Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 150/2007: Friday 9 November 2007
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Section E – Written questions lodged on 8 November 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-6130 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-4657 by Michael Russell on 24 October 2007, when it expects to reach a final conclusion on the action to be taken to address the implications for single farm payments of Scottish Natural Heritage management agreements and when farmers and crofters whose single farm payments have been affected by such agreements will be informed of the effect of the conclusion on their payments.

S3W-6131 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive why figures for the central heating programme are published by postcode area and not constituency or local authority area.

S3W-6132 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of applicants under the central heating programme received their new system within five months of application in the most recent year for which figures are available, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-6133 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average waiting time is between application and installation under the central heating programme in each local authority area.

S3W-6134 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is satisfied with the performance of Scottish Gas in delivering the central heating programme.

S3W-6135 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to review the criteria for those in urgent need due to medical circumstances to receive installation of central heating systems under the central heating programme before the onset of winter.

S3W-6136 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to reduce the waiting times for the assessment of eligibility for, and the installation of, central heating systems under the central heating programme.

S3W-6137 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive whether VisitScotland will have an enhanced role overseas in the promotion of tourism and what implications this will have for the relationship between VisitScotland and VisitBritain and the agreement on their respective roles in the promotion of Scotland overseas.

S3W-6138 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what the estimated transition costs are for the reorganisation of the enterprise networks and what it estimates the net savings are from the abolition of separate local enterprise company boards and their associated governance arrangements.

S3W-6139 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the transfer of services from the enterprise agencies to local authorities will be accompanied by the full level of funding currently available to Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

S3W-6140 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Scottish Development International will remain a joint venture between the enterprise agencies and the Executive.

S3W-6141 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive when the position of Chief Executive of Scottish Development International will be filled and what form the recruitment process will take.

S3W-6142 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive how it envisages Scottish Development International working more closely with VisitScotland and Executive officials operating internationally and what plans it has for any additional overseas postings, more co-location of offices and increased representation in other countries.

S3W-6143 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it envisages local authorities having any direct role in attracting international inward investment within the reformed enterprise networks or whether this will remain the responsibility of Scottish Development International.

S3W-6144 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will ensure that Scottish Development International retains its ability to identify companies ready to export or trade overseas if it and the enterprise agencies are no longer responsible for account managing companies identified through the Business Gateway service.

S3W-6145 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what role the new Scottish Government Counsellor in North America will have and what is meant by the reference to "co-ordinating" in terms of his remit to co-ordinate the interests of Scottish bodies in North America.

S3W-6146 Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-5391 by Bruce Crawford on 7 November 2007, which of the invitees listed attended the A National Conversation – Scotland’s Future without Nuclear Weapons conference.

S3W-6147 Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-5873 by Bruce Crawford on 7 November 2007, whether it will list the recipients of the First Minister’s letter identified by state.

S3W-6148 Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-5873 by Bruce Crawford on 7 November 2007, whether any responses to the First Minister’s letter have been received and, if so, from which states.

S3W-6149 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will agree to the request by the leader of Glasgow City Council for the authority and budget to create a £250 million local economic development/regeneration agency for Glasgow.

S3W-6150 Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive how many NHS dentists there were per head of population in each (a) NHS board and (b) local authority area in each of the last three years for which figures are available.

S3W-6151 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it takes to monitor the mental health of deaf people.

S3W-6152 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to develop a national strategy for children and young people who are looked after away from home, in light of the No Time to Lose manifesto developed by the Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care.

S3W-6153 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive whether existing provision in residential and foster care is sufficient to meet the needs of children and young people who are looked after away from home and whether there is regular monitoring of such provision.

S3W-6154 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive what proportion of residential care homes are housing more children than they are licensed to care for.

S3W-6155 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to ensure that the interests and voices of looked-after children are heard, that they receive the support and services they need and that their rights are upheld and respected by service providers.

S3W-6156 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive whether all children who are looked after away from home have access to independent advocacy.

S3W-6157 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to ensure that there are consistent national standards, services and resources for throughcare and aftercare for all looked-after young people and those moving on from care.

S3W-6158 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive how many residential child care staff are appropriately qualified and whether the qualification requirements are sufficiently robust to equip workers to meet the complex needs of children and young people effectively and support them to reach their full potential.

S3W-6159 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to tackle undervaluing of residential and foster care staff and whether it has any plans to establish a Scotland-wide training, skills and qualifications framework for all staff working in residential and foster care.

S3W-6160 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has plans to increase the support available to parents and families whose children are looked after both at home and away from home.

S3W-6161 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will ensure that looked-after children and young people are provided with the same educational opportunities as their peers and how it intends to raise educational attainment among looked-after children.

S3W-6162 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-5136 by Nicola Sturgeon on 30 October 2007, what the membership was of the review group on cleft lip and palate services in Aberdeen.

S3W-6163 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-5136 by Nicola Sturgeon on 30 October 2007, whether the decision-making process in the review of cleft lip and palate services in Aberdeen is the same as the process that will be used to review other areas of NHS Scotland’s national service delivery.

S3W-6164 Jack McConnell: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has held any discussions with energy companies regarding customers being charged higher prices as they cannot afford to pay their bills by direct debit and are unable to take advantage of preferential pricing schemes and, if so, what progress has been made on this issue.

S3W-6165 Jackson Carlaw: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body how many (a) times each MSP has applied for public gallery tickets, (b) public gallery tickets each MSP has applied for, (c) times each MSP has been provided with public gallery tickets and (d) public gallery tickets each MSP has received for First Minister’s Question Time since May 2007.

S3W-6166 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers (a) Additional Support for Learning support, (b) additional support needs in-service training, (c) additional support staff, (d) additional teachers for early years, (e) alternatives to exclusion, (f) continuing professional development, (g) Curriculum for Excellence, (h) discipline, (i) GLOW, (j) integration in school education, (k) inclusion, (l) job sizing, (m) new teachers, (n) nutrition, (o) the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006, (p) staged intervention, (q) out of school hours learning/study support, (r) support for parents and (s) support for teachers to be priorities for education.

S3W-6167 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will publish the final report of the Class Sizes, Staffing and Resources Working Group.

S3W-6168 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how long it has been in possession of the final report of the Class Sizes, Staffing and Resources Working Group.

S3W-6169 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive why the final report of the Class Sizes, Staffing and Resources Working Group has not been published.

S3W-6170 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what impact the final report of the Class Sizes, Staffing and Resources Working Group will have on its class sizes policy.

S3W-6171 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive, if the proposed development of Bishopton Royal Ordnance Factory proceeds, when procedures will be put in place to monitor the health of the population of Bishopton potentially affected by such development.

S3W-6172 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive, if the proposed development of Bishopton Royal Ordnance Factory proceeds and the health of the Bishopton population is to be monitored during the consequent transfer of toxic materials, what baseline data will be gathered to enable such monitoring and when these data will be collected.

S3W-6173 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive, if the proposed development of Bishopton Royal Ordnance Factory proceeds, what guarantees it can give that there will be regular health checks of the incidence of illness in the population of Bishopton to ensure that no specific problems go undetected.

S3W-6174 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive, if the proposed development of Bishopton Royal Ordnance Factory proceeds, what extra measures will be put in place on site to ensure that the health of the population of Bishopton will be completely protected, given that the proposed landraise facility will be open to the elements for the 15 to 20-year duration of the development.

S3W-6175 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive who will be held legally responsible for any health problems arising as a result of the construction or the operation of the landfill site at Bishopton if any link is established in future between the construction or operation of landfill sites and health problems in those living in proximity to such sites.

S3W-6176 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that further research into an association between the incidence of congenital defects and proximity to landfill sites should be undertaken and, if so, what steps it will take to promote such research, in light of a significant association found by the Nant-Y-Gwyddon study (Fielder et al 1997) and the Eurohazcon Study (Dolk et al 1998).

S3W-6177 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Bishopton Royal Ordnance Factory is expected to appear in the Public Register of Contaminated Land and what the legal penalty is for failure to register.

S3W-6178 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the technology exists to make safe, from a public health perspective, the contaminated material present on the Bishopton Royal Ordnance Factory site.

S3W-6179 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive what level of risk to the general public would be incurred by transferring waste from the Bishopton Royal Ordnance Factory site to landfill or landraise, compared with the risk associated with leaving the site undisturbed.

S3W-6180 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether risk assessments of the waste transfer process at the Bishopton Royal Ordnance Factory site have been carried out, taking full account of the total length of time involved in such transfer.

S3W-6181 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive,if approval is given for the proposed development of Bishopton Royal Ordnance Factory to proceed, how the work will be monitored to ensure that approved standards and agreed requirements will be met and what actions will be taken, and by whom, if any deviations are found.

S3W-6182 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive,when a planning application for the development of contaminated land is being considered, which specialist organisation assesses the potential impact on the health of the local population, analogous to the way that Scottish Natural Heritage assesses the impact on wildlife and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency assesses the impact on water quality.

S3W-6183 Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether hazardous waste dumped into the cells designated for non-hazardous waste in the proposed Bishopton landraise, either because inadequate testing has failed to identify hazardous substances or through other error, would compromise the safety of the landraise.

S3W-6184 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list the policies that it has put in place to support the Gaelic language since May 2007.

S3W-6185 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive whether problems of indiscipline are greater in secondary schools than in primary schools.

S3W-6186 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive at what stage or stages in secondary schools the problem of indiscipline is greatest.

S3W-6187 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive at what stage or stages in primary schools the problem of indiscipline is greatest.

S3W-6188 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what staffing commitments are attached to education priorities for (a) Additional Support for Learning support, (b) additional support needs in-service training, (c) additional support staff, (d) additional teachers for early years, (e) alternatives to exclusion, (f) continuing professional development, (g) Curriculum for Excellence, (h) discipline, (i) GLOW, (j) integration in school education, (k) inclusion, (l) job sizing, (m) new teachers, (n) nutrition, (o) the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006, (p) staged intervention, (q) out of school hours learning/study support, (r) support for parents and (s) support for teachers to be priorities for education and what the staffing allocations are for each.

Contents An A B C D E F G H I J