Highland MSP David Stewart has hit out at the Lib Dem – Tory Coalition Government following the announcement that the East Coast franchise, which runs the Highland Chieftain route between Inverness and London and has been publicly run since 2009, has been awarded to City Railways, a consortium of Stagecoach and Virgin.
Welcoming the Smith Commission report today, Highlands & Islands Labour MSPs Rhoda Grant and David Stewart highlighted an opportunity for “double devolution”.
David Stewart said “We are pleased with the proposals to further strengthen of the powers of the Scottish Parliament as democratically arrived at by Scottish voters, UK partners and the commendable work of the Smith Commission.”
Rhoda Grant commented, “One aspect I particularly welcome from a Highlands and Islands point of view is the opportunity for ‘double devolution’
“Now that the Crown Estate seabed and foreshore are to be devolved, the Scottish Government can ‘double devolve’ those powers to our local authorities and communities.
“We hope to see early progress on this from the Government.”
David has tabled the following questions for answer :
David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Government how many diabetes patients have been refused prescriptions for blood-testing strips in each year since 2010, broken down by NHS board.
David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Government what guidance it provides to NHS boards about the circumstances in which prescriptions for bloodtesting strips for diabetes patients might be restricted.
David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Government what help it provides to diabetes patients who have been refused prescriptions for blood-testing strips
David Stewart : To ask the Scottish Government how many fires were recorded as having broken out in (a) domestic homes and (b) other types of residence in each year since 2009, also broken down by (i) how many led to and (ii) the number of fatalities.
Paul Wheelhouse: The Scottish Government publishes data on key fire statistics on an annual basis. The latest figures were published in the data tables for the Fire Statistics Scotland 2012-13 publication (published on 8 October 2013). These tables contain trend data from 2003-04 to 2012-13 on the number of fires and fatal casualties by building type.
The dataset can be found at the following link:
David Stewart : To ask the Scottish Government whether it expects hourly train journeys between Inverness and Aberdeen to be introduced by 2019.
Mr Derek Mackay MSP:
The £170 million package of Phase One improvements, announced on 28 March 2014, is the first stage to facilitate the introduction of the hourly service, a half hourly service from Elgin to Inverness and Aberdeen to Inverurie, as well as journey time reductions of up to 20 minutes and extra commuter services by 2030.
However as individual infrastructure enhancements are completed, a review of timetables will analyse opportunities for possible service improvements and identify opportunities for offering incremental benefits to passengers.
Highlands & Islands MSP David Stewart has said he has a mixed response to the publication of crime figures and detections in relation to the Highlands & Islands, Argyll & Bute and Moray.
“Whilst I am delighted that the WI have a 30% reduction in reported crime this year and an overall detection rate of 78% I am really concerned that Moray has only a 1% reduction in reported crime and the detection rate is only 46%.