Standing up for Rural Scotland – 5 ways to help farmers, fishermen and rural communities
Under the SNP and Scottish Greens, rural Scotland has been abandoned. Our towns, villages and rural communities are suffering at the hands of an SNP-Green coalition that does not understand the issues they are facing.
After years of the SNP’s Central Belt obsession, it is time to stand up for those parts of Scotland that they have ignored.
That’s why we are challenging the Scottish Government to commit to five simple steps to deliver for rural Scotland.
Sign up to our campaign to support our five demands and tell the SNP to start delivering for Rural Scotland.
1. Ditch the Green coalition
Walk away from the Bute house agreement with the Greens, which has prioritised political ideology over scientific evidence and the views of rural communities. The influence of the extremist Greens has seen the SNP Government bring forward reckless plans to ban fishing in a further 10% of Scottish waters, shut down any new projects in the North East oil and gas industry, reject calls from farmers to authorise Asulox to control bracken, and put a block on vital road upgrades.
2. Accelerate the Agriculture Bill
Accelerate the timetable for Scotland’s new Agriculture Bill, to provide farmers with the clarity they urgently need to plan for the future. We are also calling on the SNP-Green government to ring-fence rural funding within the bill to protect Scotland’s food security and the country’s natural environment.
3. Scrap the introduction of HPMAs
The SNP-Green coalition must listen to the concerns raised by fishermen and scrap the rollout of highly protected marine areas (HPMAs), which would ban fishing in a further 10% of Scotland’s waters. The plans are vehemently opposed by fishermen and coastal communities, whose livelihoods and survival depends on fishing our Scottish waters. We are also calling on the SNP to review the current Marine Protected Areas – in force across 37% of Scottish Waters – to properly understand their impact.
4. Upgrade rural roads
Many of Scotland’s rural roads have fallen into a dire state of disrepair under the SNP Government. The SNP must commit to upgrading key rural trunk roads like the A9 and A96 in the Highlands, the A83 Rest and Be Thankful, and a host of other vital routes, including the A77, A75, A82, A90 and A1. As our roads crumble, it is becoming more difficult and dangerous for people living in rural areas to get around, where driving is often the only viable option – the SNP-Green coalition must urgently improve these lifeline routes for the safety of all road users.
5. Roll out R100 broadband
Broadband coverage and speeds in Scotland’s towns, villages, islands and remote rural areas lag way behind those in our cities – but this does not need to be the case. The SNP Government have continually failed to meet their targets to roll out superfast broadband to the whole of Scotland. This project must be prioritised to help keep our rural communities connected.
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The SNP have ignored the needs of rural Scotland for years.
Now in coalition with the extremist Greens, they are moving even further away from the real priorities of rural communities.
— Rural Scotland (@RuralScotTories) June 23, 2023