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Debates and questions

Chamber, committees, questions and answers

These are the official transcripts of what people said in:

  • the Chamber the place where Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) meet to debate and make decisions
  • committee meetings 

A committee is a group of MSPs. They usually deal with specific subjects like education, health and justice.

This part of the website also includes written questions and answers.

Debates and Questions Listing

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Chamber

Official transcripts of what MSPs said in the Chamber. This is the place where all MSPs meet to debate and make decisions.

Meeting of the Parliament 22 May 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Business Support Inquiry, Mental Health Services (Quality and Safety), General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time, Local Radio.

Meeting of the Parliament 21 May 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Menopause, Business Motion, Decision Time, International Museum Day 2019.

Meeting of the Parliament 16 May 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Community Pharmacy Scotland, Portfolio Question Time, Brexit (Impact on Food and Drink), Decision Time.

Meeting of the Parliament 15 May 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Treatment Time Guarantee, Education, Point of Order, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Foster Care Fortnight.

Meeting of the Parliament 14 May 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Global Climate Emergency, Sheep Farming, The Place Principle, Committee Announcement, Decision Time, Home-Start Glenrothes 21st Anniversary.

Meeting of the Parliament 09 May 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Pension Credit, NHS Highland (Sturrock Review), Portfolio Question Time, Business Motion, Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Bill, Decision Time.

Meeting of the Parliament 08 May 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Deposit Return Scheme, Portfolio Question Time, Air Departure Tax, Support for Midwives, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time, Nation of Life-savers (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation).

Meeting of the Parliament 07 May 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Business Motion, Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill, Committee Announcement, Decision Time, Scottish Gigabit Cities.

Meeting of the Parliament 02 May 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Rwandan Genocide (25th Anniversary), Portfolio Question Time, Business Motion, Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Bill, Business Motion, Motion without Notice, Decision Time.

Meeting of the Parliament 01 May 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Subject Choice, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time, Nursery Funding (Deferred Entry to Primary School).

Meeting of the Parliament 30 April 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Music Tuition in Schools, Business Motion, Decision Time, Parkinson’s in Scotland.

Meeting of the Parliament 25 April 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, International Workers Memorial Day, Portfolio Question Time, Advance Redress Payments, Hutchesons’ Hospital Transfer and Dissolution (Scotland) Bill: Final Stage, Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity, Decision Time.

Meeting of the Parliament 24 April 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Brexit and Scotland’s Future, Portfolio Question Time, General Practitioner Recruitment and Retention, Green New Deal, Business Motions, Point of Order, Decision Time, Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week.

Meeting of the Parliament 23 April 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Social Security and In-work Poverty, Committee Announcement, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Open University at 50.

Meeting of the Parliament 04 April 2019

The agenda for the day:

General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Long-term Decline in Salmon Stocks, Portfolio Question Time, Transport (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Transport (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution, Decision Time.

Meeting of the Parliament 03 April 2019

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, NHS and Social Care Staff (Workplace Support), Health Education, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Recall of Parliament, State Pension Changes (Compensation for Women).

Meeting of the Parliament 02 April 2019

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Point of Order, Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament (Revisions), Decision Time, Stalking Awareness Week 2019.

Meeting of the Parliament 28 March 2019

The agenda for the day:

General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Misogyny, Racism, Harassment and Sexism Against Women, Portfolio Question Time, Disabled People, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time.

Meeting of the Parliament 27 March 2019

The agenda for the day:

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (Infection Incident), Portfolio Question Time, Revoking Article 50, Climate Emergency, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Point of Order, Decision Time, Diet Products (Celebrity Endorsements).

Meeting of the Parliament 26 March 2019

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, South of Scotland Enterprise Bill: Stage 1, South of Scotland Enterprise Bill: Financial Resolution, Business Motion, Decision Time, Financial Scam Prevention.

Committee

Transcripts of committee meetings are uploaded as soon as they've been checked for accuracy. This may be a few days after the meeting has taken place.

Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints

Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee

Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee

Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee

Education and Skills Committee

Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee

Equalities and Human Rights Committee

Finance and Constitution Committee

Health and Sport Committee

Justice Committee

Justice Sub-Committee on Policing

Local Government and Communities Committee

Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee

Public Petitions Committee

Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee

Social Security Committee

Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee

Questions

These are questions that MSPs have asked the Scottish Government about its work. It also includes any answers to these questions.

S5W-23059: Liam Kerr (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-22756 by Ash Denham on 7 May 2019, in light of the confirmation that the Scottish Prison Service has the capacity to use mobile phone detection technology that can pinpoint phone signals to specific cells, whether it will confirm if it uses this and, if so, how often it is deployed; what proportion of the prison estate uses it and what analysis it has carried out of its effectiveness.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf on 22 May 2019

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 22 May 2019

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

SPS has the capability to deploy mobile detection technology across all Scottish prisons in order to identify the illicit use of personal communication devices. To specify details on the frequency or locations of deployment would not be in the interests of security.

SPS Security & Technology Group meet on a quarterly basis to review all security equipment and to ensure continued effectiveness. This group also considers the suitability of any emerging technology available elsewhere.

S5W-22583: Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 8 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it will publish its response to the goose policy review that it received from SNH in March 2018.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 22 May 2019

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 22 May 2019

The Scottish Government will publish its response to the goose policy review in due course.

S5W-22829: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many local authorities have established Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), and what the greatest challenge has been in doing so.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 21 May 2019

Presently there are operational Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in 22 local authority areas. The table below lists local authorities with established BIDs.

Local Authorities with Established BIDs

Aberdeen City

Aberdeenshire

Argyll and Bute

City of Edinburgh

Clackmannanshire

East Dunbartonshire

East Lothian

East Renfrewshire

Falkirk

Fife

Glasgow City

Highland

Midlothian

Moray

Orkney Islands

Perth and Kinross

Renfrewshire

Scottish Borders

Shetland Islands

South Lanarkshire

Stirling

West Lothian

There are a range of challenges which BIDs face in becoming established. These can include ensuring that local businesses understand the BID concept and benefits that can be delivered and developing the wider collaborations and partnerships to ensure the development of a sustainable BID.

S5W-23056: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it considers that judgments of the European Court of Human Rights clarify how the European Convention on Human Rights should be interpreted.

Answered by: Christina McKelvie on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Christina McKelvie 21 May 2019

The Scottish Government defends existing human rights safeguards and is taking action to secure the progressive implementation of all human rights. We strongly support the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as a fundamental instrument to protect and promote human rights, both in Scotland and throughout the Council of Europe.

As a High Contracting Party to the Convention, the United Kingdom has undertaken to abide by the final judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in any case to which it is a party. That obligation is binding in international law.

The Court fulfils an important function as part of the ECHR system. Many of today’s challenges could not have been foreseen by those who framed the Convention, and the rights it contains must be constantly applied to novel situations as society and technology develop. Citizens are able to petition the Court when they feel that their rights have been breached, and the Court provides detailed rulings on the meaning of the Convention rights.

S5W-23210: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 15 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how, in light of the report by the Auditor General, Social Security: Implementing the Devolved Powers, what steps have been taken to ensure that timescales are in place to allow enough time for procurement activities to be carried out to a sufficient standard.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 21 May 2019

Procurements with significant risk, or value greater than £5m, fall within the remit of the Technology Assurance Framework (TAF)*.

This ensures that independent assessors follow a robust process to test the contracting and procurement strategy and that the contractual and commercial risks are understood.

The Framework is intended to improve delivery and ensure that the lessons learned from previous experience are reflected and embedded in future practice.

Procurements falling outside of the TAF are also subject to a governance framework, including guidelines, assistance and review so that close liaison is maintained with the delivery and procurement teams.

* The Technology Assurance Framework is publicly available at: https://resources.mygov.scot/standards/technology-assurance-framework/

S5W-22679: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 16 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government when the short-time working group on mesh was established; who the members and the NHS board accountable officers are on the group; whether it will publish each member's declaration of interests; when the minutes of group meetings will be published, and whether there are any plans for patients to be represented.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 21 May 2019

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-22523 on 1 May 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 .

S5O-03261: Pauline McNeill (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 15 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what support it provides to veterans.

Answered by: Graeme Dey on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Graeme Dey 21 May 2019

This Scottish Government is firmly committed to supporting our Armed Forces and Veterans Community and ensuring that they are not disadvantaged when accessing services and support. An annual debate is held in Parliament, most recently in September 2018, to report on the work being taken forward across the Scottish Government to support our Armed Forces and Veterans Community in Scotland, including in areas such as health, housing and employability.

Examples of our support include work to respond to the recommendations of the Scottish Veterans Commissioner who continues to provide strategic advice and scrutiny; the Scottish Veterans Fund, now in its 12 th year, which has provided £1.4 million to charities and organisations, supporting over 150 veterans projects to date; and our work to take forward the Strategy for our Veterans which was launched across the UK last November.

S5W-23072: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 9 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to extend the Low Income Benefits Agile Service Design contract with IBM, and whether discussions regarding an extension to the contract have been requested.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 21 May 2019

We are keeping the contract under review. No discussions regarding an extension have been requested. However, the contract allows the possibility of extending if required.

S5W-23011: Anas Sarwar (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what procedures local authorities follow to support young unaccompanied asylum seekers who have been dispersed to Scotland and who are challenging an age assessment on them that had been carried out in another part of the UK, and whether this includes the councils considering carrying out their own age assessment.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 21 May 2019

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-23009 on 21 May 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 .

S5W-23004: Linda Fabiani (East Kilbride)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many times in the last 12 months personnel from South Lanarkshire Council have been involved with age dispute cases involving asylum seekers held at the Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 21 May 2019

This is a matter for South Lanarkshire Council. The Scottish Government does not routinely collect this information.

The Scottish Government is seeking clarity from the Home Office regarding the detention of children in Dungavel.

S5W-23003: Linda Fabiani (East Kilbride)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-00979 by Angela Constance on 3 August 2016, whether it will provide an update regarding what progress it has made with the UK Government in relation to the recommendations in the Smith Agreement concerning devolving the operation of asylum support.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 21 May 2019

Further to 3 August 2016, Scottish Government and Home Office officials held further discussions on the Smith Commission’s proposals on asylum up to July 2017. Unfortunately no further progress has been made on devolving the operation of asylum support. The Scottish Government and Home Office remain in regular contact on a range of asylum issues.

S5W-23036: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many carer's allowance claimants have an outstanding (a) overpayment and (b) fraud debt, broken down by the (i) value of the debt, (ii) year the debt was discovered, (iii) year the debt is attributable to and (iv) whether the claimant has an active payment or underlying entitlement of carer's allowance.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 21 May 2019

I refer the member to the answer to S5W-18780 on 27 September 2019. The Scottish Government does not hold further additional information.

All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Scottish Parliament's website at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx

S5W-23108: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 13 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-22703 by Kevin Stewart on 1 May 2019, whether it will provide a breakdown of the other reasons for loss of accommodation.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 21 May 2019

The reasons for making a homelessness application listed in the first table in the response to question S5W-22703 are taken directly from question 16a in the HL1 data collection without aggregation. For this reason it is not possible for the Scottish Government to provide further breakdown of these cases.

S5W-23005: Linda Fabiani (East Kilbride)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many times in the last 12 months personnel from South Lanarkshire Council have been involved with (a) asylum seekers and (b) the children of asylum seekers held at the Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 21 May 2019

In the last 12 months, personnel from South Lanarkshire Council have not been involved with any asylum seekers or children of asylum seekers held at Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre.

S5W-23128: Jamie Greene (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many incidents of bullying at NHS Ayrshire and Arran have been reported in each year since 2007.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 21 May 2019

Boards first provided this information to the Scottish Government in September 2018.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran advised us that at that time there were 7 cases going through a formal process in relation to bullying and harassment. These cases were initiated in 2017-2018.

Following John Sturrock`s report into allegations of a bullying culture in NHS Highland we are asking all health boards in Scotland to consider the findings and look again at the effectiveness of their own internal processes for handling concerns, leadership and governance.

S5W-23021: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-21291 by Aileen Campbell on 18 February 2019, on what dates it has discussed the topic of an income supplement with HMRC and DWP, and what future meetings are planned.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 21 May 2019

To date, discussions on the development of the income supplement have taken place at various stages at an official level, and these are ongoing as the policy continues to be developed.

S5W-23009: Anas Sarwar (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what statutory support it offers to young unaccompanied asylum seekers who have been dispersed to Scotland and who are challenging an age assessment on them that has been carried out in another part of the UK. 

Answered by: Aileen Campbell on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 21 May 2019

Where a child arrives in Scotland unaccompanied and separated from their family, they are safeguarded under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 which affords them Looked After Children status and they have access to further services under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. Support and care for unaccompanied asylum seeking children in Scotland is provided by local authorities.

There are four routes for unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people to be resettled in Scotland:

1. Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (VCRS);

2. Dublin III regulations;

3. The Dubs Amendment (s67 Immigration Act 2016); and

4. National Transfer Scheme (s69 Immigration Act 2016).

Unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people who are resettled in Scotland through any of the above schemes will already have completed an age assessment, including any dispute settlement procedures, and been assessed as being under the age of 18.

Scotland also receives a number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children through ‘spontaneous’ arrivals, and in these cases an age assessment may be required to ensure the right level of support is provided to the young person and they are given appropriate accommodation.

The Scottish Government’s revised Age Assessment Practice guidance, which was published in March 2018, states that in circumstances in Scotland where the age of a young person or child is uncertain, and there are reasonable grounds to believe that they are a child (under 18 years of age), local authorities should presume that they are under the age of 18. Similarly, in cases, where a young person states they are under 18, they should be given the benefit of the doubt and should remain in the care of social services, until their age is formally established.

Asylum seeking young people whose age is being disputed are still entitled to care and support under Section 25 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. If the young person does not agree with the outcome of an age assessment they can appeal with the help of a solicitor.

The process for carrying out age assessments sits within a wider policy framework relating to children and young people in each local authority, including child protection, looked after children and data protection considerations.

Unaccompanied asylum seeking children are also eligible for a guardian through the Scottish Guardianship Service, which is funded by the Scottish Government, and delivered by the Scottish Refugee Council and Aberlour Trust. A Guardian will support a child or young person to be actively involved in decisions that affect their lives, including possible age assessment disputes, and will also help them to plan for their future.

S5W-22998: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the clinical impact has been of offering of a lower dosage of docetaxel for breast cancer treatment, and what impact this has had on survival rates.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 21 May 2019

Following the publication and review of both the Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Immediate Risk Group (IRG) reports the practice of NHS Tayside offering lower doses of chemotherapy, as standard to all relevant patients, has now ceased.

The clinical impact is described in the IRG report - estimating the additional risk of recurrence as 1-2% or 1 patient per year in NHS Tayside. This is considered by the immediate Risk Group to be a small risk which would be extremely unlikely to impact on survival rates.

S5W-22524: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 4 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government when mesh survivors will have access to the best mesh removal treatment.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 21 May 2019

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-22523 on 1 May 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 .

S5W-23039: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-18779 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 27 September 2018, what discussions it has had with the DWP regarding recovery of overpayment debt since the date of the answer, and whether it will publish this correspondence.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 21 May 2019

Scottish Government officials have had regular discussions with their DWP counterparts about a range of issues relating to Carer benefits including the recovery of overpayments. Additionally, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People wrote to the UK Government Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on 9 May 2019 to request that the individual circumstances of those who had incurred overpayments should be taken into account and no-one placed into hardship as a result or prosecuted as a result of a genuine error.

S5O-03271: Gordon MacDonald (Edinburgh Pentlands)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 15 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what impact the UK Government’s immigration policy is having on the Edinburgh festivals.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 21 May 2019

The Scottish Government has longstanding concerns around how readily artists and performers can come to Scotland for the Edinburgh Festivals, and the problems that delays visa processes and indeed refusals that are overturned on appeals and after a late stage can cause festival organisers of all sizes.

The internationalism of the Edinburgh Festivals programme is at the heart of the city’s continuing appeal as the world’s leading festival city and we intend to continue to spread the message that we remain open. For artists and wider cultural exchange.

S5W-23107: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 13 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-21643 by Kevin Stewart on 27 February 2019, how it will support each group at high risk of homelessness, including those (a) who have experienced domestic violence and (b) with experience of care.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 21 May 2019

The Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group agreed an initial scope and approach to the development of the prevention pathways for each group at high risk of homelessness at its meeting on 7 March. Officials will lead sequential work on each pathway initially identified, which will allow key partners to be involved across all relevant pathways. The approach builds on the experience of developing the SHORE standards (Sustainable Housing On Release for Everyone) and is making use of existing understanding of best practice.

Work has begun on a care leavers pathway, with officials from across the Scottish Government partnering to convene a working group of key external stakeholders to develop the detail.

Policy officials have been building internal connections around the prevention pathway for women experiencing domestic violence, ahead of convening key external partners as a working group later in 2019.

S5W-23109: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 13 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it supports homeless households that have (a) dependent children and (b) pregnant women.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 21 May 2019

Scotland’s strong homelessness rights ensure that homeless households have a place to stay until settled accommodation is found which meets their needs. The vast majority of homeless households with children and pregnant women are given temporary accommodation in the social rented sector. For others, the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2017 provides extra protection to ensure that families and pregnant women do not stay in unsuitable accommodation, such as bed and breakfast accommodation, for more than seven days.

S5W-23013: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many staff have day-to-day responsibility for the development and analysis of its income supplement policy.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 21 May 2019

Information on the number of staff 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, and is dependent on business requirements and individual working patterns.

S5W-22961: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that Four Seasons Health Care has entered administration, and what contingency planning it carried out to prepare for such an outcome.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 21 May 2019

The Scottish Government is aware that the announcement made by Four Seasons Healthcare Group may be unsettling for residents, families and employees at Four Seasons homes. We understand the announcement is part of a continuing process in the company’s financial restructuring, and that the care homes will continue to deliver care as normal by existing management/care teams. We have been assured that the group’s key priority remains to provide quality care.

The Scottish Government has been closely monitoring the situation with the Care Inspectorate and COSLA. The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport and Cllr Currie from COSLA will be meeting with Four Seasons representatives on 28 May to seek reassurances from Four Seasons of their commitment to finding the best possible solution for employees and services users. An initial meeting of the national planning group hosted by COSLA involving Four Seasons, Health and Social Care Partnerships, the Care Inspectorate and Scottish Government, took place on 13 May. A follow-up meeting of this group involving a wider number of stakeholders including the unions is planned for 28 May.

The Care Inspectorate will continue to monitor the services and quality of care at all Four Seasons homes in Scotland to ensure everyone who relies on their services continues to experience care which meets their needs, rights and choices.

S5W-22999: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the purpose and remit is of the system of regional cancer networks, and how they are held accountable for their decisions.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 21 May 2019

The terms of reference and remit of the 3 Scottish Cancer Networks is described in MEL 10 (1999) https://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/mels/1999_10.htm . Each regional network has a multi-professional Regional Cancer Advisory Group (RCAG), Chaired by a Chief Executive, which provides oversight and governance of strategic decisions and data collection and analysis. The RCAG's report into the regional Chief Executive Boards which include representation from across Health & Social Care. The RCAG's operate under the guidance outlined within HDL (2001) 71 https://www.scot.nhs.uk/sehd/mels/HDL2001_71.htm .

S5W-23006: Linda Fabiani (East Kilbride)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many times in the last 12 months personnel from Police Scotland have been involved with asylum seekers held at the Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre.

Answered by: Ash Denham on 21 May 2019

Answered by: Ash Denham 21 May 2019

This is a matter for Police Scotland. The Scottish Government does not hold this information centrally.

S5W-23287: Rona Mackay (Strathkelvin and Bearsden)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 17 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it will be in a position to announce the chairs of the independent reviews of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003 and the delivery of forensic mental health services in Scotland, which were announced in March 2019.

Answered by: Clare Haughey on 20 May 2019

Answered by: Clare Haughey 20 May 2019

I am delighted to have secured the services of John Scott QC as Chairperson for the review of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. Mr Scott brings extensive experience within the areas of legislation and human rights and will also provide strong leadership in the delivery of an independent, evidence led review.

I am also pleased to announce today the appointment of Derek Barron, Director of Care, Erskine as Chairperson for the review into the delivery of forensic mental health services in Scotland. Mr Barron brings to the role of Chair long-standing experience in mental health nursing across a number of NHS Boards. His experience in providing visible, transformational leadership across services will be instrumental in ensuring delivery of this review that will encompass hospitals, prisons, courts, and the community.

While it will be for the Chairs to determine how the reviews are best taken forward I have been clear that both reviews will be stakeholder driven and evidence led. We want to gather views from as wide a range of people as possible including the voices of those with lived experience so that they can help shape the future direction of our legislation and the services that are provided to those with mental illness.

S5W-22827: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it has taken to improve the average band D Energy Performance Certificate rating in the residential housing sector.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart on 17 May 2019

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 17 May 2019

Energy efficiency has been a long-term priority for the Scottish Government. By the end of 2021, we will have allocated over £1 billion pounds since 2009 on tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency. This year alone we have allocated £145 million to improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s building stock, and we recently announced a two-year extension, worth an additional
‎ £38 million, to our Warmer Homes Scotland Scheme which helps those on low incomes improve their homes.

Our investment to date has resulted in clear improvements in energy efficiency ratings in the housing sector. Information from the Scottish House Condition Survey about EPC ratings is in the public domain at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-house-condition-survey-2017-key-findings/pages/5/ . Under SAP 2009 (which allows comparisons over a longer time frame), 46% of dwellings were rated C or better in 2017, up from 24% in 2010. In addition, the number of dwellings rated below band D reduced from 27% in 2010 to 13% in 2017.

In 2015 the Scottish Government designated the energy efficiency of buildings as a National Infrastructure Priority, and Energy Efficient Scotland – a 20-year programme – is the cornerstone of this. The Route Map for Energy Efficient Scotland published in May 2018 sets out our vision that by 2040, all our buildings will be warmer, greener and more efficient. We are also currently consulting on the impact of bringing forward the target date of the long term target for homes from the current date of 2040. The consultation closes on 17 June. We will consider the responses with our partners in local government and where we can move faster whilst supporting a Just Transition to a low carbon economy across Scotland then we will do so.

S5W-22941: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much will be raised by the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) in (a) 2019-20 and (b) 2020-21.

Answered by: Kate Forbes on 17 May 2019

Answered by: Kate Forbes 17 May 2019

The latest 5-year revenue forecasts for Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) covering the period 2019-20 to 2023-24 were published by the Scottish Fiscal Commission on 12 December 2018. A summary of their tax forecasts can be found in Table 9 of Scotland’s Economic and Fiscal Forecasts, December 2018 which is available at: http://www.fiscalcommission.scot/media/1196/scotlands-economic-fiscal-forecasts-publication.pdf .

S5W-22939: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) residential, (b) non-residential and (c) mixed property owners in each local authority area have paid the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) since June 2016.

Answered by: Kate Forbes on 17 May 2019

Answered by: Kate Forbes 17 May 2019

For LBTT purposes, transactions are either residential or non-residential. The numbers of LBTT returns received for residential and non-residential property transactions are published on a monthly basis by Revenue Scotland on its website at: https://www.revenue.scot/about-us/publications/statistics

S5W-22820: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether Revenue Scotland provides external insights into its compliance activity and, if not, whether it will provide details of what oversight is provided to ensure that tax is applied correctly and fairly.

Answered by: Kate Forbes on 17 May 2019

Answered by: Kate Forbes 17 May 2019

To ensure that its decisions are impartial and in line with international best practice, Revenue Scotland operates independently of the Scottish Ministers in its role and is directly accountable to the Scottish Parliament. I have asked the Chief Executive of Revenue Scotland to write to the member on this matter.

S5W-22940: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the statement by Revenue Scotland statement that “estimates of gross Additional Dwelling Settlements [are] declared due by local authority,” whether it will provide (a) a breakdown of the responsibility for and (b) th erevenue allocation of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) returns.

Answered by: Kate Forbes on 17 May 2019

Answered by: Kate Forbes 17 May 2019

Estimates of the number of additional dwelling transactions and the gross Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) revenues due according to the local authority in which the relevant property is located are provided annually by Revenue Scotland in Figures 17 and 18 of their publication, Annual Summary of Trends in the Devolved Taxes (2017-18). The transactions and revenue figures can be found at the following link: https://www.revenue.scot/about-us/publications/statistics .

S5W-23032: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it will incorporate reserved case law on disability benefits into regulation and guidance.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

The Scottish Government will review relevant reserved disability benefit regulations, guidance and case law in formulating Disability Assistance regulations and guidance.

S5W-22708: Colin Smyth (South Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government under what circumstances people with mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS), who are considered to be high-risk as they might experience airway complications before, during or after a procedure, could be recommended for a bone marrow transplant operation.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 16 May 2019

Decisions on recommendations for a bone marrow transplant operation are made on a case by case basis by a clinician, following all relevant guidelines and assessment of risk and benefits to the patient.

S5W-23035: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it will limit the use of guidance as the basis for processing and determining applications and redeterminations of disability assistance.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-23033 on 16 May 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 .

S5W-23045: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how frequently it has requested management information regarding carer's allowance from the DWP, under its agency agreement, broken down by the type of information.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

The Scottish Government receives management information from the DWP under the terms of the Agency Agreement. The relevant section of the agency agreement can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/carers-allowance-in-scotland-agency-agreement-and-service-level-agreement/carers-allowance-in-scotland-agency-agreement#management-information

S5W-22854: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether entitlement for short-term assistance will exist for the period immediately after a new social security determination is made and up to the request for a redetermination or an appeal is made, and, if entitlement will exist for this period, whether the assistance will only be made available or payable after the request for a redetermination or an appeal is made.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

Section 36 of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 provides that Short-term Assistance will be available once a request for a re-determination or an appeal is made. In line with a rights based approach, Short-term Assistance will only be made available once the agency knows the individual wishes to receive it.

S5W-23029: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the call by the NASUWT for asbestos to be eradicated completely from all educational establishments.

Answered by: John Swinney on 16 May 2019

Answered by: John Swinney 16 May 2019

Health and safety legislation is not devolved to the Scottish Government. However, we take the issue of the handling of asbestos within educational establishments very seriously and expect those with responsibility for those facilities to strictly follow Health and Safety Executive recommendations.

S5W-23053: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether the short-life working group that will support the review of mental health and incapacity legislation should have at least one person with (a) lived experience who is opposed to the non-consensual treatment of adults, including mental health patients and adults with incapacity and (b) expertise in human rights.

Answered by: Clare Haughey on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Clare Haughey 16 May 2019

The review will be stakeholder-driven and evidence-led and it is crucial that people, particularly those with lived experience, have an opportunity to make their views known.

This Government is determined to ensure that the views of patients, those with lived experience and those that care for them are front and centre of the work to be taken forward so that they can help shape the future direction of our legislation.

How the review is undertaken is a matter for the Chair, but the views of people with lived experience of compulsory care and treatment and their families and representatives must be central to the work of the review.

S5W-23234: Gordon MacDonald (Edinburgh Pentlands)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 15 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making towards the commitments contained in Scotland’s Energy Strategy, which was published in December 2017.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 16 May 2019

Yesterday the Scottish Government published three important documents – setting out our progress since publishing Scotland’s Energy Strategy, the actions that we have taken and those which we will be focusing on during the coming months. These included the publication on 15 May 2019 of the Annual Energy Statement 2019, which will be the first in a series of annual publications, alongside our Annual Compendium of Scottish Energy Statistics. These are to be found at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/annual-energy-statement-2019/

In parallel, on the same date, we also published our “Energy Consumer Action Plan: Putting Consumers at The Heart of Scotland’s Energy Transition”. The action plan – backed by £500,000 of Scottish Government funding – sets out actions to increase consumer understanding and confidence, and develop and test innovative approaches to protecting and empowering consumers. This includes a commitment to establish an independent Energy Consumers Commission for Scotland to give consumers in Scotland a more powerful voice in Scottish and GB energy policy. The action plan can be viewed at:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/energy-consumer-action-plan-putting-consumers-heart-scotlands-energy-transition/

Together, these documents represent an authoritative summary of Scotland’s energy policy and progress – as well as demonstrating clear action on our part to prioritise the role, involvement and interests of consumers as we continue to decarbonise the whole energy system in order to help tackle the climate emergency. In short, they underline our commitment to ensuring that the people of Scotland benefit from the transition to a carbon neutral economy.

S5W-22715: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 18 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has implemented the recommendations in the report, Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland: review of implementation, and whether it will provide a progress report on each recommendation.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 16 May 2019

Professor Morrow’s review itself provided an excellent independent evaluation of the progress that the Scottish Government and its partners have made in implementing the recommendations from the Advisory Group’s report – and, as such, the Scottish Government currently has no plans to publish a further evaluation.

The review highlighted the progress that has been made particularly in areas such as education, training and the mainstreaming of anti-sectarian messages. The review – which remains live and continues to form the basis of our work on this issue - also emphasised that more is still to be done to tackle sectarianism by a range of organisations, institutions and sectors across Scotland.

S5W-22954: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 2 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many licences for (a) lethal control and (b) non-lethal mitigation measures were issued under the Beaver Management Framework in advance of conferral of European Protected Status on beavers on 1 May 2019.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 16 May 2019

Scottish Natural Heritage issued 27 licences for the lethal control of beavers and 2 licences for non-lethal mitigation measures under the Beaver Management Framework in advance of conferral of European Protected Status on beavers on 1 May 2019.

S5W-22951: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 2 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what level of detail in respect of each lethal control licence issued under the Beaver Management Framework after 1 May 2019 will be retained in relation to why less severe mitigation measures had not been adopted in each particular site prior to the granting of the lethal control licence, and whether the reason for rejection of non-lethal measures will be in the public domain with appropriate redaction to protect individual identities and locations.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 16 May 2019

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) discusses all licence applications with the applicant, including the problems being experienced and non-lethal measures. This information is summarised in each case. SNH will publish summary data annually on their website on what has been applied for and licensed, purposes for which licences have been granted, issues being experienced, alternatives considered or employed and actions undertaken.

S5W-23070: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what impact the reported decline in catches of salmon and sea trout is having on the (a) economic value of wild fisheries and (b) economy in rural areas.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 16 May 2019

The Scottish Government has not undertaken any new assessment of the impact of the most recent salmon and sea trout catch statistics. Our most recent assessment comes from a report by economic consultants PACEC, commissioned in 2015 and published in March 2017. This can be found at https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0051/00514801.pdf .

Separately, Scottish Enterprise is currently leading a study with the Tweed, Spey, Tay and Dee rivers to look at both the impact of the decline in salmon numbers and the opportunities that there might be to develop the total fishing offer for the future. I understand this work is progressing well and look forward to seeing the outcomes later in the summer.

S5W-22986: Mary Fee (West Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 3 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-19873 by Clare Haughey on 22 November 2018, whether it will provide a breakdown of how the £250 million investment in mental health has been spent, including how much has been allocated to preventative approaches and early intervention.

Answered by: Clare Haughey on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Clare Haughey 16 May 2019

The Programme for Government 2018 committed to invest an additional £250 million to improve mental health over the next five years from April 2019.

It committed to a comprehensive package of measures to improve mental health services for children, young people and adults, and ensure that support for good mental health is embedded across our public services.

The Better Mental Health in Scotland Delivery Plan describes how we will implement these actions under key headings, with a key focus on preventative approaches and early intervention:

reforming children and young people’s mental health services;improving specialist services for children and young people and adults;taking a 21st century approach to adult mental health;respecting, protecting and fulfilling rights; andmaking suicide prevention everybody’s business.

Allocations for this and future years are under consideration.

S5W-23026: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the most recent Scottish Welfare Fund statistics update, for what reason there has been an 85% increase in Crisis Grant applications in Angus compared with the same quarter last year.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

Local trends in Scottish Welfare Fund applications can have a wide range of causes. The latest data for Angus shows the reason for application that has shown the highest recorded increase in this period is “unexpected expense and benefit/income spent”.

S5W-22952: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 2 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many people have been accredited to act as potential lethal controllers under licence from Scottish Natural Heritage to kill beavers under the Beaver Management Framework, effective from 1 May 2019.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 16 May 2019

139 people have been accredited by Scottish Natural Heritage to act as potential lethal controllers to kill beavers under the Beaver Management Framework, effective from 1 May 2019. However, this does not give them permission to kill beavers without an appropriate licence issued by Scottish Natural Heritage. As is made clear in the Framework, lethal control is the last resort.

S5W-23001: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-19373 by Jeane Freeman on 8 November 2018, whether it will provide an update on each NHS board's frequency of the use of (a) Oncotype DX and (b) other breast cancer tumour profiling tests.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 16 May 2019

The Scottish Government does not hold more recent information than contained in the answer to S5W-19373 regarding the frequency of use of Oncotype DX or other breast cancer tumour profiling tests.

Updated information may be held by individual NHS Boards.

S5W-23008: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress is being made on delivering the A90 upgrade between Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen, including the northern relief road for Dundee.

Answered by: Michael Matheson on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Michael Matheson 16 May 2019

The recent completion of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route including the section from Balmedie to Tipperty has delivered a significant upgrade to the A90 trunk road network in the North East. In addition, the design work on improvements to the A90/A937 at Laurencekirk continues to move forward with the next stage, the publication of draft Orders, planned for later in 2019.

The Strategic Transport Review (STPR), published in 2008, recommended a programme of on-going route management for the A90. This included targeted improvements which would contribute towards the need to maintain and safely operate the trunk road network. These localised improvements continue to be delivered through Transport Scotland’s annual maintenance programme.

The second Strategic Transport Projects Review is now well underway and this will allow us to reassess any previously recommended interventions that have not yet been progressed, such as the A90 at Dundee. This will ensure that they remain relevant to delivering the vision and outcomes of the new National Transport Strategy and continue to be the correct decisions for the public purse.

S5W-22852: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the anticipated points of contact are in the process of requesting a social security redetermination, and whether it will publish a flowchart of these.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

Social Security Scotland (the Agency) currently provide re-determination rights for all appealable benefits under the Social Security Act 2018. Clients can request this either by phone or completion of the re-determination form provided with first determination letters. There are at least four contact points between the client and the agency during this process.

The process is described on the mygov website: https://www.mygov.scot/if-you-do-not-agree-with-a-benefit-decision/ .

S5W-23084: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-22530 by Jeane Freeman on 24 April 2019, by what date it will publish the findings of the research into the new clinical decision support system.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 16 May 2019

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-23060 on 15 May 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 .

S5W-23051: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has regarding how many (a) complaints, (b) compliments and (c) suggestions have been received by Social Security Scotland, broken down by the main themes of this feedback.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

The number of complaints, compliments and suggestions including the main themes, received by Social Security Scotland up until the period 31 March 2019 will be published as part of the Social Security Scotland Performance statistics to be published on 17 June 2019 and pre-announced at: https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/ForthcomingPubs .

S5W-22853: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether short-term social security assistance will be made available as soon as a request for a social security redetermination is first communicated to the agency or once the completed redetermination request is submitted in full.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

Section 36 of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 provides that Short-term Assistance will be available once a request for a‎ re-determination or an appeal is made. This is considered to be when the individual has submitted the re-determination or appeal form.

We are currently consulting on our proposals for STA, as part of the consultation on Disability Assistance, to inform the detailed design and operation of how it will operate.

S5W-23042: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will request from the DWP, under its agency agreement, how many people who had entitlement to carer's allowance have sought an appeal of a decision to (a) supersede, (b) suspend or (c) terminate that entitlement as a result of them (i) entering full-time education, (ii) earning or having an income greater than the earnings limit or (iii) no longer caring for 35 hours per week and being unsuccessful at mandatory reconsideration, broken down by the (A) year the decision was made and (B) outcome of that appeal.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-23045 on 16 May 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 .

S5W-22718: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 18 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-15871 by Michael Matheson on 8 May 2018, whether it will provide the equivalent figures for (a) 2017-18 and (b) 2018-19.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 16 May 2019

The available information is provided in the following table, which has been produced from the Scottish Government’s criminal proceedings database .

Please note: Information for 2018-19 will not be available until publication of the Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2018-19 Statistical Bulletin. This is due to be published in December 2019.

The dates of all Scottish Government Official and National Statistics publications are pre-announced, and the up to date list of future publications can be found at: https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/ForthcomingPubs

People convicted for possession of drugs1, by drug type and main penalty, 2017-18.

  

2017-18

Heroin

Total

1,046

Custody²

99

Community payback order

151

DTTO

26

Fine

484

Other

286

Cocaine

Total

853

Custody²

20

Community payback order

84

DTTO

4

Fine

601

Other³

144

Cannabis

Total

1,096

Custody²

31

Community payback order

110

DTTO

3

Fine

599

Other³

353

Amphetamines

Total

50

Custody²

1

Community payback order

6

Fine

31

Other³

12

Ecstasy

Total

127

Community payback order

10

Fine

88

Other³

29

Other

Total

432

Custody²

27

Community payback order

44

DTTO

4

Fine

225

Other³

132

Total convictions

 

3,604

1. Where main charge.

2. Includes prison, YOI, supervised release order, extended sentence, order for life-long restriction.

3. Includes restriction of liberty order, community service order, probation and other community sentences, supervised attendance order, admonition, court cautions, dog disposals, absolute discharge, no order made, remit to children's hearing, insanity, hospital, guardianship order.

The criminal proceedings database does not include information on whether community payback orders include a drug treatment requirement.

S5W-22953: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 2 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many applications Scottish Natural Heritage has received requesting licences to kill beavers under the Beaver Management Framework, effective from 1 May 2019.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 16 May 2019

Scottish Natural Heritage has received 37 application requests for licences to kill beavers under the Beaver Management Framework, effective from 1 May 2019.

S5W-22968: Pauline McNeill (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has encouraged local authorities to keep a register of people and groups that express an interest in self-build homes and, if so, what response it has received.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 16 May 2019

At Stage 2 of the Planning (Scotland) Bill, an amendment was passed by the Local Government and Communities Committee which requires local development plans to include a list of sites suitable for self-build projects. The Scottish Government is giving further consideration to any appropriate mechanism to support self-build.

S5W-22972: Finlay Carson (Galloway and West Dumfries)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether its funding is being used to subsidise any HGV training facilities.

Answered by: Michael Matheson on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Michael Matheson 16 May 2019

Heavy Goods Vehicle training facilities across Scotland are run on a commercial basis. The Scottish Government is not subsidising any such establishments.

S5W-23065: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the (a) total and (b) average cost was of processing Best Start Grant applications in the initial phase up to 28 February 2019, and how this compared with its estimated forecast.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

During 2018-19 Social Security Scotland ensured the delivery of Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Allowance Supplement and the Pregnancy and Baby Payment element of the Best Start Grant. Social Security Scotland was also working towards delivery of future benefits.

Social Security Scotland does not separate expenditure by benefit as many of the resources employed in delivery of benefits are shared and indivisible.

The spring revision to the Scottish Budget 2018-19 set Social Security Scotland’s running cost budget for the first seven months of operation at £16 million. The Agency’s 2018-19 outturn against budget will be confirmed through Social Security Scotland’s first Annual Report and Accounts, which will be subject to audit by Audit Scotland and are expected to be laid before Parliament in September 2019.

S5W-23025: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what SEPA has done to eliminate a kerosene leak contaminating a burn near Kirkton Industrial Estate in Arbroath.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 16 May 2019

SEPA has investigated and mitigated the oil pollution event working with Scottish Water and Angus Council, but was unable to locate its source. SEPA determined there was no impact on watercourse ecology from the oil spill.

S5W-23033: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether the primary focus for the (a) conditions of entitlement, (b) definition of terms and (c) processes for determining entitlement for disability assistance will be in regulations or guidance for disability assistance.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

The Scottish Government will consider the appropriate balance between guidance and regulations in setting out the rules relating to entitlement, definitions of terms and processes.

S5W-23022: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much asbestos is present in (a) schools and (b) educational establishments in each local authority area.

Answered by: John Swinney on 16 May 2019

Answered by: John Swinney 16 May 2019

This information is not held centrally.

Health and safety legislation is not devolved to the Scottish Government. However, we take the issue of the handling of asbestos within schools and educational establishments very seriously and expect those with responsibility for those facilities to strictly follow Health and Safety Executive recommendations.

S5W-22964: Alison Harris (Central Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-22432 by Maree Todd on 29 April 2019, what effect it expects the charging of low prices for childcare services in council-run settings would have on private, voluntary and independent sector providers that cannot match such prices without making a loss.

Answered by: Maree Todd on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Maree Todd 16 May 2019

As highlighted in the answer to question S5W-22432, local authorities have discretionary powers to provide early learning and childcare beyond the statutory entitlement under section 1(1C) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 and may charge for such provision in terms of section 33(2) of the Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc. Act 2000.

Local authorities are committed to ensuring the highest quality of local services for children and families, and in particular to supporting those from more disadvantaged backgrounds. How resources are used locally to support families – for example by helping parents and carers with the costs of childcare – is a matter for local decision-making in line with local democratic processes.

S5W-22988: Graham Simpson (Central Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 3 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it will publish the revised code of conduct for property factors.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 16 May 2019

Scottish Ministers have a duty under the Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 (the Act) to prepare, from time to time, a code of conduct setting out minimum standards of practice for registered property factors. The Code was introduced in October 2012 and is currently under review.

The Scottish Government has consulted on proposals to strengthen the Code and sought views on the impact the Act has had on improving the regulation of property factors. The findings of the consultation are published at: https://consult.gov.scot/housing-regeneration-and-welfare/code-of-conduct-for-registered-property-factors/ .

Work to finalise the revised Code will take place over the course of 2019 and will be informed by the consultation responses. Regulations setting out the revised Code and the date they will come into force will be laid in Parliament later this year.

S5W-23031: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will list the reserved case law on disability benefits that it considers relevant to disability assistance as currently proposed.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-23032 on 16 May 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 .

S5W-23041: Kezia Dugdale (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-22666 by Michael Matheson on 7 May 2019, which set out the rail sector's contribution to the economy, what estimate it has made of this contribution if trains ran on time.

Answered by: Michael Matheson on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Michael Matheson 16 May 2019

The previous report referred to in question S5W-22666 estimated the economic contribution of rail in Scotland in 2016. The Scottish Government has continued its significant investment programme for Scotland’s Railways. This has seen the introduction of new infrastructure, increased new and electric trains delivering more services and more seats for passengers. This programme of investment will continue, and a subsequent review of the economic benefits realised through these initiatives will be scheduled, at a time yet to be determined. Any future report’s will take into account all relevant factors which contribute to the running of the railway.

S5W-23058: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position on whether the review into mental health and incapacity legislation should take account of the methodology and the findings of earlier research into the views of service users with experience of receiving non-consensual treatment.

Answered by: Clare Haughey on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Clare Haughey 16 May 2019

The vast majority of people who access mental health care and treatment do so on a voluntarily basis. Very few people are ever treated against their will; when they are, it is because it is necessary to protect them or to protect other people.

While it will be for the Chair to determine how the review is best taken forward, we have been clear that the principal aim of the review of the Mental Health Act is to improve the rights and protections of people with a mental disorder and remove barriers to those caring for their health and welfare.

The review will take a human rights approach and will be stakeholder-driven and evidence-led. How the evidence is gathered will again be a matter for the Chair; however, we would expect this comprehensive review to have examined and analysed relevant literature before considering its final recommendations. It is also crucial that people have an opportunity to make their views known, particularly those with lived experience.

S5W-23082: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 9 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what volume of human waste has been flushed on to railway tracks from trains in each of the last 10 years.

Answered by: Michael Matheson on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Michael Matheson 16 May 2019

This information is not held by the Scottish Government. Network Rail owns and operates the rail infrastructure in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has directly funded previous installation programmes of Controlled Emission Tanks and is working with ScotRail to eradicate this practice across ScotRail fleets as quickly as possible.

S5W-23028: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the most recent Scottish Welfare Fund statistics update, which states that Community Care Grant applications have increased by 20% or more in nine local authorities.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-23027 on 16 May 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 ”.

S5W-22605: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) first, (b) second and (c) third IVF cycles have been delivered in each year since 2007.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 16 May 2019

IVF Waiting Times data are collected for first cycle to screening appointment. "Information Services Division collect IVF data to inform the target for NHSScotland; that eligible patients will commence IVF treatment within 12 months by 31 March 2015." Data from July 2014 can be found at www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Waiting-Times/IVF-Waiting-Times/ .

S5W-22716: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 18 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the recommendation in the report, Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland: review of implementation, that “a baseline study to enable a monitoring framework should be established by agreement with the Scottish Government, the football authorities, Police Scotland and other relevant stakeholders”, whether it will place in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) a copy of the baseline study, the monitoring framework and the annual outcomes of monitoring and evaluation.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 16 May 2019

Following discussions with the Scottish FA, SPFL, Police Scotland and other stakeholders, the football authorities agreed to collate data on unacceptable conduct in Scottish football for the first time from the start of season 2017-18.

This data provides a baseline for the ongoing monitoring of unacceptable conduct by the football authorities.

This information is shared with the Scottish Government and Police Scotland in confidence, at the request of the football authorities.

S5W-22575: Richard Lyle (Uddingston and Bellshill)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 5 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many pregnant women have had a “home” abortion since its decision to allow misoprostol to be self-administered at home, and whether it will publish copy of its risk assessment and equality impact assessment documentation.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 16 May 2019

Information Services Division (ISD) within NHS National Services Scotland collects data on abortions in Scotland. Data for 2018 will be published by ISD at the end of May 2019. By the end of 2017, there were 58 medical terminations of pregnancy recorded as early medical abortions at home.

Misoprostol is a licenced drug, used for a number of purposes, including treatment of miscarriage and as part of abortion treatment. Its use in medical abortion is recommended by a wide range of expert bodies, including the World Health Organization and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The Scottish Ministers’ approval of October 2017 does not relate to self-administration of misoprostol as it only relates to permitting a woman’s home as a class of place where misoprostol can be taken as part of treatment for termination of pregnancy. Most patients already chose to self-administer misoprostol tablets prior to the approval.

Before issuing the approval, Ministers were satisfied, on the basis of advice from clinical specialists, that there was no increased risk to patients from home administration of misoprostol and that the change would be a beneficial one for those women who chose the option of taking misoprostol at home. There is no evidence that misoprostol leads to any increased risks to either the physical or mental health of the patient compared to other forms of abortion treatment.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lothian are undertaking research on women’s experiences of taking misoprostol at home and the effectiveness of early medical abortion at home. This research will be published in due course.

S5W-23000: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it ensures that all NHS boards follow best practice guidelines regarding breast cancer treatment.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 16 May 2019

Following the identification of the variation in practice in NHS Tayside, the Northern Cancer Alliance has commissioned an independent review of all Clinical Management Guidelines (CMG) for cancer in the North of Scotland - this is expected to take 12-18 months.

These guidelines will also be benchmarked against existing CMG in the West and South East Cancer Networks to give confidence that consistent guidelines are in place across NHS Scotland and to ensure equity of cancer treatment provision.

S5W-23052: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it will ensure that the chair of the committee that will review mental health and incapacity legislation will give due consideration to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

Answered by: Clare Haughey on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Clare Haughey 16 May 2019

While it will be for the Chair to determine how the review is best taken forward, we have been clear that the principal aim of the review of the Mental Health Act is to improve the rights and protections of people with a mental disorder and remove barriers to those caring for their health and welfare.

In order for this to happen, the review will need to consider and take account of the developments in mental health law and practice on compulsory detention and care and treatment since the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 came into force.

From that work, we expect recommendations that give effect to the rights, will and preferences of the individual by ensuring that mental health, incapacity and adult support and protection legislation reflects people’s social, economic and cultural rights, including UNCRPD and ECHR requirements.

S5W-23046: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what management information regarding carer's allowance it has requested from the DWP, under its agency agreement, broken down by type of information.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-23045 on 16 May 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 .

S5W-23027: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the most recent Scottish Welfare Fund statistics update, which states that Community Care Grant applications from families facing exceptional pressure have increased by 12% since the same quarter last year.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

The Scottish Government has committed to maintaining funding at £38 million (£33 million programme spend and £5 million administration costs) for 2019-20 to help those most in need.

S5W-23043: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will request from the DWP, under its agency agreement, how many people with carer's allowance entitlement have had that entitlement (a) superseded, (b) suspended or (c) terminated as a result of them (i) entering full-time education, (ii) earning or having an income greater than the earnings limit or (iii) no longer caring for 35 hours per week, broken down by the year the decision was made.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-23045 on 16 May 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 .

S5W-22717: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 18 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether the recommendations in the report, Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland: review of implementation, should have led to Police Scotland making sectarian a mandatory marker for crime reporting and recording.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 16 May 2019

Professor Morrow’s report recommended that a review of hate crime legislation should consider how sectarianism and sectarian incidents could be integrated into a more general approach.

Following the Justice Committee’s recommendation, in January 2018, that a definition of sectarianism in Scot’s law should be considered, a working group was set up. The group reported in November 2018 and concluded that a sectarian statutory aggravation should be introduced along with a definition in Scots law. The group’s conclusions were included for all interested parties and individuals to comment within the hate Crime consultation, which closed in February 2019.

No decisions on establishing a statutory aggravation for sectarianism will be taken until the consultation submissions are fully analysed and considered.

S5W-23050: Jamie Greene (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government which rails stations it plans to make fully accessible for disabled people in the next year.

Answered by: Michael Matheson on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Michael Matheson 16 May 2019

Rail Accessibility is a UK Government reserved matter and therefore responsibility for making stations accessible rests with them.

We plan to make nine stations step-free in Control Period 6 (CP6), 2019 to 2024, as follows:

Six stations will be funded by the Department for Transport’s Access for All Programme:- Anniesland, Croy, Dumfries, Johnstone, Port Glasgow and Uddingston.Three stations will be funded by the Scottish Government:- Aviemore, Nairn and Pitlochry.

This Scottish Government is also considering proposals for funding further stations.

S5W-23057: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether, in the context of mental health, the definition of "people with lived experience" should include informal carers who support relatives who receive non-consensual  treatment.

Answered by: Clare Haughey on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Clare Haughey 16 May 2019

I refer the member to the answer to recent question S5W-23053 on 16 May 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 .

S5W-22719: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 18 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-20504 by Humza Yousaf on 8 January 2019, whether it will provide the same data for (a) January, (b) February, (c) March and (d) April 2019.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 16 May 2019

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

The following tables provide a breakdown of the average occupancy, design capacity and occupancy rate at each Scottish prison in 2019.

SPS has a responsibility to accommodate those sent to us by the courts. The data shows the occupancy levels of each prison when measured against design capacity. The design capacity and operational capacity of prisons are different and can change for reasons of policy, maintenance and changing operational requirements.

January 2019 (Average Prison Population = 7924)

Prison

Average Occupancy

Design Capacity

Occupancy Rate

Addiewell

701

702

99.89%

Barlinnie

1400

987

141.86%

Cornton Vale

88

114

77.25%

Dumfries

191

176

108.36%

Edinburgh

907

867

104.62%

Glenochil

702

668

105.03%

Grampian

452

552

81.83%

Greenock

224

238

94.24%

Inverness

117

93

126.08%

Kilmarnock

503

501

100.37%

Low Moss

776

784

98.97%

Open Estate

171

284

60.32%

Perth

698

631

110.67%

Polmont

456

758

60.20%

Shotts

537

538

99.90%

February 2019 (Average Prison Population = 7999)

Prison

Average Occupancy

Design Capacity

Occupancy Rate

Addiewell

699

702

99.61%

Barlinnie

1435

987

145.42%

Cornton Vale

86

114

75.09%

Dumfries

190

176

108.04%

Edinburgh

918

867

105.91%

Glenochil

727

668

108.84%

Grampian

459

552

83.20%

Greenock

218

238

91.48%

Inverness

123

93

132.26%

Kilmarnock

501

501

100.09%

Low Moss

776

784

99.04%

Open Estate

175

284

61.58%

Perth

701

631

111.07%

Polmont

458

758

60.47%

Shotts

532

538

98.80%

March 2019 (Average Prison Population = 8101)

Name

Average Occupancy

Design Capacity

Occupancy Rate

Addiewell

701

702

99.88%

Barlinnie

1441

987

146.01%

Cornton Vale

95

114

83.64%

Dumfries

191

176

108.67%

Edinburgh

918

867

105.85%

Glenochil

738

668

110.53%

Grampian

462

552

83.66%

Greenock

214

238

89.78%

Inverness

121

93

129.90%

Kilmarnock

538

501

107.33%

Low Moss

781

784

99.66%

Open Estate

183

284

64.57%

Perth

709

631

112.36%

Polmont

470

758

62.07%

Shotts

538

538

99.91%

April 2019 (Average Prison Population to 26 April 2019 = 8186)

Name

Average Occupancy

Design Capacity

Occupancy Rate

Addiewell

700

702

99.72%

Barlinnie

1449

987

146.79%

Cornton Vale

97

114

84.74%

Dumfries

194

176

110.45%

Edinburgh

920

867

106.17%

Glenochil

737

668

110.28%

Grampian

451

552

81.70%

Greenock

215

238

90.43%

Inverness

124

93

133.38%

Kilmarnock

593

501

118.46%

Low Moss

782

784

99.78%

Open Estate

194

284

68.48%

Perth

705

631

111.75%

Polmont

480

758

63.38%

Shotts

538

538

100.01%

S5W-23044: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will request from the DWP, under its agency agreement, how many people who had entitlement to carer's allowance have sought a mandatory reconsideration of a decision to (a) supersede, (b) suspend or (c) terminate that entitlement as a result of them (i) entering full-time education, (ii) earning or having an income greater than the earnings limit and (iii) no longer caring for 35 hours per week, broken down by the (A) year the decision was made and (B) outcome of that mandatory reconsideration.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-23045 on 16 May 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 .

S5W-23034: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it plans to review reserved disability benefit (a) regulations, (b) guidance and (c) case law as part of its work to formulate disability assistance rules, and who will be involved in the review process.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

The Scottish Government will continue to review relevant reserved disability benefit regulations, guidance and case law in formulating Disability Assistance. This will continue to involve relevant officials and, where appropriate, external stakeholders.

S5W-23030: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what analysis of reserved disability benefit (a) legislation, (b) regulations, (c) guidance and (d) case law Parliamentary Counsel has conducted for the purposes of incorporating those rules into Scots law.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

Legislative provision for disability benefits being devolved to Scotland will be detailed in secondary legislation. The drafting of which will take account of all relevant legislation, regulations, guidance and case law.

S5W-22855: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of concerns raised by the British Dental Association, what the current waiting time is for children in Glasgow from referral to treatment for teeth extractions under general anaesthetic.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 16 May 2019

This information is not centrally available.

The national waiting times data mart does hold patient data at specialty level that shows how long patients waited for their appointment and how long patients who are still waiting for their appointment have waited to date. ISD can only determine the waiting times up to the quarter ending 31 December 2018 (the most recently published data) at specialty level within an NHS Board.

Data is not however held at procedure level.

Table 1 provides the median wait (days) for inpatients and day cases who were under the age of 16 years and had received their treatment (completed waits). The specialties included are oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral surgery, orthodontics, paediatric dentistry, community dentistry and restorative dentistry.

Table 1: Median wait (days) for inpatients and day cases who are under the age of 16 years for dental specialties (completed waits) for quarter ending 31 December 2018

Health Board

Median wait (days)

NHS Scotland

65

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

71

Source: ISD waiting times datamart

S5W-22960: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it is anticipates that the social security programme will require an in-year budget revision and, if so, for what reason.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 16 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 16 May 2019

Sufficient financial resource has been allocated through the budget process to fund the Social Security programme’s delivery plans. The original estimate for spend in 2019-20 was based on an initial set of assumptions in summer 2018. These were reviewed through the autumn in the Scottish Government’s budget-setting process, and we will continue to refine the programme’s budgetary requirements for the year in line with the refresh of the Programme Business Case supporting Wave 2. If any changes are required this would be actioned through the Spring Budget Revision.

S5W-23074: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what research it plans to undertake into the reasons for the rise in the number of autistic people.

Answered by: Clare Haughey on 15 May 2019

Answered by: Clare Haughey 15 May 2019

The Scottish Government is committed to improving the lives of autistic people, their families and carers through the Scottish Strategy for Autism .

There are no current plans to undertake further research into the number of autistic people in Scotland. The Micro segmentation Project published in March 2018 has established a robust national Scottish autism prevalence rate of 1.035%. More information can be found at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/03/3640 .

The Scottish Government have recommended that this prevalence figure should be used as the most accurate prevalence estimate available. The report provides accurate data for the number of autistic individuals, together with numbers with and without an intellectual disability, in every age range for the whole of Scotland and for every Council or Health Board area.

S5W-23069: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many Best Start Grant applications in the initial phase up to 28 February 2019 were from people with non-Scottish postcodes; what proportion of these were processed; for what reason they were processed, and how many staffing hours were spent carrying out this task.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 15 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 15 May 2019

Official statistics on the number of Best Start Grant applications received from people with non-Scottish postcodes to 28 February 2019, and the number of these applications that were processed, are available at: https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare/SocialSecurityforScotland/BSGFeb2019 . All applications received by Social Security Scotland are processed, to determine whether they will be authorised or denied. We do not hold information on the number of staffing hours spent processing applications with non-Scottish postcodes.

S5W-22667: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 17 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-21528 by Humza Yousaf on 1 March 2019, what discussions it has had with the chief constable regarding the findings in DCC Taylor's report, and whether it will publish the outcome of these (a) discussions and (b) findings.

Answered by: Ash Denham on 15 May 2019

Answered by: Ash Denham 15 May 2019

The Scottish Government has not had any discussions with the Chief Constable regarding the content of DCC Taylor’s report. The investigation the report relates to will be for the Scottish Police Authority to take forward.

S5W-22849: Mark McDonald (Aberdeen Donside)

Independent

Date lodged: 26 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many children remain unvaccinated against (a) MMR, (b) diphtheria, (c) polio, (d) tetanus, (e) whooping cough, (f) rotavirus, (g) haemophilus influenza type B and (h) meningococcal types A, B, C, W and Y, also broken down by NHS board area.

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick on 15 May 2019

Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 15 May 2019

The vaccination status of children in Scotland is monitored routinely at defined ages to reflect the different immunisation requirements at different ages. This information is available from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Bib. number 60685)

S5W-22930: Jackson Carlaw (Eastwood)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 1 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what safeguards have been put in place to prevent poor storage of patient blood samples occurring when this is being transported from GP surgeries to laboratories for analysis of the results in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and across Scotland.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 15 May 2019

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 15 May 2019

In order to fulfil the ISO standard, each accredited laboratory within NHSGGC will have local policies detailing the steps the individual labs take to monitor the integrity of samples as they arrive in the lab e.g. local transport and acceptance and rejection policies, use of haemolytic indices, delayed sample comments and other safeguards against transport/ storage conditions impacting patient results.

If the specific conditions required for the examination requested are not met then the policies will detail what remedial steps are taken to ensure patients do not receive inappropriate results. For example if a blood sample is received in South Biochemistry and is more than 12 hours old, the potassium result will be removed.

The local specimen transport policies will also detail how the laboratory audits sample transport from source in order to fulfil standard 5.4.5 as above.

The NHSGGC sample transport policy and guidance along with the individual laboratories transport monitoring and acceptance and rejection policies exist so the laboratories, their regulators and the users can be assured that all blood samples taken in GP surgeries in NHS GGC are delivered, received and tested within a time frame and temperature appropriate to the examinations requested.

S5W-23007: Linda Fabiani (East Kilbride)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it will respond to the consultation, The future of civil partnership in Scotland.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 15 May 2019

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 15 May 2019

The Scottish Government will respond to the consultation on the future of civil partnership shortly.

This consultation was open from September to December 2018. 485 responses were received. The Scottish Government is currently considering these responses as part of our work on preparing the Government response to the consultation.

The background to the consultation is the UK Supreme Court's declaration that the current law of civil partnership is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights in that it prevents mixed sex couples from entering into a civil partnership. I intend to take a swift decision on the best legislative route for removal of the ECHR incompatibility from the law in Scotland.

S5W-22997: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what percentage of its research funding that is awarded through the Chief Scientist Office and the Scottish Funding Council it will spend on children’s mental health in 2019-20.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 15 May 2019

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 15 May 2019

Applications for applied health research, including in children’s mental health, can be submitted to the two open competitive response mode grant scheme committees operated by the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office. Applications submitted are funded following independent expert assessment of the quality of the research projects proposed with funding recommendations made by an independent expert committee. Since neither committee has made funding recommendations in financial year 2019-20 as yet, no funding for applications submitted to the committees has been awarded.

S5W-22992: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the status is of each section of the (a) A9 and (b) A96 dualling programme, also broken down by how much has been spent each year, and what the budget is for (i) 2019-20 and (ii) future years.

Answered by: Michael Matheson on 15 May 2019

Answered by: Michael Matheson 15 May 2019

The current status of each section of the A9 and A96 Dualling programmes can be found in the following tables.

A9 Dualling Perth to Inverness:

Scheme

Status

A9 Dualling Luncarty to Pass of Birnam

Under construction – expected to be operational spring 2021.

A9 Dualling Pass of Birnam to Tay Crossing

In Preparation – option assessment work on-going with a preferred route option expected to be announced later this year.

A9 Dualling Tay Crossing to Ballinluig

In Preparation – statutory process underway – Public Local Inquiry expected later this year.

A9 Dualling Pitlochry to Killiecrankie

In Preparation – statutory process underway – Public Local Inquiry Reporter is currently considering written evidence prior to submitting his report to the Scottish Ministers for consideration.

A9 Dualling Killiecrankie to Glen Garry

 

In Preparation – statutory process underway – Public Local Inquiry expected later this year.

A9 Dualling Glen
Garry to Dalwhinnie

 

In Preparation – statutory process underway – Public Local Inquiry Reporter has considered written evidence and submitted his report to Scottish Ministers for consideration.

A9 Dualling
Dalwhinnie to Crubenmore

 

In Preparation – statutory process underway – Public Local Inquiry Reporter is currently considering written evidence prior to submitting her report to the Scottish Ministers for consideration.

A9 Dualling Crubenmore to Kincraig

In Preparation – statutory process underway – draft Orders published with objection resolution process on-going.

A9 Dualling Kincraig
to Dalraddy

Complete.

A9 Dualling Dalraddy to Slochd

 

In Preparation – statutory process underway – draft Orders published with objection resolution process on-going.

A9 Dualling Tomatin
to Moy

 

In Preparation – statutory process underway –Public Local Inquiry expected later this year.

A96 Dualling Inverness to Aberdeen:

Scheme

Status

A96 Dualling
Inverness to Nairn (Including Nairn Bypass)

In Preparation – statutory process underway –Reporters are currently considering evidence heard at Public Local Inquiry prior to submitting their report to the Scottish Ministers for consideration.

A96 Dualling Hardmuir to Fochabers

In Preparation – preferred option announced December 2018 with the detailed development and assessment of the preferred option underway.

A96 Dualling East of Fochabers to East of Huntly

Strategic assessment work completed. Route option development and assessment work to be progressed.

A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen

In Preparation – route options development and assessment work underway.

Spend on the A9 and A96 Dualling programmes since the Infrastructure Investment Plan announcement in December 2011 can be found in the following table.

Financial year

A9 Dualling Programme

A96 Dualling Programme

2018-19

£56,179,844.95

£13,384,939.36

2017-18

£55,256,961.44

£14,403,218.25

2016-17

£50,286,213.43

£9,718,183.82

2015-16

£39,580,271.17

£4,292,300.22

2014-15

£10,984,698.42

£2,999,789.06

2013-14

£7,253,605.71

£1,696,711.46

2012-13

£2,817,165.24

£497,580.06

Spend on the A9 and A96 Dualling Programmes in 2019-20 shall be managed within the Capital Land and Works allocation of £212.1m as part of the Motorway and Trunk Roads Spending Plans set out in the Scottish Budget: 2019-20.

Budget for future years will be dependent on the allocation of funding from future spending reviews.

S5W-22851: Daniel Johnson (Edinburgh Southern)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 29 April 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the average number of prisoners held at HMP (a) Addiewell and (b) Kilmarnock has been in each year since 2010-11.

Answered by: Ash Denham on 15 May 2019

Answered by: Ash Denham 15 May 2019

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

The following table shows the average populations at HMP Addiewell and HMP Kilmarnock in each year since 2010-2011.

 

HMP Addiewell

HMP Kilmarnock

2010-2011

700

565

2011-2012

771

631

2012-2013

767

577

2013-2014

699

501

2014-2015

700

501

2015-2016

699

500

2016-2017

699

499

2017-2018

696

499

2018-2019

700

504

2019-2020

705

593

S5W-22928: Edward Mountain (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 1 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether the revised total project cost of £80.5 million for HMP Highland is under review, in light of the operational date being pushed back from October 2021 to March 2023, and when specific funding provision will be confirmed.

Answered by: Ash Denham on 15 May 2019

Answered by: Ash Denham 15 May 2019

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

The costs for the construction of HMP Highland will have to be reviewed to take account of the new provisional operational date following the publication of the Scottish Government's Infrastructure Investment Plan's project pipeline update.

The Scottish Government and the Scottish Prison Service are committed to modernising and improving the prison estate. However, as with all substantial capital projects, the timescale for HMP Highland is dependent on sufficient capital funding being available.

S5W-22991: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many miles of segregated cycle paths have been constructed in each year since 2010.

Answered by: Michael Matheson on 15 May 2019

Answered by: Michael Matheson 15 May 2019

Since 2010, and with Scottish Government investment, we have worked in partnership with local authorities, Sustrans, Scottish Canals, the National Parks and other delivery bodies to build a total of 340 miles of segregated cycle paths. The figures below include all National Cycle Network (NCN) and non-NCN segregated paths.

Year

2010-
11

2011-
12

2012-
13

2013-
14

2014-
15

2015-
16

2016-
17

2017-
18

Total

          

Miles

4

2

25

34

34

118

72

51

340


S5W-22984: Mary Fee (West Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 3 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a breakdown of how the £5 million that it allocated to the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Task Force in June 2018 has been spent, including how much was allocated to specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

Answered by: Clare Haughey on 15 May 2019

Answered by: Clare Haughey 15 May 2019

In December 2018 the Minister for Mental Health, Clare Haughey, announced that £4 million of investment would be distributed through NHS Education for Scotland (NES), to recruit additional CAMHS staff across Scotland who would be instrumental in reducing pressure on the existing system.

The remainder of the funding, also be distributed through NES, will provide additional local training, coaching and supervision of existing CAHMS staff, and an amount of funding will also be made available to enhance the number of places available to study on the MSc in Applied Psychology for Children and Young People course.

Allocations to NES over the lifetime of the Taskforce

Funding has been allocated as detailed in the following table:

 

2018-19*

2019-20

2020-21

CAMHS resource

£457,994

£3,980,179

£3,980,179

Training

£0

£333,388

£310,055

APCYP Trainees

£102,790

£668,673

£887,973

Total per Year

£560,784

£4,982,240

£5,178,207

 

S5W-22872: Jamie Greene (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 7 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what precautions are taken to minimise traffic disruption from roadworks.

Answered by: Michael Matheson on 15 May 2019

Answered by: Michael Matheson 15 May 2019

Trunk Roads in Scotland are managed and maintained by Transport Scotland’s Operating Companies and Design Build Finance and Operate (DBFO) Contractors, on behalf of the Scottish Ministers. The majority of Private roads are the responsibility of their owners. All other roads are maintained and repaired by local authorities.

The ongoing investment and maintenance in the Trunk Road network is key to supporting the continued economic growth of Scotland. However, some degree of disruption is inevitable for these vital works. In planning and delivering these schemes, we aim to minimise impacts on businesses and communities while seeking to maintain access to local businesses and assisting motorists to make alternative travel arrangements.

Our contracts include timing restrictions for certain routes, which limit works from taking place during the busiest periods. The aim is, where possible and safe to do so, to avoid road closures and long diversions but also to avoid the busier tourist seasons and daily peak traffic hours.

For larger schemes or those particularly disruptive to an area, consultation is undertaken with local residents, businesses, elected members, community councils, transport operators, local authorities, emergency services and other local stakeholders on the timing of roadworks. Following this, works are programmed taking into consideration consultation feedback, avoiding local events and the main tourist season where possible.

To ensure schemes are suitably co-ordinated and planned in advance, we also work closely with the Scottish Road Works Commissioner, established to oversee this co-ordination of roadworks on Scotland’s roads by all roads authorities and statutory undertakers (such as utilities and telecoms companies).

To allow road users to plan their journeys and avoid potential disruption, information about roadworks is provided by Traffic Scotland, on their websites, the Traveline Scotland App, Twitter, Traffic Scotland Radio and other platforms. For larger or disruptive schemes, advance notice of the works is displayed at the roadside before the works start, whether on temporary signs or on Traffic Scotland’s ‘Variable Message Signs’.

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