Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 114/2008: Monday 4 August 2008
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Section E – Written questions lodged from 28 July to 1 August 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-15215 John Farquhar Munro: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will support the reintroduction of an LPG grant scheme to help reduce the burden of escalating fuel costs.

S3W-15216 Jamie Stone: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure that people being provided with false teeth do not experience delays because of changes to General Dental Council regulations.

S3W-15217 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how many times ministers have met the Scottish Kennel Club since May 2007 to discuss electric shock collars and similar training devices.

S3W-15218 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what conclusions were reached at the seagull summit in Dumfries on 24 June 2008 on the best methods of controlling gulls and whether these conclusions will be published.

S3W-15219 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how many delegates attended the seagull summit in Dumfries on 24 June 2008.

S3W-15220 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how much funding it provided for the seagull summit in Dumfries on 24 June 2008.

S3W-15221 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what resources it intends to provide to local authorities as a result of the seagull summit in Dumfries on 24 June 2008.

S3W-15222 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide additional funding for Dumfries and Galloway Council to assist with the control of gulls and, if so, how much will be provided.

S3W-15223 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it is taking to deter motorists from speeding on the M74.

S3W-15224 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what official trips the First Minister took by ministerial car from 1 to 24 July 2008, showing the origin, destination and purpose of the journey in each case.

S3W-15225 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will guarantee that free travel for elderly and disabled people will be maintained 24 hours per day, seven days per week, for the next three years for all people aged 60 and over, for the whole of Scotland.

S3W-15226 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what estimate has been made of the cost of maintaining free travel for elderly and disabled people on the current age, time and geographic bases for the current and next three financial years and what budgetary provision has been made for each of these years.

S3W-15227 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions have taken place with bus operators over the last six months regarding the continued provision of free bus travel for elderly and disabled people.

S3W-15228 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what amount is due to the Student Loans Company and how much of this has been outstanding for more than (a) five, (b) 10 and (c) 15 years.

S3W-15229 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning last met the City of Edinburgh Council to discuss its school building programme; what the outcome was of these discussions, and when it is estimated that work will start on building the new (a) Portobello, (b) Boroughmuir and (c) James Gillespies high schools.

S3W-15230 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects an announcement to be made by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice on the recommendations of the Scottish Prison Commission.

S3W-15231 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the education ministers will discuss with private schools ways in which such schools can do more for local communities and local schools to justify their charitable status, in advance of the review by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

S3W-15232 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive in which of its directorates or agencies there are differential rates of pay for women and men in the same job.

S3W-15233 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many complaints there have been in each of its directorates and agencies of (a) race discrimination, (b) gender discrimination and (c) harassment in the last year.

S3W-15234 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it has taken in the last year to replace traditional light bulbs with low energy bulbs in each building for which it is responsible and what its current estimate is of the number of bulbs that are low energy in the total estate.

S3W-15235 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what work has been undertaken in relation to the preparation of disaster recovery and business continuity plans for each of its departments and agencies.

S3W-15236 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many of its civil servants were seconded to commercial or industrial forums and how many people were seconded to it from commerce and industry in the last year.

S3W-15237 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many full-time staff in each of its departments and agencies are over the age of (a) 60, (b) 65 and (c) 70.

S3W-15238 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has considered the findings of The people’s rail: a mutually run, publicly accountable Network Rail and, if so, what action it has taken as a result.

S3W-15239 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is satisfied that all local authorities take account of sections 15, 16 and 17 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and what the reasons are for its position on the matter.

S3W-15240 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what further discussions it has had with, or representations it has made to, the Department of Health Donor Task Force, chaired by Elizabeth Biggins, and what consideration it is giving to the need for legislation in this area.

S3W-15241 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of Scottish ministers have their principal residence in the area covered by the former Strathclyde Regional Council.

S3W-15242 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many dinners and receptions have been held in Bute House by the First Minister in 2008, showing in each case (a) who the guests were, (b) what the cost was and (c) who the caterers were.

S3W-15243 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many railway stations have disabled access; who is responsible for ensuring compliance with legislation on disabled access at stations, and what action it is taking to improve the situation.

S3W-15244 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure that goods used in the celebration of St Andrew’s Day 2008 are manufactured in an appropriate location.

S3W-15245 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the First Minister has made any referrals to the independent advisers on the ministerial code.

S3W-15246 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it has taken in the last year to (a) place its business with the Royal Mail and (b) encourage the use of post offices.

S3W-15247 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how much of its mail was despatched by (a) the Royal Mail and (b) other carriers in the last year.

S3W-15248 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the First Minister has travelled to an official engagement by train and, if so, when and where.

S3W-15249 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many freedom of information requests it has received in the last year and, of these, in how many cases the information was provided and how many cases were referred to the Scottish Information Commissioner.

S3W-15250 Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has agreed a date for the next meeting of the Scotland Malawi Joint Commission.

S3W-15251 Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive which of the priorities highlighted by the Government of Malawi in its Malawi Growth and Development Strategy and in other relevant development documents it has chosen to focus on in its Malawi Development Programme and on what basis.

S3W-15252 Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive what monitoring and reporting procedures are in place in order to assess the progress and effectiveness of the Fair Trade Scotland Programme.

S3W-15253 Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive what meetings or events have taken place between its officials and the relevant communities of Scotland in taking forward proposals for the Indian Subcontinent Development Programme, in establishing a focus for Indian subcontinent development engagement and in setting out a process and timetable for funding rounds.

S3W-15254 Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive what meetings have taken place with officials from the Indian subcontinent to discuss working arrangements for the Indian Subcontinent Development Programme.

S3W-15255 Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive what development priorities have been identified in respect of the Indian Subcontinent Development Programme and by whom.

S3W-15256 Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive how much money from the International Development Fund will be allocated to the Indian Subcontinent Development Programme.

S3W-15257 Keith Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what procedures and practices are in place to ensure that police forces meet their obligations under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 when using their powers to remove a person to a place of safety.

S3W-15258 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive how much funding it estimates that local authorities will spend on maintaining core paths in each of the next four years.

S3W-15259 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will ensure that local authorities spend adequate amounts on maintaining core paths.

S3W-15260 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive how community councils can undertake repair work on core paths in instances where landowners and land managers are reluctant to repair them.

S3W-15261 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will establish a one-stop-shop system to allow local access authorities to undertake repair and maintenance work on core paths on behalf of community councils.

S3W-15262 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to simplify the process for local organisations accessing funds to maintain and repair core paths and whether it is aware of any concerns about the current system.

S3W-15263 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive why a higher proportion of female than male school leavers enters higher and further education and what action it is taking to increase the proportion of men entering higher and further education.

S3W-15264 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive why a higher proportion of male than female school leavers is unemployed and what action it is taking to address this imbalance.

S3W-15265 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive what it considers the short and long-term social and economic consequences to be of (a) a higher proportion of female than male school leavers entering higher and further education and (b) a higher proportion of male than female school leavers being unemployed.

S3W-15266 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-14717 by Nicola Sturgeon on 14 July 2008, when it expects a definitive outcome to the West of Scotland Regional Planning Group’s consideration and implementation planning on ambulance services to meet the growing demand for transfer to Hairmyres Hospital or the Golden Jubilee National Hospital for primary angioplasty and what additional resources will be made available to ensure that other category A calls will be dealt with within agreed national targets when ambulances are undertaking such transfers.

S3W-15267 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-14717 by Nicola Sturgeon on 14 July 2008, when it expects a definitive outcome to consideration and implementation planning by groups other than the West of Scotland Regional Planning Group on ambulance services to meet the growing demand for transfer to hospitals for primary angioplasty and what additional resources will be made available to ensure that other category A calls will be dealt with within agreed national targets when ambulances are undertaking such transfers.

S3W-15268 Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive which of the policies set out in the timelines in Annex A of Delivering for Health (a) remain its policy and are (i) on time or have been implemented or (ii) behind schedule and (b) are no longer its policy.

S3W-15269 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will make public all relevant information regarding the repair work in the area of the A83 road affected by the landslide at the Rest and Be Thankful in November 2007, including technical survey reports and the minutes of meetings held on the subject.

S3W-15270 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive how many road traffic accidents have involved uninsured drivers in each year since 2002, broken down by police force area.

S3W-15271 Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Executive how many drivers were charged with driving without (a) valid or (b) any insurance in each year since 2002, broken down by police force area.

S3W-15272 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether users of domiciliary oxygen therapy services (DOTS) and Community Pharmacy Scotland were consulted as part of the review of DOTS and, if so, how.

S3W-15273 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-14851 by Adam Ingram on 3 July 2008, what steps it is taking to ensure that there is no discrimination against families in the payment of allowances where the recommendations in Getting it Right for Every Child in Kinship and Foster Care on establishing informal arrangements are followed.

S3W-15274 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-14851 by Adam Ingram on 3 July 2008, whether, in relation to the commitment in its concordat with COSLA to pay approved kinship carers of looked after children a weekly allowance, it will ensure that progress on this commitment is reported annually by COSLA for all children being looked after both formally and informally.

S3W-15275 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-14759 by Jim Mather on 23 July 2008, what the terms of reference are for the planned research into the economic impact of wildlife tourism and who will carry out the research.

S3W-15276 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-14759 by Jim Mather on 23 July 2008, what categories of wildlife tourism will be covered in the planned research into the economic impact of wildlife tourism.

S3W-15277 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-14759 by Jim Mather on 23 July 2008, whether shooting and stalking will be included in the planned research into the economic impact of wildlife tourism.

S3W-15278 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-14759 by Jim Mather on 23 July 2008, when the planned research into the economic impact of wildlife tourism will (a) start and (b) finish.

S3W-15279 Patricia Ferguson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it still plans to introduce home reports, including single surveys, on 1 December 2008.

S3W-15280 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive when ministers first received recommendations from civil servants regarding the allocation of grants from the Race, Religion and Refugee Integration Funding Stream 2008-11; when the first letters were sent to bodies advising of those allocations; when ministers decided the letters should be recalled; when the letters were recalled, and when the organisations can now expect to be informed of their allocations.

S3W-15281 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how much funding has been allocated under the Race, Religion and Refugee Integration Funding Stream 2008-11, broken down by organisation, and which organisations were unsuccessful in their applications for funding under the stream.

S3W-15282 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive which civil servants accompanied the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing to the Weaving the Tartan conference at Eastwood Park Theatre on 6 August 2007.

S3W-15283 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive which civil servants attended the Weaving the Tartan conference at Eastwood Park Theatre on either 5 or 6 August 2007 and what reports they have provided to ministers on the proceedings.

S3W-15284 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has received any complaints about anti-police statements made at the Weaving the Tartan conference on 5 August 2007.

S3W-15285 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what proposals it has considered for an Islam fest; what assurances have been given that such an event will not be used for racist or extreme political propaganda, and what financial assistance has been sought or granted for such an event.

S3W-15286 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it accepts the target in the Wanless Report, Securing Our Future Health: Taking a Long-Term View, of 3 to 4% of NHS expenditure as necessary to meet fully future information management and technology requirements in the NHS.

S3W-15287 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether NHS Fife and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are signed up to the eProcurement Scotland service.

S3W-15288 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what savings were achieved by the eProcurement Scotland service best procurement implementation programme in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08.

S3W-15289 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the uptake of Scottish Care Information’s SCI Store remains optional; which NHS boards have taken up SCI Store and when they did so, and, for those that operate separate systems, how many of those systems are fully compatible and integrated with SCI Store.

S3W-15290 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any HEAT targets or similar monitoring arrangements for implementation of the national eHealth information management and technology strategy.

S3W-15291 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the outturn was in revenue and capital expenditure against budget for information management and technology in the NHS in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08.

S3W-15292 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress is being made with Scottish Care Information’s SCI Index.

S3W-15293 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what national information management and technology projects it has underway; what the target completion dates are, and what performance indicators (a) have and (b) have not been met for each project.

S3W-15294 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive which NHS boards (a) have and (b) have not adopted the national information management and technology (IMT) system for accident and emergency and, for those which have not, whether their systems are fully compatible with the national IMT system.

S3W-15295 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of GPs use the Gpass primary care information technology system and what other systems are approved for use.

S3W-15296 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether all information management and technology systems approved for use in primary care are compatible with (a) out-of-hours service data systems, including NHS24, (b) accident and emergency data systems, (c) Scottish Care Information’s SCI Store, SCI Gateway and SCI Diabetes and (d) ePharmacy.

S3W-15297 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made with the NHS national screening and surveillance information management and technology projects.

S3W-15298 Jamie Stone: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-14712 by Shona Robison on 22 July 2008, when it expects to be in a position to announce decisions on the future shape of the domiciliary oxygen therapy service.

S3W-15299 Jamie Stone: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans there are to introduce the use of the SeQual Eclipse 2 Portable Oxygen Concentrator for NHS patients with breathing difficulties.

S3W-15300 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of the role of public procurement in helping to stimulate business innovation.

S3W-15301 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to use procurement in the public sector to leverage innovation and skills development in the private sector.

S3W-15302 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will introduce innovation procurement plans to improve innovation capability across government and the sharing of best practice.

S3W-15303 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will publish guidance for public procurers on how best to use procurement to drive innovation.

S3W-15304 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of the practicalities of setting targets for small and medium-sized enterprises to win public sector business.

S3W-15305 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive how many vehicles have been seized under section 3 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 or section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in each year since 1999.

S3W-15306 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive how many cases of failure to complete legally binding house sales have occurred in the last year and whether it intends to discuss this issue with the Law Society of Scotland.

S3W-15307 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many children aged under 16 have been admitted to Scottish Prison Service prisons in each of the last eight quarters.

S3W-15308 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what monitoring arrangements are in place for changes to the levels of prescribing and costs following the decision to reduce and eventually end prescription charges.

S3W-15309 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the ministerial statement on prescription charges on 5 December 2007 (Official Report, c 4063), what further consideration has been given to the implications for the minor ailments service when prescription charges have been abolished and whether this service will be extended to all patients.

S3W-15310 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many additional junior doctor posts will be established to maintain service levels when the European Working Time Directive, which will require a reduction in waiting time from 56 to 48 hours, is implemented and, if no additional posts are to be created, what alternative plans the Executive has put in place to meet service need.

S3W-15311 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list all (a) disused hospitals and medical premises owned by the NHS and (b) sold, but not demolished, hospitals and medical premises.

S3W-15312 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has instructed NHS boards to conduct an inspection of all extant disused hospitals or medical premises in their areas to ensure that no medical records have been left in these premises and, if so, when this instruction was issued, when it will be carried out and whether it will report the results to the Parliament.

S3W-15313 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many disciplinary actions were undertaken in each NHS board in respect of the misuse of information and data security in the most recent year for which figures are available.

S3W-15314 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether NHS board control of infection committees have carried out a walk-through audit of each hospital for which they are responsible and whether the results of such audits will be made public.

S3W-15315 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive, following reports of failure to deep-clean ambulances, what steps have been taken to ensure that ambulances are deep-cleaned once a week.

S3W-15316 Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what the legal status is of the term traffic distributor road.

S3W-15317 Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether local authorities are able to introduce 20mph speed limits on traffic distributor roads.

S3W-15318 Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there are plans to conduct further research into the improvements in road safety that can be made through the introduction of 20mph speed limits.

S3W-15319 Jim Tolson: To ask the Scottish Executive which organisations and groups were consulted prior to changes being made to national training programmes and modern apprenticeships.

S3W-15320 Jim Tolson: To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to encourage workers across all sectors of the economy to continuously upgrade their skills.

S3W-15321 Jim Tolson: To ask the Scottish Executive what support is available to small businesses to help them with employee training and development.

S3W-15322 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the statutory definition is of kinship.

S3W-15323 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to ensure that the proposals in Getting it Right for Every Child, to avoid creating false incentives to make a child subject to competing measures and classifying them looked after and to ensure that children’s needs are identified and acted on, are implemented.

S3W-15324 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to promote kinship care as the first option for children whose parents are unable to look after them and, in particular, what action it is taking to make family group conferencing or an equivalent approach available to all children and extended families where care in the extended family needs to be considered.

S3W-15325 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what criteria for payments for kinship carers have been agreed between it, COSLA, local partners and stakeholders.

S3W-15326 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it has taken to improve the status of kinship carers.

S3W-15327 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it has taken to ensure that kinship and foster carers have short breaks from caring.

S3W-15328 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has received the Barnett consequentials for the recent changes to the police and fire and rescue services pensions.

S3W-15329 Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive what the outcome was of discussions between representatives of the emergency services boards and cabinet secretaries at the end of July 2008 on implementation of recent changes to the police and fire and rescue services pensions.

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