Official Report

 

  • Meeting of the Parliament 13 March 2013    
      • Portfolio Question Time
        • Justice and the Law Officers
          • Police Pay and Conditions (Scottish Police Federation)
            • 1. Sandra White (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP):

              To ask the Scottish Government what meetings it has had with the Scottish Police Federation to discuss the federation’s position on the impact in Scotland of the Winsor review of police pay and conditions. (S4O-01895)

            • The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Kenny MacAskill):

              I regularly meet the Scottish Police Federation to discuss a range of issues, and I will be meeting it tomorrow.

              The federation has highlighted to me that, due to the Winsor review, officers in England and Wales will see a dramatic reduction in their salaries over their career when compared with their colleagues in Scotland. I have made it clear that the Winsor package of changes to officers’ terms and conditions will not be introduced in Scotland.

            • Sandra White:

              The Parliament is set to debate a Liberal Democrat motion on justice this afternoon. It is reassuring to hear this Government support rather than denigrate the police force. Will the cabinet secretary outline what other measures the Scottish Government is taking to support Scotland’s police service in keeping our communities safe?

            • Kenny MacAskill:

              We have chosen to recognise that reform is the way to ensure that we maintain the police numbers that have delivered a 37-year low in recorded crime while not undermining or betraying the trust of those who serve as part of the wider police family. Police reform will protect police numbers and the terms and conditions of those who do a difficult and sometimes dangerous job.

          • Policing in Rural Communities
            • 2. Dennis Robertson (Aberdeenshire West) (SNP):

              I begin by offering an apology to the chamber as I must leave following my question for an engagement.

              To ask the Scottish Government what discussions the police force of Scotland has had regarding policing in rural communities. (S4O-01896)

            • The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Kenny MacAskill):

              The police service of Scotland is being built with local policing at its heart, and local delivery will be tailored to meet the needs of people in all parts of Scotland, including rural communities. There will be a policing plan for every local authority area and a community plan for all Scotland’s 353 multimember wards. The plans are based on widespread discussions with communities and their elected members, who will play a key role in shaping priorities and scrutinising delivery.

            • Dennis Robertson:

              In my Aberdeenshire West constituency, we have responsibility for policing royal visits. Will that have an impact on the single police force?

            • Kenny MacAskill:

              Obviously, the protection of the royal family is a matter for the Metropolitan Police Service. However, as the member says, Grampian Police provides additional security when the royal family is at Balmoral, as does Lothian and Borders Police when the royal family is in Edinburgh and Northern Constabulary when they visit the Castle of Mey.

              The single service offers an opportunity to ensure that forces do not have an undue burden. There have been instances when Grampian Police has felt significant pressure because of events at Balmoral. Equally, there will be efficiency savings in that various officers will be able to move around with the royal family rather than having to hand matters over to others.

              The royal family will continue to be well served and protected by the officers who will be part of the police service of Scotland. The single service will benefit not only the safety and security of the royal family, but the safety and security of the communities that surround them and that have provided those officers.

            • Jenny Marra (North East Scotland) (Lab):

              Will the cabinet secretary give an assurance that there will be no plans to close local police stations in rural communities?

            • Kenny MacAskill:

              I certainly have no plans, but that is not the responsibility of a cabinet secretary for justice, whether me or my predecessors or successors. Such matters are for the Scottish police service, and Jenny Marra should engage with Steve House or Vic Emery on that. They will be here tomorrow, courtesy of the convener of the Justice Committee.

          • Prisoners (Purposeful Activity)
            • 3. Richard Lyle (Central Scotland) (SNP):

              To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to increase the number of hours that prisoners are engaged in purposeful activity. (S4O-01897)

            • Kenny MacAskill:

              We are always seeking to engage with prisoners, and ensuring that they are engaged in purposeful activity is an appropriate way in which to seek their reform and rehabilitation.

              However, I support the view that Colin McConnell, the chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service, expressed when he gave evidence to the Justice Committee recently—during its inquiry into purposeful activity in Scottish prisons—that measuring activity by hours alone does not provide the most effective evidence of achievement.

              The Scottish Prison Service is already looking at gathering information in a way that shows how purposeful activity contributes to addressing the needs of individual offenders to improve their life chances and helping them to desist from further offending, whatever that purposeful activity may be—whether work or greater support regarding addictions or education.

            • Richard Lyle:

              I thank the cabinet secretary for that answer. I know that the Justice Committee is looking at the issue. A press report in the Daily Express on 4 March was headlined, “Lazy cons spend 90% of time doing nothing”. What help is being given to prisoners to access educational courses within prisons? What courses are on offer, and what information is held on prisoners’ pass rates?

            • Kenny MacAskill:

              All convicted prisoners attend a national induction programme and receive information on how to access education services and what courses and qualifications are available to them. A range of courses are available, such as literacy, numeracy, information technology, art, life skills and indeed money management, as well as access to the Open University. Those courses may lead to a number of national qualifications under the Scottish credit qualifications framework and other bodies. During the last academic year, which ended on 31 July 2012, prisoners obtained 4,081 Scottish Qualifications Authority qualifications and almost 1,300 other qualifications.

              The Prison Service does what it can to work with individuals. Obviously some of these issues require the individuals to show willing, but in my experience, those who show willing are provided with an opportunity to improve themselves.

            • Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Lab):

              The cabinet secretary will recall that he replied to some written questions that I lodged on this matter last month. He will know that the average number of hours spent on purposeful activity, including physical education and all other purposeful activities, is as low as 16 hours per week at Polmont and 18 hours per week at Glenochil, compared with 29 hours per week at Kilmarnock and 27 hours per week at Low Moss.

              Does the cabinet secretary have a number of hours per week in mind as an appropriate number of hours of purposeful activity, either for young offenders or for adult prisoners?

            • Kenny MacAskill:

              The member raises a valid point. There are significant differences, as members know, within the prison estate. It is for the Prison Service, in particular for prison governors, to decide on what is appropriate. Clearly the needs and wants of a young offender at Polmont are different from the needs and wants of a female offender at Cornton Vale or of those offenders who are serving longer sentences.

              The member makes an appropriate point—there is clear divergence. We need to allow the chief executive to carry out his research and to look at what has and will come out of the welcome Justice Committee investigation to ensure that we look at examples of good practice and that good practice can be shared across the prison estate, irrespective of the category of prisoners that are being dealt with. Equally, we need to allow governors to tailor good practice to particular individuals who may face an issue that would be dealt with differently in a different institution.

            • Margaret Mitchell (Central Scotland) (Con):

              Will the cabinet secretary confirm that many of the courses that he listed are simply not available or even on offer to prisoners on short-term sentences who would otherwise take advantage of them?

            • Kenny MacAskill:

              We recognise that. The Prison Service faces challenges with individuals. One of the difficulties around purposeful activities is the requirement to ensure that we work out the needs and issues facing an individual. As the member will know, that is an argument that the Scottish Prison Service put forward against short sentences, because the time that it takes to work out someone’s individual problems and difficulties is significant and is frequently longer than the period that the individual may be incarcerated for.

          • Polmont Young Offenders Institution (Implementation of Inspection Recommendations)
            • 4. Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab):

              To ask the Scottish Government what support it is giving to Her Majesty’s Young Offenders Institution Polmont to implement recommendations arising from the full inspection carried out in October 2012. (S4O-01898)

            • The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Kenny MacAskill):

              Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons inspection report on HMYOI Polmont referred to a number of positive aspects, such as the modern facilities and good conditions, no overcrowding, and the good relations between staff and young offenders. However, the report also identified a number of areas for improvement.

              The Scottish Prison Service has responded positively to those concerns and, although recognising the challenges, the chief executive has already made clear his intention to drive forward the action that is needed to respond to the report’s recommendations, in particular to fully engage young offenders in custody in order to maximise their potential for positive change.

              The SPS has already developed an action plan to support the SPS objective of encouraging and supporting young offenders to develop life skills, improve their education and learning and, in particular, develop skills that will improve their employment prospects, reflecting HMCIP’s recommendations.

            • Anne McTaggart:

              How does the Scottish Government plan to address the fact that, currently, only 45 per cent of young offenders at Polmont access education programmes? Does the cabinet secretary share my view that greater participation in those programmes, smaller class sizes and increased opportunities to participate in learning during evenings and weekends are imperative if we hope to reduce reoffending rates and encourage rehabilitation of young offenders in our communities?

            • Kenny MacAskill:

              I do. The member makes a valid point. It is a point that is being viewed seriously by Colin McConnell, the chief executive of the SPS, who is working with Bill Maxwell, the former senior chief inspector of education to see what can be done to tailor the education provision in those institutions.

              To its credit, the SPS does what it can, but it has to do more and Brigadier Munro has pointed that out. We are dealing with a variety of ages and a great difference in the educational challenges that are faced. That said, more can be done and I would be happy to keep the member apprised of progress on the matter, which is a priority for the SPS.

            • Christine Grahame (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP):

              On 26 February, the cabinet secretary referred to

              “our first national directory of services, which catalogues for governors and community practitioners what is provided, both in and out of prison”.—[Official Report, Justice Committee, 26 February; c 2381.]

              How is that progressing?

            • Kenny MacAskill:

              That work is on-going. It is being taken forward as part of the throughcare and service project in the second phase of the reducing reoffending project. We will have completed an initial audit by August 2013, which will establish how the directory is being used and by whom and what the directory tells us about the availability of services. I am happy to keep the member apprised of the situation.

              Work is on-going. We would prefer the date of the initial audit to be sooner, but the date of August 2013 at least shows that things are moving with some alacrity to ensure that people can refer to something that tells them what is available and who can get it, and, indeed, allows people to consider whether that resource should perhaps be spread elsewhere.

          • Cancelled Court Cases (Cost)
            • 5. Neil Findlay (Lothian) (Lab):

              To ask the Scottish Government what the annual cost is of cancelled court cases. (S4O-01899)

            • The Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs (Roseanna Cunningham):

              Courts never cancel cases, as such, but many cases do not proceed, for a variety of reasons.

              No statistics are held by the Scottish Government or the Scottish Court Service on the cost of court cases that do not proceed. We cannot know what the costs are of non-Government parties and of agents, although we recognise that cases not proceeding can cause inconvenience to victims and witnesses as well as financial costs.

              There is no cost bearing directly on the Scottish Court Service as a consequence of court business not proceeding. That is because it recognises the inherent unpredictability of court business and organises its business accordingly.

            • Neil Findlay:

              I have been approached by constituents who have been asked to attend court, either as jurors or witnesses, and who have taken days off work to do so only to be sent home for one reason or another. It is astonishing that the Scottish Government does not know how much that costs. According to the advice that I have, there have been 100,000 such cases in the past five years. Can the minister confirm that figure?

            • Roseanna Cunningham:

              I have explained to the member why it is almost impossible to come to a global figure on costs that covers civil and criminal cases. Since, for example, the reasons for not proceeding are so many and so various, to assign blame—as it were—for the cost would be extraordinarily difficult, and it would be almost impossible to assess unless one were to consider the issue on an individual, case-by-case basis, which would be inordinately expensive to do, because fees and other on-going expenses vary from one case to the next.

              We are concerned about the issue and the Government is doing a number of things to try to ensure that things change. On the civil side, we are consulting on a draft courts reform bill to try to ensure that cases are heard at an appropriate level in the civil court hierarchy, which would certainly make litigation in Scotland cheaper and quicker. We are considering changes to sheriff and jury procedure, which I think that the member specifically talked about. Those proposals arise out of recommendations by Sheriff Principal Bowen and will be implemented through a forthcoming criminal justice bill.

              We are conscious of the problem and are trying to do what we can to make things a great deal easier. However, I suspect that what the member is asking for would cost much more than the figure that we would get to.

          • Prisoner Rehabilitation Programmes
            • 6. Colin Beattie (Midlothian North and Musselburgh) (SNP):

              To ask the Scottish Government what steps it will take to improve the quality and consistency of sentencing and enhance the availability of prisoner rehabilitation programmes. (S4O-01900)

            • The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Kenny MacAskill):

              At the heart of our approach to sentencing policy is the commitment to maintain the independence of Scotland’s judiciary in reaching sentencing decisions relevant to each case. With that context, we are discussing with the Lord President arrangements for establishing, before the end of this parliamentary session, a Scottish sentencing council. Once it is established, the council may wish to consider issues relating to the quality and consistency of sentencing.

              Once someone receives a custodial sentence from our courts, the Scottish Prison Service works with that prisoner to address their individual risks and needs. That includes seeking to promote changes in the prisoner’s attitude, thinking and behaviour that gave rise to the offending in the first place, so as to reduce the chances of the offender committing further crimes in the future.

            • Colin Beattie:

              Does the cabinet secretary agree that the levels of recidivism among male and female offenders are too high and that there is a need to be open to more innovative methods of rehabilitation in order to decrease the likelihood of reoffending?

            • Kenny MacAskill:

              The member makes a fair point. As an Administration, we recognise that the biggest challenge is the revolving door whereby a small number of people repeatedly commit offences. That said, reconviction rates are at their lowest levels for 13 years, although we recognise that they remain too high.

              That is why we are working to introduce the reducing reoffending change fund, which will allocate £10 million between 2012 and 2015, to ensure that we can provide mentoring schemes that are designed to steer offenders away from crime and towards better, more productive lives. Some £1.5 million has already been allocated to schemes across the country to ensure that, for example, offenders are met at the prison gate on their release, can be helped to deal with their alcohol and drug addiction and, I hope, can be prepared for a return to gainful employment.

          • Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012
            • 7. Michael McMahon (Uddingston and Bellshill) (Lab):

              To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the effectiveness of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012. (S4O-01901)

            • The Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs (Roseanna Cunningham):

              The overwhelming majority of football fans are law abiding and want to enjoy the friendly rivalry that is part of any game. The Government has made it clear that bigotry and religious hatred should have no place in our national game and that we wish to stamp them out wherever and whenever they occur. That is why we introduced the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012, in response to calls from the police and prosecutors to strengthen the law.

              It is still early days—indeed, we do not yet have a full year’s worth of statistics—but the latest figures show that there were convictions in 54 of the 64 cases of offensive behaviour at regulated football matches completed by the end of 2012. A full evaluation of the act will be undertaken in due course, in accordance with commitments that I made when the act was considered, but I suggest to Parliament that a conviction rate of 84 per cent demonstrates that the act is already being used effectively.

            • Michael McMahon:

              No one would disagree that the blight of sectarianism and hatred in Scotland must be challenged strenuously and determinedly, but does the minister recognise the genuine concerns of lawyers, academics and others that football supporters are facing police harassment and that their rights are being routinely eroded under the new act? With supporters being put under surveillance, stopped at airports, remanded and refused bail before cases are dropped, and subjected to what can only be described as dawn raids on their homes, is the minister as concerned as I am that, rather than challenging sectarianism, this criminalisation process is actually heightening tensions, especially when only supporters groups, such as the union bears at Ibrox and the green brigade at Celtic park, are being deliberately targeted, although the problem permeates the whole of Scottish society?

              Indeed, the most offensive comments that I have seen recently were from the police officer who was responsible for overseeing such actions, who said on Facebook that he was a pest controller dealing with vermin—

            • The Deputy Presiding Officer (Elaine Smith):

              Mr McMahon, you must finish.

            • Michael McMahon:

              Is that not the type of language that we should be dealing with?

            • Roseanna Cunningham:

              Enforcing the legislation is of course a matter for the police. Like Michael McMahon, I have seen some of the extensive coverage that was in a number of newspapers a week or so ago and I have seen the allegations that have been made in a variety of different places, including social media.

              The difficulty for me and others in the Government is that none of the allegations or complaints has resulted in a formal complaint being made to the police or elsewhere. No human rights points have been taken by any of the lawyers concerned. As I have not noticed that the Scottish legal profession is backward in coming forward when it comes to human rights issues, I am sure that, if it was felt that there was a human rights issue, lawyers would want to take a point.

              There is an understandable feeling that people are being policed more vigorously but, in a sense, that is exactly what we want to do to ensure that the scourge of sectarianism is driven out of our national game.

        • Rural Affairs and the Environment
          • Local Meat and Poultry
            • 1. Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP):

              To ask the Scottish Government how it is supporting the campaign to encourage consumers to buy local meat and poultry. (S4O-01905)

            • The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment (Richard Lochhead):

              To build on the recent upsurge in consumer demand for locally sourced meat, which has resulted in more than 90 per cent of butcher shops recording increased sales, the Scottish Government has provided an additional £1 million to Quality Meat Scotland to fund a number of promotional activities to further strengthen the visibility and provenance that underpin the Scotch label. I urge retailers and every outlet that serves food to buy local, and I urge consumers to buy and eat local.

            • Stewart Stevenson:

              I welcome the additional money for Quality Meat Scotland. Does the cabinet secretary agree not only that efforts to buy local support local businesses, agriculture and the economy and cut the carbon footprint of eating at our dinner tables, but that buying Scotland’s world-renowned and responsibly sourced beef, poultry and seafood is a natural solution for dealing with mislabelled food?

            • Richard Lochhead:

              Yes, I agree with those sentiments. Buying good-quality produce from local shops certainly means a shorter supply chain and, in the case of meat at local butchers’, full traceability. That can only be a good thing for a number of reasons. For example, it involves fewer food miles, and Scotch beef has a smaller carbon footprint than beef from a number of other countries throughout the world. There are a number of win-wins, so I urge people to buy local and I urge retailers to source local.

            • Alex Fergusson (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con):

              Will the cabinet secretary acknowledge the effectiveness of Dumfries and Galloway’s Savour the Flavours initiative? Does he agree that that organisation provides a good example of how a local food-related network can operate? Will he give an update to Parliament on the progress of the think local initiative, which he announced last October but of which not an awful lot has been heard since?

            • Richard Lochhead:

              I commend the work of Savour the Flavours in Dumfries and Galloway. I support people being able to sample and enjoy products from their local larder, which is promoted by such local food networks. There are also benefits for local tourism.

              To help to promote such initiatives throughout Scotland, the think local initiative will be launched this summer. Last autumn, I announced a number of initiatives, of which that is one, to help to promote the agenda throughout 2013 and certainly in the run-up to the major events in 2014.

          • Rural Payments and Inspections Division
            • 2. Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Lab):

              To ask the Scottish Government which minister has portfolio responsibility for the rural payments and inspections division. (S4O-01906)

            • The Minister for Environment and Climate Change (Paul Wheelhouse):

              Some of the functions of the Scottish Government’s rural payments and inspections division are the direct responsibility of Mr Lochhead, as Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment. Other functions are my responsibility, as Minister for Environment and Climate Change, including the management of the Scottish ministers’ estates and divisional functions that contribute to the delivery of our climate change targets.

            • Lewis Macdonald:

              Given the minister’s responsibility for the management of estates, can he tell us when the decision was made to put the lease for sporting rights on Raasay out to tender; when the decision was made to issue in November 2011 the notice to quit to Raasay Crofters Association; and how and when ministers were made aware of each of those decisions?

            • Paul Wheelhouse:

              There were a number of questions there. The first related to the lease. It was a 50-year lease, which changed hands in about 1995 to the Raasay Crofters Association. It was always known that the lease would end around November 2012, and the notice to quit was served in line with the expectations in the lease.

              On my involvement in the decision, I first became aware of the issue when Dave Thompson, the constituency member, raised it with me, followed closely thereafter by Jamie McGrigor. The decision to award a contract to South Ayrshire Stalking was taken on 8 January, and I became aware of it on 14 January.

            • Dave Thompson (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP):

              I have written to all 112 residents on the electoral roll on Raasay to ask their views on community ownership. Will the minister support community ownership if that is what the people of Raasay want and, if so, how can he help?

            • Paul Wheelhouse:

              I welcome Dave Thompson’s engagement with the Raasay community in his capacity as the local MSP to hear views on the community buy-out of Raasay. We fully support community buy-outs. We welcome any interest from the community in a buy-out and stand ready to advise on the procedures and processes involved. The Scottish Government is preparing a consultation of our own on the future of the Raasay sporting rights and we are committed to helping the local community to maximise the benefits that those rights can offer its economy.

              We will extend the previous lease until 1 March 2014 to allow time for a consultation to be held with the whole Raasay community on options for the future. The three options for consultation are: a non-competitive long-term lease of up to 175 years granted to the local community; a new lease advertised in the market, which would include weighting and assessment to maximise community benefit; and a community buy-out of Raasay, which would include the sporting rights.

          • Second Report on Proposals and Policies (Low-carbon Behaviour)
            • 3. Jean Urquhart (Highlands and Islands) (Ind):

              To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to integrate low-carbon behaviour change into the second report on proposals and policies. (S4O-01907)

            • The Minister for Environment and Climate Change (Paul Wheelhouse):

              Low-carbon behaviour change is integrated into the draft second report on proposals and policies currently being considered by Parliament. The report is clear that the successful take-up of many of the policies and proposals it describes critically depends on changing attitudes, behaviours and habits.

              The “Low Carbon Scotland: Behaviours Framework”, which was published on 4 March, complements RPP2 and will drive and support the move to low-carbon living in the 10 key behaviour areas that have the biggest impact on reducing emissions. Last week I participated in the first low-carbon dialogue with stakeholders in Parliament to understand drivers of consumer behaviour and challenges to adopting green behaviours.

            • Jean Urquhart:

              I thank the minister for his full response. Will he and other ministers consider how the good principles in the behaviour change framework will be taken forward in the development of proposals and policies in the RPP?

            • Paul Wheelhouse:

              The member raises a very good point. One of the things that we are keen to do is implement the ISM—individual, social and material—model through a series of workshops involving Government staff, in order to roll out those messages to ensure that behavioural factors are incorporated into thinking about future proposals and policies. Thereafter, we will develop that by taking on board the opportunity to roll out those workshops to other stakeholders to make sure that they are familiar with the approach that we are taking.

            • Claudia Beamish (South Scotland) (Lab):

              What support will there be within the RPP for behaviour change in low-income families and challenged communities?

            • Paul Wheelhouse:

              That relates to the point that I made to Jean Urquhart. The ISM tool that we are developing is about understanding how behaviour is contextualised. Not everybody is in a position to be able to undertake all the 10 behaviours, but we can all make a contribution in some form or another. We need to take into account issues such as income, geography and the available resources for such things as public transport, in order to understand what is possible locally. That is an important aspect of our work going forward.

            • Aileen McLeod (South Scotland) (SNP):

              The minister will welcome, as I do, the praise received this week from the United Kingdom Committee on Climate Change for the progress that Scotland is making in reaching its climate change, emissions reduction targets. What is the minister doing to encourage the European Union to move to a 30 per cent target?

            • Paul Wheelhouse:

              The Scottish Government recognises the position. It has always taken the view that the EU must increase its level of ambition for emissions reduction and it will continue lobbying to influence that decision.

              Whenever the opportunity has presented itself to me, such as in speeches and bilateral meetings—Doha is a good example—I have stressed the measures that we are taking to develop a low-carbon economy in Scotland and I have presented the moral and economic case for other countries to raise their ambition, too.

          • School Food (Sourcing and Standard)
            • 4. Neil Bibby (West Scotland) (Lab):

              To ask the Scottish Government, further to the recent announcement of a school meals sourcing summit, when the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment will meet local authorities to discuss the sourcing and standard of food in schools. (S4O-01908)

            • The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment (Richard Lochhead):

              Last Wednesday, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, the Minister for Local Government and Planning and I met representatives from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, North Lanarkshire Council, Renfrewshire Council, Scotland Excel and the National Parent Forum of Scotland to discuss local authority food and drink procurement and school meals.

              At the meeting, we reiterated our intention to work with local government to give renewed impetus to the important hungry for success agenda to continue to drive up the standards and quality of school meals. I am delighted that the initiative is being refreshed and a working group called still hungry for success will have its first meeting tomorrow to discuss taking this work forward.

            • Neil Bibby:

              During yesterday’s debate, the cabinet secretary was asked a number of times to clarify the Government’s position on the traceability of school meals, and he failed to do so. Will he take this opportunity to tell us what specific actions the Scottish Government is taking to improve the transparency and traceability of school meals in light of the recent food scandal?

            • Richard Lochhead:

              As I have explained to members on numerous occasions, traceability requirements are built into the procurement process. I should point out that Labour councillor David O’Neill, who is president of companiesLA, said

              “Scotland’s councils are committed to excellence in all their services, including the standard of food served to those within their care.”

              I am disappointed not to have heard one positive comment from Labour members in the past few weeks about the enormous amount of progress that has been made with the quality of school meals during the past decade or so. That does a real disservice to the many good people who work in our catering services, including those who have helped with that progress.

              Of course, there are still lessons to learn, which is why the still hungry for success working group will meet tomorrow. I just wish that we could hear some warm words of welcome for that from the Labour members. Many Labour councils are doing a good job, and it does them a disservice that their Labour colleagues in the Parliament keep talking them down.

            • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

              Question 5 is from Margaret McCulloch. I ask for brevity in questions and answers, please.

          • Second Report on Proposals and Policies (Marine Issues)
            • 5. Margaret McCulloch (Central Scotland) (Lab):

              To ask the Scottish Government whether the second report on proposals and policies will contain marine issues that were not previously included. (S4O-01909)

            • The Minister for Environment and Climate Change (Paul Wheelhouse):

              As required by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, the draft second report on proposals and policies is currently subject to parliamentary consideration. We will consider further amendments for inclusion in the final document when they arise during that process.

              I am aware that the subject of blue carbon was raised during the committee stage of the consultation. We are examining how best to include those opportunities, while recognising that the science underlying the subject is relatively new. We will seek to improve our understanding of its potential as the evidence base develops.

            • Margaret McCulloch:

              Will the Scottish Government outline the research and data collection steps that are being taken towards a sound proposal for blue carbon? I understand that it could match the contribution of peatlands in tackling climate change. What timescales can be attached to any proposals?

            • Paul Wheelhouse:

              The member has raised an important point about the emerging importance of peatlands and how their contribution could be replicated by blue carbon. However, we are at a very early stage in our understanding. We will look to refer to blue carbon in the final RPP document, and I would welcome an opportunity to meet the member to discuss her ideas.

          • Food Products Labelling
            • 6. James Dornan (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP):

              To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the European Union regarding the labelling of products since the discovery of horsemeat in other meat products. (S4O-01910)

            • The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment (Richard Lochhead):

              I discussed the mislabelling of meat products with the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, and United Kingdom ministers when I was in Brussels on 25 and 26 February. I conveyed the Scottish Government’s strong support for additional testing within the European food supply chain, and the need to extend labelling to processed meat products.

            • James Dornan:

              I recently visited a local butcher—a Mr Lupton. It is clear that J Lupton’s feel that one of the big advantages of local butchers is that everything that they sell is quite correctly traceable back to the place of origin. Does the cabinet secretary agree that it would be a great comfort to the public and would help local producers if all meat foodstuffs, including pre-packed and frozen products, were clearly labelled to ensure the provenance of the product?

            • Richard Lochhead:

              I agree with that. One of the benefits of shorter supply chains—which we all encourage following the horsemeat scandal—is that traceability is easier and more transparent. That can only be a good thing.

              On labelling, I have long advocated that labelling be extended to processed meat products, as well as fresh meat. I have lobbied for that in Europe and with successive UK secretaries of state, all of whom—Conservative and Labour—have been reluctant. I am glad that the Conservative Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs now seems to support the Scottish position.

            • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

              I call Claire Baker. Please be brief.

            • Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab):

              Although there is no current evidence of products that are produced in Scotland being contaminated with horsemeat, there has been contamination of beef products with pork. Does the cabinet secretary agree that cuts since 2008 in numbers of meat inspectors, environmental health officers and trading standards officers have contributed to problems with mislabelling of products?

            • Richard Lochhead:

              If Claire Baker has any evidence of that, I would be pleased to hear it. The reason why there has been a decline in the number of meat and hygiene inspectors, who are part of the Food Standards Agency in Scotland these days, is that there are fewer abattoirs in Scotland, so fewer staff are required. Also, many of the tasks that the inspectors carry out are at the behest of European regulations. When those regulations change, the functions of those services also change. I am not sure exactly what Clare Baker is suggesting, but I am not aware of any evidence that there have been implications for food safety due to changes in the structures or formats of those services.

              Environmental health officers are the responsibility of local government.

          • Common Agricultural Policy
            • 7. John Scott (Ayr) (Con):

              I declare an interest as a farmer.

              To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the European Commission and the UK and Irish Governments about convergence issues with regard to CAP reform and the impact on Scottish farmers.

              (S4O-01911)

            • The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment (Richard Lochhead):

              I met Commissioner Ciolos when he visited Scotland in November last year, and I travelled to Dublin for a meeting with the Irish minister, Simon Coveney, who is now president of the EU agriculture and fisheries council

              . Common agricultural policy issues including convergence were discussed at both meetings.

              I have also had regular meetings with Owen Paterson, the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and at all those meetings I have stressed how important it is that Scotland get a fairer share of the UK’s CAP budget. I encourage Mr Scott to use any influence that he has with his colleagues at Westminster to help to deliver that, because there is as yet no sign of the UK Government’s being sympathetic to Scotland’s needs.

            • John Scott:

              The European Union agreement on the budget has set a commitment to achieve a more equitable distribution of funding among member states by ensuring that all member states receive at least €196 per hectare by 2020. As the cabinet secretary knows, Scotland has one of the lowest rates of direct payment per hectare in Europe and the lowest rate in the UK. Is the cabinet secretary seeking a commitment from the UK Government to achieve internal convergence and ensure that all regions of the UK receive at least €196 per hectare when we make the move from historic direct payments to area-based payments?

            • Richard Lochhead:

              The best way to address the issue, which I know John Scott is interested in, is for Scotland to become an independent member state of the EU. If we were independent, under the current formula and the system that was agreed as part of the budget deal in Europe, we would qualify through our low share of direct payments for an extra €304.5 million by 2020. Because we are part of the UK, we stand to lose hundreds of millions of pounds for Scotland’s rural communities between now and 2020, unless we become independent and can negotiate for ourselves, rather than letting others do it for us. It is clear that, at present, they are not doing that.

          • River Almond (Removal of Weirs)
            • 8. Colin Keir (Edinburgh Western) (SNP):

              To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the suggestion that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency may remove the Fair-a-far and Dowie’s Mill weirs on the River Almond. (S4O-01912)

            • The Minister for Environment and Climate Change (Paul Wheelhouse):

              SEPA and Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland are working with the owners of those weirs to determine the most suitable option for improving fish passage. However, ultimate responsibility for the decision on how fish passage is improved rests with the owners of the weirs.

            • Colin Keir:

              Given the strength of feeling locally, will any decision on the future of the old weirs on the River Almond be subject to full consultation of local people and stakeholder groups before work is actioned?

            • Paul Wheelhouse:

              I know the weirs that Mr Keir mentioned because they featured in my—sadly very average—geography higher exam dissertation. As someone who grew up in the area, I am aware of their significance as landmarks for the local community.

              SEPA has actively engaged with local community groups on the matter and will continue to do so to ensure that the community’s views are understood. However, as I said, the final decision on the future of the old weirs on the Almond lies with the landowner.

          • Therapeutic Horticulture
            • 9. Dr Richard Simpson (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab):

              To ask the Scottish Government what discussions the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment has had with his health counterparts to support the development of therapeutic horticulture. (S4O-01913)

            • The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment (Richard Lochhead):

              The Scottish Government recognises the health benefits that participation in physical activity, including horticultural activity, can bring. As such, we have supported a number of initiatives to both deliver and develop on-the-ground therapeutic horticulture to the value of nearly £1 million since 2008.

            • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

              Please be brief, Dr Simpson.

            • Dr Simpson:

              I thank the cabinet secretary for his answer and welcome the money that the Government has put in. However, will he consider bringing back into action small brownfield sites, which might provide allotments and opportunities for more localised therapeutic horticulture outlets? That is being done in Fife, but it should also be done elsewhere.

            • Richard Lochhead:

              I will take that forward in any way that I can. Of course, as we discussed in yesterday’s debate a lot of work is already under way in Scotland to make more allotments available. I also note that a number of partnerships, particularly involving the national health service estate, are taking forward therapeutic horticulture with Forestry Commission Scotland and other agencies.

      • Police Centralisation
        • The Deputy Presiding Officer (Elaine Smith):

          The next item of business is a debate on motion S4M-05899, in the name of Alison McInnes, on police centralisation. I invite members who wish to speak to press their request-to-speak buttons and indicate at this stage that the debate is extremely tight for time.

          I call Alison McInnes to speak to and move the motion. Ms McInnes, you have a very tight 10 minutes.

          14:40
        • Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD):

          At last Thursday’s First Minister’s question time, Alex Salmond asked me why we had not returned to the subject of police reform the week after we had first asked him about it in January. Sadly—and I know that members on all sides are as unhappy about this as we are—the Liberal Democrats get only one day of debating time a year. That day is today and we would not want to disappoint the First Minister again.

          I want to start by taking the Cabinet Secretary for Justice’s mind back to the first day of stage 2 of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill. He might recall rejecting one of my amendments; actually, he rejected them all, but when he rejected this one in particular he said:

          “It would let ministers off the hook ... as ministers could not be held to account”.—[Official Report, Justice Committee, 29 May 2012; c 1350.]

          Given what has since unfolded, we will be only too happy to hold him to account for his decisions.

          Members on all sides know the Liberal Democrats’ position on the single police force: we were not in favour of the principle, the detail or the reality. However, we are where we are and I have no intention of standing here and trying to argue that we can put the genie back in the bottle. Now we join with all sides in wanting to ensure that the new police force works.

          During the bill’s passage, members from all sides of this chamber raised genuine concerns and all parties lodged positive and constructive amendments. We know that the Government has its majority and that we cannot make it listen to reasoned opposition, but the fact that it chose to wilfully ignore such opposition reflects poorly on it. Such an attitude ill befits a Parliament that is meant to be reflective of the Scottish people.

          As we have all seen, since the appointment of the members of the Scottish Police Authority and the new chief constable at the tail-end of last year, an on-going dispute has been played out in the media that the Government has been curiously hesitant to step into. Back in November, the First Minister told Willie Rennie that there were “creative tensions” between Vic Emery and Stephen House and, in December, Kenny MacAskill told the chamber that discussions between Mr House and Mr Emery had been “fruitful and progressive”. Imagine our surprise to find out that the Government had brought in the Lord Advocate to back up its view on how the legislation should be read; that, in January, one of the cabinet secretary’s senior civil servants wrote to Vic Emery to tell him that the Government was

          “of the view that the proposed arrangement is unbalanced, confusing and would place the Police Service of Scotland in a unique and invidious position”

          and that Vic Emery responded by saying that

          “the Board’s reservoir of patience with the protracted nature of resolving this kind of issue is already running low.”

          My colleagues on the Justice Committee will know the feeling. I think that we will all agree that our dealings so far with the SPA have been frustrating.

          I admit that the Government is in an interesting dilemma. By stepping in, it will have to admit that there are shortcomings in the legislation; however, it will at least be able to make the changes needed to ensure that the SPA has a clear and defined role. Alternatively, if it keeps on defending its law, it will have to watch as the SPA’s self-determined remit threatens the effectiveness of the single police force before it even starts policing. Perhaps we should be relieved that the Government has stepped in to at least try to get the SPA back on track, even if it looks like being too little, too late.

          At the heart of the problem is the democratic vacuum that has been created within our police service. In three weeks’ time, the Government will turn its back on a system in which locally elected members appoint police chiefs, scrutinise police actions and manage police budgets. Instead, all those things will be done by the SPA, which is an unelected board appointed on the say-so of the Scottish ministers. Even if members think that that is acceptable—and l, for one, do not—surely we can all agree that the SPA’s responsibilities should be so fully defined in law that there can be no confusion over how its relationship with the police service works.

          The Government has handed the 13 people on that authority a £1 billion budget and oversight of Scotland’s entire police service. We must ask: “Who watches the watchmen?” As it is, the Parliament has been circumvented. We had no role in appointing the SPA; we are confined in how we can scrutinise it and the new police force; and we were ignored in strengthening the law. So much for democracy within the new police service. All the power is in the hands of the cabinet secretary, and it is up to him to find a long-term solution.

          The three aspects that we highlighted in our motion are staffing, human resources and budgeting, but we could have listed more. In each and every one of them, the problem is the same. The SPA has interpreted the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 in a way that will give it direct, hands-on control over fundamental aspects of our police service. What started as a disagreement over human resources has snowballed out of control. It was clear to all—or to nearly everyone, apart from the SPA—that the planned approach on that was simply not fit for purpose. It was not in keeping with the intention of the act, even if, thanks to the Government’s legislative complacency, it was within the legal interpretation. Had the Government stepped in early to clarify matters, that might have been the end of the disagreements but, instead, it stood idly by and the Parliament, bereft of input, was forced to do likewise.

          We now know that the Government did not agree with the SPA’s interpretation. We also know that, when it advertised the chief constable’s position, it stated that he would have

          “direction and control over 17,000 officers and 6,500 police staff”.

          So when the authority was allowed to get its own way—mostly—on human resources, it decided to flex its muscles and to test where else it could expand its remit. Even where agreement has been reached, it seems clear that Mr Emery has not really changed his views. He has compromised so that things can progress, and I do not doubt that the SPA will return to the matter.

          All that has led us to the situation in which an experienced authority member feels that it could rightly be their role to question decisions that the police make on how they carry out active criminal investigations. Whatever the Government’s vision of the future of Scotland’s policing was, surely it was not that. We must be very concerned about what other aspects of policing the SPA might try to take an active role in in the future.

          In the Justice Committee, members from all parties agree that it is imperative for the Parliament to take a more proactive role in scrutinising the new police service and the SPA. Indeed, later this afternoon, the Parliament will be asked to approve the establishment of a sub-committee on policing. I understand that that will be the first time that we have ever set up a sub-committee in the Parliament. That demonstrates the importance that the Justice Committee places on the matter. The six members of that sub-committee will be tasked with providing the same democratic oversight that was previously carried out by dozens of police board members from around Scotland, if they possibly can. The sub-committee will also be tasked with monitoring the SPA. However, it is in the Government’s hands alone to curb the SPA when it overreaches itself.

          We should be under no illusions. The changes that were voted through in the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 represent the biggest shake-up of policing in Scotland for a generation and mistakes will inevitably have been made. That is the case in almost any piece of legislation that runs to 130 pages, but it will be all the more so when Opposition concerns are so directly ignored. The act’s shortcomings are there for all to see. They have been played out in newspapers, on television, in committee meetings and, unfortunately, behind quickly closed doors.

          The Scottish Police Authority has an important job to do, and the police service of Scotland has many vital roles to play in keeping our communities safe, but right now, the Government has the most important responsibility. It must ensure that the police set-up that it is creating is fit for purpose and that Scotland’s new police service is not constrained in being the police service that the people of Scotland deserve.

          I do not believe that the Government intended ambiguous legislation and I would be happy to work constructively with it to make the legislation better. I therefore ask it to hold up its hands and say that it will look at the legislation again.

          I am deeply disappointed that the Government’s amendment indicates that it thinks that everything is just hunky-dory. That is just burying its head in the sand. It needs to tighten up the legislation and get the show back on track.

          I urge the Government to review urgently the scope of the Scottish Police Authority to ensure that it does exactly what was intended, and to ensure that Scotland’s new police force is able to get on with its important work.

          I move,

          That the Parliament notes with concern the ongoing uncertainties surrounding the Police Service of Scotland ahead of its taking over all police functions on 1 April 2013; believes that, by taking control of policing out of the hands of locally elected members and transferring it to a board appointed by the Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Government has created a democratic deficit in Scotland’s police service; further believes that the Scottish Government’s complacent attitude toward its reform programme has allowed the Scottish Police Authority to effectively redefine the scope of its own remit; considers that decisions taken by the Scottish Police Authority on staffing, human resources and budgeting could put at risk the future operational effectiveness of policing in Scotland, and calls on the Scottish Government to review as a matter of urgency whether the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 should be amended to provide clarity as to the rightful functions and responsibilities of the Scottish Police Authority and to report back to the Parliament before the end of June 2013.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          I call Kenny MacAskill to speak to and move amendment S4M-05899.3. The cabinet secretary has seven minutes.

          14:49
        • The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Kenny MacAskill):

          I welcome the opportunity to respond to Alison McInnes and the Liberal Democrat motion.

          I am sure that all members recognise that Scottish policing is performing excellently. Crime is at a 37-year low.

        • Margaret Mitchell (Central Scotland) (Con):

          Can the cabinet secretary confirm that the number of offences rose last year by 3 per cent, or 14,000 cases, and that the only reason that he can claim that crime is at a 37-year low is that the Scottish Government omitted offences, including some serious crimes and assaults, from the headline figure, despite having in every previous year combined offences and crimes?

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          We operate on the same basis that was handed down to us by our predecessors. The statistics are there and the 37-year low is something that communities the length and breadth of Scotland welcome. The number of crimes involving handling an offensive weapon is now at its lowest in 18 years. Public confidence is high and rising, and the people of Scotland feel safer in their communities. That situation is supported by the more than 1,000 extra officers that we have delivered in communities since 2007. Reform and the new police service of Scotland will safeguard those hard-won gains and protect policing from Westminster cuts.

        • Jenny Marra (North East Scotland) (Lab):

          Can the cabinet secretary confirm that all those 1,000 extra police officers are, as he says, on the streets and not in police stations?

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          As I keep saying, those are operational matters for the chief constable. However, he has made it quite clear in evidence to the Parliament and elsewhere that it is his job to ensure that officers are doing what they are paid to do, preferably in their communities. We have yet to see evidence of backfilling from the chief constable or, indeed, from Her Majesty’s chief inspector of constabulary for Scotland.

          Let us contrast the situation here with that in England and Wales.

        • Willie Rennie (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD):

          Will the cabinet secretary give way?

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          In a minute.

          Officer numbers in England and Wales are at their lowest for 11 years, the terms and conditions of those who serve are being attacked and morale is at rock bottom. In addition, around £100 million was wasted on elections for police commissioners, which was enough to pay for 3,000 officers. I will give way to Mr Rennie, if he wants to justify that.

        • Willie Rennie:

          I am sure that the cabinet secretary was going to say that crime in England and Wales is at its lowest level since records began. I am sure that that was going to be part of his next bit of script. However, since he is so admiring of the chief constable, will he agree to his call for fresh legislation?

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          The chief constable does not want fresh legislation. I have been speaking to the chief constable regularly and it is quite clear that he is not asking for fresh legislation; he is asking us to work towards 1 April, which is what he is putting his efforts towards. I commend him and, indeed, Vic Emery for that. I am glad to see that Mr Rennie did not seek to dispute any of the figures relating to the collapse of policing south of the border. This Government will not let any of that happen here.

          We are less than three weeks away from the new police service of Scotland going live. Strong progress has been made and the Scottish Police Authority and the police service are working closely together to ensure a smooth transition.

          The people of Scotland are understandably proud of community policing and value it, as does this Government. Local policing will remain at the heart of the new service. There is no so-called democratic deficit and there will be new local arrangements that will give more elected members than ever before the chance to have their say on policing in their area. A local commander for each area will work with the council and partners to shape policing in that area. For the first time ever, there will be a local policing plan for every council ward in Scotland. The SPA will, of course, also provide enhanced levels of scrutiny.

          Reform will also strengthen national policing. For the first time ever, all communities in Scotland will have access to specialist expertise and equipment whenever and wherever it is needed. We have already seen the fruits of that approach. Just last week, I helped to launch the new specialist crime division here in Edinburgh, which is co-ordinated nationally and delivered locally. It will lead the fight against crime, with more than 2,000 detectives and staff working closely together. We have also seen the launch of the new national trunk roads patrol unit and the 101 single non-emergency number. In addition, we published this morning the strategic policing priorities, which set the high-level outcomes that the SPA and the service will work together to deliver.

          The list of achievements ahead of day 1 goes on, underlining the remarkable progress that has been made since the Parliament approved the legislation last summer. None of that progress has been impeded by the discussions between the SPA and the police service on corporate functions. Our legislation, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Scottish Parliament after being scrutinised by four committees, clearly sets out the roles and responsibilities of the chair and the chief. The 2012 act is clear that the chief constable, although accountable to the SPA, has direction and control of the police service, including constables and police staff.

          High-level agreement on corporate functions was reached at the SPA board meeting on 18 January. There was further dialogue on the detail and staff designations were agreed at the SPA board meeting last Friday. I am sure that all members will join me in welcoming that agreement.

          The Government has been fully engaged on the issue from the outset. SPA chair Vic Emery and Chief Constable Stephen House, and the SPA and the police service of Scotland, continue to work closely together as we approach day 1. There will be no millennium moment at midnight on 1 April. The police will continue to provide the same excellent service across Scotland as they are providing today and have provided day in, day out.

          Strong progress continues to be made. I reject the Liberal Democrat motion and the Labour and Conservative amendments. We have an outstanding police service in Scotland. We require to reform, to ensure that we can deal with the huge cuts that are coming from Westminster and avoid the catastrophe that is playing out south of the border.

          I move amendment S4M-05899.3, to leave out from “notes” to end and insert:

          “welcomes the 1,000 extra officers that the Scottish Government has delivered in communities since 2007, leading to crime at a 37-year low; agrees that the new Police Service of Scotland will safeguard policing from UK Government cuts; notes that the national governance provided by the Scottish Police Authority will be complemented by new local arrangements, providing the opportunity for more locally elected members than ever before to have their say; further agrees that the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, as overwhelmingly approved by the Parliament, clearly sets out the roles and responsibilities of the Scottish Police Authority and Police Service of Scotland; further welcomes the agreement reached on corporate functions and staff designations and the ongoing joint working to ensure a smooth transition to commencement on 1 April 2013, and recognises that good progress has been made already, including the establishment of the Specialist Crime Division and the new national Trunk Roads Patrol Unit.”

          14:56
        • Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Lab):

          Another debate on policing, and another Scottish Government speech—and amendment—of breathtaking complacency.

          In December, Kenny MacAskill told us that the turf war would be over by Christmas. As we heard, Alex Salmond described the relationship between Stephen House and Vic Emery as one of creative tension. Some creative tension: a chief constable has had to argue for the right to make his own decisions about police staff and budgets, and a cabinet secretary has had to call in the Lord Advocate to tell the chairman of the board how to interpret the law.

          Kenny MacAskill is responsible for the 2012 act. He might want to hide from that responsibility, as if all members of the Scottish Parliament share in his failure as minister in charge of the legislation. However, if a minister brings in a law that is seriously flawed or subject to serious misinterpretation by those who are charged with its implementation, it is surely that minister’s job to take ownership of the problem and sort it out. If the problem has arisen following appointments that the same minister made, the responsibility is all the greater.

          Just as Kenny MacAskill has rejected the motion and the amendments from parties other than his party, he rejected amendment after amendment to the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill that sought to improve the transparency, accountability and effective governance of the new police service. It was he who made the ministerial appointments in question, too.

          The cabinet secretary has refused again and again—he did so a moment ago—to acknowledge the high price that will be paid by police staff for his approach to reform and the impact that that will have on the service as a whole. He claims that his policies will

          “safeguard policing from UK Government cuts”.

          That is because he is desperate to talk about anyone else’s cuts but his own. However, it is the Scottish Government cuts to policing for which he is accountable. Those cuts go far beyond savings that are made from reducing duplication—we are talking about £60 million in the coming financial year, another £60 million in the next financial year and a further £60 million in the year after that. No wonder the chief constable has said, time and again, on the record, that he cannot deliver those cuts year on year without reducing the number of police officers in year 3.

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          Yvette Cooper criticises the reduction in police officers south of the border and suggests that Labour would cut the number in England and Wales by only 10,000. How many police officers does Mr Macdonald suggest that Labour would cut in Scotland?

        • Lewis Macdonald:

          I suggest that Kenny MacAskill answers the questions that are asked of him as minister with responsibility for the area, rather than engaging in puerile attempts to divert the debate to something that is happening elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

          The cabinet secretary claims that he has seen no evidence of the backfilling of staff jobs. It is a shame that he was not able to attend the meeting that took place here last week to launch Unison’s updated report on civilianisation in the Scottish police service. If he had attended the meeting, he would not stand up in the chamber and claim to have protected policing in Scotland against cuts. Twenty MSPs, from all parties, attended the event and heard directly from police staff about the threats that they face and the backfilling of staff posts by police officers, which is already under way.

          There were staff at that meeting from every part of Scotland and from all eight existing forces, and they all had similar tales to tell. A custody officer from Central Scotland Police said that police staff are in limbo because they do not know who their employer will be in a few weeks’ time, where they will be working or even whether they will have a job. A worker from Lothian and Borders Police said that staff are working through sickness. A colleague from Northern Constabulary said that staff are working through their statutory breaks and into the evening. A custody officer from Grampian said that no one will admit to workplace stress. All that is happening because of a fear of being the person whose job is identified as no longer being required. “Low morale and inefficiency,” is how a control-room operator from Strathclyde Police summed up the situation. He said that it was a case of “McWinsor in Scotland for police staff,” with cops being brought in to do the jobs of support staff, and that, at the same time, untold damage was being done to the culture of mutual support and respect in the Scottish police family.

          Kenny MacAskill wants to talk about how bad things are in England because he does not want to face up to how bad things are in Scotland. He wants to talk about numbers of police officers rather than about what those officers will be paid to do because he does not want to admit that more and more of them will be forced to become backroom bobbies. Sooner or later, the cabinet secretary will have to face up to reality. Unless he does so soon, his legacy will be a police service that is starved of resources, a governance structure that is divided against itself and a loss of confidence among officers and staff at the grass roots.

          If that happens, the biggest losers will be the communities of Scotland, which the police are there to protect and serve. The new service goes live in only a few days’ time. It is time for the Government to start listening.

          I move amendment S4M-05899.1, to leave out from first “believes” to “service” and insert:

          “considers that many of these uncertainties could have been avoided by improving the accountability and transparency of both the Police Service of Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority; notes the clear and repeated warnings from the chief constable and the staff union, Unison, that current spending and staffing plans are unsustainable; believes that the scale of cuts in police staff numbers will result in backfilling of civilian posts by police officers, reducing the effectiveness of the service;”

          15:01
        • Margaret Mitchell (Central Scotland) (Con):

          I welcome the opportunity to debate the implementation of the single police force, which is due to take effect in less than three weeks, and I commend the Liberal Democrats for securing an important debate.

          Although the Scottish Conservatives supported the basic principle of a single police force during the passage of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill, concerns about how the Scottish National Party intended to implement the policy were such that the Conservatives were subsequently unable to support the bill at stage 3. Those concerns included the worry that the bill, as drafted by the Government, would damage the local accountability of policing. It was also felt that there was vagueness about the relationship between the SPA and local authorities, and uncertainties surrounding the potential savings.

          In an attempt to address those issues, a number of amendments were lodged at stage 2. Unfortunately, the proposals that they made fell on deaf ears and the SNP used its majority in the Justice Committee and in the Parliament to vote against the vast majority of the amendments that had been lodged by the Conservatives and other Opposition parties.

          It is now evident that those concerns were just the tip of the iceberg. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Scottish Conservatives not only sympathise with but fully support the Liberal Democrats’ motion and will seek to amend it only to ensure that a full business case forms part of the review and that the 2012 act will be amended to take account of the review findings.

          If members are in any doubt about why it is important that a full business case be included as part of the review, they should consider the fact that it has been clear from the outset that the motivation for a single police force has been primarily financial. Despite that, the SNP refused to publish a full business case ahead of the passing of the bill and rejected the Scottish Conservatives’ stage 2 amendment that called for that to be done before its implementation. Our amendment to compel the Auditor General for Scotland to review the savings that had been made by the creation of a single police force “as soon as practicable” after its establishment was also rejected at stage 2.

          To date, only an outline business case has been published—that was done in July 2011. In it, the SNP predicted that the single force would result in savings of £130 million a year and £1.7 billion over 15 years. It estimated that the initial set-up costs would be £92 million.

          During the bill’s passage, Chief Constable Smith of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland said the outline business case that had been produced was

          “never intended ... to be a document that contained sufficient detail on which to base significant decisions about investment and savings.”—[Official Report, Justice Committee, 28 February 2012; c 971-2.]

          The Scottish Government’s response was merely to state that a full business case was a matter for the single police force. It added that it

          “expects the full business case to be completed at the earliest opportunity available to the new services.”

          When the implementation of the single force was debated in December 2012, SNP back benchers said that the debate was premature because the SPA chair, Vic Emery, had promised that the structures of the single police force would be in place before the end of the year. Well, January and February have passed and still no detail has been decided about who will control some civilian staff.

          Meanwhile, the dispute between the SPA chair and the chief constable has already cost £6,300 in legal fees, with the compromise solution likely to result in considerable duplication of those staff.

          Furthermore, the cost of making the temporary headquarters at Tulliallan fit for purpose is now known to be £700,000.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          You are in your last minute.

        • Margaret Mitchell:

          It has also been reported that the redundancy bill for civilian staff is likely to reach £60 million. In addition, a parliamentary question from my colleague John Lamont revealed that the single police force will start life owing more than £100 million in outstanding debt accumulated by Scotland’s eight police forces and that interest amounting to £6 million per annum is due.

          The potential savings articulated by the SNP in July 2011 now appear grossly overstated and wildly optimistic. Given that and the facts as highlighted, the Scottish Government must carry out an urgent review of the legislation, including making a long overdue full business case, in an effort to provide clarity regarding the functions and responsibilities of the SPA and report back to the Parliament on the necessary reforms to the legislation.

          I move amendment S4M-05899.2, to leave out from “whether the” to “amended” and insert:

          “the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, which should include the publication of a full business case for the single police force and, in light of this review, to amend the Act”.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          We are very tight for time—members have four minutes for speeches. I call Christine Grahame, to be followed by Graeme Pearson.

          15:06
        • Christine Grahame (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP):

          Thank you, Deputy Presiding Officer. In four minutes I will try to touch on some points, but not all.

          Alison McInnes is right to raise concerns that the single force could undermine local delivery and local needs. It is a fair enough concern, but for me it is not proven. If I thought that it had merit I would certainly say so. The cabinet secretary has already referred to the policing plans in place for every single ward, which I think is pretty local. Given that local commanders have been designated for all 14 divisions, I do not see 1 April as a big bang. The people of Melrose or Gorebridge will see no difference in local policing. Indeed, it may improve because of increased numbers.

          In England, many police look enviously at Scotland because of our single force. Every shire having an officer at every level is costly, a waste of money and sometimes leads to bad policing. The police commissioner elections, as already mentioned, cost £75 million with a 14.9 per cent turnout. Surely the Liberal Democrats cannot say that that would be a better solution for Scotland. Lots of chiefs at the cost of Indians—give me Indians anytime. Jobs have been lost in England: 5,000 police officers have gone and another 16,000 are at risk. What do you think the morale of police in England is like?

          I will give you a topical example of where a single force would be a huge asset. In the Jimmy Savile case, various English police forces had been aware over decades of complaints that Jimmy Savile was committing serious sexual offences. There was no liaison or communication between those forces, so he was able to offend for decades. With a centralised police force, the communication on serious crimes involving predatory and peripatetic criminals would be much, much better and might prevent such events from happening.

        • Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands) (LD):

          Would Christine Grahame not accept that the opposite of that argument is that Dumfries and Galloway constabulary was not big enough to investigate Lockerbie?

        • Christine Grahame:

          Yes, indeed. That is why I am saying that, with a centralised police force, a big incident such as that would be dealt with by a serious crime squad. That is where we really need a centralised police force.

          Local policing is required for local issues such as vandalism, burglaries and so on that take place in local areas—there are crimes that are specific to areas, such as the theft of sheep and cattle and so on in rural areas—but a single police force would be an advantage on big issues and in cases of predatory, peripatetic criminals.

          I will move quickly on to staffing. The handling of people management has been a huge issue. The worst thing that can happen to people—civilians or uniformed police—is not to know what is going on. I have raised that with the cabinet secretary privately and in public, and I think that letters should have been written and communications should have been made to people—particularly civilian staff—about what was going on. People need to know that they are not going to be told at the last minute what is happening. I hope that something is in hand to address that.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          You are in your final minute.

        • Graeme Pearson (South Scotland) (Lab):

          For 38 years, officers and staff from eight police forces and, more recently, the Scottish Crime and Drugs Enforcement Agency and the Scottish Police Services Authority have served the public throughout Scotland for the most part in an exemplary and professional manner. I take the opportunity to acknowledge that many have given their time—and, sometimes, their lives—selflessly, providing security and safety for others.

          However, recent evidence demonstrates that some senior people have failed to learn the lessons from the experience of the SPSA. I find it difficult to understand why, if matters were so clear and functions were so well understood, the Lord Advocate, the chief constable, the chair of the Scottish Police Authority, the minister and civil servants required to meet to broker some kind of outcome.

          Now is the moment for the Government to commit clearly—in unequivocal, unambiguous terms—to the chief constable being the one who commands and directs while the SPA provides effective governance and accountability by means of a scheme of authority or delegation. I would like to see that scheme of authority. In that regard, I look forward to the policing event in the Parliament tomorrow, which was mentioned earlier.

          In that context, the SNP amendment is disappointing in its tone of self-congratulation, complacent in its understanding of the pressing needs that these organisations face and lazy in its analysis of current trends in crime recording, bearing in mind the fact that America, Canada, many parts of Europe and even the cabinet secretary’s favourite—south of the border—all face significant falls in recorded crime.

          That observation does not detract in any way from the hard work that is done by officers and staff. It merely reinforces the point that the loss of 1,000 police staff posts has been the cost of the additional 1,000 police officers. Some of the staff who have been lost are the people who ensured that criminals are caught in a modern Scotland. They worked as civilians in forensics or financial investigation or managed, analysed and linked crime trend statistics on behalf of police officers to enable them to arrest repeat offenders at all levels.

          I have much to say but little time.

          The SPA must ensure that it fulfils its responsibilities to forensic science by creating a cutting-edge service in a world where LGC Ltd and the forensic science services are struggling. Scotland has witnessed enough bean counting in that area over the past years. The Gartcosh crime campus offers a new beginning for forensic science alongside the specialist capabilities of counterterrorism and organised crime investigators. The chief constable and the SPA should take that opportunity.

          The inability of current police forces to link information and intelligence systems effectively was demonstrated yet again by the Savile debacle. Ten years ago, lessons from the Soham murders pointed the way forward in that regard. Scotland was in the lead, with its Scottish intelligence database. The SPA must commit to delivering again a world-class information technology network—secure, linked and effective in its command and control operations.

          I look forward to proper democratic oversight of forthcoming developments, and I support the motion as amended by Lewis Macdonald’s amendment.

          15:14
        • Christine Grahame:

          My last point is to invite you all—you are all coming and can have a wonderful time. I have here a letter signed by Vic Emery and Stephen House—it has no blood and no tears on it; they have signed it happily—and I am chairing a meeting tomorrow at which they will make a presentation about how they will work together and at which you can question them.

          Alison, I am sorry, but your debate would have been better held after that meeting, because at it you will be able to ask all those questions that you have about local policing and who is appointing whom.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          Speak through the chair, please.

        • Christine Grahame:

          I beg your pardon. I am speaking through the chair again.

          I expect all the Liberal Democrats to attend that meeting and I look forward to their having the answers to all their questions.

          The sub-committee, the motion for which will come before the Parliament today, will meet next Tuesday. It will not supplant the Justice Committee. Some of the members of that sub-committee are looking at me now. I am sure that they will give the SPA a hard time.

          15:10
        • Sandra White (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP):

          I, too, thank all those involved in the police service whom Graeme Pearson mentioned—officers and staff alike—who make our communities much safer for the members of the public we serve.

          We have a short time allocated to the debate. I therefore limit my comments to the motion and the amendments. I will deal with the Liberal Democrats motion first. It refers to a “democratic deficit”. As has been pointed out, it is worth mentioning that there are designated local commanders for all 14 divisions. They will work with local elected councillors and community planning partnerships to shape local services and prioritise needs. That is a good thing. There is also a local policing plan for every single council ward, which will ensure that policing across Scotland reflects the needs of our communities, which I think is what the Liberal Democrats are looking for. I would have thought that that was self-explanatory. That is a wholly democratic system.

        • Willie Rennie:

          Will the member take an intervention?

        • Sandra White:

          I am sorry, but I have only four minutes.

          I bumped into Councillor Paul Rooney, who is a Labour councillor in Glasgow City Council and a highly respected member of Strathclyde police authority. He will be a member of the new board. When I asked him how he felt about the new board, he told me that he was honoured to be on it, so perhaps Labour should speak to its own colleagues. I hold Councillor Rooney in high esteem.

          The Labour amendment focuses on the backfilling of civilian posts, which is an issue that Lewis Macdonald mentioned. I attended the meeting that Lewis Macdonald referred to and I spoke to individual members of staff. However, we must also remember what Stephen House said about backfilling in response to Jenny Marra’s questions in the Justice Committee. He said:

          “I believe that Police Scotland needs a balanced and integrated workforce of Police Officers and Police Staff. I would be keen to examine ways to improve that balance within our agreed budget. But I must repeat that we do not have a strategy or plan to backfill Police Staff Roles with Police Officers. I want as many Officers as possible to be on the street in an operational role”.

        • Lewis Macdonald:

          Will the member take an intervention?

        • Sandra White:

          I am sorry, but I have only a couple of minutes left.

          Stephen House also said:

          “there is no plan or strategy for reform that I am in charge of that is predicated on backfilling.”—[Official Report, Justice Committee, 23 October 2012; c 1851.]

          Members must listen to what the chief constable said on that topic.

          I want to touch on the Conservatives’ amendment. I am not sure whether Margaret Mitchell will remember that the Conservatives called for directly elected police commissioners during the stage 3 debate. We do not have to cast our minds back too far to remember what happened in England and Wales when they had directly elected police commissioners. The elections resulted in a turnout of 14.9 per cent at a cost of—wait for it—£75 million. Is that the Conservatives’ contribution to the debate? They want to spend on police commissioners when we can have a single police force and locally elected police boards that will serve all communities.

          15:18
        • Roderick Campbell (North East Fife) (SNP):

          One thing that was abundantly clear about the 2011 Scottish parliamentary elections was that, despite the Liberal Democrats giving their opposition to a national police force prominence, it was not a vote winner. Notwithstanding that, they opposed the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill all the way from stage 1 in committee to the conclusion in the chamber last year in support of their view that local is best. That debate was comprehensively lost, and it is time that the Lib Dems accepted that and the fact that we have a new structure in which there is a designated local commander in all 14 divisions who will be involved with all local councillors, not just those few councillors on police boards.

          There will also be a local police plan for each of Scotland’s 353 council wards. Stephen House advised in evidence in November 2012 that those plans would concentrate on the top three concerns in each ward and what the police would do about those concerns in the next 12 months. That really is a local level of police priority.

          I accept that the issue of democracy and whether there is a democratic deficit in the new arrangements was discussed by many during the passage of the bill. The former Auditor General for Scotland, Robert Back, raised the issue in his evidence; Graeme Pearson has been resolute in his view that the Scottish Police Authority, as designed, did not offer democratic accountability; and John Finnie proposed a sub-committee of the Justice Committee to scrutinise the reforms at an early stage. He, of course, proposed an amendment that would commit Parliament to keeping the act’s operation under review. We are, of course, in the process of setting up that sub-committee and I wish it well in its task.

          Concerns from the Liberal Democrats about the Scottish Police Authority adopting a service provider role were not evident in debate about the bill. There was discussion about the operation of forensic services and the extent to which the chief constable should have operational control over forensic crime scene examination. That issue was resolved on the basis that the Scottish Police Authority and not the chief constable will have direct responsibility for the forensic service but the chief constable and his command will decide which crime scenes the forensic service goes to—a sensible arrangement.

          We did not have any real debate about the HR and finance functions and who should call the shots—perhaps we should have. We certainly did not hear about any Liberal Democrat concerns on those issues. However, what became clear in November was that there was a difference of approach between the new chief constable and the chairman of the SPA—a turf war, which is never edifying. Justice Committee members remember the discussion by both parties along the lines of, “I’ll show you my legal advice if you show me yours.” As Alison McInnes will be aware, however, the Justice Committee agreed with the request that neither side’s legal advice should be published. We need to accept that. Speaking as a member of the Faculty of Advocates, I point out that the fact that there were two differing legal views on the legislation is hardly earth shattering.

          We should avoid accepting the argument that, somehow or other, the answer now is legislative change. If the Liberal Democrats think that it is, they should say why in clear and unequivocal terms. Moreover, those issues have been addressed in the dialogue that has occurred since November. What the police service needs now is not new legislation but an acknowledgement that it is progressing on the road to eliminating duplication and an acknowledgement that it needs to progress the issue of dealing with voluntary redundancies in an efficient and sensitive way, while recognising the necessity to keep communities safe and building on the decrease in crime rates.

          The contrast between north of the border and south of the border—where the Liberal Democrats are in government—could not be clearer. I have no doubt which model the people of Scotland would prefer.

          15:22
        • Annabel Goldie (West Scotland) (Con):

          The debate has demonstrated a significant and justified concern over the implementation of a single police force. Although that concern may not, as yet, be on the radar screen of the general public, if the safety of Scotland’s communities is in any way thought to be at risk, it certainly will be.

          Those who work for the police are concerned. Many of them do not know whether they will have a job in the single force, less than three weeks before that force is due to be established. Those in charge of the single police force are concerned. Chief Constable Stephen House told the Justice Committee that he had identified

          “a gobsmacking major problem with the legislation.”—[Official Report, Justice Committee, 27 November 2012; c 2119.]

          Vic Emery, chairman of the Scottish Police Authority, is concerned. He responded to the Government’s intervention in January with the warning:

          “the board’s reservoir of patience with the protracted nature of resolving this kind of issue is already running low.”

          In any major organisational change, teething problems could be expected, but this level of confusion and fundamental disagreement is alarming. It boils down to the basic issue of who calls the shots in the new single police force. Is it the chief constable, as the most senior police officer in Scotland, or the administrative head of the Scottish Police Authority who controls the purse strings? At the moment, we have two jockeys on one horse, which is an impossible situation.

          That Christine Grahame, at this stage, should be asked to mediate or to hold the jackets—depending on how you look at it—at a meeting of the two protagonists says it all. That such confusion should prevail, with less than a month to go—

        • Christine Grahame:

          Will the member take an intervention?

        • Annabel Goldie:

          I am tight for time. I am sorry. I am merely reiterating what Ms Grahame confirmed to the chamber.

          That such confusion should prevail, with less than a month to go, is an indictment of the Scottish Government’s handling of the matter.

          My party strongly supports the Lib Dem call for a review of the legislation. We have to clarify two points: who is in charge of what, and, most important, who is in overall control. It is appropriate that such a review includes clarity of the business case, as called for by my colleague Margaret Mitchell.

          One person, in blissful solitude, is not concerned—the First Minister. Last week, he said that he was not being kept awake by the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. Despite the obvious flaws in the new police force structure and the ensuing widespread concerns, it appears that the First Minister is not being kept awake by that either. He has dismissed the dispute over police staff as “creative tension”—there is a classic first ministerial euphemism. This is not a production of “Macbeth”; this is how we run Scotland’s police force.

          Although we are supportive of the principle of a single police force, the Scottish Conservatives always maintained that it could be created only if it went hand in hand with direct democratic safeguards, which the SNP rejected. Although we could not have predicted this particular spat between two prominent individuals, we did not vote for the bill because we did not think that it had been properly thought out and because, as Alison McInnes said, the SNP used its majority to vote against nearly all the Opposition amendments that would have improved it.

          Significantly, this mess has arisen at the 11th hour because the SNP has dictated the timetable for the changeover although it was warned time and again of the challenges that were involved in railroading the measures through.

          So, where are we now? Around 6,000 police staff still do not know about their future; the agreement between the SPA and police Scotland will result in a duplication of services, which is a waste of money; there is anecdotal evidence that front-line officers are being recalled to replace civilian staff; and, amid all this confusion, we do not know who calls the shots in the new single police force: a chief constable or an administrative head.

          The Scottish Government needs to sort that mess out, which is why I support the motion in the name of Alison McInnes and the amendment in the name of Margaret Mitchell.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer (John Scott):

          Before I call Jenny Marra, I remind all members who have taken part in the debate that they should be in the chamber.

          15:26
        • Jenny Marra (North East Scotland) (Lab):

          The cabinet secretary’s words today have done little to alleviate the frustration that is felt around the chamber about the progress that is being made towards our single service. Chief among our concerns is his continuing assertion that there are 1,000 extra police officers on our streets. Time after time, Labour has told him what Unison and Audit Scotland have also told him, which is that those officers are not on our streets but are filling backroom posts in police stations. His own figures show a drop of 907 police staff since 2010.

          We know from the chief constable, and from leaked documents from the police reform group in the cabinet secretary’s department, that the 1,000-officer commitment will be unsustainable in the single service as more staff jobs are cut.

          Why is the commitment to 1,000 extra police officers a matter for the cabinet secretary but, according to the answer that I was given earlier, police station closures are not and are, instead, an operational matter? The truth is that bad news is an operational matter and good news is a political commitment by this bountiful Government.

          The gulf between what the cabinet secretary says and the reality of what is happening in police stations across Scotland is astounding. In his own constituency, police custody officers are being replaced by police officers. The people of his constituency and the rest of Scotland are looking to the cabinet secretary to make the decisions that will keep their communities safe, and they are being let down time and again by his lack of leadership on police reform.

          Nowhere is that more demonstrable than in his handling of the power struggle at the top of the single service. Yet again, the cabinet secretary has told us that responsibilities are clear between the SPA and the chief constable, but that is in deep contrast to the views of the chief constable himself.

          As Lewis Macdonald said in his opening speech, that uncertainty could have been avoided if the cabinet secretary had accepted many of the amendments from across the chamber, including Labour’s amendments to increase accountability and transparency in the SPA and the police service of Scotland. However, those amendments were rejected out of hand and, as Alison McInnes said, we still need meaningful action. It is because of the cabinet secretary’s refusal to commit to greater accountability from the outset, and his sustained denial of the power struggle between Mr House and Mr Emery, that we believe that the Government should urgently consider the way in which the legislation is being interpreted.

          With the single service starting in just over two weeks, we share the concerns of police staff, unions and the public that the cabinet secretary’s lack of leadership is posing a risk to its success. People need to know that their jobs are secure and that cuts will not creep in through the back door as “operational decisions”, and they need to be clear about who is in charge of the day-to-day running of the service. It is for them that we urge the cabinet secretary to take ownership, display leadership and commit to taking action to protect local policing today. Most important of all, we urge him to open his ears and start listening to the reality of what is happening on the ground.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          I call the cabinet secretary, Kenny MacAskill, to wind up, please, on behalf of the Government. You have six minutes.

          15:30
        • Kenny MacAskill:

          I hesitate to be too harsh on Alison McInnes, because I appreciate that she has just been rolled out today to fight the good fight for the Liberal Democrats. She has always been polite and supportive in committee.

          For the Liberal Democrats, the issue started in 2011, when Tavish Scott said that the most important issue in Scotland was the threat of a single police service. The outcome was that the Liberal Democrats lost 71 per cent of their seats, 51 per cent of their constituency vote and 54 per cent of their regional vote.

          Under Willie Rennie’s leadership, they continued to protest that the move to a single police force was the most significant issue, and they lost half their vote and half their councillors. That is the position that the Liberal Democrats have taken, and that is the judgment that has been cast upon them by the people of Scotland.

        • Willie Rennie:

          Does the justice secretary have anything to say about the police?

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          I am just coming on to that.

          People sometimes seem, in the chamber, to be living in a parallel universe. Mr Pearson made the point that the reduction in crime is a western phenomenon. I agree with him on that, but our 37-year low is significantly better than the position south of the border.

        • Annabel Goldie:

          Will the cabinet secretary give way?

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          I will not, at the moment.

          In the opening and closing speeches, I have heard not one word of praise for the police. Mr Pearson gestured towards that in commenting on the police’s work—which is outstanding—but the rest was just, “Woe is us”, because Scotland is apparently in a dreadful position and the country is collapsing. However, we have a 37-year low in recorded crime, we have an 18-year low in the number of crimes involving the carrying of an offensive weapon and we have a record number of police, which Labour would not commit to—Mr Macdonald would not even give us the number to which Labour would reduce the police. That is why I say that there is a parallel universe.

        • Lewis Macdonald:

          I am grateful to the cabinet secretary for stepping outside his parallel universe for a moment. I hope that he heard me say in my speech that the absolutely central relationship of mutual trust and support that should exist between police officers and police staff is under threat from the policy approach that he has taken. Reflecting on the importance of that relationship, will he say something now about what he will do to repair the damage that has already been done?

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          There was not much in that interjection that I was not going to come on to deal with.

          As I said, we have an outstanding police service—even if the Opposition’s spokespeople are not prepared to praise it.

        • Annabel Goldie:

          Will the cabinet secretary give way?

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          By all means, I will give way to Ms Goldie. She has been trying.

        • Annabel Goldie:

          Will the cabinet secretary take this opportunity to remind members that he wanted to increase the number of Scottish police officers by 500, but the Scottish Conservatives, out of respect for the police, forced an increase of 1,000 officers?

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          I will not hesitate, in that case, to comment on the position following plebgate or, indeed, to say that the Tories seem to want not just some police officers to be removed, but even more to be removed.

          We have an outstanding police service, which we need to maintain while dealing with the challenge of the huge cuts coming from the Tory-Liberal coalition south of the border. Irrespective of whether the UK Government is reducing officer numbers, whether it is implementing a greater reduction in back-office staff than here or whether it is attacking the terms and conditions of those who serve, we will not do so. We will ensure that reform improves and adds to the outstanding service that we have.

          For the first time, we will have a national police rape investigation unit, so that all of Scotland can deal with that challenge because the skills that we possess in various areas will be available in every area of Scotland. We will be able to deal with matters such as border patrol and border policing when we face difficulties, whether that is at Cairnryan—which must currently be dealt with by Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, despite its size—or at Glasgow airport for other incidents. We will get improved service.

          At the same time, we will maintain and increase democratic accountability. I see Mr McArthur sitting on the Liberal Democrat benches; I recall meeting his Orkney Islands Council colleagues who indicated that, under the current system, they have two members on the board of Northern Constabulary. Under the single service, they will have a committee and it will be up to them whether to have a full committee of the council or a committee for those members. They will have greater accountability and scrutiny and they will have their own dedicated divisional commander, who will, at their request, be the current serving officer.

        • Alison McInnes:

          The cabinet secretary will know that the Justice Committee spent a great deal of time taking evidence on that. We considered amendments at stage 2 that would have ensured that, if there was no agreement on local policing plans, there would be some way of resolving that, but he refused to accept any of those amendments. There is no real local accountability; there is some good will.

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          There is significantly greater accountability than was the case with two council members going once a month to Inverness to be entertained by the chief constable.

          Rod Campbell correctly said that the situation has been unedifying. Vic Emery and Stephen House would acknowledge that some of what has appeared in the newspapers has been unedifying. Let us be clear that the two of them are working hard with those who serve under them to ensure that, when the service goes live on 1 April, the current outstanding service will be maintained. They are individuals of the highest integrity—one is an outstanding police officer and the other has an outstanding record of service in business.

        • Margaret Mitchell:

          Will the cabinet secretary give way?

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          I do not have time.

          Both of them will put the police service in a better position. I look forward to their appearance tomorrow at the meeting that will be convened by the Justice Committee convener. That shows that, whatever tittle-tattle Opposition members might put forward, Vic Emery and Stephen House are working publicly to deliver an outstanding service. The Government stands up and supports the police service in Scotland, even if no other party in the chamber does.

          15:36
        • Willie Rennie (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD):

          The Cabinet Secretary for Justice should take a moment to reflect on the comments towards the end of his speech in which he accused senior councillors holding the police to account of being on a junket with a chief constable. That kind of behaviour is unacceptable.

          Kenny MacAskill rose—

        • Willie Rennie:

          I will not take an intervention, so the cabinet secretary can sit down.

          He should also reflect on his misrepresentation of the chief constable. On 20 December, in a letter to the Justice Committee, the chief constable said:

          “I am increasingly of the view that the only satisfactory resolution will be a change to legislation in order to address the matter fully.”

          Those were the chief constable’s words. If the cabinet secretary disagrees, he should clarify that now.

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          Mr Rennie probably has not met Mr House recently. I have. It would be best for Mr Rennie to turn up at the meeting tomorrow with Mr House and Mr Emery and listen to what Mr House says. He is clear that he sees no requirement at present for any legislative change, and he is working towards making our police service outstanding.

        • Willie Rennie:

          Was that after a meeting with the Lord Advocate and all his colleagues to ensure that the chief constable was brought into line? The Cabinet Secretary for Justice did not dispute the fact that the quotation is absolutely accurate

          .

          Kenny MacAskill adopts a kind of squirrel approach to politics that involves talking about anything at all anywhere else other than our responsibilities here. He did not include in his remarks any reference to the fact that, in England, crime is at its lowest since records began. We hear repeatedly about the level in Scotland, and good progress has been made, but we are not alone in that. He also needs to recognise that there are big divisions in his own ranks. There are divisions between civilian staff and police officers over their jobs. There are divisions at the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan, which were at the centre of the issues, and there are divisions with Unison.

          Margaret Mitchell is correct to call for a full business case, because we have not had a business case so far.

          When Christine Grahame talked about the Savile case, she was arguing for there to be no boundaries at all between organisations. Is she arguing for a United Kingdom-wide police force and saying that that is the only way we will ever be able to resolve the problems? We will have boundaries between organisations. The issue that we need to tackle is to do with communications between organisations and the use of technology. We need smooth communication if we are to deal with such issues.

        • Christine Grahame:

          Senior police officers in England have said that the problem in the Savile case was lack of communication between various divisions where incidents took place and complaints were made. My interpretation is that, in Scotland, with a single police force, the information and data that are collected for very serious crimes—to which Graeme Pearson referred—will help to ensure that people like Jimmy Savile are brought to book before they can commit further crimes. The problem in England was that there were too many police dealing with things but not communicating with one another. The single police force will help with communication.

        • Willie Rennie:

          We need to have smooth communications between all public bodies—between social work, education services and the police. The logic of Christine Grahame’s argument is that we should have one big public service organisation. There needs to be smooth communications between all services; otherwise, we end up with the idea that biggest is always best.

          Graeme Pearson is absolutely right when he talks about the Lord Advocate and patience running low. If things were so smooth and cordial, why was the Lord Advocate required to resolve the issue?

          Sandra White’s point about local councillors having direct access to and influence over the police is a very interesting one. If local councillors were to disagree fundamentally with something that the police service’s chief constable had planned for their area or for a wider area, what power would they have? Do they have any ability to reject his plans? I suspect that they do not.

          Rod Campbell said that there were no debates about operational independence. He obviously was not listening. My colleague Alison McInnes tells me that there were endless debates about it. He was not listening, and neither was the justice secretary.

          There is a major issue here, which has shattered confidence in the police and among police officers. We have pitted the SPA against the chief constable and civilian staff against the police officers. Councillors have been stripped of real control over their police. Furthermore, cuts are being delivered, rather than the savings that were promised. The fear is that more is to come. Will we see the closure of local police stations and control rooms and the return—as the Labour Party has rightly identified—of the backroom bobbies? Will there be cuts to critical backroom staff, who are central to the efficient running of the service?

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          Will the member take an intervention?

        • Willie Rennie:

          I will not, just now.

          What other areas will the SFA interfere with?

        • Christine Grahame:

          The SFA?

        • Willie Rennie:

          I mean the SPA. As one member of the board has asked, will the Scottish Police Authority want to investigate police operations? What creeping interference will there be from the SPA?

          We need fresh legislation.

        • Kenny MacAskill:

          Will the member take an intervention now?

        • Willie Rennie:

          I will not, just now.

          If we can get fresh legislation, we might be able to deal with the crisis within the police.

          By instinct, Liberal Democrats are distrustful of central power and control. That distrust is built on three solid beliefs: first, the inability of the man in the ministry fully to reflect the wide and varied needs of different communities; secondly, the faith and power of communities to do good; and thirdly, the fact that, when a crisis inevitably comes, power dispersed is safer power. The 2012 act does not just run counter to those beliefs—it is an insult to the communities that the Government is supposed to be serving. Those principles are why we were resolute in our opposition to centralisation of the police when others around us were attracted by the bright lights of shiny new uniforms.

          I have always believed that Parliament would regret passing the police centralisation bill—now the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, but I thought that it might be for future generations to regret the actions of its founders. I did not believe that those actions would be regretted by this generation, and so quickly. The founders of the 2012 act—Kenny MacAskill and Roseanna Cunningham—will be remembered. We might say that never in the field of Scottish justice were so few resented so much by so many. It is not so much about fixing something that was not broken as about breaking something that was already fixed.

          Before the new force even exists, it will already have achieved some astounding feats: it will have turned civilian staff against police officers, turned the SPA against the police and turned the police’s back against local communities. I did not believe that it would be possible, but the Government has turned a crime fighting force into an infighting force. It has been a farce, not because the Scottish Government has lost control but because it grabbed control.

          Now, we must put the situation right—restoring what was right before the Government broke it. We need fresh legislation for the sake of security, for the sake of the justice system and for the sake of ministers’ red faces. The Government must act, and act now.

      • Common Agricultural Policy Reform
        • The Deputy Presiding Officer (John Scott):

          The next item of business is a debate on motion S4M-05898, in the name of Tavish Scott, on common agricultural policy reform.

          15:45
        • Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands) (LD):

          I start with the press release that I have just received from the NFU Scotland, which welcomes today’s debate. In lodging the motion, the Liberal Democrats have made the Government respond to us. The NFUS announced that the less favoured area payments will start to arrive in bank accounts from Friday. I am sorry to be getting this in 10 minutes before Richard Lochhead can say it. The fact that Richard Lochhead has had to rush out the announcement shows our importance. Farmers across Scotland now know that when they get a parliamentary debate from the Liberal Democrats, the minister gives more money to Scottish agriculture. I commend the minister for that welcome approach.

          In recent weeks, two constituents have come to see me about common agricultural policy reform. One has built up his livestock numbers. He breeds quality ewes for trade, he contracts fences, he shears, and he manages shipping of livestock across the quay in Lerwick every autumn. Despite all that hard work, he now faces the uncertainty of not knowing what single farm payment he will have in 2015.

          The second constituent is the son of a good friend. He is a young farmer with enormous potential in the industry, and he has a route into farming through succession, although he has no entitlement. He needs certainty for his bank.

          Scottish agriculture has notable opportunities. Crofters, farmers and growers produce quality goods. The Liberal Democrats support a pro-Scotland food policy and say all power to the minister’s elbow on his promotion of Scottish produce, and to Jim McLaren of Quality Meat Scotland for the same. Why the SNP voted against our local food procurement amendment last night is quite beyond me.

          However, there are bigger questions about the day-to-day ability to farm and to produce lambs, calves or strawberries. After I left school, I worked on an American midwest cattle farm. At that time the farmers wanted the US Congress to pass the freedom to farm act

          . When I speak to my adopted Kansan family today, I hear that little has changed except that fewer people are working, but they are working in bigger agri-businesses. Is that the future that we want for Scottish agriculture? I relish Shetland’s having hundreds of active crofters but, as in the rest of Scotland, numbers are falling. The paperwork and the fear of breaking Government regulations are driving many people away.

          Surely CAP reform should be about something that is so much better. If public policy supports the provision of food from local markets with traceability, quality and provenance built in, that will cost. However, if politicians mirror short-term public opinion and support the cheapest of food, who knows what the future will hold for Scottish agriculture?

          CAP reform must be tailored to Scottish needs, but we cannot pretend to be divorced from the English or wider European marketplaces. The Scottish Government’s own food policy proves that case. The most recent worrying development has been the closure of a major light-lamb processing factory in Wales. That facility bought hundreds of Scottish hill lambs and this year’s lamb crop will have fewer markets as a result.

          Our motion, which is on behalf of every farmer, crofter and grower, is pressing the Scottish Government to state its position on common agricultural policy reform. Every farmer and crofter whom I have met of late—the cabinet secretary meets a heck of a lot more than I do—asked me one simple question: what will my single farm payment be in 2015? That is the question that the Government needs to answer. What will the Scottish framework of payments be?

          The modelling work that the Welsh Government is doing is right. It published on 6 February proposals that bear some examination. They go into considerable detail about the different share of support under the coming arrangements, and how farmers across Wales are expected to gain. Page 12 of its report illustrates the modelling

          “on how a single flat rate across the country would affect farm incomes”

          and how

          “48% would gain but 35% would lose at least 10% of their current payment.”

          In fairness to our colleagues in Wales, they are in no way ducking the serious repercussions of agricultural reform.

          In the paper, the Welsh Government goes on to state:

          “around 85% of farms with an historical payment of less than €1,000 would experience a gain of 10% or more from the change to a flat rate payment.”

          It looks at differential rates and provides a regional assessment, which I would commend to the cabinet secretary here in Scotland. It also states that

          “In terms of regional changes,”

          the largest gains will be

          “in the Southern region compared to its aggregate historical entitlement value.”

          Interestingly—I also commend this point to the cabinet secretary—it recommends

          “extending the modelling to consider the effect not just on the direct payments received by farm businesses, but on their entire farm incomes.”

          That seems to me to be a reasonable and appropriate approach to a very difficult issue.

          As that paper was published on 6 February, I can only suggest that Wales has led and Scotland should now follow. The Welsh Government has tackled some of the things that farmers in Scotland are crying out for and has provided an illustration of what payments are going to look like. When will the cabinet secretary start to get around Scotland with a region-by-region breakdown of single farm payments and tell our farmers and crofters what his plans are? That is what his Welsh opposite number is doing. He is not holding one April conference, but is meeting farmers every night right across the country and talking about his plans.

          Scotland’s agriculture minister has enormous discretionary powers to shape a Scottish CAP. Scotland has a different approach from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and that is as it should be. In effect, there are four CAPs across the UK. We have less favoured areas, but England does not. We have coupled payments—that is what the beef and calf scheme is—but England and Wales do not and that, too, is as it should be. However, our ministers should tell farmers and crofters what their plans are within the huge discretion that they have from the European Union.

          Mr Lochhead’s amendment cites the Pack report, which was produced back in 2010. However, I looked again this morning and I could not find any observation, any release or any Government statement on whether the cabinet secretary agrees or does not agree with the Pack report’s recommendations. Some of them were pretty challenging for any future support system for Scottish agriculture. The inquiry’s recommendations included:

          “Future direct payments should be distributed in Scotland on the basis of distinguishing LFA and Non-LFA land.”

          It also concluded:

          “The change from the current historic base for”

          single farm payments

          “to the Inquiry's approach outlined here should take place as soon as possible after the European negotiations are complete.”

          Again, I do not know whether the cabinet secretary favours that approach, with a transition of only one year as opposed to the much longer transition that many in Scottish agriculture are calling for. That is a fundamental decision that our cabinet secretary must take, and he must give Scottish agriculture an early indication of how he plans to proceed. Can he tell us how he plans to move from historic payments to area-based payments? Many people across the industry believe that that transition should take as long as possible. Does he agree?

          Will he invoke what the Irish presidency of the EU now describes as the “Irish tunnel”? That means partial convergence so that half of farmers will see less change. That would ease payment changes and allow better planning, and it is seen to be a more stable approach. Does the cabinet secretary consider that to be the right option for Scotland?

          Has the Scottish Government asked the European Union to allow a great majority of annual payments to be made in advance in December? That is a serious proposal that the NFU Scotland has made time and again. It would help with cash flow, it would mean fewer in-year changes, and it would also be administratively easier. I am sure that the cabinet secretary will reflect on that. What is his view?

          What assessment is being carried out of the need for a safety net for extensive producers so that they do not get caught up by a well-meaning but hopelessly prescriptive activity test? That point was alluded to in last night’s crofting debate.

          Does the cabinet secretary support the simplification of regulations, notably for small producers and crofters? He is rightly sympathetic to new entrants—people who have been kept out of the subsidy regime since 2005. What is the Scottish Government’s position on the size of the national reserve? At 3 per cent, is it big enough?

          Farmers and crofters need answers to those questions. The EU budget, the framework of the common agricultural policy and the flexibility to tailor to Scottish needs are now all in place, yet our industry has no certainty. When does the Government plan to provide that clarity?

          We believe that Scotland’s farmers and crofters need to see financial modelling, a region-by-region breakdown and an active minister-led discussion with firm illustrations of the policy options that could be pursued. On behalf of the industry, we want the cabinet secretary to be clear on his approach before the Easter recess. Farmers and crofters need to know that information and it is the responsibility of this cabinet secretary and this Government to show them it.

          I move,

          That the Parliament notes the crucial importance of a Scottish common agricultural policy (CAP) within the UK; believes that farmers and crofters across Scotland need to understand what decisions the Scottish Government plans; notes that the Welsh Government has modelled CAP reform into payments by region and commends a similar approach for Scotland, and calls on the Scottish Government to set out its plans for implementing CAP reform and to seek the agreement of the Parliament to this before the end of March 2013 so that farmers and crofters can plan for the substantial changes ahead of implementation on 1 January 2015.

          15:55
        • The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment (Richard Lochhead):

          These are crucial days for the CAP, what with the European Parliament agreeing its mandate as we speak and next week’s vital council meeting at which ministers will agree their negotiating position. We must use such opportunities to secure a future policy that works for Scotland, and I will be at next week’s meeting to ensure that our key priorities are covered. Perhaps even more important—and to answer Tavish Scott’s point about my getting round Scotland to speak to farmers, which I do regularly—tomorrow night I will attend an open meeting with Angus farmers in Brechin.

          The priorities that I will be pursuing next week in Brussels include securing a simpler CAP that treats new entrants fairly, recognises the special needs of farming in a country with 85 per cent less favoured area status and gets right coupled support and greening, both of which are important to Scottish farmers and crofters. It has never been so important to ensure that the red meat supply chain is supported; coupled support is key to that, and from the start I have argued that Scotland must have the option to use 15 per cent of our envelope in that way or at the very least have the same ceiling as every other country.

          Although greening is good in principle, it is still difficult to work out how it can be applied proportionately across Europe. However, Scotland has made good progress in discussions on the issue and things seem to be going slowly in the right direction. There is recognition of traditional grazing practices, including heather; moreover, the thresholds for crop diversification appear to be going in the right direction but to my mind they need to be nudged a bit more to ensure that there are no unintended consequences for mixed farming on the uplands. There also seems to be a recognition that permanent grass can be measured at a national level in countries where there is no evidence of significant loss of area. That leaves ecologically focused areas, on which much work still needs to be done before we can be sure that that will work in a proportionate manner.

          Although the CAP negotiations are under way, we must think about what the CAP itself will mean for Scotland. The move from historic to area-based payments will be essential if payments are to be linked to recent activity rather than activity in the early 2000s; indeed, that is why back in 2009 I asked Brian Pack to consider our options. When he reported in 2010, he recognised the difficulties for countries such as Scotland with diverse agricultural landscapes in moving to area-based payments. For a start, arable farming takes place alongside livestock farming; farms have good land in valley bottoms but poorer land up in the hills; and our parishes often include land that is capable of producing different things.

          All those factors create very special issues that we need to consider in the move to area-based schemes, and Brian Pack’s report and proposed payment regimes were based on extensive modelling by the James Hutton Institute. It is good to see that Wales is now catching up with Scotland and like Mr Pack is setting out its thoughts and possible scenarios. I point out that those are only preliminary thoughts, not firm forecasts because, as the Welsh consultation document makes clear,

          “there are too many uncertainties”.

          Many key aspects of the future CAP are still very unclear and new ideas are still going into the text. Only last month, ministers discussed what has been referred to as the Irish tunnel—which, before I lose members, I should explain involves moving from historic to area-based payments without going all the way by 2020. Last month, we discussed the French idea of a redistributive payment to top up payments for the first 50 hectares on farms, which, of course, will leave less money to be shared out in the basic payments. Those very recent examples of additional flexibilities were proposed just last month after the Welsh consultation document had been published and are not covered in it.

          However, we do not even know the exact size of our future CAP budget and the main CAP regulations will not be agreed in Europe before June. Those key issues must be addressed before we can paint exact scenarios that reflect Scotland’s circumstances. We are in the middle of another round of modelling in Scotland and stakeholders, who have been involved in that process from the start, will help us to whittle down our options at a conference on 17 April and take forward further work over the summer. Until we have all the details of the future CAP, that must be an on-going process.

          I said that we still do not know the exact size of our future CAP budget to be delivered through pillar 1, which funds direct payments to farms, or pillar 2, which funds the Scotland rural development programme, but we know that we have been let down in the multi-annual financial framework negotiations, despite Scotland’s budgets already being clearly iniquitous. The Scottish direct payments rate is less than half of the European average rate. On the other hand, England gets double the Scottish rate and roughly the average European rate. If Scotland was negotiating as a member state on our own behalf, we know that, by 2020, we would be better off to the tune of over €300 million per annum through pillar 1 alone.

        • Jim Hume (South Scotland) (LD):

          The Lib Dems would, of course, like to see more pounds per hectare in Scotland, but does the minister not recognise that the payment that we currently get is directly linked to productivity in 2002 in Scotland and that, because Scotland is a hilly area, of course the payments would be less?

        • Richard Lochhead:

          I am not sure how the member can ask for higher payments for Scotland on the one hand, and then defend the status quo by saying that we do not deserve higher payments somehow. We are in virtually the same position as many other small countries in Europe, but we get a much poorer deal.

          We have been let down not only on direct farm payments, but on rural development funding. That funding is vital for our environment, our wider economy and the crofters to whom Tavish Scott referred. A number of Governments—16 out of the 27—fought for a larger rural development budget, but the United Kingdom Government did not. Therefore, there is no extra uplift for the UK, although Scotland started the negotiations at the bottom of the league and other countries are gaining even more funding for their rural communities. Scotland therefore has every reason to feel let down by the UK coalition Government.

        • Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands) (LD):

          Will the minister take an intervention?

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          The member is in his final minute.

        • Richard Lochhead:

          I honestly suspect that this debate is a diversionary tactic by the Lib Dems to distract us from the fact that Scotland’s farmers, crofters and rural communities face losing hundreds of millions of pounds up to 2020 because the Conservative and Lib Dem Government refuses to make Scotland a priority. That is at the heart of this debate, and it is no wonder that stakeholders in Scotland are lining up to criticise the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

          These are very important times for the CAP. Scotland is ahead of the game on modelling and thinking about payment scenarios. The coming weeks are vital for Scotland, and we need the UK Government to take heed of our requests and secure the best deal for Scottish farmers and crofters.

          I move amendment S4M-05898.3, to leave out from “believes” to end and insert:

          “welcomes the fact that the Scottish Government, building on the early modelling work on direct payments published alongside its 2009-10 inquiry into future farm support, has been consulting stakeholders since autumn 2012 on a second tranche of modelling, the results of which are due to be discussed at the Scottish Government CAP conference on 17 April 2013; notes that Scottish stakeholders are currently calling on UK ministers to stop ignoring Scotland’s views during the current EU negotiations; further notes that, under the current CAP, Scotland receives the lowest rural development budget allocation per hectare and the fourth lowest direct payments budget allocation per hectare in Europe; notes that, in the multiannual financial framework agreement of 8 February 2013, a large number of EU member states negotiated special uplifts to their direct payments and rural development budget allocations; regrets that the UK Government seems to have failed to negotiate any such uplift for the UK or for Scotland; calls on the UK Government, in the remaining discussions on the EU and CAP budgets and in the forthcoming discussions on budget allocations within the UK, to ensure that Scotland’s low share of CAP spending is rectified in order that the needs of rural Scotland can be properly addressed, and recognises that Scotland as an independent member state of the EU would benefit from significant additional CAP funds for the benefit of its farmers and wider rural communities.”

          16:02
        • Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab):

          I am pleased to be speaking in this debate.

          There is widespread agreement that reform of the CAP is necessary. There must be greater fairness in distribution among European Union members; we need to recognise the environmental challenges that Europe faces; and we need to deliver public confidence and respond to the priorities of a changing world. The CAP budget is nearly 40 per cent of the total EU budget, and there must be greater public confidence and transparency in its use and priorities. With 85 per cent of Scotland’s farmed area designated as disadvantaged and less favoured, reform needs to recognise those challenges. I hope that the UK Government and the Scottish Government can work together positively on those matters. It needs to be recognised that farming in more remote and disadvantaged areas brings multiple benefits to communities.

          We can agree that there needs to be a fairer distribution of support throughout the EU and within the UK, and not just for Scotland. The accession countries receive small pillar 1 payments, and agriculture is at the very centre of the EConomies of many of them. It employs many people, and those countries also deserve a fairer distribution.

          Towards the end of the process, decisions will need to be made about how Scotland will distribute its payments in the move from historic to area payments. We have sharp contrasts in Scotland. The average payment in East Lothian is over €125,000, while Highland receives an average of just over €34 per hectare. Therefore, there is an opportunity for the cabinet secretary to deliver the degree of redistribution that he argues for across the EU and within the UK, provide increased support to farming in disadvantaged areas, and ensure a level playing field for new entrants.

          The Scottish Government’s amendment argues for CAP spending to be rectified in order to address the needs of rural Scotland. Will the cabinet secretary take the same approach when he makes allocation decisions relating to Scotland’s direct payments?

          Whatever decision is made on area payments, there needs to be greater transparency in the proposals as well as an opportunity for parliamentary scrutiny and engagement. The Government amendment says that more will be revealed on 17 April. Meanwhile, the Welsh Assembly Government, which is facing similar decisions, has been open about the changes that are being proposed. It even has a website that anyone can go to and do the sums. That is quite a contrast with the Scottish Government’s approach. It is inevitable that there will be winners and losers in the process, and farmers and crofters need to be able to begin planning for the changes.

          Our amendment highlights the need to be clear about new entrants to farming and crofting and where they stand. New entrants currently get a raw deal from the CAP. While recognising that they get pots of money from the Scotland rural development programme and other targeted payments, they rightly ask why, when they are productive and growing new businesses, they do not get the support that other farms get. New entrants face lots of challenges in entering farming: financial barriers, rising land prices and lack of tenancies and starter units. The reform of the CAP must deliver for new entrants if we are to see a secure future for farming in Scotland. Greater clarity is needed on the timescales for reform and the support that will be available.

          NFU Scotland and the Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations—COPA—have signed a declaration in support of the Irish tunnel subsidy payment system. However, I think that we should be cautious about that approach, because it will slow reform and, although it will cushion change for some, it will mean that others who are in need of support will have to wait longer. For example, a farmer from Grampian recently tweeted me to say that it will mean that he will have to wait until 2025 for a level playing field. As Tavish Scott said, it would be helpful to know the cabinet secretary’s view on that.

          I am short of time, but I want to address the Conservative amendment. We support the principle of convergence and the need for a fairer allocation within the UK, but I am concerned that the amendment is too prescriptive and does not address the issues around production and disadvantage. An average per hectare payment masks quite a lot of inconsistencies in Scotland, as the earlier East Lothian and Highland example illustrated. However, I will listen to Alex Fergusson’s speech with interest.

          We hear again from the Government the assertion that we would see significant additional CAP funds from independence. During a debate in January last year before he became a minister, Paul Wheelhouse claimed that

          “when Scotland becomes independent, the full economic benefit of convergence between member states will be delivered to Scotland automatically.”—[Official Report, 18 January 2012; c 5396.]

          However, we increasingly see the terms of Scotland’s EU membership being questioned: the SNP claimed that it would be automatic, but it now acknowledges the need for negotiations.

        • Richard Lochhead:

          Will the member take an intervention?

        • Claire Baker:

          I am sorry, but I am just closing.

          What could be more open to negotiation than CAP payments? We see a reducing budget with more pressures being placed on it. Recent examples show that new member states, including those that joined in 2007, have had direct payments phased in gradually. That would be disastrous for Scottish farming, and the SNP can give no guarantees on the future of farmers within the EU.

          I move amendment S4M-05898.2, after “substantial changes” to insert:

          “and that new entrants into farming and crofting can be clear on what support will be available to them”.

          16:07
        • Alex Fergusson (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con):

          CAP reform is invariably traumatic. That is an inevitable and undeniable fact, which is due largely to the incredibly difficult task of trying to devise a common system of agricultural support across 27 different member states whose agricultural systems vary almost as widely as it is possible to imagine. It is a system that has to support subsistence farmers in southern and eastern Europe who have perhaps just a handful of sheep and a couple of cows, and the UK farmer with perhaps 1,000 ewes, 200-odd head of beef cattle and a couple of hundred acres of arable land. To have such a system in place at all is hard enough, but to reform it to the satisfaction of all member states, never mind the satisfaction of each individual farmer, has to be nigh on impossible.

          The fact is that reforming the CAP will result, as I think Claire Baker said, in winners and losers not just among the member states but especially among the farming sector within each member state. That is particularly true for Scottish farmers under the current reforms. As we have already heard, the reason for that is in essence the change from historic-based payments to area-based payments, which any basic calculation shows will tend to shift huge amounts of financial support from the south and east of the country to the north and west—that is, from the most productive parts to the least productive parts of the country. Whatever measures are introduced to mitigate the more extreme impacts of the changes, there will be winners and losers—of that we can be certain.

          As previous CAP reforms have taught us, farmers are remarkably good at adapting to change that is put in front of them. I have complete faith that our agricultural sector will adapt to the changes and challenges that the CAP reform will eventually introduce. However, one thing that every farmer needs to know before he or she can plan for such changes is how they will affect their business. That is why I think that the Liberal Democrat motion is absolutely right to highlight the action that the Welsh Assembly Government has been able to take to give Welsh farmers the information that they need to prepare for the changes. Surely that is the constructive, proactive approach that the sector requires if it is to be fully prepared for and supported through the changes that are to come.

          However, what we get from the Scottish Government, if its amendment to the motion is anything to go by, is not a constructive or proactive approach but yet another whinge at the UK Government, as if the debate were just another opportunity to open up a divide that does not have to exist and should not do so.

        • Richard Lochhead:

          Given that the amendment in Alex Fergusson’s name is at complete odds with UK policy, has he discussed it with his UK colleagues? What was the response?

        • Alex Fergusson:

          I am coming to that. My amendment, which I must say, for Claire Baker’s benefit, is largely self-explanatory, shows that members on the Conservative benches are very willing to work with the Scottish Government to secure the best possible outcome for Scottish agriculture from the reforms.

          I have already made and will continue to make representations to the UK Government about moving towards internal convergence and achieving the target rate of €196 per hectare by 2020. There is a perfectly good case for doing that—simplistic or not—and for making those arguments, but the Scottish Government is making it extremely difficult for us to do so. I urge ministers to drop their use of aggressive terminology, of which the Government amendment is a perfect example, so that we can all genuinely try to work together to achieve the best possible outcome for Scottish farming.

          The Scottish Government must consider what it can do during the negotiations, as well as continually blaming others for what has not been achieved. It is far from blameless in some of the problems that the sector faces. It was not the UK Government that dramatically reduced the funding that it puts into the co-financing of the SRDP. It is not the UK Government’s fault that the SNP has not lived up to its manifesto commitment to

          “work with communities to explore the creation of new National Parks”

          in Scotland. It is not the UK Government’s fault that the whole structure of forestry grants is now so overly bureaucratic that many people who have spent their whole lives working in the private forestry sector now wish that they were not doing so.

          I commend the Liberal Democrats for lodging the motion, which we will support. I wish that the Scottish Government had lodged an amendment that we could support, because that would have implied a real intention on the part of the Scottish Government to work with all members as the reforms are thrashed out. I fear that the Government’s priorities incline towards the divisive rather than the positive, and I cannot possibly support an amendment that takes for granted that an independent Scotland will automatically become the 28th member state of the European Union. The jury is very much out on that, just as it is on the motives that lie behind the Scottish Government’s amendment to the motion. We are keen to work with the Scottish Government; I wish that I was convinced that the Scottish Government is keen to work with us.

          I move amendment S4M-05898.1, to insert at end:

          “; believes that Scottish farmers should receive the same EU payments per hectare as their counterparts in the rest of the UK following reform of CAP, to ensure that Scottish farmers are not left at any competitive disadvantage; urges the Scottish Government to work constructively with the UK Government to move toward internal convergence across the UK to ensure that all British farmers are paid equally, and believes that all governments should work toward the proposed target rate of €196 per hectare by 2020, in accordance with the EU budget agreement.”

          16:12
        • Rob Gibson (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP):

          We can know only in outline what the CAP will deliver for us, given that the ink is not yet dry on the agreement—indeed, the votes are taking place only this afternoon. However, with a CAP budget that is down 13 per cent in real terms on the budget for 2007 to 2013, if Scotland was already a member state we would be better off to the tune of £304 million by 2020, because the budget deal lays down a minimum payment of €196 per hectare by 2020 for pillar 1 and Scotland currently gets €130 per hectare. Several members mentioned that.

          Despite the Scottish Government’s arguments, the UK Government did not push hard for a better deal on the CAP. Sixteen other member states were able to secure more rural development money. It seems to me that the UK Government and the Scottish Government have fundamentally different views on the reform of the CAP. The Scottish Government thinks that direct payments must be retained to support food production; the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has taken the extreme position of wanting all pillar 1 removed.

        • Jim Hume:

          Will the member give way?

        • Rob Gibson:

          Not at the moment.

          Last week, NFU Scotland sent a message to the UK environment minister, saying:

          “Defra statements regarding CAP Reform have focussed solely on an English farming agenda.”

          NFU Scotland, the most representative body of Scottish farmers, said that, not the SNP Government.

        • Jim Hume:

          Will the member give way?

        • Rob Gibson:

          No, thank you.

          NFU Scotland went on to say, in relation to the need to find a way forward:

          “The challenge is made greater by the diversity of agriculture and land use both within Scotland and the UK.”

          If that is the case, we must ask ourselves why we have had thrust in front of us diversionary stuff on the way in which Wales is doing things, when it is doing things on the hoof. Modelling exercises in Scotland that are fit for Scotland have been talked about for the past four years. We are talking about the adoption of the CAP in 2015. We are getting on with the job of inquiring about that in the Parliament and elsewhere.

        • Claudia Beamish (South Scotland) (Lab):

          Will the member take an intervention?

        • Rob Gibson:

          I am sorry, but I do not have time.

          It strikes me as being completely two-faced for supporters of the UK Government such as George Lyon to bemoan the fact that a huge area of concern is that

          “Scotland still languishes near the bottom of the league table in European handouts per eligible hectares. While the UK average per ha is €220, the figure for Scotland is €136.”

          Tavish Scott rose—

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          The member is in his final minute.

        • Rob Gibson:

          Those remarks are two-faced, because George Lyon believes that the UK Government is looking after us, while the NFU says that it is not.

          My feeling about the whole debate is that an English agenda is dominating what Owen Paterson is saying. Owen Paterson has not even bothered to come here to discuss with Scottish farmers what their situation is. Once again, we have been presented with a situation in which, as Robert Cunninghame Graham said in 1893,

          “The Tories we know to be the enemies of all change and reform, the Liberals are known to be loud protesters out of office and poor performers when in office.”

          They are now proving that in coalition in London.

          16:16
        • Jayne Baxter (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab):

          In Mid Scotland and Fife, the diversity of Scotland’s farming is encapsulated in one parliamentary region. Although we have the larger arable farms in Fife, the region also includes huge swathes of highland Perthshire and Stirlingshire, with their relatively fragile hill and upland livestock farms.

          As Claire Baker outlined, the issues of CAP reform are complex. We know that in many of Scotland’s rural areas CAP payments can have a major impact on the surrounding community, whether through the employment opportunities that are created by farming or through activities and projects that are developed under the Scotland rural development programme.

          In the present set of CAP reforms, the SRDP comes to the fore as proposals are put forward to make changes to the rural development regulations. Given that SRDP payments can support a range of initiatives in rural areas, including diversification, woodland creation and community projects, it is clear that for the sake not just of our farmers but of our wider community we must get the reforms right.

          We know that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. That is why I hope that Labour’s amendment, which seeks to protect new entrants into farming and crofting, will be supported across the chamber. The negotiating position that UK ministers from DEFRA take at a European level is of vital importance to Scotland, especially given that the majority of our farming land is designated as disadvantaged and less favoured. I believe that the Commission’s proposals for convergence of payments would result in a UK-wide solution for the support of fragile farming systems in less favoured areas.

          It is too easy for debates in this chamber to turn into the usual argument that all will be rosy post-independence. Even on payment convergence for farmers, the Scottish Government claims that an independent Scotland would suddenly receive a huge uplift in direct payments per hectare, but given that an independent Scotland’s position in the EU is not automatically guaranteed, it seems a bit presumptuous to make suggestions about the level of subsidy that farmers would receive under independence through the reformed CAP. Indeed, it would be difficult for farmers to receive direct payments from the European Commission when their Government was still negotiating the country’s accession terms, so I would prefer us to fix our focus on the realities of the system that we are in.

          As is evident from the Welsh model of regionality, having a system that splits payments by regions could more effectively reflect the diversity of our Scottish farms, and I would welcome our taking a more detailed look at that.

          It is up to each member state to subdivide its allocations once they have been awarded by the EU, therefore it is vital that the Scottish Government takes a strong position in the UK-wide discussions and does not just focus on the European-level talks.

          I welcome the recognition of the crucial importance of a Scottish common agricultural policy in the UK and I look forward to hearing from the Scottish Government how it will spend its £2 million per year to support new entrants until the CAP reforms are introduced in 2015.

          16:20
        • Annabelle Ewing (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP):

          I am pleased to have been called in this debate on the CAP. Of course, it is not the first time that CAP reform has been debated in Parliament and it most certainly will not be the last.

          We are at a crucial point in the CAP reform negotiations. We have heard today from the cabinet secretary that we expect the European Parliament to vote this afternoon on a series of amendments and we expect the council to reach a position next week. Further negotiations between European institutions are expected to go on for some months.

          All that is happening under the excellent stewardship of the presidency of Ireland, an independent country of some 4.4 million, with a key agricultural sector—a point that I believe will not be lost on many farmers and crofters in Scotland.

          Where stands Scotland in the negotiations? It has been clear from the start that the UK Tory-Liberal Government in London has fundamentally different views on CAP reform. Although farmers in Scotland believe that pillar 1 must be retained to support food production, the UK Government has taken the extreme position of seeking to abolish the entire pillar 1 budget.

        • Tavish Scott:

          Will the member give way?

        • Annabelle Ewing:

          I am sorry; I do not have time.

          That is a perverse position for the UK Tory-Liberal Government to adopt, as far as the interests of farmers in Scotland are concerned. Indeed, as recently as last week, NFU Scotland wrote to the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Paterson—a man who has been in the job for six months and yet has still not managed to find his way north of the border. That can be contrasted with the European agricultural commissioner, who has managed to find his way over the North Sea.

        • Alex Fergusson:

          Will the member take an intervention?

        • Annabelle Ewing:

          I am afraid that I do not have time.

          The letter from the president of NFU Scotland, Nigel Miller, to Owen Paterson said:

          “The next weeks and months will require intense effort by all of the UK’s farming ministers, their officials and key stakeholders to drive forward a CAP Reform package. That package must genuinely sustain production, enable rural communities to thrive, and support the delivery of a flourishing environment across the whole of the UK. That challenge is made greater by the diversity of agriculture and land use both within Scotland and the UK. Recent Defra statements appear to focus solely on English farming priorities only. However, UK ministers represent all UK farmers, and have a duty to represent Scotland’s interests in CAP negotiations.”

          It is curious that none of the other parties have yet managed to quote that letter.

          Although I know that the cabinet secretary here in Scotland will strain every sinew to defend and promote the interests of Scottish farmers, the sad fact of the matter is that his voice can be heard formally in the Council of Ministers only if he aligns his position with that of the UK Government, but of course that would be a betrayal of the interests of our farmers and crofters.

          The fact that we are reliant on the UK Government, despite its vagaries, to deign to promote Scotland’s interests is sadly not a new problem. Indeed, it must be recalled that, under the neglect of successive UK Governments, Scotland languishes at the bottom of pillar 2 funding in the entire EU and fourth bottom of pillar 1 funding. What rotten deals the UK has struck for Scotland over the years. Indeed, it must be asked where the union dividend is there.

          As we have heard, Scotland, as Scotland, with her own voice in the corridors of power, would be on track to receive some €304.5 million per year by 2020 in pillar 1 alone. That would be the independence dividend. It is instructive that the other parties gathered here today are content to see our farmers and crofters lose out on hundreds of millions of pounds, which is unacceptable to the SNP Government.

          It is clear that the UK Government must discharge its duty to Scottish farmers to put their interests on the agenda. It is quite clear that in the longer term the only way that we will see the interests of Scotland’s farmers placed automatically at the top of the agenda, where they should be—

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          You must close, please.

        • Annabelle Ewing:

          —is by voting yes in the 2014 independence referendum.

          16:24
        • Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP):

          Just for safety, I declare that I have a registered farm holding of three acres. I get no income from it; my neighbour keeps some sheep on it.

          Perhaps, like others, Alex Fergusson should read more and more often: the 28th member of the European Union will, of course, be Croatia very shortly. The Croatians have been attending various council meetings for something like a year.

          The debate is important and I congratulate the Liberals on securing time for it. If anything, it illustrates that the time allocated is not sufficient to cover all the issues in sufficient detail. However, it is better than not talking about the matter at all: it is better to discuss the subject without deciding than to decide the subject without discussing.

          Our focus is on appropriate support for farmers and for the communities of which they are part. A rather unhelpful part of the debate in Europe, to which the UK in particular but not alone has contributed, has concerned the cost of supporting farming communities throughout the EU. The reality is that—I know that members across the chamber will agree—significant benefits derive from supporting our farmers and the communities in which they are embedded.

          The Scottish Government has undertaken significant consultation and has a programme of significant engagement. The key point is that we are very different. That is simply a matter of geography, not a matter of politics. Therefore, we need different solutions—we need a different approach.

          One thing that emerged from the consultation is broad support for the principle of greening. Of course, the principle of greening is one thing. After all, farmers, by their nature, are engaged in green issues, understand them and depend on the quality of the environment in which they operate. When I was Minister for Environment and Climate Change, it was a delight to visit a climate change demonstrator farm to see some of the real hands-on action that is taking place. However, there is a danger that inappropriate use of greening can damage the interests of some of our farmers, so the matter needs to be treated with great caution.

          Almost every speaker has said that Scotland is different. I hope that what I have said reinforces that point. Claire Baker said that 85 per cent or thereabouts of our land is classified as less favoured area. That is quite different from elsewhere in these islands. It is precisely because we are different—rem acu tetigisti, or touching the point—that we need our cabinet secretary not simply to be part of the UK delegation but to be able to participate directly in the debates in the environment council and elsewhere. We get to influence, but we do not get to contribute to the decisions.

          The difficult issue of capping payments seemed to have some support in the consultation. As there is a mix of very large and very small farming businesses in the north-east, I will watch that subject with great interest indeed.

          There is absolute certainty on the current EU rules. If we were independent, we would have more under the existing rules than we do at the moment.

          I will track this reform with considerable interest.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          We move to the closing speeches. I call Murdo Fraser, who has up to four minutes.

          16:28
        • Murdo Fraser (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con):

          CAP reform is a serious issue that is of great importance to our farming constituents. I commend the Liberal Democrats for bringing this timely debate. It was an opportunity to build consensus, so it is a pity that many SNP members saw it as an opportunity to sow division, grandstand and make constitutional points in the context of a seemingly never-ending referendum debate that has already gone on for too long.

        • Stewart Stevenson:

          Will Murdo Fraser give way?

        • Murdo Fraser:

          No, I have only four minutes and would like to make some progress.

          I say gently to the cabinet secretary that, although he is generally well regarded by the farming community in Scotland, he need not think that that will continue if he adopts the confrontational approach that we have seen from some of his members today. Farmers want to hear that the Government in Scotland is working constructively with the Government in the UK to pursue their interests.

          The SNP’s amendment states as fact that an independent Scotland would have “significant additional CAP funds”, but that is simply assertion. As Jayne Baxter pointed out, we do not know what the terms of accession would be for an independent Scotland seeking to join the EU. The SNP has admitted that that would be a matter of negotiation, and it is dishonest to suggest otherwise. We do not know what the position of an independent Scotland would be, and it is wrong to suggest that it is clear cut.

          I say to Annabelle Ewing that she knows well that Owen Paterson was due to come to Scotland to speak to the NFUS annual general meeting but that his participation in the pan-European discussion on dealing with the horsemeat crisis meant that he was unable to attend. Perhaps she thinks that the horsemeat scandal was not an important matter for the UK secretary of state to deal with. I do not think that that view will be shared by the Scottish agricultural community.

          Alex Fergusson’s amendment makes a serious point about the divergence in the rate of single farm payments received in Scotland by farmers compared with those in the rest of the UK. We recognise that Scottish farmers are at a competitive disadvantage due to historical reasons. The way forward is for the UK and Scottish Governments to work together to ensure that that gap is bridged. Rather than simply try to score points and blame the UK Government for the difference in payments, we want the Scottish Government to engage constructively with Westminster in order to secure equal benefits for Scottish farmers. We will support it if it adopts that approach.

          In Perth and Kinross, the average single farm payment stands at €115 per hectare compared with the European average of €196. That pattern is repeated across Scotland, which is why we are calling for a more equal distribution of subsidy across the UK.

          There are a number of other key areas in the proposed reform that will cause concern. I agree with Stewart Stevenson that greening is one such aspect. Scottish farmers are supportive of commitments to make farming more environmentally friendly, but that must be done correctly. We must The result of the division is: For 0, Against 0, Abstentions 0.ist moves to take productive land out of active use given its scarcity and value. In an era of food shortages, fertile land must be put to the best possible use, and that means producing food for Europe.

          Scottish farm incomes are in decline—they declined by £111 million last year. We must be careful in these difficult times not to make the position more difficult.

          There should be a great deal of consensus in the debate; we should be united in fighting for Scottish farming interests. What a pity that the SNP would rather divide us for their own narrow partisan interest.

        • The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick):

          I call Claudia Beamish, who has a very tight four minutes.

          16:32
        • Claudia Beamish (South Scotland) (Lab):

          This is indeed a timely debate with the European Parliament finalising the new CAP today and the agriculture and fisheries council meeting next Monday. I hope that the whole of the UK will work together to get the best deal for all parts of it.

          Claire Baker highlighted environmental issues, greater transparency and a focus on the public good. Stewart Stevenson raised the important greening issue. It was helpful to hear some of the remarks made by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment on related developments. We must keep pushing forward on that.

          The cabinet secretary stated his belief, in evidence to the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee on the draft second report on policies and proposals, that carbon reduction should be a central factor of any greening but that, at the present time, it is uncertain what will be involved. Will he explain in his closing remarks to the chamber how to input at the EU level to progress the issue?

          It was helpful to hear the cabinet secretary in the same committee meeting speak about the SDRP and how carbon measures could be a strong focus. In addition, we must ensure that the SDRP is, in part, focused on the supporting the development of vibrant rural communities, as Jayne Baxter highlighted.

          Claire Baker stressed the serious challenges related to ownership and the tenanted sector that new farm entrants face. The facilitation and establishment of the next generation of farmers is, of course, essential. The commitment of £2 million a year to support new farm entrants who will be affected by the delayed introduction of the CAP reforms until 2015 is welcome. Will the cabinet secretary provide more detail, if possible, about how the money will be spent in order to reassure the new entrants?

          We must get the area-based payments right for Scotland. Modelling is indeed key, as Tavish Scott highlighted. The Welsh Government has modelled CAP reform into payments by region. We cannot wait for the exact details in order to model and check various possibilities that would at least give farmers some understanding of how the CAP reform will go forward. Exact scenarios could be tested and then we could see where we get to in the end.

          The cabinet secretary has recognised the importance of coupled payments, and some level of direct support for the beef systems is essential.

          It is significant and important that there is an option in pillar 1 to give more support to areas of natural constraint, to supplement the area-based payments that may well be necessary.

          The Scottish Government motion talks of independence, which is somewhat divisive given the imminent negotiations in the European Parliament. It makes it difficult for other parties to join together and work with the Scottish Government within the UK, to take forward the best deal for our farmers now and in the future. Although that is disappointing—

        • The Presiding Officer:

          Please bring your remarks to a close.

        • Claudia Beamish:

          Although that is disappointing, this has been a helpful debate. We must all gather together, in this chamber and beyond, to support farmers in Scotland.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          Ms Beamish, my apologies—you could have had another 20 seconds. I am sorry.

          I call Richard Lochhead to wind up. Cabinet secretary, you have six minutes.

          16:36
        • Richard Lochhead:

          An important dimension of the debate is that we all accept that Scottish agriculture is diverse, and it is unique in many ways as well. That is why we need a CAP deal that is good for Scotland.

          We need to know the EU framework before we know what decisions are best for our diverse agricultural sector. Tavish Scott made many good points, but he seemed to urge me to take decisions on behalf of Scotland by the end of March. We will not have an agreement by the end of March. We need to understand what the European framework will be before we can take final decisions on what the CAP will look like in Scotland.

          As I said before, even the Welsh document has been overtaken by events, because last month the French and the Irish proposals came forward. Only today, the European Parliament has been adopting its position on the new policy, and next week the ministers will be adopting their position on the policy. A lot of water needs to go under the bridge before we know exactly what the framework will be in which we have to live.

          I want a CAP in which we support productive agriculture in Scotland and do not simply give support or urge farmers to produce for support. We want to support production. There is a big difference between the two, especially when it comes to coupled support. There is a case for limited coupled support, as I said before, specifically given the importance of the livestock sector to Scotland—particularly in our more vulnerable areas, where there is a good case for targeted support for our livestock sectors. As regards the nature and extent of that support, we will have to make decisions in consultation with the industry in due course, once we know the final budgets and the wider framework.

          We cannot justify any farm payments that are based on 2002 levels of activity. However, we do not want the most productive farms in Scotland to fall off the edge of a cliff in the transition from where we are just now to where we want to get to. That transition is important and we have to plot it carefully in the years ahead, but going beyond 2020 to 2025, as some stakeholders and some individuals have suggested, is quite indefensible. The fact that anyone could be given a payment in 2025 based on what they were doing in 2002 is indefensible, unjustifiable and untenable, and it would attract no public support whatsoever. There is only a certain length that we should all be prepared to go in that debate.

          I have also said that we need support for new entrants from day 1 of the new policy. Once we get that assurance, it will help us to make decisions on the transition for other farmers. However, whether someone has been active for 50 years or five months, their support should as much as possible be based on their level of activity and how productive they are.

          On greening support, I have said that I support the principle of greening but it has to be practicable and it has to be capable of being implemented in the Scottish context, again taking into account our unique environment and geography. That is important.

          We all agree that we want a common agricultural policy that is flexible and has a regional approach in its implementation and its transition. However, it will be incredibly complex. We should not fail to understand that it will be difficult to implement. All member states called for a simplified CAP and the Commission promised it, but it is no closer to being delivered. However, we have to get the implementation right for the sake of food production and our environment.

          The issue of the budget is incredibly important. We went into this budget negotiation with the fourth-lowest level of direct payments in the whole of Europe. There is now a formula for all member states, but Scotland is not a member state; we are part of the UK. For that reason, we are not going to receive the uplift that other member states will receive.

          We have an average payment of €130 per hectare and we do not have the ability to gain from the formula by getting to €196 per hectare by 2020 because we are not an independent country. It is a fact that, if we were an independent country, we would get to the position in which we would be delivering an extra €300 million to Scottish rural communities by 2020. Because we are part of the UK, we are not getting that uplift. That is a fact: there is a fixed formula.

          The briefing note from European advisers states:

          “‘all Member States should attain at least the level of €196/hectare in current prices by 2020’. This is targeted at Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia – the bottom three of the EU27 in terms of direct payments per hectare – which should lift them up to reach the same level of payments received in”

          other countries. We do not have anyone negotiating on our behalf, so we are losing out because we are part of the UK. It is as simple as that.

          It is no wonder that the NFUS president said last week:

          “Recent Defra statements appear to focus solely on English farming priorities.”

          Similarly, it is no surprise that the president of the National Sheep Association, John Cameron, criticised DEFRA ministers for not recognising the case for coupled payments, given the challenges that the Scottish livestock sector faces.

          The European briefing note that I quoted from notes that 16 of the 27 EU countries got an uplift in rural development funding, which funds village halls, environmental schemes and so on. Again, no one was there negotiating for Scotland, because we are part of the UK, which attaches no priority to rural Scotland. Austria received a €700 million uplift, France received €1,000 million uplift, and the list goes on.

          It may be a case of “better together” on the part of the other parties in the chamber, but for Scotland’s crofters, farmers and rural communities it is a case of “better off in an independent Scotland”.

          16:42
        • Jim Hume (South Scotland) (LD):

          This debate has highlighted the importance of agriculture not only to our rural economy but to the economy of Scotland as a whole. Jayne Baxter noted that well. The total income from farming in Scotland is around £3.5 billion, an increase of more than £1 billion in the past 10 years. Unfortunately, costs have increased by a similar amount in the same time, but it is important to note that those costs—which include things such as fuel and feed costs, bank interest charges and repair bills—are exactly what circulates money from agriculture into the wider economy.

          We should thank Stewart Stevenson for raising the quality of his party’s debate and noting that agriculture is the mainstay of the rural economy. Of course, agriculture has led to food security in our country. Gone are the days of rationing that some of us might still remember.

          Agriculture has also led to a buoyant food export business. Malt and barley, the basic ingredients of whisky—our biggest export—are grown on our arable farms. Sheep exports from our grass hills are a favourite in Spain, Italy and other parts of south Europe. Further, our Scotch beef, with its protected geographic status, delivers a premium for its producers.

          Those factors, along with changes in the CAP and the fact that our rural land has been well managed, gives Scotland, in this year of natural Scotland, a countryside to be proud of. We would not have heather without careful management—it would soon turn into impenetrable scrub. We would not have our hedgerows, copses and dry-stone dykes, either. As the SNH website for the year of natural Scotland notes, we have a great outdoors with stunning landscapes. I know that they are manmade, and they can be secured for the future only if there is economic activity on the ground to maintain them.

          I am painting a rosy picture, but of that £3.5 billion, at least £600 million comes through support mechanisms from the EU, in the form of the CAP. That support is rooted in the EU.

        • Richard Lochhead:

          On the issue of support from Europe for Scottish rural communities, does the member accept that, if we were an independent country, under the current deal that has just been signed as part of the budget negotiations, we would receive a dramatic uplift in CAP funding for Scotland—yes or no?

        • Jim Hume:

          I will come to that point directly in a second.

          Without doubt, unfortunately, our food and drink industry and rural economy depend on the CAP, but that position is not unique in the world. Stewart Stevenson and Claire Baker highlighted the costs of the CAP, but it is worth while noting that Europe is not alone in funding agriculture and food. The USA has its own form of farm subsidies or farm income stabilisation of around $20 billion a year, although that system lacks our focus on the environment and is more about guaranteeing an income. Japan also pays out subsidies, which amounted to some $46 billion back in 2009.

          New Zealand is often thrown up as an example of a country that survives without farm subsidy, but that is not the whole story. In New Zealand, livestock is intensively farmed in a way that I doubt would go down well with those here who have an interest in animal welfare. When New Zealand reformed farm support in the 1980s, the Government wrote off all farmers’ debts while continuing to put significant funds into research and marketing. New Zealand funds a primary growth partnership, which is worth 70 million New Zealand dollars, for farm research.

          In addition, New Zealand has a sustainable farming fund, which can give individual businesses up to 1 million New Zealand dollars for socioeconomic environmental projects, as well as a community irrigation fund and a sustainable land management hill country erosion programme. Farmers near the Bay of Plenty were paid 190 million New Zealand dollars for loss of income after flooding. The New Zealand Minister of Social Development provides rural assistance payments after adverse events to help farming families to meet essential living expenses. The New Zealand Government also provides 11,000 New Zealand dollars per year to vets who work in practices that have agricultural animals as part of the customer base.

          Of course, New Zealand also puts a large amount of funding into marketing its products across the world. [Interruption.]

        • The Presiding Officer:

          Order. There is too much chatting. I can hardly hear the member speak.

        • Jim Hume:

          Therefore, it is incorrect to say that New Zealand does not aid farming—it does so in the knowledge that that will help its economy, food security and environment. Most of the developed world does that, too.

          Our rural economy is at a turning point with the reform of the CAP, which plays an essential part in our rural economy. Existing CAP payments are based on historic payments from 2002. That was what the farming industry requested of the then Lib Dem minister, Ross Finnie, and that is exactly what he delivered. That approach prevented gross redistribution in this country and allowed farming businesses to adjust to not having headage or acreage payments. That was what the NFUS wanted after consulting its 11,000-odd farming business members, and that was exactly what the Lib Dem minister delivered.

          I find it distasteful that SNP colleagues have attempted to make much of how Scotland gets less per hectare than other areas of the EU. That is because what is paid now relates directly to what was produced a decade ago. The majority of Scotland’s land is hills and highlands, which will of course attract lower historic payments than vineyards in France, olive groves in Italy or tracts of arable land down in the fens. It is ridiculously misleading for SNP members even to suggest that.

          More worrying is whether, if Scotland became an independent country, we would be part of the EU. If we were, what negotiating power would we have? What deal would we get under the CAP? Would there be a time when no CAP payments came to Scotland while negotiations occurred? [Interruption.]

        • The Presiding Officer:

          Order.

        • Jim Hume:

          Frankly, it is laughable for the SNP members to state that an independent Scotland would get more and more and more. Rob Gibson called us two-faced, yet SNP MEPs voted to keep the budget the same. The cabinet secretary has stated that we would get more and more and more, yet SNP MPs down at Westminster voted to slash the budget.

        • Tavish Scott:

          They are three-faced.

        • Jim Hume:

          Yes, the SNP is three-faced. [Interruption.]

        • The Presiding Officer:

          Order. Let us hear the member.

        • Jim Hume:

          Agriculture is devolved, and Scotland has the powers to shape the CAP to suit Scotland. However, we have heard little detail from the Government on its vision for what the revision of the CAP would look like at the micro level. I have suggested previously that we need modelling to be made available to all farming businesses so that they can plan for the future and adjust their business. An amendment on that issue in my name received agreement from across the Parliament.

          The Welsh have done that already. There is a simple calculator on the Welsh Government website that is available for all to use. I do not know why the Scottish Government has dragged its heels on the issue, but perhaps it is frightened of the bad news that there might be for rural Scotland before the independence referendum as a result of a large redistribution of funds in Scotland. We should let the industry decide. We should provide the information and allow our agriculture, food, drink and nature industries to plan for their future.

      • Business Motion
        • The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick):

          The next item of business is consideration of business motion S4M-05913, in the name of Joe FitzPatrick, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, setting out a business programme.

          Motion moved,

          That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

          Tuesday 19 March 2013

          2.00 pm Time for Reflection

          followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          followed by Topical Questions (if selected)

          followed by Scottish Government Debate: 10 Years on from the Invasion of Iraq

          followed by Business Motions

          followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          5.00 pm Decision Time

          followed by Members’ Business

          Wednesday 20 March 2013

          2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          2.00 pm Portfolio Questions
          Health and Wellbeing

          followed by Scottish Government Debate: Trident

          followed by Business Motions

          followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          5.00 pm Decision Time

          followed by Members’ Business

          Thursday 21 March 2013

          11.40 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          11.40 am General Questions

          12.00 pm First Minister’s Questions

          12.30 pm Members’ Business

          2.30 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          2.30 pm Scottish Government Debate: Scotland’s Financial Strength

          followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          5.00 pm Decision Time

          Tuesday 26 March 2013

          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 27 March 2013

          2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          2.00 pm Portfolio Questions
          Infrastructure, Investment and Cities;
          Culture and External Affairs

          followed by Scottish Government Business

          followed by Business Motions

          followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          5.00 pm Decision Time

          followed by Members’ Business

          Thursday 28 March 2013

          11.40 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          11.40 am General Questions

          12.00 pm First Minister’s Questions

          12.30 pm Members’ Business

          2.30 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          2.30 pm Stage 3 Proceedings: High Hedges (Scotland) Bill

          followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          5.00 pm Decision Time—[Joe FitzPatrick.]

        • The Presiding Officer:

          Paul Martin has asked to speak against the motion. Mr Martin, you have up to five minutes.

          16:51
        • Paul Martin (Glasgow Provan) (Lab):

          I rise on behalf of the Scottish Labour Party to oppose the business motion in the name of Joe FitzPatrick. The motion refers to a Scottish Government debate next Tuesday entitled “10 Years on from the Invasion of Iraq” and, on the Wednesday, a debate on Trident. The proposed programme is designed to stifle debate on the real issues that face families throughout Scotland and to turn the Parliament into a university debating society.

          Why are we not debating the many unanswered questions about hidden waiting lists throughout Scotland or the reasons for accident and emergency waiting time targets not being met for more than three years? There remain many unanswered questions that the Government could bring to the Parliament for debate. Those include why the number of college students has reduced since 2008 by more than 120,000, and why the Government does not introduce legislation, which it does not seem keen on.

          The Scottish Government wants to avoid debating the real issues that face families throughout Scotland. Our elected position as members of the Scottish Parliament affords us the opportunity to debate, legislate and take forward issues on behalf of our constituents. It is our responsibility to the Parliament to take those issues seriously and not to allow the Parliament to be used as a talking shop by the majority Government.

          We on the Labour benches call on the Government, even at this late stage, to provide us with real vision for the future of Scotland and to take responsibility for the issues for which it has responsibility rather than being concerned about those for which it does not have responsibility. We oppose the business motion in the name of Joe FitzPatrick.

          16:53
        • The Minister for Parliamentary Business (Joe FitzPatrick):

          I am disappointed, although not surprised, that the Labour Party opposes the business programme for next week. Paul Martin talked about unanswered questions. The big unanswered question is why Tony Blair misled the people of this country in order to send our soldiers to an illegal war in Iraq. It is exactly 10 years to the day since the Scottish Parliament debated the Iraq war, and next week marks 10 years since the invasion began. This is an opportune time to look back and to learn from the appalling mistakes and distortions that led the United Kingdom into an illegal conflict that came at a very high cost—a cost that many veterans are paying to this day.

          The Government takes the view that, as long as our brave young men and women are sent to conflicts around the world, this Parliament should—[Interruption.]

        • The Presiding Officer:

          We will not have catcalling across the chamber.

        • Joe FitzPatrick:

          This Parliament should have the opportunity to discuss the reasons why, and to recognise the service that those veterans have given.

          Ten years on, Ed Miliband has recognised that the Iraq war was wrong. The debate will provide all members with a chance to reflect—it will perhaps give Johann Lamont the opportunity to admit that she was wrong when she supported the illegal war in Iraq.

          I am not surprised that Labour opposes a debate on Trident, on a day when an opinion poll shows that 80 per cent of Scots are against having its replacement on our shores—and only a day after the UK Labour defence spokesperson joined the Conservatives in confirming that his party was in favour of its renewal.

          I am not surprised that Labour opposes a debate on Scotland’s financial strength, in a week when it was shown that this country, if we were independent, would be relatively better off than the UK to the tune of £4.4 billion, which is £824 for every man, woman and child in Scotland.

          I believe that the people who elected us to represent them expect no less than that the Parliament will debate such issues—issues that affect the lives of those who live here. The Government will continue to do that.

          Opposition to such debates represents just three of the many reasons that prove that the Labour Party is scarcely fit for opposition, let alone government. I urge the Parliament to support the business motion.

        • John Finnie (Highlands and Islands) (Ind):

          On a point of order, Presiding Officer.

          I understand that, under rule 8.11 of standing orders, there can be only one speaker against a business motion. Undoubtedly, occasions will occur—this is one—when there will be more than one MSP who, for separate reasons, wish to speak against the business motion. In this instance, as business manager for the Independent and Green group, I wanted to speak not to oppose the subjects listed in the business motion, which we think are worthy of debate, but to oppose the parliamentary business that is scheduled for next Wednesday, when the Public and Commercial Services union is on strike and picketing this building.

          Presiding Officer, can you please advise me what opportunity exists for individual members who have not been chosen to speak against the business motion to put on record their reasons for opposing it?

        • The Presiding Officer:

          I thank the member for advance notice of his point of order. The member is correct that standing order 8.11 allows for only one speaker for and one speaker against a business motion. I therefore have no option but to call only one speaker to oppose the motion. I point out that the same rule in standing orders allows for amendments to a business motion. Every amendment that has the necessary support must be taken in the chamber. The proposer of any such amendment is given time to speak to that amendment, in addition to the time that is given to a member who wishes to speak against the motion.

          I advise the member that, if he remains unhappy with the provisions in the standing orders, he should raise his concerns with the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee.

          The question is, that S4M-5913, in the name of Joe FitzPatrick, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

          Members: No.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          There will be a division.

          For

          Adam, George (Paisley) (SNP)
          Adamson, Clare (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Allan, Dr Alasdair (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
          Beattie, Colin (Midlothian North and Musselburgh) (SNP)
          Biagi, Marco (Edinburgh Central) (SNP)
          Brodie, Chic (South Scotland) (SNP)
          Brown, Keith (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) (SNP)
          Burgess, Margaret (Cunninghame South) (SNP)
          Campbell, Aileen (Clydesdale) (SNP)
          Campbell, Roderick (North East Fife) (SNP)
          Coffey, Willie (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP)
          Constance, Angela (Almond Valley) (SNP)
          Crawford, Bruce (Stirling) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
          Dey, Graeme (Angus South) (SNP)
          Don, Nigel (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
          Doris, Bob (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Dornan, James (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)
          Eadie, Jim (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)
          Ewing, Annabelle (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
          FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
          Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
          Gibson, Rob (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
          Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
          Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
          Ingram, Adam (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
          Keir, Colin (Edinburgh Western) (SNP)
          Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)
          Lochhead, Richard (Moray) (SNP)
          Lyle, Richard (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          MacAskill, Kenny (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Angus (Falkirk East) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Gordon (Edinburgh Pentlands) (SNP)
          Mackay, Derek (Renfrewshire North and West) (SNP)
          MacKenzie, Mike (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Mason, John (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Falkirk West) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Stewart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McDonald, Mark (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
          McLeod, Aileen (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McLeod, Fiona (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
          McMillan, Stuart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
          Robertson, Dennis (Aberdeenshire West) (SNP)
          Russell, Michael (Argyll and Bute) (SNP)
          Salmond, Alex (Aberdeenshire East) (SNP)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
          Stewart, Kevin (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)
          Sturgeon, Nicola (Glasgow Southside) (SNP)
          Swinney, John (Perthshire North) (SNP)
          Thompson, Dave (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
          Torrance, David (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)
          Urquhart, Jean (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          Walker, Bill (Dunfermline) (Ind)
          Watt, Maureen (Aberdeen South and North Kincardine) (SNP)
          Wheelhouse, Paul (South Scotland) (SNP)
          White, Sandra (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)
          Wilson, John (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow) (SNP)

          Against

          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Baxter, Jayne (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Beamish, Claudia (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Bibby, Neil (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Lothian) (Lab)
          Brown, Gavin (Lothian) (Con)
          Carlaw, Jackson (West Scotland) (Con)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (Lab)
          Davidson, Ruth (Glasgow) (Con)
          Dugdale, Kezia (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fee, Mary (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (Lab)
          Fergusson, Alex (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)
          Findlay, Neil (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Goldie, Annabel (West Scotland) (Con)
          Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          Henry, Hugh (Renfrewshire South) (Lab)
          Hume, Jim (South Scotland) (LD)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
          Kelly, James (Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Lamont, John (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
          Macdonald, Lewis (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Macintosh, Ken (Eastwood) (Lab)
          Malik, Hanzala (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Provan) (Lab)
          McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
          McCulloch, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McDougall, Margaret (West Scotland) (Lab)
          McGrigor, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          McInnes, Alison (North East Scotland) (LD)
          McMahon, Michael (Uddingston and Bellshill) (Lab)
          McMahon, Siobhan (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McNeil, Duncan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Lab)
          McTaggart, Anne (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Milne, Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
          Murray, Elaine (Dumfriesshire) (Lab)
          Pearson, Graeme (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Rennie, Willie (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
          Scott, Tavish (Shetland Islands) (LD)
          Simpson, Dr Richard (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Smith, Drew (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)
          Smith, Liz (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Stewart, David (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)

          Abstentions

          Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The result of the division is: For 63, Against 56, Abstentions 1.

          Motion agreed to,

          That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

          Tuesday 19 March 2013

          2.00 pm Time for Reflection

          followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          followed by Topical Questions (if selected)

          followed by Scottish Government Debate: 10 Years on from the Invasion of Iraq

          followed by Business Motions

          followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          5.00 pm Decision Time

          followed by Members’ Business

          Wednesday 20 March 2013

          2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          2.00 pm Portfolio Questions
          Health and Wellbeing

          followed by Scottish Government Debate: Trident

          followed by Business Motions

          followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          5.00 pm Decision Time

          followed by Members’ Business

          Thursday 21 March 2013

          11.40 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          11.40 am General Questions

          12.00 pm First Minister’s Questions

          12.30 pm Members’ Business

          2.30 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          2.30 pm Scottish Government Debate: Scotland’s Financial Strength

          followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          5.00 pm Decision Time

          Tuesday 26 March 2013

          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 27 March 2013

          2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          2.00 pm Portfolio Questions
          Infrastructure, Investment and Cities;
          Culture and External Affairs

          followed by Scottish Government Business

          followed by Business Motions

          followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          5.00 pm Decision Time

          followed by Members’ Business

          Thursday 28 March 2013

          11.40 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          11.40 am General Questions

          12.00 pm First Minister’s Questions

          12.30 pm Members’ Business

          2.30 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          2.30 pm Stage 3 Proceedings: High Hedges (Scotland) Bill

          followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

          5.00 pm Decision Time.

      • Parliamentary Bureau Motions
        • The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick):

          The next item of business is consideration of six Parliamentary Bureau motions. I ask Joe FitzPatrick to move motions S4M-05914 to S4M-05918, on the approval of Scottish statutory instruments.

          Motions moved,

          That the Parliament agrees that the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 (Transfer of Children to Scotland – Effect of Orders made in England and Wales or Northern Ireland) Regulations 2013 [draft] be approved.

          That the Parliament agrees that the Community Care (Personal Care and Nursing Care) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2013 [draft] be approved.

          That the Parliament agrees that the Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (Requirements for Care Services) Amendment Regulations 2013 [draft] be approved.

          That the Parliament agrees that the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010 (Incidental Provision and Commencement No.4) Order 2013 [draft] be approved.

          That the Parliament agrees that the Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications and Deemed Applications) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2013 [draft] be approved.—[Joe FitzPatrick.]

        • The Presiding Officer:

          I ask Joe FitzPatrick to move motion S4M-05920, on the establishment of a sub-committee.

          Motion moved,

          That the Parliament agrees to establish a sub-committee of the Parliament as follows:

          Name of Committee: Justice Sub-Committee on Policing.

          Remit: To consider and report on the operation of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 as it relates to policing.

          Duration: Until the end of the parliamentary session.

          Number of members: 6.

          Membership: Christine Grahame, Kevin Stewart, Graeme Pearson, Margaret Mitchell, Alison McInnes and John Finnie.—[Joe FitzPatrick.]

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The questions on the motions will be put at decision time.

      • Decision Time
        • The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick):

          There are 10 questions to be put as a result of today’s business.

          I remind members that, in relation to the debate on police centralisation, if the amendment in the name of Kenny MacAskill is agreed to, the amendments in the names of Lewis Macdonald and Margaret Mitchell will fall.

          The first question is, that amendment S4M-05899.3, in the name of Kenny MacAskill, which seeks to amend motion S4M-05899, in the name of Alison McInnes, on police centralisation, be agree to. Are we all agreed?

          Members: No.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          There will be a division.

          For

          Adam, George (Paisley) (SNP)
          Adamson, Clare (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Allan, Dr Alasdair (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
          Beattie, Colin (Midlothian North and Musselburgh) (SNP)
          Biagi, Marco (Edinburgh Central) (SNP)
          Brodie, Chic (South Scotland) (SNP)
          Brown, Keith (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) (SNP)
          Burgess, Margaret (Cunninghame South) (SNP)
          Campbell, Aileen (Clydesdale) (SNP)
          Campbell, Roderick (North East Fife) (SNP)
          Coffey, Willie (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP)
          Constance, Angela (Almond Valley) (SNP)
          Crawford, Bruce (Stirling) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
          Dey, Graeme (Angus South) (SNP)
          Don, Nigel (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
          Doris, Bob (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Dornan, James (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)
          Eadie, Jim (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)
          Ewing, Annabelle (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
          Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
          Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
          Gibson, Rob (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
          Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
          Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
          Ingram, Adam (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
          Keir, Colin (Edinburgh Western) (SNP)
          Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)
          Lochhead, Richard (Moray) (SNP)
          Lyle, Richard (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          MacAskill, Kenny (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Angus (Falkirk East) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Gordon (Edinburgh Pentlands) (SNP)
          Mackay, Derek (Renfrewshire North and West) (SNP)
          MacKenzie, Mike (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Mason, John (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Falkirk West) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Stewart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McDonald, Mark (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
          McLeod, Aileen (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McLeod, Fiona (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
          McMillan, Stuart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
          Robertson, Dennis (Aberdeenshire West) (SNP)
          Russell, Michael (Argyll and Bute) (SNP)
          Salmond, Alex (Aberdeenshire East) (SNP)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
          Stewart, Kevin (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)
          Sturgeon, Nicola (Glasgow Southside) (SNP)
          Swinney, John (Perthshire North) (SNP)
          Thompson, Dave (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
          Torrance, David (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)
          Urquhart, Jean (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          Walker, Bill (Dunfermline) (Ind)
          Watt, Maureen (Aberdeen South and North Kincardine) (SNP)
          Wheelhouse, Paul (South Scotland) (SNP)
          White, Sandra (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)
          Wilson, John (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow) (SNP)

          Against

          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Baxter, Jayne (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Beamish, Claudia (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Bibby, Neil (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Lothian) (Lab)
          Brown, Gavin (Lothian) (Con)
          Carlaw, Jackson (West Scotland) (Con)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (Lab)
          Davidson, Ruth (Glasgow) (Con)
          Dugdale, Kezia (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fee, Mary (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (Lab)
          Fergusson, Alex (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)
          Findlay, Neil (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Goldie, Annabel (West Scotland) (Con)
          Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          Henry, Hugh (Renfrewshire South) (Lab)
          Hume, Jim (South Scotland) (LD)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
          Kelly, James (Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Lamont, John (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
          Macdonald, Lewis (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Macintosh, Ken (Eastwood) (Lab)
          Malik, Hanzala (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Provan) (Lab)
          McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
          McCulloch, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McDougall, Margaret (West Scotland) (Lab)
          McGrigor, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          McInnes, Alison (North East Scotland) (LD)
          McMahon, Michael (Uddingston and Bellshill) (Lab)
          McMahon, Siobhan (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McNeil, Duncan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Lab)
          McTaggart, Anne (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Milne, Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
          Murray, Elaine (Dumfriesshire) (Lab)
          Pearson, Graeme (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Pentland, John (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)
          Rennie, Willie (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
          Scott, Tavish (Shetland Islands) (LD)
          Simpson, Dr Richard (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Smith, Drew (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)
          Smith, Liz (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Stewart, David (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The result of the division is: For 64, Against 57, Abstentions 0.

          Amendment agreed to.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The amendments in the name of Lewis Macdonald and Margaret Mitchell fall.

          The next question is, that motion S4M-05899, in the name of Alison McInnes, on police centralisation, as amended, be agreed to. Are we all agreed?

          Members: No.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          There will be a division.

          For

          Adam, George (Paisley) (SNP)
          Adamson, Clare (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Allan, Dr Alasdair (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
          Beattie, Colin (Midlothian North and Musselburgh) (SNP)
          Biagi, Marco (Edinburgh Central) (SNP)
          Brodie, Chic (South Scotland) (SNP)
          Brown, Keith (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) (SNP)
          Burgess, Margaret (Cunninghame South) (SNP)
          Campbell, Aileen (Clydesdale) (SNP)
          Campbell, Roderick (North East Fife) (SNP)
          Coffey, Willie (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP)
          Constance, Angela (Almond Valley) (SNP)
          Crawford, Bruce (Stirling) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
          Dey, Graeme (Angus South) (SNP)
          Don, Nigel (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
          Doris, Bob (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Dornan, James (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)
          Eadie, Jim (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)
          Ewing, Annabelle (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
          Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
          Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
          Gibson, Rob (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
          Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
          Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
          Ingram, Adam (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
          Keir, Colin (Edinburgh Western) (SNP)
          Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)
          Lochhead, Richard (Moray) (SNP)
          Lyle, Richard (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          MacAskill, Kenny (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Angus (Falkirk East) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Gordon (Edinburgh Pentlands) (SNP)
          Mackay, Derek (Renfrewshire North and West) (SNP)
          MacKenzie, Mike (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Mason, John (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Falkirk West) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Stewart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McDonald, Mark (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
          McLeod, Aileen (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McLeod, Fiona (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
          McMillan, Stuart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
          Robertson, Dennis (Aberdeenshire West) (SNP)
          Russell, Michael (Argyll and Bute) (SNP)
          Salmond, Alex (Aberdeenshire East) (SNP)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
          Stewart, Kevin (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)
          Sturgeon, Nicola (Glasgow Southside) (SNP)
          Swinney, John (Perthshire North) (SNP)
          Thompson, Dave (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
          Torrance, David (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)
          Urquhart, Jean (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          Walker, Bill (Dunfermline) (Ind)
          Watt, Maureen (Aberdeen South and North Kincardine) (SNP)
          Wheelhouse, Paul (South Scotland) (SNP)
          White, Sandra (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)
          Wilson, John (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow) (SNP)

          Against

          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Baxter, Jayne (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Beamish, Claudia (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Bibby, Neil (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Lothian) (Lab)
          Brown, Gavin (Lothian) (Con)
          Carlaw, Jackson (West Scotland) (Con)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (Lab)
          Davidson, Ruth (Glasgow) (Con)
          Dugdale, Kezia (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fee, Mary (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (Lab)
          Fergusson, Alex (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)
          Findlay, Neil (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Goldie, Annabel (West Scotland) (Con)
          Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          Henry, Hugh (Renfrewshire South) (Lab)
          Hume, Jim (South Scotland) (LD)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
          Kelly, James (Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Lamont, John (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
          Macdonald, Lewis (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Macintosh, Ken (Eastwood) (Lab)
          Malik, Hanzala (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Provan) (Lab)
          McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
          McCulloch, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McDougall, Margaret (West Scotland) (Lab)
          McGrigor, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          McInnes, Alison (North East Scotland) (LD)
          McMahon, Michael (Uddingston and Bellshill) (Lab)
          McMahon, Siobhan (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McNeil, Duncan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Lab)
          McTaggart, Anne (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Milne, Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
          Murray, Elaine (Dumfriesshire) (Lab)
          Pearson, Graeme (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Pentland, John (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)
          Rennie, Willie (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
          Scott, Tavish (Shetland Islands) (LD)
          Simpson, Dr Richard (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Smith, Drew (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)
          Smith, Liz (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Stewart, David (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The result of the division is: For 64, Against 57, Abstentions 0.

          Motion, as amended, agreed to,

          That the Parliament welcomes the 1,000 extra officers that the Scottish Government has delivered in communities since 2007, leading to crime at a 37-year low; agrees that the new Police Service of Scotland will safeguard policing from UK Government cuts; notes that the national governance provided by the Scottish Police Authority will be complemented by new local arrangements, providing the opportunity for more locally elected members than ever before to have their say; further agrees that the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, as overwhelmingly approved by the Parliament, clearly sets out the roles and responsibilities of the Scottish Police Authority and Police Service of Scotland; further welcomes the agreement reached on corporate functions and staff designations and the ongoing joint working to ensure a smooth transition to commencement on 1 April 2013, and recognises that good progress has been made already, including the establishment of the Specialist Crime Division and the new national Trunk Roads Patrol Unit.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          I remind members that, in relation to the debate on common agricultural policy reform, if the amendment in the name of Richard Lochhead is agreed to, the amendments in the names of Claire Baker and Alex Fergusson will fall.

          The next question is, that amendment S4M-05898.3, in the name of Richard Lochhead, which seeks to amend motion S4M-05898, in the name of Tavish Scott, on CAP reform, be agreed to. Are we all agreed?

          Members: No.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          There will be a division.

          For

          Adam, George (Paisley) (SNP)
          Adamson, Clare (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Allan, Dr Alasdair (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
          Beattie, Colin (Midlothian North and Musselburgh) (SNP)
          Biagi, Marco (Edinburgh Central) (SNP)
          Brodie, Chic (South Scotland) (SNP)
          Brown, Keith (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) (SNP)
          Burgess, Margaret (Cunninghame South) (SNP)
          Campbell, Aileen (Clydesdale) (SNP)
          Campbell, Roderick (North East Fife) (SNP)
          Coffey, Willie (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP)
          Constance, Angela (Almond Valley) (SNP)
          Crawford, Bruce (Stirling) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
          Dey, Graeme (Angus South) (SNP)
          Don, Nigel (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
          Doris, Bob (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Dornan, James (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)
          Eadie, Jim (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)
          Ewing, Annabelle (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
          Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
          Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
          Gibson, Rob (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
          Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
          Ingram, Adam (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
          Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
          Keir, Colin (Edinburgh Western) (SNP)
          Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)
          Lochhead, Richard (Moray) (SNP)
          Lyle, Richard (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          MacAskill, Kenny (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Angus (Falkirk East) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Gordon (Edinburgh Pentlands) (SNP)
          Mackay, Derek (Renfrewshire North and West) (SNP)
          MacKenzie, Mike (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Mason, John (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Falkirk West) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Stewart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McDonald, Mark (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
          McLeod, Aileen (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McLeod, Fiona (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
          McMillan, Stuart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
          Robertson, Dennis (Aberdeenshire West) (SNP)
          Russell, Michael (Argyll and Bute) (SNP)
          Salmond, Alex (Aberdeenshire East) (SNP)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
          Stewart, Kevin (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)
          Sturgeon, Nicola (Glasgow Southside) (SNP)
          Swinney, John (Perthshire North) (SNP)
          Thompson, Dave (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
          Torrance, David (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)
          Urquhart, Jean (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          Walker, Bill (Dunfermline) (Ind)
          Watt, Maureen (Aberdeen South and North Kincardine) (SNP)
          Wheelhouse, Paul (South Scotland) (SNP)
          White, Sandra (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)
          Wilson, John (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow) (SNP)

          Against

          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Baxter, Jayne (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Beamish, Claudia (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Bibby, Neil (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Lothian) (Lab)
          Brown, Gavin (Lothian) (Con)
          Carlaw, Jackson (West Scotland) (Con)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (Lab)
          Davidson, Ruth (Glasgow) (Con)
          Dugdale, Kezia (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fee, Mary (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (Lab)
          Fergusson, Alex (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)
          Findlay, Neil (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Goldie, Annabel (West Scotland) (Con)
          Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          Henry, Hugh (Renfrewshire South) (Lab)
          Hume, Jim (South Scotland) (LD)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Kelly, James (Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Lamont, John (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
          Macdonald, Lewis (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Macintosh, Ken (Eastwood) (Lab)
          Malik, Hanzala (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Provan) (Lab)
          McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
          McCulloch, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McDougall, Margaret (West Scotland) (Lab)
          McGrigor, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          McInnes, Alison (North East Scotland) (LD)
          McMahon, Michael (Uddingston and Bellshill) (Lab)
          McMahon, Siobhan (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McNeil, Duncan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Lab)
          McTaggart, Anne (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Milne, Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
          Murray, Elaine (Dumfriesshire) (Lab)
          Pearson, Graeme (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Pentland, John (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)
          Rennie, Willie (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
          Scott, Tavish (Shetland Islands) (LD)
          Simpson, Dr Richard (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Smith, Drew (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)
          Smith, Liz (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Stewart, David (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The result of the division is: For 66, Against 55, Abstentions 0.

          Amendment agreed to.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The amendments in the names of Claire Baker and Alex Fergusson fall.

          The next question is, that motion S4M-05898, in the name of Tavish Scott, on CAP reform, as amended, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

          Members: No.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          There will be a division.

          For

          Adam, George (Paisley) (SNP)
          Adamson, Clare (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Allan, Dr Alasdair (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
          Beattie, Colin (Midlothian North and Musselburgh) (SNP)
          Biagi, Marco (Edinburgh Central) (SNP)
          Brodie, Chic (South Scotland) (SNP)
          Brown, Keith (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) (SNP)
          Burgess, Margaret (Cunninghame South) (SNP)
          Campbell, Aileen (Clydesdale) (SNP)
          Campbell, Roderick (North East Fife) (SNP)
          Coffey, Willie (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP)
          Constance, Angela (Almond Valley) (SNP)
          Crawford, Bruce (Stirling) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
          Dey, Graeme (Angus South) (SNP)
          Don, Nigel (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
          Doris, Bob (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Dornan, James (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)
          Eadie, Jim (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)
          Ewing, Annabelle (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
          Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
          Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
          Gibson, Rob (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
          Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
          Ingram, Adam (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
          Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
          Keir, Colin (Edinburgh Western) (SNP)
          Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)
          Lochhead, Richard (Moray) (SNP)
          Lyle, Richard (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          MacAskill, Kenny (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Angus (Falkirk East) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Gordon (Edinburgh Pentlands) (SNP)
          Mackay, Derek (Renfrewshire North and West) (SNP)
          MacKenzie, Mike (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Mason, John (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Falkirk West) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Stewart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McDonald, Mark (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
          McLeod, Aileen (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McLeod, Fiona (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
          McMillan, Stuart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
          Robertson, Dennis (Aberdeenshire West) (SNP)
          Russell, Michael (Argyll and Bute) (SNP)
          Salmond, Alex (Aberdeenshire East) (SNP)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
          Stewart, Kevin (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)
          Sturgeon, Nicola (Glasgow Southside) (SNP)
          Swinney, John (Perthshire North) (SNP)
          Thompson, Dave (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
          Torrance, David (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)
          Urquhart, Jean (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          Walker, Bill (Dunfermline) (Ind)
          Watt, Maureen (Aberdeen South and North Kincardine) (SNP)
          Wheelhouse, Paul (South Scotland) (SNP)
          White, Sandra (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)
          Wilson, John (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow) (SNP

          Against

          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Baxter, Jayne (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Beamish, Claudia (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Bibby, Neil (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Lothian) (Lab)
          Brown, Gavin (Lothian) (Con)
          Carlaw, Jackson (West Scotland) (Con)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (Lab)
          Davidson, Ruth (Glasgow) (Con)
          Dugdale, Kezia (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fee, Mary (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (Lab)
          Fergusson, Alex (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)
          Findlay, Neil (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Goldie, Annabel (West Scotland) (Con)
          Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          Henry, Hugh (Renfrewshire South) (Lab)
          Hume, Jim (South Scotland) (LD)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Kelly, James (Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Lamont, John (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
          Macdonald, Lewis (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Macintosh, Ken (Eastwood) (Lab)
          Malik, Hanzala (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Provan) (Lab)
          McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
          McCulloch, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McDougall, Margaret (West Scotland) (Lab)
          McGrigor, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          McInnes, Alison (North East Scotland) (LD)
          McMahon, Michael (Uddingston and Bellshill) (Lab)
          McMahon, Siobhan (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McNeil, Duncan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Lab)
          McTaggart, Anne (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Milne, Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
          Murray, Elaine (Dumfriesshire) (Lab)
          Pearson, Graeme (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Pentland, John (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)
          Rennie, Willie (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
          Scott, Tavish (Shetland Islands) (LD)
          Simpson, Dr Richard (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Smith, Drew (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)
          Smith, Liz (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Stewart, David (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The result of the division is: For 66, Against 55, Abstentions 0.

          Motion, as amended, agreed to,

          That the Parliament notes the crucial importance of a Scottish common agricultural policy (CAP) within the UK; welcomes the fact that the Scottish Government, building on the early modelling work on direct payments published alongside its 2009-10 inquiry into future farm support, has been consulting stakeholders since autumn 2012 on a second tranche of modelling, the results of which are due to be discussed at the Scottish Government CAP conference on 17 April 2013; notes that Scottish stakeholders are currently calling on UK ministers to stop ignoring Scotland's views during the current EU negotiations; further notes that, under the current CAP, Scotland receives the lowest rural development budget allocation per hectare and the fourth lowest direct payments budget allocation per hectare in Europe; notes that, in the multiannual financial framework agreement of 8 February 2013, a large number of EU member states negotiated special uplifts to their direct payments and rural development budget allocations; regrets that the UK Government seems to have failed to negotiate any such uplift for the UK or for Scotland; calls on the UK Government, in the remaining discussions on the EU and CAP budgets and in the forthcoming discussions on budget allocations within the UK, to ensure that Scotland’s low share of CAP spending is rectified in order that the needs of rural Scotland can be properly addressed, and recognises that Scotland as an independent member state of the EU would benefit from significant additional CAP funds for the benefit of its farmers and wider rural communities.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          I propose to put a single question on motions S4M-05914 to S4M-05918, on the approval of Scottish statutory instruments. If any member objects to a single question being put, they should say so now.

          The next question is, that motions S4M-05914 to S4M-05918, in the name of Joe FitzPatrick, on the approval of Scottish statutory instruments, be agreed to.

          Motions agreed to,

          That the Parliament agrees that the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 (Transfer of Children to Scotland – Effect of Orders made in England and Wales or Northern Ireland) Regulations 2013 [draft] be approved.

          That the Parliament agrees that the Community Care (Personal Care and Nursing Care) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2013 [draft] be approved.

          That the Parliament agrees that the Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (Requirements for Care Services) Amendment Regulations 2013 [draft] be approved.

          That the Parliament agrees that the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010 (Incidental Provision and Commencement No.4) Order 2013 [draft] be approved.

          That the Parliament agrees that the Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications and Deemed Applications) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2013 [draft] be approved.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The next question is, that motion S4M-05920, in the name of Joe FitzPatrick, on the establishment of a sub-committee, be agreed to.

          Motion agreed to,

          That the Parliament agrees to establish a sub-committee of the Parliament as follows:

          Name of Committee: Justice Sub-Committee on Policing.

          Remit: To consider and report on the operation of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 as it relates to policing.

          Duration: Until the end of the parliamentary session.

          Number of members: 6.

          Membership: Christine Grahame, Kevin Stewart, Graeme Pearson, Margaret Mitchell, Alison McInnes and John Finnie.

      • David Livingstone Bicentenary
        • The Deputy Presiding Officer (Elaine Smith):

          The final item of business today is a members’ business debate on motion S4M-05533, in the name of Bob Doris, on Dr David Livingstone’s bicentenary. The debate will be concluded without any question being put.

          Motion debated,

          That the Parliament recognises the achievements of the missionary and explorer, Dr David Livingstone, and the bicentenary of his birth; understands that the bicentenary celebrations at his birthplace of Blantyre will build on his legacy; notes that the Scottish Government has contributed £250,000 toward ensuring a sustainable legacy for the celebrations, particularly emphasising the creation of Livingstone exhibitions in Scotland and Malawi, preservation of a shared Malawi-Scottish heritage, development of skills that aid in that preservation and assistance to the Malawi Government to protect its own monuments, historic buildings and heritage; hopes that Livingstone’s legacy can be further strengthened through the funding of a David Livingstone Bicentenary Scholarship Programme, toward which the Scottish Government has already approved £100,000; understands that such a fund would assist academically gifted but underprivileged Malawians to continue to study topics relevant to the Government of Malawi’s growth and development strategy, and understands that Malawi has the lowest rate of university enrolment in the world and that the David Livingstone Bicentenary Scholarship Programme will be of immense help to Malawi and Scotland’s development and the long-term continuation of Livingstone’s legacy.

          17:08
        • Bob Doris (Glasgow) (SNP):

          I am pleased to host this debate on the legacy of David Livingstone, who would have been 200 next Tuesday. This is fast becoming Malawi March in the Parliament, with the state visit by President Joyce Banda next week and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association reception the week after that. In addition, James Kelly, who is present this evening, will be having a debate on the theme later this month.

          Other than the legacy of David Livingstone, the inspiration for having the debate was Councillor Bert Thomson, the councillor for Blantyre, who told me about his fondness for the connection that the area he represents has with David Livingstone, and about his experiences as a boy—which I am sure were not that long ago—in relation to the work carried out. Also, Jim Hume has a strong family connection with David Livingstone, and a number of members who are in the chamber have strong connections with Malawi and have done a lot of work on that. I pay tribute to them for that.

          By way of introduction, I would like to reflect on Scotland’s special relationship with Malawi. That is the most enduring legacy of Dr Livingstone, who was undoubtedly one of the most renowned Scots of the 19th century and is surely Blantyre’s most famous son. Unlike his devout, Sunday school teaching father, Livingstone was convinced of the compatibility of religion and science and he hoped to use one to advance the other, although his emphasis was always more on exploration and humanitarian concerns than on straight missionary work.

          It was those humanitarian concerns that led Kenneth Kaunda, the first President of Zambia, to describe Livingstone as Africa’s first freedom fighter. A staunch opponent of slavery, Livingstone strongly believed that promoting enterprise and commerce would help to bring social justice, self-government and light to what was unfortunately still described in Europe as the dark continent.

          Dr Livingstone’s navigation of the Zambezi on one such expedition in the 1870s took him to what is now known as Malawi. The visit opened up the interior of the sub-Saharan region to European trade and watered the seeds that have flowered into the modern nation of Malawi. The trade settlement that Livingstone established has since grown into the country’s commercial capital, and his influence is made plain in the city’s name, Blantyre.

          Although Malawi became independent in 1964, it has retained its close links with the United Kingdom and Scotland in particular. Those links were fostered by Jack McConnell when he was First Minister in what was the devolved Scottish Administration’s first high-profile international engagement, and I think that the move represented a coming of age for the Parliament and the then Executive. The co-operation agreement that was signed in 2005 by the Scottish and Malawian Administrations codifies the role of the Scottish Government in international development in Malawi in the areas of health, education, the economy and governance. Under the agreement, the Scottish Government ring fences a minimum of £3 million from its international development fund for projects in Malawi. However, I am delighted to say that since 2010 the average has been about £4.5 million per year.

          The bicentenary offers a chance to build on that fantastic legacy. Throughout the year, a number of grass-roots and Scottish Government-supported activities are being held both here and in Africa to mark the anniversary. Perhaps most significantly, Zambia, which is arguably the country after Malawi that has been most influenced by Livingstone, will host the Livingstone 2013 festival, which will include an exchange programme with Scotland for medical students at Zambia’s Livingstone hospital. The programme will allow the countries to share expertise in what are, given Livingstone’s background, particularly appropriate fields.

          The David Livingstone bicentenary scholarship programme, which I mention in my motion, is a central part of that legacy. In my research for this debate, I was surprised to find that Malawi has the lowest rate of university enrolment in the world; only 51 in 100,000 Malawians are in higher education and most of them are in liberal arts courses. Although that is in many ways a positive sign and suggests an improvement in standards of living and the emergence of a middle class, Malawian universities need to produce graduates with the skills to contribute directly to the country’s economic and social development and this £100,000 programme, which is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by the Scotland Malawi Partnership, will help to support up to 50 gifted but underprivileged Malawians through a masters degree.

          Although the scholarship is a one-off, it should, if done correctly, have benefits that endure long after the bicentenary year. To achieve that—and I understand that the partnership is still fleshing out the details of this—it has suggested that one of the criteria for the awarding of the grant be that applicants contribute via their studies to the wider community, perhaps by teaching in a school or working in the development sector. In that way, the investment will have a knock-on effect beyond the students who will benefit directly.

          The National Trust for Scotland’s David Livingstone centre, which is based in Livingstone’s childhood home in Blantyre, is at the heart of the bicentenary celebrations, and I am pleased to welcome some of the centre’s staff to the chamber. This year, more than 80 years after its establishment, it has been awarded official museum accreditation, and I know that the centre hopes that another legacy of the bicentenary will be a major repair and refurbishment programme for its buildings.

          Next week, on the bicentenary itself, children from local Blantyre primary schools will bury at the centre a time capsule containing a mixture of historic materials, some of which have been provided by a primary school in Malawi. Later that day, the centre will unveil one of Livingstone’s newly discovered diaries. I pay special tribute to the centre for this activity because I think that teaching children about and encouraging them to participate in Livingstone’s legacy is a wonderful way of ensuring that the special links between Scotland and Malawi remain strong into the next generation and—I hope—for centuries to come.

          As a Glasgow MSP, I feel it a privilege that boundaries were changed to bring Blantyre into the Glasgow region. It enriches the geographical area that I represent in the same way that David Livingstone’s legacy enriches Scotland, Malawi and, indeed, the world. I am sure that when we celebrate David Livingstone’s 400th birthday in 200 years’ time, those bonds will be stronger than ever.

          17:15
        • James Kelly (Rutherglen) (Lab):

          I welcome the opportunity to speak in this important debate, in which we are celebrating the life of David Livingstone, and congratulate Bob Doris on securing it. I am pleased to see Jim Hume in the chamber, as he is a direct descendant of David Livingstone. He looks as if he is set to contribute to the debate. I have no doubt that his contribution will give a particular insight and enrich the debate.

          I want to concentrate on David Livingstone’s links with Blantyre, his legacy, and the relevance of his story to Blantyre now. If we look at Blantyre today and the school names there, we see that his memory is alive and well in that community. There is the David Livingstone Memorial primary school and the David Livingstone centre, which Bob Doris mentioned. There is no doubt that his memory is alive and well in Blantyre because of the remarkable story of his upbringing there, which is an inspiration. He worked in a mill from the age of 10. He started at 6 o’clock in the morning and worked until 8 at night—that is a 14-hour day. Such was his and his family’s drive that he would then spend two hours reading in very poorly lit accommodation to educate himself.

          When David Livingstone secured a place at the University of Glasgow, he used to leave every Monday to go to it, walking the 8 miles from Blantyre. That shows the man’s drive and inspiration. His education at the University of Glasgow built the platform for the life that he was to go on to lead.

          There were a number of important strands to Livingstone’s life. Obviously, he was an experienced explorer from three trips over a 30-year period, and he had a really strong Christian faith, which he looked to take to Africa. That faith is alive and well today in the Blantyre Livingstone Memorial parish church, which holds a memorial service every year, not just in this bicentenary year. Livingstone was also a strong anti-slavery campaigner. In his famous University of Glasgow address in 1858, he hit out at

          “the horrid system of slavery”.

          There are important lessons that Blantyre is taking forward now. There is a strong community in the area, which goes back to the time of the mills, where Livingstone’s family worked, and the mines. We should not forget that, around the time of Livingstone’s death, 207 people lost their lives in the Dixon’s pit mining disaster in Blantyre. That history still very much lives with people today.

          Like other areas, Blantyre has faced difficult times in recent years, but there is a strong community there, and some of the principles that David Livingstone followed have been followed by people in the community. There is perseverance and respect for different parts of the community, and that is taken forward locally by St Blane’s primary school. It works with Nil by Mouth and has an important anti-sectarianism project, which it uses to reach out to all parts of the community. In all the community groups in Blantyre, there is a sense of improvement, which I think Livingstone would have approved of. He was all for people doing better and improving the quality of their lives.

          Livingstone’s life is an inspiration, and we are proud to have the opportunity to look at that past. His legacy lives on, and the flame of his ideals burns brightly.

          17:19
        • Maureen Watt (Aberdeen South and North Kincardine) (SNP):

          I, too, congratulate Bob Doris on securing this timely debate and look forward to a busy two weeks ahead as we celebrate the bicentenary of Livingstone’s birth. I wish Sarah Boyack and Alex Fergusson a safe and productive visit to Malawi next week as they take forward the work that we in this Parliament do through the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to try to enrich and enhance the democratic capabilities of the members of the Malawi Parliament, and I hope that they will take our good wishes to them. I was privileged to visit Malawi for the same work in January 2011. I am now the convener of the cross-party group in the Scottish Parliament on Malawi, so I obviously keep a close eye on what is happening there.

          David Livingstone was indeed a remarkable man, as James Kelly said, who worked as a child and into his early teens but continued to learn in order to better himself. He was deeply religious, too, but he was not the standard imperialist explorer. He worked to protect the interests of the tribes that he came across. Although he did evangelise as a missionary, he apparently did not manage to get that many conversions. He did not force his beliefs on those whom he came across and he was far more motivated by the prospect of exploration, scientific discovery and—most important—ending slavery.

          David Livingstone believed that he needed to find an easy route into the centre of the continent in order to bring legitimate trade as an alternative to the slave trade. He campaigned tirelessly against slavery and worked to spread knowledge of its horrors back home in the UK. In particular, he reported on the Nyangwe massacre, when slave traders fired into a crowded market and 400 people were killed. It was British pressure that was in part due to Livingstone’s efforts that led the Sultan of Zanzibar to make the slave trade illegal on the east coast of Africa.

          Unlike many other missionaries, Livingstone remained respected as a great humanitarian in the areas in which he travelled. As a doctor, he was able to provide medical aid to the people whom he met, which helped to win their trust. He was one of the first to administer quinine in doses that are now considered to be effective and he suggested early on that mosquitoes were associated with malaria. For those reasons, he is still deeply respected in Malawi and so well known that everyone you meet there can tell you something about him. I think that that is the basis for the deep relationship between our two countries. Through the CPG, we have learned so much about the projects that Scotland’s civil society undertakes in Malawi.

          I point out, however, that behind every good man is a good woman. An often ignored element of Dr Livingstone’s story is his wife, Mary, who was often known by her maiden name of Moffat. She was born in Africa and her father was a missionary, too, who was famous for protecting the interests of natives. Moffat crossed the Kalahari—imagine this—while pregnant. She was, in fact, the first white woman to cross the Kalahari. She accompanied Livingstone on many of his other strenuous expeditions, often with her family in tow. She died from malaria after rejoining Livingstone in Africa following a period of living in Great Britain. We should recognise her sacrifices, too, which played a crucial role in enabling Livingstone to make his mark in history.

          17:23
        • Alex Fergusson (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con):

          Like others, I congratulate Bob Doris on securing the debate. However, I apologise to him and other members because I have not signed his motion, which I did not realise until this afternoon. I thought that I had signed it, but I will put that right, albeit that it is a question of better late than never.

          I am delighted to take part in the debate, a mere six days short of the 200th anniversary of the birth of surely one of the most remarkable men in Scotland’s history, which abounds with remarkable figures. As we have heard, David Livingstone was born in Blantyre into the most humble of surroundings and by the age of 10 was working up to 12 hours a day in the cotton mills, with school lessons to be attended in the evenings. It surely says everything about this extraordinary man that his thirst for knowledge overcame his physical fatigue to such an extent that he became a voracious reader at a young age. Despite his father’s strong belief that theology and science should not be mixed, he decided to study medicine and theology in Glasgow, and eventually decided to become a missionary doctor.

          Of course, it was in that capacity that he found himself posted, in 1845, to the edge of the Kalahari desert in southern Africa. He soon became convinced that he had a mission to reach new peoples in the interior of the vast continent of Africa, to introduce them to Christianity and, as members said, to free them from slavery. His anti-slavery stance was notable in its robustness for the day.

          It was that firm belief that inspired and encouraged him to undertake the explorations across Africa for which he rightly became famous. He discovered the Victoria falls in 1855, and in the following year he became the first European to cross the width of southern Africa. What I find remarkable is that, unlike other expeditions of the time, which almost always involved large numbers of soldiers and other armed personnel, for security reasons, Livingstone’s expeditions always consisted of a small number of people, who clearly constituted no threat to anyone. I cannot help but think that that is why he was usually greeted with enthusiasm and respect by local chiefs and tribes, whom he respected in turn—every bit as much as they did him.

          Livingstone lectured on and extolled the virtues of Christianity, but, again unlike other explorers and missionaries of the time, he did not try to impose Christianity on people against their will if he met with resistance. There is no doubt that that explains the reverence with which he is remembered across Africa to this day, which Maureen Watt, in particular, mentioned.

          When the Malawian high commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Mr Bernard Sande, visited the Scottish Parliament recently, Sarah Boyack and I had the great pleasure of meeting him. Ms Boyack and I will visit Malawi later this week and next week on behalf of the CPA Scotland branch; I thank Maureen Watt for her kind words and we will take the good wishes of the Parliament with us. His Excellency told us that he had visited the David Livingstone centre in Blantyre the day before, and that he had been virtually transfixed by his surroundings, to the extent that he could hardly bear to tear himself away. Indeed, I understand that he overstayed his scheduled visit by more than an hour. He was clearly deeply moved by the experience.

          The deep feelings for David Livingstone that people across Africa still have are partly why I am so pleased to take part in this debate. Commemorations of this nature are not always about a part of our history that does us great justice—if we are being perfectly honest—but any commemoration of David Livingstone is a commemoration of everything that is best about Scotland’s pioneering past.

          I particularly welcome the Scottish Government’s intention to fund a bicentenary scholarship programme. David Livingstone realised at an early age that education and knowledge produce the only real way to loosen the chains of poverty and slavery, so it is fitting that we should celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth by seeking to further that empowerment, even in a small way, through a scholarship programme. As it says in the motion, the programme will help

          “the long-term continuation of Livingstone’s legacy”—

          a legacy of which we can surely all be immensely proud.

          17:28
        • Christina McKelvie (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP):

          I congratulate my friend and colleague Bob Doris on securing this timely and important debate in the year in which we celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Dr David Livingstone. Members will be aware that the subject is close to my heart. I think that David Livingstone gave much more to the world than he took out.

          When I was a child growing up in the east end of Glasgow, I was treated to a school visit to the David Livingstone centre in Blantyre. The visit triggered a lifelong interest in the life and work of that remarkable man. The search for the source of the Nile fascinated me and led to dreams of sailing the Nile all the way to the pyramids. A few years ago I made that journey with my sons. We sailed from Luxor to Aswan and we visited the pyramids. The wee lassie fae Easterhouse realised her dream.

          I have had the great pleasure of visiting Malawi, which is a fantastic and beautiful country. I wish Malawi’s people well with their celebrations, too. We had a great adventure, which I think that I will always remember.

          When Dr Livingstone decided to travel to Africa, I wonder whether he thought about the dangers that the adventure would present, the plants and animals that he would see and the different people that he would meet. I wonder whether he thought that, 200 years later, we would revere him and celebrate his remarkable life and work.

          One thing that I remember about Livingstone is the fact that he wrote about the horror of people trafficking and the slave trade in his many letters, diaries and journals, some of which I have had the great privilege of seeing at first hand at the visitor centre. I know from my involvement in the cross-party group on human trafficking that that is an issue that, sadly, we still face today.

          Livingstone had a great spirit, and it is that spirit—the spirit of equality, fairness and justice—that took him to Africa in 1840. In a letter to the editor of the New York Herald, he wrote:

          “And if my disclosures regarding the terrible Ujijian slavery should lead to the suppression of the East Coast slave trade, I shall regard that as a greater matter by far than the discovery of all the Nile sources together.”

          What a powerful reason for writing to newspapers and raising awareness of the inhumanity of the slave trade.

          Livingstone is remembered extremely fondly in Malawi. I did not go anywhere where there were schoolchildren who did not know who he was or adults who could not talk about what he brought their country. He is remembered in Malawi not just for his many endeavours to end the trade in human beings, but as someone who brought education and medicine. Anyone from Scotland who visits a school in Malawi will find the education system very familiar.

          I believe that the things that Livingstone fought for are worth fighting for, but things that are worth fighting for are never easy to attain. Livingstone said:

          “If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.”

          I think that women would have joined him.

          Over the course of his first 12 years in Africa, he developed an anger about slavery and even refused to follow the same paths as the slave traders. He wrote:

          “it is so undesirable to travel in a path once trodden by slave-traders that I preferred to find out another line of march.”

          The David Livingstone Centre is a jewel in Lanarkshire’s crown. I am delighted to see that the local councillor, Bert Thomson, is in the gallery, and I am delighted that future generations of Scots and visitors from across the world will continue to be able to learn about and gain inspiration from Livingstone’s life and legacy at the centre, which I was treated to visiting as a child. For that reason, I put my heart and soul into securing the centre’s future when it was under threat a few years ago. We managed to do that through a lot of joint work and great work by the staff.

          I am delighted that the centre has been given museum status. That has been a long time coming—it should have happened a long time ago—but we are very grateful that it has now happened. I am also delighted that the Scottish Government has committed to celebrating Livingstone’s 200th anniversary. We should not forget the roles that people played in forging Scotland’s place in the world. Today’s debate and the events of the rest of the month will be a very fitting legacy.

          17:32
        • Jim Hume (South Scotland) (LD):

          I, too, congratulate Bob Doris on securing the debate. I should note that James Kelly also lodged a motion on Dr Livingstone, which I supported before it was lodged.

          Bob Doris and James Kelly have declared my interest for me. My granny was a very proud lady. One of her proudest facts was that her great-grandfather, which I think makes him my great-great-great-grandfather, was a cousin of David Livingstone. Therefore, although I am not quite a straight descendant of Dr Livingstone, I am descended from his grandfather, if I have my maths right.

          My granny’s great-grandfather’s name was Alexander Livingstone. A contemporary of David’s, he, too, was from Blantyre and worked in the Blantyre mills, but as a weaver. Although members might think that David Livingstone’s life was cut short early because of foreign travels and his contracting malaria—he died at the age of 60—my ancestor, David’s cousin, died some time before he was 31. We do not know exactly when he died. His name appeared in the 1841 census but not in the 1851 census, so he might even have been as young as 22 when he died.

          In those days, mills did not have the highest health and safety standards. It is interesting to think that although David took what appeared to be the more adventurous and dangerous route in life, he managed to live for twice as long as his cousin who stayed at home to continue the family weaving tradition. Members can draw from that what they like.

          David Livingstone is rightly heralded as one of the greatest Scots who ever lived. It must surely be true to say that, despite being a man who is known for his various explorations, the greatest journey that he took in life was the one that took him from his tenement in Blantyre and the mills that all his family worked in to his interment in Westminster abbey alongside this island’s great and good.

          His life is a true rags-to-riches tale and an inspiration not only to Scots but to people everywhere, including Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It takes a remarkable individual to slip free from the humble confines of early 19th century industrial Lanarkshire and achieve what he achieved.

          In his honour, a mountain range in Canada has been adorned with his name, as has a city in Zambia, a town in Malawi, a college in the United States—the list goes on.

          How did a man from such humble beginnings, who from the age of 10—as Alex Fergusson said—did 12-hour shifts as a piecer in a cotton mill go on to achieve the legacy that he did? One of his most memorable quotes perhaps gives us a measure of the man:

          “I will go anywhere, provided it is forward”.

          Forward he did go.

          Livingstone may have been introduced to the African continent to spread the word of God, but he would eventually abandon his mission of faith and go forward on a mission of exploration. As a result, he created a legacy that has endured for two centuries. His expeditions were responsible for important geological discoveries, such as Victoria falls—I will not embarrass myself by trying to pronounce that waterfall’s indigenous name—and led to the mapping of previously uncharted areas of the continent.

          It would be wrong to paint his life as a fairytale, though. He would later come to regret not spending more time with his children, his expeditions were not always fully successful and his wife, Mary Moffat, passed away with malaria on one such expedition.

          It is right and proper that we commemorate his life on the eve of the bicentenary of his birth. That the President of Malawi is making a state visit to this Parliament next week is a wonderful honour and testament to the contribution that David Livingstone made to 19th century Europe’s understanding of central Africa—and the impact that he had on not only my granny and family, but all the countries that he visited.

          17:36
        • Patricia Ferguson (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (Lab):

          I, too, thank Bob Doris for securing the debate.

          That we are debating the bicentenary of the birth of Dr David Livingstone is a mark of the man’s significance and of the endurance of his legacy here in the United Kingdom and in Africa. Our partnership with Malawi is a result of his relationship with that country. Although many other former colonies and protectorates have turned their backs on their colonial heritage, Malawi is still proud of its links to Livingstone and, through him, to Blantyre and Scotland.

          The strength of that relationship was brought home to me in 2006 when I had the privilege of visiting the David Livingstone centre in Blantyre—the Scottish Blantyre—with two visiting Malawian Government ministers. I was genuinely taken aback by how honoured they felt to visit the home of the legendary figure. Alex Fergusson described a similar experience. It was extremely moving to see how moved they were to see for themselves the humble origins of one who is so important to the history of their nation and whom they regard as a very great man indeed.

          One of those Malawian ministers will return to Blantyre on Sunday, as part of the celebrations of the bicentenary of Livingstone’s birth, but this time she will visit as the President of Malawi. I look forward to hearing President Banda’s address to Parliament next week and to welcoming her back to Scotland.

          That Livingstone found himself in Africa at all was a historical accident. He had wanted to be a missionary in China, but the opium wars put paid to that. A geographical accident brought him to Malawi as he led an expedition to open up the Zambezi River. In fact, he spent very little time in Malawi, but he inspired many European missionaries to follow in his wake.

          Many of those missionaries were ill-equipped for what they would encounter and many died not long after arriving, often of malaria and other tropical diseases. Often, whole families were wiped out, and the devastation that was wreaked can be seen to this day in the missionary graveyards.

          Livingstone was a determined man; he was described on one occasion by his friend and companion, John Kirk, as being possibly mad. His reputation suffered ups and downs even during his lifetime—but then again, most great men find that their reputations wane and wax from day to day. However, his stand against slavery must surely commend him to us. He described slavery as the

          “open sore of the world”

          and he used his travels and fame as a platform from which he could declare his opposition to it.

          Livingstone carried on his work when pain and disease would have dictated to a less dedicated or determined man that he should stop. He finally died, probably from the effects of a cocktail of tropical diseases, in 1873.

          We rightly celebrate and praise Livingstone for his achievements and his legacy, but let us not—as Maureen Watt said—forget his wife, Mary. Mary was the daughter of Robert Moffat, who was a highly regarded missionary. She was born in Africa and met Livingstone when he returned to her father’s home at Kuruman, which is in modern-day South Africa. Livingstone had been attacked by a lion, and Mary nursed him as he recovered from major injuries to his arm. They married a year later and set up home together.

          Following the death of their baby daughter, Mary returned to the UK to bring up their family. The Livingstones were married for 18 years, but they spent half that time apart. Mary died at the age of 41, only three months after returning to Africa to be with Livingstone. She was buried in Mozambique. It is ironic that although Livingstone pioneered the use of quinine—as we have heard—as a remedy against malaria, Mary was too sick to benefit from It.

          Livingstone was a missionary, an explorer, a cartographer and a doctor. He worked hard to understand the diseases that he encountered in Africa. Sadly, some of those diseases, such as malaria, are still all too common. The diseases that killed Livingstone, his wife Mary, and many of the missionaries whom he inspired kill thousands of people in Africa to this day.

          In an excellent article, Michael Barrett, a professor of biochemical parasitology at the University of Glasgow, suggests that it would be a fitting tribute to David Livingstone if, in 2013, we finally saw the tide turning against tropical disease. That would be the most fitting tribute that we could give in this bicentenary year and would be something of which I think Livingstone would approve.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          I call Dave Thompson. There are four minutes left for his speech.

          17:41
        • Dave Thompson (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP):

          I, too, congratulate Bob Doris on securing this debate on the bicentenary of the birth of Dr David Livingstone, which is on 19 March 1813. The list of David Livingstone’s exploits and accomplishments is long. He travelled the Nile and explored the Zambezi and he was the first European to lay eyes on Victoria falls.

          Throughout David Livingstone’s journeys, there was one defining feature of his life that stood out from the rest—his Christian faith. The young David Livingstone grew up in a household in which he was surrounded by Christian values. His father was a door-to-door salesman who gave out Christian tracts while doing his job, and was also a Sunday school teacher at church.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          Mr Thompson, we cannot hear you very well. Will you ensure that your microphone is directed towards you?

        • Dave Thompson:

          Is that better?

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          Yes.

        • Dave Thompson:

          I am sorry about that.

          The young David Livingstone grew up in a household in which he was surrounded by Christian values—I will say it again so that people get it this time. [Laughter.] His father was a door-to-door salesman who gave out Christian tracts while doing his job, and was also a Sunday school teacher at church. David emulated his father’s love of theology and his father’s faith in Christ, but he mixed it with a distinct passion for the sciences, which led him to study medicine and to being ordained as a missionary.

          David Livingstone’s father feared that reading science books would undermine David’s Christianity. David’s deep interest in nature led him to investigate the relationship between religion and science. However, after reading the book “The Philosophy of a Future State” by Thomas Dick, the young David reconciled his two loves of faith and science. He believed that the two are not at odds with each other but are both essential to a fulfilled life.

          David Livingstone went on to establish Christian missions in central Africa and to become one of the most famous missionaries in history. His motto, which is inscribed on the base of the statue to him at Victoria falls, was “Christianity, Commerce and Civilisation”. He saw his mission as opening a path for commerce and Christianity. It is important to note that his championing of commerce was not colonialist; it was more to do with providing an alternative economy to the slave trade.

          David Livingstone encouraged small groups of Presbyterian men, and eventually their families, to form communities in Africa that would bring their skills and pass those on to local people. He saw that not as a means of European settlement but as a transfer of skills and techniques and a way of Christian living.

          During his travels, David Livingstone preached a Christian message, but he never forced it on unwilling ears. He listened to the African chiefs with respect and courtesy; he treated them as equals, which was in stark contrast to the treatment of the African people by many other Europeans.

          In taking that attitude, David Livingstone was acting just as he had learned in his readings of the Bible. As 1 Peter 3:8 says:

          “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.”

          The First Minister recently said that David Livingstone’s values are the values of Scotland. I agree. Of course, those values were Christian values and we should not forget that.

          At a time when it is unfashionable to admit that Scotland was once known as the land of the book, we could do worse than look back at the life of David Livingstone—a man whose values of humanity did not stem from humanism, but from a deep faith in Jesus Christ, a factor that was also instrumental in shaping who we were, and are, as the Scottish nation.

          17:45
        • The Minister for External Affairs and International Development (Humza Yousaf):

          I am grateful for the opportunity to make some closing remarks. I thank Bob Doris—it is to his credit that he has brought this important debate to the chamber.

          Members have made some fantastic contributions, which I will touch on. I was delighted to hear about Jim Hume’s great-great-great grandfather’s relation to the great man himself, David Livingstone. When I first found that out a couple of weeks ago, I said to Jim Hume that I was not surprised but delighted to hear that he was cut from such noble cloth. He reminded me quite correctly, as did James Kelly, that David Livingstone was the most humble of humble men, which makes his achievements all the more remarkable.

          As we have been made aware through the various speeches, David Livingstone was one of our greatest explorers. As Alex Fergusson mentioned, he embodied a thirst for education, but he also embodied enterprise and a capacity for endurance. Almost every member referred to the fact that he was in Africa as a humanitarian. Alex Fergusson made the point well that he spoke against slavery at a time when it was not fashionable to do so. It is easier for me and other members across the chamber to stand up and speak against slavery but, in those days, doing so was not at all popular. In fact, David Livingstone spoke up decades before Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation, so he was a trailblazer of his time.

          David Livingstone made a significant contribution to our understanding of the world. His legacy continues to this day with the strong relationship that we have spoken about between the people of Scotland and Malawi. In fact, the first debate that I had the honour of leading on in the chamber in my role as Minister for External Affairs and International Development, was on Malawi. Nearly every single speech touched on David Livingstone. Christina McKelvie’s speech today reminded me of her passionate speech in that debate. That passion was a result of her one visit to the David Livingstone centre. It is incredible to think of all the children who have passed through the centre. I hope that they will keep hold of that passion throughout their lives as the member has done.

          On Sunday, we will be welcoming a delegation from the Republic of Malawi to Scotland to celebrate with us the birth of David Livingstone. The bicentenary celebrations are an opportunity to celebrate the many achievements of that great man that members have mentioned.

          The Scottish Government is contributing almost £450,000 towards ensuring a sustainable legacy from the celebrations. We are contributing £150,000 to the National Trust for Scotland to support the David Livingstone centre in co-ordinating the Livingstone celebrations. In doing so, we are refocusing the nation’s attention on that important centre in Blantyre, which is not only David Livingstone’s birthplace but a focal point for understanding his legacy at home and abroad.

          As an aside, Patricia Ferguson mentioned the story of David Livingstone being bitten on the arm by a lion. That is how he met Mary Moffat, the woman who nursed him and whom he would later marry. There is a statue of the lion attacking him at the centre. When I was looking at that statue, I remember thinking that there are definitely easier ways to get a woman’s attention. Nonetheless, endurance is important.

          I recently announced an additional £50,000 to the National Trust for Scotland to develop Livingstone 200 events in the course of 2013. The funding is opening up the bicentenary celebrations to more people, community groups and grass-roots organisations. I hope that it will introduce Dr Livingstone to new audiences and increase awareness of volunteering opportunities. I urge every member to pass on information about that fund to local groups in their constituencies. They can get that information by looking at the davidlivingstone200.org website.

          We have also provided other pockets of money, including more than £140,000 for National Museums Scotland to work with National Museums Malawi to provide content for the “Dr Livingstone, I presume?” exhibition, which I have had the pleasure of seeing. The funding will also assist in raising the profile and professional quality of museums services in Malawi by developing and implementing targeted skills development. That is important, because we want to try not just to help Malawi through our international development fund and through traditional aid but to increase tourism and increase the skills and knowledge sectors of Malawi.

          In addition to those projects, the Scottish Government has provided £100,000 towards a David Livingstone bicentenary scholarship. As Alex Fergusson quite rightly mentioned, David Livingstone was an educated man who understood that education was a route out of poverty. I am delighted that this scholarship programme will give young, gifted, underprivileged Malawian students—women in particular—the opportunity to study at a Malawian further or higher education institution in a range of subjects. It will be a life-changing opportunity for young people in Malawi, where educational attainment is among the lowest in the developing world.

          Everybody has talked about David Livingstone’s legacy and it is important to continue that legacy. Patricia Ferguson made that point very well and very poignantly with regard to the diseases that affected David Livingstone and, unfortunately, also killed Mary Moffat. Those diseases are unfortunately still very much alive and prevalent today and, as Patricia Ferguson said, the best legacy is to try to eradicate them. That is absolutely right and that is a challenge that all of us need to face up to.

          It is great to see that, 200 years on from the birth of this fantastic Scot, his legacy is being continued by none other than a young girl—I believe that she is 10 years old now—Martha Payne, who is using modern-day technology to capture the imagination of people and continue that legacy for the people of Malawi.

          The Government looks forward to the programme of events during the visit of the Malawian delegation to celebrate the bicentenary of Dr David Livingstone’s birth, which has been put together by representatives of Scottish civic society. I thank them all for their efforts.

          It is a testament to David Livingstone that his legacy retains such a power to motivate. I look forward to the celebrations ahead, as I think many of us do, and I wish those who are visiting Malawi on behalf of this Parliament every success. I hope that they take the best wishes of the Government with them as well as the best wishes of the Scottish Parliament. I thank Bob Doris for securing the debate and I wish the celebrations every success.

          Meeting closed at 17:53.