16 December Vol. 4, No 42 Session 3

Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Winter Resilience: Andy Kerr moved S3M-7604—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.

John Swinney moved amendment S3M-7604.2 to motion S3M-7604—

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.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to (DT).

Jackson Carlaw moved amendment S3M-7604.1 to motion S3M-7604—

Insert at end—

“, and further calls on the Scottish Government to give consideration to a traffic-light style graded system of severe weather warnings.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to (DT).

Jeremy Purvis moved amendment S3M-7604.3 to motion S3M-7604—

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."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 9, Against 62, Abstentions 44).

The motion as amended was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—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; 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, and further calls on the Scottish Government to give consideration to a traffic-light style graded system of severe weather warnings.

2. General Question Time: Questions were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

3. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Alex Salmond).

4. UKBA’s Contempt Agenda for Scotland: The Parliament debated S3M-7490 in the name of Anne McLaughlin—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.

5. Themed Question Time: Questions on Finance and Sustainable Growth were answered by the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers.

6. Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (Michael Russell) made a statement and answered questions on The Future of Scottish Higher Education.

7. Antisocial Behaviour Framework: The Minister for Community Safety (Fergus Ewing) moved S3M-7605—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.

James Kelly moved amendment S3M-7605.3 to motion S3M-7605—

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.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 42, Against 73, Abstentions 0).

John Lamont moved amendment S3M-7605.1 to motion S3M-7605—

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.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 71, Against 42, Abstentions 2).

Robert Brown moved amendment S3M-7605.2 to motion S3M-7605—

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.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 11, Against 104, Abstentions 0).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 73, Against 42, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—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 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.

8. Committee Remit: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-7611—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.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 7 and 8 as noted above.

10. Support for Children in Family and Friends Care: The Parliament debated S3M-7259 in the name of Johann Lamont—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.

The meeting closed at 6.02 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
16 December 2010

Appendix
(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 16 December 2010 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure––

Scottish Legal Aid Board Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2010 (SG/2010/144)—

Scottish Legal Aid Board Annual Review 2009-2010 (SG/2010/145)—

laid under section 5(7)(a) of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 and section 22(5) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland Annual Report 2010 (SG/2010/254)

laid under paragraph 14 of schedule 2 to the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003

VisitScotland Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2010 (SG/2010/263)

laid under section 6 of the Development of Tourism Act 1969 and section 22(5) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

Bòrd na Gàidhlig annual report 2009/10 (SG/2010/273)

laid under section 1(6) of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 and section 22(5) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 16 December 2010

Health and Sport Committee, 11th Report, 2010 (Session 3): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 548)