§ Mr. Kirkwood
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many places have been made available by his Department as emergency shelters for the homeless over the Christmas period in each of the last five years for which figures are available, showing the locations of those places; 
(2) how many places have been planned by his Department as emergency shelters for the homeless over the forthcoming Christmas period and in what locations; 
(3) what was the total expenditure for the provision of emergency Christmas shelters for the homeless over the past five years in Scotland; and what estimate he has made of the resources to be made available for the purpose during Christmas. 
§ Mr. Macdonald
The statutory responsibility for dealing with homelessness in any area and for deciding whether any emergency shelters are required over the Christmas period or at other times of year rests with the relevant local authorities. The Scottish Office provides them with financial support that can be used for such purposes.
The Rough Sleepers Initiative was established by The Scottish Office to provide financial assistance to local authorities to help them develop accommodation and services for rough sleepers. This can include assistance, where appropriate, for emergency shelters and other direct access accommodation. £16m was allocated for this Initiative over the 3 years from 1997–98 to 1999–2000 and I recently announced additional funding of £14m to allow the Initiative to be extended to 2002. Heriot Watt and Stirling universities have been commissioned by the Department to undertake a preliminary evaluation of the Rough Sleepers Initiative and are due to report by September 1999.
Information on the number of places made available in emergency shelters over the forthcoming Christmas period and anticipated and past expenditure on emergency shelters is not held centrally.