Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 113/2008: Monday 28 July 2008
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Section E – Written questions lodged from 21 to 25 July 2008

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-15098 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to change building regulations to improve energy conservation in new houses.

S3W-15099 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to encourage homeowners to improve home installation to help energy conservation.

S3W-15100 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has plans to expand and improve locally-based energy generation projects.

S3W-15101 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has plans to expand the use of solar power for government buildings.

S3W-15102 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has plans to encourage homeowners to install solar panels.

S3W-15103 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has plans to introduce a local energy production policy.

S3W-15104 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what assistance it will offer to the employees of Langholm Dyeing Company who are being made redundant due to the company going into administration.

S3W-15105 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with the Scottish Medicines Consortium regarding the prescribing of antipsychotic medication in care homes.

S3W-15106 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with the Scottish Medicines Consortium regarding the prescribing of antipsychotic medication to people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

S3W-15107 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether offshore oil and gas workers whose usual place of employment is an offshore oil and gas installation in the UK continental shelf will be liable for the proposed local income tax.

S3W-15108 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether offshore oil and gas workers whose usual place of employment is an offshore oil and gas installation in the UK continental shelf but who reside outside the United Kingdom will be liable for the proposed local income tax.

S3W-15109 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive what calculation it has made of the number of offshore oil and gas workers who reside in Scotland.

S3W-15110 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive what calculation it has made of the number of offshore oil and gas workers who reside elsewhere in the United Kingdom but also have accommodation in Scotland.

S3W-15111 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive what calculation it has made of the number of offshore oil and gas workers who reside outside the United Kingdom but also have accommodation in Scotland.

S3W-15112 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether offshore oil and gas workers who reside elsewhere in the United Kingdom but also have accommodation in Scotland will be liable for the proposed local income tax.

S3W-15113 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether offshore oil and gas workers who reside outside the United Kingdom but also have accommodation in Scotland will be liable for the proposed local income tax.

S3W-15114 Marlyn Glen: To ask the Scottish Executive what the increased winter mortality (a) figures and (b) index were for 2007-08 for (i) Scotland and (ii) each NHS board area, also broken down into age groups (A) 0 to 64, (B) 65 to74, (C) 75 to 84 and (D) 85 and over.

S3W-15115 Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive what changes have been made to monitoring and reporting procedures in relation to its international development policy.

S3W-15116 Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive what meetings it has had with officials of Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda and the Darfur region of Sudan in preparation for its international development work in these countries.

S3W-15117 Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive what national priorities have been identified, and by whom, for development aid in Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda and the Darfur region of Sudan.

S3W-15118 Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will announce the outcome of its current funding round for the Sub-Saharan Africa Development Programme.

S3W-15119 Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what provision there is in the Lothians region for the treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer.

S3W-15120 Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what action is being taken in the Lothians region to prevent the onset of nasopharyngeal cancer.

S3W-15121 Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans there are to improve the treatment in the Lothians region of patients suffering from nasopharyngeal cancer.

S3W-15122 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many cases of clostridium difficile have been reported by NHS Lothian in the last year, broken down by hospital.

S3W-15123 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many deaths have occurred as a result of clostridium difficile in NHS Lothian in the last year, broken down by hospital.

S3W-15124 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many cases of clostridium difficile have been reported by NHS Lothian in each year since 2000.

S3W-15125 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many people in East Ayrshire have had applications for renewal of the Blue Badge parking permit refused since the introduction of new guidelines.

S3W-15126 Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many people in South Ayrshire have had applications for renewal of the Blue Badge parking permit refused since the introduction of new guidelines.

S3W-15127 Margaret Mitchell: To ask the Scottish Executive on how many occasions police have escorted abnormal loads in each of the last four years, broken down by month.

S3W-15128 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that health visitors are a vital part of the primary care team.

S3W-15129 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde concerning its recent review of health visiting services.

S3W-15130 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that consultation with health visitors is required before major changes are made in their working situation.

S3W-15131 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that health visitors should be allocated to particular GP practices.

S3W-15132 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that GPs should be consulted before any changes are made which affect their working relationship with health visitors.

S3W-15133 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that service users should be consulted before any changes are made to the provision of health services in their area.

S3W-15134 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive which healthcare professionals it considers should be responsible for the routine immunisation of children and babies.

S3W-15135 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it values the relationship between families and health visitors.

S3W-15136 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many GP surgeries have (a) agreed to undertake and (b) opted out of extended hours, broken down by (i) NHS board and (ii) community health partnership.

S3W-15137 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is monitoring the extent of the use of extended hours in GP surgeries.

S3W-15138 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is monitoring the impact of extended hours in GP surgeries on the use of NHS24 between (a) 7.30 am and 9.00 am and 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm on Monday to Friday and (b) 8.00 am and 12.30 pm on Saturday.

S3W-15139 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what research it is undertaking on the health needs of patients making GP appointments within the extended hours.

S3W-15140 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what research it is undertaking on the appropriateness of usage of GP appointments within the extended hours.

S3W-15141 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress it has made towards implementing new extended services for (a) osteoporosis, (b) heart failure and (c) peripheral vascular disease.

S3W-15142 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive when it was made aware that Aberdeen City Council’s budget cuts were to be in the region of £49.7 million.

S3W-15143 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive whether any hospital wards will need to be closed in the south of Scotland as a result of the change from the Arbuthnott Formula to the new NHS Scotland Resource Allocation Committee funding formula and, if so, how many.

S3W-15144 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive what role small local hospitals play in rural areas and whether it will safeguard future funding for the services they provide.

S3W-15145 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will preserve the service provided by the NHS to rural communities that may lose out under the implementation of the new NHS Scotland Resource Allocation Committee funding formula.

S3W-15146 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what consideration it has given to diverting any funds under its control from investments in companies in Zimbabwe.

S3W-15147 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what (a) public and (b) other official appointments under its control are subject to an upper age limit.

S3W-15148 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how much has been paid from public funds for parking fines incurred by its employees since May 2007.

S3W-15149 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what systems are in place for managing provision for (a) women, (b) children, (c) young offenders, (d) life sentenced prisoners, (e) sex offenders and (f) foreign nationals in the prison system and who is (i) responsible and (ii) accountable for the overall direction of management in each case.

S3W-15150 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what studies it has undertaken regarding the role of new nuclear power stations in reducing carbon emissions.

S3W-15151 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what international development work is being undertaken in countries other than Malawi.

S3W-15152 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many of its staff were paid a bonus in the last year and what the total amount paid was.

S3W-15153 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what change there has been in the volume of traffic across the Forth and Tay road bridges since the abolition of tolls.

S3W-15154 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers the number of police officers eligible to retire from the service when developing its police workforce planning policy.

S3W-15155 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will carry out a survey of the arrangements for providing school meals with particular reference to (a) value for money, (b) nutritional content and (c) cooking arrangements.

S3W-15156 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will consider differentiating between teachers (a) retiring and (b) leaving for other reasons in its annual teacher workforce planning exercise.

S3W-15157 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many members of the governing bodies of Scottish higher education institutions are over the age of 70.

S3W-15158 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what reports have been produced by the Council of Economic Advisers and to whom they are available.

S3W-15159 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive when it estimates that the Scottish Futures Trust will be operational.

S3W-15160 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive which of its officials are provided with chauffeur-driven cars for official business and what the total cost of such car usage was in the 2007-08 financial year.

S3W-15161 Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to introduce hearing screening for people aged over (a) 55, (b) 60 and (c) 65.

S3W-15162 Nanette Milne: To ask the Scottish Executive how many new entrants to farming there have been as a result of the new entrants scheme.

S3W-15163 Nanette Milne: To ask the Scottish Executive how much funding it will allocate to the new entrants scheme for farmers in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11.

S3W-15164 Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what out-of-hours emergency services are available for dental patients in the Lothians who are not registered with an NHS dentist.

S3W-15165 Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive how many people have been diagnosed with (a) type 1 and (b) type 2 diabetes in the Lothians region in each of the last five years, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-15166 Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what the level of hand hygiene compliance has been by staff in hospitals in the Lothians in each of the last five years, broken down by hospital.

S3W-15167 Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what its position is on the view, expressed in a recent British Academy-funded study by academics from the universities of Strathclyde and West of Scotland, that anti-sectarian policies and initiatives need to be put back on the political agenda in Scotland.

S3W-15168 Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what the overall cost of 10,000 weeks of respite care would be, based on an average weekly rate for respite care.

S3W-15169 Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the £215,000 of public funding allocated to the Scottish Islamic Foundation came from the Race Equality, Integration and Community Support Fund.

S3W-15170 Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will confirm that over £1.9 million of the Race Equality, Integration and Community Support Fund was allocated in 2006.

S3W-15171 Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive whether any additional money was allocated to the Race Equality, Integration and Community Support Fund in 2007 and, if so, how much.

S3W-15172 Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what the largest sum allocated from the Race Equality, Integration and Community Support Fund has been and which organisation received that money.

S3W-15173 Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what range of technologies ministers regard as necessary for coal-fired power stations to be considered a clean coal station.

S3W-15174 Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what level of (a) carbon emissions and (b) sulphur and other pollutants ministers would regard as acceptable for coal-fired power stations to be considered a clean coal station.

S3W-15175 Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive how much investment in clean coal technologies ministers plan to make (a) in the current financial year and (b) during the current spending review period.

S3W-15176 Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what proportion of electricity generation capacity ministers expect to be delivered by coal by 2020.

S3W-15177 Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what the impact would be on carbon emissions if coal-fired generation capacity were replaced by equivalent renewable capacity.

S3W-15178 Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive when ministers expect carbon capture and storage technologies to be ready for use in Scotland.

S3W-15179 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive how many people are currently diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, broken down by NHS board area.

S3W-15180 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive why the list of species prohibited from being released into the wild, as set out in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, has not been updated since the end of the last consultation on its content.

S3W-15181 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive when the list of species prohibited from being released into the wild, as set out in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, was last updated.

S3W-15182 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has reviewed the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on crops, following their ban in Germany due to evidence that their use is connected to the reduction of the honeybee population.

S3W-15183 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on crops until research on their impact on the honeybee population has been carried out.

S3W-15184 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive how many people were given a prison sentence of (a) less than one week, (b) one to two weeks, (c) two to three weeks, (d) three to four weeks, (e) four to five weeks, (f) five to six weeks, (g) six to seven weeks and (h) seven to eight weeks in each of the last 10 years.

S3W-15185 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive how many, and what percentage of, crimes resulted in a person being found guilty in court in each of the last 10 years, broken down by (a) main crime and (b) offence category.

S3W-15186 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) crimes and (b) offences were prosecuted in court in each of the last 10 years and, of these, what percentage resulted in a conviction.

S3W-15187 Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what records it maintains of public buildings, including schools, that were constructed with the use of asbestos and if this information (a) has been or (b) will be made available to the public.

S3W-15188 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-14775 by Stewart Stevenson on 23 July 2008, how much additional funding to cover the increase in fuel costs has been given to NorthLink Ferries Ltd and CalMac Ferries Ltd since the signing of the relevant public service contracts.

S3W-15189 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of GDP is invested in universities; how much this is in cash terms, broken down by (a) government funding and (b) other funding, and how this compares with other OECD countries.

S3W-15190 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of GDP Scotland would have to invest in universities to place it in the top decile internationally for national investment in research, development and innovation, as outlined as a challenge in New Horizons: responding to the challenges of the 21st century, the interim report of the Joint Future Thinking Taskforce on Universities, and how much this represents in cash terms at 2008 prices.

S3W-15191 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what the higher education participation rate would need to be to place Scotland in the top quartile internationally, as outlined as a challenge in New Horizons: responding to the challenges of the 21st century, the interim report of the joint Future Thinking Taskforce on Universities, and how many students this would represent in terms of (a) 2008 population and (b) population projections for 2028.

S3W-15192 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-14483 by Maureen Watt on 10 July 2008, how many students will receive financial support from the Scottish Government excluding non-means-tested loans and tuition fees (or tuition fee loans if they are studying elsewhere in the United Kingdom) in each of the next three years if earnings rise at the average rate for 2007-08, broken down by household income.

S3W-15193 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-14485 by Maureen Watt on 10 July 2008, how much financial support was provided to students excluding non-means tested loans and tuition fees (or tuition fee loans if studying elsewhere in the United Kingdom) in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2006-07, (c) 2005-06 and (d) 2004-05, broken down by (i) household income and (ii) numbers of students in each income band.

S3W-15194 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what levels of public funding per student, as referred to in New Horizons: responding to the challenges of the 21st century, the interim report of the Joint Future Thinking Taskforce on Universities, (a) have been over the last three years and (b) are projected to be over the next three years.

S3W-15195 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what public funding levels (a) have been in each of the last three years and (b) will be in each of the next three years, and what student numbers (i) were and (ii) are projected to be for the same periods.

S3W-15196 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what it considers to be a level of public resources that will keep universities nationally and internationally competitive.

S3W-15197 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive who will be represented on the tripartite advisory group announced in New Horizons: responding to the challenges of the 21st century, the interim report of the Joint Future Thinking Taskforce on Universities, and how those people will be chosen and appointed.

S3W-15198 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has plans to offer staff or student representatives a place on the tripartite advisory group announced in New Horizons: responding to the challenges of the 21st century, the interim report of the Joint Future Thinking Taskforce on Universities.

S3W-15199 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what Scottish Funding Council activity it is considering cutting as part of the new lighter-touch approach to regulating universities announced in New Horizons: responding to the challenges of the 21st century, the interim report of the Joint Future Taskforce on Universities.

S3W-15200 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what activity the Scottish Funding Council carries out in its work to regulate universities.

S3W-15201 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what funds it has assigned to independently research whether universities’ publicly-funded activity makes a significant contribution to achieving the Scottish Government’s Purpose, as referred to in New Horizons: responding to the challenges of the 21st century, the interim report of the Joint Future Thinking Taskforce on Universities.

S3W-15202 Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive what actions have been submitted to Transport Scotland by Tactrans to be considered for inclusion in the strategic transport projects review.

S3W-15203 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance has been issued on the use of antibiotics in the prevention and treatment of Clostridium difficile and when this guidance was first issued and last updated.

S3W-15204 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many hospitals (a) have and (b) do not have specialist pharmacists advising on the use of antibiotics in both the prevention and treatment of Clostridium difficile.

S3W-15205 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it has taken beyond the mandatory surveillance programme for Clostridium difficile to ensure that the outcomes for all affected patients are recorded.

S3W-15206 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance has been issued to NHS boards, control of infection teams and tissue-viability staff on contaminants of acute faecal incontinence associated with Clostridium difficile infection.

S3W-15207 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many hospitals still have externally-provided cleaning services.

S3W-15208 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many cleaning contracts with private sector organisations are operational in hospitals and when these contracts are due to be renewed.

S3W-15209 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-12022 by Nicola Sturgeon on 24 April 2008, when it will respond to the reports on hospital car parking provided by NHS boards by 30 June 2008.

S3W-15210 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what proportion of the primary school population goes on to secondary school without achieving basic literacy requirements.

S3W-15211 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive how many school nurses there were in 2007-08.

S3W-15212 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of children leaving P7 can read.

S3W-15213 Jamie Stone: To ask the Scottish Executive how many myalgic encephalomyelitis nurses there are.

S3W-15214 Jamie Stone: To ask the Scottish Executive how many children are in care owing to a parent suffering from myalgic encephalomyelitis.

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