Section A: Today's Business

Meetings of Committees

All meetings take place in the Scottish Parliament, unless otherwise specified.

Finance Committee
4th Meeting, 2015

The Committee will meet at 9.30 am in the Mary Fairfax Somerville Room (CR2)

1. Further Fiscal Devolution: The Committee will take evidence from—

Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and Lindsey Fussell, Director Public Services, HM Treasury, UK Government;

and then from—

John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy, and Sean Neil, Acting Deputy Director of Finance, Scottish Government.

2. Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill: The Committee will consider the Bill at Stage 2.

3. Subordinate legislation: The Committee will consider the following negative instrument—

The Scottish Tax Tribunals (Eligibility for Appointment) Regulations 2014 (SSI 2014/355).

Local Government and Regeneration Committee
4th Meeting, 2015

The Committee will meet at 10.00 am in the Sir Alexander Flemming Room (CR3)

1. Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill: The Committee will take evidence on the Bill at Stage 1 from—

Assistant Chief Constable Nelson Telfer, Head of Policing, West of Scotland, and Chief Inspector Morag Stewart, Liquor and Civic Licensing Policy, Police Scotland;

Chief Superintendent John McBride, Divisional Commander for Scotland, and Superintendent Alison Evans, National Metal Theft Taskforce, British Transport Police.

2. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee will decide whether its consideration of its work programme, EU Priorities and approach to budget scrutiny should be taken in private at future meetings.

3. Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill (in private): The Committee will consider the evidence received.

Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee
4th Meeting, 2015

The Committee will meet at 10.00 am in the Robert Burns Room (CR1)

1. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee will decide whether to take item 4 in private. The Committee will also decide whether to consider its EU priorities in private at future meetings.

2. Subordinate legislation: The Committee will consider the following negative instruments—

Conservation of Salmon (Annual Close Time and Catch and Release) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2014 (SSI 2014/357);

Designation of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (Scotland) Regulations 2014 (SSI 2014/373); and

Sea Fishing (Points for Masters of Fishing Boats) (Scotland) Regulations 2014 (SSI 2014/379).

3. Dairy industry: The Committee will take evidence from—

Nigel Evans, Vice Chairman and Farmer Director, First Milk;

Graeme Jack, Group Corporate Communications Director, Muller Wiseman;

George Jamieson, Dairy Policy Manager, NFUS;

James Withers, Chief Executive, Scotland Food and Drink;

Robert Macintyre, dairy farmer;

Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive, Dairy UK;

Robert Graham, Graham’s The Family Dairy;

Kenneth Campbell, dairy farmer.

4. Dairy industry: The Committee will consider evidence heard at item 3 and consider future plans for its inquiry.

5. Scotland’s National Marine Plan (in private): The Committee will consider a draft report.

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee
3rd Meeting, 2015

The Committee will meet at 10.30 am in the James Clerk Maxwell Room (CR4)

1. Economic Impact of the Creative Industries - witness expenses: The Committee will be invited to delegate to the Convener responsibility for arranging for the SPCB to pay, under Rule 12.4.3, any expenses of witnesses in the inquiry.

2. Economic Impact of the Creative Industries: The Committee will consider whether to take item 4 in private. The Committee will also consider whether to review the evidence heard at future meetings and draft reports in private.

3. Economic Impact of the Creative Industries: The Committee will take evidence from—

Janet Archer, Chief Executive, and Natalie Usher, Director of Film and Media, Creative Scotland;

David Smith, Director of Creative Industries, Scottish Enterprise;

Charlotte Wright, Director of Business and Sector Development, Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

4. Economic Impact of the Creative Industries: The Committee will review evidence heard at this meeting.

Meeting of the Parliament

2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.00 pm Portfolio Questions

Education and Lifelong Learning

1. Graeme Pearson: To ask the Scottish Government how many vacant beds there are in secure units for looked-after children. (S4O-03941)

2. Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Government how it supports college students to complete their studies. (S4O-03942)

3. Christian Allard: To ask the Scottish Government what work it is carrying out to streamline the process for the registration of new teachers. (S4O-03943)

4. Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with Dumfries and Galloway Council regarding its plans for Dumfries Learning Town. (S4O-03944)

5. Tavish Scott: [Not Lodged]

6. Annabel Goldie: To ask the Scottish Government whether it anticipates the university student population contracting or expanding over the next five years. (S4O-03946)

7. Paul Martin: To ask the Scottish Government what progress it has made on agreeing educational outcomes with COSLA as part of the local government settlement. (S4O-03947)

8. Stuart McMillan: To ask the Scottish Government what support it is providing to colleges in West Scotland to improve the fabric of their buildings. (S4O-03948)

9. Gordon MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Government how many college students are achieving qualifications that are recognised and valued by employers. (S4O-03949)

10. Roderick Campbell: To ask the Scottish Government what support it provides to local authorities for fostering programmes. (S4O-03950)

11. Alex Rowley: To ask the Scottish Government how it is supporting colleges and other adult learning providers to improve adult literacy and numeracy and what progress has been made in tackling poor basic skills levels in adults. (S4O-03951)

12. Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to monitor the pay of university principals. (S4O-03952)

13. Nanette Milne: To ask the Scottish Government what educational principles will underpin the Higher Education Governance Bill. (S4O-03953)

14. Kevin Stewart: To ask the Scottish Government how many pupils in Aberdeen are being provided with free school meals following its recently introduced policy. (S4O-03954)

15. Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Government how it is engaging with schools to encourage pupils to consider careers in the oil and gas industry. (S4O-03955)

16. George Adam: To ask the Scottish Government whether it has met the target for full-time equivalent places at colleges. (S4O-03956)

17. Neil Findlay: To ask the Scottish Government what the average college bursary funding is compared with England, Wales and Northern Ireland. (S4O-03957)

18. Mark Griffin: To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to implement the recommendations of Jackie Brock’s report on safeguarding vulnerable children. (S4O-03958)

19. Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish Government what progress North East Scotland College has made following the recent merger. (S4O-03959)

20. Liz Smith: To ask the Scottish Government what progress the SQA has made on the development of the Scottish Baccalaureate qualification. (S4O-03960)

followed by Ministerial Statement: Unconventional Oil and Gas

followed by Scottish Labour Party Debate: Women Offenders

S4M-12160 Kezia Dugdale: Women Offenders—That the Parliament welcomes the decision of the Scottish Government to abandon its previously published plans for a large-scale women’s prison; congratulates the coalition of views that helped to bring about this decision; believes that the report produced by the Commission on Women Offenders led by Dame Elish Angiolini provides a clear roadmap for a different approach to women offending; believes that adequate and sustained funding is needed for community-based alternatives to imprisonment, and calls for full cross-party and wider stakeholder support and engagement in the debate and delivery of the commission’s recommendations.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S4M-12160.2 Michael Matheson: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Kezia Dugdale (Women Offenders), leave out from “to abandon” to end and insert “not to proceed with the plans for HMP Inverclyde as a prison for women; agrees that Scotland needs to take a more radical, ambitious and sophisticated approach in the way in which it deals with female offenders; welcomes the Scottish Government’s commitment to enter into dialogue with all interested parties to develop a modern and progressive response to women who offend in Scotland, and agrees with the view of the Commission on Women Offenders that it is imperative that mainstream service providers, such as health, education and housing work, recognise their responsibilities and work collaboratively with each other and with criminal justice partners to facilitate the provision of all necessary services to women offenders.”

S4M-12160.3 Margaret Mitchell: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Kezia Dugdale (Women Offenders), leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert “notes the decision of the Scottish Government to reverse its previously published plans for a female prison in Inverclyde; seeks clarity about the proposals for the new prison together with an explanation as to why this decision was taken so late in the day; further seeks information relating to the financial ramifications of the decision, and believes that the report produced by the Commission on Women Offenders led by Dame Elish Angiolini has constructive proposals for dealing with women offenders.”

S4M-12160.1 Alison McInnes: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Kezia Dugdale (Women Offenders), after “women offending” insert “; considers that further judicial training, greater judicial diversity and the establishment of a Scottish sentencing council would help ensure that sentencing is focused on rehabilitation and addresses the specific needs of women offenders”.

followed by Business Motions

S4M-12165 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

Tuesday 3 February 2015

2.00 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Topical Questions (if selected)

followed by Stage 1 Debate: Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill

followed by Financial Resolution: Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Wednesday 4 February 2015

2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.00 pm Portfolio Questions

Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights;
Fair Work, Skills and Training

followed by Stage 3 Proceedings: Budget (Scotland) (No. 4) Bill

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 5 February 2015

11.40 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

11.40 am General Questions

12.00 pm First Minister’s Questions

followed by Members’ Business

2.30 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2015-16 [draft]

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Working in Partnership to End the Practice of Female Genital Mutilation

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

Tuesday 17 February 2015

2.00 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Topical Questions (if selected)

followed by Scottish Government Business

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Wednesday 18 February 2015

2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.00 pm Portfolio Questions

Finance, Constitution and Economy

followed by Scottish Government Business

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 19 February 2015

11.40 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

11.40 am General Questions

12.00 pm First Minister’s Questions

followed by Members’ Business

2.30 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Stage 3 Proceedings: Community Charge Debt (Scotland) Bill

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

S4M-12166 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament agrees that consideration of the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill at stage 2 be completed by 30 January 2015.

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

S4M-12168 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2015 [draft]—That the Parliament agrees that the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Order 2015 [draft] be considered by the Parliament.

S4M-12183 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Suspension of Standing Orders—That the Parliament agrees that, for the purpose of consideration of the Community Charge Debt (Scotland) Bill:

(a) Rule 9.5.3A and Rule 9.5.3B of Standing Orders be suspended; and

(b) in Rule 9.10.2, the words “except on a final lodging-day, when amendments may be lodged only until 12:00” be suspended.

5.30 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Debate on the subject of—

S4M-11190 Kevin Stewart: Hepatitis C—That the Parliament notes that the blood-borne virus, hepatitis C, is a major cause of liver disease; understands that, in Scotland, an estimated 39,000 people, many unknowingly, are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), including many in Aberdeen; considers that the current Scottish administration and its predecessors have done much to highlight and prevent HCV infection and improve treatment by implementing the aims of the Hepatitis C Action Plan and the Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework; commends organisations such as the Hepatitis C Trust and Hepatitis Scotland on their efforts in advocating for people with HCV and lobbying on their behalf; believes that new treatments may offer opportunities, and welcomes what it sees as the Scottish Government, the NHS, the third sector and pharmaceutical companies continuing to cooperate in the fight to eradicate hepatitis C.

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