Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 138/2010: Friday 24 September 2010
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Section E – Written questions lodged on 23 September 2010

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-36497 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has undertaken to ensure that visually impaired people have equal treatment in the New Ways waiting times system.

S3W-36498 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps NHS boards have taken to ensure that correspondence regarding hospital appointments is in larger type or other alternative formats, such as Braille or audio, so that it is accessible to visually impaired people.

S3W-36499 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to promote the development of eye care managed clinical networks encompassing NHS optometrists and voluntary organisations either in every NHS board area or on a more regional basis.

S3W-36500 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it is having with RNIB, Optometry Scotland and other stakeholders in reviewing and promoting new ways of working, including contracts with optometrists to ensure the most cost-effective and patient-friendly follow-up of people with diabetes, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

S3W-36501 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what specific awareness-raising campaigns it has undertaken or will undertake to increase understanding of the link between smoking and sight loss.

S3W-36502 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what targets it is setting the NHS in respect of sight loss.

S3W-36503 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what element of the concordat with local authorities provides detail on support for people with visual impairment.

S3W-36504 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the rate is of eye tests by each (a) NHS board and (b) local authority, broken down by deprivation category, in the last year for which statistics are available.

S3W-36505 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Executive how many additional apprenticeship places for stonemasons have been created by the (a) public and (b) private sector as a result of its 2010-11 budget.

S3W-36506 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Executive how Skills Development Scotland is promoting the availability of additional places for stonemason apprentices in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

S3W-36507 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Executive how many apprentice stonemason places were taken up at Telford College in Edinburgh in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10.

S3W-36508 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will publish plans on how full fiscal autonomy would have operated (a) since 2007, (b) in the current year and (c) in forthcoming years, including estimates of (i) revenues raised, (ii) what funds would be remitted to the UK Government and (iii) how debt interest payments would be assessed.

S3W-36509 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive what new institutions would be required to support full fiscal autonomy and what function each institution would fulfil.

S3W-36510 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that its aims for fiscal responsibility match those for the Campaign for Fiscal Responsibility and, if not, in what way they differ.

S3W-36511 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the Council of Economic Advisers has considered the issue of full fiscal autonomy and, if so, what its views are.

S3W-36512 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will define financial independence as cited by the First Minister in the introduction to the 2010-11 programme for government.

S3W-36513 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to update the Campaign for Fiscal Responsibility on its plans for the financing of Scotland in light of the most recent Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report.

S3W-36514 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive how the actions taken to bail-out the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB/HBOS would have differed under financial independence as cited by the First Minister in the introduction to the 2010-11 programme for government.

S3W-36515 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive which individual elements of the bail-out of the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB/HBOS and the subsequent fiscal stimulus and emergency measures to support economic recovery it would have had responsibility for under its plans for full fiscal autonomy.

S3W-36516 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive how its plans for full fiscal autonomy differ from the arrangements in place for the funding of (a) the Basque Country, (b) Canadian provinces, and (c) American states.

S3W-36517 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will it publish plans on how "financial independence within the union" might operate.

S3W-36518 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive how it considers that "the powers of independence and financial responsibility" would constitute "an alternative to a decade or more of Westminster-dictated cuts", as outlined in its 2010-11 programme for government.

S3W-36519 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has considered merging, or plans to merge Skills Development Scotland with the Scottish Funding Council.

S3W-36520 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding it has provided directly to support investment in (a) subsea cables, (b) arid capacity and (c) carbon capture and storage, in each year since 2005-06.

S3W-36521 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive what written representations it has made to the UK Government since May 2010 on broadband services and whether it will publish them.

S3W-36522 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has met UK ministers since May 2010 on the subject of broadband services.

S3W-36523 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive what representations it made to UK Government (a) before and (b) following the announcement it made of a delay in the roll-out of universal service obligation (USO) broadband speeds.

S3W-36524 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it was given advance notice by the UK Government of the delay of targets for a roll-out of a universal broadband speed across the United Kingdom.

S3W-36525 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive how many applications there have been for Stage Four measures under the Energy Assistance Package; how many (a) were rejected, (b) were withdrawn and (c) are under consideration; for how many (i) the improvement work has been completed, (ii) the improvement work is underway, (iii) surveys have been undertaken but the improvement work has yet to start, (iv) surveys have yet to start, and what the average time is from the submission of an application to the completion of the improvement work, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-36526 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive what the participation rate was in higher education, excluding HNC and HND provision by further education colleges, in Glasgow Baillieston and what the national average was in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10.

S3W-36527 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive what the participation rate in further education was, including provision of HNC and HND level courses for local residents, in Glasgow Baillieston and what the national average was in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10.

S3W-36528Δ Gil Paterson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide the names of the special advisers currently in post; what their responsibilities are; what their pay bands are for 2010-11; how many special advisers are in each pay band, and what the total salary cost of employing special advisers was in 2009-10.

S3W-36529 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how much funding will be lost to local authorities as a result of the proposed reduction in housing benefit for people in temporary accommodation, broken down by local authority.

S3W-36530 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has researched what impact the UK Government’s proposed changes in housing benefit and Local Housing Allowance will have on tenants.

S3W-36531 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how many tenants will face a reduction in Local Housing Allowance as a result of changes proposed by the UK Government.

S3W-36532 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how many tenants will face a reduction in housing benefit as a result of changes proposed by the UK Government.

S3W-36533 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has commissioned research on the impact on the Scottish economy of the UK Government’s proposed changes in housing benefit and Local Housing Allowance.

S3W-36534 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how many of the 8,092 units completed under the Affordable Housing Investment Programme in 2009-10 were for sale.

S3W-36535 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how many houses sold under the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme in 2009 cost (a) less than £80,000, (b) between £80,000 and £120,000 and (c) over £120,000.

S3W-36536 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-35785 by Alex Neil on 19 August 2010, what expertise the Scottish Futures Trust has regarding housing matters.

S3W-36537 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with East Ayrshire Council regarding its policy of pupils paying for their transport when travelling between schools while undertaking advanced higher courses not available in their own schools.

S3W-36538 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive which local authorities have a policy of pupils paying for their transport when travelling between schools while undertaking advanced higher courses not available in their own schools.

S3W-36539 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive what its position is on whether East Ayrshire Council’s policy of pupils paying for their transport when travelling between schools while undertaking advanced higher courses not available in their own schools is a barrier to pupils from low-income families.

S3W-36540 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many pupils are being required to pay for their transport when travelling between schools while undertaking advanced higher courses not available in their own schools, broken down by local authority.

S3W-36541 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive at what sites it is planning to run carbon capture and storage demonstration projects.

S3W-36542 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive what information it has on what sites in the United Kingdom have been selected for wind turbine manufacture; whether any sites in Scotland have been selected, and, if not, what information it has on the reasons for this.

S3W-36543 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what consideration has been given to the inclusion of a direct link to the M9 in the Forth Replacement Crossing project.

S3W-36544 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive on what basis compensation will be provided to householders affected by the Forth Replacement Crossing project and what funds have been provided for this.

S3W-36545 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what work has been undertaken to produce a ground survey report to determine the impact on households of the effects on the water table of work connected with the Forth Replacement Crossing project.

S3W-36546 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive when the successful tender for the Gourock to Dunoon ferry service will be announced and when the service will begin.

S3W-36547 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive how many companies expressed an initial interest in tendering for the Gourock to Dunoon ferry service.

S3W-36548 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive how many companies that tendered for the Gourock to Dunoon ferry service have been shortlisted.

S3W-36549 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with HM Revenue and Customs to ascertain that all companies tendering for the Gourock to Dunoon ferry service are fully compliant with UK tax obligations.

S3W-36550 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will be a condition of the tender for the Gourock to Dunoon ferry service that the successful company must provide vessels compatible with the Dunoon linkspan.

S3W-36551 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there are (a) legislative, (b) financial or (c) administrative constraints impeding the immediate awarding of the contract for the Gourock to Dunoon ferry service.

S3W-36552 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive when it became aware of the decision by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde not to allow access to specialist opinion and treatment to patients from NHS Ayrshire and Arran in the area of non-complex back surgery and lumbar spine degeneration.

S3W-36553 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to address difficulties experienced by patients in NHS Ayrshire and Arran who are awaiting treatment for non-complex back surgery and lumbar spine degeneration.

S3W-36554 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many vacant posts there are for clinicians able to provide specialist opinion and treatment for back conditions, broken down by NHS board area.

S3W-36555 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to reduce the level of smoking by patients in mental health inpatient units.

S3W-36556 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive how it is monitoring progress in reducing the levels of smoking by patients in mental health inpatient units.

S3W-36557 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what funds were allocated to smoking cessation in (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08, (c) 2008-09, (d) 2009-10 and have been allocated in 2010-11, broken down by NHS board and also expressed as a percentage of each board’s budget.

S3W-36558 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the rates of smoking among Bangladeshi and Pakistani men living in Scotland are higher than for men in other black and minority ethnic communities and the Scottish average for men, allowing for deprivation, and, if so, what specific steps it is taking to support these men in their attempts to stop smoking.

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