Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 24/2008: Thursday 7 February 2008
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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 Ministerial Statement: Support for Survivors of Historic In-care and Institutional Abuse

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Commercial Forestry—

S3M-1315 Michael Russell: Commercial Forestry—That the Parliament, mindful of the Scottish Government’s purpose to achieve sustainable economic growth, acknowledges the contribution that forests and woodlands make through timber, tourism and direct and indirect employment, and recognises the need to support the continued development and expansion of the commercial Scottish forestry sector and the competitive and developing industries which it underpins.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-1315.2 David Stewart: Commercial Forestry—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1315) in the name of Michael Russell, insert at end "and further notes the significant role that Scotland’s woodland plays in the mitigation of climate change and the conservation of biodiversity."

S3M-1315.1 John Scott: Commercial Forestry—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1315) in the name of Michael Russell, insert at end "welcomes the firming up of the 25% target for forest coverage, planted in ways and using techniques which will contribute to carbon capture; further welcomes the fact that the majority of this additional planting is likely to be established through grant aid to the private sector, and supports efforts to increase the biodiversity value of all forestry in receipt of public funds, in particular new schemes which enhance habitats for key native species such as the capercaillie and the Scottish crossbill."

S3M-1315.3 Jim Hume: Commercial Forestry—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1315) in the name of Michael Russell, insert at end "further recognises the role that forestry can play in helping to meet Scotland’s renewable energy targets through biomass generation; welcomes the work of the previous administration on promoting the biomass sector through the highly successful Biomass Support Scheme, and calls on the Scottish Government to maximise the opportunities for growth, jobs and sustainability offered by the expansion of the biomass sector in Scotland by delivering the previous administration’s Biomass Action Plan."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. John Park: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide an update on the condition of the main cables on the Forth Road Bridge. (S3O-2243)

2. Bill Kidd: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has given any further consideration to the licensing and regulation of Mosquito ultrasonic youth deterrents. (S3O-2179)

3. Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has received communications from Western Isles Council seeking an urgent meeting to discuss the Lewis wind farm proposal. (S3O-2251)

4. Helen Eadie: To ask the Scottish Executive why it continues to allow housing developments without sea defences to be constructed on coastal areas where the Scottish Environment Protection Agency has determined that there is a high risk of flooding. (S3O-2217)

5. James Kelly: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to support people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. (S3O-2227)

6. Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive what it will do to support and encourage economic development in the south of Scotland. (S3O-2202)

7. Karen Gillon: To ask the Scottish Executive what value it places on international sporting events being hosted in Scotland and in what way it provides support. (S3O-2220)

8. Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive when it last met Highland Council and what issues were discussed. (S3O-2244)

9. Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what policy steps it will take to reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions between now and 2011; how its performance will be measured, and whether it expects to achieve any reduction within that timescale. (S3O-2239)

10. John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what is being done to improve access to NHS dental provision in Roxburgh and Berwickshire. (S3O-2157)

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-492)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Prime Minister. (S3F-493)

3. Nicol Stephen: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-494)

4. Keith Brown: To ask the First Minister what representations the Scottish Government has made to the UK Government to protect the legal position of Scottish bank notes. (S3F-496)

5. Michael McMahon: To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government is doing to mitigate the impact of the latest increases in gas and electricity prices on the most vulnerable people in our society. (S3F-509)

6. Ross Finnie: To ask the First Minister what outcomes the Scottish Government is seeking to achieve through the new GMS contract negotiations with the British Medical Association. (S3F-510)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Europe, External Affairs and Culture

1. Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will allow the Scottish Arts Council to make decisions about the best way to spend its budget without preventing it from providing continued support for cultural co-ordinators. (S3O-2236)

2. Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will honour the previous administration’s commitment to provide funding to ensure an enhanced Scottish presence at Expo2010 in Shanghai. (S3O-2233)

3. Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with new EU member states regarding concerns over human trafficking. (S3O-2189)

4. Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will outline its policy on the support of arts festivals in rural and island areas of Scotland. (S3O-2196)

5. Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to commemorate and celebrate Voytek, the "soldier bear", who served in the Polish army during the Second World War and served out his retirement at Edinburgh Zoo. (S3O-2191)

6. Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the digital switchover in the Scottish borders will signal a review of the Scottish Government’s policy on providing public information broadcasts to people in the south of Scotland currently served by Borders television. (S3O-2177)

7. David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will publish the conclusion of its review of its international development policy. (S3O-2248)

8. Alasdair Allan: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it is making with its international development policy to ensure measurable and sustainable development in some of the world’s poorest countries. (S3O-2169)

9. Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will make a statement on the progress of the cultural pathfinder projects. (S3O-2228)

10. Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps are being taken to ensure the future success of the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe and what discussions the Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture has had with the Cabinet Secretary for Justice about future public safety at the Festival and Fringe. (S3O-2210)

Education and Lifelong Learning

1. Marilyn Livingstone: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance it is giving to universities on widening access and increasing student numbers. (S3O-2230)

2. Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with Perth College regarding its future. (S3O-2165)

3. Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with Glasgow City Council about education services. (S3O-2229)

4. Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what early intervention measures it intends to implement for vulnerable two-year-olds. (S3O-2212)

5. Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Executive what resources have been allocated for further evaluation of free school meals provision following the end of the local authority pilot schemes in March 2008. (S3O-2238)

6. George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive when the alternative funding arrangements to PPP for school building programmes will be made available. (S3O-2219)

7. Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to reintroduce free milk to schools. (S3O-2200)

8. Bashir Ahmad: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to tackle the increase in verbal and physical assaults on teachers in primary and secondary schools. (S3O-2168)

9. Gil Paterson: To ask the Scottish Executive what early indications there are of the level of success of the free school meals pilot in West Dunbartonshire. (S3O-2185)

10. John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is aware of the new build/replacement schools programme proposed by North Lanarkshire Council. (S3O-2155)

2.55 pm Scottish Government Debate: Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2008—

S3M-1256 John Swinney: The Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2008—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2008 be approved.

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions—

S3M-1306 Bruce Crawford on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Approval of SSI—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (Prescribed Documents) Regulations 2008 be approved.

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-1118 Margaret Smith: Edinburgh Park Railway Station—That the Parliament commends the continuing economic contribution made by Edinburgh Park not only to Edinburgh’s economy but to Scotland as whole; congratulates the park on its numerous green initiatives encouraging employees to choose public transport and ease the heavily congested road system surrounding the park; understands that a comprehensive public transport infrastructure is integral to the further growth of this area; considers that there should be clarification as to exactly why Edinburgh Park may not be included on the main Edinburgh to Glasgow line until 2016, forcing employees travelling from the west to travel on to Haymarket Station before doubling back on themselves; acknowledges that, in order to increase connectivity across Scotland, improve business links with Glasgow and aid environmental initiatives, Edinburgh Park must be included on this line as a matter of urgency, and believes that Edinburgh Park must be included as a stop on the Glasgow to Edinburgh mainline without further delay.

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