport—As an amendment to motion (S3M-546) in the name of John Swinney, leave out from "the Scottish Government’s plans" to end and insert "the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link as approved on 14 March 2007 and improvements to other rail services."

followed by Procedures Committee Debate: 1st Report 2007 (Session 3), Merging the Procedures Committee and the Standards and Public Appointments Committee—

S3M-497 Keith Brown on behalf of the Procedures Committee: Merging the Procedures Committee and the Standards and Public Appointments Committee—That the Parliament notes the Procedures Committee’s 1st Report, 2007 (Session 3), Merging the Procedures Committee and the Standards and Public Appointments Committee (SP Paper 7), and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 28 September 2007.

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions—

S3M-543 Bruce Crawford on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Establishment of Committee—That the Parliament agrees to establish a committee of the Parliament as follows:

Name of Committee: Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments

Remit: To consider and report on–

(a) the practice and procedures of the Parliament in relation to its business;

(b) whether a member’s conduct is in accordance with these Rules and any Code of Conduct for members, matters relating to members’ interests, and any other matters relating to the conduct of members in carrying out their parliamentary duties;

(c) the adoption, amendment and application of any Code of Conduct for members; and

(d) matters relating to public appointments in Scotland.

Where the Committee considers it appropriate, it may by motion recommend that a member’s rights and privileges be withdrawn to such extent and for such period as are specified in the motion.

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.

Membership: Keith Brown, Cathie Craigie, Marlyn Glen, Jamie McGrigor, Christina McKelvie, Hugh O’Donnell, Dave Thompson.

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-338 Kenneth Gibson: Warm Zones—That the Parliament commends the excellent work of not-for-profit Warm Zones Ltd, set up with UK Government support in 2000 and operated by National Energy Action, the leading fuel poverty charity in England and Wales, working in partnership with local government, energy companies such as Transco and British Gas, European Union agencies and others; is aware that the Warm Zone project encourages a proactive approach to combating fuel poverty by going into communities to assess the energy efficiency and fuel poverty status of all households in an entire area, with a view to co-ordinating the free delivery of necessary energy efficiency improvements and related services; appreciates that the Warm Zone all area approach has been effective in reaching vulnerable households which often do not apply for available fuel benefits or grants; believes that, while so far warm zones have only been set up in England and Wales, Scotland with some 384,000 households, one in six, in fuel poverty can learn from the successes achieved south of the border; appreciates that in Gateshead alone warm zones invested £2 million and warm zone teams visited 26,239 homes, carried out 21,067 assessments, surveyed 13,384 homes, installed energy efficiency measures in 9,996 homes and attracted £400,000 extra in benefits for residents in the year to February 2007, attracting £200,000 in European structural funding for job creation and training while reducing energy usage by an average of 40% and attaining a client satisfaction rating of over 97%, and concludes that an area like North Ayrshire, with an estimated 11,000 of 62,000 households in fuel poverty, would be an excellent place to undertake a warm zone project and ultimately supports the introduction of warm zones across Scotland, believing that discussions should take place between local authorities, Energy Action Scotland, the Scottish Government and other stakeholders about the establishment of warm zones north of the border as part of a concerted and systematic campaign to eradicate fuel poverty once and for all.

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