Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No.185/2008: Tuesday 16 December 2008
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Section E – Written questions lodged on 15 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-18990 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will bring forward its energy efficiency and microgeneration action plan, as described in its response to the Energy Efficiency and Microgeneration: Achieving a Low Carbon Future: A Strategy for Scotland consultation in June 2008.

S3W-18991 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will report on the progress on energy efficiency and microgeneration across all programmes and initiatives, across all Directorates, including relevant milestones and targets and the anticipated carbon savings from these actions.

S3W-18992 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what targets it has set for energy efficiency and microgeneration in (a) new and (b) existing buildings.

S3W-18993 Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what statistical baseline has been established to monitor future energy use, as described in its response to the Energy Efficiency and Microgeneration: Achieving a Low Carbon Future: A Strategy for Scotland consultation in June 2008.

S3W-18994 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will list the institutions that failed to spend their (a) Higher Education Childcare Fund, (b) undergraduate Discretionary Fund, (c) postgraduate Discretionary Fund and (d) any other discretionary funding, in each of the last three years.

S3W-18995 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there will be consequential funding from the new £6 million Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Greener Living Fund and, if so, how these funds will be spent.

S3W-18996 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive for what reasons the Leven to Thornton rail link project was not in the Scottish Transport Projects Review.

S3W-18997 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive for what reasons the project to dual the A92 around Glenrothes was not in the Scottish Transport Projects Review.

S3W-18998 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive for what reasons the project to upgrade the Redhouse roundabout on the A92 was not in the Scottish Transport Projects Review.

S3W-18999 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will consider funding transport projects not in the Scottish Transport Projects Review.

S3W-19000 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will consider providing funds to deliver the Leven to Thornton rail link project.

S3W-19001 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will consider providing funds to dual the A92 around Glenrothes.

S3W-19002 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will consider providing funds to upgrade the Redhouse roundabout.

S3W-19003 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it considers should next be taken to secure delivery of the Leven to Thornton rail link.

S3W-19004 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it considers should next be taken to secure the dualing of the A92 around Glenrothes.

S3W-19005 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it considers should next be taken to secure an upgrade of the Redhouse roundabout on the A92.

S3W-19006Δ Keith Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide information on the destination, purpose and costs of all ministerial visits overseas from 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2008. 

S3W-19007 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive who has responsibility for the health and safety of primary school children travelling on non-council provided school buses to which members of the public have access.

S3W-19008 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) general public services, (b) tendered dual purpose routes, (c) specific school purpose routes and (d) closed contracts are used to provide school transport to eligible pupils in the Highland Council area.

S3W-19009 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive how many primary age children in the Highland Council area travel on non-local authority provided school buses to which the public has access.

S3W-19010 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive what policies or guidelines are in place in relation to the safe travel of primary school children on school transport, particularly where the public has access to buses.

S3W-19011 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive what health and safety responsibilities it considers that parents have for their children when they are travelling on local authority provided school transport.

S3W-19012 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidelines are given to parents on accompanying young children to school where the child is eligible for school transport to which the public also has access.

S3W-19013 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive for what reasons there are no provisions in the central heating programme for the installation of LPG systems.

S3W-19014 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-18456 by Kenny MacAskill on 10 December 2008, whether the proposed HM Prison Grampian will have a comparable role to that of HM Prison Peterhead in the housing of serious sex offenders.

S3W-19015 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-18456 by Kenny MacAskill on 10 December 2008, whether the proposed HM Prison Grampian will have a comparable role to that of HM Prison Peterhead in the rehabilitation of sex offenders through the Sex Offender Treatment Programme.

S3W-19016Δ Andrew Welsh: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will publish the latest actuarial valuations for the Scottish teachers and NHS pensions schemes.

S3W-19017 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it estimates that the reduction in VAT announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24 November 2008 will save NHS Scotland between 1 December 2008 and 31 December 2009, also broken down by NHS board.

S3W-19018 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it estimates that the reduction in VAT announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24 November 2008 will save local authorities between 1 December 2008 and 31 December 2009 and whether that amount was taken into account in the announcement on the local government settlement made by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth on 10 December 2008.

S3W-19019 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what its estimate is of the number of affordable houses that it will be able to commit to build between 1 December 2008 and 31 December 2009 and how many additional houses will be built as a result of reduced costs stemming from the reduction in VAT announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24 November 2008.

S3W-19020 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what its estimate is of the reduction in the costs of transport projects in 2008-09 and 2009-10 stemming from the reduction in VAT announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24 November 2008 and whether the savings will be spent on transport projects.

S3W-19021 Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what its estimate is of the savings to Scottish Water between 1 December 2008 and 31 December 2009 as a result of the reduction in VAT announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 24 November 2008 and whether any savings will be spent on infrastructure projects.

S3W-19022 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has given consideration to extending the boundary of the Coir’an Eoin section of the Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands Special Protection Area.

S3W-19023 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what consideration Scottish Natural Heritage has given to evidence on the number of golden plovers adjacent to the Coir’an Eoin section of the Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands Special Protection Area (SPA) and whether such numbers would give cause to extend the SPA to provide appropriate protection.

S3W-19024 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what impact it expects from the planned Gordonbush wind farm on the number of golden plovers.

S3W-19026 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether potential leasing arrangements for the national forest estate will be subject to competitive tendering.

S3W-19027 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive how much time it estimates will be needed to prepare all necessary documentation and parcelling of land for leasing parts of the national forest estate.

S3W-19028 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what consultation it envisages before decisions are made about which parcels of the national forest estate will be offered for leasing and whether such consultation will involve local communities with a potential interest.

S3W-19029 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive how many hectares of new planting took place on the national forest estate in each of the last 10 years.

S3W-19030 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether new planting rates meet national targets for new forest planting.

S3W-19031 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it costs on average to plant a hectare of new national forest estate.

S3W-19032 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive how much of the Scotland Rural Development Programme is earmarked to support new forest planting and how much has been spent in each year since the programme started.

S3W-19033 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive which public bodies or enterprises, including Forestry Commission Scotland, are eligible to apply for grants to the Scotland Rural Development Programme for new forest planting.

S3W-19034 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether private enterprises leasing parts of the national forest estate would be eligible to receive Scotland Rural Development Programme funds.

S3W-19035 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive how much Forestry Commission Scotland requires to meet annually in capital charges on the national forest estate and its associated plant, machinery and infrastructure.

S3W-19036 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there are considerations or plans underway with regard to public accounting that might relieve in whole or in part any capital charges to be met by Forestry Commission Scotland.

S3W-19037 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what overall financial appraisal it undertook of potential costs and benefits of leasing part or parts of the national forest estate before consulting on potential benefits.

S3W-19038 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it envisages that options to extend leases or to purchase land may exist toward the end of the lease period as part of the potential lease arrangements for the national forest estate on which it is consulting.

S3W-19039 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what arrangements are envisaged in potential leases for the national forest estate that would require continued investment in planting on leased land until the expiry of such leases.

S3W-19040 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has considered transferring the ownership and assets of the national forest estate to the National Trust for Scotland.

S3W-19042 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive when pharmaceutical staff employed by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde can expect their Agenda for Change review process to be completed.

S3W-19043 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive when estates staff employed by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde can expect their Agenda for Change review process to be completed.

S3W-19044 Aileen Campbell: To ask the Scottish Executive how many miles of designated cycle paths there are.

S3W-19045 Aileen Campbell: To ask the Scottish Executive how many miles of designated cycle paths there have been in each year since 1999.

S3W-19046 Aileen Campbell: To ask the Scottish Executive how many miles of designated cycle paths there have been in each year since 1999, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-19047 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-11928 by Shona Robison on 29 April 2008, how many of the assistant audiologists have now completed all of the components of Queen Margaret University’s graduate diploma in audiology course and have successfully entered employment with the NHS in Scotland as audiologists.

S3W-19048 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-11929 by Shona Robison on 29 April 2008, how many students entered the graduate diploma in audiology course delivered by Queen Margaret University in the final September 2008 intake.

S3W-19049 Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive how many qualified audiologists it estimates will be available to the NHS in Scotland by 2012 via the graduate diploma in audiology course delivered by Queen Margaret University.

S3W-19050Δ Alex Neil: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will set out any developments in relation to the administrative arrangements for paying pensions to public service pensioners in Scotland.

S3W-19051 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to ensure that support is given to low-income households facing debt problems.

S3W-19052 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to ensure that low-income communities have access to credit.

S3W-19053 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to safeguard small to medium-sized enterprises.

S3W-19054 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has held with the (a) Federation of Small Businesses and (b) Confederation of British Industry about providing safeguards for small to medium-sized enterprises during the credit crunch.

S3W-19055 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it spent on (a) publicity and (b) advertising in each of the last three years.

S3W-19056 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many of its employees took early retirement in each of the last three years.

S3W-19057 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many press releases it has issued in each of the last three years.

S3W-19058 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) media and press officers and (b) special advisers were in its employment on 1 January in each of the last three years.

S3W-19059 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it has spent on (a) focus groups and (b) opinion polls in each of the last three years.

S3W-19060 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it has spent on external consultancy in each of the last three years.

S3W-19061 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive what information it has on the estimated number of Scottish residents who are not domiciled in the United Kingdom for tax purposes.

S3W-19062 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many people have been successfully prosecuted for non-payment of business rates in each of the last 24 months.

S3W-19063 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many registered second homes there are and what percentage of the total number of homes this represents, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-19064 Jeremy Purvis: To ask the Scottish Executive how many retail units were vacant in each of the last two years and what proportion of the total number of retail units this represented, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-19065 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency stopped reporting the exact locations of positively analysed baits and victims of pesticide poisoning in its annual reports.

S3W-19066 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will encourage or require the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency to name estates or other identifiable locations of poisoning by pesticides in its annual reports.

S3W-19067 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that pesticides found in baits and victims of bird poisoning over the last two years are of such toxicity that they present a potential threat to human health.

S3W-19068 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers that the recording of wildlife crime incidents is sufficient in supporting the objective of reducing wildlife crime and whether it is considering strengthening the reporting of such crime.

S3W-19069 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what the number of reported incidents against wild birds is for (a) illegal egg collecting, (b) illegal trapping, (c) illegal poisoning and (d) illegally-set baits in each year for which information is available since 1989.

S3W-19070 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive how many people have been charged with crimes against wild birds and how many were for (a) egg collecting, (b) illegal trapping, (c) illegal poisoning and (d) illegally-set baits in each year since 1989.

S3W-19071 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive how many convictions have been secured for crimes against wild birds for (a) egg collecting, (b) illegal trapping, (c) illegal poisoning and (d) illegally-set baits in each year since 1989.

S3W-19072 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive how many bird (a) carcasses and (b) baits have been sent to the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency for testing in each year since 1989 and which agencies or voluntary organisations have been principally responsible for sending such material for testing.

S3W-19073 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive which agencies or voluntary organisations are designated as inspection agencies for the purpose of animal welfare legislation and whether consideration has been given to extending the number of designated inspection agencies.

S3W-19074 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance has been issued by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to courts and procurators fiscal on issues of persecution of wildlife.

S3W-19075 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what information it has on how intelligence held by the National Wildlife Crime Unit is shared with police forces in Scotland and more widely.

S3W-19076 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what role it considers community alcohol partnerships can play in reducing alcohol-related harm and tackling antisocial behaviour.

S3W-19077 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with relevant organisations in relation to the rollout of community alcohol partnerships.

S3W-19078 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive in which local authority areas local licensing forums have been set up and how many times each forum has met.

S3W-19079 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what its assessment is of local licensing forums.

S3W-19080 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what it is doing to facilitate the sharing of good practice between local licensing forums.

S3W-19081 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to set up a national forum of local licensing forums.

S3W-19082 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what role it considers that COSLA should play in relation to local licensing forums.

S3W-19083 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive in which local authorities licensing standards officers have been appointed.

S3W-19084 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what role it plays in the training of local licensing officers.

S3W-19085 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to ensure that local licensing officers are adequately trained and equipped to carry out their duties.

S3W-19086 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how many licensing boards there are and what area each board covers.

S3W-19087 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to reform the National Licensing Forum to help facilitate the sharing of good practice between licensing boards.

S3W-19088 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what its assessment is of the impact of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.

S3W-19089 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive on how many occasions powers contained in section 15 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 have been used by local licensing officers, broken down by (a) year and (b) local authority area.

S3W-19090 Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) offences have been recorded and (b) prosecutions there have been for offences contained in Part 8 of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 since the introduction of the legislation, broken down by (i) month and (ii) local authority area.

S3W-19091 Keith Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive how many national entitlement plus one card holders there are, broken down by local authority area.

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