Results 121–140 of 4496 for speaker:Jim Mather

Scottish Parliament written answers — Wind Farms: Wind Farms (7 Feb 2011)

Jim Mather: Records show that the Scottish Government has consented two windfarms with an outstanding Scottish Natural Heritage objection since May 2007. These are: (1) Mark Hill in South Ayrshire, consented in June 2008, and; (2) Fallago Rig, in the Scottish Borders, consented in November 2010 after two pubic inquires.

Scottish Parliament written answers — Wind Farms: Wind Farms (7 Feb 2011)

Jim Mather: Advice provided by officials to Scottish Ministers will provide factual information on the responses from consultees and a recommendation, both of which inform ministers’ decision whether or not to refer an application to public local inquiry. The minute of appointment of the reporter to a public local inquiry may also provide the reporter with some background on the grounds for holding the...

Scottish Parliament written answers — Wind Farms: Wind Farms (7 Feb 2011)

Jim Mather: Among other concerns raised, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), a statutory consultee, objected to the proposal and did not withdraw their objection. SNH highlighted concerns about significant adverse impacts on key landscape characteristics of the area and visual amenity. Scottish Ministers determined that in this instance a public local inquiry is the only way to ensure that concerns raised...

Scottish Parliament written answers — Wind Farms: Wind Farms (7 Feb 2011)

Jim Mather: The Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals will shortly be writing to all parties involved and who have made representations on the proposed Dunbeath wind farm to confirm arrangements for a pre examination meeting, which is likely to be held in March 2011. Arrangements for any hearing or inquiry sessions will be discussed at this meeting although at this stage, it is anticipated...

Scottish Parliament: Broadband (Speed Target) (3 Feb 2011)

Jim Mather: As I informed Mr Kerr earlier today, the Minister for Culture and External Affairs and I met Ed Vaizey, the UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, this morning to discuss our respective Governments’ broadband strategies. I am pleased to say that the UK Government’s universal service commitment was on the agenda for discussion. The meeting was part of the wider...

Scottish Parliament: Broadband (Speed Target) (3 Feb 2011)

Jim Mather: We are continuing to press on all fronts. The message that we got from Ed Vaizey today was very much that the UK Government is looking to ensure that we have improved infrastructure as part of the move to a speed of 2 megabits per second. The member makes a telling point about broadband coverage across Scotland. We also made sure that the point was well understood that we do not want to pay...

Scottish Parliament: Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (2 Feb 2011)

Jim Mather: I thank the Local Government and Communities Committee for its work in considering the bill and preparing the stage 1 report. I also thank those who gave evidence to the committee and who contributed to the development of the proposals in the bill. The Gould report into the 2007 local government and Scottish Parliament elections found that the fragmentation of roles and responsibilities was a...

Scottish Parliament: Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (2 Feb 2011)

Jim Mather: At this late stage in the session of Parliament, and at a time when there is disagreement about a number of electoral issues across the UK, I am pleased to note that today’s debate on the Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Bill has been based on consensus. That is significant when we consider the significant expertise that is present in the chamber and which has been engaged through...

Scottish Parliament: Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (2 Feb 2011)

Jim Mather: I feel as though I am being asked to adjudicate in “Just a Minute” fashion, so I am going to move on. It is clear that there is consensus on the work that is in progress. For the record, the committee has welcomed the proposal to establish the electoral management board on a statutory basis and considers that to be a positive step in improving the administration of local government...

Scottish Parliament: Non-Domestic Rates (Levying) (Scotland) (No 3) Regulations 2010 (2 Feb 2011)

Jim Mather: To what extent does the UK Government consult on rises in VAT and other changes that it makes?

Scottish Parliament written answers — Energy: Energy (1 Feb 2011)

Jim Mather: Regular monitoring and forecasting of peak electricity demand is the responsibility of the National Grid and annual (historical) figures for the UK are published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change. But forecast information is not held centrally. From 2005, following the introduction of the British Electricity Trading and Transmission Arrangements, official figures for Scotland...

Scottish Parliament written answers — Fuel Prices: Fuel Prices (1 Feb 2011)

Jim Mather: Information specifically on fuel prices and comparisons with other countries is not held centrally. However, some of the information requested is available from the following sources: Chapter 6 of the Scottish Government Energy in Scotland Report provides an overview of domestic energy price statistics, including average annual domestic electricity and gas bills for Scotland and England and...

Scottish Parliament written answers — Prison Service: Prison Service (1 Feb 2011)

Jim Mather: On 17 December 2010, the UK Government announced its proposals to enable convicted prisoners sentenced to terms of four years or more to be automatically barred from registering to vote. Initially this will only extend to UK and European Parliament elections and as a result, the first elections at which prisoners will be entitled to vote will be the European elections in 2014. When giving...

Scottish Parliament: Community Energy Loan Fund (Co-operatives) (27 Jan 2011)

Jim Mather: The aim of the proposed community energy loan fund is to maximise the benefits of renewable energy for communities, not only in terms of access to locally produced low-carbon energy but in terms of social cohesion and economic development. Co-operatives are one of the business models that applicants will be able to use.

Scottish Parliament: Community Energy Loan Fund (Co-operatives) (27 Jan 2011)

Jim Mather: I am certainly willing to have that meeting, as it would build on the many other meetings that we have had across Scotland to open up the opportunities that renewables offer to build the fabric of and social cohesion within communities. As for Energy4All, our intention is that co-ops will be eligible for the fund subject to similar eligibility criteria that apply to other applicants, chief...

Scottish Parliament: Renewable Energy (Skills Shortage) (27 Jan 2011)

Jim Mather: The First Minister’s Scottish energy advisory board, which is co-chaired by Professor Jim McDonald of the University of Strathclyde and has representation from the key energy companies, has taken a specific interest in the future skills demands of the energy sector, including renewables. The board has commissioned Skills Development Scotland, as a member of the group, to produce a study on...

Scottish Parliament: Renewable Energy (Skills Shortage) (27 Jan 2011)

Jim Mather: There is a lot to build on vis-à-vis Carnegie College, and a lot is happening in the private sector, such as the work that is being done by Scottish and Southern Energy. There is an opportunity for Mr Tolson and his Liberal Democrat colleagues, as well as members on the Tory benches, to come together with us as we debate electricity market reforms to ensure that the fabric of the low-carbon...

Scottish Parliament: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (27 Jan 2011)

Jim Mather: The Scottish Government is committed to maintaining a supportive business environment and to ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to protect small and medium-sized enterprises during the current economic downturn. We have introduced a range of policies that are helping to protect small and medium-sized enterprises in Scotland. Those include continuing to match the English business...

Scottish Parliament: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (27 Jan 2011)

Jim Mather: I agree that in a time when our budgets are being slashed, we need all hands to the pump. We are trying to optimise jobs, quality of life and economic growth in all parts of Scotland. The customers of the supermarkets are feeling the pinch as their incomes and pensions are frozen or declining and the cost of VAT and fuel is going through the roof. I was criticised yesterday for suggesting...

Scottish Parliament: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (27 Jan 2011)

Jim Mather: The member confuses the situation. We are a devolved Government and we aspire to have a competitive independent country with full responsibility for all our taxes and the same growth that other countries have. The people who advocate that we stay where we are and stay in our box are advocating that Scotland should continue with our trend rate of growth at 1.8 per cent per annum, when the...


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