Section 9 — Screening: procedure

Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:15 pm on 9th November 2005.

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Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour 3:15 pm, 9th November 2005

Group 6 is on the settlement of disputes to do with screening. Amendment 13, in the name of Rosie Kane, is grouped with amendments 14 and 15.

Photo of Rosie Kane Rosie Kane SSP

The bill requires Scottish ministers to act as arbiters in the event of a dispute between the consultation authorities and the responsible authority, even if the Scottish Executive is the responsible authority. Clearly, in such a situation, a conflict of interests would arise, which means that an independent body must be established to act as an arbiter. The amendments will address the obvious conflict of interest. If the amendments do not pass, the Scottish ministers could be asked to be the arbiter in a dispute in which the Scottish Executive is one of the bodies in the dispute.

I move amendment 13.

Photo of Ross Finnie Ross Finnie Liberal Democrat

Rosie Kane is right. Section 9(7) attempts to provide a procedure for resolving disputes. The difficulty that we have with the amendments is that they require that an unspecified person or body would be appointed by agreement between the responsible authority and the consultation authorities. They make no provision as to how that person or body would be identified or, indeed, what duty might be placed on that person or body. I think that an interesting and difficult interpretation would be placed on the precise role of that unnamed person or body.

Although I understand where Rosie Kane is coming from, the amendments lack clarity and appear to be a heavy-handed approach to a situation in which the risks of conflict were generally regarded as being remote. That was not only my view but the view of the overwhelming majority of respondents to the consultation on the bill. It was broadly felt that Scottish ministers ought to determine cases of disagreement, which is what appears in the bill.

I ask members to resist amendments 13, 14 and 15.

Photo of Rosie Kane Rosie Kane SSP

I am shocked and flattered that the minister has twice today said that I am right. I am left, but I thank him anyway.

In the drafting of the bill, there have been many opportunities to discuss a specific body that could fill the position that the minister talks about. It is clear that we need such a body and it is a pity that, after all this time, there have been no moves to put one in place. The Scottish Executive would do well to support the amendment, as it would put it above suspicion and criticism if it were to find itself being one of the bodies in a dispute.

I will press amendment 13 and hope that Mr Finnie will once again tell his colleagues that I am right.

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour 3:30 pm, 9th November 2005

The question is, that amendment 13 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 7

For: Adam, Brian, Baird, Shiona, Ballance, Chris, Ballard, Mark, Canavan, Dennis, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Curran, Frances, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Fabiani, Linda, Fox, Colin, Gibson, Rob, Grahame, Christine, Harper, Robin, Harvie, Patrick, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Kane, Rosie, Leckie, Carolyn, Lochhead, Richard, Marwick, Tricia, Mather, Jim, Matheson, Michael, McFee, Mr Bruce, Morgan, Alasdair, Robison, Shona, Ruskell, Mr Mark, Scott, Eleanor, Stevenson, Stewart, Swinburne, John, Swinney, Mr John, Welsh, Mr Andrew
Against: Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Arbuckle, Mr Andrew, Baillie, Jackie, Baker, Richard, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brocklebank, Mr Ted, Brown, Robert, Brownlee, Derek, 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, Gordon, Mr Charlie, Gorrie, Donald, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Johnstone, Alex, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lyon, George, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, May, Christine, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McConnell, Mr Jack, McGrigor, Mr Jamie, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNulty, Des, Mitchell, Margaret, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Pringle, Mike, Radcliffe, Nora, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mike, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Scott, Tavish, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Margaret, Stone, Mr Jamie, Wallace, Mr Jim, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Abstentions: Turner, Dr Jean

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The result of the division is: For 33, Against 73, Abstentions 1.

Amendment 13 disagreed to.

[Amendment 14 moved—[Rosie Kane].]

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The question is, that amendment 14 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 8

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

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The result of the division is: For 34, Against 70, Abstentions 1.

Amendment 14 disagreed to.

[Amendment 15 moved—[Rosie Kane].]

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The question is, that amendment 15 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 9

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

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The result of the division is: For 32, Against 71, Abstentions 2.

Amendment 15 disagreed to.