Plan a catalyst for real change
SUPPORT to devolve further power to Scotland’s rural communities was announced by the Scottish government’s rural affairs secretary, Richard Lochhead, during the cabinet’s visit to the town this week.
Scottish government funding of £200,000 has been allocated to help deliver the Scottish rural parliament action plan.
Mr Lochhead made the announcement ahead of the Scottish cabinet meeting in Oban, nine months after Scotland’s first rural parliament was held in the Argyllshire town.
Speaking on a visit to the Stramash outdoor social enterprise – which won an innovation award at the rural parliament - the cabinet secretary said: ‘Scotland’s first rural parliament was hugely successful in giving rural communities a voice.
‘The challenge now is to maintain that democratic momentum. Rural parliaments in other countries have proven to be a catalyst for lasting change and I am keen to see a similarly dynamic and influential rural movement here in Scotland.
‘That is why is the Scottish government is providing £200,000 to support the delivery of the Scottish rural parliament action plan, which sets out the priority issues and solutions that have been identified by rural communities themselves.
‘The plan cannot be delivered by government alone and so I am keen that it is supported as widely as possible.’