Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 175/2008: Tuesday 2 December 2008
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Section E – Written questions lodged on 1 December 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-18362 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how the proposals to waive and restrict fees charged to businesses by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, announced on 25 November 2008, will be funded.

S3W-18363 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how the proposals to waive and restrict fees charged to businesses by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), announced on 25 November 2008, will impact on SEPA staff.

S3W-18364 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how much the proposals to waive and restrict fees charged to businesses by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, announced on 25 November 2008, will cost.

S3W-18365 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the Scottish Environment Protection Agency consulted its staff before its announcement on 25 November 2008 that it would waive and restrict fees charged to businesses.

S3W-18366 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that individuals and businesses that cause pollution should be required to pay to clean up that pollution.

S3W-18367 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how many unfair dismissal claims arising from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s pay settlement for 2008-09 have been (a) submitted and (b) resolved.

S3W-18368 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how many single outcome agreements with local authorities include outcomes relating to waste management.

S3W-18369 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how many single outcome agreements with local authorities include outcomes relating to recycling.

S3W-18370 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether local authorities will be penalised for not achieving their agreed outcomes on waste management.

S3W-18371 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether local authorities will be penalised for not achieving their agreed outcomes on recycling.

S3W-18372 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it is considering implementing to encourage a reduction in the use of plastic packaging.

S3W-18373 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive which community recycling projects have received support since the announcement on 24 January 2008 of £2.5 million of government funding over three years for community recycling.

S3W-18374 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how much of the £41.1 million Zero Waste Fund for 2008-09 has been allocated.

S3W-18375 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what projects have benefited from the Zero Waste Fund in 2008-09.

S3W-18376 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the Scottish Futures Trust has a role in seeking to secure delivery of Aberdeen schools under the 3Rs project and, if so, what that role is.

S3W-18377 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the Scottish Futures Trust will have a role in the delivery of any future public sector infrastructure projects funded on a non-profit distributing model and, if so, what that role will be.

S3W-18378 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to S3W-17293 by John Swinney on 28 October 2008, how many staff are employed in the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT); what the relationship is between it and the Scottish Government, and how many SFT staff members have been involved in discussions held between it, Aberdeen City Council and its professional advisers about the Aberdeen 3Rs school project.

S3W-18379 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many arrest-referral schemes are in operation, broken down by drug action team (DAT), alcohol and drug action team (ADAT) or drug and alcohol action team (DAAT).

S3W-18380 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many arrest-referral schemes are funded on contracts of (a) less than three years and (b) three years or more and how many are funded on permanent contracts.

S3W-18381 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many drug action team (DAT), alcohol and drug action team (ADAT) or drug and alcohol action team (DAAT) areas have supervised dispensing schemes for (a) disulfiram, (b) suboxone and (c) buprenorphine.

S3W-18382 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive, in relation to the £1.4 million announced on 27 November 2008 to fund the purchase of suitable unsold housing stock from the private sector in Falkirk and Perth and Kinross, what the average level of subsidy is per house.

S3W-18383 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive, in relation to the £1.4 million announced on 27 November 2008 to fund the purchase of suitable unsold housing stock from the private sector in Falkirk and Perth and Kinross, how many houses will be purchased.

S3W-18384 Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive, in relation to the £1.4 million announced on 27 November 2008 to fund the purchase of suitable unsold housing stock from the private sector in Falkirk and Perth and Kinross, how much below market value is being paid on average.

S3W-18385 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list meetings that the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment has had with representatives of the major supermarket chains since March 2008, also showing (a) the date each meeting took place, (b) the name of the supermarket chain that was represented and (c) what was discussed.

S3W-18386 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive how the announced £7.5 million to support its poverty framework will be spent in each of the next three financial years, broken down by local authority.

S3W-18387 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will deliver the commitment made in the Achieving our Potential policy framework to "increase availability and usage of money advice services and ensure they are appropriately targeted at and accessible to people from minority ethnic and faith communities" in each local authority area.

S3W-18388 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding it will provide to deliver the commitment made in Achieving our Potential policy framework to "increase availability and usage of money advice services and ensure they are appropriately targeted at and accessible to people from minority ethnic and faith communities", broken down by local authority area.

S3W-18389 Bill Aitken: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to resolve the pay dispute between Scottish Water and its staff.

S3W-18390 Bill Aitken: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers the pay offer made to Scottish Water staff to be satisfactory.

S3W-18391 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will provide a substantive answer to question S3W-17253, which received a holding reply on 11 November 2008.

S3W-18392 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will provide a substantive answer to question S3W-17245, which received a holding reply on 11 November 2008.

S3W-18393 Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-17219 by Stewart Maxwell on 5 November 2008, whether it will elaborate on the criteria being applied for distribution of the accelerated funding for £100 million for affordable housing investment.

S3W-18394 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures are in place to ensure that staff in school kitchens and canteens are disclosure checked.

S3W-18395 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many comments have been removed from the National Conversation website after initially being published and what the reasons were for their removal.

S3W-18396 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many unique visitors the National Conversation website has had.

S3W-18397 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what work is taking place to evaluate contributions to the National Conversation; who is conducting this work, and at what cost.

S3W-18398 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many hits to (a) the National Conversation home page and (b) National Conversation-themed web pages have been from a Scottish Parliament or Scottish Government server.

S3W-18399 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what level of detail it retains regarding traffic to and from the National Conversation website.

S3W-18400 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that comment 126 on its National Conversation website satisfies the moderation criteria outlined in the answer to question S3W-11333 by Nicola Sturgeon on 26 March 2009.

S3W-18401 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list its directorates that have (a) responsibility for an aspect of and (b) a budget allocation for the National Conversation, also showing the amount and broken down by financial year.

S3W-18402 Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive what the Home Report advertising and communication budget is for 2008-09.

S3W-18403 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive how many companies it is envisaged will be involved in bidding for leases for management and cutting rights over the national forest estate.

S3W-18404 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is envisaged that leases for management and cutting rights over the national forest estate will be released in one block or in smaller parcels.

S3W-18405 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it envisages allowing foreign companies to bid for leases for management and cutting rights over the national forest estate.

S3W-18406 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will confirm that it envisages that leases for management and cutting rights over the national forest estate will be for up to 75 years.

S3W-18407 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive what safeguards it envisages will be inserted into the leases for management and cutting rights over the national forest estate to safeguard biodiversity, access, leisure and recreation.

S3W-18408 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive what level of monitoring it will put in place to assess to what extent biodiversity, access, leisure and recreation are safeguarded if management and cutting rights over parts of the national forest estate are subject to leasing.

S3W-18409 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the transfer of Forestry Commission assets and land in perpetuity to a not-for-profit trust is an option being considered by the Scottish Government, as set out on page six of the paper Climate Change and the National Forest Estate - Consultation on forestry provisions in the Scottish Climate Change Bill.

S3W-18410 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has discounted the option of transferring assets and land in perpetuity to a not-for-profit trust, as set out on page six of the paper Climate Change and the National Forest Estate - Consultation on forestry provisions in the Scottish Climate Change Bill.

S3W-18411 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is envisaged that under the option of transferring assets and land in perpetuity to a not-for-profit trust, as set out on page six of the paper Climate Change and the National Forest Estate - Consultation on forestry provisions in the Scottish Climate Change Bill, such a trust would be prevented from selling on any land that it was given to manage.

S3W-18412 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will guarantee that there will be no redundancies as a result of proposals for leasing out management and cutting right over parts of the national forest estate.

S3W-18413 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive how many staff are currently estimated to work in the areas identified under proposals for leasing out management and cutting rights over parts of the national forest estate.

S3W-18414 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive which areas of the national forest estate have been considered for leasing out or transfer to a public trust.

S3W-18415 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive what calculations have been carried out to establish how much of the national forest estate could be bought.

S3W-18416 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive what level of income is predicted to be raised through the proposal that management and cutting rights over parts of the national forest be leased out.

S3W-18417 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive in which financial year it is anticipated that income will be generated by leasing out management and cutting rights over the national forest estate.

S3W-18418 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will publish the business case on which proposals are based for the leasing out of management and cutting rights over the national forest estate.

S3W-18419 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the impact of the current economic downturn has been factored into the financial assumptions behind the proposals for the leasing out of at least 25% of the national forest estate.

S3W-18420 Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with pharmaceutical companies regarding the development of sedative patches for patients in palliative care who are unable to take oral medication.

S3W-18421 Patrick Harvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what advice and support it intends to offer to Scottish university and college students if they refuse to comply with the UK Government’s ID card scheme.

S3W-18422 Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body whether it will detail the circumstances under which police officers may enter the chamber, committee rooms or MSPs’ offices.

S3W-18423 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance is available to assist local authority planners and environmental health officers in the assessment of planning applications that incorporate wood-burning biomass energy elements.

S3W-18424 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it believes that the precautionary principle should be applied by local authorities to planning applications that incorporate wood-burning biomass energy elements.

S3W-18425 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that the Air Quality Screening Tool for Biomass Combustion in Scotland as identified in the report prepared for the Scottish Government entitled Measurements and Modelling of Fine Particulate Emission (PM10 and PM2.5) from Wood-Burning Biomass Boilers provides an appropriate basis for environmental health officers and planners to advise on the individual and cumulative particulate impacts of the wood–burning biomass energy elements of planning applications.

S3W-18426 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to introduce high-visibility vests for offenders completing community service sentences.

S3W-18428 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what the country origin was of the GM-contaminated oilseed rape seeds found in national list and variety trials in Scotland, as made public in September 2008.

S3W-18429 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what type of plant breeding methods were employed to produce the GM-contaminated oilseed rape seeds found in National List and variety trials in Scotland, as made public in September 2008.

S3W-18430 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what the location is of the seed production ground that produced the GM-contaminated oilseed rape seeds found in National List and variety trials in Scotland, as made public in September 2008, and what its proximity is to any GM oilseed rape fields.

S3W-18431 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures were used to prevent contamination of the seed used to produce the GM-contaminated oilseed rape seeds found in National List and variety trials in Scotland, as made public in September 2008, during cultivation and post harvest.

S3W-18432 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the GM contamination of oilseed rape seeds found in National List and variety trials in Scotland, as made public in September 2008, arose from cross-pollination or as a result of co-mixing GM and non-GM seeds before sowing or after harvest.

S3W-18433 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what the nature is of the GM traits found in the contaminated oilseed rape seeds found in National List and variety trials in Scotland, as made public in September 2008, and which companies produced them.

S3W-18434 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the GM-contaminated oilseed rape seeds found in National List and variety trials in Scotland, as made public in September 2008, arose from an experimental release in their country of origin.

S3W-18435 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what level of GM contamination was present in the GM-contaminated oilseed rape seeds found in National List and variety trials in Scotland, as made public in September 2008.

S3W-18436 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive why GM-contaminated oilseed rape seeds, found in National List and variety trials in Scotland, as made public in September 2008, were planted before the results of GM scanning were available.

S3W-18437 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures have been taken to prevent further GM contamination from the seed lot responsible for the GM-contaminated oilseed rape seeds found in National List and variety trials in Scotland, as made public in September 2008.

S3W-18438 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether other seed lots from the same sources and countries of origin as the GM-contaminated oilseed rape seeds found in National List and variety trials in Scotland, as made public in September 2008, have been tested for GM presence and with what results.

S3W-18439 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures have been taken to protect seed imports destined for commercial crop production following the discovery of GM-contaminated oilseed rape seeds in National List and variety trials in Scotland, as made public in September 2008.

S3W-18440 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive who will be liable for the costs of dealing with the contamination and loss of trial results from the GM-contaminated oilseed rape seeds found in National List and variety trials in Scotland, as made public in September 2008.

S3W-18441 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, with regard to development proposals for the Cairngorm National Park, ministers and public bodies are meeting the requirements of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 as it relates to conservation of biodiversity.

S3W-18442 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what is meant by the term "notable", as it relates to invertebrates in the scoping guidance for wind farm developments issued by the Scottish Government.

S3W-18443 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what requirements there are on wind farm developers to monitor invertebrates on site as well as in waterbodies and watercourses, following an initial baseline survey.

S3W-18444 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether a requirement to monitor invertebrates on the site of a wind farm would be a legitimate planning condition for such a development.

S3W-18445 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any concerns over the proposal to extract significant quantities of water from the River Spey.

S3W-18446 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment has been carried out of the effect that the extraction of large quantities of water from the River Spey may have on dependant species.

S3W-18447 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what surveys of invertebrates are required on proposed national park development sites.

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