Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 11/2009: Monday 19 January 2009
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Section E – Written questions lodged on 16 January 2009

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-19848 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive which of the Crofters Commission’s overheads are allocated to the Bull Hire Scheme when determining the costs of the scheme.

S3W-19859 Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive how it is ensuring that the additional costs faced by families living with disability are addressed in its work to tackle child poverty.

S3W-19860 Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive how the Early Years Framework will support parents and enable families to maximise disabled children’s abilities in every local authority area.

S3W-19861 Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive what it is doing to ensure fair, consistent and transparent charging policies for community care.

S3W-19862 Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive what it is doing to ensure that information on charges and financial assessments for people who use community care services is clear and accessible.

S3W-19863 Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive how it ensures that disabled people are consulted when the services that they use are being put out to tender.

S3W-19864 Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive how its work on the Getting Fit for the Future programme took account of the current and projected need for accessible housing and what is being done to meet this need.

S3W-19865 Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will deliver the policy intentions of the national concessionary travel scheme to people who are unable to use conventional buses.

S3W-19866 Michael McMahon: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it recognises that the eligibility criteria for the national concessionary travel scheme exclude people on the lower rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance and whether it will consider the reach of the scheme in its current review.

S3W-19867 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive on how many occasions (a) officials and (b) Scottish ministers have met representatives of (i) Scottish Language Dictionaries, (ii) the Scots Language Centre and (iii) Itchy Coo since May 2008.

S3W-19868 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive what the membership is of the Scots Language Audit Research Advisory Group.

S3W-19869 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive on how many occasions the Scots Language Audit Research Advisory Group has met.

S3W-19870 Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will publish the recommendations of the Scots Language Audit Research Advisory Group.

S3W-19871 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-17640 by Michael Russell on 14 November 2008, whether any of the investment scenarios referred to were based in this financial year or 2009-10.

S3W-19872 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive in what agricultural or research uses the farms in and around Inverness that are managed by the Crofters Commission are involved.

S3W-19873 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what accounting capital charges are associated with the operation of the three farms in and around Inverness that are managed by the Crofters Commission and whether such capital charges are taken into account when calculating the costs associated with the Bull Hire Scheme and estimates of the costs associated with renting a bull.

S3W-19874 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether depreciation is taken into account when calculating the operating costs of the three farms in and around Inverness that are managed by the Crofters Commission and, if so, what the value is of that depreciation.

S3W-19875 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what management or efficiency studies it or the Crofters Commission has undertaken into the potential for reducing the costs of the Bull Hire Scheme and whether ministers will publish any such studies.

S3W-19876 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether consideration was given to the quality of the bloodlines of the bulls purchased for use in the Bull Hire Scheme.

S3W-19877 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what control it has over the quality of the bloodlines of bulls owned and offered for hire by private enterprises.

S3W-19878 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what arrangements there are for crofters to obtain a bull from the Crofters Commission at less than market rates in 2009; whether such arrangements are compliant with rules on state aid; whether they include help with the cost of the purchase price of a bull, and whether it will publish the arrangements.

S3W-19879 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects details on the arrangements for obtaining a bull from the Crofters Commission in 2009 to be made available.

S3W-19880 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-17658 by Michael Russell on 14 November 2008, whether crofters will be entitled to funding, in the same financial year, toward the cost of transporting a bull to service cattle when funding has already been provided in respect of an other bull.

S3W-19881 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3O-5488 by Nicola Sturgeon on 15 January 2009, what changes to the VAT rules other than the reduction of the standard rate will affect NHS Grampian.

S3W-19882 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3O-5488 by Nicola Sturgeon on 15 January 2009, how much was paid at the standard rate of VAT by NHS Grampian in the last financial year for which information is available.

S3W-19883 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3O-5488 by Nicola Sturgeon on 25 January 2009, what saving NHS Grampian can expect in relation to the reduction of the standard rate of VAT without consideration of other changes to VAT rules.

S3W-19884 Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-19144 by Stewart Maxwell on 15 January 2009, how many households have been in temporary accommodation in the Lothians at the end of each quarter since April 2007, broken down by local authority.

S3W-19885 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, following the notice on its website that consultation on draft guidelines for the Saltire Prize began on 5 January 2009, when it expects to publish the consultation paper.

S3W-19886 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with Highlands and Islands Enterprise regarding the withdrawal of funding for the eight local sports councils in the Highland Council area.

S3W-19887 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive how much has been spent by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in (a) 2004-05, (b) 2005-06 (c), 2006-07, (d) 2007-08 and (e) 2008-09 to support local sports councils in the Highlands and Islands.

S3W-19888 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive, in light of the withdrawal of funding for local sports councils in the Highland Council area, whether alternative sources of funding have been determined between it, Highlands and Islands Enterprise or other local agencies to ensure the continuation of these sports councils.

S3W-19889 Bill Aitken: To ask the Scottish Executive how many people were reported for breaching bail (a) through failure to appear and (b) conditions in the 12 months to 30 September 2008.

S3W-19890 Charlie Gordon: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will respond to the UK Government’s recent announcement to develop the high speed two rail line.

S3W-19891 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps Forestry Commission Scotland has been able to take to assist sawmills to meet the challenges of the credit crunch when demand for their products has been falling.

S3W-19892 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Forestry Commission Scotland considers it to be part of its responsibility to assist consumers of its raw materials to meet challenges arising from, and to survive, the credit crunch.

S3W-19893 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what decisions are made on the basis of single outcome agreement outcomes and targets.

S3W-19894 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what consideration of the environmental effects of achieving local outcomes was required when developing single outcome agreements.

S3W-19895 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it considers single outcome agreements to be qualifying plans, programmes or strategies for the purposes of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 and, if not, what the reasons are for its position on this matter.

S3W-19896 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether any strategic environmental assessments of single outcome agreements have been carried out and, if so, of which agreements.

S3W-19897 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-18978 by Stewart Stevenson on 14 January 2009, what arrangements are in place for local authorities to receive funding from Scottish ministers for investment in non-trunk roads.

S3W-19898 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-18978 by Stewart Stevenson on 14 January 2009, whether any improvements to the junction of the A90 and A96 trunk roads at the Haudagain roundabout will be funded by Scottish ministers after the de-trunking of the A90 between Charleston and Blackdog and, if so, what the funding method will be.

S3W-19899 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-18978 by Stewart Stevenson on 14 January 2009, whether it will give support to Aberdeen City Council for improvements to the junction of the A90 and A96 trunk roads following the de-trunking of the A90 between Charleston and Blackdog.

S3W-19900 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-18978 by Stewart Stevenson on 14 January 2009, whether the de-trunking of the A90 between Charleston and Blackdog is conditional on the local authority carrying out improvements at the junction of the A90 and A96.

S3W-19901 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-18978 by Stewart Stevenson on 14 January 2009 and the commitment made by the First Minister in The Press and Journal on 18 December 2008 that "roundabout improvements will be paid for and delivered before the road is de-trunked", whether it expects improvements at the junction of the A90 and A96 trunk roads to be paid for and delivered between the date of completion of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and the following 1 April and, if so, when contracts for this work will need to be placed.

S3W-19902 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-18978 by Stewart Stevenson on 14 January 2009 and the commitment made by the First Minister in The Press and Journal on 18 December 2008 that "It will not be (down to) Aberdeen city. It will be the Scottish Government that will do the work and then it will be handed over as an improved roundabout", when work at the junction of the A90 and A96 trunk roads is expected to (a) begin and (b) be completed.

S3W-19903 Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-18978 by Stewart Stevenson on 14 January 2009 and the comment made by the First Minister in The Press and Journal on 18 December 2008 that "the work will be done but let’s get the bypass done first, it would be daft to do it the other way round", whether work on improvements to the junction of A90 and A96 trunk roads at the Haudagain roundabout will begin before, during or after completion of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.

S3W-19904 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with the European Commission regarding funding for the Forth Replacement Crossing.

S3W-19905 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it took to explore the use of European funds in relation to the funding of the Forth Replacement Crossing and for what reasons this was not successful, as indicated by the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change on 15 January 2009 (Official Report c. 14133).

S3W-19906 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has commissioned a tender for the design and preparation of the construction operation for the Forth Replacement Crossing and whether this tender will be separate from the construction contract, as indicated by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth to the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee on 15 January 2008 (Official Report c. 362).

S3W-19907 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has changed its plans for contracting the design, preparation and construction of the Forth Replacement Crossing and, if so, for what reasons.

S3W-19908 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive what proportion of the reduction in the cost estimate for the Forth Replacement Crossing is due to its choice of funding mechanism.

S3W-19909 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive what evidence exists to show that the reduction in the cost estimate for the Forth Replacement Crossing is due to its choice of funding mechanism, as indicated by the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change during the Forth Crossing debate on 15 January 2009 (Official Report c.14132).

S3W-19910 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-18821 by Stewart Stevenson on 14 January 2009, whether the reduction in the cost estimate for the Forth Replacement Crossing is wholly attributable to the reduced width of the bridge, the use of ITS and more refined estimating in light of further detailed surveys, investigations and design development.

S3W-19911 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will give details of how the Scottish Futures Trust will be actively engaged with Transport Scotland and its advisers on all its major road and rail projects, including the Forth Replacement Crossing, as indicated by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth during the Forth Crossing debate on 15 January 2009 (Official Report c.14090).

S3W-19912 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it would cost to build a multi-modal element into the Forth Replacement Crossing during construction.

S3W-19913 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it would cost to adapt the hard shoulder of the Forth Replacement Crossing into multi-modal capacity after the bridge has been constructed.

S3W-19914 Alasdair Allan: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Scottish Housing Regulator anticipates that the Hebridean Housing Partnership will have provided the necessary information about its financial plans to the Scottish Government for consideration.

S3W-19915 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) pig, (b) sheep, (c) dairy cattle, (d) beef cattle, (e) poultry (broiler chickens, ducks and turkeys), (f) laying hen and (g) other farmed animal units underwent farm animal welfare inspections by Animal Health in (i) 2007 and (ii) 2008, also expressed as a percentage of each category.

S3W-19916 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive how many farm animal welfare inspections undertaken by Animal Health on (a) pig, (b) sheep, (c) dairy cattle, (d) beef cattle, (e) poultry (broiler chickens, ducks and turkeys), (f) laying hen and (g) other farmed animal units were for (i) monitoring compliance with EU animal welfare regulations, (ii) assessing cross-compliance for single farm payments, (iii) investigating complaints about animal welfare and (iv) any other purpose in (A) 2007 and (B) 2008.

S3W-19917 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what recourse to arbitration or appeal permanent residents of caravans and chalets located on holiday-home sites with 12-month licences have against increases in pitch fees.

S3W-19918 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding it is making available to Dumfries and Galloway Council for the control of seagulls and whether it has placed conditions on the use of this funding.

S3W-19919 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what central and local government funding streams are available to the Central Scotland Forest Trust for planting new woodlands.

S3W-19920 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive what central and local government funding streams are available to the Glasgow and Clyde Green Valley Network.

S3W-19921 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether charitable trusts that own land can apply to the Scotland Rural Development Programme for funding for the creation of new woodlands.

S3W-19922 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the Forestry Challenge Funds are part of the Scotland Rural Development Programme.

S3W-19923 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the Forestry Challenge Funds include the Woods In and Around Towns initiative.

S3W-19924 Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish Executive whether funding is available through rural development contracts for the Woods In and Around Towns initiative.

S3W-19925 John Park: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment has been made of whether additional funds in sterling could have been accrued through revaluation of Scotland’s allocation of the European Social Fund.

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