Either see below Gil most recent written questions to Parliament or select a category.
To ask the Scottish Government how (a) much has been awarded and (b) many activities for young people have been supported by the CashBack for Communities programme since 2008, broken down by local authority area.
Answered by Michael Matheson (23/07/2015):Information about investment in the CashBack for Communities programme and number of activities by local authority area, from 2008-09 until 2013-14, is set out in Table 3.5 and Table 3.10 of the National Evaluation of the CashBack for Communities Programme document published in May 2014:http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0045/00452165.pdf
The data for 2014-15 is not yet available.
To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) businesses and (b) people have submitted online planning applications via the ePlanning Scotland website in each year since 2009, broken down by local authority, and what the average saving was.
Answered by Alex Neil (25/03/2015):Anyone who registers on the portal can set their account as either a ‘professional’ or a ‘general public’ user. The reason for this initial distinction is to customise their experience. As regular users of the portal professionals benefit from additional functionality made available to them. The general public are assisted with easy to use forms and guidance. The Scottish Government does not however retain information on the breakdown of applications submitted through the ePlanning portal by types of user, whether they be professionals, businesses or the general public.
The average saving per applicant is based on several factors associated with producing a traditional paper based application. This includes savings to be made from costs associated with printing technical drawings, design statements, visualisations etc. as well as the packaging and postage costs. Other savings are generated by the efficiencies the portal provides, freeing up the applicants time to work on other activities. None of these savings have a bearing on which planning authority is processing the application or who the applicant is; an average is applied across all applications.
Answered by Keith Brown (05/03/2015):The Commissioner, Eric Fraser, spent an initial period meeting with and listening to key interests involved in delivering support to the veterans’ community in Scotland. These included local authorities, health boards, service delivery organisations, ex-service charities and, crucially, individual veterans.
Drawing on these wide ranging discussions and information gathering, the Commissioner has now produced a strategy and workplan for 2015 that he is publishing today and available to view at:http://scotland.gov.uk/About/public-bodies/veterans-commissioner/Publications. The Commissioner has set out a testing and ambitious programme but I believe it is achievable and will lead both to new and improved support and opportunities for veterans. The Commissioner will prioritise his 2015 work on housing and employability issues impacting on veterans.
He will also examine the findings and recommendations contained within the 2014 report from Lord Ashcroft entitled Veterans transition Review, commissioned by the Prime Minister, in order to advise Scottish Ministers on how best they can be addressed and implemented in Scotland in respect of our devolved responsibilities. A copy of the strategy and workplan will be available in SPICe.
The Commissioner will be happy to engage at the earliest opportunity on his strategy and workplan with MSPs and other interests and, as a first step, will attend a ‘Meet The Commissioner’ Scottish Parliamentary reception on 1 April 2015 hosted by the Chairman of the Cross Party Group on Armed Forces Veterans.
To ask the Scottish Government when the report of the Scottish Public Inquiry into Hepatitis C/HIV will be published.
Answered by Shona Robison (15/01/2015):I am pleased to be able to inform Parliament that the Penrose Inquiry final report will be published on Wednesday, 25 March 2015.
Further details will be available on the Penrose Inquiry website in due course. http://www.penroseinquiry.org.uk/.
To ask the Scottish Government what support it provides to the voluntary sector.
Answered by Alex Neil (27/11/2014):The Scottish Government Draft Budget 2015-16 will enable us to continue to significantly invest in the third sector as a key social partner, maintaining funding of £24.5 million towards direct support of the third sector. This only represents our direct third sector budget – areas across the Scottish Government contribute funding to the third sector. We have not previously produced an amalgamated figure, but work is being finalised on tracking total Scottish Government third sector spending. We have also begun a discussion with the sector about what approach might be taken going forward, to secure a buoyant and sustainable third sector.
To ask the Scottish Government when the report of the Vale of Leven Hospital inquiry will be published.
Answered by Alex Neil (06/10/2014):I am pleased to be able to inform Parliament that the Vale of Leven Hospital Inquiry Report will be published on Monday 24 November 2014.
Further details will be available on the Vale of Leven Hospital Inquirywebsite in due course.
To ask the Scottish Government when it last met the Law Society of Scotland and what issues were discussed.
Answered by Kenny MacAskill (23/04/2014):The Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs meets with the Law Society regularly. The last meeting was on 8 April 2014 when I met with the Law Society to discuss the Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill.
To ask the Scottish Government when it last met representatives of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to discuss healthcare issues relating to Clydebank and Milngavie.
Answered by Alex Neil (12/03/2014):Ministers and government officials regularly meet with representatives of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to discuss matters of importance to local people.
To ask the Scottish Government how the justice system works with ASSIST to support victims of domestic abuse.
Answered by Kenny MacAskill (05/03/2014):The prosecution of domestic abuse is a strategic priority of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).
Prosecutors recognise the need to work with specialist organisations to create a criminal justice system where victims get the help and services they need.
ASSIST is a valued partner of the police and COPFS. Police officers will refer victims of domestic abuse to ASSIST who will carry out a risk assessment of the victim and ensure that safety planning has been put in place. They will then provide a report to prosecutors containing additional information that may be beneficial to the case including information about risk posed to the victim and the victim’s views on special bail conditions and non-harassment orders where this information is available. ASSIST supports victim engagement throughout the court process. Prosecutors are in daily contact with workers from ASSIST in order to ensure that they have up to date information on the cases they deal with.
I have visited ASSIST myself on a number of occasions, including last week, and I am always impressed by the excellent service they provide to victims, and their effective partnerships with all other agencies who are working tirelessly to tackle this most devastating of crimes.
To ask the Scottish Government what support it provides to local training organisations in Clydebank and Milngavie. (S4O-02914)
The Minister for Youth Employment (Angela Constance):
Local training organisations in Clydebank and Milngavie have access to the same Scottish Government funding support that is available to all commercial or third sector businesses. In addition, those who are registered on the Skills Development Scotland national learning objectives database can bid to support the delivery of the Scottish Government training programmes, including modern apprenticeships and the employability fund, or to become an individual learning account-approved provider. SDS local skills investment advisers, who operate out of local offices throughout Scotland, are also able to provide support to locally based training providers on skills investment and training issues.
I thank the minister for that full answer. Can she confirm that the Scottish Government will encourage and continue local partnerships between schools and training organisations in Clydebank and Milngavie to ensure that young people have the maximum opportunities to learn new skills?
Absolutely. Local training providers are very important to the local employability infrastructure. I suppose that one of the prevailing themes of the Wood commission’s interim report was how we galvanise and develop further the partnerships between schools, employers and training providers. I know that there are excellent training providers in Mr Paterson’s constituency. I have been out to visit the Lennox Partnership, which I had the good fortune of bumping into again today at the third sector and voluntary sector 10th annual gathering. It spoke about how it had benefited from investment in community jobs Scotland.
Note: This page contains both questions laid by Gil as MSP for West of Scotland (2007-2011, title starts "S3W/O") and Clydebank & Milngavie (2011-present, title starts "S4W/O")