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To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) households, (b) farmers and (c) businesses in each local authority area have applied for support from the flooding relief scheme, and how many (i) have (A) received and (B) are awaiting payment and (ii) had their applications rejected.

Answered by Aileen McLeod (15/03/2016):

The Scottish Government does not currently hold the requested information. Local authorities are administering the grant scheme and are in the process of considering claims and making payments. At the end of the financial year we will be asking local authorities to provide information on the number of applications they have received and the number of payments they have made.

Current Status: Answered by Aileen McLeod on 15/03/2016

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to undertake a revaluation of properties ahead of any reform to the council tax.

Answered by Marco Biagi (17/02/2016):

The Scottish Government will bring forward proposals for reform to the council tax that will reflect the principles of the Commission on Local Tax Reform’s report before the end of the parliamentary term. We therefore have no such plans.

Current Status: Answered by Marco Biagi on 17/02/2016

To ask the Scottish Government how many households in each local authority area would be affected by the new higher council tax bands proposed by the Commission on Local Tax Reform, also broken down by Scottish Parliament constituency.

Answered by Marco Biagi (17/02/2016):

This information does not exist. The Commission on Local Tax Reform did not make such a proposal.

Current Status: Answered by Marco Biagi on 17/02/2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its plans to reform local government funding.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 10/02/2016

To ask the Scottish Government what scientific advice it has sought since the post of Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland has been vacant, and who provided it.

Answered by Alasdair Allan (11/02/2016):

Since the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) post was vacated the remaining chief scientists, covering health and rural affairs, food and the environment, continue to carry out key tasks that would usually be done by the CSA for Scotland.

The Scottish Government remains committed to drawing on the very best science advice and expertise. Ministers and officials continue to draw upon a range of science advice and expertise across all policy areas including, but not confined to, the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Scientist (health), the Chief Scientific Adviser (Rural Affairs, Food and Environment), and the Chief Veterinary Officer. Advice is also routinely available from Marine Scotland and Science Advice for Scottish Agriculture. Such advice covers developments and issues that affect a range of policy areas.

New members of the Scottish Science Advisory Council, appointed as of 1 February 2016, will also provide scientific advice to Scottish Government and their first meeting will be on 4 March 2016.

Current Status: Answered by Alasdair Allan on 11/02/2016

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S4W-27075 by Alasdair Allan on 7 September 2015, on what date it will announce the appointment of the Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland.

Answered by Alasdair Allan (11/02/2016):

The post of Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland has been advertised since 22 December 2015. The deadline for applications is 29 February 2016. Interviews will be held in April 2016, and we expect that the successful candidate will be announced as soon as possible after that.

Current Status: Answered by Alasdair Allan on 11/02/2016
World Cancer Day 2016

That the Parliament expresses its support for World Cancer Day, which will be marked on 4 February 2016; understands that it is estimated that one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives; notes that Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Care, Anthony Nolan and the Movember Foundation are working together to unite the nation on this day, to help transform the lives of those affected by cancer; considers that, as a collective, these charities change the lives of millions of people every year through their individual work in the prevention, detection, treatment and support of people with cancer, and calls for MSPs to support the day and to help beat cancer sooner by wearing a World Cancer Day unity band.

Supported by: Liz Smith, Jamie McGrigor, John Lamont, Christine Grahame, Mary Scanlon, Liam McArthur, Murdo Fraser, Kenneth Gibson, Adam Ingram, Stuart McMillan, Patricia Ferguson, David Stewart, Fiona McLeod, Gordon MacDonald, Roderick Campbell, Dennis Robertson, Graeme Dey, Neil Findlay, Margaret Mitchell, Rob Gibson, Richard Lyle, Angus MacDonald, Kevin Stewart, Malcolm Chisholm, Elaine Murray, Jackie Baillie, Nigel Don, John Finnie, David Torrance, Christian Allard, Jackson Carlaw, Mark McDonald, Mary Fee, John Pentland, Clare Adamson

Current Status: Fallen on 23/03/2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will undertake a national strategic review of flooding infrastructure and management following the latest incidents.

Answered by Aileen McLeod (04/02/2016):

Although the impacts of the recent flooding are still being felt and will continue to be assessed over the coming weeks, we have not received any indication that any of Scotland’s flood defences were overwhelmed in the way that has happened during the extreme flooding events in England, and which has prompted the UK Government’s review.

In any case, all the existing flood defences in Scotland were assessed in 2007 as part of the establishment of the Scottish Government’s Flood Defence Asset Database.

Since then, a new National Flood Risk Assessment has been undertaken by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, and the resulting flood risk management strategies were published in December 2015. For the first time ever, we have a national picture of flood risk across Scotland. This is a major step forward in our understanding of flood risk, and will make sure that Scotland is as prepared as we can be, to deal with any such future events which may become more frequent with the onset of climate change.

Current Status: Answered by Aileen McLeod on 04/02/2016

To ask the Scottish Government what compensation and support it will provide to farms bordering the River Dee that have been flooded.

Answered by Aileen McLeod (26/01/2016):

I refer the member to the answer to question S4W-29332 on 22 January 2016. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at:

Current Status: Answered by Aileen McLeod on 26/01/2016

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the cost to farmers of the recent flooding.

Answered by Richard Lochhead (22/01/2016):

Scottish Ministers have been proactive to visit those communities affected by recent flooding events. I have visited a number of farm businesses and engaged directly with NFU Scotland. The agriculture wet weather group has been a valuable forum for engaging with industry to understand impacts and appropriate actions. On 9 January 2016 the First Minister announced a support package that will help land managers through:

Providing funding to local authorities to allow them to make payments of £1,500 for households, businesses, charities and community groups affected by flooding. Local authorities which have suffered the most damage as a result of the flooding have been allocated a share of the fund, however, people in any part of Scotland who have suffered flood damage as a result of the severe weather can apply for a grant, with the Scottish Government meeting the cost.

A flat rate grant payment of £3,000 to businesses in any part of Scotland where there is evidence that their ability to trade has been severely impacted by the flooding in December 2015 and January 2016. The grant will be a one-off payment to offset costs which cannot be covered by existing insurance, for example clean-up costs, materials and exceptional costs to help the business restore trade, such as marketing and promotion. This will be funded by the Scottish Government in addition to the local authority allocations.

An Agricultural Floodbank Restoration Grant Scheme of up to £1 million for the farming community to seek financial support to restore damaged floodbanks.

In addition on 11 January 2016 I announced a number of practical measures to help farmers affected by recent flooding, including flexibility on greening and cross compliance rules, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency taking a pragmatic approach to getting things back to normal, and the publication of flooding restoration ‘top tips’.

Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 22/01/2016
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