Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.
The meeting opened at 9.30 am.
1. Reform of Public Services: David McLetchie moved S2M-718—That the Parliament acknowledges the increased levels of spending on our public services, but notes that this has not been reflected in improved standards of service; recognises that fundamental reform is needed of public services in Scotland to achieve the standards of many other European countries and provide value for money for our taxpayers; calls, therefore, on the Scottish Executive to give patients genuine choice over the treatment they receive, establish foundation hospitals within the NHS in Scotland and promote the development of, and partnership with, the independent sector; calls on the Executive to expand choice and diversity in education by enabling taxpayers' money to follow children to the schools of their parents' choice and develop a network of state-funded but independently managed schools, and further calls on the Executive to enhance local accountability in respect of the provision of police services by the direct election of conveners of police boards.
The Minister for Education and Young People (Peter Peacock) moved amendment S2M-718.3 to motion S2M-718—
Leave out from "acknowledges" to end and insert—
"supports the radical, demanding and relevant agenda set out in A Partnership for a Better Scotland including the delivery of excellent public services that put patients, pupils and victims first, ensure equality of access across urban and rural Scotland, devolve decision-making to frontline staff, establish national standards on which local excellence can be built, backed by inspection, and share best practice and action to tackle and turn around poor performance."
Shona Robison moved amendment S2M-718.1 to motion S2M-718—
Leave out from "acknowledges" to end and insert—
"rejects the proposals by the Conservative Party to privatise our public services and deplores the continued use of PPP/PFI to fund our public services by the current Labour/Liberal Democrat Scottish Executive; believes that the developing crisis in the NHS will only be addressed by increasing the capacity of the NHS to treat more patients and reduce waiting times through effective policies to recruit and retain staff within the NHS in Scotland, and calls for a national debate on the way forward for the health service in Scotland."
Carolyn Leckie moved amendment S2M-718.2 to motion S2M-718—
Leave out from the second "the" to end and insert—
"the crucial role played by low-paid public sector workers in delivering high quality services in often stressful situations; notes however, that they are poorly rewarded for their efforts; recognises that the time has come for radical reform of public services so that they can play a fuller role in eradicating poverty and social exclusion; believes, therefore, that the Scottish Executive should reverse the privatisation of public services involved in PFI and PPP and ensure that all public services are directing their main efforts into reducing the inequalities caused by poverty and discrimination, and further believes that the Executive should introduce a £7.50 an hour minimum pay level for all public sector workers in Scotland, call a moratorium on the centralisation of hospital services which reduces access to maternity, accident and emergency and other health services for those living in our most deprived and isolated communities and instigate a full, democratic and inclusive public debate to establish the real health needs of communities and the resources and measures required to meet those needs."
After debate, amendment S2M-718.3 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 48, Abstentions 1). As a result amendments S2M-718.1 and S2M-718.2 were pre-empted.
The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 51, Abstentions 0).
Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the radical, demanding and relevant agenda set out in A Partnership for a Better Scotland including the delivery of excellent public services that put patients, pupils and victims first, ensure equality of access across urban and rural Scotland, devolve decision-making to frontline staff, establish national standards on which local excellence can be built, backed by inspection, and share best practice and action to tackle and turn around poor performance.
2. First Minister's Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).
3. Question Time: Questions were answered by Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.
4. Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill – Preliminary Stage: Bill Butler, on behalf of the Stirling – Alloa – Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill Committee, moved S2M-711—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway and Linked Improvements Bill and that the Bill should proceed as a Private Bill.
After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).
5. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1 and 4 as noted above.
6. 20 mph Speed Zones Around Schools: The Parliament debated S2M-615 in the name of Bill Butler—That the Parliament congratulates Glasgow City Council on its decision to introduce mandatory 20 mph speed limits outside every school in Glasgow; hopes that other local authorities will follow Glasgow City Council's example in trying to improve the safety of pupils travelling to and from school, and views this as a significant and welcome step in implementing the Scottish Executive's commitment to improve Scotland's record on road traffic accidents, in particular the objective of cutting the number of young people killed and injured on roads each year.
The meeting closed at 5.54 pm.
P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
11 December 2003
(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)
The following Report was published on 11 December 2003
Environment and Rural Development Committee, 6th Report, 2003 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 63)