Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 103/2007: Monday 23 July 2007
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Section E – Written questions lodged from 16 to 20 July 2007

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

S3W-2147 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-30990 by Ross Finnie on 19 January 2007, whether it has issued a consultation paper seeking views on electronic dog training aids which administer an electric shock; if not, whether it still intends to do so and, if it does, when it will issue the paper.

S3W-2148 Jamie Stone: To ask the Scottish Executive what consideration is being given to the provision of justice of the peace signing duties, based on qualified individuals in possession of relevant local knowledge and on geographic location, after the provisions of the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007 come into force.

S3W-2149 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive how many learners in the (a) Dundee, (b) Angus and (c) Aberdeenshire local authority areas have received financial support through Individual Learning Account Scotland since 2004.

S3W-2150 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive how many school and business partnerships have been set up under the Determined to Succeed initiative in the (a) Dundee, (b) Angus and (c) Aberdeenshire local authority areas.

S3W-2151 Duncan McNeil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many children adversely affected by drug misuse have been identified (a) across Scotland and (b) in each (i) local authority and (ii) police force area.

S3W-2152 Duncan McNeil: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is satisfied that all children adversely affected by drug misuse have now been identified.

S3W-2153 Duncan McNeil: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will publish the letters sent by Scottish ministers in March and May 2006 to local authorities seeking assurances that all children adversely affected by drugs misuse had been identified.

S3W-2154 Duncan McNeil: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will publish local authorities’ responses to the letters received from Scottish ministers in March and May 2006 seeking assurances that all children adversely affected by drugs misuse had been identified.

S3W-2155 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-980 by Fiona Hyslop on 3 July 2007, why, if formal statistics of participation in higher education are not available for the whole of the period since the Reformation, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning stated to the Parliament on 13 June 2007: "The age participation index, which measures the proportion of young Scots who are engaged in higher education, has fallen since the graduate endowment fee was introduced from 51.5 per cent in 2001-02 to 47.1 per cent in 2005-06. Believe it or not, for the first time since the reformation, there has been a drop in the share of the population studying in higher education in Scotland." (Official Report c. 629).

S3W-2156 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-1495 by Nicola Sturgeon on 13 July 2007, whether the Healthcare Associated Infections Task Force will issue guidelines to NHS boards on the inclusion of MRSA as a contributory factor to, or the underlying cause of, death in order to ensure a consistent approach.

S3W-2157 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has produced any guidance to local authorities regarding consultation with school communities when designing schools to be built using the public private partnership funding mechanism.

S3W-2158 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what services it expects NHS Boards to provide for sufferers of ME/chronic fatigue syndrome.

S3W-2159 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive under what circumstances NHS boards can (a) refer a patient for treatment at a private hospital or (b) reimburse a patient for treatment carried out at a private hospital.

S3W-2160 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-1475 by Nicola Sturgeon on 16 July 2007, how much funding was made available to Dumfries and Galloway Council from 2004 to 2007 to support the development of a common housing register.

S3W-2161 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-1473 by Nicola Sturgeon on 16 July 2007, which local authorities are not expected to have an operational common housing register by the end of 2007-08.

S3W-2162 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive by what date it expects all local authorities to have an operational common housing register.

S3W-2163 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive what priority it places on tackling sectarianism.

S3W-2164 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it plans to take to tackle sectarianism in communities.

S3W-2165 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will continue taking the action on sectarianism recommended by the previous administration in Sectarianism: Action Plan on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland, published in January 2006.

S3W-2166 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-1774 by Nicola Sturgeon on 13 July 2007, what action is being taken to reduce the average waiting time for fertility treatment in NHS Grampian from five years.

S3W-2167 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive what is being done to improve the terms and conditions of service of staff and associate specialist grade doctors.

S3W-2168 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive which NHS boards offer colorectal cancer screening.

S3W-2169 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive what the timetable is for a national colorectal cancer screening programme.

S3W-2170 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive how many GP vacancies there are in each NHS board.

S3W-2171 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive how many doctors have been recruited from outwith Scotland to fill GP vacancies in each of the last five years.

S3W-2172 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive what the cost has been of recruitment from outwith Scotland to fill GP vacancies in each of the last five years.

S3W-2173 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive how many GPs (a) are due to retire and (b) have indicated that they will take early retirement in the next five years.

S3W-2174 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive how many places have been available on the GP training scheme in each of the last 10 years.

S3W-2175 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive how many places are being made available this year and in the next five years to train GPs.

S3W-2176 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive how many GPs will have to be recruited in the next five years in order to implement the recommendations of the Kerr report.

S3W-2177 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures are being taken to support GPs who have been unable to find GP training posts on the self-constructed training programme.

S3W-2178 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) P1, (b) P2 and (c) P3 classes in Angus had more than 18 pupils in the most recent year for which figures are available.

S3W-2179 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what estimate it has made of the number of additional teachers required in Angus to implement fully its commitment to reduce class sizes to 18 and below in P1, P2 and P3.

S3W-2180 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what the timetable is for full implementation in Angus of the commitment to reduce class sizes to 18 and below in P1, P2 and P3.

S3W-2181 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what estimate it has made of the additional funds that will have to be made available to Angus Council for the full implementation of the commitment to reduce class sizes to 18 and below in P1, P2 and P3.

S3W-2182 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers the upgrading of the Raith interchange to be a strategic priority, as set out by Strathclyde Passenger Transport in March 2007.

S3W-2183 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive what improvements are planned for the road network connecting Hamilton and Blantyre to Glasgow.

S3W-2184 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to minimise the impact on rail travellers unable to travel between Motherwell and Edinburgh as a result of the temporary withdrawal of most of the daily services between them by GNER.

S3W-2185 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to support and enhance local health care services to communities in (a) Hamilton, (b) Blantyre and (c) Burnbank.

S3W-2186 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to replicate the level of recycling achieved by South Lanarkshire Council across the country.

S3W-2187 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive what support it will give South Lanarkshire Council to maintain and improve its record on recycling.

S3W-2188 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to continue with the replacement of St Anne’s Primary School in Hamilton.

S3W-2189 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to continue with the replacement of St Blane’s Primary School in Blantyre.

S3W-2190 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to continue with the replacement of St Ninian’s Primary School in Hamilton.

S3W-2191 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to continue with the refurbishment of Auchinraith Primary School in Blantyre.

S3W-2192 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to continue with the replacement of Townhill Primary School in Hamilton.

S3W-2193 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to continue with the refurbishment of St Mark’s Primary School in Hamilton.

S3W-2194 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to continue with the refurbishment of David Livingstone Memorial Primary School in Blantyre.

S3W-2195 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to continue with the replacement of Woodhead Primary School in Hamilton.

S3W-2196 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to continue with the replacement of Udston Primary School in Hamilton.

S3W-2197 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to continue with the refurbishment of Quarter Primary School in Quarter.

S3W-2198 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures are in place to ensure that absentee landlords are held accountable for the condition of communal areas which are affected by their properties.

S3W-2199 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to improve access to NHS dentists in (a) Hamilton, (b) Blantyre and (c) Burnbank.

S3W-2200 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to give legal status to the Grandparents’ Charter.

S3W-2201 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will continue the exemption for churches from payment of water and sewerage charges beyond 2010.

S3W-2202 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Dundee City and Angus councils will receive any additional funding for pre-school education from August 2007 in respect of the provision of additional hours.

S3W-2203 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to ensure that people under the age of 60 who are registered deaf and in receipt of a concessionary travel card do not temporarily lose their right to free travel if their existing card expires while they await an audiologist report to confirm their disability in order to qualify for a replacement card.

S3W-2204 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive how much notice it recommends that local travel authorities give disabled concessionary travel card holders under the age of 60 of when their cards are due for renewal.

S3W-2205 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it has taken to ensure that NHS boards are aware of the requirement for consultants to verify their patients’ disability in order that they meet the criteria for renewing their concessionary travel cards and whether any action has been taken to encourage consultants to provide such information as quickly as possible to avoid situations whereby patients temporarily lose the right to free travel if their card expires while they await a consultant’s report.

S3W-2206 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will consider introducing an interim concessionary travel card arrangement for disabled travel card holders under the age of 60 who are awaiting a consultant’s report to confirm their disability when their existing cards expire.

S3W-2207 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive, following the consultation on animal health and welfare, what assurances it will give that any cost-sharing and responsibility-sharing measures will only be implemented with the full, consensual agreement of the livestock sector in Scotland.

S3W-2208 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive, following the consultation on animal health and welfare, what assurances it will give that any cost-sharing and responsibility-sharing measures will only be implemented with the long-term economic sustainability of the livestock sector in Scotland in mind.

S3W-2209 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had or plans to have with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs regarding any cost-sharing and responsibility-sharing measures taken following the Executive’s consultation on animal health and welfare to ensure that decisions made at a UK level can be implemented in Scotland fairly, equitably and in a way that will not detrimentally affect the long-term sustainability of the livestock sector and will be focussed on disease prevention.

S3W-2210 Aileen Campbell: To ask the Scottish Executive how many and what percentage of patients were given the wrong treatment because of incorrect information provided on wristbands in each of the last five years, broken down by NHS board and parliamentary constituency.

S3W-2211 Aileen Campbell: To ask the Scottish Executive how many and what percentage of patients’ wristbands were (a) typed and (b) handwritten in each of the last five years, broken down by NHS board and parliamentary constituency.

S3W-2212 Aileen Campbell: To ask the Scottish Executive how many reported mistakes were made because of illegible handwriting on patients’ wristbands in each of the last five years, broken down by NHS board and parliamentary constituency.

S3W-2213 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average waiting time is for a methadone prescription in each NHS board area.

S3W-2214 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to encourage microgeneration.

S3W-2215 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what information it has on how many megawatt hours of electricity were (a) generated and (b) consumed in each year since 1980.

S3W-2216 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what information it has on how many megawatt hours of electricity were generated from (a) nuclear, (b) oil and gas, (c) hydro, (d) wind, (e) solar and (f) other sources in each year since 1980.

S3W-2217 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to encourage carbon offsetting.

S3W-2218 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many cubic feet of water were lost through faults to the water infrastructure in each year since 1995.

S3W-2219 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how much has been raised through water rates in each year since 1995.

S3W-2220 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what the total amount of uncollected water rates has been in each year since 1995.

S3W-2221 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average cost is of constructing a home for social let.

S3W-2222 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many homes have been socially let and available to let by (a) local authorities and (b) housing associations in each year since 1980.

S3W-2223 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how much has been raised through the sale of council houses in each year since the introduction of the right to buy scheme.

S3W-2224 Gil Paterson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the demographic breakdown is of those entering the Project Scotland programme.

S3W-2225 Gil Paterson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there are significant hot spots or slow areas for referral in relation to Project Scotland.

S3W-2226 Gil Paterson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the national coverage of Project Scotland is and how this is determined.

S3W-2227 Gil Paterson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether an assessment has been undertaken to determine the number of new volunteering opportunities created through Project Scotland.

S3W-2228 Alasdair Allan: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it will take in co-operation with NHS Western Isles to ensure that Broadbay Medical Practice in Stornoway is in a position to continue to provide its current level of service to patients.

S3W-2229 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it has spent to date on the (a) online upgrade of the A80 to motorway status and (b) Edinburgh trams project.

S3W-2230 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects to complete the electrification of the Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley railway line.

S3W-2231 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what improvements to rail services it expects the electrification of the Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley railway line will allow for.

S3W-2232 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what the total expenditure on PFI/PPP projects has been in each year since 1999, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-2233 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what the total cost to the taxpayer will be of all existing PFI/PPP projects over the course of their contractual life.

S3W-2234 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of children have been defined as living in relative poverty in each year since 1960.

S3W-2235 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of pensioners have been defined as living in relative poverty in each year since 1960.

S3W-2236 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what legal advice it has received in respect of whether activities characterised as extraordinary rendition are illegal under Scots and international law and what its position is on the matter.

S3W-2237 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what differentiates national parks from regional parks.

S3W-2238 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what criteria a park must fulfil to qualify as a regional park.

S3W-2239 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what its definition is of planning gain.

S3W-2240 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has measured, or has any plans to measure, the success of Scotland’s five new towns and, if so, what criteria it uses to measure such success.

S3W-2241 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what face-to-face discussions took place between the First Minister and the Prime Minister during the British-Irish Council meeting on 16 July 2007.

S3W-2242 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what face-to-face meetings took place between the First Minister and the Taoiseach during the British-Irish Council meeting on 16 July 2007.

S3W-2243 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what face-to-face discussions took place between the First Minister and the First Minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly Government during the British-Irish Council meeting on 16 July 2007.

S3W-2244 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what face-to-face discussions took place between the First Minister and the First Minister of the Welsh Assembly Government during the British-Irish Council meeting on 16 July 2007.

S3W-2245 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what issues were discussed during the meeting of the British-Irish Council on 16 July 2007.

S3W-2246 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what meetings took place on the issue of corporation tax during the meeting of the British-Irish Council on 16 July 2007.

S3W-2247 Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive how many claims for compensation were made by (a) pupils, (b) staff and (c) others against local authorities for incidents occurring in schools in each of the last five years for which figures are available, broken down by local authority.

S3W-2248 Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive how many payments were made in respect of claims for compensation by (a) pupils, (b) staff and (c) others against local authorities for incidents occurring in schools in each of the last five years for which figures are available, broken down by local authority.

S3W-2249 Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive what total amount of compensation was sought in claims by (a) pupils, (b) staff and (c) others against local authorities for incidents occurring in schools in each of the last five years for which figures are available, broken down by local authority.

S3W-2250 Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive what total amount of compensation was paid in respect of claims by (a) pupils, (b) staff and (c) others against local authorities for incidents occurring in schools in each of the last five years for which figures are available, broken down by local authority.

S3W-2251 Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-1224 by Shona Robison on 9 July 2007, what the age profile is of people in temporary accommodation in each local authority area.

S3W-2252 Charlie Gordon: To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to continue the benefits of the recently ended Air Route Development Fund.

S3W-2253 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what action is being taken to develop national and regional sports facilities throughout Scotland.

S3W-2254 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding is being provided to ensure that 21st century sports facilities are provided for elite athletes in the Lothians.

S3W-2255 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will ensure that the Lothians contribute to and benefit from the Commonwealth Games in 2014, should the Scottish bid be successful.

S3W-2256 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding will be made available to provide local community sporting facilities.

S3W-2257 Jim Tolson: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will publish the report on the Tay and Forth road bridges toll impact study.

S3W-2258 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how much has been committed in the 2007-10 funding round from the Children, Young People and Families Unified Voluntary Sector Fund.

S3W-2259 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to review the decision of the previous administration to not allow new applications to the Children, Young People and Families Unified Voluntary Sector Fund.

S3W-2260 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many applications to the Children, Young People and Families Unified Voluntary Sector Fund have been refused.

S3W-2261 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many NHS registered dentists there have been in each year since 1990, broken down by (a) Scottish parliamentary constituency, (b) Scottish parliamentary region, (c) local authority area and (d) NHS board area.

S3W-2262 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what the (a) incidence per 100,000 and (b) number of spina bifida pregnancies was in Scotland in the most recent year for which figures are available and what comparative information it has for (i) the United Kingdom, (ii) each OECD nation and (iii) each EU member state.

S3W-2263 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what the (a) incidence per 100,000 and (b) number of cases of multiple sclerosis was in Scotland in the most recent year for which figures are available and what comparative information it has for (i) the United Kingdom, (ii) each OECD nation and (iii) each EU member state.

S3W-2264 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what the (a) incidence per 100,000 and (b) number of cases of cystic fibrosis was in Scotland in the most recent year for which figures are available and what comparative information it has for (i) the United Kingdom, (ii) each OECD nation and (iii) each EU member state.

S3W-2265 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has carried out or is aware of any research into the importance of providing staffed public toilets in locations visited by high numbers of tourists.

S3W-2266 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive what its policy is on the provision of staffed public toilets in locations visited by high numbers of tourists.

S3W-2267 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it provides any financial assistance to local authorities for the provision of staffed public toilets.

S3W-2268 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the current proposals in respect of the abolition of non-bench serving Justices of the Peace will be subject to review.

S3W-2269 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the current proposals in respect of the abolition of non-bench serving Justices of the Peace will be the subject of detailed monitoring and evaluation, particularly with regard to the practical implications for law enforcement agencies.

S3W-2270 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in light of difficulties caused to junior doctors seeking training posts as a result of recent changes to the General Medical Council recruitment process and following the commitment by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing to extend the contracts of those failing to find training posts by the end of 1 August 2007, it will similarly extend the contracts of any junior doctors who have managed to obtain training posts but have a gap between the end of their current contracts and the beginning of their new jobs and no income for that period.

S3W-2271 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has undertaken or plans to undertake an investigation of the operation, in Scotland, of the recruitment and interview process of the General Medical Council since the introduction of changes that led to a breakdown in communication systems and doctors failing to find training posts.

S3W-2272 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive on what basis ministers have argued that a very material subsidy is received by Western Ferries.

S3W-2273 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive on what basis ministers have argued that any virtual monopoly vehicle ferry service between Greenock and Dunoon would be unregulated.

S3W-2274 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what its interpretation is of the HITRANS data regarding ferry services between Gourock and Dunoon and how it differs from the interpretation placed on it by the managing director of Western Ferries.

S3W-2275 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive why a monopoly ferry service provider is acceptable on most routes between the Hebrides and the mainland but is not acceptable between Gourock and Dunoon.

S3W-2276 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what costs are involved in operating the ferry service between Gourock and Dunoon provided by Caledonian MacBrayne and where detailed cost information is made publicly available.

S3W-2277 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what revenue streams are derived from operating the ferry service between Gourock and Dunoon provided by Caledonian MacBrayne and where detailed revenue information is made publicly available.

S3W-2278 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the subsidy per passenger is for the ferry service between Gourock and Dunoon provided by Caledonian MacBrayne.

S3W-2279 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the justification was in 1982 for restricting the ferry service between Gourock and Dunoon provided by Caledonian MacBrayne to an hourly frequency and in its time of operation.

S3W-2280 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the justification is for restricting the ferry service between Gourock and Dunoon provided by Caledonian MacBrayne to an hourly frequency and in its time of operation.

S3W-2281 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the European Commission has made any statement or offered advice regarding restrictions on the ferry service between Gourock and Dunoon provided by Caledonian MacBrayne; whether any such statement is publicly available, and whether it will publish any relevant correspondence.

S3W-2282 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has had any discussions with Western Ferries on a users’ charter or quality contract for ferry services between Gourock and Dunoon or Hunter’s Quay and McInroy’s Point and what the reasons are for its position on this matter.

S3W-2283 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Caledonian MacBrayne is restricted in any way from providing commercial services on an unsubsidised basis.

S3W-2284 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, if Caledonian MacBrayne is not prevented from providing commercial services on an unsubsidised basis, what discussions have taken place with the company regarding provision of unsubsidised ferry services on the Greenock-Dunoon route.

S3W-2285 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the new vessel owning company which is being set up as part of the tendering process for the Clyde and Hebridean ferry services has been or will be asked to undertake preliminary design work for new tonnage to service the Greenock-Dunoon route.

S3W-2286 Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive what publications it has issued since 1 June 2006, giving the circulation, cost and title of each publication.

S3W-2287 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive how many bank nurses have been employed by NHS Tayside in each of the last three years and what the annual cost has been of employing them.

S3W-2288 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive how many agency nurses have been employed by NHS Tayside in each of the last three years and what the annual cost has been of employing them.

S3W-2289 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive how often legal aid has been (a) applied for and (b) granted in employment tribunals in the last three years.

S3W-2290 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding has been provided in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS board area for smoking cessation services in the last three years, in light of recent figures from ASH Scotland which show that Glasgow Maryhill has the third highest smoking rate in Scotland.

S3W-2291 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what future funding will be provided in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS board area for smoking cessation services, in light of recent figures from ASH Scotland which show that Glasgow Maryhill has the third highest smoking rate in Scotland.

S3W-2292 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what action will be taken to prevent underage smokers buying cigarettes, in light of recent figures from ASH Scotland which show that 82% of 15-year-olds and 47% of 13-year-olds in the Glasgow Maryhill parliamentary constituency who smoke regularly report buying cigarettes from a shop.

S3W-2293 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what action will be taken to discourage underage smoking, in light of recent figures from ASH Scotland which show 82% of 15-year-olds and 47% of 13-year-olds in the Glasgow Maryhill parliamentary constituency who smoke regularly report buying cigarettes from a shop.

S3W-2294 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the smoking rate was for those aged 16 and over in each of the last three years in the Glasgow Maryhill parliamentary constituency.

S3W-2295 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-1420 by Stewart Stevenson on 20 July 2007, whether bus and tram options will be considered in the planning work for a new Forth crossing.

S3W-2296 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has received any representations from the City of Edinburgh Council or the Festival Theatre Trust in respect of the future of the Kings Theatre, Edinburgh, and, if so, how it responded.

S3W-2297Δ Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide the names of the special advisers currently in post; what their pay bands are for 2007-08; how many special advisers are in each pay band, and what the total cost was of employing special advisers in 2006-07.

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