12 July 2012

Stevenson Condemns Failure to Deliver Crown Estate Devolution

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has condemned the Tory/LibDem coalition for failing to give Scotland proper control over the Crown Estate’s Scottish assets. The MSP’s comments come after the UK Government confirmed it will not devolve control of the Crown Estate.

Westminster's response to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee report on Crown Estate details no further devolution of responsibility or revenue and rejects cross party calls from both the Scottish and UK Parliament's for full devolution of the Crown Estate to communities across Scotland.

Mr Stevenson also highlighted that if responsibility for the Crown Estate had lain with the Scottish Parliament, local people campaigning for repairs to the pier at Crovie would have found it much easier to convince the authorities of the need for action.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

"The UK Government has ignored the wishes of people in Scotland, they have ignored logic and, in particular, they have let down our coastal communities.

"The UK Government's response is extremely disappointing - we have no additional devolution, no transfer of real responsibility and no progress for communities affected by the Crown Estate

“Crown Estates control a vast amount of land along the coast and in their estates such as Fochabers and Glenlivet.

“This is public land in Scotland that should be accountable to the Scottish Parliament.  It is completely illogical to maintain the status quo when the majority of environmental, agriculture, fisheries and economic development issues are devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

“Scotland can and should have responsibility for her own coastline, her seabed and the development of the renewable energy industry offshore.  If responsibility lay with the Scottish Parliament, I’m sure we would have found it much easier to convince the powers that be of the case for repairing the pier at Crovie, to give just one example.

"The irony of this is that in opposition the LibDems actively campaigned for devolution of the Crown Estate but in Government they have reneged on that. For those coastal communities seeking influence over the Crown Estate it is clear the only way they will see local control is with a Yes vote for independence.”

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