Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive what is the current financial position of the DLOs in East Ayrshire and North Lanarkshire councils.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive what action has been taken to ensure that the DLO deficits in East Ayrshire and North Lanarkshire councils do not recur.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive what changes have still to be introduced to the permanent management of the East Ayrshire and North Lanarkshire Council DLOs to ensure that an efficient service is provided to the public.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive what the total cost incurred to date by Central Scotland Police is in respect of current disciplinary hearings.
Keith Harding: I welcome the fact that the minister has made homelessness a priority commitment and that the Executive has put it firmly on the agenda. It is particularly pleasing to see that, as Tricia Marwick pointed out, the Executive intends to continue to use the rough sleepers initiative and other policies that were introduced by the Conservative Government. We are a little disappointed that the...
Keith Harding: I would normally give way, but I have got only three minutes. Short-term support, help with furniture and long-term advice are required if we are to end the misery of homelessness and the problems faced by neighbourhoods in peripheral housing estates, where some homeless people find themselves dumped without the help or resources to make a home. I trust that the Executive will consider...
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive when it plans to publish the outcome of the 1998 consultation document "Access to Justice: Beyond the year 2000".
Keith Harding: Is there not a great deal of difference because the vast majority of the programme contains Conservative policies that have already been implemented?
Keith Harding: As has been said, this is another expensive relaunch of a disappointing legislative programme. It puts land reform at the top of the agenda on three occasions and does not address issues that matter to the people of Scotland: the desperate need for good, affordable housing; jobs; the decline in the agricultural industry; and the fall in tourism. I will address matters that are covered by my...
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it proposes to take to ensure that local authorities pay their bills from private suppliers and contractors on time.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will redefine the powers available to litter wardens under section 88 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to enable them to demand the name and address of litter offenders without the presence of a police officer.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive whether, given that the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) is almost entirely funded by public money, it intends to carry out an urgent inquiry into the administrative and financial affairs of TPAS.
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive whether or not it intends to introduce any system of proportional representation voting for local government elections in Scotland.
Keith Harding: I am delighted that we have this opportunity to debate the McIntosh commission report before the summer recess. It has been long awaited and I, too, would like to pay tribute to Neil McIntosh and the other members of the commission who have put so much time and effort into producing the final document. There is no doubt that a review of the relationship between local government and the...
Keith Harding: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to set and monitor targets to reduce the numbers of homeless people. (S1O-159)
Keith Harding: I thank the minister for that reply and I am glad that the Government is beginning to address that situation. Labour has been in power for two years and homelessness has increased by 14 per cent. What immediate initiatives does the minister intend to implement to reduce the level of homelessness?
Keith Harding: I thank the minister for that comprehensive answer, but why is that not in the legislative programme for the coming year?
Keith Harding: We have heard a lot of talk in the chamber about new politics. I have always been somewhat cynical, but I have to say that the new politics has arrived. In a previous existence, the minister-whom I knew as Jack-was a member of Stirling District Council. We opposed each other for eight or nine years. We did not agree on a major issue on any occasion. Now we have new politics: today I am going...
Keith Harding: I have taken so many over the years that one more will not matter.
Keith Harding: We are still picking up the tab; it has cost us nearly £500,000. It is the most heavily subsidised swimming pool in Scotland. I will get down to the nitty-gritty. We oppose the SNP motion and commend the Scottish Executive for broadly continuing the initiative that was launched by the Conservative party in 1992. The private finance initiative allows not only more taxpayers' money to be...