Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 18:26 UK

Holyrood votes, June 2007-08

Scottish Parliament building

HOLYROOD VOTE ON THURSDAY 26 JUNE, 2008

MSPs unanimously backed a proposal for a committee Bill, as set out in a report on the Scottish Parliamentary pension scheme.

MSPs also unanimously agreed to note the conclusions and recommendations in the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee's report on flooding and flood management.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON THURSDAY 19 JUNE, 2008

MSPs agreed a motion by public safety minister Fergus Ewing which recognised the need to support victims of offending.

It further considered that communities, the voluntary sector, the private sector, public services, local authorities and the Scottish Government should work together to prevent offending and intervene early with children and families at risk.

An amendment by Labour's Pauline McNeill recognising the important role of the Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2003 and calling for the further roll out of youth courts across Scotland was voted down 63-58.

A Tory amendment in the name of Bill Aitken recommending an increase in disposals available to SCRA, such as an extension of drug treatment and testing orders which would enable it to intervene more effectively was voted down 104-16.

A Lib Dem amendment by Mike Pringle calling on the Scottish Government to introduce children's rights impact assessments to show how government decisions impact on the rights and wellbeing of children was voted down 103-7.

A motion by Tory Jamie McGrigor that the general principles of the Scottish register of Tartans Bill be agreed was unanimously accepted by MSPs.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON WEDNESDAY 18 JUNE, 2008

MSPs agreed the general principles of the Creative Scotland Bill - but then voted down its financial memorandum, by 68 votes to 49 with no abstentions.

Parliamentary Business Minister Bruce Crawford unsuccessfully tried to withdraw the memorandum and bring it back at a later date.

After the financial memorandum was voted down, Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson told MSPs: "The standing orders are quite clear - the Bill falls."


HOLYROOD VOTE ON THURSDAY 12 JUNE, 2008

After a debate on education, MSPs backed by 71 votes to 46 with one abstention an amendment calling on First Minister Alex Salmond to confirm to parliament whether education directors were correct in estimating that cutting P1-3 class sizes to 18 would need £360m for more classrooms and £62m for annual running costs.

A Tory amendment condemning a strike ballot decision by the EIS conference was defeated by 102 votes to 15 with one abstention and an SNP amendment asserting the concordat deal with local government would deliver "real benefits" for pupils was defeated by 68 votes to 46 with three abstentions.

A Labour motion calling on Mr Salmond to "clarify" the cost and timescale of the pledge to cut class sizes was passed by 54 votes to 48 with 16 abstentions.

A debate on bus transport ended in defeat for all parties.

An amendment by Green MSP Patrick Harvie to a Labour motion calling on the government to consult on a range of options for the future of bus services was passed by 86 votes to 15 with 16 abstentions.

A Lib Dem amendment to the Labour motion calling for concessionary bus travel to be extended was defeated by 61 votes to 56 with one abstention.

A Tory amendment to the Labour motion voicing "concern" at fare increases caused by fuel price rises and calling for a review of bus operator grants was passed by 61 votes to 56.

An SNP amendment to the Tory amendment condemning the "failure" of Westminster to respond to rising oil prices was passed by 61 votes to 41 with 16 abstentions.

But the heavily amended Labour motion, which criticised the decision not to increase the bus operator grant and which also called for an extension of the concessionary travel scheme, was defeated by 68 votes to 48 votes with one abstention.

After a debate on allowances, MSPs backed by 69 votes to 42 with two abstentions an overhaul of the allowances system which, among other provisions, will scrap the Edinburgh accommodation allowance.

An amendment by Labour's Jackie Baillie which would have implemented a two-tier system of allowances for list and constituency MSPs was defeated by 74 votes to 39 with two abstentions.

An amendment by the SNP's Tricia Marwick creating a single tier scheme for list and constituency MSPs by splitting the difference between the two sets of figures was backed by 69 votes to 44 with one abstention.

An amendment by Margo MacDonald which would have created a single tier system for all MSPs, set at the higher of the two proposed levels, was defeated by 105 votes to seven with three abstentions.

After a debate on final stage of the Public Health (Scotland) Bill, the legislation was unanimously agreed.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON WEDNESDAY 11 JUNE, 2008

MSPs backed a Scottish Government motion welcoming the introduction of the small business bonus scheme.

Members rejected a Labour amendment which argued the scheme was not the most effective way of stimulating the economy by 39 votes to 78.

A Conservative amendment, welcoming the acceleration of the scheme, was passed by 79 votes to zero with 38 abstentions.

MSPs also backed, by 55 to 16 with 46 abstentions, a Liberal Democrat amendment which called on the government to commission an independent assessment of scheme, along with the previous Holyrood administration's business rate reduction measures, in 2010.

The government motion, as amended, was passed by 81 votes to zero with 37 abstentions.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON THURSDAY 5 JUNE, 2008

An SNP motion praising the work of a steering group on rural healthcare was agreed by parliament.

A Tory amendment asking the government to ensure those living in rural areas were not disadvantaged for ambulance provision was also agreed without a recorded vote.

MSPs also backed a Lib Dem amendment calling on the government to set up a committee to led work on developing a formula for health board funding.

A Labour amendment voicing concern over the funding of rural health boards was defeated by 79 votes to 40.

After a debate on infrastructure investment and SNP motion welcoming efforts to deliver better value was passed by 66 votes to 54.

A Labour amendment calling for an end to the "confusion" surrounding the Scottish Futures Trust was defeated by 66 votes to 54.

A Tory amendment calling for regular progress reports, and for the government to finalise details of the Scottish Futures Trust as soon as possible, was carried by 65 votes to 54 with one abstention.

A Lib Dem amendment calling for a statement before the summer recess of the funding method and timetable for the new Forth crossing was defeated by 64 votes to 54 with one abstention.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON WEDNESDAY 4 JUNE, 2008

MSPs agreed a Scottish Government motion welcoming publication of its recent drugs strategy, road to recovery, and the vision that recovery should be the guiding principle for services.

They also agreed to back the action set out in the strategy to tackle the problem in communities, prisons and protect children affected by parental substance misuse.

A Lib Dem amendment calling on the government to provide necessary leadership and resources was accepted.

A Labour amendment calling for more targets in the strategy, an increase in the justice and health budgets, as well as stronger enforcement against drug dealers was voted down 64-57.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON THURSDAY 29 MAY, 2008

A Scottish Government motion on the Moving Scotland Forward programme was amended by Labour to condemn the self congratulation and lack of positive policies for the future in a statement by the first minister earlier this month.

A Tory amendment on calling for the Nationalist administration to work closely with Westminster to demonstrate the benefits of the Union was also accepted.

MSPs also voted through a government motion backing plans to consult on the health check of the Common Agricultural Policy and its longer term implementation in Scotland.

A Labour amendment ensuring agriculture played its part in the viability of rural communities was also passed, along with a Tory amendment affirming that any increase in EU-wide modulation rates should be matched by a corresponding deduction in voluntary modulation.

A Lib Dem motion calling for a review of the Scottish Rural Development Programme was also backed.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON THURSDAY 22 MAY, 2008

MSPs backed a Labour motion calling on the Scottish Government to bring forward a revised skills strategy.

Members rejected by 47 votes to 71 with two abstentions a government amendment noting support from businesses and industry for their skills strategy.

And they backed by 71 votes to 47 with two abstentions a Tory amendment which called for the revised strategy to contain details of how all pupils aged 14 and over would access high quality vocational education.

But a Liberal Democrat amendment, expressing regret at the £16m start-up costs for skills body Skills Development Scotland while specific funding for skills for work courses was removed, was defeated by 57 votes to 63.

In a confirmatory vote MSPs backed the Labour motion, as amended, by 70 votes to 47, with two abstentions.

MSPs also backed unanimously without a vote a Labour motion that there should be independent scrutiny of the Ambulance Service.

And they unanimously supported an amendment from the government which said it would welcome Holyrood's Health and Sport Committee carrying out a review.

A further amendment from the Liberal Democrats, calling on health secretary Nicola Sturgeon to make a statement to the Scottish Parliament on the use of single person crews, was also unanimously backed.

MSPs also unanimously supported a government motion looking forward to the development of a "strong and effective partnership for action" to tackle wildlife crime.

A Labour amendment which called on the government to produce an action plan, including a timetable for the implementation of the Tomkins report, was backed by all MSPs.

But a Liberal Democrat amendment which called on chief constables, the Crown Office and the government to outline specific steps they would take ensure the speedy and effective implementation of the recommendations was defeated by 16 votes to 102 with two abstentions.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON WEDNESDAY 21 MAY, 2008

MSPs unanimously backed a Scottish Government motion highlighting their work to improve hepatitis C services for patients.

A Labour amendment commending the hard work of staff involved in delivering 40 out of 41 action points in the first phase of the hepatitis C Action Plan was also unanimously passed.

And a Liberal Democrat amendment highlighting work to raise awareness of hepatitis C among professionals, the public and those at risk of infection was backed unanimously.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON THURSDAY 15 MAY, 2008

MSPs backed an amended Scottish Government motion on free personal care for the elderly

The SNP motion called ministers to "pursue vigorously" with the UK Government the reinstatement of £30 million attendance allowance funding.

A Conservative amendment which called for councils to refund charges for food preparation was passed by 75 votes to zero, with 47 abstentions.

A Liberal Democrat amendment calling for the source of additional funding for the policy to be identified in next year's budget was unanimously backed.

A Labour amendment, which called on the Scottish Government to enter into discussions with Westminster as part of its review of social care, was defeated by 59 to 63.

In a final vote, MSPs backed the motion as amended by 79 to 43.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON WEDNESDAY 14 MAY, 2008

MSPs unanimously backed the general principles of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Bill.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 8 MAY, 2008

MSPs backed a Labour housing motion which stated there were a broad range of issues which must be tackled to meet the diverse housing needs of people across Scotland.

An amendment from the Scottish Government, urging ministers to bring forward a coherent strategy for all of Scotland's housing needs, was defeated by 48 to 75 with one abstention.

A Tory amendment regretting the failure of the government to actively promote housing stock transfer was passed by 74 votes to 46 with three abstentions.

A Liberal Democrat amendment which expressed "regret" that ministers had failed to come forward with clear figures on its housing plan was also passed, with MSPs voting 74 to 48 in favour, with one abstention.

The Labour motion, as amended, was then passed by 74 votes to 48, with one abstention.

A government motion welcoming the opportunity to debate plans to deliver better public services by reducing duplication bureaucracy and overlaps was backed by MSPs.

A Conservative amendment which said there was scope for continuous improvement in the design and delivery of public services was passed by 63 votes to 46 with 16 abstentions.

A Labour amendment which claimed public service cuts all over Scotland were undermining services and claimed these were the result of a failure to invest by the government was defeated by 45 votes to 64 with 16 abstentions.

And MSPs also rejected, by 60 votes to 65, a Liberal Democrat amendment which claimed ministers had adopted a "superficial approach" which appeared to be driven by "numerical and financial targets alone rather then principles of good governance".

MSPs passed the government motion, as amended, by 63 votes to 60, with two abstentions.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 7 MAY, 2008

MSPs backed a government motion welcoming its international framework by 76 votes to 46, with two abstentions.

A Labour amendment which stressed that international development should be as a key priority was passed by 79 votes to zero, with 46 abstentions.

And a Conservative amendment which pressed the need to "make full use of the UK resources" at Scotland's disposal was also passed by 77 votes to 48.

MSPs also backed a Liberal Democrat amendment which said they did not believe international framework should contain any reference to Scottish independence, again by 77 votes to 48.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 24 APRIL, 2008

MSPs backed a government motion stating the Curriculum for Excellence was the "ideal vehicle" to give young people an understanding of and skills needed for the modern world.

A Labour amendment, calling for funding to be used specifically for Holocaust education, was defeated by 57 votes to 64.

An amendment from the Liberal Democrats, which called for a comprehensive national languages strategy, including a programme to introduce a second language into primary education, was passed by 58 votes to 16, with 47 abstentions.

MSPs then passed the motion, as amended, by 104 votes to 16, with one abstention.

MSPs also unanimously backed a motion on behalf of Holyrood's local government committee noting the conclusions and recommendations of their report on the planning application processes at the Menie Estate, in Aberdeenshire.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 23 APRIL, 2008

MSPs unanimously supported a Scottish Government motion recognising the "unique relationship" between local councils and Historic Scotland and welcoming initiatives to modernise and simplify that relationship.

A Labour amendment, stressing the importance of ensuring the skills required to maintain historic buildings are available and also stating that proper account be taken of disability rights and climate change objectives, was passed by 100 votes to zero, with 16 abstentions.

A Liberal Democrat amendment, encouraging Historic Scotland to work with councils to improve consultation with communities on the designation of listed buildings, was backed unanimously.

And a Conservative amendment, calling for a more compatible approach to resolving disputes, particularly where Historic Scotland had "no realistic means of funding its desired preservation or conservation outcomes" was rejected by 18 votes to 44, with 54 abstentions.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 17 APRIL, 2008

A Green motion describing the present local government taxation system as "discredited, bureaucratic and unfair" and calling for substantial changes to the local tax system was passed by 65 votes to 61 with no abstentions.

A Labour motion rejecting SNP proposals for a local income tax as neither fair nor local was defeated by 65 votes to 62.

After a debate on the voluntary sector, a Tory amendment calling on the Scottish Government to cut regulation in the sector was passed by 81 votes to 46.

A Scottish Government amendment on ensuring a "strong role" for the voluntary sector, and saying that an exemption from water rates should be further extended, was passed by 66 votes to 61.

A Liberal Democrat amendment saying the government/council "concordat" should be reviewed after its first year was passed by 64 votes to 62 with one abstention.

A Labour motion asserting that cuts in council budgets would lead to cuts to the voluntary sector was defeated by 80 votes to 47.

MSPs backed by assent a motion by public health minister Shona Robison asking Parliament to agree the general principles of the Public Health (Scotland) Bill.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 16 APRIL, 2008

MSPs agreed to note the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Justice Committee's report on the inquiry into effective use of police resources.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 27 MARCH, 2008

MSPs rejected a Tory motion recommending nothing further be done under the Home Detention Curfew Licence (Prescribed Standard Conditions)(Scotland) (No. 2) Order, by 58 votes to 66.

Members also approved the Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment Order 2008 by 107 votes to one, with 16 abstentions.

A Liberal Democrat amendment, regretting cuts to council services and claiming these were a direct consequence of the finance settlement councils received from the Scottish Government, was defeated by 58 votes to 65 with one abstention.

MSPs unanimously agreed a government motion welcoming the review of fatal accident inquiries.

And they also unanimously backed a Lib Dem amendment stating there was a pressing need to enable inquiries into the deaths of military personnel normally living in Scotland to be held in Scotland.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 26 MARCH, 2008

MSPs unanimously backed a Scottish Government motion on tackling healthcare acquired infections.

Members supported by 96 votes to zero, with 16 abstentions, a Labour amendment which urged the government to commit to tackling all healthcare associated infections, not just MRSA, and also noted the importance of combating infections in care homes.

MSPs then unanimously backed the government motion, which highlighted the investment of #54 million to support a "far more intensive and targeted" three-year programme to tackle healthcare associated infection.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 20 MARCH, 2008

The Scottish Government suffered two defeats, on housing and education.

A third debate, on marine conservation, ended in victories for all parties, with all amendments being passed.

In the housing debate MSPs backed, by 78 votes to 46 with one abstention, a Labour motion calling on the government to make a statement to Parliament "clarifying" its manifesto pledge of a £2,000 grant for first-time buyers.

A Liberal Democrat amendment saying a government target of a 9% increase in affordable housing was too little was passed by 79 votes to 46.

A Tory amendment calling on ministers to encourage councils to bring forward plans for housing stock transfers was defeated by 64 votes to 61.

A government amendment attacking the "failure" of the previous administration to tackle housing shortages was defeated by 77 votes to 46 with two abstentions.

In the education debate, a Labour motion "deploring" an alleged decision to axe the Schools of Ambition programme was passed by 77 votes to 48.

A Tory amendment calling for funding for schools of ambition to continue to be provided direct to schools was passed by 77 votes to 46 with two abstentions.

A Lib Dem amendment calling for extra incentives for heads to improve their schools, including greater rewards for "outstanding" leadership, was passed by 77 votes to 46 with two abstentions.

A government amendment recognising that funding for Schools of Ambition has been increased for the period 2008-11, and noting that conference would be held this summer to share lessons from the programmes, was defeated by 76 votes to 49.

In the marine debate, a government motion asking MSPs to welcome a commitment to consult on proposals for marine planning, conservation and sea fisheries was passed by 111 votes in favour to none against, with 14 abstentions.

A Labour amendment calling on the government to accelerate the timetable for a Marine Bill and to work constructively with Westminster on new legislation was passed by 110 votes to 15 with no abstentions.

A Lib Dem amendment stating Scotland should have responsibility out to 200 nautical miles for "marine spatial planning", fisheries and marine nature conservation, including a network of marine protected areas, was passed by 108 votes to one against with 16 abstentions.

A Green amendment calling for the marine protected areas to meet Scotland's obligations under international agreements was passed by 109 votes to 16 with no abstentions.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 19 MARCH, 2008

MSPs backed, by assent, a motion by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon asking parliament to agree to let Westminster legislate on Scotland's behalf on certain aspects of the Housing and Regeneration Bill now going through the Commons.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 13 MARCH, 2008

MSPs passed an amended Liberal Democrat motion on the Borders rail line by 64 votes to 61.

The Lib Dem motion condemned the Scottish Government for cancelling funding for the project and called on ministers to commit to funding the capital costs and to take forward the construction of the line without delay.

However MSPs backed, by 64 votes to 61, a Tory amendment which changed that to state that parliament noted its regret over the delay in the project and the cost increases and called on the government to work with Transport Scotland and others to ensure it was completed as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

They also passed, by 81 votes to 44, an amendment from the government commending the 450,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide saved by the project.

A Labour amendment, calling for funding for the capital costs of the line to be reinstated so construction could proceed without delay and demanding ministers appear before parliamentary committees to answer questions over the delivery of the project, its escalating costs and the proposed funding arrangements, was defeated by 80 votes to 45.

A Lib Dem motion on fuel poverty, calling on the government to consider introducing a local tax rebate as an incentive for householders to invest in energy efficiency and changes to planning rules to make it easier to install small scale renewable energy devices, was backed by MSPs.

They also supported, unanimously, a Labour amendment recognising the need to support organisations providing advice to those affected by fuel poverty.

A government amendment calling on ministers to make a statement to parliament on progress to more effectively address fuel poverty was defeated by 76 votes to 48, with one abstention.

A Conservative amendment, calling on the government to ensure the central heating programme was reaching those who needed it most, was rejected by 109 votes to 16.

In a final vote, the Liberal Democrat motion as amended was passed by 65 votes to 15 with 45 abstentions.

MSPs also backed an amended government motion noting the forthcoming strategic review of Scotland's two national parks.

A Labour amendment, which said the review should look at the effectiveness of the parks in achieving the objectives of the National Parks (Scotland) Act and whether the boundaries of the parks should be reviewed, was agreed unanimously.

And a Tory amendment, calling for the government to address concerns about the structural effectiveness of the national park authorities and to address issues over the southern boundary of the Cairngorms National Park, was also backed - with 109 MSPs voting in favour and 16 abstaining.

A Lib Dem amendment stating the review should retain both national park authorities as national bodies with at least five directly elected board members was defeated by 64 votes to 60 with one abstention.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 12 MARCH, 2008

MSPs backed, by 62 votes to 58 with one abstention, a motion suggesting nothing further be done under a provision of the 2008 Home Detention Curfew Licence Order relating to some long term prisoners.

They also backed, by 65 votes to 60 with no abstentions, a motion approving another provision of the same order relating to short term prisoners.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 6 MARCH, 2008

A motion by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill pledging a "modern and robust" framework of laws on rape and sexual offences was agreed by assent.

A Labour amendment urging the government to seek agree a timetable with the parliament's justice committee for proper scrutiny of the proposed legislation was also agreed by assent.

A motion by Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead welcoming a report on rural Scotland by the OECD was passed by assent.

A Labour amendment to this, voicing "concern" that Scottish Government budget decisions could set back progress in rural policy, was defeated by 65 votes to 58, with one abstention.

A Tory amendment urging action to address specific concerns in the OECD report was agreed by assent.

A Liberal Democrat amendment asserting the government cut in funding for rural development and affordable house did not match the report's recommendations was defeated by 64 votes to 59, with no abstentions.

A motion by Holyrood's standards committee on a report on diversity in public appointments was agreed by assent.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 27 FEBRUARY, 2008

MSPS backed the general principles of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Bill.

They also agreed to support the financial resolution of the bill.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 21 FEBRUARY, 2008

MSPs passed a Labour amendment supporting the retention of Scottish Water under public ownership but keep it under review by 87 votes to 32.

It replaced the text of a Tory motion calling for alternative forms of ownership for Scottish Water, including mutualisation, to be considered.

The final amended motion was agreed by 86 votes to 33.

MSPs also agreed a Tory motion, noting the importance of a criminal justice system in which the public has confidence in, by 64 votes to 55.

An SNP amendment noting Scotland's high imprisonment rate, welcoming the McLeish Commission into penal policy and acknowledging government plans to build new prisons was agreed by 64 votes to 55.

A Liberal Democrat amendment noting the need to cut the number of short-term sentences and improve treatment for prisoners with mental health problems or drink and drug addictions was passed by 64 votes to 55.

However, a Labour amendment calling for greater investment in community sentences, alternatives to prison for women and a report on how the plans for new prisons are progressing was rejected by 76 votes to 41 with two abstentions.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 20 FEBRUARY, 2008

A legislative consent motion agreeing to let Westminster legislate on information-sharing and other consequences of the UK Education and Skills Bill was passed by assent.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 7 FEBRUARY, 2008

MSPs unanimously passed a Scottish Government motion acknowledging the contribution made by commercial forestry to the economy and the need to support its continued development.

A Labour amendment noting the role Scotland's woodland plays in tackling climate change and helping biodiversity was also passed by assent.

MSPs also agreed by assent a Tory amendment welcoming the government's reaffirming of the target to have 25% of the country covered by woodland.

A Liberal Democrat amendment highlighting the role forestry can play in renewable energy and biomass generation was also passed unanimously.

The local government finance settlement was also agreed by parliament by 107 votes to zero, with 15 abstentions.

Regulations putting single seller surveys in place for house sales were approved by 106 votes to 16.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 6 FEBRUARY, 2008

The Scottish Government's budget was approved by 64 votes to one, with 60 abstentions.

A Labour amendment calling on ministers to seek ways of expanding skills, training and modern apprenticeships and secure national minimum standards of service for the vulnerable, was backed by 110 votes two one, with 13 abstentions.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 31 JANUARY, 2008

MSPs agreed a motion by schools minister Maureen Watt stressing the importance of Scottish history in the school curriculum, welcoming the opportunities in the Curriculum for Excellence and noting the recent decision by the SQA to make history a compulsory part of the higher exam in Scotland.

Parliament also voted in favour of a Labour amendment calling on the Scottish Government to take action to tackle basic literacy and numeracy.

A Tory amendment that Scottish history is taught in context alongside British, European and world history was also agreed along with a Lib Dem amendment that history be taught without political interference.

MSPs also agreed that parts of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill relating to investigation of bribery and corruption by foreign officers, violent offender orders and repatriation of prisoners - which fall within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament - should be considered by the UK Parliament.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 24 JANUARY, 2008

MSPs tonight backed, by assent, a motion nominating Kevin Dunion to be reappointed as Scottish information commissioner for a four-year term.

In a debate on dormant bank accounts, a Liberal Democrat amendment seeking a "clear statement of intent" from ministers that funding for children and young people's services should be a priority for cash raised from this source was defeated by 65 votes to 17 with 45 abstentions.

MSPs backed, by assent, a resolution by enterprise minister Jim Mather agreeing the Scottish provisions of UK legislation on dormant accounts should be considered by the Westminster Parliament.

MSPs also backed by assent a Labour amendment calling for a "full and open consultation" on how the cash should be distributed.

In a debate on biodiversity, a motion by Environment Minister Mike Russell saying "continued effort" was needed on biodiversity was backed by assent.

A Labour amendment calling on the Scottish Government to confirm a commitment to meeting 2010 targets on biodiversity was passed by assent, as was a Lib Dem amendment calling for bodies in that field to be formally involved in strategy.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 23 JANUARY, 2008

MSPs voted in favour of the general principles of the Scottish Government's budget.

Members at Holyrood backed an amendment by the Finance Committee, calling on the Scottish Government to bring forward proposals to increase police recruitment and to consider bigger than the planned cuts in business rates by 65 to one, with 62 abstentions.

A Labour amendment, putting forward a raft of additions including 15,000 more modern apprenticeships, more funding for universities, boosting police numbers and vocational training, was defeated by 46 votes to 82.

And a Liberal Democrat amendment, branding the proposals a "budget of SNP broken promises" and expressing concern that the budget would lead to cuts in public services, was also defeated by 62 votes to 66.

MSPs passed the budget as amended at stage one by 64 to 62 with two abstentions.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 17 JANUARY, 2008

MSPs voted 73-51 to reject a Scottish Government motion to engage with a range of bodies to re-energise the UK debate, started in 2004 but not progressed, on reform of the existing firearms regime into a system that is simpler to understand.

A Labour amendment calling for ministers to engage constructively with the UK Government to better control and reduce serious and violent crime in Scotland was also rejected by 64 to 59 votes, while a Tory amendment noting that firearms legislation is reserved to Westminster was also voted down, 49 to 44.

Parliament also voted 63-58 in favour of backing the Scottish Government's anti-nuclear stance.

The government motion also backed provisions in Westminster's Energy Bill, in relation to promotion of renewable energy which will allow the Scottish Parliament to determine levels of support for emerging technologies.

It also recognised the potential of carbon capture and storage for reducing carbon emissions and supports further dialogue with the UK Government on exercise of powers in relation to regulation of carbon storage.

A Lib Dem amendment acknowledging the importance of micro generation and biomass to Scotland was carried by 64 to 16 votes.

An amendment in the name of Labour's Lewis Macdonald that the government should not rule out any form of energy was rejected, 64 to 59, while a Tory amendment calling for more emphasis on decentralised energy was also voted down, by 62 to 59.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 16 JANUARY, 2008

Opposition parties tonight inflicted a series of defeats on the SNP in a vote on education.

But despite the defeats, the SNP managed to get its own motion passed by MSPs, following a debate prompted by an OECD report on Scottish education.

MSPs passed by 55 votes to 47 with 19 abstentions a Labour amendment which "regretted" that the government had failed to address some priorities like literacy and numeracy, and accusing it of failing to deliver on key manifesto pledges.

A Tory amendment calling for more autonomy in school management, more emphasis on basic skills in England and maths, and more vocational opportunities was passed by 57 votes to 46 with 18 abstentions.

A Liberal Democrat amendment saying the OECD recommendations should be the priority of the Scottish Government was passed by 106 votes to 15 with no abstentions.

The final SNP motion which incorporated the amendments, and which said the OECD report was a valuable base for debating Scotland's educational policies, was passed by 59 votes to 46 with 16 abstentions.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 10 JANUARY, 2008

MSPs backed an SNP amendment on a Labour debate on the 2007 spending review.

Members voted by 64 to 60 in favour of the Nationalist amendment, which looked forward to the ring fencing of council funding being replaced with new outcome agreements, with one abstention.

A Tory amendment, calling on all parties to participate in a review of the budget process when it was carried out, was also passed by 81 votes to 44.

A Liberal Democrat amendment stating that the SNP budget "failed to provide the appropriate level of detail and transparency", fell.

In a confirmatory vote, MSPs backed the amended motion by 63 votes to 61, with one abstention.

MSPs also voted, by 107 to 16 with two abstentions, in favour of a Labour amendment calling for the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament to have powers for the administration of its own elections, and for the proposed Scottish Constitutional Commission to consider the full legislative framework for the Scottish Parliament elections.

A Tory amendment supporting the decoupling of the Holyrood and local government elections was also passed, by 109 votes 16.

MSPs rejected a Liberal Democrat amendment calling for the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections to be carried out under the STV voting system by 18 votes to 59 with 48 abstentions.

In a final, confirmatory vote the amended Government motion was backed by 109 to 15.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 9 JANUARY, 2008

MSPs passed, by 72 votes to 49 with no abstentions, a Liberal Democrat amendment regretting the Scottish Government's "continued failure" to implement an SNP election promise of 1,000 extra police.

The amendment was to an SNP motion on serious and organised crime, which supported further measures to ensure criminals were stripped of their profits. The amended motion was carried by 72 votes to 48 with one abstention.

A Labour amendment calling on the government to ensure enough resources to implement the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act was agreed by assent.

MSPs also agreed by assent a motion by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon, agreeing that Westminster should consider aspects of the UK Health and Social Care Bill relating to the regulation of healthcare professions in Scotland.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 20 DECEMBER, 2007

MSPs passed the Abolition of Bridge Tolls (Scotland) Bill at the final stage, by 122 votes to 3, with one abstention.

Parliament also voted in favour of the general principles of the Graduate Endowment Abolition (Scotland) Bill by 65 votes to 60.

A Liberal Democrat amendment placing a statutory duty on ministers to provide student support was passed by 65 votes to 16, with 45 abstentions.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 19 DECEMBER, 2007

An SNP motion saying the Parliament believed the UK Government should hold a referendum on the EU Reform Treaty was carried by 64 votes to 17 with 45 abstentions.

A Labour amendment welcoming the signing of the treaty, and saying it would allow the EU to move on from debates about institutions and concentrate on "fundamental challenges" like climate change and terrorism, was defeated by 64 votes to 61 with one abstention.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 13 DECEMBER, 2007

A Liberal Democrat motion rejecting the abolition of sportscotland, noting the body's work and the importance of grass roots sport was passed by 81 votes to 44.

A Tory amendment adding that any proposals to improve the body should not be prejudiced was passed without going to a recorded vote.

However, a Scottish Government amendment noting that sportscotland in under review and there should be a parliamentary debate on its future was defeated by 79 votes to 45.

A separate Lib Dem motion calling on the Scottish Government not to let personal information join the UK ID database, for spot checks on how agencies handle data and that there should be no blanket retention of DNA was agreed by 64 votes to one, with 60 abstentions.

An amendment put forward by Green MSP Patrick Harvie, that personal information is not held for longer than necessary and in compliance with individuals' rights and for a review of Senior Citizens Accounts, was agreed by 64 votes to 16 with 42 abstentions.

A Tory amendment calling for money earmarked for the introduction of ID cards to be spent on a UK border police force, more prison places or more drug rehabilitation places was defeated by 18 votes to 16 with 91 abstention.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 12 DECEMBER, 2007

A Scottish Government motion recognising the role woodlands and green spaces in promoting health and wellbeing was passed by assent.

A Tory amendment further recognising their economic significance and the need to support the expansion of Scotland's commercial forestry sector was also agreed without a vote.

An amendment, brought forward by Labour, noting revisions to draft regulations protecting open spaces drawn up by the previous Executive was rejected by 62 votes to 54.

MSPs also rejected a Liberal Democrat amendment by 62 votes to 53, which called for the Scottish Government to commit long-term funding towards better public access to urban and rural woodlands.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 6 DECEMBER, 2007

A Labour motion backing the creation of an independently-chaired commission to review devolution, proposing a remit, and instructing Holyrood's corporate body to allocate funding for it, was backed by 76 votes to 46 with three abstentions.

An SNP amendment asserting that independence offered the best future and supporting a referendum on independence, no change, or more powers was defeated by 76 votes to 46 with three abstentions.

An SNP motion by Kenny MacAskill saying the recent Criminal Proceedings Reform Act would improve the summary justice system was passed by assent.

Two amendments to the motion, one from the Tories and one from the Liberal Democrats, were also passed unopposed.

The Tory amendment said the success of the new provisions would depend "much tighter and rigorous control" of community service orders, and that custodial sentences were the only appropriate penalty in some cases.

The Lib Dem amendment called on the Scottish Government to ensure the view of professionals were taken into account in consulting on summary justice.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 5 DECEMBER, 2007

MSPs agreed a motion, in the name of children's minister Adam Ingram on national fostering and kinship care, that the needs of a child are paramount and that families should be supported to stay together.

It also stated that, where the child needs to live away from his or her birth parents, care within the family circle by a kinship carer should be the first option unless it is not in the best interests of the child.

It also affirmed a commitment to providing proper support for carers of looked-after children, with systems in place to ensure that carers can provide the best possible opportunities and chances to all looked-after children.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 22 NOVEMBER, 2007

MSPs unanimously backed a Scottish Government motion on the annual sea fishing talks, supporting ministers in negotiating a "fair and just" deal and highlighting the leadership shown by Scottish fishermen on sustainable fishing.

Parliament also unanimously agreed a Labour amendment, which said more work needed to be done to create a "truly sustainable fishery" in the North Sea and called for work to drastically reduce the practice of discards.

Members unanimously backed a Conservative amendment pointing out that the Scottish Government would be working with the UK Government at the negotiations.

A government motion on domestic abuse, which reaffirmed the commitment to ending violence against women, was also backed unanimously.

A Labour amendment, acknowledging the need to review the effect of current enforcement measures to ensure women and children receive the protection they require, was also agreed unanimously by MSPs.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 21 NOVEMBER, 2007

MSPs backed an amended Scottish Government motion on the SNP administration's economic strategy.

The government motion recognised the importance of creating a more successful country and noted the publication of the economic strategy, which sets out the approach to achieve this.

MSPs backed, by 62 votes to 52 with three abstentions, a Conservative amendment recognising the importance of small businesses to the economy and stating that, if more resources become available, the full implementation of rate cuts for small businesses should be a priority.

Parliament then backed the amended motion by 62 to 53 with three abstentions.

A Labour amendment calling on the government to make the "necessary investment" in schools, colleges, universities and infrastructure, and which also stated that the best way for Scotland to achieve sustainable economic growth was as part of the UK, was rejected by 53 votes to 64 with one abstention.

MSPs also voted down an amendment from the Liberal Democrats expressing disappointment and dismay at the "failure" of the government to support higher education by 53 votes to 63 with one abstention.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 15 NOVEMBER, 2007

MSPs backed, by 107 votes to four with two abstentions, the general principles of the Abolition of Bridge Tolls (Scotland) Bill.

They also agreed unanimously a government motion noting that ministers were working with the legal profession to secure reforms that will allow the Scottish legal profession to compete internationally while enhancing access to justice in local communities.

A Labour amendment stating the approach should widen choice and provide easier access to legal services was also unanimously backed.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 8 NOVEMBER, 2007

MSPs backed a Tory amendment calling on Holyrood's Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee to review the budget process for future years.

Members voted by 64 to 59 in favour of the Conservative amendment, which altered a Labour motion seeking separate debates to scrutinise the government's budget priorities for finance, health, education, justice and rural affairs. The Tory amendment removed the call for these five debates.

A Liberal Democrat amendment backed Labour's demand for the five debates, and also urged the Government to allow early access to civil servants to opposition parties and those on Holyrood's finance committee who wanted to pursue recommendations to change the budget.

This was rejected by 59 votes to 63, with one abstention.

MSPs finally backed the amended motion, by 63 to 44 with 16 abstentions.

Parliament also unanimously backed a government motion which noted the importance of European policies and law to Scotland and also noted the priorities identified by Scottish ministers.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 7 NOVEMBER, 2007

MSPs agreed an amended Government motion that Scotland should have a national food policy and would benefit by having a clear, consistent and coherent approach to food covering health, environmental, social, cultural and economic factors.

It was amended by Labour to include a line that policy priorities should include local procurement, affordability, sustainability and reducing Scotland's climate footprint and also by the Tories, to call for help for the public procurement of home-grown Scottish food.

A an accepted Liberal Democrat amendment also stated that educating children about where their food came from was central to any national food policy and called on the Scottish Government to assist in the development of farmers' co-operatives and farmers' markets.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 13 OCTOBER, 2007

MSPs backed Labour and Liberal Democrat amendments a Scottish Government motion on early years policy.

The Government motion recognised the importance of early years intervention and welcomed its intention to develop a long-term early years strategy.

A Labour amendment to that, which said the Government had failed to provide a statement on its commitment to reduce class sizes in primaries one to three and called for detailed plans and costings for the scheme to be included in the strategic spending review, was backed by 75 to 45, with two abstentions.

MSPs also backed, by 107 to 15, a Liberal Democrat amendment which said the Government's early years strategy must include a strategy for play.

The motion, as amended by these, was then passed by 61 to 45, with 15 abstentions.

A Tory amendment stressing support was needed for families and the institution of marriage - instead of just for families - was defeated by 59 votes to 62.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 25 OCTOBER, 2007

MSPs voted 77 to 48 in favour of a Tory motion which noted serious concern that six months after their election victory, the SNP have made no progress towards its manifesto commitment of 1,000 more police officers.

They also voted 64 to 61 in favour of an SNP amendment to a Tory motion on free personal care, which acknowledged the policy had raised difficulties, many of which remained unresolved, noted that the decision of Lord Macphail last week resulted from previous guidance issued, but reassured those assessed that their right to free personal care would not be affected.

A government motion, incorporating a Labour amendment, on alcohol was also backed by 108 to 16, noting Scotland's first alcohol awareness week, and calling for a summit to tackle under-age drinking and to find a method of ensuring licensees who profit from alcohol culture to help offset the damage done by that culture.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 3 OCTOBER, 2007

MSPs unanimously agreed a Scottish Government motion welcoming an independent review of regulation, audit, inspection and complaints handling in public services, which also called on ministers to "carefully consider the review before returning to the Parliament with further proposals".

Plans for a pilot scheme for free school meals in primaries one to three were also backed unanimously.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 27 SEPTEMBER, 2007

The Scottish Government was defeated over plans to streamline waiting times.

An SNP amendment supporting the new approach to waiting times was defeated by 76 votes to 48.

MSPs then voted on a Labour amendment calling on the government to review the new approach, which was defeated by 65 votes to 60.

A Liberal Democrat motion, claiming the new approach would lead to extra bureaucracy, and demanding an early statement on implementing the waiting time guarantee, was passed by 77 votes to 48.

Elsewhere, a motion by Finance Secretary John Swinney supporting a plan to develop rail links to Edinburgh airport and elsewhere was passed by 65 votes to 60.

A Labour amendment, calling on parliament to support the Edinburgh Airport Rail link, was defeated by 64 votes to 61.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 26 SEPTEMBER, 2007

A Scottish Government motion noting a report on Glasgow Housing Association was defeated at Holyrood.

MSPs were split 60 to 60, and Presiding Officer Alex Ferguson then used his casting vote against the motion.

A Labour amendment put forward by Johann Lamont was defeated after MSPs also voted 60 to 60, before Mr Fergusson voted with the government.

MSPs agreed to add a Liberal Democrat amendment to Ms Lamont's amendment, by 74 votes to 46.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 20 SEPTEMBER, 2007

MSPs agreed a government motion noting that a flooding Bill would be introduced during the current parliamentary term.

A Liberal Democrat amendment stating there were policy and funding issues that could be addressed in advance of legislation was rejected by 62 votes to 57.

A later government motion noting that a progressive penal policy was needed and welcoming the creation of an independent commission on imprisonment was agreed by assent.

A Labour amendment opposing any proposals to remove the availability to sheriffs and judges of short-term sentences was rejected by 75 votes to 44.

A Lib Dem amendment stating that the commission should consider replacing the Scottish Prison Service with a dedicated custody and rehabilitation service was backed by 13 MSPs, with 62 votes against and 44 abstentions.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 13 SEPTEMBER, 2007

MSPs agreed unanimously to raise the age for purchasing tobacco from 16 to 18.

An opposition motion calling for more details on how the SNP's manifesto commitments would be implemented was also passed by 76 votes to 46 with two abstentions.

MSPs rejected, by 48 votes to 76, a Nationalist amendment stating that a delay of more than a year in the comprehensive spending review had dictated the timing of announcements on student debt, teacher numbers and the school estate.

They supported a Liberal Democrat amendment calling for an early announcement on when the SNP's pledge to increase free nursery education for three and four-year-olds would be met and how much this would cost by 75 votes to 46 with three abstentions.

The Labour motion, as amended by that, was then passed by 76 votes to 46 with two abstentions.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 12 SEPTEMBER, 2007

MSPs rejected a government motion noting the delivery of its skills strategy and urging all those involved in the sector to implement it by 47 votes to 72.

They also rejected a Labour motion which stated that the strategy fell short and called for proposals to increase access for apprenticeships, expand vocational education and guarantee funding for universities and colleges by 42 votes to 77.

A Conservative motion, which said all young people should have the opportunity to access vocational education and called on the Scottish Government to consider establishing skills academies, was defeated by 16 votes to 103.

A Liberal Democrat motion urging the government to amend its strategy to include specific targets, including targets for modern apprenticeships, was voted down by 15 to 104.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 6 SEPTEMBER, 2007

An SNP motion on tackling drug misuse was agreed by MSPs without going to a recorded vote.

The motion, passed by assent, recognised the Nationalist administration's commitment to tackling the problem, the recent publication of reports into the issue and a determination to provide improved services for dealing with the effects of drug abuse.

A Liberal Democrat amendment calling on the government to double its funding for drug and alcohol treatment was defeated by 61 votes to 55.

An SNP motion on a sustainable future for the Crichton university campus in Dumfries was also agreed by assent after a Labour amendment demanding a funding guarantee was withdrawn.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 28 JUNE, 2007

MSPs agreed new powers to enable ministers to freeze plans for ship-to-ship oil transfers in the Firth of Forth.

They unanimously approved the draft Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Amendment (No.2) (Scotland) Regulations 2007.

MSPs also unanimously agreed a Tory amendment calling on ministers to invite the Westminster Government to consider complementary legislative measures to protect environmentally sensitive sites such as the Firth of Forth.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 27 JUNE, 2007

The Scottish government was defeated in two votes on transport policy.

MSPs backed, by 81 votes to 47, a motion by Labour's Wendy Alexander to proceed with the Edinburgh trams scheme and to continue to progress the Edinburgh Airport rail link project.

This represented a defeat for the government, which had urged parliament to back its transport policy.

In a second confirmatory vote, the government also lost by 81 votes to 47.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 21 JUNE, 2007

All the parties suffered defeat in a series of votes on the Olympic Games.

The Tories put forward a motion stating that the interests of Scottish athletes were best served by remaining part of the UK Olympic team.

A Scottish Executive amendment stating concerns over the "spiralling costs" of the London 2012 Olympics and expressing opposition to proposals for a British football team for both the 2008 and 2012 games was defeated by 49 votes to 78 with one abstention.

A Labour amendment stating the interests of sport in Scotland were best served by athletes being part of the UK Olympic and Paralympic teams was only defeated when Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson used his casting vote and MSPs voted 62 to 62, with three abstentions.

A Liberal Democrat amendment to the Conservative motion, stating that the UK Government's use of Lottery cash for London 2012 would deprive grassroots sports in Scotland of money and calling for no further use of Lottery cash for the event was agreed by 65 votes to 62, with one abstention.

But MSPs then voted down the amended motion by 45 to 79 with two abstentions.

An amended Tory motion on council tax was agreed by 64 votes to 62, with two abstentions.

The original Conservative motion stated that the parliament did not support the introduction of a local income tax as a replacement for the council tax.

But the Lib Dem amendment, which was passed by 64 votes to 62 with two abstentions, stated that parliament believed a local income tax system was fairer than the council tax.

A Labour amendment which called for any proposals for a new taxation system to be published before the start of stage two of the budget process for 2008-09 was defeated by 62 to 65 with one abstention.

And a Green Party amendment urging the government to consider and investigate a land value taxation system was rejected by 49 votes to 78.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 14 JUNE, 2007

MSPs voted 71-16 in favour of an amended motion in the name of Green MSP Patrick Harvie which congratulated the majority of Scottish MPs for voting against the replacement of Trident at Westminster earlier this year.

The motion also recognised that matters for defence were the responsibility of the UK Government, and called on it not go ahead with the renewal at this time.

There were 39 abstentions.

Holyrood also voted 66-60 in favour of an amended motion by Green MSP Robin Harper, which noted the growing popularity of carbon offsetting but that parliament could not substitute for policies that reduced carbon emissions directly and that any role for the scheme should be transitional.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 7 JUNE, 2007

An SNP amendment on a Labour motion on sustainable public transport systems was agreed by 65 votes to 62.

The Labour motion said ministers should not "delay, substantially alter or cancel" transport projects, such as the Edinburgh Tram and Edinburgh Airport Rail Link schemes, which have already been agreed by parliament.

The SNP amendment replaced it and noted that parties have different policies and that the Auditor General was looking at the Edinburgh Tram and Edinburgh Airport Rail Link proposals.

A Tory amendment adding that the government will hold a parliamentary debate on the issue was agreed by 65 votes to 60, with one abstention.

The final amended motion was agreed by 66 votes to 62.

A separate Labour motion calling for the introduction of skills academies and science centres of excellence was rejected by 64 votes to 63.

The vote came after SNP, Tory and Lib Dem amendments also failed.


HOLYROOD VOTE ON 1 JUNE, 2007

A Labour amendment to an SNP motion on Forth and Tay bridge tolls was passed by assent and without going to a recorded vote.

The amended SNP motion, backing the removal of tolls from the Forth and Tay bridges "as soon as is practicable", was then passed by 120 votes in favour, none against, and two abstentions.

The Labour amendment stated that commitments to a tram and airport rail link system for Edinburgh already passed by parliament should not be "arbitrarily" delayed or cancelled.



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