Malcolm on Fuel Poverty, speaking up for Granton, Pilton and Muirhouse
The Scottish Government's application of Home Insulation Grants Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab):
To ask the Scottish Executive what criteria were employed in selecting areas to benefit from the £15 million Home Insulation Scheme.


Alex Neil (SNP):
Seven criteria for area selection were agreed with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), following a joint COSLA-Scottish Government workshop for local authorities on 28 April. Local authorities attending this joint session contributed to discussion which helped shape the agreed criteria. Local authorities were asked, in their bids, to provide information relating to their proposed areas against the selection criteria. To assist in the provision of such information, sources of available data such as the Energy Saving Scotland advice network were suggested to local authorities. The full list of criteria used was as follows:

Criteria A: Levels of carbon emissions in an area/neighbourhood.

Criteria B: Levels of fuel poverty in an area/neighbourhood.

Criteria C: Numbers of dwellings that can be treated with loft insulation and cavity fill.

Criteria D: Potential for complementary funding from other sources.

Criteria E: Appropriate mix of geographical areas.

Criteria F: Ability to deliver within the prescribed timescale.

Criteria G: Mechanisms for community engagement.

The bill requires councils to explain in their proposal paper how they undertook their consideration of whether to propose a closure. It will therefore be set out clearly at the start of the consultation period.

In order to improve the consultation process that is required for all changes to schools, we decided to extend the bill to put in place a comprehensive consultation framework that will apply to all schools. By setting out the new requirements in legislation, we have underlined the importance to us as a Government of improving all consultations as well as providing clarity on how they should be carried out.

Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab):
To ask the Scottish Executive how fuel poverty rates in the Duddingston and Craigentinny areas of Edinburgh, which were selected to benefit from the Home Insulation Scheme, compare with fuel poverty rates in the Granton, Pilton and Muirhouse areas.


Alex Neil (SNP):
The Scottish Government does not hold information on fuel poverty rates at the local level, such as Duddingston and Granton. The Scottish House Condition Survey provides fuel poverty rates disaggregated as far as local authority level; below this the figures are not statistically robust.

The areas considered by the Scottish Government for inclusion in the Home Insulation Scheme were selected by local councils. In the City of Edinburgh Councilís case, the areas put forward for consideration for 2009-10 were Craigentinny and Duddingston. It was recognised that data for some of the selection criteria agreed for the scheme was incomplete across Scotland at the appropriately disaggregated level. The Edinburgh bid included data indicative of fuel poverty levels in Craigentinny and Duddingston taken from a variety of sources. This included data from the home energy efficiency database, TADEA, a not-for-profit energy advice company, and information from relevant datazones identifying areas of low income considered to be most at risk of fuel poverty. Other relevant sources open to local councils included local housing or fuel poverty strategies, or data from the Energy Saving Scotland advice centre network.

September 1st 2009