10 February Vol. 4, No 54 Session 3

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

The meeting opened at 9.00 am.

1. The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman - Reappointment: Mike Pringle, on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, moved S3M-7904—That the Parliament nominates Jim Martin to Her Majesty The Queen for reappointment for a second term as the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman from 1 May 2011.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT) by division: For 98, Against 8, Abstentions 9).

2. The Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner - Reappointment: Mike Pringle on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, moved S3M-7905—That the Parliament agrees with the recommendation of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body under Rule 3A.1.2 of Standing Orders that Stuart Allan be reappointed for a second term as the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner from 31 March 2011.

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

3. The Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland - Reappointment: Mike Pringle on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, moved S3M-7906—That the Parliament nominates Tam Baillie to Her Majesty The Queen for reappointment for a second term as the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland from 18 May 2011.

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

4. Early Intervention in Health and Education: Murdo Fraser moved S3M-7923—That the Parliament recognises the importance of early childhood development and the impact of early intervention in determining future health, social wellbeing and educational achievement of individuals; notes the large and growing body of evidence that highlights the importance of child and parental interaction in the early years of life; recognises the vital role performed by health visitors in supporting families in the early years; notes with concern that, in seven NHS board areas, there was a fall in health visitor numbers between 2009 and 2010; supports a national health visiting strategy that ensures that all families, regardless of income, area or need have access to a health visitor service that will provide a guaranteed level of support to families until their child reaches the age of five; further believes that there needs to be greater flexibility in how parents use their child care entitlement; supports a more flexible mix of state, partnership and private provision of nursery school places, and believes that more information relating to good parenting should be made available to all parents through maternity units, early years settings, GP practices and on NHS websites.

The Minister for Children and Early Years (Adam Ingram) moved amendment S3M-7923.3 to motion S3M-7923—

Leave out from “with concern” to end and insert—

“the establishment of the Modernising Nursing in the Community Board, which is working with NHS boards to ensure that community nursing services in Scotland are fit for the 21st century, and further notes the increase in public health nurses/health visitors during the current parliamentary session; supports the current flexible use and mix of state, partnership and private provision of nursery school places in line with local needs and circumstances; welcomes the fact that the vast majority of Scottish local authorities and their partners have local parenting strategies in place, and endorses the current financial support to the leading third sector organisations that provide information and support to parents, including family mediation organisations that provide assistance to families in difficulty.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 46, Against 68, Abstentions 1).

Des McNulty moved amendment S3M-7923.2 to motion S3M-7923—

Leave out from first “supports” to end and insert—

“believes that NHS boards and local authorities working with third sector organisations and volunteers must give children’s community services more integrated resources; recognises the valuable role being played by Sure Start and Family Centres and expresses concern regarding the impact of funding reductions on low-income families; further believes that health visitors linked with a GP practice and social workers have a key role to play in assessing, advising and supporting the parents of babies and very young children, especially young mums; welcomes the nurse family partnership pilots but proposes that Health for All Children 4 guidance should now be reviewed; considers that families should be partners in determining how services, including parenting support, should be provided; believes that early education and care is vital in providing a positive start for every child as well as in identifying and overcoming barriers to learning such as poor language and communication skills; believes that, where a child is at risk of neglect or abuse, a strict timeline for intervention is required, and welcomes the pilot being undertaken by Glasgow City Council, ensuring that giving every child the best chance in life as well as the protection of the child are the overriding considerations.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 41, Against 73, Abstentions 1).

Ross Finnie moved amendment S3M-7923.1 to motion S3M-7923—

Leave out from first “supports” to end and insert—

“agrees with the conclusions of the Finance Committee’s recent inquiry into preventative spending that the current balance of government spending is skewed too much in favour of reactive, rather than preventative, spending; recognises that early intervention has proven benefits not only in health and education but also in other areas such as crime reduction measures, support for carers and services for older people, and supports a long-term shift to sustained investment in a high-quality, preventative approach to the growing social and economic challenges faced by public services.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to (DT) by division: For 99, Against 15, Abstentions 1).

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

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the importance of early childhood development and the impact of early intervention in determining future health, social wellbeing and educational achievement of individuals; notes the large and growing body of evidence that highlights the importance of child and parental interaction in the early years of life; recognises the vital role performed by health visitors in supporting families in the early years; notes with concern that, in seven NHS board areas, there was a fall in health visitor numbers between 2009 and 2010; agrees with the conclusions of the Finance Committee’s recent inquiry into preventative spending that the current balance of government spending is skewed too much in favour of reactive, rather than preventative, spending; recognises that early intervention has proven benefits not only in health and education but also in other areas such as crime reduction measures, support for carers and services for older people, and supports a long-term shift to sustained investment in a high-quality, preventative approach to the growing social and economic challenges faced by public services.

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

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

7. Themed Question Time: Questions on Health and Wellbeing were answered by the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers.

8. Public Records (Scotland) Bill: The Minister for Culture and External Affairs (Fiona Hyslop) moved S3M-7900—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Public Records (Scotland) Bill.

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

9. The Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2011: The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (John Swinney) moved S3M-7840—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2011 be approved.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT) by division: For 101, Against 3, Abstentions 11).

10. Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Nicola Sturgeon) made a statement and answered questions on Delayed Discharges.

11. Technical Changes to the Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Act 2009: Mike Pringle, on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, moved S3M-7736—That the Parliament—

(a) in exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of the Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Act 2009 (asp 1) (the “2009 Act”) determines that with effect from the day after the day this resolution is made the Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme (within the meaning of section 4 of the 2009 Act) is modified in accordance with Annex 1 to this resolution, and

(b) notes that the Parliamentary corporation has, in accordance with Rule 8.11A.5 of the Parliament’s Standing Orders, consulted with relevant individuals whose interests may be affected by the modifications.

ANNEX 1 TO THE RESOLUTION

Paragraph (a)

MODIFICATIONS TO SCOTTISH PARLIAMENTARY PENSION SCHEME

1. Rule 13 (member-nominated trustees) of schedule 1 to the 2009 Act is omitted.

2. In rule 49 (deferred pensioner’s ill-health pension) of schedule 1 to the 2009 Act, for “4 and 5” substitute “5 and 6”.

3. In rule 85 (buying added years by instalments) of schedule 1 to the 2009 Act, in sub-paragraph (2) for “irrevocable” substitute “revocable by the member giving notice to the Fund trustees”.

4. After rule 85, insert—

Revocation of accepted application

85A (1) This rule applies—

(a) where an MSP member buying added years by monthly instalments revokes the application before paying the last instalment, and

(b) where an office-holder member (who is not an MSP) buying added years by monthly instalments revokes the application before paying the last instalment.

(2) Where this rule applies no more instalments are payable and the individual’s reckonable service as an MSP or, as the case may be, office-holder is increased by a number of added years calculated as follows—

A x

B

C

 

where—

“A” is the number of added years the individual applied to buy,

“B” is the period (in days) in respect of which instalments have been paid, and

“C” is the period (in days) for which instalments would have been paid had the individual remained in the scheme continuously and not revoked the application.”.

5. In paragraph 18 (added years) of schedule 3 to the 2009 Act—

(a) in sub-paragraph (2)(a), after “effect” insert “, subject to the modifications in sub-paragraph (2A),”, and

(b) after sub-paragraph (2) insert—

“(2A) (a) in paragraph 3 of Schedule 5 to the 1999 scheme rules for “irrevocable on and from the date when the Parliamentary corporation accepts it” substitute “revocable by the member giving notice in writing to the Fund trustees”, and

(b) after paragraph 3, insert—

“3A. Where a participating member buying added years by periodical contributions revokes the application before paying the last instalment—

(a) no more instalments are payable; and

(b) the Fund trustees must calculate the number of added years in respect of which the periodical contributions have been paid as follows—

 

 
A x

B

C

 

where—

“A” is the number of added years the individual applied to buy;

“B” is the period (in days) in respect of which instalments have been paid; and

“C” is the period (in days) for which instalments would have been paid in accordance with paragraph 4(a) had the individual not revoked the application.”.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

12. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 11 as noted above.

13. St Margaret of Scotland Hospice: The Parliament debated S3M-7506 in the name of Des McNulty—That the Parliament notes with grave concern the continuing uncertainty faced by Scotland’s largest hospice as a result of proposals to remove places for the care of older people with complex needs; considers with regret that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has failed to enter into positive and constructive discussions with the board of the St Margaret of Scotland Hospice aimed at securing the future of the hospice and the retention of what is considered its outstanding provision; believes that insufficient progress is being made toward finding a solution, and would welcome the continuation of what is considered this much-valued provision.

The meeting closed at 5.53 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
10 February 2011


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

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 10 February 2011 and is subject to approval

The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011

laid under section 36(6) of the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003

The draft Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011, laid before the Parliament on 2 February 2011, has been withdrawn.

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 10 February 2011 and are subject to annulment––

The Ayr Road Route (M77) (Speed Limit) Amendment Regulations 2011 (SSI2011/67)––

The M8 Motorway (Junction 10 Westerhouse Slip Roads) (Speed Limit) Regulations 2011 (SSI 2011/68)––

The Glasgow Renfrew Motorway (Stages I and II) (Speed Limit) Amendment Regulations 2011 (SSI 2011/69)––

laid under section 134(3) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984