Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur has welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s decision to pass the Scottish Crown Estate Bill this evening, paving the way for the devolution of seabed powers to the islands.
Mr McArthur also expressed disappointment, however, that the Scottish Government did not accept a number of his amendments that would have seen commitments over the further devolution of management powers and the transfer of 100% net revenues written into the legislation.
Commenting after the debate, Mr McArthur said:
“Having campaigned over many years for island communities to have control over what happens in the waters around our shores, I am delighted that parliament has passed this piece of legislation. It is long overdue but very welcome.
“It is disappointing, of course, that the government refused to accept my amendments. These would have seen ministerial commitments over further devolution of management powers and the transfer of 100% of net revenues written into the bill.
“I made clear to Ministers, however, that the local Council and people in Orkney will be keeping a close eye on what happens next. There can be no question of backsliding.
“This is a positive development in the management of the seabed, however, based on the principle of local decision making. It is now up to the Council and others our community to assess how these powers should be used to the benefit of Orkney.”