Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 4/2008: Thursday 10 January 2008
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Section A – Today’s Business

Meeting of the Parliament

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Labour Party Debate: Spending Review 2007—

S3M-1105 Iain Gray: Spending Review 2007—That the Parliament regrets the difficulties faced by subject committees in scrutinising the Spending Review 2007 due to the failure of the Scottish Government to provide figures to the level of detail established in previous budget consideration; notes the widely expressed concerns that provision in some areas is inadequate or rendered vulnerable through immediate removal of ring-fencing, and calls on the Scottish Government to work with the Parliament’s committees in their detailed consideration of these areas and, as a starting point, amend its spending review proposals to boost economic growth and protect the most vulnerable in our society.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-1105.2 John Swinney: Spending Review 2007—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1105) in the name of Iain Gray, leave out from "regrets" to end and insert "looks forward to the replacement of significant amounts of ring-fencing by single outcome agreements with local authorities that will support the achievement of national outcomes set out in the spending review; recognises that the effectiveness of the national outcomes and the removal of ring-fencing will require to be monitored, and looks forward to the continuation of full scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s budget in the Finance Committee and the Parliament as part of the budget process."

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment to amendment

S3M-1105.2.1 Derek Brownlee: Spending Review 2007—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1105.2) in the name of John Swinney, insert at end "notes the decision of the Parliament on 8 November 2007 in relation to a review of the budget process for future years, and calls on all interested parties to participate fully in that review when it commences."

S3M-1105.3 Tavish Scott: Spending Review 2007—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1105) in the name of Iain Gray, leave out from "regrets" to end and insert "recognises that no party holds a parliamentary majority and believes therefore that the 2007 Spending Review was an opportunity to create a budget of the whole Parliament; regrets the SNP Government’s failure to match its rhetoric on consensus with action in this Parliament; believes that the budget document is the most opaque seen under devolution and fails to provide an appropriate level of detail and transparency; regrets the Government’s failure to detail how it intends to achieve the proposed £1.6 billion of efficiency savings; notes the concerns across the public sector at delays to infrastructure investment caused by uncertainty over the future of PPP; believes that urgent reform of the budget process is required to increase the opportunities for parliamentary committees to take evidence on alternative spending proposals and consider government spending plans in more detail; welcomes the resolution of the Parliament to establish a review of the budget process, and calls for this review to commence as a matter of urgency, involve wider civic Scotland, consider the timescale, content and nature of the budget process and report to the Parliament at the earliest possible opportunity in order that its recommendations can be implemented in time for the 2009-10 budget."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Ian McKee: To ask the Scottish Executive what recent discussions it has had with the City of Edinburgh Council. (S3O-1786)

2. Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive how it is addressing the social needs of children from disadvantaged areas. (S3O-1805)

3. Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide further details of its proposals to reform legal aid. (S3O-1804)

4. Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will reform the police funding formula to ensure that Grampian Police receives additional funding to recognise its responsibilities in relation to the protection of the royal family and the oil and gas industry. (S3O-1864)

5. John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what it intends to do to help Berwickshire’s fishing industry. (S3O-1848)

6. Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive what recent discussions have taken place about the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. (S3O-1781)

7. Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the impact of the local government settlement and the concordat with COSLA will be on West Dunbartonshire. (S3O-1828)

8. George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many police officers have been redeployed to the beat since May 2007. (S3O-1808)

9. Withdrawn

10. Bashir Ahmad: To ask the Scottish Executive what recent discussions it has had with the Scottish Police Federation. (S3O-1773)

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-399)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Prime Minister. (S3F-400)

3. Nicol Stephen: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-401)

4. Sandra White: To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government’s priorities will be for 2008. (S3F-406)

5. Iain Gray: To ask the First Minister what steps will be taken to meet the SNP’s target of expanding tourism in Scotland by 50% by 2015, in light of recent comments by Philip Riddle, Chief Executive of Visit Scotland. (S3F-421)

6. Ross Finnie: To ask the First Minister what measures are being taken to prevent the spread of the norovirus in hospitals in Scotland. (S3F-412)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Education and Lifelong Learning

1. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Scottish Executive what recent consideration it has given to rules or guidelines on the provision of school transport in rural areas. (S3O-1841)

2. James Kelly: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to support school building programmes throughout Scotland. (S3O-1816)

3. Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive how its funding settlement for universities will contribute to its ambition to grow the economy. (S3O-1800)

4. Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether each local authority’s single outcome agreement will specify its class size reduction targets and the rates of progress expected for meeting such targets for each year of the spending review period. (S3O-1833)

5. Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive what recent discussions it has had with Glasgow City Council Education Services. (S3O-1793)

6. Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in light of the response of the teachers participating in the "Cuddy Brae: Language at Letham" project, it will encourage teacher training colleges to raise Scots language awareness among trainee teachers to eliminate unconscious discrimination against Scots-speaking pupils. (S3O-1794)

7. Stuart McMillan: To ask the Scottish Executive with what procedures local authorities must comply when planning to close schools. (S3O-1788)

8. Withdrawn

9. Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive what its timetable is for developing its early years strategy. (S3O-1829)

10. Michael Matheson: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it plans to take to improve the provision of outdoor education. (S3O-1785)

Europe, External Affairs and Culture

1. Bob Doris: To ask the Scottish Executive what concerns it has in respect of workers entering Scotland under the Fresh Talent initiative, in light of reports of the exploitation of migrant workers. (S3O-1777)

2. Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive what representations it has made to the Norwegian Government in respect of its proposal to close its consulate in Edinburgh. (S3O-1770)

3. Andrew Welsh: To ask the Scottish Executive what financial and other support it provides for the promotion of Tartan Day, particularly in respect of sporting and cultural events. (S3O-1792)

4. Ross Finnie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it supports the EU Reform Treaty. (S3O-1858)

5. Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is monitoring any lessons for Scotland from the Basque Government’s political initiative aimed at resolving the Basque conflict. (S3O-1782)

6. Jamie Stone: To ask the Scottish Executive what resources it plans to commit to sustaining and developing Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh. (S3O-1863)

7. Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive what its plans are for the future of the Cultural Co-ordinators in Scottish Schools programme. (S3O-1838)

8. Gil Paterson: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with other European governments about human trafficking. (S3O-1789)

9. Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been achieved in respect of the co-operation agreement between Scotland and Shandong Province, signed in August 2006. (S3O-1822)

10. Helen Eadie: To ask the Scottish Executive how many ministers, and which ones, have attended meetings in Brussels in the last three months on business related to the European Commission’s work programme. (S3O-1806)

2.55 pm Scottish Government Debate: Gould Report—

S3M-1110 Bruce Crawford: Gould Report—That the Parliament welcomes the Gould report, including the recommendation calling for the further devolution of executive and legislative powers to the Scottish Government and the Parliament for the conduct of its own elections, and calls on Her Majesty’s Government and the Scottish Government to discuss, agree and publish a timetable for appropriate implementation of the report’s recommendations.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-1110.3 Andy Kerr: Gould Report—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1110) in the name of Bruce Crawford, leave out from "conduct" to end and insert "administration of its own elections; calls on Her Majesty’s Government and the Scottish Government to discuss, agree and publish a timetable for appropriate implementation of the report’s recommendations having regard to the conclusions from both the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee and the House of Commons’ Scottish Affairs Select Committee, and believes that the proposed Scottish Constitutional Commission should consider the full legislative framework for Scottish Parliament elections."

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment to amendment

S3M-1110.3.1 Annabel Goldie: Gould Report—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1110.3) in the name of Andy Kerr, after "its own elections" insert "and the decoupling of future elections to this Parliament and Scotland’s councils".

S3M-1110.2 Iain Smith: Gould Report—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1110) in the name of Bruce Crawford, insert at end "but believes that changes in the powers of the Parliament should be for a purpose and notes that a single transferable vote (STV) system offers the most effective way of electing parliaments, giving voters more choice than any other system, wasting fewer votes and increasing accountability; further notes the successful use of STV for the local government elections in 2007, and therefore believes that the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections should be conducted using STV."

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-711 Des McNulty: The St Margaret of Scotland Hospice—That the Parliament recognises the outstanding care provided for terminally ill and frail elderly patients by the St Margaret of Scotland Hospice in the 57 years since its foundation; notes with concern the uncertainty faced by Scotland’s largest hospice as a result of proposals to remove places for the care of frail elderly people with complex needs, and believes that NHS Greater Glasgow and Scottish ministers should be made aware of the very strong support that exists for St Margaret’s in Clydebank and throughout the west of Scotland.

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