Results 1–20 of 1715 for speaker:Paul Wheelhouse

Scottish Parliament: Broadband Roll-out (Dumfries and Galloway) (11 Mar 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: Thinkbroadband reports that superfast coverage in Dumfries and Galloway stands at 87 per cent, up from 17 per cent in January 2014. Dumfries and Galloway has 8,300 properties in scope for the R100 south lot contract, which delivered its first live connections in Biggar in Lanarkshire in December. Eligible south lot premises will receive a full-fibre solution, which allows gigabit...

Scottish Parliament: Broadband Roll-out (Dumfries and Galloway) (11 Mar 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: Joan McAlpine is correct: mobile connectivity is reserved, as is broadband. However, we intervene through our own measures to address market failure. She will be aware that the Scottish 4G infill programme has been important for us. The first mast that we delivered was at New Luce in Galloway, and that site has been operational for more than a year. Four more sites in Dumfries and Galloway...

Scottish Parliament: Broadband Roll-out (Dumfries and Galloway) (11 Mar 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: Colin Smyth raises an important point. It is true that the full-fibre needs of new developments must also be addressed. I know that BT provides a package for any development of more than 20 properties—it is largely free full fibre, because of the scale of the development. I know that Mr Stewart, the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, is closely examining the matter in...

Scottish Parliament: Broadband Roll-out (Dumfries and Galloway) (11 Mar 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: Liam McArthur raises a fair question. The commercial decision is for BT in fulfilling the contract, but if Mr McArthur wishes to provide details of any particular companies that are actively seeking to participate in the R100 programme—I know that he has made representations before—we can pass them on to BT and Openreach to ensure that those opportunities are taken up. Mr McArthur is...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: On a point of order, Presiding Officer. Unfortunately, my page did not reload and I was unable to vote, but I would have voted no.

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: Part 1 of the bill creates a licensing system for those who are supplying thermal energy by means of a heat network. That is crucial, as it will ensure that those who are supplying the essential service of heat and, in some cases, hot water via a heat network are solvent, skilled and fit and proper persons. The system will also provide for the imposition of licence conditions, so that...

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: In 2019, the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 was amended to enshrine in law our commitment to transitioning to net zero, in line with the just transition principles. Those principles set out the importance of taking action to reduce Scotland’s net emissions of greenhouse gases in a way that supports sustainable jobs and low-carbon investment, that develops and maintains social consensus,...

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: I thank Alexander Burnett for his positive engagement on the matter. As he indicated, as a general principle at stage 2, we tried to avoid putting standard conditions in the bill. The main reason for that was the need to retain flexibility and to ensure that, whoever the licensing authority is in the future, it has the ability to shape licence conditions as required. Nevertheless, I recognise...

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: I thank Maurice Golden and Alexander Burnett for working with me since stage 2 to introduce their amendments today. I will turn first to Mr Golden’s amendments, which concern the important matter of how the implementation of the bill will affect existing heat networks, of which we estimate there are around 1,080 across Scotland. I know that those who are operating schemes today are eager to...

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: Group 5 deals with minor drafting amendments, so I will keep my comments as brief as they can be, in describing them. First, as a result of amendments at stage 2, section 17 of the bill contains sub-subparagraphs (A) and (B); we want to adjust that. Amendment 6 will therefore change paragraph (A) of section 17(2) into a subsection to itself, and amendment 7 will change paragraph (B) of...

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: The role of local authorities in the regulatory system for heat networks, particularly in granting consent to the development and operation of networks, has been a major theme during the passage of the bill. When we first consulted on a heat network consent system, we recognised that local authorities might be well placed to take on the function, given that they already act as planning...

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: I press amendment 8, as amended. Amendment 8, as amended, agreed to. Amendments 9 and 10 moved [Paul Wheelhouse] and agreed to.

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: The amendments in my name in this group are largely technical in nature, but they provide important clarity on enforcement action in relation to heat network consents. Amendment 11 modifies section 30 so that it is clear that the enforcement authority is able to issue an enforcement notice to both persons who are constructing or operating a heat network on their own behalf, without consent,...

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: I apologise in advance, Presiding Officer. This will be one of my longer contributions, but I will try to keep my remarks on the group as brief as I can. In the main they relate to amendments lodged by Mark Ruskell, which I have discussed with him. I highlight that heat network zoning is probably one of the highest-priority measures for stakeholders. The bill is the first of its kind in the...

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: I again apologise, as this will be one of my lengthier contributions today. At stage 2, the bill was amended by Mark Ruskell and Maurice Golden to include new provisions relating to heat network supply targets. Maurice Golden also inserted provision requiring the Scottish ministers to produce a heat networks delivery plan that will relate to the increased deployment and use of heat networks....

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: I am fine, thank you, Presiding Officer. Amendment 27 agreed to.

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: My amendments in group 10 largely address technical matters that were identified by a review of the bill following stage 2. Unless an exemption applies, section 47(1) prohibits the operation of a heat network in a heat network zone that is designated by a notice if there is no heat network zone permit for the zone. Amendment 29 will modify section 47(1) to ensure that those who operate a heat...

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: I am delighted to have the opportunity—oops! Sorry. I have skipped ahead of myself, which is never a good start. I was going so fast. My amendments in this group provide for how compulsory purchase powers that are conferred on heat network licence holders under section 57 may be exercised in relation to Her Majesty’s private estates. Section 80 already makes provision in relation to the...

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: I will keep my response brief. I understand members’ concerns about the amendments, but we have taken care to make it clear that the approach that is being taken is particular to the bill and is not an acceptance of a general principle, as it relates to the specific nature of heat networks and the business models that they often adopt. I hear what Mr Wightman says, but it is not considered...

Scottish Parliament: Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill (23 Feb 2021)

Paul Wheelhouse: I am delighted to have the opportunity to address members on the Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill. I am also delighted that we have reached this stage, after many years of preparation and extensive stakeholder engagement. Before I talk about the bill itself, I think that it is important to place in context the work that we are doing here. The bill, complex though it is, is crucial to...


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