Keith Harding: Please do not interrupt, Mr Raffan. A facility such as the one that is proposed for Rosyth would be a boon to the local economy and to the Scottish economy. Establishing the new terminal at Rosyth would provide long-term security of employment in a depressed area. It would also reduce the cost for tourists and exporters alike, who already face high fuel taxes and long travel times. I...
Keith Harding: On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I do not think that I made those comments.
Keith Harding: Thank you. I thank the minister for the early delivery of his speech. I had half an hour to read it, which is quite good. In Stirling, when we were in opposition, we got only two minutes. I want to respond to the minister's response to Mr Gibson. In 1994-95, the Conservatives spent £19.8 billion in real terms, while in the Labour party's first three years in office, it has spent only £17.4...
Keith Harding: rose—
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive when the Deputy Minister for Local Government last met representatives of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and what issues were discussed. (S1O-787)
Keith Harding: Does the minister agree that yesterday's financial statement for local government will mean further job losses and service cuts, and that it does nothing to address the plight of pensioners, whose pension increases will be wiped out by council tax increases?
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive what financial or other assistance is available to members of the public who wish to alleviate health hazards resulting from poor quality drinking water being supplied to their homes.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S1W-2224 by Mr Frank McAveety on 25 November 1999, whether it will publish Stirling Council’s account of its actions in relation to the co-option of individuals to council committees against the advice of its legal and monitoring officer.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has considered the provision of police air support on a national basis and, if so, what are its conclusions.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will identify the specific departmental budgets which have underspent in 1999-2000, enabling savings to be spent on rescue packages for Scottish Opera and Hampden.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to questions S1W-2224 and S1W-2867 by Mr Frank McAveety on 25 November 1999 and 14 December 1999 respectively, whether it considers that Stirling Council acted lawfully in relation to the co-option of individuals and council committees against the advice of its monitoring officer.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive how many jobs, if any, it estimates will be lost in local government as a result of the recently announced financial settlement for Scottish councils.
Keith Harding: I welcome the minister's statement and the opportunity to debate housing. I am particularly pleased that a housing bill is to be brought forward at a later date, as both we and the SNP criticised the Executive for the absence of such a proposal in its legislative programme. I hope that that is evidence of a listening Administration. Much of what is proposed is inherited or extended...
Keith Harding: Lord James Douglas-Hamilton will deal with that later himself. I do not think that his conversion was as great as that of Labour members, who were totally against the right to buy. It is a pity that the minister intervened when she did, because she would have been quite pleased with my next sentence. Because so many Scots want to own their own home, we support the Executive's commitment to...
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive how many jobs, if any, will be lost as a result of the announcement on local government finance on Wednesday 8 December 1999. (S1O-898)
Keith Harding: I thank the minister for not answering my question. Does he agree that, yet again, the settlement will result in a reduction in services, fewer road repairs, closed libraries, more uncollected litter, an increase in council tax and people paying more and getting less?
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there has been any increase in the incidence of (a) stomach complaints and (b) digestive system complaints since the introduction of GM foods and whether there has been an increase in the prescription of medicine for these complaints.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S1W-3438 by Mr Sam Galbraith on 11 January 2000, what implications the use of savings from the assisted places scheme for the Scottish Opera rescue package will have for its commitment to reduce class sizes in primary schools. (S1O-960)
Keith Harding: I thank the minister for his reply, but his party's manifesto commitment said that the moneys saved from the assisted places scheme would go to reducing class sizes. Does he agree that given that manifesto commitment to use the funding to reduce class sizes in primary schools, it is entirely wrong of him to rob Scotland's schools of an accelerated rate of reduction in class sizes?
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it proposes to take to ensure that local authorities materially improve their performance in respect of the proportion of waste recycled.