Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 84/2008: Thursday 22 May 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: Skills Strategy—

S3M-1951 Rhona Brankin: Skills Strategy—That the Parliament notes that the Scottish Government’s skills strategy was rejected by the Parliament on 12 September 2007; recognises the importance of skills development and utilisation in growing Scotland’s economy; voices concern at the decision of the Scottish Government to move away from supporting adult apprenticeships in vital areas such as the tourism, IT and retail sectors without consultation with work-based training providers; calls on the Scottish Government to provide the Parliament, with immediate effect, the evidence to support these moves, and further calls on the Scottish Government to bring forward a revised skills strategy immediately after the summer recess containing detailed information about the level at which its 50,000 training places are being set, its targets for apprenticeships and the performance indicators used to measure success.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-1951.3 Fiona Hyslop: Skills Strategy—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1951) in the name of Rhona Brankin, leave out from "the Scottish Government’s skills strategy" to end and insert "under the previous administration, Scotland’s growth rate and productivity levels lagged behind the United Kingdom and believes that this indicates that a new approach to skills and the economy is necessary; notes the widespread business and industry support for the Scottish Government’s skills strategy and believes that government’s role is to respond to demand from employers, to improve skills utilisation and support individuals’ skills development."

S3M-1951.1 Murdo Fraser: Skills Strategy—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1951) in the name of Rhona Brankin, insert at end "and details of how access will be provided to high quality vocational education for all school pupils aged 14 or above."

S3M-1951.2 Jeremy Purvis: Skills Strategy—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1951) in the name of Rhona Brankin, insert at end "and regrets the priority given by the Scottish Government in budgeting £16 million for set-up costs alone for Skills Development Scotland, while removing specific funding for skills for work courses delivered in schools and colleges.

followed by Scottish Labour Party Debate: Scottish Ambulance Service—

S3M-1955 Margaret Curran: Scottish Ambulance Service—That the Parliament recognises the concerns expressed by the Scottish public about recent changes to the operation of the Scottish Ambulance Service; believes that, as the ambulance service is a widely respected and essential public service in Scotland, any changes should have been communicated to the Scottish public, and, in light of concerns expressed about the safety of patients, agrees that there should be immediate independent scrutiny of current practices and policies in the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment

S3M-1955.1 Nicola Sturgeon: Scottish Ambulance Service—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1955) in the name of Margaret Curran, leave out from "recognises" to end and insert "welcomes the improved performance demonstrated by the Scottish Ambulance Service in recent months, particularly in relation to responding more quickly to life threatening calls; congratulates the staff of the Scottish Ambulance Service for their efforts in achieving this improvement for patients; acknowledges the need to ensure that the Scottish Ambulance Service continues to improve across a range of indicators and that it effectively consults staff and communicates with the public about the service it provides for them, and, while recognising its autonomy, would welcome the Health and Sport Committee undertaking a review of these matters."

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment to amendment

S3M-1955.1.1 Ross Finnie: Scottish Ambulance Service—As an amendment to amendment (S3M-1955.1) in the name of Nicola Sturgeon, leave out from "while recognising" to end and insert "calls on the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing to make a full statement to the Parliament, at the earliest opportunity, on the operation of the Scottish Ambulance Service, specifically the use of single person crews, the deployment of rapid response vehicles, ambulance response times, rates of assaults on ambulance crews and the impact of journey length on patient safety."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Robert Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is committed to introducing a mandatory tenancy deposit scheme in terms of its powers under Part 4 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006. (S3O-3409)

2. John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive to what extent the issue of violent crime in housing estates throughout Scotland has been tackled. (S3O-3408)

3. Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Executive what services will be devolved to rural general hospitals. (S3O-3439)

4. Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to promote the viability of rural post offices. (S3O-3413)

5. Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive which three new prisons have been sanctioned by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and what funding method will be used to build each of these prisons. (S3O-3441)

6. Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will next hold meetings with the enterprise agencies. (S3O-3371)

7. Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing will meet a cross-party delegation of MSPs to discuss community concerns regarding the threat to the future of the St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, Clydebank. (S3O-3454)

8. Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive when ministers last met equality organisations and what issues were discussed. (S3O-3445)

9. John Park: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it has made in developing plans for the new Forth crossing. (S3O-3458)

10. Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive what the latest figures are for the percentage uptake by pensioners, and the Scottish population as a whole, of council tax benefit amongst those eligible. (S3O-3372)

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-794)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Prime Minister. (S3F-795)

3. Nicol Stephen: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-796)

4. Bob Doris: To ask the First Minister what progress the Scottish Government is making to take forward the recommendations contained in the Gould report on the May 2007 Scottish elections. (S3F-798)

5. Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Government will take to ensure that fair trade principles are applied to the awarding of public contracts. (S3F-811)

6. Mike Pringle: To ask the First Minister how the Scottish Government will ensure that fixed penalty notices are not used inappropriately in the case of sex offenders. (S3F-804)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Education and Lifelong Learning

1. Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made in developing a plan to provide greater access to outdoor education and education in the outdoors for all school pupils. (S3O-3379)

2. Ross Finnie: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will meet its manifesto commitment to ensure that every pupil has two hours of quality PE each week delivered by specialist PE teachers. (S3O-3410)

3. Paul Martin: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning last met representatives of Glasgow City Council. (S3O-3446)

4. Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made in the last year towards delivering its class-size reduction policy. (S3O-3412)

5. George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many new schools it expects that the City of Edinburgh Council will contribute to the around 250 schools that will have been delivered under the Scottish Government by the end of this parliamentary session, as stated by the Minister for Schools and Skills on 8 May 2008. (S3O-3435)

6. Duncan McNeil: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure that all schools operate a good neighbourhood policy. (S3O-3452)

7. Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive how many students will be affected by changes to means-testing for bursaries. (S3O-3427)

8. Ken Macintosh: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will meet COSLA and the General Teaching Council for Scotland to discuss what action may be taken to ensure that teachers are able to secure permanent teaching posts at the end of their probationary years. (S3O-3450)

9. Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how many children in nursery schools have access to a teacher. (S3O-3455)

10. Not Lodged

Europe, External Affairs and Culture

1. Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the Scottish Executive what recent discussions the Minister for Europe and External Affairs has had with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. (S3O-3380)

2. Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will ensure that access to music of all kinds is widely available to children of all ages. (S3O-3415)

3. Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive what matters it raised at the last Joint Ministerial Committee on Europe. (S3O-3457)

4. Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Creative Scotland will be the lead economic development agency for the creative industries. (S3O-3417)

5. James Kelly: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made towards establishing Creative Scotland. (S3O-3443)

6. Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive what support it is providing to traditional voluntary arts. (S3O-3464)

7. Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive what resources are available to deprived communities for cultural activities. (S3O-3432)

8. Elaine Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture has plans to visit Summerlee Heritage Centre when it reopens in June following a £10 million redevelopment. (S3O-3462)

9. Ian McKee: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any further plans to offer financial support to artists at the beginning of their careers. (S3O-3398)

10. Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with MEPs on the establishment of a Europe-wide missing children alert system, such as the Amber Alert initiative. (S3O-3451)

2.55 pm Ministerial Statement: Fuel Poverty

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Wildlife Crime

S3M-1954 Frank Mulholland: Wildlife Crime—That the Parliament welcomes the report, Natural Justice: A Joint Thematic Inspection of the Arrangements in Scotland for Preventing, Investigating and Prosecuting Wildlife Crime, by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland and the Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland; commends the recommendations in the report, the implementation of which will bring to bear the full professional expertise of the agencies who investigate, detect and prosecute those involved in wildlife crime, and looks forward to the development of a strong and effective partnership for action against wildlife crime, working to a new agreed strategy on wildlife crime and co-ordinating the fight against the abuse of Scotland’s vital natural heritage.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-1954.1 David Stewart: Wildlife Crime—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1954) in the name of Frank Mulholland, insert at end "supports in full the recommendations of the Tomkins report, and calls on the Scottish Government to produce an action plan on tackling wildlife crime, including a timetable for the implementation of the report.

S3M-1954.2 Jim Hume: Wildlife Crime—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1954) in the name of Frank Mulholland, insert at end "recognises the concerns surrounding the impact on livelihoods of a reduction in single farm payments or the loss of firearms licences, and calls on the Legislation, Regulation and Guidance sub-group of Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (Scotland) to give full consideration, in consultation with land users, to the proposal that loss of single farm payments should occur only in cases where responsibility has first been proven in a court of law; welcomes the success of the Grampian Police model, which provides an example of good practice to be replicated by forces across Scotland, and calls on Scottish chief constables, the Crown Office and the Scottish Government to outline the specific steps they will take to ensure the speedy and effective implementation of the report recommendations."

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-1232 Ian McKee: National Association of Youth Orchestras—That the Parliament applauds the objectives of the National Association of Youth Orchestras in supporting, encouraging and facilitating young musicians by giving them the opportunity to perform orchestral works at the highest level; recognises the association’s vital contribution to the cultural life both of the capital city and all of Scotland, and would like to see it remain based in Edinburgh.

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