Wednesday 16 May 2012 SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE

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Wednesday 16 May 2012

SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE

Enterprise & Environment

Mary Scanlon (Highlands and Islands) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the

Scottish Executive where the decommissioning of North Sea oil rigs has been carried out since 2002.

Holding answer issued: 27 April 2012 (S4W-6555)

Fergus Ewing: Decommissioning of North Sea Oil Rig infrastructure is overseen by the UK

Government as part of the work of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Over the past 10 years the significant decommissioning programmes were – MCP .01 - the topside structures came to Shetland for disposal.

Indefatigable – being disposed in a yard on Tyneside. North West Hutton - Able yard on Tees-side

Maureen - predominantly went to Norway for disposal

Camelot - Able yard on Tees-side where it was substantially refurbished and re-used.

Other projects which were decommissioned were either FPSOs (Floating, Production Storage and Offloading structures which were taken off site and redeployed or small subsea installations which came to various yards in the UK.

Alison Johnstone (Lothian) (Scottish Green Party): To ask the Scottish Executive whether it

considers that there is a danger of pollution to the Scottish coast resulting from (a) aging infrastructure or (b) inadequate safety and environmental protection procedures in the North Sea oil and gas infrastructure.

Holding answer issued: 8 May 2012 (S4W-6654)

Fergus Ewing: Responsibility for the regulation of the oil and gas industry is reserved to the UK

Government. The Scottish Government is committed to the maintenance, development and long term future of the oil and gas sector in a manner which is consistent with sustainable use of our seas, and provides environmental advice to DECC in relation to offshore activities and incidents.

James Kelly (Rutherglen) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the Minister

for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism's evidence to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee on 17 April 2012 where he stated that the “economic benefits [of North Sea oil and gas] total around £1.5 trillion, although all these figures are dependent upon a large number of calculations that are dependent upon the oil price”, what methodology (a) it uses to determine the future cumulative revenue to be accrued from North Sea oil and gas and (b) assumptions it makes regarding the future price of oil.

(S4W-6988) Fergus Ewing: The Scottish Government estimates that remaining oil and gas reserves could have

a wholesale value of up to £1.5 trillion in 2012 prices. The calculation is based on the following assumptions.

(a) Up to 24 billion recoverable barrels of oil and gas equivalent remain in the North Sea, as estimated by Oil and Gas UK.

(b) Oil prices will average $100 a barrel in real terms from 2012 onwards. By comparison, the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Fiscal Sustainability Report assumes a long term oil price of $107 a barrel in real terms.

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(c) A Sterling/Dollar exchange rate of £1/$1.60 is used to derive the Sterling value of remaining reserves. This is the average exchange rate during 2011.

Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands) (Scottish Liberal Democrats): To ask the Scottish Executive

who the members of the interview panel to select the convener of the Crofting Commission are; what areas of expertise they have in relation to crofting, and for what reason it chose this method rather than delegate the decision to the commission.

(S4W-7074) Stewart Stevenson: The planned members of the Crofting Commission Convener selection panel

are David Barnes (Head of Scottish Government Agriculture and Rural Division), Yvonne Strachan (Head of Scottish Government Equality, Third Sector and Communities Division) and Drew Sloan (Scottish Government Chief Agricultural Officer). David Barnes, as the head of the Division sponsoring the Crofting Commission, has responsibility for all policy issues relating to crofting, and Drew Sloan has extensive expertise in agricultural production which is of prime concern to crofters.

All the candidates will have been either elected by crofters to represent their interests, or tested for knowledge of crofting issues during the process leading to their appointment by the Scottish Government. However, it is important to note that the role of the convener requires a wider set of skills than simply knowledge of crofting, and these wider skills will be tested during the appointment process for the convener.

The Scottish Government has chosen to appoint the convener in a fair, open and transparent process run in accordance with the Public Appointments Commissioner for Scotland’s Code of Practice:

http://www.publicappointments.org/publications/publication/100/revised-code-of-practice-for-ministerial-appointments-to-public-bodies-in-scotland. Yvonne Strachan has wide experience of high-level public appointments and will aid the selection process greatly.

Jim Hume (South Scotland) (Scottish Liberal Democrats): To ask the Scottish Executive when it

will issue a list of wind farm sites that are to be developed on the national forest estate.

(S4W-7088) Stewart Stevenson: A list of wind and hydro developments on the national forest estate is

published on the Forestry Commission Scotland website at:

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/forestry.nsf/byunique/infd-7stf2a.

This is updated quarterly. It lists developments that are already operational, those under construction, those with planning consent and those under consideration within the planning consent process. Further information on developments that are proposed following the recent commercial negotiation process will also be published on development partners' websites, with links from the Forestry Commission Scotland website.

Jim Hume (South Scotland) (Scottish Liberal Democrats): To ask the Scottish Executive when

the strategic environmental assessment for its 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland will be complete and when it will be published.

(S4W-7089) Fergus Ewing: On 5 March 2012 the Scottish Government published an Environmental Report,

which sets out the findings of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland and the draft Electricity Generation Policy Statement. These documents are available online at:

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The Environmental Report is currently open for consultation, with comments welcome on both the draft policies and the SEA findings. The SEA consultation period closes on 4 June 2012. Thereafter, views will be taken into account, and an SEA Statement will be published following adoption of the finalised policy.

Governance and Communities

Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Executive

how much relief has been given to small businesses in North Ayrshire under the small business bonus scheme in each year since its inception.

(S4W-7075) Fergus Ewing: In the four years since its introduction by this government, the Small Business

Bonus Scheme has reduced business rates taxation in total over the period by £11.1 million for North Ayrshire businesses.

Currently around 2,425 premises in North Ayrshire pay zero or reduced business rates through the scheme.

Health and Social Care

Mary Scanlon (Highlands and Islands) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the

Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S4W-06002 by Nicola Sturgeon on 8 March 2012, for what reason the draft quality performance indicators for prostate cancer do not include indicators relating to (a) active surveillance, (b) watchful waiting, (c) radiotherapy, (d) chemotherapy, (e) end-of-life care, (f) post-surgical sexual dysfunction, (g) access to clinical nurse specialists or (h) the provision of balanced information on the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for men at a higher risk of prostate cancer and whether it considers that the indicators are (i) comprehensive and (ii) provide a single reference point for (A) men with prostate cancer and (B) healthcare professionals.

(S4W-7082) Nicola Sturgeon: Quality Performance Indicators (QPIs) are designed to measure and give an

overall indication of the quality of a service. The prostate cancer QPIs are not intended to be all encompassing or a single reference point for either men with prostate cancer or healthcare professionals.

The National Cancer Quality Steering Group has an extensive work programme which aims to develop QPIs for all tumour types. For some tumour types this will include QPIs for chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In addition, it is developing generic QPIs which will be applicable to all tumour types. Under the auspices of the National Advisory Group for Palliative and End of Life care, QPIs are also being developed to cover this aspect, regardless of disease type.

With regards to balanced information on prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing this is available in the form of a Prostate Cancer Risk Management Pack which was issued to NHS boards and all general practitioners in Scotland in 2009. The programme provides guidance to medical practitioners on the situations in which it is suitable to offer PSA testing, the information and guidance that should be provided to patients before PSA testing is undertaken, and the support that may be required by men as they deal with the consequences of the PSA test and any resulting diagnosis. The Prostate Cancer Risk Management pack is available website at:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Health/health/cancer/publications.

NHS inform was launched in 2010 which is a health information service to provide the public, patients and carers with a wide range of quality-assured health information online at www.nhsinform.co.uk. This includes information on cancer.

Mary Scanlon (Highlands and Islands) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the

Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S4W-06002 by Nicola Sturgeon on 8 March 2012, what steps it is taking to ensure that men at higher risk of prostate cancer are made aware of the prostate cancer quality performance indicators and that the indicators meet plain English guidelines.

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Nicola Sturgeon: Quality Performance Indicators (QPIs) have been developed to asses the quality

of a service and are not specifically intended for high risk groups.

Patients have been involved in the development process for each of the tumour specific QPI groups. Part of the development process also includes a wider engagement period. This allows other patients, individuals and organisations to provide detailed comment on the draft QPIs. These additional views and comments are all considered prior to QPIs being published.

In order to ensure that QPIs can be measured accurately and in a comparable way, a level of technical detail is required within the QPI measurability specifications and the accompanying data definitions.

The tumour specific development groups considered the language utilised and endeavoured to ensure that QPIs are easily understood. Focus groups were also held with patients who understood the need for a level of detail to be included within the QPIs and found the glossary included in each engagement document helpful.

Mary Scanlon (Highlands and Islands) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the

Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S4W-06002 by Nicola Sturgeon on 8 March 2012, what its analysis is of The Prostate Cancer Charity’s draft national standards for quality prostate cancer care and whether it will commit to implementing them when they are finalised.

(S4W-7084) Nicola Sturgeon: The Scottish Government has reviewed the draft standards and also contacted

the regional cancer networks to ask the tumour specific groups for their views. Overall the feedback has been positive and supportive of the principles and ethos of the standards. However, rather than them being endorsed as a set of measurable standards for monitoring they should be viewed as a framework of principles which could form the basis of service design for people with prostate cancer.

The networks also reported that many of the draft standards are ones that cancer clinicians and services in Scotland already aspire to and are already achieving. Many of the draft standards are equally applicable to all patients, irrespective of cancer type.

The National Cancer Quality Steering Group (NCQSG), which is a sub group of the Scottish Cancer Taskforce, has a programme of work to develop quality performance indicators (QPIs) for all cancer types. It is anticipated that the indicators will be used to monitor and drive quality improvement in cancer care across the NHS in Scotland. Prostate cancer is one of the first tumour types to have QPIs developed and they will be launched later this year.

Learning and Justice

Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive what

progress has been made in consulting the relevant parties regarding the recommendations made in the Scottish Law Commission's, Report on Succession.

(S4W-7030) Roseanna Cunningham: The Scottish Government is considering options arising from the Scottish

Law Commission’s Report on Succession. Officials have met with a number of stakeholders because, although a number of the Report’s recommendations had significant support, some are controversial. That preparatory dialogue has confirmed that some stakeholders have real concerns about important aspects of the package. Formal consultation will be necessary to inform the way forward.

Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive, in

light of the recommendations made in the Scottish Law Commission's, Report on Succession, whether any legal obstacles have been identified that would prevent the law of succession in intestate cases being changed to favour partners and spouses over more distant relatives.

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(S4W-7031) Roseanna Cunningham: The Scottish Government’s consideration of options arising from the

Scottish Law Commission’s Report on Succession will include an analysis of whether there are any legal obstacles to prevent the law of succession in intestate cases being changed to favour partners and spouses. Changes to the law of succession would however require primary legislation.

Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive

whether it will introduce legislation to meet some of the recommendations made in the Scottish Law Commission's, Report on Succession, earlier than others.

(S4W-7032) Roseanna Cunningham: The Scottish Government’s consideration of the options arising from the

Scottish Law Commission’s Report on Succession will include an analysis of whether aspects of the Report might be progressed separately.

Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive when

it will launch a consultation on the recommendations made in the Scottish Law Commission 2009's, Report on Succession, and which of the recommendations it plans to consult on.

(S4W-7033) Roseanna Cunningham: The Scottish Government’s consideration of the options arising from the

Scottish Law Commission’s Report on Succession and the conclusion of dialogue with stakeholders will determine the content of a consultation. We will consult when other priorities allow.

Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive for what reason

West Dunbartonshire Council did not receive an allocation of money from the Youth Employment Strategy fund.

(S4W-7058) Angela Constance: The methodology used to identify the areas in receipt of the funding focussed

on those areas with both the highest numbers of unemployed 16-24 year olds and the highest 16-24 year old unemployment rates.

West Dunbartonshire was not in the top 10 local authority areas on both measures, whereas the six areas allocated funding were.

Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Executive

what its plans are to reduce the incidence of cannabis farming.

(S4W-7067) Roseanna Cunningham: The Scottish Government takes the issue of illegal drugs and the damage

caused to communities and individuals extremely seriously and is committed to tackling the problem at all levels.

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland is committed to gathering, collating and analysing all intelligence relating to cultivation of cannabis in Scotland. Project LEAGUE provides an overall assessment of the scale and extent of the cannabis cultivation problem in Scotland and links in with the UK ACPO Drugs Committee on the Commercial Cultivation of Cannabis and contributes to the national problem profile around the subject.

ACPOS also have strong links with Europol and contribute to the analytical work files held at Europol where the European picture is assessed and disseminated to member countries. Data is also collected as part of Serious Organised Crime Group Mapping data sweeps, and as of March 2012 the data

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indicated seventeen Serious Organised Crime Groups were involved in the cultivation of cannabis. This accounts for around 6% of the total number of groups operating in Scotland.

In the course of 2011, cannabis cultivations valued at approximately £4.4 million were recovered by Scotland’s police forces as a result of project league.

Margaret McCulloch (Central Scotland) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive what

recent discussions have taken place with South Lanarkshire Council regarding the completion of its schools modernisation programme.

(S4W-7091) Michael Russell: No such discussions have taken place. However, all authorities have been invited

to bid for funding through the third phase of funding from the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.

Margaret McCulloch (Central Scotland) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive what

involvement the Scottish Futures Trust will have in the completion of South Lanarkshire Council's schools modernisation programme.

(S4W-7092) Michael Russell: The Scottish Futures Trust has no direct involvement in the completion of South

Lanarkshire Council’s schools modernisation programme. Their role in the school building process is to assist local authorities in the procurement of schools built under the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme. Specifically to ensure that they deliver good quality, well designed sustainable schools at a competitive price.

Strategy and External Affairs

Drew Smith (Glasgow) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Executive on (a) how many and (b)

what occasions since 2007 it has requested that one of the National Performing Companies provide free tickets for any of its productions; who has received such free tickets; what the sale value of the tickets was, and what guidance exists on the proper use of any such arrangement.

(S4W-7014) Fiona Hyslop: The information requested is being collated. I will write to the member as soon as the

information is available and a copy will be placed in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Bib. number 53983).

Transport Scotland

Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) (Scottish Green Party): To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will

ensure that Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd can borrow funds in order to invest in (a) new vessels and (b) future harbour and port upgrades on Scottish ferry routes.

(S4W-7037) Keith Brown: The Final Ferries Plan will provide details of future investment and of how we will

ensure that funding priorities can be met over the period of the Ferries Plan to 2022. The completed Final Ferries Plan will be published later this year.

Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) (Scottish Green Party): To ask the Scottish Executive how many

seafarer (a) ratings and (b) officers have been trained by Caledonian MacBrayne in each year since 2002.

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(S4W-7041) Keith Brown: Training provided by Caledonian MacBrayne between 2002 and September 2006 and

by CalMac Ferries Ltd from October 2006 to 2011 is as follows:-

Year

New Ratings Trained

(all disciplines)

Rating to Officer Training

Officers Trained to a

Higher Certificate of

Competency

2002

8

4

5

2003

27

5

15

2004

14

2

4

2005

28

1

6

2006

15

1

8

2007

25

1

8

2008

18

2

17

2009

15

2

9

2010

14

3

8

2011

20

Nil

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In addition, between 2006 and the current year CalMac Ferries Ltd has sponsored 11 officer cadets per year. CalMac Ferries Ltd currently sponsor a total of 32 deck or engineer officer cadets. The officer cadets are all employed by Clyde Marine Training Limited and are sponsored by CalMac Ferries Ltd.

Paul Wheelhouse (South Scotland) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Executive

what plans it has to review the speed limits on A-roads.

(S4W-7043) Keith Brown: In 2006, the Scottish Government issued guidance to local authorities on setting local

speed limits. Authorities were asked to review speed limits on all A and B class roads in their area by the end of 2011. Transport Scotland has in parallel been reviewing speed limits on the trunk road network.

Paul Wheelhouse (South Scotland) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Executive

what discussions it has had with the Road Haulage Association regarding raising the speed limit for HGVs on A-roads.

(S4W-7044) Keith Brown: Officials from Transport Scotland meet representatives of the Road Haulage

Association periodically. Speed limits for HGVs on A-roads has been one of many issues discussed.

Paul Wheelhouse (South Scotland) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Executive

whether it plans to alter the speed limit for HGVs on A-roads and, if so, for what reason.

(S4W-7045) Keith Brown: We currently have no plans to alter the speed limits applying to HGVs on A roads,

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Adam Ingram (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (Scottish National Party): To ask the

Scottish Executive how many bids Transport Scotland received for a Freight Facilities Grant in 2011-12 and has received for (a) 202011-12-13 and (b) 2013-14.

(S4W-7049) Keith Brown: Four eligible applications were received in 2011-12.

Five eligible applications were received which would draw on the budget available for the three-year period 2012-13 to 2014-15. It is not possible to assign applications to a specific year, since they are likely to involve funding spread across two or three years.

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