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Debates and questions

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 - committees are small groups of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) from different political parties

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 11 December 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time.

Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Oversight Board, Education (Performance), Human Rights Defenders, Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament, Decision Time, Miscarriage.

Meeting of the Parliament 05 December 2019

The agenda for the day:

General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Art in Action Campaign, Portfolio Question Time, Disability Sport and Participation, Decision Time.

Meeting of the Parliament 04 December 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Achieving a Fairer Scotland, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Delivery Charges.

Meeting of the Parliament 03 December 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Scottish Prison Service (Auditor General’s Report), Glenrothes (Living Wage Town Campaign), Veterans and the Armed Forces Community, Decision Time, Point of Order, Purple Light-up Campaign.

Meeting of the Parliament 28 November 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Point of Order, St Andrew’s Day, Portfolio Question Time, Women in Agriculture Task Force (Final Report), Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill: Stage 1, Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill: Financial Resolution, Decision Time.

Meeting of the Parliament 27 November 2019

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Mental Health, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Gender-based Violence.

Meeting of the Parliament 26 November 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Scotland as a Science Nation, Decision Time, Catholic Schools.

Meeting of the Parliament 21 November 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Point of Order, General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day, Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Television Licences (Over-75s), Motion without Notice, Decision Time.

Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Portfolio Question Time, Universal Credit, Health and Social Care (Investment), Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time, International Year of the Periodic Table.

Meeting of the Parliament 19 November 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, International Year of Plant Health 2020, Fisheries Negotiations, Committee Announcement (Education and Skills Committee), Business Motion, Decision Time, Road Safety Week 2019.

Meeting of the Parliament 14 November 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Day of the Imprisoned Writer, Portfolio Question Time, Scottish Products (United States Tariffs), Decision Time.

Meeting of the Parliament 13 November 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Artificial Intelligence and Data-Driven Technologies, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness.

Meeting of the Parliament 12 November 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Sheku Bayoh, European Union Citizens’ Rights, Decision Time, Intimidation in Public Life.

Meeting of the Parliament 07 November 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Nuclear Test Veterans, Portfolio Question Time, Referendums (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Referendums (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution, Decision Time.

Meeting of the Parliament 06 November 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

World Day Against the Death Penalty, Portfolio Question Time, Ferries, Curriculum for Excellence, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, UN Year of Indigenous Languages and European Day of Languages.

Meeting of the Parliament 05 November 2019 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, Decision Time, Loch Lomond.

Meeting of the Parliament 31 October 2019

The agenda for the day:

General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Hong Kong, Portfolio Question Time, European Union Farming Funding (Convergence Funds), The Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions Annual Target Report for 2017, Forestry Act 1919 (Centenary), Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill, Sentencing (Pre-consolidation Amendments) Bill, Domestic Abuse Bill, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time, Correction.

Meeting of the Parliament 30 October 2019

The agenda for the day:

European Union Exit, Portfolio Question Time, Glasgow School of Art Fire, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Charities, Scotland and Holyrood.

Meeting of the Parliament 29 October 2019

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Fireworks, Social Security (Disability Assistance), Point of Order, Business Motion, Decision Time, Asda Walmart (Contract Imposition).

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

Solicitors in the Supreme Courts of Scotland (Amendment) Bill 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-26710: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how consultation responses to the National Transport Strategy will be used to inform the second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2).

Awaiting answer

S5W-26717: Jenny Marra (North East Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to its news release of 29 October 2019, Safeguarding environmental standards, whether it will confirm who it has appointed to its advisory panel to ensure that environmental standards are maintained in the event of a no deal Brexit, and what the process was for making these appointments.

 

 

Awaiting answer

S5W-26706: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what mandatory training and education in palliative and end of life care health and social care staff working in all care settings are required to complete.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26712: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government when the Parliament will be consulted on the draft second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2).

Awaiting answer

S5W-26701: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the maximum backdating period is for the Scottish Child Payment.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26700: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many roles in Social Security Scotland it has advertised for employment in (a) Dundee House, Dundee, (b) High Street, Glasgow, (c) local government sites and (d) other Scottish Government premises.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26697: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the vacancy rate is in (a) its social security directorate and (b) Social Security Scotland.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26705: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it is upskilling a health and social care workforce in palliative and end of life care education and training.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26711: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the timeline is for consultation on the second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2).

Awaiting answer

S5W-26707: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to make dying, death and bereavement a public health priority.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26708: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government which stakeholders it plans to consult as part of its review into traffic regulation orders.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26696: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many Social Security Scotland staff are based at (a) Dundee House, Dundee, (b) High Street, Glasgow and (c) other (i) Social Security Scotland and (ii) Scottish Government premises, also broken down by (A) band and (B) grade.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26713: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what review will take place of outstanding projects in the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) ahead of their potential inclusion in STPR2.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26709: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government when its review of traffic regulation orders will be complete.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26699: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many interviews for roles in Social Security Scotland have taken place at (a) Dundee House, Dundee, (b) High Street, Glasgow, (c) Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, (d) St Andrew's House, Edinburgh, (e) Atlantic Quay, Glasgow and (f) other (i) Social Security Scotland and (ii) Scottish Government premises.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26714: Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the question being asked as part of the Scottish Health Survey 2018 but the findings not being made public, whether it will confirm how many people taking part in the survey said that they would like to give up smoking, broken down by (a) age group and (b) Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) quintile.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26704: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of recent research by Marie Curie, the University of Edinburgh and King's College London in the report, The impact of population ageing on end-of-life care in Scotland: Population-based projections of place of death and recommendations for future service provision, how it plans to ensure adequate investment in community-based care, particularly increasing care home capacity, to support projected trends that two thirds of people will die outside of hospital settings by 2040.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26715: Edward Mountain (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-26368 by Fergus Ewing on 21 November 2019, what action it is taking to ensure that Highlands and Islands Enterprise carries out the due diligence promptly; by what date it expects the funicular to be fully repaired, and whether it believes that it will be open to the public by the end of 2020.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26716: Edward Mountain (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the terms were for NHS Highland being placed at level 4 of the NHS Board Performance Escalation Framework, and what key performance indicators it will use to determine whether this status should be retained or changed.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26703: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making toward its ambition that by 2021 everyone who needs palliative care will have access to it.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03946: Pauline McNeill (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in response to reports that there are regular breaches of the time limits aimed at preventing delay in High Court trials.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03948: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has invested in the Scottish Growth Scheme.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03949: Linda Fabiani (East Kilbride)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government when the next Joint Ministerial Committee meeting will take place.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03941: Jamie Halcro Johnston (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what update it can provide on legal action in relation to Northern Isles Ferry Services.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03947: Adam Tomkins (Glasgow)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the Electoral Commission since the Referendums (Scotland) Bill completed stage 2.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03943: Rona Mackay (Strathkelvin and Bearsden)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to recent figures from Rape Crisis Scotland, which state that, on a typical day, 1,035 people are waiting to access rape crisis support.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03942: Anas Sarwar (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to provide additional welfare support for people in need over the Christmas and New Year period.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03944: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason the Strategic Transport Projects Review 2 survey is taking place over the Christmas holiday period.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03950: Bill Kidd (Glasgow Anniesland)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it supports low-income families with young children.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03945: Alex Rowley (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action is being taken to address reported staffing shortages in prisons.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03922: Gil Paterson (Clydebank and Milngavie)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to improve teacher recruitment.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03920: Angus MacDonald (Falkirk East)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the latest teacher number statistics, and what steps it is taking to retain teachers at all levels of education.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03935: Fulton MacGregor (Coatbridge and Chryston)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to encourage more housebuilding in heavily populated urban towns and areas, such as Coatbridge.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03936: Tom Arthur (Renfrewshire South)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it supports communities in tackling inequality.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03917: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it is responding to reports that knowledge of changes in pupil performance is at a 70-year low.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03940: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government when the planning decision on the proposed development of a golf course at Coul Links will be announced.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03925: Sarah Boyack (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the impact has been of the Scottish Ambulance Service’s response times policy.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03924: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to support pupil learning in the Highlands and Islands region.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03928: Bob Doris (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to extend access to palliative care services for homeless people.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03918: Ross Greer (West Scotland)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether the review of coordinated support plans for children with additional needs will be conducted as part of or subsequent to the Morgan review of additional support needs.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03937: Colin Beattie (Midlothian North and Musselburgh)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how its planning policy and guidance to local authorities on takeaway food outlets take account of its policies on healthy eating.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03939: Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to its answer to question S5O-03821, what plans it has to require privately owned flats in tower blocks over 11 meters high to have fire safety certification.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03932: Willie Coffey (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many people in East Ayrshire receive free personal or nursing care; what the qualifying age groups are to receive this, and what the annual cost is.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03923: Liam Kerr (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether the performance of Scotland in maths and science that was recorded in the recent PISA results is its poorest.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03933: Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what funding streams and other support are available for alternative mechanisms to the business improvement district model.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03929: Edward Mountain (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to assist NHS Highland to reduce its reliance on locum staff.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03919: Colin Smyth (South Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government when the root cause analysis report on the North West Community Campus in Dumfries will be published.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03926: Murdo Fraser (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that, since 2009, the number of GP practices in NHS Tayside has fallen from 69 to 63, while the average practice list size has increased.

Awaiting answer

S5O-03927: Maurice Corry (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in response to reports of worsening delays in the waiting times for children and young people to receive mental health treatment.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26689: Stuart McMillan (Greenock and Inverclyde)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 10 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it can provide regarding the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs’ recent visit to Japan.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop on 11 December 2019

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 11 December 2019

I undertook a successful visit to Japan (Nagasaki, Tokyo, Yokohama) between 7 – 13 October 2019, to strengthen the growing cultural, governmental and business links between Scotland and the world’s third-largest economy.

I undertook 6 engagements in Nagasaki, 18 in Tokyo and 8 in Yokohama.

There were 10 meetings with businesses, including with Mayekawa, a refrigeration company which is opening a research and development office in Glasgow; with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to recognise the importance of its ongoing R&D collaboration with Scotland and to promote the extensive innovation eco-system supporting the subsea sector, to encourage further business development; and with Canon Medical, which provided an opportunity to raise Canon’s broader ambitions for Scotland and encourage consideration of Scotland as a strategic innovation partner which can support global strategies across a diverse range of Canon group companies.

There were 5 business focussed events, including a Scotland is Now reception, showcasing the best of Scottish produce and a Subsea event, opening opportunities for 10 Scottish companies to partner with Japanese firms on the development of innovative technology.

There were 5 cultural engagements, including attendance at the historic Kunchi Festival in Nagasaki and representing the Scottish Government at the Scotland vs Japan Rugby World Cup match in Yokohama.

In Nagasaki, I addressed students at Nagasaki University on the importance of collaboration and investment to create world leading science and research bases and the importance of tackling the Global Climate Emergency in a way which delivers a just transition to renewable energy and decarbonisation. The event also promoted the benefits of an international education and the opportunities afforded to Japanese students under the Saltire Scholarships scheme. I also attended a Subsea event to celebrate and progress continued collaboration between Scottish and Japanese universities and organisations to develop innovative technology within the sector.

In Tokyo, I launched Scotland’s 2020 Year of Coasts and Waters , which encouraged Japanese tourists to visit Scotland. In a meeting with the Mayor of Yokohama, I discussed the ongoing cultural collaborations between the Scotland and Yokohama, including the successful performance of the Scottish Ensemble’s Anno as part of the Yokohama Music Festival, and the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra’s visit to Japan in July. Potential cooperation around the 2020 Tokyo cultural Olympiad and 2020 Paralympics also formed part of the discussion.

I had a constructive meeting with Tetsuya Yagi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister in the Ministry of the Environment. This represented the development of a new relationship with a Japanese Ministry which can build on existing collaborations, such as the Goto island renewables project, and support Japan’s objectives on revising its energy mix to meet the challenges of the Climate Emergency. Areas for potential future collaboration include electric vehicles, development of severe weather protection for floating offshore turbines, and mixed-renewable energy solutions for remote and rural communities.

I met with human rights defenders from Human Rights Now, a Tokyo-based organisation which campaigns on a number of causes, including gender equality and sexual violence, to share experiences of the human rights challenges Scotland and Japan have tackled. I also met with a roundtable of business leaders, hosted by the Economist Network, to discuss Scotland’s experience of workplace equality and Japan’s approach to this issue.

In Yokohama, I attended events at the Scottish Rugby Union’s pop-up Scotland Rugby House, meeting Japanese and Scottish rugby fans and hearing about the amazing reception the Scotland team received at their training camp in Nagasaki. Representatives from Nagasaki, including the Nagasaki Rugby Football Union and the Mayor were present, and joined me in watching Scotland play Japan at the International Stadium.

I also met with the Nippon Foundation, to recognise the success of the Joint R&D fund approach with Scottish Enterprise that, with the announcement of the second call awards, has resulted in 16 Scottish Companies being involved in 11 collaborative projects with 12 Japanese partners. This is the first formal partnership between the Scottish Government and an international foundation which allows policy ideas to be turned into practical solutions with companies.

I made several significant announcements during her visit: this includes £9 million of new R&D project funding from the joint fund operated by the Nippon Foundation and Scottish Enterprise; the lifting of the Scotch Beef ban after 23 years; £50,000 Scottish Government funding to support the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s debut at Proms Japan; the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra will be performing at next year’s Edinburgh International Festival.

Following my engagements in Japan there are many opportunities to strengthen the connections between Scotland and Japan including on trade, investment, culture, the low carbon economy, tourism and food and drink. The visit generated stronger than average social media traffic on channels in Japan and the UK, and resulted in 44 domestic media items and 28 pieces in Japanese media, including two televised pieces. Scotland Is Now paid-for activity during the Japan visit (targeting those who were ‘in-market to study abroad’) overachieved by a significant margin. The campaign film achieved 764,230 views on Twitter (120,010 were planned) and 490,807 views on YouTube (101,000 were planned).

 

S5W-26694: Elaine Smith (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 10 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-26491 by Humza Yousaf on 6 December 2019, which organisations and other stakeholders provide external advice to the internal SPS working group.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26688: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 10 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-26536 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 6 December 2019, what the full list of reserved premiums or benefits are, also broken down by the relevant qualifying Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) component or rate.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26617: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it carries out of the accuracy of the blood tests that are used to detect viruses, and whether the findings of this are available online.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26702: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 10 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much funding it has set aside to bring the mesh surgeon, Dr Veronikis, to Scotland.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26647: Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to an audit report by Food Standards Scotland, which found that the Fife Council environmental health team is facing staff shortages that have led to it being unable to perform proactive visits, and instead it is focusing on responding to complaints or business queries only.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26693: Oliver Mundell (Dumfriesshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what STEM training it plans to put in place for early years practitioners.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26692: Oliver Mundell (Dumfriesshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government when it last met the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre, and what was discussed.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26695: Elaine Smith (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 10 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-26491 by Humza Yousaf on 6 December 2019, how the specific needs and concerns of female prisoners are taken into consideration as part of the individual risk assessment procedures.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26683: Rhoda Grant (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 10 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how Skills Development Scotland determined the (a) membership and (b) terms of reference of its Gender Commission; whether details of the work of the Commission, including the minutes and agendas of its meetings, will be published online, and what the timescale is for the Commission to report.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26690: Finlay Carson (Galloway and West Dumfries)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-24325 by Roseanna Cunningham on 2 August 2019, whether it will provide an update on Scotland’s progress towards achieving the 2020 Aichi Targets, and how many of the 20 global targets it expects to have met by January 2020.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26676: Ross Greer (West Scotland)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 9 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the climate emergency, what steps it is taking to ensure that public authority board meetings are accessible by public transport, and encourage the board members attending to travel using this.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26663: Elaine Smith (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 9 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the overhead line coverage provided by Network Rail in Scotland, including the operator's ability to respond to faults; what discussions it has had with it regarding the adequateness of this, and what the outcome was of these discussions.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26662: Elaine Smith (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 9 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that, between 15 November and 6 December 2019, Network Rail did not cover 264 shifts across its four overhead line depots in Scotland, and what impact any subsequent overhead line faults had on passengers.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26674: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 9 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-26417 by Paul Wheelhouse on 2 December 2019, what the operational carbon footprint of NorthLink Ferries has been in each year since 2012.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26679: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 9 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on what progress is being made in bringing the mesh surgeon, Dr Veronikis, to Scotland, and whether (a) his visit has received GMC approval and (b) a contract of employment been drawn up.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26673: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 9 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-26417 by Paul Wheelhouse on 2 December 2019, what the average operational carbon footprint per journey has been for NorthLink Ferries in each of the last five years.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26669: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 9 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-23182 by Roseanna Cunningham on 22 May 2019, in light of the cabinet secretary's comment that the Water Industry Commission's updated decision paper was due to be published in the summer, whether it will confirm what the reason has been for the delay in it subsequently doing so, and by what date the report will be published.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26677: Dean Lockhart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the investment that it has made in the business, what discussions it has had with Burntisland Fabrications Ltd (BiFab) regarding the reason that the firm's complete 2017-18 accounts are reportedly overdue for submission to Companies House, and by what date these will be submitted.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26671: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 9 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether cold-spell heating assistance will be paid to people who receive universal credit.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26672: Colin Smyth (South Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 9 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many and what percentage of railway stations offer full accessibility to disabled people.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26675: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 9 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-26417 by Paul Wheelhouse on 2 December 2019, what the operational carbon footprint has been for each ferry in the NorthLink Ferries fleet in each of the last five years.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26682: Annabelle Ewing (Cowdenbeath)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 9 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will report on the outcome of the recent summit meeting of the British-Irish Council.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop on 10 December 2019

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 10 December 2019

On 15 November 2019, the Irish Government hosted a summit meeting of the British-Irish Council (BIC). The meeting was attended by Ministers from seven of the Member Administrations and was chaired by the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar. The First Minister, the Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing and myself, represented the Scottish Government.

Although ministers from the Northern Ireland Executive were not in attendance, officials from the Northern Ireland administration were present.

The meeting focused on the Misuse of Substances and the steps that are being taken to tackle the related issues facing each of the administrations. Following a discussion by Health Ministers where the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing represented the Scottish Government, the First Minister reminded the Council that Misuse of Substances is one of the most important work sectors within BIC and that Scotland was keen to share expertise whilst willing to learn from best practice. The First Minister stated that governments have an obligation to stop young people choosing that path and recognised the need for health led strategies, presenting the strong view that a justice led approach has prevented people from receiving services they need.

The Government of Guernsey expressed a wish to see the introduction of Green Finance as a future work sector of BIC, with the aim of decarbonising the economy. Whilst I welcomed this in principle, I asked that we are given more detail of the nature of economic issues in order to consider properly. It was agreed that officials would meet to consider further work in relation to this.

The latest political developments were also discussed, including the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The First Minister reiterated that Scotland’s preference is to remain in Europe and voiced her continuing concern that we may be placed at a competitive disadvantage to Northern Ireland however, she stressed that this should not be read as opposition to Northern Ireland’s access to the single market and customs union.

The Communiqué that was issued by the British-Irish Council after the meeting can be found on its website at:

https://www.britishirishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/communiqués/33rd%20Summit%20Held%20in%20Dublin%20Communique.pdf

 

S5W-26527: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 25 November 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-26389 by Michael Matheson on 22 November 2019, what proportion of the project cost it will meet.

Answered by: Michael Matheson on 9 December 2019

Answered by: Michael Matheson 9 December 2019

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is providing grant funding of £4.35 million to the project, which includes up to £1 million to Transport Scotland. The remainder of the direct project costs are being met by project partners Stagecoach, Alexander Dennis and Fusion Processing. The Scottish Government, through Transport Scotland, has committed to invest an additional £1 million to support bus priority measures on the project corridor.

S5W-26637: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the number of unfilled vacancies within Network Rail in Scotland.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26638: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the Office of Rail and Road regarding the impact of unfilled vacancies on Network Rail in Scotland.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26634: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with (a) unions and (b) Scotland's Railway regarding concerns about poor industrial relations within Network Rail in Scotland.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26632: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has challenged Network Rail's introduction of labour-only subcontractors in place of full-time staff in Scotland.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26659: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the projected impact of the proposed Sheriffhall roundabout upgrade will be on (a) (i) current and (ii) induced traffic levels and (b) greenhouse gas emissions.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26633: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what steps are being taken to increase midweek access to the rail infrastructure to allow maintenance and other activities to be safely carried out.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26660: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-26177 by Michael Matheson on 18 November 2019, by what date it expects (a) to have received all of the quotations from the specialist providers and (b) work on the installation of the sensors to (i) commence and (ii) be completed.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26631: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many times in 2019 it has met Scotland's Railway, and what issues were discussed.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26636: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with Scotland's Railway regarding concerns over a so-called job and knock culture developing within Network Rail in Scotland, where staff rush to finish work for financial reasons.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26646: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it paid to the Digital Health Institute/Glasgow School of Art for organising workshops and a report on chronic pain in (a) 2017-18, (b) 2018-19 and (c) to date in 2019-20.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26648: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what progress there has been on implementing the results of the report into investigating deaths in custody; what work the oversight group has carried out, and when the group will report.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26653: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what secondary legislation is being developed in relation to kelp harvesting, and by what date this will be introduced.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26644: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on how much training health and social care staff in each local authority area have had in relation to the extension of free personal care to people under 65.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26654: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what trials are being commissioned to explore the mechanical harvesting of kelp, and whether these will include examining commercial dredging techniques.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26645: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it made available to the Digital Health Institute/Glasgow School of Art for organising workshops and reports on 12 NHS disciplines to aid the Scottish Access Collaborative’s plans in (a) 2017-18, (b) 2018-19 and (c) to date in 2019-20.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26643: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much it will allocate to local authorities to fund the extension of free personal care to people under 65 in 2020-21, and how it will ensure this money is spent wholly on people in that age group.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26640: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on how many people have applied for support under the extension of free personal care to people under 65 since it came into force, and how many have had applications rejected, broken down by local authority.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26639: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much each local authority received in the current financial year for the extension of free personal care to people under 65, and what information it has on how much of this has been used by each council so far.

Awaiting answer

S5W-26658: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 6 December 2019

To ask the Scottish Government whether trials of kelp dredging that involve the removal of the holdfast are compliant with the Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019.

Awaiting answer