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To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the publication of its Gender Pay Gap Action Plan.

Answered by Jamie Hepburn (08/03/2019):

Later today, the Scottish Government will publish A Fairer Scotland for Women: Gender Pay Gap Action Plan.

Our action plan outlines the cross Government approach and sets out the steps we will take in partnership with our stakeholders, to tackle the causes of the gender pay gap in Scotland. It is part of our approach to delivering Fair Work and builds on many existing Scottish Government strategies.

We have developed the actions with a Working Group with representatives from Close the Gap, the STUC, Engender, Equate, and academia. It allows us to ensure that gender issues are considered within policy design and services that advance women’s equality, particularly in relation to tackling poverty, promoting access to and progression within good jobs, and supporting business growth.

Actions within the plan for addressing gender stereotyping, sexual harassment and labour market inequalities include:

  • improving the collection of data to help inform policy development;
  • working with enterprise and skills agencies and employers, for example, through Letters of Guidance, procurement and financial levers;
  • promoting gender equality within early years and child care, schools, colleges, universities, employability programmes and social security support;
  • encouraging employers in the public, private and third sectors to tackle the causes of the gender pay gap in their own organisations;
  • expanding the Workplace Equality Fund;
  • funding £5m three year women returners programme; and
  • funding a feasibility study for a ‘Centre for Flexible Work’ for Scotland.

The Gender Pay Gap Action Plan can be viewed at .

Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 08/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether Health Protection Scotland has concluded its investigation into the water contamination issue at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Children in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which was originally identified on 29 January 2018.

Answered by Jeane Freeman (22/02/2019):

Health Protection Scotland has now completed its investigation at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital regarding the water contamination issue and, following the commitment made to Parliament last year, I am now making the report available:

The report makes a number of important recommendations for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, as well as all NHS boards, Health Protection Scotland and Health Facilities Scotland. It is vital that these recommendations are addressed. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde continue to take the necessary actions and I will continue to seek regular updates on these actions to ensure full accountability of the board. I will also ensure that work is taken forward on the wider recommendations to ensure key lessons can be learned NHS Scotland-wide to prevent similar issues arising in the future.

This report will be provided to the independent review into the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. As I have previously stated to Parliament, it is vital that we all understand what the issues are, why they have arisen, and that the recommendations will be taken forward. Learning needs to be applied across NHS Scotland to ensure our healthcare facilities – existing and future – are fit for purpose and support the delivery of world class health care.

Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Jeane Freeman on 22/02/2019

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 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 analysis the culture secretary has carried out regarding the impact of Brexit on the arts and creative sector in Scotland.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 30/01/2019

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

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

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

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

To ask the Scottish Government how a no deal Brexit could impact on Scotland's economy.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 09/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what further relief and support it will provide to businesses affected by the recent Glasgow School of Art fire.

Answered by Derek Mackay (09/01/2019):

In July 2018 I announced a Recovery Fund of up to £5m available to businesses affected by the fires at Glasgow School of Art and near Victoria's Nightclub. A total of 200 businesses have already received more than £3m from this Fund, providing much-needed relief during challenging circumstances. Besides this Fund, the Scottish Government also expanded its contribution to hardship rates relief and, in partnership with the Council, created a separate emergency fund to support displaced households.

On 14 December I announced that I would make the remaining £1.85m of the Glasgow Fire Recovery Fund available to Glasgow City Council to support business recovery. This sum will allow the Council to ensure businesses in the Sauchiehall Street area are not liable for business rates from January to March 2019. I also announced £150k of support for the Centre for Contemporary Arts to promote recovery of the CCA itself as well as businesses within it.

Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 09/01/2019
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