The next item of business is business motion S1M-2489, in the name of Euan Robson. If any member wants to speak against the motion, they should indicate that now. I call on Euan Robson to move the motion.
Before I move the motion, Presiding Officer, I must explain that the change to tomorrow's business is to allow for the election of a new Deputy Presiding Officer, following the resignation of Patricia Ferguson.
12.30 pm Election of Deputy Presiding Officer
(b) the following programme of business Wednesday 5 December 2001
2.30 pm Time for Reflection followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by Equal Opportunities Committee Inquiry into Gypsy Travellers and Public Services followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions
Thursday 6 December 2001
9.30 am Stage 1 Debate on the Water Industry (Scotland) Bill followed by Financial Resolution in respect of the Water Industry (Scotland) Bill
12.00 noon Ministerial Statement followed by Business Motion
2.30 pm Question Time
3.10 pm First Minister's Question Time
3.30 pm Executive Debate on Improving Scotland's Youth Justice System to Build Safer Communities followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions
5.00 pm Decision Time followed by Members' Business - debate on the
2.30 pm Time for Reflection followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by Executive Business followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions
5.00 pm Decision Time followed by Members' Business Thursday 13 December 2001
9.30 am Scottish National Party Business followed by Business Motion
2.30 pm Question Time
3.10 pm First Minister's Question Time
3.30 pm Executive Debate on Fisheries followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions
5.00 pm Decision Time followed by Members' Business and (c) that Stage 2 of the Scottish Local Government (Elections) Bill be completed by 4 December 2001 and that Stage 2 of the Sexual Offences (Procedure and Evidence) (Scotland) Bill be completed by 19 December 2001.
As members might be aware, at the weekend there was a suspension of payments awarded in Scotland in respect of individual learning accounts, which has major implications for the college sector, for companies and for individual trainees. Would it be possible to have a ministerial statement tomorrow on the future of ILAs?
Division number 10
For: Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Eadie, Helen, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Fabiani, Linda, Ferguson, Patricia, Fergusson, Alex, Finnie, Ross, Fitzpatrick, Brian, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Hamilton, Mr Duncan, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Hyslop, Fiona, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Jenkins, Ian, Johnstone, Alex, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, MacKay, Angus, MacLean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, McAllion, Mr John, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McIntosh, Mrs Lyndsay, McLeod, Fiona, McLetchie, David, McMahon, Mr Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNulty, Des, Monteith, Mr Brian, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mr Mike, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Scott, Tavish, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stone, Mr Jamie, Thomson, Elaine, Tosh, Mr Murray, Wallace, Ben, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan, Young, John
Against: Adam, Brian, Canavan, Dennis, Ewing, Fergus, Gibson, Mr Kenneth, Ingram, Mr Adam, Lochhead, Richard, MacDonald, Ms Margo, Marwick, Tricia, Matheson, Michael, McGugan, Irene, Morgan, Alasdair, Neil, Alex, Paterson, Mr Gil, Reid, Mr George, Robison, Shona, Russell, Michael, Stevenson, Stewart, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, Mr John, Ullrich, Kay, Welsh, Mr Andrew, Wilson, Andrew
I want to make an announcement to the chamber. The business motion, which members have just agreed to, sets out a voting period for the election of a Deputy Presiding Officer. The period for nominations is from 12 noon to 12.15 tomorrow. It would be helpful if nominations were received nearer to 12 noon than to 12.15, because ballot papers must be printed. Nomination forms will be available from the clerks in room 5.16 in parliamentary headquarters and should be lodged with the clerks in the Presiding Officers' outer room of the assembly hall behind where I sit.
The election will be held at 12.30 tomorrow. Unlike any other election that we hold in the Parliament, it will be conducted by secret ballot. That is so that none of us knows who votes against us and we can retain our impartiality. Any two members may nominate a candidate. Thereafter, the rules that govern voting for candidates are similar to the procedures for the selection of a nominee for First Minister. Tomorrow's business bulletin will provide further details on the election procedures.
I hope that members will allow me to take the opportunity to express my personal thanks and, I hope, those of the Parliament to Patricia Ferguson for her period of service as Deputy Presiding Officer. [Applause.]
I want to say a wee bit more. The Deputy Presiding Officers undertake a great deal of work that is not known to the public and is probably not known to many members. Patricia Ferguson launched our education service, which has been one of the great successes of the Parliament. She hosts many overseas visits and shared conferences in the chamber. She led the all-party delegation to the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body. She has led twice the all-party delegation to tartan day in Washington. She chaired the Scottish Commission for Public Audit. Not least, at my request—members might bear this in mind when they are buying Christmas presents—she has been responsible for the quality of the products in our shop.
We thank Patricia Ferguson very much indeed. I give her my warm thanks for her service as Deputy Presiding Officer.