A consultation on a remote rural communities bill is now open for response. The bill has been proposed by Gail Ross MSP and it would offer similar protection for mainland communities as the 2018 Islands Act does for Scottish islands.
Like the Islands Act, the bill would create a duty for Scottish ministers to publish a national remote rural plan, and it would mean the impact of public policy on remote rural communities would need to be taken into account. The bill is intended to complement other pieces of legislation such as the Community Empowerment Act and the Land Reform Act.
Gail Ross commented :
“Protection for our remote, rural communities has never been more vital. These communities have massive potential in agriculture, food and drink, renewable energy and tourism – and they must be given the tools they need to tap into that.
“However, people living in rural and remote communities do face additional challenges, including population decline, recruitment and retention of staff, and access to services.
“I would encourage as many people as possible who live, work and interact in Scotland’s remote rural communities to take part in this consultation to ensure that any new plan reflects the needs and challenges that our remote and rural communities can face.”
The consultation will run until 31 January 2020. A link to the consultation can be found here: https://www.parliament.scot/gettinginvolved/113252.aspx