Scott – Marine Powers Should Come Home to Shetland
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In a Scottish parliamentary debate later today (6pm) Shetland MSP Tavish Scott will call for the UK and Scottish Government to bring the powers of Shetland’s coastal waters home to the Islands. The debate will recognise the recently published Westminster Scottish Affairs Select Committee report into the Crown Estate which recommends that the Crown Estate’s marine assets should be decentralised to local authority and community control.
Tavish Scott said, “For too long the Crown Estate has been no more than a tax collector on salmon farms, harbours and marina users. Nothing will be improved by replacing a London tax collector with a Nationalist one in Edinburgh. The evidence presented to the Westminster Scottish Committee is crystal clear – the Scottish Government have no proposals for decentralisation. That is the position they state in their evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee. The Scottish Government should use today’s Parliamentary debate to set out exactly how they would decentralise these marine powers. That would be a positive step forwards.
“I welcome the recommendation that the marine responsibilities for Island coastal waters should pass directly to the Council and Port Authority. That would be a sensible and much needed reform. The recommendation is based on the overwhelming case that the Westminster Committee heard when they were in Shetland last year. I congratulate all those who made that case and the strength of the argument is very clear.
“The UK and Scottish Government’s should now agree on this reform and put local people in charge of these local assets on which so much of the Shetland seafood industry, worth £200 million a year, is based.”