Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 188/2010: Thursday 16 December 2010
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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: Winter Resilience—

S3M-7604 Andy Kerr: Winter Resilience—That the Parliament acknowledges that lessons have to be learned about how the Scottish Government and its agencies react to exceptional weather conditions; considers that MSPs must now look ahead and work together to ensure that all possible measures are taken to prevent the experience of recent weeks, which saw older people trapped in their homes, schools shut, people stranded on roads, businesses losing money, diesel and food supplies running low, mail undelivered and bins not collected; calls on the Scottish Government to improve communications, ensure closer and effective liaison with all appropriate organisations and consider more robust planning exercises, and, while acknowledging that severe weather will cause disruption and delays, believes that Scotland needs to keep moving regardless of the weather conditions.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-7604.2 John Swinney: Winter Resilience—As an amendment to motion (S3M-7604) in the name of Andy Kerr, insert at end ", and acknowledges the significant efforts made by a wide range of public service workers, voluntary organisations and people across Scotland to maintain essential services, support their neighbours and keep communities moving through the extreme conditions."

S3M-7604.1 Jackson Carlaw: Winter Resilience—As an amendment to motion (S3M-7604) in the name of Andy Kerr, insert at end ", and further calls on the Scottish Government to give consideration to a traffic-light style graded system of severe weather warnings."

S3M-7604.3 Jeremy Purvis: Winter Resilience—As an amendment to motion (S3M-7604) in the name of Andy Kerr, insert at end "; regrets the damaging economic and reputational impact of the severe disruption to Scotland’s roads, rail services and airports and the Scottish Government’s poor handling of the exceptional weather conditions; recognises that difficulties are ongoing; believes that there are several practical steps that could be taken to help avoid such disruption in the future, including for Transport Scotland to carry out more comprehensive scenario planning, for rail operators to review the preparedness of the network and their communication with passengers and for the Scottish Government to facilitate closer co-operation between trunk road operators, the police service and local authorities in their efforts to keep essential routes open and the public advised, and believes that the Scottish Government should outline the measures that it is taking to rebuild confidence in Scotland’s ability to remain open for business under adverse weather conditions."

11.40 am General Question Time

1. Not Lodged

2. Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive when deer farmers will be able to access support through the Single Farm Payment scheme. (S3O-12344)

3. Ted Brocklebank: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions the Cabinet Secretary for Justice has had with local authorities regarding the employment of private sector solicitors. (S3O-12348)

4. Dave Thompson: To ask the Scottish Executive what effects it considers the UK Government’s review of benefits will have on vulnerable people in Scotland. (S3O-12426)

5. Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive how many post-probationary teachers it expects to be in full-time employment at the start of the 2011-12 school term. (S3O-12390)

6. Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive what support it will provide for the building of the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. (S3O-12372)

7. Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is on target to end fuel poverty by 2016. (S3O-12337)

8. Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive what the benefits have been of the Energy Assistance Package. (S3O-12394)

9. John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive how it is supporting the Eyemouth fishing industry. (S3O-12343)

10. Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing has had with NHSScotland regarding its preparations for winter. (S3O-12400)

12.00 pm First Minister’s Question Time

1. Iain Gray: To ask the First Minister what engagements he has planned for the rest of the day. (S3F-2781)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Secretary of State for Scotland. (S3F-2782)

3. Tavish Scott: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-2783)

4. Bill Kidd: To ask the First Minister what progress the Scottish Government is making on reducing the homicide rate. (S3F-2788)

5. James Kelly: To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government’s position is on using GPS satellite technology to monitor sex offenders released into the community. (S3F-2790)

6. Iain Smith: To ask the First Minister what discussions the Scottish Government had with the retail community prior to deciding to introduce a new levy on large retail properties. (S3F-2793)

followed by Members’ Business

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-7490 Anne McLaughlin: UKBA’s Contempt Agenda for Scotland—That the Parliament condemns the UK Border Agency (UKBA) for its actions that, it believes, imply a complete lack of respect for the Parliament and the people of Scotland; deplores what it considers to be the chaotic and unfeeling manner in which hundreds of asylum seekers in Glasgow were informed of the cancellation of UKBA’s contract with Glasgow City Council and their subsequent imminent removal to elsewhere in Scotland; condemns, in particular, UKBA’s decision, following a review, to continue, in its view, to refuse to engage with members seeking to represent constituents; believes that this policy is unique among all UK and Scottish governmental agencies, and considers that both examples demonstrate contempt for asylum seekers, the Parliament and Scotland.

2.15 pm Themed Question Time

Finance and Sustainable Growth—

1. Stuart McMillan: To ask the Scottish Executive what financial assistance it provides to retailers with the aim of creating jobs, supporting the local economy and bolstering tourism. (S3O-12424)

2. Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive on what date it was made aware of the blowout incident on Shell’s Sedco 711 platform on 23 December 2009 and by whom. (S3O-12432)

3. Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what arrangements are in place to ensure that the content of the Traffic Scotland website is current and accurate. (S3O-12395)

4. Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what concerns it has regarding the impact on the economy and communities of Scotland of the provisions of the UK Government’s Postal Services Bill. (S3O-12416)

5. Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to assist voluntary organisations to plan future service provision. (S3O-12373)

6. Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that the Calman proposals in the Scotland Bill will provide the powers necessary to ensure a healthy and sustainable economy in the long term. (S3O-12430)

7. Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the introduction of a so-called bed tax by local authorities is compatible with its ambition to grow tourism’s contribution to the economy. (S3O-12388)

8. Karen Gillon: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure that public transport is available for vulnerable people in Clydesdale during the current extreme weather conditions. (S3O-12377)

9. John Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what recent discussions it has had with business organisations regarding reforms to non-domestic rates. (S3O-12342)

10. Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth will monitor the use of the Change Fund announced in the draft budget for NHS boards.(S3O-12356)

11. David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive when it last had discussions with COSLA and the island local authorities regarding the future of the inter-island ferry services. (S3O-12402)

12. Christina McKelvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussion it has had with representatives of South Lanarkshire Council regarding the local government settlement for 2011-12. (S3O-12423)

13. George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what savings have been made on the cost of ministerial cars in the current budget exercise. (S3O-12376)

14. Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive what importance it places on the role of Glasgow Prestwick Airport in relation to the Ayrshire economy (S3O-12396)

15. Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth has immediate plans to meet representatives of Renfrewshire Council. (S3O-12381)

16. Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive what its position is on the response by public agencies to the recent severe weather. (S3O-12345)

17. Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what its position in on the performance of Transport Scotland in its consultation with local communities on projects for which it is responsible. (S3O-12358)

18. Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what it estimates to be the cost to the Fife economy of the extreme winter weather. (S3O-12368)

19. Linda Fabiani: To ask the Scottish Executive how it promotes green energy technology. (S3O-12411)

20. Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive when it last met representatives of COSLA and what issues were discussed. (S3O-12383)

2.55 pm Ministerial Statement: The Future of Scottish Higher Education

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Antisocial Behaviour Framework—

S3M-7605 Fergus Ewing: Antisocial Behaviour Framework—That the Parliament notes the publication of the first annual report of progress made in implementing the antisocial behaviour framework, Promoting Positive Outcomes: Working Together to Prevent Antisocial Behaviour in Scotland, which shifts the emphasis onto prevention and early, effective intervention while recognising that enforcement measures are appropriate in some circumstances; welcomes the support for this approach from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), the Chief Fire Officers Association in Scotland (CFOAS), the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA), the Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW), the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), Youthlink, the Judicial Studies Committee, Victim Support Scotland, Safeguarding Communities Reducing Offending (SACRO), the Scottish Youth Parliament, academia and the third sector; further welcomes the £20 million being invested in Scotland’s communities through the Cashback for Communities initiative, which provides free activities for young people, and further notes the progress made across a range of areas in improving community safety.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-7605.3 James Kelly: Antisocial Behaviour Framework—As an amendment to motion (S3M-7605) in the name of Fergus Ewing, leave out from "which shifts" to end and insert "; regrets, however, that it has taken 20 months to publish the report and that it will be 2012 before a proper evaluation of the framework is complete; believes that this demonstrates a complacent attitude on the part of the Scottish Government toward antisocial behaviour; recognises that antisocial behaviour continues to blight the lives of many throughout Scotland, as witnessed by the 240,696 antisocial behaviour offences recorded in the Scottish Policing Performance Framework annual report of 2009-10; regrets that the number of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBO) granted fell from 437 in 2006-07 to 249 in 2009-10 despite the number of complaints increasing, and calls on the Scottish Government to adopt a more proactive attitude in tackling antisocial behaviour and to listen to the views of local people and support a policy of giving community councils and properly constituted residents groups the power to apply to local authorities for an ASBO."

S3M-7605.1 John Lamont: Antisocial Behaviour Framework—As an amendment to motion (S3M-7605) in the name of Fergus Ewing, leave out from "the progress made" to end and insert "that, while progress is being made across a range of areas in improving community safety, the public must continue to be encouraged to report antisocial behaviour and that where examples of good practice exist these should be replicated as widely as possible."

S3M-7605.2 Robert Brown: Antisocial Behaviour Framework—As an amendment to motion (S3M-7605) in the name of Fergus Ewing, insert at end "; believes that local policing is key to community safety; notes the work underway through the Sustainable Policing Project on protecting frontline policing and the delivery of outcomes for communities, and believes that community safety is unlikely to benefit from the establishment of a single Scottish police force."

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions—

S3M-7611 Bruce Crawford on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Committee Remit—That the Parliament agrees that the remit of the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee be amended to—

To consider and report on (a) matters relating to transport and infrastructure falling within the remit of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth and (b) matters relating to climate change falling within the remit of the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment.

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-7259 Johann Lamont: Support for Children in Family and Friends Care—That the Parliament notes that there is estimated to be a minimum of 13,400 children in kinship (family and friends) care in Glasgow and throughout Scotland; understands that three out of four of these families are living in poverty and that kinship care is frequently the best form of early intervention as well as a longer-term option for children requiring non-parental care, particularly for those who have experienced multiple traumas; notes that kinship care is estimated to save the Scottish Government and local authorities £536 million per year in reduced care costs; considers with regret that the Scottish Government, the UK Government and Scottish local authorities have not yet been able to ensure provision of adequate financial, educational and other supports for children looked after by kinship carers; considers that there is currently insufficient joint working across all levels of government, and believes that kinship care provision is best developed with the involvement of kinship carers themselves as part of the decision-making process and that this would ensure that all policies are based on the needs of the child and that there is no discrimination of kinship carers based on their legal status or postcode.

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