With only one day to go of the Scottish Government consultation on the Crown Estate, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is urging island residents to make thier views known.
The consultation ends tomorrow, Wednesday 29th March. And to have your say, the Consultation can be found on the Scottish Government website – click here.
The Comhairle has called for a pilot scheme to be run in the Islands which could form a model for how the Crown Estate revenues and management could be devolved to coastal communities.
Comhairle Leader, Cllr Angus Campbell, said: “We would repeat our calls for the Scottish Government to devolve Crown Estate powers to local authorities, as set out in the recommendations of the Smith Commission.
“This principle was acknowledged in 'Empowering Scotland's Islands Communities' back in June 2014 when Scottish Government committed to pass on 100% of net revenues in relation to Crown Estate assests in our areas.
“For us, however, the management of our local amrien assets is as important as revenues, as our goal is to be in a position to work with our communities to utilise our natural resounrces to meet our joint priorities, develop our economy and stem the flow of young people from our areas.”
He continued: “The seabed around our islands is as much ours as the land on which we live. We have already seen examples of hwo community owned land across our islands has sustained and in some cases saved our fragile areas – this shows what can be done when control of assests is available to them,
“We believe – along with our neighbouring island councils as part of the Our Island Our Future initiative – that a pilot scheme should be implemented, with Crown Estate powers devolved to island local authorities on behalf of thier communities and this could form a model for the full implementation of what the Smith Commission recommended.”
Cllr Campbell added: “I would encourage all islanders to respond to the consultation and give a clear message that they want and expect these rights.”