04 October 2009

The Sunday Whip

Well, this was one easy week for everyone: everything - and I mean everything - passed without dissent.

On Wednesday, MSPs noted the 7th Paper by the Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee: Determining and delivering on Scotland's energy future, agreed to suspend Rule 13.7.4 of the Standing Orders for the following day, so that Johann Lamont could stand in for Iain Gray at FMQs, and passed the Mutual Recognition of Criminal Financial Penalties in the European Union (Scotland) Order 2009.

On Thursday, the Local Government & Communities Committee's 12th Report, Equal Pay in Local Government got its day in the Chamber, then discussed the Government motion on the role of colleges in the economic recovery. Labour, Tory and LibDem amendments were all moved and accepted, so the motion which passed unanimously read as follows:

That the Parliament recognises that Scotland's colleges are central to the Scottish Government's plans for tackling the recession and preparing for economic recovery; agrees that through the provision of flexible, locally relevant skills and training they are helping individuals and employers build for recovery; welcomes the fact that, as a result and working in partnership with other agencies, colleges are helping the communities that they serve to adapt to changed economic circumstances; notes the particular support that colleges provide to young people, and notes the continued financial support that the sector receives from the Scottish Government; notes the contribution that colleges are making in further developing links with industry that can help deliver the 7,800 apprenticeships promised in the 2009-10 budget; recognises the concerns that exist regarding the ability of colleges to fully accommodate the increase in applicants, including the 2009 Christmas school leavers, and to cope with pressures on childcare and hardship funds, and calls on the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning to report to the Parliament on how she intends to address these concerns; urges the Scottish Government to encourage the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council, in allocating funds to the sector, to recognise the particular needs of colleges in rural areas and calls on the Scottish Government to review the current system of discretionary childcare funding, to work closely with the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council to develop articulation routes between further and higher education, helping to address problems that students face during transition and enhancing and developing links between the sectors, and, in recognising the valuable role of Scotland's colleges in skills development, to bring the revised skills strategy before the Parliament to allow detailed debate of its recommendations.

So that was that. Next week sees the Rural Affairs & Environment Committee get an afternoon in the spotlight on Wednesday, Labour business on Thursday morning and a Government debate on Civil Justice on Thursday afternoon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A touch platitudinous a motion, though worthy enough - but where's the action demanded/to be taken as a result of all these factors "noted"? And what does "develop articulation routes" mean? Sounds like setting microphone channels in a sound desk!