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Comment, Spotlight on Holyrood — By SSmith on 04/11/2011 3:32 pm
|Parliamentary Questions and Answers|
|LABOUR MSP Rhoda Grant asked the Scottish Executive: “What steps it will take to enable housing associations to develop renewable heating schemes?”
The minister for energy, enterprise and tourism, Fergus Ewing responded: “The Scottish Government has established a task group on renewable heat to advise on priority issues in order to increase development of renewable heat. The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) is represented on the group. We will also shortly establish an expert commission to advise on the delivery of district heating in Scotland. Housing associations can also get free independent help by contacting the Energy Saving Trust and will benefit from heat mapping as the roll out of the pilot exercise in the Highland Council area continues.”
Grant requested further information on: “What funding mechanism will be used to enable housing associations to fund renewable heating schemes?”
The Minister responded: “The Scottish Government will assist housing associations finance renewable heating schemes through a number of programmes. The district heating and Communities and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) loan schemes both provide housing associations with the opportunity to access funding to develop renewable heating schemes. Our £50 million Warm Homes Fund will also deliver renewable energy and energy efficient homes in those communities worst affected by fuel poverty. The Scottish Government also encourages housing associations to access funding through the UK Government’s Renewable Heat Premium Payment Scheme. £3 million of the £15 million programme has been set aside for registered social landlords to improve their housing stock.”
|SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson highlighted a report on the financial impact of cancer“That the Parliament notes with concern reports by Macmillan Cancer Support of patients with cancer skipping meals and worrying about losing their homes because of the financial impact of their illness; notes that Macmillan claimed that 73 per cent of Scots cancer patients face increased costs and a drop in income as a result of their condition, and believes that the situation for patients is likely to deteriorate further if UK Government plans to cut support as part of the Welfare Reform Bill are taken forward.”
Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur introduced a motion on the Air Discount Scheme: “That the Parliament notes the benefits that the Air Discount Scheme has brought to Scotland’s island communities since it was first introduced in 2006; considers that, even with the Air Discount Scheme reduction, the cost of flying to and from the islands imposes a considerable financial burden on island life; understands, therefore, the very real concerns that the exclusion of business travel from the Air Discount Scheme has caused for businesses as well as the public and voluntary sectors in the islands.”
SNP MSP Marco Biagi introduced a motion on national adoption week: “That the Parliament notes that 31 October to 6 November 2011 is National Adoption Week; further notes that last year there were close to 16,000 looked-after children in Scotland, of whom 9,000 were looked after away from home but only 218 of those were adopted, and that there were only 466 adoptions in total last year; believes that ensuring that children are in stable, secure, loving homes improves both their lives and life chances; hopes that more children can be placed with adoptive parents and waiting times brought down; supports the National Adoption Register introduced by the Scottish Government, which is designed to help support adoption agencies place children in loving, stable homes; welcomes the Adoption and Placement Service newly launched by Barnardo’s Scotland.”
|Keep an eye out for…|
|Consultation on Review of Renewable Obligation Certificate Bands – this Scottish Government consultation seeks views on changes to the current support levels available for renewable electricity generation under Scotland’s Renewables Obligation mechanism.
New SPICe briefing on Educational Attainment of Looked After Children. This briefing has been produced to support an inquiry by the Education and Culture Committee into the educational attainment of looked after children.
Consultation on Council Tax on Long-Term Empty Properties and the Housing Support Grant – The Scottish Government proposes to allow councils the discretion to increase Council Tax charges for homes that are left empty for longer than six months.
Respite Care, Scotland 2011 – this Scottish Government statistics release presents information on respite care services provided or purchased by local authorities in Scotland.
Winter Weather Review Group Report – this Scottish Government report outlines the work undertaken by the Winter Weather Review Group during the summer of 2011.