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Congratulations to Alness
That the Parliament congratulates Alness on winning the best small town trophy and a continuous community involvement award at the Beautiful Scotland awards ceremony and recognises the considerable effort by everyone in the community, with particular praise for Carolyn Wilson, Alness in Bloom co-ordinator, in achieving this award and the work of Alness in Bloom for which this award comes as a fitting tribute for its efforts to promote community involvement.

Supported by: Brian Adam, Bashir Ahmad, Alex Neil, Keith Brown, Jamie McGrigor, Mary Scanlon, Stuart McMillan, Shirley-Anne Somerville, Bill Kidd, Rob Gibson, Alasdair Allan, Kenneth Gibson, Peter Peacock, Roseanna Cunningham, Gil Paterson, Jack McConnell


Congratulations to RBS and HBOS
That the Parliament congratulates both the Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS on ranking 35th and 85th respectively in Barron’s survey of the top 100 world’s most respected companies, also published by the prestigious Wall Street Journal; notes the emergence of these two Scottish companies as leading financial providers in the global market; recognises their consistency in cultivating an environment of excellence, strong business strategy and outstanding leadership, and finally acknowledges that both companies have earned their reputation as a result of their long-term contribution to building a sustainable and prosperous Scotland.

Supported by: John Lamont, Joe FitzPatrick, Alex Neil, Bashir Ahmad, Ken Macintosh, Keith Brown, Hugh Henry, Bill Kidd, Bob Doris, Rob Gibson, Murdo Fraser, Alasdair Allan, Kenneth Gibson, Mike Pringle, Tom McCabe, Roseanna Cunningham, Aileen Campbell, Jack McConnell


Drink Drive Limit Reduction
That the Parliament recognises the needless loss of life on Scotland’s roads each year due to drink driving; notes that the United Kingdom is now one of only four EU member states that have an 80mg per 100ml of blood drink driving limit; believes that a reduction in the legal drink drive limit to 50mg per 100ml of blood would save many lives; acknowledges that reducing the limit is not currently a devolved power and that implementation would require either legislation at Westminster or devolution of power to the Scottish Parliament; recognises that, in order for the reduction to have maximum impact, a considerable media and enforcement campaign would be required, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to take appropriate measures to reduce the drink driving limit for Scotland, in line with the majority of our European counterparts.

Supported by: Gil Paterson, Stuart McMillan, Christina McKelvie, Bill Kidd, Rob Gibson, Kenneth Gibson, Alex Neil, Bashir Ahmad, Shirley-Anne Somerville, Jamie Hepburn, Nigel Don, Joe FitzPatrick


The Impact of HMRC Brief 50/07 on Sports Trusts in Scotland
That the Parliament calls on Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to rethink its proposals that would allow it to reclaim VAT on membership fees to leisure trusts before 31 March 2007; notes the financial impact that this could have on sports trusts and councils across Scotland and the United Kingdom which in many cases may have to be passed on to leisure facility users or see services reduced; further notes that this goes against current policy which seeks to encourage more people to take part in sporting activities as part of a healthier lifestyle, and supports the Sport and Recreational Trust Association (SPORTA) in its next meeting with HMRC to discuss this issue.

Supported by: Joe FitzPatrick, Brian Adam, Bill Wilson, Bashir Ahmad, Alex Neil, Rob Gibson, Alasdair Allan, Kenneth Gibson, Bill Kidd, Jamie Hepburn, Stuart McMillan, Bob Doris, Michael Matheson, Angela Constance, Christine Grahame, Roseanna Cunningham, Gil Paterson, Tavish Scott, Mike Pringle, Keith Brown, Jamie Stone, John Farquhar Munro


Make Scotland's Roads Safer - Reduce the Drink Driving Limit
That the Parliament welcomes the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Christmas card campaign calling for a reduction in the drink driving limit; notes that there is clear evidence that shows that drivers who exceed 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood are significantly impaired; further notes with regret that in the Highlands and Islands there are 27% more accidents caused by drunk drivers than the national average; joins the BMA in considering that more pressure should be exerted on the UK Government to lower the drink driving limit from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg; supports the implementation of random testing, which would undoubtedly act as a further deterrent to drink driving, and notes that these measures will make Scotland’s roads safer and could save as many as 65 lives a year on UK roads.

Supported by: Joe FitzPatrick, Rob Gibson, Robin Harper, Mike Pringle, Kenneth Gibson, Alasdair Allan, Shirley-Anne Somerville, Bashir Ahmad, Alex Neil, Brian Adam, Bill Kidd, Stuart McMillan, Jamie Hepburn, Christina McKelvie, Gil Paterson, Angela Constance, John Wilson, Christopher Harvie, Nigel Don, Willie Coffey, Roseanna Cunningham, Bob Doris, Patrick Harvie, Andrew Welsh, Aileen Campbell


Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 12/03/2008
Highland Businesses Named Among Scotland's Best
That the Parliament recognises the success of Highland businesses in being shortlisted in Scotland’s Best Rural Retailer 2007 awards; commends Boat of Garten Post Office on being named as the Best Village Shop or Post Office; notes other Highland businesses commended, including The Storehouse of Foulis, Murchies Costcutter and the village shop in Glendale; applauds these businesses for providing a fantastic service for locals across the Highlands, and finally recognises the value of small village shops, post offices and producers as a genuine asset to rural communities across Scotland.

Supported by: Bob Doris, Stuart McMillan, Bill Kidd, Alasdair Allan, Kenneth Gibson, Jamie McGrigor, Bashir Ahmad, Gil Paterson, Mary Scanlon, Sandra White, Roseanna Cunningham, Michael Matheson, Peter Peacock


Greater Transparency in Broadband Advertising
That the Parliament commends the Ofcom Consumer Panel for calling for a mandatory code of practice to make internet service providers offer customers clearer information about broadband speeds; notes that the code empowers customers to opt out of a contract without being penalised if their broadband speeds are below those advertised; suggests to Ofcom that the code should allow for rebates where actual speed is less than that advertised; further notes that this is a particular problem in the highlands and islands, where broadband speed and capacity is, in a number of cases, failing to meet the demand of local communities and businesses alike; welcomes this government's commitment to improving broadband services for the highlands and islands, and implores internet service providers to offer a greater value for money service to constituents of the highlands and islands.

Supported by: Jamie Hepburn


Highland 2007
That the Parliament congratulates the organisers of Highland 2007 on marking the culmination of a historic year for Highland culture with the Highland Lights (Solais nan Gàidhealtachd) celebration of the old new year; further praises the organisers of the festival for showcasing Highland culture at its best, embracing both the arts and Highland heritage in a momentous year of events; concurs with the sentiments of Inverness Provost Bob Wynd that events such as the Highland Lights should be organised every year; commends the organisers of Highland 2007 for successfully weaving Gaelic through this year’s programme, and finally hopes that this work will continue well into the future so that there is a lasting legacy from Highland 2007.

Supported by: Liz Smith, Joe FitzPatrick, Patricia Ferguson, Roseanna Cunningham, Sandra White, Nanette Milne, Gil Paterson, Andrew Welsh, Alex Neil, Stuart McMillan, Christopher Harvie, Rob Gibson, Kenneth Gibson, Bill Kidd, Bob Doris, Jamie Hepburn, Brian Adam, Jack McConnell


Current Status: Eligible for Members’ Business, Pending Cross Party Support
Welcome Decision on Aviemore Resort
That the Parliament welcomes the swift action taken by the Scottish Government in response to representations from a cross-party group of MSPs to address problems in the planning process between the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the Cairngorms National Park Authority and developers of the Aviemore Highland Resort that allowed the Cairngorms National Park Authority to take a decision on the potential expansion of the resort prior to Christmas 2007; urges MSPs to allow the Scottish Government to release correspondence on this matter, and welcomes the decision of the Cairngorms National Park Authority to approve the development preserving 300 essential jobs in the community.

Supported by: Joe FitzPatrick, Willie Coffey, Bill Kidd, Shirley-Anne Somerville, Christina McKelvie, Stuart McMillan, Rob Gibson, Alasdair Allan, Kenneth Gibson, Brian Adam, Bill Wilson, Bashir Ahmad, Alex Neil, Angela Constance, Roseanna Cunningham, Gil Paterson, Michael Matheson


Highland Council Budget
That the Parliament congratulates the Independent/Scottish National Party-led Highland Council administration on delivering both a freeze in council tax and growth in key frontline services; welcomes the additional funding put in place for home care provision and voluntary sector support, the £8.3 million additional investment in the new community schools programme and a record £65 million investment in Transport, Environment and Community Services, and finally commends Highland Council on presenting an excellent budget while working within the constraints of a tight settlement.

Supported by: Jamie Hepburn