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SCOTLAND

Oil Fabrication

5. Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the future for oil fabrication in Scotland. [2642]

Mrs. Liddell: The Government and the oil and gas industry continue to work together through PILOT to ensure that Scotland and the UK remains a centre of profitable activity for oil and gas for many years to come.

Rosyth

7. Rachel Squire: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met the First Minister and the Transport Minister to discuss progress on the Rosyth ferry port development. [2644]

Mr. Foulkes: My right hon. Friend has regular discussions with the First Minister and the Transport Minister to discuss a wide range of issues.

This initiative is a welcome development for business and industry.

Brownfield Sites (Lanarkshire)

8. Mr. Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next intends to discuss the regeneration of Lanarkshire's brown field sites with the First Minister. [2646]

Mr. Foulkes: My right hon. Friend has regular discussions with the First Minister on a wide range of issues including the commitment of this Government to maintaining a stable and successful economy in Scotland, as in the whole of the UK, which provides a sound base for economic development and regeneration projects and allows everyone to share in the nation's rising prosperity.

17 Jul 2001 : Column: 150W

Scottish Ambassador

9. Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions she has had with the First Minister on the Scottish Executive's proposals to appoint a Scottish Ambassador. [2648]

Mrs. Liddell: I speak to the First Minister regularly on a wide range of subjects. There are no proposals for the Scottish Executive to appoint a Scottish Ambassador.

Winter Fuel Payments

10. Mr. Lyons: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many pensioners in Scotland she estimates will receive payments under the Winter Fuel Payments scheme next winter. [2649]

Mr. Foulkes: We estimate that around one million people aged 60 or over will benefit from the scheme in Scotland. This includes around 15,750 people in the Strathkelvin and Bearsden constituency.

Air Links

11. Rosemary McKenna: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps she is taking to seek to improve the regulation of air links to and from Scotland. [2650]

Mrs. Liddell: The European Commission recently published proposals to revise the current regulation on common rules for the allocation of slots at Community airports. This proposal emphasises the need for member states to analyse the capacity situation at congested airports for which they are responsible and to consider ways and means of resolving the problems on a regular basis.

The Government will produce a White Paper next year which will bring together UK airports policy, looking 30 years ahead, and new policies on civil aviation. We published a UK-wide consultation document in November 2000 and a Scottish regional consultation will follow towards the end of this year. I am actively involved in this process to ensure that Scottish interests are fully represented.

Anti-drugs Strategy

12. Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will make a statement about new proposals to seize the assets of convicted drug dealers. [2651]

15. Mr. Doran: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions she has had with the Home Department on measures to confiscate the assets of convicted drug dealers. [2655]

Mr. Foulkes: The Scotland Office, the Home Office and the Scottish Executive are working closely together on the Proceeds of Crime Bill, which will strengthen the law and procedures for seizing the assets of drug dealers and other criminals.

13. John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will make a statement on the effectiveness of the anti-drugs strategy in Scotland. [2652]

Mr. Foulkes: The Government and the Scottish Executive are working in partnership to ensure that misuse of drugs is tackled effectively in Scotland and that efforts are co-ordinated.

17 Jul 2001 : Column: 151W

Progress made in Scotland towards reaching the targets set out in the UK anti-drugs strategy will be included in the UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator's Report for 2000–01 which is expected to be published shortly.

NHS Funding

14. Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations she has received from the Scottish Executive for her to make representations to the Treasury for additional money for the NHS in Scotland. [2653]

Mr. Foulkes: The Scottish Executive is able to determine its own spending priorities within its overall spending allocation.

The 2000 spending review provided the Scottish Executive with significant additions to its overall budget and provided for overall spending some £3.4 billion higher by 2003–04 compared to 2000–01, giving substantial scope for investment in modern public services, including health services. This year's Budget provided an additional £200 million over three years.

Tourism

16. Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions she has had with the British Tourist Authority on the effects of foot and mouth disease on the Scottish tourist industry. [2656]

Mr. Foulkes: I met senior representatives of the British Tourist Authority some weeks ago to discuss a range of issues on how best to promote tourism to Scotland. I am satisfied that Scotland will benefit both from the support from the Scottish Executive and the extra £14.2 million funding announced by the DCMS to help overseas recovery action.

18. John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the British Tourist Authority in encouraging overseas tourists to visit Scotland. [2658]

Mr. Foulkes: The STB and the BTA have been working together successfully for many years to promote Scotland and the whole of the UK as an attractive tourist destination. They are continuing to work towards achieving the maximum benefit for Scotland from the work which they are doing around the world.

I am convinced that there is an advantage for Scotland to be sold along with the rest of the UK. This is particularly true from long haul markets where a visit to Scotland will almost certainly be part of a tour of Britain, where Scotland could easily be left out if it is not clearly visible among the other choices.

19. Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when she next plans to meet the British Tourist Authority to discuss the attractions which Scotland offers in culture, historical sites and industrial archaeology. [2659]

Mr. Foulkes: I am in regular contact with both the BTA and visitscotland to discuss a range of issues in promoting Scottish tourism. I am confident that work is being undertaken to ensure that Scotland achieves the maximum benefit from the work which both organisations are doing around the world.

17 Jul 2001 : Column: 152W

Energy Policy

17. Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will set out the Government's targets for the proportion of electricity to be produced by nuclear, fossil and renewable energies in the next 20 years; and what discussions she has had with the Scottish Executive and Cabinet colleagues on this matter. [2657]

Mr. Foulkes: I have regular discussions with Scottish Executive Ministers and Government colleagues on a wide range of issues. The Government have set a target for the UK of 10 per cent. for the proportion of electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2010. Electricity generation in Scotland already exceeds this level and the Scottish Renewable Obligations will bring the figure to 13 per cent. by 2003. The target will then be to increase use of renewable energy in Scotland by a further 5 per cent. to 18 per cent. by 2010.

Foot and Mouth

20. Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions she has had with the First Minister on the foot and mouth epidemic; and if he will make a statement. [2660]

Mrs. Liddell: The First Minister and I meet regularly to discuss a whole range of issues including the handling of the foot and mouth outbreak in Scotland.

Assisted Area Status (Arbroath)

21. Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent representations she has made to the EU and the Department of Trade and Industry concerning assisted area status for Arbroath. [2661]

Mr. Foulkes: The European Commission, which has sole competence in this area, approved the UK's Assisted Areas map on 26 July 2000. The approved map will apply until December 2006. The Scotland Office and the Scottish Executive worked closely with the Department of Trade and Industry in discussion with the Commission to secure the best possible deal for Scotland and the UK as a whole. There are no plans to review the Assisted Areas map.


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