We Asked, You Said, We Did

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

We asked

What evidence is there of the effective regulation of heat in non-domestic buildings?

You said

Respondents provided a wide variety of evidence from both Scotland and internationally of both proposed regulations and the operation of regulations in practice.

We did

We will be using the evidence provided to guide the development of regulations within Scotland. A consultation on proposed regulations for the heat in non-domestic buildings uis planned for summer 2022.

We asked

The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 (“the 2019 Act”) requires the Scottish Ministers to produce statutory guidance which relates to the provisions contained within the legislation that extend to Scotland.  The 2019 Act also requires the Scottish Government to consult on draft guidance before it can publish the final version of the statutory guidance.

Therefore, the purpose of the consultation was to seek views on the draft statutory guidance only.  The consultation ran from the 15 November 2021 until the 25 January 2022.

You said

We received 12 responses to the consultation.  3 responses were from organisations and 9 were from individuals.  Separate from the online consultation system, we also received one e-mail addressed to the Scottish Government on the draft guidance.  All of the responses and correspondence received have been considered.

Most of the responses related to the overall policy contained in the 2019 Act rather than the content and structure of the draft guidance.  Only 2 responses (which were from organisations) provided detailed comments on the guidance with another 3 responses providing limited views on the content of draft guidance along with comments on the overall policy.  Only one respondent (individual) asked for their response not to be published.  We received a variety of comments in relation to the draft guidance.  The majority of which fell broadly into the following areas:

  • Guidance should cover sections 1 to 5 of the 2019 Act.
  • Clarity on age verification/labelling and the delivery to residential premises.
  • Clarity on the types of corrosive products and the level of acidity of such corrosive products for an offence to be suspected of taking place.
  • Clarification on the definition of bladed articles and bladed products.
  • Other general comments included:
    • A better description in relation to public place.
    • Clarity in relation to outdoor activities (e.g camping) and what is and is not acceptable as a bladed weapon for such outdoor activities.
    • Clarity on requirements necessary in order to stay within the law while traveling with corrosive substances and or bladed weapons.
    • Guidance on acceptable proof of age documents.
    • Guidance on what constitutes residential premises and what constitutes a business.
    • Guidance on what constitutes, taking all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to ensure that, when finally delivered, the package would be delivered into the hands of a person aged 18 or over.

We did

We have considered the responses received and made changes where deemed appropriate.

We have also set out the Scottish Government’s response to some specific comments made.

Guidance should cover sections 1 to 5 of the 2019 Act.

As stated in the ‘Overview’ section, the guidance covers provisions in the 2019 Act that extend only to Scotland and others which apply throughout the UK but which have a different effect in Scotland to other parts of the UK.  It is separate from similar guidance issued by the UK Government in respect of the 2019 Act.  The UK Government’s guidance covers sections 1 to 5 of the 2019 Act in relation to the sale and delivery of corrosive products and other aspects of the 2019 Act (e.g. firearms under Part 6) which extend to Scotland but which relate to areas of responsibility reserved to the UK Government.  The two pieces of guidance should be read together for those provisions.  The UK Government’s final draft statutory guidance on the 2019 Act was published by the Home Office on 18 January 2022.

As such, it was deemed not appropriate to include guidance on section 1 to 5 of the 2019 Act in the Scottish statutory guidance as these sections are covered by the UK Government’s statutory guidance. 

Clarity on age verification/labelling and the delivery to residential premises

Age verification

In order to avoid committing an offence under certain provisions in the 2019 Act relating to remote sale of certain items to under 18s, a seller requires that, amongst other matters, to have in place a system that was likely to prevent purchasers who were under 18.  This is an age verification system.  The 2019 Act does not prescribe what system should be used in respect of the verification of an individual’s age and there are a range of age verification processes or systems available on the market.  Both the UK Government and the Scottish Government are of the view that they do not want to issue standards for systems for electronic age verification.  This is because decisions on which systems, or courier/delivery companies, to procure and use to meet the requirements of the law must be a matter for the relevant seller.  It will be a defence for sellers to demonstrate that they took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing an offence and this includes the element above relating to a system for checking that purchasers are not likely under 18 .  Therefore sellers will wish to decide themselves which system or arrangement works best for them to allow them to rely on this defence.

Labelling

The Scottish Government’s position is similar on the requirements in relation to labelling packages under measures in the 2019 Act.  The 2019 Act requires that, where a package is to be collected from a collection point, a package containing a bladed or sharply pointed article, or corrosive product, must be clearly marked to indicate that it contains an item with a blade, a sharp point or a corrosive product and that it should only be delivered into the hands of a person aged 18 or over.  The 2019 Act does not stipulate the type of labelling or any of its characteristics, and so sellers will need to determine how best to comply with the labelling requirement.

However, in the draft guidance it stated that, in the Scottish Government’s view, it is unlikely that electronic labels used on handheld signature devices as often used by delivery companies and couriers would satisfy the requirements of the 2019 Act, and that clear and visible labelling will be important for retail and delivery staff and couriers so that they are fully aware that the package contains an article that must not be handed to someone under 18.  If the package is not labelled as required by the 2019 Act for the sale of a bladed article, then the defence to the offence of selling a bladed article to a person under 18 will not be available.

Residential delivery

In relation to residential delivery of a bladed product there is no requirement for the package to be labelled but the seller needs to prove that they had procedures in place which were likely to ensure that any bladed product would be delivered into the hands of a person aged 18 or over, and that they have taken all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to ensure that the package has not been delivered to someone aged under 18. The draft guidance states that the seller may be able to satisfy this requirement by following measures in respect of an adequate age verification system, labelled packaging and ensuring age checks are undertaken at the point of delivery.

Clarity on the types of corrosive products and the level of acidity of such corrosive products for an offence to be suspected of taking place

As stated, the Scottish Government’s and the UK Government’s statutory guidance should be read together for sections 1 to 5 of the 2019 Act.  This feedback relates to sections 1 to 5. 

Within this context, it is noted that a similar point was raised in relation to the UK Government’s draft statutory guidance.  As a result, the UK Government incorporated additional guidance into their final version of the statutory guidance.  They have suggested that the content of various corrosive products is clarified by manufacturers through the REACH etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 which will be of assistance in helping sellers identify products.  It places a specific duty on suppliers (whether manufacturers, importers or distributers) of hazardous chemical substances or mixtures to provide a Safety Data Sheet where the substance or mixture is placed on the market and this allows information to be passed down through the supply chain to ensure that these chemicals are safely managed.

Additions to the guidance have also been made to clarify the relationship between the 2019 Act and the Poisons Act 1972 and these additions remind businesses, who sell or supply regulated and reportable substances, that they must report any suspicious transactions to the national contact point and any significant disappearances and thefts of these chemicals to their local police force.

Clarification on the definition of bladed articles and bladed products

The guidance includes material already in this area.

In particular, it is noted that the 2019 Act builds on existing legislation in relation to a ‘bladed article’ as set out under section 141A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (“the 1988 Act”) which applies to three separate categories of items: knives, knife blades and razor blades; axes; and any other article which has a blade or is sharply pointed and which is made or adapted for causing injury to the person.  These items must not be sold to under 18s.

‘Bladed products’, as introduced by the 2019 Act are a subset of ‘bladed articles’ and must not be delivered to residential premises unless certain conditions are met if sold remotely (online, over the phone or by post).  To fall within the definition of a bladed product within the meaning of the 2019 Act the item must have a blade and be capable of causing serious injury to a person that involves cutting that person’s skin.  This means that knives that could not cause such an injury will not fall within the definition of bladed product and can be delivered to residential premises.

Most cutlery knives, for example, are therefore unlikely to be considered as bladed products but would be a “bladed article” for the purposes of the 2019 Act and sellers would therefore need to carry out age verification checks, both in-store and online, in relation to sales of these items but they would not be subject to age verification checks on delivery to residential addresses.

We considered carefully the comments made in relation to this issue and were of the view the guidance clearly sets out the differences between a ‘bladed article’ and a bladed product’.  We are also of the view the examples provided in the guidance aid the readers understanding of this difference.  As such, we felt it was unnecessary to amend the guidance in relation to this point.

We did however, make it clearer in the guidance that it is not an offence to sell or supply a pocket knife to someone under the age of 18 providing that the knife in question has a folding blade which is 3 inches (7.62 cm) or less in length and, therefore, pocket knives are not caught by any of the measures in the 2019 Act.

Other general comments

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, there is a need to add UK driving licences to the list of prescribed documents.  The Scottish Government intends, subject to approval being received from the Scottish Parliament, to add UK driving licences to the list of prescribed documents under the 2019 Act.

The purpose of the guidance is to provide a readily accessible discussion of the key features of the 2019 Act that extend only to Scotland and others which apply throughout the UK but which have a different effect in Scotland to other parts of the UK.  This could be helpful for anyone interested in the relevant provisions, but in particular those required to comply with, or enforce, the measures contained within the 2019 Act.

Nothing in this guidance is intended to change how the legislation should be interpreted.  It is for those operating the legislation and, ultimately, the courts to interpret the legislation.

As such, the Scottish Government considers that the statutory guidance provides a useful overview of the principles of the 2019 Act, but for obvious reasons cannot specifically cover every potential factual scenario that might arise.

We asked

To help inform the development of a Scottish Government Aviation Strategy, we asked for views on what this strategy should include. The consultation focused on four key areas: the transition to low and zero-emission aviation, Scotland’s international connectivity, Scotland’s domestic connectivity and airfreight.  We also sought views on what else the aviation strategy should cover.

You said

In total 93 responses were received to the online consultation. 38 responses were from individuals and 55 from organisations, with a broad range of different organisations and interests represented. We also ran four stakeholder workshops to discuss specific consultation topics.

Respondents had different views on what the Aviation Strategy should try to achieve. Some suggested that the strategy should be ambitious in seeking to restore and grow Scotland’s connectivity, taking action to increase Scotland’s competiveness in the global aviation market and responding to the challenges resulting from COVID-19. Others put forward the view that, in the light of the climate emergency, Scotland should not be seeking to restore 2019 levels of connectivity and should instead consider introducing measures to reduce aviation demand. There was, however, broad support for measures to support the development and use of hydrogen/electric aircraft and sustainable aviation fuels that meet strict environmental criteria.   

A number of respondents also highlighted the important role that air services play in providing connectivity in the Highlands and Islands and suggested how these could be improved.

Some respondents put forward suggestions for other areas to cover in the Aviation Strategy including noise, surface access (travel to and from the airport) and General Aviation. 

We did

We have published non-confidential responses to the consultation and an independent analysis of the consultation responses. The independent analysis of the consultation responses can be found on the Transport Scotland website.  It includes the reports of the stakeholder workshops.

Work is now underway to develop the aviation strategy, building on the ideas and suggestions from the consultation as well as relevant Scottish Government strategies and polices.

A number of respondents to the consultation offered to work with the Scottish Government on the next stage of developing the Aviation Strategy. We will consider these offers, alongside what other engagement might be needed, as we progress the work to develop the strategy.

We expect to publish the Aviation Strategy at the end of this year/ beginning of 2023.

We asked

We asked for your views on the draft Scottish Pubs Code for tied pubs, specifically on the Market Rent Only lease and guest beer agreement provisions.

We also asked for your views on impacts of the proposals and for comments on a partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment.

You said

We received a total of 34 responses to the public consultation, with 14 individuals and 20 organisations responding. 11 responses were from tied pub tenants and 6 responses were from pub-owning businesses.

Respondents generally had mixed views on the proposals. Tenants broadly welcomed the proposals around Market Rent Only (MRO) leases and guest beer agreements. However, pub-owning businesses had a number of concerns, especially on the unintended consequences of the proposals.

Respondents had mixed views on the proposal to exempt leases from MRO after investments for 5 years; tied pub tenants tended to disagree whilst pub-owning businesses agreed.

On guest beer, some participants felt that the focus in terms of eligible products should be on the type of brewery rather than on the production level of brands of beer.

On the partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) some pub-owning businesses expressed a number of concerns with the partial BRIA.

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 the second consultation, will inform and shape the final Scottish Pubs Code regulations which will be laid in the Scottish Parliament in Autumn 2022.

We asked

For your views and comments on a draft Fire and Rescue Framework for Scotland 2022 (“The Framework”), which is a statutory document (under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 as amended by the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012), outlining Scottish Ministers’ expectations of, and setting 7 strategic priorities for, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) over the next few years.

You said

We received 48 responses, the majority of which were broadly supportive of the 7 strategic priorities and the text of the document.  A range of constructive comments were submitted on both the strategic priorities and the text of the Framework.

We did

A consultation analysis report has been published on the Scottish Government website (http://www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781804351017). Having carefully considered all views expressed in the consultation responses, we made a number of amendments to the Fire and Rescue Framework for Scotland 2022, which was published on 29 March (http://www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781804351024).  These amendments include revision to the narrative within every section apart from the narrative within the strategic priority on climate change.

We asked

We asked for your views on five draft Scottish Statutory Instruments (a mixture of regulations and orders) that relate to complex technical reforms to the non-domestic rates system following the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Act 2020. The reforms include the requirement for assessors to publish a draft valuation roll before revaluation; additional content required in valuation notices; and the introduction of a two-stage appeals system which is scheduled for 1 January 2023. The consultation which ran from 22 September to 15 December 2021 asked for views on the following draft Scottish Statutory Instruments:

  • The draft Valuation Timetable (Scotland) Amendment Order 2022
  • The draft Non-Domestic Rates (Valuation Notices) (Scotland) Regulations 2022
  • The draft Valuation (Proposals Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2022
  • The draft Valuation Timetable (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Order 2022
  • The draft Valuation Roll and Valuation Notice (Scotland) Order 2023

The ‘We asked, You said, We did’ is being published in multiple phases. This is Phase 1 and 2 relating to the draft Valuation Timetable (Scotland) Amendment Order 2022 and draft Non-Domestic Rates (Valuation Notices) (Scotland) Regulations 2022.

You said

The consultation attracted 37 responses from organisations and groups of stakeholders, most from commercial real estate/surveying firms and business organisations. A full consultation analysis is available on the Scottish Government website. A brief analysis of these responses in relation to the draft Valuation Timetable (Scotland) Amendment Order 2022 and the draft Non-Domestic Rates (Valuation Notices) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 is detailed below.

The draft Valuation Timetable (Scotland) Amendment Order 2022

Many respondents did not comment on the proposed date of publication of the draft roll (30 November the year before a revaluation year). Amongst those who did, there was some support for this date. One response called for this to be 15 January in the year before revaluation instead, while a few others called for it to be earlier, for instance on 1 October. One response questioned whether 30 November was the most appropriate date given that draft rateable values were likely to be useful for ratepayers only once the proposed poundage for the revaluation year is available. It was further suggested that the publication date of the draft roll be tied to a working day rather than a specific date.

It was highlighted that valuations for the next valuation roll are to be made on the basis of the physical circumstances of properties as at 1 January in the year preceding a revaluation year; and that this creates a long period - between 1 January and the revaluation date - when physical changes cannot be reflected in the new valuation roll. It was recommended that this gap be reduced and the cut-off date changed to match the date the valuation roll is made up and sent to local authorities and the Scottish Government (15 March).

The draft Non-Domestic Rates (Valuation Notices) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 

The objective of the draft regulations was to require that the assessor publish alongside each valuation notice, the addresses of let properties the rental evidence of which was used to inform the basic rate used in the valuation, specifically for ‘standard’ shops, offices, warehouses and workshops valued using the comparative method, as recommended by the Barclay Implementation Advisory Appeals sub-group.  

There was broad agreement that applying the use classes set out in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1997, as proposed, was not appropriate and that descriptions more closely matching those used in rating valuation should be adopted.   

Many respondents called for the information-sharing requirements in valuation notices to be expanded, both in terms of the properties covered by the requirements and the information to be provided. For instance, some respondents called for a full rental analysis of each property used in comparison for the valuation, on the basis that a list of these properties’ addresses in and of itself would be of limited use. It was conversely argued that such a list would in fact provide owners and/or occupiers with sufficient information to do their own research.  

Concern was raised that the information used in some valuations was commercially sensitive and confidential, and should not be included in Valuation Notices (e.g. turnover). 

There were also calls for these new information-sharing requirements to apply to all non-domestic properties on the basis of fairness and for there to be different deadlines for lodging a proposal depending on whether additional information was provided in the valuation notice or not.  

We did

The publication of the draft valuation roll will take place on 30 November the year before revaluation. The draft roll in respect of the 2023 revaluation will therefore require to be published on 30 November 2022.

The date on which valuations are to be made on the basis of the physical circumstances of properties for the next roll will be 15 March in the year preceding a revaluation instead of 1 January, in order to reduce the period during which alterations cannot be reflected in the new valuation roll.

The Valuation Timetable (Scotland) Amendment Order 2022 was laid on 22 April 2022.

Given the arguments made against the use of the use classes set out in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1997 in order to identify the classes of property for which additional information is to be provided in valuation notices, we will not use this categorization as a basis for identification of the properties for which the assessor must provide additional information in the valuation notice; instead the categories will reflect the Scottish Assessors Association’s (SAA) valuation Practice Notes published on the SAA Portal.  

In response to calls for more property classes to be covered, whilst being mindful of the practicability of expanding the requirements at this point for the 2023 revaluation, we have now included over thirty property classes valued using the comparative method in the draft Non-Domestic Rates (Valuation Notices) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 for which the assessor must provide the addresses of let properties, the rental information of which was used to produce the rate per square metre applied in the valuation.  

The Scottish Government commits to exploring from 2023-2025 how more property classes might be covered from the next revaluation, though it notes the issues of commercial sensitivity and data confidentiality raised in consultation responses around the information used for some valuations such as company turnover. 

The draft Non-Domestic Rates (Valuation Notices) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 were laid on 4 May 2022. 

We asked

In October 2021, The Scottish Crime Recording Board sought your views on the future of Recorded Crime and Police Activity Statistics. This included inviting views on the production and dissemination of Scotland’s recorded crime statistics, and on the possible development of new statistical products covering other types of policing activity. The consultation ran from 22 October 2021 to 10 December 2021.

You said

You provided us with 17 responses to our consultation questions. These included responses from 14 organisations and three individuals.

In summary, there was consensus among the respondents on:

  • support for greater disaggregation of recorded crime statistics compared to the current approach
  • continued support that common assault should be reclassified as a crime, and split into with and without injury;
  • broadly content with the proposed definition of Common Assault with and without injury, with a few minor amendments suggested
  • support for having commentary to contextualise the findings and in favour of Excel format tables to present the data within the National Statistics Annual bulletin
  • support for comparisons being provided between findings from recorded crime and the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, as well as information on cyber-crime within the National Statistics Annual bulletin
  • support for reducing the frequency of the monthly statistics publications, suggesting quarterly releases would best suit their needs
  • support for of the User Guide as a complementary document to the statistical bulletins
  • generally supportive of the potential addition of demographic characteristics for those involved in crime
  • support for the level of geographical disaggregation currently offered
  • generally not supportive of the potential development of a Crime Severity Score
  • support for the potential production of new statistics on non-criminal incidents recorded by Police Scotland
  • interested in the potential value of these statistics to widen the understanding of police activity and inform policy and decision making

 

A report detailing a summary of all responses received was published on 24 March 2022 and is available at A consultation on the future of recorded crime and police activity statistics - Summary of responses and discussion of next steps

We did

Responses to the consultation have now been published where permission has been obtained to do so and a report detailing a summary of all responses received has been published (see above).

The Scottish Crime Recording Board has considered the responses to this consultation, alongside feedback from both the previous consultation and other events run during the consultation period. Taking all this into account, the Scottish Crime Recording Board have approved a number of changes to the recorded crime statistics, including:

  • the current set of crime and offence groups will be replaced with a new set based on Option A (as described in the consultation); the 2021-22 annual Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics will be the first to reflect this change
  • common assault will be reclassified as a crime rather than an offence
  • stalking will be reclassified as a crime rather than an offence
  • common assault will be split into common assault with injury and common assault without injury, with the timing to be confirmed for the introduction of this change
  • the annual Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics bulletin will be published in June, brought forward from September
  • the annual Recorded Crime in Scotland National Statistics bulletin will be redesigned to ensure it meets accessibility requirements and statistical best practice
  • the Recorded Crime Monthly Official Statistics will be discontinued following publication of the March 2022 bulletin in April 2022
  • the Monthly Official Statistics will then be replaced with a quarterly release of National Statistics, which will present the latest rolling 12-month period

 

The 2021 consultation also asked for feedback on potential future developments for statistics on recorded crime and police activity. This evidence will be used to inform longer term planning of these statistics, and we will keep users informed of any developments via ScotStat.

We asked

A formal consultation on the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) ran on Citizen Space for 11 weeks from the 23rd September 2021 to the 9th December 2021. We invited views on the SCJS, with a specific focus on how the survey might be adapted throughout the upcoming re-procurement exercise. Themes for feedback included: survey aims; function as a crime survey; sample & frequency; new question topics; definition of ‘SCJS Crime’; comparisons with Crime Survey for England & Wales; SCJS & further research, and future proofing. The original consultation paper is available here.

You said

Respondents were largely satisfied with the current SCJS aims and the ability to analyse trends using SCJS data. However, users would like to see further disaggregation of survey data, new questions on specific topics, and some improvements to the presentation and promotion of the SCJS resources.

  • Users were most keen to see data disaggregated by local authority, ethnicity, and gender. Additional breakdowns such as data on those aged 16-18, those with disabilities, and other protected characteristics were also requested.
  • Respondents asked for specific topics to be addressed in greater detail, modified, or entered as new additions to the survey. The questionnaire topics most commonly requested were partner abuse, gender-based violence, and cyber crime.
  • Additionally, it was highlighted that the availability of the survey data and other resources could be better promoted.

We did

We would like to thank all who participated in the consultation process. All suggestions are being considered by the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey team. The feedback gathered has significantly influenced and assisted various re-procurement work streams. In particular, the consultation has, and will continue to inform, the survey design, improvements to user engagement and changes to the questionnaire. A 12 month period of questionnaire development will begin in Spring, with a primary focus on partner abuse, gender-based violence and cyber crime. The SCJS team will re-engage with users during this process.

We asked

This consultation was hosted on behalf of Professor Ken Muir, University of the West of Scotland, in his role as independent advisor to the Scottish Government on the replacement of the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the reform of Education Scotland. We asked for your views on the future shape of the education agencies and wider education system.

The full public consultation was divided into four areas for which views were sought:

  • Vision
  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Replacing the Scottish Qualifications Authority and reforming Education Scotland

You said

The consultation attracted 764 responses from individuals, groups of individuals, organisations and groups of stakeholders.

Overall, respondents supported the Curriculum for Excellence and the four capacities. While it was felt this worked at the Broad General Education (BGE) reform was required at the Senior Phase.

It was stressed that the educational landscape in Scotland was cluttered, with too many organisations at national, regional and local levels which appeared to overlap or duplicate each other in terms of their roles and responsibilities.

Respondents were generally supportive of the four reform proposals, i.e. to remove the inspection function from Education Scotland, further reform of Education Scotland, to replace SQA (although many felt this should be reformed), and to consider the creation of a new Curriculum and Assessment Agency.

It was widely felt that the inspection function should be separate from the Scottish Government and any other education/policy setting agency in order to be fully impartial.

There were mixed views regarding whether the SQA should be replaced or reformed, although most respondents agreed some form of change was required.

The creation of a Curriculum and Assessment Agency was largely considered to be an opportunity to realign the BGE and Senior Phases, and to allow more focus on pedagogy throughout the various stages.

We did

All of the consultation responses alongside a range of other evidence were considered by Professor Muir as part of his analysis and deliberation. Professor Muir submitted his final report and recommendations to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in February 2022. Professor Muir’s report, the independent analysis of the consultation responses and a report of the Children and Young Persons engagement activity were all published on the 8th March 2022 https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781804351000

The Scottish Government’s response to Professor Muir’s report was also published on https://www.gov.scot/publications/putting-learners-at-the-centre-response-to-the-independent-advisor-on-education-reforms-report/

We asked

We asked for views on a minor amendment to road works legislation. We sought views on the proposal to revoke the Scottish Statutory Instrument,  “The “Scottish Road Works Register (Prescribed Fees) Regulations 2021” and replace it with a new Regulation to account for the overall running cost in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 financial years. 

The projected running cost for 2022/23 will decrease to £882,933 from £915,000, a 4% decrease compared to the current figure. The projected running cost for 2023/24 will increase to £950,387, a 4% increase compared to the current figure.

You said

In total, twenty two responses to the consultation were received, primarily from roads authorities. Brief analysis of these responses is detailed below.

There was strong support for the proposal; all twenty-two responses gave full support for the change. This included fifteen responses from roads authorities, four responses from utility or contracting firms, one from a non-departmental public body with statutory rights to excavate in roads, and two from individuals. Of the four utility returns, two are from the same organisation, albeit covering separate operational areas. For analysis purposes these have been considered as a single response.

Six organisations provided additional comments. Three respondents noted that the current apportionment model was fit for purpose. One respondent noted that a review of the apportionment model would be useful in the ‘near future’. Two organisations, both utility firms, noted that a review of the model with specific regard to roads authority use of the register would be beneficial

We did

The consultation responses have been carefully considered. All of the respondents supported the proposal to replace the 2021 Scottish Statutory Instrument. As a result, we will now revoke the Scottish Statutory Instrument, “The “Scottish Road Works Register (Prescribed Fees) Regulations 2021”, and replace it with a new Regulation as proposed.

We have raised the issue of apportionment with the body that originally provided the apportionment matrix, the Roads Authority and Utility Committee (Scotland). We have asked that the group review the matrix, and return any comment to Transport Scotland officials before October 2024

We asked

In the Scottish Government’s consultation paper "Covid recovery: a consultation on public health, public services and justice system reforms” we asked for your views on our review of the impact of Covid on the Scottish statute book: removing measures no longer needed in order to be able to respond to the Covid pandemic; keeping those where there is demonstrable benefit to the people of Scotland; and considering what new provisions might be made.

Specifically the 12 week full public consultation held between 17 August and 9 November 2021 sought views on:

  • Proposals for greater public health resilience, to protect Scotland against future public health threats;
  • Proposals for public services and justice system reform, to ensure that the benefits of practical modernisations put in place during the pandemic are maintained; and
  • Proposals to respond to the impact of Covid in the justice system specifically, where backlogs have unavoidably built up.

 

You said

The consultation attracted a lot of interest with almost 3,000 responses being received; the majority of those were from individuals. The exact figures were 2,905 valid responses; 2,775 responses from individuals and 130 organisational responses. All responses represent a valid view and no responses were excluded from analysis.

The responses have been analysed by an external contractor, The Lines Between Ltd.  A full consultation report was published on 26 January 2022.

As is further set out in the consultation analysis report, public health resilience proposals elicited a range of views.

In relation to public services and justice system reform, modernisation, efficiency, and flexibility were themes expressed by those who endorsed extending provisions for public services and justice proceedings to be carried out through remote, virtual, or electronic means.

The provisions for tenancies and protection against eviction attracted many responses.

In relation to the impact of Covid in the justice system, many organisations supported conducting court business by electronic means and virtual attendance.

We did

The consultation responses have been carefully considered, alongside other evidence, in relation to the development of a Covid Recovery Bill which was announced in the Programme for Government 2021-22.

The Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 25 January 2022.  Further details are available from this webpage.

We asked

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 also established Community Justice Scotland and required Scottish Ministers to produce a National Strategy for Community Justice, an Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework and Guidance for Local Partners to support the delivery of the new model.

 On 27 September 2021, the Scottish Government published a targeted consultation seeking views on the National Strategy for Community Justice. The consultation formed part of the statutory review of the strategy.

You said

There were 52 responses to the consultation. Of these the majority were received from groups/organisations and 12 were received from individuals.

 Overall, respondents were broadly supportive of the ambition of the current strategy and its usefulness in helping to establish the model of community justice, but some responses are critical of its clarity, impact and implementation structures. The key themes emerging from the responses to the consultation included:

  • Broad support for a shorter, more accessible strategy
  • The need to provide greater clarity of roles, responsibilities and actions for community justice partners
  • Clarity regarding connections between the strategic priorities and the work of local, national and third sector partners and alignment to existing structures and strategies
  • More prominence to trauma-informed practice, the needs of victims, partnership working and pandemic recovery
  • The need to reflect the voices of people with lived experience of the justice system, their families, victims and communities, in the planning, development and delivery of services

We did

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

The responses contributed to the Scottish Government concluding that a revised strategy was required. A public consultation on proposals for a revised strategy is currently being prepared, taking into account the learning and conclusions from the review. This consultation will be published in due course.

We asked

We asked for your views on the draft Framework for Tax, specifically we asked for responses to consider new areas that could be included or suggested alterations to existing elements of the Framework as well as more general reflections.

Your views were also sought on how our tax powers should be used in the Scottish Budget for 2022-23 and for the duration of the current Scottish Parliament (2021-2026).

You said

We received a total of 47 responses to the public consultation, with 22 individuals and 25 organisations responding.

The Framework for Tax received positive feedback from a wide range of respondents. The Framework was particularly welcomed for its accessibility, commitment to engagement and its contribution to improving the transparency of Scottish tax policy.

Responses outlined a strong appetite to make the most of existing powers, and to ensure a solid foundation is in place for good practice in tax policy making. Links between different levels of government remain important, with respondents highlighting the need to ensure that the responsibilities of local authorities and the Scottish and UK Governments, as well as fiscal cycles, are clearly articulated.

Respondents expressed a mix of views on how the Scottish Government should use its tax powers moving forward. Some respondents called for stability while we  recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and an alignment with UK tax rates. Whereas other respondents called for a more progressive approach to tax, in particular in relation to Income Tax and Council Tax rates.

Additionally, using tax policy to help achieve Net Zero commitments, having a phased approach to increasing Non-Domestic Rates back to pre-pandemic levels, and having a simple, transparent, and easy to use tax system were other key themes in the consultation responses. The consultation analysis report can be viewed in full here.

We did

All of the responses, alongside other evidence, were considered in relation to the draft Framework for Tax and Scottish Budget.

The Scottish Budget for 2022-23 was announced on Thursday 9 December. Our proposed tax policy measures in the Scottish Budget can be found here, while the Scottish Budget 2022-23 document can be accessed here.

The final version of the Framework for Tax was published on Thursday 16 December and can be viewed in full here.

Consultation responses were constructive and provided carefully considered, expert feedback, meaningfully improving the published version of Scotland’s first Framework for Tax.

Two substantive changes include adding a description of the different bodies involved in the development and delivery of tax policy and a reframing of one of Scotland’s tax principles to focus on ‘effectiveness’ enhancing our commitment to tackling tax avoidance activity by designing taxes that minimise opportunities for such activity.

We asked

We consulted on membership (including appointment, removal and replacement of members), remuneration of members and the process through which the Board makes decisions.  The purpose of this consultation was to gather opinion on this matter, providing us with an insight into the views of a wide range of stakeholders.

You said

Overall, there was support for the suggested framework for the National Smart Ticketing Advisory Board, and many of the responses provided very detailed insights into the practical considerations of establishing such a board. The responses received were largely in favour of establishing NSTAB, with only a single response opposing ‘smart ticketing’ as a general policy area. 

We did

We will now proceed with the establishment of this board, informed by the responses received to date. This will include seeking Ministerial approval for the recomendations arising from the consultation, and creating new statute to establish the board. 

We asked

Following the fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017, the Scottish Government Ministerial Working Group (MWG) on Building and Fire Safety set up a panel of experts through the Building Standards Fire Safety Review Panel 2021 to consider introducing a ban of the highest risk cladding products and the continued role of large scale fire testing for facades.


The ‘Building standards (fire safety) – a consultation on external wall systems ’ public consultation gathered information and views on the proposed actions from the Review Panel recommendations and asked: 


•    Where external wall cladding systems meeting European classification A1 and A2, or full scale façade tests or fire engineering approach should apply to building types and situations. This was asked utilising four options. 


•    What the definition of the highest risk metal composite material (MCM) cladding panels should be and if the application of these materials on buildings should be banned in legislation. 


•    For comments on consequential matters in relation to service penetrations. 

You said

The consultation received 76 responses.


•    Option 1 (April 2021 addendum) attracted the least support (16%), Options 2 (managed use of BS 8414) and 4 (any alternative proposal) had broadly similar levels of support (24% and 27% respectively) with Option 3 (regulatory ban) attracting the most support (33%).


•    48% of respondents provided support for the MCM definition compared to 17% who did not support the proposed definition. Some 36% of respondents were undecided about the proposal.


The majority of respondents (60%) felt that the ban should be in regulation. 


•    Responses on consequential matters was broadly split across the three possible answers.

We did

The Building (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2022 were laid in the Scottish Parliament on 22 April. Changes to requirements on fire safety of cladding systems will be introduced on 1 June.  These regulations include:

 

•    Banning highly combustible metal composite material panels on all buildings regardless of height;

 

•    A ban on combustible external wall cladding systems of residential and high risk buildings over 11m;

 

•    Changes to the mandatory building standard 2.7, fire spread on external walls, to improve clarity of intent; and

 

•    Requirements for replacement cladding to comply with current regulations.  

 

Amendments to the building regulations and standards are now made by Part 2 of The Building (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2022.  


The revised standards and supporting guidance apply to all building warrants submitted on or after 1 June 2022 and are published at: New publication: Technical Handbooks for use from 1 June 2022 .

 

We asked

Part 3 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 develops and refines the existing regulatory framework for bus services with a range of options designed to give Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) the powers and flexibility they need to improve bus services and reverse the decline in bus usage in their area. 

We asked for your views to help shape the regulations and supporting guidance required to implement the new bus provisions.

The questions covered the areas of partnership working, local services franchising, powers for local transport authorities to run their own buses and improvements to information. 

You said

The consultation resulted in 67 responses (42 from organisations and 25 from individuals). In addition, we received 1,107 campaign-led responses in support of implementing the provisions on Local Transport Authority (LTA) run services and franchising.

A number of key themes were evident across consultation questions as well as across respondent groups. Some of these were outwith the scope of the consultation and were general comments on the models being discussed and, as such, will be more appropriate for LTAs when considering which options to use. 

On Local Authority Bus Services, respondents indicated no desire for additional duties to be imposed on LTAs in how they run services. Instead, respondents made suggestions on supporting information to help implement this provision.

On Bus Service Improvement Partnerships respondents commented on a range of aspects relating to the operation of the model, including processes related to the preparation, variation and revocation of partnership plans and schemes, the partnership voting mechanism, accessibility provisions and the scrutiny of the partnership, among others.

On Local Services Franchising respondents commented on guidance required, information required, and the composition of the independent panel considering the making of the framework.

On the provision of service information when varying and cancelling a registration local authorities expressed a preference for receiving a broader range and greater detail of information whereas operators preferred to mostly continue with current practices relating to information whilst highlighting the need for protection for commercially sensitive information.

We did

An analysis of the responses to the consultation has been published on 11 March and can be accessed at https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/implementing-part-three-of-the-transport-scotland-act-2019-bus-services-analysis-of-consultation-responses/. The responses to the consultation will inform our ongoing work with relevant stakeholders to progress the development of necessary secondary legislation and guidance.

We asked

We asked for your views on draft proposals to extend the effects of a coronavirus related modification to the Public Health etc. (Scotland) Act 2008. This Act includes a duty on Health Boards to provide compensation to those isolating as a result of an infectious disease. This duty was suspended by the UK Coronavirus Act 2020 on a temporary basis as part of legislative modifications deemed necessary during the pandemic.

The compensation duty in the 2008 Act was predominantly developed to address the support people who find themselves isolating would require where there was small-scale outbreaks of notifiable infectious diseases rather than to provide support at the scale that would have been required throughout Covid-19 pandemic.

Given the scale of support required for the large numbers of people who have been required to isolate, it has been considered a more proportionate use of public resources to introduce COVID-19 specific support schemes. These have included:

  • the Self-Isolation Support Grant (SISG), a £500 payment for people who earn less than the living wage who are required to self-isolate;
  • the National Assistance Helpline (NAH), a central support phone line that people self-isolating can call to engage the relevant local authority team who can triage their need for support whilst isolating; and
  • the Local Self-Isolation Assistance Service (LSIAS), a pro-active service that phones people self-isolating who wish to receive the service to consider whether they require support with access to food, essential medication or other local voluntary sector and statutory services.

The proposal set out in the consultation was to bring forward primary legislation that would:

  • extend the effects of the existing modification to the 2008 Act relating to compensation from the date the legislation was in force to 30 October 2022;
  • set out reporting requirements to Parliament relating to the ongoing suspension of the provisions in the 2008 Act; and
  • provide regulation making powers so that the expiry date of the suspension – when the duty on Health Boards would once again be in place – could be brought forward or extended.

We asked for your views on whether you agreed with the proposals, whether you agreed the Scottish Government should have powers to extend or expire them early, and on the conditions that should apply to using those powers.

You said

We received a total of 14 responses to the public consultation. Of the 14 responses, 5 were received from individuals representing organisations and 9 were received from members of the public.

Overall, responses to the consultation were in favour of the proposed changes, with 78.5% of respondents agreeing with the proposal to modify the duty on Health Boards to make the payment of compensation related to self-isolation for COVID-19 discretionary; 78.5% of respondents were also in favour of the Scottish Government having the ability to vary the expiry date of these provisions - with 92.8% of respondents agreeing that these factors are the most appropriate consideration for the Scottish Government to take into account when considering extending or bringing forward the expiry date for these provisions.

Much of the written feedback received related to the need to ensure that isolation support, and support relating to Covid more generally, is provided at the right level and that there is sufficient public awareness for people affected by COVID-19.  This included comments relating to the levels of isolation support provided, the need to provide sufficient financial support and on some of the differential impact of COVID-19 on some groups with protected characteristics.

We did

We have published non-confidential responses to the consultation and an analysis of the consultation responses.  Preparations are now underway for new regulation and the feedback received from this consultation will help shape that process.

Written feedback provided relating to levels of isolation support, views on COVID-19 support more broadly and the financial and other impacts on people of having to self-isolate have been passed to the relevant policy teams in the Scottish Government for further consideration.  This feedback will inform the ongoing consideration of isolation support for COVID-19 into the next stages of the pandemic, as well as how best Scottish Government can work with public and voluntary sector partners to minimise the differential impact that COVID-19 has across a range of different communities within the population.

It is our conclusion that the proposals can be taken forward and presented to Parliament for scrutiny.

The full analysis report can be found at: Coronavirus (Discretionary Compensation for Self-Isolation) Bill Consultation - Analysis and Response - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

We asked

The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 introduced a discretionary workplace parking licensing (WPL) power available to local authorities. It will be for the local authority to decide whether they wish to use that power and to shape proposals to suit local circumstances.

As part of our commitment to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030, the Climate Change Plan update committed to take forward policy consultation in advance of drafting regulations and guidance to enable local authorities to implement WPL schemes that suit their local requirements. Providing local authorities with discretionary powers to implement a WPL scheme supports National Transportation Strategy outcomes of reducing congestion and tackling climate/air emissions.

We asked for your views on certain technical elements of the Workplace Parking Licensing (WPL) regulations and guidance that will underpin local authorities’ WPL schemes, and what potential impacts of the regulations and guidance may be expected.

You said

We received 62 responses to the consultation, of which 37 were from organisations and 25 from individuals. A number of key themes were evident across consultation questions as well as across respondent groups. Some of these were outwith the scope of the consultation and were general comments on WPL and, as such, will be more appropriate for local authorities to consider when designing and implementing local WPL schemes.

Key themes include the importance of transparency and accountability in WPL schemes, the importance of alternative modes of transport. Some respondents raised concerns that WPL schemes will disproportionately impact low paid and shift workers and city centre businesses.

We did

An analysis of the responses to the consultation has been published on the Transport Scotland website, and responses published where respondents indicated permission to do so. The responses to the consultation will help inform the supporting regulations and guidance to enable local authorities to implement WPL schemes that suit their local circumstances.

As set out in the Climate Change Plan update, the intention is for regulations and guidance to be in force in 2022.

We asked

The first phase of this study, the Initial Appraisal (Case for Change), was published in March 2021 and concluded that there was evidence for a ‘Case for Change’ within the study area.  We are now progressing through the Preliminary Appraisal stage of this process which involves reviewing the four Transport Planning Objectives agreed with stakeholders against a number of potential short, medium and long term intervention options and consulting with the public to understand wider views on each of these options.

For the Public Consultation we provided consultation material and a webinar, with a feedback form to record your views.  We asked for your views on a series of potential measures to improve safety on the A9 between North Kessock and Tore, including speed reduction and monitoring, junction and road layout improvements, public transport improvements and upgraded facilities for non-motorised users. These were split into packages according to their ease of implementation and potential construction timescales.

You said

We received 753 responses submitted via the online consultation platform Citizen Space, with another 3 via email.  Most of the responses were positive towards the proposed safety improvements North Kessock and Tore.  The responses that received predominantly positive feedback were generally regarding signage and visibility. Enhanced cyclist signage, road markings and installation of street lighting received overwhelmingly positive responses as well as prohibiting certain vehicle movements such as U-turns. The prohibition of right-turns to and from the A9 were more evenly rated, but with a marginally positive score.  Options which proposed to reduce speed limits or impose enforcement measures such as safety cameras were not preferred overall and received negative responses on the whole. Additionally, the option to install traffic signals at the Tore Roundabout was seen as a negative impact. Responses applying to active travel provision measures such as a controlled pedestrian crossing at Tore Roundabout were mixed.  The suggestion of a pedestrian bridge or underpass at Tore Roundabout received very positive responses.  Options concerning active travel integration and improvement of pedestrian routes had neutral responses, with additional supporting comments suggesting that the some respondents did not perceive an issue, or they did not partake in active travel and therefore could not form an opinion.  Long-term options to improve Munlochy junction with as a roundabout or the creation of a single junction along with Artafallie received fairly mixed response, but the proposal for a grade-separated junction was overwhelmingly positive.

We did

An analysis of the responses to the consultation has been published on the Transport Scotland website The responses to the consultation will help inform the development of the safety improvements between North Kessock and Tore, and form part of the ongoing appraisal.  

We asked

We sought views on a draft of the Aquaculture Code of Practice: Containment of and Prevention of Escape of Fish on Fish Farms in relation to Marine Mammal Interactions. We also asked for people’s views on accompanying reporting forms and a partial Business Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA).

A public consultation took place between 22 June 2021 and 3 August 2021.

You said

We received 39 responses to the consultation of which 20 were from organisations and 19 from members of the public. We have published the responses received where the respondent has given permission for us to do so.

The majority of responses supported introduction of the Code of Practice with a range of comments and constructive suggestions for revision and improvement.

We did

We published an analysis of the consultation responses:

https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781802014037

We completed and published a BRIA:

https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781802013993

The response to the consultation has been incorporated into the final version of the Code of Practice which is published on the Scottish Government website:

https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781802014006