Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 164/2007: Thursday 29 November 2007
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Section E – Written questions lodged on 28 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-7091 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive how much of the Strategic Timber Transport Fund remains unallocated.

S3W-7092 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S2W-27234 by Rhona Brankin on 20 July 2006, whether it will list subsequent (a) projects and (b) applicants seeking financial assistance from the Strategic Timber Transport Fund, also showing whether each application was successful and, if so, the amount (i) applied for and (ii) awarded.

S3W-7093 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to continue the Strategic Timber Transport Fund in its current form or to review it after 31 March 2008.

S3W-7094 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-3598 by Michael Russell on 5 September 2007, to which local authorities the £19.5 million for flood prevention was allocated, showing the original bid made by each.

S3W-7095 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-3598 by Michael Russell on 5 September 2007, which local authorities applied for flood prevention funding but were unsuccessful and for what reasons they were unsuccessful.

S3W-7096 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-3598 by Michael Russell on 5 September 2007, how many applications for flood prevention funding are in progress, broken down by (a) local authority and (b) amount applied for.

S3W-7097 Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S1W-15069 by Mr Jim Wallace on 26 April 2001, whether the number of Catholic prisoners is now proportionate to the number of Catholics in Scotland.

S3W-7098 Alasdair Allan: To ask the Scottish Executive how many small businesses in the Western Isles parliamentary constituency will benefit from the proposed cut in business rates.

S3W-7099 Christina McKelvie: To ask the Scottish Executive how many small businesses in the Hamilton South parliamentary constituency will benefit from the proposed cut in business rates.

S3W-7100 Christina McKelvie: To ask the Scottish Executive how many small businesses in the East Kilbride parliamentary constituency will benefit from the proposed cut in business rates.

S3W-7101 Christina McKelvie: To ask the Scottish Executive how many small businesses in the Falkirk East parliamentary constituency will benefit from the proposed cut in business rates.

S3W-7102 Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it has put in place to ensure that women’s aid services are safeguarded in the current spending review period and beyond.

S3W-7103 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive, following the ruling of the Court of Session delivered by Lord Macphail on 11 October 2007, whether it has issued guidance to local education authorities on how to deal with placing requests from parents of deaf children with additional support needs to have their children educated in schools outwith their own local authority area of residence.

S3W-7104 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will seek to ensure that parents of deaf children with additional support needs can continue to make placing requests to schools that they feel best meet the needs of their children, regardless of the location of such schools, following the ruling of the Court of Session on 11 October 2007 that such requests can be made only within a single local authority area.

S3W-7105 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will ensure that organisations representing the interests of parents of children with additional support needs, such as the National Deaf Children’s Society, are kept informed of any changes to the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 as a result of the recent Court of Session ruling on placing requests across local authority areas.

S3W-7106 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s actual total expenditure was in comparison with its original budgets in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07 and whether any additional in-year spending allocations have been made to it for 2007-08 and, if so, what the value is of such allocations.

S3W-7107 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive how many voluntary or compulsory redundancies it envisages that Highlands and Islands Enterprise will make in the spending review period as a result of reductions in its budget.

S3W-7108 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Highlands and Islands Enterprise will retain its role in relation to the creative industries or whether that role and responsibility will transfer to Creative Scotland when it is established.

S3W-7109 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what continuing role Highlands and Islands Enterprise will have in social, as well as economic, development.

S3W-7110 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive to (a) how many and (b) which bodies current functions of Highlands and Islands Enterprise will be transferred and when such transfers will take place.

S3W-7111 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what its position is on the success of Highlands and Islands Enterprise as an organisation.

S3W-7112 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what consultations it has held with businesses or business representative organisations in the highlands and islands about changes to the functions and responsibilities of Highlands and Islands Enterprise; whom it consulted, and what evidence it received.

S3W-7113 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what consultations it has held with businesses or business representative organisations in the highlands and islands about reductions in the budget for Highlands and Islands Enterprise for the spending review period; whom it consulted, and what evidence it received.

S3W-7114 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it believes that the reductions in budgets for, and changing functions of, Highlands and Islands Enterprise will result in any centralisation of its organisation and staffing.

S3W-7115 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what duties and powers Highlands and Islands Enterprise has in the field of social development.

S3W-7116 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to remove Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s powers and duties to promote social development.

S3W-7117 Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive how many deaf children aged 18 or under there are in Scotland.

S3W-7118 Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive how many deaf children aged 18 or under have been recorded as living in Scotland in each year since 1999.

S3W-7119 Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive how it records the attainment of deaf pupils.

S3W-7120 Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive how it publishes information on the attainment of deaf pupils.

S3W-7121 Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive how it collects information on the attainment of deaf pupils.

S3W-7122 Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that deaf children should achieve the same level of educational attainment as their hearing peers.

S3W-7123 Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it will take to improve the attainment of deaf pupils.

S3W-7124 Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance it issues to local education authorities on the best methods for supporting and teaching deaf children in the school environment.

S3W-7125 Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will seek the advice of organisations representing the interests of deaf children, such as the National Deaf Children’s Society, when considering guidance to local education authorities on appropriate teaching practices for deaf pupils.

S3W-7126 Cathie Craigie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will consider introducing a minimum qualification standard in British Sign Language proficiency for communication support workers supporting deaf children in schools.

S3W-7127 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-5931 by Stewart Stevenson on 12 November 2007, whether it is satisfied that the surrounding road network has sufficient capacity to cope with traffic diverted from the upgraded A80/M80 route.

S3W-7128 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-5931 by Stewart Stevenson on 12 November 2007, whether the answer indicates that there is no specific designated alternative route for the upgraded A80/M80 route in the event of emergency or closure.

S3W-7129 Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-5931 by Stewart Stevenson on 12 November 2007, what the projected traffic growth is for the two stretches of road from 2004 to 2014.

S3W-7130 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what costs were involved in the conduct of the investigation into historical institutional abuse in the care sector by the independent expert, Tom Shaw, and the preparation and publication of the findings of that investigation.

S3W-7131 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the time bar of 1964 will still apply to any further proceedings being taken in connection with cases of historical institutional abuse in the care sector, following the publication of Historical Abuse Systemic Review: Residential Schools and Children’s Homes in Scotland 1950 to 1995.

S3W-7132 Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive how many small businesses in the (a) Airdrie and Shotts and (b) Hamilton North and Bellshill parliamentary constituencies will benefit from the proposed cut in business rates.

S3W-7133 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects to be able to respond to the findings of the hospital parking charges review group.

S3W-7134 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how many households in (a) West Dunbartonshire and (b) East Dunbartonshire will be eligible to apply for support under the Low-cost Initiative for First-Time buyers and how many successful applications it estimates there will be from each of the two local authority areas.

S3W-7135 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how many affordable houses are estimated to be needed in Bearsden and Milngavie to meet housing shortages in that district which are the greatest in Scotland and how many of the affordable houses it plans to have built over the next three years will be in Bearsden and Milngavie.

S3W-7136 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive on how many occasions the Erskine Bridge has been closed to traffic in each year since tolls were removed; whether there has been any increase in the number or duration of closures in that period compared with each of the previous five years, and what explanation there may be for any change in the pattern of closures.

S3W-7137 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether discussions with Scottish aid agencies on the future direction of international development policy have reached any conclusions and when the outcome of such discussions is likely to be made known to the Parliament.

S3W-7138 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what total amount has been allocated in 2007-08 for expenditure on international development; what percentage of that amount will be spent on aid-related matters; how much remains unspent, and what steps are being taken to invite bids and make decisions about projects in sufficient time that funding for next year is fully utilised.

S3W-7139 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average waiting time was for applicants to be supplied with gas central heating under the central heating programme from (a) January to March 2007 and (b) September to November 2007, excluding those who did not qualify for the programme.

S3W-7140Δ Stuart McMillan: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to legislate to reverse the House of Lords judgment of 17 October 2007 on pleural plaques.

S3W-7141 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of the impact on economic growth of its plans to reduce business rates for small businesses and whether it will publish any such assessment.

S3W-7142 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will monitor the impact on economic growth at (a) Scotland-wide and (b) local authority level of its plans to reduce business rates for small businesses.

S3W-7143 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will monitor the impact on small business start-ups and closures of a reduction in business rates for small businesses.

S3W-7144 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will prioritise any additional spending not detailed in the 2007 spending review if additional resources become available.

S3W-7145 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive how it expects to prioritise the acceleration of the full implementation of reductions in business rates for small businesses announced in the budget on 14 November 2007 if additional resources become available.

S3W-7146 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what additional resources would require to be made available in order to prioritise the acceleration of the full implementation of reductions in business rates for small businesses announced in the budget on 14 November 2007.

S3W-7147 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will prioritise the acceleration of the full implementation of reductions in business rates for small businesses announced in the budget on 14 November 2007 ahead of increased resources for Scotland’s universities, if additional resources become available.

S3W-7148 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) reviews and (b) consultations have been initiated in each cabinet secretary’s portfolio area since May 2007.

S3W-7149 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it expects any end-year flexibility money to be available for redistribution as a result of its decision to over-allocate £100 million in 2008-09, £100 million in 2009-10 and £24 million in 2010-11.

S3W-7150 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it expects to be held on account with HM Treasury by the end of (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09, (c) 2009-10 and (d) 2010-11.

S3W-7151 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to monitor the impact of any freeze in council tax on household income inequality.

S3W-7152 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of the impact of any freeze in council tax on the numbers of people eligible for council tax benefit.

S3W-7153 Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive how much funding will be available to local authorities from the Strategic Waste Fund in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11 expressed in (i) cash and (ii) real terms, also showing any year-on-year real term percentage change.

S3W-7154 Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive how much funding will be allocated from the zero waste budget to (a) the Strategic Waste Fund, (b) Keep Scotland Beautiful and (c) Waste initiatives in (i) 2008-09, (ii) 2009-10 and (iii) 2010-11, broken down by funding stream and expressed in real terms, also showing any year-on-year real term percentage change.

S3W-7155 Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive how much funding will be allocated to programmes and schemes implementing the National Waste Plan in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11, broken down by funding stream and expressed in (i) cash and (ii) real terms, also showing any year-on-year real term percentage change.

S3W-7156 Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive how much funding will be allocated to local authorities to support improvement in recycling rates in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11 expressed in (i) cash and (ii) real terms, also showing any year-on-year real term percentage change.

S3W-7157 Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive where the £26 million which has been reallocated in 2008-09 from waste services will be spent.

S3W-7158 Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will implement the recommendations of the Audit Scotland report, Sustainable waste management, published in September 2007.

S3W-7159 Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive when it plans to establish service level agreements relating to waste management with local authorities.

S3W-7160 Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it will take to ensure that local authorities meet the targets set by the EU landfill directive.

S3W-7161 Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive what financial penalties will be incurred by local authorities for failure to comply with the limits laid down in the Landfill Allowance Scheme.

S3W-7162 Mike Rumbles: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans are in place to achieve its aspiration of a zero waste society.

S3W-7163 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will increase the number of modern apprenticeships from 35,000 to 50,000.

S3W-7164 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding it plans to allocate to out-of-school childcare in each year to 2011.

S3W-7165 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how much was spent on out-of-school childcare in the last budget period.

S3W-7166 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding exists for childcare workforce development in its budget.

S3W-7167 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there is a legal requirement for childcare workforce development.

S3W-7168 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will monitor progress on the Workforce Development Fund for early years and childcare services.

S3W-7169 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how it proposes to monitor progress towards the acquisition of professional qualifications for the early years and childcare workforce.

S3W-7170 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will support out-of-school care and ensure that children can access quality school age childcare.

S3W-7171 Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the Scottish Executive how many small businesses in the Perth parliamentary constituency will benefit from the proposed cut in business rates.

S3W-7172 Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has plans to review the present arrangements made by NHS boards covering rural areas for patient transport to specialist appointments in locations far from the patients’ homes, with a view to ascertaining whether there are significant variations in practice between boards.

S3W-7173 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) primary, (b) secondary and (c) special schools have been closed in each local authority area in each of the last 10 years.

S3W-7174 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the condition was of each (a) primary, (b) secondary and (c) special school building that was closed in each local authority area in each of the last 10 years.

S3W-7175 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many children were relocated from (a) primary, (b) secondary and (c) special schools as a result of school closures in each local authority area in each of the last 10 years.

S3W-7176 Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will undertake a review of the learning support provision available in local education authorities for pupils with specific learning problems in reading, writing and spelling and, if significant differences in support provision are found in different authorities, put measures in place to regularise the situation.

S3W-7177 Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Scottish Executive how many small businesses in the Dumfries and Galloway local authority area will benefit from the proposed cut in business rates.

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