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To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its discussions with the UK Government ahead of the triggering of Article 50.


Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 28/03/2017

To ask the Scottish Government what communication it has had with the UK Government regarding the Syrian refugee resettlement scheme.


Answered by Angela Constance (22/03/2017):

I met the Immigration Minister, Robert Goodwill MP on 11 October 2016 to discuss the Syrian Resettlement Programme and other issues relating to refugees and asylum seekers. I also wrote jointly with the President of COSLA, Councillor David O'Neill to the Immigration Minister on 5 October 2016 about the issues of family reunion and travel documents for refugees arriving under the Programme.

The Home Office and Department for Work and Pensions were represented at official level on the Refugee Taskforce, and Scottish Government and Home Office officials continue to have regular contact in relation to the Syrian Resettlement Programme.

The Member will be pleased to know Scotland remains committed to welcoming Syrian refugees, and that 30 local authorities have now received refugees into their communities.


Current Status: Answered by Angela Constance on 22/03/2017

To ask the Scottish Government when it will next meet NHS Lanarkshire and what issues will be discussed.


Answered by Shona Robison (15/03/2017):

Ministers and Scottish Government officials regularly meet with representatives of all Health Boards, including NHS Lanarkshire, to discuss matters of importance to local people.


Current Status: Answered by Shona Robison on 15/03/2017

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the UK Government in relation to Irene Clennell since her deportation on 26 February 2017, following her detention at Dungavel detention centre.


Answered by Alasdair Allan (15/03/2017):

I recently raised my concerns regarding Mrs Clennell's situation whilst giving evidence to the Home Affairs Committee as part of their inquiry into immigration. It appears Mrs Clennell's case is yet another example of someone being let down by ever tightening UK immigration rules, further demonstrating that this is a system which is not fit for purpose.

Mrs Clennell’s case also highlighted real concerns of the situation in Dungavel, and how it is being used. We have campaigned for its replacement with a more humane system and the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities Angela Constance, has written to the UK Government regarding this issue.

The Scottish Government has long pressed the UK Government for a fair and managed immigration system that meets Scotland's needs. The Scottish Government is sympathetic to those who have difficulties navigating the complex and increasingly restrictive UK Immigration rules. The UK Government must deliver a more humane immigration system that recognises individual circumstances, and provides a welcoming environment for people who chose to move here, and for their families.


Current Status: Answered by Alasdair Allan on 15/03/2017

To ask the Scottish Government how much it will award each project that will receive support from the second allocation of funding from the Fair Food Transformation Fund.


Answered by Angela Constance (13/03/2017):

The Scottish Government has allocated some £330,000 in 2016-17 and 2017-18 from the second tranche of funding from the Fair Food Transformation Fund to support a further 13 projects. The core aim of the Fund is to promote a shift from food charity to food justice where the social value of food is used to support people and bring them together in a more dignified way. The allocation is as follows:

Organisation and delivery location

Award

The First Base Agency

Dumfries and Galloway (regional coverage)

£16,750

Apex Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway (regional coverage)

£16,448

Cheviot Youth

Kelso, Scottish Borders

£25,966

Oasis Food Bank (Redeemed Christian Church of God)

Gorgie, Edinburgh

£16,363

Midlothian Foodbank, Gorebridge Parish Church

Gorebridge, Midlothian

£16,000

Edinburgh Food Project

Edinburgh City

£35,000

The Everlasting Foodbank

Denniston, Glasgow

£43,000

Bethany Christian Trust

Edinburgh City

£20,000

Yoker Parish Church

Yoker, Glasgow

£31,750

Whitlawburn Community and Resource Centre

Cambuslang and Rutherglen. South Lanarkshire

£9,610

Sauchie Active 8

Clackmannanshire

£15,894

Perth and Kinross Foodbank

Perth and Kinross

£11,500

Moray Foodbank

Moray

£27,977

Additionally, West Dunbartonshire Council is working locally with West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare and Food for Thought to develop appropriate provision for the area, maximising both the funding available and the assets within these organisations, the local authority and the wider community. Funding for this project has still to be determined.

This builds on some £900,000 allocated to 20 projects in the initial round of funding in September 2016.


Current Status: Answered by Angela Constance on 13/03/2017

To ask the Scottish Government what funding it makes available to projects that help tackle violence against women.


Answered by Angela Constance (28/02/2017):

The Scottish Government has invested £24.07m over 2015-17 from the Equality Budget to support a range of projects and initiatives to tackle all forms of violence against women (VaW). An additional dedicated £20 million over the period 2015-18, announced in March 2015, is being invested from the Justice Budget in a range of measures to tackle all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG).

In addition, on 16 February 2017 the Scottish Government announced that three year rolling funding (from 1 July 2017 to 31 March 2020) is being made available to third sector equality and violence against women and girls organisations, providing security to vital services.

More information about Scottish Government VAWG funding can be found at: https://beta.gov.scot/policies/violence-against-women-and-girls/funding/.


Current Status: Answered by Angela Constance on 28/02/2017

To ask the Scottish Government how much it will award each project that will receive support from the £20 million that it has made available to drive forward the equality agenda in 2016-17.


Answered by Angela Constance (24/02/2017):

Details of the amount of funding each project has been awarded under the Equality Budget 2016-17 can be found on the Scottish Government website: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/equality-funding-2016-2017/ and https://beta.gov.scot/publications/equality-funding-2016-17-violence-women-and-girls-fund/.


Current Status: Answered by Angela Constance on 24/02/2017

To ask the Scottish Government how much support it provides to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal service to speed up the delivery of justice in cases involving domestic abuse and sexual violence.


Answered by Michael Matheson (14/03/2017):

Funding from the £20million Violence Against Women and Girls Justice Budget to tackle violence against women and girls has provided £950,000 in each of the years 2015-16 and 2016-17 and will provide £950,000 in 2017-18 to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service specifically for the prosecution of cases involving domestic abuse and sexual violence. This is in addition to established funding for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 14/03/2017

To ask the Scottish Government what the annual economic contribution is of the housebuilding sector, and what action it takes to support it.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (06/03/2017):

Estimating the economic contribution of the house building sector is complex. However, using the latest Scottish Government Input-Output model of the economy, it is estimated that for house construction spending of £100m in 2017 supports around 1200 full-time equivalent Scottish jobs in the wider economy for that year and contributes around £60m to Scottish GDP. 77% of these jobs are in the construction sector.

In 2015-16, Scottish Government support for new build through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme is estimated to have leveraged over £0.5bn of investment to build 4,418 new homes, supporting over 6,000 construction and related jobs in Scotland.

In terms of wider support to industry, Scottish Government provides help to industry in a number of ways, including direct support through Infrastructure funding, the ongoing Planning review, as well as support for demand through the Help to Buy (Scotland) Affordable New Build schemes and our LIFT shared equity schemes for low-income and first time buyers.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 06/03/2017

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the roll-out of broadband in the Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse constituency.


Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 22/02/2017