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 we strengthen the protection given wild animals by increasing the maximum penalties available for the most serious wildlife crime offences and extend the time allowed for prosecution of these offences when under summary procedure.

You Said

We received a total of 556 responses to the consultation.  Responses were received from 523 individuals and 33 organisations.

Almost all (97%) were in favour of increasing the maximum penalties for some wildlife offences, for example the injuring or un-licensed killing or taking of wild animals.  Many respondents commented that the current maximum penalties available are too low and that an increased focus on enforcement of penalties would be welcome.

Most respondents (69%) agreed that we should extend the time allowed for prosecution of these offences under summary procedure.  Respondents commented that crimes should be followed up regardless of the length of time elapsed since the offence and noted that it can take considerable time to gather evidence and that existing time constraints may be detrimental with regards to obtaining successful prosecutions.

We Did

These responses have been fully considered and on 30 September 2019, we introduced the Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) Bill into Parliament to effect these changes.

The Bill can be found at;

https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/112958.aspx

We Asked

On 03 October 2017, the Scottish Government confirmed its preferred policy position of no support for unconventional oil and gas (UOG) in Scotland, subject to the necessary statutory and other assessments. Any policy decision that has potential for significant environmental effects must be subject to a SEA prior to its finalisation. These requirements are set out in the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005. A Strategic Environmental Assessment is a means of considering the likely significant impact of a public plan, programme or strategy on the environment.

As there is potential for significant environmental effects, either as a consequence of industrial activity or as a consequence of not permitting an unconventional oil and gas industry, a SEA was required before the policy is finalised. Similarly, as there is potential for business and regulatory impacts, either as a consequence of industrial activity or as a consequence of not permitting an unconventional oil and gas industry, a BRIA was required before the policy is finalised.

A partial BRIA was produced help to assess the likely costs, benefits and risks of the preferred policy position and views are invited on its contents. The final BRIA builds on the partial BRIA and the consultation analysis.

The responses received to the 2018 consultation on the SEA Environmental Report, partial BRIA, and preferred policy position statement have led the Scottish Government to form the view that it would be helpful to provide some further clarification on a number of points raised in response to the consultation documents, specifically regarding the preferred policy position and its objectives. We are also taking the opportunity to update our position on the reasonable alternatives to the preferred policy position which were considered as part of the SEA process.

Responses to the addendum will be considered in detail prior to any policy position being adopted. When providing views to this consultation, there is no need to restate views already covered in the 2018 consultation, or as part of the 2017 Talking “Fracking” public consultation, as these have been, and will continue to be, taken into account as the Scottish Government finalises its policy position on unconventional oil and gas.

You Said

Altogether, 98 responses were received to this consultation. These responses have been independently analysed.

We Did

The consultation ran for eight weeks, with responses accepted until 25 June 2019. Following the consultation closure, the responses were independently analysed. 

On 03 October 2019, the Scottish Government confirmed its final policy position of no support for unconventional oil and gas (UOG). The responses to this consultation, along with the 2017 Talking “Fracking” consultation and 2018 consultation on statutory and other assessments, were considered in detail by Ministers prior to the finalisation of this policy.