We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We Asked

Your views on draft regulations that:

  1. Transfer the functions and members of the Scottish Tax Tribunals to the Scottish Tribunals.
  2. Set out the Rules of Procedure for the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Tax Chamber
  3. Establish the Composition of the Scottish Tribunals when hearing cases and appeals in or from the First-tier Tax Chamber.

You Said

We received 3 responses from organisations. The majority of respondents were content with the provisions.

The main concerns have been addressed in the analysis of consultation responses document.

We Did

We have amended the draft regulations to take on board a concern raised by a number of respondents around the judiciary eligible to sit. We have therefore limited the judiciary eligible to hear appeals or referrals from the First-tier Tax Chamber in the Upper Tribunal to Court of Session judges.

We Asked

The Fetlar to Haroldswick MPA was designated in 2014.  However the description of the site boundary In the designation order did not reflect what is portrayed on maps.  In other words, attempting to draw the site boundary from the description in the designation order would not have created it.

The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 requires consultation to take place on any proposal to designate a Marine Protected Area (MPA).  In this case this was a technical exercise because the MPA already had effect.

Consultation was undertaken on the proposal using the Citizen Space platform between 22 August and 16 October 2016.  The consultation page served as notice of Scottish Ministers intention to re-designate the site.  Those pages can be found here:

https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/marine-conservation/fetlarharoldswickdo

You Said

A total of 3 responses were received.

All agreed that the new definitions of the site boundaries appeared to be correct.

We Did

The MPA has been re-designated by Scottish Ministers, with effect from 18 November 2016.  The new designation order can be found at the following page:

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/marine-environment/mpanetwork/developing/DesignationOrders/FTHDOrder

We Asked

The Small Isles MPA was designated in 2014.  However the description of the site boundary In the designation order did not reflect what is portrayed on maps.  In other words, attempting to draw the site boundary from the description in the designation order would not have created it.

The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 requires consultation to take place on any proposal to designate a Marine Protected Area (MPA).  In this case this was a technical exercise because the MPAs already had effect.

Consultation was undertaken on the proposal using the Citizen Space platform between 22 August and 16 October 2016.  The consultation page served as notice of Scottish Ministers intention to re-designate the site.  Those pages can be found here:

https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/marine-conservation/smallislesdoconsultation2016

 

You Said

A total of 2 responses were received.

Both agreed that the new definitions of the site boundaries appeared to be correct.

We Did

The MPA has been re-designated by Scottish Ministers, with effect from 18 November 2016.  The new designation order can be found at the following page:

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/marine-environment/mpanetwork/developing/DesignationOrders/SMIDOrder

We Asked

Your views on whether unmeasured water and sewerage charges should be calculated by reference to the most recent rateable value and whether transition arrangements should apply.

You Said

57 responses were received.

There was broad agreement with the proposals.

We Did

From 1 April 2018, current Rateable Values will be used to calculate unmeasured water and sewerage charges.  A 2 year transition period has been agreed.

We Asked

For your views on the Scottish Government's proposals for a Child Poverty Bill.

You Said

A total of 116 responses were received. 30 of these were from individuals, and the remaining 86 for stakeholder organisations.

We Did

The Scottish Government published analysis of the responses to the consultation on Wednesday 21 December 2016. The responses received will help to shape the Scottish Government's proposals for a Child Poverty Bill.

We Asked

Your views on proposals to establish the interim body to manage the Crown Estate assets in Scotland post-devolution.

You Said

We received 40 responses from individuals and organisations. A range of constructive comments and informative feedback was submitted by consultation respondents.

We Did

A consultation report has been published on the Scottish Government website.

We Asked

We asked for your views on the current Scottish Social Housing Charter so that a new Charter can be introduced from 1st April 2017.  The Charter sets the outcomes and standards that all social landlords should be achieving for their tenants and other customers through their housing activities.

We asked you about the impact of the current Charter, the current standards and outcomes and whether you thought anything should be added to the Charter.

You Said

106 responses were received. 73 from organisations and 33 from individuals. Views on the current Charter were generally positive with the majority of respondents in favour of keeping the current outcomes and standards unchanged.

We Did

We have published the analysis of responses. This along with the views expressed at 12 stakeholder events held across the country, evidence paper from the Scottish Housing Regulator on landlord performance against the Charter, an "Involving All" consultation that focussed on tenants who might normally be excluded or find it diffcult to get involved carried out by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service and Tenant Information Service will help inform the changes that we will make.

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/11/1336

 

We Asked

We asked for views on six draft Strategic Police Priorities.

You Said

Amongst other issues, one of the main themes from consultation responses was the need for the Priorities to fully recognise that communities can exist on a non-geographical basis.

We Did

Alongside other amendments to the Priorities in the consultation paper, we have added another Priority on 'Inclusion' in the final version.

We Asked

Your views on the decisions in relation to implementing the exemption for EIIs as a consequence of the UK Government’s proposals, as they relate to the RO Scotland.

You Said

We received 20 responses from EIIs, trade associations, energy suppliers, consumer groups and one individual.  Ten responses were supportive of the proposal to implement a proposed exemption scheme, while 5 opposed. Should UK Government implement their proposed scheme, 13 responses argued that Scottish Government should implement uniformly.

We Did

With consideration to the informative feedback from consultation respondents we will publish a Scottish Government response in due course.

We Asked

for your views on draft regulations relating to asset transfer under the Community Empowerment Act.  The regulations cover procedures for making and responding to requests, for review or appeal of decisions, and on registers of land. 

You Said

We received 82 responses, of which 55 were from relevant authorities, and 16 were from organisations representing communities, or third sector organisations providing support to community bodies.  The majority of responses agreed with the proposed procedures.  Many comments addressed wider issues about asset transfer.  An analysis of the responses has now been published on the Scottish Government website.

We Did

Two substantial changes have been made to the regulations:

  • Notices publicising asset transfer requests are to be “displayed in a public place in the vicinity of the land to which the request relates”, following concerns raised about the requirement to place a notice on the land, for remote sites.
  • Ministers will be required to appoint a panel of 3 people to consider appeals where no contract has been concluded.

A number of minor changes have also been made to clarify requirements and ensure consistency, and other issues and questions raised have been addressed in the guidance.

The draft final guidance is now available at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/engage/AssetTransfer

We Asked

for your views regarding our draft guidance and regulation for Part 2 Community Planning in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.  This consultation explored views regarding the principles of effective community planning, the review and reporting of plans and the criteria and population basis for locality planning. 

You Said

a total of 92 responses were received, 5 from individuals and 87 from organisations.  There was a high level of support for and broad agreement with the principles and timing of reports as outlined in the guidance. We received wide ranging and lengthy comments regarding the criteria and population basis for regulation with a majority welcoming the flexibility afforded by this.    

We Did

No substantial changes to the regulation regarding locality planning.  Reflecting comments recieved the Community Planning Guidance has been reviewed to provide greater emphasis to: Community Participation; Tackling Inequalities and Shared Leadership. 

We have published: an analysis of consulation responses regarding the draft guidance and regulation; the finalised regulation which describes the localities into which CPPs must divide local authority areas for the purpose of carrying out locality planning; community planning guidance as described above, and; a plain English guide to help people and communities understand what community planning is all about.  

We Asked

The minimum age of criminal responsibility is currently 8 in Scotland and we asked for views on whether this should be raised 12.

The consultation questions also addressed both the principle of change and the key implications in relation to care and protection, risk, police powers, disclosure and the role of the Children's Hearings System

 

You Said

A total of 74 responses were received.

95% agreed the minimum age of criminal responsibility should be raised to 12.

We Did

Mark McDonald MSP, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, announced that a Bill in this session would be introduced to raise the age of criminal responsibility from eight years to 12

 

We published, on the 1 December 2016, the analysis of the consultation responses and engagement withchildren and young people.  The report can be found here:

http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0051/00510795.pdf

 

 

We Asked

For your views and comments on a draft Fire and Rescue Framework for Scotland 2016, which is a statutory document (under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 as amended by the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012), outlining Scottish Ministers’ expectations of, and setting 10 key strategic priorities for, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) over the next few years.

You Said

We received 38 responses, the majority of which were broadly supportive of the 10 key strategic priorities and the text of the document.  A range of constructive comments were submitted on both the strategic priorities and the text of the Framework.

We Did

A consultation analysis report has been published on the Scottish Government website. Having considered all the views expressed in the consultation responses, we made a number of amendments to the Fire and Rescue Framework for Scotland 2016, which was published on the Scottish Government website on 1 September.  The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (Framework) Order 2016 was laid in Parliament on 5 September and will bring the Framework into effect from 4 October 2016.

The amendments include a revision to the section on Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals (UFAS) to take on board concerns expressed around the detailed nature of the priority, as well as additional narrative to strengthen the section on SFRS’s duties under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, and new sections covering its role as a corporate parent under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and a community justice partner under the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016.

We Asked

The Scottish Government asked for views on its plans for a tax to replace Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Scotland from 1 April 2018, which will help boost Scotland's international connectivity and generate sustainable growth.  This included the opportunity to comment on the initial findings and proposed scope and methodology of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) that is being undertaken.

You Said

In total:


• 160 responses (76 from organisations, 84 from individuals) were received to the policy consultation 'A consultation on a Scottish replacement to Air Passenger Duty';
• 41 responses (16 from organisations, 25 from individuals) were received to the SEA consultation 'A Scottish replacement to Air Passenger Duty: Strategic Environmental Assessment Screening and Scoping Report'.

We Did

The Scottish Government published separate analyses of responses to each consultation on Friday 29 July 2016.  The responses received will help inform the development of the Scottish Government's legislative proposals for a tax to replace APD in Scotland from 1 April 2018. 

We Asked

For your views on Guidance that the Keeper proposed to issue to public authorities. This sets out the proper arrangements that they should have in place when transferring their records selected for permanent preservation to an archive.  These included constitution, finance, staffing, security, storage, collection care, and public access.

You Said

We received 35 responses, of which 24 came from public bodies, six from individuals four from professional bodies and one from a private archive. The great majority were in favour of the principles of the Guidance but three topics, staff qualifications, digital records and resource implications all attracted particular comment, some of it critical. A number of other, lesser issues, mainly requests for clarifications, were also raised. Overall we found the responses to be both constructive and positive.

We Did

A full report has been published on the Scottish Government Citizen Space website, analysing the responses and setting out the Keeper’s views on them. The final Guidance is now being altered to reflect some of the topics and shortcomings raised by the Consultation and will be issued shortly. It will clarify matters surrounding staff qualifications and will set out some basic principles governing preservation of digital records. Wording on a number of other topics will be clarified to remove ambiguities.

We Asked

For views on proposed changes to closed areas around the Outer Hebrides.

You Said

A total of 10 responses were received, which consisted of three individual responses and seven from organisations. A majority of respondents supported the proposals.

We Did

As a result of the consultation exercise Marine Scotland will proceed to introduce all of the measures consulted upon.

We Asked

Last year, in response to the recommendations following the Freedom to Speak Up Review, the Scottish Government gave a commitment that the role of an Independent National (Whistleblowing) Officer would be developed and established to provide an independent and external level of review on the handling of whistleblowing cases, and that the detailed proposals would be subject to consultation.

A full public consultation on detailed proposals for the introduction of the INO role ran for 12 weeks and closed on 10 February 2016. 

You Said

We received 58 responses from a range of organisations and individuals. Our proposals have been welcomed with strong support.

In the main respondents considered that the role of the INO should be to consider concerns raised about the application of local whistleblowing processes, including examination of the decision making and outcome of the concerns raised.

Most respondents were supportive of the INO taking a holistic approach to examining complaints and agreed with our view on the principles and processes on how concerns should be raised.  In particular, the emphasis on the INO being the final stage in the process was broadly welcomed.

There was also strong support for the INO having statutory powers, as without these it was felt that the effectiveness of the role would be curtailed. Furthermore there was a view that such powers would provide the INO with credibility and would generate respect.

There was a recurring view that the INO role should be hosted within the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO) and strong support for giving employees of adult health and social care services access to the INO.

The most popular title for this role was "Independent National Whistleblowing Officer for NHSScotland".

We Did

The Scottish Government has made clear its commitment to develop and establish the role and functions of an INO for NHSScotland.

We have considered the range of views expressed in the consultation and an independent analysis of the responses has been published. This is available at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/06/4326.

We will use the findings of the analysis to further inform and refine proposals to ensure that the INO is equipped to carry out the role effectively, and we will give further consideration to the arrangements for hosting the role.

We are clear that the INO should have the ability to provide independent challenge and oversight and should have the powers and functions that enable it to do so. 

We will look at the main themes that emerged on support for the role, and provide further clarity over roles and relationships with existing bodies and initiatives, terminology, and the review process. 

In line with the views expressed within the consultation the new role will be called the ‘Independent National Whistleblowing Officer for NHSScotland’. We will consider introducing legislation to bring the role and functions into effect. This will complement policies already in place to promote, support and encourage whistleblowing and further develop an open and honest reporting culture in NHSScotland.   

Whilst recognising an appetite for the role of the INO to extend to those providing adult health and social care services who are not employed by Health Boards, we will progress the role for Health Board staff at this stage.  We have taken this view given the emerging landscape of adult health and social care integration and the wide range of views expressed on this subject, and views expressed that some of the proposed INO functions are held already within existing regulatory bodies for social care. This will allow for more detailed analysis and consultation with appropriate stakeholders to ensure that our approach to this is correct.  

The Scottish Government and NHSScotland value our established Partnership working arrangements and the contribution from a wider variety of interested stakeholders.  We will continue to work together with our partners to make sure that staff are protected when raising concerns.

We Asked

For your views on the development of a Rail Freight Strategy for Scotland.  This included the opportunity to comment on the draft vision for the rail freight sector as well as a number of draft proposals aimed at supporting the sector to achieve its potential in a manner consistent with the Scottish Government’s transport and broader economic, social and environmental objectives.

You Said

We received 46 responses, many of which were supportive of the broad principles and approach and agreed with the representation of the key challenges and opportunities for the rail freight sector as set out.  Accordingly, the draft vision, objectives and broad actions that were trailed in the consultation document have been retained in the final Strategy.  There were comments on how the Strategy could be strengthened, areas of focus prioritised, and timescales for actions accelerated.

We Did

The evidence collected both through the consultation process and the supplementary stakeholder workshops was comprehensively assessed and informed the publication of “Delivering the Goods, Scotland’s Rail Freight Strategy”.  The Strategy sets out how we will work in partnership with the rail freight industry and others to realise our vision for rail freight through the four core levers of: innovation, facilitation, promotion and investment.  An Analysis Report (summarising the consultation responses) and note of discussion was published alongside the Strategy on the Transport Scotland website.

We Asked

NUTS boundaries are used for reporting of regional statistics to Eurostat and those statistics are used to inform regional policy. The Scottish Government is proposing to create a fifth NUTS2 boundary in the south of Scotland. Do you have any comments on the Scottish Government's proposals for creating a fifth NUTS2 region?

You Said

Responses were generally supportive of the proposal however some issues were raised which the Scottish Government has given its response to. Please see the full Review of NUTS Boundaries.

We Did

It is the opinion of the Chief Statistician and  the Scottish Government that the reporting of statistics to the European Union for Scotland would be better achieved by creating a fifth NUTS area for ‘Southern Scotland’ and reducing the size of the South Western and Eastern regions.

This will create more population balanced NUTS2 areas and will improve statistical evidence and reporting for the mainly rural south of Scotland.

The Scottish Government has now recommended to ONS that they request changes to the NUTS2 regions as detailed in this document. The Scottish Government will also recommend the three NUTS2 areas be classified as ‘Eastern Scotland’, ‘West Central Scotland’ and ‘Southern Scotland’. These names will reflect the areas which they represent.

We Asked

Your views on proposals to make Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) a notifiable disease in Scotland.

You Said

We received 11 responses from individuals, organisations and one local authority.  Respondents were unanimously supportive of the proposal to make PED notifiable to an industry-led body.  Respondents also agreed with the draft Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment, and Privacy Impact Assessment, which accompanied the consultation paper.

We Did

Following the positive feedback from consultation respondents and the continued support of the industry, The Specified Diseases (Notification) Amendment (Scotland) Order 2016 was laid in Parliament on 25th January.  Subject to Parliamentary scrutiny, the order will come into force on 2nd March 2016 making it mandatory for pig keepers to report any suspected case of PED to Quality Meat Scotland through the Scottish Pig Disease Control Centre.

We Asked

Your views on the development of a Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. This included a chance to comment on the principles of the proposed strategy, the four themes of the strategy and the priorities for action outlined under each theme.

You Said

We received 139 responses, 76 were submitted by group respondents and 63 by individuals. A clear majority of respondents agreed with the proposed principles, themes and priorities for action. However, there were a large number of comments on how the strategy could be amended and strengthened in certain areas.

We Did

We have considered all of the responses to the consultation and an independent analysis report was produced and published on the Scottish Government website. In consequence of the positive consultation response, the Scottish Government will produce a Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy which will be shaped by the consultation responses.

We Asked

Your views on the proposed scope of each of the draft regulations prescribing a time limit for permission to appeal a decision of the Scottish Tribunals, on Rules of Procedure for the Upper Tribunal and on Offences in the Scottish Tribunals.

You Said

We received 24 responses from organisations and individuals. The majority of respondents were content with the 30 day time limit for permission to appeal. The main comments in relation to the Upper Tribunal Rules of Procedure were that rule 11(1) (Dismissal of a party’s case) was too severe.

There were also a number of other comments made by respondents in relation to other Rules of Procedure for example that the tribunal should be able to restrict unsuitable representatives or supporters.

In relation to Offences in Proceedings respondents suggested that the offence of making a false statement should be amended to read ‘knowingly make a false statement’.

We Did

We analysed the consultation responses and considered the range of views expressed. We removed rule 11(1) and will rely on rule 11(3) which says that the tribunal may dismiss proceedings or the appropriate part of them if the appellant has failed to comply with an order.

We have also amended the draft rules to include a provision that the tribunal may, if it feels there are good and sufficient reasons for doing so, refuse to permit a particular person from assisting or supporting a party.

In relation to Offences in Proceedings we amended the draft regulations to make it a defence for a person charged with an offence to prove that the false statement was not knowingly made or that a thing was not knowingly altered, concealed or destroyed.

We Asked

Your views on draft regulations that:

  1. transfer the functions and members of the private rented housing panel and homeowner housing panel to the Scottish Tribunals and
  2. set out the composition of the Scottish Tribunals when hearing Housing and Property cases

You Said

We received 20 responses from organisations and individuals. The majority of respondents were content with the provisions.

The main concern raised in relation to the transfer of functions and members regulations were about awarding expenses against a party.

The main concern about the draft regulations setting out the composition of the Housing and Property Chamber was that legal members would be allocated to hear cases on their own.

We Did

We have amended the draft regulations to take on board a number of the concerns raised by respondents. For example, we have removed the regulations which allow the Scottish Tribunals to disapply new regulations and we have amended the Chamber Rules to allow the Chamber President to delegate functions to any legal or ordinary member of the Chamber.

We Asked

We asked for your views on the definition of new psychoactive substances (NPS), proposals to establish a forensic centre for excellence and to improve data collection and information sharing

You Said

The majority of the 54 responses supported the Scottish Government's proposals. There were some changes suggested in relation to proposals to categorise NPS according to their effects. Additional suggestions were also made about the potential functions of a centre for excellence and for improved information sharing.

We Did

The results of the questionnaire will be used to inform ongoing discussions with the UK Government and stakeholders in Scotland in relation to implementation of the Psychoactive Substances Act, and to further develop the Scottish Government's policy programme on NPS.

We Asked

Your views on the 2015 remedial order which made some amendments to the disclosure regime in Scotland.

You Said

We received 27 responses from organisations and individuals, as well as a response from the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament.  The respondents generally supported the reforms we made.  A small number of changes to the offence lists were suggested.  The majority of respondents stated that guidance was needed to support the remedial order.

We Did

Scottish Ministers have proposed some amendments to the 2015 remedial order due to some of the comments received.  The main changes concern  refinement of the offence lists and reducing the timescale to apply to a Sheriff to have information removed from a disclosure from 6 months to 3 months.  These proposals are contained in the Police Act 1997 and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 Remedial (No. 2) Order 2015 which, subject to Parliament’s agreement, will come into force on 8 February 2016.  Additional guidance is being produced.