We Asked, You Said, We Did

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

We Asked

We asked for views on the introduction of electronic invoicing to the Scottish public sector and held a public consultation which was open for 12 weeks from 1st August 2018.

You Said

In total 21 responses to the consultation were received: 13 from local authorities; 1 from NHS; 2 from central government; 2 from trade organisations; 2 from suppliers; and 1 from an individual.

All bar one respondent agreed that the introduction of eInvoicing was a positive step and 80% of respondents highlighted some procedural barriers or challenges in the implementation of eInvoicing.

We Did

All responses have been fully considered and all non-confidential responses received have been published. The EU Directive 2014/55/EU on Electronic Invoicing in Public Procurement will be implemented through amendment to the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations and will come into force 18 April 2019.

We Asked

For your views on proposals to maximise the number of homes in the social rented sector attaining Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Energy Efficiency (EE) Rating Band B by 2032.   We also asked for your views on proposals for: air quality and environmental impact requirements to be included in the 2032 milestone (from 2025); a floor of EPC Band D as the minimum energy efficiency standard for a house to be let, along with views on when this minimum standard should come into force; a vision for 2040 for social housing’s contribution to realising our fuel poverty, energy efficiency and climate change ambitions; and a review in 2025 to assess progress and confirm any additional requirements of the 2032 milestone or 2040 vision.

You Said

We received 66 consultation responses.   In general, there was support in principle for the proposal to maximise the proportion of social housing meeting EPC band B by 2032.   However, these were qualified by strong concerns, particularly from social landlords, with a number of challenges identified, including:

  • difficulty and cost associated with making improvements to some houses
  • value for money of investment and cost effectiveness of some improvements
  • cost implications and landlord’s ability to access funding streams
  • gaining tenant support for improvements and potential impact on rent levels
  • concerns around the recognition of new technologies within the new milestone  

Most respondents were content with the proposal for landlords to provide a narrative explanation to the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) for stock that cannot be brought up to the 2032 milestone. There is a call for clear Scottish Government guidance on what will be expected of landlords by the SHR.

Most respondents supported the principle of a minimum standard for EPC Band D for social housing from 2025, with a range of responses round the consideration of additional requirements of the 2032 milestone regarding air quality and environmental impact, and the view to including these in the target from 2025. There is also support for the next EESSH Review to take place in 2025.

We Did

We published the analysis of the responses on 22 November 2018 

https://www2.gov.scot/Publications/2018/11/3023.

We are committed to ensuring that EESSH will support the Energy Efficient Scotland vision for homes and buildings that are warmer, greener and more efficient, with a housing sector that helps to establish a successful, low carbon economy across Scotland.

The EESSH Review Group will now reconvene to consider the consultation analysis and the development of EESSH2, with confirmation of a new standard expected in early 2019.  

We Asked

With the Welfare Foods having been devolved to Scotland through provisions in the Scotland Act 2016, the Scottish Government consulted on proposals to help develop an effective and proportionate Welfare Foods package for Scotland.

You Said

The responses to the consultation provided a range of contrasting perspectives on what the Welfare Foods package should deliver and what requirements should be included. Overall, respondents were supportive of the proposals included in the consultation.

We Did

The Scottish Government is currently considering the content of the responses.  This will help shape policy development, and we are engaging with stakeholders throughout this process.

We Asked

For your views on the proposed model for a statutory Appropriate Adult service.

You Said

Out of 109 responses there was broad support for the proposals outlined in the consultation document.

We Did

Work to develop the statutory service continues and it is scheduled to go live during 2019.

We Asked

We asked for views on a new enterprise agency for the South of Scotland. We held a public consultation, which was open for 12 weeks from 15 March 2018. During this period we also worked with the South of Scotland Economic Partnership to hold a series of 26 public events across the South of Scotland, where people could share their views and ask questions about the Government’s proposals.

You Said

We received a total of 268 responses to the public consultation. 153 came from individuals (57%) and 115 from organisations (43%).  Most responses were supportive of our plans to create a new enterprise agency in the South, and for the Scottish Government’s vision for the South of Scotland.  We also received many suggestions about areas of priority and focus for the new agency, including infrastructure, good employment opportunities, the creation of a skilled workforce, and more opportunities for young people.

We Did

We commissioned an independent analysis of the consultation responses, including views gathered during the 26 public events.  You can read this at https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/10/9556.

The Scottish Government will be introducing legislation to create the new enterprise agency in the coming months.  The responses are being carefully considered to help inform the content of the legislation and shape the structure of the new body.

We Asked

We asked for your views on

  • Proposals to ask for additional information about compliance with legal duties relating to letting houses;
  • Options for amending the landlord registration fee structure.

You Said

  • We received 239 responses to the consultation, of which 80 were from organisations, 95 from individuals and 64 from those who identified themselves as landlords.
  • Responses indicated broad support for requiring landlords to provide more information about compliance with specific legal duties, in particular relating to property condition and safety. 
  • Concerns were expressed about the cumulative financial impact of all the proposals for amending landlord registration fees (the rate of inflation calculated since landlord registration was introduced in 2006) coupled with removing discounts for joint applications, online applications and applications across multiple areas. 

View the analysis report on responses to the public consultation on changes to fee structure and required prescribed information for landlord registration here

 

We Did

We published the 207 non-confidential responses to the consultation and an analysis report.  Based on the responses received we will implement changes to the prescribed information within the application process towards the middle of 2019.  Regulations have been laid in Parliament to end the 10% discount for on-line applications made on or after 1 December 2018.  We will also introduce the ability for Scottish Ministers to apply a rate of inflation increase to the application fees, subject to an annual review of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  This will not be backdated to 2006 as suggested in the consultation.  We will work with local authorities to improve consistency in the way applications are processed before considering whether further changes to fee levels are needed.

We Asked

The Scottish Government consulted on the Update of The Licensing (Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2007, seeking views, in particular, regarding the sections of the Regulations which related to the public notification process. Feedback was also sought from respondents on other sections of these Regulations and for examples of good practice.

You Said

There were 50 responses to the consultation received, which provided a range of contrasting perspectives on what should be included in the Regulations. A number of suggested amendments were of a detailed and technical nature.

We Did

We published the non-confidential responses to the consultation and a summary of the responses. We are currently considering representations made about the Procedure Regulations as a result of this consultation. The findings will be used alongside other available information and evidence to inform our consideration on the update of these Regulations.

Consultation on: The update of the Licensing (Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 - Summary of responses

We Asked

Between 8 March and 30 April 2018 we asked for written feedback on a number of themes and draft actions being considered for inclusion in the Scottish Government’s next Suicide Prevention Action Plan. The themes and actions were developed through earlier conversations with a range of stakeholders, including individuals with lived experience.

You Said

The written engagement received 290 responses, with 196 from members of the public and 94 from organisations. Overall, there was general support among respondents for the main proposals:

  • 93% agreed that a “Knowledge Into Action” (KIA) group should be established to ensure better use of available evidence.  
  • 83% agreed that a new mental health and suicide prevention training programme should be developed.
  • 78% agreed that a Suicide Prevention Confederation should be established.
  • 93% agreed that an online suicide prevention presence should be developed across Scotland.

We Did

We considered all responses to the engagement and commissioned an analysis report: https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0054/00543412.pdf.

We took responses into account when developing the final Suicide Prevention Action Plan, “Every Life Matters”, which was published on 9 August 2018. This action plan is aimed at continuing the downward trend in suicides in Scotland. We also appointed Rose Fitzpatrick, formerly of Police Scotland, to chair the leadership group to take forward the Actions in the Plan, with an additional £3 million funding.

 

We Asked

On 22 January 2018 the Scottish Government launched a full public consultation.  This covered the suite of Regulations required in order to set up a new chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland, and ensure necessary provision is made for the Upper Tribunal for Scotland when dealing with social security appeals for devolved benefits when they begin to be delivered by the new agency – Social Security Scotland.

The consultation document set out the regulations and sought views on six core sets of draft Regulations

You Said

There were 25 responses, 4 from individuals and 21 from representative organisations.  The Scottish Government is grateful to all who responded to the consultation and for the broad support for the draft Regulations.  Where permission was received, individual responses were published online on the Citizen Space website at:

https://consult.gov.scot/social-security/provision-for-social-security-appeals/consultation/published_select_respondent

These responses were analysed and the analysis of Consultation Responses on Draft Regulations making provision in relation to Social Security Appeals was published online at https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/09/5676

 

 

 

We Did

The Scottish Government’s full response

https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/09/3438 covers the views of all those who provided feedback during the consultation process and explains where the draft Regulations have been revised. In doing so it was necessary to balance the views of respondents, the judiciary and the Social Security Committee’s evidence gathering session, while ensuring that what is proposed does not lead to operational or other difficulties.  The final Regulations were laid in Parliament on 13 September 2018.

We Asked

Respondants, specifically, for their views on the proposed draft SSIs: 

  • equivalency with SDLT provisions
  • potential effect on tax avoidance

We also requested general views on the proposed SSI and the broader potential impact on businesses

 

You Said

12 responses from organisations were received.  Broad support for the change to group relief avilability with requests to use Scots Law Terminology, widen provisions to cover any type of equivalent security arrangements located anywhere in the world and to apply the legislation retrospectively.

We Did

Considered the points made by respondants.  We revised the proposed SSI to reflect the request for use of Scots Law terminology,provided provision for arrangments constituted anywhere in the world and to provide avilability of the relief for all types of relevant security provision. 

We Asked

We asked for views on the eligibility criteria for the proposed Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (First-time Buyer) Relief and for technical comments on the accompanying legislation. 

We asked whether you agree, in general terms, with the Scottish Government’s intention that the relief be available where:

- The buyer is a natural person,

- A single dwelling is purchased for more than £145,000.

- The buyer is a first time buyer, who has never had a ‘major interest’ in a dwelling in Scotland or an equivalent interest in a dwelling situated anywhere else in the world.

- The buyer intends to occupy the dwelling as their main residence.

- The effective date of the transaction is on or after the date that the relevant legislation comes into force, and consistent with any final transitional provisions.

We also asked for evidence to inform the Equality Impact Assessment for the proposed legislation.

You Said

We received 21 responses, 8 from organisations and 13 from individuals. There was broad support for the proposed First-Time Buyer Relief, but with a range of comments on specific aspects of the proposal and draft legislation.

We Did

After due consideration of the consultation responses, the amended Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (First-Time Buyer Relief) (Scotland) Order 2018 will be laid before the Scottish Parliament.

We Asked

In July 2017, Marine Scotland invited proposals from the commercial fishing sector for areas to be considered under the Inshore Fisheries Pilots initiative.

Seven proposals were received and are available to view on the Scottish Government websiteMarine Scotland brought forward five of the proposals for consultation, due to their practical application and being most in line with the stated aims of the initiative. These proposals covered: the Inner Sound of Skye, the Isle of Mull, the Orkney Isles, the Outer Hebrides, and Arbroath and Montrose

The consultation document explored each of the proposals in turn, and sought views on which pilots Marine Scotland should introduce in order to explore alternative approaches to managing inshore fisheries.

You Said

There were 122 respondents to the consultation, consisting of 95 private individuals and 27 organisations. Respondents represented a broad cross-section of stakeholders; from those whose living is dependent on fishing, to environmental groups, local authorities and interested individuals.

Respondents provided a range of constructive comments on the pilot proposals. The consultation outcome report provides an analysis of these responses and identifies supportive and unsupportive groups (where possible). Themes in responses are then examined, placing particular emphasis on recurrent themes in answers.

We Did

Following consideration of how consistent the proposals were with the criteria set out in the proposal form guidance and the responses received to the consultation, Marine Scotland will move to put in place the following pilots:

  • A seasonal restriction on mobile gear fishing near Mull
  • A restriction on creel numbers in the Outer Hebrides
  • Zonal fishing management in the waters off Arbroath and Montrose

The proposals for the Inner Sound of Skye and Orkney will not be introduced as a result of this exercise.

Further information on the decision making process is available in the consultation outcome report.

We Asked

We asked for your views on draft guidance Excellence and Equity for All: Guidance on the Presumption of Mainstreaming.

You Said

A total of 362 written responses were received, 87 from organisations and 275 from individuals.  Responses provided views on how to improve the draft guidance and views on implementation of additional support for learning more generally.  

We Did

We published the non-confidential responses and an analysis of the responses to the consultation, avaiable at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/06/8071.  The responses received will help to shape the final version of the guidance on the presumption of mainstreaming.  

We Asked

We asked for your views on proposed changes to the fees charged for the Inspections and production of Plant Health movement documents.

You Said

We received 8 responses all from organisations.  The majority agreed that the fees should be increased.  Concerns were raised about the prosed implementation date of 31 March 2018, as it falls part way through the export season for some crops.  Due to the variety of crops and the differing export seasons it is not possible to completely avoid this.  To ensure fairness and to minimise the impact of these changes to already agreed export agreements the Scottish Ministers have agreed to delay implementation until 1 June 2018.

We Did

We have fully considered all of the responses.  The responses have been published.  The new fee structure will now come into force on 1 June 2018.

We Asked

We welcomed comments on:

a)  any areas within the draft non-statutory Guidance on the Provisions for   Licensing of Sexual Entertainment Venues and Changes to Licensing of Theatres which were unclear or not easily understood
b)  other issues which should be taken into account within the guidance.

 

You Said

In total, 31 responses were received.  These responses provided a range of views in relation to the clarity of the draft guidance and offered some suggestions on other issues which could be included. The responses will help to shape the final version of the guidance.

We Did

We published the non-confidential responses to the consultation and a summary of the responses.  We are working towards finalising the guidance which will be published to support the implementation of the provisions at section 74 and section 76 of the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015.  A commencement order will be laid in due course.

We Asked

For your views on a new approach to tackling fuel poverty in Scotland that brings together actions from across government, and across society, to create a comprehensive strategy to deliver reductions in overall fuel poverty levels.  In particular, we invited views on how progress should be monitored and how our aims as set out are translated into an appropriate statutory framework.  Opinions were sought on new proposed targets (both statutory and non-statutory) and a new definition of fuel poverty, which had been recommended by a panel of academic experts. 

You Said

We received a total of 92 responses, representing 91 unique respondents.  Of those, 80 were from groups or organisations and 11 from individual members of the public.  The new definition of fuel poverty proposed was broadly welcomed, with broad support for use of After Housing Cost (AHC) income and adoption of the Minimum Income Standard (MIS), albeit with some calls for a remote rural enhancement.  There was also general support for an outcomes-focussed approach in the new strategy. 

However, more mixed responses were received in relation to the proposed levels and timescales set for the new fuel poverty targets; and there was concern regarding how rural and island communities’ circumstances and experience of fuel poverty are captured under the proposed new definition.

Please read the analysis report for fuller details, available here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/07/6689

We Did

We have published all non-confidential responses received.  An independent consultation responses analysis report  has now been published online (link above).

All responses have been considered, and have helped to inform the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill that has been laid in Parliament, and the now published Draft Fuel Poverty Strategy. These documents and associated materials are available online:

Fuel Poverty Bill and associated documents

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/108916.aspx

Impact Assessments:

EQIA Results

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/06/7698

Fairer Duty Scotland

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/06/7279

Children’s Rights and Wellbeing

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/06/8976

Health

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/06/5802

Draft Fuel Poverty Strategy

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/06/2306

We Asked

For your views on the detailed policy proposals for the key themes to be included in the forthcoming Education (Scotland) Bill. These themes include:

  • Establishing a Headteachers' Charter to define headteachers’ responsibilities as leaders of learning in schools and set out the support they can expect;

 

  • Providing the legislative underpinning for the establishment of Regional Improvement Collaboratives;

 

  • Improving parental and community engagement in school life and learning;

 

  • Promoting Ensuring that the views of children and young people are considered and that they have an opportunity to participate in decisions about school life and learning.

 

  • Establishing an Education Workforce Council to take on the responsibilities of the General Teaching Council for Scotland and the Community Learning and Development Standards Council and to register other education professionals.

You Said

870 responses were received from a wide range of interested parties including individual teachers and parents, parent councils, teacher groups, local authorities, third sector organisations, teaching unions, and other professional organisations.  Responses covered a range of views including support for and concerns about the proposals together with a number of suggestions.

We Did

Analysis of the consultation responses was carried out by the independent firm Why? Resrach. The final report of was published on 30 April 2018 and can be found here:

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/04/6098

Your views will inform the drafting of the Education Bill which will be introduced to Parliament during the current parliamentary year.

We Asked

The Scottish Government consulted on proposals to amend the Code of Conduct which sets out minimum standards for registered property factors in the delivery of services to homeowners.

You Said

The responses to the consultation provided a range of contrasting perspectives on what the Code should deliver and what requirements should be included. The majority of suggested amendments were of a detailed and technical nature.

We Did

The Scottish Government is currently considering representations made about the draft revised Code as a result of that consultation. The findings will be used alongside other available evidence to inform our consideration of whether the respective changes to the Code are to be taken forward and whether changes to the wider regime regulating property factors should be explored.

 

We Asked

For your views on a draft code of practice on the exercise of powers by constables to search for cash and/or listed assets under sections 289 and 303C of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

You Said

Seven responses were received - four from individuals and three from organizations. Main themes discussed included prior approval and the accessibility of the code.

We Did

We have carefully considered the responses and made changes to the draft code as appropriate.

We Asked

1. Do you agree that the current allocation (1000 tonnes) for the North Sea stock is the right amount?

2. Do you agree that the additional allocation (300 tonnes) for the western stock should be reduced to 50 tonnes?

3. Do you agree with the Scottish Government’s proposal to establish handline mackerel as a fishery open to all 10mu licences and therefore remove all Handline Mackerel Entitlements from licences?

4. Do you agree with the arrangements for the current quota allocation pools for the NS mackerel stock? Do you think that the allocation shares between these pools should change?

5. Should all non-sector vessels (under and over 10m in length) have access to the inshore mackerel fishery?

You Said

Support was strong for most proposals bar the reduction in western allocation and opening access to the fishery for over 10m vessels.

Please read the analysis report for fuller details.

We Did

1. NS mackerel allocation will be 1,000 tonnes.

2. WS mackerel allocation will be reduced to 100 tonnes.

3. Access to the fishery will be open to all Scottish, non-sector, 10mu vessels.

All handline mackerel entitlements will be removed from licences by 1 May 2018.

4. Allocation and management by geographic pools will continue as per 2017 (i.e. monthly limits).

5. No expansion of access for non-sector, over 10m vessels.

We Asked

For your views on possible changes to standards required for fire and smoke alarms in Scottish Homes. We proposed extending the current minimum safe standards in private rented housing to other tenures. There will be a two year period for compliance once the regulations are in force and it is intended that these will be laid in Parliament later in 2018.

 

You Said

In total, there were 122 responses to the consultation, of which 63 were from organisations (including housing associations, local authorities, lettings agents, residents associations and fire safety consultants) and 59 were from individuals.

There was very strong support for a common new minimum standard for fire and smoke detectors across all housing, regardless of tenure. The main reasons given were that all properties should be safe for occupants and that tenure is not relevant. There was also strong support for the new standard to be based on the standard currently applying to private rented property which many respondents felt is a good minimum standard that adequately covers fire safety risks.

We Did

We published an analysis of the responses on 18 March 2018.

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/03/9509

The Scottish Government has committed to extending the existing high standard required in private rented housing to all homes. The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 will be amended to reflect the new requirements.  The amended standard will cover all homes. 

This would require:

  • at least one smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used for general daytime living purposes,
  • at least one smoke alarm in every circulation space on each storey, such as hallways and landings,
  • at least one heat alarm installed in every kitchen,
  • all alarms should be ceiling mounted, and
  • all alarms should be interlinked.

The following changes to this standard, all supported by the responses to the consultation, are also proposed:

  • to allow specified types of sealed long-life battery alarms as well as mains-wired alarms - reflecting the availability of appropriate technology and will encourage compliance;
  • to specify a maximum age of ten years for alarms; and
  • to require carbon monoxide detectors in all homes. 

 

We Asked

The consultation asked key questions relating to the design of Low Emission Zones in Scotland.

You Said

The responses helped inform national standards for Low Emizzion Zones and the development of supporting legislation.

In total, 967 reponses were received for the consultation "Building Scotland's Low Emission Zones", and the results can be found here.

We Did

The Scottish Government has committed to introduce Low Emission Zones into Scotland's four biggest cities between 2018 and 2020, and into all other Air Quality Management Areas by 2023, where the National Low Emission Framework supports this approach.

We Asked

We asked about proposed amendment to the Police Act 1997 and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007.

You Said

We received 51 responses which provided detailed comments on the proposals.

We Did

We have considered the written observations received and Ministers laid a Statement in response to these in the Scottish Parliament on 15 December 2017.

We Asked

We asked for your views on the Scottish Governments’s current crofting policy statement and the legislative options and priorities for a new crofting Bill.

You Said

We received 122 responses, which provided the Scottish Government with detailed and varied feedback on the options for a new Bill, current legislative issues and how they might be addressed, and other aspects of crofting.

We Did

All non-confidential responses have been published, along with the analysis report. After taking account of the views offered, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing, announced his proposals for a two-phased approach by the Scottish Government in reforming Crofting Law; with work on both phases to commence immediately. Comments made regarding the policy statement and other non-legislative issues will be reviewed through on-going policy development, out-with the legislative strand of work. Updates and papers on the work conducted will be posted on the Scottish Government website.

We Asked

The Programme for Government 2017/18 outlined Scottish Government plans to  establish a Scottish National Investment Bank. The First Minster appointed Benny Higgins, to lead in developing an Implementation Plan. To inform this process we asked for your views on the role and remit of the bank as well as proposed governance models. We asked for international examples and evidence to support the views held.

You Said

We received 1,106 responses with 753 responses coordinated through a Friends of the Earth campaign. Respondents commented on areas of the current landscape that are successful and areas that could be improved by the establishment of a Scottish National Investment Bank, as well as commenting on:

  • The values of a National Investment Bank,
  • Industries and areas on which the Bank should focus,
  • Investment strategies and frameworks,
  • The relationship between the Bank and the existing landscape,
  • A  governance structure.

We Did

The findings have been used to inform the development of Mr Higgin’s Implementation Plan and a consultation report has been published alongside this Implementation Plan. As confirmed in the Programme for Government we will establish a Scottish National Investment Bank and will utilise the responses to this consultation to inform proposals.