Plan a cat­a­lyst for real change

The Oban Times - - News -

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.’

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