15th November 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Scott welcomes backing for devolution of Crown Estate powers

A Scottish Parliamentary committee has made a strong recommendation that full ownership and control over the seabed should be handed to the islands.

MSP Tavish Scott, who is a member of the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, welcomed the strong support which the Scottish Parliament Committee has given to further devolution when control over the Crown Estate’s Scottish assets is transferred.

The committee has examined and commented on the Smith Commission’s proposals for further devolution of powers to Scotland from Westminster, and recommends the Crown Estate assets in Scotland are devolved to local authorities such as Shetland Islands Council. The committee also recognised the scope for further devolution to others in coastal areas such as harbour and port authorities.

Mr Scott, who also served on the Smith Commission under the chairmanship of Lord Smith of Kelvin, said: “I have long argued that the dead hand of the Crown Estate should be lifted from Shetland. But I do not want it replaced by the dead hand of Edinburgh. That is why I pushed for the Smith Commission to recommend further devolution of the seabed assets to Shetland and other island areas and why I continued to push for this in the Holyrood Committee.

“Shetland Islands Council already has, largely through the ZCC Act, many regulatory powers over most of our coastal waters. Adding full ownership and control over the seabed makes sense. The council understands the community’s needs while potential developers would have one less regulatory body to deal with.

“The one area of Shetland’s seabed which SIC does not control is that in Lerwick Harbour where the port authority controls developments. I want to see the port authority gain the ownership and control over their seabed helping them build on their success in developing one of Scotland’s leading ports.”

Mr Scott added that as the sea and seabed had always been of vital importance to Shetland, the people who knew best how it should be protected and used were the people of Shetland.

“That is why I want our seabed to pass to the council and to the port authority. That is why I will continue to push for this to be done without delay, as the Smith Commission proposals for further devolution make their progress at Westminster and Holyrood,” he added.

One comment

  1. john irvine

    All fair and well but who is going to be in charge? the SIC and another shambolic mess?

    Probably, as this is a council with the “sidam” touch.

    The list of avoidable failures this and past councils have made are endless and maybe the less control they have the better?

    Reply

Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.