Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 115/2007:Tuesday 11 September 2007
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Section E – Written questions lodged on 10 September 2007

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-4129 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-3516 by Stewart Stevenson on 6 September 2007, how many road traffic accidents have taken place on the A838 in each year since 1999.

S3W-4130 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-3515 by Stewart Stevenson on 6 September 2007, how many road traffic accidents involving foreign motorists have taken place on the (a) A835, (b) A836, (c) A837, (d) A838, (e) A894, (f) A897 and (g) A9 north of the Dornoch Bridge Roundabout in each year since 1999.

S3W-4131 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-3517 by Stewart Stevenson on 6 September 2007, for how many road traffic accidents on the (a) A835, (b) A836, (c) A837, (d) A838, (e) A894, (f) A897 and (g) A9 north of the Dornoch Bridge Roundabout foreign motorists have been deemed to be responsible in each year since 1999.

S3W-4132 Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-3696 by Linda Fabiani on 4 September 2007, whether it will provide a profile of the funding for international development for each year from 2007-08 to 2011-12.

S3W-4133 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects the next meeting of Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime to be held; whether a minister will attend; whether it has sought the advice of this group on how to improve the investigation and prosecution of wildlife crime, and whether it will publish any such advice.

S3W-4134 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will establish a specialist task force of the members of Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime to consider and advise on the steps necessary to improve the investigation and prosecution of wildlife crime and, if so, by when it will ask such a task force to report.

S3W-4135 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how many times the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) forum on wildlife crime has met; what issues it has discussed, and what steps COPFS has taken to improve the prosecution of wildlife crime as a result of these discussions.

S3W-4136 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how many cases have (a) been reported to the Procurator Fiscal, (b) been prosecuted and (c) secured a conviction for offences under sections 5(1)(f), 11(1)(d) or 11(2)(f) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) relating to the causing or permitting of an offence in each of the last 10 years.

S3W-4137 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what contribution it makes to the budget of the UK’s National Wildlife Crime Unit in North Berwick and whether it intends to maintain or increase this commitment.

S3W-4138 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how many alleged cases of (a) poisoning of wild birds, (b) illegal poisoning of wild animals, (c) poisoning of dogs and cats, (d) poisoned baits where no victim was recovered, (e) trapping of wild birds, (f) trapping of protected animals, (g) illegal killing of wild birds other than by poisoning, (h) illegal killing of protected animals other than by poisoning, (i) destruction of wild birds’ nests and (j) egg collecting have been reported to the relevant authorities and how many have resulted in a (i) report to the Procurator Fiscal, (ii) prosecution and (iii) conviction in each of the last 10 years.

S3W-4139 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list sentences passed on conviction for cases of (a) poisoning of wild birds, (b) illegal poisoning of wild or companion animals or placing of poisoned baits, (c) illegal possession of the commonly abused pesticides including those listed in the Possession of Pesticides (Scotland) Order 2005, (d) trapping of wild birds, (e) illegal killing of wild birds other than by poisoning and (f) egg collecting in each of the last 10 years; whether it is aware of the sentences passed for similar offences in England and Wales and, if so, whether these sentences are comparable.

S3W-4140 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how many of those convicted in the last 10 years of poisoning or possession offences involving the chemicals now listed in the Possession of Pesticides (Scotland) Order 2005 had their licences to use firearms or shotguns permanently revoked.

S3W-4141 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what additional resources have been provided to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to support the network of environmental specialists; whether these environmental fiscals routinely present the prosecution in cases of wildlife crime, and what the reasons are for the position on this matter.

S3W-4142 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what chemicals are listed in the Possession of Pesticides (Scotland) Order 2005; when it intends to review this list, and what steps it is taking to identify other chemicals that might be considered in future.

S3W-4143 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list the chemicals used in cases of actual or attempted illegal wildlife poisonings in each of the last 10 years, also indicating for each chemical whether it has a lawful use and what regulations are in place to limit use to such lawful uses.

S3W-4144 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive, for each chemical used in cases of actual or attempted illegal wildlife poisonings in the last 10 years, whether it will list the quantity recovered in the illegal bait and describe the impact on an average sized (a) pet dog, (b) human adult and (c) human child if one tenth of this quantity was (i) ingested and (ii) handled.

S3W-4145 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive in how many cases single farm payments, or any other subsidy have been withdrawn or reduced as a result of the occurrence of wildlife crime on the relevant land or the involvement in wildlife crime of the potential recipient and whether it will list the names of those so penalised.

S3W-4146 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how many serving police officers act as (a) full-time and (b) part-time wildlife crime officers and whether it considers this number sufficient to address the extent of wildlife crime.

S3W-4147 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to enhance the (a) investigation and (b) prosecution of alleged wildlife crime.

S3W-4148 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to ensure that all evidence available to the police is used as fully as possible in prosecuting alleged cases of wildlife crime.

S3W-4149 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what advice or representations it has received from (a) the public, (b) interested organisations, (c) the police and (d) the Crown Office regarding problems with the prosecution of wildlife crime.

S3W-4150 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to ensure that the number of alleged cases of wildlife crime is well recorded, including the number of incidents, the number investigated by the police, the number reported to procurators fiscal, the number prosecuted and the number securing a conviction.

S3W-4151 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-11675 by Tavish Scott on 6 December 2004, when it expects the review of the Game Acts to be completed and when it will announce its proposals for reform.

S3W-4152 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many verbal attacks have been made by pupils on teachers in each year since 1999, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-4153 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many physical attacks have been made by pupils on teachers in each year since 1999, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-4154 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many meetings of the Ministerial Taskforce on School Discipline have take place since May 2007 and when it is due to next meet.

S3W-4155 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what organisations the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning has met since taking office.

S3W-4156 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what organisations the Minister for Schools and Skills has met since taking office.

S3W-4157 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what organisations the Minister for Children and Early Years has met since taking office.

S3W-4158 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to publish annual statistics on verbal and physical assaults by pupils on teachers and what the reasons are for its position on this matter.

S3W-4159 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to measure and monitor verbal and physical assaults by pupils on teachers.

S3W-4160 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive why the SNP manifesto commitment to maximum class sizes of 18 in primary 1 to primary 3 does not appear in the Government’s Programme for Scotland.

S3W-4161 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to measure the success of reducing class sizes to a maximum of 18 in primary 1 to primary 3.

S3W-4162 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average class size in primary 1 to primary 3 is in schools in areas of multiple deprivation.

S3W-4163 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to measure the impact of its proposed free school meal pilots in primary 1 to primary 3.

S3W-4164 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what criteria it believes need to be met in the proposed free school meal pilots in primary 1 to primary 3 before extending free school meals to all schools.

S3W-4165 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many teachers require to be recruited in order to meet the SNP manifesto pledge to deliver access to a fully qualified nursery teacher for every nursery age child, starting with children in deprived communities.

S3W-4166 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding it estimates will be required in each year of the next spending review to meet the SNP manifesto pledge to deliver access to a fully qualified nursery teacher for every nursery age child, starting with children in deprived communities.

S3W-4167 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many teachers require to be recruited in order to deliver access to a fully qualified nursery teacher for every nursery age child.

S3W-4168 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what it estimates the cost would be to provide resources for every nursery to employ a qualified teacher.

S3W-4169 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many nurseries operate without the services of a qualified teacher, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-4170 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what proportion of nurseries operate without the services of a qualified teacher, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-4171 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average primary 1 to primary 3 class size is in schools in areas selected by it for free school meal pilot funding, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-4172 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what the current take up is of free school meals in the areas selected by it for pilot funding, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-4173 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has made any assessment of the report in 2002 by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists on adult male hypogonadism.

S3W-4174 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is aware of any research suggesting that lower than normal levels of testosterone can cause type 2 diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, ischemic heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis in men.

S3W-4175 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers the use of the free androgen index to establish hormone health in men to be reliable.

S3W-4176 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether any assessment has been made of the possible benefit of using testosterone therapy when treating co-morbid patients.

S3W-4177 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what proportion of the male population suffers from testosterone deficiency.

S3W-4178 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether guidance is made available to NHS boards on the diagnosis and treatment of testosterone deficiency.

S3W-4179 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will improve understanding of testosterone deficiency and its treatment.

S3W-4180 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-31920 by Mr Andy Kerr on 27 February 2007, whether, following the approval of Lucentis® (ranibizumab) on 22 January 2007 by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency, the Scottish Medicines Consortium has made a recommendation regarding the use of this therapy.

S3W-4181 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is satisfied that NHS boards give sufficient priority to ensuring that patients with age-related macular degeneration who require photodynamic therapy treatment receive it and to implementing the appropriate clinical patient pathways for such patients.

S3W-4182 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether photodynamic therapy treatment, which is currently provided for people with classic wet age-related macular degeneration with no occult subfoveal choroidal neovascularisation, in accordance with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance, will be considered by the Scottish Medicines Consortium or NHS Quality Improvement Scotland for people with the non-classic forms of the condition.

S3W-4183 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps are being taken to ensure quicker diagnosis of patients with treatable forms of wet age-related macular degeneration.

S3W-4184 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how many alcohol-related deaths there have been in (a) West Dunbartonshire and (b) East Dunbartonshire since 1996.

S3W-4185 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how many illegal drug-related deaths there have been in (a) West Dunbartonshire and (b) East Dunbartonshire in each year since 1996.

S3W-4186 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-2932 by Shona Robison on 27 August 2007, what information it has been given by NHS Lanarkshire regarding the anticipated impact of the retention of accident and emergency services at three hospitals on resources available to deliver the board’s primary care and community development programme.

S3W-4187 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-2938 by Shona Robison on 27 August 2007, what information it has been given by NHS Ayrshire and Arran regarding the anticipated impact of the retention of accident and emergency services at two hospitals on resources available to deliver the board’s primary care and community development programme.

S3W-4188 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how many probationary teachers who completed their probationary year in 2007 will not have secured employment by 19 September 2007.

S3W-4189 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether every local authority will have used the additional funding announced on 20 June 2007 to employ an extra 300 teachers to secure the employment of probationary teachers by 19 September 2007 and, if not, which councils will have been unable to do so.

S3W-4190 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive why Transport Scotland has not yet adopted an energy policy.

S3W-4191 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-3067 by Linda Fabiani on 20 August 2007, when it will make a decision on the replacement for the First Secretary for Scottish Affairs in the United States of America.

S3W-4192 Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive what action is being taken to establish a Scottish centre for intergenerational practice.

S3W-4193 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to reform the Game Acts or otherwise better regulate the game shooting industry.

S3W-4194 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how many individuals were convicted of offences of wildlife crime in each of the last 10 years and, of these, what proportion were employed in professions associated with the game shooting industry.

S3W-4195 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it has taken to ensure that its network of environmental specialists within the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is well co-ordinated, well resourced, and well trained; what evidence it has obtained that these steps have resulted in more effective prosecution of wildlife crime, and whether it will publish the results of such analysis.

S3W-4196 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to ensure that those who benefit financially from the impacts of wildlife crime are (a) investigated and (b) prosecuted and, where the offence is carried out on their behalf by someone else, what steps it is taking to ensure that the beneficiary is held liable.

S3W-4197 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether action to address the illegal and dangerous practice of wildlife poisoning is listed as a national police priority and whether a national police operation exists to detect and investigate all such offences.

S3W-4198 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what scientific research has been carried out in the last 10 years to investigate the effect that illegal killing, including poisoning, may be having on the golden eagle population in Scotland and what the conclusions of such research were.

S3W-4199 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether action to address the illegal killing of golden eagles is listed as a national priority for police wildlife enforcers and whether a national police operation exists to detect and investigate such offences.

S3W-4200 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how many cases of alleged killing, nest destruction and disturbance of hen harriers have been recorded and how many (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions for such offences there have been in each of the last 10 years and whether the national police operation, Artemis, has achieved a reduction in the incidence of hen harrier persecution since its launch in March 2004.

S3W-4201 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether operation Artemis’ strategy recognises that, in areas where illegal killing of birds of prey occurs, the nature of offences against hen harriers may make them difficult to detect and the detection and investigation of offences involving other species can act as an early warning system that hen harriers may be at risk and may present an opportunity to apprehend offenders before they have a severe effect on hen harriers and other rare species in that area.

S3W-4202 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether action to address the illegal killing of red kites is listed as a national priority for police wildlife enforcers and whether a national police operation exists to tackle this.

S3W-4203 Alasdair Allan: To ask the Scottish Executive what action ministers intend to take to ensure that the aims of land reform legislation are not superseded by the use of interposed leases in the case of Pairc on Lewis.

S3W-4204 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is committed to expanding hate crime legislation.

S3W-4205 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive when it plans to introduce hate crime legislation to protect disabled people and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as promised in the SNP manifesto.

S3W-4206 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive how many additional police officers it expects to be recruited in 2007-08.

S3W-4207 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive how many additional police officers it expects to be recruited in each year from 2007 to 2011.

S3W-4208 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive what the cost would be of increasing the number of police officers by (a) 500, (b) 1,000 and (c) 1,500 and what the increase in size of each force would be under an equitable distribution of such increases.

S3W-4209 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is committed to implementing the Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Act 2007.

S3W-4210 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-1050 by Kenny MacAskill on 14 June 2007, when it will seek the Parliament’s views on the most effective way to implement the Custodial Sentences and Weapons (Scotland) Act 2007.

S3W-4211 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive how many police officers are projected to leave active service from 2007 to 2011.

S3W-4212 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to the first supplementary to question S3O-476 by Kenny MacAskill on 6 September 2007 (Official Report c. 1151), how many of the 1,000 additional police officers promised in the SNP manifesto will be (a) new recruits or (b) as a result of retaining serving police officers.

S3W-4213 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to the first supplementary to question S3O-476 by Kenny MacAskill on 6 September 2007 (Official Report c. 1151), what target it has for the number of police officers it wishes to retain who were expected to leave active service from 2007 to 2011.

S3W-4214 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-3137 by Richard Lochhead on 3 September 2007, what percentage of the actual area of agricultural land was covered by agri-environmental measures in 2005.

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