Consultation Hub

The Scottish Government wants to make it as easy as possible for those who wish to express their opinions on a proposed area of work to do so in ways which will inform and enhance that work.

You can view older Scottish Government consultations here, and view a list of archived consultations (pre-2004) here.

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We Asked

We sought your views on whether or not the proposed extension of the Power of Direction in Section 57 of the EPA 1990 is:

(A) Necessary to ensure full compliance with EU obligations and:

(B) Appropriate to prevent damage to human health and harm to the environment in circumstances where no other mechanism is available.

You Said

The consultation received 10 responses. 7 were from organisations and 3 from individuals.

There was agreement that the extension was necessary from 5 respondees.

Of the remaining 5 respondees, 4 provided comment on the format of the regulations whilst supporting the need for the extension.

The comments received centred around 3 main themes.

  • The lack of a right to appeal;
  • That extensive consultation with SEPA and waste operator take place before the power of direction was issued’ and
  • Account be given in the legislation to the changes to waste permits and licenses in the upcoming Integrated Authorisation Framework.

The remaining respondee commented on the general need for the extension.

No formal objection to the proposed extension was received.

We Did

We responded to the five respondees who made comment on (a) the format of the regulations and (b) the need for them and provided answers to their comments as follows:-

We explained that there is no appeal mechanism in respect of Ministerial powers of direction as the direction may only be used where immediate action is to prevent environmental harm or protect human health. A right of appeal would potentially delay action being taken, thus defeating the purpose of the provision.

We advised that consultation with SEPA would be standard practice, and we would consult with SEPA and the operator to explore whether agreement could be reached without having to use the power of direction, which we see as a last resort. We consider it would not be appropriate to add those steps to the legislation, as this could also potentially delay action being taken, thus defeating the purpose of the provision.

We confirmed that the drafting would work to include authorisations under the Integrated Authorisation Framework, once waste is included in that regime. Further, should that give rise to a need to make consequential amendments, powers are available to make those amendments.

We confirmed that notwithstanding existing EU obligations, Scottish Ministers consider it appropriate and necessary in the interests of protecting human health and the environment, to extend the current power of direction to all operators which accept, keep or dispose of waste.

 We have published those responses where consent has been given to publish.

As there were no formal objections, arrangements have been made to lay the draft regulations before the Scottish Parliament.

We Asked

Should Changing Places Toilets (larger sanitary accommodation for people with more complex care needs) be provided in certain large new non-domestic buildings through the Scottish building standards system. 

You Said

We received a total of 1112 responses to the consultation.  Responses were received from 1040 individuals and 72 organisations.

You were overwhelmingly supportive of the requirement for Changing Places Toilets in large new non domestic buildings.  You provided many examples of the positive impact these facilities have of the lives of people with complex care needs, their family, friends and carers.  You offered a number of suggestions on further situations where these facilities could be provided.

We Did

We have published the responses to the consultation and an analysis report summarising your responses.   

In consideration of your responses, we have amended consultation proposals. We have now published the 2019 Non-domestic Technical Handbook which introduces a new clause under standard 3.12 (sanitary facilites). This sets out where a Changing Places Toilet should be provided as part of new buildings or new building work. This provision applies from 1 October 2019.

We Asked

We published the Scottish Government consultation ‘Equally Safe: A consultation on legislation to improve forensic medical services for victims of rape and sexual assault’ for 12 weeks, between 15 February and 8 May 2019.

We asked for views on introducing direct statutory functions on NHS boards to provide forensic medical services and healthcare support to all victims, including those who have chosen not to report the crime to police, or are undecided, but wish to undergo examination and access support (known as “self-referral”). 

We specifically asked for views on:

  • the taking and retention of samples;
  • the potential impacts of proposals including on island communities, equalities and socio-economically disadvantaged groups;
  • provision for children and young people; and
  • potential financial implications for NHS Scotland health boards and other bodies.

You Said

We received 53 responses from 18 individuals and 35 organisations. These included 17 third sector organisations with 10 representing specific groups and 7 focused on victim support. The responses also included 9 from health organisations (including seven health boards), 5 from organisations providing a justice perspective and 2 from local authorities. 

There was broad support for proposals.  Some of the key findings from the consultation include: 

  • 91% respondents agreed there should be a specific statutory duty for Health Boards to provide forensic medical services to victims of rape and sexual assault; 
  • 80% of respondents agreed special provisions should be included to reflect the needs of children and young people
  • the majority of respondents thought that self-referral should not be offered to those under the age of 16;
  • a majority of responses favoured adult victims of rape and sexual assault being offered the option to self-refer;  
  • a number of responses highlighted specific issues faced by vulnerable adults;
  • almost two thirds of respondents raised potential impacts, both positive and potential challenges, in relation to people in rural or island communities;
  • training and premises were identified as potential financial implications, as well as a potential need for further investment in advocacy services for victims of rape and sexual assault. 

Key themes included the value of a statutory duty, the importance of
self-referral routes and the positive impact of embedding trauma-informed care and adopting a health-focused approach to Forensic Medical Services for victims of rape and sexual assault, or child sexual abuse.  Views expressed on how a legislative framework should operate were consistent in the case of police and self-referral.    Respondents highlighted the importance of consent, clear information and communication -  including with regards the storage, transfer and deletion of data.  The importance of  ensuring consistency with existing guidelines victims’ needs was also identified

The Analysis Report also draws on discussions at a consultation workshop hosted by the Scottish Government on 26 March 2019. This invited representatives from Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), NHS Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland to explore the development of a consistent national model for self-referral.  While there was broad support for proposals there was some divergence regarding a retention period for samples.

We Did

We have already published those responses where consent was given to do so alongside the consultation paper o the consultation hub: https://consult.gov.scot/equally-safe/equally-safe-improve-forensic-medical-services/consultation/published_select_respondent.

We commissioned independent analysis of the consultation responses from the Lines Between Ltd.  We published the analysis report of responses on the Scottish Government website on 29 August: http://www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781839600647

Subject to the will of Parliament, Scottish Government announced its intention to legislate in this area in the current parliamentary year in the Programme for Government 2019-20.  The Scottish Government will continue to engage with stakeholders to shape the legislation and reach consensus on areas of policy divergence.