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To ask the Scottish Government (a) how many and (b) what proportion of ScotRail journeys met the threshold for the delay-repay scheme in each month since April 2015.


Answered by Michael Matheson (18/01/2019):

I refer the member to Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) Bib number: 60391

 


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many times trains on the Aberdeen-Glasgow route have been delayed in each month since January 2018, broken down by reason.


Answered by Michael Matheson (18/01/2019):

I refer the member to Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) Bib number: 60390


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will publish all minutes and information provided by the Accountant in Bankruptcy to the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills in relation to the common financial tool and the standard financial statement in the last year.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (18/01/2019):

All submissions that have been provided on this matter have been to inform ongoing policy development and will not be published at this time.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what representations it has made regarding the potential closure of the Construction Industry Training Board facility at Inchinnan.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (18/01/2019):

The governance of CITB is reserved. Changes in the operation of the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) base in Inchinnan are part of a more general reform of CITB’s activities.

I met with CITB on 25 th January 2018 to receive an update on the review of Training Boards. At the meeting the I expressed disappointment at the lack of consultation around the review of Industry Training Boards published in October 2017.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it supports the outsourcing of the Construction Industry Training Board's (CITB) construction training and other functions, and the potential closure of the CITB facility at Inchinnan.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (18/01/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20640 on 18 January 2018. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body what, if any, contingency planning has been done in order to ensure that (a) Members’ staff and (b) its staff's welfare will not be unduly affected by potential extraordinary sittings of the Parliament or its committees.


Answered by Kezia Dugdale (18/01/2019):

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body fully recognises the important role that Members'staff and SPCB staff play in ensuring that parliamentary business can take place as planned.  Parliamentary business normally follows well defined sitting patterns, however, occasionally it is necessary for Parliament, or its committees, to meet outwith normal sitting times.  To protect SPCB staff welfare we operate a work-life balance policy supported by a wide range of working arrangements and benefits.  In addition the monitoring of staff welfare is an integral part of our management practice. Members are employers in their own right and, as such, they are responsible for the welfare of their own staff.


Current Status: Answered by Kezia Dugdale on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making with its plans to introduce legislation to give the Eurasian beaver protected species status, in light of its previous commitment that it would introduce legislation on this during the first half of 2018, and what the impact could be on the species if such legislation is not passed before 29 March 2019.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (18/01/2019):

The Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage have been working closely with farming and other land management and conservation stakeholders to develop an approach for the management of beavers including, where necessary, their licensed control once they are given legal protection. This work is nearing completion.

In the event that powers are not available under the European Communities Act 1972, a range of suitable options are being identified and considered to give protection for beavers.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on local authorities introducing a charge for bags used to recycle food waste.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (18/01/2019):

The Scottish Government has set a target to reduce food waste by at least a third by 2025 and is committed to promoting the recycling of food waste, where this cannot be prevented. Since 2011, Zero Waste Scotland has provided £25.2m to local authorities to support the roll out and uptake of food recycling services; and it provides ongoing support, advice and guidance to local government to enable successful implementation of the Scottish Household Recycling Charter. However, the delivery of local collections is a matter for individual local authorities to determine and this includes decisions to charge for food waste recycling bags.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it holds regarding cholesterol levels among the population, and whether this is available publicly.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (18/01/2019):

Cholesterol levels among the adult population are available in chapter 8 of the Scottish Health Survey 2011 main report at https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-health-survey-2011-volume-1-adults/pages/70/ .

The estimates of cholesterol levels come from analysis of blood samples taken as part of the Scottish Health Survey until 2011. The survey does not provide estimates of cholesterol at health board or local authority level and has not included a blood sample since 2011. Emerging methods of collecting blood samples are being considered for possible inclusion in the Scottish Health Survey going forward.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when its Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) will provide it with its first data regarding the impact of minimum unit pricing on retailer revenues.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (18/01/2019):

The five year evaluation programme is being led by NHS Health Scotland and involves a portfolio of studies. One of the themes covered is the economic impact minimum unit pricing has had on the alcohol market. This involves analysing routine data, case studies and interviewing key stakeholders.

The Scottish Parliament agreed that a five year period was a reasonable time period to robustly evaluate the impacts of minimum unit pricing taking into account when the necessary data are available.

Further information on the themes and associated studies is available on the evaluation website at http://www.healthscotland.scot/health-topics/alcohol/evaluation-of-minimum-unit-pricing/mup-evaluation-overview .


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what Barnett consequentials it estimates will be generated by UK Government spend on No Deal Brexit planning.


Answered by Derek Mackay (18/01/2019):

All expenditure allocated to UK Departments by the UK Government covers both deal and no-deal preparations. No-deal funding is not identified separately.

The Scottish Government was awarded £37m of EU Exit preparation funding consequentials from UK Government preparation funding of £1.5 billion for 2018-19.

At the 2018 UK Budget, a further £500m of EU exit preparation funding was announced for 2019-20 in addition to the £1.5bn already announced by the Chancellor.

The UK Government confirmed on 18 December that the Scottish Government will receive £55 million in EU exit preparation funding consequentials for 2019-20. We are currently seeking clarification from HM Treasury on the detail underpinning this allocation.

We would expect to receive Barnett consequentials of any additional funding for Brexit preparations to UK departments, consistent with the statement of funding policy.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government under what circumstances a non-departmental public body would not ultimately be subject to ministerial accountability.


Answered by Derek Mackay (18/01/2019):

There are no circumstances in which a Non-Departmental Public Body would not be subject to Ministerial accountability.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what support the NHS provides to people who are identified as being at a higher risk of developing diabetes.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (18/01/2019):

Excess weight is the main modifiable risk factor for type 2 diabetes and NHS Boards have a role in supporting patients to make changes to their diet and lifestyle to manage this risk.

Our Diet & Healthy Weight Delivery Plan published in July 2018 strives to make a significant impact on the prevention and remission of type 2 diabetes.

As part of this plan we have committed to invest £42 million over five years to give people with, or at risk of, type 2 diabetes support and better access to effective weight management services through the implementation of the Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Framework.

The Diet & Healthy Weight Delivery Plan can be accessed here: www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781787810556 .

The full Type 2 Diabetes Prevention, Early Detection and Early Intervention Framework can be accessed here: https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0053/00538389.pdf .


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to better understand the role that mobile abattoirs could play in the rural economy and constituencies such Caithness, Sutherland and Ross.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (18/01/2019):

The Scottish Government recognises the importance local slaughter provisions can play in the red meat sector. As such on the 16 January we invited applications through our Contract Research Fund Project to bid for a research project that will look to assess the viability and sustainability options of mobile abattoirs in Scotland. The closing date for tenders is noon on 12 February 2019.

We envisage that the project will start in March and complete in the Autumn and will look to provide detailed analysis of all aspects that would be required to operate mobile abattoirs in Scotland. This will include reviewing business models in other countries, costs involved and the regulatory environment and will be used to determine their potential use in Scotland.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Fergus Ewing on 18/01/2019

Date Lodged: 17/01/2019 

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the BSE risk status of Scotland, following the recent case in Aberdeenshire.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (18/01/2019):

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) have analysed an epidemiological report into this isolated case of BSE and concluded that Scotland complies with the provisions of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code and qualifies for the re-instatement of a “controlled BSE risk” status. The re-instatement of controlled BSE risk status was effective immediately on the 26 December 2018. The UK Chief Veterinary Officer has written to a number of key international trading partners to inform them of the outcome.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 18/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-19871 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 21 November 2018, how many people received carers allowance supplement (a) by 14 December, (b) between 15 and 24 December and (c) after 24 December 2018; how many payments remain outstanding, and by what date these will be made.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (17/01/2019):

Official statistics on the total number of Carers Allowance Supplement payments made for those eligible for the payment in April 2018 will be published on 19 February 2019, and for those eligible in October 2018 official statistics will be published in May 2019. In line with the Code of Practice for Statistics, these official statistics will be published at the same time as DWP’s National Statistics publication ‘DWP Benefit Statistics’, which contains statistics on Carer’s Allowance, to ensure neither set of statistics gives an indication of the nature of the other in advance of publication. These official statistics on Carer’s Allowance Supplement will be available via the Scottish Government website.

The following table shows the percentage of payments that have been made for Carers Allowance Supplement in December:

Date

% of payments made

(a) by 14 December

99.9

(b) between 15 December and 24 December

0.1

(c) after 24 December

<0.1

Total

100

There are 10 payments of Carer’s Allowance Supplement outstanding from December. These are payments that were rejected by the bank and require information from the client in order to be re-issued. Payments will be made once clients have provided the required additional information to Social Security Scotland.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what new forms of communication developed since the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 was passed must be disclosed by public bodies in response to Freedom of Information requests.


Answered by Graeme Dey (17/01/2019):

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 defines information as "recorded in any form”, so information held on any new form of communication developed since the introduction of the Act may be within the scope of a Freedom of Information request.

Scottish Government guidance is explicit that official information held in media including, but not limited to: email accounts, social media accounts (eg Facebook, Twitter), text messaging, mobile messaging (eg WhatsApp, Skype, Snapchat), cloud storage and collaboration tools, is subject to the Act.

Our guidance is available to view on an external sharepoint site that can be accessed from the Scottish Government FOI webpage: https://www.gov.scot/publications/freedom-of-information-document-collection/.


Current Status: Answered by Graeme Dey on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20711 by Clare Haughey on 8 January 2019, by what date the update on recruitment will be provided.


Answered by Clare Haughey (17/01/2019):

As referred to in my answer to question S5W-20711, a reporting template was issued to all the Integration Authorities in December for completion.

Policy officials are currently in the process of receiving and collating this information. I expect to be able to report on progress in February 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when the invitation to tender for the Northern Isles Ferry Services will be issued.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (17/01/2019):

The Invitation to Tender for the Northern Isles Ferry Services was issued to the pre-qualifying participants at 14.00 on 17 January 2019.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans testing fisheries management measures relating to nephrops in inshore fisheries.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (17/01/2019):

In June 2018 the Scottish Government announced the outcome of an Inshore Fisheries Pilot consultation. At this time three Inshore Fisheries Pilots were announced.

  • A seasonal restriction on mobile gear fishing near Mull;
  • A restriction on creel numbers in the Outer Hebrides; and
  • Zonal fishing management arrangements in waters off Arbroath and Montrose.

Since then, Marine Scotland officials have worked with local fisherman from the Inner Sound of Skye area, resulting in a revised proposal to test management of the nephrops fisheries in this area.

This proposal has the potential to offer some unique learning opportunities and to help inform our future fisheries strategy. I’m therefore pleased to announce a consultation on this proposal, and encourage all local fishers and stakeholders to respond.

The consultation will be circulated to stakeholders and published on the Scottish Government website later today:

https://consult.gov.scot/marine-scotland/inshore-fisheries-pilot-for-inner-sound-of-skye


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Fergus Ewing on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20346 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 20 December 2018, what assessment it has made of the indirect implementation of the DWP Verify Earnings and Pensions service as part of its agency arrangements agreement for the DWP to deliver carers allowance, and what the outcome was.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (17/01/2019):

The Scottish Government entered into this agreement in order to deliver the Carer’s Allowance Supplement by summer 2018. This provides over 75,000 carers with an additional £442 in 2018-19, an increase of 13% on the DWP’s Carer’s Allowance. All aspects of the Carer’s Allowance Agency Agreement with DWP were subject to scrutiny and approval by the Social Security Programme Boards and Scottish Ministers. The DWP is clear that Fraud, Error and Debt arrangements associated with the Agreement and the operational model needs to remain consistent throughout Great Britain.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20346 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 20 December 2018, what (a) direct and (b) indirect decisions have been made about the implementation of the DWP Verify Earnings and Pensions service.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (17/01/2019):

No direct or indirect decisions have been made about the implementation of the DWP Verify Earnings and Pensions service.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that recent film studio applications are located in close proximity to each other in the central belt.


Answered by Fiona Hyslop (17/01/2019):

The Scottish Government backs the expansion of the screen industry and welcomes the recent private and public sector proposals for studio infrastructure that should help increase the range of available facilities in Scotland and enable our screen sector to achieve its full potential.

The new dedicated screen unit within Creative Scotland, Screen Scotland, leads on the expansion and delivery of improved infrastructure provision for the screen sector. I have therefore asked Screen Scotland to contact you directly in response to your question.

Screen Scotland currently markets 136,000 sq ft of full-time converted stage space and 335,000 sq ft of build space and will continue to promote all existing studio facilities across Scotland to capitalise on the current unprecedented interest from UK and international producers in filming here.


Current Status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20346 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 20 December 2018, how it defines the "practical implementation" of the DWP Verify Earnings and Pensions service, and whether it has considered, assessed or agreed any future implementation.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (17/01/2019):

Practical implementation would be the use of DWP Verify Earnings and Pensions service in the delivery of a devolved benefit. I refer the member to the answer to questions S5W-20346 and S5W-20857 on 17 January 2019. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the Education Support Fund reducing, what consideration it has given to creating a variation of the services pupil premium.


Answered by John Swinney (17/01/2019):

There are no plans to implement a Service Pupil Premium in Scotland. The Education Support Fund has been additional to, not instead of, the existing, and different, UK policy measures which support armed forces children’s education. These include Additional Support for Learning legislation in Scotland and the Service Pupil Premium in England.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on the number of children from forces families in schools, broken down by local authority.


Answered by John Swinney (17/01/2019):

This information is not held centrally. Local authorities can and do collect the information locally .


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what Barnett consequentials it receives from the UK Government as a result of the Service Pupil Premium.


Answered by John Swinney (17/01/2019):

At a Spending Review, Barnett consequentials are determined on a departmental level as opposed to a programme level, it is therefore not possible to isolate the financial impact of individual spending decisions.

Whilst is not possible to determine the specific impact, any consequentials from Pupil Premium, of which Service Pupil Premium is a sub programme, were reflected in the Scottish Government's total allocation announced in the 2010 Spending Review.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which local authorities have the highest concentration of children from forces families, and whether it will provide figures for each of the top ten areas.


Answered by John Swinney (17/01/2019):

This information is not held centrally. Local authorities can and do collect the information locally. Local authorities with military bases, or with Service family accommodation connected to military bases, are likely to account for the greatest number of children from forces families.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how transition of children with additional support needs from forces families is managed, and whether the same level of support as that provided to other families is guaranteed.


Answered by John Swinney (17/01/2019):

The Additional Support for Learning (ASL) Act places duties on education authorities to identify, provide for and review the additional support needs, long and short term, of their pupils. The supporting statutory Code of Practice is clear that additional support needs encompass a wide range of issues, including those which might impact on children from forces families such as interrupted learning and parental deployment.

The Act makes specific provisions to enable all children and young people with additional support needs, including those from forces families, to receive help in preparation for transitions in school. The support provided and the way that it is managed will depend on individual circumstances and is a matter for the education authority, school and family.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will meet the MoD to discuss the Education Support Fund and, if so, when.


Answered by John Swinney (17/01/2019):

Officials will continue to regularly meet representatives of the MoD to discuss a wide range of matters, including education matters, as part of our commitment to working in partnership with the MoD to improve outcomes for the people of Scotland. The UK-wide Education Support Fund has been discussed at several of the Scottish Service Children Strategy Group quarterly meetings chaired by the Scottish Government.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what intensive psychiatric care facilities there are for children and young people, and what plans it has to increase provision.


Answered by Clare Haughey (17/01/2019):

The requirement for intensive psychiatric inpatient unit (IPCU) care for young people is a rare event. No dedicated IPCU beds for under 18s currently exist in Scotland so alternative arrangements are made, as appropriate to the individual situation, by clinicians on a case by case basis. These alternatives include admission to one of the regional specialist child and adolescent mental health units with tailored additional support and security, or admission to an adult IPCU with tailored additional support and clinical expertise.

Scottish Government has responded to the recommendation from the Mental Welfare Commission about the need for IPCU provision for under 18s by confirming that work on options will be taken forward as part of delivery of the Mental Health Strategy and the Child and Young Persons’ Mental Health Taskforce. In addition a National Secure CAMHS inpatient unit will be opening in 2020.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20557 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 8 January 2019, on what date the statistics will be released, and for what reason the date is not listed in the document, Official Statistics - Forthcoming Publications.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (17/01/2019):

Official statistics, covering the first months of applications for the Best Start Grant, will be published in April 2019. More-detailed analysis will be published in a quarterly publication series starting from August 2019. These dates are now listed in the statistics forthcoming publications page of the Scottish Government website .


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20557 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 8 January 2019, what format the release of the statistics will take, and how it will detail whether a child is the third or greater in a family.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (17/01/2019):

Official statistics, covering the first months of applications for the Best Start Grant, will be published in April 2019. More-detailed analysis will be published in a quarterly publication series starting from August 2019. In line with the Code of Practice for Statistics, care will be taken to ensure that these publications are produced to a level of quality that meets users’ needs. Published data will be subject to disclosure control methods to protect the confidentiality of the data.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the participation rate has been for bowel screening in each year since 2016, broken down by NHS board area.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (17/01/2019):

Information Services Division (ISD) routinely publish statistics on the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme. This information can be found at: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp?#2095


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-18848 by Michael Matheson on 27 September 2018, whether it will provide an update on what action it is taking to meet its commitment to maintain the Air Discount Scheme, and by what date it will make its formal announcement regarding the scheme’s continuation.


Answered by Michael Matheson (17/01/2019):

The Scottish Government is committed to the continuation of the Air Discount Scheme and will make a formal announcement in due course. The Air Discount Scheme is notified to the European Commission under the General Block Exemption Regulation in order to ensure compliance with EU State Aid rules rather than being necessary for the scheme to function. Brexit will not impact on the continuation of the scheme.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many modern apprenticeship places there have been in the Stirling constituency in each year since 2015.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (17/01/2019):

Skills Development Scotland does not report on Modern Apprenticeships by constituency area but instead by Local Authority Area.

The following table lists the Modern Apprenticeship starts since 2015 in the Stirling Local Authority area.

Year

Modern Apprenticeship Starts

2014-15

406

2015-16

411

2016-17

436

2017-18

410

2018-19 (up to and including Q2)

225

 


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many non-EU citizens have (a) presented, (b) been treated and (c) been charged for NHS treatment in the last 12 months, broken down by NHS board, and how much each board has received for providing this treatment.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (17/01/2019):

The information requested is not held centrally by the Scottish Government. The request for this information should be directed to NHS Boards.

NHS treatment will be provided to everyone in Scotland who requires to receive treatment, and this will be based on medical assessment and prioritisation.

Under Section 2(1) of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Scotland) Regulations 1989, as amended, NHS Boards are required to identify and assess whether charges apply for overseas visitors requiring NHS treatment. Where charges apply, the Regulations require that NHS Boards seek to recover the costs.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what toilet facilities will be available for disabled passengers using overnight cabins on the new stock for the Caledonian Sleeper, and how will these facilities compare to those available for non-disabled passengers.


Answered by Michael Matheson (17/01/2019):

Each new sleeper train will contain at least one Accessible Coach containing two accessible controlled emission toilets compliant with the EU's Persons of Reduced Mobility-Technical Specifications for Interoperability (PRM-TSI). Other sleeper coaches will contain standard toilets for use by other guests. Each new sleeper train will contain a seated coach containing an accessible controlled emission toilet compliant with PRM-TSI.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has spent in the current parliamentary session on raising public awareness of interstitial lung disease and its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (17/01/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20840 on 16 January 2019. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what disabled facilities it has asked Serco to provide on the overnight cabins on the Caledonian Sleeper service, and whether it is considering setting out further stipulations.


Answered by Michael Matheson (17/01/2019):

Serco Caledonian Sleeper Ltd is required, under the terms of its Franchise Agreement, to provide at least one Accessible Coach on each of its new trains. Each Accessible Coach will contain one accessible berth with twin beds and one with a double bed. It will also contain two accessible controlled emission toilets. In addition, each new train will contain a seated vehicle including space for a wheelchair and an accessible controlled emission toilet. Accessible berths and toilets will be compliant with the EU's Persons with Reduced Moblity - Technical Specifications for Interoperability (PRM-TSI).

As the new vehicles are close to completion, and have commenced final tests in preparation for entering service in the spring, the Scottish Government is not considering setting out further stipulations at this time.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the introduction of the road equivalent tariff on the Scrabster-Stromness ferry route.


Answered by Michael Matheson (17/01/2019):

The Scottish Government is engaging with the European Commission following a complaint made on 8 June 2018 regarding our plans to reduce ferry fares to the Northern Isles.

Officials met with Commission officials in Brussels on 12 November 2018. The Scottish Government are awaiting a formal view from the Commission regarding the next steps.

The Scottish Government remains committed to pursuing all avenues to deliver reduced fares for Orkney.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what legal obligations are placed on Serco to provide toilet facilities for disabled passengers using overnight cabins on the Caledonian Sleeper service.


Answered by Michael Matheson (17/01/2019):

The Equality Act, 2020 sets out legal requirements with which Serco has to comply. The EU's Persons with Reduced Mobility - Technical Specifications for Interoperability (PRM-TSI) sets out the provisions for Rail Vehicle Accessibility Compliance. This means all new trains and refurbishments must be built to these specifications in order to comply.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20404 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 20 December 2018, whether it remains its position that the sole role of Police Scotland, as set out at section 5.4 of its document, Social Security Programme - Programme Blueprint, which was published under the freedom of information request, FoI/18/02106, is to "liaise with the agency on matters relating to fraud, organised crime and other areas" and, if so, for what reason this is not referred to in the response.

 


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (17/01/2019):

The original PQ referred to where Police Scotland would act as a Delivery Partner. We have no definition of a Delivery Partner.

However we have been clear that we anticipate that the Counter Fraud function within the Agency will participate in formal intelligence sharing networks (other participants include Police Scotland, HMRC, DWP and many other government departments) and/or collaborative investigations where appropriate. This position is reflected in the Counter Fraud Strategy published September 2018.

Social Security Scotland’s Counter Fraud team are a Specialist Reporting Agency. This means the agency has civilian investigation officers able to investigate allegations relating to the benefit offences introduced by the Social Security Act 2018 to criminal investigation standard, including direct submission of crime reports to the Crown Office for consideration of prosecution action. Police Scotland have the remit to investigate and report alleged criminal activity of any kind, which could include these offences, however should they decide to undertake such an investigation it would not constitute a service provision arrangement.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20404 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 20 December 2018, what the estimated risk is of Social Security Scotland being the target of fraud and organised crime beyond matters of public protection.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (17/01/2019):

Our assessment of the risk posed to Social Security Scotland by Serious and Organised Crime Groups takes place on an ongoing basis, and we have been consulting with experts and relevant organisations to understand these risks and to design responsive control measures. Further detail relating to this assessment is highly sensitive and cannot be shared in the public domain, however the agency’s Counter Fraud Strategy published in September 2018 outlines at high level the methods employed to adequately assess and mitigate the risk of fraud perpetrated by both internal and external threat actors, including that posed by Serious and Organised Crime Groups.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many people have (a) applied for and (b) enrolled in postgraduate (i) health psychology and (ii) clinical psychology courses in each of the last two years.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (17/01/2019):

Information on enrolments at Scottish Higher Education Institutions (“HEIs”) is collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (“HESA”), which uses the Joint Academic Coding System (“JACS”) codes to record the chosen field of study. These provide specific information on ‘Health Psychology’ and ‘Clinical Psychology’ disciplines. However, other psychology disciplines have also been included as some Health & Clinical psychology courses will be grouped in the more ‘general’ categories.

Postgraduate enrolments in psychology disciplines at Scottish HEIs, 2015-16 to 2016-17

 

2015-16

2016-17

   

Health psychology

10

15

Clinical psychology

75

155

Psychology of mental health and health & medicine

65

30

Psychology

640

570

Other psychology

445

580

All psychology

1,230

1,355

Source: HESA student data

Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 5.

‘Other Psychology’ contains a range of subjects including child psychology, developmental psychology, and ‘psychology not elsewhere classified’, some of which will contain health and clinical studies.

All postgraduate courses are included, including Masters (taught and research), PhD research, and postgraduate diplomas.

Information on the number of applications for postgraduate study is not held centrally.


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many psychologists in weight management services there are; what action is being taken to increase the number, and how many newly-qualified specialists it expects to enter the workforce in each of the next six years.


Answered by Clare Haughey (17/01/2019):

The workforce data collected on psychologists in Scotland does not provide a breakdown on their areas of work in respect of weight management. In terms of the expected number of psychologists, I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20785 on 17 January 2019. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action is can take against companies that receive public money but then leave their employees and creditors unpaid.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (17/01/2019):

Company and employment law are matters which are currently reserved to the UK Government. As such, actions which might be taken by the Scottish Government or its agencies depend on the terms and conditions associated with any grant provided from public funds, including the possibility of seeking repayment of any funding where such terms and conditions have not been met.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how (a) many people have received support from and (b) much has been paid through Individual Training Accounts in each of the last five years.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (17/01/2019):

The Individual Training Account (ITA) scheme was launched in October 2017. Between October 2017 and March 2018, 7,015 claims for ITA funding were made. The value of these claims was £1,305,091.

In the 2018/19 financial year so far 19,812 claims for ITA funding have been made. The value of these claims has been £3,719,568.

It is anticipated that when all verified individuals in the system have been processed, the number of people who have benefitted from ITAs will exceed 22,000 this financial year.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many NHS operations have been cancelled in each of the last 12 months due to a lack of sterilised surgical equipment.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (17/01/2019):

The Scottish Government does not centrally hold specific figures on cancelled operations due to lack of sterile equipment, however we do collect information on planned cancelled operations based on "capacity or non-clinical reason" by hospital. This data is a collection of:

  • No beds available, general ward, ICU, HDU.
  • Staff not available, staff are ill, not available due to an emergency operation taking clinical priority.
  • Equipment not available, equipment dirty.
  • Theatre session overran therefore patient cancelled.

Please note that this category does not provide a breakdown of each specific reason. Mr Briggs can obtain this information by sending a request to individual health boards.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the current funding position is with Individual Training Accounts.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (17/01/2019):

Following a hugely successful year for this new Individual Training Account (ITA) programme, demand from individuals has been strong and the target of 18,500 accounts has been exceeded ahead of schedule. It is anticipated that when all verified individuals in the system have been processed, the number of people who have benefitted from ITAs will exceed 22,000. Skills Development Scotland (SDS )has therefore paused the ITA programme to new applicants until April 2019. In the interim, individuals who visit the My World of Work website will be given information on how to contact SDS for wider career advice and those who have registered an interest in opening an ITA will be proactively contacted by SDS in the lead up to the new financial year.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what support will be in place for families of people subject to electronic monitoring under its Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (17/01/2019):

Currently, as part of a Home Background Report or Community Assessment Report (which have to be completed prior to electronic monitoring being imposed), family circumstances in the home are assessed. In practice, this gives an opportunity for any householder to flag up a need for additional support or if they are not content for an individual to return then they can confidentially decline to have them back in the household. In the latter case, the individual seeking to be monitored is only told that the premises are unsuitable. Prior to beginning monitoring, G4S (the company appointed by the Scottish Government to provide the monitoring service) provide those in the household with a booklet, designed to explain in easily understandable terms what is involved in electronic monitoring for the individual and family. The Scottish Government also currently work with third sector providers to provide them with information to help them support families in understanding what is involved in electronic monitoring. Consent to having the monitoring equipment within the household can also be withdrawn by the householder at any time.

The Scottish Government have set up three demonstration projects to test the uptake, effectiveness and outcomes of providing holistic support to both individuals subject to EM orders as well as their families. Those pilots are operating in East Ayrshire, Dundee and Midlothian. Learning is still being assembled from those pilots which are funded to run until end March 2019. If the pilots were to suggest that a legislative change is necessary then there may be an opportunity to do that through the Management of Offenders Bill, however there may be a question of scope if any change related to families rather than those who have been through criminal proceedings. Irrespective of any need for further legislation in this area, the learning from the pilots will inform changes in the future design of the electronic monitoring service.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the (a) Better Heart Disease and Stroke Action Plan and (b) Heart Disease Improvement Plan.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (17/01/2019):

Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease is a national clinical priority for Scotland, as outlined in the Better Heart Disease and Stroke Care Action Plan, published in 2009 and subsequently in the Heart Disease Improvement Plan of 2014, which has been the cornerstone of the work of the National Advisory Committee on Heart Disease. Progress has been achieved in all the priority areas.

Some of the key achievements in the six identified priority areas of the Plan are as follows:

i. Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

Work completed with NHS Inform for public education and work is continuing to improve management of Familial Hypercholesterolemia in Scotland. The committee has contributed to the Cross Party Group on High Blood Pressure with a view to improving identification and treatment.

ii. Mental Health for Heart Disease

Training modules have been devised to allow Advance Nurse Practitioners and Heart Failure Nurses to develop skills necessary for psychological support in heart disease.

iii. Secondary and Tertiary Care Cardiology

Scotland has now formally contracted to be part of the UK National Cardiac Audit Programme supporting a quality improvement approach to data collection. This will allow Dcottish data on performance in secondary and tertiary care to be audited and benchmarked.

iv. Heart Disease Management and Rehabilitation

The appointment of a Clinical Champion for Cardiac Rehabilitation saw major improvements in working towards a vision of cardiac rehabilitation involving tailored care for a range of cardiac conditions.

v. Heart Failure

The introduction of a blood test to exclude heart failure has now been introduced in almost all Boards in Scotland, which has led to more efficient pathways for the diagnosis of patients with heart failure. Education about and access to Palliative Care for patients with heart failure has now been provided to Boards across Scotland.

vi. Arrhythmias

The NACHD has piloted the use of smartphones in detection of Atrial Fibrillation, one of the most common heart rhythm problems and has contributed to and promoted national guidance of anticolagulent therapy in Boards to improve uptake but also to potentially make savings in prescribing budgets.

The number of new cases of coronary heart disease has decreased by 27% between 2007 and 2017. The mortality rate has also decreased by 40% in the last 10 years.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it measures the implementation of the recommendations of the Heart Disease Improvement Plan.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (17/01/2019):

The Heart Disease Improvement Plan is overseen by, and has been the cornerstone of the work of, the National Advisory Committee on Heart Disease, Progress has been achieved in all the priority areas. In addition, the Scottish Health Survey monitors health in Scotland and is an important tool in measuring progress of the Plan. There has been a steady reduction in mortality rates of over 40% over the last ten years and these figures show that our strategy for tackling heart disease is delivering real improvements for patients.

The move to be part of the UK National Cardiac Audit Programme (NCAP) will allow Scottish data on performance in secondary and tertiary cardiac care to be audited and benchmarked to support a quality improvement approach to data collection. A draft application has been put forward to the Public Benefit and Privacy Panel for Health and Social Care with a view to obtaining permission for the patient identifiable data to be collected, and we anticipate being able to move forward with this as soon as this has been granted.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) diabetes- and (b) obesity-focused (i) health psychologists specialising in behaviour change and (ii) clinical psychologists specialising in mental health there are; what action is being taken to increase the number, and how many newly-qualified specialists it expects to enter the workforce in each of the next six years.


Answered by Clare Haughey (17/01/2019):

The workforce data collected on psychologists in Scotland does not provide a breakdown on their areas of work in respect of diabetes or obesity. However, all psychologists have general psychology training which includes behavioural change.

There are currently 765.5 WTE clinical psychologists in post. Since September 2017, the clinical psychology workforce has grown by 36.0 WTE (4.9%). In addition,
‎ 237 individuals are training for various post-graduate qualifications in applied psychology, including 181 on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, who will be fully qualified to become Clinical Psychologists upon course completion. On average, ten years after graduating, 70.8% of graduates are still employed in NHSScotland Psychology Services.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the (a) average and (b) longest waiting time between referral and first appointment weight management services has been in each of the last three years.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (17/01/2019):

Information on waiting times for weight management services is not held centrally.

The Scottish Government continues to fund NHS Boards to deliver adult and child weight management services through the Outcomes Framework (£3m in 2018-19). While it is for individual Health Boards to determine the provision required to meet local needs, NHS Health Scotland and Boards are in the process of developing guidance on minimum standards and pathways in order to improve the quality and consistency of services, and equity of access.

This work is one of a wide range of actions for helping people eat better and achieve a healthier weight set out in the Scottish Government’s delivery plan, ‘A Healthier Future’. The plan also reflects the commitment to invest an additional £42 million over 5 years in integrated weight management services for people with, or at risk of, type 2 diabetes.

The full delivery plan can be accessed here: www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781787810556 .

The full Type 2 Diabetes prevention framework can be accessed here: https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0053/00538389.pdf


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what targets are in place to reduce the (a) prevalence of cardiovascular disease and (b) number of acute coronary syndrome events.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (17/01/2019):

The Heart Disease Improvement Plan, published in August 2014, sets out the aims and priorities for improved prevention, treatment and care of heart disease in Scotland. There are six key priorities and key actions needed to deliver improvement. There are no specific targets as the Plan is overseen by the National Advisory Committee on Heart Disease, supported by the Scottish Government and its clinical advisors using quality improvement methodology. The Scottish Health Survey however, monitors health in Scotland and is an important tool in measuring progress of the Plan. Coronary Heart Disease mortality has decreased by over 40% over last ten years which shows that our strategy for tackling heart disease is delivering real improvements for patients.

To further support the Plan, the Scottish Government has recently contracted to be part of the UK National Cardiac Audit Programme. This will allow Scottish data on performance in secondary and tertiary cardiac care to be audited and benchmarked.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to improve the prevention of cardiovascular disease.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (17/01/2019):

The prevention of cardiovascular disease is one of the six priorities identified in the Scottish Government’s Heart Disease Improvement Plan (2014).

We know that a significant proportion of cardiovascular disease is preventable and influenced by behaviours. That is why we are taking decisive action in a number of areas to address these. One of the top priorities is encouraging physical activity as there is clear evidence to link this with the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Our Physical Activity Delivery Plan, ‘A More Active Scotland’, sets out the actions the Scottish Government and partners are taking to support and encourage people in Scotland to be more active, more often.

Being overweight and obesity can result in increased risk for cardiovascular disease, so our ambition is to halve child obesity in Scotland by 2030, and significantly reduce diet-related health inequalities. Taking a preventative approach, will contribute to reducing the likelihood of children becoming overweight or obese in young adulthood and later life.

Our new Alcohol Framework, sets out our priorities for preventing alcohol-related harm, building on existing measures to change Scotland’s relationship with alcohol, including world-leading minimum unit pricing and we are also actively progressing work to reduce smoking rates - our vision is for a tobacco-free Scotland by 2034.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on what action it is taking to set a fisheries landings target.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (17/01/2019):

The Scottish Government remains committed to increasing the amount of fish landed into Scottish ports and to improving the competitiveness of the seafood supply chain.

The Scottish Government has consulted widely on proposals for new economic link arrangements and the results of that consultation will be published in due course.

Any new policy measures will ensure that a fair and real economic link exists with all Scottish vessels working from our ports, which will provide long term benefits to our Scottish fishing communities.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what services (a) it and (b) its agencies have used from the US-based organisation, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, in each year since 2007; how much each service has cost, and how much has been paid in travel and subsistence expenses to the officials dealing with these. 


Answered by Jeane Freeman (17/01/2019):

The Scottish Government has a strategic partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) based in the USA. This current framework contract has been in place since 2018 and covers all public services in Scotland and relates to quality improvement work. The previous partnership was from 2013 to 2018. Prior to 2013, individual public sector organisations contracted directly with the IHI under separate arrangements, the details of which are not held centrally.

Prior to the introduction of the first framework contract, the Scottish Government paid for quality improvement support from IHI in relation to the Early Years Collaborative.

The costs incurred by the Scottish Government with IHI under this framework contract each calendar year since 2013 are as follows:

2012

£46,800.00

Early Years collaborative support

2013

£171,846.95

 

2014

£792,540.31

 

2015

£359,700.76

 

2016

£286,398.31

 

2017

£291,206.53

 

2018

£295,428.57

 

TOTAL

£2,243,921.43

 

Costs incurred by agencies are an operational matter for the relevant Chief Executive.

Information on expenses incurred by officials is not held in the format requested.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many trains have been (a) cancelled and (b) delayed on the Borders Railway in each month since September 2015. 


Answered by Michael Matheson (17/01/2019):

Transport Scotland does not routinely receive performance information down to this level of detail because the franchise does not obligate ScotRail to provide it. The performance of Borders Line services is reported within the East Suburban service group.

Specific up-to-date information about ScotRail performance, including the East Suburban service group, can be found here: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/sites/default/files/assets/download_ct/web_upload_p9_002.pdf .


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what measures will be in place to support people to comply with conditions imposed through electronic monitoring under its Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (17/01/2019):

There is currently an 80 per cent completion rate for electronically monitored orders. Some of those who are electronically monitored currently will already have statutory supervision, for example those on Parole licence.

Measures within the Management of Offenders Bill, will allow for the first time that electronic monitoring can be imposed with a Community Payback Order (CPO) at first instance. This will allow Courts to put a supervision requirement in place where they think it would be beneficial for an individual to have further support. As per the answer to S5W-20709 on 17 January 2019, the Scottish Government are also piloting ways of providing additional support to individuals subject to electronic monitoring. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much of the Green Bus Loan Fund has been used; how it was used, and what the terms of the loans have been.


Answered by Michael Matheson (17/01/2019):

The £10m of financial transaction loan facilities previously included in 2018-19, were not used. No viable option for their use was identified with the bus industry.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason Support for Bus Services, as set out at Table 10.06 of its draft Budget, proposes a fall from £64.2 million in 2018-19 to £57.2 million in 2019-20.


Answered by Michael Matheson (17/01/2019):

The budget of £64.2 million in 2018-19 included £54.2 million, primarily for the Bus Service Operator Grant, as well as a one-off allocation of £10.0 million of financial transaction loan facilities which were not used. In respect of 2019-20, the budget maintains the same level of investment of £54.2 million, does not include any financial transaction loan facilities, and includes an additional £3.0 million of capital grant funding to support the bus industry.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the construction industry trades unions regarding the potential closure of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) facility at Inchinnan and the outsourcing of CITB construction training and other functions.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (17/01/2019):

The Scottish Government has regular contact with trade unions on a range of matters.

There have been no specific discussions with industry trade unions in relation to the changes proposed by the Construction Industry Training Board.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-19996 by Joe FitzPatrick on 3 December 2018, whether the information requested is held by the six regional breast screening centres and reported to the National Services Division, and, if so, whether it will provide this information.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (17/01/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20424 on 18 December 2018. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 17/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it became aware of the reported error in the settlement business case for the departing chief executive of NHS Tayside.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (16/01/2019):

On 6 December 2018 Audit Scotland Published its 2017-18 audit of NHS Tayside. In the context of that audit process, the Scottish Government became aware that errors has been made in the process of confirming the terms of settlement for the departing chief executive of NHS Tayside. These concern, respectively, the process undertaken for confirming a change to the former chief executive's notice period (from 3 months to 6 months), and an overpayment made to the Scottish Public Pensions Agency following the miscalculation of the former chief executive's notice period as superannuable. The Scottish Government has been assured by the board that in both instances, these errors have been retrospectively rectified.

The audit report confirms that the approach to negotiate a settlement in this case was reasonable. As with all employment matters, it would not be appropriate to comment on the detail of individual cases.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to protect the Scottish wildcat population that is living in the wild.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (16/01/2019):

The multi-partner Scottish Wildcat Action project, funded primarily by the Heritage Lottery Fund and led by Scottish Natural Heritage, has largely focussed on protecting wildcats in the wild. It primarily is working in a small number of Priority Areas where populations of wildcats have previously been identified. Other elements of the Wildcat Action project include a conservation breeding programme.

Project staff have worked with large numbers of volunteers to undertake extensive surveys to identify the number of remaining wildcats in the priority areas. Staff and volunteers have also undertaken sustained programmes to catch, neuter and vaccinate feral cats to reduce threats to Scottish wildcats of hybridisation with domestic cats (including pet domestic, feral domestic and hybrid cats), and the transmission of diseases such as Feline Leukaemia (FeLV) and Feline Aids (FIV).

The project team is focussing its efforts this winter on trying to capture wildcats present in three of the current priority areas (Strathbogie, Angus Glens, and Morvern) to enable closer assessment of pelage as well as genetic testing, and so that they can be fitted with remote-download GPS collars. These collars will allow the project to actively target conservation actions around these remaining individual wildcats and generate information to inform a future population reinforcement exercise.

The project will continue to neuter non-wildcats detected in the course of this winter work and liaise with land managers and cat owners to ensure risks to remaining wildcats are reduced.

In tandem with this, and as the end of the current project in March 2020 approaches, Scottish Wildcat Action is reviewing the future conservation needs of wildcats in Scotland. This is being informed by experience, the data gathered during the project and best international practice.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to improve (a) respite and (b) residential care options for people with neurological conditions, and what action it can take to ensure that they are not placed in older people's care homes if it is considered that other options would be preferable.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (16/01/2019):

Integration Authorities have been established to ensure a greater emphasis on community-based and more joined-up and anticipatory care which will benefit a wide range of people including people with neurological conditions.

Further to this we have developed a draft National Action Plan on Neurological Condition, which is currently open for public consultation. We want to ensure that people living with neurological conditions have consistent access to the best possible care and support. This plan sets out a vision for driving improvement in the care, treatment and support available to people living with neurological conditions – and their carers - in Scotland.

Within the draft plan are a number of commitments to support Integration Authorities to improve services and support for people with neurological conditions, including respite care.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the recommendation by the Children & Young People's Mental Health Taskforce to reduce the waiting time target for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) from 18 to 12 weeks.


Answered by Clare Haughey (16/01/2019):

The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce Delivery Plan set out its intention to develop a reduction in CAMHS waiting times to within 12 weeks for assessment and start of treatment, by 100% service as a measure. The Scottish Government will consider this recommendation as the work on this measure is developed by the Taskforce.

On 19 December, the Minister for Mental Health announced £4 million investment in additional CAMHS staff. On the same day, Better Mental Health in Scotland , our delivery plan for the mental health actions in the Programme for Government, was published. This sets out a comprehensive package of measures that will improve the support provided to children and young people with mental health issues and their families. This package will support a shift in mental health services towards early intervention by a wider range of services. It is backed by £250 million of additional investment. Investing in early intervention, as well as, additional CAMHS staff is one of the key recommendations of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce designed to reduce CAMHS waiting times.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what support is available to the children of survivors of domestic abuse.


Answered by Christina McKelvie (16/01/2019):

The Scottish Government is investing over £12 million from the Equality Budget to tackle all forms of violence against women and girls. This includes funding for local services to support children who have experienced domestic abuse, such as children's support services provided by local Women's Aid centres. National organisations such as Barnardo’s and Children 1 st also offer support to children who have experienced domestic abuse. A full breakdown of funding under the Equally Safe (Violence against Women and Girls) Fund can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/vawg-fund-2017-2020/ .


Current Status: Answered by Christina McKelvie on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to increase the support services available to male survivors of domestic abuse.


Answered by Christina McKelvie (16/01/2019):

The Scottish Government recognises that all victims and survivors of domestic abuse deserve access to support.

We will hold a roundtable this year to consider the impact on men of gender based violence, looking at their roles as victims of violence, as perpetrators of it and as allies in its prevention. Amongst other things, this will consider support available for male victims.


Current Status: Answered by Christina McKelvie on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what support it provides to services that specialise in supporting male survivors of domestic abuse.


Answered by Christina McKelvie (16/01/2019):

The Scottish Government recognises that all victims and survivors of domestic abuse deserve access to support.

Funding for domestic abuse services includes support for services who work with male victims. Over 2017 to 2020, these include nearly £85,000 to run the Respect Helpline which signposts male survivors of domestic abuse to support services, over £3 million to ASSIST who, as part of their work, provide advocacy support to male survivors of domestic abuse in the Lothians and over £180,000 to Committed to Ending Abuse which supports all victims and survivors of domestic abuse in the Falkirk area, which includes those who identify as male.

Of funding for support services of domestic abuse, 17.9% goes to services who offer support to adult victims who identify as male. The remaining 82.1% goes to services supporting women and children.


Current Status: Answered by Christina McKelvie on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to undertake an audit of care for (a) cardiology and (b) lipidology services.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (16/01/2019):

Scotland has now formally contracted to be part of the UK National Cardiac Audit Programme. This will allow Scottish data on performance in secondary and tertiary cardiac care to be audited and benchmarked to support a quality improvement approach to data collection. This will cover acute treatment of heart attacks, implantation of pacemakers and defibrillators, cardiac surgery, management of adult congenital heart disease and, in due course, follow-up of heart attack patients and management of heart failure. We anticipate being able to move forward with this soon.

We do not have plans to audit lipid services. The National Advisory Committee for Heart Disease (NACHD) are considering how a national Familial Hypercholesterolemia strategy may be developed and taken forward. Any potential audit of lipid services will be included as part of these discussions.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the average waiting time is for treatment following a positive result from a bowel screen test.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (16/01/2019):

Cancer waiting times statistics for the period July to September 2018 were published on 18 December 2018 by Information Services Division. https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Waiting-Times/Publications/index.asp

For this period, the median wait from a referral from the bowel screening programme to first treatment was 74 days. For bowel screened patients, the median wait from a decision to treat to first treatment was 13 days.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure that everyone engaging in the bowel screening programme receives an appropriate diagnosis following an initial positive test result.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (16/01/2019):

Healthcare Improvement Scotland sets clinical standards for the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme to ensure the delivery of a quality-assured, safe and effective service. This includes a specific standard for diagnostics to ensure that safe and effective investigation is available to people with a positive bowel screening test. More information can be found at: http://www.healthcareimprovementscotland.org/our_work/cancer_care_improvement
/programme_resources/bowel_screening_standards.aspx
.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its decision to cancel the Gourock-Dunoon ferry tender process and proceed with a direct award to CalMac, what steps will be taken by Transport Scotland to ensure that the Altmark requirements will be met.

 

 


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (16/01/2019):

The responsibility for operating a passenger-only ferry service between the town centres in Gourock and Dunoon is being transferred to CalMac, under provisions set out in their current contract for the Clyde and Hebrides ferry services.

The Clyde and Hebrides ferry services contract is, and will continue to be, rigorously managed on an on-going basis to ensure compliance with all applicable law, including satisfying the Altmark criteria.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when island local authorities will be in a position to request island community impact assessments.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (16/01/2019):

Consultation for the development of Island Community Impact Assessments (ICIAs) will take place from 18 March to 27 May 2019, in tandem with work on the National Islands Plan.

The National Islands Plan needs to be laid before Parliament on 4 October 2019 and ideally, the island community impact assessments will follow the same timeframe.

In the meantime, although there is no duty to do an impact assessment, all Ministerial colleagues have been advised of the provisions of the Islands Act and we have been advising our agencies and partners to operate in the spirit of the Act and to consider island issues in their work bearing in mind that the Act would allow for ICIAs, to potentially be applied retrospectively, where appropriate.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many people have been (a) tested for and (b) diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia through cascade testing in each year since 2009.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (16/01/2019):

The Scottish Government does not collect this information.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had regarding budgetary provision for veterans' affairs.


Answered by Graeme Dey (16/01/2019):

Discussions have taken place across Ministerial portfolios. The Scottish Government has allocated its budget, against the backdrop of UK-imposed austerity with a real terms’ cut - excluding NHS consequentials of 1.3% between 2018-19 and 2019-20, on the basis of its overall priorities.

The veterans budget for 2019-20 has been maintained at 2018-19 levels. However, across wider Scottish Government, portfolio specific workstreams for veterans are also in place.


Current Status: Answered by Graeme Dey on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which capital projects had an underspend in 2017-18, broken down by the (a) amount and (b) reason.


Answered by Derek Mackay (16/01/2019):

The following figures are from activities reported within the published 2017-18 Scottish Government Consolidated Accounts and rounded to the nearest £million The list provides details of ‘projects’ as requested and as such excludes other capital expenditure budgeted items such as grants and loan schemes (including Housing, Regeneration and loans to farmers). In addition, details of capital expenditure performance for other public bodies, e.g. Executive NDPBs, are reported within their own accounts publications.

In terms of budget management, final budgets are agreed with the Scottish Parliament each year at the Spring Budget Revision and the figures below represent the underspends against these budgets – the nature of budgeting for capital projects means that costs are often managed over more than one year and the Scottish Government’s in-year budget management processes are designed to ensure that budget and costs flexibility is effectively managed within overall capital budget parameters.

Project

Underspend

Reason for Underspend

 

£million

 

Transport Scotland - scheme development

 

52

Savings on scheme development funding unable to be utilised reassigned across the portfolio.

Transport Scotland - Forth Replacement Crossing

 

11

Re-profiling of expenditure for outstanding and snagging works

Transport Scotland - Haudagain Junction

 

11

£7 million of reduction in the amount of land compensation claims expected to be settled and £4 million of efficiency savings and re-profiling of ground works.

Transport Scotland - Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie Tipperty

 

11

Delay in completion of scheme.

Transport Scotland - A9 dualling

 

6

Reduced costs on Kincraig to Dalraddy and reduced land compensation payments claims, neither of which has had an influence on overall programme delivery.

Transport Scotland - Dalry Bypass

 

4

Funding re-profiled over financial years 2017-20 following award of contract in May 2017

Transport Scotland - A96 dualling

 

3

Design preparation efficiency savings and rescheduling of a preliminary ground investigation contract, neither of which has had an influence on programme delivery.

Transport Scotland - other road schemes

 

8

Efficiency savings and re-profiling across a number of projects at varying stages of design and construction.

NB - Transport Scotland capital underspends resulting from slippages were partially reassigned to projects originally planned for delivery in 2018-19, including purchase of leased vessels on Northern Isles routes

   

Health – NHS Lothian

19

£19 million reprofiled into 2018-19 in relation to medical equipment which could not be delivered as the new Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh was not complete.

Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme

7

Home Office led programme to replace existing Airwave services. A 3-year extension of Airwave has now been agreed to extend the existing contracts until the new ESN (Emergency Services Network) can be delivered. A refreshed Full Business Case and revised Financial Model are currently being considered. ESMCP will need to seek reapproval from Cabinet Office and Her Majesty’s Treasury, Major Projects Review Group and its founding sponsors (including the Scottish Government and the Scottish Police Authority).

CAP Compliance

6

Programme reprofiling for CAP Compliance IT project and reclassification of Successor to Futures expenditure to revenue.

Administration

3

Re-prioritisation of corporate IT projects and delays in timescales for a building project.

Disclosure Scotland

2

Value for money savings and the changed strategy for product delivery.

Scottish Public Pensions Agency

1

Contract termination of a new pension administration and payroll system.

Scottish Prison Service

1

Delay at projects tendering stage and reductions in forecast of spend.

Student Awards Agency for Scotland

1

IT projects completed later than expected.

Justice

1

Digital Evidence Sharing Capability - a decision was made not to proceed after the first stage.

Less:

(95)

Other activities including loans and grants

 

Total Underspend

52

Per Scottish Government Consolidated Accounts

The Scottish Government Consolidated Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2018 are available here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-government-consolidated-accounts-year-ended-31-march-2018/ .


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much The Moray Council has received in (a) revenue support /general revenue grant, (b) non-domestic rate income and (c) specific revenue grants in each of the last 10 years, also expressed in real terms.


Answered by Kate Forbes (16/01/2019):

Total revenue funding split by general revenue grant, non-domestic rate income and specific revenue grants provided by the Scottish Government to Moray Council in each of the last 10 years, is set out in a document that has been placed in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre, Bib number 60402.

It should be noted that funding for Police and Fire transferred out of the local government finance settlement with effect from 1 April 2013. As a result the years before 2013-14 and the years from 2013-14 are not comparable.

The figures for the years 2009-2018 are all final outturn figures, for 2018-19 the figures are near final and for 2019-20 they are budget figures.

The real terms figures were calculated using the November 2018 GDP deflators.


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of 87 out of 107 respondents to its consultation, Investing in and Paying for Your Water Services from 2021, indicating that the single occupant discount of 25% should not be reduced to 10%, whether it plans to proceed with a reduction.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (16/01/2019):

The Scottish Government will undertake further research, consultation and engagement with the potentially affected demographics and relevant interest groups prior to a decision being made. The Government will take the comments received during the consultation process into careful consideration in deciding the way forward.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-19740 by Roseanna Cunningham on 9 November 2018, whether the agendas, minutes, papers for, and presentations made at, meetings of the multi-stakeholder group are publicly available and, if so, where.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (16/01/2019):

Agendas, minutes and papers are available to customer representatives and industry stakeholders but are not publicly available. Preparatory material will be released after the conclusion of the price review. However, the proposals arising from these deliberations are set out in the Decision Papers and other Strategic Review related documentation published by the Water Industry Commission on its website as referred to in the answer to question S5W-20806 on 16 January 2019. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .

The ‘Shaping the future of your water services’ consultation report which was referred to by the member in question S5W-19740 was presented by Scottish Water on 25 October 2018. The results of this consultation are available on Scottish Water’s website at https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/about-us/publications/key-publications/211218-shaping-the-future-consultation-results .


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has published all of the responses received to its consultation, Investing in and Paying for Your Water Services from 2021.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (16/01/2019):

The Scottish Government has published all responses where it has been given permission to do so at https://consult.gov.scot/energy-and-climate-change-directorate/water-services-from-2021/ .


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on what the (a) cost and (b) length of delay will be of the delivery of the contract between Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd and Fergusons Marine Engineering Ltd for two new hybrid-fuel ferries.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (16/01/2019):

The two ferries were procured by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) through open competition to a design and build specification at a fixed price of £97m.

Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd (FMEL) has recently submitted a contractual claim to CMAL. CMAL is considering that claim in detail.

Detailed discussions relating to contract variations or any additional costs are a matter for the contracting parties to resolve .

FMEL has formally indicated that the MV Glen Sannox (801) will be delivered during summer 2019 and the second vessel (802) in spring 2020.

CMAL have questioned whether the revised delivery dates can be achieved on the basis of current build progress. We continue to work with both parties to identify and minimise any slippage, since the importance of energy both vessels enter service on the earliest possible opportunity.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much (a) it, (b) Scottish Enterprise and (b) its agencies have paid to Kaiam UK or Kaiam Europe in the last 10 years.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (16/01/2019):

This is an operational matter for Scottish Enterprise.

I have passed your query on to Steve Dunlop, the Chief Executive, and asked him to respond to you directly.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what support is available for people affected by servitude law, and how it enforces legal rights relating to maintenance without the complainant incurring significant legal costs.


Answered by Ash Denham (16/01/2019):

A dispute arising from servitude law (access rights) is a civil matter.

The Scottish Government encourages individuals to find a resolution to a problem out with a court, where possible such as the use of a mediation service which can help to bring the parties in a dispute together and arrive at a satisfactory conclusion for both parties. Any costs associated with the use of this service would normally be considerably less than raising a court action.

If mediation is not an option or fails to resolve the issue then taking the matter to court is the only recourse. General support and advice services such as Citizens Advice or Shelter Scotland may be able to give some initial advice on the specific circumstances.

In addition, the Scottish Legal Aid Board provide Advice and Assistance (A&A). This is available subject to a financial eligibility test, on any matter of Scots law for various forms of legal advice and assistance short of representation in court. It can include advice on whether there is a legal case to take forward, advice on options to proceed, negotiating a settlement, or writing letters on the applicant’s behalf.

If court action is raised then the circumstances of the dispute and the individual may qualify for legal aid assistance. Further information on legal aid eligibility can be found at: https://www.slab.org.uk/Online_calculators.html .


Current Status: Answered by Ash Denham on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on on increasing the number of employment opportunities in transportation located in island communities.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (16/01/2019):

Government agencies are currently major employers in the Western Isles.

HIAL looks to support employment within its local communities wherever possible.

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) employ 118 people in the Western Isles and will continue to be a major employer in the area.

As part of the Air Traffic Management Strategy (ATMS) programme, HIAL are exploring options to allow Air Traffic Control (ATC) staff to retain their base on the islands and commute to the ATC Surveillance Centre, Inverness. This includes examining shift patterns to accommodate such remote working.

HIAL is keen to work with local stakeholders to promote vacancies in the area.

CalMac Ferries Ltd is also a major employer in island and coastal communities, currently employing 156 seagoing staff and 54 port staff who reside in the Western Isles Council area. CalMac work proactively with schools, at careers fairs and through their industry leading apprenticeship and cadet programmes to encourage local island based applicants for CalMac jobs, and to develop long-term careers.

In addition, to public sector employment in the transportation sector, there are many opportunities in the commercial logistics sector on island communities.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-19740 by Roseanna Cunningham on 9 November 2018, when the multi-stakeholder group was established; what its initial terms of reference were; who its members are; by whom they were appointed, and for what period of time.

 

 


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (16/01/2019):

The Water Industry Commission for Scotland began a series of multi-stakeholder meetings in October 2017 to discuss key themes for the 2021-27 Strategic Review of Charges. Throughout 2017 and 2018 they provided a forum to explore topics included within the Commission’s 2017 and 2018 Decision Papers. These are available on the Commission’s website at https://www.watercommission.co.uk/view_Decision_Papers.aspx .

The multi-stakeholder group consists of representatives from the Scottish Government, the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS), the Customer Forum, Citizens Advice Scotland, the Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Water. The Stakeholder Advisory Group is expected to continue until the Price Review process concludes in 2020.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what further examination it plans to undertake of the available discounts, exemptions and reductions following responses to its consultation, Investing in and Paying for Your Water Services from 2021.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (16/01/2019):

The Scottish Government will continue to work with stakeholders to examine how the structure of water charges can be improved.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether its respiratory action plan will recommend that GPs receive more training on interstitial lung disease.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (16/01/2019):

The Respiratory Care Action Plan for Scotland is in the early stages of development, and work is being taken forward with a wide range of stakeholders across the respiratory community and third sector. The Plan will set out the main priorities to support NHS Boards in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of respiratory conditions.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it has taken to raise public awareness of interstitial lung disease and its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (16/01/2019):

NHS Inform is Scotland's national health information service that aims to provide people with accurate and relevant information to help them make informed decisions about their own health. This includes information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of interstitial lung disease.

Scottish Government works closely with third sector organisations to raise awareness of respiratory conditions, including interstitial lung disease.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a breakdown of the non-savings, non-dividend (NSND) income tax revenue it has raised in each of the last three years, broken down by (a) band and (b) percentage.


Answered by Derek Mackay (16/01/2019):

HMRC are responsible for publishing non-savings non-dividend (NSND) income tax outturn for Scotland. The data are published around 15 months following the end of the tax year, primarily due to the time Self-Assessment taxpayers have to complete their tax returns following the end of any tax year. Therefore, the latest available data is for 2016-17, and we expect 2017-18 data to be available in Summer 2019.

The outturn data for 2016-17 reported that there were over 2.2 million Basic Rate taxpayers, 294,000 Higher Rate and 13,300 Additional Rate taxpayers in that year. HMRC did not publish revenue by band at that time, but did publish an estimate for total Scottish NSND income tax receipts in 2016-17 of £10.7 million.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the publication of its draft Budget, whether it will provide an update on its replacement and investment strategy for vessels on publicly subsidised ferry contracts.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (16/01/2019):

High level indicative investment programmes for vessels and harbours were set out in the Ferries Plan 2013-2022 – these were and remain subject to affordability and changing priorities.

The most recent version of the Vessel Replacement and Deployment Plan was published on 31 January 2018. That plan gives an overview of how existing, planned and prospective vessels could be deployed across the Clyde and Hebrides network to deliver the commitments set out in the Scottish Ferries Plan. Work is progressing on an update to the Vessel Replacement and Deployment Plan and this will be published in the near future.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the status of the communities that are due to be listed as potentially vulnerable areas.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (16/01/2019):

Members should be aware this question is about flood management . Scottish Ministers approved the revised set of Potentially Vulnerable Areas submitted by SEPA in September 2018 and these were published on SEPA's website on 22 December 2018.

Working closely with partners, SEPA will draft Flood Risk Management Strategies for the period 2022-2027. These strategies will identify objectives and actions to help protect communities in potentially vulnerable areas, and they will be published following a full public consultation.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what provisions it will make to protect air quality standards in the event of Brexit.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (16/01/2019):

The Scottish Government has committed to continuing to maintain or exceed EU environmental standards, in the event of Brexit, including air quality standards. Steps have been take to ensure air quality legislation continues to function on EU exit.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to improve air quality in urban areas.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (16/01/2019):

The Cleaner Air for Scotland strategy sets out a series of actions for Government, Transport Scotland, local authorities and others to further reduce air pollution across Scotland. Financial and other support is provided to local authorities to assist them with monitoring and implementing local actions to improve air quality. In November I announced that Professor Campbell Gemmell will chair an independent review of Scotland’s air quality strategy, to assess progress and make recommendations for future priorities.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it has given to the decline in kestrel numbers in Scotland.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (16/01/2019):

The Scottish Government shares the concern over the recent decline in kestrel numbers. The causes are not yet fully understood but are likely to involve multiple factors such as agricultural intensification, land use change, climate change, use of rodenticides, prey abundance and competition with other species.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the impact that the transition to low-carbon emissions will have on lower-income families.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (16/01/2019):

A combined Equality Impact Assessment, Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment and Fairer Scotland assessment on socio-economic inequalities was produced for the Climate Change Bill. Poor and deprived communities were one of the main groups identified as likely to be impacted by climate change and action to reduce emissions.

This is one reason why we have established a Just Transition Commission to advise Minsters on the move to a carbon-neutral economy. I anticipate that the impact of the transition on lower-income families will form part of its considerations. We are committed to a carbon-neutral, inclusive economy.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to support the food and drink sector.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (16/01/2019):

We continue to work with farmers, food producers and industry bodies to drive forward the Ambition 2030 food and drink strategy. Our Programme for Government sets out a range of new measures to support the sector, building on the range of work that is already ongoing.

Indeed, direct investment and support to the food and drink sector in Scotland from the public sector across a range of areas including skills, education, research, industry development, standards and capital investment equates to approximately £100 million per annum.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it is supporting the food and drink industry in the Almond Valley constituency.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (16/01/2019):

I’ve already outlined that a wide range of support that is available to food and drink producers throughout the country. In addition, I am delighted that West Lothian Council has recently achieved the Soil Association Scotland’s Bronze Food for Life award for its primary school meals service.

The Food for Life programme supports councils to get more local produce on the table and this new award will therefore provide further opportunities for many local producers across West Lothian, including the Almond Valley.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it will put in place to support farmers in adapting and building resilience to the impacts of climate change.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (16/01/2019):

The Scottish Government is developing a new Climate Change Adaptation Programme to be published this year, this will build on the 2014 previous report and will include agriculture.

We support farming and food production with high quality advice and information on environmental and business resilience through the Farm Advisory Service, and via the Agriculture Weather Advisory Panel. We continue to support on the ground actions through avenues such as the Forestry Grant Scheme and the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme which opens to applications shortly. This follows the announcement in December of a further £39.5 million committed, bring our total support under this one scheme to over £150 million since 2015.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it can support deer managers to supply venison to local people.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (16/01/2019):

There is considerable potential from both wild and farmed deer in Scotland. The new venison sector action plan launched in September, Beyond the Glen , seeks to realise this potential to increase the production and consumption of Scottish venison.

While recognising that mechanisms already exist that allow the supply of venison to local markets through local processing facilities, licensed venison dealers, and local outlets, the plan sets out a number of actions which will help to grow the Venison sector in Scotland and we are committed to working in partnership with the sector to help take forward the actions outlined in the Strategy.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20546 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 21 December 2018, whether it will publish each of the three reviews.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (16/01/2019):

Gateway Reviews are conducted for the Scottish Government and associated public sector organisations to help support the successful delivery of programmes and projects by ensuring that good programme and project management practice is being used; that key risks are actively managed and to identify any learning points for better practice.

The reports are confidential to the Senior Responsible Owner (SRO).


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many social and affordable houses have been built in the Stirling constituency in each year since 2007.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (16/01/2019):

The Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) collates information relating to homes delivered at local authority rather than constituency level.

The following table shows the number of social and affordable homes delivered through the AHSP in the Stirling local authority area in each year since 2007.

Year

No. of Social Rented Units

No. of Affordable Units

Total No. of Units Delivered

2007-08

127

9

136

2008-09

122

10

132

2009-10

73

33

106

2010-11

113

39

152

2011-12

103

17

120

2012-13

27

18

45

2013-14

105

44

149

2014-15

135

40

175

2015-16

83

83

166

2016-17

93

25

118

2017-18

55

16

71

Total

1036

334

1370

Please note that as well as new build homes, the AHSP includes rehabilitation projects, off-the-shelf purchases and homes for low-cost home ownership from existing housing stock.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to S5W-20616 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 8 January 2019, whether it remains its position, as set out at section 1.3 of its document, Social Security Programme - Disability Benefits Assessments Strategic Outline Case, which was published under the freedom of information request, FoI/18/03113, that "the assumption is that the disability benefit rules and structures will remain broadly the same", and, if so, for what reason this is not referred to in the response.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (16/01/2019):

While our working assumption for planning purposes is that the rules and structures will remain broadly the same, no final decisions have been taken; we will continue to look for opportunities to improve these, provided the changes do not risk the safe and secure transition of devolved disability assistance. As previously stated, we have already identified a number of areas for improvement and are co-designing these with people with experience of the current system so that we can build a system which better meets the needs of individuals.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when the Scottish Expert Advisory Panel on the Collaborative Economy last met, and what issues were discussed.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (15/01/2019):

The Scottish Expert Advisory Panel on the Collaborative Economy met for the last time on 30 November 2017 to discuss its draft report and to approve agreed recommendations for inclusion. The Advisory Panel’s final report published on 29 January 2018, and can be viewed at:  https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-expert-advisory-panel-collaborative-economy-report/

The Scottish Government’s response to the report was published on 10 July 2018 and can be viewed at:  https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-government-response-scottish-expert-advisory-panel-collaborative-economy-report/

All associated papers and minutes of the Advisory Panel’s meetings are available through the Scottish Government’s website at: 
https://www.gov.scot/groups/scottish-expert-advisory-panel-collaborative-economy/


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what correspondence or communications it received from Kaiam Europe or Kaiam UK in relation to (a) the company’s failure to be able to pay its staff and (b) the sustainability of the business, and on which dates such communications were received.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (15/01/2019):

The Scottish Government did not receive any direct correspondence or communication from Kaiam Europe or Kaiam UK. As one of their account managed companies, Scottish Enterprise lead on direct communications.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government on which date it or any of its agencies were alerted to Kaiam UK or Kaiam Europe being in financial difficulty.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (15/01/2019):

Kaiam notified Scottish Enterprise on 16 November 2018 that the company was in financial difficulty and seeking a buyer for the business, the Scottish Government was informed on 22 November 2018. On learning of this development, Scottish Enterprise worked with Kaiam to explore all viable options to support the business to retain the jobs in Livingston. Unfortunately, a solution could not be found.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has paid out in grants, loans and other finance to companies in which Bardia Pezeshki has been a director, executive officer, share holder or has had a business interest in the last 10 years.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (15/01/2019):

This is an operational matter for Scottish Enterprise. Scottish Enterprise have advised they are not aware of any significant interests by way of executive officer roles during the period in question beyond formal directorships. Scottish Enterprise are also unable to advise whether the individual may have held any shares in any other business during this time as this would be personal information relating to an individual and is not necessarily associated with an executive role or controlling interest.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many financial health checks have been conducted under its Financial Health Check service, also broken down by (a) local authority and (b) citizens advice bureau.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

We do not hold this information yet.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the requirements are on Citizens Advice Scotland to report statistical information under its agreement to deliver the Financial Health Check service, and how frequently it is required to report this.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

Reports on the overall progress of the service will be submitted to the Scottish Government on a quarterly basis.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what procurement process was conducted for the provision of its Financial Health Check service.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

The service is grant funded by £3.3 million over two years.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what it estimates the cost per check will be for its Financial Health Check service.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

The duration and cost of each check will vary depending on the issues a client wishes to cover. We estimate the cost of a full check to be approximately £100.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the verified financial gain (VFG) of its Financial Health Check service is to date, and what the target VFG gain is for (a) 2018-19 and (b) 2019-20.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

Client financial gain is one of the six key performance indicators for the service. Citizens Advice Scotland and Citizen Advice Bureaux record a financial gain for a client once they can confirm the client has been awarded a benefit and/or service. We do not hold information on the verified financial gain (VFG) to date. No VFG targets have been set as part of this project.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the key performance indicators are for its Financial Health Check service being delivered by Citizens Advice Scotland.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

The key performance indicators are:

  • Number of clients accessing the service
  • Profile of clients
  • Client financial gain
  • Client satisfaction
  • Client financial confidence
  • Improved mental health as a result of the check.

Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether the £3.3 million funding for its Financial Health Check service is performance-linked, and what the criteria are that must be met in order for funding to be released.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

This is a two year project with funding for year two subject to a successful evaluation of year one.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason Individual Training Accounts are no longer available, and whether it plans to re-introduce these.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (15/01/2019):

Following a hugely successful year for the new Individual Training Account (ITA) programme, demand from individuals has been strong and the target of 18,500 accounts has been exceeded ahead of schedule. It is anticipated that when all verified individuals in the system have been processed, the number of people who have benefitted from ITAs in 2018-19 will exceed 22,000.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) members of staff and (b) volunteers it expects Citizens Advice Scotland to commit to the delivery of the Financial Health Check service.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

To deliver the Financial Health Check service Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has employed 5.5 FTE staff:

  • 1 Project Manager
  • 1.5 x Co-ordinator
  • 2 x Administrator
  • 1 IT support

CAS has also committed additional staff support from its Senior Management Team, Communications, Marketing and Quality Assurance.

In addition, 12 telephony advisers have been employed by local Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) to provide the national telephony support.

We do not yet hold final information on the number of local CAB staff and volunteers providing the face to face support.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the minimum level of service is for the Financial Health Check service agreed with Citizens Advice Scotland.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

The Financial Health Check service is expected to provide income maximisation support for an additional 15,000 clients each year.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether NHS boards' Practical Obstetric Multi-professional Training (PROMPT) for health care professionals in maternity services includes a cardiotocography (CTG) scanning elopement.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (15/01/2019):

PROMPT and SCOTTIE (Scottie core Obstetric teaching and training) are available for all midwifery and obstetric staff, neither covers CTG as this is covered by the more in-depth K2 or RCOG packages which are available as 8 hour stand-alone packages of training. All midwives and obstetricians must complete either PROMPT or SCOTTIE (some Boards choose to do both) every two years. Additional to this, all midwives and obstetricians must complete either the K2 or the Royal College of Midwives (RCM)/RCOG eLearning package at least every two years. The agreement of which package will be suitable to meet the needs of individual practitioners should be a personal decision, however as K2 has a cost this may be determined by the employing organisation.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which NHS boards are meeting its commitment for all neo-natal multi-disciplinary teams to take part in mandatory cardiotocography (CTG) scanning training twice a year.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (15/01/2019):

CTG is used to monitor fetal heart rate prior to birth and during labour. CTG training is not undertaken by neonatal staff as they do not deal with pregnant women or babies in utero. CTG training is undertaken by midwives and obstetricians however it is not mandatory to undertake this twice a year. There are two packages of training and NHS Boards mandate that staff undertake one of these, both take around 8 hours to complete. The Chief Medical Officer and Chief Nursing Officer wrote to all NHS Boards on 21st December stating that:

"On an annual basis, all midwives and obstetricians will undertake clinical training in fetal heart monitoring in a multidisciplinary setting, such as regular CTG review meetings or local face-to-face bespoke unit training, in line with the Maternity and Children Quality Improvement Collaborative CTG package. This should be a minimum of two hours per year. It is important that aspects of intermittent and continuous monitoring are included in the clinical training where appropriate. Additional to this, all midwives and obstetricians will complete either the K2 or the Royal College of Midwives (RCM)/RCOG eLearning package at least every two years."

NHS Boards have been asked to report on this in December 2019 and again in 2020.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its decision to cancel the Gourock-Dunoon ferry tender process and proceed with a direct award to CalMac, what steps will be taken by Transport Scotland to benchmark future subsidy levels and achieve value for money.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (15/01/2019):

All variations to the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service contract, including the planned transfer of the Gourock to Dunoon service, are scrutinised and rigorously assessed for value for money. Going forward, the Gourock to Dunoon route will be included as part of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services contract under variations to the contract. The subsidy grant for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services contract is monitored at regular stages throughout the year.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the DWP regarding the proposed income supplement.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

To date, discussions have taken place with DWP at a senior official level, to outline the commitment contained in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, and how both organisations can best engage with each other in its development.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its decision to cancel the Gourock-Dunoon ferry tender process and proceed with a direct award to CalMac, when it will provide details of (a) future service levels, (b) future service vessels and (c) the introduction of RET fares on both Gourock-Dunoon ferry services.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (15/01/2019):

The service will remain unchanged upon transfer, to facilitate the transition with the same timetable and ticketing arrangements as are currently in place. Any future changes will be fully assessed and evaluated and subject to existing consultation processes.

In line with my letter to you and fellow MSPs regarding the areas affected, further consideration will be given to vessel requirements going forward, in consultation with local stakeholders and trade unions, with a view to ensuring that the ferry service fully meets the needs of the community and passengers.

Any possible introduction of RET on the route will be considered in due course.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20289 by Fergus Ewing on 14 December 2018, which sought information regarding meetings that ministers have attended since 2013 concerning the operation of the Cairngorm Funicular Railway, whether it considers the response, which pointed to the findings of a search query on its website using the term "ministerial engagements" and not a detailed list of such engagements, meets the commitment set out at paragraph 1.3 (d) of the Scottish Ministerial Code, which states that "Ministers should be as open as possible with the Parliament and the public, reflecting the aspirations set out in the Report of the Consultative Steering Group on the Scottish Parliament", and whether it considers that the response reflects the First Minister's aspiration in the foreword that "I will lead by example in following the letter and spirit of this Code, and I expect that Ministers and civil servants will do likewise", and what the reasons are for its position on these matters.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (15/01/2019):

As no specific meetings have been held involving Scottish Ministers, there are no such meetings to provide information on. Reference is made to Parliamentary question S5W-20662 on 15 January 2019, which provides details of meetings and wider matters relating to Cairngorm mountain. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .

I would be happy to meet with the member to discuss these matters.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information (a) it and (b) Citizens Advice Scotland has published on the Financial Health Check service, in addition to its press release of 2 November 2018.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

The Scottish Government has published information on the Financial Health Check service on the money matters section of our Parent Club website: https://www.parentclub.scot/articles/financial-health-check ; in our recently published second annual progress report on the Fairer Scotland Action Plan: https://www.gov.scot/publications/fairer-scotland-action-plan-progress-report-2018/ and on our my.gov website https://www.mygov.scot/benefits-support/ .

We do not hold information on the publications made by Citizens Advice Scotland.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it or Citizens Advice Scotland is responsible for advertising and promoting the Financial Health Check service; what advertising and promotional work has been agreed as part of the agreement with Citizens Advice Scotland to deliver the service; how frequently this work is to be delivered, and how much of the £3.3 million funding committed to the service over two years is to be used for advertising and promoting the service.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

Both the Scottish Government and Citizens Advice network in Scotland are responsible for advertising and promoting the service. The Scottish Government will undertake a national marketing campaign week commencing 7 January 2019 to raise awareness of the service. The funding for the Scottish Government’s national marketing campaign is in addition to the £3.3 million funding committed.

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) will also undertake marketing work and local marketing and engagement with local partners will be undertaken by local Citizens Advice Bureau. CAS is currently developing their plans on this.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many people have had a financial health check conducted (a) centrally by telephone and (b) locally in a citizens advice bureau.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20746 on 15 January 2019. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will publish its service level agreement with Citizens Advice Scotland for delivery of its Financial Health Check service.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (15/01/2019):

We do not intend to publish the service level agreement.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many wind turbine planning applications it is currently considering, also broken down by (a) local authority area and (b) size of turbine.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (15/01/2019):

The Scottish Government’s Energy Consents team, who are responsible for managing applications made to Scottish Ministers for wind farms exceeding 50 megawatts, currently has 27 applications under consideration for new, extended or varied wind farms. Further details can be found at www.energyconsents.scot The following table provides a breakdown of those applications;

Wind Farm

Type 

Local Planning Authority

Height

Glendye

New Wind Farm

Aberdeenshire

149.9m

Airigh

New Wind Farm

Argyll & Bute

149.5m

Blarghour

New Wind Farm

Argyll & Bute

136.5m

Killean

New Wind Farm

Argyll & Bute

149.9m

Tangy IV

Re-Powering

Argyll & Bute

149.9m

Upper Sonachan

New Wind Farm       

Argyll & Bute

136.5m

North Lowther Energy Initiative  

New Wind Farm

Dumfries and Galloway

149m

Sandy Knowe Wind Farm

New Wind Farm

Dumfries and Galloway

125m

Shepherds Rig

New Wind Farm

Dumfries and Galloway

149.9m

Stranoch 2

New Wind Farm

Dumfries and Galloway

175m

Windy Standard III

Extension

Dumfries and Galloway

177.5m

Enoch Hill

New Wind Farm

East Ayrshire

130m

Corriemollie

S36 Consent only

Highland

125m

Drum Hollistan

New Wind Farm

Highland

140m

Glenshero

New Wind Farm

Highland

135m

Golticlay

New Wind Farm

Highland

130m

Limekiln

New Wind Farm

Highland

139m

Strathy Wood

New Wind Farm

Highland

145m

Clash Gour

New Wind Farm

Moray

176m

Pauls Hill II

Extension

Moray

149.9m

Dulater Hill

New Wind Farm

Perth and Kinross

125m

Fallago Rig

Extension

Scottish Borders

126.5m

Crystal Rig IV

Extension

Scottish Borders/East Lothian 

200m

Viking Variation

Variation

Shetland Islands

155m

Hagshaw Hill

Re-Powering

South Lanarkshire

200m

Harry Burn

New Wind Farm

South Lanarkshire

149.9m

Kype Muir

Extension Variation

South Lanarkshire

220m


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason its draft social security charter has not been published, and by what date it will be.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (15/01/2019):

The draft social security charter was laid for Parliamentary approval on 10 January 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government where the female custodial estate will be housed by the end of the current parliamentary session, broken down by (a) institution and (b) respective capacity.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (15/01/2019):

I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), to respond. His response is as follows:

There are currently 383 women in custody as of 21st December 2018. They are located across 5 prisons in Scotland; HMP and YOI Cornton Vale, HMP Edinburgh, HMP Greenock, HMP & YOI Grampian and HMP & YOI Polmont. HMP & YOI Cornton Vale accommodates women only while the other establishments also accommodate men.

Details of the population at each establishment together with the respective capacities are provided in the following table.

Establishment

No women in custody    

Capacity for Women

HMP Edinburgh

101

111

HMP Greenock

52*

51

HMP Grampian

47

50

HMP Polmont

92

134

HMP Cornton Vale   

91

111

Totals

383

457

* This figure includes 2 women who are currently within the community integration unit at HMP Greenock. This unit can accommodate up to 6 women but is classed as temporary accommodation and therefore not included in the total available capacity.

The programme of work to transform how Scotland cares for women in custody is well underway and will deliver 3 new facilities within the female custodial estate by the end of 2020:

A new Women’s National Facility with 80 places is to be built on the existing site of HMP & YOI Cornton Vale and will replace the existing prison when operational; and two Community Custody Units (CCU), one in Glasgow and one in Dundee will also be built. The CCU in Glasgow will be able to accommodate up to 24 women while the Dundee CCU will accommodate up to 16 women.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it has met the Construction Industry Training Board since January 2017.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (15/01/2019):

I met with Sarah Beal the Chief Executive of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) on 25 January 2018.

Scottish Government Officials met with CITB on 8 May 2018.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the outsourcing of the Construction Industry Training Board's construction training and other functions.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (15/01/2019):

Oversight of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is a reserved matter. The outsourcing comes as a result of a review of the operations of CITB across Great Britain. The Scottish Government regards this development as unfortunate, particularly for those who are directly affected. The Scottish Government expects CITB to ensure that the employment rights of individuals are protected.

The responsibility for these changes lie with the UK Government, but the Scottish Government will provide support to those who are facing redundancy through our initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE).

The local PACE team was quickly in touch with CITB Inchinnan to offer PACE support. Through providing skills development and employability support, PACE aims to minimise the time individuals facing redundancy are out of work.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20072 by Kate Forbes on 7 December 2018, whether it will confirm on what dates the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work has met the leader of the City of Edinburgh Council since January 2018, and on which occasions the funding of the local authority was discussed.

 


Answered by Kate Forbes (15/01/2019):

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work did not meet the Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council in a Scottish Government official capacity last year. However negotiations on the annual local government finance settlement are conducted between the Scottish Government and COSLA, on behalf of all 32 local authorities.

The 2019-20 local government finance settlement which was announced on 12 December delivers a funding package of £11.1 billion for local authorities, a real terms increase of over £210 million for essential public services in Scotland. The City of Edinburgh Council will receive £839.6 million to fund local services in 2019-20. Using their council tax powers they could also generate an additional £8.5 million to support the delivery of local services, meaning an extra £37 million next year.


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the potential impact on households and businesses in the area, whether it will discuss with Openreach the reports of poor, interrupted and failing phone lines in Crianlarich.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (15/01/2019):

Scottish Government officials have and continue to be in regular contact with BT in respect of the intermittent isolations at the Crianlarich exchange.

The small exchange, servicing around 140 customers, in the Crianlarich area has experienced a number of intermittent issues over the past year which has resulted in short isolations of the exchange. During these outages no outgoing calls from landlines can be made - including to 999, which is clearly a matter of concern.

It is important to clarify that mobile phones would not have been affected. Broadband services are also unaffected.

Openreach maintain that intermittent nature and complexity of the fault has proved challenging. We have been informed that engineers have replaced or upgraded the majority of equipment and are monitoring the exchange 24/7. We have been further informed that Openreach engineers are working with remote monitoring colleagues across the UK as well as equipment suppliers.

As of the 14 January 2019, Openreach say that the exchange has been relatively stable since Friday 11 January 2019 with phone outages now typically lasting a short period and being less frequent. However, clearly I am concerned that any customer might be unable to call the 999 service and we will be keen to see Openreach resolve this with all due urgency.

A payphone linked to another route is available in the unlikely event that customers cannot make calls and want to. Police Scotland and Stirling Council have shared this information at BT’s request. However, this must be resolved.

Openreach have assured us that testing, monitoring and equipment replacement will continue until the issue is fully resolved.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many Social Security Scotland staff are based at (a) Dundee House, Dundee, (b) High Street, Glasgow, (c) Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, (d) St Andrew's House, Edinburgh, (e) Atlantic Quay, Glasgow and (f) other (i) Social Security Scotland and (ii) Scottish Government premises.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (15/01/2019):

The Scottish social security system will be directly delivered by Social Security Scotland, through a local presence providing face-to-face advice, supported by administrative functions in our Dundee headquarters and Glasgow.

Location

Number of staff

Dundee House, Dundee (HQ)      

141

High Street, Glasgow

108

Atlantic Quay, Glasgow

4

Victoria Quay, Edinburgh

2

Courtyard Falkirk

2

Kilwinning

1

Saughton House, Edinburgh

1

Stornoway

1

Nineteen Local Delivery Relationship Leads have been recruited and will now start detailed planning for how the service will be delivered in each local area. This service will launch when it is required for devolved benefits.

The Local Delivery Relationship Leads have initially been based in existing Scottish Government offices from which they will design the service.

Social Security Scotland will build up a network of locally based staff supporting people to apply for benefits across all 32 local authorities.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-19495 by Kate Forbes on 7 November 2018, whether there has been a net gain to public finances from the three-year lease review programme on Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) penalties administered by Revenues Scotland.


Answered by Kate Forbes (15/01/2019):

Revenue Scotland publish provisional data each month regarding notifiable lease transactions and three-year leases reviews on a ‘date of review return’ basis in Table 5 of the LBTT statistics, available on Revenue Scotland’s website. The final revenue outturn for 2018-19 for these lease reviews will be published in the Revenue Scotland Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Devolved Taxes for 2018-19 which is expected in September 2019. I have asked the Chief Executive of Revenue Scotland to respond directly to the member about this matter.


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20289 by Fergus Ewing on 14 December 2018, in light of detailed information regarding the meetings not being available on its website, whether it will confirm who ministers met at each meeting that they attended since 2013 regarding the operation of the Cairngorm Funicular Railway; whether it will publish the minutes and agenda of each meeting, and what the outcome of each meeting was.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (15/01/2019):

There have been no meetings involving Scottish Ministers since 2013 relating specifically and solely to the Cairngorm funicular railway. Records show that five meetings involving relevant stakeholders have taken place since 2013 for which Ministers involved were briefed on the funicular railway. These are listed below. Additionally, a joint Ministerial meeting took place between myself and Mr Wheelhouse to discuss matters relating to the Aviemore economy in March 2014. I was also appraised of the Cairngorm uplift review by HIE in September 2018.

I regularly engage with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) on a variety of issues relevant to my portfolio and have a particular interest in promoting the sustainability of the snowsports sector across Scotland, which meets annually to coordinate strategic actions in Autumn (also referenced below). The Scottish Government has invested £6 million in infrastructure for outdoor ski centres since 2014.

I share Mr Finnie’s concern about matters relating to the railway and the wider mountain area and would welcome the opportunity to discuss these matters with him.

Aviemore Business Association and Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy

25 June 2018

Meeting to discuss business performance at Cairngorm. Briefing referenced the ongoing uplift review being carried out at Cairngorm mountain, prior to which no uplift review of its kind had been considered since the introduction of the funicular.

Snowsports strategic meeting

3 October 2018

Meeting to discuss yearly events for snowsports. The snow sector is provided with ongoing support relating to snow making equipment and 1-1 business support. Issues discussed included UK cableways legislation 2019 for uplift infrastructure such as ski tows, snow centres provide updates on business activities and broadband access in the R100 scheme rollout was discussed.

HIE notes in advance that funicular customers for the first 6 months of 2018 are 45,823 with ski customers for this trading period at 40,774.

Briefing also noted that the Funicular was closed for the month of June as there was significant maintenance work undertaken which necessitated the closure. The work was undertaken satisfactorily and ahead of schedule.

The funicular closure of September 2018 is referenced. HIE have commissioned COWI engineers to provide further assessment and ascertain the best way forward to ensure operations do not further impact upon business.

Natural Retreats and Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity

12 June 2017

Meeting to discuss non uplift infrastructure upgrades at Cairngorm, with increased visitor numbers projected. Cairngorm Mountain Limited report that they have increased the average cost of the funicular ride per passenger.

Snowsports strategic meeting

28 August 2017

The snow sector is provided with ongoing support relating to infrastructure upgrades and planning issues relating to Glencoe and Glenshee. The Learn to Ski Pilot, digital connectivity, VAT on ski-lifts and road access are also a priority.

Cairngorm Mountain Trust and Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity 29 September 2017

Meeting to discuss matters pertaining to Cairngorm mountain. HIE notes intention to focus on what can be done to improve winter trade and summer funicular business.

Snowsports strategic meeting

2016

The yearly Snowsports strategic meeting did not take place in 2016.

Snowsports strategic meeting

7 October 2015

The snow sector is provided with ongoing support. Topics for discussion included the Learn to Ski Pilot evaluation, the impact of VAT reduction for snow centres, Nevis hydro scheme, engineering recruitment issues and ongoing £6 million Scottish Government investment in infrastructure for outdoor centres.

Natural Retreats and Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity

22 October 2015

Meeting to discuss Natural Retreat’s plans for tourist attractions in Scotland. It was noted the funicular is not running due to ongoing safety checks at the time.

Natural Retreats and Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism

June 24 2014

Meeting to discuss Natural Retreat’s plans for tourist attractions in Scotland including John O’ Groats and Cairngorm mountain Limited, predominantly the latter. It was noted that the funicular would be closed for maintenance work commencing 23 June.

Snowsports strategic meeting

27 October 2014

Meeting to discuss yearly events for snowsports. Topics for discussion included infrastructure upgrades, the Learn to Ski Pilot, devolution of Cableway authorisation, Landownership and Lease arrangements.

It was noted that 2014 was a difficult season weather wise for Cairngorm, with 77’430 skiers and a season of 134 days. The funicular was closed for 41 days.

Snowsports strategic meeting

27 October 2013

Meeting to discuss yearly events for snowsports. Topics for discussion included entry into sport/school participation, digital Connectivity, recruitment of engineering staff, road access/snow clearance, Landlord lease/succession arrangements and Weather broadcasting.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-19495 by Kate Forbes on 7 November 2018, what the ratio is of the number of lease review returns due to the number of lease review penalties issued, and what proportion of taxpayers who must meet this requirement, but are not, are being penalised.


Answered by Kate Forbes (15/01/2019):

Collecting statistical data on lease review returns and penalties is a matter for Revenue Scotland and I have therefore asked the Chief Executive to respond directly to the member.


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20226 by Mairi Gougeon on 13 December 2018, in which it stated that “Public authorities are not obliged to record and report how they take in to account the National Marine Plan in decision making”, how it ensures that public authorities comply with the policies in the National Marine Plan.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (15/01/2019):

Public Authorities are obligated to comply with the policies set out in the National Marine Plan. It is for the public authorities to take the necessary steps to demonstrate compliance with policies in the National Marine Plan.

As stated in Section 15 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, a public authority must take any authorisation or enforcement decision in accordance with the appropriate marine plans, unless relevant considerations indicate otherwise. If a public authority makes an authorisation or enforcement decision other than in accordance with the appropriate marine plans, it must state its reasons.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what contribution it anticipates to emissions reduction and renewable heat targets for domestic and non-domestic buildings envisaged in its Energy Strategy and Climate Change plan will be derived from (a) electric heat pumps, (b) biomass heating systems and (c) district heating.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (15/01/2019):

Scotland’s Climate Change Plan sets out an ambitious trajectory for decarbonising heat, where, by 2032, low carbon heat would supply 35% of domestic buildings’ heat and 70% of non-domestic buildings’ heat. Our Energy Strategy further commits us to ensuring that by 2030, the equivalent of 50% of the total energy for Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity consumption would be supplied from renewable sources. As of 2017, between 5.9% and 6.1% of Scotland’s non-electrical heat demand was already being met by renewable sources.

As we acknowledged in the Scottish Energy Strategy, the structure of Scotland’s energy system will look significantly different in 2050 with the mix of technologies deployed depending on how we collectively respond to challenges and opportunities along the way. We anticipate our energy system will be more diverse and well-balanced than at present, so as to better support the supply of clean and affordable heat. As such, at this stage we have not sought to produce estimates for specific technologies. However, our proposed Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES) will soon allow our partners in local government to take an evidence-based approach to identifying the most appropriate energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation solutions.

In response to the statutory advice from the Committee on Climate Change, we are focusing on prioritising those ‘low regrets’ heat decarbonisation options that fall within our powers. These are measures that will continue to make sense regardless of what types of decisions the UK Government will take on the future of the gas grid, which as you know is a reserved matter. Among other actions, we are:

  • promoting energy efficiency to cut the heat demand in buildings through Energy Efficient Scotland and associated measures such as the development of Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES) ;
  • supporting district heating, through our District Heating Loan Fund and by taking leading steps to regulate networks ahead of the rest of the UK; and
  • planning how we can best support the installation of low carbon heat in off-gas grid areas, a process starting with a call for evidence in January 2019.

Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 15/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government by what date it will publish its endoscopy action plan, which it announced on 25 June 2018 in its news release, Action on diagnostics.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (14/01/2019):

Our Waiting Times Improvement Plan was launched in October and will be overseen by a new Operational Programme Board. The plan aims to improve waiting times performance across all NHS Boards for cancer, diagnostics, outpatient appointments and day case procedures. The Endoscopy Action Plan is central to this and activity and outputs will be monitored via the Operational Programme Board. The Scottish Government Endoscopy Action Plan will be published in February 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 14/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has budgeted for policy development of the proposed income supplement.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (14/01/2019):

The proposed budget for Social Security Advice, Policy & Programme within the Social Security and Older People Portfolio is £77.832 million in 2019-20. This budget includes funding for supporting the development of the income supplement.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 14/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its duties under section 9 (4) of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017, what consideration it has given to topping up Child Benefit.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (14/01/2019):

The Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan , published in March 2018, commits the Scottish Government to work towards introducing a new income supplement, to provide additional financial support to low income families.

In developing the income supplement we will take forward an appraisal of all potential options, and the feasibility of each of these. This will include the Poverty and Inequality Commission’s advice in relation to topping up Universal Credit (UC) and the feasibility of what Social Security Scotland could deliver. Delivery models will be based on the most effective way to target families in poverty and the most effective use of resources.

An update on this work will be included as part of the first update report on the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan which will be provide to Parliament by June 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 14/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to maximise awareness and take-up of the proposed income supplement.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (14/01/2019):

The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 places a duty on Scottish Ministers to promote take- to the assistance individuals are eligible to be given through the Scottish social security system, and to publish a strategy to promote take-up.

This section of the Act was commenced on 22 October 2018 with the Act requiring that a strategy is published within one year of this date.

In developing the strategy we will consider how best to ensure people receive the information and advice required to access the assistance they are eligible for, and to ensure take-up of assistance is maximised.

We will also give due consideration to the advice of the Poverty and Inequality Commission who advised, among a range of issues, that the development of the income supplement should give consider potential take-up rates.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 14/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many meetings ministers and/or its officials have had with external groups at which the main topic of discussion was the proposed income supplement.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (14/01/2019):

The Scottish Government has committed to working closely with stakeholders on the development of the income supplement, to consider how the income supplement can best target support where it can have the greatest impact.

Since taking up post in July 2018, myself and Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People have met a range of organisations to discuss issues of importance in their portfolios, including the income supplement for which joint responsibility is held.

Officials have also held introductory meetings with a range of stakeholders with a key interest in the income supplement. To date, such meetings have been held with: Child Poverty Action Group; Poverty Alliance; Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Institute for Public Policy Research; One Parent Families Scotland; Save the Children; Oxfam; and, A Menu for Change.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 14/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many of its staff hours each week are being used to develop policy on the proposed income supplement.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (14/01/2019):

Information on the number of staff hours per week being used to develop policy on the income supplement is not available. This will differ in teams across the organisation who contribute to the policy and is dependent on individual working patterns.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 14/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what estimate it has made or plans to make of the cost of means-testing an income supplement.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (14/01/2019):

As the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan states, the Scottish Government will consider a range of options to ensure that the income supplement lifts the maximum number of children out of poverty.

In developing the income supplement we will take forward an appraisal of all potential options, and the feasibility of each of these. As part of that we will give consideration to the advice of the Poverty and Inequality Commission, who advised that costings should be taken into account alongside issues such as complexity of delivery, potential take up rates, income security and potential disincentives to move into work or increase earnings, as well as the likely impact and the extent to which it helps meet our statutory child poverty targets.

Decisions on a delivery model will be based on the most effective way to target families in poverty and the most effective use of resources. An update on this work will be included as part of the first update report on the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan which will be provide to Parliament by June 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 14/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it can take against companies that have received grants and loans from it and its agencies but which fail to fulfil the terms of the grant or loan.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (14/01/2019):

Grants and loans entered into by Scottish Ministers and any public body subject to the Scottish Public Finance Manual (SPFM) are subject to the principles set out in the manual and have appropriate terms and conditions applied to protect public resources.

Scottish Ministers also make clear provision for recovery of funds if an organisation in receipt of grant funding disposes of assets acquired or developed with the aid of that funding in accordance with conditions attached to the grant. In the case of loans and grants if circumstances meant that the company was in administration, or some other factor meant that it was not able to pay back the amount, the Government would fall into line in the same way as any other creditor.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 14/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the planned expenditure under its draft budget is for the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS), and for each component programme, including (a) Area Based Schemes, (b) Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) Pilots, (c) Warmer Homes Scotland and (d) the Home Energy Scotland Loan Scheme.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (11/01/2019):

The draft budget for Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency in 2019-20 is £119.6m, which now includes an element of Total Operating Costs, as explained in Annex G of the 19/20 Budget. This figure also includes planned expenditure for all the current Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS). The component programmes for HEEPS are Area Based Schemes (£49m); Warmer Homes Scotland (£24m); Home Energy Scotland and other relevant loan schemes (£30m); energy efficiency and fuel poverty advice services (£10.6m).

Some of the pilot schemes delivered as part of Energy Efficiency Scotland (previously SEEP) and support for transition to the EES programme will also be funded from this budget. Details of these schemes are yet to be announced. However over £1m from the Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency budget supported delivery of EES (including SEEP pilots) in 2018-19.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 11/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress is being made with the delivery of reduced fares on Orkney ferry services.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (11/01/2019):

The Scottish Government is engaging with the European Commission following a complaint made on 8 June 2018 regarding our plans to reduce ferry fares to the Northern Isles.

Scottish Government Officials met with European Commission officials in Brussels on 12 November 2018. The Scottish Government are awaiting a formal view from the Commission regarding the next steps in addressing the complaints.

The Scottish Government remains committed to pursuing all legally complaint avenues to deliver reduced fares for Orkney and this point has been communicated to Orkney Islands Council.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 11/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what support it has offered to each local authority that has pledged to resettle refugees.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (11/01/2019):

The Scottish Government is proud that all 32 Scottish local authorities have engaged with the UK’s Syrian Resettlement Programme. Asylum and refugee resettlement are matters reserved to the UK Government, and the Home Office provides funding to local authorities receiving refugees under the Syrian Resettlement Programme.

The Scottish Government’s Refugee Taskforce, which met from 2015-16, brought together key stakeholders, including local government, to coordinate the initial response to the humanitarian crisis and ensure a warm welcome to Scotland. It also identified areas for funding, including English language learning, employability and mental health, which were used in the allocation of £1 million provided by the Scottish Government to support refugee resettlement and integration.

The Scottish Government has also worked with COSLA, Scottish Refugee Council and other partners, including local authorities, to develop the second New Scots refugee integration strategy, which runs from 2018-22. The strategy provides a clear framework for all those working to support refugees to settle in Scotland.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 11/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the breakdown is for the Energy line in the draft Budget.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (11/01/2019):

The breakdown of the Energy line in the draft Budget is available from the infrastructure and connectivity portfolio section which can be addressed on the Parliament website via the following link: http://www.parliament.scot/FinancialScrutiny/2019-20_budget_Levels_4.xlsx

 


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 11/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government under what circumstances it would rule out full British Transport Police (BTP) integration with Police Scotland.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (10/01/2019):

My letter of 13 December to the Justice Committee advised that my officials have been working with stakeholders to explore further options for enhanced accountability of railway policing in Scotland. As part of this on-going work both the Scottish Police Authority and the British Transport Police Authority have agreed to work together to explore legislation currently in force which could be used to create an arrangement that facilitates a stronger oversight role for the Scottish Police Authority in relation to railway policing. A sufficient time period will be required to settle in any agreed model before any external scrutiny and review.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on meeting its commitment in the Road Safety Framework to introduce speed awareness courses in Scotland, similar to those that operate in the rest of the UK.


Answered by Michael Matheson (10/01/2019):

Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020 contains the commitment by road safety partners to consider if the introduction of a Speed Awareness Scheme focused on speeding would be an appropriate contribution to road safety in Scotland. Police Scotland has submitted its findings on preparatory scoping work and options for the introduction of the courses in Scotland to the Lord Advocate. These proposals are currently being carefully considered by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. The decision on whether the courses should be introduced in Scotland is ultimately a matter for the Lord Advocate.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how Highland and Islands Airports Limited’s plans to centralise air traffic control (ATC) towers could impact on (a) safety, (b) the resilience of ATC services, (c) employment and (d) the economies of the communities near the airports.


Answered by Michael Matheson (10/01/2019):

HIAL’s Air Traffic Management 2030 Strategy aims to ensure that air services can continue to operate in the future in a safe and efficient way. The Air Traffic Management project will improve upon safety margins by introducing controlled airspace and centralised surveillance over the airspace which HIAL currently manages. The project will improve resilience in a number of areas, including the supply of air traffic management training, recruitment, connectivity and overall levels of redundancy in the system, not currently available. Current employment levels within HIAL will be maintained with better career development and progression prospects for staff. If HIAL do nothing then, in the longer term, air services will be compromised as reliable Air Traffic Control cover would no longer be able to be provided. The long term prospects of the economies of the communities that HIAL’s airports serve will be improved through ensuring that commercial air services will be able to continue operating in the future.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what savings could be made from Highlands and Islands Airports Limited’s plan to centralise air traffic control towers.


Answered by Michael Matheson (10/01/2019):

HIAL’s Air Traffic Management 2030 Strategy aims to ensure that air services can continue to operate in the future in a safe and efficient way. HIAL has not budgeted any staff savings nor a saving in staff resource. At this early stage in the process it is unknown if financial savings will be made.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to improve the regulation of private parking.


Answered by Michael Matheson (10/01/2019):

In June 2018, the Scottish Parliament approved a Legislative Consent Motion(LCM) to enable the Rt. Hon. Sir Greg Knight MP private member's Bill entitled the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill to extend to Scotland. The Bill aims to regulate the practices of the private parking industry by seeking to provide motorists with a fairer, more transparent and consistent parking with an appeals service that operates across the UK by imposing a single code of practice on the industry. The Scottish Government is continuing to work with the UK Government and the private parking industry to ensure that Scotland's interests are fully represented in the development of the proposed Code of Practice.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20532 by Michael Matheson on 20 December 2018, whether the hourly service between Inverness and Elgin will include a service departing from Inverness at or around 8 am.


Answered by Michael Matheson (10/01/2019):

I would refer the member to the published timetable on the ScotRail website. https://www.scotrail.co.uk/sites/default/files/assets/download_ct/sr1812_12296_inverness-aberdeen.pdf .


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to develop national standards to support people with chronic pain, and what steps it is taking to establish a chronic pain waiting time action plan.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (10/01/2019):

Current guidelines on the treatment of chronic pain will be taken from authorative professional sources such as the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN)

SIGN will be carrying out a scoping exercise this year to look into whether SIGN 136: Management of Chronic Pain should be updated.

The Waiting Times Improvement Plan which was launched in October 2018 will ensure that all patients have swift and safe access to the full range of services from NHSScotland. The Plan will direct investment of more than £850 million to substantially and sustainably improve waiting times in the face of rising demand for services. Officials are working with all territorial Health Boards to ensure that they have appropriate plans in place to support the implementation of the Improvement Plan.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has paid to third sector organisations to deliver services in each year since 1999.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (10/01/2019):

Scottish Government expenditure is allocated across portfolios to various sectors, including the third sector, to improve a wide range of outcomes. Spending is not all specifically classified as to whether or not it is allocated to third-sector organisations to deliver services. Consequently the summary figures requested are not available.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the outcome was of Education Scotland’s review of the Yammer service within Glow.


Answered by John Swinney (10/01/2019):

The review was carried out during summer 2018 and the full review document will be published later today on the Glow Connect website at the following link - https://glowconnect.org.uk/yammer-review/

The review concluded that whilst there are clear and demonstrable educational benefits for learner use of Yammer, there are significant challenges with regard to control, moderation and safeguarding. In addition, the new services of Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom have now been incorporated within Glow and provide similar functionality in a more controlled environment.

Yammer is being well used by staff for collaboration on a range of topics; is facilitating professional dialogue; and supports development of and interaction with Professional Learning Communities.

In conclusion, I have decided that Yammer access will not be reinstated for learners but will remain available to staff and that Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom will be promoted as suitable alternatives for pupil collaboration.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by John Swinney on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the ScotRail timetable changes on 9 December 2018 and the reduction in services travelling south from Stonehaven from 11 to three per day, what action it has taken to mitigate any inconvenience for passengers on this route; what plans it has to work with Network Rail and ScotRail to improve waiting facilities at Montrose for passengers connecting from Stonehaven; what action it has taken to ensure that routes from Stonehaven to Montrose, and Montrose to the Central Belt, are convenient for passengers connecting the two routes; what concerns passengers have raised with it regarding the reduction in services, and whether, in light of any concerns that passengers raise, it will ask ScotRail to review the number of journeys from Stonehaven.


Answered by Michael Matheson (10/01/2019):

ScotRail has worked closely with Transport Scotland, Nestran, Tactran, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils in developing plans to deliver the greatest benefits to customers in the North East of Scotland from the additional trains we are bringing into service.

Ultimately, all timetables are by necessity a compromise. The plans will deliver a material improvement for the vast majority of customers in the Stonehaven area and ScotRail has worked to limit the negative impacts by retaining some intercity calls, minimising interchange times at Montrose and improving facilities. The next phase of timetable improvements in this corridor will be introduced at the end of 2019 and ScotRail will monitor how customers use the new services to inform future changes.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the statement by the transport secretary on the Transport Scotland website that the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) will unlock £6 billion for the north east economy and create 14,000 jobs over a 30-year period, what research it has undertaken on this; how these figures were calculated, and what methodology it used in making the calculations.


Answered by Michael Matheson (10/01/2019):

The estimates of future economic and employment benefits that would arise from the opening of the AWPR are taken from the findings of an Economic Activity and Location Impact study carried out by economists when proposals were being developed for the project.

The study methodology involved a combination of desk research, consultations and face to face surveys with sample businesses throughout the study area. This information was used to provide estimates of the additional income and employment which would be created for identified market sectors. The calculations for these estimates took account of: the value of sales and costs in the study area economy for each identified market sector; the level of sales required to support each job in each market sector; the average change in sales and costs across sampled businesses within each sector; the increase in employment associated with the increase in sales; the expected timing of the realisation of benefits following opening of the AWPR; and the total value of the increased income to the study area over a 30 year assessment period.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to S5W-20290 by Fergus Ewing on 14 December 2018, in light of the question seeking the views of ministers regarding the matter rather than that of the Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), whether it will provide the information that was requested.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (10/01/2019):

Highlands and Islands (HIE) are the statutory public agency which delivers enterprise functions on behalf of Scottish Ministers and are responsible for day to day operational matters at Cairngorm mountain. They remain the most appropriate body to respond to matters on due diligence prior to Cairngorm Mountain Limited’s (CML) administration.

HIE report that their due diligence was ongoing prior to administration; holding regular meetings with CML from the time the company was appointed in 2014 until dissolution, including formal quarterly review meetings and agreed performance indicators.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when the funding for the Berriedale Braes road improvement scheme will become available, and by what date construction will start.


Answered by Michael Matheson (10/01/2019):

The funding for the A9 Berriedale Braes Improvements is already available. I am pleased to advise that the successful and unsuccessful tenderers were notified on 20 December 2018 and, subject to a 10 day mandatory standstill period, my officials intend to award the contract to R J McLeod.

The project remains on programme with commencement of the works anticipated in Spring 2019 and construction expected to be complete by Spring 2020, subject to any unforeseen circumstances such as exceptional adverse weather.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much has been spent on the respiratory action plan.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (10/01/2019):

The Respiratory Action Plan for Scotland is in the early stages of development.

Once finalised we will have a better understanding of the financial challenges and opportunities lying ahead and this will inform funding decisions.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-19894 by Mairi Gougeon on 27 November 2018, which other organisations are involved in the development of the Sea Eagle Action Plan; when the plan will be publicly available, and whether there will be any consultations on the plan other than with those involved in its development.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (10/01/2019):

In addition to the partners referred to in the answer to S5W-19894, the Scottish Crofters Federation, Forestry Commission Scotland and the Scottish Rural Colleges are also involved in the development of the Sea Eagle Action Plan.

The plan is a working document being developed and used by stakeholders to inform their work on the project. It has been shared amongst members of each stakeholder organisation and can be made available to other stakeholders wishing to be involved in sea eagle management if they contact Scottish Natural Heritage.

The stakeholder group is also planning to publicise its work through the development of a question and answer document which will cover the main actions being delivered through the plan. This document is expected be published in Spring 2019 and will be available on the Scottish Natural Heritage website.

There are no plans to consult formally beyond the stakeholder group. However, anyone who is interested in the plan is welcome to contribute their thoughts to any of the stakeholder bodies represented on the group.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-19717 by Mairi Gougeon on 27 November 2018, by what date it will have collected sufficient data to assess the effectiveness of protection given to priority marine features.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (10/01/2019):

The Priority Marine Feature list covers a broad range of habitats and species which have variable distribution in Scotland’s seas, and are therefore monitored at different scales and frequency. Most are already subject to some form of status assessment. However it is not known how much data is required to assess the effectiveness of protection given to priority marine features, and therefore no date has been set.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 10/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what meetings it has had with the Office for Nuclear Regulation regarding safety concerns at Hunterston B, and whether any such future meetings are planned.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (09/01/2019):

Scottish Government officials are and will continue to be in regular contact with the nuclear safety and security regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), in respect of safety matters at all Scottish Civil Nuclear sites.

In respect of Hunterston B, whilst there have been no specific scheduled meetings, telephone and written contact has been regular, with ONR providing their latest updates to officials. During the latest communications on 28 November and 19 December 2018, ORN outlined their extensive involvement in this issue, namely:

ONR regulates EDF through on-site inspections which ensure that EDF controls its hazards effectively and maintains the highest nuclear safety and security standards. Site inspectors also provide advice on how to comply with legal requirements. ONR also assesses the adequacy of safety cases to ensure that the hazards are properly controlled. ONR holds regular meetings with EDF to discuss graphite cracking.

Supporting front line site inspectors is a team of specialist inspectors from ONR's assessment units, whom the site inspector can draw upon for in-depth specialist expert advice.

Permission will only be granted for the reactor to return to service if the ORN is satisfied that it is safe to do so. This assessment will include consideration of the timing of further inspections. The specialist inspectors are called onto site to support particular inspections.

I will next meet ONR on 21 February 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to assess the health impacts arising from the findings of the recent Citizens Advice Scotland survey, which indicates that more than a fifth of people in Scotland have gone a day without eating because they are too poor to buy food.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (09/01/2019):

The Scottish Government accepted recommendations to monitor food insecurity made by the Independent Working Group on Food Poverty in 2016. Questions from the UN Food Insecurity Experience Scale have been added to the Scottish Health Survey, and the data collected is integrated in to our National Performance Framework.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to establish a national lung cancer screening programme in 2019.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (09/01/2019):

The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) is the independent expert advisory group which advises Ministers and the NHS in the four UK countries about all aspects of screening policy. The NSC uses the international research evidence base to inform recommendations, and establishes pilot programmes where appropriate to collect additional evidence.

The UK NSC does not currently recommend a national screening programme for lung cancer because there is not yet enough evidence that this is a good approach to reducing the burden of the disease. In particular there are concerns around the potential for significant over-diagnosis and associated invasive investigations in people who are well.

The policy is due to be reviewed again after the results of the NELSON randomised lung cancer screening trial are published. If there is any change in the recommendations of the NSC this will be carefully considered by the Scottish Government.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what recent discussions it has had with the UK Government regarding the effect on jobs for Scotland's workers of immigration waivers issued to employers in the offshore wind sector.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (09/01/2019):

We have had no recent discussions with the UK Government on this matter following its publication of the latest guidance in May 2018.

Scottish Ministers have written to the Home Secretary following publication of our further powers paper, Scotland’s Population Needs and Migration Policy, seeking a meeting to discuss how the migration system could meet Scotland’s distinct needs.

We remain very concerned of the importance of a cap on migration, which does not reflect Scotland's needs, as we are aware the Tier 2 cap is causing great difficulties to employers in meeting emerging skill gaps that cannot be met through local recruitment.

I have raised the issue of Brexit impacts on the labour market for workers of energy related services roles, and of the wider impact on the energy sector, including Oil and Gas and offshore wind subsections; most recently with UK Ministers via the Joint Ministers Council process on 3 December 2018.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which prisons use (a) the Rapiscan drug test system and (b) other similar drug-test technology.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (09/01/2019):

I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), to respond. His response is as follows:

SPS considers it would be inappropriate to place into the public domain information about the technology that is utilised in individual establishments to prevent the introduction of illicit substances.

SPS deploys a variety of strategic, tactical and technological responses to reduce drug use in Scotland’s prisons and has invested in the development of new technology to detect, deter and reduce the availability and supply of illegal substances. The Rapiscan Itemiser and similar technologies are only one of a number of security measures and tactics that can be deployed to prevent the introduction and disrupt the use of illicit substances in our establishments.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which prisons provide body-worn cameras for (a) officers and (b) staff.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (09/01/2019):

I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), to respond. His response is as follows:

Body worn cameras are not routinely provided for officers or staff at any Scottish prison.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many recruitment panels that (a) it and (b) each of its agencies (i) organised in 2017-18 and (ii) have organised since April 2018 contained no panel member who identified as (A) female, (B) disabled, (C) black or minority ethnic and (D) LGBTI.


Answered by Derek Mackay (09/01/2019):

We do not record the number of interview panels constituted within the Scottish Government or within its agencies, or the protected characteristics of panel membership.

With reference to both internal and external vacancies for directly employed staff, the Scottish Government and its agencies managed 1,559 vacancies in 2017-18 and 1,617 vacancies from April 2018 to 18 December 2018. Some vacancies are not filled at the first attempt, so the number of interview panels in each of these years will be higher than the number of vacancies managed in those years.

We strive to be as diverse as possible with respect to the membership of our interview panels. The Scottish Government’s recruitment process complies in full with the Civil Service Commissioners’ requirements in respect to selection being based on merit and fair and open competition. These requirements do not require the protected characteristics of panel members to be monitored or reported.

We are especially keen to promote a gender balance, and our guidance states: “the panel should be gender balanced, where practicable (where not practicable you should be able to evidence steps taken to achieve this)”.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many recruitment panels that (a) it and (b) each of its agencies (i) organised in 2017-18 and (ii) have organised since April 2018 had panel members who identified as (A) female, (B) disabled, (C) black or minority ethnic and (D) LGBTI, and how many have a protected characteristic, broken down by characteristic.


Answered by Derek Mackay (09/01/2019):

We do not record the number of interview panels constituted within the Scottish Government or within its agencies, or the protected characteristics of panel membership.

With reference to both internal and external vacancies for directly employed staff, the Scottish Government and its agencies managed 1,559 vacancies in 2017-18 and 1,617 vacancies from April 2018 to 18 December 2018. Some vacancies are not filled at the first attempt, so the number of interview panels in each of these years will be higher than the number of vacancies managed in those years.

We strive to be as diverse as possible with respect to the membership of our interview panels. The Scottish Government’s recruitment process complies in full with the Civil Service Commissioners’ requirements in respect to selection being based on merit and fair and open competition. These requirements do not require the protected characteristics of panel members to be monitored or reported.

We are especially keen to promote a gender balance, and our guidance states: “the panel should be gender balanced, where practicable (where not practicable you should be able to evidence steps taken to achieve this)”.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what recent discussions it has had with the UK Government regarding employment levels for Scotland's seafarers in the (a) offshore wind sector and (b) vessels that supply and support the offshore wind and oil and gas industries.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (09/01/2019):

The Scottish Government has not had any specific discussions with the UK Government regarding the number of seafarers who are resident in Scotland and employed in the offshore wind and oil and gas industries. Although the impact of Brexit on Scottish domiciled offshore wind and oil and gas services activities and workers was discussed with Claire Perry, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy at the Joint Ministerial Council on 3 December 2018.

Scottish Ministers last wrote to the UK Government on matters effecting seaforces pay and conditions on 27 September 2018 following the UK Government’s publication of corresponding revised guidance; " Guide to the application of the Equality Act 2010 and National Minimum Wage for seafarers". In that correspondence, Scottish Ministers urged the UK Government to go further and consider the introduction of legislation for seafarers working solely in UK waters, thus ensuring that protection is afforded.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many of (a) its and (b) each if its agencies staff are qualified to participate on recruitment panels; how many of these people identify as (i) female, (ii) disabled, (iii) black or minority ethnic and (iv) LGBTI, and how many have a protected characteristic, broken down by characteristic.


Answered by Derek Mackay (09/01/2019):

We do not record the number of interview panel members that are qualified to participate, or the protected characteristics of those that are qualified to participate.

Interview panel members should have undertaken all the appropriate training. All panel members should have completed unconscious bias diversity training and it is preferable that all panel members be trained in competency based interviewing - if this is not possible at least one panel member must be trained. In addition, all panels dealing with between band promotions should be chaired by a qualified Lead Panel Member. Lead Panel Members receive role specific training and induction.

The Scottish Government’s recruitment process complies in full with the Civil Service Commissioners’ requirements in respect to selection being based on merit and fair and open competition.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which prisons test for new psychoactive substances.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (09/01/2019):

I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), to respond. His response is as follows:

SPS considers it would be inappropriate to place into the public domain information about the technology that is utilised in individual establishments to prevent the introduction of illicit substances.

SPS deploys a variety of strategic, tactical and technological responses to reduce drug use in Scotland’s prisons and has invested in the development of new technology to detect, deter and reduce the availability and supply of illegal substances. The Rapiscan Itemiser and similar technologies are only one of a number of security measures and tactics that can be deployed to prevent the introduction and disrupt the use of illicit substances in our establishments.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what recent assessment it has made of rates of pay for workers in the offshore (a) wind and (b) decommissioning industry.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (09/01/2019):

Specific rates of pay for workers in the offshore wind and decommissioning industries are a commercial matter and the Scottish Government has no powers to compel employers to provide such data, as employment law is a specifically reserved under the Scotland Act 1998. Despite Scottish Ministers calling for the devolution of employment law under the Smith Commission process, the Scottish Government has not undertaken its own assessment of pay workers in either industry.

However, in respect of the wider position in the economy, we are currently considering all available options to promote fair work practices, including collective bargaining and payment of the National Minimum Wage and, where possible, the Scottish Living Wage, through Scottish Government procurement contracts.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it will take in response to new research that suggests that idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) predominantly affects women who are obese.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (09/01/2019):

The Scottish Government recognises that Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) mainly affects women in their 20s and 30s who have been identified as being overweight or obese, although it is not clear why.

IIH is often detected by optometrists when viewing patients’ optic discs as part of eye examinations. The Scottish Government funds universal free eye examinations for everyone in Scotland. If people (or their GP) are concerned about headaches, which is the main symptom of this condition, they can arrange an examination with an optometrist without delay. Referral for urgent review by ophthalmology can be made by the optometrist where there is suspicion of this condition.

In July 2018, following wide consultation with stakeholders, the Scottish Government published a Healthier Future: Scotland’s Diet & Healthy Weight Delivery Plan. This sets out a vision for everyone in Scotland to eat well and have a healthy weight. The plan’s third outcome makes a commitment to improve access to effective weight management services, as a way of reducing health conditions associated with excess weight. There is a strong focus on prevention while also recognising that some people need additional support to help them achieve a healthy weight.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how the proposals in its draft Budget aim to help support the work of credit unions.


Answered by Kate Forbes (09/01/2019):

The 2019-20 Budget proposes to continue targeting support to the credit unions sector – helping to enable affordable loans and savings in our communities, and protecting people from predatory lenders and unmanageable debt.

Specific support over the coming year will continue to be designed in partnership with the sector, building on our national awareness-raising campaign before Christmas and our programme of supporting credit union partnerships with schools across the country.


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how a no deal Brexit could impact on the size of the Scottish Budget.


Answered by Derek Mackay (09/01/2019):

A no deal Brexit would be the most damaging outcome to Scotland, creating uncertainty for our people, our economy and the Scottish Budget which funds our vital public services.

The Scottish Government will continue to do its best to protect Scotland from the threats of a no deal Brexit, however we cannot mitigate all the impacts arising from the UK Government’s approach.

The Scottish Budget for 2019/20 has been prepared assuming that the UK will leave the EU with a deal. If this does not occur, I may need to present a revised Scottish Budget to the Scottish Parliament.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it supports small businesses in the Maryhill and Springburn constituency.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (09/01/2019):

The Scottish Government is supporting small businesses in Maryhill and Springburn across Scotland through a number of ways, such as providing rates relief through the Small Business Bonus Scheme. Improving digital skills and capabilities through the Digital Boost programme, and the provision of support and advice through Business Gateway.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the UK Government regarding the Highlands and Islands exemption to the Air Departure Tax.


Answered by Kate Forbes (09/01/2019):

We have had a series of meetings and discussions with HMT, at both Ministerial and official levels, to try to find a solution to the issue of the Highlands and Islands exemption.


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has allocated in its draft Budget for capital expenditure on digital infrastructure in the next financial year.


Answered by Kate Forbes (09/01/2019):

We will invest £28.2 million in high quality digital connectivity across Scotland in 2019-20 - an increase of £6 million on 2018-19.


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what impact its draft Budget will have in the Almond Valley constituency.


Answered by Derek Mackay (09/01/2019):

The impact of the local government part of the Scottish Government's 2019-20 budget in the Almond Valley constituency will depend on how West Lothian Council allocates the total resources available to them.

West Lothian Council will receive £342.4 million to fund local services in 2019-20, an increase of £7.5 million compared to this year. Using their council tax powers this could generate an additional £2.3 million to support the delivery of essential local services, meaning an extra £9.8 million in total to spend next year.

However it is the responsibility of individual local authorities to manage their own budgets and to allocate the total financial resources available to them on the basis of local needs and priorities.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what further relief and support it will provide to businesses affected by the recent Glasgow School of Art fire.


Answered by Derek Mackay (09/01/2019):

In July 2018 I announced a Recovery Fund of up to £5m available to businesses affected by the fires at Glasgow School of Art and near Victoria's Nightclub. A total of 200 businesses have already received more than £3m from this Fund, providing much-needed relief during challenging circumstances. Besides this Fund, the Scottish Government also expanded its contribution to hardship rates relief and, in partnership with the Council, created a separate emergency fund to support displaced households.

On 14 December I announced that I would make the remaining £1.85m of the Glasgow Fire Recovery Fund available to Glasgow City Council to support business recovery. This sum will allow the Council to ensure businesses in the Sauchiehall Street area are not liable for business rates from January to March 2019. I also announced £150k of support for the Centre for Contemporary Arts to promote recovery of the CCA itself as well as businesses within it.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason ongoing emissions are not included in the carbon assessment of its Budget proposals on road building, as noted by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) in the briefing paper, Scottish Budget 2019-20.


Answered by Derek Mackay (09/01/2019):

The Carbon Assessment captures the emissions associated with Scottish Government's purchase of goods and services. The assessment does not, however, take account of the emissions or savings associated with all of the outcomes arising from this spending. For example, while the Carbon Assessment could include an estimate of the carbon associated with the cost of constructing a road, the carbon associated with the subsequent use of the road is not included.

The Scottish Government uses a range of other tools, during the policy development stage, to quantify emissions impacts over the policy/project lifetime. These tools include Strategic Environmental Assessments. The Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 requires that every qualifying public plan, programme and strategy is considered for its likely environmental effects and, where likely to be significant, opportunities to avoid adverse impacts are sought and positive ones enhanced.

The Carbon Account for Transport also provides a balance sheet for Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions, and the expected emissions impacts of major transport infrastructure projects and regulatory measures.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a breakdown of how the £41.5 million for the administration of Social Security Scotland will be spent.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (09/01/2019):

Social Security Scotland’s current indicative allocation of the 19-20 budget is as follows:

 

 

 

Notes

£m

Staff costs

 

20.1

Formal Agreements with DWP (exc. VAT)

1

6.1

Information Communication Technology

 

5.6

Facilities & Property

 

4.2

Shared service recharges

2

2.9

Operational office costs

 

2.6

Total

 

41.5

1 Scottish Ministers have asked DWP to administer Carer’s Allowance on their behalf under an Agency Agreement. Other formal agreements include allowing for verifying information for Best Start Grant applicants including identity and eligibility. These administrative costs will be recharged to Social Security Scotland.

2 Shared service recharges are payments to the Scottish Government for the use of IT, HR, and Procurement services.

The final allocations of the budget will be decided in March 2019 as part of the Agency’s business planning cycle.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the average number of hours per week convicted prisoners have been engaged in purposeful activity (a) across the prison estate and (b) in each penal establishment in each year since 2013-14, also broken down by those on (i) short sentences, (ii) long sentences and (iii) remand.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (09/01/2019):

I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), to respond. His response is as follows:

The following table provides details of the average number of hours of Purposeful Activity delivered per week since 2013–2014. The information is broken down by establishment and year.

Average Purposeful Activity
Hours per Establishment

2017-18

2016-17

2015-16

2014-15

2013-14

Barlinnie

16

16

18

17

27

Cornton Vale

21

22

23

25

17

Dumfries

19

19

19

17

27

Edinburgh

12

14

14

17

19

Glenochil

18

20

23

23

15

Grampian

28

31

33

32

22

Greenock

22

20

20

21

21

Inverness

27

27

29

23

21

Low Moss

24

27

30

32

22

Open Estate

22

23

22

21

18

Perth

21

21

21

22

26

Polmont

20

20

22

20

18

Shotts

22

22

22

20

19

Total Average

21

22

23

22

21

The appointment of a single contractor to provide education across prisons in Scotland during 2017 resulted in an anticipated, but temporary, performance dip in some areas including recorded purposeful activity. SPS’ priority moving forward is to ensure that opportunities and interventions are available to all of those in our care.

SPS is unable provide information on the breakdown by sentence type as data is not collected in this format.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when up-to-date information on the number of deaths in custody and the completion of each respective Fatal Accident Inquiry will be published by the Scottish Prison Service.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (09/01/2019):

I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), to respond. His response is as follows:

Any death in prison custody may lead to a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) under the Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Act 2016, however the decision to hold an FAI (and the timing of a Sheriff Court being petitioned to hold an FAI) is a matter for the Lord Advocate/Procurator Fiscal. The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service are responsible for the hosting, administration and management of Inquiry. The Scottish Prison Service’s role in the inquiry is as a participant only, but we assist the Procurator Fiscal throughout the investigative stage.

SPS has reviewed the way in which it publishes information in relation to deaths in custody with the aim of ensuring that it is both accurate and up to date. The SPS external website was updated on 17 December 2018.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish what its position in on building companies signing off their own building warrants.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (09/01/2019):

Kevin Stewart : The Building (Scotland) Act 2003 sets out that the verifier is responsible for granting a building warrant. The thirty two local authorities in Scotland are appointed by Scottish Ministers as the verifiers of the building standards system for their own geographical area.

When a building warrant is required, it must be granted by the local authority before work can start. The local authority must have accepted a completion certificate before a new building can be occupied. Building companies do not sign off building warrants.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what provisions it has in place for the Motability scheme once PIP payments are devolved; whether the eligibility criteria for the scheme will remain the same, and which agency will manage it.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (09/01/2019):

The Scottish Government is currently developing its approach to disability benefits including to the Motability scheme and will ensure people continue to have access to the support they require for their mobility needs.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20405 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 20 December 2018, what the manual checks in place for quality assurance require in terms of staff time per claim; what proportion of the processes are (a) automated and (b) manual, and what the staff time is per claim for manual processes.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (09/01/2019):

With the commencement of Best Start Grant, all applications require that the Client Advisor verify the evidence prior to processing the application to an outcome. The information supplied within the clients application determines the verification processes and the proportion of time per application. At this time, 30% of our verification processes are automated and the other 70% is manual. We will endeavour to improve the level of automation as we iterate our systems and processes based on the feedback from users and stakeholders.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government further to the answer to question S5W-20403 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 20 December 2018, for what reason promotion of the Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment was not fully embedded in NHS board maternity and health visiting pathways prior to the launch of the grant; whether it will commission work to report on the position of boards in relation to the approach to promotion in their individual areas, and what the earliest opportunity is that it can place an explicit requirement for them to provide applications to new mothers in hospital.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (09/01/2019):

Our preference is to promote the Best Start Pregnancy and Baby Payment before the baby is born, in order to ensure that parents have access at the earliest opportunity. On the run up to the launch of the Pregnancy and Baby Payment, we ran a co-ordinated communications campaign, working with third sector organisations who support pregnant women and families, Health Boards and Local Authorities to get the message out about this new benefit and maximise uptake.

Over the coming months, we will do further evaluation of who has applied to try and identify if there are any groups that are underrepresented. We will take this into consideration to do everything that we can to encourage applications from parents and carers who may be eligible for this benefit.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to review legislation on building warrants.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (09/01/2019):

The Scottish Government has no plans to review the legislative process for the requirement of a building warrant.

Following the outcomes of the public consultation on “Building Standards Compliance and Fire Safety – a consultation on making Scotland’s buildings safer for people” that ran from July to September last year, the Scottish Government has plans to amend the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and guidance.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20403 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 20 December 2018, whether this has been progressed with the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport; whether it considers that a cross-portfolio approach has satisfactorily been taken, and whether section 3 of the Social Security Act has been adequately satisfied by not placing an explicit requirement for NHS boards to provide applications to new mothers in hospital.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (09/01/2019):

Ministers continue to work closely to ensure an effective cross-portfolio approach. Throughout the development and implementation of the Best Start Grant we have and will continue to engage with a range of stakeholders, service users and the wider public as well as colleagues from within Scottish Government.

Section 3 of the Social Security Act does not make specific requirements about the promotional activity to be undertaken; we believe it has been adequately satisfied by the work that has been done to maximise uptake of the Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment. The very high number of applications, especially online, is evidence that our messages are reaching people.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it has made of increasing the percentage of its overall capital budget for 2019-20, as set out in the draft Budget, to be invested in low-carbon projects, in line with commitments it made in January 2018.


Answered by Derek Mackay (09/01/2019):

The Scottish Government is committed to increasing the percentage of the capital budget invested in low carbon projects. The following table, which includes financial transactions expenditure, shows that the planned investment on low carbon projects, as a percentage of the Scottish Government’s overall capital budget, has increased between 2018-19 and 2019-20, using the methodology from the Low Carbon Task Force’s report “The Case for Low Carbon Infrastructure in Scotland”.

 

% of SG Infrastructure Spend that is:

 

Low
Carbon

Carbon
Neutral

High
Carbon

2018-19

29.1

59.3

11.6

2019-20

31.8

58.1

10.1


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what percentage of its overall capital spending for 2019-20, as set out in its draft Budget, has been allocated to (a) low carbon, (b) neutral and (c) high carbon projects.


Answered by Derek Mackay (09/01/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20780 on 9 January 2018. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-15902 by Angela Constance on 26 April 2018, for what reason the ethnicity evidence workshop with stakeholders did not take place in 2018 as stated; what plans it has to hold one in 2019, and how it will ensure that all relevant groups are included.


Answered by Christina McKelvie (09/01/2019):

The Scottish Government held an evidence and analysis workshop entitled ‘How do we measure/report success indicators for the framework and action plan’ during Scotland’s Race Equality Conference on 11 December 2018. The conference updated partner organisations and key stakeholders on progress on the actions set out in Scotland’s Race Equality Action Plan. At the workshop, Scottish Government analysts presented the new Equality Evidence Finder web resource, which was launched earlier that day, and discussed the evidence base with stakeholders. Organisations in attendance at the workshop included CEMVO Scotland, CRER, ELREC, the African Council, Glasgow Caledonian University and Health Boards.

Further to this event, the Scottish Government intends to engage internally with its analysts and externally with its partner organisations in 2019 to take forward the Equality Evidence Strategy.


Current Status: Answered by Christina McKelvie on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on how many people have a cholesterol level (a) between 5 and 6.5 and (b) above 6.5 mmol/l, broken down by (i) local authority and (ii) NHS board area.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (09/01/2019):

In 2008-2011, 46% of adults aged 16 or over had a cholesterol level of between 5 and 6.5 mmol/l and 12% had a cholesterol level of above 6.5 mmol/l. These estimate come from analysis of blood samples taken as part of the Scottish Health Survey until 2011. The survey does not provide estimates of cholesterol at health board or local authority level and has not included a blood sample since 2011.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will use the recommendations in the Taskforce for Lung Health report, A National Five Year Plan for Lung Health in England, to help develop its respiratory action plan.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (09/01/2019):

In developing the Scottish Respiratory Care Action Plan we will consider all evidence that is relevant in the Scottish context.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to reinstate data collection on cholesterol levels in the Scottish Health Survey.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (09/01/2019):

We are planning to look into emerging methods of collecting blood samples for possible inclusion in the Scottish Health Survey going forward.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what recent discussions it has had with ferry operators regarding the delivery of reduced fares on Northern Isles' services. 


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (09/01/2019):

Extensive discussions regarding the planned delivery of reduced fares by June 2018 took place with all the relevant ferry operators prior to an official State aid complaint being made to the European Commission.

Since the complaint was made, the Scottish Government has been engaging with the Commission to establish the way forward.

Because of the complaint, no recent discussions have taken place with ferry operators regarding the delivery of reduced fares. We need to await the views of the European Commission on the complaint before resuming those discussions with operators.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the annual economic impact on (a) Orkney and (b) Shetland has been of reduced fares on ferry services.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (09/01/2019):

Scottish Ministers remain committed to pursuing all avenues to deliver Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) ferry fares for Orkney and Shetland. However, an official State aid complaint was made to the European Commission on 8 June 2018, which has to be dealt with first.

On 30 June 2018, a 20% reduction of passenger and car fares was implemented on ferry services to Shetland, which is the most that can be done until the complaint is resolved. It is not currently possible to reduce ferry fares to Orkney.

The April 2018 Northern Isles STAG report considered the potential demand, capacity and socio-economic impacts of RET, and set out proposals for monitoring and evaluation. The intention is to evaluate the socio-economic impacts of reduced fares in due course, similar to the evaluations on the Clyde & Hebrides network, once the position on future fare levels is clear.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it will provide a substantive answer to question S5W-20261, which received a holding response on 13 December 2018.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (09/01/2019):

S5W-20261 was answered on 20 December 2018.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it will provide each year to support the implementation of the Neurological Conditions National Action Plan 2019-24; whether the local implementation leads referred to in the plan will be new posts, and whether it will make annual progress reports on the plan.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (09/01/2019):

The draft National Action Plan on Neurological Conditions is currently open for public consultation until 8 February 2019. After considering feedback, we will publish a final plan this year.

 


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it will provide a substantive answer to question (a) S5W-20346 and (b) S5W-20333, which received a holding response on 17 December 2018.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/01/2019):

Scottish Government responded to the questions (a) S5W-20346 and (b) S5W-20333 on 20 December 2018.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20025 by Kevin Stewart on 28 November 2018, whether it will consider funding a new study into the potential contribution of adaptations to social housing and the grant level that is required to ensure maximum returns.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (08/01/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20666 on 8 January 2019. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many requests have been made by clinicians through the Peer Approved Clinical System (PACS) Tier Two for patients to access the cystic fibrosis treatment, Orkambi.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (08/01/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-19618 on 2 November 2018. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-18352 by Clare Haughey on 20 September 2018, whether it will confirm how many of the 800 additional mental health workers that it committed to recruiting in its mental health strategy have been appointed.


Answered by Clare Haughey (08/01/2019):

We have recently agreed a reporting framework with the Chief Officers of Integration Authorities on the development of this commitment and who are recruiting the additional mental health workers for their areas.

The reporting framework involves quarterly updates being provided to the Scottish Government on progress including how many additional mental health workers have been recruited. A reporting template was issued to all the Integration Authorities in December for completion therefore once this information has been received and collated, an update on recruitment can be provided in early 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made on allowing district heating schemes to have the appropriate Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating to facilitate their eligibility as a heating source in new-build public sector housing contracts.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (08/01/2019):

The treatment of heat supplied to new homes from district heating networks as it relates to emissions targets for new homes will be investigated as part of the current review of energy standards within building regulations. We intend to consult on these and other changes in late 2019.

To address specific concerns raised earlier this year, the Scottish Government have worked with Shetland Island Council and representatives of the Lerwick district heating scheme to establish an alternative approach to compliance with current building regulations. This was recently agreed in principle and will enable connection of new homes to the district heating network as a viable alternative to other heating solutions.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the DWP regarding the role of the working groups developing the Chief Medical Officer's guidance for registered medical practitioners to make clinical judgements on terminal illness in relation to disability assistance.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/01/2019):

The Deputy Director/Senior Medical Officer to the Chief Medical Officer in Scotland has spoken to the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, who provides Chief Medical advice to the Department for Work and Pensions. They were informed that Registered Medical Practitioners would be consulted while developing the guidance, as required by legislation.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information the DWP has requested regarding the role of the working groups developing the Chief Medical Officer's guidance for registered medical practitioners to make clinical judgements on terminal illness in relation to disability assistance, and what information it has provided to the DWP regarding this.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/01/2019):

The DWP has not requested any information.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether its 2013 white paper, Scotland’s Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland, continues to reflect its policy.


Answered by Michael Russell (08/01/2019):

I refer the member to answer to question S5W-20723 on 8 January 2019. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx


Current Status: Answered by Michael Russell on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it anticipates there will be any additional cost for developing the Chief Medical Officer's guidance for registered medical practitioners to make clinical judgements on terminal illness in relation to disability assistance, beyond those referenced in the former Minister for Social Security's letter of 18 April 2018 to the former Convener of the Social Security Committee, which referred to a cost of £300 million for the associated amendment to the then Social Security (Scotland) Bill.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/01/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W–20703 on 8 January 2019. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many endoscopies have been undertaken in each year since 1999 in the NHS, and what information it has on how many have been undertaken in the private sector in the same period.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (08/01/2019):

The Scottish Government does not hold data on the number of endoscopies performed each year. Data is available from ISD on the number of patients waiting for endoscopy and can be accessed via this link: https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Waiting-Times/Diagnostics/ .

Private Sector spend by procedure is not held centrally.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the estimated saving or cost is of its proposed social security policy on terminal illness, which requires registered medical practitioners to determine eligibility based on their clinical judgement, compared with the DWP policy on terminal illness, which is based on rules in which death "can reasonably be expected" within the next six months.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/01/2019):

The financial impact will be depend on the CMO Guidance that is yet to be finalised. At this stage, it is not possible for Scottish Government analysts to estimate the financial impact.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20022 by Kevin Stewart on 3 December 2018, whether it will provide figures for the amount given directly to registered social landlords in each of the last five years to assist them in providing adaptations for their tenants.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (08/01/2019):

I refer to the member to the answer to question S5W-20665 on 8 January 2019. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will list those policies and positions that were set out in its 2013 white paper, Scotland’s Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland, which are no longer its current policy or preferred options.


Answered by Michael Russell (08/01/2019):

Scotland’s Future set out the Scottish Government’s arguments for independence to inform the referendum held in 2014. There have been significant and material changes of circumstances since the publication of Scotland’s Future , most crucially the prospect of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU against the wishes of the people of Scotland. Those changes of circumstances will of course affect and strengthen the arguments for independence today and in the future.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Russell on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reasons there has been a reported rise recently in the Scottish prison population.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (08/01/2019):

On Sunday 6th January 2019, the population in custody was 7,845. Prison population numbers are impacted by short term fluctuations and change over time.

There are a complex range of factors from across the Scottish justice system that impact the prison population, including changes in the number and nature of offences being prosecuted, sentencing decisions, decisions made by the Parole Board, releases on Home Detention Curfew (HDC), and changes to early release rules. The recent changes made to the eligibility criteria for prisoners receiving HDC has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of people being released under HDC arrangements. On Sunday 6 th January 2019 the population on HDC was 128. Prior to the recent reviews of HDC, the population on HDC rarely dropped below 270.

The Scottish Prison Service continue to respond to the increasing prison population effectively to ensure the security and safety of Scotland’s prisons are maintained.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20025 by Kevin Stewart on 28 November 2018, whether it would consider funding a new study into the potential contribution of adaptations to social housing and what grant level would be required to ensure maximum returns.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (08/01/2019):

Since the integration of health and social care, Integration Joint Boards (IJBs) are responsible for planning and delivery of adaptations and are best placed to review and develop services to meet local needs and improve outcomes for all who require adaptations, regardless of housing tenure.

We expect IJBs to work closely with councils as strategic housing authorities and also to involve local social housing providers when reviewing and developing services for people who need adaptations.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to answer to question S5W-20022 by Kevin Stewart on 3 December 2018, how much was given directly to Registered Social Landlords in each of the last five years to assist them in providing adaptations for their tenants.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (08/01/2019):

Over the past five years Registered Social Landlords have received the following assistance from Scottish Government to provide adaptations for their tenants:

Year

Spend (£m)

2013-14

12.961

2014-15

13.065

2015-16

13.221

2016-17

13.207

2017-18

13.401

 


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will expand the scope of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry to cover the activities of sports clubs.


Answered by John Swinney (08/01/2019):

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry’s remit was set in 2015 following extensive consultation and engagement with survivors of in care child abuse and other interested parties. The issue of the scope of the Inquiry in relation to non-residential settings such as sports clubs has been raised previously. In my statement to Parliament on 17 November 2016 I set out my reasoning that a wider remit to include abuse in other settings would take many more years to conclude, and it would fail to respond to those survivors of in care abuse who campaigned for many years for such an Inquiry. A minor amendment was made at that time to make clear the scope includes the abuse of children in care wherever that occurred.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on allowing interim access to the cystic fibrosis treatment, Orkambi, through the Cystic Fibrosis Trust’s clinical data registry.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (08/01/2019):

There is an established process for licensed medicines to be appraised through the Scottish Medicines Consortium and we expect companies to follow this route. I am pleased that Vertex Pharmaceuticals have announced that it will make a new submission to the SMC for Orkambi.

Meantime, PACS Tier Two allows clinicians to apply for individual patient access to medicines which would otherwise be routinely unavailable to them, such as Orkambi. I welcome Vertex’s commitment to make Orkambi available to the NHS through PACS Tier Two at a discounted price and would strongly encourage clinicians to make use of this system if they judge this medicine as appropriate for their individual patient’s needs.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it can provide regarding the Deputy First Minister’s recent visit to India.


Answered by Fiona Hyslop (08/01/2019):

The Deputy First Minister undertook a successful visit to India (New Delhi and Bangalore) between 24 – 28 November 2018, to strengthen the growing business, cultural and educational links between Scotland and the world’s fastest growing major economy.

The visit highlighted Scotland’s expertise in Innovation, primarily focused on the Technology, Life Sciences and Energy sectors. The Deputy First Minister was accompanied by 15 experts in these fields from six Scottish Universities, who engaged with Indian universities and businesses with a view to promoting trade and investment partnerships. In collaboration with key industry associations and partners including the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), leading Indian Life Sciences company Biocon and the Scotch Whisky Association, the Deputy First Minister hosted four thought leadership events aimed at engaging with key trade and investment prospects to highlight Scotland’s strengths. The Deputy First Minister engaged with key investors such as Genpact, Hinduja Global Solutions, Wipro and new investors/collaborators (including Biocon, Oyo Hotels and drug discovery services company Aurigene) to understand their operations and plans for Scotland.

As a result of the visit, Hinduja Global Solutions, a significant investor in Scotland, have announced the creation of 150 new jobs in Selkirk. and the University of Glasgow and Biocon Limited signed an MoU to facilitate joint PHD programmes between the two organisations focusing on disease biology (oncology, diabetes and auto-immune diseases), as well as technologies covering discovery, analytics and development of biologics. The Deputy First Minister also met with the two Edinburgh University graduates who formed Carbon Masters – an innovative business turning food waste into biofuel and organic manure - that just won a major £1.5 million waste recycling contract with the Bangalore Municipal Authority.

The Deputy First Minister had a constructive meeting with Suresh Prabhu, the Minister for Commerce and Industry, which further strengthened bilateral relations. In this meeting, the Deputy First Minister outlined the focus of his programme and discussed how India and Scotland might collaborate across a range of areas including Life Sciences and entrepreneurship.

The Deputy First Minister highlighted Scotland’s expertise in social enterprise, announcing the second year of funding for the Scotland:India Impact Link programme. This programme, supported by the Scottish Government, provides investment and training for Indian social enterprises backed up with mentoring from Scottish social enterprises, through the Social Enterprise Academy in India.

The Deputy First Minister met recipients of the first round of funding, including Prosoc Innovators who have devised a unique solution to help underprivileged children having the right furniture at home and school to support their studies. The DESKIT, a normal school bag that is convertible into a study table, has benefitted more than 7,000 students in 10 Indian states so far.

While in New Delhi the Deputy First Minister visited Lemon Tree Hotels, to witness a Scotland-India partnership with Glasgow Kelvin College which will facilitate access to training and employment for people with supported learning needs in both countries.

This is a unique partnership developing brand new training and college education frameworks for people with supported learning needs to enable them to access full time roles on the same basis as non-disabled people. The partnership supports social justice objectives in both countries including the Fairer Scotland Action Plan. Social Security Scotland are supporting the initiative and will look at building learning from this programme into their employment practice.

While visiting Lemon Tree Hotels, the Deputy First Minister was also presented with a copy of Being Reshma , the book written by acid attack survivor Reshma Qureshi whom he met on his previous visit to India. Reshma was accompanied by Tania Singh from the NGO, Make Love Not Scars. The Deputy First Minister has provided sleeve notes for the book, which is to be published in the UK next year.

The Deputy First Minister attended a round table discussion hosted by British Council and NITI Aayog, one of India’s leading policy think tanks, with six Scottish and five Indian universities themed on Data and Innovation. Connections between Scottish and Indian Universities were identified and new research partnerships explored.

While in New Delhi, the Deputy First Minister attended a Visit Scotland Travel Trade Roundtable, where key companies from the Indian travel trade and airlines were represented. Scotland was promoted as a place to visit and tourism links were discussed.

In Delhi, the Deputy First Minister attended a dinner with chief executives from Indian oil and gas companies, to look at opportunities for Indian and Scottish companies to work together in this field. In order to drive this further collaboration, Scottish Development International have started recruiting for an energy specialist in India.

In Bangalore, the Deputy First Minister formally launched the Berambadi Primary School Waste Water Treatment Plant. This unique collaboration, funded through the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation International programme, has seen Scotland’s James Hutton Institute working with Indian partners, piloting new technology to provide clean water and sanitation to a school of 200 pupils.

The Deputy First Minister attended two St Andrew’s Day receptions, and formally launched the Scotland Is Now campaign in India. The events showcased Scotland as a place to work, study and invest in, and encouraged and forged good relationships with the Indian business, culture, tourism and education sectors, as well as promoting Scottish food, drink and creative industries. At both events he met alumni from Scottish universities, to understand the impact that studying in Scotland has made.

The Deputy First Minister also took the opportunity to raise the case of Jagtar Singh Johal, with both the UK and Indian Governments.

The Deputy First Minister had media engagements with Indian business papers Business Standard and Hindu Business Line and the visit generated positive media coverage in both Scotland and India, both on social and print media.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much additional tax revenue from business rates will be generated in 2019-20 from the increase in the poundage rate, broken down by sector.


Answered by Kate Forbes (08/01/2019):

The estimated additional Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) Income for 2019-20 generated by the annual increase to the poundage rate, broken down by property type, is shown in the following table.

CLASS

Estimated additional NDR income (£m)

Advertising

0.1

Care Facilities

0.2

Communications

0.3

Cultural

0.1

Education and Training

4.0

Garages and Petrol Stations

0.6

Health and Medical

1.9

Hotels

2.5

Industrial Subjects

10.6

Leisure, Entertainment, Caravans etc.

1.2

Offices

8.4

Other

1.2

Petrochemical

1.2

Public Houses

1.1

Public Service Subjects

2.6

Quarries, Mines, etc.

0.2

Religious

0.0

Shops

13.2

Sporting Subjects

0.2

Statutory Undertaking

9.1

All

58.6


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many Best Start Grant payments it expects to have been fully processed by 25 December 2018.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/01/2019):

It is not possible to provide statistics that have been quality assured at this early stage. Statistics will be published which will provide the total number of applications and payments in 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has (a) raised from non-domestic rates and (b) provided in non-domestic rates relief in each of the last 10 financial years, and how much it forecasts to raise in 2019-20.


Answered by Kate Forbes (08/01/2019):

The following table presents Non-Domestic Rates Income and the cost of Rates Relief from 2008-09 to 2017-18, based on local authority audited income returns. It also presents the estimated Income and Relief spend for 2018-19 and 2019-20, based on forecasts by the Scottish Fiscal Commission.

 

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-
19*

2019-20*

Non Domestic Rates Income (£m)

1,924

2,010

2,138

2,251

2,347

2,367

2,511

2,579

2,731

2,762

2,827

2,785

Non Domestic Rates Relief (£m)

389

465

501

542

588

590

607

626

591

684

732

750

* Based on Scottish Fiscal Commission December 2018 forecasts. These figures are liable to change until we receive the audited income returns.


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many applications for its Best Start Grant were received in the week beginning 10 December 2018.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/01/2019):

Over 4,000 applications were received for Best Start Grant on the first day applications opened. That is around the same number of UK Government Sure Start Maternity Grant payments, which Best Start Grant replaces, for the whole of 2017-18 in Scotland. Statistics will be published which will provide the total number of applications and payments in 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its plans to establish a new female custodial estate, how many of the five new community custody units have agreed locations, and at what stage each unit is in the planning process.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (08/01/2019):

I have asked Colin McConnell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), to respond. His response is as follows:

“I refer the member to the answer provided in S5W-20597 on 7 January 2018. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .”


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the (a) longest, (b) average and (c) median time is that a person has spent on remand in each year since 2014.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (08/01/2019):

The Scottish Government does not hold this information.

Some information on remand is held by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service and the Scottish Prison Service for operational purposes. However the databases utilised by these organisations are not designed to capture the length of time individuals spend on remand.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for how many hours in the last year there has been no air ambulance service due to pilots being unavailable.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (08/01/2019):

There has been no hours in the last year where air ambulance services in Scotland have been unavailable due to pilots not being available.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many hen harrier nests there were on (a) RSPB and (b) non-RSPB reserves in each of the last six years, and what information it has regarding how many failed to have any chicks fledge, broken down by the reason for such failures.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (08/01/2019):

The Scottish Government does not hold information on hen harrier nests broken down by nature reserves on which the nests are located, or on reasons for nest failure.

The Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme (SRMS) and the RSPB have provided the data in Table 1 for RSPB reserves. The data are from 2013-2017.

Table 1

Year

No of pairs monitored

Successful

Failed/Outcome unknown

2013

37

12

25

2014

37

13

24

2015

43

15

28

2016*

60

12

48

2017

37

5

32

Around 80% of the records in Table 1 are from RSPB Orkney reserves. The Orkney harrier population is well known for high levels of polygyny with males often breeding with 2 or 3 females. Most of these additional females either fail or produce very few young, as normally males struggle to feed more than one female and brood. This affects the failure rate overall and the proportion of successful nesting attempts is higher on non-Orkney RSPB reserves compared to Orkney reserves.

Table 2 provides data on breeding hen harriers across Scotland from the SRMS. It does not include the data included in Table 1.

Table 2

Year

No of pairs monitored

Successful

Failed/Outcome unknown

2013

210

97

113

2014

256

164

92

2015

233

105

128

2016*

279

119

160

2017

215

114

101

* 2016 was the national survey year for Hen Harriers, so more data reached the SRMS for this species than in other years.

The number of Hen Harrier pairs recorded and monitored in and out of RSPB reserves should not be regarded as a complete inventory. Coverage of this species in Scotland is incomplete, so some pairs are not reported to SRMS.

Moreover, coverage on RSPB reserves may not be the same as coverage elsewhere. This means that the proportion of records the SRMS holds from RSPB reserves does not necessarily indicate the proportion of the population that breed on reserves.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether the working assumption of its Social Security Directorate is for disability benefit rules and structures to remain broadly the same as those stipulated under disability living allowance, attendance allowance and personal independence payment.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/01/2019):

The Scottish Government remains committed to creating a system of disability assistance that works for the people of Scotland. We have previously outlined a number of ways by which we will achieve this, including: an accessible and transparent application process; responsibility for sourcing supporting information sitting with Social Security Scotland, rather than the individual; significantly reducing the volume of face to face assessments; delivering an assessment service that offers individuals choice and control. Further development of disability assistance will be taken forward in consultation including Experience Panel feedback. It will ensure the safe and secure transition of payments and do so in a manner consistent with our ethos of treating people with fairness, dignity and respect.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether funding to allow for the payment of the living wage in full for overnight support workers is contained in the draft Budget.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (08/01/2019):

Since 2016 the Scottish Government has provided funding to support the delivery of the real living wage commitment for staff working in adult social care, all of which has been baselined annually. This includes £30 million of funding provided to Local Authorities over the last two years to extend the commitment to sleepovers hours during 2018-19.

The Scottish Government draft spending and tax plans for 2019-20 include an increase in the package of investment in social care and integration which exceeds £700 million, underlining our commitment to integration and social care including the real living wage for staff.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what guidance it will issue to local authorities to specify that at least the living wage must be paid to overnight support workers for all directly provided and commissioned services from the start of 2019-20.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (08/01/2019):

The Scottish Government announced the extension of the real living wage commitment to staff undertaking overnight support in October 2017, with the expectation that this should be implemented during 2018-19. Guidance setting out the range of ways the extension could be applied in practice was issued previously.

The Scottish Government wrote again to Local Authority Chief Executives and Integration Authority Chief Officers on 20 December 2018 setting out expectations around implementation of the sleepover commitment during 2018-19.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to concerns that universal credit is making it harder for women to escape from abusive partners.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/01/2019):

The Scottish Government believes that the UK Government’s policy of making a single payment of Universal Credit to a household can increase inequality in the welfare system and act as an enabler for domestic abuse or financial coercion by one partner towards another. That is why we are committed to introducing split payments of Universal Credit in Scotland, to ensure that everyone has access to an independent income.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the work of the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) in 2018.


Answered by Michael Russell (08/01/2019):

In 2018 there have been nine meetings of the JMC (EN). We have continued to meet our commitment to issue letters to convenors of the relevant Scottish Parliament committees both before and after each meeting and the communiqués for each JMC(EN) are available on the Scottish Government website, providing further information on individual meetings.

Since the EU referendum we have sought to engage meaningfully and in good faith with the UK Government on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and we have been clear that we will continue to respect the terms of the engagement, which are laudable in principle. The discussions in the JMC (EN) have however fallen short of the original aim of the committee and of the Prime Minister's own commitment to 'full involvement' of the devolved administrations. Indeed throughout the Brexit process there has been far too little meaningful consultation with the devolved administrations and we have continued to be frustrated by the quality of engagement to date.

The Committee last met on 19 November 2018 and at that meeting the Scottish Government said that it had been completely unacceptable that the devolved administrations did not see the detail of the draft agreement between the UK and EU before it was published on the 14 November 2018. That has unfortunately been characteristic of the UK Government’s approach to engaging with the devolved administrations since the EU referendum.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Russell on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it ensures that split household payments are made available for benefits delivered by Social Security Scotland.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/01/2019):

There are no plans to pay any of the benefits delivered by Social Security Scotland on a household basis.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many commercial properties the large business rates supplement will apply to in 2019-20, broken down by (a) local authority and (b) business sector.


Answered by Kate Forbes (08/01/2019):

The estimated number of properties to which the large business supplement will apply for 2019-20, broken down by local authority and property type, are shown in the following two tables.

Estimated number of Non Domestic Properties to which the large business supplement will apply in 2019-20 by Local Authority

Local Authority

Estimated Number of Properties

Aberdeen

2,175

Aberdeenshire

998

Angus

267

Argyll & Bute

275

Clackmannanshire

113

Dumfries & Galloway

405

Dundee City

703

East Ayrshire

283

East Dunbartonshire

209

East Lothian

261

East Renfrewshire

129

Edinburgh, City of

3,127

Eilean Siar

91

Falkirk

484

Fife

1,032

Glasgow City

3,510

Highland

1,104

Inverclyde

195

Midlothian

309

Moray

325

North Ayrshire

355

North Lanarkshire

1,035

Orkney Islands

70

Perth & Kinross

534

Renfrewshire

714

Scottish Borders

321

Shetland Islands

109

South Ayrshire

391

South Lanarkshire

1,029

Stirling

409

West Dunbartonshire

260

West Lothian

789

Scotland

22,011

Source: Assessors' Valuation Roll

 

Estimated Number of Non Domestic Properties to which the large business supplement will apply in 2019-20 by Property Class

 

Property Class

Estimated Number of Properties

Shops

5,065

Public Houses

647

Offices

3,635

Hotels

928

Industrial Subjects

4,525

Leisure, Entertainment,
Caravans etc.

943

Garages and Petrol
Stations

323

Cultural

163

Sporting Subjects

41

Education and Training

2,105

Public Service Subjects

1,049

Communications

94

Quarries, Mines, etc.

83

Petrochemical

77

Religious

96

Health and Medical

576

Other

385

Care Facilities

807

Advertising

20

Statutory Undertaking

449

Total

22,011

Source: Assessor' Valuation Roll

 


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which local authorities have applied to it under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 to designate rent pressure zones in specific areas.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (08/01/2019):

There have been no applications from local authorities, under the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016, to designate rent pressure zones.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much tax revenue it expects will be generated by the large business rates supplement in 2019-20, broken down by local authority.


Answered by Kate Forbes (08/01/2019):

The following table presents an estimate of the net income raised by the large business supplement in 2019-20 broken down by local authority.

Estimated amount raised by the Large Business Supplement in 2019-20 by Local Authority

Local Authority

Estimated Amount Raised

(£ millions)

Aberdeen

£11.9

Aberdeenshire

£5.2

Angus

£1.0

Argyll & Bute

£1.7

Clackmannanshire

£0.7

Dumfries & Galloway

£2.1

Dundee City

£3.0

East Ayrshire

£1.2

East Dunbartonshire

£1.0

East Lothian

£1.1

East Renfrewshire

£0.6

Edinburgh, City of

£16.4

Eilean Siar

£0.3

Falkirk

£3.5

Fife

£7.7

Glasgow City

£16.0

Highland

£6.2

Inverclyde

£0.9

Midlothian

£1.4

Moray

£2.0

North Ayrshire

£1.8

North Lanarkshire

£4.8

Orkney Islands

£0.4

Perth & Kinross

£2.3

Renfrewshire

£6.0

Scottish Borders

£1.4

Shetland Islands

£1.2

South Ayrshire

£1.9

South Lanarkshire

£16.5

Stirling

£1.9

West Dunbartonshire

£4.1

West Lothian

£3.7

Scotland

£129.6

 

Source: Assessors' Valuation Roll, Local Authority Billing System

 


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it will publish the consultation paper on its Good Food Nation Bill.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (08/01/2019):

The consultation on "Good Food Nation Proposals for Legislation” was published on 21 December 2018. The consultation can be found at https://consult.gov.scot/food-and-drink/good-food-nation/ .


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it spends on mental health research.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (08/01/2019):

Within the Scottish Government, the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) is responsible for health and social care research. CSO is currently funding 10 active research grants or fellowships in the area of mental health with a total value of about £1,288,000. In addition, CSO invests annually in the NHS Research Scotland Mental Health Research Network (£508,000 in the current financial year).


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to ban the use of fax machines by the NHS and, if so, whether usage will be phased out by March 2020.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (08/01/2019):

The Scottish Government has no plans to ban the use of fax machines in NHSScotland.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the report in The Herald on 15 December 2018 that spending on public health campaigns has fallen by two-thirds since 2010 to just over £1 million, and whether it plans to increase such expenditure.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (08/01/2019):

Over the last 10 years, robust evaluation and subsequent learnings from campaigns has allowed us to become more efficient and cost effective in targeting and reaching our audiences. Also, over that period, more of our audiences are now online, meaning we’ve been able to target them through digital advertising, thereby saving public money while still ensuring we get our messages out there, just as effectively. Where some years show spikes in spend, this will be related to aspects such as the development of a specific campaign, with cost reducing in subsequent years as overall activity incurs less costs and the production costs are not replicated. We also fund and promote other public health work carried out by boards, with over £18m annually being invested in public health promotion body NHS Health Scotland, which is being replaced by a new organisation Public Health Scotland.

The decision on marketing expenditure by the Scottish Government is via the annual marketing planning process that considers all portfolio topics. This process for 2019-2020 financial year is currently underway and is built around linking marketing activity with the priorities set out in the Programme for Government and where campaign activity can have the most impact.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many hospital deaths have been prevented since 2014 as a result of the patient safety programme.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (08/01/2019):

NHS Information Services Division (ISD) of National Services Scotland produces quarterly hospital standardised mortality ratios (HSMR) for all Scottish hospitals participating in the Scottish Patient Safety Programme. The calculation takes account of patients who died within 30 days from hospital admission. This means that the HSMR also includes deaths that occur outside hospital.

Figures published on Tuesday 13 November 2018 by ISD show that HSMR at Scotland level has decreased by 11.2% since the first quarter of 2014.

The Scottish Patient Safety Programme is one of a number of factors over the last 10 years that have contributed to this reduction. ISD's report makes clear that other possible contributory factors include: reductions in underlying population-based mortality; improvements in the quality of care and treatment; increases in available medical treatments and risk factor improvements; and completeness/accuracy of hospital discharge summaries.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will ask each local authority to provide it with details of the revenue cost per-child per-hour that they are using in local authority-run early learning and childcare services for the expansion of funded childcare to 1,140 hours and, if so, when.


Answered by Maree Todd (08/01/2019):

The Scottish Government has no plans to ask authorities to provide details of the revenue cost per child per hour for local authority run early learning and childcare services.

Scottish Ministers provided details of individual authority funding allocations in the answer to S5W-16649 on 31 May 2018. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .

Scottish Ministers and COSLA Leaders have agreed that the revenue funding package to support delivery of the expansion of early learning and childcare will be subject to an annual review to provide assurance to both parties that the funding package reflects the costs of delivery and actual uptake.


Current Status: Answered by Maree Todd on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the finding in the recent Mental Health Foundation Scotland survey that (a) seven out of 10 teachers said they lack the training to help pupils with mental health problems and (b) 51% of teachers said the job had either led to them developing a mental health problem or had made an existing condition worse.


Answered by John Swinney (08/01/2019):

The Scottish Government recognises the pressures and challenges facing teachers, including those highlighted by the Mental Health Foundation Scotland. That is why we have taken action to reduce teacher workloads, clarify and simplify the curriculum framework and remove unnecessary bureaucracy.

The 2018-19 Programme for Government confirms we will provide enhanced support and professional learning materials for teachers allowing them to better support children and young people's mental health and wellbeing. We will also provide significant investment in the range of support available to our children and young people ensuring that issues are tackled early while guaranteeing faster access to specialist care for those who need it.

The Scottish Government’s ten year Mental Health Strategy emphasises the importance of prevention, early intervention and accessible services and we are working with employers across Scotland on how they can act to protect and improve mental health and support employees experiencing poor mental health.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that clinical waste is being stockpiled at NHS hospitals.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (08/01/2019):

Contingency plans for the management of clinical waste have been successfully activated across all NHS boards in Scotland following the disruption to clinical waste management services provided by Healthcare Environmental Services Ltd. Although some boards have experienced a backlog of clinical waste on site, this is being cleared as part of the contingency arrangements.

NSS has prioritised the removal of orange waste bags, which must be transported to disposal sites within one week. Anatomical waste, stored appropriately in fridges and freezers within boards, has been disposed of properly. These arrangements, procured centrally by NSS, provide storage capacity to all (28) agreed priority sites, collecting and disposing of circa 300 tonnes of waste. Contracts for community services across Scotland have been initiated and NSS continue to secure specialist disposal capacity for the small quantities of higher risk products.

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring all NHS boards receive an appropriate level of waste management service.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what meetings have been held by the Common Financial Tool Working Group, chaired by the Accountant in Bankruptcy; when these were held, and what was discussed.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (08/01/2019):

The Common Financial Tool Working Group has met on the following dates:

  • 7 February 2013
  • 11 March 2013
  • 31 July 2013
  • 11 March 2014
  • 2 Sept 2014
  • 8 December 2014
  • 5 February 2015
  • 29 May 2015
  • 21 March 2016
  • 2 May 2017
  • 19 February 2018
  • 27 March 2018
  • 24 July 2018
  • 4 Sept 2018
  •  

A Common Financial Tool Working Group sub-group met on 12 December 2018.

Discussion points from each meeting are set-out in the minutes and all of the minutes agreed by the Working Group have been published on Accountant in Bankruptcy’s website – https://www.aib.gov.uk/about-aib/stakeholder-working-groups/scottish-common-financial-tool-working-group


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which trade unions the Minister for Mental Health has met since 27 June 2018; on what dates these meetings were held, and what issues were discussed.


Answered by Clare Haughey (08/01/2019):

I have met with a range of trade union representatives in the course of my regular meetings with frontline staff. This includes meeting with the RCN to discuss matters such as workforce planning.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills has received any reports from the discussions of the Common Financial Tool Working Group, chaired by the Accountant in Bankruptcy, and in what form these communications were made.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (08/01/2019):

I have not received specific reports on discussions of the Common Financial Tool Working Group. I have received briefings from officials from Accountant in Bankruptcy regarding the policy development of the Common Financial Tool. These submissions have reflected stakeholder views, including views from members of the Common Financial Tool Working Group.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 08/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20238 by Fergus Ewing on 7 December 2018, whether it will provide the information that was requested regarding whether it or its agencies compiled an economic impact assessment regarding the funding associated with the production of feed for the (a) aquaculture industry and (b) Marine Harvest Feed Plant at Kyleakin and, if so, whether it will publish this.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (08/01/2019):

Further to my answer to S5W-20237 on 7 December 2018, I can confirm that due to the amount and purpose of the funding awarded, which was for staff training, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) were not required to undertake an economic impact assessment.

All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .