Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No.42/2005: Friday 11 March 2005
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Section E – Written questions lodged on 10 March 2005

Questions marked with a triangle (Δ) are initiated by the Scottish Executive in order to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament.

S2W-15124 Mr Brian Monteith: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-13857 by Malcolm Chisholm on 9 February 2005, how the payments received from the National Asylum Support Service were distributed in (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98 and (c) 1998-99.

S2W-15125 Mr Brian Monteith: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-14631 by Peter Peacock on 2 March 2005, what plans it has to encourage Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) to publish school and local authority performance in implementing Better Behaviour – Better Learning against HMIE inspection standards such as "satisfactory", "good" or "very good".

S2W-15126 Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding arrangements are in place to ensure that early employability programmes for vulnerable adults, such as the New Futures Fund, are continued after March 2006.

S2W-15127 Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive what resources will be allocated to its employability framework.

S2W-15128 Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Scottish Enterprise will continue to be the lead agency on the New Futures Fund initiative until March 2006.

S2W-15129 Fergus Ewing: To ask the Scottish Executive whether raptor study groups, funded by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to monitor nests, are obliged to disclose nest sites to SNH.

S2W-15130 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is aware of any circumstances where, following a crofting community buy-out, the previous landlord has retained significant land rights such as the control of wind farms and the benefits from these developments.

S2W-15131 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-12692 by Peter Peacock on 14 December 2004, what information it has on whether its recommendation to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that the guide should be translated into Gaelic has been implemented and whether the guide will be translated into Scots.

S2W-15132 Mr Bruce McFee: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Communities Scotland agreed to fund Barrhead Housing Association for the purpose of acquiring land at Maple Avenue, Newton Mearns, and building a domestic abuse refuge on the land.

S2W-15133 Mr Bruce McFee: To ask the Scottish Executive how much public funding allocated to the domestic abuse refuge project at Maple Avenue, Newton Mearns has been (a) spent to date, (b) diverted to other projects, broken down by project and (c) returned to the Executive unspent.

S2W-15134 Mr Bruce McFee: To ask the Scottish Executive why Communities Scotland offered Barrhead Housing Association a separate grant of £528,327 to fund the domestic abuse refuge project at Maple Avenue, Newton Mearns when it was competitively costed at £68,000; from which source this grant support has become available, and whether the cost of £528,327 has been independently appraised by external consultants and, if so, which consultants.

S2W-15135 Dr Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there are any restrictions on the nationalities of persons who are eligible to apply for posts in the civil service and, if so, what the reasons are for these restrictions.

S2W-15136 Carolyn Leckie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will exclude clinical services from any Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) schemes, as referred to in the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill.

S2W-15137 Carolyn Leckie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will exclude facilities management from any Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) schemes, as referred to in the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill.

S2W-15138 Carolyn Leckie: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it estimates the cost will be to public services of facilitating the implementation of any Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) schemes or similar schemes, including legal and management consultancy fees.

S2W-15139 Carolyn Leckie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to introduce legislation to give NHS boards prudential borrowing powers.

S2W-15140 Carolyn Leckie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether any subsidies for local improvement will be conditional on public bodies entering into Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) schemes or similar schemes.

S2W-15141 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-12632 by Mr Andy Kerr on 13 December 2004, how many applications have now been received for the Skipton Fund and how many have been successful.

S2W-15142 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-12642 by Mr Andy Kerr on 13 December 2004, how many appeals have now been lodged in respect of unsuccessful applications to the Skipton Fund and how many have been completed.

S2W-15143 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is satisfied that a full appeals procedure is in place for unsuccessful applications to the Skipton Fund.

S2W-15144 Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of dentists in (a) Scotland and (b) each parliamentary constituency accept NHS patients.

S2W-15145 Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of dentists in each (a) NHS board and (b) parliamentary constituency have stopped taking NHS patients in each year since 1999.

S2W-15146 Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the cost of the early retirement scheme for civil servants was in each of its departments and agencies in (a) 1997-98, (b) 1998-99, (c) 1999-2000, (d) 2000-01, (e) 2001-02, (f) 2002-03 and (g) 2003-04 and what the estimated cost is for (h) 2004-05, (i) 2005-06, (j) 2006-07 and (k) 2007-08.

S2W-15147 Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average waiting time has been for (a) emergency and (b) routine dental treatment in each year since 1999.

S2W-15148 Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish Executive how much has been spent on official ministerial (a) business cards, (b) headed paper and (c) compliment slips in each year since 1999.

S2W-15149 Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many consultant episodes were completed in 2004.

S2W-15150 Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of NHS boards are experiencing staffing shortages in midwifery.

S2W-15151 Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of midwifery students left their course before completion in each of the last five years.

S2W-15152 Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the three-month vacancy rate was for (a) consultant psychiatrists, (b) psychiatric nurses and (c) all medical and dental staff in the NHS in the most recent period for which figures are available.

S2W-15153 Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) undergraduate and (b) postgraduate students declared themselves bankrupt in 2004.

S2W-15154 Mr Stewart Maxwell: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-13634 by Rhona Brankin on 25 February 2005, to which organisations the £15.118 million from the Health Improvement Fund, initially retained by the Scottish Executive, was distributed and how much each organisation received.

S2W-15155 Mr Stewart Maxwell: To ask the Scottish Executive what monitoring has taken place of the dental health initiatives funded by the Health Improvement Fund and what improvements in dental health have been achieved as a result of these initiatives.

S2W-15156 Mr Ted Brocklebank: To ask the Scottish Executive whether confidential information has been, or is being, shredded by it or any Executive agency in order to avoid disclosure under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and, if so, why.

S2W-15157 Richard Lochhead: To ask the Scottish Executive what information it has on the number of (a) shops, (b) banks, (c) post offices and (d) other facilities there have been in rural communities in each local authority area in each of the last five years.

S2W-15158 Carolyn Leckie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will subsidise directly any Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) schemes or similar schemes proposed for Scotland.

S2W-15159 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure that sufficient resources are available to provide pain relief to everybody who requires it.

S2W-15160 Margaret Mitchell: To ask the Scottish Executive what estimate it has made of the total cost to the public purse, including legal aid fees, of challenges under the European Convention on Human Rights from prisoners in respect of conditions in prison.

S2W-15161 Margaret Mitchell: To ask the Scottish Executive how many cases it estimates will be brought to court by prisoners in challenges under the European Convention on Human Rights and what contingency it has set aside to meet claims.

S2W-15162 Miss Annabel Goldie: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will make an announcement on what action it will take as a result of the McInnes Report on the review of summary justice.

S2W-15163 Miss Annabel Goldie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it accepts the financial analysis in the McInnes Report on the review of summary justice which backed up the call for lay justices to be abolished.

S2W-15164 Fergus Ewing: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in light of the forthcoming devolution of railway powers to Scotland, it will urge Network Rail to supply maintenance and renewal budgets for Scotland and to appoint a director for Scotland as a single point of contact for the Executive, with the three main management streams affecting infrastructure and operations and enhancements within Network Rail reporting to this post.

S2W-15165 Fergus Ewing: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in light of the forthcoming devolution of railway powers to Scotland, it will have powers to seek derogations from Railway Group Standards for certain routes, such as the West Highland line and the Far North line and, if so, whether it will exercise these powers.

S2W-15166 Fergus Ewing: To ask the Scottish Executive what powers in respect of railways it considers should be conferred on regional transport partnerships.

S2W-15167 Fergus Ewing: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in light of the forthcoming devolution of railway powers to Scotland, it will have powers to seek variations in Network Rail’s licence conditions where these result in negative incentives, for example with respect to certain modern equivalent renewals.

S2W-15168 Fergus Ewing: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will set out its relationship with the Office of Rail Regulation, in particular in what way the office will be accountable to the Parliament.

S2W-15169 Fergus Ewing: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in light of the forthcoming devolution of railway powers to Scotland, (a) the Office of Rail Regulation and (b) Network Rail will be accountable to the Parliament and, if so, in what ways; in particular, whether these bodies can be required to provide an annual report to be laid before the Parliament; if not, whether the Executive considers that these bodies should do so, or be invited to do so, and whether it will invite either or both these bodies to report to the Parliament and, if so, on what basis, how often and with what remit.

S2W-15170 Fergus Ewing: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in light of the forthcoming devolution of railway powers to Scotland, it will have powers to vary the requirements for strictly modern equivalent renewals where this could inhibit rail development projects.

S2W-15171 Fergus Ewing: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will set out the methodology to be applied for Freight Facilities Grants where the operation is cross-boundary.

S2W-15172 Donald Gorrie: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-14572 by Cathy Jamieson on 9 March 2005 on the report on the review of arrest warrants, what progress has been made in implementing the 20 recommendations in the report.

S2W-15173 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to improve healthy eating in schools.

S2W-15174 Michael Matheson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will publish all the correspondence, minutes or notes of meetings relating to the decision on the location of the national theatre in Glasgow.

S2W-15175 Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will issue statutory guidance to local authorities in order to improve services for people with dual sensory impairment.

S2W-15176 Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive what mechanism it will use to issue statutory guidance to local authorities in order to improve services for people with dual sensory impairment.

S2W-15177 Alex Fergusson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many responses were received by the Deer Commission for Scotland to the recent close season consultation prior to the initial cut-off date of 4 February 2005 and how many were received after that date but before the extended deadline.

S2W-15178 Mrs Nanette Milne: To ask the Scottish Executive how many operations took place in the NHS in each year since 1991.

S2W-15179 Michael Matheson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide a breakdown of the £230 million investment in new sports facilities.

S2W-15180 Michael Matheson: To ask the Scottish Executive which local authorities have secured funding for projects under the National Facilities Strategy; how much funding each project has received, and what the timescale is for completion of each project.

S2W-15181 Karen Gillon: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will publish its consultation on plans to change the law on corporate culpable homicide.

S2W-15182 Karen Gillon: To ask the Scottish Executive how many children in Clydesdale benefit from a free nursery place.

S2W-15183 Mr Kenny MacAskill: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to amend Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 to include offices or organisations not currently listed.

S2W-15184 Mr Kenny MacAskill: To ask the Scottish Executive which persons or bodies it has designated as Scottish public authorities under section 5 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

S2W-15185 Mr Kenny MacAskill: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to designate any persons or bodies as Scottish public authorities under Section 5 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

S2W-15186 Mr Kenny MacAskill: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will designate Premier Custodial Group Ltd, as operators of HM Prison Kilmarnock, as a Scottish public authority under section 5 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

S2W-15187 Mr Kenny MacAskill: To ask the Scottish Executive which PPP/PFI operators it considers are providing a service that could be considered to be a function of a Scottish public authority, as defined in section 3 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

S2W-15188 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will require a Noise and Track Keeping (NTK) system to be installed at Aberdeen Airport.

S2W-15189 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will consider as part of its planning reform restrictions on new housing developments in the vicinity of airport runways and areas where overflying routinely happens at less than 1500 feet by aircraft taking off and landing.

S2W-15190 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will review the arrangements for measuring noise disturbance from aircraft, particularly in respect of helicopter noise.

S2W-15191 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive what representations it will make in respect of the development of new international standards for measuring and monitoring aircraft noise.

S2W-15192 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the Minister for Justice has reviewed the evidence from the BBC documentary broadcast on 9 March 2005 on drug trafficking and abuse in HM Prison Kilmarnock and what action she will take.

S2W-15193 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive what breaches of Premier Prison Services’s contract with the Scottish Prison Service have taken place in HM Prison Kilmarnock and what action the Minister for Justice will take to address such breaches.

S2W-15194 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will carry out its own investigation into the allegations made in the BBC documentary broadcast on 9 March 2005 in respect of HM Prison Kilmarnock.

S2W-15195 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-14923 by Ms Margaret Curran on 10 March 2005, whether it will publish the percentage of replies to ministerial correspondence issued in 20 working days, broken down by minister.

S2W-15196 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive whether NHS Quality Improvement Scotland will review drug prescribing guidance in relation to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

S2W-15197 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with the National Institute for Clinical Excellence regarding advice on the prescription of drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.



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