Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Seabed revenue demand

DEVOLVING revenue from the seabed from the Crown Estate to the island councils is still on the agenda after a meeting of the Scottish government’s new islands working group.

The Scottish government has proposed to the Smith Commission on devolution that all income from the Crown Estate should be handed over to local councils and coastal communities.

This week the three island local authority leaders met with local government minister Derek Mackay to take forward their Our Islands Our Future campaign.

On Wednesday, Mackay said: “The extension of the powers of the Scottish Parliament is essential to allow our prospectus to be delivered to the benefit of communities in all 93 of Scotland’s islands and our coastal areas.

“The Scottish government submission to Lord Smith’s Commission proposes the full devolution of the revenues from all Crown Estate assets in Scotland, including leasing income from the foreshore and seabed which we would then allocate to island and coastal communities.

“I was pleased that the leaders of the island councils confirmed their support to this approach and I look forward to further engaging with the Our Islands Our Future campaign to work towards securing these benefits for communities in these unique areas.”

Western Isles Council leader Angus Campbell, speaking on behalf of the campaign, said: “This was a very good meeting and took forward our aspirations under Our Islands Our Future.

“We have always said that whatever the outcome of the referendum we would seek to take forward those parts of Our Islands Our Future and the respective government responses that could be taken forward.

“This will require commitment and on-going work and we have started that process with this first post referendum meeting.”

Government critics such as Shetland and Orkney Liberal Democrat MSPs Tavish Scott and Liam McArthur claim the SNP government could implement almost all of their pre-referendum proposals using the powers they already have.