Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 131/2008: Thursday 18 September 2008
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Section E – Written questions lodged on 17 September 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-16359 Margaret Smith: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will begin its consultation on student support.

S3W-16360 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many NHS hospitals have outsourced cleaning and janitorial services, with the exception of PFI/PPP contracted-out services.

S3W-16361 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average hourly rate of pay is for hospital cleaning staff employed by NHS boards and what information it has on average rates for cleaning staff delivering contracted-out services.

S3W-16362 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive how each local authority is managing its green and brown waste outputs and whether these arrangements are set against national targets. 

S3W-16363 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it holds information for each local authority on where waste is disposed of when it has been collected from the kerbside.

S3W-16364 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive when waste disposal contracts for local authorities will be renewed and under what process.

S3W-16365 John Farquhar Munro: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will make a ministerial statement about the future of the Bull Hire Scheme.

S3W-16366 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive how many times Scottish ministers have met the Scottish Football Association to discuss sectarianism since 17 May 2007.

S3W-16367 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many non-departmental public bodies have been set up since May 2008.

S3W-16368 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what the estimated cost is of the two non-departmental bodies recommended by the Scottish Prisons Commission for each of the next three financial years.

S3W-16369 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-14780 by Frank Mulholland QC on 23 June 2008, what the disposal of the court was in relation to each conviction for offences under the Terrorism Act 2000 in the financial years 2003-04 to 2006-07 and how many of those convicted are still in custody.

S3W-16370 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive how much public subsidy John G Russell (Transport) Ltd received from 1999 to 2007.

S3W-16371 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive how much John G Russell (Transport) Ltd is receiving to move freight from road to rail and what the sources are of this funding, broken down by Scottish Government programme.

S3W-16372 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-15925 by Stewart Stevenson on 16 September 2008, why it is unable to indicate at this time whether Transport Scotland has delivered its initial findings from the strategic transport projects review to ministers and when it will provide a substantive answer to the question.

S3W-16373 James Kelly: To ask the Scottish Executive how many perfusionists were employed in the NHS in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07, (c) 2007-08 and (d) 2008-09.

S3W-16374 James Kelly: To ask the Scottish Executive what the costs were of securing the services of perfusionists not employed by the NHS in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07, (c) 2007-08 and (d) 2008-09.

S3W-16375 Rhoda Grant: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to answer S3W-15433 by Stewart Stevenson on 3 September 2008, whether it remains its view that there is no domestic legal impediment or European Union regulation that would prevent a publicly subsidised ferry service being run by an operator other than CalMac Ferries Ltd between Lochboisdale and Mallaig and, if not, what the reasons are for the change in its position.

S3W-16376 Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-15893 by John Swinney on 17 September 2008, in what ways a register covering the whole population would differ from a national identity register.

S3W-16377 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether adjustments have been made to its Rural Directorate budget this year that required adjustments to the budget of any of its agencies and, if so, how much and what adjustments were made.

S3W-16378 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will publish the public sector comparator to show whether procuring the Borders Railway through the PPP/DBFM model offers better value for money than public sector delivery.

S3W-16379 Bill Kidd: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will make representations to the UK Government regarding the compensation being made available to Scottish passengers left stranded or financially out of pocket as a result of XL ceasing trading, in light of any impact on financial inclusion in Scotland.

S3W-16380 Bill Kidd: To ask the Scottish Executive what representations it will make to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform in support of an investigation into the operation of XL immediately before it ceased trading, in light of the impact of XL’s collapse on the local economy around Glasgow Airport.

S3W-16381Δ Nigel Don: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will be consulting on the jury system.

S3W-16382Δ Brian Adam: To ask the Scottish Executive what its performance was in answering ministerial correspondence in the second quarter of 2008.

S3W-16383 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive how many times Scottish ministers have met representatives of Scotland’s faith communities to discuss sectarianism since 17 May 2007.

S3W-16384 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether its Circular 1/2007 issued on 2 April 2007 setting out guidance on class sizes still stands.

S3W-16385 Rhona Brankin: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it knows what proportion of pupils leaving primary school cannot read or write.

S3W-16386 Bill Kidd: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide a list of buildings with levels of asbestos that pose a risk to people, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-16387 John Farquhar Munro: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will compensate farmers and crofters who are losing stock due to sea eagle predation, as it did under scheme that was operated on Mull.

S3W-16388 Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive what action was taken to ensure that fuel retailers avoided increasing prices during the two-day strike at the Grangemouth refinery in April 2008.

S3W-16389 Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive what evidence was gathered of fuel retailers increasing prices during the two-day strike at the Grangemouth refinery in April 2008 and what action was taken on this evidence.

S3W-16390 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body when the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s annual report for 2007-08 is expected to be laid before the Parliament.

S3W-16391 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body what the costs to it were of the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s investigation into the complaint lodged by Iain Fraser on 12 December 2007 against Wendy Alexander MSP and whether it will provide a breakdown of these costs, including the costs of any associated legal advice from solicitors and senior counsel.

S3W-16392 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body what the total costs were of investigations by the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner into complaints against Wendy Alexander MSP from October 2007 to August 2008.

S3W-16393 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body what the total costs, including legal costs, were of investigations by the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner into complaints against Wendy Alexander MSP from October 2007 to August 2008, broken down by complaint and including complaints that did not proceed beyond Stage 1.

S3W-16394 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body what the legal costs of the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner have been (a) in each year since appointment and (b) for the first three months of 2008-09; how these costs have been met, and what proportion of the Commissioner’s total costs relate to legal advice concerning individual complaints against members.

S3W-16395 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body when it decided to meet in full the legal costs of the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

S3W-16396 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, with reference to the statement in the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s annual report for 2006-07 that "significant one-off costs such as meeting the cost of a legal challenge will now be met from a central contingency fund in the SPCB budget rather than from the Commissioner’s budget", whether such a legal challenge has ever been brought against the Commissioner.

S3W-16397 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, with reference to the statement in the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s annual report for 2006-07 that "significant one-off costs such as meeting the cost of a legal challenge will now be met from a central contingency fund in the SPCB budget rather than from the Commissioner’s budget", whether the SPCB untertook to cover from 2007-08 all legal costs incurred by the Commissioner, including advice concerning complaints against members and advice challenging advice already provided in writing by parliamentary officials.

S3W-16398 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body whether prior to 2007-08 it covered any legal expenditure incurred by the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner in respect of complaints against individual members or incurred by the Commissioner challenging advice provided by parliamentary officials.

S3W-16399 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body whether, when it agreed to the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s request to meet "significant one-off costs such as meeting the cost of a legal challenge", it understood that it was agreeing to fund the costs of external senior counsels’ opinions reviewing advice given by parliamentary officials.

S3W-16400 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body how members can have faith in advice tendered by parliamentary officials, as stated by the Presiding Officer on 22 August 2008 in his letter to Jackie Baillie MSP, if the SPCB is simultaneously funding senior counsels’ opinions disputing that advice.

S3W-16401 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body whether, when it undertook to meet the legal costs of the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, it understood that some of that legal advice would involve cases against individual members and whether consideration was given to also extending or supporting legal advice to members at that time.

S3W-16402 David Whitton: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body on how many occasions the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner sought formal or informal external legal advice in relation to complaints involving Wendy Alexander MSP over the last year and what the costs were of such advice.

S3W-16403 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive how many full-time primary school teaching vacancies were in North Ayrshire in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007 and have been in 2008.

S3W-16404 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive how many full-time secondary school teaching vacancies there were in North Ayrshire in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007 and have been in 2008, broken down by subject.

S3W-16405 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive how many full-time primary school teaching vacancies there were in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007 and have been in 2008.

S3W-16406 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive how many secondary school teaching positions there were in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007 and have been in 2008, broken down by subject.

S3W-16407 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive what support there is to assist teaching graduates who are unable to find full-time work after completing a probationary year.

S3W-16408 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive how many teaching graduates who have completed their probationary year are currently looking for full-time employment in Scotland.

S3W-16409 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive how many teaching graduates have applied for a single primary school vacancy in North Ayrshire in 2008, also expressed as a percentage of all applicants for primary school vacancies during that time period.

S3W-16410 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive how many teaching graduates have applied for a single secondary school vacancy in North Ayrshire in 2008, also expressed as a percentage of all applicants for secondary school vacancies during that time period.

S3W-16411 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive how long on average it takes a primary school teaching graduate to find a job from the point when their probationary year is completed.

S3W-16412 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive how long on average it takes a secondary school teaching graduate to find a job from the point when their probationary year is completed.

S3W-16413 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive whether its estimate of the difference in cost between providing the current combined ferry service on the Gourock to Dunoon route and a passenger only service on this route is £1.6 million, as stated by Councillor Roy Pederson in his submission to the European Commission’s inquiry into state aids and Scottish ferries and, if not, what its estimate is.

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