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 two minor amendments to road works legislation. Firstly,  on the proposal to revoke the Scottish Statutory Instrument,  “The “Scottish Road Works Register (Prescribed Fees) Regulations 2022” and replace it with a new Regulation to account for the overall running cost in the 2024/25 and secondly, Secondly, we sought views on amending “The Road Works (Qualifications of Operative and Supervisors (Scotland) Regulations 2017”, and the Road Works (Reinstatement Quality Plans, Qualifications of Supervisors and Operative and Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2023, by expanding the list of approved awarding organisations to include two additional bodies, “Highfield Qualifications” and “EUIAS ”

You said

In total, thirteen responses to the consultation were received, primarily from roads authorities. One response was received from an individual, seven from local authority roads teams, four from statutory undertakers and one from a public body responsible for the regulation of road works in Scotland. Brief analysis of these responses is detailed below:

There was strong support for both proposals; ten of the thirteen responses gave full support for the proposal on Fees. One roads authority noted no objection or preference, and two statutory undertakers objected to the current splitting mechanism. Of the two undertaker responses in opposition to the proposal, one made no alternate suggestions, but noted that undertakers appear to be paying more than roads authorities generally. However as the mechanism is use based, and at present utility firms undertake 75% of works, this is to be expected. Another undertaker suggested a new splitting model for future years in addition to opposing the current one. Twelve of the thirteen responses gave no objection to the addition of two new awarding bodies in road works training for Scotland, with one response skipping the question. One comment was received caveating their ‘no objection’ response,  on the condition that the bodies in question meet the relevant standards

We did

The consultation responses have been carefully considered, most of the respondents supported the proposal to replace the 2022 Scottish Statutory Instrument. As a result, we will now revoke the Scottish Statutory Instrument, “The “Scottish Road Works Register (Prescribed Fees) Regulations 2022”, and replace it with a new Regulation as proposed. We have also added the two new awarding bodies, “Highfield Qualfications” and “EUIAS” to the appropriate statute. We have passed on the single request for a new apportionment model for fees and amounts with the Roads Authority and Utility Committee (Scotland), as the industry body representing the road works community. We have advised that if the group wish to review, amend or replace their current proposed splitting mechanism, comment must be returned to Transport Scotland by September 2024, to allow for sufficient consultation ahead of the next financial year.

We asked

We asked your views on SSSC’s proposals to streamline and improve registration. In order to achieve this, we asked your views on reducing the number of Register parts from 23 to 4, requiring employees to apply for registration within three months of starting a new role and be registered within six months. We also asked about SSSC’s proposals to include more information on the public facing Register, such as specialist qualifications for social workers, and information relating to fitness to practise which is currently available on a different parts of the SSSC website. The consultation opened on 4 October 2023 and closed on 2 January 2024.

You said

A total of 69 responses were received; of these, 53 were from individuals and 16 were from organisations. 

The vast majority of respondents were supportive of the proposals, with many highlighting that reducing the number of register parts will help improve the process of registering with the SSSC. 87% of respondents agreed with this proposal, with 77% agreeing with the proposals to reduce the timescales for applying and 77% also agreeing with the proposals to include more information on the public facing Register.

There were also some respondents who had some concerns with certain aspects of the proposals. Several respondents highlighted that they believed 3 months was too short a timescale to expect a worker to apply for registration and others believing that sharing additional information on the public facing register could have a negative impact on individuals.

A full analysis of the consultation is available on the Scottish Government website.

We did

The Scottish Government intends to implement the proposals set out in the consultation by amending Regulation of Care (Social Service Workers) (Scotland) Order 2005, The Scottish Social Services Council (Appointments, Procedure and Access to the Register) Regulations 2001 and The Registration of Social Workers and Social Care Workers in Care Services (Scotland) Regulations 2013. More information is available on the Scottish Parliament Website.

We asked

We asked for your views on whether Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) should be continued as part of the range of policy measures in place to address alcohol related harm, and, in the event of its continuation, the level the minimum unit price should be set going forward. The consultation opened on 20 September 2023 and closed on 22 November 2023. We asked for your views on whether Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) should be continued as part of the range of policy measures in place to address alcohol related harm, and, in the event of its continuation, the level the minimum unit price should be set going forward. The consultation opened on 20 September 2023 and closed on 22 November 2023.

You said

We received 545 responses to our consultation questions. These included responses from 432 individuals and 113 organisations. Respondents included public health organisations, alcohol industry representative bodies and alcohol producers.

Two fifths of all respondents (39%) supported MUP continuing, three fifths (59%) were opposed, and 2% did not answer. There were, however, significant differences between individuals and organisations. Just over one quarter (27%) of individuals supported MUP continuing, compared to nine in ten (88%) organisations. All public health organisations who responded to the consultation agreed MUP should continue; however, 83% of alcohol industry representative bodies and 60% of alcohol producers were opposed.

One third of respondents (32%) agreed with the proposed minimum unit price of 65 pence. Two thirds (66%) disagreed, and 2% did not answer. Individuals and organisations held almost exactly opposing views. While 79% of individuals disagreed and 19% agreed, among organisations 79% agreed and 17% disagreed.

Most respondents held firm views either for or against MUP. One third (32%) supported a continuation and a price increase, while three fifths (59%) opposed both proposals. However, 7% were in favour of MUP continuing, but opposed to the specified price.

A full analysis of the consultation can be found on the Scottish Government website.

We did

The Scottish Government is grateful to those who took the time to provide a response to this consultation. The consultation analysis report has now been published, along with the individual/organisation responses (where permission was granted). We have also provided feedback which can be read on the Scottish Government’s website. Following extensive evaluation, the evidence supports that MUP has had a positive impact on health outcomes, namely a reduction in alcohol-attributable deaths and hospital admissions, particularly in men and those living in the most deprived areas, and therefore contributes to addressing alcohol-related health inequalities. It is our intention to lay draft orders before Parliament to continue minimum unit pricing beyond 30th April, and to set the price per unit at 65 pence.

We asked

We asked for views on proposed increases to the building warrant fees required to deliver change to strengthen the building standards system and also the development of a new building warrant fees model in Scotland. The consultation formed part of the work undertaken by the Verification Delivery Model work stream which is one of the seven work streams being directed by the Building Standards Futures Board. The Building Standards Futures Board was set up to provide guidance and direction on the development and implementation of the recommendations made by expert Review Panels in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire and construction failings in public buildings in Scotland.

We asked for your views on an increase in building warrant fees to support verifiers to deliver a strengthened and improved building standards service in Scotland. We also sought views on increased fees specifically for new and enhanced verification requirements for High Risk Buildings, to support the Building Standards Hub, enhanced Scottish Government Building Standards Division (BSD) monitoring and auditing and if the local authority Building Standards enforcement role should be funded by building warrant fees. We also asked for your views on whether or not fees should be devolved or set nationally to assist in informing future policy considerations.

You said

In total, 95 consultation responses were received from 39 individuals and 56 organisations. There was widespread consensus and agreement to all the proposals put forward, excluding questions 3.1 and 3.2. The majority of respondents agreed to an increase in building warrant fees (65%) and to using a proportion of fees to support a national Building Standards Hub (70%).

81% of respondents supported the introduction of an enhanced fee for High Risk Buildings (HRB) due to the increased complex nature of a HRB warrant applications and the need for improved verification and oversight capabilities of such buildings and applications.

There was widespread consensus (88%) that building warrant fees should be set at a national level.

While many believed there would be no impact on people with protected characteristics or on socio-economic inequalities, respondents suggested the proposals could increase the financial burden on individuals and businesses wishing to undertake building work and increase the workload for building services.

We did

The Scottish Government will increase building warrant fees from 01 April 2024. The national Building Standards Hub, launching in May 2024, will also be funded through an increase to building warrant fees.

Work will continue through the Compliance Plan work stream to introduce an enhanced compliance plan process for High Risk Building (HRB), with the intention of introducing a corresponding enhanced verification fee for HRBs. 

Through the Verity House agreement, the Scottish Government will continue discussions with CoSLA and other key stakeholders on any potential future devolution of building warrant fees.

It is not the current intention of the Scottish Government to fund the statutory building standards services through building warrant fees. We will continue to engage with stakeholders through our Working Groups on this.

The consultation analysis report can be found on the Scottish Government website: Building warrant fees: consultation analysis - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

The consultation outcome report can be found on the Scottish Government website: Building warrant fees: consultation outcome report - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

We asked

We sought views on proposals to close fishing to sandeel in all Scottish waters, with the purpose of bringing about wider environmental and ecosystem benefits. The consultation opened on 21 July and closed on 13 October 2023.

The consultation sought views of six questions covering support for the preferred option to close fishing for sandeel in all Scottish waters, alternative or complementary measures that could be considered, the scientific evidence underpinning the proposals, and questions relating to the statutory impact assessments (for example, Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Island Communities Impact Assessment).

You said

A total of 494 written representations were received, comprising of 443 individuals and 51 organisations including the fishing sector, renewable energy developers and recreational interests. There were also 9,815 campaign submissions.

The responses covered a range of issues, including questions on the scientific evidence base on the potential effects of sandeel fisheries management on the marine environment and the applicability of alternative measures. Recurring issues or themes raised in the comments also included issues relating to the UK-EU trade and cooperation agreement, benefits for biodiversity, wellbeing and wildlife.

Overall, the analysis demonstrated that there was overwhelming support (97%) for the preferred option to close fishing for sandeel in all Scottish waters.

An independent analysis of the consultation responses is available on the Scottish Government website. Submitted responses have also been published where permission has been given.

We did

The Scottish Government is grateful to those who took the time to provide a response to the consultation.

Following careful consideration of all responses and representations received and the available scientific evidence, the Scottish Government intends to proceed with the proposals to close fishing for sandeel in all Scottish waters. In reaching this decision, the Scottish Government has applied the precautionary principle to its decision making and ensured alignment with national and international commitments.

The Sandeel (Prohibition Of Fishing) (Scotland) Order 2024 was laid in the Scottish Parliament on 5 February 2024 and will come into force on 26 March 2024. The Order will cover all Scottish waters including that part of the UK’s exclusive economic zone adjacent to Scotland and, will apply to all vessels fishing in these waters.

The Scottish Government has published its response to the consultation analysis report.

We asked

We sought views on proposals for a Human Rights Bill for Scotland. The consultation opened on 15 June and closed on 5 October 2023. The questions solicited views on the following areas: 

  • Incorporating the Treaty Rights 

  • Recognising the Right to a Healthy Environment 

  • Incorporating Further Rights and Embedding Equality 

  • The Duties 

  • Ensuring Access to Justice for Rights-Holders 

  • Implementing the New Scottish Human Rights Act  

You said

A total of 397 responses were received, 277 of which were submitted through Citizen Space and 120 were sent via email. 66% of respondents were organisations and 34% were individuals.  

The Scottish Government also held seven public consultation events with over 150 attendees.  

An independent analysis of the consultation responses has been published, as well as an Easy Read version of the analysis. We have also published the consultation responses in accordance with respondents’ preferences on Citizen Space.  

Overall the analysis demonstrates that there is strong support for our efforts to bring more internationally recognised human rights into Scotland’s domestic legal framework. However, there was challenge from some respondents on various elements of the proposals and our plans for effective Bill implementation.  

We did

The Scottish Government is grateful to those who took the time to provide a response to this consultation. We are carefully considering the results of the independent analysis to help inform the development of the Human Rights Bill which will be introduced during the 2023-24 parliamentary year. The Bill will be accompanied by a Policy Memorandum upon its introduction to the Scottish Parliament, which will set out how we have taken into account responses to the consultation in development of the Bill. The responses will also provide useful feedback and evidence for the associated Bill impact assessments.  

We asked

Our Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill consultation sought views on wildlife management and the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill ("the Bill").  It was set out in 2 parts, relating to the use of snares and cable restraints in Scotland and relating to the powers of Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (“Scottish SPCA”) inspectors.  The consultation opened on 22 August 2023 and closed on 3 October 2023.

You said

We received 5,289 responses to our consultation questions. These included responses from 79 organisations and 5,210 individuals. Respondents included animal welfare organisations, land management organisations, sporting organisations, conservation organisations, pest controllers and public bodies.

Respondents were generally supportive of the proposal to prohibit the use of snares to take or kill wild animals in Scotland, and to provide individually appointed Scottish SPCA inspectors with additional powers to aid in their investigations relating to wildlife crime.

A full analysis of the consultation is available on the Scottish Government website.

We did

The Scottish Government intends to implement the proposals set out in the consultation to ban the use of snares and extend the powers of Scottish SPCA inspectors, by amending the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill at Stage 2.  More information is available on the Scottish Parliament website.

We asked

Since 2001, a specific area in the Firth of Clyde has been closed to fishing each year between 14 February and 30 April, in order to protect spawning cod. The Scottish Government has responsibility for the closure via a Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI). Prior to 2022 exemptions were provided for Norway lobster trawlers, creels and scallop dredgers due to the low amounts of cod that they catch. Since 2022, no exemptions have been in place. This is due to scientific evidence suggesting that any activity occurring within 10m of the seabed has the potential to impact on spawning.

We consulted to seek your views on continuing the closure in 2024 and 2025.

You said

We received a wide array of responses ranging from removing the closure entirely, to wider fishing bans and reintroducing an inshore limit and varying levels of protection in between. Where consent has been given to publish the response these can be viewed here.

 

We did

Measures to protect spawning cod in the Firth of Clyde will continue in 2024 and 2025 in the same format as 2022 and 2023. This means that there will be no exemptions for the spawning periods in 2024 or 2025.

An SSI has now been laid in Parliament and can be viewed here.

This change will have a short-term impact on local fishers given that the full closure of the fishery is for 11 weeks, but by taking action now, we hope to see the stock replenish which will ultimately be beneficial for fishing interests.

The closure will come into effect on 14 February 2024.

Whilst creels are included in the closure, provided that all creels are left open and unbaited and are not otherwise used for any fishing activity, they may be left in situ on the seabed during the period of the closure. Alternatively they may be lifted and relocated for the duration of the closure.

We asked

We asked for your views on the draft statutory guidance that will be published to support organisations meet their duties under the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019. The public consultation ran from 22 June to 19 September 2023.

You said

A total of 77 responses were received; of these, 31 were from individuals and 46 were from organisations. There were several general themes arising, regarding the layout of the document and level of understanding, the level of detail, the specific organisations and staff included in the scope, the consequences of non-compliance and the timing of the implementation. Specific comments were also made about individual guidance chapters.

We did

The consultation analysis report has been published, along with the individual responses (where permission was granted). We will now take all the comments and suggestions made as a result of the public consultation, along with other feedback on the statutory guidance, such as that from the testing programme and our engagement with individual organisations to produce a final version of the statutory guidance. We will involve external stakeholders in this process as appropriate. The final guidance will be published on 01 April 2024 to coincide with the commencement of the Act.

We asked

We sought views on the proposed river gradings for the 2024 salmon fishing season. The consultation opened on the 9 August and closed on 8 September 2023.

You said

There were 37 responses submitted to the consultation which consisted of those from individuals (46%) and organisations (54%). A small proportion of respondents (14%) agreed with the proposed gradings for the 2024 salmon fishing season, 41% objected and the remainder did not express a specific view for or against the gradings. A number of respondents (35%) indicated that they believed the proposed grade assigned to a specific river was incorrect and should be changed.

 

A majority of respondents expressed views demanding urgent actions taken on other pressures that they felt needed to be taken now in order to better protect salmon populations. Additionally, 27% of respondents indicated that they felt a 100% catch and release policy would be more effective in protecting and restoring wild salmon populations.

We did

The views given on the proposed river gradings have been used to inform the process of finalising the gradings for the 2024 salmon fishing season, which will be used in the annual amendment to The Conservation of Salmon (Scotland) Regulations 2016.

 

We have set out in the accompanying Implementation Plan to our Scottish Wild Salmon Strategy, over 60 collective actions which will contribute to further the protection and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon populations. The Wild Salmon Strategy is one component of the Scottish Government’s ambition to protect and restore Scotland's natural environment as outlined in the Environment Strategy for Scotland and the Biodiversity strategy to 2045: tackling the nature emergency.

 

The Wild Salmon Strategy Implementation Plan Delivery Group has been established, bringing together the organisations that will deliver the actions set out in the Implementation Plan. The role of the group is to oversee and direct delivery of the Strategy and Implementation Plan.

We asked

We asked for your opinion on the Scottish Government's proposed British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan 2023-2029.  

You said

A total of 80 responses were received, 76 of which were submitted through Citizen Space and 4 were sent via email. A total of 43 community consultation events were held in addition to the consultation to allow BSL users to participate in a two-way dialogue in their own language and in a culturally and linguistically appropriate way to express their views. The community consultation events organised by stakeholders took place between 30 June 2023 and 3 September 2023.

The overarching themes raised by both individual and organisation respondents, as well as by BSL and non-BSL users were the following:

  • Focus on clear, tangible and measurable actions
  • Continuous collaboration with BSL users
  • Equal opportunity and inclusion
  • Promote BSL as a language and culture
  • Inclusion of the whole D/deaf community

A full analysis of the consultation is available on the Scottish Government website 

We did

The Scottish Government would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide a response to this consultation. We have taken account of the responses received and the consultation analysis report. 

The responses to this consultation have informed the final version of the British Sign Language National Plan 2023-2029

We asked

The Scottish Government has committed to designate at least one new National Park in Scotland by the end of this Parliamentary session in 2026. A draft appraisal framework with broad selection criteria for new National Parks was published for consultation on 11 May 2023. The consultation closed on 4 August 2023. The purpose of the consultation was to obtain views, comments and feedback on the draft appraisal framework and selection criteria for new National Parks.

You said

We received 165 responses to our consultation questions. Almost all were submitted via the Scottish Government’s online consultation platform, Citizen Space. We received responses from 132 individuals and 33 from organisations.

Responses were received from individuals, organisations, public sector bodies, those in the built environment and land management sectors and from the energy sector.

Overall, the key finding from the analysis of responses was that, with some refinement, there was widespread support for the draft appraisal framework.

Quantitative findings

Overall there was a high level of support for the seven criteria in the draft appraisal framework. All criteria were supported by more than 70% of respondents, with three criteria (meeting the special needs of the area, strategic contribution and visitor management and experience) supported by more than 90%.  Each of the 22 components of the criteria was supported by between 72% and 94% of respondents.

Qualitative findings

Noting the overall broad support for the criteria and their components, open comments highlighted a range of views and perspectives.  In several cases, respondents requested more detailed definitions of the criteria or component wording, or for more detail to be provided. There were calls from some respondents for both broader and narrower criteria, and for some, there was an appeal to prioritise certain criteria over others. 

Criterion 5 (added value) recorded the lowest level of agreement of the seven criteria.  Many who disagreed with this criterion highlighted their dislike of the term ‘added value’, often due to their interpretation of this as monetary value or financial gain. Many respondents, whether they agreed or disagreed or were unsure about the criterion, suggested that a clearer definition was necessary.  Several respondents asked for clarity about whether the criterion was intended to be financial or whether value could also speak to environmental, social or cultural heritage outcomes. 

A full analysis of the consultation has been published on the Scottish Government website.

Submitted responses have been published where permission has been given.

We did

The Scottish Government would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide a response to this consultation.  We have taken account of the responses received and the consultation analysis report. 

The responses to this consultation have informed the final version of the appraisal framework for new National Parks which has now been published.   

In particular, we have taken action by refining the appraisal framework in the following ways:

  • We have retained all of the appraisal criteria except for ‘added value’;
  • We have provided guidance for groups wishing to submit a nomination for a new National Park on each of the criteria and we have provided examples of evidence and indicators that groups may wish to include; and
  • We have provided detailed scoring guidance for each criterion.

The appraisal framework will be used to help assess nominations and to inform the decision of Scottish Ministers on the candidate area(s) to be designated as Scotland’s next National Park.

We asked

We asked for your opinion on the Scottish Government’s proposed policy in relation to the content of the Enforcement Regulations.

You said

We received a total of 462 responses to the public consultation.  Of these, 16 were submitted by local authorities and 3 by Community Councils.  14 other respondents also identified their organisation, and 429 were listed as individuals.  All feedback received will help inform the content of the Enforcement Regulations.

We did

We have published non-confidential responses to the consultation and an analysis of the consultation responses (link below).  Preparations are now underway on the Enforcement Regulations and the feedback received from this consultation will help shape that process.

Read the full analysis report.

Read the Scotland’s Pavement Parking Prohibitions - Consultation on Enforcement Regulations for Local Authorities

We asked

We sought views on what Scotland’s National Events Strategy 2025-2035 should look like. The Scottish events sector, Scottish Government and VisitScotland are working together with trade unions and local authorities to do this. The related public consultation opened on 24 March 2023 and closed on 30 June 2023. In addition, VisitScotland delivered a series of nine workshops and a webinar to gather views.

You said

The online consultation survey received 102 responses from a mix of individuals (33%) and organisations (67%). In addition, a total of 222 participants attended the series of nine in person regional workshops and one virtual webinar in support of the consultation.

An independent analysis of the consultation responses has been undertaken. This is now available on the Scottish Government website.

The key findings of the analysis included:

General

  • 92% of respondents supported the proposed ambition of the strategy as set out in the consultation paper.
  • Boosting the economy and enhancing wellbeing and community engagement were considered to be the most important strategic priorities for events over the next 10 years. Promoting inward investment and a greater focus on equality, diversity and inclusion were also highlighted.
  • Priorities for mega events included ensuring legacy, clear benefits for local communities and maximising skills development opportunities.
  • Case studies could help measure event impacts and it was important to measure both the direct and indirect impact of events.

Wellbeing/Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

  • 83% of respondents agreed events are welcoming; 52% of respondents agreed that events in Scotland are inclusive (16% disagreed); 48% agreed that events in Scotland are accessible (12% disagreed) and 41% that events in Scotland are affordable (26% disagreed). A high proportion of respondents held neutral views regarding three of the four statements. This perhaps highlights a difficulty in answering this question in general terms given the variation in accessibility, affordability, inclusivity and the level of welcome across all events in Scotland.
  • Some respondents were keen to see the development of wellbeing measurement frameworks to enable consistent data collection and evaluation.
  • 55% of respondents agreed that event organisers involve communities in planning. Boosting community engagement and ownership were identified as particular opportunities. 28% neither agreed nor disagreed.
  • The majority of people responding to the survey indicated that the diversity of events in Scotland is very important. The barriers to diverse events were inadequate infrastructure ,an absence of suitable event spaces outside of cities, supply chain capacity and a funding.

Working in the sector

  • 61% of those responding to the survey think that the event sector is an attractive place to work.
  • The majority of respondents felt that better regulation of the sector on working hours, pay and conditions would boost Fair Work.
  • The majority of respondents did not think that there are sufficient opportunities to learn about what it is like to work in the event sector, to gain the relevant skills and experiences and to further a career in the sector.

Net Zero and Environmental Sustainability

  • More information and guidance would help event participants/attendees limit any negative environmental impacts.
  • Tools to help enhance environmental sustainability could be developed for event organisers.

We did

Working with VisitScotland, we are using the results of the consultation analysis to inform further engagement with stakeholders including: the events sector (including the Event Industry Advisory Group); the Convention of Scotland’s Local Authorities; Trade Unions; organisations representing Scotland’s communities; and other bodies with an interest in events.

The views and evidence gathered will then be used- alongside the findings presented in the public consultation analysis and responses themselves- to inform the drafting of the National Events Strategy 2025-2035. This will be led by VisitScotland with support from the Scottish Government and others listed above. We expect that the strategy will be published in the Spring of 2024.

Meantime, we would like to offer a Scottish Government response to some of the findings emerging from consultation. This is set out below:

  • We are encouraged that the majority of respondents to the survey supported the proposed ambition of the strategy. The more detailed content of the strategy will be developed on this basis.
  • Boosting the economy and contributing to enhancing wellbeing and community engagement were considered by respondents to be the most important strategic priorities for events. Work underway to build on this includes:
  • Further development of the partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment with lead partners. This will help to identify the costs, benefits and risks for businesses and will be published alongside the new strategy. Recent actions include discussions with regulators to hear their views on the opportunities and challenges.
  • An Equality Impact Assessment, Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment and Island Community Impact Assessment are also being developed for the strategy. Their findings will contribute to the strategy’s strategic outcome around the wellbeing, along with research funded by VisitScotland and the recently published Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy’s ‘whole person approach’. Views that emerged from the Regional Engagement Workshop in Orkney and responses from island communities and organisations will be especially relevant to the development of the Island Community Impact Assessment. We also aim to build on this through further engagement with island communities.
  • We are working with lead partners to develop the collective approach to the other three strategic priorities identified in the consultation- contributing to the drive towards net zero and environmental sustainability, making the event sector a better place to work and showcasing and promoting Scotland’s assets. Environmental Sustainability/Net Zero and Fair Work are key priorities for the Scottish Government.
  • We will continue to identify areas for collaboration with policy areas across the Scottish Government – including culture, education, historic environment, public health, trade, and tourism. Possible areas of alignment include with the Culture Strategy Action Plan (which is being refreshed), International Culture Strategy (which is under development) and Our Past, Our Future, the new strategy for Scotland’s historic environment sector, which was published earlier in 2023.
  • On ensuring a greater focus on equality, diversity and inclusion, we have been continuing to engage with organisations representing communities. For example, on 9 August 2023 the Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture hosted a roundtable with lead partners to explore the opportunities and challenges to boosting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion via the national events strategy review. Further discussions and actions from this meeting will be progressed in advance of finalising the strategy with developments recorded in the Equality Impact Assessment.
  • The analysis highlighted the importance of accessibility, inclusion, and affordability in terms of creating an excellent event experience. Less than half of respondents to the survey felt that Scotland’s events were accessible and affordable, although a high proportion of respondents held neutral views. These aspects will be a priority for further discussion with lead partners during the remainder of the strategy review. VisitScotland’s inclusive and accessible tourism programmes already provide a range of tools, advice and guidance to boost social tourism, inclusion and accessibility, and we will explore any opportunities to build on this approach in future.
  • It is encouraging that most respondents to the consultation agreed that event organisers involve communities in planning and set out how the event will affect them. Meaningful community engagement and secure community ownership were identified by the analysis as key. Building on this, we will ensure that learning from previous events of all sizes is fed into the strategy review process.
  • 61% of those responding to the survey think that the event sector is an attractive place to work. However, there was a call for better regulation of the sector in terms of working hours, pay and conditions. Employment law is reserved, however,   we will continue our discussions with lead partners as part of a broader discussion around Fair Work, skills development and attracting and retaining talent within the sector, and discuss with the UK Government as appropriate. We continue to encourage the use of the Volunteer Charter which sets out 10 principles that provide the foundations for a good volunteer experience.
  • Just transition to net zero is a strategic priority for the Scottish Government as a whole. In response to the feedback for more guidance around environmental sustainability to help events and those attending them make the step changed needed to achieve Net Zero, we are currently reviewing the resources and tools available to assist businesses on their Net Zero journey and how these fit with the needs of the event sector. We are also exploring what measures/indicators might be best to showcase the event sectors broad progress towards Net Zero for further discussion and agreement with the sector as part of the new strategies wider measurable outcomes.
  • Securing sponsorship or working towards diversifying event organisers revenue streams were identified as financial opportunities for events. Concerns around the availability of public sector funding support for events was a headline theme emerging from the regional engagement workshops in support of the strategy review. While there are significant constraints on public funding, we will continue work with partners to agree and target public support. For example, events that help us deliver a wellbeing economy which works for individuals and communities and supports the transition to net zero. For the Scottish Government, this is expected to include refining the Strategic Alignment Framework which is used to consider mega event opportunities and delivery of these.
  • In response to feedback on measuring event impacts, including the use of case studies, we will continue work with analysts and partners to explore these and other measures further, building on the current Event Impacts. Work on improved measurement is also expected to consider measurement of societal and environmental impacts.

We asked

On 17 March 2023, the Scottish Government published a consultation on the draft legislative clauses to introduce a proposed relief from Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) for Green Freeports. Views and comments were sought on key aspects of the draft legislation in order to identify any proposals for legislative amendments which could address any issues of concern.

You said

The consultation closed on 12 May 2023. Submitted responses have been published where permission has been given.

We did

The Scottish Government has published its response to the consultation.

The responses, along with evidence from accompanying stakeholder roundtable discussions and available data, have informed the published legislation. The Scottish Government has published The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Green Freeports Relief) (Scotland) Order 2023.

We asked

The draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan was published for consultation on 10 January 2023 and set out our vision for an energy system that delivers affordable, resilient and clean energy supplies.

The consultation provided an opportunity for communities, workers, citizens and businesses to engage in the process of designing Scotland’s energy transition. The purpose of the consultation was to:

1. seek views on our vision and the actions we are taking to transition to an affordable, resilient and clean energy system; and

2. understand how we secure the maximum social and economic benefits from the energy transition for Scotland.

The consultation included 58 open-format questions and considered the following key themes: preparing Scotland for a just energy transition; scaling up renewables and reducing our reliance on other energy sources; energy demand; and ensuring that we create the conditions for a net zero energy system. We also asked for views on just transition outcomes, potential impacts of the strategy and for feedback on the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the draft plan.

During the consultation period, a series of engagement events also took place to encourage discussion on a just energy transition. This included open, online workshops, specific industry-led events, thematic and sector specific engagement and awareness raising sessions open to everyone.

You said

The consultation on the draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan closed on 9 May 2023 and received 1,598 responses; 242 of these came through Citizen Space and 1,356 were submitted by email.

71% of respondents were organisations and 29% of respondents were individuals.

We commissioned independent, qualitative analysis of the consultation responses and the analysis report has been published on the Scottish Government’s website. The report presents the findings of the consultation and explains the methodology used to analyse the responses. We have also published the consultation responses in accordance with respondents’ preferences.

We did

We are fully considering stakeholders’ views and the responses to the consultation will inform the final Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan. The consultation responses will also provide useful feedback and evidence for the associated impact assessments, helping to identify and address unintended consequences.    

We are continuing to work through the details of the analysis and plan to publish the final version of the Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan by Summer 2024. Reflecting our ongoing commitment to a fair transition for all, we will continue to engage with a range of stakeholders as we work towards the final publication.

We asked

On 31 January 2023, the Scottish Government published a consultation on Community Wealth Building (CWB). The 2021-22 Programme for Government confirmed our plans to introduce legislation on CWB during this Parliamentary session. Views and comments were sought on what future CWB legislation should look like and where existing law and policy could be changed to advance action on CWB.

The consultation sought views on the following areas:

  • A proposal for a duty to advance CWB and provided respondents with options as well as inviting views on which bodies should be covered, accountability and involvement of stakeholders;
  • The provision of statutory or non-statutory guidance;
  • If non-legislative measures are required to advance CWB;
  • If specific actions are required to advance the items contained within the Shared Policy Programme in relation to CWB;
  • If changes to the law are required to advance the pillars of CWB (spending, workforce, land and property, inclusive ownership and finance).

You said

The consultation closed on 9 May 2023 and received a total of 185 responses – 148 from groups or organisations and 37 from individual members of the public. Responses with consent to be published were published in June 2023.

The majority of respondents (63% of those answering the question) were in favour of the introduction of a CWB duty which combined:

  • A duty requiring Scottish Ministers and prescribed public sector bodies to embed the CWB model of economic development into their corporate plans and wider strategies; with
  • A duty requiring those public sector bodies statutorily obliged to be involved in community planning to produce a collective CWB place-based strategy and action plan which contains specific actions across the five CWB pillars to advance the CWB model of economic development in their local authority area.

Additionally, 86% of respondents who answered the question felt that a duty should be accompanied by guidance (statutory or non-statutory).

Many of the responses to the questions about each of the five CWB pillars were extensive and an independent analysis report provides an overview of the range of legislative, policy and practical suggestions received.

We did

The responses from the consultation will be used to help inform the development of CWB legislation and policyThe Scottish Government has published an independent analysis of consultation responses.

We asked

We asked you for your views on the proposal to merge 3 colleges assigned to UHI: the incorporated colleges, North Highland College and Lews Castle College, wished to merge with the non-incorporated West Highland College, to form a single college called UHI North, West and Hebrides College.  We also asked you for your views on the proposed name of the new college.

You said

The consultation attracted 21 responses: 13 from individuals; and 8 from organisations. 14 of the respondents agreed with the rationale for the college merger (67%), 5 disagreed (23%) and 2 expressed no opinion (9.5%).  On the proposed name of the college 8 people liked it (38%); 11 did not like it (52%) and 2 expressed no view (9.5%). 

(N.B. Percentages don't add up to 100 due to rounding).

We did

After consideration of the consultation responses, the Minister for Further and Higher Education; and Minister for Veterans, approved the merger.  An Order, legislating for the closure of Lews Castle College, and its merger with North Highland College was laid in Parliament on 2nd June and came into effect on 1st August 2023.  This allowed the merger of all 3 colleges to proceed; as West Highland College, being non-incorporated did not require Ministerial approval to merge with the other colleges.

 

We asked

We asked you whether further regulation of independent health care services in Scotland is needed. Additional information was asked about whether independent health care services offered by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, which are not provided from a registered pharmacy or under the terms of an NHS contract, should be regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS). We also asked whether independent medical agencies where services are provided by a medical practitioner, dental practitioner, registered nurse, registered midwife, dental care professional, pharmacist or pharmacy technician, along with unregulated independent medical agencies that are headquartered in Scotland and operate entirely online, should be regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS). We also asked you, should HIS be able to cancel the registration of any independent health care service that fails to pay its continuation fees after a certain period of time.

You said

After the removal or reconciliation of duplicate responses, we received a total of 67 responses to the consultation. 47 responses were from individuals and 20 from organisations. The responses showed strong public support for further regulation of independent health care services in Scotland, as well as for independent healthcare services provided by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, which are not provided from a registered pharmacy or under the terms of an NHS contract, to be regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, and for independent medical agencies, including those that are headquartered in Scotland and operate entirely online, to be regulated by HIS in the same way as other independent healthcare services. There was also a consensus of support towards HIS being able to cancel the registration of any independent health care service that fails to pay its continuation fees after a certain period of time.

We did

We have published all non-confidential responses to our consultation and the analysis of these responses. Direct links to these publications can be found below.

We asked

Prior to Adult Disability Payment being introduced on 29 August 2022, we gave commitments to both conduct an independent review a year after national launch and undertake work to consider potential alternative approaches to the mobility component.

We held a public consultation seeking views on the eligibility criteria for the mobility component of Adult Disability Payment. The consultation ran from 31 January 2023 to 25 April 2023. Six remote and in-person events aimed at a variety of audiences, including disabled people and stakeholders, supplemented the online consultation.

This consultation did not set out or advocate a preferred Scottish Government position or policy. Instead, this consultation was an opportunity for the people of Scotland and our stakeholders to provide views on the evidence presented on the mobility component.

You said

A total of 210 responses were received. Of these, 108 responses were received via a survey tool created, launched and promoted by MS Society Scotland. People with lived experience of Multiple Sclerosis were asked six questions, and their responses were automatically entered into Citizen Space. The tool automatically answered ‘yes’ to two further questions on behalf of respondents. Whilst some of these questions were different to the consultation questions, we have considered the responses as part of the consultation analysis.

Most formal consultation responses were from individuals, with 37 responses from organisations. A range of organisations responded including third sector organisations, local authorities and representative bodies.

During the consultation events, attendees also shared their views of the eligibility criteria for the mobility component of Adult Disability Payment. Their insights were considered alongside the formal consultation responses.

We did

We commissioned an independent research company, The Lines Between, to conduct the analysis of the consultation responses and we have published the analysis report as well as an Easy Read version of the report on the Scottish Government website. The report presents the findings of the consultation and explains the methodology used to analyse the responses. We have published the consultation responses, where permission has been given to do this, on Citizen Space.

Your responses to the consultation and the outcomes of the research will help to inform the independent review of Adult Disability Payment when it commences later this year.

We are continuing to work through the details of the independent review and are taking the time needed to get decisions right. We will provide further details as soon as we are in a position to do so.