We Asked, You Said, We Did

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

We asked

As part of the Roadworks Consultation 2022, we asked the Roadworks community, and wider public, for views on two elements within Roadworks policy, these were qualifications and Reinstatement Plans. Regarding qualifications we sought views upon the appropriateness of the current model, to inform plans for any future reform. Regarding Reinstatement Plans we sought views on timescales related to the issue of, amendment of, or update to, a Reinstatement Quality Plan by any organisation. In total, there were four questions to answer; three for Qualifications, and one for Reinstatement Quality Plans. The consultation opened on the 13 July 2022 and ran for eight weeks ending on 8 September 2022.

You said

In total, forty one responses to the consultation were received, from utility undertakers, roads authorities, informed individuals and members of the public. Brief analysis of these responses is detailed below. If we receive additional responses after the closing date they will not feature in the analysis, but will be considered if relevant.

It is clear from the consultation that there are mixed views surrounding prescribed ranges for numbers of operatives and supervision activities. However, on the question of other types of qualifications required, it is clear that there is an appetite for a bespoke ‘inspectors’ card, which was recommended in some cases to be the existing supervisors "Streetworks Card". Furthermore, on Reinstatement Quality Plans, having initially proposed an sixty day period for submission of Reinstatement Quality Plans, strong support and evidence was given to increase this to a ninety day period.

We did

The responses to the consultation have now been fully considered. Regarding qualifications, this will clearly require a longer piece of work to review which may not require any new legislation. It may be that there are other methods to drive consistency in this area. We look forward to working with the community and the office of the Scottish Road Works Commissioner in looking into this further. On the matter of Reinstatement Quality Plans, as a result of this consultation, we are minded to progress the necessary Scottish Statutory Instrument with a ninety calendar day period for initial Reinstatement Quality Plans.

We will now use the information to support the Roadworks policy stance and amend legislation if required.

We asked

For your comments and input regarding proposals to extend reporting requirements to include Scottish public bodies for the publication of modern slavery statements as part of work to improve Transparency in Supply Chains.

You said

You told us that you were principally in favour of the proposal for the requirement for reporting on TISC to be extended to public sector bodies, including broad support for the specific topics likely to be mandated within modern slavery statements. However, there were concerns raised as to the resource implications that would be associated with this requirement.  Additionally, many responses queried the proposed enforcement measures and the use of Civil penalties for non-compliance.

We did

We analysed the responses provided and summarised the key themes and feedback to feed into policy development ahead of the proposed publication of the UK Modern Slavery Bill.

We asked

Envrionmental Strandards Scotland published a draft Strategic Plan for consultation on 25 May 2022 and invited responses by midnight on 17 August 2022. The consultation sought views on ESS’ proposed approach to carrying out its oversight role.

You said

You welcomed the establishment of ESS, and broadly supported the aims and level of ambition set out in the Strategic Plan. You made suggestions to enhance or strengthen the Plan and its contents. You also sought clarification about some of the terminology used to better understand how ESS will undertake its responsibilities. 

We did

We reviewed all the comments made, and updated text, diagrams and the glossary to clarify terminology and explain our processes. We have now laid a revised Strategic Plan before the Scottish Parliament for approval. An accompanying statement gives further detail about how the Plan was revised to reflect consultation responses. See our website for more information. 

We asked

We asked 181 questions over 4 themes; Rights and Ethics, Governance, Jurisdiction and Powers, Conduct and Standards, and Liability for unlawful conduct.

The consultation was developed in response to Dame Elish Angiolini’s independent review published in November 2020 on Complaints Handling, Investigations and Misconduct Issues in Relation to Policing which recommended improvements to policing systems and structures. The consultation reflected the principles in this review of improving fairness, transparency, accountability and proportionality to current policing systems and governance structures.

The consultation asked questions about your views on how to implement these recommendations.

You said

You provided views on a wide range of issues including those we asked about as well as around the themes more generally. Some shared experiences and interactions with the police and gave an insight into what benefits some of the suggested changes would make in terms of public confidence in policing.

Your consultation responses will help us better understand what could be  improved in the current policing landscape, its  systems and governance structures in relation to police complaints and misconduct handling. These will help us plan our policy making in the future and achieve the outcomes of the Dame Elish review with the context of how those changes will support organisations and the public.

We did

We have commissioned an independent company to analyse the responses received. Once this is complete we will publish the analysis and provide a link to it here. Where permission has been provided we will also publish the consultation responses. This will help inform our policy development as preparations for a Police Complaints and Misconduct Bill in this Parliamentary session continue.

We asked

The Scottish Government is developing the first ever Data Strategy for Health and Social Care in Scotland.  A public consultation for the Health and Social Care Data Strategy was launched on 16th May 2022 and ran until 12 August 2022. The consultation sought views on the following:

  • Part One: Empowering people, this section asked for views from individuals, advocacy and representative groups on access to personal health and social care data, as well as topics surrounding data control and privacy.
  • Part Two: Empowering those delivering health and care, this section was aimed at those who work in health and social care services and asked  questions about how to gain confidence in accessing, gathering and sharing relevant information to enhance outcomes.
  • Part Three: Empowering innovators, industry and researchers, this section  focuses on those who can deliver new technology to work for the public benefit.

In addition to the public consultation, the Scottish Government has undertaken extensive stakeholder engagement to obtain the views of organisations within the health and care sector as well as those of seldom heard groups.

You said

In total, 162 consultation responses were received. Individuals provided 62 responses to the consultation; the remaining 100 were from organisations. We heard a range of views on what matters most to people with regards to having greater access and control over their health and social care data.  The importance of transparency and consent were a key theme in part one of the consultation.  For part two, we heard views on the importance of data quality, data standards and interoperable systems to improve data sharing across organisations to improve the delivery of health and care services.  Finally, for part three, we heard that people are supportive of their health and care data being used for research and innovation purposes on the basis that it will help drive medical advancements and be for public benefit.

We would encourage you to read the analysis of the consultation responses report to understand the full range of views provided.

We did

The Scottish Government's analysis of responses to the Data Strategy for Health and Social Care was published on 10th November 2022.

The responses from the consultation analysis will be used alongside the extensive stakeholder engagement that has been undertaken to inform the development of the Data Strategy for Health and Social Care. The Data Strategy will be published in early 2023.

We asked

The Scottish Government is undertaking a full policy development process in order to reach a finalised position on coal extraction in Scotland, in line with statutory requirements.  The first step in this process was the launch of a call for evidence which ran from 21 June to 02 August 2022, which invited stakeholders’ views on the extraction of coal in Scotland. 

You said

Stakeholders provided a range of responses to the question Considering the information presented in this call for evidence paper, and your own knowledge and experience, what are your views on the extraction of coal in Scotland?.

We did

Having considered stakeholders’ views and the evidence received alongside wider Scottish Government energy and climate change policies, the Scottish Government's preferred policy position is no support for coal extraction in Scotland. 

This preferred policy position is subject to statutory and other assessments before the policy-making process can be completed.  The preferred policy position on coal extraction will be included in the impact assessments, including Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the wider Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, the draft of which is due to be published by the end of 2022. The finalised policy position will be confirmed on conclusion of this process.

We asked

The Scottish Government launched its written consultation on a Health and Social

Care Strategy for Older People on 8 March asking a range of questions on the issues that mattered to older people and the organisations that support them, to assist in the development of a Health and Social Care Strategy for Older People.

You said

Our consultation on a Health and Social Care Strategy took place March-July 2022 and as well as receiving 127 responses to the consultation we also carried out 30 online and face to face engagement events with older people and the organisations that support them.

We heard a range of views on what matters to older people, including access to GPs, accessible and affordable transport, accessible homes and preparing for palliative and end of life care.

We did

The Scottish Government has been considering how a Health and Social Care Strategy for Older People links into a new National Care Service, and how the views that have been gathered through this consultation can best inform the development of a National Care Service.

We therefore propose to extend the timeframe for development of a Health and Social Care Strategy for Older People in order to take account of, and contribute to, the development of the NCS.  This is especially important since the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill proposes making provision for the establishment of area boards to carry out Ministers’ functions in relation to social care, social work and community health.

Ministers remain committed to developing a Health and Social Care Strategy for Older People informed by this consultation analysis, once we have fully considered  the implications of the National Care Service Bill.

However, in the meantime, work continues on many aspects mentioned in consultation responses.

Access to GPs

The pandemic has been the biggest shock our NHS has faced in its history. Unfortunately, COVID has necessitated the imposition of Infection Prevention Control measures in order to contain its spread, particularly in the earlier days of the pandemic prior to the vaccination programme being fully rolled out.

These Infection Prevention Control measures, which have recently been deescalated, changed the way GPs see their patients. The Scottish Government wants to see greater availability of face-to-face appointments and is working with the BMA and RCGP to ensure this happens as quickly as possible. However some precautions remain in place as COVID has not gone away. We are clear that where clinically necessary face-to-face consultations will always be available to those who need them. 

Ultimately what is most important is that appointments are agreed between GP and patient through shared decision making, balancing patient choice and clinical judgement.

My Health, My Care, My Home, is a new and transformative healthcare framework that sets out a series of recommendations to improve the outcomes for people living in care homes.  It has a strong focus on multidisciplinary team (MDT) working, with the person living in the care home firmly in the centre of their care and having constant support from their family, friends and the care home team.

We hope that the framework will enhance the health of people living within a care home, improving the way we assess, monitor and respond to their complex and ever-changing health and care needs through a collaborative approach involving health and care professionals, health and social care partnerships and care home providers. Evidence tells us that current health and care provision is sometimes fragmented, reactive and poorly coordinated. Teams across health and social care should pull together as one entity to improve the integration between health and social care. This can enhance the health and wellbeing of those living in care homes, and therefore, improve outcomes

The framework also aims to meet the needs of all people living in care homes by enhancing not only their health, but also their wellbeing. People who live in care homes have told us that the biggest difference to their health is the environment that they live in. Therefore the first section of the healthcare framework focuses on the importance of the nurturing environment for a person’s health and wellbeing. The importance of day-to-day meaningful activities for the health and wellbeing of those living in care homes has never been clearer.

Affordable and Accessible Transport

We are investing in the bus network to support long term growth, providing over £2.1bn for bus over the rest of this parliament. We are continuing free bus travel for older and disabled people to travel anywhere in Scotland by bus, for free. We are seeing more people travelling by bus since the pandemic and I hope to see passenger numbers increase further. The sector faces a range of challenges currently and I am convening the first meeting of the industry taskforce today to explore these issues and work together to find solutions to these.

Scottish Ministers recognise the important role community transport services play as part of the transport network in Scotland and that they play a major part in reducing isolation and increasing social inclusion.

Local authorities are provided with resources for the support of community transport services through the local government finance settlement.

The Scottish Government continues to provide grant funding to the Community Transport Association Scotland to develop the community transport sector in Scotland and to provide advice and support on issues affecting it.

Community transport plays an increasingly important role in supporting patients to access health appointments. This helps to ensure that patients across Scotland are able to access the right care, in the right place and at the right time.

Our Plugged in Communities Fund, which is funded by Transport Scotland and delivered by Energy Saving Trust, is providing £1.5m this year to help community transport organisations to make the transition to zero emission vehicles.

The Scottish Government is also helping community transport organisations to decarbonise their buses through the new Scottish Zero Emission Bus Market Transition Scheme launched in August. 

Community transport organisations are also able to receive support through the Network Support Grant.

Housing

We want older and disabled people in Scotland to have choice, dignity and freedom to access suitable homes, built or adapted to enable them to participate as full and equal citizens.

Wherever possible, all new affordable homes are built to Housing for Varying Needs standards to help them achieve a degree of flexibility to meet people’s needs. In 2020-21, where information was returned, 95% of new build homes delivered by housing associations and councils met those standards.

We have flexible grant funding arrangements ensuring that specialist housing provision, identified by local authorities as a priority, can be supported.

We are introducing a Scottish Accessible Homes Standard from 2025-26 which all new homes will be expected to achieve.

We are also looking to establish an inclusive programme of retrofitting social homes to make them more accessible and providing help to older and disabled homeowners who want to move to a home that better meets their needs.

We are planning to streamline and accelerate the housing adaptations system and will develop recommendations on how best to improve the system so that it will be fit and capable of dealing with the increased demand that an ageing population will drive.

And we are working to embed a person-centred approach that aligns Housing and Health and Social Care services.

We have also issued guidance requiring local authorities to set all-tenure targets for the delivery of wheelchair accessible homes and expect them to set out this requirement in their annual Strategic Housing Investment Plans along with planned investment and delivery to date.

National Care Service

The development of the National Care Service (NCS) will bring together social work, social care and community health to strengthen health and social care integration and to create a comprehensive service that focusses on the support people need to live a full life with human rights at its heart.  It will ensure fair and high quality care for everyone in Scotland. Within the NCS, services will continue to be designed and delivered locally but there will be national oversight to ensure consistency, allow for better sharing of good practice and innovation and to remove unwarranted duplication, making best use of public funds.  We introduced the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill in June 2022 and we are committed to establishing a functioning NCS within the lifetime of this Parliament, by 2026.

Palliative and End of Life Care

We have appointed a Clinical Lead for Palliative and End of Life Care - Kirsty Boyd, Reader in Palliative Care, University of Edinburgh - and an expert Clinical Leadership Team to drive and support the development and delivery of the next Palliative and End of Life Care Strategy. 

We will continue to work jointly and engage closely with those partners to develop a new strategy to achieve the very highest standards of care right up to the end of life, and ensure that everyone who needs it can access seamless, timely and high quality palliative care.

This will contribute to a holistic, integrated and multi-disciplinary approach which will ensure access to palliative and end of life care wherever and whenever it is needed, and which has the person and their families and carers at the centre. 

We will also now be able to consider the implications and benefits arising from a new National Care Service. 

 

We asked

For your view on proposals to revise the arrangements for fees payable by developers to the Scottish Government for the determination of applications for electricity generating stations and overhead electric lines under sections 36, 36C and 37 of the Electricity Act 1989. Revisions were proposed in order to more accurately reflect the costs of the resources required to determine the applications.
 

You said

We received 25 consultation responses. Some of the key matters you raised were as follows:

  • increasing application fees to provide cost recovery is broadly supported in principle but there is disagreement or uncertainty with the proposed levels
  • more clarity is required on the improvements and efficiencies to be made to the consenting process and service if fees are to increase, including improved consenting timescales
  • funding and resourcing provided to planning authorities should be adequate to reflect the costs to planning authorities of processing the applications as statutory consultees
  • more information or evidence is required to justify the magnitude of the proposed fees for variation applications and the new bandings for 500 MW and above projects
  • greater certainty is required on statutory consultee funding going forward, including for offshore projects
  • it is broadly recognised that new bandings are required to capture the amount of work involved for the increasing scale of offshore developments
  • the proposed fee increases would have financial implications for developers as they would increase the budget required for projects

We did

We published on 1 November 2022 the analysis of the responses to the consultation.  
 
We published on 1 November 2022 the Scottish Government response to the consultation, setting out full details of the revisions which Ministers intend to implement.  

It is intended that the revised fees will be implemented by the Electricity (Applications for Consent and Variation of Consent) (Fees) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2022. This is subject to a negative procedure in the Scottish Parliament. The regulations are due to come into force on 13 December 2022.

We asked

The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government1 2021/22, commits to: “…safeguard young people within the youth justice system, supporting a presumption against under 18s in the Criminal Justice System, keeping them out of young offenders’ institutions where possible and appropriate, while ensuring that victims receive the support they need. We will bring forward a Children’s Care and Justice Bill to support this transformation”.

The consultation was published on 30 March 2022 seeking views and feedback on policy proposals to inform the development of the Children’s Care and Justice Bill, intended to be introduced to the Scottish Parliament. The Government’s future legislative programme will be set out in the Programme for Government. This consultation covers potential legislative reforms to promote and advance the rights of all children and people who have been harmed. In particular, the objectives of these proposals are to safeguard and support Scotland’s children towards positive outcomes and destinations, especially those who may need legal measures to secure their wellbeing and safety. The proposals have a particular focus on children coming into contact with care and justice services or who come into conflict with the law.

You said

The consultation closed on 22 June 2022, receiving 106 responses to the consultation from a broad range of stakeholders.

 

We did

The independent analysis commissioned by the Scottish Government has been published. 

The responses, along with accompanying workshops, discussions and engagement and other evidence, will inform the Children’s Care and Justice Bill, committed to in the Programme for Government. This Bill, for introduction this Parliamentary year, will help ensure that children who come into contact with the care and justice systems are treated with trauma-informed and age-appropriate support. This includes helping Scotland Keep The Promise by putting an end to placing under-18s in Young Offenders’ Institutions.

We asked

We asked you to comment on the draft vision, aims and principles we are proposing to base a new cancer strategy for Scotland on. We also outlined the potential scope and areas for a new strategy and asked for your suggestions on these.

 

You said

A total of 257 consultation responses were received. Individuals provided 156 responses, with 101 from organisations. You were in general agreement with what was proposed. There were a few who disagreed and gave helpful reasons why and alternative suggestions. Many people stressed the importance of the holistic aspects of cancer care such as person-centred care, better communication and psychological support, for example. There was recognition of the importance of prevention, earlier diagnosis and pre- and post-treatment support as well as the need for a skilled, well distributed and supported workforce. Reducing health inequalities, and the importance of research, innovation and use of data were also raised as priorities. Several suggestions were made of which cancer types to focus on.

We would encourage you to read the analysis of the consultation responses report to understand the full range of views provided here .

We did

We used the results of what you said to inform further engagement with people with lived experience of cancer, and with people working on cancer in the third sector. We are combining these inputs to inform the drafting of the new 10-year cancer strategy and three year action plan to be published in the spring of 2023.

We asked

On 13 April 2022, the Scottish Government published a consultation seeking views on key aspects of the revised National Strategy for Community Justice, including proposals for four national aims and associated priority actions which the Scottish Government and community justice partners should seek to deliver. 

The current model for Community Justice came into operation on 1 April 2017, underpinned by the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 (the Act), which places duties on a group of statutory partners to engage in community justice planning and to report against a set of nationally-determined outcomes.

The Act required Scottish Ministers to produce a National Strategy for Community Justice, which was published in 2016. As per section 16 of the Act, Scottish Ministers reviewed the current strategy by 24 November 2021. Following this review, the consultation analysis report was published and proposals for the revised strategy were developed and consulted on. Once published, the revised strategy will supersede the 2016 strategy.

You said

There were 75 responses to the consultation. Of these the majority (57) were received from groups/organisations, and 18 were received from individuals.

Overall, respondents to this consultation generally supported the national aims for the revised National Strategy for Community Justice. In addition, the majority of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with all of the priority actions associated with the national aims. Just over half (56%) of respondents felt that the four national aims captured the most important aspects of community justice. Some respondents however felt that parts of the strategy required further clarity and that the aims could include more of a focus on victims of crime, and trauma-informed and person-centred approaches. Where applicable, respondents also provided suggestions for improving each priority action.

There were also several recurring themes mentioned by respondents including reflections on the need for collaborative work and resources to meet the aims of the strategy, and recognition of the need for consistency of access to services, but that flexibility is required for delivery in order to respond to local needs.

We did

The Scottish Government's analysis of responses to the National Strategy for Community Justice: Revision Consultation has been published.

The responses, along with accompanying workshop discussions and engagement and other evidence, have informed the finalisation of the revised National Strategy for Community Justice. The Scottish Government will publish an accompanying delivery plan in due course.

We asked

We asked for your views on the Scottish Government's proposals on the Scottish Pubs Code for tied pubs. This included proposals for information to be provided to new tenants and tenants renewing their leases, proposals on rent reviews and rent assessments and proposals on fees and expenses for arbitration.

An earlier consultation sought views on Market Rent Only lease and guest beer agreement proposals as part of the code.

You said

We received a total of 30 responses to the public consultation, with 14 individuals and 16 organisations responding. 6 responses were from tied pub tenants and 6 responses were from pub-owning businesses.

Respondents generally had mixed views on the proposals. There were some differences in views between pub-owning businesses and tied pub tenants.

There was general support for most of the proposals around providing information and advice to new and renewing tenants.

On rent review, pub-owning businesses had concerns about the proposed triggers for the proposed rent reviews, which they often felt were not well enough defined.

On fees and expenses for arbitration, there was broad acceptance on the proposed fee of £250 for arbitration. Some tied pub tenants had some concerns around the expenses for arbitration. The issue here was around striking the right balance between discouraging vexatious cases and encouraging genuine cases.

We did

Progressive Partnership was commissioned to undertake an independent analysis of responses. The report presents the findings from the public consultation and explains the methodology that was used to analyse responses.

Where permission to publish has been provided, the consultation responses are now available to view online.

The responses, together with the analysis report, and responses from the first consultation, will inform and shape the final Scottish Pubs Code regulations.

We asked

The Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 (“the 2016 Act”) introduced legislation around restrictions on purchase and sale of NVPs in Scotland e.g. restrictions on sales to under 18’s. The restrictions in the 2016 Act apply to vaping products that contain and do not contain nicotine.

The 2016 Act contains regulation making powers to further restrict the advertising and promotion of NVPs. On 3 February 2022, the Scottish Government published a consultation seeking views on our proposals to make regulations under sections 17 to 19 of the 2016 Act, which would introduce restrictions on the following:

  • advertising
  • brand-sharing in products and services
  • free distribution and nominal pricing
  • sponsorship of an activity, event or person

Views were also sought on exemptions to the Regulations to ensure that NHS and charities would not be restricted in terms of promoting NVPs as an aid to stopping smoking.

The consultation then sought views on potential offences and penalties, with statutory exceptions and defences. This focused on the views around mirroring those already in existence for equivalent restrictions on tobacco products in the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002 .

You said

  1. A total of 757 validated responses were received to the consultation and the vast majority were from individuals. Organisations that submitted a response included local government, health organisations, the tobacco industry, the vaping sector, and other organisations (e.g. those that sell tobacco and vaping related products).

 

  1. The consultation attracted polarising views. Individual responses to closed questions in the consultation were typically split 50:50 (i.e. roughly the same proportion of individuals support the Scottish Government proposals as those individuals who do not support the proposals).

 

  1. Local government and health organisations were in general were supportive of the proposals. The vaping sector, tobacco industry, and other organisations with a financial interest in the sale and distribution of vaping product (e.g. those that sell tobacco and vaping related products) were less likely to be supportive of the proposals.

 

  1. The themes from the consultation responses can be categorised broadly into the following areas:
  • Need to raise awareness of the benefits of vaping as one option around smoking cessation
  • Need to provide accurate, person-focused information around cessation
  • Impact of packaging, flavouring and content on the appeal of vaping
  • Views on the alignment with current tobacco legislation
  • Role of specialist retailers
  • Need to adequately support current enforcement routes such as Trading Standards

We did

EKOS was commissioned to undertake an independent analysis of responses. The report presents the findings from the public consultation and explains the methodology that was used to analyse responses.

Where permission to publish has been provided, the consultation responses are now available to view online.

The responses, together with the analysis report, and responses from the consultation as part of the 2016 Act, will inform and shape the final Vaping restriction regulations.

We asked

On 20 December 2021, the Scottish Government invited comments to A New Deal for Tenants - draft rented sector strategy: consultation, which seeks to improve accessibility, affordability choices and standards across the whole rented sector in Scotland.

You said

The consultation closed on 22 April 2022 and in total 8,346 responses were received. Organisations accounted for 172 responses, with 756 responses from individual members of the public. In addition, 7,508 respondents made a campaign-type submission. There were a variety of views in response to the proposals with opinions generally split between the views of respondents identifying as or representing the interests of a private landlord or letting agent and those identifying as or with the interests of a tenant. Views were particularly varied between these groups in relation to proposals related to restricting winter evictions, rent controls and the rights of a tenant to keep pets or personalise their homes.

We did

The Scottish Government commissioned Craigforth to undertake an independent analysis of responses. The analysis report presents the findings from the public consultation and explains the methodology that was used to analyse responses. Where permission to publish has been provided, the consultation responses are now available to view online. The Scottish Government will consider the responses, together with the analysis report carefully and undertake further discussions with key stakeholders to inform and shape the final rented sector strategy and legislation required to implement changes.

We asked

In September 2017, the First Minister set out a new commitment to eradicate rough sleeping, transform the use of temporary accommodation in Scotland and end homelessness.

Ministers established the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) to make recommendations on how these changes could be achieved. In November 2018, the Scottish Government (SG) and COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) responded to HARSAG's recommendations with the Ending Homelessness Together action plan (updated in October 2020) which sets out the actions they will take in partnership with others.

A key action was to develop wide-reaching prevention duties. At the request of Scottish Government, Crisis convened the Prevention Review Group (PRG) to develop recommendations for legal duties on Scottish local authorities and wider public bodies to prevent homelessness, and how these might be best implemented.

The recommendations in the final report of the Prevention Review Group, Preventing Homelessness in Scotland published in early 2021, provided the framework for the prevention of homelessness duties consultation. The joint SG/COSLA consultation on Prevention of Homelessness Duties was open from 17 December 2021 to 8 April 2022, inviting views in two broad areas

  • Introducing new duties on public bodies and landlords to prevent homelessness, particularly by asking and acting on a risk of homelessness, as well as responsibilities relating to strategic and joint planning.
  • Changing existing homelessness legislation to ensure homelessness is prevented earlier, including a proposal to extend the duty to take reasonable steps to prevent homelessness up to six months before it occurs, to maximise the housing options available to people and to prescribe what actions reasonable steps may include.

During this time, the Scottish Government also held a series of public events, with a focus on the proposed new duties on public bodies.

You said

Altogether, 113 responses were received to this consultation. The consultation asked 108 questions about the introduction of new duties on public bodies and landlords to prevent homelessness and changing existing legislation to ensure homelessness is prevented earlier.

The responses were independently analysed. The analysis shows there is widespread support for the package of proposals, which were described as comprehensive, transformational and welcome. Supporters recognised the importance of early intervention and enabling a joined-up approach to prevention. Respondents believed the proposals would strengthen existing practice, improve consistency, positively impact those at greater risk of homelessness, and noted the potential long-term savings or benefits to services which could result from a focus on prevention. Others stressed that implementing the proposals will require significant investment in public services, homelessness services and housing stock.

We did

Following the consultation closure, the responses were independently analysed and a report Prevention of homelessness duties: consultation analysis  was published on the Scottish Government web-site on 29 September 2022. 

On 18 November 2022, the Scottish Government and COSLA published a response to the consultation analysis. This welcomed the broad support given to the principles and many of the specific proposals for new duties outlined in the consultation and confirmed that further work will be undertaken with partners and stakeholders as we develop legislative provisions for inclusion in a forthcoming Housing Bill and work to develop the supporting guidance.

View the joint Scottish Government and COSLA statement on the consultation analysis published in November 2022.

We asked

We asked for views on the Scottish Government's proposals on secondary legislative requirements in draft regulations and guidance on Local Development Planning . These will support the implementation of the future local development plan system,  a system which manages the development and use of land in the long term public interest. The consultation comprised 4 parts:

  • Part A, the Introduction;
  • Part B, the Proposals for Regulations, including draft regulations;
  • Part C, Draft Guidance (covering both procedural aspects and guidance on implementing thematic national planning policy through local development plans); and
  • Part D, Interim Impact Assessments.

We asked 32 consultation questions. These sought views on our proposed approach of keeping regulations to the minimum necessary, around detailed wording aspects of the draft regulations, the interim impact assessments and pre-screenings and on the draft guidance. We asked for responses by 31 March 2022, allowing around 15 weeks for comments.

You said

You provided us with 87 responses to our consultation questions. These included responses from 78 organisations and 9 from the category of community and individuals. Respondents included planning authorities, key agencies and the public sector, development, property and land management bodies, the energy sector, the third sector, professional and representative bodies as well as communities and individuals.

We commissioned Ironside Farrar to undertake an independent analysis of your comments, the report provides the detail of your comments and sets out some main conclusions.

Respondents were generally supportive regarding the proposed Guidance and Regulations, with a series of comments on the detailed wording.  Key recurring issues included:

  • Both the new Evidence Report and Gate Check stages attracted a significant volume of comments. There were calls for minimum evidence and consultation requirements to be applied to the Evidence Report. Regulations on the scope of the Gate Check regulations would be welcomed by respondents, to establish what can be re-visited at the point of Examination.
  • Local variation was a recurring concern for all sectors. Respondents sought clarity that policies can be varied from national level to suit local situations. A legal framework was suggested to provide security alongside additional regulatory provisions to define the circumstances which may require a different policy approach in LDPs, and the process by which Planning Authorities are to justify any such deviations from the NPF.
  • In terms of the draft guidance, the Thematic Guidance section of the consultation was subject to the highest level of engagement in the consultation process. Clarification was sought around the indicative and prescriptive elements of the guidance and on requirements such as evidence gathering. Guidance was requested to establish the level of output expected by a planning authority in conjunction with the requirements of the Act.
  • Multiple respondents noted that Planning Authorities are operating with minimal funding and resources to support good planning and delivery of development and related projects.

We did

We are taking account of the responses, which will inform the development of the final regulations and accompanying guidance.

We asked

On 13 December 2021, the Scottish Government, in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), published a consultation seeking views on key aspects of a new National Litter and Flytipping Strategy in three key strategic themes:

  • behaviour change
  • services and infrastructure
  • enforcement.

Public events and stakeholders workshops were also held to gather views.

You said

There were 978 responses to the consultation. Of these the majority (892) were received from individuals, and 86 from organisations.

Overall, responses indicate a high level of support for almost all proposed actions within the consultation document.

We did

The Scottish Government's independent analysis of responses to the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy, including an executive summary of key findings, has been published.

The responses will inform the development of a final National Litter and Flytipping Strategy and accompanying action plan.

We asked

In developing the proposals for secondary legislation in connection with the new duties on planning authorities to prepare open space strategies and to assess play sufficiency for children in their areas, Scottish Government has engaged with stakeholders from across Scotland to help shape the provisions in the two sets of Draft Regulations, which we published for public consultation on 17 December 2021. We asked 22 questions which included both closed and open sub-questions, and sought to gather views from stakeholders and the public with regards the proposed provisions in the draft Regulations and the associated partial / interim Impact Assessments.

In addition to the main public consultation, a children and young people’s (CYP) survey was designed and co-ordinated by Play Scotland. This included 8 questions for primary school aged children, and 14 questions for secondary school aged children. This element of the consultation sought to gather the views of children and young people on issues relevant to the subject of the main consultation, focussing mainly on gathering perceptions relating to the quality and quantity of open spaces and play areas that children and young people have access to in their local areas.

You said

Both the public consultation and the children and young people’s survey closed on 31 March 2022. A total of 68 responses were submitted to the public consultation from a range of stakeholders including local authorities, agencies, third sectors and individuals. If we received additional responses via different platform or after the closing date they do not feature in the analysis, but will be considered if relevant.

In addition, a total of 1066 primary and secondary school aged respondents were involved in the consultation through the CYP survey. Of these, 140 were individual responses to the survey, and 926 children and young people were involved in 36 group responses.

It is clear from the main consultation that, to varying degrees, there is consistent majority support on most aspects included in both sets of draft regulations. Where comments were made, they were generally about clarification and / or refinement. Some concerns were raised around potential resource and expertise implications within planning authorities in implementation. There were also calls for additional guidance and sharing of good practice that could help better understanding and support implementation.

We did

The responses to the main consultation and the children and young people’s survey have now been analysed and the consultation analysis report published on 8 November 2022.

All responses, together with the consultation analysis report will inform and shape the final Open Space Strategies Regulations and the Play Sufficiency Assessment Regulations. 

We asked

Draft National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) was published for consultation on 10 November 2021, seeking views and comments on a wide range of topics, including National Developments, our National Spatial Strategy and national planning policies.

We set out a series of 70 consultation questions to help focus on key areas of change, and included questions on the Draft NPF4: Integrated Impact Assessment Reports.

NPF4 will, when adopted, set out the Scottish Government’s priorities and policies for the planning system and how our approach to planning and development will help to achieve a net zero, sustainable Scotland. NPF4 differs from previous NPFs in two ways: it incorporates Scottish Planning Policy and the NPF into a single document, and will form part of the statutory development plan once approved and adopted.

You said

The consultation closed on 31 March 2022, receiving over 760 responses from a broad range of stakeholders.

We did

The independent analysis commissioned by the Scottish Government has been published.

The responses, along with accompanying open invitation events, roundtable discussions, engagement and other evidence, have informed the Revised Draft National Planning Framework 4, which was laid in the Scottish Parliament on 8th November 2022.

We asked

To inform the development of the Scottish Government’s Resource Spending Review, a consultation was launched on 9 December 2021. The associated paper, Investing in Scotland’s Future: Resource Spending Review Framework, invited stakeholders to provide views on the future of Scotland’s public finances.  The public consultation asked six questions covering: 

  • the Government’s suggested priorities for the Resource Spending Review;   

  • the drivers of public spending;  

  • opportunities to maximise the impact of the public sector workforce;   

  • opportunities to achieve the best value for citizens from limited funds;   

  • equalities and human rights impacts; and   

  • future public engagement around Scotland’s public finances.    

You said

You provided us with 72 responses to our consultation questions. These included responses from 57 organisations and 15 individuals. 

In summary, respondents said: 

  1. Respondents generally agreed with the priorities outlined in the Framework, whilst some also made suggestions for additional priorities or specific focuses within the priorities. 

  2. Some respondents agreed with the drivers of public spending listed in the review RSR framework while many respondents recommended the inclusion of other drivers of public spending, with an emphasis on climate adaptation and mitigation. 

  3. Respondents’ suggestions on how policy interventions can be used to maximise the value achieved from the public sector workforce spanned several aspects with most suggestions focused on investment and financing, the third sector, workforce remuneration, recruitment, retention, training and development.  

  4. Some respondents broadly agreed with all the proposed approaches aiming to maximise the positive impact of Scotland’s public spending, while more respondents suggested further approaches centred around policy decisions, administrative actions, financial steps, and issues relating to mental health, and technology, among other aspects. 

  5. Several respondents supported the decision to conduct an equality assessment of the Spending Review's findings and provided their views on equality and human rights impacts centred around spending, including on mental health, gender equality, alcohol use, science and education, among other aspects. 

  6. Views on how best to continue the engagement featured recurring themes including improving the timing for consultations, including lived experiences in decision making, and the need for diversity of views and deeper levels of engagement.  

  

We did

The information gathered through our online consultation was analysed alongside the output from a programme of external engagement. This analysis was collated into a report, which was published alongside the Resource Spending Review on 31 May 2022. Where permission was granted, responses to our consultation have been published.

The responses to the consultation have informed the outcomes of the Resource Spending Review and development of the plans detailed within that publication. In addition to this, the responses will be used to inform the next steps and reform options outlined in the Resource Spending Review.  The full Resource Spending Review can be found here: Resource Spending Review and supporting documents

The findings of the consultation will also be used to inform the work the Scottish Government, especially Director General Scottish Exchequer, is taking forward to improve transparency and participation in public finances (including in relation to our Open Government Action Plan). This information provided in responses to this consultation will be used to improve our public engagement for future budgets and spending reviews. 

We would like to thank all of those who took the time to respond to our consultation and / or participated in our programme of engagement.