Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 164/2007: Thursday 29 November 2007
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Section A – Today’s Business

Meeting of the Parliament

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Tourism—

S3M-945 Jim Mather: Tourism—That the Parliament recognises the vital role that tourism has in increasing sustainable economic growth in line with the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy; reiterates its support for the ambitions set out in the Tourism Framework for Change that tourism revenue should increase by 50% in real terms in the decade to 2015 and that Scotland should be one of Europe’s most sustainable tourism destinations; recognises the appetite in the industry to improve and exceed visitor expectation, and welcomes the fact that these ambitions are shared between the public, private and third sectors.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-945.2 Lewis Macdonald: Tourism—As an amendment to motion (S3M-945) in the name of Jim Mather, after "destinations" insert "recognises the importance to tourism of improved access for visitors to Scotland by land, sea and air; notes with concern the Scottish Government’s failure to propose an alternative to the Route Development Fund or to increase the marketing budget of VisitScotland over the next three years; believes that improved skills and training are the key to achieving higher standards".

S3M-945.3 Gavin Brown: Tourism—As an amendment to motion (S3M-945) in the name of Jim Mather, insert at end "further recognises the important work done by the excellent network of tourist information centres; believes that decision-making at a local level is a crucial element of an effective tourism strategy, and calls on the Scottish Government to give a more detailed explanation as to how the 50% growth ambition is to be met and the role of the public, private and third sectors in doing so."

S3M-945.1 Liam McArthur: Tourism—As an amendment to motion (S3M-945) in the name of Jim Mather, leave out from second "recognises" to end and insert "believes that this objective is put at risk by the cuts to the budgets and business support activities of Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise which will reduce local decision-making and have a negative impact on the start-up and growth of tourism businesses across Scotland; notes with concern the lack of consultation over the restructuring of VisitScotland, and calls on the Scottish Government to commit to safeguarding the budgets and autonomy of the island offices under the control of VisitOrkney, VisitShetland and VisitHebrides."

11.40 pm General Question Time—

1. Jim Tolson: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to redeploy the expertise of employees of sportscotland should it decide to abolish the organisation. (S3O-1476)

2. Cathy Peattie: To ask the Scottish Executive what it is doing to increase the provision of respite care and breaks for carers. (S3O-1423)

3. Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the tripartite working group to address housing issues in Renfrewshire is continuing to meet and, if so, when it will next meet. (S3O-1464)

4. Helen Eadie: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to co-ordinate responses from planning authorities on the issues of coastal erosion and flooding. (S3O-1395)

5. Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress is being made in establishing a full, public judicial inquiry into the McKie case, as promised by the SNP prior to the election. (S3O-1417)

6. Nigel Don: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to increase the number of sign language interpreters for deaf people. (S3O-1446)

7. John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive when a decision will be made on whether to go ahead with the Scottish Police Services Authority campus at Gartcosh. (S3O-1440)

8. Mr Frank McAveety: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will report back on the consultation on the replacement of planning guideline NPPG11 on sport, physical recreation and open space. (S3O-1410)

9. Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive what the budget in 2008-09 will be for the new fund to be deployed by community planning partnerships and into which the Community Regeneration Fund, the Community Voices Programme and Working for Families will be rolled. (S3O-1392)

10. Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it will undertake to prioritise mental health and wellbeing. (S3O-1420)

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-304)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Prime Minister. (S3F-305)

3. Nicol Stephen: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-306)

4. Jamie Hepburn: To ask the First Minister what input the Scottish Government will have to the UK Government’s consultation on the future of nuclear power. (S3F-322)

5. Lewis Macdonald: To ask the First Minister whether the Scottish Government considers that the Route Development Fund has assisted the growth of tourism in Scotland. (S3F-315)

6. Jim Tolson: To ask the First Minister how the Scottish Government will meet the future affordable housing needs of Scotland. (S3F-313)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Education and Lifelong Learning

1. Aileen Campbell: To ask the Scottish Executive what consideration will be given by Learning and Teaching Scotland to including the Scots language in the experiences and outcomes headings in respect of language in thecurriculum for excellence. (S3O-1437)

2. Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide assurances that the future of higher education will be safeguarded. (S3O-1466)

3. Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to raise educational attainment. (S3O-1390)

4. Ian McKee: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has as part of its lifelong learning strategy to ensure that staff across the economy, including in the public sector and government departments, have access to training and education for continuous development and for the transfer of skills. (S3O-1456)

5. Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether funding to universities will be reduced as a result of the proposed abolition of the graduate endowment and, if so, by how much. (S3O-1424)

6. Charlie Gordon: To ask the Scottish Executive what capital resources are available to fund physical improvements to schools in which no rationalisation of educational provision is possible. (S3O-1400)

7. Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive what initiatives it is taking to improve reading, writing and arithmetic in primary schools. (S3O-1381)

8. Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to improve pre-school education. (S3O-1418)

9. Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what its policy is on school closures. (S3O-1467)

10. Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will bring forward funding to build new schools in Aberdeenshire in 2008-09. (S3O-1469)

Europe, External Affairs and Culture

1. Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive when it plans to deliver the SNP manifesto pledge of doubling Scotland’s international aid budget. (S3O-1427)

2. John Farquhar Munro: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will set out its position on a Gaelic-language digital service. (S3O-1474)

3. David McLetchie: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with the institutions of the European Union and the UK Government on SNP manifesto commitments on reducing regulation. (S3O-1379)

4. John Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions have been held with local authorities in relation to the delivery of cultural policy. (S3O-1432)

5. Tricia Marwick: To ask the Scottish Executive what encouragement the Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture is giving to schools, such as Pitteuchar East primary in Glenrothes, to develop relationships with schools in Malawi and other parts of the world. (S3O-1454)

6. John Park: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with stakeholders to obtain their views on improving the effectiveness of the transposition process of EU directives into Scottish law. (S3O-1421)

7. Paul Martin: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it will take to ensure that cultural entitlements are developed in every part of Scotland. (S3O-1409)

8. Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions the Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture has had with the institutions of the European Union, particularly in relation to Choosing Scotland’s Future: A National Conversation. (S3O-1435)

9. Ted Brocklebank: To ask the Scottish Executive what the timescale is for introduction of the Gaelic digital channel. (S3O-1430)

10. Not Lodged

2.55 pm Scottish Government Debate: St Andrew’s Day—

S3M-946 Linda Fabiani: St Andrew’s Day—That the Parliament believes in the importance of celebrating Scotland’s national day; recognises the opportunity that it offers to both celebrate what it means to be Scottish in the 21st century and to promote a fair and inclusive society; notes the Scottish Government’s proactive support of a programme of events throughout the country and all of Scotland’s six cities; commends the work of schools and community groups across Scotland in teaching our young people about St Andrew’s Day and promoting diversity through their celebrations, and furthermore thanks the St Andrew’s societies, Caledonian societies, Scottish Development International, Globalscots, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and all the other overseas organisations who have planned over 100 wide-ranging celebrations in countries around the world.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-946.3 Malcolm Chisholm: St Andrew’s Day—As an amendment to motion (S3M-946) in the name of Linda Fabiani, insert at end "and, recognising that St Andrew’s Day is the start of Scotland’s Winter Festival which includes Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and concludes on Burns Night, looks forward to the success of all components of the Winter Festival starting with the events on St Andrew’s Day, and in this context regrets that the Scottish Government has overturned the decision of the previous Parliament to commission a study into the impact of a ban on large retailers trading on New Year’s Day."

S3M-946.2 Ted Brocklebank: St Andrew’s Day—As an amendment to motion (S3M-946) in the name of Linda Fabiani, leave out from "to both celebrate" to end and insert "both to celebrate what it means to be Scottish in the 21st century and to promote a fair and inclusive society; notes the Scottish Government’s proactive support of a programme of events throughout the country and all of Scotland’s cities, including the cathedral city of St Andrews itself and urges it to build on St Andrew’s Day as a launch-pad for a winter tourist season; commends the work of schools and community groups across Scotland in teaching our young people about St Andrew’s Day and its importance in a national as well as an international context and promoting diversity through their celebrations, and furthermore thanks the St Andrew’s societies, Caledonian societies, Scottish Development International, Globalscots, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and all the other overseas organisations who have planned over 100 wide-ranging celebrations in countries around the world."

S3M-946.1 Iain Smith: St Andrew’s Day—As an amendment to motion (S3M-946) in the name of Linda Fabiani, insert at end "but notes the failure of the SNP government to keep the SNP manifesto promise to "make St Andrew’s Day a full national holiday"."

followed by Appointment of the Chair of the Scottish Commission for Human Rights—

S3M-884 Pauline McNeill: Appointment of the Chair of the Scottish Commission for Human Rights—That the Parliament nominates Professor Alan Miller to Her Majesty The Queen for appointment as Chair of the Scottish Commission for Human Rights.

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-524 Cathy Jamieson: Coalfields Regeneration Trust in Scotland—That the Parliament commends the work of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust in Scotland in supporting and helping to rebuild coalfield communities; notes the positive impact made by the trust throughout the former Scottish coalfields; welcomes the support that the trust has provided for community-based organisations in East Ayrshire, such as Yipworld.com, the Muirkirk Enterprise Group and the Bellsbank Women’s Project, and for other projects in local authority areas throughout Scotland that provide opportunities and activities for local people, and hopes that support will continue for the work of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust in helping to create healthy, prosperous and sustainable communities in Scotland’s coalfield areas.

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