Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive how many copies of the consultation document Better Homes for Scotland’s Communities have been published, and whether it will list those individuals and organisations to which it has been distributed.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the Scottish Arts Council undertakes any monitoring of the use of its financial support to Variant magazine and, if so, what form that monitoring takes.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking as part of its forestry strategy to protect biodiversity and, in particular, to halt the decline in the capercaillie population due to deaths on deer fencing and disturbance of lek sites, in part as a result of forestry operations.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive, in the light of the current incidence of cancers and the associated need for treatment and palliative care, what the national manpower plan for medical and clinical oncologists is for the next 10 years.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive what the total cost was of the publication (design, photocopying, printing, Internet connection of text, distribution and costs of launch) of the Better Homes for Scotland’s Communities report.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive what were the total costs of the publication (design, photocopying, printing, Internet connection of text, distribution and cost of launch) of the Renewing Local Democracy Working Group report.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects the Cabinet sub-committee established to examine the recommendations of the Kerley Report to be in a position to inform the Parliament of the outcome of its deliberations.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to encourage local authorities and other public bodies to utilise the services of Constructionline.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive when a conclusion will be reached on whether there is an increased national requirement for radiotherapy equipment and staffing, given the current incidence of cancers and level of access to radiotherapy treatment.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive what proportion of National Lottery grants awarded in Scotland are given to organisations in Fife, broken down by parliamentary constituency.
Keith Harding: As there is to be no local government bill before the autumn of 2001, are any changes likely to be implemented before the next scheduled local government elections in 2002?
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Minister for Finance last met representatives of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and what issues they discussed. (S1O-2214)
Keith Harding: I thank the minister for his answer. I understand from press coverage that, next year, additional resources will be allocated and pay increases will be funded. Will the Scottish Executive fully fund pay increases for all categories of local government employee, not just those deemed a priority by the minister?
Keith Harding: My colleague Bill Aitken regrets that he is unable, because of other parliamentary business, to participate in the debate. The debate is the culmination of a considerable investment of time by the Social Inclusion, Housing and Voluntary Sector Committee, on which he is the Conservative representative. With some reservations—on which I shall expand later—the Conservatives support the...
Keith Harding: Not at this stage, thank you. That servicing of debt, together with administrative and management costs, leaves a meagre 23p in the pound available for repairs that it is estimated will cost £1.3 billion. Those repairs are necessary to bring the stock up to an acceptable standard. Council housing generally has failed the Scottish people and that is especially true in Glasgow. Housing...
Keith Harding: I thank the minister. I turn now to the recommendations of the Social Inclusion, Housing and Voluntary Sector Committee. There is one major point on which the Conservatives feel that the success or otherwise of the project depends. The success of housing associations has been due largely to the fact that they are community based and local. The transfer of stock should be broken down quickly...
Keith Harding: If the Tories were in power—
Keith Harding: If the Tories were in power we would continue to support housing to the level that we did before—which is considerably more than Labour. I think that Margaret Curran answered the question—there is no real alternative. That is why we are concerned that the Glasgow stock transfer proposals are being undertaken without proper consideration being given to the optimum size for community...
Keith Harding: Not at the moment.
Keith Harding: I will take an intervention from Mr McAveety as he destroyed the housing.