Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 165/2007: Monday 3 December 2007
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Section E – Written questions lodged on 29 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-7178 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive what efforts have been made to promote and develop the Ayr to Stranraer rail line for passenger and freight traffic in accordance with local, regional and national transport policies.

S3W-7179 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive what impact the recent decision by Stena Line and P&O Ferries not to relocate their terminal from Stranraer to Cairnryan will have on rail services using the Ayr to Stranraer line.

S3W-7180 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has for the introduction of station adoption schemes with a view to improving the appearance and environment of stations for rail users.

S3W-7181 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to market the Ayr to Stranraer rail line to visitors and tourists.

S3W-7182 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive what role the rail network has in improving the economy and social inclusion in south-west Scotland.

S3W-7183 Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will instigate a pilot study of the teaching of Latin as part of language learning in schools.

S3W-7184 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to recognise the importance of blanket bogs such as Dava Moor for their capacity to act as major carbon stores.

S3W-7185 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to take steps to extend protection under the EU habitats directive to all blanket bogs.

S3W-7186 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive how it assesses in statutory processes whether the hydrology of a blanket bog is affected by wind farm development.

S3W-7187 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what account local authorities must take of upstream development when considering downstream flood alleviation measures.

S3W-7188 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to ensure that planning applications for windfarm developmentsare processed withina defined time limit.

S3W-7189 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it expects that the real-terms funding reduction for victim/witness support in the draft budget will result in service cuts.

S3W-7190 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it consulted Victim Support Scotland or other relevant stakeholder groups before announcing the funding for victim/witness support in the draft budget.

S3W-7191 Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to address the increase in reported domestic abuse incidents in light of the recently published statistics which show a 7% increase from 45,812 in 2005-06 to 48,801 in 2006-07.

S3W-7192 Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to run the "Domestic Abuse: There is no excuse" campaign over the Christmas and New Year period to raise awareness of domestic violence and its consequences.

S3W-7193 Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it will take to encourage more victims of domestic violence to report incidents.

S3W-7194 Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Executive what the real-terms increase in funding for violence against women and domestic abuse will be in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09, (c) 2009-10 and (d) 2010-11.

S3W-7195 Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will ensure that those guilty of committing acts of domestic violence are properly punished.

S3W-7196 Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it believes that the Protection from Abuse (Scotland) Act 2001 is effective in dealing with incidents of domestic violence involving an ex-spouse or ex-partner, in light of the increase in the number of domestic abuse incidents since 1999-2000 from 29% to 34%.

S3W-7197 Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to address the affordable housing shortage, in light of it no longer ring-fencing local authority funding specifically for this purpose.

S3W-7198 Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Executive how it intends to build 30,000 affordable homes over the next three years, as set out in the SNP manifesto, in light of the reduction in the affordable housing budget by 6% in real terms next year.

S3W-7199 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many of its employees offered to take St Andrew’s Day as one of their public holidays.

S3W-7200 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what the terms of reference are for each of the special advisers to Scottish ministers.

S3W-7201 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive to how many parliamentary questions it has given a holding answer prior to the substantive answer since May 2007 and what percentage of questions this represents.

S3W-7202 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of staff are (a) female and (b) disabled in each of its departments and what the policy is for encouraging positive discrimination in favour of women and disabled people.

S3W-7203 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive which public bodies have an upper age limit for people appointed to serve on them and what that limit is in each case.

S3W-7204 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure that there is no discrimination against people because of their age in recruitment and appointments within the public service.

S3W-7205 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide the percentage changes in real terms in its budget in each year from 2007-08 to 2010-11.

S3W-7206 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many different computer systems it operates and what the purpose and function is of each system.

S3W-7207 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive organisations are employed by each of its sections or departments for sending documents and other material both internally and externally.

S3W-7208 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive which newspapers and magazines are purchased regularly for ministers, both daily and weekly.

S3W-7209 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what paintings and other works of art it owns and what its policy is regarding their display.

S3W-7210 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what consideration has been given to removing or altering the upper age limit for the appointment of JPs.

S3W-7211 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how much will be spent on the Sure Start programme in each year of the 2008-11 spending review.

S3W-7212 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how the Sure Start programme can help to raise children out of poverty.

S3W-7213 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how the Sure Start programme can be used to reach children and families identified as the most difficult to reach.

S3W-7214 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how many children are living in poverty.

S3W-7215 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it will take to raise the educational attainment of children identified as living in poverty.

S3W-7216 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive how much backpaid salary NHS boards estimate that they will have to pay in the next 24 months to staff who have yet to be banded under Agenda for Change, broken down by (a) profession and (b) board.

S3W-7217 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive how many NHS staff are tasked with assessing and banding colleagues under Agenda for Change, broken down by NHS board.

S3W-7218 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive what target date NHS boards have set for completing the banding process for NHS staff under Agenda for Change, broken down by (a) profession and (b) board.

S3W-7219 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether a council that does not freeze council tax will retain all efficiency savings, have a single outcome agreement and have the same ringfencing arrangement as other local authorities.

S3W-7220 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether it is a strategic objective in its own right for the share of Scottish spending going to local government to grow year-on-year or whether budgets for any sector should be assessed on a needs basis, taking account of health and tertiary education spending in particular.

S3W-7221 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, what the specific and full range of measures will be to reduce bureaucracy; how the reduction in bureaucracy will be measured; by whom it will be measured and at what time intervals, and how it will be reported to the Parliament.

S3W-7222 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, how many fewer civil servants and local government officers will be needed as a result of planned reductions in bureaucracy.

S3W-7223 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether it believes that current local government boundaries are optimal for the efficient and effective delivery of all current local government functions.

S3W-7224 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether a baseline of service delivery will be set and how progress will be measured and monitored.

S3W-7225 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether each local authority will have a single outcome agreement (SOA) which covers all the indicators in Annex A to the concordat and what the earliest and latest date is on which each SOA is to be agreed.

S3W-7226 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether any public consultation will be required locally on emerging indicators and targets.

S3W-7227 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA and with reference to the single outcome agreements, what role the Scottish Government envisages for best value.

S3W-7228 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether there will be any requirement on local authorities to report progress on the single outcome agreements publicly and locally.

S3W-7229 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, how progress on a single outcome agreement will be reported locally.

S3W-7230 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, how councils’ responsibilities for best value will fit with the process of agreeing single outcome agreements.

S3W-7231 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, by what date the new performance reporting system will replace existing systems.

S3W-7232 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, what its definitions are of "outcome", "target" and "indicator" and what the difference is between (a) each term and (b) these terms and the commitments referred to on page 2 of the concordat.

S3W-7233 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, when in 2008-09 the procedure for each local authority to report on plans will commence.

S3W-7234 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether it will issue guidance on the preparation and reporting of single outcome agreements.

S3W-7235 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, what its definitions are of "progress" and "towards" and how these will be measured.

S3W-7236 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether it agrees that no local authority need achieve progress against each indicator and target in its single outcome agreement (SOA) or achieve progress against all the agreed outcomes in its SOA if it is able to demonstrate any progress or movement towards the indicators and targets specified in the SOA.

S3W-7237 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether it plans to set any timescales for local authorities to meet in full the indicators and targets set out in their single outcome agreements.

S3W-7238 Tricia Marwick: To ask the Scottish Executive how many small businesses in the Central Fife parliamentary constituency will benefit from the proposed cut in business rates.

S3W-7239 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive how many job analysis questionnaires have been completed in the last year by NHS boards for staff who have yet to be salary banded under Agenda for Change, broken down by NHS board.

S3W-7240 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of staff working in the NHS in the last 12 months are appealing their new salary bandings under Agenda for Change, broken down by (a) NHS board and (b) profession.

S3W-7241 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of NHS staff are still waiting for a salary banding under Agenda for Change, broken down by (a) NHS board and (b) profession.

S3W-7242 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what level of funding has been provided to organisations addressing bullying among school pupils in each of the last three years and what level was projected at the beginning of each year.

S3W-7243 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what the estimated number of teleworkers was in each of the last three years for which figures are available.

S3W-7244 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what the estimated number of teleworkers was in (a) Dundee, (b) Angus and (c) Aberdeenshire in each of the last three years for which figures are available.

S3W-7245 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it is taking to encourage teleworking.

S3W-7246 Jackson Carlaw: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to pilot driving on hard shoulders during rush hour on congested stretches of roads, in light of the results of the UK Government’s pilot scheme allowing drivers to use the hard shoulder on the M42 outside Birmingham during rush hour.

S3W-7247 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive what provision is being made for members of the public and interested organisations to submit comments or observations to those conducting the thematic review of the investigation and prosecution of wildlife crime.

S3W-7248 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Grampian will benefit from the pilot of extending the drug treatment and testing order approach to a wider range of offenders.

S3W-7249 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive which local authorities will benefit from the pilot of extending the drug treatment and testing order approach to a wider range of offenders.

S3W-7250 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how many offenders in Grampian are on drug treatment programmes and have been subject to testing orders.

S3W-7251 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how many offenders in Grampian were on drug treatment programmes and have been subject to testing orders in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05, (c) 2005-06 and (d) 2006-07 and, of these, how many would have fallen under the extension of the drug treatment and testing order approach.

S3W-7252 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what its targets are for its extension of the drug treatment and testing order approach.

S3W-7253 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how much was spent in Grampian in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05, (c) 2005-06 and (d) 2006-07 on implementing drug treatment and testing orders.

S3W-7254 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how much will be spent on piloting the extension of the drug treatment and testing order approach in Grampian.

S3W-7255 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, how often progress against the indicators and targets will be measured and who will measure such progress.

S3W-7256 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, what sanctions the Scottish Government will have if progress on single outcome agreements is less than that agreed or expected.

S3W-7257 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether all indicators within the single outcome agreements will have to be met in full or as a proportion, and how will this be decided, made explicit and reported on.

S3W-7258 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether targets associated with currently ring-fenced funds will still need to be met after these funds are no longer ring-fenced.

S3W-7259 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, what information it will provide to the Parliament in order to allow it to monitor the deployment and effectiveness of funds which are currently visible and monitored, once such funds merge into the revenue or capital block grants for local government.

S3W-7260 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, what guarantees it can give that funding intended to support particular client groups or policy in particular areas of activity will now reach groups or policy areas when ring-fenced funding ends.

S3W-7261 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, what arrangements and levers will be left to it to incentivise change in services toward particular client groups or areas of policy once ring-fenced funding ends.

S3W-7262 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, what role it sees for the Parliament and its committees in the monitoring of single outcome agreements.

S3W-7263 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the terms of its concordat with COSLA will result in an end to school inspections.

S3W-7264 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the terms of its concordat with COSLA will result in an end to social work inspections.

S3W-7265 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, what the separate funding streams are, what their value is and whom they affect.

S3W-7266 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, what commitments have to be delivered from within the funding envelope provided.

S3W-7267 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether it intends to monitor whether local government meets its efficiency targets or makes any efficiency improvements; who will monitor such efficiencies; how this will be done; how frequently it will be done; how reports on the monitoring will be made, and to whom such reports will be made.

S3W-7268 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, what the estimated non-domestic rate income is for each year of the three-year period.

S3W-7269 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, what provision it has allowed for the tax liability of small businesses.

S3W-7270 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, how much a 1p increase in the non-domestic rate poundage generates.

S3W-7271 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive when the next revaluation of non-domestic rates in Scotland and England will take place.

S3W-7272 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether it will provide funds to maintain parity with the English non-domestic rate poundage.

S3W-7273 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, how many councils will need to freeze council tax for the "entire package to remain intact".

S3W-7274 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether the reference to the "entire package to remain intact" means a commitment from COSLA or from each council to freeze council tax in each of the coming three years.

S3W-7275 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether the definition of a freeze in council tax includes any increases above inflation, previously agreed by councils to help to fund new schools over and above other planned increases, that will now have to be met from resources available to freeze council tax.

S3W-7276 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether those councils that agreed to help fund new schools from additional increases in council tax will receive additional funds above those intended to freeze council tax so that they can maintain their commitment to fund new schools and freeze council tax without having to make additional efficiency savings to achieve a council tax freeze.

S3W-7277 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether the council tax freeze will constrain councils’ ability to use prudential borrowing.

S3W-7278 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether the £54 million to support recruitment of additional police officers is over and above the sums needed to recruit replacement officers for those due to retire over the next three years.

S3W-7279 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, how much it expects police boards to spend over the next three years to recruit sufficient police officers to replace those due to retire over that period.

S3W-7280 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, how much of the £54 million to support recruitment of additional police officers is intended for "building capacity at a national level" and on what it is envisaged that those sums will be spent.

S3W-7281 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, how much of the £54 million to support recruitment of additional police officers is intended for retention and redeployment initiatives.

S3W-7282 Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive, under the terms of its concordat with COSLA, whether the £54 million to support recruitment of additional police officers will be taken from the local government settlement and held centrally; if so, what the rationale is for such funding to be held centrally and how much of the £54 million will be reallocated to local authorities as police specific grant.

S3W-7283 Keith Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what its position is on Historic Scotland’s response to the application for planning permission for the Beauly to Denny power line, given that it did not register an objection despite the line having implications for the visual landscape of the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle.

S3W-7284 Keith Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, in light of the current reviews of quangos, it has any plans to work with Historic Scotland to take further active steps to reinforce its role to safeguard the nation’s historic environment.

S3W-7285 Keith Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive how many small businesses in the Clackmannanshire local authority area will benefit from the proposed cut in business rates.

S3W-7286 Keith Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive how many small businesses in the Stirling local authority area will benefit from the proposed cut in business rates.

S3W-7287 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive which grants and funding outlined in table 17.02 of Scottish Budget: Spending Review 2007 are not being rolled up into settlement in 2008-09 in full.

S3W-7288 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list those grants and funds outlined in table 17.02 of Scottish Budget: Spending Review 2007 where the allocation of those funds remains the responsibility of the Scottish Government.

S3W-7289 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive whether local authorities will be given full discretion to spend the resources previously available to those funding lines outlined in table 17.02 of Scottish Budget: Spending Review 2007 which are due to be rolled up into the local government finance settlement for 2008-09.

S3W-7290 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive whether ministers will make a statement following the publication of the report of the independent review, led by Tom Shaw, Historical Abuse Systemic Review: Residential Schools and Children’s Homes in Scotland 1950 to 1995.

S3W-7291 Jackson Carlaw: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-4760 by Stewart Stevenson on 25 October 2007, what contingency arrangements have been made to ensure that the Isle of Arran has sufficient fuels in the event of adverse weather conditions making roads impassable or leading to the cancellation of ferry services to the island.

S3W-7292 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive why it listed the Children’s Services – Women’s Aid Fund and the Violence Against Women Fund on page 75 of Scottish Budget: Spending Review 2007 as being rolled up into settlement in 2008-09 if these funds are not to be rolled up into the local government settlement.

S3W-7293 Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive what budget lines in Scottish Budget: Spending Review 2007 include the funding from the Children’s Services – Women’s Aid Fund and the Violence Against Women Fund which will not be rolled up into the local government finance settlement for 2008-09.

S3W-7294 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change will meet myself and the Maybole Bypass Committee, as he agreed to do on 8 August 2007, to discuss the recent report on the bypass published by Transport Scotland.

S3W-7295 Keith Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to make changes to local authority boundaries.

S3W-7296 Keith Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will rule out any merger of Clackmannanshire local authority with Stirling.

S3W-7297 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive how many people have been admitted to hospital in the NHS Lothian area with firework-related injuries in each of the last five years.

S3W-7298 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive how effective it considers the Fireworks (Scotland) Regulations 2004 have been in preventing antisocial behaviour involving fireworks.

S3W-7299 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive what improvements are being made to services for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease in Ayrshire.

S3W-7300 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding it will provide to the Robert Burns World Federation to support its activities in relation to the 2009 Year of Homecoming.

S3W-7301 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will announce the list of signature events planned as part of the 2009 Year of Homecoming.

S3W-7302 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will announce the list of partner events planned as part of the 2009 Year of Homecoming.

S3W-7303 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will announce details of the rolling year programme of activity for the 2009 Year of Homecoming referred to in EventScotland’s press release of 27 November 2007.

S3W-7304 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive what additional finance has been allocated to EventScotland in the budget to support its work in relation to the 2009 Year of Homecoming.

S3W-7305 Mike Pringle: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the Minister for Communities and Sport will meet me to discuss the provision of community sports facilities in the Inch area of the Edinburgh South parliamentary constituency.

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