Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 139/2007: Thursday 25 October 2007
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Section A – Today’s Business

Meeting of the Parliament

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Debate: Free Personal Care—

S3M-679 Mary Scanlon: Free Personal Care—That the Parliament notes with concern that the interpretation, implementation and funding of the Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002 has been beset by difficulties, many of which remain unresolved; believes that the decision of Lord Macphail on the Petition of Argyll & Bute Council dated 17 October 2007 is contrary to the intention of the Parliament, and calls on the Scottish Government to assure all people over 65 currently resident in independent care homes who have been assessed as eligible for free personal care, and others who may be assessed in future as so eligible, that councils will continue to fund their personal care regardless of whether or not there is a contract to which a council is a party.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-679.1 Nicola Sturgeon: Free Personal Care—As an amendment to motion (S3M-679) in the name of Mary Scanlon, leave out from "has been beset" to end and insert "have raised difficulties, many of which remain unresolved; notes that the decision of Lord Macphail dated 17 October 2007 on the Petition of Argyll and Bute Council reflects the guidance issued in July 2003; wishes to reassure those assessed, either now or in the future, as requiring free personal or nursing care that their entitlement to receive it is not affected by Lord Macphail’s decision; agrees, however, that the current operation of the law, although in line with existing guidance, may in some cases result in an undue delay between assessment and a local authority care contract being concluded; therefore supports the Scottish Government’s ongoing dialogue with COSLA to address issues such as waiting lists, eligibility criteria and food preparation, together with its assurance that it will take action, if necessary, to clarify the law, and considers that Lord Sutherland’s review of the level and distribution of resources for free personal care will make a valuable contribution to ensuring that the policy is put on a secure and sustainable basis for the long term."

S3M-679.2 Ross Finnie: Free Personal Care—As an amendment to motion (S3M-679) in the name of Mary Scanlon, leave out from "with concern" to end and insert "the judgment of Lord Macphail on personal care and its consequences; notes with disappointment the SNP Government’s handling of this issue and recognises the need for urgent clarity to allay the concerns of older people and their families as well as to give clear guidance to service providers; calls on the Scottish Government to take the appropriate steps to provide this clarification as soon as possible, including a statement to the Parliament on the issue, and further calls on the Scottish Government to take all steps necessary to ensure that local authorities do not find that in providing free care for self-funders they are acting ultra vires."

followed by Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Debate: Police Numbers—

S3M-677 Bill Aitken: Police Numbers—That the Parliament notes with serious concern that, almost six months after its election, the Scottish Government has made no progress towards the SNP’s manifesto commitment of 1,000 more police officers; expresses concern also at an apparent dilution of that commitment, and calls on the Scottish Government to keep that election promise by increasing the number of police officers from 16,234 to 17,234 by the end of this parliamentary session.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment

S3M-677.1 Kenny MacAskill: Police Numbers—As an amendment to motion (S3M-677) in the name of Bill Aitken, leave out from "with serious concern" to end and insert "that the Scottish Government will set out its plans for a more visible police presence in the context of the Strategic Spending Review 2007 and will deliver an additional 1,000 police officers in our communities through increased recruitment, improved retention and redeployment."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive what its priorities are for young people. (S3O-923)

2. Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to ensure that Orkney Islands Council is able to maintain Orkney’s internal public transport services. (S3O-961)

3. Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to provide Barra with a purpose-built airport runway. (S3O-920)

4. Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive what the latest position is on the handling by the Crown Office of the anthrax outbreak in the Scottish Borders which led to the death of Pascal Norris. (S3O-983)

5. Robert Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it will take through the planning system to protect parkland and other greenspace in Glasgow. (S3O-971)

6. Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive when it last met VisitScotland and what issues were discussed. (S3O-972)

7. John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what financial assistance will be available to Scottish Borders Council to continue the provision of free school meals after the initial pilot ends. (S3O-956)

8. Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is aware of allegations that KKL Scotland is funding discriminatory land-purchase policies in Israel which, if true, would make KKL Scotland ineligible for charitable status. (S3O-994)

9. David McLetchie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide an update on the funding of the Edinburgh tram scheme. (S3O-948)

10. Gil Paterson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to evaluate how children who are alleged to be abused are treated by the court system. (S3O-989)

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-211)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Secretary of State for Scotland. (S3F-212)

3. Nicol Stephen: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-213)

4. Bill Butler: To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government’s view is on the ruling by the House of Lords on 17 October 2007 removing the right to compensation for victims of a certain asbestos-related condition. (S3F-215)

5. Bob Doris: To ask the First Minister whether the outcome of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review places constraints on the Scottish Government’s ability to deliver for the people of Scotland. (S3F-222)

6. Mary Scanlon: To ask the First Minister what action will be taken following the ruling by Lord Macphail on the provision of free personal care. (S3F-225)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Rural Affairs and the Environment

1. Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what new measures it will take to promote a sustainable livestock industry after the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak ends. (S3O-982)

2. Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive how much additional funding has been made available to address flooding in Lanarkshire. (S3O-933)

3. Michael Matheson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to review the procedure for designating sites of special scientific interest. (S3O-985)

4. Karen Gillon: To ask the Scottish Executive how it reached its decision not to provide funding in 2007 for agri-environment management agreements expiring this year. (S3O-917)

5. Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will set increased recycling targets. (S3O-967)

6. Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what the latest position is on the action it is taking to minimise the impact on farmers and crofters of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Surrey. (S3O-964)

7. Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive what additional support it can provide for the sheep sector to help it recover from the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. (S3O-949)

8. Bill Kidd: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding it has provided, or will provide, to Greenspace and other similar organisations that promote local action to improve the environment for the citizens of our towns and cities, as in the development of the Drumchapel Way in Glasgow. (S3O-984)

9. Jamie Stone: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will pursue a welfare scheme for farmers affected by restrictions on the export of cast sows and deer carcases as a result of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. (S3O-962)

10. Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans there are to promote the use of compost on agricultural land to enhance the organic content of soils. (S3O-918)

Health and Wellbeing

1. Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it has taken, or will take, to address fuel poverty resulting from the policy of energy suppliers to backcharge prepayment meter customers. (S3O-905)

2. Bashir Ahmad: To ask the Scottish Executive what importance it places on the specific health needs of ethnic and religious minorities. (S3O-975)

3. Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure access to hospitals for all sections of the community. (S3O-922)

4. Jim Tolson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it still intends to implement the 2007 SNP manifesto pledge to double the number of school nurses. (S3O-959)

5. David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to assist local authorities to meet sustainable targets for the construction of affordable housing for purchase and rent. (S3O-947)

6. James Kelly: To ask the Scottish Executive what spending priorities have been allocated to health in the 2007 strategic spending review. (S3O-924)

7. Aileen Campbell: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it is taking to improve the health of the people of Scotland. (S3O-995)

8. Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made with the new Aberdeen dental school. (S3O-974)

9. Cathy Peattie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is considering changes to the arrangements for supplying home oxygen. (S3O-942)

10. Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive what targets have been set for NHS Scotland to deliver energy efficiency and what incentives the Scottish Government has put in place for NHS boards to meet its overall reduction targets for CO2 emissions. (S3O-908)

2.55 pm Scottish Government Debate: Alcohol—

S3M-681 Kenny MacAskill: Alcohol—That the Parliament notes Scotland’s first Alcohol Awareness Week and endorses the partnership approach between the government, industry and the voluntary sector to educate consumers about alcohol units, while recognising that further work is needed to ensure that alcohol is accepted as different to any other product for sale; further agrees that tackling the problems surrounding the misuse of alcohol is one of the great social and public health challenges of our time, requiring direct, innovative, long term and sustained action; recognises that this includes tougher enforcement action against those who sell and promote alcohol irresponsibly; notes the importance of close co-operation with, and support of, Scotland’s police forces and licensing boards in this respect; welcomes the recent commitments by the Scottish Government to regulate the display and promotion of alcohol in off-sales premises and to find a method of ensuring that those licensees who profit from Scotland’s alcohol culture help offset the damage done by that culture, as well as to develop a long-term strategy to tackle the negative effects of alcohol misuse, and further notes the need for the NHS to play its part in early identification and intervention for those individuals drinking at harmful or hazardous levels.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-681.2 Pauline McNeill: Alcohol—As an amendment to motion (S3M-681) in the name of Kenny MacAskill, after "product for sale" insert "further notes the high incidence of underage drinking and the harm done to those young people and the negative effect that underage drinking can have on Scottish communities; believes that the Scottish Government should call a summit of all relevant stakeholders to develop an effective strategy to tackle underage drinking;".

S3M-681.1 Bill Aitken: Alcohol—As an amendment to motion (S3M-681) in the name of Kenny MacAskill, leave out from "notes the importance" to end and insert "and underlines the fact that those who do so should face losing their licences; notes the importance of close co-operation with, and support of, Scotland’s police forces and licensing boards in this respect, as well as developing a long-term strategy to tackle the negative effects of alcohol misuse, and further notes the need for the NHS to play its part in early identification and intervention for those individuals drinking at harmful or hazardous levels."

S3M-681.3 Ross Finnie: Alcohol—As an amendment to motion (S3M-681) in the name of Kenny MacAskill, leave out from first "notes" to end and insert "welcomes Scotland’s first Alcohol Awareness Week and calls for a co-ordinated approach by all relevant stakeholders to tackle the problems of alcohol misuse that are a key social and public health priority; recognises that tougher action against those who sell and promote alcohol irresponsibly is a necessary step but must form part of a comprehensive strategy that emphasises the importance of education and addresses the social and cultural factors related to alcohol misuse; believes that this policy framework must strike a balance between state and individual responsibility and must not be overly reliant on the criminal justice system to bring about the changes desired, and calls on the Scottish Government to commit additional investment to treatment and rehabilitation."

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-383 Michael McMahon: Public-Social Partnership Pilot in North Lanarkshire—That the Parliament welcomes the public-social partnership (PSP) pilot in North Lanarkshire as an innovative method of engaging communities in public service design and delivery; notes that PSPs allow public bodies to use the procurement process to create added social benefit in the community and to engage service users in the design of services; further notes that the PSP model is innovative in its approach to testing new methods of service delivery under local authorities’ duty to demonstrate best value, and recognises that, to reap the potential community benefits of PSPs, social enterprises must be fully supported in accessing long-term service level agreements and public contracts.

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