Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 120/2010: Monday 9 August 2010
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Section E – Written questions lodged from 2 to 6 August 2010

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-35533 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive how many of the 1,000 volunteering opportunities for school leavers announced by the Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning on 17 June 2010 (Official Report c. 27425) had been delivered by 30 July 2010, broken down by local authority.

S3W-35534 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the announcement by the Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning on 17 June 2010 (Official Report c. 27425), how many employers had taken on a "Modern Apprentice who is a care leaver or other young person who might otherwise struggle to get such an opportunity" as of 30 July 2010, broken down by local authority area.

S3W-35535 Bill Butler: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the announcement by the Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning on 17 June 2010 (Official Report c. 27425), how much it has paid to employers taking on a "Modern Apprentice who is a care leaver or other young person who might otherwise struggle to get such an opportunity", broken down by local authority area.

S3W-35536 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance it has given to local authority planning departments on the measures available to deal with the processing of waste in the context of the Zero Waste Plan.

S3W-35537 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance it has given to local authorities on how to achieve the waste reduction and recycling targets outlined in the Zero Waste Plan.

S3W-35538 Jackson Carlaw: To ask the Scottish Executive how much has been spent on improving the cycle network in both (a) cash and (b) real terms and how many bicycle journeys have been undertaken in each year since 1997.

S3W-35539 Jackson Carlaw: To ask the Scottish Executive at what rate per mile staff at (a) the Scottish Executive and (b) each other publicly funded body can claim expenses for journeys undertaken by bicycle and what total value of claims has been paid by each body since 1999.

S3W-35540 Jackson Carlaw: To ask the Scottish Executive how much in (a) cash and (b) real terms has been spent on improving (i) the road network and (ii) public transport networks and how many journeys have been undertaken via each method in each year since 1997.

S3W-35541 Jackson Carlaw: To ask the Scottish Executive what (a) volume of land has been occupied by and (b) proportion of total energy generated has come from wind farms in each year since 1997.

S3W-35542 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive how many prisoners were prescribed methadone in each prison in each of the last 10 years.

S3W-35543 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive what maximum number of prisoners was on a methadone prescription in each prison in each of the last 10 years.

S3W-35544 John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive how many prisoners are on a methadone reduction plan, broken down by prison.

S3W-35545 Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Executive how much has been spent on landscaping on the trunk road network in each of the last five years, broken down by operating area.

S3W-35546 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive what it is doing to ensure that GPs are suitably equipped to (a) diagnose and (b) speedily refer patients with rare forms of cancer.

S3W-35547 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of patient access to ultra-orphan treatments for rare forms of cancer.

S3W-35548 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average life expectancy is for a child in Scotland undergoing conventional treatments for osteosarcoma.

S3W-35549 Johann Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-33775 by Nicola Sturgeon on 7 June 2010, when a report of the meeting with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions will be made to the Parliament.

S3W-35550 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to amend the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 to provide further exemptions in respect of the licensing of sporting weapons under the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill.

S3W-35551 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to protect red deer on the mainland from hybridisation with sika deer.

S3W-35552 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive how many sika deer have been culled in each of the last five years in order to reduce hybridisation with native red deer.

S3W-35553 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive whether its aim is to (a) exterminate, (b) reduce, (c) retain the current level of or (d) increase the current level of the sika deer population.

S3W-35554 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) sika deer and (b) red-sika hybrids were present in Scotland (i) 15 years ago and (ii) in the last year for which figures are available.

S3W-35555 Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Scottish Natural Heritage, in assuming the powers of the Deer Commission for Scotland, will have a statutory responsibility to conserve the number of sika deer.

S3W-35556 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to persuade the Government of Iceland to drop its plans to catch 130,000 tonnes of North Atlantic mackerel in 2010.

S3W-35557 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to persuade the Government of the Faroe Islands to drop its plans to catch 85,000 tonnes of North Atlantic mackerel in 2010.

S3W-35558 David McLetchie: To ask the Scottish Executive what (a) the housing debt has been, (b) new housing debt has been contracted, (c) old debt has been repaid, (d) receipts have been derived from right-to-buy sales and (d) the housing stock has been in each local authority in each year since 1999.

S3W-35559 Michael Matheson: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of the changes to the NHS proposed by the UK Government and any impact that they might have in Scotland.

S3W-35560 Michael Matheson: To ask the Scottish Executive Executive what assessment it has made of the changes to the NHS proposed by the UK Government and the impact that they might have on spending in Scotland through the application of Barnett consequentials.

S3W-35561 Jim Hume: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures it is taking in conjunction with public agencies and the retail sector to reduce and prevent unnecessary packaging of goods.

S3W-35562 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what its (a) revenue and (b) capital budget allocation to Highlands and Islands Airports Limited was for (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11 and what the proposed equivalent budget allocations are for 2011-12.

S3W-35563 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what savings in net operational costs it has instructed Highlands and Islands Airports Limited to make in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12.

S3W-35564 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what its estimates are of the cost savings of each of the options for cutting the operational costs of NorthLink Ferries Ltd, showing the impact on the net estimated cost saving of the changes in (a) fuel costs, (b) staff costs, (c) passenger and accompanied vehicle revenue, (d) freight revenue and (e) any other costs of a value greater than 10% of the total estimated net cost saving.

S3W-35565 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what its assessment is of the impact on (a) passenger numbers, (b) accompanied vehicle numbers and (c) freight tonnages of each of its options for cutting the operational costs of NorthLink Ferries Ltd, broken down according to the routes between (i) Lerwick and Aberdeen, (ii) Lerwick and Kirkwall, (iii) Kirkwall and Aberdeen and (iv) Stromness and Scrabster.

S3W-35566 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive how many prisoners on average were or have been released on temporary licence per week in (a) 2007, (b) 2008, (c) 2009 and (d) 2010.

S3W-35567 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive what the procedure is for notifying local police forces of prisoners released on temporary licence in their areas.

S3W-35568 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive who must be informed of a prisoner’s release; whether this is laid out in statute, and how many times it was not complied with in (a) 2007, (b) 2008 and (c) 2009 and has not been complied with in 2010.

S3W-35569 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive how many complaints have been received regarding the failure of adequate notification of a prisoner’s release in each year since 1999.

S3W-35570 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive what body is responsible for monitoring the behaviour of prisoners on temporary release.

S3W-35571 Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive how many prisoners on temporary release (a) failed or have failed to return to prison or (b) committed or have committed an offence while on release in (i) 2007, (ii) 2008, (iii) 2009 and (iv) 2010.

S3W-35572 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive what the position is regarding the monitoring of the (a) European and (b) American foulbrood outbreak in the bee population in Scotland.

S3W-35573 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether any new outbreaks of (a) European and (b) American foulbrood disease have been found in Scotland since the start of 2010 and, if so, in what areas.

S3W-35574 Peter Peacock: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the National Standing Committee on Farm Animal Genetic Resources now has responsibility for the ongoing welfare of bees and, if so, when this change took place.

S3W-35575 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive how many prisoners have sued the Scottish Prison Service since May 2007 and what the outcome has been in each case.

S3W-35576 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what the total output of all wind generators in Scotland was and what percentage of the total electricity demand this represented in each month of 2009.

S3W-35577 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive what the output was of (a) Hunterston and (b) Torness nuclear power station and what percentage of total Scottish electricity output it represented in each month of 2009.

S3W-35578 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-35089 by John Swinney on 27 July 2010, what the annual net saving is and how many jobs have been lost as a result of winding up these bodies.

S3W-35579 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how many additional full-time equivalent (a) college and (b) university places were funded by the £20 million announced for education and lifelong learning by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth in the budget (Official Report c. 23368).

S3W-35580 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how many students have entered each Scottish university in each year from 2008-9, broken down by domicile of student

S3W-35581 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how many Scottish students have attended (a) college and (b) university in the last two years, broken down by (i) local authority area, (ii) parliamentary constituency and (iii) parliamentary region of domicile.

S3W-35582 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how many full-time equivalent university places it has funded for 2010-11.

S3W-35583 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what the drop-out rate has been in each higher education institution in each year since 2007.

S3W-35584 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what the drop-out rate has been in each college in each year since 2007.

S3W-35585 Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what percentage of graduates from each Scottish university has found employment in Scotland as a first destination in each year since 2007.

S3W-35586 Joe FitzPatrick: To ask the Scottish Executive what the cost of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s decision to continue with the increase in employers’ national insurance contributions by 0.5% from 2011 will be to (a) each NHS board, (b) each local authority and (c) the remainder of the Scottish block grant in each year from 2011-12.

S3W-35587 Joe FitzPatrick: To ask the Scottish Executive what estimates have been made of the impact on the Scottish economy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s decision to continue with the increase in employers’ national insurance contributions by 0.5% from 2011 and how much this is expected to remove from the Scottish economy.

S3W-35588 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the (a) start and (b) end date is for the pharmacy supply contract for the Scottish Prison Service.

S3W-35589 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether pharmacists and dispensing assistants will be transferred from the Scottish Prison Service to the NHS with the transferral of medical services in autumn 2011.

S3W-35590 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether nurses and other health staff will be transferred from the Scottish Prison Service to NHS with the transfer of medical services in autumn 2011

S3W-35591 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what funding transfer has been agreed on the transfer of medical services from the Scottish Prison Service to the NHS for (a) Scotland and (b) each NHS board in autumn 2011.

S3W-35592 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the pharmacy budget will be transferred to the NHS from the Scottish Prison Service as part of the transfer of medical services in autumn 2011.

S3W-35593 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-35085 by Stewart Stevenson on 26 July 2010, from what sources the money will come to finance the Borders railway line; what the expected rate of interest is on the borrowing; what recourse there will be to private finance; how much public money will be used, and from what sources.

S3W-35594 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-35084 by Stewart Stevenson on 26 July 2010, what savings would be made if the final tranche of compulsory purchase orders for the Borders railway project were abandoned.

S3W-35595 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-34716 by Shona Robison on 16 July 2010, whether it can confirm that the City of Glasgow is the official host of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

S3W-35596 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-34781 by Shona Robison on 16 July 2010, what request has been made regarding transport for the First Minister while in Delhi for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

S3W-35597 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-34733 by Jim Mather on 16 July 2010, for what reason the accountable officer for Homecoming Scotland 2009 is different to the accountable officer for The Gathering 2009.

S3W-35598 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-34797 by John Swinney on 16 July 2010, whether it will list the (a) name and (b) job title of each member of its staff who used a (i) Government Procurement Card or (ii) Travel and Subsistence Charge Card in 2009-10, showing (A) the purpose for which it was used and (B) at what cost in each instance.

S3W-35599 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-33962 by Roseanna Cunningham on 9 June 2010, what discussions it has had with the UK Government in relation to the consultation on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) white paper, An invitation to shape the Nature of England.

S3W-35600 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-33962 by Roseanna Cunningham on 9 June 2010, whether any matter in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) white paper, An invitation to shape the Nature of England, will affect Scotland.

S3W-35601 Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-33962 by Roseanna Cunningham on 9 June 2010, what plans it has to (a) consult stakeholders in Scotland in relation to and (b) respond to the consultation on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) white paper, An invitation to shape the Nature of England.

S3W-35602 Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will respond tp the Department for Transport’s review of the Merchant Shipping (Ship-to-Ship Transfers) Regulations (SI 2010/1228).

S3W-35603 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive whether an operator of last resort is identified in the new tendering document for running services on the Gourock to Dunoon ferry route in the event of default or failure in the winning tender

S3W-35604 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive who the operator of last resort is for (a) Caledonian MacBrayne and (b) NorthLink ferry services.

S3W-35605 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive who the operator of last resort is for rail services.

S3W-35606 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive who the operator of last resort is for air services that are provided under public service obligations.

S3W-35607 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive what contingency plans are in place in the event that the consortium that has been invited to bid for the Forth Crossing contract falls from two to one.

S3W-35608 David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Executive what the estimated total cost is of the Forth Crossing project.

S3W-35609 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive when discussions between its officials and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to formalise the provision of advice by SEPA on wind farm developers’ carbon impacts calculations will be concluded.

S3W-35610 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide the dates for the various stages of the research project, Carbon implications of Wind Farms located in peatlands – update of the web-based SG carbon calculator tool, including the (a) award of the contract to undertake the work, (b) completion of the research project, (c) publication of the results and (d) completion of any updating of the carbon calculator tool.

S3W-35611 Tavish Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what areas of Scotland have been or are to be assessed under the goose policy review being undertaken by a consortium led by the British Trust for Ornithology Scotland.

S3W-35612 Bill Kidd: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it would have cost to keep Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi under supervision (a) in a hospice and (b) at home since his release from prison.

S3W-35613 John Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive how many cloned (a) sheep and (b) cattle have entered the human food chain in Scotland. R

S3W-35614 John Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive whether milk from cloned dairy cattle is entering the human food chain and, if so, whether authorisation is required for this.

S3W-35615 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide a breakdown of the nationality of the civil servants employed by it.

S3W-35616 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many civil servants are directly employed by it.

S3W-35617 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many civil servants who work in its directorates are employed by the UK Government.

S3W-35618 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many private property developers were awarded funding grants in 2008-09.

S3W-35619 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body what the estimated cost is of the 2010 Festival of Politics.

S3W-35620 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions have taken place with COSLA to ensure that indicators of poverty are included in single outcome agreements for (a) local authorities and (b) community planning partnerships.

S3W-35621 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there are plans to review single outcome agreements with a view to ensuring that indicators of poverty are included in future planning.

S3W-35622 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average waiting time is for an appointment with a urology clinician in Lanarkshire.

S3W-35623 John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive what is being done to improve the timescale between a GP referral and assessment of a patient by a urology clinician.

S3W-35624 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive whether impact on the natural environment, including on birds of prey, is a material consideration when assessing applications for planning consent

S3W-35625 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive how it considers the effects of ill-treatment of birds of prey when assessing applications for (a) wind farm developments and (b) any other types of development and what the reason is for its position on this matter.

S3W-35626 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has provided, or intends to provide, advice to planning authorities on how they should take into account the effects of ill-treatment of birds of prey in assessing applications for (a) wind farm development and (b) any other type of development and what the reason is for its position on this matter.

S3W-35627 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive, when considering applications for development consent, how it considers the possible implications of the development on birds of prey when their numbers are artificially low as a result of ill-treatment and what the reason is for its position on this matter.

S3W-35628 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the absence of birds of prey from a development site as a result of ill-treatment would be a material consideration in determining applications for development consent and what the reason is for its position on this matter.

S3W-35629 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive whether evidence that disturbance to birds had taken place, thereby reducing the apparent importance of a site for birds, would be a material consideration in assessing applications for development consent and what the reason is for its position on this matter.

S3W-35630 John Scott: To ask the Scottish Executive what estimates it has made of the additional cost to Scottish sheep farmers of electronic tagging of slaughter lambs compared with the cost in England and Wales. R

S3W-35631Δ Stewart Maxwell: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Registrar General will publish his annual report for 2009.

S3W-35632 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-35088 by Keith Brown on 27 July 2010, whether it will consider asking the Scottish Funding Council to look at university and college mergers to help achieve savings.

S3W-35633 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive which members of the Scottish Funding Council have experience in accountancy or allied professions.

S3W-35634 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will ask the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator to consider carrying out a public benefit appraisal of high-fee-charging healthcare charities.

S3W-35635 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive whether Glasgow or Scotland is the official host of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

S3W-35636 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-35093 by Jim Mather on 4 August 2010, with what potential investors the Scottish Investment Bank is in discussions.

S3W-35637 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-35083 by Stewart Stevenson on 4 August 2010, whether it will list the consultancy services provided by (a) Weber Shandwick, (b) Ernst and Young and (c) Dundas and Wilson.

S3W-35638 George Foulkes: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-34712 by John Swinney on 4 August 2010, whether it will consider reducing the ministerial car pool as part of its cost-saving exercise.

S3W-35639 Dr Richard Simpson: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to examine the state of NHS websites and whether it has had access to the UK Department of Health’s digital communications review, circulated internally in June 2010, and, if so, what action it will take to ensure that NHSScotland websites do not contain any deficiencies identified in the review.

S3W-35640 Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive what its position is on elective home education.

S3W-35641 Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to review the statutory guidance on home education that was issued in 2008.

S3W-35642 Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it will take to remind local authorities that they should have regard to the statutory guidance on home education when formulating local policies and procedures so that accurate information for parents and details of named contactsin relation to home education are included in council literature and easily accessible on council websites.

S3W-35643 Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive whether every prisoner would be considered for compassionate release in the event of a diagnosis of a terminal illness.

S3W-35644 Charlie Gordon: To ask the Scottish Executive what the average cost of reimbursement to transport operators is per kilometre travelled for journeys made by passengers eligible under the national free bus travel scheme in each year since the scheme commenced.

S3W-35645 Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there is formal monitoring of local authorities’ progress toward delivering the Scottish Government’s commitment on free school meals.

S3W-35646 Joe FitzPatrick: To ask the Scottish Executive what the total cost was of the (a) recent Independent Budget Review Panel chaired by Crawford Beveridge and (b) Independent Budget Review Group chaired by Bill Howat and how much was paid in (i) remuneration and (ii) expenses to the members of each.

S3W-35647 Nanette Milne: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will review and update Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) Guideline 71, Management of Osteoporosis.

S3W-35648 Cathy Peattie: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-34738 by Shona Robison on 16 July 2010, what consideration has been given to the merits of using the enriched culture medium method for testing pregnant women for group B streptococcus carriage as compared with those of the standard swab/culture method used widely in the NHS.

S3W-35649 Cathy Peattie: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) deaths and (b) group B streptococcal infections were recorded in neonates in each of the last three years, also broken down by rates per live birth.

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