Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 106/2007: Monday 13 August 2007
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Section E – Written questions lodged from 6 to 10 August 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-2966 Stefan Tymkewycz: To ask the Scottish Executive in how many and what percentage of road traffic accidents drink driving was a contributory factor in each of the last five years, broken down by police force area.

S3W-2967 Stefan Tymkewycz: To ask the Scottish Executive in how many road traffic accidents resulting in (a) fatality or (b) serious injury drink driving was a contributory factor in each of the last five years, broken down by police force area.

S3W-2968 Stefan Tymkewycz: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average cost to the public purse is of road traffic accidents resulting in (a) fatality and (b) serious injury.

S3W-2969 Stefan Tymkewycz: To ask the Scottish Executive what the annual cost to the public purse was of road traffic accidents in which drink driving was a contributory factor in each of the last five years for which information is available.

S3W-2970 Stefan Tymkewycz: To ask the Scottish Executive how many road traffic accident (a) fatalities and (b) serious injuries in which the recorded blood alcohol level of the driver was between 50 and 80mg occurred in each of the last five years for which information is available.

S3W-2971 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will influence education spending through grant aided expenditure.

S3W-2972 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive what control it has over expenditure by local authorities of money allocated through the core local government finance settlement.

S3W-2973 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will influence the number of teachers employed by local authorities.

S3W-2974 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive when the target of 53,000 teachers will be met.

S3W-2975 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive what the total number of teachers will be when its promised additional 300 posts are filled.

S3W-2976 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive when its promised additional 300 teachers will be in post.

S3W-2977 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive how many additional teaching posts will be created by Renfrewshire Council as a result of its promised additional 300 posts for Scotland.

S3W-2978 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive when any additional teaching posts in Renfrewshire, arising from its promised additional 300 posts for Scotland, will be filled.

S3W-2979 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive how many additional teachers will be employed by each local authority as a result of its promised additional 300 teaching posts.

S3W-2980 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive how many of its promised additional 300 teaching posts will be in pre-school education.

S3W-2981 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive how many of its promised additional 300 teaching posts it intends to create in voluntary and private sector nurseries.

S3W-2982 Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to increase service provision at St John’s Hospital in Livingston.

S3W-2983 Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to utilise any spare capacity, including theatres, at St John’s Hospital in Livingston, in order to benefit healthcare.

S3W-2984 Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to utilise the intensive therapy and high dependency units at St John’s Hospital in Livingston.

S3W-2985 Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what consultation took place in relation to the downgrading of services at St John’s Hospital in Livingston.

S3W-2986 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what average rainfall has been each year since 1950.

S3W-2987 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many floods there have been that required a response from at least one of the emergency services each year since 1980.

S3W-2988 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) higher and (b) further education students there were in (a) 1950, (b) 1960, (c) 1970, (d) 1980 and (e) each year since 1990.

S3W-2989 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many higher education students there have been from (a) England and Wales, (b) Northern Ireland, (c) the rest of the European Union and (d) elsewhere in each year since 1990.

S3W-2990 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what the total value has been of tuition fees paid to higher education institutions by foreign students in each year since 1990.

S3W-2991 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive whether any central guidance is provided to local authorities on the establishment of local area committees.

S3W-2992 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has figures available to estimate how many households regularly recycle household waste.

S3W-2993 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive which local authority areas have a policy of collecting household waste for recycling.

S3W-2994 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to encourage recycling.

S3W-2995 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-2221 by Stewart Maxwell on 30 July 2007, what the average cost is of constructing a home for private sale.

S3W-2996 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-2221 by Stewart Maxwell on 30 July 2007, whether it will provide a breakdown of the figure for the average cost of constructing a home for social rent.

S3W-2997 Alasdair Allan: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will give consideration to extending the seasons during which greylag geese may be shot in the Western Isles, in light of the interests of crofters.

S3W-2998 Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has had, or plans to have, any discussions with the UK Government about creating another free zone in Scotland.

S3W-2999 Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has quantified the benefit to the local and Scottish economy of the free zone at Prestwick.

S3W-3000 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive what consideration it has given to redesigning the Forth Road Bridge toll plaza following the removal of tolls.

S3W-3001 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has given consideration to the introduction of bus priority measures from the A90 on to the Forth Road Bridge following the removal of tolls and redesign of the toll plaza.

S3W-3002 Alasdair Allan: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will consider re-examining the present schedule of protection afforded to greylag geese in the Western Isles.

S3W-3003 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what significant diversions of planned spend within the transport budget in 2007-08 will result from the review of major transport projects conducted in June 2007.

S3W-3004 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the increase in transport spending was in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 relative to the 2004-05 budget and what proportion of this additional expenditure in each year was for construction costs of major transport projects.

S3W-3005 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how much of the resources in the central unallocated provision is earmarked for major transport projects.

S3W-3006 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how much of the cumulative balance of end-year flexibility held at HM Treasury is earmarked to meet the costs of major transport projects.

S3W-3007 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions have taken place with (a) HM Treasury and (b) the European Commission regarding possible funding mechanisms for the replacement Forth crossing.

S3W-3008 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will set targets for each department or ministerial portfolio to allow detailed scrutiny of its new efficiency programme that is expected to deliver at least 1.5% annual savings across the public sector.

S3W-3009 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will publish baseline information to show how each element of programmed efficiency saving within each ministerial portfolio is being delivered under its new efficiency programme that is expected to deliver at least 1.5% annual savings across the public sector.

S3W-3010 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it will take to continue to challenge sectarianism in and around sports grounds.

S3W-3011 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it plans to bring forward to challenge sectarian attitudes in universities and further education colleges.

S3W-3012 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive how many individuals have been charged under section 74 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-3013 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive how many individuals have been successfully prosecuted under section 74 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-3014 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will encourage anti-sectarian project work in schools.

S3W-3015 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it will take to address sectarianism in workplaces and ensure the safety and wellbeing of employees, regardless of their religious affiliation.

S3W-3016 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to support further academic research into sectarianism in Scotland.

S3W-3017 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive how many football banning orders have been applied for by police since their introduction in 2006, also broken down by police force and giving numbers in respect of sectarian behaviour, racist behaviour and other forms of disorder.

S3W-3018 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive what commitment it will make to continuing its support for grassroots anti-sectarianism education initiatives such as Nil by Mouth and Sense Over Sectarianism.

S3W-3019 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to engage with Scotland’s faith communities to combat sectarianism.

S3W-3020 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how much the Air Discount Scheme cost in its first year of operation.

S3W-3021 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how much Loganair received through the Air Discount Scheme in its first year of operation.

S3W-3022 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what modal shift was attributed to the Air Discount Scheme in its first year of operation.

S3W-3023 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how many additional passengers used the 10 airports operated by Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd in the first year of operation of the Air Discount Scheme.

S3W-3024 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what volumes of additional carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions were attributable to the Air Discount Scheme in its first year of operation.

S3W-3025 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what factors explain the threefold increase in subsidy paid to Northlink Ferries in the 2002-05 period.

S3W-3026 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps have been taken by ministers to prevent further cost over-runs by Northlink Ferries since 2005.

S3W-3027 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how many pages the recent CalMac bid to operate services between the Scottish mainland and the islands off the west coast contained; how much it cost the company to prepare; whether the cost has been properly audited, and what timescale was involved in the bid’s preparation.

S3W-3028 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how much has been spent by central and local government on new port and terminal infrastructure at (a) Dunoon, (b) Kirkwall, (c) Aberdeen, (d) Scrabster, (e) Stromness and (f) Lerwick since 2000; whether it regards this expenditure as part of the subsidy provided to state-owned ferry operators, and whether the European Commission has been notified of such expenditure in response to its enquiries about subsidies to state-owned ferry operators received in late May 2007.

S3W-3029 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what consultation took place prior to the purchase of new specialised livestock containers for northern isles ferry services; what justification there is for public money being used to fund these purchases; whether the containers are suitable and available for use on vessels other than those run by state-owned ferry operators, and whether the purchase and restrictions on use were in line with competition and state aid rules.

S3W-3030 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether any STAG appraisals took place prior to the introduction of new shipping or air subsidy schemes and whether each or any of the subsidy schemes introduced were taken forward via a tendering process in the last five years.

S3W-3031 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive on what legal basis the Air Discount Scheme is regarded as being not discriminatory against shipping operators.

S3W-3032 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how the restrictions on eligibility under the Air Discount Scheme, disqualifying those residents outside the Highlands from benefiting from the scheme, meet the legal requirements of UK and European anti-discrimination and human rights legislation.

S3W-3033 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what concessions are given to freight operators using (a) CalMac and (b) Northlink ferries; how much these concessions have cost the taxpayer in each of the last five years, and why there are different tariff arrangements for the carriage of freight and livestock between the northern isles and the mainland and the Western Isles and the mainland.

S3W-3034 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the (a) projected and (b) actual cost was of the bus and ferry concessionary travel scheme in each of the past three years.

S3W-3035 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the cost was of administering the bus and ferry concessionary travel scheme and what proportion this represents of the budget for the scheme in each of the last three years.

S3W-3036 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the projected cost is of the bus and ferry concessionary travel scheme for each of the next three years.

S3W-3037 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans or proposals to extend eligibility for the bus and ferry concessionary travel scheme and whether it has received representations from MSPs or organisations about extending eligibility.

S3W-3038 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the costs have been of each extension of eligibility for the bus and ferry concessionary fares scheme in each of the last three years.

S3W-3039 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what estimates have been made of what proportion of people eligible under the bus and ferry concessionary travel scheme are currently making use of it and of the pattern of use.

S3W-3040 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what total payments were made to bus and ferry operators in respect of concessionary travel schemes in each of the last three years.

S3W-3041 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what payments were made to each of the top five bus operators in respect of the concessionary travel scheme for each of the past three years.

S3W-3042 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how many journeys were claimed for by each of the top five bus operators under the concessionary travel scheme in each of the last three years.

S3W-3043 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what impact the concessionary travel scheme has had on bus and ferry patronage levels in each of the last three years.

S3W-3044 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with Communities Scotland, Cumbernauld Housing Partnership and North Lanarkshire Council in relation to the redevelopment of the MacIehose and Ainslie road areas in Cumbernauld and when some progress on the work can be expected.

S3W-3045 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with Cumbernauld Housing Partnership (CHP), Sanctuary Housing and Communities Scotland regarding the proposed merger of CHP and Sanctuary Housing.

S3W-3046 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive whether properties built or acquired by the new housing association resulting from Cumbernauld Housing Partnership (CHP) becoming part of Sanctuary Housing will be in the ownership of CHP or of Sanctuary Housing.

S3W-3047 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive what additional funding will be available to Cumbernauld Housing Partnership in the event that its merger with Sanctuary Housing is approved by relevant authorities.

S3W-3048 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it believes that the proposed merger of Cumbernauld Housing Partnership (CHP) and Sanctuary Housing should be subject to a democratic vote by tenants of CHP as an integral part of the merger process.

S3W-3049 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to create a central accessible database of those banned from keeping animals following court actions and successful prosecutions.

S3W-3050 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive how many prosecutions involving the mistreatment of animals have been deserted by procurators fiscal in each jurisdiction in each of the last five years.

S3W-3051 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to close a loophole in legislation which allows pups that have had their tails docked to be imported into Scotland.

S3W-3052 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with local authorities regarding the need for councils to develop single corporate debt policies that are applied by all council departments when dealing with people in financial difficulties or debt.

S3W-3053 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to ensure wider recognition of the professional role of citizens advice bureaux in the provision of money advice.

S3W-3054 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive what obligations are placed on local authorities to ensure that full benefit entitlement checks are done as a matter of routine by money advice staff employed by them when dealing with clients.

S3W-3055 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has the power to issue guidance to local authorities with regard to discretionary housing payments and, if so, what guidance it has issued.

S3W-3056 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the budget is for Transport Scotland for 2007-08 and whether this has changed from the amount allocated by the previous administration.

S3W-3057 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it agrees with the authors of the SUTRANET study, State Intervention in Scottish Shipping Markets, published in June 2007, that "subsidy paid to state-owned (shipping) operators has been constantly increasing and now appears to be out of control" and what steps are being considered to bring subsidy levels into line with levels in 2002.

S3W-3058 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it agrees with the authors of the SUTRANET study, State Intervention in Scottish Shipping Markets, published in June 2007, that "because they own shipping lines, Ministers have little alternative but to allow state-owned ferry lines to operate on a virtual blank cheque basis".

S3W-3059 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive which recommendations of the Sentencing Commission for Scotland’s report, The Scope to Improve Consistency in Sentencing, it intends to accept and what priority it attaches to the recommendations.

S3W-3060 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to establish an advisory panel on sentencing and, if so, within what timescale.

S3W-3061 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-2027 by Fergus Ewing on 31 July 2007, how many people were (a) charged with and (b) prosecuted for crimes of indecency in each year since 2001, broken down by (i) category of offence, (ii) constabulary and (iii) sheriff court district, also giving figures for the High Court.

S3W-3062 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-2028 by Fergus Ewing on 31 July 2007, how many failure to appear warrants were issued in each of the last five years to people who had failed to appear at previous trials, broken down by sheriff court district.

S3W-3063 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects to make its views known on the Regional Transport Strategy for the West of Scotland submitted by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.

S3W-3064 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the current standing is of the Clyde Fastlink (phase 1) project.

S3W-3065 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the cost would be of a full feasibility study for the Clyde Fastlink project (phases 1-3).

S3W-3066 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions are taking place with the UK Government regarding future representation of the Executive in the United States of America and Europe.

S3W-3067 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Scotland will continue to be represented in the United States of America through a member of staff based in the UK embassy in Washington.

S3W-3068 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will continue funding rape crisis centres at their existing level and whether this will be maintained within the forthcoming spending review.

S3W-3069 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will fund the national helpline for victims of rape and sexual violence and whether this will be given priority in the forthcoming spending review.

S3W-3070 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will publish the evaluation of the provisions relating to sexual history and character evidence in the Sexual Offences (Procedure and Evidence) (Scotland) Act 2002.

S3W-3071 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive what training is undertaken by police forces about rape and sexual assault.

S3W-3072 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive what proportion of work undertaken by family protection units is committed to rape and sexual assault.

S3W-3073 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to review procedures in relation to policy on the handling of cases of rape and sexual assault.

S3W-3074 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-20071 by Hugh Henry on 8 November 2005, how many bankruptcies there have been in each year since 2005-06, broken down by sheriff court district.

S3W-3075 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-20070 by Hugh Henry on 8 November 2005, how many debt arrangement schemes there have been in each year since 2005.

S3W-3076 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) graduate diploma students in audiology will complete the course in 2008 and (b) BSc audiology students are expected to graduate in 2009.

S3W-3077 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in terms of full university status for the University of the Highlands and Islands, it will look to the example of the University of Cumbria which gained university status from 1 August 2007.

S3W-3078 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to change the structure, organisation or funding of the local enterprise company network within Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

S3W-3079 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with Highlands and Islands Enterprise about the local enterprise company structure.

S3W-3080 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with the Highland Council about the transfer of local enterprise company functions.

S3W-3081 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive what changes to the current responsibilities of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are planned and whether any of its current responsibilities will (a) cease or (b) be reallocated to any other body in the public, private or third sector including Scottish Enterprise or the local authorities within the HIE area.

S3W-3082 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects to make a statement on any planned changes to the current responsibilities of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

S3W-3083 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment has been made of the current effectiveness of the local enterprise company network within the Highlands and Islands Enterprise area.

S3W-3084 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive what strategic partnerships there are between Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise and whether there are any crossover areas in these partnerships.

S3W-3085 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it estimates was spent on the purchase of illegal drugs in each year since 1970, broken down by class and type of substance.

S3W-3086 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many drugs-related deaths there have been in each year since 1970, broken down by class and type of substance.

S3W-3087 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many alcohol-related deaths there have been in each year since 1970.

S3W-3088 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many tobacco-related deaths there have been in each year since 1970.

S3W-3089 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many heroin addicts there are (a) known and (b) estimated to have been in each year since 1970.

S3W-3090 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what proportion of the total number of prison inmates is believed to have either drug or alcohol addiction problems.

S3W-3091 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what quantity of illegal drugs has been seized in each year since 1970, broken down by class and type of substance.

S3W-3092 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many individuals it estimates are involved in the supply of illegal drugs.

S3W-3093 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many individuals have been convicted of being involved in the supply of illegal drugs in each year since 1970 and what proportion served a custodial sentence after conviction.

S3W-3094 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it has taken since 28 June 2007, using its powers under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 as amended, to address the proposed ship-to-ship transfer of oil in the Firth of Forth.

S3W-3095 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive what correspondence or discussions it has had with Forth Ports plc since 28 June 2007 in relation to the proposed ship-to-ship transfer of oil in the Firth of Forth.

S3W-3096 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive what advice it has received from, or discussions it has had with, Scottish Natural Heritage since 28 June 2007 in relation to the proposed ship-to-ship transfer of oil in the Firth of Forth.

S3W-3097 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects Forth Ports plc to publish for consultation its appropriate assessment of the proposed ship-to-ship transfer of oil in the Firth of Forth.

S3W-3098 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in the context of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth’s statement of 6 June 2007 on the objectives of the Audit Scotland review when he said "My priority is to protect the Scottish taxpayer and ensure that any major transport project is value for money, delivering real benefit to the travelling public and the Scottish economy. I want to be absolutely sure about the calculation of the costs involved in these projects, and the assessment of risk involved, before they progress any further", he is now absolutely sure about the calculation of the costs and assessment of risk involved in the Waverley rail line.

S3W-3099 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in the context of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth’s statement on the objectives of the Audit Scotland review when he said "My priority is to protect the Scottish taxpayer and ensure that any major transport project is value for money, delivering real benefit to the travelling public and the Scottish economy. I want to be absolutely sure about the calculation of the costs involved in these projects, and the assessment of risk involved, before they progress any further", he is now absolutely sure about the calculation of the costs and assessment of risk involved in the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.

S3W-3100 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in the context of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth’s statement on the objectives of the Audit Scotland review when he said "My priority is to protect the Scottish taxpayer and ensure that any major transport project is value for money, delivering real benefit to the travelling public and the Scottish economy. I want to be absolutely sure about the calculation of the costs involved in these projects, and the assessment of risk involved, before they progress any further", he is now absolutely sure about the calculation of the costs and assessment of risk involved in the M80 Stepps to Haggs project.

S3W-3101 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in the context of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth’s statement on the objectives of the Audit Scotland review when he said "My priority is to protect the Scottish taxpayer and ensure that any major transport project is value for money, delivering real benefit to the travelling public and the Scottish economy. I want to be absolutely sure about the calculation of the costs involved in these projects, and the assessment of risk involved, before they progress any further", he is now absolutely sure about the calculation of the costs and assessment of risk involved in the M8 Baillieston to Newhouse project.

S3W-3102 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in the context of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth’s statement on the objectives of the Audit Scotland review when he said "My priority is to protect the Scottish taxpayer and ensure that any major transport project is value for money, delivering real benefit to the travelling public and the Scottish economy. I want to be absolutely sure about the calculation of the costs involved in these projects, and the assessment of risk involved, before they progress any further", he is now absolutely sure about the calculation of the costs and assessment of risk involved in the M74 completion project.

S3W-3103 Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will publish the responses to its consultation on the transposition in Scotland of EU legislation which affects the liability of those operators risking or causing significant environmental damage.

S3W-3104 Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to answer to question S3W-1057 by Michael Russell on 27 June 2007, whether plans for the transposition in Scotland of the EU environmental liability directive will be subject to further public consultation prior to the introduction of the necessary secondary legislation.

S3W-3105 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive how many times ministers have met the Scottish Qualifications Authority since June 2007.

S3W-3106 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list and give the dates of all meetings between ministers and the Scottish Qualification Authority since 17 May 2007.

S3W-3107 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list all meetings it has held to discuss the employment of probationary teachers who finished their probationary year in June 2007.

S3W-3108 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive what contact it has had with local authorities about probationary teachers since 29 June 2007.

S3W-3109 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list all meetings between the General Teaching Council and ministers specifically to discuss the employment of probationary teachers since 17 May 2007.

S3W-3110 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list all meetings between COSLA and ministers specifically to discuss the employment of probationary teachers since 17 May 2007.

S3W-3111 Kenneth Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will publish the Facey review of the Arbuthnott Formula for resource allocation for NHSScotland.

S3W-3112 Kenneth Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will consider devolving more specialist medical training posts from Edinburgh to Ayrshire and Arran NHS board and, if so, in what specialisms.

S3W-3113 Kenneth Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure that vacant consultant posts in NHS Ayrshire and Arran are filled.

S3W-3114 Kenneth Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it believes the maximum grant available under the Warm Deal should be in order to ensure that each home of four bedrooms or less in receipt of grant will receive loft insulation with associated cold and hot water tank insulation, cavity wall insulation, draught-proofing, four energy efficient light bulbs and energy advice.

S3W-3115 Kenneth Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to improve service delivery to adults with autism.

S3W-3116 Kenneth Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to improve services for people with autism during the transition from childhood to adulthood.

S3W-3117 Kenneth Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it will take to ensure that all local authorities fully implement the provisions of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 and the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 and that parents are made aware of appropriate placements and services across their own and adjacent local authority areas in order that they can make an informed choice about their children’s education.

S3W-3118 Kenneth Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it will take to enhance the training of (a) new and (b) experienced teachers in addressing the needs of children with autism.

S3W-3119 Kenneth Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to introduce further restrictions on people smoking in public.

S3W-3120 Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it supports a commercial trial of electronic sheep identification and, if so, what conditions it would apply to such a trial.

S3W-3121 Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive what efforts the Executive has made or is making to influence the European Commission in relation to the method and timing of implementation of electronic sheep identification.

S3W-3122 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there are any circumstances in which it is competent for it to commit money and other resources to issues that are ultra vires and, if so, whether it will list these circumstances.

S3W-3123 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive what action can be taken if it commits resources to action deemed to be ultra vires.

S3W-3124 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive who in the Executive determines whether action on an issue is ultra vires.

S3W-3125 Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive how many supply teachers are currently employed, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-3126 Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive how many supply teachers are on temporary contracts, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-3127 Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance it has issued on best practice regarding the employment of supply teachers.

S3W-3128 Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it intends to take to ensure that teachers in their probation year under the alternative route find full-time employment.

S3W-3129 Sandra White: To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to address the situation of supply teachers who cannot have their situation reviewed as they have not had the necessary one year’s continual service.

S3W-3130 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what proportion of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s regulatory activity is directed at farming.

S3W-3131 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Scottish Natural Heritage has a role to play in urban environments.

S3W-3132 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to its news release of 16 June 2007 entitled Keeping It Simple in the Countryside, what proportion of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s regulatory activity is directly related to the countryside.

S3W-3133 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-924 by Richard Lochhead on 28 June 2007, whether it intends to reconvene the Advisory Group on Marine and Coastal Strategy.

S3W-3134 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what organisations the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment has met to discuss fisheries issues, also indicating how often he has met them.

S3W-3135 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to ensure that those who have practiced beneficial habitat management through the 226 Rural Stewardship Scheme agreements due to expire in 2007 can continue to do so.

S3W-3136 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to deliver biodiversity gains if the Rural Stewardship Scheme agreements are allowed to expire.

S3W-3137 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-270 by Richard Lochhead, on 12 July 2007, what percentage of utilisable agricultural land was covered by agri-environment measures in 2005 and what the equivalent percentages were in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) the European Union as a whole.

S3W-3138 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-270 by Richard Lochhead on 12 July 2007, what amount of agri-environment funding was distributed per hectare of utilisable agricultural land in 2005 and what the equivalent amounts were in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) the European Union as a whole.

S3W-3139 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to its climate change statement on 21 June 2007, how it calculated that an 80% target for reducing emissions by 2050 is equivalent to 3% a year.

S3W-3140 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what the level of outward migration was in each year since 1950.

S3W-3141 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what the level of inward migration was in each year since 1950.

S3W-3142 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what the birth rate was in each year since 1950.

S3W-3143 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what the death rate was in each year since 1950.

S3W-3144 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what proportion of those emigrating it estimates was educated to higher education standard in each year since 1980.

S3W-3145 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive how many of those inwardly migrating in each year since 1980 it estimates originated from (a) the rest of the United Kingdom, (b) the European Union outwith the UK, (c) the Commonwealth outwith the UK and (d) elsewhere.

S3W-3146 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive how the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator plans to define public benefit when assessing the charitable status of fee-paying schools.

S3W-3147 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to encourage and expand the voluntary sector.

S3W-3148 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to reduce the legislative burden on voluntary organisations.

S3W-3149 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to streamline the disclosure process for churches, voluntary and charitable organisations.

S3W-3150 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-97 by Stewart Stevenson on 1 June 2007, what objectives it wishes Scottish Water to deliver in relation to improved customer service.

S3W-3151 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-97 by Stewart Stevenson on 1 June 2007, what objectives it wishes Scottish Water to deliver in relation to improved delivery of drinking water.

S3W-3152 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-97 by Stewart Stevenson on 1 June 2007, what objectives it wishes Scottish Water to deliver in relation to improved delivery of sewerage services.

S3W-3153 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-97 by Stewart Stevenson on 1 June 2007, what objectives it wishes Scottish Water to deliver in relation to improved trade waste disposal.

S3W-3154 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-97 by Stewart Stevenson on 1 June 2007, what objectives it wishes Scottish Water to deliver in relation to improved environmental protection.

S3W-3155 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-97 by Stewart Stevenson on 1 June 2007, what objectives it wishes Scottish Water to deliver in relation to financial management.

S3W-3156 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive where any "inadequate water and sewerage capacity is currently restricting new housing developments", as referred to in the SNP’s 2007 manifesto.

S3W-3157 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it will take "to remove the barriers which impede investment in water and sewerage infrastructure where this is necessary", as referred to in the SNP’s 2007 manifesto.

S3W-3158 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the cost would be of action "to remove the barriers which impede investment in water and sewerage infrastructure where this is necessary", as referred to in the SNP’s 2007 manifesto, and how this will be funded.

S3W-3159 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what targets have been set by Scottish Water to reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to the Executive’s climate change objectives.

S3W-3160 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what Scottish Water’s annual energy bill is and what plans are in place to reduce its energy consumption.

S3W-3161 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether ministers accept responsibility for ensuring that the Scottish Housing Quality Standard is met by 2015 throughout Scotland.

S3W-3162 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-2534 by Stewart Maxwell on 9 August 2007, when ministers expect to receive a standard delivery plan from West Dunbartonshire Council and what steps are being taken to assist the council in finalising its proposals.

S3W-3163 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-2534 by Stewart Maxwell on 9 August 2007, how ministers will take account of the identified risk that West Dunbartonshire will be unable to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard by 2015 in setting their spending priorities for the next spending review period.

S3W-3164 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-2534 by Stewart Maxwell on 9 August 2007, how ministers will ensure that there is adequate provision of new rented and homestake housing to meet the needs of Clydebank and how this will be reflected in the spending priorities of Communities Scotland.

S3W-3165 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-2534 by Stewart Maxwell on 9 August 2007, how ministers will ensure that investment in the refurbishment and renovation of existing housing in Clydebank, and in replacing obsolete or obsolescent housing in the town, is made available so that Clydebank is not disadvantaged relative to other localities within the Glasgow housing market area.

S3W-3166 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-2534 by Stewart Maxwell on 9 August 2007, how ministers will ensure that the people of West Dunbartonshire are not disadvantaged because of lack of investment in housing pending decisions on the future management of council housing stock.

S3W-3167 Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive for what reasons a requirement for a minimum amount of open space in new developments was omitted from the revised version of a draft consultation document on physical activity and open space, as reported in The Scotsman on 2 August 2007.

S3W-3168 Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive for what reasons proposals for statutory consultation if any new non-sporting green space is under threat were omitted from the revised draft consultation document on physical activity and open space, as reported in The Scotsman on 2 August 2007.

S3W-3169 Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what the reasons were for the circulation of a revised draft consultation document on physical activity and open space as reported in The Scotsman on 2 August 2007.

S3W-3170 Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive when the revised draft consultation document on physical activity and open space, as reported in The Scotsman on 2 August 200, will be made public.

S3W-3171 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland since May 2007.

S3W-3172 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what organisations it has had discussions with regarding the possibility of a merger of Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

S3W-3173 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what work is underway to identify whether any duplication of functions exists between organisations within the culture portfolio.

S3W-3174 Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive what slaughter protocols and contingency plans are in place to deal with any future threat of foot-and-mouth disease in Scotland and how much vaccine is being held in readiness, expressed in terms of the percentage of the total number of cattle that could be vaccinated in Scotland.

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