Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 149/2007: Thursday 8 November 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 Labour Party Debate: Holding the SNP Government to Account—

S3M-788 Jackie Baillie: Holding the SNP Government to Account—That the Parliament recognises the critical importance of the forthcoming three-year spending review to meeting the hopes and aspirations of the people of Scotland; welcomes the detailed scrutiny of the SNP Government’s spending plans by parliamentary committees as a central part of the budget process; believes that there should be the widest possible debate about the spending priorities for the next three years, and therefore resolves to set aside chamber time for individual debates on the budget priorities for each Cabinet Secretary’s portfolio: Finance and Sustainable Growth, Health and Wellbeing, Education and Lifelong Learning, Justice and Rural Affairs and the Environment not later than the conclusion of Stage 2 of the budget process.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-788.1 Derek Brownlee: Holding the SNP Government to Account—As an amendment to motion (S3M-788) in the name of Jackie Baillie, leave out from "there should be" to end and insert "an effective budget scrutiny process is critical in ensuring that public services are delivered in a way which provides optimal value for money; believes that the process should be sufficiently robust to cope with majority and minority government; believes that there is scope to review the operation of the current procedures as laid down in the Standing Orders and the agreement between the Finance Committee and the Scottish Government; believes that the appropriate vehicle for such a review would be the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, in consultation with the other committees of the Parliament, particularly the Finance Committee, and requests that the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee undertakes a review of the budget process for future years."

S3M-788.2 Tavish Scott: Holding the SNP Government to Account—As an amendment to motion (S3M-788) in the name of Jackie Baillie, insert at end "further recognises that no one party has a majority in the Parliament and, therefore, requires that the Scottish Government commits to enhancing the existing arrangements to provide early access to the civil service to support the Finance Committee and opposition parties wishing to pursue recommendations for amendments to the budget to ensure that they are fully aware of the consequences of any change proposed to the budget."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the Scottish Executive what effect improvements on the A9 will have on communities through which it runs. (S3O-1127)

2. Mr Frank McAveety: To ask the Scottish Executive what additional resources will be made available to develop sports facilities across Scotland. (S3O-1153)

3. Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive how the forthcoming spending review will support capital projects, such as the building and refurbishment of schools in South Lanarkshire. (S3O-1149)

4. Ross Finnie: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it is taking to tackle the overcrowding at Polmont Young Offenders Institution reported by the Chief Inspector of Prisons. (S3O-1182)

5. Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will lift the £3,500 cap that it has introduced on the free central heating scheme. (S3O-1172)

6. Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive how it aims to enhance the role and profile of farmers’ markets. (S3O-1125)

7. James Kelly: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it is taking to tackle climate change. (S3O-1148)

8. Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive what its timetable is for delivering the SNP manifesto commitment to consult on replacing the Supermarket Code of Conduct with independent regulation. (S3O-1103)

9. Marilyn Livingstone: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding it will make available for town centre regeneration over the next three years. (S3O-1151)

10. Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will meet the SNP manifesto commitment to dual the A9 from Perth to Inverness, in light of the recent HITRANS report which estimates that dualling the A9 could boost the Highlands economy by almost £1 billion over the next 30 years. (S3O-1184)

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-248)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Secretary of State for Scotland. (S3F-249)

3. Nicol Stephen: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-250)

4. Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the First Minister whether the Scottish Government has any plans to encourage the growth of town and village centres, in light of the challenges faced by high street businesses throughout Scotland. (S3F-253)

5. Andy Kerr: To ask the First Minister whether sufficient resources will be made available to local authorities to fully fund the cost of current local authority services, a council tax freeze and all SNP manifesto commitments that relate to local government. (S3F-264)

6. Murdo Fraser: To ask the First Minister how teachers in schools will be protected from violence. (S3F-252)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Europe, External Affairs and Culture

1. Bashir Ahmad: To ask the Scottish Executive what recent representations it has made to the UK Government regarding immigration to Scotland. (S3O-1106)

2. Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive how it contributes to inquiries being conducted by European parliamentary committees. (S3O-1104)

3. Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive what role it will give to public art in the regeneration of Scotland’s towns. (S3O-1147)

4. Elaine Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps have been taken to strengthen relations between Scotland and Cuba. (S3O-1168)

5. Bill Aitken: To ask the Scottish Executive what legal advice it has received about the possible consequences for devolved matters if the EU reform treaty is ratified, in particular the consequences for justice. (S3O-1100)

6. Duncan McNeil: To ask the Scottish Executive what role the Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture plays in supporting community groups in applying for EU funding. (S3O-1158)

7. Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what contribution it considers that the Fèisean movement has made to the development of music, language, culture and confidence in the Highlands and Islands and more widely. (S3O-1165)

8. John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will make efforts to find a permanent public home for the "Making the Act of Union" exhibition after it leaves the Parliament. (S3O-1090)

9. Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive what its timetable is for delivering a doubling of its international aid budget. (S3O-1134)

10. Charlie Gordon: To ask the Scottish Executive what criteria it will apply when evaluating any requests it receives for support in establishing a major new film studio in Scotland. (S3O-1143)

Education and Lifelong Learning

1. David McLetchie: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will introduce new guidelines to help schools tackle pupil indiscipline. (S3O-1099)

2. Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that a new school is required to replace Dumbarton Academy. (S3O-1129)

3. Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans are being made to spread the teaching of Scottish traditional music and song in primary and secondary schools across Scotland. (S3O-1113)

4. Mike Pringle: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress is being made on its strategy on people not in education, employment or training. (S3O-1176)

5. Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it has taken in respect of classroom assistants since the publication of the Equal Opportunities Commission’s report, Valuable Assets: A General Formal Investigation into the Role and Status of Classroom Assistants in Scotland’s Primary Schools. (S3O-1136)

6. Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the guidance issued by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning on 11 October 2007 imposed any new requirements on local authorities in relation to the closure of inner-city schools. (S3O-1155)

7. Ian McKee: To ask the Scottish Executive what additional resources have been allocated to the budget for Education and Lifelong Learning since May 2007. (S3O-1118)

8. Kenneth Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to further enhance the provision of nursery education. (S3O-1112)

9. Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will publish plans to remove the burden of debt repayment for graduates. (S3O-1142)

10. George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to increase support for poorer students. (S3O-1140)

2.55 pm Scottish Government Debate: Scottish Government’s EU Priorities—

S3M-793 Linda Fabiani: Scottish Government’s EU Priorities—That the Parliament notes the importance of EU policies and legislation to the Parliament, its Committees and to Scotland and notes the priorities identified by the Scottish Government for particular attention.

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-91 Nanette Milne: Autism Parliamentary Network—That the Parliament affirms its commitment to work during the new Parliamentary session to improve the lives of people with autistic spectrum disorder; is concerned that, while progress has been made, individuals with autistic spectrum disorder still experience difficulties in accessing the appropriate services and support necessary for them to fulfil their potential, both in Aberdeenshire and across Scotland, and welcomes the development of an Autism Parliamentary Network, co-ordinated by the National Autistic Society Scotland, which will serve as an information channel to support Members of the Scottish Parliament in their endeavours to create a society where autism is fully understood and where people with autistic spectrum disorder are fully respected and supported and receive timely, quality services that are appropriate to their individual needs.

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