Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 1/2009: Monday 5 January 2009
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Section E – Written questions lodged from 19 to 24 December 2008

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

Questions in which a member has indicated a declarable interest are marked with an "R".

S3W-19240 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how many householders were supported by the Mortgage to Rent scheme from January to June 2008.

S3W-19241 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what proportion of sex offenders who completed a custodial sentence on 31 March 2008 and had been assessed during their sentence as suitable for participation in the Sex Offender Treatment Programme took part in the programme during their custodial sentence.

S3W-19242 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive against what criteria sex offenders are assessed for suitability for participation in the Sex Offender Treatment Programme.

S3W-19243 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-17224 by Kenny MacAskill on 5 November 2008, when information on the proportion of convicted sex offenders in receipt of alternative treatment will be made available.

S3W-19244 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-16681 by Kenny MacAskill on 27 October 2008, when information on the proportion of sex offenders having received rehabilitation treatment prior to release will be made available.

S3W-19245 Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive, with reference to the Accounts Commission report The impact of the race equality duty on council services, what steps are being taken to address the recommendation that the Scottish Government should ensure the availability of more up-to-date and useful social and demographic data on minority ethnic communities.

S3W-19246 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it estimates that the reduction in VAT announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24 November 2008 will save each police force between 1 December 2008 and 31 December 2009.

S3W-19247 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it estimates that the reduction in VAT announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24 November 2008 will save the Scottish Police Services Authority between 1 December 2008 and 31 December 2009.

S3W-19248 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it estimates that the reduction in VAT announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24 November 2008 will save the Scottish Court Service between 1 December 2008 and 31 December 2009.

S3W-19249 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it estimates that the reduction in VAT announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24 November 2008 will save the Scottish Prison Service between 1 December 2008 and 31 December 2009, broken down by prison.

S3W-19250 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it estimates that the reduction in VAT announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24 November 2008 will save the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency between 1 December 2008 and 31 December 2009.

S3W-19251 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how many hectares of farmland have been used for organic production in each year since 1999.

S3W-19252 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how many farmers have entered into organic production in each year since 1999.

S3W-19253 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how many farmers have ceased organic production in each year since 1999.

S3W-19254 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how many payments were made under the Organic Aid Scheme in each year between 2003 and 2007.

S3W-19255 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what the total amount paid out under the Organic Aid Scheme was in each year between 2003 and 2007.

S3W-19256 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how many applications have been received for rural development contracts for organic production in each of the 11 Scotland Rural Development Programme regions.

S3W-19257 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how many applicants have successfully entered into rural development contracts for organic production in each of the 11 Scotland Rural Development Programme regions.

S3W-19258 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the waste management hierarchy for the development of waste policy introduced by the waste framework directive agreed by EU member states on 20 October 2008 was applied during the drafting of the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill.

S3W-19259 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive for what reasons the definition of recycling in clause 52(4) of the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill includes recovery and re-use.

S3W-19260 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what information is made available to it and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency regarding waste types and arisings and how this information is used.

S3W-19261 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to place an obligation on local authorities to provide recycling services for business waste.

S3W-19262 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how rural development contracts are being used to protect endangered species such as corncrake.

S3W-19263 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list the publications that it has issued since 1 June 2007, showing the title, circulation and cost of each.

S3W-19264 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will report to the Parliament with draft proposals for reinvesting the £73.1 million accrued through the ScotRail franchise extension.

S3W-19265 John Park: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to the supplementary to question S3F-1302 by Alex Salmond on 18 December 2008 (Official Report c. 13584), what measures will be undertaken by Skills Development Scotland in conjunction with Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) teams to meet the needs of apprentices facing unemployment.

S3W-19266 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-9066 by Michael Russell on 25 February 2008, whether the matters of process raised with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) were the same matters that were raised with the chief executive of SEPA by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment on 30 November 2007.

S3W-19267 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-9066 by Michael Russell on 25 February 2008, for what reasons the Minister for Environment’s private secretary wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment and the First Minister on 7 December 2007 informing them that the "Park Authority planning officer is also expecting to be able to secure resolution of the outstanding highways issues early next week" and how the private secretary came into possession of information relating to a material consideration of a live planning application that was before the Cairngorms National Park Authority Planning Committee.

S3W-19268 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-9067 by Michael Russell on 25 February 2008, whether the Minister for Environment briefed his private secretary on the outcome of his discussion with the chief executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and, if so, whether that briefing constituted the basis of the private secretary’s memo to the First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment on 7 December 2007.

S3W-19269 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-9066 by Michael Russell on 25 February 2008, whether the Minister for Environment had knowledge of Aviemore Highland Resort’s objection to Laurel Grant Ltd’s rival retail planning application on 7 December 2007 when he decided to contact the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to check that there were no misunderstandings or matters of process for SEPA that were unnecessarily holding up proper consideration of the Aviemore planning applications.

S3W-19270 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-9066 by Michael Russell on 25 February 2008, whether the advice received from officials included an explanation as to why Scottish Environment Protection Agency had withdrawn its objection to the Aviemore Highland Resort’s masterplan planning application three days previously despite the absence of a satisfactory flood risk assessment.

S3W-19271 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-9054 by Michael Russell on 25 February 2008, which of the Scottish Government’s strategic priorities and objectives the Minister for Environment required the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to work to and be aware of when he discussed with SEPA matters of process that might be unnecessarily holding up proper consideration by SEPA of Aviemore Highland Resort’s planning application.

S3W-19272 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-9062 by Michael Russell on 25 February 2008, whether it considers that it was appropriate in the circumstances for the Minister for Environment to phone the chief executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to check that there were no matters of process unnecessarily holding up consideration of Aviemore Highland Resort’s planning applications in the absence of formal advice prior to making the call.

S3W-19273 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-10664 by Michael Russell on 25 February 2008, whether the Minister for Environment was aware of the £30,000 donated to the SNP by Mr Donald Macdonald of Aviemore Highland Resort prior to phoning the chief executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to check that there were no matters of process unnecessarily holding up consideration of Aviemore Highland Resort’s planning applications.

S3W-19274 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-9059 by Michael Russell on 25 February 2008, whether matters of timescales in relation to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (SEPA) independent statutory role in individual planning applications are operational matters for SEPA.

S3W-19275 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-10968 by Michael Russell on 11 April 2008, on what basis the Minister for Environment has stated that no member of the Scottish Government saw or was shown the exhibition of phase two of the Aviemore Highland Resort’s development arranged by Mr Donald Macdonald for the First Minister during the SNP conference in Aviemore from 26 to 28 October 2008 and whether individual ministers were invited to view the exhibition but declined.

S3W-19276 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-9059 by Michael Russell on 25 February 2008, whether the exhibition of phase two of the Aviemore Highland Resort’s development arranged by Mr Donald Macdonald for the First Minister during the SNP conference in Aviemore on 26 October 2008 was held at or immediately adjacent to the meeting that took place at the SNP Conference involving Aviemore Resort Hotels, the Minister for Community Safety, who chaired the meeting, the Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, the Cairngorms National Park Authority Convener, Highland Council Convener and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, at which Aviemore Highland Resort’s planning application was discussed.

S3W-19277 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive what support is given for bereavement care for school-age children.

S3W-19278 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive whether NHS professionals use eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing and, if so, what the main benefits are to patients.

S3W-19279 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of the importance of analytical facilities to the monitoring of the safety and standards of the public’s food, water and other consumer products.

S3W-19280 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with the UK Government and the Food Standards Agency regarding public analyst laboratories in Scotland.

S3W-19281 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to maintain an adequate public analyst service.

S3W-19282 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with Aberdeen City Council regarding the future of its Public Analyst Laboratory.

S3W-19283 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what support it is giving to local authorities to halt the decline in analytical services.

S3W-19284 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will propose a quality outcome framework for GPs to help identify the earliest signs of unhealthy weight in children.

S3W-19285 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive what is being done to identify overweight children under the age of five.

S3W-19286 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive what help and support is given to families with overweight children, particularly those with children under the age of five.

S3W-19287 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will consider a pilot study of the self-referral of patients for physiotherapy services with a view to reducing the recurrence of pain and time off work.

S3W-19288 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answers to questions S3W-10966 and S3W-10965 by Michael Russell on 11 April 2008, whether it will detail the protocol and established practice under which correspondence from the First Minister’s constituency office, dated 9 and 13 November 2007, marked as high importance and relating to a potential loss of 300 jobs at Aviemore Highland Resort, was not shown to the First Minister, nor placed in the ministerial correspondence system, and explain the difference between a protocol and established practice.

S3W-19289 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-10966 by Michael Russell on 11 April 2008, whether the assistant private secretary sought advice from senior officials, ministers or special advisors on how the items of correspondence received from the First Minister’s constituency office manager, marked as high importance and relating to a potential loss of 300 jobs at Aviemore Highland Resort, should be handled and, if so, what advice was given and by whom.

S3W-19290 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive when the First Minister was first made aware of the potential loss of 300 jobs at Aviemore Highland Resort and what immediate action he took on being informed.

S3W-19291 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answers to questions S3W-18693 and S3W-18694 by Kenny MacAskill on 18 December 2008, whether the option of making adaptations to Annan Town Hall to address security concerns was explored and costed and, if so, what the cost of such adaptations was estimated to be.

S3W-19292 Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the duration of appointments to the children’s panel advisory committees has been reduced from three years to one and, if so, for what reason.

S3W-19293 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many dogs have been reported to the police as being dangerously out-of-control in each of the last five years.

S3W-19294 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many appeals have been made against fixed penalties issued for dog fouling in each of the last five years.

S3W-19295 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many dog-bite incidents have been (a) reported to the police and (b) treated at hospital in each of the last five years.

S3W-19296 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many dog-bite incidents have resulted in claims for compensation under the Animals (Scotland) Act 1987 in each of the last five years.

S3W-19297 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many claims for compensation resulting from dog-bite incidents, made under the Animals (Scotland) Act 1987, have been upheld in each of the last five years.

S3W-19298 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many claims for compensation resulting from dog-bite incidents were (a) made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority and (b) upheld in each of the last five years.

S3W-19299 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average amount of compensation awarded in claims made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for dog bites was in each of the last five years.

S3W-19300 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many court orders requiring that a dog be kept under proper control have been made under section 2 of the Dogs Act 1871 and what the level of compliance has been in each of the last five years.

S3W-19301 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many cases were reported under section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and, of those, how many did not proceed to court in each of the last five years.

S3W-19302 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many dogs have been destroyed under the (a) Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and (b) Dogs Act 1871 in each of the last five years.

S3W-19303 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to commission research into existing dangerous dogs legislation.

S3W-19304 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many dogs have been seized by the police in each of the last five years.

S3W-19305 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many dogs have been impounded by dog wardens in each of the last five years.

S3W-19306 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many dog wardens are currently in the employment of local authorities, broken down by area.

S3W-19307 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it will take to improve flood prevention schemes in Perthshire in 2009.

S3W-19308 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it will take to improve flood prevention schemes in Angus in 2009.

S3W-19309 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive when Forestry Commission Scotland’s Climate Change Action Plan is to be published.

S3W-19310 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive in what circumstances new powers proposed in the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill might be exercised and override the statutory duties and functions of Forestry Commission Scotland.

S3W-19311 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will ensure the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty, flora, fauna and geological or physiographical features of special interest when exercising new forestry powers proposed in the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill.

S3W-19312 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the proposals on amending the forestry commissioners’ functions set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill alter the commissioners’ duty under section 1 of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 and what action the Scottish Executive will take to ensure that this duty is complied with in relation to any land that may be leased or otherwise transferred from direct management by the commissioners.

S3W-19313 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive in what circumstances forestry commissioners might exercise the powers relating to formation of a body corporate, investment, provision of loans and establishing trusts, contained in section 47 (3) of the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill.

S3W-19314 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what the functions are of the new Major Crime and Terrorism Investigation Unit.

S3W-19315 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive whether funding has been provided for the new Major Crime and Terrorism Investigation Unit and, if so, how much.

S3W-19316 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what the set up costs were for the new Crime and Terrorism Investigation Unit; how much it expects the unit will cost to run, and from which budget or budgets the funding will be drawn.

S3W-19317 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive which police force or other organisation will be operationally responsible for the new Major Crime and Terrorism Investigation Unit.

S3W-19318 David McLetchie: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-17745 by Nicola Sturgeon on 19 November 2008, how many appeals against pay banding have been lodged following assimilation under Agenda for Change, broken down by NHS board.

S3W-19319 David McLetchie: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W–17745 by Nicola Sturgeon on 19 November 2008, how many appeals against pay banding are outstanding following assimilation under Agenda for Change, broken down by NHS board.

S3W-19320 David McLetchie: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-17745 by Nicola Sturgeon on 19 November 2008, how many retired NHS staff are awaiting assimilation under Agenda for Change, broken down by NHS board.

S3W-19321 David McLetchie: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-17745 by Nicola Sturgeon on 19 November 2008, how many appeals against pay banding have been lodged by retired NHS staff following assimilation under Agenda for Change, broken down by NHS board.

S3W-19322 David McLetchie: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-17745 by Nicola Sturgeon on 19 November 2008, how many appeals by retired NHS staff against pay banding are outstanding following assimilation under Agenda for Change, broken down by NHS board.

S3W-19323 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what effect the EU waste framework directive agreed on 20 October 2008 will have on national waste management policy.

S3W-19324 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what effect the EU waste framework directive agreed on 20 October 2008 will have on local authorities’ waste management policies.

S3W-19325 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to issue guidance to local authorities on the agreements and targets set in the EU waste framework directive of 20 October 2008.

S3W-19326 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that local authorities should classify energy recovery from waste as recycling.

S3W-19327 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, as a result of the EU waste framework directive of 20 October 2008, local authorities will be required to differentiate between re-use, recycling and recovery, including energy recovery, in developing waste management policies.

S3W-19328 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, as a result of the EU waste framework directive of 20 October 2008, local authorities will be required to report separately on waste that is re-used, recycled or recovered, including energy recovered.

S3W-19329 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what sanctions will apply if it does not incorporate the EU waste framework directive of 20 October 2008 into national legislation within two years of its publication.

S3W-19330 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-18374 by Richard Lochhead on 9 December 2008, whether it will list the projects that have been awarded funding from the Zero Waste Fund for 2008-09 and how much each project received.

S3W-19331 Robert Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has power to intervene in the proposed closure of Parkhead fire station and, if so, whether it intends to.

S3W-19332 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to provide a helpline, outreach and information service for men suffering domestic abuse.

S3W-19333 Angela Constance: To ask the Scottish Executive what the waiting times are for access to child and adolescent psychiatric services at St John’s Hospital.

S3W-19334 Angela Constance: To ask the Scottish Executive what the criteria are for prioritising referrals for child and adolescent psychiatric services.

S3W-19335 Angela Constance: To ask the Scottish Executive when it intends to review the Mental Health of Children and Young People: A Framework for Promotion, Prevention and Care document published in 2005.

S3W-19336 Angela Constance: To ask the Scottish Executive what the waiting times are for drug and alcohol treatment via the NHS in West Lothian.

S3W-19337 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-3354 by Stewart Maxwell on 29 August 2007, whether it will confirm that the housing allocation for Aberdeen for 2003 to 2007 was £34.883 million.

S3W-19338 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-13606 by Stewart Maxwell on 30 May 2008, whether the provisional housing allocation of £3.922 million for Aberdeen in 2008-09 has changed.

S3W-19339 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the statement of the Minister for Communities and Sport on 18 December 2008 (Official Report c. 13569), whether it will confirm that Aberdeen will have a budget allocation of £40.6 million for affordable housing during the current parliamentary session and whether it will provide a breakdown of how the funding will be allocated between 2008 and 2011.

S3W-19340 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will confirm that the net effect of the 2008-09 Housing Association Grant assumptions will be a requirement for around an extra £10,000 private loan per unit.

S3W-19341 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive whether any consultation was carried out with the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland prior to the announcement of its merger with NHS Quality Improvement Scotland and the Care Commission and, if not, what the reasons were.

S3W-19342 Bashir Ahmad: To ask the Scottish Executive when it last met representatives of voluntary or public sector organisations to discuss poverty and deprivation in the Shettleston area.

S3W-19343 Bashir Ahmad: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to increase the availability of affordable housing.

S3W-19344 Bashir Ahmad: To ask the Scottish Executive when it last met representatives of Shelter and what was discussed.

S3W-19345 Bashir Ahmad: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has for tackling child poverty.

S3W-19346 Bashir Ahmad: To ask the Scottish Executive how many criminals are serving a life sentence.

S3W-19347 Bashir Ahmad: To ask the Scottish Executive when it last met representatives of Jobcentre Plus and what was discussed.

S3W-19348 Bashir Ahmad: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to create jobs in the current economic climate.

S3W-19349 Bashir Ahmad: To ask the Scottish Executive what delegations it will be sending abroad in 2009.

S3W-19350 Bashir Ahmad: To ask the Scottish Executive what the level of adult literacy was in each year since 2001.

S3W-19351 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will outline what health screening, development checks, surveillance and health promotion is provided to children up to the age of five.

S3W-19352 Bill Aitken: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made on the review of community penalties involving the Sheriffs’ Association, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, social work departments and Scottish Government officials.

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