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To ask the Scottish Government when it will provide a progress update on the Northern Isles Ferry Services tender.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (21/02/2019):

The Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the Northern Isles Ferry Services was issued to CalMac Ferries Ltd, Förde Reederei Seetouristik GmbH & Co. KG (FRS) and Serco NorthLink Ltd on 17 January. The ITT will be published on Transport Scotland’s website today.

Pentland Ferries has lodged a Petition for Judicial Review of a decision of the Scottish Ministers, published in the OJEU on 27th September 2018, to subsidise the provision of public services in relation to Northern Isles Ferry Services to or from harbours located at Aberdeen, Kirkwall, Lerwick, Scrabster and Stromness. In addition, Pentland Ferries have lodged a related complaint with the European Commission.  

The Scottish Ministers will defend their position in relation to the continued provision of subsidy in support of these lifeline ferry services. The procurement process will continue as planned, pending the outcome of the Judicial Review and complaint to the European Commission.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 21/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an assessment of the economic implications of a no deal Brexit for the Scottish economy.


Answered by Derek Mackay (21/02/2019):

The Scottish Government’s Chief Economist has today published an economic analysis of the implications of a No Deal Brexit on Scotland. The report sets out the channels through which a No Deal Brexit could impact on the Scottish economy, and quantifies the impact on key macroeconomic variables. The report can be accessed from https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781787816138.

 


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Derek Mackay on 21/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will ask the Treasury to cover the costs incurred by Police Scotland in its Brexit contingency plans.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (20/02/2019):

Any costs related to EU exit should not have a detrimental impact on Scotland’s public finances and should be met in full by the UK Government. The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work and the Cabinet Secretary for Justice wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 8 February 2019 outlining that any additional costs for policing in Scotland associated with Brexit – in relation to additional police officers and any further resources that may be required - should fall to the UK Government.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it costs local authorities on average per kilometre to maintain the road surfaces for which they are responsible, and what the equivalent figure is for Transport Scotland to maintain the roads for which it is responsible.


Answered by Michael Matheson (20/02/2019):

Comparative figures for expenditure were published within the 2016 Audit Scotland report, Maintaining Scotland’s roads: A follow up report. These indicate that the average expenditure for all Scottish Local Authorities was around £4935 per km in 2014-15. Transport Scotland expenditure on maintenance of the trunk road network in the same year was £47,200 per kilometre.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether Transport Scotland benchmarks its performance against that of local authority roads departments and, if not, for what reason.


Answered by Michael Matheson (20/02/2019):

Transport Scotland does not routinely benchmark performance against Local Authorities. Transport Scotland measures road condition differently to Local Authorities and the purpose, usage, and levels of services for trunk and non-trunk roads are very different and are not directly comparable.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to reduce health inequalities.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (20/02/2019):

Reducing health inequalities in Scotland is one of the biggest challenges we face and is therefore a top priority for the Scottish Government. Since they are symptomatic of wider social inequalities, we are taking decisive action on a number of fronts.

This includes spending £125 million in 2018/2019 to tackle the impact of UK Government welfare cuts and protect those on low incomes. We have published ambitious plans for tackling the major causes of health inequalities including alcohol and substance misuse, diet and healthy weight and tobacco. And we are establishing Public Health Scotland to deliver on Scotland’s public health priorities.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20696 by Jeanne Freeman on 21 January 2019, how often NHS boards are asked to provide evidence that they are complying with their statutory duties regarding the provision of rest facilities; how this is monitored and recorded, and whether it will confirm which boards it is satisfied are (a) complying and (b) not complying with these requirements. 


Answered by Jeane Freeman (20/02/2019):

As set out in my answer to question S5W-20696, where staff are on call and require accommodation, it is the responsibility of NHS Boards to ensure that they comply with any statutory requirements. There is no requirement for them to provide evidence but mechanisms exist for staff to raise any concerns about the provision or quality of rest accommodation, including locally with management or Staff Side representatives.

 


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to introduce a legal right for victims of crime to challenge parole board decisions.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (20/02/2019):

The Scottish Government consultation 'Transforming Parole in Scotland', which was published on 19 December 2018, seeks views on whether there should be a new review and appeal procedure. The consultation closes on 27 March 2019 and we will await the outcome of that before deciding how to proceed.

 


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many police staff have been employed by Police Scotland each year, broken down by division and unit.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (20/02/2019):

Information on the number of support staff employed by Police Scotland is not held centrally. Police Scotland have recently started to publish the number of support staff working across each of the 13 local policing divisions as part of the Police Officer Numbers Quarterly Fact Sheets. http://www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/police-scotland/212598

The member may wish to write to Police Scotland directly to request further information.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the document, Thematic Review of Police Scotland’s approach to the development and operational delivery of the Annual Police Plan (2018-19), regarding the impact of reductions to police staffing levels.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (20/02/2019):

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland’s report Thematic Review of Police Scotland’s approach to the development and operational delivery of the Annual Police Plan (2018-19) makes recommendations for the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and Police Scotland relating to setting priorities, planning, and the delivery processes for policing in Scotland. We expect both organisations to take appropriate measures based on these findings.

HMICS will publicly report on progress, and I also regularly meet with Gill Imery, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland to discuss the work of HMICS.

 


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-16693 by Shona Robison on 29 May 2018, whether it will provide an update regarding the VOICES survey to capture end of life experiences of family members and carers who have been bereaved.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (20/02/2019):

The NHS Lothian project team has recently reported that they have completed the significant preparatory work required to take forward this project.

The project team have chosen not to proceed as initially planned, for a number of reasons. These include the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation which has increased costs significantly, the large sample size required to make the findings useful for service improvement, the need to put in place support arrangements for those contacted, and most significantly the ethical requirement for the benefit of those findings to outweigh the distress caused by surveying the recently deceased.

Officials have asked the project team to take forward additional work to provide options on how best to establish a more coherent picture of the quality of end of life care, including the views of the bereaved, which can also be used for improving service delivery.

 


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5O-02843 by Michael Matheson on 31 January 2019 (Official Report, c. 7), what consideration was given to (a) population growth and (b) traffic congestion prior to it rejecting the plans for the rail link.


Answered by Michael Matheson (20/02/2019):

The projects within the Glasgow City Region Deal are for the relevant local partners to develop and deliver. The Glasgow Airport Access Project is being taken forward by Glasgow and Renfrewshire Councils. The latest advice from the Airport Access project team was discussed and accepted at the Airport Access Executive Steering Group which I chaired on 30 January. This was for the Glasgow Airport Access Project team to progress the Outline Business Case for a Personalised Rapid Transit option. The Group, which includes the Leaders of both Councils and representatives from Glasgow Airport, supported this. This was therefore not a decision taken by the Scottish Government.

We recognise that travel demand will change in the future, this is why transport forecasting takes place at the national and regional level. Transport Scotland have worked closely with Network Rail and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) to develop transport demand forecasts for the region which are used to help inform future transport investment decisions. The consultant team working on the Glasgow City Region Deal projects, including the Glasgow Airport Access Project, have been provided with access to this information to inform the business case review and development work. The South Glasgow Capacity Stud, undertaken by Transport Scotland to inform planning of future rail enhancements to the networks using Glasgow Central Station, also accounts for future passenger growth.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5O-02843 by Michael Matheson on 31 January 2019 (Official Report, c. 7), what the decision-making process is for choosing the project for the Glasgow Airport link; who is involved with this, and what costings have been made for each option.


Answered by Michael Matheson (20/02/2019):

The projects within the Glasgow City Region Deal are for the relevant local partners to develop and deliver. The Glasgow Airport Access Project is being taken forward by Glasgow and Renfrewshire Councils. The identification of projects within the Deal and decisions on whether to proceed are matters for the Glasgow City Region Deal Cabinet to decide, subject to appropriate business case development and normal statutory process. Costing for the options considered to improve access to Glasgow Airport are currently being updated by the project team.

Transport Scotland and Network Rail will continue to work collaboratively with the project team, as key stakeholders for any rail or motorway network based options, to explore surface access improvements at Glasgow Airport and the surrounding development areas. The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP, chaired the Executive Steering Group in January, which was a group set up to provide strategic direction with regard to any rail based solution, recognising the challenges and constraints to delivery.

The Scottish Government has committed £500 million of funding to the Glasgow City Region Deal as part of its £1.13 Billion Infrastructure Fund. Therefore the Councils involved in the project are in the fortunate position of being able to fund a range of potential improvements that may facilitate improved access at Glasgow Airport as part of the City Region Deal.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on reviewing the regulations regarding the co-digestion of sewage sludge.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (20/02/2019):

There are no plans at present to review the existing legislation relating to co-digestion of sewage sludge.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the potential value of fats, oils and grease discarded into the sewer system as a bioresource, and of potential resource capture mechanisms for these.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (20/02/2019):

Scottish Water has conducted trials in conjunction with a biodiesel processor to assess the viability of recovering Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) from the sewerage network. Due to the distributed nature of the sewerage network and the diffuse nature of FOG, recovering sufficient quantities for biodiesel production has so far proved uneconomic in Scotland.

Scottish Water has also participated in a number of research projects through United Kingdom Water Industry Research (UKWIR) which have examined the issue of FOG discharged to sewer. The latest project reported in 2018. The report examined means to improve the current controls on FOG discharges while also looking at future strategic options to better collect and recover FOG. Control and potential recovery of FOG at source is the long term aim. To this end Scottish Water has initiated a pilot project in St Andrews working with food service establishments to improve housekeeping and reduce the quantity of FOG discharged to the sewer network.

In addition to this, the value of FOG is captured to an extent already in plants where energy is produced from sludge and FOG becomes part of the feedstock.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had regarding widening circular economic activity in the treatment of sewage sludge after the current treatment contracts end.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (20/02/2019):

The Scottish Government is actively engaged with Scottish Water in relation to widening circular economic activity in the treatment of sewage sludge after the current treatment contracts end.

Scottish Water’s bioresources strategy is to secure safe, sustainable, cost-effective sludge outlets and maximise the value of sludge either as a fuel or a fertiliser. This is in keeping with Scottish, UK and European regulatory frameworks encouraging sludge to be used as a resource wherever it is safe and practicable to do so.

Further to this, Scottish Water’s bioresources strategy seeks to maximise the value of sludge and takes into consideration future return of sludge treatment assets from PFI contracts.

Scottish Water, in collaboration with SEPA under their Sustainable Growth Agreement, is running a “Value from Waste” project exploring the options for co-treatment of sewage sludge with other organic wastes. In rural/remote areas this could offer significant circular economy benefits.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether the additional £1.1 million that it has announced to allow rape trials to start at the earliest opportunity also applies to attempted rape.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (20/02/2019):

It is a Scottish Government priority to find ways to improve the experience of victims within the criminal justice system and reduce the trauma associated with the court process. We recognise the devastating impact that all sexual assaults can have, and are committed to working with justice and third sector partners to ensure that these offences are dealt with efficiently and appropriately, and that complainers are supported to help them effectively engage with the justice system.

The £1.1 million additional funding, which was allocated to COPFS and SCTS in the current financial year, provided additional resources to help respond to immediate pressures associated with cases already in the court system, and the general growth in sexual offences referrals. This includes cases involving attempted rape.

 


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it defines a "victim" in the context of a crime.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (20/02/2019):

The Scottish Government wishes to ensure that appropriate support, information, advice and assistance is provided as required to a wide range of victims of crime. No particular definition is therefore generally applied. This reflects the legal position in Scotland whereby there is no overarching statutory definition of “victim” albeit that some criminal justice legislation provides bespoke definitions of the term for certain limited purposes.

 


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the outcome was of its investigation into alleged illegal scallop dredging in the Gairloch protected area.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (20/02/2019):

There have been three suspected incursions into the closed area at Loch Gairloch. One investigation has concluded due to a lack of evidence, and the other two are currently ongoing.

 


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the average waiting time is in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for a hip operation.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (20/02/2019):

Data for waiting times is collected at speciality level, not procedure. Latest published data shows that for the quarter ending September 2018 the median waiting time for an Orthopaedic inpatient or day case appointment was 98 days.

The Health Board are taking a number of steps to improve the situation including providing additional clinics, making full use of capacity at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, and recruiting additional staff.

In line with the Waiting Times Improvement Plan the Golden Jubilee National Hospital have committed to 90 additional Orthopaedic Joint procedures. This activity commenced in January 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it last met NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (20/02/2019):

Ministers and Scottish Government officials regularly meet with representatives of all Health Boards, including NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, to discuss matters of importance to local people. I last met the Chair and Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on 28 January.

 


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it can provide regarding the opening of the Scottish Government Innovation and Investment Hub in Paris.


Answered by Fiona Hyslop (20/02/2019):

I am pleased to advise of the opening of our Hub in Paris on  18 February. The Hub is located in rue d’Anjou, where Scottish Development International has recently relocated its offices.

The purpose of the Hub is to promote Scotland’s interests in France. This will include building on existing trade and investment activity to boost Scotland’s trade with France and supporting innovation-focussed collaboration and entrepreneurial exchange between the two nations. France was Scotland’s third biggest export market in 2016, the biggest one for food & drink. Furthermore, the Hub will serve as a way of promoting Scotland’s interests in key international organisations based in Paris such as the OECD and UNESCO.

The head of our new Hub in Paris is Lucy Sterne, has extensive Government experience having worked for the Department for Work and Pensions, and, HM Treasury and on secondment to the New Zealand Treasury.

 


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-18389 by Humza Yousaf on 6 September 2018, what the combined cost was for the reclamation, decontamination and remedial works on the site prior to the commencement of the construction work on the campus.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (20/02/2019):

The Scottish Government does not have the information requested.

The site of the former Gartcosh steel rolling mill was subject to decontamination works at the same time as the M73 motorway was being constructed. This work was undertaken by Lanarkshire Enterprise (now Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire) in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council. Consequently, the Scottish Government purchased a serviced site from Enterprise Lanarkshire.

You may therefore wish to contact Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire and/or North Lanarkshire Council to see if they have any information on the costs associated with the works undertaken prior to the sale of the land, and subsequent construction of the Crime Campus.

 


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to its news release of 17 August 2018, 9% pay rise for NHS workers, by what date it will publish the details of the proposed changes to the terms and conditions of the "Agenda for Change" staff.

 


Answered by Jeane Freeman (20/02/2019):

Shared positions have now been reached on all 4 areas of reform and Staff Side are currently consulting their members on the proposals. Any agreed changes to NHS Scotland staff terms and conditions, will be set out in guidance issued from the Scottish Government. The intention is to apply these from 1 April 2019, where appropriate.

 


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the criteria are for the Scottish Ministers to release a prisoner on compassionate grounds.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (20/02/2019):

Release on compassionate grounds generally applies where individuals have a terminal illness and death is likely to occur soon, where the prisoner is severely incapacitated or where continued imprisonment would endanger or shorten his or her life expectancy. Release may also be considered where tragic family circumstances are a factor.

 


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it ensures that patients being prescribed opiates have all other options explained to them by their doctor.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (20/02/2019):

All prescribing by all prescribers, requires to be in line with clinical guidelines and evidenced-based practice. Medical prescribers are also required to follow the prescribing and managing medicines and devices guidelines set out in the General Medical Council’s Good Medical Practice standards which emphasizes safe prescribing.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what targeted support it has provided to NHS Fife in each year since 2014 to tackle childhood obesity.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (20/02/2019):

The Scottish Government provides annual funding to NHS Boards for child healthy weight.

In 2014-15 and 2015-16 NHS Fife received around £130,000 to deliver these services.

The 2016-17 Budget introduced the Outcomes Framework, a single source of funding to NHS Boards for strategic priorities focussed on prevention and reducing health inequalities - including adult and child weight management. This has provided local flexibility on how best to deploy this resource against clearly defined outcomes.

In addition to this, in 2018-19, the East of Scotland Region – made up of NHS Fife, NHS Lothian and NHS Borders –received an additional £440,000 to work in partnership to begin implementation of the Type 2 Diabetes Prevention, Early Detection and Intervention Framework, to enhance the provision of weight management interventions for those with, or at risk of type 2 diabetes. Over the next 5 years NHS Boards will receive a total of £42 million additional funding to deliver this framework.

 

Childhood obesity is a priority for this government and we expect NHS Boards to work with their partners and agree how best to use their collective resources to improve children’s diet and weight.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether (a) it and (b) Police Scotland has applied for or enquired about contingency funding for the police to deal with the possible consequences of Brexit.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (20/02/2019):

Any costs related to EU exit should not have a detrimental impact on Scotland’s public finances and should be met in full by the UK Government. The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work and the Cabinet Secretary for Justice wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 8 February 2019 outlining that any additional costs for policing in Scotland associated with Brexit – in relation to additional police officers and any further resources that may be required - should fall to the UK Government.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with Police Scotland regarding its continued participation with the UK Counter Terrorism Police Network, and what consideration Police Scotland has given to withdrawing from this structure.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (20/02/2019):

This is an operational matter for the Police Service of Scotland.

 


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the importance of the National Counter Terrorism Police Network to Scotland's counter terrorism capabilities.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (20/02/2019):

This is an operational matter for the Police Service of Scotland.

 


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what mechanisms there are for patients to complain about food quality in (a) hospitals and (b) social care settings.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (20/02/2019):

In a hospital setting, all patients should complain to the nurse in charge of their ward if they are not happy with the food provided and they should be offered an alternative meal. Patients can also complete a questionnaire as part of the mealtime observations conducted by NHS board staff or through an inpatient experience survey. If the patient is still unhappy, they can address their complaint at a local level through the NHS complaints handling procedure.

The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 and supporting legislation provides a specific right for people to make complaints, raise concerns, make comments and give feedback to NHS Boards. The Act also places a duty on NHS Boards to thoroughly investigate and respond to any concerns raised, to take improvement actions where appropriate and to share learning from the views they receive. .

In Social Care settings, if the level of service that a person or someone they care for is receiving is not up to standard, they should in the first instance to speak to the care service itself about their concerns. If they do not receive a favourable response they can then raise a formal complaint using the relevant local authority’s complaints procedure. They can also choose to complain directly to the Care Inspectorate if the service is being provided on behalf of the local authority, by a private care provider. If they are still unhappy with the outcome, they have the right to ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to look into the decision.

 


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to help Scotland meet its air quality targets.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (20/02/2019):

The Scottish Government is in regular discussion with Defra in relation to air quality matters, and we work closely together on issues of common interest.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government by what date it will publish a progress report on the Cleaner Air for Scotland strategy.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (20/02/2019):

The second annual progress report for the Cleaner Air for Scotland strategy was pubished on 10 August 2018. The report can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/cleaner-air-scotland-annual-progress-report-2017-18/

On 6 November 2018, the Scottish Government announced that Professor Campbell Gemmell would chair an independent review of Scotland’s air quality strategy. The review will explore the progress and impact of Scotland’s previous air quality strategy, assessing progress to date and making recommendations for future priorities. The review is well underway, with a number of steering group and working group meetings having taken place, along with a stakeholder event on 10 January 2019.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the City of Edinburgh Council regarding the progress that the city is making toward meeting its air quality targets.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (20/02/2019):

Edinburgh City Council has produced an action plan containing a number of measures to improve air quality. The Scottish Government is working closely with the Council as it implements the measures contained in the plan and is providing practical and financial assistance to both monitor air quality and support delivery.

As announced in the 2017-18 Programme for Government, the Council will establish a Low Emission Zone in Edinburgh by 2020.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it supports young people from deprived communities to positively engage in sporting activities.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (20/02/2019):

Scottish Government has a vision of a Scotland where more people are more active, more often. We aim to reduce physical inactivity in adults and adolescents by 15% by 2030. The Active Scotland Outcomes Framework sets out our ambitions for a more active Scotland, and is underpinned by a commitment to equality.

We know that young people from deprived communities are less likely to participate in sport. So programmes like Active Schools and Community Sport Hubs are key in providing opportunities for young people to engage in sporting activities.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what impact the CAMHS taskforce at NHS Grampian has had on mental health treatment for adolescents.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (20/02/2019):

The Mental Health Access Support Team (MHAIST) has been working with NHS Grampian to develop an improvement plan for CAMHS which is currently being implemented.

A range of ongoing activity includes:

  • ? Targeted support for key services, currently focused on the Moray region,
  • ? Standardisation of key processes to ensure equity of access for all children and young people, and;
  • ? Data improvements to improve decision-making around workforce planning, job planning and service demand.

We have already seen reduced waiting times in all areas of service, with the exception of Moray which is now the focus of dedicated improvement activity.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 20/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what standards and regulations govern the (a) quality and (b) inspection of food provision in (i) hospitals and (ii) social care settings.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/02/2019):

NHS Boards are required to comply with the ‘Food in Hospitals: National Catering and Nutrition Specification for Food and Fluid Provision in Hospitals in Scotland’ guidelines which were revised and updated March 2016 and Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Food, Fluid and Nutritional Care standards published October 2014.

NHS Boards are required to meet these standards and the specification regardless of whether the catering is provided in-house or by an external provider.

NHS Boards are currently required to self-assess their performance against the Food in Hospitals Specification, taking into account local audit information (such as regular mealtime observations conducted by NHS board staff) and results from patient experience surveys. From April 2019, a new process for the provision of detailed self-assessment and supporting evidence will go live.

Food in Hospitals provides information on standards for nutritional care, nutrient and food provision for patients within hospitals. It provides information on how the standards/guidance can be met. There is no formal inspection of food provision in Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland carries out inspection of nutritional care and hydration as part of their unannounced inspections of care of older people in acute hospitals.

The Health and Social Care Standards took effect from 1 April 2018 and are applicable across the whole of health and social care. They set out what everyone should expect when experiencing care and support, including eating and drinking. The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland are incorporating the Standards into their inspection and quality assurance activities.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what procurement criteria prospective private contractors must meet when hospitals are outsourcing the provision of their food.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/02/2019):

The catering service in every Board must comply with National Food Safety Standards and the Food in Hospitals specification (the National Catering and Nutrition Specification for Food and Fluid Provision in Hospitals in Scotland) with regards to the quality of their patient catering service.

These standards are mandatory whether the service is provided in-house or by an external provider. For those services that are provided externally, Boards are responsible for ensuring that the standards and specification form the basis of the quality criteria for the provision of those services.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on reviewing the water and sewerage charges exemption scheme to support charities whose income exceeds the exemption limit due to them receiving funds for important new projects.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (19/02/2019):

A review of the exemption scheme, published on 6 March 2018, concluded that the qualifying income levels remain relevant. There is therefore no further review planned at this time. A copy of the review can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/water-sewerage-charges-exemption-scheme-review/ .


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20933 by Jeane Freeman on 4 February 2019, whether it will provide the same information for the (a) Edinburgh and (b) Aberdeen endometriosis centre.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20937 on 13 February 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 Jeane Freeman on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the ageing population, what analysis it has carried out regarding how having access to housing adaptions that allow people to remain at home could save the NHS money and represent effective preventative spend.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (19/02/2019):

The Scottish Government has not made an analysis of savings achieved by having access to housing adaptations. However we are aware of research undertaken by others both in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK that considers the evidence for potential savings to health budgets from adaptations being made to the homes older or disabled people who need them.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it channels into home adaptations, and what its position is on whether additional resources are required.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (19/02/2019):

Housing Statistics for Scotland details the total number and the cost of housing adaptations delivered by each local authority. Information on Scottish Government-funded housing adaptations carried out by Registered Social Landlords is provided to SPICe, as we committed to providing an annual update of information about Scottish Government-funded housing adaptations as part of our responses to S4W-28622 on 9 December 2015 and S5W-01638 on 16 August 2016.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on working with the integrated joint boards to establish a uniform expenditure process for each of these boards to assist it in recording a comprehensive breakdown of spend.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (19/02/2019):

Integration Authorities are working collaboratively to develop an overall framework for financial reporting to support the work of Scottish Government. This framework will continue to be developed during 2018-19.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the reported concerns raised by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations regarding funding for home adaptions being frozen for the last seven years.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (19/02/2019):

Most funding for adaptations comes from Health and Social Care Partnerships. Funding provided directly to Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) has been protected in 2019-20 to assist them to deliver adaptations for older and disabled tenants. It is for individual RSLs to determine how to make best use of the adaptations funding received from the Scottish Government.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the evidence given to the Local Government and Communities Committee on 16 May 2018 by the Minister for Local Government and Housing, whether it will provide an update on how much the integrated joint boards are spending on home adaptations.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (19/02/2019):

As reporting procedures still have to be agreed with the IJBs we are unable to provide an update at this time.

 


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what statutory provisions apply to people who have to leave social housing on a temporary or permanent basis due to flood damage.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (19/02/2019):

The model tenancy agreement for Scottish secure tenancies includes a clause under which a registered social landlord will carry out necessary repairs due to flood damage within a reasonable time, or offer equivalent permanent rehousing as soon as such a house becomes available, and until that time will try to help the tenant to get temporary accommodation if the house is uninhabitable.

All local authorities in Scotland have statutory responsibilities towards people who are threatened with or who are experiencing homelessness, and are obliged by law to offer a minimum of temporary accommodation and advice and assistance. Anyone found to be homeless through no fault of their own is entitled to be provided with settled accommodation.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason papers presented to the Social Security Scotland Executive Advisory Body have not been published on the body's meetings, minutes and agendas webpage.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (19/02/2019):

Social Security Scotland is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government. The Executive Advisory Body is responsible for providing advice to the Chief Executive, who is the Accountable Officer. The approach we have taken to publication reflects governance good practice and is consistent with other Scottish Government Executive Agencies.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-21123 by Jeane Freeman on 4 February 2019, whether it will provide the same information for the (a) Edinburgh and (b) Aberdeen endometriosis centre.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20937 on 13 February 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 Jeane Freeman on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20934 by Jeane Freeman on 4 February 2019, whether it will provide the same information for the (a) Edinburgh and (b) Aberdeen endometriosis centre.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20937 on 13 February 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 Jeane Freeman on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many GP practices have (a) closed and (b) partially closed their list in each year since 2007.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/02/2019):

The Scottish Government does not hold this information. Practices must apply to their Health Boards to close their lists and agree the conditions and timelines for reopening them.

Circumstances will arise where a practice experiences capacity issues and is unable to routinely accept new patients onto its list. We expect Health Boards to work with practices as constructively and as flexibly as is appropriate to help manage the situation and ensure that all patients have access to GP services.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making with the review of the legislation and guidance regarding home adaptations, and by what date it will publish the findings.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (19/02/2019):

This work is progressing as planned and we intend to issue updated support materials and guidance to Integration Joint Boards later this year.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to simplify the funding arrangements regarding home adaptations.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (19/02/2019):

Officials are reviewing existing legislation and guidance relating to adaptations. This work has a practical focus which will identify barriers and potential areas for development. We intend to issue revised and updated guidance and support to Integration Joint Boards later this year to help them deliver a tenure neutral, person-centred approach to adaptations for older and disabled people.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 19/02/2019

To ask Scottish Government how much each NHS board has spent on locum neurologists in each year since 2015.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/02/2019):

Spend on Agency Locums in secondary care reduced by 8.8% from £110,120,000 in 2016-17 to £100,382,000 in 2017-18. In 2015-16 spend was £98,298,000. Spend on internal NHS locums was £47,737,000 in 2017-18, which has increased from £39,539,000 in 2016-17, and was £43,017,000 in 2015-16. This increase reflects our commitment to expand the internal Staff Bank, securing more of our temporary staff from this area. Spend data on specific staff groups is not held centrally.

In September 2018 there were 64.5 WTE Neurologists in post, a rise from 58.7 in September 2015.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many towns and villages that had a GP practice in 2007 no longer have one.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/02/2019):

The Scottish Government does not hold this information. Although it is possible for NHS National Services Scotland to provide information about practices that have an ‘end date’, they would include mergers, takeovers and splits, so the figures would not reflect real closures.

 


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many medical students have chosen to go into general practice in each year since 2007.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21361 on 19 February 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 Jeane Freeman on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to concerns regarding insufficient parking spaces for staff at St John’s Hospital in Livingston, and what assistance it can provide to NHS Lothian to resolve any problems.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5O-02870 on‎ 7 February 2019. The answer to the oral parliamentary question is available on the Parliaments website, the Official Report can be viewed at: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11935&i=107885

 


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its report, Fuel Poverty: Scottish Government response to working group reports, whether it will confirm which of the recommendations that were made by the Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force in the report, Delivering affordable warmth in rural Scotland: action plan, it has (a) endorsed, broken down by the progress being made with the implication of each and (b) rejected, broken down by reason.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (19/02/2019):

The Scottish Government’s response to reports by the Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group and Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force set out the range of actions underway to address the recommendation they made. Since then we have put in place further actions to address many of the recommendations.

For example, we consulted on a new fuel poverty strategy, including a new definition that takes account of recommendations made by the Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force. Following consideration of responses received, we published a Draft Fuel Poverty Strategy on 27 June 2018, alongside the introduction of the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition & Strategy) (Scotland) Bill to Parliament.

We have also established the independent Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel that is taking forward a range of actions to inform Scottish Government policy. The Panel has been tasked specifically with monitoring and reporting on the delivery of the recommendations made by the Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group and Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task. The Panel discussed how to monitor the recommendations at their last meeting in December and is actively putting in place a process for monitoring the recommendations. This will be reported in due course.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what role Social Security Scotland’s Local Delivery Relationship Leads will have in delivering work capability assessments, or the Scottish equivalent.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (19/02/2019):

Work Capability Assessments are carried out for someone who makes a claim to Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit. Both of these benefits are reserved to the UK Government. Consequently, Social Security Scotland Local Delivery Relationship Leads will not have any role in delivering them.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what meetings it has had with (a) stakeholders in the tertiary education sector and (b) City and Guilds regarding the introduction of accredited training or academic modules on work capability assessments, or the Scottish equivalent.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (19/02/2019):

Work Capability Assessments are carried out for someone who makes a claim to Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit. Both of these benefits are reserved to the UK Government. Consequently, Social Security Scotland Local Delivery Relationship Leads will not have any role in delivering them.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to carry out face-to-face work capability assessments, or the Scottish equivalent, and what specific consideration it has given to people living in rural and remote areas and the islands.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (19/02/2019):

Work Capability Assessments are carried out for someone who makes a claim to Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit. Both of these benefits are reserved to the UK Government. Consequently, Social Security Scotland Local Delivery Relationship Leads will not have any role in delivering them.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many GPs have been employed by each NHS board in each year since 2007.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/02/2019):

Number (headcount) of GPs in Scotland, by NHS Board, as at 30 September 2007 to 2018:

Health Board

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Ayrshire & Arran

308

324

315

326

322

325

329

335

331

332

321

338

Borders

113

118

118

117

121

115

118

120

117

118

121

126

Dumfries & Galloway

154

160

159

160

156

152

152

148

138

129

137

120

Fife

277

286

283

275

267

279

277

275

270

265

266

280

Forth Valley

253

261

262

260

264

269

270

267

261

271

278

270

Grampian

520

549

559

567

549

547

546

562

552

545

533

533

Greater Glasgow
and Clyde

1,023

1,085

1,078

1,076

1,079

1,073

1,070

1,077

1,057

1,038

1,057

1,076

Highland

401

416

420

418

408

389

393

392

390

388

397

398

Lanarkshire

386

397

398

406

399

411

405

406

454

462

453

441

Lothian

787

815

827

821

842

837

851

851

891

887

896

941

Orkney

43

34

34

34

33

26

29

26

31

33

35

36

Shetland

31

31

33

30

29

31

26

28

29

29

27

30

Tayside

352

367

375

372

384

373

376

393

372

359

379

395

Western Isles

42

44

47

44

37

39

38

34

30

29

32

32

Scotland

4,686

4,885

4,902

4,902

4,886

4,862

4,875

4,911

4,920

4,877

4,919

4,994

Source: GPCD (General Practitioner Contractor Database)

More information: https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/General-Practice/Publications/2018-12-11/2018-12-11-GPWorkforce2018-Report.pdf


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many student GP places there have been in each year since 2007.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/02/2019):

Undergraduate medical places are not decided by or allocated for particular specialties. Over their degree, medical students will gain through theory and practical experience the basic skills and competencies required to practice medicine, but deciding on specialty career follows after graduation. Through our new graduate entry programme, we are increasing the time students spend in primary and community-based services.

The information requested is not held in the format sought. The data for those entering GP specialty training is partially available from NHS Education for Scotland (NES) from 2009 onwards as follows :

YEAR

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

GPST level 1 Posts Advertised

393

350

296

302

305

306

305

444

430

347

Number accepting Places

356

349

268

290

280

269

239

286

318

292

% Places Filled

91

99

91

96

92

88

78

64

74

84

NB 1. These are acceptances and some trainees may have withdrawn before starting

2. These applicants are doctors at various stages of their careers

There are several routes enabling Doctors to enter GP specialty training (GPST). Some do so after finishing their second year of Foundation training, some may apply for GPST posts after taking a career break, some may be quite senior and have changed specialty to apply for GPST.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government on what date the mandatory standstill period commenced in the award of the contract for construction of the Maybole bypass; what its duration was, and for what reason the successful bidder was not named publicly at the commencement of the standstill period, in light of it naming successful bidders for other similar contracts.


Answered by Michael Matheson (19/02/2019):

On conclusion of the procurement competition for the contract to construct the A77 Maybole Bypass, bidders were informed of our intention to award the contract. This marked the commencement of the mandatory standstill period.

During this period all bidders have an opportunity to review the intention to award the contract prior to formal award taking place. In this case, queries were raised by one of the bidders and we are currently seeking to resolve these queries before the contract is awarded and the successful bidder announced.

In the meantime, I am pleased to report that the advance works are progressing well. These works will prepare the site for the main construction work.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how complete the Scottish Land Register is.


Answered by Kate Forbes (19/02/2019):

This is a question for the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland. She advises me that as at 31 Jan 2019 there are 1,808,661 titles on the Land Register representing 66.7% of the total. The land mass this represents is 33.8% of Scotland’s circa 8m hectares.

 


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much has been paid out through the Best Start Grant scheme, broken down by local authority area.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (19/02/2019):

The latest figures on payments to 31 January are available in the following news release: https://news.gov.scot/news/best-start-grant-pays-out-gbp-2-7m . A breakdown by local authority is not yet available. 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.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the impact of the 2019 Celtic Connections festival.


Answered by Fiona Hyslop (19/02/2019):

The most recent Celtic Connections Economic Impact Assessment, was carried out by EKOS Limited for Glasgow Life and published in June 2016. The report showed the following results:

  • Celtic Connections 2016 generated expenditure of £5,537,195 from visitors from the Glasgow area and £1,732,247 from visitors from the rest of Scotland.
  • Once all organiser costs have been taken into account, the calculation of economic impact has identified that the festival has a benefit of £4,002,532 across Scotland. (This is made up of £3,899,433 from the Glasgow area and £1,031,099 from across the rest of Scotland).
  • The festival is estimated to have generated over a hundred full-time equivalent jobs for one year across Scotland in 2016 (79.6 jobs in Glasgow and 24.8 jobs across the rest of Scotland).

Current Status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what support it provides to the Celtic Connections festival.


Answered by Fiona Hyslop (19/02/2019):

Celtic Connections received £100,000 of funding from the Scottish Government Festivals EXPO fund in 2019, to support a series of concerts entitled ‘ Above the Surface ’ which featured music from a new generation of musicians.

Celtic Connections has also received £550,000K of Regular Funded Organisations (RFO) funding from Creative Scotland for 2018-2021 equating to £183,334, and £4.5k towards this year's Gaelic and Scots Showcase in 2019.

Scottish Government Ministers and officials attended a number of events at Celtic Connections this year. I attended the opening reception and concert and performances that featured as part of the 'Above the Surface' series of concerts. The Deputy First Minister also supported the Showcase Scotland element of the programme by attending the Creative Scotland Gaelic Showcase. All Ministerial activity is published quarterly in detail.


Current Status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20892 by Fergus Ewing on 22 January 2019, whether it will provide the information that was requested regarding what its position is on whether the response to question S5W-20663 met the commitment set out at paragraph 1.3 (d) of the Scottish Ministerial Code.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (19/02/2019):

The Scottish Ministerial Code identifies that Ministers should be as open as possible with the Parliament and the public. As the Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) I am responsible for ensuring that, as an enterprise agency in charge of public funds, both HIE and its Chief Executive are held accountable for their decisions. I have been open with the Scottish Parliament.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many consultant ophthalmologists are employed in each NHS board; what information it has on the number employed in the private sector in Scotland, and what the (a) level and (b) specialisms are of each consultant ophthalmologist in position.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/02/2019):

The number of Consultants specialising in Ophthalmology who are employed by each Board in NHS Scotland is available on the ISD Website: https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Workforce/Publications/2018-12-04/Medical-and-Dental.asp .

The published data shows two Ophthalmology related specialties: Ophthalmology and Medical Ophthalmology. Numbers of Consultants, or any other medical grade, can be selected and shown by either headcount or whole time equivalent.

ISD does not hold any information on staff who are not directly employed by NHSScotland.

ISD does not hold quality assured data for the final part of the question asking for detail of the “(a) level and (b) specialisms” of each consultant ophthalmologist in position.

Further notes :
Further information on the statistics, including information on how the data are collected and notes to aid interpretation, is given in the 'FAQs' section of the Workforce Statistics website at http://www.isdscotland.org/workforce/ .


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether Transport Scotland uses wet salt to grit roads instead of dry salt and, if so, for what reason.


Answered by Michael Matheson (19/02/2019):

Since 2007-08, pre-wetted salting has been used on all our Trunk Road Units.

Pre-wetted salting involves spreading dry salt and brine in the proportion of 70% dry salt to 30% of fully saturated brine with a salt concentration of around 23%. The addition of the brine to the dry salt takes place at the point of spreading and has the following main advantages—

  • Salt requires to go into solution before it becomes effective in preventing ice formation. The addition of the brine has the effect of reducing, if not eliminating, the time lag before the salt becomes effective after spreading.
  • The brine minimises the amount of dry salt removed from the carriageway by the draught from the spreading vehicles, road traffic and strong cross winds. More salt adheres therefore to the road surface after spreading and this can increase the length of time the salt lasts without retreatment.
  • The brine ensures that the “bounce” of salt crystals onto the road side verges during spreading is minimised and that the greater proportion of the salt spread is contained within the carriageway. This leads to reduced corrosion on roadside structures and environmental benefits.

The changeability of the Scottish weather patterns means that even with this best practice method of precautionary salting ice formation on roads can still occur. Motorists should be aware therefore that there will still be times when motorways and trunk roads will not remain completely free of snow and ice.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when the temporary traffic lights between Kirkconnel and New Cumnock on the A76 are scheduled for removal.


Answered by Michael Matheson (19/02/2019):

Following a road traffic accident on 14 January 2018, an LGV demolished 50m of safety barrier at this location, south of Marchburn. Temporary traffic signals and associated signing were provided at the time and are remain in place for public safety reasons.

The repair to the damaged fence has unfortunately been delayed due to difficulties in the design process. Replacing the damaged barrier with a like for like replacement is not possible due to the ground conditions and the presence of public utility apparatus which were laid after the current barrier was installed. As such, the design of a new barrier system which complies with required standards has been challenging. Investigations have taken place in several phases since the incident occurred in January 2018, with the final investigations taking place earlier in February 2019.

With investigations now complete, the design process can progress with a view to carrying out construction works in May 2019. Further details will be shared with stakeholders as the scheme develops.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 19/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the terms will be of the inquiry into the detainment of patients with learning difficulties at the State Hospital; when the inquiry will begin, and how long it will take.


Answered by Clare Haughey (18/02/2019):

The Scottish Government has made clear that the independent review of Learning Disability and Autism in the Mental Health Act, which began in January 2018, is investigating the wider issue of whether the current legislation needs to change for people with learning disability and autism. It is not an investigation into individual patient cases.

It is for the independent review to determine what issues or cases it will consider in order to inform its work. The review will consist of 3 public engagement phases, the 1st stage finished in November 2018 and focussed on understanding current experience of the legislation and how that affects people’s human rights. The responses are currently being analysed and preparation is underway for stage 2 which will run between March and May 2019. The focus for stage 2 will be developing ideas on how to improve legislation, if needed.

I expect the independent review to report to me by the end of the year.


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 18/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the retrofitting of changing places toilets in public buildings.


Answered by Christina McKelvie (18/02/2019):

Disabled people continue to experience inequality and so cannot enjoy their rights on an equal basis to others. Creating a fairer and more equal society is a priority for this government.

This is why the Scottish Government is consulting on proposals for the introduction of a requirement for changing places toilets in certain types of larger new buildings, with the intent of introducing any requirements in late 2019.

The Scottish Government strongly encourages owners of existing public buildings to consider what could be done to support access to their buildings for all users - particularly regarding installing changing places toilets.

To increase the number of CPTs, officials continue to work very closely with PAMIS ( Promoting A More Inclusive Society ) and key stakeholders focussing on areas in Scotland where there are no CPTs or limited numbers. Information and locations can be found at: http://pamis.org.uk/campaigns/changing-places-toilets/


Current Status: Answered by Christina McKelvie on 18/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how the introduction of changing places toilets to building regulations is progressing.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (18/02/2019):

Proposals for the introduction of a requirement for changing places toilets in certain types of larger new building were investigated during 2018 as part of a broader review of building regulations.

We will consult on proposals later this month with the intent of introducing requirements in late 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 18/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making on completing the devolution of forestry by bringing into force the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (18/02/2019):

A package of regulations was laid on 15 February which will bring into force the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018 on 1 April 2019. This package also creates a new regime for the regulation of forestry, which is based on the current regime to ensure continuity for the forestry sector, but is also modernised in line with the Act itself.

Alongside the recently published Scottish Forestry Strategy 2019-2029 https://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/supporting/strategy-policy-guidance/forestry-strategy , the new regulatory regime will help us to achieve our ambitions for forestry in Scotland and complete the devolution of forestry this year.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Fergus Ewing on 18/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its policy is on the use of mobile phones in school classrooms, and whether it has any plans for a complete ban on personal devices.


Answered by John Swinney (18/02/2019):

Given the prevalence of mobile phone ownership, and the wide ranging potential of mobile phones to support and enhance the learning experience, we have no plans to impose an outright ban at a national level. We urge schools and local authorities to think carefully about how they can best utilise mobile phones to enhance education. However, they are free to make their own decisions about the use of mobile phones in their schools, including imposing a ban if they so choose.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 18/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the statements by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People to the Social Security Committee on 17 January 2019 (Official Report, c. 23), whether it will publish the feasibility studies for the delivery options for an income supplement once it has provided its first update on the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (18/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21293 on 18 February 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 18/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the statements by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People to the Social Security Committee on 17 January 2019 (Official Report, c. 23), what (a) staff, (b) financial resources and (c) staffing hours it has committed to the feasibility studies for the delivery options for an income supplement.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (18/02/2019):

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

The proposed budget for Social Security Advice, Policy & Programme within the Social Security and Older People Portfolio is £77.8 million in 2019-20. This budget will include funding for supporting the development of the income supplement.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 18/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the statements by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People to the Social Security Committee on 17 January 2019 (Official Report, c. 23), whether it will provide details of the scope of the work that it is undertaking with HMRC; whether it has shared an outline of this work with stakeholders, including the Give Me 5 coalition, and whether it will place full details of this work in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) when it provides its first update on the Every Child Every Chance delivery plan.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (18/02/2019):

As part of the income supplement options appraisal we are engaging with relevant UK Government departments, including HMRC and DWP, to determine the feasibility of delivering the income supplement through a reserved benefit. Initial discussions have taken place with DWP and HMRC to outline the commitment contained in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, identify relevant issues for further consideration, and determine how we can best engage with each other as this work continues.

We are engaging closely with stakeholders, including representatives of the Give Me Five campaign, as the options appraisal work is taken forward.

The options appraisal will be published at the same time as my first progress report to Parliament on the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 18/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the statements by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People to the Social Security Committee on 17 January 2019 (Official Report, c. 23), how many commercial, public and private sector partners are assisting with the feasibility studies for the delivery options for an income supplement, and who these partners are.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (18/02/2019):

An options appraisal is being taken forward over the coming months, to examine potential policy and delivery options for the income supplement, which will include consideration of the feasibility of each option. This options appraisal will be undertaken by Scottish Government officials.

As part of this process, we are engaging, where necessary, with relevant UK Government departments, including HMRC and DWP, to better understand delivery issues and complexities. We are also engaging closely with a range of stakeholders, to determine their views on the income supplement and how it could be delivered. This includes local authority representatives, third sector organisations, and academics.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 18/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the statements by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People to the Social Security Committee on 17 January 2019 (Official Report, c. 23) that it is "looking at...timeframes and the cost of the different delivery mechanisms" and that this information will "be shared with Parliament and the committee", whether this information will be shared with members of the Committee prior to its first update on the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (18/02/2019):

An options appraisal is being taken forward over the coming months, to examine potential policy and delivery options for the income supplement and the feasibility of these.

I have committed to publishing the options appraisal alongside my first progress report to Parliament on the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 18/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People to the Social Security Committee on 17 January 2019 (Official Report, c. 23) that "it does not make sense to have an interim solution [for the income supplement] that would also take a long time to deliver", what formal decision ministers or the Social Security Programme Board have made regarding not to proceed with an interim solution; whether ministers sought advice on this, and whether officials have recommended not to proceed with an interim solution.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (18/02/2019):

The Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan sets out 57 actions we are taking over the period 2018 – 2022, to increase family incomes and reduce living costs, and help meet our ambitious child poverty targets. As part of that work, we will work towards the introduction of the income supplement over the lifetime of the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan.

Given the scale and ambition of that commitment it is right that we take the time to fully and properly appraise all options, including the pace at which they could be introduced, and ensure we focus efforts on delivering an income supplement that meets the two key tests set out in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan: that the additional income is targeted on those families who need it, and that it’s therefore helping to lift the maximum number of children out of poverty; and, that there is a robust and viable delivery route to get the additional income to those families, and that the delivery costs are reasonable.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 18/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in response to the opinion of the Court of Session regarding the appeal for a major development at Airthrey Kerse.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (18/02/2019):

On 23 January 2019, the Court of Session quashed the Scottish Ministers’ decision of 18 June 2018 to refuse planning permission in principle for a housing development at Airthrey Kerse, Bridge of Allan, Stirling. The case will in due course be returned to the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) to reconsider in light of the Court Opinion. The DPEA reporter will take full account of any representations made to the original application or appeal as well as any further submissions the reporter considers necessary to re-examine this appeal following the decision of the Court of Session. The reporter will then make a recommendation to Scottish Ministers.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 18/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many companies involved with the arms trade are account managed by (a) Scottish Enterprise and (b) Highlands and Islands Enterprise, broken down by the (i) name of each company and (ii) length of time that they have been account managed.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (18/02/2019):

As this is an operational matter relating to account management information, I have asked the Chief Executives of both Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to respond to you directly.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 18/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the total eligible hectarage claimed under agricultural and environmental support schemes in Shetland was in (a) 2015, (b) 2016, (c) 2017 and (d) 2018.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (15/02/2019):

Data supplied showing the total eligible hectarage claimed under agricultural and environmental support schemes in Shetland in (a) 2015, (b) 2016, (c) 2017 and (d) 2018.

Agri Environment Climate Scheme (AECS)

Claim Year

Eligible HA

2016

3706.98

2017

5035.88

2018

9987.66

AECS contracts were not issued in 2016, therefore no land was claimed in 2015.

Rural Priorities (RP)

Claim Year

Eligible HA

2015

10815.09

2016

7169.66

2017

3610.62

2018

1144.67

The fact that the area for RP has reduced over the claim years is a reflection of the transition from the previous SRDP. The area under management reduces as the contract commitments reduce.

Land Management Options (LMO)

Claim Year

Eligible HA

2015

923.40

2016

3.09

2017

3.09

The reduction for LMO is down to the exact same reason as RP and the transition from the previous SRDP. No 2018 figures are available as the last claim year for this scheme was 2017.

Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)

Claim Year

Eligible HA

2015

109860.83

2016

108950.98

2017

110168.26

2018

109839.43

Greening

Claim Year

Eligible HA

2015

109860.83

2016

108950.98

2017

110168.26

2018

109839.43

The claimed hectarage for both BPS/GREENING has remained broadly static over the 2015-2016-2017-2018 claim years, as applicants choose to adjust their claims by small amounts each year.

Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS)

Claim Year

Eligible HA

2015

108341.39

2016

108489.57

2017

109000.93

2018

Not available *

* Processing for all the eligible LFASS 2018 claims is still to complete, therefore the final/total figure is not available at this time.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 15/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of reports of 150 jobs being at risk at Healthcare Environmental Services Ltd in Shotts, what action (a) it and (b) its agencies will take to protect these, and whether it will carry out an urgent review of the (i) reasons for the business being in this position and (ii) impact on the business of actions by the UK Environment Agency and Cabinet Office, SEPA and other government agencies.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (14/02/2019):

Scottish Government officials offered support for employees of Healthcare Environmental Services Ltd (HES) as early as November 2018 through our PACE initiative. This offer of support was not accepted by the company until 27 December 2018 when HES made employees redundant. HES then agreed to a PACE event being organised for those employees. We asked HES if they would assist us to contact their employees but received no response. PACE Partners attended events on 3 and 4 January 2019 in Shotts where they saw 125 employees. On 10 January 2019 support was also offered to Dundee based employees where PACE Partners saw 6 employees.

There are many significant issues faced by the company, including a possible criminal investigation instigated by the Environmental Agency. It would therefore not be appropriate to undertake any form of review at this time.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 14/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what advice and support it offers to people who express concern regarding the removal of GP services at their local health centre.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (14/02/2019):

NHS Boards have a duty, through the Patient Rights (Scotland) Act, to investigate and respond to any concerns raised, to take improvement actions where appropriate and to share learning from the views they receive.

 


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 14/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the letter by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform to the Convener of the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee on 31 May 2018, what progress has been made with its investigation into wood burning habits among the general public.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/02/2019):

This investigation is being undertaken on a UK wide basis, led by Defra. The work is currently still ongoing and an update on when a final report might be published will be provided in due course.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 14/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is regarding the banning of most domestic wood burning stoves by 2022, in light of plans by the UK Government to do so.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/02/2019):

The Scottish Government launched an independently led review of its air quality strategy 'Cleaner Air for Scotland - The Road to a Healthier Future' in November 2018. The issue of domestic wood burning stoves will be considered as part of the review. The review will conclude later in 2019.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 14/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what engagement it has had or plans with stakeholders regarding whether to ban most domestic wood burning stoves.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/02/2019):

The independently led review of the air quality strategy 'Cleaner Air for Scotland - The Road to a Healthier Future' held a stakeholder workshop in January which included representatives from the wood burners industry. Domestic wood burning stoves are a specific issue being considered by one of the expert working groups which includes industry representatives, and will provide recommendations to the review. Wider public consultation on these recommendations will take place later in 2019.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 14/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to reduce particulate matter pollution in line with World Health Organization guidelines.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/02/2019):

The Scottish Government's measures to reduce particulate matter pollution are set out in the Government's air quality strategy 'Cleaner Air for Scotland - The Road to a Healthier Future' (CAFS). The Scottish Objectives for particulate matter are at least as stringent as WHO guideline values, and go beyond the requirements of the EU Ambient Air Quality Directive with which Scotland is required to comply.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 14/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to its news release of 6 November 2018, Tackling air pollution, whether the independent review will consider banning most domestic wood burning stoves.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/02/2019):

The review, which is currently on ongoing and will conclude later in 2019, will consider this issue as part of its remit.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 14/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has discussed with Network Rail increasing the capacity at Glasgow Central Station.


Answered by Michael Matheson (14/02/2019):

The South Glasgow Timetable Capacity Study (SGTCS), commissioned by Transport Scotland with support from Network Rail, has been undertaken in order to assess the impact of future rail enhancements required to meet future growth. The study objective is to understand the capacity constraints within the South Glasgow Rail network including those at Glasgow Central station. This has sought to make the best use (capacity utilisation) of the current infrastructure. Network Rail have been fully involved in this process.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 14/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has regarding whether Network Rail plans to increase the capacity at Glasgow Central Station.


Answered by Michael Matheson (14/02/2019):

Network Rail is currently considering a number of existing capacity issues on the Glasgow Central Station one of these being the South Glasgow Timetable Capacity Study (SGTCS). However, the Scottish Government is aware that Network Rail are also giving consideration to the longer term capacity requirements to ensure all constraints are fully understood.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 14/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason people in Stoneyburn will no longer have access to a GP at their local health centre.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (14/02/2019):

My officials are in contact with West Lothian HSCP and they have advised me of the decision to continue to provide consolidated GP services for all patients registered at The Briech Valley Medical Practice, including patients living in Stoneyburn.

The HSCP state that they remain committed to retaining the Stoneyburn Community Health Centre where patients can access a wider range of community health services. They include district nursing, health visitor, midwifery, drug & alcohol, podiatry and physiotherapy. They are also looking at ways of bolstering services to the Stoneyburn community. Housebound patients will continue to receive exactly the same services as they do at the moment.

The safety of patients and practice staff is always of the highest priority.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 14/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has been invited to join discussions regarding alternative arrangements to the Irish backstop.


Answered by Michael Russell (14/02/2019):

No we have not. There have been no invitations to join the alternative arrangements working group. Indeed, it is no secret that we have been generally frustrated with the quality of engagement that there has been to date.

The First Minister met with the Prime Minister and Welsh First Minister on 23 January and a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) took place on the 7 February. At neither of these meetings were we genuinely engaged in a meaningful discussion of the UK Government’s considerations of alternative arrangements for the backstop provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Scottish Government fully and unconditionally supports the Good Friday Agreement and the maintenance of an invisible border on the island of Ireland. However, we also firmly believe that if the UK is determined to pursue a more distant relationship with Europe, the principle of differentiation established in the draft Withdrawal Agreement in respect of Northern Ireland should be available to other parts of the UK. Indeed the Scottish Government set out a detailed plan to keep Scotland in the Single Market as far back as December 2016 but this was dismissed by the UK Government.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Russell on 14/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action is being taken to encourage the fitting of more changing places toilets across the transport network.


Answered by Michael Matheson (14/02/2019):

There are currently 185 Changing Places Toilets (CPTs) throughout Scotland and the Scottish Government remains committed to increasing this number so that people with complex needs have an accessible network of suitable toilets, can get out and about and are linked to their communities.

To increase the number of CPTs, policy officials continue to work very closely with PAMIS ( Promoting A More Inclusive Society ) and key stakeholders focussing on areas in Scotland where there are no CPTs or limited numbers. Information and locations can be found at: http://pamis.org.uk/campaigns/changing-places-toilets/

CPTs are available at an increasing number of locations on the transport network in Scotland. For example, they are available in or near both A grade railway stations, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central. Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd has provided a CPT at the Brodick Ferry Terminal and a number of local transport authorities have also installed CPTs, such as at the Galashiels Transport Interchange. In line with Scotland’s Accessible Travel Framework , we are committed to improving the experiences of all disabled people when travelling. We are therefore working to increase the number of CPTs at other locations on the network, such as motorway service areas. Scottish Ministers lease three service stations to private sector companies - on the M8 at Harthill and on the M74 at Hamilton and Bothwell.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 14/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what funding has been allocated to support the endometriosis centre in (a) Edinburgh and (b) Aberdeen.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (13/02/2019):

There are two specialist centres open in Edinburgh (based at the Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh and the Royal) and in Aberdeen (Royal Infirmary). It is the responsibility of local NHS Boards to ensure patients are able to access the appropriate care for endometriosis funded through existing NHS budgets.

Scottish Government has been working closely with the West of Scotland to progress the business case and establish a centre in the West. NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde have confirmed their costs are in line with other centres.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 13/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what work it has undertaken since the Glasgow City Deal was approved to deliver a rail link to Glasgow Airport.


Answered by Michael Matheson (11/02/2019):

The projects within the Glasgow City Region Deal are for the relevant local partners to develop and deliver. The Glasgow Airport Access Project is being taken forward by Glasgow and Renfrewshire Councils.

Following previous work led by Glasgow Airport, Transport Scotland commissioned a Tram-train feasibility report which reported in January 2015 and concluded that there remained a great deal of preparatory work and assessment to be done before any decision on the best option to improving surface access to Glasgow Airport. Transport Scotland worked on this, and a subsequent Paisley Corridor Capacity Evaluation, with Network Rail, in order to better understand the constraints on the existing rail network. These studies were shared with the Glasgow Airport Access Project team.

Due to concerns over the lack of consideration of the challenges of operating on the existing rail network and potential impacts on existing rail services within the Outline Business Case, despite the evidence of work completed by Transport Scotland and Network Rail, Scottish Ministers commissioned an independent audit of the Outline Business Case approved by the Glasgow CRD Cabinet in November 2016. Transport Scotland and Network Rail are continuing to work collaboratively with the Glasgow Airport Access Project team as they reconsider the evidence base and transport appraisal work to address comments raised in an independent audit of the Outline Business Case. Transport Scotland have provided advice and support on the business case update process and undertaken work through the South Glasgow Timetable Capacity Analysis to inform wider consideration of Glasgow Central Station and potential deliverability of a Tram / Train link to the airport within this context.

On January 30th I Chaired the Glasgow Airport Access Executive Steering Group which includes the Leaders of both Glasgow City and Renfrewshire Councils and representatives from Glasgow Airport and Network Rail. At this meeting the group heard updates on the progress of the audit close out work including how the significant concerns over the Tram / Train impact, costs and deliverability have been considered and how the other options for improving connectivity to the Airport have been developed. The Airport Access Project team now intend to ask the Glasgow City Deal Cabinet to agree to progress with an Outline Business Case for Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) connection to Paisley Gilmour Street.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 11/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-21101 by Clare Haughey on 29 January 2019, whether it will confirm what the new arrangements are.


Answered by Clare Haughey (11/02/2019):

The opt-in letter asks the patient to confirm that the proposed appointment date is convenient. If not, this is discussed during the 'opt-in' call and a new appointment date and time arranged.

This approach has been the standard approach for adult psychological therapies, and from January 2019 it was introduced for CAMHS and children’s psychological therapies.

 


Current Status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 11/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to consider the proposal in the report by the Cross Party Group on Heart Disease, Beating High Blood Pressure: Scotland’s Silent Killer, to implement an effective approach to tackling common modifiable drivers of poor cardiovascular health.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (11/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21212 on 6 February 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 11/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on (a) allowing the families of resident Scots who have died abroad in suspicious circumstances to request a second post mortem and (b) whether the threshold for permitting second post mortems, which is usually at the discretion of the Lord Advocate, needs to be re-examined.


Answered by James Wolffe QC (11/02/2019):

When the remains of a person resident in Scotland who has died abroad are repatriated to Scotland the repatriation requires to be reported to the Death Certification Review Service (DCRS). Medical examiners within DCRS are responsible for ensuring that no burial or cremation of such remains occurs where there is no acceptable form of death certification. DCRS has a budget for post-mortem examinations in such circumstances. Where it appears that the death has occurred in suspicious circumstances (information about which may come from paperwork accompanying the body or from nearest relatives or funeral directors instructed by them) DCRS will intimate the circumstances to the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. SFIU/COPFS may then take control of the remains and instruct a post-mortem examination. In deciding whether or not a post mortem should be instructed, the Procurator Fiscal will consult with the pathologist instructed by the Crown.

SFIU and DCRS are in frequent contact regarding deaths, and the system works well. It is not considered that there is any need for these arrangements to be re-examined.

 


Current Status: Answered by James Wolffe QC on 11/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity last met Peel Ports to discuss the (a) proposals for the regeneration of sites along the River Clyde and (b) city deal proposals for the Inchgreen drydock.


Answered by Michael Matheson (11/02/2019):

I have not had any formal meetings with Peel Ports specifically to discuss these matters. However, a meeting is planned for 19 February 2019 to discuss Peel Port's plans for Inchgreen Drydock.

 


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 11/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many units in Shetland received payment in 2018 from (a) the Basic Payment Scheme, (b) the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS), (c) greening measures and (d) other agri-environmental schemes, also broken down by the amount allocated.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (08/02/2019):

The number of businesses in Shetland to receive payment for the schemes listed is shown in the following table with the total amount paid under each scheme.

Scheme

Total Paid (1k)

Total Paid (£1k)

Number of Businesses

Basic Payment Scheme
(BPS)

3,877

3,468

825

Greening

2,354

2,106

833

Scottish Suckler Beef
Support Scheme Island
(SSBSSI)

232

208

105

Scottish Upland Sheep
Support Scheme
(SUSSS)

164

146

39

Financial Discipline
Reimbursement (FDRI)

71

64

561

Less Favourable Area
Support Scheme (LFASS)

2,440

2,179

792

Young Farmer Payment
(YFP)

26

23

46

Rural Priorities (RP)

63

55

32

Land Mangers Options
(LMO)

8

7

20

Agri-Environment Climate
Scheme Capital Items
(AECS CAP)

44

39

20

Agri-Environment Climate
Scheme (AECS)

300

268

32

Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES)

5

4

9

Other smaller schemes

90

80

58

    

Total Paid

9,674

£8,647

868 *

* Businesses may have claims in more than one of the schemes listed


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 08/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20910 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 23 January 2019, whether it will provide further details regarding for what reason it considers that this information cannot be made public, and what information it can provide regarding how many items listed in all Social Security Programme Director Progress Reports were given a red RAG status.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (08/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20910 on 23 January 2019. The Programme Board Dashboards are part of routine reporting, and as such any RAG statuses are provided for internal discussion and not made public, on the grounds that doing so would inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. The Programme Director’s Update is used to enable critical discussion that in turn supports the delivery of social security for Scotland.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 08/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure that there is compliance with the recommendations made by the Council of Europe in April 2018 regarding the children of prisoners, and what steps it is taking to address non-compliance.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (07/02/2019):

The Council of Europe's non-binding guidelines provide an important framework and context within which to support the well-being of children who have a parent in custody and the Scottish Government is absolutely committed to tackling any adversity that might impact on the healthy development and wellbeing of children and young people. The Scottish Government committed in its 2018-19 Programme for Government to enhance support for children affected by parental imprisonment as part of our work around tackling Adverse Childhood Experiences. Scottish Ministers also announced through the Programme for Government 2018-2019 their commitment to incorporating the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law. We plan to carry out a period of consultation and engagement on the best way to incorporate the principles, in 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of its commitment to provide an additional £19.4 million to support the implementation of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 in 2018-19, for what reason the Glasgow Association for Mental Health's support service for carers has had its funding withdrawn.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (07/02/2019):

The 2018-19 budget includes an additional £66 million to support additional expenditure by local government on social care on a number of responsibilities, including for implementation of the Carers Act. This funding also recognises general social care pressures they and integration authorities are facing.

It is the responsibility of individual local authorities to manage their own budgets and to allocate their total financial resources available to them. Individual local authorities’ allocation of funding should be on the basis of local needs and priorities, having first fulfilled their statutory obligations (including under the Carers Act) and the jointly agreed set of national and local priorities. Individual decisions about funding of local support services are a matter for the local authority, the integration authority or the health board.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what impact UK Government austerity measures have had on its overall budget, and how this has impacted the local government settlement.


Answered by Derek Mackay (07/02/2019):

As a result of the amendments agreed at Stage 2 of the Budget, total spending power for local government will increase by around £620 million in 2019-20 – providing a real terms increase in spending power on both resource and capital for local authorities.

This enhanced settlement for local government has been possible despite the continued impact of UK Government austerity, which means that after removing the uplift in Health funding, the Scottish Government’s total fiscal block grant will be lower in real terms in
‎ 2019-20 compared to 2018-19 .


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it last met NHS Tayside and what issues were discussed.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (07/02/2019):

Ministers and Scottish Government officials regularly meet with representatives of all Health Boards, including NHS Tayside, to discuss matters of importance to local people. I last met the Chair of NHS Tayside at the regular meeting of all NHS Board Chairs on Monday the 28th of January.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it expects to publish the Forestry Strategy, and by what means it will be laid before the Parliament.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (07/02/2019):

A new Forestry Strategy for Scotland was published on 5 February 2019, following my statement to Parliament. It sets out our 50-year vision for Scotland’s forests. Through a 10-year framework, we will seek to deliver even greater economic, social and environmental benefits for the people of Scotland.


Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the ISD report, Body Mass Index of Primary 1 Children in Scotland School Year 2017/18, which records an increase in the overweight and obesity gap between children from rich and poor backgrounds, and how the diet and healthy weight delivery plan will aim to alleviate this.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (07/02/2019):

Health inequalities are a symptom of wider social inequalities. That is why the Scottish Government is taking action to address underlying causes, including ending poverty, fair wages, supporting families, and improving our physical and social environments.

We are also reforming public health. In June 2018, with COSLA, we published Public Health Priorities for Scotland. Creating a Scotland where we all eat well and have a healthy weight and level of physical activity is one of these six interlinked priorities. In 2019 we will establish of a new national public health body, which will have a leading role in supporting work to tackle health inequalities.

The Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan is clear in its ambition to significantly reduce diet related health inequalities. The wide range of actions includes population level measures and targeted interventions such as:

- restricting the in-store marketing and promotion of foods high in fat, salt and sugar but with little or no nutritional value in order to reduce the public health harm associated with poor diet.

- Food Standards Scotland’s Out of Home strategy which includes better information for consumers, currently out for consultation.

- Early intervention and targeted support for children, young people and families delivered by Health Boards and their partners to help them to achieve a healthy diet and weight.

The Public Health Priorities can be accessed here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/scotlands-public-health-priorities/pages/0/

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


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure that it is delivering its funding promise to carers.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (07/02/2019):

The 2018-19 budget includes an additional £66 million to support additional expenditure by local government on social care on a number of responsibilities, including for implementation of the Carers Act. This funding also recognises general social care pressures they and integration authorities are facing.

In 2019-20, we are increasing our package of investment in social care and integration to exceed £700 million. This includes £40m to support the continued implementation of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 and extending free personal care to under 65s, as set out in the Programme for Government.

We have agreed priority actions to support implementation of the Act with the Carers Act Implementation Steering Group - made up of local authorities, health boards, COSLA, third sector, and carer representatives. The ‘Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 Implementation Plan 2018-2020’ is published on the Scottish Government website at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/carers-scotland-act-2016-national-implementation-plan-2016-2019/

In terms of social security, we have delivered the Carer’s Allowance Supplement, which puts an extra £442 into eligible carers’ pockets in 2018-19, an increase of 13% and an investment of over £33 million in carers. This will be uprated by inflation in 2019-20, increasing investment to over £37 million. We will introduce a new Young Carer Grant of £300 annually for carers aged 16-17 (and 18 if still at school) this autumn. We will also introduce an additional payment for carers of more than one disabled child by the end of the parliamentary term.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason it has not implemented the recommendation by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in Scotland that the BMI of all children over five is measured.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (07/02/2019):

In July 2018, the Scottish Government published ‘A healthier future: Scotland’s diet and healthy weight delivery plan’. The plan sets out our vision for everyone in Scotland to eat well and have a healthy weight, and our ambitions to halve childhood obesity by 2030 and significantly reduce health inequalities.

ISD currently publishes annual statistics on the proportion of children in Primary 1 in schools across Scotland who have healthy, high, and low body mass index (BMI). As part of the Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan we have committed to exploring current practice, evidence and cost-effective options for improving the tracking, support and data beyond Primary 1. This work is underway and we will make decisions about next steps later this year.

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

The Body Mass Index of Primary 1 Children in Scotland School Year 2017/18 publication is available here: https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Child-Health/Publications/2018-12-11/2018-12-11-P1-BMI-Statistics-Publication-Report.pdf


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure that the resources that it has committed to implementing the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 are used to support carers directly and to prevent reductions to carer support services.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (07/02/2019):

The 2018-19 budget includes an additional £66 million to support additional expenditure by local government on social care on a number of responsibilities, including for implementation of the Carers Act. This funding also recognises general social care pressures they and integration authorities are facing.

It is the responsibility of individual local authorities to manage their own budgets and to allocate their total financial resources available to them. Individual local authorities’ allocation of funding should be on the basis of local needs and priorities, having first fulfilled their statutory obligations (including under the Carers Act) and the jointly agreed set of national and local priorities.

The new ‘Carers Census’ is monitoring take-up of adult carer support plans, young carer statements and carer support under the Carers Act since it took effect last April.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how not measuring the BMI of all children over five could impact on the effectiveness of the diet and healthy weight delivery plan in meeting its aspirations regarding children and young people’s weight.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (07/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21109 on 7 February 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 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many recorded breaches of the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 there have been in each of the last five years.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (07/02/2019):

Recorded crime data is a matter for Police Scotland.

 


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it expects its agencies to take to ensure their full compliance with the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (07/02/2019):

The Scottish Government produced a leaflet on the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 which was issued to all employers in Scotland in 2006. It explains the implications of the Act for employers and employees and encourages employers to offer assistance to breastfeeding mothers. The leaflet is available online: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/135079/0033433.pdf


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to FSB Scotland's comment that the economy would be £13 billion bigger if the number of women-led businesses matched those led by men.


Answered by Jamie Hepburn (07/02/2019):

The Scottish Government is committed to tackling the gender gap in enterprise through supporting the Scottish Framework and Action Plan for Women in Enterprise, and welcomes FSB Scotland’s contribution to the literature on the role of women-led businesses in the economy.

The Scottish Government itself does not hold official estimates for business Gross Value Added broken down by the gender of the business owner or management team. The source for official estimates of business employment and economic indicators is the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR), which is maintained by the office for National Statistics and is an administrative database of all Value Added Tax and Pay As You Earn registered businesses. The IDBR does not include information on the characteristics of business owners, as this information is not collected via tax returns.


Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it plans to publish the first annual report of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education and Training Strategy for Scotland.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (07/02/2019):

The first annual report of the STEM Strategy will be published on the Scottish Government website today and is available here: www.gov.scot/isbn/9781787813649

The report notes that much progress has been made in the first year with key developments in areas such as: promoting successful approaches to tackling inequality including gender stereotyping and bias in STEM ; the introduction of STEM Bursaries to encourage career changers into STEM Teaching; a new Young STEM leaders mentoring programme to inspire the next generation for STEM; and, college-led STEM hubs to strengthen collaboration between universities, science centres and employers.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Richard Lochhead on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to improve and build relationships with countries that have a strong connection with Scotland's historic role in slavery.


Answered by Christina McKelvie (07/02/2019):

The Scottish Government’s international ambitions are set out in our International Framework and various country plans. It aims to create an environment within Scotland that supports a better understanding of international opportunities and to influence the world around us on the issues that matter most. Scotland’s International Framework sets out how our international work supports the Government’s central purpose of creating a more successful country. The International Framework can be found at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/scotlands-international-framework-9781788514033/ .

Our partner countries in Africa are Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia. Scotland has identified it’s partner countries across the world based on historical and contemporary relationships, shared values, partnership and trust. Our bilateral relationships are primarily focused on Scotland acting as a good Global Citizen, through collaboration opportunities in trade and investment, culture and tourism, research and innovation, education links and international development to support poverty alleviation and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Current Status: Answered by Christina McKelvie on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on Police Scotland’s Staff Pay and Reward Modernisation Project, and how many staff have been (a) affected by the introduction of the new pay grading structure and (b) transferred to a lower pay grade since the new grading structure was introduced.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (07/02/2019):

No new pay grading structure has been introduced. The pay and conditions of police staff are a matter for the Scottish Police Authority who, with Police Scotland, are taking forward the Staff Pay and Reward Modernisation Project working closely with trade unions. The SPRM project is addressing inequalities that arose from arrangements inherited from legacy forces. I understand that the proposed package would benefit the majority of police staff and that the pay and allowances of others would be protected for a two year period.

 


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 07/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether, as recommended by the Cross Party Group on Heart Disease report, Beating High Blood Pressure: Scotland’s Silent Killer, it plans to consider the proposal to research the feasibility and cost effectiveness of the provision of BP monitors to people with high blood pressure.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (06/02/2019):

The Scottish Government welcomes the Report of the Cross Party Group on Heart Disease and Stroke. The Report was launched on 22 January 2019 and the Scottish Government will consider the Report and individual recommendations in due course.

 


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action is being taken to ensure that early detection of high blood pressure is prioritised, particularly among people at high risk or those underserved by current models of detection, including those with poor health or literacy and BME communities.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (06/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W- 21212 on 6 February 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 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much has been invested in home energy efficiency in the Stirling constituency since 2007.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (06/02/2019):

The Scottish Government has published information about funding for home energy efficiency provided to each local authority through our Area Based Schemes since 2013. We do not hold detailed information by constituency.

We do not hold data by local authority or by constituency for measures provided through other home energy efficiency schemes, such as Warmer Homes Scotland. We do not hold these details by area for home energy efficiency schemes delivered prior to 2013.

From 2013 until 2019, the total amount of funding provided or allocated to Stirling Council for its Area Based Schemes has been £9,001,963.00. In October, the number of properties that had benefitted from Scottish Government funding reached over 1,000.

Details of funding provided to Stirling Council and other local authorities from 2013/14 to 2018/19 can be found on our website at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-18-01563/ .

Further information about the Home Insulation Scheme (HIS) and the Universal Home Insulation Scheme (UHIS), as well as other data for a variety of Scottish Government grant and loan schemes, is available from the Energy Saving Trust website.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the education secretary’s position is on the establishment of a commission on gender equality in education and learning as recommended by the National Advisory Council on Women and Girls.


Answered by John Swinney (06/02/2019):

There is no place for gender bias in our society, economy, our education.

I would like to offer my thanks to the National Advisory Council for their powerful and compelling report, which sets out a wide range of recommendations for tackling gender inequality in Scotland. I am particularly grateful for their recommendations on education.

The First Minister established the Council to help us develop policies which will improve equality for women and girls in Scotland. As the First Minister confirmed last week, we will carefully consider all of the Council’s recommendations and respond in due course.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has invested in research and development as a proportion of GDP in each of the last five years.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (06/02/2019):

The following table shows Scottish Government net expenditure on research and development over the last five years for which data are available. Note that the following figures exclude Scottish Funding Council grants to universities for research and development, which are administered on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Scottish Government net Expenditure on Research & Development, 2012 to 2016

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Expenditure (£ millions)

163

164

164

164

165

Expenditure (% of GDP)

0.12

0.12

0.11

0.11

0.11

Sources:

UK Government Expenditure on Science, Engineering and Technology, Office for National Statistics (for R&D expenditure)

GDP Quarterly National Accounts, Scotland 2018 Quarter 3 (for Scottish GDP)

Notes:

1. Expenditure figures are in current prices.


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government on what date the First Minister informed the Permanent Secretary that she was aware of (a) allegations against and (b) the existence of a Scottish Government investigation into her predecessor, and whether a minute of this was taken.


Answered by Graeme Dey (06/02/2019):

The First Minister set out her position on this matter in a statement to Parliament on 8 January 2019, and in responses to questions at First Minister’s Questions on 10 and 17 January 2019.

This information is available from the Official Report at;

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11871&i=107364

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11875&i=107399

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11889&i=107507

As set out in S5W-21344 on 31 January 2019, the Scottish Government does not wish to undertake any activity which may unintentionally prejudice live criminal proceedings, adversely impact the rights of anyone involved in the proceedings or affect the formal criminal process which is now under way. As a result, it would not be appropriate to add to these responses at this time.

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 Graeme Dey on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which organisations it consulted when drafting the anti-hate crime campaign, Dear Haters.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (06/02/2019):

On 26 September we launched a hate crime campaigning partnership with Police Scotland which aimed to encourage witnesses to report. The campaign was developed in partnership with a range of stakeholders, including:

Police Scotland
COPFS
COSLA
Education Scotland
BEMIS
CEMVO
Glasgow City Council
Central Scotland Regional Equality Council
Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights
Community Safety Glasgow
Interfaith Scotland
Edinburgh Interfaith Association
SCoJeC
Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society
Equality Network
LGBT Youth Scotland
Mental Health Foundation
People First (Scotland)
I Am Me Project
Inclusion Scotland
YouthLink Scotland

The campaign ran until 1 November and was Scotland-wide.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the Scottish Funding Council reporting a 143,496 reduction in college student numbers since 2007, and whether it considers that this has contributed to the reported 6% increase in skill shortages in vacancies since 2011 that has been recorded by employers.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (06/02/2019):

Skills shortages are reported in the Employer Skills Survey and cover all levels including senior management, not just those leaving education. In the 2017 Survey, 6% skill shortage vacancies were reported, this is unchanged from 2015.

College headcount has reduced since 2007 primarily because the Scottish Funding Council de-prioritised short courses which did not increase employability or lead to progression. Short courses that do lead to work or progression are still funded.

Colleges' focus remains on delivering places and courses which contribute to people's skills, needs and our economic ambitions. In 2017-18, an estimated 95.5% of learning hours were delivered on courses that led to a recognised qualification – a 6.8 percentage point increase since 2006-07.


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many sheep have been shot on land owned by Forestry Commission Scotland in each year since 2016.


Answered by Fergus Ewing (06/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20699 on 22 January 2019 which detailed the number of sheep removed using lethal control (i.e. shot) on Scotland’s National Forest Estate. 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 Fergus Ewing on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the annual budget is for its office in (a) Toronto and (b) Ottawa.


Answered by Fiona Hyslop (06/02/2019):

Scotland Development International (SDI) have had an office in Toronto, Canada’s financial capital, for some time and the Scottish Government has one post located in that office. SDI also has one person co-located in an office in Calgary serving Scotland's oil and gas interests. The Scottish Government has a single team working in Canada and has opened its first Scottish Government office based in Ottawa, where two new posts are located. The annual budget for administration and programme costs for the Scottish Government for Canada is £575k.


Current Status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with Fife Council regarding the need to ensure that land is available to create an effective transport hub with bus/train interchange and active travel provision in respect of the Levenmouth Rail Link.


Answered by Michael Matheson (06/02/2019):

The evidence from a completed and robust transport appraisal in line with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance is needed before consideration could be given to the development of any emerging project. Transport Scotland is leading the transport appraisal work for the Levenmouth Sustainable Transport Study, in close collaboration with Fife Council. The findings from the transport appraisal work will identify if there is a rationale for progressing the Levenmouth rail link, which is one of the options being considered.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many people in Scotland it estimates were smokers in 2017-18, broken down by NHS board.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (06/02/2019):

The latest estimates of smoking prevalence in each NHS board are available from the Scottish Health Survey local area report 2014-2017  


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether the new railway station at (a) East Linton and (b) Reston will open before March 2024.


Answered by Michael Matheson (06/02/2019):

The Scottish Government remains committed to delivery of East Linton and Reston Station as early as practicable in Control Period 6 (April 2019 – March 2024). As part of this, Network Rail are developing a package of improvements to enhance connectivity on the East Coast Main Line to meet future passenger and freight demands. These improvements include a number of service options for the committed stations at Reston and East Linton and infrastructure works to enhance connectivity along this rail corridor. Once these improvements are further developed we will be able to provide timescales for construction and details of service commencement.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action is being taken to help pupils affected by the closure of the New School in Butterstone.


Answered by John Swinney (06/02/2019):

The Board’s decision to close the school is an extremely sad event and I am aware of the impact this has had on the whole community, and especially the young people who attended the school.

Since the Board made its decision to close, all seven local authorities have been working closely with families to identify the appropriate care and support for the young people who attended the school.

Every family has been offered support and education by the local authority, and it is our understanding that for 17 of the 24 enrolled at the school, alternative education arrangements have now been made, including post 16. Some of these are interim arrangements whilst long term solutions are identified.

A further 4 service users have other support, including adult support services, in place.

I continue to receive regular updates on the progress being made and will continue to work to ensure positive outcomes are achieved.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much Scottish Natural Heritage’s programme of site condition monitoring has cost in each of the last five years.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (06/02/2019):

Over the last five years, the annual cost of Scottish Natural Heritage’s Site Condition Monitoring has varied depending on the natural features covered each year and the availability of staff time. These costs were:

  • 2013-14 - £975,256
  • 2014-15 - £831,252
  • 2015-16 - £985,285
  • 2016-17 - £786,919
  • 2017-18 - £641,557

These costs include Scottish Natural Heritage staff and funded contract monitoring costs.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government (a) how many and (b) what proportion of designated features of sites of special scientific interest have had no condition assessments undertaken in the last six years.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (06/02/2019):

From a total of 3,710 designated features on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Scotland, 1,928 have had no Site Condition Monitoring assessments undertaken in the last six years. This represents 52% of all designated features on SSSIs in Scotland. However, some SSSI features were instead subject to a Site Check process, which involves a shorter site visit which can trigger further action by Scottish Natural Heritage, including Site Condition Monitoring or management intervention. Taking into account those features assessed by a Site Check, the extent of all designated features on SSSIs in Scotland not assessed in the last six years is 21%.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the proposed budget is for the next cycle of Scottish Natural Heritage site condition monitoring from March 2019.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (06/02/2019):

A budget for the next cycle of Site Condition Monitoring has not yet been set by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) as during 2019-20 SNH will be developing a new approach to monitoring designated features in protected areas. Further details will be available in due course. In summary, it is intended to: better align the monitoring of protected areas with wider surveillance requirements to provide a more robust picture of the health of Scotland’s nature; prioritise monitoring effort based on risk to wildlife interests; and to utilise new technologies such as remote earth sensing and DNA analysis to give better coverage and to improve value for money.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much of the total spend on Scottish Natural Heritage's site condition monitoring in the last five years was allocated to monitoring (a) SSSI, (b) Natura 2000 and (c) RAMSAR features.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (06/02/2019):

It is not possible to disaggregate the cost of monitoring between the different categories of designation due to the overlap of designations. For example, the same seabird population data collected on a coastal Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) will be used for both the designated SSSI natural features and the corresponding Special Protection Area natural features.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the impact of the proposed rail link between Glasgow Airport and Glasgow city centre will be on the number of daily rail journeys to and from Inverclyde, and what the economic impact of this will be on Inverclyde.


Answered by Michael Matheson (06/02/2019):

Transport Scotland and Network Rail are continuing to work collaboratively with the Glasgow Airport Access Project team as they reconsider the evidence base and transport appraisal work to address comments raised in an independent audit of the Outline Business Case. The audit highlighted concerns around the potential impact of a Tram / Train option on services using Glasgow Central Station and its approaches, including those to and from Inverclyde and Ayrshire.

It has been clear for some time that introducing a Tram / Train type solution to the very busy heavy rail network south of Glasgow Central Station would be challenging. The recent South Glasgow Timetable Capacity Study, commissioned by Transport Scotland at Ministers request, has concluded that while it may be possible to introduce a Tram /Train service to Glasgow Airport, this would have a detrimental effect on performance of existing and future services using Glasgow Central Station, including those on the busy Inverclyde, Ayrshire, Shotts and East Kilbride lines, and require:

(i) the reduction of current rail services, and/or

(ii) the deferral of future service enhancements, and/or

(iii) significant and high cost infrastructure enhancement at Glasgow Central and on approaches which are currently not funded.

On 30 January I Chaired the Glasgow Airport Access Executive Steering Group which includes the Leaders of both Glasgow City and Renfrewshire Councils and representatives from Glasgow Airport and Network Rail. At this meeting the group heard updates on the progress of the audit close out work including how the significant concerns over the Tram / Train impact, costs and deliverability have been considered and how the other options for improving connectivity to the Airport have been developed. The project team now intend to a present Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) connection to Paisley Gilmour Street within the updated Outline Business Case to the Glasgow City Deal Cabinet in due course.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its understanding is of the court decisions regarding the case of Scottish Water Business Stream v Chataroo, and how have Scottish Water's practices changed as a result.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (06/02/2019):

Scottish Water’s position is that (i) the Chataroo case was decided on its own unique set of facts and (ii) now that the provisions of s.20A of the 2005 are in force (as of 4 March 2016), the court would apply a different legal test when considering licensed providers’ rights to charge the end-customer.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether it is appropriate for Scottish Water to charge business customers for the collection and treatment of property drainage water on a rateable value basis where no such service exists.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (06/02/2019):

Scottish Water should only charge for property drainage in situations where Scottish Water is providing a service to the premises.

 


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what advice it is giving to farmers regarding how best to store plastic waste.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (06/02/2019):

SEPA has provided clear guidance to farmers to help them decide how best to store and dispose of their plastic waste (see https://www.sepa.org.uk/regulations/waste/agricultural-waste/burning-on-farm-waste/#rural ) and there are also local SEPA offices that can provide more direct assistance.

Advice and a list of plastic waste service providers is also available on the Zero Waste Scotland website. (see https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/resource-management/farm-plastic-recycling).


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to help farmers work collaboratively to establish recycling collection points for the pick-up of plastic waste.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (06/02/2019):

In 2016, following the announcement of full enforcement of the ban on the burning of plastic farm waste, a working group was established to plan the transition towards a position where the ban could be enforced. The group had representatives from the National Farmers Union Scotland, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Zero Waste Scotland, Scottish Government and the waste plastics collectors/processors sector. The transition to full enforcement has therefore been carefully considered.

In most areas of the country there are recycling collection services available, and the network has expanded since the ban was announced.

SEPA has provided clear guidance to farmers to help them decide how best to dispose of their plastic waste (see https://www.sepa.org.uk/regulations/waste/agricultural-waste/burning-on-farm-waste/ ) and there are also local SEPA offices that can provide more direct assistance.

Advice and a list of plastic waste service providers is also available on the Zero Waste Scotland website. (see https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/resource-management/farm-plastic-recycling).


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to inform farmers regarding separating different types of plastic waste to help maximise reusing and recycling opportunities.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (06/02/2019):

I refer to the member to the answer to question S5W-21332 on 6 February 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 Roseanna Cunningham on 06/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much of the money allocated in its digital connectivity budget for the last three years has occurred as a result of Gainshare.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (05/02/2019):

Gainshare funding does not form part of the Scottish Government's digital connectivity budget.

Gainshare is a mechanism in the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) contracts that allows for reinvestment of additional funds generated if take-up of superfast broadband services exceeds an agreed level. BT offered to bring forward a proportion of the Gainshare funding for reinvestment in both DSSB contracts and this was accepted by public sector partners. This has resulted in new deployment in every local authority area across Scotland and will see build continue throughout 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what specific measures will be taken to ensure that the R100 broadband scheme meets its target by 2021.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (05/02/2019):

We recognise the challenges associated with delivering such an ambitious procurement to deliver the Reaching 100% programme. Our investment of £579 million (96.5%) towards the £600 million R100 programme reflects the complexity of the challenge and represents, at this time of writing, the biggest ever public sector investment in the UK in a single digital connectivity project.

We are currently conducting a detailed, careful and competitive procurement process, designed to maximise competition and drive value, innovation and coverage. In parallel with R100, we are taking forward work to design aligned interventions, so that we can move swiftly to deliver access to any premises not met by the procurement exercise. The detail of which premises will be covered by the main procurement contract and those which may require aligned interventions will be determined later this year, once detail of bids are submitted.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to address the reported disparity in average broadband connection speeds between rural and urban areas.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (05/02/2019):

Despite the UK Government having responsibility for investing in broadband across the UK, the clear absence of a UK-wide strategy for improving rural connectivity has meant that the Scottish Government has had to step in, take the lead and use Scottish Government resources, given its economic importance to Scotland.

Scotland's unique geography and dispersed population has meant that speeds are often lower in Scotland's more remote and rural areas. However, the recent Which? report on Local Authority broadband speeds does not represent the full scope of superfast broadband availability; nor are they necessarily accurate.

Through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, we have already delivered truly transformative results across much of rural Scotland. Fibre coverage in Dumfries and Galloway alone has increased from just 18.9% in 2014 to 94.9% now, with superfast coverage of 30Mbps and above increasing from 17% to 83.3%. Average download speeds have increased as a result - from 7.7Mbps in Q1 2014 to 23Mbps now.

The R100 programme will deliver superfast broadband speeds of 30Mbps and above to 100% of premises in Scotland, regardless of remoteness or rurality. We have also excluded urban premises from the R100 procurement, reflecting our view that public spending must be focussed where it is needed most - in rural Scotland and given limitations on our ability to intervene in areas when commercial operators plan to invest.

As the UK’s telecoms regulator, issues such as quality of service are the responsibility of Ofcom to remedy.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work has met Councillor Jonathan McColl of West Dunbartonshire Council in the last six weeks to discuss the budget and, if so, when; what was discussed, and what additional funds he has agreed to commit to the local authority.


Answered by Kate Forbes (05/02/2019):

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work has not met Councillor Jonathan McColl, Leader of West Dunbartonshire Council, to discuss the budget in the last six weeks. Negotiations on the annual local government finance settlement are conducted between the Scottish Government and COSLA, on behalf of all 32 local authorities, including West Dunbartonshire Council.

Including the enhanced package of measures announced on 31 January, the 2019-20 local government finance settlement delivers a funding package of  £11.2 billion for local authorities, a real terms increase of £298.9 million for essential public services in Scotland. West Dunbartonshire Council will receive £203.7 million to fund local services in 2019-20. Taken together with the potential to increase council tax by 3 per cent in real terms, West Dunbartonshire Council will have an additional £3.7 million revenue funding to support local services next year.

West Dunbartonshire Council will also receive their formula share of £233 million currently undistributed in the provisional figures issued on 17 December.


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what analysis is has made of the community benefit of the wind turbine developments that are currently in place.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (05/02/2019):

A voluntary register of community benefits payments is maintained by Local Energy Scotland under the Scottish Government's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES). All developers of renewable energy developments and local communities in receipt of community benefit payments are encouraged to use the register. The following information is recorded: Name of Developers, Name of Development, Location, Capacity and Details of the Community Benefit Package.

In the last 12 months over £16 million has been paid out in community benefits at an average rate of £5k per MW. The Register can be viewed at http://www.localenergyscotland.org/view-the-register/ .


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government on what date it plans to provide its first update on the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan.


Answered by Aileen Campbell (05/02/2019):

In line with the requirements of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017, the Scottish Government will publish the first progress report on the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan by the end of June 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the comments by the head of policy and external affairs at the Scottish Retail Consortium that "there was little Christmas cheer for retailers, with the worst real-term December sales figures in 20 years" and that "what should concern policymakers...is sluggish retail sales can be a warning light for the wider Scottish economy".


Answered by Derek Mackay (05/02/2019):

The Scottish Retail Sales Index for Q4 2018 reported that retail sales growth in Scotland picked-up in the final quarter of 2018 to 0.6%. This contrasts with a weaker end to the year for Great Britain as a whole, with sales contracting -0.2%.

Scotland’s economy has continued to grow in 2018 with latest data showing growth of 1.5% on an annual basis, in line with the UK as whole. And looking forward, the Scottish Fiscal Commission forecast the Scottish economy to grow 1.2% in 2019.

However, Brexit is the biggest risk and uncertainty for Scotland’s economy over the coming year, impacting business and consumer confidence and directly and indirectly impacts on the retail sector.

The Scottish Government will continue to engage regularly with the Scottish Retail Consortium and other key stakeholders in the retail sector. Our Economic Action Plan and Budget includes actions such as continuing to deliver our progressive income tax system and delivering the most generous package of business rates reliefs in the UK, which are all designed to support households and businesses, and accelerate growth and prosperity for all.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its plans to introduce legislation to underpin the Scottish National Investment Bank.


Answered by Derek Mackay (05/02/2019):

The Scottish Government intends to bring forward the Scottish National Investment Bank Bill early in 2019 and in advance of the Parliament's Easter recess. The Bill will underpin the establishment of the Scottish National Investment Bank, with the aim of the Bank being operational in 2020.

 


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the progress withthe Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR); when the crossing over the River Don will be completed; what the total additional cost for contractor claims will be, and, if the project exceeds the predicted £750 million set out in the contract, for what reason.


Answered by Michael Matheson (05/02/2019):

I provided a full update on project costs at my appearance at the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee on 5 December 2018. Please see a link to the Official Report for your reference: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11829 .

With regard to the River Don Crossing, I can confirm ARL has undertaken the remaining physical works, with some survey and safety check activities still to conclude. However, ARL have yet to provide a legally binding commitment for the future maintenance of this structure. This is a fundamental requirement in order to protect the public purse from the cost of ARL’s mistakes.

Notwithstanding this, I have called for a further meeting with ARL to ensure that they are doing everything that they can to get remaining section of the road opened at the earliest opportunity.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of proposals in the Transport (Scotland) Bill to ban double and pavement parking so that loading vehicles will need to move to loading bays or risk a fine, how many loading bays there are in (a) North Ayrshire and (b) Inverclyde.


Answered by Michael Matheson (05/02/2019):

The Scottish Government does not hold information on the number of loading bays as this is a matter for both North Ayrshire and Inverclyde Councils.

The provisions within the Transport (Scotland) Bill provide an exception that would enable delivery vehicles involved in loading or unloading of goods in the course of their business to park on the pavement for up to 20 minutes if there is inadequate parking provision available. If the driver of the vehicle needs longer than 20 minutes they will be required to park in a dedicated loading/parking bay or risk being issued a penalty charge notice.

Local authorities have duties under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as local traffic authorities, to secure the expeditious convenient and safe movement of vehicular and other traffic, as well as providing adequate parking facilities for both on and off street.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the Business Enterprise Research and Development analysis by the Fraser of Allander Institute, which recorded that 71% of R&D expenditure in 2017 took place in the West Lothian, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow local authority areas.


Answered by Ivan McKee (05/02/2019):

The Scottish Government welcomes the Fraser of Allander Institute analysis which highlights the continuing improvement in Scotland’s business research and development (BERD) performance including the fact that at £1.25bn, BERD expenditure is at an all-time high and that over the period 2016-17 to 2017-18 it increased in real terms by almost 14% compared to 3% for the UK as a whole. Nonetheless, we agree with their assessment that BERD activity should be more evenly spread across the Scottish economy and are taking steps to achieve this.

For example, we are increasing support for business R&D grants by £45m over the next three years, an increase of almost 70%, taking forward a range of innovation investments through City Region Deals and enabling a network of Regional Economic Partnerships that will engage the private sector on key growth issues including BERD.


Current Status: Answered by Ivan McKee on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it can take to protect firms in the Scottish Borders, in light of a series of break-ins in Peebles over the evening of 14 January 2019, which affected nine businesses.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (05/02/2019):

I understand that in connection to a series of break-ins in Peebles on 14 January 2019, one arrest has been made and Police Scotland enquiries are continuing.

Police Scotland continues to engage with local communities and conduct preventative initiatives such as liaising with local business to offer advice around the hard targeting of their premises and information on crime prevention.

The Scottish Government continues to fund and support a number of national community safety organisations to work in communities across Scotland to support people, build resilience and encourage communities to look out for each other.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to alleviate the reported shortage of teachers.


Answered by John Swinney (05/02/2019):

The Scottish Government continues to provide an additional £88 million to support teacher numbers and has undertaken a range of initiatives including the Teaching makes People Campaign, and the offer of STEM bursaries to attract career changers into priority Stem subjects. We have increased student teacher intake targets for the seventh year in a row.

Since 2016, 11 alternative route programmes into Initial Teacher Education were announced with an additional two added since 2016. We expect the number of graduates from these programmes to exceed the target that was set when first announced, which was to support more than 200 new teachers to join the profession in Scotland.

The actions we are taking on teacher recruitment are working. Statistics published on 11 December show teacher numbers increased for the third year in row - rising to 51,959 in 2018, up 447 on the previous year. Student teacher intakes have increased for the third year in a row and teacher vacancies have reduced from last year.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which prisons have operational multi-disciplinary mental health teams, and how many members they have, broken down by their (a) role and (b) job title.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (05/02/2019):

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

Each prison in Scotland, including the 2 privately run prisons, has a multi-disciplinary mental health team (MDMHT) in place.

The MDMHT team across the SPS estate is made up of a number of staff ranging from 8 to 12, but is primarily made up of the following:-

SPS representative – Senior Manager (chair)

NHS representative – Clinical Psychiatrist

NHS representative – Clinical Manager

NHS representative – GP or Doctor

NHS representative – Mental Health or Addiction Nurses

NHS representative – Clinical Psychologist (where relevant)

SPS representative – Forensic Psychologist

SPS representative – Residential Manager

SPS representative – Residential Officer

Social Work representative – Prison Based Social Work

The MDMHT will primarily be led by SPS, whilst the clinical responsibility for delivery remains with the NHS. However in the case of HMP Open Estate Castle Huntly, HMP Perth and HMP Dumfries, the groups are chaired by NHS.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much (a) Clackmannanshire and (b) Stirling Council pays on an annual basis towards PPP schools, and how much this annual payment is estimated to be by the end of the contract.


Answered by Derek Mackay (05/02/2019):

The following table includes information relating to Clackmannanshire Council and
Stirling Council school PFI contracts and the associated unitary charge payments as
at 31 March 2017.

Local Authority

PFI Contract

Estimated Unitary Charge Payment for 2017-18 (£m)

Total Estimated Unitary Charge Payments (£m)

Clackmannanshire Council

Clackmannanshire Schools

8.0

273.7

Stirling Council

Balfron Schools

2.8

68.3

Stirling Council

Stirling Schools

11.2

420.7

Further information relating to PPP/PFI contracts and the associated unitary payments
is available from the Scottish Government website under ‘operational PPP/PFI projects
– unitary payment charges’ by way of the following link www.gov.scot .


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what percentage of (a) Clackmannanshire and (b) Stirling Council's annual education budget is used to cover PPP school payments.


Answered by Derek Mackay (05/02/2019):

The following table includes information relating to Clackmannanshire Council and Stirling
Council school PFI contracts and the associated unitary charge payments as at 31 March
2017 together with their respective net revenue expenditure provisional outturn figures on
education for 2017-18.

Local Authority

Estimated PFI Unitary Charge Payments for 2017-18 (£m)

  Net Revenue Expenditure on Education: Provisional Outturn for 2017-18 (£m)

Percentage of Net Revenue Expenditure on Education for PFI Unitary Charge Payments (%)

Clackmannanshire Council

8.0

48.2

16.6

Stirling Council

14.0

97.4

14.4

Further information relating to Local Government Finance can be found on the Scottish
Government website by way of the following link www.gov.scot .


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it has given to improving the general level of education and cultural liaison concerning slavery.


Answered by Christina McKelvie (05/02/2019):

History is an area of the curriculum which provides opportunities to study a wide range of people and historical events, and diversity is important within that, ensuring that pupils develop a nuanced, balanced, informed understanding of past people and events and their impact on how our society has developed.

The “People, past events and societies” element of the history curriculum provide flexibility to teachers to choose the topics to meet the needs of children and young people. While it is the responsibility of individual local authorities and schools to decide how to deliver the curriculum, based on local needs and circumstances, teachers will use their professional judgement to carefully select which historical periods and topics to study.

Within both the history and modern studies areas of the curriculum pupils learn about the similarities and differences between current and past values and attitudes, as well as historical reasons behind inequality in our society.


Current Status: Answered by Christina McKelvie on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of recent research and projects highlighting Scotland's previously underplayed part in the slave trade, what steps can be taken to recognise Scotland's historic role in slavery.


Answered by Christina McKelvie (05/02/2019):

Scotland has many different and complex aspects to its history and it is important that these are acknowledged. In order to support this process, in March 2007 a book was published entitled “Scotland and the Slave Trade” to mark the bicentenary of the abolition of the Slave Trade Act. http://www.gov.scot/Resource/Doc/172082/0048155.pdf .

The most important way to learn lessons from that past is by showing leadership in tackling racism today. In December 2017 we published the Race Equality Action Plan outlining more than 120 actions we will take over the course of this Parliament to secure better outcomes for minority ethnic communities in Scotland.

One of the commitments we have given in the Race Equality Action Plan is to mark the International Decade for People of African Descent with an innovative programme of events. This provides us with an opportunity to work with stakeholders and consider how we can mark Scotland’s role in the slave trade in a way that will have the greatest impact for their communities today.


Current Status: Answered by Christina McKelvie on 05/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the cost is of completing the new Edinburgh children’s hospital, broken down by building costs and other set-up costs, and how this compares to the costs that were originally announced.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (04/02/2019):

The Scottish Government’s Infrastructure Investment Plan, along with updates on major capital projects, is publically available on the Scottish Government’s website at the following location: https://www.gov.scot/policies/government-finance/infrastructure-investment/#plan.

The Plan and the latest capital projects progress update (September 2018) set out total capital investment in the Royal Hospital for Children in Edinburgh of £230 million, made up of £150 million Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) financing and £80 million capital investment from the Scottish Government; this remains consistent with the costs contained in the Full Business Case.

While additional costs are likely at this point, they have not been finalised. NHS Lothian is working closely with the Project Company to confirm a revised handover date for the hospital and discussion continues to agree what further works needs to be undertaken along with the level and apportioning of any additional costs.

There remains a clinical imperative to ensure that any issues are fully resolved before NHS Lothian take ownership of the new Hospital and, until that time, high quality clinical services continue to be delivered at the existing Royal Hospital for Sick Children.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which organisations have received funding from the Brexit Stakeholder Engagement Fund; how much each has received, and what information it has regarding how they are using the support.


Answered by Michael Russell (04/02/2019):

£140,321 has been given out from the fund to support 11 organisations discussing the impact of Brexit on their local community and sectors. Funding amounts range from £1,500 to £25,000, with the average amount received being £12,756.

The following organisations have received funding from the Brexit Stakeholder Engagement Fund: Scottish Rural Action; Children in Scotland; My Life My Say & Social Bite; Midlothian Voluntary Action; Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire; EU Citizens Rights Project; Health and Social Care Alliance; Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Scottish Islands Federation; YouthLink Scotland and, Perth and Kinross Association of Voluntary Services.

The organisations have used the support to facilitate discussions about leaving the EU. These open public discussions have raised many concerns. These include, but are not limited to: losing or failing to attract staff, losing funding, losing rights, concerns from the uncertainty about the future and concerns about rural issues that may be exacerbated by Brexit.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Russell on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service facilitates the breastfeeding needs of mothers who are compellable witnesses.


Answered by James Wolffe QC (04/02/2019):

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has a published commitment to all witnesses that prosecutors will try to agree a witness’ evidence with the defence or to resolve the case before it proceeds to trial. In situations where this is not possible COPFS has committed that prosecutors will call the witness to give evidence in court only if the evidence is needed for the case and cannot be agreed with the defence in advance. In situations where it is necessary for a witness to attend to give evidence prosecutors will try to take account of any concerns the witness may have about giving evidence.

Where advised of a witness’ caring responsibilities COPFS will endeavour to accommodate those responsibilities within the confines of the court programme and where possible will seek to minimise the amount of time any witness requires to be present within the court building prior to and following the giving of that witness’ evidence.


Current Status: Answered by James Wolffe QC on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20468 by Aileen Campbell on 9 January 2019, what action it plans regarding alleviating food insecurity that is identified during the collection and monitoring of the data.

 

 


Answered by Aileen Campbell (04/02/2019):

The Scottish Government is dedicated to tackling the causes of food insecurity. We are integrating this objective across Government activity and have made food insecurity a key indicator in our National Performance Framework.

At the same time, we are supporting communities to deliver dignified responses. Our Fair Food Fund aims to ensure that everyone can feed themselves and their families and reduce reliance on emergency food provision. We have been continuously increasing the Fund to respond to the demand for support linked to the UK Government’s austerity measures. In 2018-19 the fund was increased from
‎ £1 million to £1.5 million, and will be £3.5 million in 2019-20.

On 23 January 2019, The Scottish Government also announced plans to support FareShare with an additional £500,000 to step up redistribution of surplus food across Scotland, in partnership with third sector organisations. The funding, which doubles investment in FareShare over the next two years, will help mitigate against the potential consequences of Brexit by building greater community resilience.


Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in relation to statistics in the Royal College of Radiologists report, The breast imaging and diagnostic workforce in the United Kingdom, which state that 20% of breast radiologists in Scotland are expected to retire between 2015 and 2025.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (04/02/2019):

Numbers of clinical radiology consultants in NHSScotland have increased in this government by 45.4%: from 223.5 WTE in September 2006 to 325.0 WTE as at September 2018.

We have also enhanced the supply of doctors to fill radiology training posts, with 26 new training places between 2014 and 2017 – an increase of 20%. We are continuing to invest in radiology specialty training and from 2018-23 we are increasing trainee posts by 50.

While it is possible to retire at 55, there is no fixed retirement age. We seek to make use of consultants and their experience wherever we can. Many doctors who retire continue to work on an ad hoc basis for NHS Scotland through the NHS Staff Bank.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in relation to the statistics in the ISD publication, Cancer Incidence Projections for Scotland 2013-2027, which show that the number of new cases of female breast cancer is projected to increase by 27% between 2008-12 and 2023-27, from just over 22,400 cases to nearly 28,600.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (04/02/2019):

We are committed to improving the prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and aftercare for all people living in Scotland who are affected by any form of cancer. This is reflected in our £100 million, 5 year national cancer strategy, ‘Beating Cancer: Ambition and Action’ .

It is welcome that overall cancer incidence has decreased over the past 10 years, but we want to help reduce that further.

We will continue to take bold and progressive preventative strategies, such as a minimum unit pricing for alcohol, to encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyles thereby reducing their risk of developing cancer.

People can survive for longer after treatment the earlier a cancer is diagnosed - around 85.2% of breast cancers are detected at early stages (stage 1 or 2). That is why we will continue to work - through our National Screening, and Detect Cancer Early (DCE) programmes - toward identifying breast cancers at the earliest stage, and to continue to drive down the existing inequalities gap.

We continue dialogue with breast cancer charities to focus on improving breast cancer services for everyone in Scotland who needs them.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much the Glasgow endometriosis centre has been allocated to fund consultants dedicated in (a) gynaecology, (b) pain management, (c) colorectal surgery and (d) urology, and how many hours per role this funds.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (04/02/2019):

The West of Scotland dedicated BSGE Accredited Severe Endometriosis Service is expected to be up and running from April 2019 and is being funded through local NHS Health Boards. It will bring together work that was previously dispersed across different sites. The following table sets out the planned uplift from existing services, as well as additional funds that will enable supporting surgical support to ring fence capacity, which will be used to establish this centre.

 

Funding

Hours

 

Gynaecology

Uplift from
existing services

75 hours

2.0 wte

Pain Management

Uplift from
existing services

  

Colorectal

£60,000

18.5 hours

0.5 wte

Urology

£12,600

3.5 hours

0.10


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many trained specialist endometriosis surgeons there are, broken down by NHS board, and how many of their hours are allocated specifically to endometriosis care and surgery.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (04/02/2019):

There are two specialist centres open in Edinburgh (based at the Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh and the Royal) and in Aberdeen (Royal Infirmary). A specialist centre in the West of Scotland is expected to be operational by April 2019. It is the responsibility of local NHS Boards to ensure patients are able to access the appropriate care for endometriosis, including ensuring appropriate access to trained specialist surgeons is in place. Scottish Government does hold this information.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many hours of dedicated pelvic pain management is provided to support people with (a) endometriosis and (b) other pelvic pain conditions, broken down by NHS board.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (04/02/2019):

This information regarding endometriosis and other pelvic pain conditions is not held centrally.

The Scottish Government has commissioned the development of a Core Minimum Dataset (CMD) to be collected by all specialist pain services, and a series of Quality Performance Indicators (QPIs).

These will be evidence-based, use routinely-collected data where possible, and have been subject to two consultation exercises. We are currently working with ISD to establish methods of integrating the necessary data collection into NHS IT systems, with a view to piloting this as soon as this is ready.

Once the data from CMD and QPIs are available, we will be able to report baseline and outcome characteristics of patients attending pain services (including cause and severity of pain, and its impact); and the nature and quality of service provision. This will include people with endometriosis and other pelvic pain conditions where they are seen by a specialist pain service but not any that are being treated by gynaecologists out with the pain service.

We will also be able to compare services between regions and changes over time, as well as evaluating the effectiveness of service improvement initiatives. Further information is available at the NHS Research Scotland Website: http://www.nhsresearchscotland.org.uk/research-areas/pain/sub-page-2


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much operating theatre time has been allocated to the Glasgow endometriosis centre, and how many (a) weekly and (b) monthly operations this will cover.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (04/02/2019):

The West of Scotland boards are responsible for establishing the specialist centre for endometriosis. Activity is modelled on an expected demand of 20 cases per year. This equates in broad terms to a maximum of 2 cases per month.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to record centrally data regarding the number of people with interstitial lung disease.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (04/02/2019):

Responsibility for central data collection on health lies mainly with the Information Services Division of the NHS (ISD). ISD regularly review the nationally collected data with stakeholders, to justify the benefits of any data collection. Data sets are subject to ongoing discussion and proposals for development to improve their relevance and utility.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it is communicating to local authorities the level of funding in the draft Budget for implementation of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016; whether this will be provided to local authorities as a package of funding with other initiatives, and how the use of these allocations will be monitored.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (04/02/2019):

The level of provision for the Carers Act for 2019-20 was confirmed by the Scottish Government as part of a package of overall support to local government of £11.1 billion in the Scottish Budget: 2019-20 published on 12 December 2018 and in the corresponding Local Government Finance Circular 8/2018 published on 17 December 2018. This overall package of support includes £40 million to extend free personal care to under 65s as set out in the Programme for Government and for the continued implementation of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016, estimated at £10.5 million. Local authorities notify the Scottish Government of their expenditure on the various services they provide and this information is published in the annual Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics publication.

Working with COSLA, the Carers Scotland Act Finance Group is continuing to consider the financial implications of implementing the Carers Act, including developing and improving data collection in respect of Carers related activity and establishing a clear understanding of the key financial risks associated with implementing the Act.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it monitored the use of funding for preparations for the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 in 2017-18; how it is monitoring the use of funding for implementation of the Act in 2018-19, and what outcomes it is measuring.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (04/02/2019):

We have funded a range of public and third sector bodies to deliver support and resources to build capacity for implementing the Carers Act during this period, including thirteen pilots across local authorities and health boards in 2017-18 to test implementation of different provisions in the Act. We have monitored this work through a combination of written reporting, management meetings, reporting to the Carers Act Implementation Steering Group and reviewing the resources delivered.

We also funded a programme of small grants in 2018-19 for local third sector carer support organisations, to improve their capacity to deliver carer support under the Act. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations which delivered the grant programme will provide an evaluation report based on information from grant recipients.

The Scottish Government’s policy towards local authorities’ spending is to allow local authorities the financial freedom to operate independently. The vast majority of the revenue funding, including the funding to support the continued implementation of the Carers Act, is provided by means of a block grant. It is the responsibility of individual local authorities to manage their own budgets and to allocate their total financial resources available to them. Individual local authorities’ allocation of funding should be on the basis of local needs and priorities, having first fulfilled their statutory obligations (including under the Carers Act) and the jointly agreed set of national and local priorities. Local authorities notify the Scottish Government of their expenditure on the various services they provide and this information is published in the annual Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics publication.

The new ‘Carers Census’ is monitoring take-up of adult carer support plans, young carer statements and carer support under the Carers Act since it took effect last April. The first collection from April – September 2018 is currently running with the second collection, from October 2018 – March 2019 due to be submitted in May. The Carers Act Monitoring and Evaluation Group has identified a number of outcomes for monitoring progress and is considering which data sources and academic research will be necessary alongside the Carers Census in order to monitor progress towards these outcomes, as published in the evaluability assessment of the Act: https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0052/00524798.pdf


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has allocated to each local authority in its draft Budget for the second year of funding for implementation of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (04/02/2019):

£40 million has been included directly in the 2019-20 Local Government budget settlement to support the continued implementation of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 and extending free personal care to under 65s, as set out in the Programme for Government. This is in addition to the £66m included in the 2018-19 Local Government budget settlement to be used for social care pressures including Carers Act implementation. The Scottish Government estimates that the additional cost of implementing the Carers Act for Local Authorities in 2019-20 will be £10.5 million – this is based on cost estimates set out in the Financial Memorandum to the Carers Bill. Given the aforementioned funding is part of the overall budget settlement for Local Authorities there are no separately identifiable budget allocations for Carers Act implementation at Local Authority level.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much the Glasgow endometriosis centre has been allocated to fund clinical nurse specialists, and how many hours per role this funds.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (04/02/2019):

The West of Scotland boards are responsible for establishing the specialist centre for endometriosis. I understand that the centre has allocated £24,000 to fund a part time Clinical Nurse Specialist for 22.5 hours a week.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the withdrawal of services by Healthcare Environmental Services, whether it will detail its contingency plan to ensure that clinical waste is disposed of safely, and where the alternative storage, collection and treatment services have been procured from.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (04/02/2019):

Due to the withdrawal of services by Healthcare Environmental Services Ltd, interim contingency arrangements have been put in place to ensure NHS Scotland services to the public are maintained. These arrangements, procured centrally by NHS National Services Scotland, for the NHS across Scotland, were initiated on 7 December 2018.

Services are being provided by around 15 companies under temporary contracts. Collection of waste from NHSScotland priority sites (large hospitals) is being undertaken by three licensed waste carriers covering the whole of Scotland. These are - Northwards Ltd, John Mitchell Haulage (Grangemouth) Ltd and W H Malcolm (Linwood) Ltd. Contracts are in place with specialist companies to provide community collections from smaller sites, including GPs and Community Pharmacists.

In total there are over 4,000 community sites being supported. Waste is collected and transported directly to authorised (licence or permitted) facilities in Scotland and England.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how the proposals in the draft Budget could support healthcare provision in the Greenock and Inverclyde constituency.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (04/02/2019):

In 2019-20, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will be supported with additional investment of £75.4 million, increasing the Board’s resource budget to £2,231.2 million. Frontline NHS Boards will also receive a share of £392 million to support reform and improve patient outcomes across primary care, waiting times, mental health and CAMHS, trauma networks and cancer.

As announced in October, a new three year financial planning and performance framework will be introduced from 2019-20. This will require NHS Boards to deliver a break-even position over a three year period, rather than annually as is the position at present. This will provide additional financial flexibility for Boards, supporting them to deliver the measures set out in the in the health and social care delivery plan at a national, regional and local level.

Investment in social care and integration will exceed £700 million and the Scottish Government continues to ensure that our partners in Local Government receive a fair funding settlement, despite further cuts to the Scottish Budget from the UK Government. Local Authorities will receive a funding package of £11.1 billion in 2019-20 – a real terms increase of over £210 million for essential public services in Scotland. This total includes an additional £160 million that has been allocated to increase Local Authorities’ expenditure on health and social care and mental health.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 04/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether there have been any discussions between the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform and Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People regarding its proposal to reduce the single person discount for water charges; when any discussions took place, and what was discussed.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (01/02/2019):

Discussions between Ministers preceded the publication of the consultation paper Investing in and paying for your water services from 2021 .


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much compensation or money spent on restoration works has been paid out by Scottish Water to customers in each of the last four years, and what was the (a) average and (b) largest payment each year.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (01/02/2019):

Scottish Water can make payment to customers as a result of asset failures that have triggered Service Standard payments or claims made and settled via Scottish Water’s Public Liability Insurance.

Scottish Water supplies water and waste water services to over 5 million customers across Scotland via 60,000 miles of pipes and thousands of assets. If there is an asset failure (such as flooding caused by a burst water pipe) which has affected customers and Scottish Water is liable, these claims are fully assessed and settled via Public Liability Insurance. Scottish Water also operates under an agreed Service Standards framework to also protect customers’ interests and pay where there is a service failure.

Scottish Water’s Service Standards can be viewed at: https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/contact-us/our-promise-to-you/our-services-your-rights/our-service-standards

The payments listed below are for Public Liability cases over the last 4 years.

Public Liability Compensation Payments to Customers by Scottish Water

Year

Total SW
payments £

Average
Payment £

Largest
payment £

2014-15

797,841

4,721

83,107

2015-16

1,613,291

9,166

400,000

2016-17

1,009,928

6,234

140,676

2017-18

687,676

4,271

174,780

Service Standards

Year

Total SW
payments £

Average
Payment £

Largest
payment £

2014-15

127,375

292

470

2015-16

118,012

331

470

2016-7

124,136

319

470

2017-18

114,770

303

470


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which groups will be involved in future consultations regarding water charges.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (01/02/2019):

Changes to water charges affect nearly all household and business customers in Scotland. The Scottish Government welcomes input from all customers when considering the principles which apply to water charges.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in the event that there is a change of use in a property, whether it is the responsibility of Scottish Water to change a water meter that is based on fixed charges by volume.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (01/02/2019):

When a dwelling stops being a dwelling, the local rating assessor will remove the Council Tax banding from the premises record and the local authority will automatically stop charging Council Tax based on unmeasured household water industry charges that would have been included with the Council Tax demand. If the premises is now being used for non-household purposes, the local assessor will create a new rateable value for the premises, triggering Scottish Water to add the premises to the non-household retail market – at which point the occupier of the premises will be charged non-household charges by a service provider licenced to operate in the water industry’s retail market.

If a non-household premises becomes a dwelling, the assessor will give the premises a Council Tax banding and the local authority will automatically start to charge unmeasured household water charges. If the premises is only used as a dwelling, the removal of the premises from the local assessor’s record of non-household premises will prompt Scottish Water to remove the premises from the non-household retail market and non-household charges will end.

In some instances part of a non-household premises may be converted into a dwelling or part of a dwelling may be converted for non-household use. In these instances either separate household and business charges may be applied or, in some situations, a water meter may record the water used in the dwelling and the business, in which case the occupier of the business will be charged for all of the water used by the business and the dwelling. Where the household water use is included in a metered bill, Scottish Water will instruct the local authority to stop applying unmeasured household charges.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to engage directly with older people at every stage of the process for considering proposals to reduce the single person discount for water charges.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (01/02/2019):

The Scottish Government is in the process of developing the Principles of Charging document for the period 2021-27. As part of this process, we will work with stakeholders and customers to explore the discounts which apply to water charges.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20806 by Roseanna Cunningham on 16 January 2019, who the representatives attending the multi-stakeholder group are.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (01/02/2019):

Meetings are attended by senior members of the stakeholder organisations referred to in S5W-20806.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20806 by Roseanna Cunningham on 16 January 2019, whether it is a full member and participant of the multi-stakeholder group, and what its position is on whether there is any conflict of interest with it sitting on an advisory group providing advice to itself.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (01/02/2019):

The Scottish Government is a member and participant of the multi-stakeholder group. As the member was advised in the answer to
‎ S5W-20806, the group provides a forum to explore topics included within the Water Industry Commission for Scotland’s decision papers ( https://www.watercommission.co.uk/view_Decision_Papers.aspx ). As Scottish Ministers are responsible for determining the principles that should underpin customer charges, it is essential to engage with the water industry.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how Scottish Water operates deemed consent.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (01/02/2019):

It is understood that this question relates to “deemed contracts” in terms of s.20A of the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005. This section applies to licensed providers and end-customers rather than to Scottish Water. The terms of the scheme are operated by the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS).

The effect of s.20A is to “deem” that arrangements have been made between the licensed provider and the occupier of premises in circumstances where water is supplied to, or waste water is disposed of from, eligible premises in circumstances where the licensed provider and the occupier have not taken the necessary steps to “make arrangements” for these services but the services are, as a matter of fact, made available. The effect is to ensure that the occupiers of premises which have water and waste services are required to pay for those services and cannot avoid liability for payment for the available service by avoiding taking the steps necessary on their part to “make arrangements” with the licensed provider.

WICS is required, under s.20B, to set out the terms and conditions which will be incorporated into any arrangements which are deemed, under s.20A, to have been made between the licensed provider and the occupier of the premises. A copy of WICS’ deemed contracts scheme is available at https://www.watercommission.co.uk/view_Deemed_Contracts.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20806 by Roseanna Cunningham on 16 January 2019, what the initial terms of reference were of the multi-stakeholder reference group when it was established.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (01/02/2019):

The multi-stakeholder group was formed for the purpose of discussing key themes identified in the course of the Strategic Review of Charges.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will work with (a) older people organisations such as Age Scotland and (b) older people to determine whether proposals to reduce the single person discount for water charges should proceed.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (01/02/2019):

The Scottish Government will work with all relevant interests before making any changes to the discounts which apply to water and sewerage charges.


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20806 by Roseanna Cunningham on 16 January 2019, when the Stakeholder Advisory Group was established; what its remit is, and who is represented on it.


Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (01/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to 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 .


Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, of its estimated total of all unpaid student loans, how much is due to (a) the recipient not meeting the income repayment threshold and (b) default by the recipient.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (01/02/2019):

The Student Loans Company (SLC) estimate that, at the end of 2017-18, there was an estimated outstanding student loan balance of
‎ £4,984.5 million. Of this, they estimate that:

(a) Information on the proportion of the total outstanding balance that is due to the repayment threshold is not publically available or held centrally by the Scottish Government. A request can be made directly to the SLC for this information.

(b) £10.6 million (0.2%) is due to default by the recipient.

Source: SLC (2018) Student loans debt and repayment, https://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/student-loans-debt-and-repayment/scotland.aspx ).


Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in response to the reported rise in the number of sepsis cases in the Scottish Borders, including 66 deaths in 2017-18.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (01/02/2019):

The Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) continues to support improvement in sepsis identification and treatment. Since 2012 there has been a 21% reduction in mortality from sepsis across Scotland. SPSP will continue to review the trends in data and support improvements in care for people with sepsis.

Over the last two years there have been significant changes to the way sepsis is diagnosed and the way it is recorded in patients’ notes. These changes, together with increased awareness of sepsis by both clinical staff and patients, are leading to significant increases across Scotland in the number of patients who are correctly classified as having sepsis.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20587 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 9 January 2019, whether it will provide a breakdown of the £6.1 million for formal agreements with the DWP in Social Security Scotland's 2019-20 budget.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (01/02/2019):

The answer to question S5W-20587 explained that the 2019-20 allocations were indicative and were to be confirmed through the Agency's planning process subject to the budget being agreed in March 2019. Detailed cost discussions with DWP are on-going, current indicative allocations are as follows –

Carer’s Allowance £5.76m

Carer’s Allowance Supplement £0.14m

CPS (DWP’s payment system) Phase 1 £0.09m

BSG £0.02m

* figures may not sum due to rounding


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many applications were received for Best Start Grants in December 2018, broken down by postal code area.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (01/02/2019):

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. There will be scope to analyse applications by a range of geographical breakdowns, if we are satisfied with the quality of the data and can safeguard the confidentiality of individuals.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20587 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 9 January 2019, whether it will provide a breakdown of the £20.1 million for staff costs in Social Security Scotland's 2019-20 budget.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (01/02/2019):

The answer to question S5W-20587 explained that the 2019-20 allocations were indicative and final allocations were to be confirmed through the Agency's planning process subject to the budget being agreed in March 2019. Social Security Scotland’s current best estimate of staffing costs for 2019-20 is £20.1 million. This includes salary costs of £19.5 million based on a staffing level of around 450 posts. The remaining £0.6 million is for recruitment and training costs.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland report, Progress Review of Provision of Forensic Medical Services to Victims of Sexual Crime, what progress is being made with relocating the Archway service to alternative premises in Glasgow city centre.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (01/02/2019):

The Chief Medical Officer for Scotland chairs a Taskforce set up to provide national leadership for the improvement of healthcare and forensic medical examination services for people who have experienced rape and sexual assault.

Following a rigorous options appraisal exercise in 2018, the Taskforce is supporting each of the 14 Territorial Health Boards to develop person centred, trauma informed services as close as possible to the point of need, supported by regional centres of expertise.

The Taskforce National Co-Ordinator is working closely with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the West of Scotland Boards, on proposals for a new multi-agency facility within Glasgow City Centre which will support delivery of this model. These plans are in progress.

The Scottish Government has committed £8.5m over three years to support Health Boards across Scotland to deliver consistent and sustainable services and to help embed the published Healthcare Improvement Scotland Standards.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many people who are awaiting inpatient appointments to access orthopaedic procedures have been waiting for (a) 100 to 199, (b) 200 to 299, (c) 300 to 364 and (d) at least 365 days.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (01/02/2019):

Procedure level waiting times for inpatients awaiting orthopaedic appointments are not centrally held. However we do collect information on Speciality level Trauma and Orthopaedic surgery waiting times. For a breakdown on waiting times for orthopaedic procedures I would advise Mr Findlay to request this information from individual Health Boards.

Due to technical problems experienced with the submission of data to ISD, the latest data for all inpatient admissions for Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery is for 31 March 2017. At this time the number of patients waiting between (a)100 to 199 days was 1670, (b) 200 to 299 days was 262, (c) 300 to 364 days was 22, (d) at least 365 days was 17.

I am aware that too many patients across Scotland, including those waiting for an orthopaedic procedure, are waiting too long for treatments and appointments. That is why I published the Waiting Times Improvement Plan in October 2018. Overall investment will support reforms to increase capacity, increase clinical effectiveness and efficiency as well as implementing new models of care.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on how many people have alopecia, broken down by (a) age group, (b) gender and (c) NHS board.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (01/02/2019):

The information requested is not held centrally by the Scottish Government. However, the Scottish Burden of Disease project, in producing estimates of the overall prevalence of skin and subcutaneous diseases in Scotland, has considered a number of conditions/diseases including alopecia. Further information is available from the link below: https://www.scotpho.org.uk/media/1775/sbod2016-skindiseases.pdf


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-16015 Kevin Stewart on 25 April 2018, when the evaluation of the equity loan pilot will be published.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (01/02/2019):

The evaluation of the equity loan pilot will be published in Spring 2019.

Current data to the end of December 2018 on the pilot scheme is as follows. Total requests for application forms 450. Completed application forms returned 76 of these 30 loans have been offered and the remaining 46 applications are progressing through applicant’s solicitors prior to loan offers being made. The average equity loan value is £14,600 per property, with an average energy efficiency element of £12,400 per property.

It is worth noting that energy efficiency works include elements of repair such as reroofing and other measures to eliminate water ingress. It is also worth noting that as part of the initial referral applicants are given advice on all means of assistance from the Home Energy Scotland network and Care and Repair, this often leads to applicants being referred to other schemes, such as Warm Homes Scotland, better suited to their circumstances.


Current Status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many instances of violence have been reported in Inverclyde schools in each of the last five years.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (01/02/2019):

Information on the number of instances of violence in schools is not held centrally. Where a school-based incident of violence is reported to the police, this will be included in the Recorded Crime National Statistics. However, the figures provided to the Scottish Government by Police Scotland are a simple count of the number of crimes and offences recorded in each local authority. We do not receive further details on the characteristics or circumstances of individual crimes and offences, such as the location.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the impact of LINK’s decision to introduce a "super premium" for some ATMs in rural or deprived communities.


Answered by Kate Forbes (01/02/2019):

I met with the Payment System Regulator in December 2018 and intend to meet with Which? in the near future, to discuss their continuing campaign to protect free ATM access, among other issues, and will encourage them to continue their efforts to safeguard essential banking services currently available to all members of society.

I welcome the measures being introduced by LINK in April this year, which will go some way to ensuring that remote, vulnerable and less well-off parts of the country maintain access to essential ATM services, especially while communities across Scotland are facing the threat of further bank branch closures. I would urge Link and the PSR to monitor the impact of these changes as they are introduced and to take further action if required to protect the network.

Access to cash and the ability to deposit cash remains a key issue, particularly for small businesses and rural communities. It is clear that there will be a continuing, long-term need for access to cash banking services in Scotland.

Since this subject was debated in September 2018, I have written to both LINK and the Payment System Regulator, seeking their assurances that no ATM in a vulnerable community closes until a new operator is found and that communities are not left without free access to cash.


Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many instances of theft have occurred in NHS Lothian hospitals in each of the last five years, also broken down by hospital.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (01/02/2019):

Information on the number of instances of theft that have occurred in hospitals is not held centrally. Where a hospital-based theft is reported to the police, this will be included in the Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics. However, the figures provided to the Scottish Government by Police Scotland are a simple count of the number of crimes and offences recorded in each local authority. We do not receive further details on the characteristics or circumstances of individual crimes and offences, such as the location.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it has taken to fulfil the commitment that was made by the then First Minister in August 2008, following a Cabinet meeting in Inverness, to reduce train journey times between Inverness and Edinburgh to at least two hours 45 minutes, and an average of three hours, with the aim of making “railway travel to the heart of the Highlands, in terms of time, competitive with roads… by a mixture of projects, including line improvement, additional passing loops, double-tracking and signalling upgrades”; what improvements projects were introduced, broken down by what progress has been made with each, and, in light of the comment that “the timescale for implementation is 2011-12”, for what reason the target date was not met, and by what date this level of service will be operational.


Answered by Michael Matheson (01/02/2019):

The Scottish Government’s Infrastructure Investment Plan, published in 2011, stated that the Highland Main Line Rail Improvement project would be completed in phases between 2014 and 2025.

Phase one was delivered as planned in December 2012, increasing services from 9 to 11 trains per day in each direction, and reducing journey times by an average of 6 minutes at a cost of £1.2 million.

Phase two, which is currently scheduled to be completed in December 2019, will see a £57 million investment providing an hourly service between Perth and Inverness, delivery of a reduction in average journey times by around 10 minutes and more efficient freight operations. A fleet of refurbished High Speed Trains is planned to be used for this new timetable offering customers greater comfort and more capacity. We are engaged with local communities regarding calling points with the aim of providing calls at stations which represent maximum benefit for users of the service. The new timetable will also include improvements to the first and last trains. Overall, these plans will provide passengers with better connectivity with the Central Belt and Inverness whilst boosting the economic growth for the whole of Scotland.

The long term aspiration remains to deliver a fastest journey time of 2 hours 45 minutes between Inverness and the Central Belt.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether the Cairngorms National Park Authority, as a statutory consultee in the A9 dualling project, is responsible for the protection of the interests and assets of the park.


Answered by Mairi Gougeon (01/02/2019):

The interests and assets of the Cairngorms National Park within the A9 dualling project are not the sole responsibility of the Cairngorms National Park Authority, or other organisations, but the Cairngorms National Park Authority can make representations, as a consultee, on any proposed development that affects the Park’s statutory aims as set out in the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000. These are:

(a)to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area,

(b)to promote sustainable use of the natural resources of the area,

(c)to promote understanding and enjoyment (including enjoyment in the form of recreation) of the special qualities of the area by the public, and

(d)to promote sustainable economic and social development of the area’s communities.

Under the arrangements in the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984, in circumstances where matters raised in consultation, including from statutory consultees, cannot be resolved a project may be referred for examination by an independent Reporter who will make a recommendation to the Scottish Ministers for decision. The Reporter’s examination may be informed by a Public Local Inquiry, to which those with an interest can make representations.


Current Status: Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether (a) an MSP, (b) an MP, (c) a councillor and (d) other elected representative seeking to contact Social Security Scotland on the behalf of a constituent is required to demonstrate that they have the explicit consent of the constituent to do so and, if so, for what reason.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (01/02/2019):

As set out in the Data Protection Act 2018, Part 2, Schedule 1, and as confirmed to MSPs in a letter from the Chief Executive of Social Security Scotland on I October 2018, where an elected representative is seeking advice in their official capacity on behalf of one of their constituents they are not required to demonstrate explicit consent of the constituent to do so.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it has carried out of whether the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland is delivering equality for (a) women and (b) BME people.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (01/02/2019):

The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland (JABS) provides statistical information on diversity, including gender and ethnicity, in its annual report. The Scottish Government does not carry out separate analysis as JABS undertakes its own analysis of these areas.

JABS has a statutory duty to have regard to the need to encourage diversity in the range of individuals available for selection to be recommended for appointment to a judicial office. This is contained in section 14 of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008.

Since 2015 JABS has recommended 108 individuals for judicial office. 52 were women, 50 were men and 6 preferred not to say. Of those recommended, 1 was of Asian background, 2 of mixed, 1 was unknown and 104 identified as white British or white other.

In 2010 the Diversity Steering Group (DSG) was set up, which is chaired by Lady Wise. This is a collaborative group which has in mind JABS’s obligations under section 14 of the 2008 Act. The DSG’s aims include identification of ways in which increased diversity of applicants applying for judicial office can be achieved and advice on removal of perceived obstacles to diversity. A Scottish Government official is a member of the steering group as an observer.

JABS has a statutory duty to prepare and publish an annual report on the carrying out of its functions during the previous year. This report must be sent to the Scottish Ministers and is then laid before the Scottish Parliament. The reporting provided on diversity covers both the DSG’s work and statistical reporting on applicants for all appointments within JABS remit.

In addition to its annual reporting, last year JABS published a 5 Year Strategic Plan for 2018-2022 which sets out how they intend to contribute to the creation of a more diverse judiciary in Scotland - one which ‘reflects the growing diversity in our communities and which helps to build public trust and confidence.

The progress to date is good and I recognise JABS’ continued commitment to strive for better by encouraging diversity in the range of individuals available for selection.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what mechanism it will use to verify that a young carer is 18 and still at school in order to check their eligibility for a young carer grant, and how this mechanism will differ for young carers who attend independent schools.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (01/02/2019):

Verification mechanisms for the Young Carer Grant are under development. Decisions on verification, as with all aspects of the Grant, will take into account input from carers and other stakeholders through the Young Carer Grant consultation which ended on 10 December.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what it will do to improve cancer treatment waiting times in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, in light of it reportedly being the worst performing NHS board for the 31-day target and the second worst for the 62-day target.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (01/02/2019):

Latest published data from ISD show that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde narrowly missed the 31 day (95%) standard in Q3 2018 (July - Sept) with 94.8% of patients receiving treatment within 31 days of a decision to treat with an average wait of seven days (above NHS Highland, Tayside, Lothian and Grampian).

While the average wait for patients on the 62 day pathway was 46 days NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde’s performance against this 62 day standard at 76.5% is not acceptable and as such the Scottish Government published the £850 million Waiting Times Improvement Plan on 23 October 2018. The Plan sets out a series of actions to ensure the future delivery of waiting time standards for patients across Scotland by Spring 2021. Investment will support reforms to increase capacity, increase clinical effectiveness and efficiency as well as implementing new models of care. The immediate focus is on improvements for patients whose treatment is urgent, who have a suspicion of cancer, and those who have been waiting longest for an appointment.

Following the development of the Effective Cancer Management Framework in 2018 an experienced Cancer Service Manager is providing tailored support to NHS Boards across Scotland including NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has provided to registered social landlords in each year since 2007 to carry out home adaptions for (a) older and (b) disabled people, also broken down by the number of homes that have received this support.


Answered by Kevin Stewart (01/02/2019):

The Scottish Government provides an annual funding allocation to help Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) meet the needs of their tenants who require housing adaptations. Funding is not ring-fenced for specific client groups and no target number of adaptations is set for individual RSLs. Instead, each RSL, with the assistance of suitably qualified experts such as occupational therapists, will determine the relative priority of each individual application for an adaptation.

The following table sets out the total funding provided to RSLs in Scotland for adaptations from 2007-08 to 2017-18.

Year

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Spend (£m)

13.172

11.154

12.144

10.318

12.124

10.916

12.961

13.065

13.221

13.207

13.401

Monitoring of the RSL adaptations programme was introduced in 2012-13. Whilst it is not possible to provide details on the number of homes that have received adaptations supported by Scottish Government funding, the following table sets out the number of separate adaptations for each client group from 2012-13 to 2017-18 as reported by RSLs.

Client Group

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Disabled person

2359

2716

3099

3049

3575

3131

Older person

2980

2865

3027

2863

2920

2672

Not reported

200

221

94

120

46

222

Total number of adaptations

5539

5802

6220

6032

6541

6025

This information has previously been provided to SPICe though in more detail over a longer time period, as we committed to providing an annual update of information about Scottish Government-funded housing adaptations as part of our responses to PQs S4W-28622 on 9 December 2015 and S5W-01638 on 16 August 2016.

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 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in response to the reported increase in A&E waiting times at Borders General Hospital, including waiting times over four hours having increased by 31.5% in 2017-18.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (01/02/2019):

Performance in 2017-18 at Borders General Hospital was 92.9% (Apr 17 – Mar 18). The latest monthly data for November 2018 show performance was 96.5%. The number of patients spending over four hours in A&E was the lowest level since 2015.

The latest published weekly stats show performance for week ending 20 January was 94.5%. Weekly data shows performance throughout December and January has been significantly higher than the previous year. A programme of activities is underway across Scotland through the unscheduled care improvement programme to ensure sustainable performance is maintained.

The Scottish Government continues to work with the local team in NHS Borders to help implement a number of initiatives for unscheduled care and ensuring best practice is installed throughout the hospital system. In 2018-19 NHS Borders has received £324,039 to support improvements and winter planning.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it will publish its Culture Strategy for Scotland.


Answered by Fiona Hyslop (01/02/2019):

The Scottish Government is reflecting on the rich material generated by the recent public consultation on a draft Culture Strategy for Scotland and will publish the final strategy in 2019.


Current Status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it last met NHS Lothian to discuss waiting times for urgent gastroenterology and endoscopy services, and what steps were taken as a consequence.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (01/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21041 on 1 February 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 Jeane Freeman on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many instances of antisocial behaviour have been reported to the Police in Inverclyde in each of the last five years.


Answered by Ash Denham (01/02/2019):

Information on the number of instances of antisocial behaviour reported to the Police is not held centrally. The member may wish to write to Police Scotland directly to request this information.

Where a reported incident of antisocial behaviour involves any criminality (for example vandalism), this will be included in the Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics. However, the figures provided to the Scottish Government by Police Scotland are a simple count of the number of crimes and offences recorded in each local authority. We do not receive further details on the characteristics or circumstances of individual crimes and offences, such as whether they relate to antisocial behaviour.


Current Status: Answered by Ash Denham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the impact of 5G mobile communication on public health.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (01/02/2019):

The Scottish Government receives evidence based advice on the health effects of 5G networks from Public Health England (PHE). PHE has the expertise to assess the scientific literature available on this topic. The current evidence suggests that overall exposure to radio waves when 5G is added to the existing network or in a new area, is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and as such there should be no consequence for public health.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many instances of antisocial behaviour have been reported to the Police in Midlothian in each of the last five years.


Answered by Ash Denham (01/02/2019):

Information on the number of instances of antisocial behaviour reported to the Police is not held centrally. The member may wish to write to Police Scotland directly to request this information.

Where a reported incident of antisocial behaviour involves any criminality (for example vandalism), this will be included in the Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics. However, the figures provided to the Scottish Government by Police Scotland are a simple count of the number of crimes and offences recorded in each local authority. We do not receive further details on the characteristics or circumstances of individual crimes and offences, such as whether they relate to antisocial behaviour.


Current Status: Answered by Ash Denham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to concerns that people in the NHS Lothian area have been advised by the NHS board that there is a minimum five-month wait to access urgent gastroenterology and endoscopy services.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (01/02/2019):

The median waiting time for an urgent diagnostics appointment within NHS Lothian is 8 weeks. For an urgent gastroenterology appointment the median waiting time is 14 weeks. The Scottish Government recognises that too many patients are waiting too long for appointments and procedures which is unacceptable. That is why I launched the £850 million Waiting Times Improvement Plan in October 2018. NHS Lothian have been allocated £2.7 million of short term funding. Of this, an allocation of £390,000 is being utilised to support the reduction of waiting times within gastroenterology services.

To support improvements in Gastroenterology waiting times, NHS Lothian have put in place a number of actions including streamlining clinics to reduce variation in waiting times across Lothian, using the independent sector to provide additional outpatient capacity and a new locum has been appointment to support delivery of additional capacity.

The Endoscopy Action Plan as part of the overall Waiting Times Improvment Plan is supporting NHS Boards to reduce the number of patients waiting for such a diagnostic test. So far the number of patients waiting over six weeks for an Endoscopy has reduced by almost 9% between the end of July and October. Additional capacity has been scheduled throughout the period November 2018 to March 2019 to further improve this position. The Endoscopy Action Plan will be published during February.

Scottish Government officials last met with NHS Lothian on 4 December to discuss endoscopy services. Jacquie Campbell, Chief Officer for Acute Hospitals in NHS Lothian is currently writing a business plan for long and short term measures for improvement.

The Scottish Government continues to work with NHS Lothian to support the development and implementation of sustainable solutions to reduce their waiting times for all specialties.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many instances of theft have occurred in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde hospitals in each of the last five years, also broken down by hospital.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (01/02/2019):

Information on the number of instances of theft that have occurred in hospitals is not held centrally. Where a hospital-based theft is reported to the police, this will be included in the Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics. However, the figures provided to the Scottish Government by Police Scotland are a simple count of the number of crimes and offences recorded in each local authority. We do not receive further details on the characteristics or circumstances of individual crimes and offences, such as the location.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many instances of antisocial behaviour have been reported to the Police in East Lothian in each of the last five years.


Answered by Ash Denham (01/02/2019):

Information on the number of instances of antisocial behaviour reported to the Police is not held centrally. The member may wish to write to Police Scotland directly to request this information.

Where a reported incident of antisocial behaviour involves any criminality (for example vandalism), this will be included in the Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics. However, the figures provided to the Scottish Government by Police Scotland are a simple count of the number of crimes and offences recorded in each local authority. We do not receive further details on the characteristics or circumstances of individual crimes and offences, such as whether they relate to antisocial behaviour.


Current Status: Answered by Ash Denham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5T-01442 by Jeane Freeman on 22 January 2019 (Official Report, c.3), in light of the announcement of the review into the reported multiple problems at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital; who will carry out the review out; what its scope will be, and what the timetable is for completion.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (01/02/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21250 on‎ 25 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 .

It will be for the independent Chair to determine the detailed scope and the timeframe for the review.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many instances of theft have occurred in NHS Ayrshire and Arran hospitals in each of the last five years, also broken down by hospital.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (01/02/2019):

Information on the number of instances of theft that have occurred in hospitals is not held centrally. Where a hospital-based theft is reported to the police, this will be included in the Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics. However, the figures provided to the Scottish Government by Police Scotland are a simple count of the number of crimes and offences recorded in each local authority. We do not receive further details on the characteristics or circumstances of individual crimes and offences, such as the location.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many staff Social Security Scotland employs at each grade, and what the pay-range is of each grade.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (01/02/2019):

The number of staff employed by Social Security Scotland, and respective pay grades, as of 25 January 2019 are shown in the following table.

Grade

Total Staff

Pay Range Jan 2019

  

Minimum (£)

Maximum (£)

A3

130

18,392

20,732

A4

5

21,769

23,409

B1

42

24,580

27,515

B2

39

28,891

33,094

B3

53

36,328

43,923

C1

23

46,889

57,503

C2

9

60,379

69,690

SCS Band 1

1

68,000

117,800


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the treatment time guarantee being broken, what recourse is available to people in the NHS Lothian area who have been advised by NHS Lothian that there is a minimum five-month wait to access urgent gastroenterology and endoscopy services.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (01/02/2019):

I refer the member to answer to question S5W-21041 on 1 February 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 Jeane Freeman on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many ASBOs have been issued in North Ayrshire in each of the last five years.


Answered by Ash Denham (01/02/2019):

Information on the number of Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) issued in North Ayrshire is not held centrally. The Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 places a statutory requirement on local authorities to keep records of all antisocial behaviour orders and interim orders. You may wish to contact North Ayrshire Council directly to request the information sought.


Current Status: Answered by Ash Denham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many instances of antisocial behaviour have been reported to the Police in North Ayrshire in each of the last five years.


Answered by Ash Denham (01/02/2019):

Information on the number of instances of antisocial behaviour reported to the Police is not held centrally. The member may wish to write to Police Scotland directly to request this information.

Where a reported incident of antisocial behaviour involves any criminality (for example vandalism), this will be included in the Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics. However, the figures provided to the Scottish Government by Police Scotland are a simple count of the number of crimes and offences recorded in each local authority. We do not receive further details on the characteristics or circumstances of individual crimes and offences, such as whether they relate to antisocial behaviour.


Current Status: Answered by Ash Denham on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20587 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 9 January 2019, whether it will provide a breakdown of the £4.2 million for facilities and property in Social Security Scotland's 2019-20 budget.


Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville (01/02/2019):

The answer to question S5W-20587 explained that the 2019-20 allocations were indicative and were to be confirmed through the Agency's planning process subject to the budget being agreed in March 2019. The current indicative budget allocation for 2019-20 of £4.2 million for “facilities and property” is to cover the Agency’s overall estates requirement and includes rent for our interim Dundee Headquarters and Glasgow office. This figure was estimated as part of our longer term planning. The final allocations of the Social Security Scotland budget including for this category are expected to be decided in March 2019 as part of the Agency’s business planning cycle.


Current Status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many instances of theft have occurred in NHS Borders hospitals in each of the last five years, also broken down by hospital.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (01/02/2019):

Information on the number of instances of theft that have occurred in hospitals is not held centrally. Where a hospital-based theft is reported to the police, this will be included in the Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics. However, the figures provided to the Scottish Government by Police Scotland are a simple count of the number of crimes and offences recorded in each local authority. We do not receive further details on the characteristics or circumstances of individual crimes and offences, such as the location.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a breakdown of the £45.9 million funding for Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) for 2019-20 in its draft Budget, and what accounts for the increase from the £36.5 million allocated in 2018-19.


Answered by Michael Matheson (01/02/2019):

The £45.9 million funding for HIAL for 2019-20 is broken down as £20.3 million for revenue, £16.1 million for capital and £9.5 million for depreciation. HIAL’s budget allocation for capital has significantly increased compared to the £8.4 million budget in 2018-19. This increase is so that HIAL can continue to maintain its infrastructure in order to facilitate the operation of the essential air services in the Highlands and Islands that support our remote communities.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 01/02/2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it will conclude procurement of the R100 programme, and whether it expects to meet the target of 100% superfast broadband coverage by 2021.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (31/01/2019):

Procurement for the R100 programme will conclude this year. We will inform Parliament, once specific timescales for contract award become clearer. We have specified a target for completion by the end of 2021.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with NFU Scotland regarding the potential for developing anaerobic digestion projects.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (31/01/2019):

As part of our Agri-Renewable Strategy, the Scottish Government has engaged in the Renewables Development Initiative led by National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS). This was a three year programme aiming to provide practical knowledge to land managers and farmers interested in pursuing on farm renewable technologies through a series of on farm demonstration events. This programme ended in 2017.

As part of our ongoing process to develop the Bioenergy Action Plan, the NFUS were invited to a stakeholder event in December 2018 but were unable to attend. We recognise NFU as a key stakeholder in the development of the Action Plan and are eager to continue engagement with them in the coming months.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans there are to extend the use of the railhead at Georgemas to commercial use in order to take more freight off roads and onto railways.


Answered by Michael Matheson (31/01/2019):

Decisions on moving goods and the development of freight facilities are primarily a commercial matter. However, optimising the use of the rail freight facilities at Georgemas has been discussed as part of the work of Far North Line Review Team. The Review Team is close to concluding its work, and I would expect to see the outcomes from that over the coming months.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of ScotRail's performance in the Glasgow region.


Answered by Michael Matheson (31/01/2019):

You will be aware that I instructed officials at Transport Scotland to serve a Remedial Plan Notice to ScotRail because of continued poor performance and expect the Plan to set out how ScotRail will address these issues.

I have also repeatedly stated in the Chamber that, this parliament must be afforded responsibility for Network Rail

The Alliance continues to deliver many initiatives aimed at supporting performance improvement in the Glasgow region with the implementation of a Donovan recommendation for Right Time Departure at Milngavie, this has seen an improvement to performance across the Strathclyde electrics routes.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has allocated to each local authority in its draft Budget for implementation of the real living wage for social care.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (31/01/2019):

The 2019-20 Scottish Government Budget includes £120 million to be transferred from the health portfolio to Local Authorities in-year for investment in integration, including delivery of the living wage and uprating free personal care, and school counselling services.

This is in addition to £66m which was included in the 2018-19 Local Government budget settlement to be used for social care pressures including the real living wage commitment for adult social care staff and extending the commitment to sleepovers.

The funding for implementation of the real living wage for adult social care workers is included as part of an overall Local Government settlement to cover health and social care integration and social care. There are no separately identifiable budget allocations for real living wage implementation at Local Authority level.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to FSB Scotland's call for all school pupils to receive enterprise education, and what its position is on whether teacher numbers are sufficient to deliver this.


Answered by John Swinney (31/01/2019):

We recognise enterprise and entrepreneurship education as being key to future economic growth. Enterprise and employability skills are embedded within Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and are referenced in the core curriculum document “Building the Curriculum 4: Skills for Learning, Skills for Life and Skills for Work”: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/btc4.pdf .

Through Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), schools and local authorities have the flexibility to develop and deliver a curriculum which best suits their local needs and circumstances, including enterprise education. Further guidance to schools is provided by Education Scotland via its “Enterprise in Education” resource available on the National Improvement Hub: https://education.gov.scot/improvement .

We have provided £250,000 funding this year to support the development of enterprise skills through Scotland’s Enterprising Schools (SES) - Scotland’s national platform to develop enterprising mind-sets in schools, which supports all partners involved in school enterprise. It aims to build the capacity of teaching professionals by equipping them with the understanding, skills and access to the required information, knowledge and training that enables them to confidently embed enterprise within the curriculum. SES has delivered professional learning sessions, raising awareness of the resources available, in all 32 local authorities and, in December 2017, was awarded the Professional Learning Award by the General Teaching Council Scotland. More information about SES can be found at: https://enterprisingschools.scot/ .

Developing the Young Workforce, Scotland’s youth employment strategy, aims to ensure all young people develop skills to support securing positive destinations, and undertake relevant work-related learning as part of their curriculum from 3 to 18. New standards and guidance materials have been developed, with the aim of enhancing learners’ career education and the development of employability and career management skills. This includes developing an understanding of enterprise, entrepreneurship and self-employment. The key documents can be found at: https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/Developing%20the%20Young%20Workforce%20(DYW) .

Statistics published on 11 December 2018 show teacher numbers increased for the third year in row - rising to 51,959 in 2018, up 447 on the previous year. There are now more teachers than at any time since 2010, and the ratio of pupils is at its lowest since 2013.


Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what contact it has had with the Home Office regarding the recently reported case of Mozaffar Saberi and Rezvan Habibimarand.


Answered by Ben Macpherson (31/01/2019):

I have written to the UK Immigration Minister in support of Mr Saberi and Ms Habibimarand and asked her to urgently review the case and properly consider all factors that clearly indicate this couple should be allowed to stay.

My officials have also been engaging with the Home Office regarding this difficult situation which once again highlights the failure of the UK Government’s one-size-fits-all immigration policy.

We have consistently called for a more compassionate system that takes into account individual circumstances particularly around family migration. This is why we will shortly be setting out detailed proposals on family migration that will consider its complexity and seek to reintroduce more compassion into the system.


Current Status: Answered by Ben Macpherson on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much has been saved each year by the NHS following the introduction of altruistic kidney donations under the Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (31/01/2019):

It is not possible to provide an accurate estimate of the savings to the NHS each year following the introduction of altruistic kidney donations under the Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006 as circumstances will vary from patient to patient. In particular, the level of savings in Scotland will vary depending on: whether the recipient of the transplant lives in Scotland and whether and for how long their transplanted kidney continues to function effectively.

However, in general terms, NHS National Services Scotland’s National Services Division estimated in its publication Commissioning Transplantation to 2020 that the average living donor transplant costs £55,532 and that on average dialysis costs £33,000 per patient per year (estimates as at 2014). Therefore, in cases where the a transplant is successful, this would normally lead to savings for the NHS for that particular transplant recipient within two years.

Since 2006, there have been 64 recipients of altruistic living donor transplants in Scotland.


Current Status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions the justice secretary has had with ministerial colleagues regarding the impact of Brexit on matters within his portfolio.


Answered by Humza Yousaf (31/01/2019):

The existing EU arrangements give operational partners access to vital tools and databases to help them rapidly prevent and detect crime. The impact of the UK’s decision to leave the EU has implications in Scotland for how we deliver justice and safeguard the public. Leaving the EU also impacts on businesses, families and individuals in relation to civil law.

I am in regular discussion with my ministerial colleagues regarding the impact of Brexit, including as part of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee, which is meeting each week to consider what needs to be done, to ensure that we are fully prepared for all EU exit eventualities. Stakeholders including Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service are closely involved in work to prepare for EU exit. The Chief Constable of Police Scotland has recently decided to bring forward the recruitment of 120 officers in this financial year to ensure capacity and resilience is in place to prepare against a range of contingencies.


Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the purpose is of the NHS Scotland (a) Project Management Support Directorate and (b) Customer Engagement and Development Directorate, and how many staff the directorate has, broken down by role.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (31/01/2019):

The purpose of NHS National Services Scotland’s (NSS) (a) Project Management Support Directorate and (b) Customer Engagement and Development Directorate; and how many staff are in each directorate, broken down by role, is as follows:

( a) Programme Management Services (PgMS) supports stakeholders including the Scottish Government, NHS Boards and Integration Joint Boards to deliver improved health and social care services. It provides a flexible approach to portfolio management, programme and project management, programme assurance supporting service transformation. PgMS currently supports the delivery of new national approaches to radiology, laboratories, aseptic pharmacy and is actively involved in supporting change programmes across many areas of health and care. PgMS is largely funded through project specific income. There are 123 roles in PgMS and 9 types of role. There is a mix of full and part time roles and a mix of permanent and temporary roles.

Role

Number of Staff

Associate Directors

2

Programme Directors

3

Project Portfolio Managers

5

Programme Managers

22

Project Managers

44

Project Support Officers

33

Specialists/subject matter experts
(clinical, IT, HR, workflow)

10

Business Lead

1

Administrative Assistants

3

( b) The Customer Engagement & Development Directorate provides NSS with the following services:

Internal and External Communications - responsibility for staff communications and engagement activity across all of NSS, handling and coordinating media responses on behalf of NSS and managing the NSS digital presence. There are 19 roles and 4 types of role. There is a mix of full and part time roles.

Role

Number of Staff

Head of Department

1

Senior Managers

2

Managers

6

Operational Staff

10


‎ Partnership Development - developing and managing strategic partnerships across health and care, covering 22 health boards, 31 integration joint boards, 32 local authorities, 3 city deals and other public sector organisations such as SOLACE and COSLA; identifying opportunities for NSS to support these organisations in the delivery of health and care related initiatives. There are 5 roles and 4 types of role. There is a mix of full and part time roles.

Role

Number of Staff

Head of Department

1

Senior Manager

1

Managers

2

Support Staff

1

Customer Experience – undertaking research to assess customer satisfaction and to gather feedback on service performance and future needs; supporting NSS services to develop customer action plans to help improve their performance in line with customer expectations; analysing key health and care information and providing reports to senior leaders to help inform NSS strategy and service development. There are 7 roles and 3 types of role. All are full time.

Role

Number of Staff

Head of Department

1

Business Partners

3

Managers

3


‎ International Engagement – there is a Service Level Agreement in place with Scottish Government for the provision of international engagement services. Since 2013 the team has facilitated income for Scottish partners of just over £10 million from EU funded research and innovation projects. Key activities include building Scotland’s reputation in health and care; strengthening Scotland’s international relationships and network; identifying and securing funding for new innovation projects and services. There are 5 roles and 3 types of role. There is a mix of full and part time roles.

Role

Number of Staff

Head of Department

1

Senior Managers

2

Support Staff

2


‎ Digital development - supporting NSS to transform its web and intranet presence so that more services can be delivered digitally, which in turn will help NSS services achieve future efficiencies. The activity is delivered as part of the NSS Service Transformation Programme, which is funded separately by NSS from its cash releasing efficiency savings. There are 8 roles and 3 types of role. All roles are temporary.

Role

Number of Staff

Senior Manager

1

Designers (content and user experience)

6

Support Staff

1


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in the event that it is required, whether it will provide additional funding to Glasgow City and Renfrewshire councils to deliver a rail link to Glasgow Airport.


Answered by Michael Matheson (31/01/2019):

The Scottish Government has committed £500 million of funding to the Glasgow City Region Deal as part of its £1.13 Billion Infrastructure Fund. Therefore the Councils involved in the project are in the fortunate position of being able to fund a range of potential improvements that may facilitate improved access at Glasgow Airport as part of the City Region Deal. The allocation of funding within the Deal is for the Glasgow City Region Deal Cabinet to decide, subject to appropriate business case development and normal statutory process.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it supports a dedicated rail link to Glasgow Airport.


Answered by Michael Matheson (31/01/2019):

The Scottish Government remains committed to working with our City Region Deal partners to find solutions to improve surface access to Glasgow Airport. In doing so we must recognise, as stated on a number of occasions, there are significant challenges to the delivery of any rail link to Glasgow Airport.

Transport Scotland and Network Rail are continuing to work collaboratively with the Glasgow Airport Access Project team as they reconsider the evidence base and transport appraisal work to address comments raised in an independent audit of the Outline Business Case.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what meetings it has had with officials from the Glasgow City Deal Cabinet to discuss the delay over work on a rail link to Glasgow Airport.


Answered by Michael Matheson (31/01/2019):

The projects within the Glasgow City Region Deal are for the relevant local partners to develop and deliver. The Glasgow Airport Access Project is being taken forward by Glasgow and Renfrewshire Councils and it would be for them to consider programme and delays. The Scottish Government have not had any meetings with the Glasgow City Deal Cabinet to discuss delay to the project.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which business organisations in Glasgow it has met to discuss a rail link to Glasgow Airport.


Answered by Michael Matheson (31/01/2019):

I met with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce on 3 October 2018 where a wide range of strategic transport planning and connectivity matters were discussed. Airport access was discussed briefly at a meeting I had with the Business Services Association on 11 November 2018. Mr Yousaf, in his role as Minister for Transport and the Islands, previously met with the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and the Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce where airport access was also discussed.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what meetings ministers have had with officials from Glasgow Airport since January 2018 to discuss a rail link.


Answered by Michael Matheson (31/01/2019):

I met with Derek Provan CEO of AGS Airports Ltd in November 2018 and in the coming weeks I will Chair the next meeting of the Glasgow Airport Access Executive Steering Group which includes the Leaders of both Glasgow City and Renfrewshire Councils and representatives from Glasgow Airport. Glasgow Airport officials met with my predecessor My Yousaf in June 2018 and they were also represented at wider meetings with Ministers such as the meeting Mr Yousaf held with Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce in March 2018.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what meetings it has had with Glasgow City and Renfrewshire councils since January 2018 to discuss a rail link to Glasgow Airport.


Answered by Michael Matheson (31/01/2019):

Transport Scotland and Network Rail are continuing to work collaboratively with the Glasgow Airport Access Project team as they reconsider the evidence base and transport appraisal work to address comments raised in an independent audit of the Outline Business Case.

Since January 2018 Transport Scotland have attended a series of meetings in their role within the Glasgow Airport Access Project Stakeholder Group to discuss the scope of the business case review and the specific packages of work to address the comments made in the independent audit.

In the coming weeks I will Chair the next meeting of the Glasgow Airport Access Executive Steering Group which includes the Leaders of both Glasgow City and Renfrewshire Councils and representatives from Glasgow Airport.


Current Status: Answered by Michael Matheson on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the reported recent success in some local authorities with developing a legal method of providing private and third sector childcare providers with capital funding for the expansion of funded childcare to 1,140 hours, whether it planned for such a method following the expansion policy announcement, and, if not, for what reason it did not.


Answered by Maree Todd (31/01/2019):

The Scottish Government wrote to local authorities in March 2017 to set out the 2017-18 funding allocations for the expansion to 1140 hours. This included £30 million of capital funding to local authorities in 2017-18 to invest in infrastructure developments which will expand capacity in the provision of ELC. The letter highlighted that:

This funding is to be applied to the following purposes, with an expectation that local authorities will prioritise investment in ELC services by reference to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation:

  • initiatives that have the potential to realise additional capacity for 1140 hours through making best use of the existing public sector estate such as the extension, remodelling or refurbishment of existing ELC settings or other public assets to enable extended opening hours and / or additional capacity;
  • initiatives that support the development of ELC settings which seek to embrace the Curriculum for Excellence’s emphasis on a broader learning experience through active learning and learning outdoors; and
  • providing capital grants to delivery partners, including third sector and private providers, in furtherance of these purposes.

We also wrote to local authorities on 14 November 2018 to confirm that local authorities are permitted to use capital funding provided for the expansion of early learning and childcare entitlement to 1140 hours to support to funded providers in the private and third sectors where a need to create additional capacity has been identified in local expansion plans. However, this is subject to any legal and financial restrictions on their ability to use capital funding to create assets owned outside the public sector.


Current Status: Answered by Maree Todd on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which measures outlined in the recent delivery support plan for the expansion of funded childcare are new.


Answered by Maree Todd (31/01/2019):

The Delivery Support Plan for Early Learning and Childcare Providers sets out a number of new measures including:

  • Providing Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland with additional resource to support providers to meet the quality aspects of the National Standard.
  • Working with COSLA to enable providers in the private and third sectors to post job opportunities for free on My Jobs Scotland in the period up to 2020.
  • Hosting a Partnership Summit in early summer to bring together providers and local authorities to showcase good practice partnership working.
  • Working with delivery partners to identify further opportunities to incentivise more older workers to take-up training opportunities in ELC.
  • Providing targeted advice and support to providers to help them to implement Fair Work practices and to deliver the real Living Wage commitment; and
  • Working with providers and local authorities to develop a national information resource that all settings and local authorities can share with parents locally.

As set out in the Delivery Support Plan these actions build on the range of support that is already available to early learning and childcare providers. This includes the removal of the burden of non-domestic rates through the 100% rate relief for premises wholly or mainly used as day nurseries introduced in April 2018; and continued increases in the number of ELC Modern Apprenticeships by 10% each year to 2020.

In addition our multi-year funding agreement with COSLA includes funding for the payment of sustainable rates to providers – as a result the hourly rates paid to providers across the country will increase significantly over the period to 2020.

That Plan is a live document which we intend to update as we develop new support measures, and to allow us to reflect any further opportunities or challenges that emerge in the transition to 2020.


Current Status: Answered by Maree Todd on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the comment by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work on 15 January 2019 (Official Report, c. 66), how many of the 3,600 people who have been supported through the Transition Training Fund have said that it improved their job prospects.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (31/01/2019):

As of 20 January, the latest figures show that 3748 people have had applications approved. By 11 November 2018 the customer survey carried out by SDS showed that there were approximately 3,070 customers who had their applications approved at least 6 months before, off this number SDS were able to contact 1,281 individuals of which 1,204 agreed to take part in the survey.

Of those 68% who are in employment, the survey found that of the participants who responded, 97% confirmed that they felt that the fund helped them improve their job prospects, and in addition 87% noted that the support from the fund helped them into employment.

In terms of the Customer Survey Timescales, SDS have advised that Customers are contacted 6 months after their application was approved because:

  • the majority of training is not completed until at least 4 months following application approval.
  • SDS want to allow customers sufficient time to search and apply for jobs once their training is completed

SDS have confirmed that there are attempts to contact everyone 3 times, 6 months post application approval.

Source: SDS https://transitiontrainingfund.co.uk/


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the comment by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work on 15 January 2019 (Official Report, c. 66), how many of the 3,600 people who have been supported through the Transition Training Fund have gone on to full-time employment


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (31/01/2019):

As of Sunday 20 January, the latest figures show that 3748 people have had applications approved. By 11 November 2018 the customer survey carried out by SDS showed that there were approximately 3,070 customers who had their applications approved at least 6 months before. Within this number, SDS were able to contact 1,281 individuals of which 1,204 agreed to take part in the survey.

The survey found that of the 1204, 68% are reporting that they are in employment. SDS capture the employment status that best describes the individuals circumstances and reflects the sector of employees and contractors therefore the employment status may be temporary / permanent / directly employed or contracting. Whilst data on individuals who are in full time employment is held by SDS, this data would not include those individuals engaged in temp, contracting or who are self-employed.’

In terms of the Customer Survey Timescales, SDS have advised that customers are contacted 6 months after their application was approved because:

  • the majority of training is not completed until at least 4 months following application approval.
  • SDS want to allow customers sufficient time to search and apply for jobs once their training is completed

SDS have confirmed that there are attempts to contact everyone 3 times, 6 months post application approval.

Source: SDS https://transitiontrainingfund.co.uk/


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to introduce quality standards for caring for people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (31/01/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20842 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 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the introduction of smart ticketing services for passengers on each route operated as part of the public contracts for (a) Clyde and Hebrides, (b) Gourock-Dunoon and (c) Northern Isles ferry services.


Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (31/01/2019):

Current proposals for the introduction of smart ticketing, as outlined by CalMac in their tender bid for the Clyde and Hebrides ferry service contract, are currently under discussion with Transport Scotland. With the incorporation of the Gourock-Dunoon ferry service into the Clyde and Hebrides ferry service contract on 21 January 2019, smart ticketing on that route will now form part of CalMac’s proposals.

The current tender process for the Northern Isles ferry services requires bidders to make arrangements for the introduction of smart ticketing in the first two years of the next contract.


Current Status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many people with interstitial lung disease accessed pulmonary rehabilitation in (a) 2017 and (b) 2018.


Answered by Joe FitzPatrick (31/01/2019):

The information requested is not held centrally. Information on the number of hospital discharges per year for the last 5 years in Scotland for interstitial lung disease was provided in response to S5W-20839 on 23 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 31/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many Japanese students have enrolled at higher education institutions in each of the last five years.


Answered by Richard Lochhead (31/01/2019):

The number of Japanese domiciled enrolments at Scottish Higher Education Institutions for the last 5 years have been provided in the following table.

Japanese Enrolments at Scottish Providers

Scottish Provider

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

The University of Aberdeen

10

10

10

10

5

University of Abertay Dundee

0

0

0

0

0

The University of Dundee

10

10

5

0

10

Edinburgh Napier University

0

0

0

0

0

The University of Edinburgh

85

90

90

95

90

Glasgow Caledonian University

5

5

5

5

5

Glasgow School of Art

10

10

5

10

10

The University of Glasgow

25

40

30

30

30

Heriot-Watt University

5

5

5

10

5

The Open University

0

0

0

0

0

Queen Margaret University,
Edinburgh

0

0

0

0

0

The Robert Gordon University

0

0

0

0

0

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

0

0

0

0

5

The University of St Andrews

35

35

30

30

40

SRUC

0

0

0

0

0

The University of Stirling

15

15

15

20

20

The University of Strathclyde

5

0

5

5

5

University of the Highlands and Islands

0

0

0

0

0

The University of the West of
Scotland

0

0

0

0

0

Scotland

205

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