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To ask the Scottish Government when it plans to publish its proposals for Scotland’s role in the development of future UK trade arrangements.


Answered by Michael Russell (29/08/2018):

We will publish Scotland's Role in the Development of Future UK Trade Arrangements: A Discussion Paper (Bib Number 59979) on 30 August 2018

The paper makes the case for a guaranteed role for the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament in all stages of the formulation, negotiation, agreement and implementation of future trade deals to protect and enhance the interests and priorities of Scotland.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Michael Russell on 29/08/2018

To ask the Scottish Government to what extent the impact of pylons or other infrastructure required to connect onshore renewables to the national grid infrastructure is taken into account when determining planning applications for wind farms.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (30/08/2018):

The responsibility for dealing with planning applications generally rests with the relevant planning authority, which identifies the factors to be dealt with in determining a planning application.

Scottish Planning Policy paragraph 157 states that Local Development Plans should set out the factors to be taken into account in considering proposals for energy developments.

Scottish Planning Policy is available to download from the Scottish Government’s website: www.gov.scot .


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 30/08/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what powers local authorities have to tackle seagull populations on the grounds of health and safety or other factors that affect the quality of life for residents and communities, and what its position is on increasing these powers.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (30/08/2018):

Local authorities are eligible to use Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) General Licences granted under Section 16(1)(i)&(j) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. General Licence No. 3/2018 authorises the killing and taking of certain wild birds, including some species of gulls, for the purpose of preserving public health and safety and for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease. Details of the General Licence can be found on the SNH website.

For situations not covered by General Licences local authorities can apply to SNH for individual licences to control gulls where they are posing a threat to public health or safety.

The Scottish Government does not intend to introduce further powers at this time.

 


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 30/08/2018

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the review of community benefit from onshore renewable energy developments, and what its position is on the case for community benefit to apply to communities affected by pylons or other infrastructure required to connect onshore renewables to the national grid, as is the case for communities affected by developments such as wind farms.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (24/08/2018):

In the Scottish Energy Strategy (published December 2017), the Scottish Government gave a commitment to review its Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits (and Shared Ownership) from Renewable Energy Developments. Work is underway supported by a Steering Group comprising of representatives from communities, industry and other relevant bodies. The third meeting of the Group is due to take place in late September. Over the summer, a series of stakeholder workshops took place, attended by 69 delegates, to gather evidence to help inform the review.

The Scottish Government views the voluntary payment of community benefits from renewables developments as an opportunity for local communities to share in the benefits of their energy resource, and not as a form of compensation for perceived impacts. The current Good practice Principles have established an industry benchmark for community benefit per MW installed capacity. Adoption of the benchmark of £5000 per MW installed capacity is good, but not universally adopting and we continue to encourage developers to do all they can to encourage communities gain socio-economic benefits form projects and environmental.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 24/08/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what the outcome was of the visit by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport to Dr Gray’s Hospital regarding the future of women's and children’s services.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (21/08/2018):

This was a productive visit, meeting with staff from Dr Gray’s Hospital, NHS Grampian, Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and the Keep MUM group on 3 August to discuss the changes to maternity and paediatric services.

Following those meetings I have written to the acting Chief Executive of NHS Grampian formally requesting submission of a detailed plan of how NHS Grampian intends to restore a full obstetric service to Dr Gray’s Hospital, with paediatric services in support. I have asked for this plan by 17 August. The plan should include a detailed timeline and milestones and be co-produced with relevant staff at Dr Gray’s, the Scottish Ambulance Service and members of the public, including KeepMUM. I have published my letter to NHS Grampian in SPICe [ Ref. BIB 59956 ].

 


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 21/08/2018

To ask the Scottish Government whether it undertook a risk assessment regarding the impact on the Scottish Ambulance Service and its staff of the decision to temporarily downgrade women and children’s services at Dr Gray’s Hospital and the anticipated increase in hospital transfers and, if so, whether it will publish the assessment.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (20/08/2018):

The decision to temporarily downgrade maternity and paediatric services at Dr Gray's Hospital was taken by NHS Grampian in the interests of patient safety. A risk assesment on the impact of these changes on the Scottish Ambulance Service is not something which would be undertaken by the Scottish Government.

I visited Dr Gray's Hospital earlier this month and met with staff from both NHS Grampian and the Scottish Ambulance Service. I know that the ambulance service has been in regular contact with NHS Grampian regarding these changes.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 20/08/2018

To ask the Scottish Government when the new ambulance staff to be located in Moray will take up their posts.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (20/08/2018):

The Scottish Ambulance Service is actively recruiting to 8 new ambulance posts which will be based at Elgin Ambulance Station. A number of new students are due to attend ambulance training courses over the next 6 months and will commence operational duties in early 2019. Some of the Elgin posts will be taken up by these new recruits and the Service is also seeking to recruit already qualified ambulance staff to fill some of the posts and have had some interest around this.

As an interim measure additional ambulance shifts are being undertaken by local ambulance staff which is increasing operational resilience in Moray.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 20/08/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to introduce new measures to tackle littering from vehicles.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (28/08/2018):

It is an offence to litter from a vehicle, being punishable by an £80 fixed penalty notice. We are also considering whether there are measures that can be taken to remove barriers to enforcement.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 28/08/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to increase fines for littering.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (28/08/2018):

There are no plans to change the level of Fixed Penalty Notices served for littering offences, which are currently £80 for littering and £200 for flytipping.

The recently published Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (Scotland) 2018 aligns with the Scottish Government’s national litter strategy, Towards a Litter-Free Scotland , and encourages a preventative approach to reducing litter.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 28/08/2018
 
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