Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No.184/2005: Thursday 15 December 2005
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Section E – Written questions lodged on 14 December 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-21717 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many police officers from outwith Scotland were deployed in Scotland in relation to policing the G8 summit and related events, such as the Make Poverty History march.

S2W-21718 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it had to meet the costs of police officers from outwith Scotland being deployed in Scotland in relation to policing the G8 summit and related events, such as the Make Poverty History march, and, if so, what the accumulated cost was of doing so.

S2W-21719 Mr Stewart Maxwell: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to follow the UK Department of Health’s practice and apply a prescription charge to hospital day patients for discharge drugs.

S2W-21720 Mr David Davidson: To ask the Scottish Executive how much was raised in toll revenue on the (a) Tay Road Bridge and (b) Erskine Bridge in each of the last five years.

S2W-21721 Mr David Davidson: To ask the Scottish Executive how much was spent on the maintenance and upkeep of the (a) Tay Road Bridge and (b) Erskine Bridge in each of the last five years, broken down by funding source.

S2W-21722 Mr David Davidson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide a breakdown of expenditure of toll revenue raised on the (a) Tay Road Bridge and (b) Erskine Bridge in each of the last five years.

S2W-21723 Mr David Davidson: To ask the Scottish Executive what procedure was used to raise the capital required to build the (a) Tay Road Bridge and (b) Erskine Bridge.

S2W-21724 Mr David Davidson: To ask the Scottish Executive at what date accumulated toll revenue covered the capital building costs of the (a) Tay Road Bridge and (b) Erskine Bridge.

S2W-21725 Murray Tosh: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the costs of the additional enforcement powers and duties for local authorities to be introduced by the proposed Planning Bill will fall on local authorities, or whether planning fees will be adjusted to recover all or part of such additional costs; and, if it is the latter, to what extent such costs will be recovered through a general increase in fees and to what extent they will be recovered through specific charges to developers whose actions require enforcement.

S2W-21726 Murray Tosh: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will enforce the statutory duty it proposes to place on local authorities in the forthcoming Planning Bill to update their development plans every five years.

S2W-21727 Murray Tosh: To ask the Scottish Executive what proposals it will make in the forthcoming Planning Bill to safeguard the interests of councils who object to proposed development in an adjoining council, where such development might have an adverse effect on the objecting council, in respect of councils (a) within the same city region and (b) where there is either no city region plan or the two councils lie within different city regions.

S2W-21728 Murray Tosh: To ask the Scottish Executive what provision its proposed Planning Bill will make for defining the boundaries of the proposed city regions; what role Scottish Ministers and the Parliament will have in defining such regions, and what provision it proposes for resolving disagreements between the city planning regions and the relevant councils in respect of the boundaries of the city regions.

S2W-21729Δ Maureen Macmillan: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will publish the lists of (a) species and flora and fauna and (b) habitats considered by the Scottish Ministers to be of principal importance for the purposes of section 1(1) of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004.

S2W-21730 Mr Adam Ingram: To ask the Scottish Executive how much was outstanding in total in council tax payments in East Lothian Council in each of the last three years.

S2W-21731 Mr Adam Ingram: To ask the Scottish Executive whether an analysis of the use of sheriff officers to collect outstanding council tax payments has been carried out and, if so, whether it will place a copy of the analysis in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre.

S2W-21732 Mr Adam Ingram: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance has been issued to local authorities regarding the collection of outstanding council tax.

S2W-21733 Mr Adam Ingram: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance has been issued to local authority staff and, in particular, East Lothian Council staff in respect of advising people who have accumulated arrears in council tax.

S2W-21734 Mr Adam Ingram: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it has cost East Lothian Council to use the services of sheriff officers to collect outstanding council tax in each of the last three years.

S2W-21735 Alex Fergusson: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the comments by the Minister for Transport and Telecommunications on 7 December 2005 (Official Report c. 21530), whether the A76 Glenairlie scheme has been subject to Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance or other appraisal; whether the scheme represents value for money and satisfies the other requirements of the appraisal methodology, and whether the necessary ground for the scheme has been acquired.

S2W-21736 Alex Fergusson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the schemes identified in the A76 Route Action Plan at Polquhirter, Brackenhill and Cample have been subject to Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance or other appraisal and, if so, what the outcome of such appraisal has been.

S2W-21737 Alex Fergusson: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the comments by the Minister for Transport and Telecommunications on 7 December 2005 (Official Report c. 21529), what the estimated costs and benefits of the A76 Gateside-Knockenjig scheme are and when the decision was made not to proceed with the scheme.

S2W-21738 Alex Fergusson: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the comments by the Minister for Transport and Telecommunications on 7 December 2005 (Official Report c. 21529), when Dumfries and Galloway Council was asked to assess the possibilities of another scheme on the A76 in the Gateside area and whether it will appoint consultants to identify an overtaking opportunity on the A76 in this area.

S2W-21739 Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive how many times in (a) 2002, (b) 2003, (c) 2004 and (d) 2005 it has raised with the UK Government the issue of US rendition flights into Scottish airports.

S2W-21740 Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive, in light of the US Secretary of State’s reported comments that rendition flights are permissible under international law and that governments have the option of disclosing information on their involvement, how many non-extraordinary rendition flights operated by the CIA and landing at Scottish airports the Executive has been aware of in each year since 2002. 

S2W-21741 Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that the use of "water boarding", a procedure whereby a suspect’s head is reportedly held under water until they are on the point of drowning, would constitute an act of torture under Scots law.

S2W-21742 Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive what legal onus is placed on public officials to act if they are aware of suspects being transported through Scotland for interrogation using methods such as "water boarding".

S2W-21743 Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the use of electrocution during interrogation would constitute an act of torture under Scots law.

S2W-21744 Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive what legal onus is placed on public officials to act if they are aware of electrocution being involved in the transportation through Scotland of suspects for interrogation.

S2W-21745 Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-20910 by Cathy Jamieson on 7 December 2005, whether it will recommend to Her Majesty’s Government that it monitors the international press coverage on rendition flights in order to be kept aware of the issue.

S2W-21746 Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in light of the move by the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester to launch a formal investigation into the use of rendition flights, it will recommend that Scottish chief constables hold similar inquiries in their own force areas as a matter of urgency. 

S2W-21747 Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has taken any legal advice in light of the comments made by Lord Steyn that ministers may be guilty of war crimes if it is subsequently established that they were aware of CIA-operated rendition flights through Scottish airports.

S2W-21748 Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive how many people expressed a preference for an upgrade of the B979 through Netherley as part of the public consultation on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.

S2W-21749 Mr Jim Wallace: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-19139 by Rhona Brankin on 20 September 2004, whether it has sought, or will seek, from local authorities details of their spending in undertaking their duties under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 in each financial year and whether it will publish any information collected as a result.

S2W-21750 Mr Jim Wallace: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of the progress to date by each local authority towards the provision of core path networks in their area and whether it will provide details of the outcome of any such assessment in respect of the lengths of (a) existing paths and (b) new paths developed as core paths.

S2W-21751 Mr Jim Wallace: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-19139 by Rhona Brankin on 20 September 2004, what proportion of the £8.1 million funding provided to local authorities in undertaking their duties under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 is expected to be spent on the development and maintenance of core paths.

S2W-21752 Mr Jim Wallace: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-19139 by Rhona Brankin on 20 September 2004, whether it will provide details of local authorities’ responsibilities under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 for which £8.1 million has been allocated.

S2W-21753 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive what its opinion is of the claims by Swiss Senator, Dick Marty, in his report presented to the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Council of Europe, that the allegations that the CIA has abducted and illegally transported terror suspects across European borders are credible in relation to the allegations that US agencies have used Scottish airports as refuelling stops for flights in which it is alleged that suspected terrorists are being carried to countries where the practice of torture is used for the purposes of interrogation.

S2W-21754 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it supports the use of Special Branch informants to obtain information on democratic political parties in Scotland.

S2W-21755 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with Scottish police forces in respect of the use of informants to obtain information on democratic political parties in Scotland.

S2W-21756 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has ever been passed information by police forces in Scotland which has come from Special Branch informants having obtained information on democratic political parties in Scotland.

S2W-21757 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive what information it has on whether files held by the Special Branch on democratic political parties in Scotland are current and active.

S2W-21758 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive how many surveillance operations it authorised involving electronic listening equipment other than telephone intercepts in each year since 1999, broken down by police force area.

S2W-21759 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has ever been passed intelligence information or material related to the activities of democratic political parties in Scotland.

S2W-21760 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had in 2005 with the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland regarding the use of informants obtaining information on democratic political parties in Scotland.

S2W-21761 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive what information it has on whether the Metropolitan Police is providing Scottish police forces with specific advice on how to respond to requests for information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

S2W-21762 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive how many times Scottish police forces have provided advice to the Metropolitan Police on how to respond to requests for information in England and Wales under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

S2W-21763 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many incidents of possession of a knife have been considered by summary trial in (a) 2004 and (b) 2005, broken down by sheriffdom.

S2W-21764 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many incidents of possession of a knife have been considered by trial on indictment in (a) 2004 and (b) 2005, broken down by sheriffdom.

S2W-21765 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many convictions there have been for possession of a knife in (a) 2004 and (b) 2005, broken down by sheriffdom.

S2W-21766 Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-20910 by Cathy Jamieson on 7 December 2005, whether its discussions with the UK Government also included the case of Saad Iqbal Madni who was reportedly seized in January 2002 by CIA agents in Indonesia and flown in a Gulfstream V which landed in Scotland for refuelling before being transported to Guantanamo Bay where he was allegedly tortured by having electrodes placed on his knees and live current passed through them.

S2W-21767 Ms Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive, in light of the activation of Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and reports by investigative journalists into the use of rendition flights and notwithstanding the terms of the answer to question S2W-20910 by Cathy Jamieson on 7 December 2005, how it can be satisfied that no US prisoners transported in UK airspace or which landed in Scottish airports were not being transported via Scotland with a view to being subjected to torture once they reached their destinations.

S2W-21768 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any views on the advice given to the All-Party Group on Extraordinary Rendition at Westminster by the Centre for Human Rights and Global Justice of New York University School of Law that "seemingly innocuous acts (e.g. allowing refuelling at airports of aircraft of another state) can become wrongful under international law if those acts facilitate Extraordinary Rendition" in respect of the allegations that US agencies have been using Scottish airports for these purposes.

S2W-21769 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has had any discussions with the UK Government about responsibilities under the International Law Commission’s draft articles on Responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts which would result if the articles were to be ratified, in particular article 15, which state that an omission of action is a breach of these articles, in respect of allegations that US agencies are using Scottish airports as refuelling stops for flights in which it is alleged that suspected terrorists are being carried to countries where the practice of torture is used for the purposes of interrogation.

S2W-21770 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has had any discussions with the UK Government about responsibilities under the International Law Commission’s draft articles on Responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts which would result if the articles were to be ratified, in particular article 16, which state that countries are in breach of the articles if they aid or assist another state in the commission of an internationally wrongful act, in respect of allegations that US agencies are using Scottish airports as refuelling stops for flights in which it is alleged that suspected terrorists are being carried to countries where the practice of torture is used for the purposes of interrogation.

S2W-21771 Fiona Hyslop: To ask the Scottish Executive how many referrals have been made to drug rehabilitation places since 1999 in each local authority area.

S2W-21772 Fiona Hyslop: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will measure the number of referrals from local authority areas to drug rehabilitation places.

S2W-21773 Fiona Hyslop: To ask the Scottish Executive what methods it will employ to encourage local authorities to refer drug users to abstinence drug rehabilitation places, if these are appropriately identified as a suitable treatment.

S2W-21774 Fiona Hyslop: To ask the Scottish Executive how many drug rehabilitation places are available in Scotland.

S2W-21775 Fiona Hyslop: To ask the Scottish Executive when it envisages that additional drug rehabilitation places will be made available in Scotland.

S2W-21776 Fiona Hyslop: To ask the Scottish Executive how many resources in cash terms have been set aside to provide more drug rehabilitation places in Scotland.

S2W-21777 Fiona Hyslop: To ask the Scottish Executive how much money has been set aside for each local authority to assist drug users remain within their community since 1999.

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