Business Motion

– in the Scottish Parliament at 4:47 pm on 13th April 2005.

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Photo of George Reid George Reid None 4:47 pm, 13th April 2005

The next item of business is consideration of business motion S2M-2692, in the name of Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, setting out a business programme.

Motion moved,

That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business— Wednesday 20 April 2005

2.30 pm Time for Reflection followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by Stage 3 Proceedings: Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Bill followed by Business Motion followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by Members' Business Thursday 21 April 2005

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by Health Committee Debate: Access to Dental Health Services in Scotland

11.40 am General Question Time 12 noon First Minister's Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time— Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport; Finance and Public Services and Communities

2.55 pm Stage 3 Proceedings: Gaelic Language (Scotland) Bill followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by Members' Business Wednesday 27 April 2005

2.30 pm Time for Reflection followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by Executive Business followed by Business Motion followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by Members' Business Thursday 28 April 2005

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by Executive Business

11.40 am General Question Time 12 noon First Minister's Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time— Environment and Rural Development; Health and Community Care

2.55 pm Executive Business followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by Members' Business.—[Ms Margaret Curran.]

Photo of Mark Ballard Mark Ballard Green 5:00 pm, 13th April 2005

On 24 February, the Scottish Parliament agreed that the Executive should make a full statement on the intended use of identity databases by devolved institutions. In the partnership agreement and elsewhere, the Scottish Executive has made very clear its policy intentions on how ID cards should be used in Scotland.

I oppose today's business motion, because the Minister for Parliamentary Business has not yet made available time for a statement about the databases. This is not the time or the place for a discussion of the principle of ID cards and the databases. At issue is the principle of respecting the will of the Parliament in the timetabling of business. We need to know how the databases will be used by libraries, local authorities and other Scottish Executive departments and agencies. Could information on the databases be shared? Will devolved institutions have access to them? [Interruption.]

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

Order. There is too much noise.

Photo of Mark Ballard Mark Ballard Green

The Scottish Executive has made plans for ID cards and databases. The Parliament needs to know what those plans are. The Scottish Greens have raised the issue at First Minister's question time, in written questions, in points of order and at every Parliamentary Bureau meeting since the debate. In our view, it is an important point of principle that the Parliament should get this statement and should get it promptly.

The statement should not wait on a Westminster timetable, as it is not about Westminster. It is about a policy direction from the Scottish Executive on how it intends to deal with identity databases for devolved institutions. I am concerned that we will be told that we must wait on Westminster's timetable—that we must wait for the general election and the Queen's speech. That would make it very unlikely that Parliament could get a statement before the summer recess.

The Parliament took its decision back in February. [Interruption.]

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

Order. There is too much noise.

Photo of Mark Ballard Mark Ballard Green

It is unacceptable that the will of the Parliament should be made to wait until the autumn. I urge the Minister for Parliamentary Business to provide time for the statement, so that the agreed motion is respected and, most importantly, so that we may know how the Scottish Executive plans to implement databases in relation to devolved institutions here in Scotland. That is why the Greens will oppose the business motion this evening. We need this statement. Parliament must be respected. Will the minister respect Parliament?

Photo of Margaret Curran Margaret Curran Labour 5:03 pm, 13th April 2005

Of course I will respect Parliament. I always respect it and will continue to do so.

I pay proper respect to Mark Ballard, who has raised this issue in the Parliamentary Bureau. With relentless energy, he has also raised it with me on many occasions. I ask him to respond appropriately, because he must recognise that I have tried in good faith to address the issues that were raised in the motion to which the Parliament agreed. We aim to ensure that at all times we respond appropriately when the Parliament expresses a view.

I have ensured that constructive discussions have taken place. There have been discussions with ministers, so that members could be properly informed. I have done my utmost to ensure that we respond to the will of Parliament. However, like it or not, the Identity Cards Bill has been withdrawn at United Kingdom level. The Parliament's motion was a response to the work that was being done at that level, so it seems somewhat illogical for the Executive to be required to make a statement on its response to a UK bill that no longer exists. As the vast majority of members of the bureau recognise, that would be inappropriate activity for the Parliament at this time.

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

The question is, that motion S2M-2692, in the name of Margaret Curran, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 1

For: Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Davidson, Mr David, Deacon, Susan, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Fergusson, Alex, Finnie, Ross, Gillon, Karen, Glen, Marlyn, Godman, Trish, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Gorrie, Donald, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lyon, George, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Campbell, Martin, Paul, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McConnell, Mr Jack, McLetchie, David, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Milne, Mrs Nanette, Mitchell, Margaret, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Purvis, Jeremy, Radcliffe, Nora, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mike, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stone, Mr Jamie, Swinburne, John, Tosh, Murray, Wallace, Mr Jim, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Against: Adam, Brian, Baird, Shiona, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Byrne, Ms Rosemary, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Frances, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Fabiani, Linda, Fox, Colin, Gibson, Rob, Grahame, Christine, Harvie, Patrick, Ingram, Mr Adam, Kane, Rosie, Leckie, Carolyn, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Mather, Jim, Matheson, Michael, Maxwell, Mr Stewart, McFee, Mr Bruce, Morgan, Alasdair, Neil, Alex, Robison, Shona, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scott, Eleanor, Stevenson, Stewart, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, Mr John, Welsh, Mr Andrew
Abstentions: Turner, Dr Jean

Photo of George Reid George Reid None

The result of the division is: For 75, Against 33, Abstentions 1.

Motion agreed to.

That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business— Wednesday 20 April 2005

2.30 pm Time for Reflection followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by Stage 3 Proceedings: Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Bill followed by Business Motion followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by Members' Business Thursday 21 April 2005

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by Health Committee Debate: Access to Dental Health Services in Scotland

11.40 am General Question Time 12 noon First Minister's Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time— Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport; Finance and Public Services and Communities

2.55 pm Stage 3 Proceedings: Gaelic Language (Scotland) Bill followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by Members' Business Wednesday 27 April 2005

2.30 pm Time for Reflection followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by Executive Business followed by Business Motion followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by Members' Business Thursday 28 April 2005

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions followed by Executive Business

11.40 am General Question Time 12 noon First Minister's Question Time

2.15 pm Themed Question Time— Environment and Rural Development; Health and Community Care

2.55 pm Executive Business followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time followed by Members' Business.