CARRICK’S MSP has reacted with disappointment to a decision by the UK Government to set up community funds to distribute 50 per cent of the profits made by the Crown Estate in Scotland.
The Scottish Government are pressing for “full devolution” of the Crown Estate, which controls the seabed up to 12 miles from the shore, which it says could be invested in local communities.
Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley SNP MSP Adam Ingram said he is disappointed at the “half measures” taken by the UK Government in response to pressure from Scotland to repatriate revenues from the Crown Estate in Scotland.
The UK Government has created a fund which equates to 50% of the revenues taken by the Crown Estate in Scotland for marine developments.
Mr Ingram said: “I fully support the Scottish Government and the widespread campaign for full devolution of the Crown Estate in Scotland, so that local communities can receive substantial benefits from the offshore renewable energy opportunities being exploited on their doorsteps.
“This was a key election issue, and has since been endorsed by the Scottish Parliament.
“This measure does not go nearly far enough. Scotland should benefit from 100 per cent of Crown Estate revenues, not 50 per cent. Full devolution of Crown Estate would give the people of Scotland a say in how public assets are used, rather than leaving decisions to the unelected commissioners who manage the Crown Estate.
“My interest in this came from my involvement with the Save the Doon Campaign and meeting with local angling clubs. It appears that whilst our local associations and clubs work tirelessly to raise funds to ensure they can survive and develop, their endeavours are far from supported by the Crown Estate who collect a significant rental from them with very little investment.
“Transferring the ownership of salmon fishing to the Scottish Government would have a significant positive impact.”
The UK Government say the new fund is designed to support the economic development of coastal communities and will support a wide range of projects, including those that support charities, the environment, education and health. Examples could include support for developing renewable energy, improving skills or environmental improvement.
Chancellor George Osborne, said: “This new funding shows the Government is committed to supporting coastal communities and ensuring that they benefit from the revenue that our coasts and the Crown Estate produce.”