SNP MSP for Clydesdale, Aileen Campbell has welcomed the Scottish Government’s plan to build growth across all areas of rural Scotland in the Programme for Government – showing the SNP’s commitment to serving communities and delivering policies which are important to people across all of Scotland.
The Programme for Government highlights the importance of Scotland’s rural economy to the SNP – with action planned in 2016-17 on a wide range of areas, including:
• Holding a series of summits with key sectors to explore how best to deliver sustainable growth and jobs in rural and island communities;
• Development of a Scottish Rural Infrastructure Plan to better co-ordinate expenditure and investment in the rural economy;
• Develop the national food and drink campus and set out how £5m investment will support island and regional food and drink;
• Continuing funding for the Scottish Rural Development Programme and lobbying the UK government to provide clarity and certainty for £350m under threat following Brexit;
• Stepping up efforts to repatriate red meat levy income and the shellfish levy;
• Commitment to 100% broadband coverage and addressing gaps in 4G coverage across Scotland;
• Maintaining the 50% air scheme discount to keep air services affordable for remote rural communities;
• Transfer of Crown Estate management, assets and revenues to maximise economic opportunities in our coastal and rural communities;
• Introduction of bill to reflect the unique needs of Scotland’s islands;
• Introduction of a Forestry Bill to complete the devolution of Forestry policy and help deliver ambitious planting targets;
• Promotion of sustainable wild fisheries with development of a new bill;
• Activity to better address wildlife crime;
• Delivery of Scotland’s first ever flood risk strategies and management plans for river;
• Implementation of the Agricultural Holding provisions in the Land Reform Act to create a thriving tenanted sector;
• Working to ensure that Scottish quota is retained by active Scottish fishermen through a new UK Fisheries Concordat.
The range of action proves the SNP’s commitment to rural Scotland, in stark contrast with the Tories irresponsible approach at Westminster in putting vital EU funding and support at risk with Brexit.
Commenting, Aileen said:
“The Programme for Government set out plans to to keep Scotland moving forward toward a fairer, more prosperous country.
“The Scottish Government will be taking forward action on fisheries, land reform, forestry, crofting, farming, food and drink, broadband and 4G, wildlife, the Crown Estate and our islands. This is a comprehensive package of support and reform that will build growth for all areas of rural Scotland while continuing the process of making Scotland a better place to live.
“I’m pleased to see significant investment to help grow our rural economies – something which is particularly important here in Clydesdale. Plans to improve connectivity, business support, infrastructure, rural industries and public services displays a strong commitment to make all of Scotland a better place to live.
“In this challenging time following the EU referendum, it’s reassuring to see that the SNP is standing up for rural Scotland.”