Monday, 12 May 2008

Gibson urges positive response to 'Shucksmith' finding's

News release
Immediate release


Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has said that the Scottish Government should respond positively to the Shucksmith inquiry on the future of crofting.

Mr Gibson said:

"Shucksmith has offered crofting the keys to sustainable 21st century small land holding across Scotland."

"Proposals to simplify and localise crofting law and township planning can make a real difference to the future prosperity of crofting. Scrapping the Crofter's Commission is a step in that direction and putting locally elected crofters in charge of regulation is a blow for local democracy."

"The creation of township planning committees will engage all residents to plan for development - not stop the innovation as so often has been the case."

"The idea of switching development functions from the Crofter Commission to HIE is a radical move which follows the ethos of the Scottish Government's enterprise reforms. Along with the local authority they can make a big difference to small rural businesses based on crofts. This radical move could deliver real benefits."

He backed the case for EU agreement to back mountainous status to ensure preferential support. However, Rob said that remote island status was also be a classification worthy of remote and rural food producers. He contrasted this with calls from the Chancellor Alasdair Darling to scrap the Common Agricultural Policy.

"What we have in the report is a call to protect remote and rural areas to ensure that food production there contributes towards food security. On the other hand we have today's call from an out-of-touch Chancellor putting farmers in rural Scotland in jeopardy along with other parts of Europe."

"Europe needs sustainable food production and crofting areas of Scotland should be included. Alistair Darling and his Labour Government want a heavier reliance upon imported food stuffs. Far from scrapping the CAP, it should be refocused."

He ended...

"The Scottish Government should respond positively. Much of Shucksmith's report is practical and fits the needs of our climate change era with its stress on public goods in return for more. Local food production fits with the national food policy. This report could spell a bright future for crofting."


Link to the crofting inquiry final report

No comments: